✍🏻 Professor Romance’s More than 5 ⭐️ Review: Kandi Steiner’s Old Fashioned ✍🏻

Overall Grade: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 1/2

If you want to change the world, pick up your pen and write. Martin Luther

Readers who have never read romance or people who seek to disparage it, to marginalize the readers of this genre, miss out on the depths of it. In many ways, it is one of the most inclusive communities, and it honors female empowerment in ways that other genres might not capitalize on fully. As the years have progressed, beyond empowering women in their $exuality, romance writers have the noted impact that literature in any form offers opportunities to tackle social justice issues. Entertwined in their stories of love, empowered writers of romance drop apt reminders of a world where everyone has a place, a voice, a power. Kandi Steiner is one of those writers. 

Confession: I finished Old Fashioned, the last book in Steiner’s Becker Brothers series over a week ago. If I had been a responsible blogger, I would have posted a review the same day. But I couldn’t. I had so many ideas running through my mind, and quite frankly, I had a BIG book hangover from this series. I hated that Old Fashioned brought the series end. Steiner crafted a small town fraught with unequal power constructs and a burgeoning scandal at every page. Yet, in that town, she offers up characters that felt like family. Each one of the Becker brothers and their heroines represented a type, a character that looked and thought and felt like any one of us. In doing so, she found a space for her readers to find themselves in these stories. She created a profound space of inclusion whether it was socio-economic, racial, cultural, or $exual. This world also included personalities that you couldn’t help but fall in love with. From the Becker Brothers’ mother to Betty Collins in the nursing home, it felt like you always had someone in your corner. For me, this inclusion is the reason I hated leaving this series. She found a space for you and me through connection with seemingly “real” people in the midst of her fictional romance. This is its profundity. 

And she increased this inclusivity in this final book. It would be easy to say that it is Old Fashioned’s story and the way in which she tied up all of the “loose ends” of the Becker Brothers’ father’s mysterious death (which she does so well) that makes this book the best one. Instead, Steiner’s choice to incorporate POC as her hero and heroine makes it the most compelling. In her final story, she challenges us to consider power and position. She flays the truths of unequal positions of power, $ex, and color throughout Old-Fashioned. From the mixed-race backgrounds of Jordan and Sydney where both of them struggled in the past to be accepted into a racial group to stereotyped constructs of gender and power through Sydney’s acceptance of a job “usually” filled by a male and the challenges of her acceptance of that position to the tenable hold of powerful individuals in their small community and the abuse of that hold, Steiner points a finger at inequality and asks us to open our eyes and fix it. In her story, she does that. She empowers the marginalized and provides them with the means to be heard. In doing so, everything is righted: Jordan and Sydney find their ultimate acceptance and place in each other, Sydney stands in the truth of her giftedness as a trainer and stands firm against stereotypes, and the “bad guys” lose in the end, upending the power dynamic of the community. In acknowledging these inequities, Steiner uses her power as a writer to right the wrongs of social injustice and show us that way for ourselves. Old Fashioned offers us a keen lesson in inclusivity, compassion, and change. 

Ultimately, Steiner does this well through the construction of Jordan and Sydney. These are powerful characters wrapped into gentle souls. Prior to Old Fashioned, Logan Becker had been my favorite Becker brother because his soul was compassionate. He has a tenderness that Noah and Michael lacked. After Old Fashioned, Jordan Becker claims my top spot because, like Logan, he has a tender heart, but he has a likeability that is sometimes lost in Logan. Logan tends to be a bit staid and tied-up, a bit too organized. Mallory has to “mess him up” a bit as a way to soften that side of him, but it still exists. Jordan is a quiet, gentle giant of a man. He has his moment early on when he illustrates his reductive thinking about Sydney; however, after being reminded of his narrow thinking, he acknowledges it and offers her an apology wherein he accepts his fault and asks for forgiveness. He is incredibly masculine, but also compassionate, sometimes to the exclusion of his own feelings. He is careful, thoughtful, and principled. He acts a true foil or opposition to Sydney’s ex. 

As a heroine, Sydney is strength personified. This is a woman who has taken on the burden of a past that could have destroyed her and transformed it into a purposeful present and hopeful future. She is the only person in this story who can stand toe-to-toe with Jordan and make an impactful change on him (well, except for his mother). Yet, as secrets are divulged in this story (and there are many of them as Steiner did not hold back on crafting a compelling, fast-moving story), it is Sydney who helps him find his resolve and his peace. She becomes his foundation because her strength, tenacity, and intelligence offer him a port as a calm in his storm. 

