A Thousand Steps

A Thousand Steps
A Thousand Steps by T. Jefferson Parker

Tuesday, May 13, 2014


Dating Cary Grant

by Emelle Gamble



A modern Manhattan fairy tale starring…

Tracy Connor, a New York City career woman who loves her job and classic movies.

Mike Connor, her estranged husband, a small town Mayor who loves his wife but doesn’t seem to have enough time to see her.

The handsome stranger, Philip Adams, who lives downstairs from the small sublet Tracy has temporarily moved into. He’s charming, funny and looks a lot like her very favorite screen icon, Cary Grant.

Dating Cary Grant is a romance all about New York City career woman Tracy Connor struggling with real issues with her real guy, her husband of six years, Mayor Mike Connor of Cukor, Connecticut. Tracy is a smart woman, but some of her problems with relationships are partially caused by her unrealistic expectations that real guys should – and can - behave like matinee idols. Mike’s problems are also caused by the fact that he’s such a great guy and overextends his heart, and his appointment calendar, to every constituent, friend or stray animal who crosses his path.

Tracy is also being stressed by a TV reality show intent on showcasing Tracy and Mike’s personal life, as well as the imminent takeover of her employer, a small, private television station, by a billionaire with unlimited funds and no taste.

Dating Cary Grant considers just how selfless a man needs to be to meet his wife’s expectations, and just how honest a woman must be with herself about what she’s willing to give, and give-up. And Cary Grant is along to help prove that any woman’s search for ‘Mr. Perfect ‘ might take her to a surprising place to find him.


Her husband rested his big hands on the door. "Look, can I just come in for a few minutes?"

Tracy stared at him and realized Mike was nervous.


She had never, ever, seen her husband nervous, in any situation, in all the time she’d known him. He was an experienced attorney as well as a public official, a man naturally at ease with people, all people, even people pissed off because their property tax bill went up or angry because the jury ruled against them. People didn’t make Mike Conner nervous.

He listened, shook hands, and proceeded to logically explain how he was going to fix everything, no problem.

He had never even seemed stressed when they met with the marriage counselor, she thought. But at this minute, Mike Connor was nervous.

She lowered her voice. "It’s the middle of the night, Mike. Please."

"I know what time it is." His eyes studied her face, and then swept down her body with the force of a physical touch. "And I know you’ve got a headache, but let me say you look great. Really great. And you smell wonderful. Is that new perfume?"

"No. It’s the same perfume I always wear." She watched as Mike’s eyes dropped to her cleavage and her face burned over the fact she had chosen this sweater with another man in mind.

Suddenly she visualized that other man, showing up with a bottle of aspirin. Though she hadn’t done anything wrong, nothing positive would come from Mayor Connor meeting Philip Adams outside her apartment door, of that she was sure.

"Mike, you really need to go." She stepped across the doorway as if to encourage him to head for the stairs.

"Am I interrupting something?" He pointedly looked over her shoulder.

"No. Of course not. Not that it’s any of your business."

"How’s that? We’re still married, aren’t we?"

"Yes, we are. But after everything we’ve been through the last couple of years, I’m a little surprised you’d insinuate something like that."

"Like what?"

"Like I’d cheat on you."

Mike’s face paled. "I wasn’t insinuating that. Look, just a few minutes, okay? I smell coffee. And I could sure use a cup."

Tracy sent another glance down the stairs. "There’s a 24-hour deli a block over. You can stop and get some on the way back to your car. I’m not trying to be difficult, but I just need some sleep. I’ve got to go into work all day tomorrow, and Sunday I promised to meet Posey early in SoHo, so whatever you’ve got to say --"

"--I’ll buy you pancakes. You love pancakes. Even in the middle of the night, right?" He reached out and gave her arm a squeeze.

Her heart softened but her tone remained unchanged. "I’m not hungry, Mike. I’ll call tomorrow and we’ll set up a time where we can talk more. Please, just don’t push me."

