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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on November 6, 2007
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Marcel Baptiste is a wealthy businessman with a heart of pure gold. Marcel helped his family's automotive business expand over the years. While it is no secret that he enjoys being a wealthy man it is a secret that he enjoys giving. His secret passion leads him to read each and every proposal that comes his way to make sure he is giving to a worthy cause. When he reads the latest round of proposals, one stands out and seems to speak directly to him. The proposal in question was written by Caitlyn Thompson. Something within Marcel tells him that he should definitely meet with this woman who seems to know him so well.

Caitlyn Thompson is a woman on the run from an ex-lover. Because of the things that he has done to her, Caitlyn wants to never be caught in a situation where she is helpless again. Her private life is something she guards as the most precious thing she owns. She keeps her life so private that it means there must be no cell phone registered in her name, no electronic transactions must ever occur, no bank account must represent her name and most importantly, money must be carried around with her at all times. So, when she meets the handsome philanthropist Marcel Baptiste and he expresses interest, Caitlyn denies his every advance. After he persists, she relents and gives the sexy businessman a chance knowing that at any moment, the person she has tried to avoid may find her to finish the destruction he started.

When I'm With You by Laconnie Taylor-Jones is an enduring love story. Readers will especially enjoy the dynamic and knight-in-shining-armor character, Marcel Baptiste. He is a man who would never harm the woman he cares for deeply but would do anything and everything in his power to protect her. Readers will enjoy the twists Taylor-Jones places within the story. Those twists all seem to interconnect in a convenient way that is understandable and appealing. Taylor-Jones also does a fabulous job of combining family values and strong bonds of love within this story that will definitely leave readers with smiles on their faces and hearts. I recommend this meaningful love story to romance fans.

Chantay
APOOO BookClub
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Format: Mass Market Paperback
When you've suffered atrocities such as being raped and then stalked, being in a committed relationship is the last thing on your mind, and understandably so. In When I'm With You by literary newcomer LaConnie Taylor-Jones, this is the situation her heroine, Caitlyn Thompson finds herself facing.

Marcel Baptiste has other ideas though. When Caitlyn comes to him with a proposal to provide funding to the youth center she heads up, the attraction is immediate. Caitlyn appeals to Marcel on every level - she's beautiful, smart, and caring. And even though she is skittish when it comes to affairs of the heart, Marcel will let nothing or no one deter him from breaking down Caitlyn's emotional barricades and claiming her as his own.

Being an avid romance reader, and a diehard romantic, I must say I could really feel the love between Caitlyn and Marcel. But at times, the cynic in me felt that it was a little too "perfect". All in all, though, I was impressed with Ms. Jones debut novel. I was also duly impressed by the way she effortlessly portrayed strong familial bonds and for tackling a very sensitive subject matter.

Renee Williams, All the Buzz
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format: Mass Market Paperback
When I'm With You by LaConnie Taylor-Jones

Reviewed by Tavares S. Carney
Echelon Books: 8
Amazon: 4

Love Lost, Found and turned Upside Down

The storyline of When I'm With You centers on main characters, Caitlyn Thompson and Marcel Baptiste, an unlikely pair given their upbringing. While the two may be from opposite ends of the track, what they share in common is the very thing that brings them together - a heart for helping others. Caitlyn, being an executive director of a youth center and Marcel, the mystery philanthropist.

As circumstance would have it, Caitlyn stumbles into the auto dealer headed by none other than Marcel, who'd already reviewed a proposal for the youth center and, prior to their chance meeting, had already decided to fund youth center programming. Marcel knew who Caitlyn was, but she not he. After funding the youth center as the "mystery" philanthropist, Marcel quickly learns that Caitlyn's emotions are not to be played with. Suffering from a horrible experience from her past, Caitlyn drives a hard bargain in the "trust men" lane.

Smitten with Caitlyn, Marcel Baptiste is determined to make Caitlyn his one and only. This is a romance story; however, the dramatic subplots have thematic significance and draw the reader in. Caitlyn is avoiding a stalker/abuser ex and Marcel is in a business bidding-war, in addition to helping Caitlyn locate her biological father. Through various occurrences and as scenarios presented themselves, Marcel continuously proved himself and his love for and to Caitlyn, who eventually lets all guards down.

I especially enjoyed the fact that Marcel did not allow money to be his main priority or go to his head. Instead, his character displayed genuineness and sincerity.

The book contains topics such as philanthropy, family and marriage, as well as unhealthy and healthy male/female relationships.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on November 6, 2007
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Philanthropist Marcel Baptiste is CEO of several BMW dealerships, he meets Caitlyn Thompson when her car breaks down and Marcel offers his assistance. Unbeknowing to Caitlyn, Marcel is the person she is requesting a grant from for the East Oakland Youth Center where she works. Marcel recognizes her name but does not let on that he knows who she is.

