Karen’s Killer Book Bench: Picture Perfect Love by Melissa McClone


 読書KAREN’S KILLER BOOK BENCH **DOUBLE FEATURE** Welcome to Karen’s Killer Book Bench where readers can discover talented new authors and take a peek inside their wonderful books. This is not an age-filtered site so all book peeks are PG-13 or better. Come back and visit often. Happy reading!


A Year of Weddings Novella


When image becomes everything, it’s up to love to refocus the heart.

Photographer Jenna Harrison wants every bride and groom to look picture perfect on their special day, putting her heart into every wedding to give the couple memorable images of their love. But her own heart is still broken, the unworn wedding dress hanging in her closet a reminder that relationships aren’t always as perfect as they look through her camera lens. But Jenna has faith that she will find true love. Until then, she must be patient and trust in God’s plan and His perfect timing.

Attorney Ashton Vance is the one that got away.  When an embarrassing Photoshopped picture of put an end to his political aspirations, he blamed Jenna. So what if the photo led to his being offered a dream job and changing his life for the better? Jenna betrayed his trust, and two years later, Ashton’s heart still hasn’t recovered.

It was me. His younger sister’s three words turn Ashton’s world upside down. He must ask Jenna’s forgiveness, but can he risk his heart a second time? Even if Jenna can forgive him, dare he hope for a second chance at her love?

A Year of Weddings Novella


Her ex-fiancé, Ashton Vance, was the last person Jenna expected to see. Wanted to see. Ever.

He looked . . . good. His classically handsome features seemed more chiseled than two years ago. Maybe that was due to his shorter, corporate haircut. So different from the longer, curly-at-the-ends style he’d worn before. His tailored suit screamed successful attorney. No sign of the beard stubble she’d found so appealing.

She blinked, thinking she must be hallucinating, then refocused. He was still standing on her front step, an unreadable expression on his face.

“Hello, Jenna.”

His voice washed over her like chocolate fondue. Deep, rich, warm. Exactly how she remembered. But hearing him say her name no longer gave her the good, shoot-to-her toes chills. More like a shiver down her spine.

Please, God, give me strength. A little grace wouldn’t hurt.

She forced herself to breathe. “Why are you here?”

Her voice sounded shaky, the way her insides felt. Ashton had been the man she’d dreamed of being with for the rest of her life. The man who hadn’t believed his own fiancée was telling the truth. The man who’d broken her heart.

“A fair question.”

Nothing had been fair. Not the weeks of crying. Not the months trying to get over him. Not the nearly two years putting herself and her life back together. Jenna’s muscles bunched, one after another, into a mass of triple knots.

She raised her chin, not about to make this easy on him. She was no longer a pushover and had found strength, not in herself, but in God. “Then answer my question.”

Ashton flinched.

Jenna didn’t care. Ashton Vance . . . Ash had been her world. She would have done anything for the man, but she had zero patience now. She wanted him gone.

He glanced around. “May I come in?”

“No.” Turning the cheek was one thing. Acting like an idiot was another. She wasn’t being rude, but practical. “Clients will be arriving soon.”


A vein throbbed at his jaw. His blue eyes resembled the color of the Columbia River during a storm. She probably shouldn’t take so much pleasure in his unease.

He cleared his throat. “I just found out you didn’t post that photo. I’m sorry for blaming you and calling you a liar.”


She waited for relief to hit. It didn’t. Nor did any other emotion now that he’d accepted the truth. She felt disconnected, more observer than participant. Strange, given the times she’d imagined this moment, but his showing up seemed anticlimactic. Maybe because she’d realized their relationship hadn’t been based on unconditional love, but on being the perfect couple, attending the most popular church in town, and having a big wedding so voters would think he was a happily married family man, rather than a bachelor who lived in a downtown condo.

“Amber came clean,” Jenna said.

His lips parted, matching the surprise in his eyes. “You knew my sister sent the photo?”

“Having me Photoshop the picture was her idea. She was the only other person who knew it existed.”

