Tuesday, July 23, 2013

"Under the Sun (Heat Wave)" by Jude Ouvrard

Under the Sun (Heat Wave)
by Jude Ouvrard

Jude Ouvrard's first novella, Under the Sun, has just been released. It is part of a Beach Read Anthology called Heat Wave, published by Renaissance Romance Publishing. It's a romance for adults (aged between 18-30).

Tracey Howard has put her life on hold for years to care for her grandmother. Now that her grandmother is gone, Tracey decides to spend the summer at the beach and reflect on where she wants life to take her next. Jackson Phillips is her new neighbor, and he dazzles her from the first moment they meet. Will Jackson be able to show Tracey how to let go of old pain and embrace future happiness?

It might have been my imagination, but when our eyes met, I felt something stirring inside me. I stared at her, wondering what had just happened, and I could still feel the tingling warmth on my skin. There was something between us, but I didn’t know quite what. Everything felt right, like we were supposed to be together.
Tracey looked away, breaking our connection. “Do you need help with anything?”
“Nope. Everything's ready.” Even though I could have stared at her all night, I didn’t want to ruin the evening. So I turned my attention to our dinner and got the bruschetta and the garlic bread on the table.
“Mmm, it looks delicious, chef.” Tracey laughed. She had quite the spirit, and unlike so many women, she didn’t appear to be complicated.
When I placed the shrimp Alfredo linguini on the table, Tracey literally licked her lips. “I think I might join you for dinner every night. It smells so good.”
“I would love that,” I replied. “The company would be nice.”
Tracy was unsettling to me, causing me to lose tact and intelligence.
For the most part, we ate in silence. Often I found myself just staring at her, like she was going to run away if I wasn’t watching her. I’d remembered her features from the first time I saw her, but she seemed different now, almost serene and calm. The first time I’d met her, I had seen the love and devotion for Mrs. Howard in her eyes, but now they were tired and sad. Regardless of how beautiful I thought she looked tonight, I wanted to be able to change that for her, to bring happiness to her eyes.
The first time I’d seen Tracey, her blond hair had been a lot shorter, too. It had reached just below her ears, but now, it hung down to the middle of her back. She’d been wearing yoga pants with a Hello Kitty T-shirt. At the time, I thought it was adorable, young and fun, but tonight she looked more mature and sexy. She was perfect.
“Earlier, you mentioned that you're here for the summer.” It was the best way I could think to start a conversation.
“Yeah. I needed some time away from home. The past few years have been rough. What about you?”
Rough? What did Tracey mean? But instead of pushing her to clarify, I heard myself rambling out an answer to her question. “I'm here for the summer, too, but I might have to leave on a few business trips.”
“Oh, that’s great. I took a couple months off work. Believe me, I needed it.”
“Do you mind me asking why?”
“Oh, sure. I can't just give you little pieces here and there and not tell you everything. I spent the last few years taking care of my grandmother. She passed away recently. Beth had Alzheimer’s, and by the end, she was so lost inside herself. She could remember the house where she grew up in Salt Lake City, but she couldn't remember who I was. It's a terrible disease. She lost all her knowledge and independence. Even simple things like going to the bathroom or changing her clothes were a challenge.
“Sometimes, Beth thought I was her sister Amanda. And there were days when she thought I was her caregiver. Those days were the worst; she didn't want help, and she thought she was doing just fine, so I had to deal with her constant mood swings and irritability. Oh, and the language that came out of her mouth? Well, let’s just say that my grandmother wouldn’t have used those words.

A brilliant debut by a very talented new author! Jude Ouvrard has a way of bringing her characters to life and writes with a different level of passion than I've not see elsewhere. Under The Sun is a beautifully crafted novella that does just that - you feel the characters' pain and their passion as things begin to heat up. I'm looking forward to this author's next book, Wonderland, due out in September!

About the Author
Jude Ouvrard was born and raised in a small village named Lacolle. She now lives in Montreal, Canada. She is the proud mother of a beautiful four year old son, and has spent the last twelve years with her partner, Cedric.
French is her native language, but she prefers to write in her second language, English.
Besides working full time for a Title Insurance Company and being a mother, Jude has a passion for books, both reading and writing them.
Her first novella, Under the Sun, was released July 2013. It will be part of a beach reads series called Heat Wave. Her second novella, Wonderland, will be out in September and it's part of a Fall anthology. Both will be published with Renaissance Romance Publishing.