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Book Overview

Finding Hope is a story that has a strong message of forgiveness and redemption. Kate Connor is plunged into despair when her only child is killed by a malfunctioning vehicle. The story takes the reader through Kate’s agony of losing her beloved son, her quest for peace and her struggle with forgiveness.

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Pacific Book Review


Title: The Acquisition
Author: Aura Polanco
Publisher: iUniverse
ISBN: 1532004478
Pages: 198
Genre: Romance


Reviewed by: Anita Lock


Pacific Book Review


One woman’s desire for true love gets tested in Aura Polanco’s romantic tale, The Acquisition. Valentina Puig receives the disconcerting news that David Huntington, a well-known doctor, is engaged to wealthy socialite Diana Monroe – just three weeks after their break up! The thirty-five-year-old purveyor of unique furnishings at Infinity Acquisitions decides it best to leave the flashy Manhattan scene and fly to Madrid, Spain, where she can lose herself on an acquisition project at the apartment building of a recently-deceased duchess.

Before Valentina leaves for her trip, Marcus Napier, her boss–a widower and ten years her senior–reveals his love for her. Although she has feelings for him, she needs time to heal from David. The last person Valentina expects to see when she gets to the apartment building is none other than Diana. Diana is determined to win the acquisition contract and won’t take no for an answer. Romance ensues between Valentina and Marcus, in the meantime. But finding true love and as well as building trust to love again gets trickier than she can imagine when Diana uses her wiles to get her way.

Lavish and flashy living abounds in Aura Polanco’s newest romance, The Acquisition. Polanco has created a small but balanced good-versus-evil cast that is among the affluent Manhattan social scene and the exquisite surroundings of Madrid. While Valentina and Marcus’s burgeoning romance remains front and center in the midst of everything extravagant, Polanco shines an imperfect side to her characters.

Valentina appears to have everything made—the perfect job, beauty, talent, a comfortable lifestyle, high-class clothing, and the list goes on. Removing the well-off façade provides a slightly different picture of a woman who is without family (except for an aunt) and an unfulfilled love life. Marcus has flaws too, having suffered the loss of his wife and no offspring. He, too, has a lackluster love life. David and Diana, on the other hand, fit profiles of those who abuse wealth and power.

Amid love and affluence, Polanco has created Costanza Linares de Palacios, a long-time servant of the Madrid duchess. Valentina, who mistakes Costanza’s humility for commonness, is surprised to learn that she is not only the new owner of the estate but is also an educated and wise woman.
Polanco’s writing is sure, but not outstanding. Some readers may balk at hackneyed elements in her storyline, while others will relish the “same-ole, same-ole” within a new setting. While Polanco’s plot is replete with clichés, she does provide nuances that keep her narrative interesting. Her dialogue is engaging, and steamy romantic scenes are presented tastefully with a touch of elegance. Polanco manages to include light yet unexpected moments.
Histrionics is anticipated but muted at times to reveal Valentina’s blossoming maturity level. The Acquisition is perfect for readers who are looking for a warm-and-fuzzy amorous read.


Title: Finding Hope
Author: Aura Polanco
Publisher: XlibrisUS
ISBN: 978-1-5434-2041-8
Pages: 293
Genre: Literature & Fiction


Reviewed by: Allison Walker


Pacific Book Review


In one instant, Kate Connors’ life is changed forever. When a vehicle swerves out of control, injuring Kate and killing her young son, Kate is sure her broken heart will never love again. Desperate to dull the ache inside of her, Kate abandons her life in New York and flies to Japan where she hopes to learn to breathe again. Behind the wheel, Rey Aguilar watches with horror as a manufacturing error causes his vehicle to gain speed uncontrollably. Rey’s body suffers through innumerable surgeries and months of
physical therapy, and meanwhile his mind recoils at the pain he unwittingly caused a young mother. He sets aside his saxophone and takes up a pen, writing a letter which will change both their lives.

In her novel, Finding Hope, author Aura Polanco tells a story about the depth of a mother’s love, and the heart’s ability to heal. Kate continually struggles with the loss of her son, Oliver, questioning not only her ability to experience happiness, but whether she deserves to be happy. Moored in the depths of her grief, Kate finds pleasure in simple things like the clean Okinawa beach beneath her feet, or the elegant tea service presented by the hotel’s proprietress. The depth of Kate’s mourning is complex; it is the ferocity with which one mourns the center of their universe crumbling to dust. As a mother, Kate’s identity is wholly that of a nurturer, and without her child to care for, her life literally falls apart. She quits her job, sells her condominium, leaves her family and friends and moves to a different country.