Ash’s gaze narrowed. “Why didn’t you tell me?”

“I did, but you’d made up your mind I had to be the one who posted the picture to the newspaper’s Facebook page.”

“I had. That’s why I want to apologize.” He rubbed the back of his neck. “I’m sorry. I feel horrible for everything that happened.”

“Welcome to my world.”

“Jenna . . .”

“What?” Okay, maybe her words hadn’t been polite, but she’d been honest. The one thing she’d been through the ordeal. Though few had believed her. Everyone—from their friends to those who attended Westside Christian Church—had sided with him. “I’m not sure what you want me to say.”

“Accepting my apology would be nice.”

“Nice.” The word tasted like dirt in her mouth. “There’s nothing nice about this.”

“I thought you’d be happy I don’t blame you any longer.

“I am, but I would be happier if you’d believed before this.”

“I thought about calling you. Several times.”

“But you didn’t. You’re only here because you have proof.”


About the author, Melissa McClone…

Melissa McClone has published over thirty novels with Harlequin and Tule Publishing Group. She has also been nominated for Romance Writers of America’s RITA® award. She lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, three school-aged children, two spoiled Norwegian Elkhounds and cats who think they rule the house.


Links to Melissa’s website, blog, books, etc.

Website: http://www.melissamcclone.com

Facebook page:

Twitter: @melissamcclone

Amazon Kindle:




Burst_08**SPECIAL GIVEAWAY**:  Melissa is giving away a prize pack that contains a $10 Amazon gift card, a Picture Perfect Love magnet, Ghirardelli chocolate bar and bookmarks to one lucky reader who answers the following question on her *Author Peek* Interview or Karen’s Killer Book Bench blogs. QUESTION: HAVE YOU EVER FOUND IT DIFFICULT TO FORGIVE SOMEONE WHO WRONGED YOU IN THE PAST? Don’t miss the chance to read this book! Thanks, Melissa, for sharing your story with us!

This entry was posted in Karen's Killer BOOK BENCH. Bookmark the permalink.

101 Responses to Karen’s Killer Book Bench: Picture Perfect Love by Melissa McClone

  1. Gretchen says:

    Not really no. Havnt really been wronged that badly to not forgive them.

  2. Yes unfortunately I have a good memory

  3. Carey Hurst says:

    I used to find it difficult. I then realized that it wasn’t harming the monster whowas feeling anything , it was my life that was suffering.

  4. Amber Wride says:

    More than should be possible, unfortunately.

  5. Carrie E. says:

    I have, but in the end if you don’t forgive, it hurts you the worst.

  6. Casie Boland says:

    No, move past it and and move on.

  7. Debra Basye says:

    Yes and no! It depends on who and what it was the wronged me by! =)

  8. Beth b says:

    I have a very difficult time forgiving…

  9. leanne says:

    not really had to forgive anyone ive always beenok x

  10. Stephanie Maxwell says:

    I have, but then realized, I would feel better if I forgave them. It helped me overcome a lot if stress and anger.

  11. Shari says:

    it might take me a little bit to forgive, but I always do. Life is to short to hold grudges. Normally hurts me more in the long run not to forgive.

    Love the cover, looking forward to reading.

  12. leanne says:

    not really my relashionships have always been ok x

  13. Leslie W says:

    Yes I have. But after some time your emotions/memories settle and then they are not so raw. That’s when it becomes easier to forgive.

  14. Brandi Murphy says:

    No but I have use the phrase I forgive you but I will never forget what you did.

  15. Callie Cuddy says:

    Not really, in fact. I forgive too quickly- easily. Cause myself more pain then necessary.

  16. karyn koehler says:

    Though i have found it difficult to forgive some. I still manage to it helps you heal and become the better person.

  17. IRT says:

    There is one hurt that I will never forget or forgive!

  18. Trish O'Brien says:

    I’m always living your Post a and giveaways! I wish I could sleep because I wouldn’t read all my books fast!

