Jessica Nash loves to sing but is paralyzed every time she gets on stage. After blowing an excruciating audition, she wonders if she should give up on her dream. She’s already committed to a week-long choral tour of England with her church choir, though, and as a single mom with a limited income, this might be her only chance to travel.
The trip gets off to a rocky start when Jessica has to sit next to Martin, a once-famous British tenor whose career plummeted in a scandal, on the flight to London. Is it her imagination, or does he seem to aim his bitterness toward womankind specifically at her? And to make things worse, once they arrive Jessica discovers she has to room with the choir’s thorny lead soprano.
When Nick, their handsome tour guide, takes a special interest in showing Jessica the sights, things finally seem to be falling into place. She starts to relax and let herself be wooed against the backdrop of the charming English countryside. But is she ready to give him as much as he’s asking for?
Things aren’t as simple as they seem. Almost every person on the tour, it seems, is hiding a secret, and before her English holiday is over Jessica will find herself stretched and tested in every direction—including the soloist’s place center stage.
Reviews of “Stage Fright”
Diane C. Donovan – Midwest Book Review
Stage Fright is clean romance reading at its best, incorporates a spiritual undertone, and centers on singer and single mom Jessica Nash’s paralyzing fear whenever she gets on stage to demonstrate her vocal talents: “Producing a luminous vocal note, alive with color and mood, filled me with joy. But singing also exposed my core, displaying me under a microscope for the world to see. I wished I didn’t care what others thought. I wished I could laugh off the audition, but I’d endured rejection too often.”
A rare opportunity to go to England with her choir group tests Jessica’s courage in many ways as she faces quirky and prickly fellow singers, her intense fear of public performances, and the romantic attentions of a handsome tour guide. Despite it all, she achieves her goal. And then the real struggles begin.
Jessica finds that her journey changes her on many levels beyond conquering stage fright. Also being challenged is her ability to relate to people, her openness to love and her single status, and the independence she’s always held close to her heart, fueled by her mother’s lessons: “Once Mom recovered from her divorce, she seemed fine without a husband. She’d dated a couple times, but the panic of being a single woman had subsided, and now she was content. “There’s more to life than men,” Mom said one Friday night when she didn’t have a date. “If you’re not happy with yourself, don’t expect a man to fix it.”
Jessica has learned that lesson perhaps too well; because as difficult as it is for her to get up on stage and demonstrate her singing skills, so it is equally hard for her to deal with people, on many levels.
The roots of the dilemmas she faces in England go back to childhood and parental relationships: “Dad will be sitting at the table, just like when I was little.‘Come here, Jess,’ he’ll say. His long arms will catch me, and I’ll be five years old again. Isn’t that stupid?” My father was almost as old as Martin’s and could die before I told him I loved him. In spite of my rage and crushed feelings, I still loved him—a strange affection that warped my every decision.”
Faced with a plethora of closely-held secrets and missed and real opportunities, Jessica’s first-person experiences bring readers along for the ride through her emotional growth as she considers the life she now leads and how it could be revised by new actions and reactions.
Readers will follow, with complete interest, Jessica’s invitations for change and reconsidering her life. The process by which she comes to realizations about her values, attitudes, and their lasting impact crafts a moving story of achievement, failure, and choices and consequences.
Readers of women’s fiction who look for involving stories of personal transformation will find Stage Fright is about more than facing one’s fears. It’s also about considering opportunities and life trajectories, providing insights against the backdrop of a European cultural encounter that will keep readers involved to the end.
What Readers Are Saying About “Stage Fright”
I appreciated that the characters were older and in their 30’s. The story itself was very contemporary in nature with a bit of insta-love but it was a fun read. I can relate to experiencing Stage Fright and Jessica’s experiences with it. I enjoyed this book for what it was, a romantic contemporary. Kate’s writing flowed easily and I look forward to reading her next book. – Cassie’s mom
Stage Fright, is a Page Turner!!!!
I really enjoyed this book! The storyline was wonderful, creative, witty and hilarious. The London charm and touring was fascinating. A very captivating book! – Mirsch H
Another Winner from Best-Selling Author, Kate Lloyd!
Travel with Jessica Nash and her church choir as they sing their way across England. Fresh characters and a story seasoned with romance and mystery will keep you turning pages to see what happens next on their whirlwind tour. – Kathleen Kohler
You are going to fall in love with the characters, and the story line is one to keep you turning pages until the very end. 5 stars from The Mary Reader I highly recommend this book. – Mary Fields
Wow! What a ride this one was! Full of heart and captivating characters! Kept me hooked on Jessica’s story, making me feel like I was walking beside her, feeling all her fears and excitements. This is definitely a novel I’ll be reading again and again. I’ll be recommending it to all my friends who love a perfectly chiseled romantic read that will instantly captivate them. – Molly J.
