Wednesday, July 18, 2012

INNOVATIVE ONLINE BOOK TOURS: Review of Beneath the Surface, by Joya Fields

Welcome to this stop for the
Beneath the Surface
Review Blitz, sponsored by
Innovative Online Book

Joya Fields
Paperback, 252 pages
The Wild Rose Press
January 18, 2012
Contemporary Romance,

Goodreads Synopsis

Brooke Richards survived the earthquake that took her parents and most of her leg, but she needs time to regroup. A trip to Florida for a state-of-the-art prosthesis and to visit her best friend Linda seems ideal. But the trip turns traumatic when Brooke witnesses Linda’s boat disintegrating in a fiery explosion.

Police officer Garrett Ciavello believes the blast was intentionally set to hide something Linda found on a dive. When Brooke offers her expertise
in underwater archeology, Garrett accepts her help with the investigation. But since his fiancée’s death years ago, Garrett has become overprotective, and as they are drawn to each other, Garrett realizes he will risk anything to keep Brooke safe.

Reviewer's Note

I received a review copy of this book from the author.

When I first saw the cover of this novel, I just had to investigate.  That gorgeous blue color, the couple about to kiss, the solitary diver so strategically placed -- the entire cover design was incredible eye candy!   The synopsis definitely intrigued me, and, when I started reading, I was instantly hooked!

The author paints vivid word pictures, as is evident from the exciting opening paragraph of Chapter 1, in which Brooke is suddenly thrown to the deck when her friends' boat explodes.

The novel continues to propel the reader along with nearly nonstop action and edge-of-the-seat suspense, as well as a very sweet romance between Brooke Richards, underwater archaeologist, and Garrett Ciavello, police detective.   Brooke feels the need to be as independent as possible, while Garrett feels the need to protect her, although he does realize her own need to feel that she can take care of herself, in spite of her handicap. 

Brooke's friends, Linda and Jeff, who are graduate students, were specifically targeted in the explosion described at the beginning of the book.  They had been attempting to recover a mysterious box from the ocean floor.  When Detective Ciavello hears about this, he fears that this box could very well contain the remains of his cousin, Tessa, who has been missing for several months.  The main suspect in her disappearance is Rico, Tessa's boyfriend, who has a criminal past. 

Brooke finds herself agreeing to something she thought she'd never do again -- diving.   She simply couldn't bear the thought of doing her favorite activity without her parents along with her, but now Garrett needs her help, and she knows that her underwater expertise will certainly be of use in his investigation.

Garrett finds himself getting into a new relationship, in spite of his own traumatic loss.  He simply can't resist falling in love with Brooke.  He not only feels attracted to her as a woman, but also as a gutsy individual who has bravely resumed her life, having become a teacher in order to inspire students in her field. 

Together, they begina magical romance that will be tested not only by their own inner battles, but also by the threat now looming over Brooke's life, as she becomes involved in the search for Garrett's cousin.

In the middle of all the action, Fields never forgets such things as character development.  Brooke and Garrett are very believable people.   From the initial attraction, we see their relationship cautiously begin to bloom.  We follow them all the way, through the suspenseful events, as they open up to each other.

The secondary characters are also very believable.  I really like Linda and Jeff.  They, too, are well matched, and very much in love with each other. 

Stephanie Cooper, known as "Coop", is another likable character, whom I think will eventually hook up with Garrett's partner, Diego.  She's fhe female deputy who is initially sent to ask Brooke questions about the explosion, and ends up befriending Brooke.

We also briefly meet Garrett's mother, Katie, who is a total delight.  She and Brooke warm up to each other right away.

The villain is very well done, too; there are some genuinely scary moments toward the end of the novel, because the villain is obviously a megalomaniac.  Fields also does a great job of keeping the readers guessing about this person's identity.  There are several unexpected twists and turns before the reader finally finds out who has been trying to kill Brooke and her friends in order to thwart the investigation.

The setting of this novel is very much "in my backyard", so to speak, since I live in South Florida, USA.   Everything I love about Florida -- the ocean, the tropical breezes and lovely scenery, which were part of the setting of this novel -- made me feel right at home!

To sum up, Joya Fields has given us a truly enjoyable read that skillfully blends romance, action, and suspense, with memorable characters and a beautiful setting.  I zipped right through it, and am now thinking of going back for a more leisurely reading, because I'd like to really savor it this time.  I'd like to feel those tropical breezes again, as well as immerse myself in the sweetness of a beautiful romance. 


Joya Fields

About the Author

     Joya Fields has had over 100 stories and articles published in local and national magazines, and her debut novel, BENEATH THE SURFACE, a romantic suspense, released in January, 2012. LOVE DELIVERED, a contemporary romance, is also now available.