Though a feisty lady, Caitlyn has been on the run for three years from an abusive relationship with an ex-boyfriend; therefore, when she learns who Marcel is, she has trust issues while she also has feelings for him as he has for her. The play between Caitlyn and Marcel makes the story worth reading; Caitlyn considers Marcel to be fine but arrogant and Marcel considers her to be stubborn and hardheaded.

Ms Taylor-Jones has created a wonderful read and although the author covered domestic abuse, it was not enough to detract from Marcel and Caitlyn's story. The secondary characters made the story interesting as well especially Mama Z and Caitlyn's friend, Vic. One can almost picture the meal with all the family members' questions and arguing among the Baptiste siblings.

When I'm With You has a twist that one would not expect and I am hoping that Ms Taylor- Jones has more stories of the Baptiste friends and family to share especially Vic and AJ, Ray,Alex and the sisters, Brie and Aimee.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on March 16, 2008
Format: Mass Market Paperback
LaConnie Taylor-Jones' debut novel, When I'm With You is a beautiful story of a young woman (Caitlyn) whom in spite of having experience the terror of being abused allowed her heart to love an incredible man(Marcel). Initially, Caitlyn withdrew from Marcel's advances until her friend Victoria (Vic)convinced her to give Marcel a chance. What I enjoyed most about this book is that Marcel was the perfect gentleman and protector. When Caitlyn finally broke down and told him about her past with Cole...it was on! My man was no punk! He was determined to protect Caitlyn even if it meant losing his own life! Who wouldn't love a man like that?! If you're looking for a fresh new voice from the world of romance...then this is a book for you!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on January 5, 2008
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Marcel is THE man. I've been married 13 years and this book just made romance and the woman/man thing REAL!!!!!!!!! Marcel was gentle yet persistant. And don't even talk about being a gentleman and a knight all wrapped up in one. He was all that and more. Caitlyn had been hurt before and wanted to run. She was also a tough cookie and a no nonsense woman, but Marcel's love was so strong she couldn't leave. He waited AND waited but romanced the hell out of her while waiting. This book is a keeper and I will be buying my husband a copy. Every man could learn a thing or two from Marcel. Good things come to those who wait and love hard. Can't wait for the sequel.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on August 3, 2008
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This book was excellent! I read the followup to this book, When A Man Loves A Woman (Vic and AJ's story)before reading this book and knew I had to go back and read this one! I was not dissapointed and am looking forward to more from this family. Caitlyn is a strong woman who is on the run from a crazy and abusive ex-boyfriend. When she meets Marcel she tries to avoid getting involved with him at every turn. He eventually wins her over and becomes her ultimate protector. The love scenes are off the chain and there is a hint of mystery and action as well. The domestic abuse issues are handled very well in this book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on January 20, 2008
Format: Mass Market PaperbackVerified Purchase
When I'm with you is a beautiful love story with a bit of mystery in it. A book you would want to read again and again... I loved Marcel and can only dream of being loved the way he loved Caitlyn. I laughed, cried, got angry and was just emotionally involved throughout the book. I loved it and highly recommend it. Good job LaConnie.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on November 21, 2007
Format: Mass Market Paperback
LaConnie Taylor-Jones' first outing is a fast and entertaining romantic read. Her prose is quite lyrical, with dialog that is witty, humorous and realistic with its coloquialisms. The characters are generally believable (although at some points almost too good to be true!) and one definitely feels right along the with the main characters, Caitlyn and Marcel, as they work through the tension and problems they face to reach their h.e.a. Marcel Baptiste is a wealthy businessman and also a philanthopist who prefers to remain anonymous -- until he reads the grant request from Caitlyn Thompson. Something in the way she words the funding request for her struggling Oakland youth center, intrigues him and he feels the need to meet her. But Caitlyn is not an easy woman to get next to, and Marcel has his work cut out for him. We should all find a hero like Marcel! I'll certainly look for Ms. Taylor-Jones next title.
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on May 19, 2008
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Yes!! Kinda thought I'd be impressed when I read in the intro that AA Romance author Beverly Jenkins was a mentor. Beverly is a wonderful writer and favorite for 10+ yrs. Now, LaConnie has become a new favorite.

Marcel and Caitlyn's love story was ABSOLUTELY beautiful. I love the way she developed the characters and allowed their relationship to grow over time. Marcel is every woman's fantasy and I really loved how he took care of her, protected her, and loved her --- especially when he bought her the dogs. Caitlyn is a strong and determined woman who has experienced some personal tragedies but kept moving forward in life. Despite what happened with Cole, she remains strong and healthy (mentally, physically, sexually).

LaConnie introduced several characters who all deserve their own stories. I can't wait to read them. And, please keep mama Z in the stories, she's a hoot.

Congrats on a job well done.
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