Book Review (and a Giveaway!): Girl in the Spotlight by Virginia McCullough

Posted June 7, 2017 by meezcarrie in contemporary, giveaway, romance, Virginia McCullough / 18 Comments

On Tour with Prism Book Tours.

about the book

The daughter they never knew

When Miles Jenkins sees the graceful young figure skater on TV, he can’t believe how much she resembles Lark McGee, the girl he dated briefly in college. Could this aspiring star be the child Lark gave up for adoption eighteen years ago?

He has to find out.

Locating Lark ignites conflicting emotions in Miles—including regrets for what might have been and romantic feelings that take the two single parents by surprise.

As they prepare to meet their daughter, this deeper connection between the two just might be the chance at love they never got.

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Series: Two Moon Bay #1
Contemporary “Clean” Romance
PUBLISHER:  Harlequin Heartwarming
RELEASE DATE: June 1, 2017
PAGES: 384

Advanced Praise

Mesmerized by the real world of characters–brought to life beautifully, I found myself entranced by this thoughtful, delightful, sad, and joyous, novel about second chances and all forms of love. The situation, characters, and consequences left me shedding happy tears at the ending. — Casey Clifford, award-winning author

A compelling love story crafted with characters you’ll fall in love with. Miles and Lark’s journey to be reunited with their child captured my heart, as did their blossoming romance. The best book I have read this year! —Lily Silver, author of Dark Hero

McCullough is always adept at creating suspense on multiple levels. In Girl in the Spotlight, the intrigue builds from page one and doesn’t let up until the end. But she understands that readers need relief from tension, and through her masterful storytelling and perfect pacing, McCullough delivers satisfying outcomes along that way. The relationships she’s developed are complex and realistic, and their evolution is deeply satisfying. — Lynda McDaniel, author of A Life for a Life

Girl in the Spotlight swept me away to Wisconsin’s Lake Michigan shore and reminded me of loves left behind. McCullough invokes deep emotions through her writing, which will pull at your heart. More than a romantic love story, it is a love story of parents for their children. A must read.”  — Anne Parent, author/reviewer

“She’d longed  – sometimes desperately – for her little girl to grow up loved and happy.”

Virginia McCullough’s Girl in the Spotlight is a sweet love story. But it’s not just a romance between a man and a woman. It’s also a story of love from a parent to a child, the parents who gave birth to her and the parents who adopted her.

I love Miles and felt he handled the situation involving Perrie Lynn with maturity and discretion. He’s a tender dad to his little girl Brooke and a friendly ex-husband to Andi. His compassion, honesty, and steadiness with Lark increased my appreciation of him at every turn.

Lark on the other hand …. well, I realize i don’t have the right to judge her actions and attitudes since I have never experienced what she has. But she just didn’t seem to be handling this in a healthy way. Not from day one. And while that is certainly understandable, it’s never really addressed and her behavior/thoughts made me uncomfortable more than once. If she hadn’t had Miles’ steadying influence, I’m not sure what she would have done.

Maxine and Eric – oh how i adore and respect them. And Perrie Lynn… I got just as caught up in her performances and the competitions as I would if I really did know her. There is a moment in the book where I literally gasped out loud, so invested was I in their lives. It felt as though I had heard a bit of news about a friend and reacted to it accordingly.

Bottom Line: Girl in the Spotlight by Virginia McCullough puts you right in the audience, sitting high up in the arena seating, experiencing the skating competitions along with the fictional spectators. You’ll hold your breath for every axel and lutz and salchow, and you’ll easily be able to picture the sparkling costumes and the ‘kiss-n-cry’ bench as we all wait for the scores. Though the pace is slow in some places and the story overall is light on romance, you’ll be emotionally invested in this compelling story from the very first chapter!

(I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the publisher. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.)

My Rating: 4 stars / Great characters!

KissingBook Level: 2 / Sweet and light

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Harlequin Site

about the author

A writer all her adult life, Virginia McCullough has had the opportunity to write the stories of her heart in her novels, including Girl in the Spotlight, the first book in her Two Moon Bay series for Harlequin Heartwarming. (Book 2 is scheduled for release in January 2018). Her award-winning romance and women’s fiction titles include The Jacks of Her Heart, Amber Light, Greta’s Grace, The Chapels on the Hill, and Island Healing.

Born and raised in Chicago, Virginia has been lucky enough to develop her writing career in many locations, including the coast of Maine, the mountains of North Carolina, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and currently, Northeast Wisconsin. She started her career in nonfiction, first writing articles and then books as a ghostwriter and coauthor. She’s written more than 100 books for physicians, business owners, professional speakers and many others with information to share or a story to tell.

Virginia’s books feature characters who could be your neighbors and friends. They come in all ages and struggle with everyday life issues in small-town environments that almost always include water—oceans, lakes, or rivers. The mother of two grown children, you’ll find Virginia with her nose a book, walking on trails or her neighborhood street, or she may be packing her bag to take off for her next adventure. And she’s always working on another story about hope, healing, and second chances.

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1st Prize (US only): Tea & Contemplation, a collection of favorite things, starts with an uplifting message from “Seize the Day” Pop Open Cards. Fill a ceramic thermal mug to sip Lavender Chamomile Tea while you contemplate your ideas and dreams. Write your thoughts in a journal, whose guiding words are: When Your Heart Speaks… take good notes! A Wish pen is included. Finally, pick a place to display a large piece of gemmy rose quartz, a stone long linked to matters of the heart. It’s said when rose quartz is nearby, love (of all kinds) comes along to keep it company. These items will be arranged in a “keeper box” and delivered to your door.

2nd Prize (open internationally): You will receive a $35.00 Amazon eGift Card, and a digital copy of GIRL IN THE SPOTLIGHT, plus one digital copy of another of Virginia’s five award-winning novels—it’s your choice.

Ends June 16th

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What about you? What’s your favorite winter sport?

Tour Schedule

June 5th: Launch

June 6th:

Hardcover Feedback

Katie’s Clean Book Collection


Christian Suspense Author Mary Alford

June 7th:

Book Lover in Florida

Reading Is My SuperPower

Nicole’s Book Musings

Inside the Mind of an Avid Reader

Becky on Books

June 8th:

Rockin’ Book Review

Mel’s Shelves

A Baker’s Perspective

Harlie’s Books

June 9th:

It’s All About the Romance

Hearts & Scribbles

The Bookworm Chronicles

June 11th:

I Am A Reader

Valerie J. Clarizio, Romance Author

Thoughts of a Blonde

June 12th: Grand Finale

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18 responses to “Book Review (and a Giveaway!): Girl in the Spotlight by Virginia McCullough

  1. Winnie Thomas

    My favorite winter sport to watch is ice skating. My favorite winter sport to participate in is reading in front of my fireplace wrapped in a cozy blanket. Does that count? 😀

    This sounds like an interesting book. I don’t think I’ve read any books by this author before.

    • I think reading counts whether it’s on a beach or in front of a fire. My other books (for all seasons) are under my name on the retail sites like B&N and amazon. Different moods, different settings, but always hope, healing, and plenty of second chances. Thanks for your interest in my work.

  2. emilee

    The cover model is adorable. I love easy to get-into reads that make me smile and dream about romance! I can’t wait to read it!

  3. Paula S.

    My favorite winter sport is staying warm! I am not fond of winter and don’t watch sports. This looks like an enjoyable read.

  4. Thanks so much–to everyone. I really like the cover model, too, and was pleased to see the cover some months back. I think figure skating is my favorite non-team sport. Ice dancing, pair skating, I love them all.

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