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4.5 out of 5 stars
Finding Lucas
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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on March 3, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
I cannot believe how many fantastic books I am reading lately - Finding Lucas is no exception!

Jaime leaves her long-term boyfriend and decides to find her teenage love Lucas. The search is not straightforward and presents itself as challenging (both physically and emotionally).

Finding Lucas is Samantha's debut novel (and what a debut this is!). I loved every page of the book. All characters are extremely well created and developed. By the end of the book, I had an exact picture in my head of what these characters could look like.

I really enjoyed Samantha's very descriptive writing style. She uses a lot of brackets to include further information. In my opinion this adds to making the story come alive - I loved it.

Jaime's character really grew on me throughout the whole book. She comes across as being such a passionate person! I really felt for her, when things didn't go as planned and her insecurities showed. In fact, all the characters in the book are amazingly well portrayed. Jaime's patchwork family (there is her gay mother and her partner, her sister and her father plus his new partner) are so endearing!! The "funniest" character for me was Derek's mother. Can people really be that deceiving and manipulative? I guess so - she certainly adds humour and laughter to the story!

The TV show for which Jamie is an associate producer, reminds me very much of "Jerry Springer" - I had to smirk (and cringe) several times whilst reading about the topics and candidates brought onto the show :-).

I can highly recommend this heart-felt, funny and entertaining read! I absolutely loved the ending (without giving too much away but Jamie's character development is amazing and inspiring).
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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
on February 21, 2013
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
I have to agree with the reviewers and say that I really loved this book. I loved the quirky characters and the hero and heroine. Andrew was wonderful, and I agree with the reviewer who said Rachel's story should be the next book. The author's descriptions of Chicago and Montreal were very nice, especially the scene in Chicago when Jamie goes to her parents' home to look for Lucas's letters and her yearbook. I have been spending time going to my parents' home lately so that scene was especially poignant to me - all of the memories. I found out earlier today that they will have to sell their home and stay in a nursing home because of health problems so this scene really hit home.
Jamie's friends and family are a wonderful support system and Eva and Derek were really nasty to her--everything you want in villains. The scene where Hanna helps Jamie with her makeup was laugh out loud funny.
The dialogue rang true for me, especially when Hanna said that she was being Jamie's friend and "you'd do it for me." My friend recently helped me when we found my parents on the floor of their home, dehydrated and with infections and thanks to him, we were able to get them to the hospital. When I thanked him (profusely), he said "that's what friends are for. You know that. You'd do it for me." Jamie's line "Thanks a bunch, o, boyfriend o mine" was funny, too. I always refer to my friend as "o cab driver o mine", and it reminds me of the old "Green Acres" TV show when Mr. Haney was selling birthday cards for Arnold the Pig that said "Happy Birthday o pig o mine." (speaking of that, the pop culture references appealed to me). And I loved when Jamie asked Andrew, "Don't you have anything better to do than listen to my personal conversations?" The same friend I mentioned above said something like that, but with a "y'know" added.
My only problem (and trust me, that was hard to find) was that we didn't find out anything about Lucas until Chapter Seven and I would like to have known a little more sooner. But that's just me - I'm nosy, or so I've been told.
It's one of the best romantic comedies I've read in a long time. I can't wait to read Samantha Stroh Bailey's next book!
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on December 11, 2012
Format: Paperback
Rated 4.5 Star

Finding Lucas is a fun, fabulous chick lit! Laugh out loud funny, this novel is about finding yourself and being true to yourself, amidst a quest for love. Surrounded by a quirky family, an evil arch enemy at work and a new friend who happens to be of the opposite sex, Jamie Ross goes on a fun ride in Finding Lucas.

I immediately connected with Jamie. She's my kind. She's not all fancy shoes and pink cocktails - although she did like to drink, and smoke even, which is something we don't see much of. She's wonderfully flawed and completely confused about her direction in life and her ex boyfriend, who was a complete arse. I loved that she didn't sit around idle when she finally breaks up with him (which might have been my only negative with the novel - it seemed to take a chunk of time for her to final ditch him and then less time was spent finding Lucas which surprised me as this is all on the cover blurb and I usually expect what is on the cover to happen quickly). I liked that it wasn't cliche where she was cheated on. Her ex had just changed...into a self centered, metro sexual moron. I thought he and his mother were perfect and there were a couple of scenes with them that had me snorting - among others.

All the characters are fabulous. I loved them all - except the ex and her evil work nemesis, but they were fun to hate and that was the point. Her family is completely dysfuctional according to Jamie, but in a loving way and I really appreciated the way she comes to realize how wonderful and supportive they are through the course of the novel. Although the love situation was a bit predictable, it was fun to follow along and I loved the predicaments Jamie gets herself into, in typical Chick Lit style. I don't always need the love interest to be a huge surprise, as long as there are other elements that pop up as unpredictable.