Dating Cary GrantDating Cary Grant by Emelle Gamble
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Dating Cary Grant by Emelle Gamble is a 2014 Soul Mate publication. I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher and Netalley in exchange for an honest review.
Tracy is a New Yorker through and through. She works at an independent TV station that is currently struggling. But, Tracy's career is very important to her which means she and her husband Mike have had to make some concessions in their marriage. Mike is the Mayor of a small town in Connecticut. He has bigger political aspirations and is working around the clock to perform his civic duty. But, things are not working out in their marriage. Mike and Tracy are seldom together and Tracy isn't sure what she wants anymore. So, she leases an apartment in Manhattan for a six month period to workout her feelings and her career issues. But, a nasty fall caused by an older woman on a bicycle has Tracy experiencing dizziness and headaches. In the meantime Tracy has become acquainted with her movie star handsome neighbor, Phillip. 

Ah marriage. That's a tough one isn't it? He wants his career and expects his wife to support him and understand what he has to do to move on to bigger and better things. She wants her career too and doesn't understand why her husband can't be home more and more supportive of her hopes and dreams. Why does she have to give up all she ever wanted in order to save her marriage? This is the impasse Mike and Tracy are at in their relationship. Mike's workaholic hours put him in a compromising situation and now Tracy can't seem to move on from it. But, is all really lost? Maybe... or maybe not. It seems there are a couple of people that know Tracy needs some help and they begin trying to help save her marriage. Lovers of old movies will immediately recognize the lady on the bike and the handsome neighbor and you will see parallels between Tracy and Mike and certain movie plotlines that featured these actors. The angst is high and while the story is very whimsical it also pulls at the heart strings. At this moment I don't know if I should be mad at Emelle Gamble or applauding her since once again she made me do the "ugly cry". I loved the story!! The hard facts of life often cause people to give up too soon on a good thing because they want their cake and want to eat it too. Who doesn't? But, real life seldom works out like that . Realizing what is the most

important thing in our lives, prioritizing things, talking things out, and sometimes letting go of things we are stubbornly holding on to for no other reason than we just want our way. Often times we find that things we places so much importance on were not all they were cracked up to be and we lost something far more important by putting careers or anything else before our relationships with our spouse, children or friends. Marriage is hard work and often there are no easy answers. Expecting your partner to always be perfect and having other unrealistic expectations can lead to
disillusionment. But, sticking together and working through your problems realistically can be more rewarding and satisfying than anything else. There is no reason why you can't have all you ever wanted, but you may have to think of it on different terms, much the same way Tracy's mother explained her own marriage. That was excellent advice. On the lighter side of the story, Tracy has no idea who her two friends are until deeper into the story. I did wonder sometimes if Tracy was really seeing them or if the nasty bump on the head was causing her to hallucinate, but this part was
cleverly and wonderfully thought out. The movie themes scattered through out the book are romantic and fun since I love all those movies . Who doesn't love Cary Grant? Yes, it would be hard to resist that charming fellow!! Well, he may have seemed perfect on screen and in our fantasies but in real life the big hearted guys like Mike are about as close to perfect as you are likely to get... still, I get the feeling that somewhere out there Christina and Phillip are clinking martini glasses and exchanging quick witted banter. This is another 5 star effort by Emelle Gamble!!

AUTHOR Bio and Links:


Emelle Gamble was a writer at an early age, bursting with the requisite childhood stories of introspection. These evolved into bad teen poetry and worse short stories. She took her first stab at full length fiction in an adult education writing class when her kids were in bed twenty years ago. As M.L. Gamble, she published several romantic suspense novels with Harlequin. Soul Mate Publishing brought out Secret Sister, a paranormal women’s romantic fiction novel in the summer of 2013. This was followed by the novella, Duets, in November, 2013, and the follow on novel starring the characters from Duets, Molly Harper, in January, 2014.

Always intrigued by the words ‘what if’, Emelle’s books feature an ordinary woman confronted with an extraordinary situation. She most enjoys reading stories that surprise and amaze her, and hopes her readers will enjoy the challenging and exciting journeys her characters take.

Emelle lives in suburban Washington D.C. with her husband, Phil, her hero of thirty years, and two orange cats, Lucy and Bella. These girls, like all good villains, have their reasons for misbehaving. Her daughter, Olivia, and son, Allen, are happily launched on their own and contributing great things to society, their mother’s fondest wish.

