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The Carrot REVIEWS
Fresh Voice., June 1, 2015
A fresh voice with lots of attitude makes this a very enjoyable read. The author knows her way around North Carolina and I felt like I was right there along with her. Even though she came off like a snob in the beginning, I could identify with Susan and the way that we try to convince ourselves that we know what's best for us (when it isn't) and where we think we belong (when we don't). Trying to convince herself that she truly belonged north of the Mason-Dixon line with a career-obsessed and uncaring boyfriend was almost too painful to bear. When incidents and mishaps ensue to derail her from the wrong path, they conspire to lead her into the right relationship and the right home (where she never thought she could happily return to). Unless a sequel is planned, I loved the happy ending.
Perfect in every way
By Doug Burris on April 4, 2015
One of the best books I've ever read. Great characters, amazing setting descriptions, non stop plot development. It's a long book and I read it in two days. On the edge of my seat waiting to see how it played out. A great example to other authors on how a great book is written. Not just click lit--I'm a guy and loved it. Don't let this book pass you by. Read it--you won't be sorry.
Definitely read this one., March 17, 2015 By Jenlaf - See all my reviews
My husband read this book and handed it to me saying, "If I liked it, surely you'll love it." I asked why he liked it and he explained that the main character was amazing. I assumed he meant Pete because, well, he was the perfect, dreamy man. The book was worth reading because of him alone, but he was talking about Susan. Strong, independent, snarky, sexy, smart--I guess I see the attraction. Hated her, grew to like her, wanted to kill her, was happy for her. That about sums it up. Yes, I admit, she made the book. For someone so hellbent to rise to the top, she learned all about better values and what true love was. This book was long but one of those kind where I looked forward to the next chance to read and never tired of the story. I guess it actually ended too soon. I'd highly recommend this book for anyone who believes her (or his) romances should be entertaining and thought provoking, and anyone who wants to laugh, cry, love, and hate--anyone who wants to genuinely feel and enjoy a well-written story--this one's for you.
I love her language and her irreverence,
November 28, 2014
By Kim P. Williams
This book had me at the first page. In the past two days, I have put this book down long enough to hit the bathroom and the wine bottle. I have laughed until I cried, and I have cried until I laughed. If you have been raised in the South, you already know these people. They have been stiched into your very being. The way Gray illustrates the situations and creates the characters is so real, that you would almost consider the book non-fiction, and you could swear they have been written about your own family and friends. I love her language and her irreverance. I can only hope that she will write a second book....and a third. She has my attention!
I absolutely loved this read, November 16, 2014
By Amazon Customer
I absolutely loved this read. I laughed and shed a few tears as well along the way. Thank you for a truly great read!
Leave an Indelible Mark on Your Heart and Soul..., November 13, 2014
Sit back, pour yourself a glass of wine or sweet tea and get ready to be enthralled by one woman's journey in discovering what really matters in this life. Once in a while a book comes along and leaves an indelible mark on your heart and soul and this is one of them. It is a story you want to read slowly, devouring every word, getting to know each character as though they are long lost friends and falling in love with the South. I had a difficult time not rushing through this, I wanted to take my time and indulge in the beautiful and lyrical descriptions of ambience and emotion.
Susan Wade is a head strong, career oriented woman with one goal in mind but this is all turned upside down when she is relocated to North Carolina for work, the one place she has been trying to avoid since she left for college. Stubborn and determined to keep her southern roots buried down deep, Susan meets Pete, a wonderfully, delightful Southern gent that slowly makes her realize that what she wanted all this time wasn't what she needed. Pete is the quintessential southern boy and this reader couldn't get enough of him!
Virginia Gray has a wonderful way with words, drawing you in from the get go, mind and heart. Although the story was longer than your average contemporary romance, the detail and emotion will leave you wanting more. I absolutely adored this book and am cannot wait to read more of an author I am sure will capture the hearts of readers everywhere!
New Favorite Book!!!, November 11, 2014
By Susan B
Love, love, LOVE this book! It is so well-written, it just pulled me in from page 1. Felt like I became friends with the characters. I am really going to miss them!
A wonderfully slow, steamy burn., November 2, 2014
By danube eichinger
The Carrot was a captivating book I could not put down. Loved it from page one. The characters felt real, the settings were colorful, the love story was beautifully complex and completely mesmerizing, and by the last page, I didn't want the story to end. I would recommend this book to everyone who loves a good romance.
