Book Time: Lost and Found by Chris Van Hakes

I try to read a variety of genres and lengths, and recently I stumbled over to the new adult/chicklit/women’s fiction side of romance and discovered Chris Van Hakes. Her debut Novel, Lost and Found, is making waves, so I decided to check it out.

I found that Chris has a fresh voice with an alternating first-person style. I don’t normally read first person, and sometimes it can grate on me, but she did a good job of having distinct voices for each of the main viewpoint characters.

Here is the text of the 5-Star Review on Amazon:

I enjoyed this book tremendously, and normally I stay away from first-person stories. In fact, I almost didn’t get it for that reason, but I read the sample and I was hooked. This book embodies the new adult genre for me — characters who are finding themselves and love at the same time. There’s not a lot of description of intercourse, but it’s there, in the background. To me that’s more realistic than pretending everyone is waiting for marriage. I hope you enjoy this one as much as I did.

I tracked Chris down, and here is what she had to say.

Lily – Everyone always wants to know where writers get their ideas. What sparked this book for you?

Chris - I wish I had a good answer to this question, but I honestly don’t know. I read a lot, and I think I just imagine what different characters would do in different settings and interactions. I kind of believe that all fiction is fanfiction. Lost and Found is definitely partly Pride and Prejudice, which I’m a tiny bit obsessed with.
Lily – Who would be interested in reading this book?
Chris – I got a few reviews that said fans of Rainbow Rowell would like my writing, and I will take that compliment to the compliment bank. Cha-ching! I think people who like light romance and alternating points of view would like it. If you’re looking for a steamy novel, I don’t have it, but if you’re looking for a lot of romantic tension, I’ve got that.
Lily – You’ve mentioned on your blog over at that you don’t like to read about people “bonking”. (I love your word choice.)  There seem to be two parts of the market now, one trending towards erotica and one trending towards characters that don’t have intercourse at all. Is there still a place for a middle ground as represented in your book? Have you had readers upset on either side, expecting something else?
Chris – Ha. I actually don’t mind reading about bonking, per say. It can be sexy and hot, but at some point it gets to be…filler. I end up skimming. If it’s integral to a plot point, I don’t mind it, and I think there are some authors who do it really well. I was a big fan of Christina Lauren’s Beautiful Player, for instance, and I think even though there’s a lot of bonking in there, it works.
And yes, I think there’s definitely a middle ground. That’s what I like to read, and I can’t be the only one out there, so that’s what I write. I haven’t had any readers mention there wasn’t enough sex, but I have had a few that didn’t like the mentions of sex in the book. This is the case of “can’t please everyone, so please yourself,” I think. I write what I’m most comfortable writing for a particular character or scene. For Lost and Found, it was light on the sex. I don’t know what it will be for future novels, though.
Lily – Are you working on any follow-up books?
I am! I’m writing a new novel, another romance/women’s fiction story, called Letters from Clementine. I haven’t worked out a whole lot about it (still in first draft mess form) but I’ll probably post a synopsis about it on my blog in a few weeks. 
Thanks for interviewing me!  Here’s the amazon link:
 Lily -
Go follow Chris’ Blog, where she draws cool cartoons with chickens over at
Click the follow button on this blog to find out about more books in the future.

Early Praise for No Strings Attached

It’s been a week since No Strings Attached went live. Take a look at some of the comments that I’ve gotten to see what you’re missing!

So far, I’ve gotten one five star review on Amazon from Jessica. She writes, “You’ll want to make time to read this one straight through. The end of each scene just makes you want to start the next. Flowing dialogue, great tension, and racy scenes make this a must read. I’ll definitely read more from this author.”

On my Facebook page, I’ve heard from others…

“I’m 80% through. I like her [Laura’s] character – not a doormat.” – Sara

“Chapter 8 and I’m already in love with Fox!” – Rebecca

“I can’t wait to read the sequel!” – Chesa

“I’m so happy to be settling down for the night so I can get back to this book!” Leigh

“I read the first five chapter last night…loving it so far!” Ame

To give you a taste of what you’re missing, here’s the opening from Fox:

Fox Thornton stared at the cards nestled against the green felt. Focus, man, focus. Something had to change. A fun hand of blackjack had turned into a bloodbath. After being in meetings all day, he had planned a quick hand of blackjack, but two hours later, he had lost more than he intended. He blamed his losses on the gorgeous blonde at the end of the table and her sexy silver dress. How could he leave with her if she made no effort to leave?

Her hair reminded him of wheat in summer and it curled around her shoulders with a devil-may-care attitude. Her eyes shone like dark amber whiskey and glowed with an inner fire when she smiled—which was often—and frequently in his direction. She leaned forward and he caught a glimpse of a little dark hollow between her breasts. He stifled a groan.

He shifted position to relieve the pressure caused by a wave of desire. How long had it been since he’d been this hard for a stranger? Not since college ten years ago. As she considered the cards, her tongue peeked between rosy lips. What a turn-on.

Fox looked for any of the managers he knew from the remodel, and saw James, a pit boss who had joined him for drinks one night. He sent him a text and then moved over to the vacant seat beside her.

“The luck’s better over here,” he said with a smile, but then he cut his eyes away, not wanting to appear too eager. She spared him a quick glance before turning back to her cards.

Sitting beside her made things worse. He smelled roses every time she moved, and now he had a full view of her long, tanned legs. One of her legs bounced up and down, betraying her nervousness. He blocked out the image of those legs wrapped around his waist or he would never be able to stand. As soon as James closed the table, he would ask her to dinner.

Her bizarre play was screwing up the natural order of the cards. She laughed when the cards fell her way, and when they didn’t, she seemed stunned, as if she should be able to predict the card order.

If anyone else had been playing that inconsistently, he would have switched tables and cut his losses. Now he was so intrigued he couldn’t walk away without a phone number.

The girl’s strapless dress fit against her like a second skin, and he couldn’t look away. While they waited for the next round of cards, she fidgeted with a silver-threaded scarf. He could imagine that scarf in his hands as he pulled her to him … He had to get control of himself.

When the waitress brought drinks, he took care of the tip, and his blonde beauty flashed him a smile. When she won for the third time in as many hands, he saluted her with a flourish. She repaid him by blowing him a kiss. Now he had her attention.


Buy No Strings Attached for just $2.99 now. Click the link below to go to the Amazon page.

No Strings Attached