Anyone looking for a fabulous, fun chick lit will enjoy this one. It's well written, fun and quirky. Definitely pick this one up today!

Thank you to Samantha Stroh Bailey for our review copy! All opinions are our own.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on February 18, 2013
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
This was a quick read, I enjoyed many of the characters although there was a lot of stereotyping. My big problem was that I figured out the plot twists about 1/3 of the way through the story and was just waiting for them to be brought to light. The protagonist's family will probably make you feel a lot better about your own, her roommates are very funny and a little poignant. I really did enjoy reading the book, but would have liked it better about 2/3 the length. Easily worth the $.99 I paid for it and I may very well look for other books by this author.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on May 30, 2013
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
I think I was hesitant to read this for a while because the concept of women reuniting with past boyfriends is lost on me. However, I am SO glad I gave this novel a chance because it was adorable, clever, funny, and all around entertaining. Samantha writes such strong and memorable characters and should earn an award for writing the best version of feminine hygiene product for Jamie's boyfriend, Derek. He was just beyond awful and I can tell she had fun making him completely despicable.

While there were some predictable moments, there were lots of twists and turns to get to those moments and I was still kept guessing for the most part. I loved the whole "modern family" side to the story, as well. It was an all-around enjoyable read and I can't wait to see what Samantha comes up with next, as I'm sure it will be equally delightful.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
Derek, the chain smoking, rebellious, easy going guy 32 year old Jamie Ross fell in love with five years earlier, has become a judgmental, prissy metrosexual who, along with his mother, is always trying to change Jamie into someone she is not. Jamie knows she is not happy in the relationship. EVERYONE knows she's not happy but five years is a long time to invest in someone and things have to get better, right? Wrong. After an encounter at the grocery store between Jamie, Derek and Claire, (Jamie's frenemy from high school and the exact type of girl Derek wishes Jamie would be), Jamie finally breaks up with Derek and wonders if she will ever find a man who will accept her for who she is. When Jamie, an associate producer of a talk show, comes up with an idea for a show to reunite past loves live on television, her friends Hannah and Lucy encourage her to use the studio's resources to hunt down Lucas, her first sexual partner and the one man who always made her feel special. This novel follows Jamie on her journey to find Lucas and more importantly, to find herself.

I adored this book! Jamie was incredibly relatable and likeable and I pulled for her happy ending from page 1. The razor sharp banter between the characters had me laughing out loud on several occasions. Although the love story was somewhat predictable, it was so incredibly charming that it didn't matter. Most impressive, in my opinion, was the author's ability to draw such fleshed out, believable characters from Jamie, to her quirky and loveable family members, her wretched ex boyfriend Derek, her BFF Hannah and work buddy Lucy, her endearing and witty boss, Andrew, her high-strung roommate Amy and, of course, the antagonist to beat all antagonists Eva. I wanted to strangle her!!

A book for the 2012 favorites list for sure!
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on June 4, 2013
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
Samantha Stroh Bailey has written a beautiful and hilarious story about finding yourself and falling in love again. The book is clever and witty; full of laughs and smiles. I love Jamie and everything she goes through. The story is realistic and I love the development of all the characters! The sass and charm throughout this book is unforgettable. I love it and recommend this book!!!!!
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on May 23, 2013
Format: Paperback
Finding Lucas has all the qualities I have grown to love in a good chiclit novel, all the heartbreak and humor that makes you love each scene. The main character, Jamie, has a bit of each of us in her, a bit of our uncertainties and self-esteem issues. She also has the unrealized potential and beauty that just takes the right person to ignite. I started the book hoping for a light book to start off my summer reading, but ended up emotionally pulled into the story and couldn't put it down. I only regret that there aren't more of Samantha Stroh Bailey's novels to read.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
What a delicious delightful devilish tale! Samantha Stroh Bailey has penned the perfect summer read for those who love romance and falling in love with love! Bailey's characters are real, honest, living-life-to-the-fullest and the novel's premise is one we can all relate to... what if? What if we had a chance to find that lost love and do it over again? And in the midst of all the chaos and craziness, what if we find ourselves falling in love? Bravo!
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on June 20, 2013
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
I liked this story, partly because the main character, Jaime Ross, is every woman, and yet unique and quirky. But I also liked the way Samantha Stroh Bailey fills in the delightful spaces with peripheral characters, all very relevant to the novel, while keeping Jaime's voice intact. A long read I couldn't put down, and would highly recommend.
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