Polanco sets her novel in lavish locations and decadently describes her characters. Amid Kate’s pain is a singularly romanticized mood. Finding Hope balances on the precarious edge between terrible tragedy and beautiful recovery, as Kate struggles with this often throughout the pages. Her survivor’s guilt makes her wonder if she’s deserving of the blessings life continues to give her. She is simultaneously lost in
despair while walking through a greenhouse of thriving orchids. As an author, Polanco attempts a difficult topic; combining pain so intense as to make it nearly indescribable, and how to come to terms with accepting and overcoming that pain. While Oliver’s memory remains a constant fixture in her mind, Kate does succeed in learning to breathe, live and love again.

Finding Hope is story which begins in tragedy, and ends in happiness and hope. The characters are classic romantics, and the novel is sad without being overwhelming and joyous without being overdone. It appeals to our desire for happy endings, and teaches us yet again that love can overcome any obstacle.

The US Review of Books


Finding Hope

by Aura Polanco


book review by Michelle Jacobs


“I am so deeply sorry, and if I could change anything, I honestly wish it were me who had lost his life and not your son.”

When Kate Connor’s young son is tragically killed in a car accident, she abandons her life in New York for the calming waters and peaceful comfort of Okinawa, Japan. Here she begins to face the insurmountable grief of her only child’s death and to find a way through the suffering to acceptance and, eventually, renewed hope and joy.

Running parallel to Kate’s grief is the story of Rey Aguilar, the man who was driving the car that killed Kate’s son. He is cleared of all wrongdoing in the tragic accident because of a defect in the steering and brakes of the car. After his own painful physical and mental recovery, he writes a letter to Kate to explain and to apologize. This initial action begins a relationship that develops through an exchange of lovely letters that reveal these characters’ abilities to forgive. The letters also spark an attraction that is solidified when they meet in person.

This unique romance/travelogue has all the ingredients needed to tell a story rich in conflict that threatens to keep apart two people drawn to each other and clearly falling in love. Before Kate can give herself to Rey, she must accept that he has killed her son in a terrible accident that is no fault of his. Polanco’s ability as a storyteller makes readers believe love is possible in the midst of impossible circumstances. Choosing happiness over sorrow allows Kate and Rey to embrace the second chance they have been given to live a life filled with love. This is a moving story about redemption and forgiveness that captures the joy of falling in love but also realizes the barriers that can sometimes make relationships difficult. Polanco captures the bitter and the sweet of a romance built on so much sorrow.

RECOMMENDED by the US Review


The Acquisition
by Aura Polanco


book review by Jordana Landsman


“. . . it was impossible for Marcus to work as Valentina’s brown suede eyes continuously flashed before his mind . . . For her, he would leave it all behind.”

In a New York City immune to the unromantic realities of workplace sexual harassment and the #MeToo movement, Marcus is Valentina’s boss and also loves her. He declares his feelings and offers himself to her in a way that, if he weren’t handsome, rich, and kind, might strike a young woman as creepy but which Valentina accepts as flattering and brimming with potential. In another story, this might be the beginning of Valentina’s quest to be loved for herself and not just her attractive external essence. But here, what Marcus calls love is apparently the real deal, and Valentina must determine whether the feelings are mutual.

Valentina’s world is a sensuous one, described in the kind of rich wordy detail that is timeless. She is presumably a contemporary American millennial, but the language and context of her story could easily evoke another century and a setting decidedly more continental, as it ultimately does when the story’s action shifts to Spain. If young professionals are texting, using Uber, sharing space with roommates, and sipping lattes from Starbucks all through the post-college years, Valentina exists in a separate universe.

Luckily, Marcus is here in this other world with her. Though his love for Valentina enters the story as a pre-existing condition, preventing the reader from falling in love alongside him, his stoic devotion is reassuring and admirable. It would be nice to know Valentina as well as Marcus does, and even nicer to have the opportunity to fall for her too. But short of that plunge, it’s good to know Marcus is out there offering his love to Valentina, making no demands before their time, and letting the road to love runs its course, even if it passes the boardroom along the way.


Finding Hope

Finding Hope