CLP Blog Tour: Review & Excerpt-The Hunting by Kerry Peresta

The Hunting by Kerry Peresta

Publisher: Pen-L Publishing
Publication Date: November 24, 2013
Pages: 258 pages
Genre: Contemporary Women’s Fiction, Chick-Lit
Synopsis:
Isabelle Lewis, top advertising salesperson at the Chatbrook Springs Sentinel newspaper,  has a habit of falling in and out of marriage. After her last divorce, she shoved the  emotional pain into a compartment in her brain to deal with later. With three teenagers  to raise, bills to pay, and sales quotas to meet, introspection was a luxury she couldn’t  afford. Her mind needed a happy place.When Isabelle (Izzy) discovered online dating, it immediately became her favorite stress  reliever and best friend. Often, she’d steal into the night after her kids were asleep to meet  someone new. One fateful evening, the hunt for the perfect guy took a sinister turn when  the mystery man she met turned out to be her worst nightmare! Reluctantly pulled into  a web of lies, Izzy is forced to confront her demons.

Snarky, suspense-filled, and real, The Hunting is an exquisite entwining of the crippling  emotional fallout of divorce with the quest for a healthy, fulfilling relationship. This  inspirational story rivets!

My Review:
This book could easily be considered a Mystery/Thriller genre. Kerry Peresta writes the story in such vivid detail, that it was very easy to picture Izzy’s world!  Izzy is a busy woman, a single mom of 3 children, married 3 times, and working in high paced, stressed agency, where she has to compete against online advertising and print agencies/other agents.
I actually found the day to day grind at work quite interesting.  Reading about the challenges of what an agency goes through to keep clients, the competition with online ads, and the balance that a working mom has to deal with on a daily basis. It is a balance for Izzy to meet the demands of work, be a present mother, and have the desire of finding love.  I had a hard time understanding why she would want to meet men, when she was already so busy and had 3 failed marriages, however, she is not painted as a wild, promiscuous person.  Rather, just a woman seeking love in a very busy world.
With the world of online dating, Izzy could scan profiles quite quickly and decide who to meet.  While she is on “the hunt”, a mysterious man soon turns the tables on her, and she becomes “the hunted”.  Kerry describes the pursuit of online dating, showing the flip side to those warm and fuzzy commercials shown on tv, where people meet online and are now married.  The dark side of online dating is described and shows how quickly someone can lose control.
This is a story that will definitely keep you on the edge of your seat, and is certainly a bit darker than the chick-lit books you may be used to reading.  However, it a book worth reading!
*This book was provided by CLP Book Tours, in exchange for an honest review.
Read the Excerpt:

PROLOGUE

There is just one man at the bar, sitting in the darkest, most lonely corner of it, nursing a drink. I gaze around the room, looking for the mystery man I’d arranged to meet. I order a glass of wine as I wait and move toward the empty stools. The bartender works his way over, stops in front of me and smiles.

“What’ll it be tonight, Izzy?”

“A pinot, I think. Do you have Bearboat?”

“Yep.” He plucks a bottle from the shelves behind the bar, deftly uncorks, and pours.       “Give it a sec, Izzy.” I nod, wait impatiently for the wine to breathe. Turning the stool around, I scan the bar in case the man appears. After a few minutes, I swirl and sniff, then sip. Heaven in a glass. The man who had been sitting alone at the far end of the bar pushes off his stool and walks toward me. My eyes lock on his face as he emerges from the dark. The scene unfolds eerily, like something from an old Hitchcock movie. I clutch the stem of the wine glass like a security blanket and lift it to my mouth. The disgust I feel spikes as he pulls out a stool and sits beside me. The stench of cheap cologne curls up my nose. He must have freshened it since our meeting at the office. I still feel the sting of his words.

“Understandable that you are upset, Izzy. We need to clear the air, I think.” I turn my head toward him, my lips a firm line.

“I agree,” I spit out. “But this is not the time. I’m meeting someone in a few minutes. So can we talk about this at the office tomorrow?” Twin rows of perfectly straight, white teeth blaze through the dim lighting.

“Nope. We’re gonna talk about it right now. Who you waiting for, by the way?”

“My business. We’ve had this discussion.” His grin does not diminish by a single kilowatt.

