Love's Illusions

Fiction - Womens
280 Pages
Reviewed on 09/19/2015
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

I started writing later in life - never thought I wanted to write until I was approaching retirement. But something changed. Maybe it had to do with 'old age' or a desire to preserve experiences. Whatever the reason, Love's Illusions was the result.

Love's Illusions is the 2016 winner of the Maggie Award for writing excellence given by the Georgia Romance Writers.

So now, a full believer that life begins at 60, I spend my time reading, writing, herding my six cats and enjoying the life that north Florida has to offer.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Natasha Jackson for Readers' Favorite

Love’s Illusions is the story of Jackie Moretti and the men she’s loved, lost and discarded. An art student with a bright future, we meet Jackie in the most unconventional way but it speaks to Jolene Cazzola’s plans for this young woman. She is hard party-er but she’s young and it’s the 1970s, until she isn’t quite so young. Jackie eventually gets married, but it doesn’t last long because Stephen was keeping a lot of secrets, many he refused to own up to. But between drinking, drugs, and a drug dealing maybe boyfriend, Jackie has bigger problems. That’s the backdrop of this interesting story filled with dysfunction, reality and heartbreak.

Jolene Cazzola has crafted a story that is engaging and heart wrenching. Watching Jackie’s life spiral was kind of devastating, but at times you just wanted to shake some sense into her. The decisions she’s forced to make aren’t easy and that’s what gives Love’s Illusions a helping of reality that keeps you engaged. This story was not just well written, it was all consuming at times. This story makes you want to find out what happens next, to root for Jackie to get it together to find the love that she so desperately wants. My favorite character was Michael; he was a bad boy with a heart of gold and when he and Jackie were on the cusp of something great you could feel the emotions leaping off the page. More than anything, the sober reality of Love’s Illusions is what makes it such a captivating read.

Francine Zane

In Love’s Illusions by Jolene Cazzola, Jackie is happy until she isn’t, and for good reason. No one wants to find out their six-month-old marriage is based on a lie. She leaves her marriage and walks a tightrope, balancing her family, college courses and friends against sex, drugs and depression. As Jackie fights to understand why her marriage fell apart, she is forced to explore her relationships with her new ‘bad boy' boyfriend and her parents. What she learns leads her to some uncomfortable conclusions, but she is determined to build healthier relationships going forward.

Love’s Illusions is not the traditional contemporary romance. While it does have romantic elements, the true story is that of Jackie and how she deals with the pain of broken vows. The story is set in the 1970s, but the betrayal that Jackie goes through and her struggle to cope is something to which women of all ages can relate. Jolene Cazzola manages to effectively explore many hot topics both for the era and women in general, such as the Vietnam war, sex, drugs, abortion, depression, feminism. I enjoyed reading Love’s Illusions.

Gisela Dixon

Love's Illusions: A Novel by Jolene Cazzola is a contemporary romance novel with a classic love triangle theme. Jackie Moretti is a young student living in Chicago who finds her Prince Charming in Stephen during her high school days. The two get married; however, problems start surfacing pretty soon after and, before she knows it, Jackie is left with a broken marriage with neither of them knowing how to fix it. Jackie dives into a downward spiral and it is while working as a cocktail waitress that she meets Michael Nowak. Michael is a mechanic, and the two start hanging out fairly frequently. Before she knows it, Jackie finds herself being more and more drawn towards Michael. However, just when she thought Stephen was out of her life forever, she hears from him. Things get more complicated and with a new move and job on the horizon, Jackie’s dilemma only increases as she faces a tough decision.

Love's Illusions: A Novel by Jolene Cazzola is an enjoyable read with a simple and straightforward writing style. The plot does tend to get a bit predictable at times, but the characters are well drawn and authentically portrayed and they make the story seem realistic. The challenges that each of them faces, especially Jackie, are very easy to relate to and make the story seem believable. In the end, I found myself rooting for true love and hoping that every one of them finds peace. Love's Illusions: A Novel is an enjoyable read for people who enjoy love stories or the romance genre, and I am sure they won’t be disappointed with this one.

KF Mac

It's 1971 Chicago, and 20 year old art student, and part-time bartender, Jackie Moretti, is looking for connection in the age of sex, drugs, and rock-n-roll. Her relationship status: It's complicated. Her soon to be ex-husband has a major secret, and her new boyfriend may be hiding things as well. She's got her classes at the Art Institute of Chicago to contend with, as well as the wily patrons and owner of the dive bar where she works. One thing that's clear is that there are no simple solutions, and that even the shining hope of love, may itself just be an illusion.

The characters in Love's Illusions grab a hold of you and do not let go. Jolene Cazzola manages to bring you along for the ride through depression, complicated relationships, laughter, confusion, camaraderie, and growing up. It'a story about facing the truth, coming to terms, and exploring new avenues. The author's characters stay with you long after the book has ended, and make you wonder what would they be doing next. I enjoyed this book, and would highly recommend it!