  19. Cheryl Baranski says:

    Most definitely I am struggling with it right now. I try not to dwell on it. It is hard not too. Please pray that I can forgive and move on. I need to learn to trust in the Lord more.

  20. Carol Smith says:

    When in my younger years, I found it hard for me to forgive quickly.
    When I hit 40, my whole view changed on forgiveness making me able to do so in a blink of an eye with the help of God. Now at 71, I just let things flow over me as who knows where I will be tomorrow.
    Thanks for the chance to win.

  21. Sharon Dixon says:

    Yes I have! But it was better for me to let go of my hurt and anger.

  22. Sheila Kell says:

    I say that I forgive, but deep down I continue to burn with anger.

  23. LeeAnn H says:

    Yes, it was very hard to forgive but after I did it felt better.

  24. Joann Raso says:

    I always try to forgive otherwise I live with it everyday. Forgetting is a different story. I don’t forget

  25. Amary says:

    Yes..unfortunately, knowing it does not do me any good…and they don’t care…doesn’t make it easier….but I do try….for my own mental health

  26. Maggie Steele says:

    I hold a grudge longer and better than anyone I know. In my defense, I always give second chances. Just never third.

  27. angela mccabe says:

    Yes I have!

  28. Nicole says:

    Yes, I have unfortunately.

  29. Autumn Beaty says:

    I have forgiven far too much that I shouldn’t have. The pain that comes with something traumatizing lingers a life time. If I wasn’t able to forgive the resentment and pain would eat me alive. The Lord forgave me for my sins so I take strength from that to do the same for others it allows me to heal.

  30. Barbara Tobey says:

    Yes, infidelity was a difficult one to forgive.

  31. laurie says:

    Yes unfortunately I have a good memory

  32. Donna Killian says:

    Hi, I forgive people, I may remember things but life is short and I have to much to keep me busy. I have an ex daughter in law that I would hold a grudge against, but all the rest are forgiven or forgotten….
    Today is my birthday spending it with grandkids….

  33. kim wade says:

    I have, I have a hard time forgiving and forgetting it. Cans hold on to it for a very long time.

  34. Judy Weaver says:

    It took awhile, but once it’s done you feel better.

  35. Kathy P says:

    Sometimes you just have to forgive someone but never forget.

  36. Amanda G says:

    It really depends on how they wronged me, but I generally do forgive.

  37. Janice Dean says:

    No, I forgive very easily!

  38. denise says:

    difficult, not easy… forgiveness doesn’t mean the relationship is repaired , it means you have let go… (in my case)

  39. Margaret Rushton says:

    It can be really hard to forgive, especially when it’s a family member but I am trying very hard to learn to forgive.

  40. vickie Couturier says:

    yes I have had that come up,,,i finally gave in and forgave them because it was hurting me more than it was them,,

  41. Jennifer Schultheis says:

    Yes…but eventually I forgave them, although I never forgot how I was treated.

  42. Chris Bails says:

    No one has done anything so bad that I could not forgive them. I always give everyone a 2nd chance, if they mess it up after 2 then I just choose to move on from our friendship. I am to old to deal with stupid drama.

  43. Tiana S. says:

    I definitely found it difficult to forgive because I can hold a grudge, but ultimately I do forgive because that is the only way to move past the issue

  44. Tiffany Condon-Shirley says:

    Yes, I have. Forgiveness is what healed me!

  45. Amy Lang says:

    No, i forgive easily because not forgiving someone is just allowing negativity into your life.

  46. Marsha says:

    I can say I’ve pretty much forgiven everyone, in that I don’t let it bother me what they may have done or said. It doesn’t mean I open my heart or put myself in a position to have it happen again to myself or my family. What’s done is past. I hope I’ve been forgiven for the wrongs I’ve done.

  47. Stephanie says:

    yes, I have felt and still feel it difficult to let go of those past wrongs even tho I know doing so will unburden me.

