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At Last (Texas Heat Wave Series) by [Ortolon, Julie]
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At Last (Texas Heat Wave Series) Kindle Edition

4.1 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

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Length: 304 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled

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Amazon.co.uk Review

A Q&A with Julie Ortolon

Question: What was the inspiration for At Last?

Julie Ortolon: I'd have to say determination more than inspiration sparked the story. Like many Texans, I'm passionate in my love for my home state, but the Texas I know has numerous facets rarely shown in movies and novels. So I thought, "Wouldn't it be fun to set a story in a small Texas town but break as many stereotypes as possible?" I allowed myself to be over the top but with a catch: I had to stay true to reality. The result surpassed my original vision with fun characters in a quirky town and a story that makes me laugh even when it tugs at my heartstrings.

Q: You based your imaginary town of Hope, Texas on the real town of Gruene. Why that particular town?

JO: If you want to be quirky but stay true to reality, there's no better place than Gruene, Texas. This tiny town–not far from where I live–feels like a time capsule since nothing new has been built since the mid-1900s. Today, it's a thriving tourist destination with gift shops, antiques stores, a wine tasting room, and the "oldest dance hall in continuous use in Texas," Gruene Hall.

Since Gruene, Texas has nothing to do with cattle, I made the hero, Jackson Hope, a lawyer from Austin instead of a rancher. The way Texas men are frequently portrayed in fiction isn't incorrect, but that stereotype is a definite minority.

Q: Your heroine sings blues and American standards in a bar fashioned after a speakeasy. Why did you pick that type of music?

JO: I grew up in Austin, the music capital of Texas, and we have all kinds of music here. I happen to be a huge fan of blues and American standards, so Riley's love of my favorite music was pure self indulgence. Plus, that era of music best fit the period of the town.

Q: The novel comes with a music sound track. How did the idea for that come about?

JO: As luck would have it, while I was writing At Last, a local singer, Barbara Calderaro, was singing regularly at a neighborhood wine bar. She mostly covers old standards, so that helped me decide which songs to have Riley sing. One day, while sitting at the wine bar, I said, "You should cut a CD to go with my book." To my surprise–and delight–she nodded and said, "Okay."

I'm thrilled with how the soundtrack came out. Howard Levine, the guitar player on the CD, wrote some brilliant arrangements to give the old standards a fresh new sound. He even turned the title track, At Last, into an upbeat samba. Sounds crazy, but I love it.

Q: Speaking of the title track, you changed the title of the print book–Unforgettable–to At Last for the ebook release. What prompted that?

JO: Breaking so many stereotypes made this story a packaging nightmare. How do you convey a bombshell lounge singer going toe-to-toe with a city lawyer over the fate of a historic dance hall in a tiny tourist town in Texas? The original packaging looked too Manhattan jazz club. This time, releasing the ebook version bundled with the digital music sound track, I think we hit the mark. Plus, the flirty but passionate way Barbara sings At Last perfectly captures my heroine.

Q: Throughout the story, you weave in a lot of history about bootleggers and bank robbers. Why did you choose that era?

JO: That period fascinates me, and I loved researching it. Ironically, some of the most incredulous bits of the backstory in At Last are straight from real history. The ploy my character Molly McPherson and her brothers used to rob banks is the exact ploy used by a woman known in Texas as the Flapper Bandit. I also based Molly's brothers on the Newton Brothers, the most successful bank robbing gang in history.

I may write contemporary romance, but I love history. Nothing gets me more excited than to find interesting tidbits from the past to drop into a fun yet heart-tugging contemporary romance. I try to bring that to all my books, but it really fell into place with At Last.


About the Author

Most authors say they grew up reading. Not Julie Ortolon. Born with dyslexia, she didn't even learn how to read until her early twenties. It was only with the additional discovery of computers with spell-check that she was able to turn her favorite hobby -daydreaming romantic stories - into a career. Having her first novel hit the USA Today bestseller list was a dream come true. Julie lives on the shores of Lake Travis near Austin, Texas where she is working on her next romance.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 928 KB
  • Print Length: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Montlake Romance (17 Jan. 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B006NYOQ0M
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #44,676 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Excellent book very good read and page turner
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I had to buy this book on trust as I couldn't find a review but loved all of the other Julie Ortolon books I've read. This is what it says in the synopsis on the back of the book:

'Riley Stone kissed Hope, Texas goodbye and good riddance ten years ago, when she headed out to conquer the music world with a head full of dreams and a heart bruised by unrequited love. Now the alluring singer is back with one mission in mind - to save the town's old music hall before Jackson Hope can tear it down.

Long ago, Riley fell for Jackson - a skinny kid with worldly ways and a family who literally owned the town. But now the elser Hopes are letting their town fall apart. Signs of dilapidation are everywhere... except on the grown up and strikingly sexy Jackson. As the two go toe-to-toe, Riley can't help but notice.

Jackson is having a hard enough time trying to pull the town out of bankruptcy without battling the girl who tormented him with desire through his high school years - especially when she's even more tempting than he remembers. And now he's going to have to choose between the life he planned and a woman he finds unforgettable.'

I found this an OK book in itself, but compared to Julie Ortolon's others, not great - a lot more cheesey and overdramatic.
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By Anne TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 1 Mar. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Small town Texas, a music hall and a blues singer combine with a snobby but rich family and an interesting local history. Lots of content in this book and two likeable, if predictable heroes in Riley and Jackson. The plot was fine and the ending inevitable but I did find the whole book just a little too intense - it was a bit too dramatic, the characters cared just a little too much, all the plot strands were too inter-connected, and everyone got a little carried away.

Enjoyable enough but could have been toned down a little and made a little more low-key to develop a little more subtlety and shading in the story.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I loved this book. If im honest, i didnt think it would be that great. It was a very easy read and once started couldnt put it down. Had some great sexy parts too !! GREAT HOLIDAY READ !!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
An easy read and an old fashioned romance. Sometimes that's all I want, nothing too intense. Nothing serious or complicated. I enjoyed it very much.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
THOROUGHLY ENJOYED THIS BOOK. EASY READING AND GOOD STORY LINE WITH RIGHT AMOUNT OF ROMANCE. WILL DEFINITELY LOOK AT OTHER BOOKS BY THIS AUTHOR.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Read this book around the pool on my holiday. It was the perfect read. Thoroughly enjoyed it! Will be getting the other books in the series now.
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