Jackie Moretti always believed in fairy tale endings. But what happens when the fairy tale ends and real life begins? Coming of age in the early 1970s… she’s caught between the world of Ozzie and Harriet and the Age of Sex, Drugs and Rock ‘n’ Roll. When her world abruptly cracks in two, Jackie is forced to deal with the consequences of soul-shattering deception if she’s ever to find love again.
Sexy, motorcycle riding mechanic, Michael Nowak recognizes Jackie’s vulnerability from their first encounter grabbing her attention and not letting go. The small-time drug dealer provides both intoxicating sex and drugs to distract her from her crumbling life. As their feelings grow from lust to love, Michael gets roped into a larger scale criminal operation than he ever thought possible.
Can they save each other and overcome the struggles of the heart or will their world consume them?
Love’s Illusions is the first installment in a series of women’s modern historical fiction novels. If you love compelling, realistic characters and a page turning plot, then you’ll love Jolene Cazzola’s debut novel.
He was out-of-place at The Canteen, even considering the eclectic bunch of misfits that frequented the place; he had a military look with a 50’s style, sort of flat top haircut and a scraggly beard. His clothes looked like they hadn’t been washed in weeks and he smelled nasty, as if he’d been on the streets, without a shower for a while. The guy was loaded, but wasn’t shit-faced; he still seemed very much in control, standing motionless.READ MORE
The bar was empty except for a few regulars lounging on the ratty couches in the stage area, this stranger, and a couple of Rick’s buddies at the bar. On my next round of the room I said, “We’re closing, so if you want another quick beer, it’s now or never.” Again, he didn’t answer, this time turning his back on me. Asshole, I thought. But something in his eyes was making me nervous; I did not like this guy – so when I approached him for the third time to let him know that the bar was now closed, and it was time to leave, I stood back further than I normally would have, well out of his reach. Without a word, his face blank, he lifted his now fire-filled eyes to meet mine, looking through me as if I was some kind of enemy to be destroyed... Then without warning, he smashed the bottle on the slate. Luckily for me he hesitated for a split-moment, glaring through me before lunging in my direction, holding the bottle by the neck – jagged edge pointing in my direction.
All hell broke loose in that second. Everything that happened in the wake of the smashing bottle happened in seconds, but to me, the world took on a sense of slow motion. I heard stools crashing over and caught a glimpse of Rick leaping over the bar from the corner of my eye. Someone yelled “Duck Jackie!” as Rick, his friends, and the regulars from the end of the room lunged at the stranger. I ducked and stumbled backwards over a stool falling onto my ass a few feet away, adrenaline coursing through my veins, heart hammering in my chest.COLLAPSE
Francine Zane on Readers Favorite wrote:
Love’s Illusions is the story of Jackie Moretti and the men she’s loved, lost and discarded. An art student with a bright future, we meet Jackie in the most unconventional way but it speaks to Jolene Cazzola’s plans for this young woman. She is hard party-er but she’s young and it’s the 1970s, until she isn’t quite so young. Jackie eventually gets married, but it doesn’t last long because Stephen was keeping a lot of secrets, many he refused to own up to. But between drinking, drugs, and a drug dealing maybe boyfriend, Jackie has bigger problems. That’s the backdrop of this interesting story filled with dysfunction, reality and heartbreak.
Jolene Cazzola has crafted a story that is engaging and heart wrenching. Watching Jackie’s life spiral was kind of devastating, but at times you just wanted to shake some sense into her. The decisions she’s forced to make aren’t easy and that’s what gives Love’s Illusions a helping of reality that keeps you engaged. This story was not just well written, it was all consuming at times. This story makes you want to find out what happens next, to root for Jackie to get it together to find the love that she so desperately wants. My favorite character was Michael; he was a bad boy with a heart of gold and when he and Jackie were on the cusp of something great you could feel the emotions leaping off the page. More than anything, the sober reality of Love’s Illusions is what makes it such a captivating read.
Book Viral on Book Viral wrote:
In Love’s Illusions by Jolene Cazzola, Jackie is happy until she isn’t, and for good reason. No one wants to find out their six-month-old marriage is based on a lie. She leaves her marriage and walks a tightrope, balancing her family, college courses and friends against sex, drugs and depression. As Jackie fights to understand why her marriage fell apart, she is forced to explore her relationships with her new ‘bad boy' boyfriend and her parents. What she learns leads her to some uncomfortable conclusions, but she is determined to build healthier relationships going forward.
Love’s Illusions is not the traditional contemporary romance. While it does have romantic elements, the true story is that of Jackie and how she deals with the pain of broken vows. The story is set in the 1970s, but the betrayal that Jackie goes through and her struggle to cope is something to which women of all ages can relate. Jolene Cazzola manages to effectively explore many hot topics both for the era and women in general, such as the Vietnam war, sex, drugs, abortion, depression, feminism. I enjoyed reading Love’s Illusions.
An exciting and sexy read from the very start, Love’s Illusion is the new release from debut author Jolene Cazzola. An author who instinctively understands the devices of suspense and tension and uses them to maximum effect, Cazzola ably avoids the genre pitfalls of stringing a series of contrived events one after another in a tedious stream of clichés and in doing so delivers a genuinely atmospheric read. With an upbeat narrative aptly framed by the books title there are a number of cleverly articulated surprises that always seem congruent with time and place with rich thematic undertones that bring the historical aspects of her novel to life. On this level she advances her plot with a fine eye for detail but without the weight of undue complexity though ultimately it’s her characters and the more erotic elements that keep the pages turning. Jackie and Michael simply have great chemistry. They might be lacking in morals but there is an air of vulnerability about them which makes them highly endearing as the temperature rises!
With all the hallmarks of a popular and enduring series, Love's Illusion is certainly deserving of your attention and is strongly recommended.