Tuesday, July 27, 2010

First Impressions, Michelle Sutton

Sammie Carpenter understands how a uniform influences behavior. Wearing her Army fatigues puts her in the mindset of a soldier, and donning her Class-A Uniform always helps her shift into Captain Mode. So what harm could come from her dressing like a saloon girl and strutting through the streets of Tombstone? She didn't know how to flirt to save her life, and she wasn't getting any younger.

When she met the lonesome stud cowboy, Jimmy, she knew he was the one. So why was their communication always so awkward? Couldn't he see that she was interested in him? No matter how hard she tried to win him over, she couldn't seem to get him to see past his first impression of her. But Sammie didn't give up easily. Somehow she would make him see that they were meant to be together, but how can she do that when all of her plans keep falling apart?

As he stepped inside the room, she rose from the recliner and moved toward him. He lifted his finger. "Just a sec. I'll be right back."
He stepped around her and headed for the laundry room at the back of the house. He prayed she wouldn't follow him. Things were already awkward, but if she saw his dirty boxers he'd want to curl up like a potato bug from the humiliation.
He peered over his shoulder. She hadn't moved. Whew!
"Just looking for a clean pair of socks. It shouldn't take but a minute," he called from the other room.
Pretty sure his socks were still in the dryer; he reached inside and found them as anticipated. He emerged from the laundry room with a satisfied grin and held up his prized socks. But she wasn't on the recliner. Somehow she'd gotten out of the chair and slipped across the room to stand next to him.
His smile faltered and he cleared his throat. "I just need to get my um, my sneakers… and… my shirt and then I'll be ready to head… out."
Sliding his feet toward his bedroom door like a dance step in the Electric Slide, he angled his body sideways to get past her. She stood in front of the entry and leaned on the frame. Part of her body blocked his way. A very sexy part that he didn't dare brush up against. Oh man, that was tempting.
Her incredible brown eyes watched his every move. Her lower lip jutted out just a little. Those pouty lips would be the death of him yet. They seemed to dare him to do something about her standing in his way. She smiled up at him and he returned the same, trying to make light of the situation by wiggling his brows.
Which was difficult because his pulse was racing.
Again he tried to pass her to enter his bedroom, but she moved until she fully blocked his entrance. He examined the feisty grin on her face and tried to guess what she was thinking. Maybe she just wanted him to kiss her and acknowledge her presence, and then she would let him pass by. That was what he'd do.
With socks in one hand and his other free, he anticipated brushing her lips with his. He would just give her a quick peck and move past her and into the bedroom. They'd already had too many steamy encounters. One more could be cliffhanger dangerous.
He leaned down and she placed her palms on his bare chest. His kiss was intentionally brief.
She surprised him when she ran her hands lightly over his chest hair and regarded him with amusement as if to say, 'Is that all?'
His throat clogged. He couldn't speak. She'd drawn him in to that sticky web again with the sultry look in her eyes. He knew exciting, yet bad-for-a-Christian activities were ahead if they stayed in his house alone.
She offered a coy smile and pulled his head down until his mouth touched hers. He intended to pull away, but found himself resisting common sense. Then she kissed his neck, working her way up to his ear, and he forgot what he'd intended to do.
In fact, the pleasurable sensation was so powerful he failed to move at all. He made the mistake of lingering as she kissed him. When she pressed her body against him, he stopped resisting and dropped his socks.

I love Ms. Sutton's writing! Her stories dig deep into the inner soul of her characters and deal with issues and feelings and longings that are common to us all, but ones which the typical Christian novel does not deal with. Where other novels gloss over our inner urgings, Ms. Sutton faces them head on without fear. I would say this particular story deals with lust vs. love. What is the difference? What does God say about this? He created our attractions, after all. They are not inherently evil. But what do we do with them? How can we harness them in a world where no one seems to? Although there is alot of sexual innuendos in this book, there has to be in order to get the points Ms. Sutton wishes to get across. The characters are real and likeable and we really feel for them. Let's face it, all of us have been in similar situations. Some of us have fallen. Others have overcome.

Ms. Sutton's writing is crisp, simple, and clear and makes for an enjoyable, fast read. Personally, I would recommend this book to anyone, even as young as 12. My reason? They are going to face these issues in school and with their peer. Why not face them in a story where the characters make the right choices and God is glorified. Bravo to Ms. Sutton!
-- Marylu Tyndall

Ms Michelle Sutton has written a wonderful poignant book about the connection of two people who faced problems and struggled daily to overcome them. It is unusual to read an inspirational story with true-to-life conflicts the characters have to face. This one was realistic. It delved into how they had to deal with their sensuality. I found this book so believable and didn't want to put it down.

