Sunday, June 21, 2009

Book Review for A WILL TO LOVE by M. Kim Smith

Title: A Will to Love
Author: Kim Smith
Publisher: Red Rose Publishing
Format: ebook, novelette
Genre: Romance
Publisher Addresses: Red Rose Publishing, 12065 Woodhull Rd., Forestport , NY 13338
ISBN number: 978-1-60435-344-0
Price: $2.99
Publisher website:

A Will to Love
Review by Aaron Paul Lazar

I’ve never read a romance. Honestly. But I ordered Kim M. Smith’s ebook, A Will to Love, because I fell in love with her silky smooth writing style when I discovered her first book, a cozy mystery entitled Avenging Angel. I ordered A Will to Love this morning–while recovering in bed from a hospital stay–and read it in one, luxurious sitting.

How many men actually read romance? I have no idea. I suspected the content would only appeal to women, but I was wrong. Smith’s strong characters and the emotions they evoked wove magically together the moment I met Benton Jessup and Kitty Beebe.

Jessup, a man haunted by the loss of his lifelong soul mate, Carla, tries to keep his southern inn afloat. He cooks meals for his guests with ease, and has even been written up in the local gourmet press. But his heart’s not in it. He aches for Carla and plods through life in a haze of sorrow.

Enter Kitty Beebe, a romance author from Ireland with fiery gold hair and disturbingly beautiful blue eyes. One would expect this setup to result in a predictable rescue of poor Jessup, but it doesn’t go quite so easy for him, which adds to the luscious tension. Kitty, a complicated lady, becomes besotted with Jessup, but isn’t sure she’s ready to rescue him for a lifetime.

Another character I fell for was “The Inn” itself. Set in the lazy southern countryside, its beguiling charm oozed from the pages. I want to go there. I want to live there. And I wouldn’t mind being Benton Jessup. At least in my dreams.

In this passage from A Will to Love, we discover the depth of Jessup’s pain:

“But they had to come back to Mississippi and the life that she wanted.

At least the memories would remain forever. Maybe that was why he had agreed to the Celtic cross now adorning the headstone. Its gray granite cast a faint shadow on the small bundle of pansies he laid on the grave. He didn’t speak. He wouldn’t know what to say anyway. His whole life, past, present, and future now rested beneath the fresh grasses growing over the mounded earth in the little cemetery on their land.

She would understand his stalwart silence. She had known him through and through.

There would never be another woman who would be that close to him.

He’d make certain of it.”

The only issue I could find with the novelette was its requisite length. Of course novelettes are short. But I hated it to end and wanted to learn more about Kitty’s past, the things that led her to a troubled sort of hesitancy to love. I yearned for more of their life at The Inn and in the cottage in Ireland. I guess that’s the nature of a novelette, and of course, the skills of a fine writer. They always leave you wanting more.

Smith, “a true blue southern gal who was raised on black -eyed peas and cornbread,” promises more books, including another romance short, Love Waltzes In due in the Forever Young Anthology at Red Rose Publishing, September 2009. The second Shannon Wallace mystery is due in December, 2009.

See more at her website,


Aaron Paul Lazar writes to soothe his soul. The author of LeGarde Mysteries and Moore Mysteries savors the countryside in the Genesee Valley in upstate New York, where his characters embrace life, play with their dogs and grandkids, grow sumptuous gardens, and chase bad guys. Visit his websites at and and watch for book four in the LeGarde series, Mazurka, coming August 15th, 2009 from Twilight Times Books.

Double Forté is the founding book of the LeGarde Mystery series and was released in November, 2004. Upstaged followed in October, 2005. His third, Tremolo: cry of the loon, was released via Twilight Times Books in November 2007. Mr. Lazar is currently working on his thirteenth book, For the Birds. The first book of his paranormal mystery series, Moore Mysteries, will be released in 2009. He is a regular columnist for FMAM (Futures Mystery Anthology Magazine), and has been published in Great Mystery and Suspense magazine and the Absolute Write Newsletter. Contact him at:, visit his blog at,,, or stop by his websites at and


Marta Stephens said...

A great review!

Kim, I'm so happy for you. Just purchased "A Will to Love." :)


Kim Smith said...

Just got back from the wilderness of Mississippi -- thanks for this you guys. I love you all so much! This book is such a special work. I cannot wait to tour it next month with Pump Up Your Book Promotions. I hope you all join me on the journey!

s.w. vaughn said...

Fantastic! An excellent review.

And Kim, that excerpt is just wonderful. I'll definitely be reading this book!

Kim Smith said...

YAY! I am never sure what to put for an excerpt! Choosing just what to use to hook a reader is TOUGH!

Sheila Deeth said...

It's really rather comforting to think of a guy reading romance, and your review makes it sound great. Thanks for the introduction.

Aaron Paul Lazar said...

You're welcome, Sheila. And glad you gals liked the excerpt I chose. ;o)

Kim Smith said...

I think excerpts are the hardest part of a promo package. I am glad Aaron chose this one for me! Thanks Aaron!