The story. The characters. The prose (there is such an ease to Steiner’s writing). All of these qualities of Old Fashioned conspire to offer you a top read for 2020. Honestly. It’s easy to throw that moniker around. But it’s true. Kandi Steiner took her purpose as a writer to voice the foibles of our world and laid it bare in the midst of her romance. Old Fashioned acts as a marker for change whether you are a POC, a woman, a person of a lower socioeconomic class, etc. It’s a challenge for readers to stand for the underrepresented, offering more of your voice so they can find an equal footing for theirs. 

Thank you, Kandi, for this series. I loved every page of every book, and I hate to leave the Becker family because they brought so many hours of smiles and tears and happily-ever-after sighs. 

In love and romance,

Professor A

✍🏻 My favorite book in Kandi Steiner’s Becker Brothers series is HERE! Saving the best for last, Steiner’s Old Fashioned is LIVE. Don’t wait; download your copy today! It will leave you with a HUGE book hangover. ✍🏻

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Old Fashioned, the fourth and final installment in the Becker Brothers series by Kandi Steiner is LIVE!

🥃 Small Town Romance

🥃 Country Romance

🥃 Sports Romance

🥃 Enemies-to-Lovers

🥃 Angst Galore

🥃 Single Parent

🥃 Workplace Romance

🥃 Mystery

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It’s a man’s world.

When I declared sports medicine as my major and every man narrowed their eyes, that saying proved true. It was true when my ex-husband decided I’d give up my career when our daughter was born. And again when I divorced the Chief of Police in our small town, and he made it painfully clear that I could leave him, but I would never be free.

Landing the job as the new athletic trainer for Stratford’s high school team is my chance to start over. And walking into a male-dominated sport and staff, I’m ready for the challenge.

I’m not ready for Jordan Becker.

The head coach of our championship winning team is a Herculean force of nature—as severe as he is determined. His icy blue eyes and permanent scowl drive the women in this town mad, and his quiet power and undeniable command conjure respect from every man.

When I join his team, I expect the doubt and anticipate the fight from him. And I get them both.

I don’t expect to form a friendship.

And I never expect to fall for him.

My breath catches when those cool eyes fall to my lips. My body comes alive when his is near. And as those lines begin to blur, every warning bell sounds.

My job, my reputation are on the line.

And my ex is around every corner, waiting to remind me of his power.

It’s a man’s world, and if I want to survive, I can never fall in love with Jordan Becker.

Even if he falls in love with me first.

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Download your copy today or read for FREE in Kindle Unlimited!

Amazon: https://amzn.to/38KVn4B

Amazon Worldwide: mybook.to/OldFashionedKS

Add to Goodreads: http://bit.ly/2Wh5Vpg

Read as a stand-alone or binge all four brothers!

(each book can be read as a stand-alone)

On the Rocks (book 1) ➔ amzn.to/2F6GgGg

Neat (book 2) ➔ amzn.to/34TXYs3

Manhattan (book 3) ➔ amzn.to/2YYgpcs

Old Fashioned (book 4) ➔ amzn.to/2DS8KTm

*All books available in Kindle Unlimited!*

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About Kandi:

Kandi Steiner is a bestselling author and whiskey connoisseur living in Tampa, FL. Best known for writing “emotional rollercoaster” stories, she loves bringing flawed characters to life and writing about real, raw romance — in all its forms. No two Kandi Steiner books are the same, and if you’re a lover of angsty, emotional, and inspirational reads, she’s your gal.

An alumna of the University of Central Florida, Kandi graduated with a double major in Creative Writing and Advertising/PR with a minor in Women’s Studies. She started writing back in the 4th grade after reading the first Harry Potter installment. In 6th grade, she wrote and edited her own newspaper and distributed to her classmates. Eventually, the principal caught on and the newspaper was quickly halted, though Kandi tried fighting for her “freedom of press.” She took particular interest in writing romance after college, as she has always been a diehard hopeless romantic, and likes to highlight all the challenges of love as well as the triumphs.