Sutton explored her characters as they both wrestled with their emotional conflicts. She presented more in-depth studies of this couple than is usual. I felt as if I was living through this with them. There were several supporting individuals in the manuscript that played pivotal, although small, roles.

I am excited that this is the first in a series. I cannot wait to read the others. This is another author I plan to put on my `must-read' list. I highly recommend this book to others. It has a fabulous storyline and Sutton's writing style is great. Kudos, Ms. Sutton!
– Brenda Talley. The Romance Studio

Why Michelle Wrote this Book:
This was the first novel I'd ever written and it went through a ton of revisions as I learned more about writing. I wanted to write a love story about two people who dressed up and playacted the parts of saloon girl and cowboy in modern day Tombstone, Arizona, for special events. I thought it would be fun to make them complete opposites and to have the hero be a solid Christian and her be just a regular career woman who happened to be enlisted with the Army. She's inexperienced with men and thinks playing a saloon girl will teach her how to flirt and be sexy. She's not good at flirting, though, and she's almost too sexy for her own good. The hero is so attracted to her he can't see straight and soon forgets that he loves Jesus more than anything else in this world. This story was written to show how hard it is to date a non-Christian and maintain a strong walk with Christ.
Other books in this series:
First Love (Oct. 2010)
First Response (June 2011)

Author Bio:
Michelle is an edgy Christian fiction author of over a dozen novels, a book reviewer, an avid blogger/alliance member, a mother of two teenagers, a wife, a social worker by trade, and follower of Jesus Christ.

Leave a comment for a chance to win this book, plus the other ebooks featured this week.
Happy Reading!


  1. Looking forward to reading Michelle's book.


  2. While I haven't read the book yet, perhaps that's okay because I can share with you why I am going to read the book. The premise of the book is believable and as a mature woman who lived through those "struggles with celibacy" dating and eventually marrying a non-believer, I think as Christians it is imperative that we give readers "reality to learn by".

    I once had a woman speak to me after attending my adult Sunday School class and confess something awful that had happened in her recent life. I admonished her that she should have alerted me so I could walk through it with her. I shall never forget her words. " Oh I was too embarrassed. You are such a good Christian."

    In the name of "positive witness" I always put my best foot forward, yet from that moment forward I shared about my struggles and trials. The result was, more people shared and learned. Ms. Sutton carries that over in her novels as she writes about the "edgy Christian walk" of real people facing real issues as they grow in their spiritual efforts. Can't wait to read the complete book which I am certain will be revealing, and real.

  3. Lost and Found Cousins, I agree with everything you've said. I wish more authors stuck their necks out into these situations in their writing. I know that many people read Inspirational fiction because they want something the can trust to not go into any of these areas. But others read it hoping to find support and comfort, and even answers to a particulat struggle. I think there should be both types of stories within the genre.

  4. Wow, I cannot wait to read this book! It sounds amazing and I love how Michelle brings real life situations into a fantasy world, that allows people to deal with emotions virtually and see the possible results of their choices. Great!

  5. I've enjoyed the books I've read of Michelle's, and plan to read more anyway. She's really splashing the market this year, isn't she? Way to go!

  6. Thanks. It's a fun story, and kinda sexy, too, but I'm sure you could see that from the sample.

  7. I enjoyed the excerpt - looks like another terrific read by an outstanding author!


  8. Thanx for this chance.

    Please enter me for this book.


  9. This was a great book. Read it in one sitting. Her writing IS crisp. Love Michelle!!

  10. Oh, Michelle, you just keep doing it!!! This will be a boon of health for me with all the laughing out loud I anticipate. You paint such imaginative pictures with your words..and I've fallen in love with the lead characters already. Sure would enjoy reading this one and those that follow. Thanks for your generous offering for one lucky winner.

    Praise God,
    Barb Shelton
    Arlington, TX

  11. Hi i don't know if your still giving this away or not?
    anyway, i've never read any of Michelle's books, but they all sounds so good! i'll have to get this one from the library or something and read it!

  12. Wow, This is one book I really want to read. I want to see just how this book ends and how the couple overcome the obstacles they face and how they get together hopefully at the end of the book.

    Thanks for this opportunity to enter giveaway.

    misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

  13. I loved your review! I just posted a link to it on my own site.

    SephB just did a guest review of this same book on my blog and she found that the romance between Sammie and Jimmy was “combustible”. ;-)

    You can read her review here: