New Release Book Review (& Excerpt): A Change of Pace by Freya Barker

A Change of Pace

Freya Barker

Series: Northern Lights Collection
Stand alone
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: July 16, 2018

Once a man who lived by the letter of the law.
Newt Tobias will do anything for his little girl. Even take early retirement, sell his city home, and move to cottage country, hoping that the simpler life will provide a better balance for his troubled teenage daughter. 
Yet, not long after they’ve settled, he finds himself toe-to-toe with a stubborn, fiery tempered woman with pretty brown eyes.
Once a recluse preferring to live alone. 
Working with troubled adolescents, Frederique Marchand doesn’t suffer fools and won’t put up with bullies. Especially handsome strangers like Newt who think they can run roughshod over her. She loves her work, but on her own time she much prefers the company of her menagerie of animals.
But with the welfare of a teenager at stake, she must put aside rocky first impressions and work with a man who needs her as much as she’ll come to need him.


As I reached the end of A CHANGE OF PACE and was thinking about what to include in this review, I was reading the author’s “about” section and immediately realised that what I appreciate about Freya’s books is what she herself wrote: “Freya Barker inspires with her stories about ‘real’ people, perhaps less than perfect, each struggling to find their own slice of happy, but just as deserving of romance, thrills and chills, and some hot, sizzling sex in their lives.”

Freya does exactly this with Newt and Freddy’s story. I loved both main characters. They are in their mid-late 40s and come with a maturity that I find appealing. Newt definitely has alpha tendencies but his willingness to show his vulnerabilities is an attractive quality. Freddy’s had some tough luck in her life, but she still takes time to appreciate what she has. Neither is looking for a partner, but they recognise the attraction between them and are willing to give their relationship a chance.

There’s a great cast of secondary characters, and Freya does a great job in weaving the characters and plot in a way that leaves no redundancies in either plot or character. Every one of them is included for a purpose. A special mention goes out to Newt’s daughter Millie. I loved her development as the book went on, and her teasing and teenage manipulation of both Newt and Freddy brought a smile to my face.

This book's also one for the animal lovers. Freddy comes with a menagerie and a big heart that makes it hard for her to turn her back on a stray. 

I haven’t read all of Freya’s books, but I have yet to read one that I did not like. Highly recommended. 


"How was school?" 
"Fine." It's the same answer Millie gave me yesterday and it doesn't tell me anything. I read somewhere once that when a woman says 'fine,' it means she's everything but. 
"Anything exciting?" I try again, which earns me an eye-roll, and I turn my eyes back to the road.
"Actually," she suddenly says, surprising me. "I met a dog today."
"At school?" I'm confused; I didn't know they let dogs in the school.
"Yeah. Dad, can we get a dog?"
"Wait. Is that even allowed? Bringing a dog into school?"
"I guess so. He's some kind of service dog. But, Dad, can we have a dog?"
"What—like a Seeing Eye dog?"
"No, he belonged to a therapist visiting the school. So can we?"
"You saw a therapist?"
"It was just some kind of welcome thing they do with new kids."
"That's pretty neat."
"Whatever, it wasn't a big deal. Can we pick up a donut at Tim Hortons?" she asks, changing tracks at lightning speed. We're coming up to Nobel and Timmies is just down the road. "I just really liked the dog. So?"
"Sure, we can." 
The screaming that follows almost has me running the damn Jeep off the road.
"Yes! Thanks so much, Dad," she says with more enthusiasm than I've heard her express in the past four years. "Can we get one this weekend?" 
Now I'm confused. Does she not want me to stop now?
"You want your donut this weekend?" 
"Donut I want now." She turns to me with big wide innocent eyes. "But we can shop for the dog this weekend?"
Wait. What?

Freya Barker inspires with her stories about 'real’ people, perhaps less than perfect, each struggling to find their own slice of happy. She is the author of the Cedar Tree Series and the Portland, ME, novels.
Freya is the recipient of the RomCon “Reader’s Choice” Award for best first book, “Slim To None,” and is a finalist for the 2016 Kindle Book Awards for “From Dust”. She currently has two complete series and three anthologies published, and is working on two new series; La Plata County FBI—ROCK POINT, and Northern Lights. She continues to spin story after story with an endless supply of bruised and dented characters, vying for attention!



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