“Yeah. We have. However, the discussion is ongoing.” A beat of silence. “Dreamsicle.”

The dread starts at my toes and slithers the entire vertical length of my body. My brain, a hiccup or two behind the dread, snags the realization I’ve been had. An impromptu prayer pops into my head before I can argue with myself that it never works.

I turn to him, my tongue finally loosed, mad as hell. “You? You! What are you thinking? This breaks every privacy law ever legislated, for Pete’s sake! This is . . . this is . . . unspeakable!”

The smile falters, then disappears. His eyes, in the murky light, are unblinking. Reptilian.

“Izzy, you and I have some business to process together.” His lips press close to my ear and he whispers, “For Chrissakes, you treat me like a leper. It’s going to stop. Now.”

My hand reaches instinctively to cover my ear and he backs away. The moistness of the whispered words lingers. I rub my ear and put my hand back in my lap. My hand still clenches the stem of the wine glass. I am afraid I will break it, so I unwrap my fingers, nestle the globe instead, and drink. The glass makes a soft clink when I set it down. I focus my eyes behind the bar. My mind spins furiously. Doesn’t this fall under the realm of predatory? How does one go about proving it?

CHAPTER 1

Izzy

            I tell myself the late night had been worth it. The date had turned out to be a disaster, I’d missed my alarm this morning and my kids had been upset and snarky before they’d left for school, but let’s look at the bright side. I can cross one more guy off the list. Dabbing concealer on the dark half-moons under my eyes in morning rush hour traffic, I strive, but fail, to keep my Honda in the lane. I ignore the angry honks of startled motorists, and correct my course with one knee. I screech into the Sentinel’s parking lot a few minutes late, swipe on tinted lip gloss as a final nod to looking presentable, grab my purse and speed-walk into the building, hoping my hair is not sticking out in all directions.

The ancient elevator in the lobby, a dubious attempt at historic preservation in the heart of downtown Chatbrook Springs, creaks from the third floor to the first when I push the button. The doors take a full four seconds to open. I wonder, as I step in, why I don’t just run up the stairs to save time. Leaping out of the elevator before the doors fully open, I toss my purse on my desk conveniently located exactly two steps away, and thread my way through the maze of cubicles to the corner conference room.

“Hey, Iz!” My assistant yells at me across twenty thousand square feet of industrial carpeting divided into two workspaces by a wide strip of ugly linoleum. I spin around on one foot. He lifts a fresh ad proof he has retrieved from the production department, unfurls, and points to it. I squint at it, and him, nod vigorously, then lift my hand in the classic thumb-and-forefinger circle, which translates as Go ahead and clear it.

The other assistants sprinkled throughout the room smile at the exchange, glancing at each other and the moon-faced clock on the wall. I huff an exasperated sigh. Single parents have a little more to do in the mornings than some people. A recently hired young assistant with a shocking splash of orange in her hair approaches, her hand motioning me closer.

About the Author:
Kerry Peresta’s publishing credits include a popular newspaper and e-zine humor column, The Lighter Side, and short stories in the published anthology, That One Left Shoe, and her debut novel, recently released by Pen-L Publishing, The Hunting, contemporary women’s fiction. She spent twenty-five years in advertising as an account manager, creative director, and copywriter before deciding to devote more of her time to writing. She is currently working on her second novel, participating in writing conferences, and serving on the leadership team of the Maryland Writers’ Association. Kerry was a single mother for many years to four great kids, all grown and successfully carving out their own unique paths. She and her husband live in the Baltimore metro area. Her novel, The Hunting, is available in Kindle version and hard copy on Amazon.com, Pen-Lpublishing.com and her website. Visit Kerry at www.kerryperesta.com.
Connect with the Author:
Virtual Book Tour Contest Giveaway
Win A $20 Amazon Gift Card!!
 Leave a comment on The Hunting tour page,
and you will be entered to win a $20 Amazon gift card!
Anyone who purchases their copy of The Hunting, before January 6, email your proof of purchase to Samantha@ChickLitPlus.com,
and you will get FIVE extra bonus entries.

2 thoughts on “CLP Blog Tour: Review & Excerpt-The Hunting by Kerry Peresta

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