By James Sewell on October 28, 2014
How do you measure great writing? What makes for a gripping story? What makes a book stand out? For me, the answer to all of these questions is found here. As I began reading, it didn't take long until I realized that I "cared." The story held me with its pace and descriptive artistry. But more than that, I bought in to the characters so much that they felt real...real enough to care about. They became so very believable in short order. Those are the things that kept me turning page after page. I felt the struggle. I understood the baggage that the main characters carried. I shared in the feelings of elation on one page and of despair on another. Virginia Gray even worked in a surprising main character that was just behind the other (human) main characters....the state of North Carolina. Those (like myself) who have some experience with the Tarheel State will bristle with indignation (occasionally) even as you laugh at the accuracy of the southern realities of life that she portrays. Few authors succeed at such detailed descriptions without sacrificing the pace of the story. But Ms.Gray does so with a skill that makes it hard to believe that this is her first offering. She has offered us her first 'carrot' that might make you cry, will keep your attention, and leave you smiling...and wanting more.
Read this Now!
By Lori Lesko on October 20, 2014
Comedy is hard, dying is easy. You'll understand what I mean by this when you finish reading the book. And you will read this book, if you know what's good for you.
All writers beware, there is another genius among us and she is a force to be reckon with. She has written a smart, gloriously fast-paced funny story. Her word flow effortlessly. The rhythm of her sentences are poetic. With such gems as:
"Though the kitchen was more than adequately equipped to challenge my meager culinary skills, when it came to cooking, my favorite appliance had always been the telephone."
You can see what I mean.
All other women or men who write comedy, I'd like to see you square off with this woman--seriously, my money is on her
A heart-warming story from an exceptionally talented writer., October 19, 2014
I read this book while I was on holiday, but it is so much more than a holiday read. The story is very much a tale of our time - Having learnt early in life that the world can be a heartless place, Susan Wade has retreated behind a protective shell and moved North to Philadelphia, there to pursue a career in a cut-throat corporation. Cynical and ambitious, Susan is obliged to return to her roots to resolve problems in the North Carolina office. But what about those North Carolina boys; the ones who broke her heart all those years ago?
What sets this book above others of its kind is the writing of Virginia Gray. Her prose is a delight to read. Witty, sharply observed, rich with numerous little passages that transform an enjoyable read into something really quite special.
Here's one such gem:- "Hovering above the ranks of fallen relatives, several flies were unsuccessfully convincing the glass to dissolve and set them free."
Her characters are satisfyingly flawed, her dialogue rich and authentic - as is her description of the area. I've never been to North Carolina, but I could identify with the people and the places in this book, and that is the mark of a truly accomplished writer.
I also enjoyed seeing the lead character gradually evolve from an ambitious hard-bitten career woman into ... Well, you'll just have to read this excellent novel to find out. Believe me, you will not be disappointed.
I enjoyed the heck out of this book., September 28, 2014
By: Emily Kaplan "Em" (Illinois)
The Carrot is a chick lit book with a lot of heart, a lot of ups and downs, and a ton of laughs. I found myself highlighting lines on my Kindle that I found just out-right funny or that were beautifully written--much more so than you'd expect to find in a run-of-the-mill chick lit book. (I hope chick lit is not a derogatory term in any way. I say it with appreciation.) I savored the deeply flawed, yet lovable characters; the down-home setting; and pure emotion that gripped me. I even loved the secondary characters. It's a rare "will read again" one for me.
A Rare Find!, October 10, 2014
By: Matthew Peters Once in a great while a book comes along that stays in your mind long after the last page. Virginia Gray’s The Carrot is one of those books, and let me tell you why.
First, the narrative voice is crisp and fresh. Susan Wade, the twenty-nine year old protagonist and narrator is not just your average power-hungry career woman, hell-bent on climbing to the top of the ladder in her cutthroat computer company. She is someone who is incredibly funny, snarky, and flawed. For despite the wall that she’s constructed between herself and the world, this young woman soon captures the readers’ heart from her unique, yet skewed conception of the world.
Admittedly, Susan is not a completely likeable character at the beginning. She seems cold, ruthless, and incapable of human feelings and emotions. But we soon discover that is simply the front she shows to the world. Beneath her brash exterior is someone who has been hurt and is seeking to find meaning in the heartless world of her hi-tech company. We soon start to care for Susan, and we become willing to follow her life as she goes through the various travails of being sent back to her home state of North Carolina, from which she desperately sought escape several years earlier, after having her heart broken by a southern boy.
