Tuesday, February 20, 2024

Review Tour & Giveaway: Effie - A Love Story That Transcends Time by Rhonda Lee


A Love Story That Transcends Time
Rhonda Lee

Fiction / Romance
Publisher: Tellwell Talent
Publication Date: September 20, 2023
Paperback page count: 242 pages



Effie is the heartwarming story of how a young couple, killed in a pickup truck accident in the spring of 1959, fulfill their dream of getting married in the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee some forty years after their deaths, by helping a young widower and father find true love a second time in life, and a new mother for four-year old Effie.

Witness the incredible power of love, the undeniable force of destiny, and the enduring spirit of those who have passed before us. Get ready to be moved, inspired, and reminded of the beauty that can be found, even in the face of tragedy.



Spring, 1959 

Jack scrambles to flip onto his belly to catch a white shoebox—tied neatly with the same pink ribbon—tossed out the window. “You could warn me, ya know!” Getting back on his feet, he wipes wet grass off his butt, tucks the box under his arm, then lifts the surprisingly still-fastened suitcase to stand on its end.
Quickly and carefully, Laura descends the ladder, delightful in black pedal pushers, a matching popover top, pink sweater, and flats. Today was not going to be like any other day, and she made sure she dressed for the occasion, purposely choosing an outfit that she felt complemented the celebratory mood she was in. Her Brownie camera—a high school graduation gift from her mom—hangs from a strap around her neck and, with the envelope in hand, she steps off the bottom rung, turns, and bounces excitedly into Jack’s arms, the shoebox falling to the ground. Taken by surprise when the camera flashes, they freeze.
“Whoops,” she giggles, bursting into nervous laughter.
“Shhh. We better get outta here,” Jack says anxiously, pulling away from Laura, hoping it’s not too late. Handing the shoebox back to her, he grabs the ladder to lay it alongside the house behind a hedge, knowing it will be safe and out of the way. Grabbing up the suitcase and taking her hand, he rushes with Laura to make their escape to the pickup.
Pulling the passenger door open, Jack helps Laura step up and slide onto the bench seat, then presses the door closed as gently as possible. He sets the suitcase in the bed of the truck next to his much smaller suitcase, then steals a look back at the house. Confident the coast is clear, he darts around the pickup and climbs in. Laura places the shoebox, camera, and envelope on top of the folded road map of Tennessee on the seat between them.


5 stars!

A double romance with an enemies-to-lovers story and a young love cut short before its time. 

Effie: A Love Story That Transcends Time by Rhonda Lee is a remarkable double love story featuring an enemies-to-lovers storyline teamed up with a young couple whose life together was cut short before its time. The main characters are engaging, and the plot is driven by strong emotions, making for a compelling and absorbing story. 

JD Taylor and his young daughter, Effie, go to Oceanside, New Jersey, to settle his late wife’s estate and retrieve the antique Ford pickup she’d always dreamed of restoring parked in the barn. However, the truck was mistakenly sold, and the buyer, local mechanic Meg Campbell, insists on keeping it. She and JD’s wife, Jen, had been best friends throughout childhood, and the truck’s restoration had been THEIR dream. 

The truck in question has a tragic past. A young couple, Jack and Laura, had been killed in the vehicle on their way out of town to get married, and their spirits are still hanging around, their Earthly business yet unfinished. Resigned to what occurred over the 40 years since their death, there is a lot of fun commentary from these two, which only young Effie can hear, interspersed with the action in the story, and I often had to stop reading because I was laughing. Poor little Effie starts getting the side-eye from the adults around her when she answers the ghosts, and, being so young, she often repeats, unfiltered, what Jack tells her to say with hilarious results. I was instantly reminded of the great old movie and later television show, Topper, with ghosts George and Marion Kirby. 

While Jack and Laura’s story occurs in 1959, the bulk of events are set in 1999, after the death of Jen Taylor. Events unfold from multiple points of view, including the ghosts’. The story is thick with emotion – grief, guilt, love, and longing. JD and Meg affix their emotions to the old truck, which becomes a tragic symbol of their losses for much of the book. However, common ground and mutual admiration create a spark between these two grieving individuals. I was rooting from the start that they would be able to see the possibilities right before their eyes. 

I recommend EFFIE: A LOVE STORY THAT TRANSCEND TIME to readers of romance who enjoy a paranormal element in their reading.


Rhonda Lee resides in South-Western Ontario, Canada, and is a former talent agent for the film and television industry.

Ever since being introduced to the town of Gatlinburg—nestled deep in the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee—by her parents when she was a young girl, Rhonda has continued to make the trek to the Smokies at least twice a year.

It was in the spring of 1987 that she first brought her husband to Gatlinburg, and it was during that same weekend, while attending their first F-100 Supernationals pickup truck show, that he introduced her to the mid-50s Fords, affectionately referred to as Effies, and thus, this story was born.


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Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thank you so much for hosting and reviewing today!

traciem said...

What's your favorite dessert?

Sherry said...

This sounds like a wonderful read!