When Kandi isn’t writing, you can find her reading books of all kinds, talking with her extremely vocal cat, and spending time with her friends and family. She enjoys live music, traveling, anything heavy in carbs, beach days, movie marathons, craft beer and sweet wine — not necessarily in that order.

Connect with Kandi:

Mailing List: bit.ly/NewsletterKS

Facebook: facebook.com/kandisteiner

Facebook Reader Group: (Kandiland): facebook.com/groups/kandischasers

Instagram: www.instagram.com/kandisteiner

Twitter: twitter.com/kandisteiner

Pinterest: pinterest.com/kandicoffman

Website: www.kandisteiner.com

Kandi Steiner may be coming to a city near you! Check out her “events” tab to see all the signings she’s attending in the near future:

www.kandisteiner.com/events

✍🏻 Professor Romance’s 5 ⭐️ Review: Devney Perry’s Runaway Road ✍🏻

Overall Grade: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Devney Perry has this innate ability as a writer to capture the lives of people who have endured pain and trauma by controlling the variables of their lives. In many of her books, the key variable of control is relationships with others. Whether it’s through hermiting themselves away or erecting tall emotional walls, it’s these moments in her stories that offer the tension that we all love to hate. She crafts characters that feel real: they look like us (somewhat), they act like us, they feel like us. Therefore, we find bits of ourselves reflected back at us, and it acts as a mirror of the human condition. Perry’s newest story, Runaway Road, is no different. In the midst of the simple quiet of Brooks Cohen and Londyn McCormack’s story is a truth that we all need to love and be loved in order to live an abundant life. This truth is found in so many of Devney Perry’s stories, and it’s the reason that so many of us love her writing. 

Runaway Road tells the story of Brooks Cohen and Londyn McCormack. Londyn has left her former life: a husband, a life abundant with riches, and her best friend. Why? Her husband is cheating on her, her abundant life is only abundant in its wealth, and she needs to move on, even if leaving her friend is difficult. When life gets difficult, Londyn has learned to keep moving in order to keep herself afloat. As she leaves her old life behind, she finds herself stranded in Summers, West Virginia, a small town filled with downhome, kind people. It is there, while she awaits her car repairs, that Londyn meets the local mechanic, Brooks Cohen. At first meeting, Londyn and Brooks are drawn to each other. 

Brooks Cohen is a single dad who has decided to live life free from relationships. The one relationship in his past gave him his son, but also an ex-wife who made his life difficult. With the challenges of being a single dad and owning a business, he hasn’t felt like anything is missing, until Londyn. As their story progresses, and they fall deeply for each other, the tension of this story centers around Londyn’s need to leave Summers and continue her roadtrip to California. Will Londyn leave Brooks behind, or will she finally find the place with him where she can live her best life?

Two words about this story: Brooks Cohen. Seriously, Brooks Cohen. As the hero of this story, he is the perfect combination of alpha-male and empath. From one moment to the next, Brooks takes charge while connecting emotionally with Londyn at a level that she can handle. Londyn’s emotional walls are high based on her past. As the story progresses, it’s Brooks’s kindness and empathic nature that begin to break those walls down. 

Londyn is Perry’s prototypical heroine: she’s internally strong, beautiful, and closed off. This is grounded in her past, a troubled one. With a heroine like Londyn, the story must show her unraveling; Brooks taking the time to peel back her layers is the gold of this story. As Londyn falls deeper for Brooks, as the reader, you need her to stay in Summers with him. We can see that he completes her in ways that her ex-husband could never. Summers offers her the perfect life, but, to build that tension, Perry keeps us anticipatory to the very end of the story. Together, Brooks and Londyn are like many of Perry’s story couples: pure romance gold. 

There is a certain simplicity to Perry’s storytelling. I love how she develops stories that keep me reading to the final page. There is a quiet within her words that capture your heart and give you the feeling that you’re wrapped in a comfortable blanket. I look forward to reading her books because I trust she will develop beautiful stories about the foibles of human nature. There will always be a struggle, and the hero and heroine will have to work for their happy ending. But, in the end, all is always right in Devney Perry Land. Runaway Road is no different. It’s a little bit roadtrip and small town romance. I gorged on every part of this book and came out satiated on the love story of Brooks and Londyn. Perry has once again written a powerful romance of finding love after difficulties for her readers. 

In love and romance,

Professor A