Emelle Gamble contact links:

Email: emellegamble@aol.com

Website: www.EmelleGamble.com

FaceBook: Author Emelle Gamble

Twitter: @EmelleGamble

Secret Sister is now available on Amazon! http://amzn.to/17J2Bn6

Once and Forever is now available on Amazon! http://amzn.to/1h9fZWv

Duets, a novella, the prequel to Molly Harper, http://amzn.to/1cagyNa

Molly Harper now available on Amazon http://amzn.to/1a7k8Gx

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  1. Thank you Clue Review for this amazing review! It's not often an author gets to say, "that reader got everything I was going for" and when it happens it brings joy to the heart and, frankly, a tear to the eye! Many many thanks! Now readers, how do you use reviews? Do you follow them? Post them? Let us hear from you!

  2. Thanks for your review today. I have a copy of this book on my Kindle...must pull to the top to read next!

    kareninnc at gmail dot com

    1. Can not wait to hear what you think Karen H! Good luck in the drawing. And thanks for posting!

  3. Thanks so much for the review!


  4. Looks good, Emelle! I look forward to reading this one (and the other one! ... I'm so behind!)

    1. Thanks for the support, dear Sandra Hutchison. And any reader who sees this comment, check out The Awful Mess. It is a wonderful and compelling love story by my good buddy here.

  5. Looks like fun! Congrats on the release!! And I'm a huge Cary Grant fan... : )

    1. This books for you then Rowanworth! Lots of Cary Grant. And his friend, a certain red head named Kate! I hope you win one, or buy one. Either way, let me know what you think. Writers truly love hearing from readers. Good luck!

  6. This book sounds very interesting. The bicycle reference made me laugh. I just saw that movie at the Boston Pops, they played the sound track to the movie as it was being shown.

    1. Hi Deborah! great to see you here. Good luck in the drawing...and if you do get a chance to read it, let me know what you think of Cary and company. It was so fun to hear his voice in my head and put words in his mouth!

  7. Appreciate the review. Love the way Mike just tries to do maybe too much for everyone else to the detriment of his family...looking forward to reading this. Also, I have 4 cats, orange are my favorite!!

    1. Susan, I love that you love the red cats. HA! These two are my third and fourth orange girls, two sisters. I should have named them Lucy and Ethel instead of Lucy and Bella! And thanks for the post. Good luck in the drawing.

  8. Replies
    1. Thanks BN100 and Vitajex! Good to see you on the tour. Good luck in the drawings.

  9. I love your reviews! I know what to expect and normally one click what you recommend! Thanks for the chance to win! And keep up the great work!

    1. Thanks for stopping by Angie Turner. And boy are you correct about the reviews on this site! They are informative, thoughtful, fair and generous. Julie really cares about readers and authors. Yay her! Good luck in the contest.

  10. Wow! Such wonderful comments today!! Thank you all for stopping by The Book Review and supporting Emelle and Goddess Fish Promotions!

    1. We love your site! And I love Goddess Fish. They have such great bloggers and reviewers they partner with. A real help to authors to get to know these lovely readers. Thanks again Julie!

  11. I found your great blog through the WLC Blog Follows on the World Literary Cafe! Great to connect!

    Followed you via GFC..

    Follow my blog here: Njkinny's World of Books & Stuff

    1. I followed, Nikita! Thanks for stopping by. And if you'd like me to come see you, I'd love to! XXX Emelle

  12. I like the whole except. It sounds like a wonderful read. Definitely going on my tbr list.

    1. Yay Moe! DATING CARY GRANT is probably the sweetest and most fun romance I've ever written...I like a lot of family angst and drama, but this one is kind of like one of those old movies...you never know who is going to show up at the door! Good luck in the drawing! XXX

  13. Thank you for your newsletters and posts.. Love them

    1. Thanks Donna! I love doing those newsletters, and truly enjoy posting and getting this give and take with readers. If you haven't entered the Kindle giveaway on my website, please do. Even if you already get the newsletter, you can enter just by signing up! Good luck! XXX

  14. Lovely excerpt
    bn100candg at hotmail dot com


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