The Research Trip by C.P. Stringham

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C.P. Stringham
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Book review

“Meet TRUE LOVES CHAMPION…Author Katherine Lee Sumner!”

Every time Kate Beacham read the tagline created for her nom de plume, she cringed inwardly. Her double life was created the moment her first romance novel was published. You’d think success would make it easier, but six years and ten bestsellers later, Kate still blushed when a friend or acquaintance from her small town brought up her books. Most people, it seemed, had a difficult time separating the reality of her personal life from the fiction in her books. The widowed mother of two was much more comfortable being a recluse while raising her daughters and disappearing into her latest manuscript. As Kate Beacham, she was entirely content being a homebody.

Only life was entirely different for Kate’s alter ego. Katherine Lee Sumner spoke at writers’ conventions and traveled to book signings where her fans knew her as the outspoken romance author who wasn’t afraid to ruffle conservative feathers by hitting on social causes within the pages of her books; books peppered with steamy sex scenes and empowered female characters. Katherine came across as confident and competent—by some stroke of miraculous luck. While the lifestyle sounded glamorous to some, the entire public relations end of being Katherine Lee Sumner scared the ever-loving daylights out of Kate.

When her latest book pitch is green-lighted, Kate travels to England, days before she is due for her author appearances, and heads out to experience every-day London and its surrounding boroughs—the setting for her next book. Note pad in hand and armed with her camera, she begins the research portion of her trip. While caught up in the sights and sounds, the unexpected happens. Kate meets DSI Paul Bailey of the Metropolitan Police. She’s drawn to his kindness the moment they meet and, within the span of 48 hours, enters into a whirlwind affair with the seasoned detective. She finds herself acting less like Kate Beacham and more like one of the characters in Katherine Lee Sumner’s novels. Feeling an inexplicably strong connection to each other, Kate and Paul make a commitment to continue their relationship from opposite sides of the Atlantic Ocean.

Before the couple can even begin racking up frequent flyer miles, Kate discovers the one souvenir she never planned on bringing home with her. Once the initial shock wears off, Kate quickly decides not to uproot her family by moving to England. After losing their father, her teen daughters need the familiar security and stability provided by their home, grandparents and friends. Complicating matters further, Paul’s attention is consumed by his current high profile case and his sense of duty to bring it to a close. Knowing his career was to blame for the decline of his first marriage, Kate doesn’t hold much hope for their future. As the months pass and promises are broken, Kate realizes, in all likelihood, she will have to let Paul go so that she may move forward. Only Paul isn’t willing to go away so easily.

In matters of love, Katherine Lee Sumner was one to write from the heart, but the ever-cautious Kate Beacham always followed her head—it was safer. Despite everything, she was in love with Paul and she knew he loved her, however, her head raised one resounding question about their relationship; was love going to be enough?

Set around the Boroughs of London, England and the Endless Mountains of Pennsylvania, have your passports at the ready for your trips Across the Pond in…The Research Trip.


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