  48. Karen Docter says:

    Good morning, Melissa, and welcome back! I really enjoyed this excerpt. 🙂

  49. karen machamer says:

    Not really. I don’t have that great a memory so I don’t always remember things.

  50. Barbie Herber says:

    thanks for the chance to win and I really enjoy this excerpt.

  51. Stacey A Smith says:

    forgiving is in portent to go on with your life.

  52. Kathy Wilson says:

    Yes I found it very hard. But in the end I needed to in order to keep bitterness out.

  53. Michelle webb says:

    Life is to short just forgive and move on.You’ll feel a whole lot better in the end.

  54. Jenelle Reyes says:

    Yes, I have found it hard to forgive those who have wronged my in the past. They really aren’t in my life anymore so it’s not like I’ve forgiven them in person. I just let it go as much as I can and move forward.

  55. Jo Anne V says:

    I try to forgive so I don’t become bitter but I have to admit sometimes it is very hard.

  56. Yvonne Anderson says:

    In all honesty, sometimes it has been really hard to forgive certain people who have wronged me. There are maybe two people I will never truly forgive and it’s because they betrayed me big time. I usually am a forgiving person, but there are some things I just cannot forgive.

  57. Linda Stults says:

    Yes I have, But I can and have forgave. Can’t seem to forget .

  58. Jenn McElroy says:

    I’ve found it difficult to forgive, but I can usually manage it. I do not, however, forget the wrong.

  59. Anita K says:

    Unfortunately I tend to loose a lot of sleep dwelling on things,

  60. Kathy LaMaster says:

    I try to forgive. Life is too short!

  61. Catherine Maguire says:

    Yes, I have found it difficult to forgive someone who has wronged me in the past.

  62. Kelly B. says:

    Actually I have and unfortunately it was family who did it. Now I am an only child.

  63. Deborah Favorito says:

    I have forgiven people in the past. I also haven’t spoken to a few in years.

  64. Ashley Nicole Poteet says:

    It is a very difficult task to try and forgive someone for doing you wrong. I can’t do it immediately…it takes me some time.

  65. Dawn Trepczyk says:

    I find it easy to forgive, but I don’t always forget. It really depends on the situation.

  66. Diana Ross says:

    Yes, but if I don’t forgive, I won’t be forgiven..Do it for yourself, not the person that hurt you.

  67. Crystal S says:

    Yeah, mainly repeat offenders. But thankfully things have improved in our relationship so I was able to forgive them.

  68. Kathleen O says:

    I am usually a forgiving person against me.. But you hurt those I love.. Forget it, all bets are off…

  69. Some hurts take a great deal of time to heal but you are the one who suffers if you do not forgive. The person who inflicted the injury sails on merrily, perfectly content in the havoc wreaked. Not worth the damage it does to you, when you do not forgive. Give yourself a break and offer up a prayer for the miscreant in hopes he/she won’t do it to somebody else.

  70. Karen Evans says:

    I was bullied at school for the longest time, and now 35+ years later, I still can’t forget or forgive any of them. But, I have put it in a “box” and thrown away the key (metaphorically speaking). Otherwise, I might become to obsessed with those things.

  71. lisa lavigne says:

    I have forgiven a few for the wrong they have done

  72. Angie Turner says:

    I’ve learned life is what you make it… Like that song from Frozen day LET IT GO!

  73. Athena Emmanouilidis says:

    Unfortunately I’ve been going through this struggle for the past year.It was a close family member who I naively thought would never hurt me.I decided that this person is out of my life now because I would rather not hold hatred in my heart.

  74. Felicia Plastini says:

    I am always willing to forgive. It’s not worth hanging on to the pain and resentment. You become a bitter person if you keep that pain inside. You gotta let it go. Forgiving and forgetting are an elixir for the soul.

  75. Jessica Parent says:

    No I have no problem forgiving someone for a mistake or misdeed. It is forgetting and learning to retrust that person I tend to have an issue with.(Im not known for letting go)

  76. Brooke B. says:

    It is hard to forgive right away, but I have been able to move on and just ‘let it go’ a few years later.