What makes this book truly remarkable is the quality of Gray’s writing. The reader is treated to gorgeous lyrical descriptions seldom seen in genre fiction. Here is one of my favorites:
"Without the least warning, the heavens breached wide and the sun exploded, streaming fantastical ribbons of color in all directions. The clouds bloomed amazing shades of orange and fiery pink, and I gawked in wonder as if I’d never seen such a sight before. As quickly as it appeared, the sunset in all its magnificent perfection was gone, the light eclipsed as if a Cyclops, disturbed from slumber, closed its droopy lid once more."
This is merely one example of dozens that demonstrate Gray’s literary abilities. And she maps not only physical terrain with great skill and precision, but emotional territory as well.
Beyond the beautiful writing is a story that grabs us and won’t let go. The characters jump off the page, and we follow them willingly and whole-heartedly through a tale that is truly epic in proportions. Despite the length of this book, one keeps plowing through it as if caught up in a whirlwind romance. Each chapter ends on a perfect, lyrical note that propels the reader forward.
It is difficult to say enough good things about this book. It is truly a treat to read the work of such a gifted storyteller. Remarkably, this is Gray’s first book. One can only imagine what she has in store for the future.
Gray's novel is a winner, 20 Sep 2014
By S. Wellings "stoi689" (Belfast, UK) I’m not sure how much Susan Wade resembles her creator, Ms. Gray, but she’d certainly be a fun character to hang out with! Wade’s development and growth as a character is evident as the novel progresses, all of which is testament to Gray’s skill as a writer. The pace and consistency are perfect which allows the reader to float along with the text: commenting, sighing, shaking your head, tutting, cursing, laughing and enjoying the flow. Don’t even attempt to overthink it; just immerse yourself in the prose.
I’ve read a lot of books, both traditionally and self-published, and Virginia Gray is up there with the best of them. She writes with skill and clarity, possessing the ability to create multi-dimensional, believable characters running through a fluid storyline. Everything about her novel The Carrot screams quality. From the writing, to the editing and plotting she leaves nothing to chance. I am happy to recommend this writer.
Unique and hilarious narrative voice...
By: Robyn R.
Virginia Gray provides a unique and hilarious narrative voice in this excellent novel. The star of the book, Susan Wade, reluctantly heads back to her North Carolina roots and meets a cast of great characters as she pursues a promotion and a better life. This book is a page turner as Susan and her new friends/enemies navigate the beautiful beaches and backwaters of the Carolina coast. It's a wonderful romp of a novel that will leave you laughing out loud. Ms. Gray tells a great story with warmth and sarcastic wit.
Hilarious and Touching
By: Anonymous For anyone who has ever traveled to or lived in the South, Virginia Gray captures it perfectly in the description of the settings and the stereotypes of the south! It is a hilarious and touching novel, written so you feel and experience the strong emotions of the characters- a definite read!
What a ride!
Started reading this at bedtime and soon it took over my every waking moment. Any woman who has worked too hard or closed off to "protect" themselves will get a kick out of the trials and tribulations of our heroine. The scenery is beautiful, the characters delightful. You may find yourself cheering for or cursing at one or more them at a any given time. Get yourself a big glass of sweet tea, turn on some southern rock and grab a box of tissues. You may be here awhile.
Can't put it down!
By: Chris Baverman
It's 3 am and I can't put this book down!!!
A Wonderful Read!
This debut novel is well written and fast paced with laugh out loud humor, steamy romance, a little corporate intrigue,
and some wonderful characters. The author's descriptions of the beautiful Eastern shore of North Carolina make you feel you are right there and add richness to the novel. I loved this book and highly recommend it for a wonderful read.
Best Seller in the Making! I honestly couldn't put it down. Smart, sexy, and hilarious! The character development was excellent, the story was fast paced and interesting, and the descriptions were really beautiful. Great Ending!
...couldn't put it down
I thoroughly enjoyed this novel and couldn't put it down. It's well written and a great summer read. Recommend it to those who want a very different twist to the "romance" novel.
Thoroughly enjoyed this book
By: A. Rawson
Thoroughly enjoyed this book. Being a native North Carolinian I could relate. Virginia's prose is very easy and flows. A truly wonderful story!!
Fell in love with it!
Really liked this book. Would make a good movie. Being a Southerner made this very appealing. It was hard to put the book down. Fell in love with Pete.
An excellent story! It was a great read! I highly recommend this book.
I highly recommend this book
By: Mary Mills
This book was recommended to me, and I am glad that I read it. I could relate to being from North Carolina and leaving it, and then returning to the region. A prior review mentioned the sarcastic wit. I loved it and laughed out loud many times. I don't know if it mainly runs in families, or if it is a regional trait, but I could certainly relate to it,