Excerpt · Guest Blog · Reviews

Price Reduction for the holiday / Review of Jo Kessel’s Weak at the Knees

VBT Weak at the Knees Banner copy


During the Christmas holiday, the price of Weak in the Knees has dropped to .99!  







“We got so busy living life that we forgot to live our dreams.”


Danni Lewis has been playing it safe for twenty-six years, but her sheltered existence is making her feel old ahead of time. When a sudden death plunges her into a spiral of grief, she throws caution to the wind and runs away to France in search of a new beginning.


The moment ski instructor Olivier du Pape enters her shattered world she falls hard, in more ways than one.


Their mutual desire is as powerful and seductive as the mountains around them. His dark gypsy looks and piercing blue eyes are irresistible.


Only she must resist, because he has a wife – and she’d made a pact to never get involved with a married man.


But how do you choose between keeping your word and being true to your soul?


Weak at the Knees is Jo’s debut novel in the new adult, contemporary romance genre – a story about love, loss and relationships, set between London and the heart of the French Alps.


MEDIA KIT weak at the knees thumbnail good




I would definitely read my book Weak at the Knees if I hadn’t heard of me! I have to say that, but actually it’s true. Let’s see, what’s the process one goes through before deciding to read a book? If I’m in a bookshop looking for a paperback (or if I’m searching online) then first thing I look for is a cover that’s appealing – and I really love my cover. I’m a member of a romantic novel discussion forum at Amazon.uk and asked some of my friends from that forum to help me select from a shortlist of covers. The response was emphatic. This was the cover they chose, because the picture is sexy and exciting and evokes the right mood. It’s also a classy cover and not too cheap – it says hot read, well written. So, the cover appeals, and the next thing I would check is the synopsis/back cover and if that appeals, then I 1-click, job done. And yes, the synopsis of my book would appeal. The storyline is less obvious, as is the setting – I’m a big fan of France and would definitely want to read.


I’m not a well-known author, that’s true, but I often buy books written by people I’ve never heard of. If it’s recommended by word of mouth, or if I just stumble upon it and like what I see (i.e. cover and blurb) I’m happy to give it a go and take a chance, especially if it’s not too expensive. My e-book is very reasonably priced, so I really hope readers will take a chance on me too.



Olivier sits next to me on the piano stool. We’re even closer than that day up the mountain and it’s even more intoxicating. His body is so close to mine that the slightest adjustment would have us touching. I can feel his heat, an electrical charge which makes the side of my leg that’s almost brushing his tingle all the way down. He pulls up his woolly, navy sleeves. “Shall we?” I note the gold wedding band on his dark, manly hands as his fingers hover above the keyboard. I nod, not trusting myself to speak, thinking the sooner he starts playing piano the better, to distract me from this powerful attraction. He crashes both hands down with flair and starts playing his version of the Boogie Woogie. It’s slightly jazzier and more sophisticated than mine. I let him play by himself for a while, enjoying watching him, surprised by how good he is.


The rhythm gets to me, my upper torso unconsciously pulsing forward, toes tapping in my shoes. I put my mug down on top of the piano and start trying to improvise a Gerswhin-esque melody line, fluttering my right hand up and down the keyboard in syncopation to Olivier’s beat. For about ten minutes we thump away, cheesy grins on our faces, occasionally catching each others’ eye. We play whatever comes into our heads, changing the mood and key from time to time. Sometimes it works and sometimes it’s a discordant mess, but it doesn’t matter. By the time Olivier eventually tires and crashes a final chord, our bodies are touching all the way from our shoulders to our knees. I don’t want to move, which is exactly why I do. I stand up, to recover my senses and my drink.



I have to admit that I’m torn about this review.  As a whole, I loved the book and should rate it a 5 but I’m a stickler for the “cheating” aspect of the book.  I don’t like that at all but for some reason it worked in this book.  *shrugs shoulders*

One of the best things about this book is that it is totally written from Danni’s POV.  I realize that I might be the only person on the planet that likes books in 1st person but I think that if this book was written in 3rd person…well, it just wouldn’t have worked.  This is Danni’s book, pure and simple.  Her growth, her relationships and basically what she wants out of life.

I found myself sighing, crying and really feeling everything that Danni was going through.  Between the partying, watching your best friend die and then having to deal with a dull boyfriend…I’ve been there.  Well, my best friend hasn’t died but the partying, drifting and the dull boyfriend..yep been there and the t-shirt is a rag.  LOL!

While the romance between Danni and Oliver is the center of the book, it’s not the end all either.  Danni’s decisions from page 1 affect everyone around her but in the end she comes through it all stronger and smarter than before.  The scenes in the hospital were the hardest for me to get through.  Bring tissues…

One other thing that I can rave about is the locations and the dialogue.  I almost needed a French dictionary getting through some of the dialogue.  I learned some new phrases and I’m not much of skier but I would love to visit the French Alps now.  Ms. Kessel has a way of putting you in a scene that when the location “shot” is over…I wanted to go back there again and again.  Plus, London is on my bucket list.  🙂

While the whole cheating/affair angle bothered me, I did appreciate that since the story is from Danni’s POV, we don’t get to hear much about Oliver’s wife.  I know, it would have brought a more realistic portrayal of Oliver and what really was going on in his head and the why he was cheating but again, this book is about Danni and her growth as a person.

Overall, I liked the book but the ending was too, I don’t know.  I have re-read it a dozen times and I didn’t get it.  Maybe someone can tell me because I felt like it needed a page or two more.  🙂  Also, while the book is listed as a romance, I’m more inclined to say its more coming of age/women’s lit.  Give this book a chance.  Yes, our hero is a cheat but that’s not the point of the book.  Danni is the point:  her happiness, her growth and overall, what she truly wants out of life.

recommend-harlies- new

For the cheating aspect.  Don't like cheaters...
For the cheating aspect. Don’t like cheaters…




AUTHOR INFORMATION:MEDIA KIT Jo black and white publicity piano photos 003 - Copy


When Jo was ten years old she wrote a short story about losing a loved one. Her mother and big sister were so moved by the tale that it made them cry. Having reduced them to tears she vowed that the next time she wrote a story it would make them smile instead. Happily she succeeded and with this success grew an addiction for wanting to reach out and touch people with words. Jo lives in London with her husband and three children where she works as a TV and print journalist. She tells life stories and can often be found travelling the globe researching the next big holiday hotspots for readers to enjoy. Since becoming a mother anything even remotely sad makes her cry. She’s a sucker for a good romance and tear-jerker movies are the worst. She’s that woman in the cinema, struggling to muffle audible wails as everyone else turns round to stare.


P.S Jo’s pretty certain one of her daughters has inherited this gene.




Amazon Buy Link: http://www.amazon.com/Weak-at-Knees-Jo-Kessel/dp/1490397604/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1376257130&sr=8-1&keywords=weak+at+the+knees+jo+kessel




US buy link: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00E4VC70W

UK buy link: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00E4VC70W


I love to hear from my readers and they can connect with me on:

My website: www.jokessel.com

Twitter: @jo_kessel

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kesseljo

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7173167.Jo_Kessel

6 thoughts on “Price Reduction for the holiday / Review of Jo Kessel’s Weak at the Knees

  1. Thank you so much for your fabulous review of my new release Weak at the Knees Marika – I am so thrilled you liked it (if not the cheating angle at any rate!) Yes, a lot of people have mentioned needing tissues……………………and wanting to buy an air ticket to France! Jo

So what do you think?

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.