  77. Sharon Brimer says:

    Yes, I have been wronged and I found that you must let it go and move forward. Life goes on.

  78. Kerry C says:

    Yes, it is not easy or quick. The quick ones end up hurting you again and again. It also depends on whether the other truly wants forgiveness or is saying/doing what they think you want.

  79. Jean Ann says:

    Yes – unfortunately I am at this moment… 🙁

  80. jennifer beck says:

    I was seeing this guy and I went to a bar. he was therewith this girl I know but my best friend was with them. she didn’t tell me about it. I just think she should have told me.

  81. Angela says:

    In the past it was difficult to forgive people but the older I get the easier it is.

  82. Margaret Maggie Porter says:

    I always forgive but never forget

  83. I don’t know about forgiveness but, I have gotten past the things that someone has done to me. If you hold hate in your heart it only affects you, the person who did the crime keeps going on.

  84. Shannon Smith says:

    Yes, when someone breaks your trusts it is hard to believe in them again.

  85. yvonne farmer says:

    I have found it hard at times to forgive then I realize the only person I am hurting by holding a grudge is myself so I have to forgive.

  86. peggy fedison says:

    I’m usually the one that apologizes. I dont have a problem forgiving but sometimes it’s hard to forget.

  87. Lindsey VC says:

    No, forgiving others is relatively easy for me, it’s forgiving myself that I have a very tough time with.

  88. Glenda says:

    Yes. It took awhile. I forgave but haven’t forgotten.

  89. Yes. That’s why I just stay away from certain people.

  90. Sally John says:

    Yes, I cannot easily forgive. I cannot no matter how hard I try but no.

  91. Ruth Lyons Mazur says:

    I am struggling with this now. I was diagnosed with breast cancer last Thursday. I have been having an estranged relationship with my sister and to be honest, I don’t know why. Anyway I called her on Monday and she didn’t call me back for over 24 hours. And she told that she really didn’t want to call me back because I was a very negative person and was just looking for sympathy. She was so cruel, I hung up on her and I will never forgive her for this. My advocates have told me to turn to family and friends for support. It’s been a very difficult and emotional time for me and I don’t need someone like her in my life. I feel blessed to have wonderful friends and a good support group to be there for me through this life changing event. ❤️

  92. Penni says:

    It depends on what has been done. Usually I can forgive and let it flow around me and just move on, but there has been a couple times in my life that the hurt and fear ran deep and it took me a very long time to forgive and still one that I struggle with daily to make peace with. One thing people learn about me is I usually forgive fast and easily if something is done to me…but if you hurt my family it takes longer.

  93. Ruth Wollerton says:

    I have found it hard to forgive no matter what the problem is big or small; but someone has taught me that to forgive is to forget, you need to do this to ensure your future is the happiest of all

  94. Laurie Franco says:

    Forgive? Yeah I guess…to an extent. When my fiancée and I broke up I was devastated, but so was my son. My ex assured my son (not HIS son but they were very close and he introduced him to everyone as his son) that he would still see him and call him but never did. So I can forgive him hurting me, but not him hurting my son.

  95. Belinda Swim says:

    When I was younger but now that I’m older I forgive quickly. I just needed to realize that just like I make mistakes so doesn’t everyone else.

  96. Janine says:

    There are a couple things that I have not found a way to forgive yet

  97. Ashley Snyder says:

    Yes its way easier to forgive and just move on, the to waste time and energy on something u can do nothing about!!

  98. Dana A. says:

    Yes. I wish I could be more forgiving but I tend to hold grudges.

  99. angela smith says:

    yes but with some people its hard to forgive and forget

  100. Jane Nelson says:

    I forgive but I don’t forget! Depending on the person who wronged me, I will forgive because I don’t like being upset but I won’t trust that person again and will probably break my relationship with them. If it’s family it is a little different, your related to them and unless it’s something really, really horrible, your still my family.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

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