When she’s not busy writing articles, short stories, and novels, Joya loves spending time with her romantic hero/high school sweetheart/husband of over twenty years, two very supportive teenaged children, and a pug who follows her everywhere she goes.

Joya Fields Online:

Here's the complete list of blogs
participating in this Review Blitz!

The Story of A Girl...
Understanding Shae's Story
Purple Penguin Reviews
A Date with A Book
Lissette E. Manning
Words I Write Crazy
Ramblings of an Amateur Writer
A Night's Dream of Books


  1. As always insightful review Maria!

    Once in a while, it is interesting to read a story that is set geographically close to ones home. I find it a little comforting.

    Perhaps I am making too much of ocean and diving connection, but did you ever read "The Deep" by Peter Benchley? In some ways the plot description of this book remind me of that work.

  2. Really nice and readable book. thanks for shearing it.
    Night Club Bars

  3. I really liked this book and couldn't put it down!!!!

  4. I remember this cover! How could I not.
    There seems to be a lot going on in this novel. Fabulous review. I will have to make time to read this myself.
    I love the gorgeous Penguin Classics in your sidebar. Gorgeous!

  5. Wow, wow, WOW, Maria! What an awesome synopsis of the storyline and what a fabulous review. Thanks so much for taking time to review Beneath the Surface and thanks so very much for posting such an awesome review. You're right about Coop and Diego. They need their own romance soon! Thanks ever so much!! :)

  6. Hey, Brian!

    Thank you so much for your compliment! I sure try to bring some depth to my reviews.

    Well, I usually prefer to read books with settings that are far from Florida, but now and then it IS pleasant to read a book that takes place near the home turf.

    I've heard of "The Deep", but have never read it. The theme of ocean diving and something hidden in the depths is similar in both books, but this one also has quite a bit of romance. I might just pick up this book, which was written by Peter Benchley, the author of "Jaws". It has nothing to do with sharks, fortunately! Lol.

    Thanks for commenting!! : )

  7. Hi, Conry!

    Oh, I'm sure you'd love this book! Thanks for the comment!! : )

  8. Hi, Vickie!

    I had the same experience! I LOVE this book!!

    Thanks for commenting!! : )

  9. Hey, Steph!

    Yes, this cover is truly memorable! And there's a lot going on -- the plot and characters are just as memorable as the cover, so you should definitely enjoy it!!

    Thank you so much for complimenting my review!!!

    And as for the Penguin books ad in my sidebar, I just received one of them, which I bought from Amazon -- "Great Expectations"!!!!!!

    Thanks for commenting!! : )

  10. Hi, Joya!!

    Oh, thank you SO much for such a wonderful comment!! I really enjoy reviewing books, especially books like yours, that a reader just can't put down!

    I'm glad that Coop and Diego will be getting their own story told, because I sure want to read and own it!!!

    You're very welcome for my review, as well!! : )

  11. @Brian-For sure! I remember "The Deep." It was a movie, too, I think. Very cool that Maria's description of Beneath the Surface reminds you of The Deep. Thanks for stopping by!

    @Conry-Thanks so much for stopping by. I agree that Maria did a fabulous job summing up the story.

    @FABR Steph-Awesome that you recognize the cover! I got lucky w/ my cover artist. She really brought the story to life in a picture. Thanks very much for stopping by. :)

    @Vickie-Yay! I love it when people can't put down the book!! :)

    @Maria-It's obvious that you love books. The world (and authors!!) are lucky to have someone like you. Keep having fun with all of your reading. Your enthusiasm is contagious. :)

  12. Wow 5 stars! Crossing fingers thanks for the review and giveaway!
    <3 Tobi
    tobihelton at gmail dot com

  13. Hi, again, Joya!!

    Thanks for interacting with my commenters, as well as for the nice things you've written to me in this second comment!! You are such a nice person!! I'm so glad you appreciate my love of books, because they are indeed my biggest passion (of course, my hunky hubby is my other BIG passion)!!!!

    Happy Reading!!! : )

  14. Hi, Tobi!

    You're very welcome, and thanks for commenting!! : )

  15. Maria thanks for hosting and reviewing this book, Joya happy 1/2 birthday. I have this on my TBR list, I am glad to hear that there are more books to follow. Carin

  16. Hey, Carin!

    You're very welcome! Hope you get to read this book soon -- you'll LOVE it!!

    Thanks for commenting!! : )

  17. Brilliant article.

  18. Thank you, whoever you are!! I greatly appreciate your compliment!!! : )


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