Amazing story with twist and turns. Kept me guessing what was going on till the end. Mystery and intrigue entwines the story line. Characters will endear into your heart. Loved the story. – Dawn C.
A late blooming singer afraid to really step out, plus romance and intrique and a week in England. Interesting read. – Arlene F.
What a great way to travel & spend time in the charming English countryside through this “cannot put down book”. Add sightseeing tours, mystery & romance along with it. What a fun read from Kate Lloyd. – Diana
The pages flew by. In my first sitting with the book, I glanced at the page numbers and realized I had already read 70 pages! I liked most of the characters and enjoyed seeing their different personalities and figuring out their secrets and situations. – Nicole S.
Warm hug in book form.
I loved this book. The characters are so realistically written they could be your neighbor. I really really REALLY hope this becomes a part of the series bc there is so much potential with the characters to come back around. I couldn’t recommend this more. – Joni Redman Owens
Another keeper from Kate LloydKate Lloyd is a great storyteller with characters and situations that draw you in and keep you turning the pages. A bit of mystery, a bit of romance, and relatable characters make this a delightful book to curl up with. – Lisa O.
A mystery with a touch of romance
Stage Fright is a departure from author Kate Lloyd’s Amish books. But true to form, it is character driven, well written, and a plot full of unexpected twists and turns. It has a bit of romance and a mystery that kept me engaged to the end. – Judy Bodmer
This is my first book by this author and I was pleasantly surprised. I sat down thinking ok just a few chapters and next thing I know I’m finished. The writing and the story is just that easy to get lost in. I love Jessica and can relate to her as I was a single mother myself. The fear and heartache she felt in dealing with her son’s change into adolescence brought back memories and I wanted to cry along with her. — Angel White
The characters are captivating and you will fall in love with them. The story keeps you guessing till the end. – Liz D.
This was an enjoyable book that went very quickly for me. I appreciated the character growth and the touch of mystery woven throughout the story. – Jilia A.
Another fast but cozy romantic story by Kate Lloyd. I really did not want to put this one down. In a matter of just a few minutes, I looked down and was already half way through it seemed. The characters were well developed and made the reader want to turn the page. Despite all of their secrets, I liked most of the characters. It goes to show that one should not judge a book by the cover. You shouldn’t judge people until you walk a mile in their shoes. I look forward to more books by Kate Lloyd. — Calleigh
This was a fun contemporary read that was filled with romance, travel, grieve, and real life circumstances. It left me wondering,as I turned the pages, about what will happen next. Such a good book to lose yourself in for a few hours. – Vickie
Good character development and a number of surprises.
This was a very good read. There are lot of twists and turns to add interest. As usual, Kate Lloyd has done an excellent job developing her characters. – Margaret D.
Great fun! Great book!
Really enjoyed the premise of this book, and the mix of romance and music. Good read for a cold winter’s night by the fire! – Margaret Coppock
I loved Jessica’s story as I’ve experienced the stage fright all growing up. To have the courage Jessica has taught us here, goes to show God does stand with us in everything we do. I love touring England with Jessica and seeing it from her view. Wonderful characters and a story line that kept me turning the pages! Highly recommended this read, you won’t be disappointed at all! — Sharon D.
Wow! What a wonderful book!
Kate Lloyd has written another top seller! Jessica Nash is a Church choir singer. But…She has stage fright and cannot sing alone. A week of choir performances…will this cure her phobia?
You won’t want to miss out on this mystery and romance, too. I loved this book! I highly recommend that you get a copy! You will not be able to put this book down once you start reading! — Elaine S.
A fun clean romance novel
This beautifully crafted novel took me by surprise. I had never read anything by Kate Lloyd so I really didn’t know what to expect. The writing flowed wonderfully and the story captivated me from beginning to end. The author does a good job explaining choir terminology to us non-singing folks in a way that wasn’t too confusing nor boring. This heartwarming novel is a clean enemies-to-lovers romance novel. And anyone who enjoys Jane Austin or Sariah Wilson will enjoy this clean, contemporary romance novel. – Meg
A Great Easy Read
Katr has once again written a book that grabbed my attention and wouldn’t let go!! Her characters are so well described that you easily identify with them and become a part of their lives. The plot moves quickly and keeps your interest as you are experiencing a possible new romance and a goal achieved by a deserving young woman. The unexpected events that crop up kept me up long past my bedtime. Although it is a quick read, it was full of meaning and emotion. – Karla Hanns
I’ve read several of Kate Lloyd’s Amish novels, and I liked them, so when she came out with a novel in a new genre I was eager to check it out. And I’ll tell you right off that I was not disappointed at all.
I fell for Jessica and all of her insecurities and flaws right off. And her friend Roxanne was the friend we all wish we had. The two possible love interests were, at least to me, very unprepossessing. As in, I was not favorably impressed with either one of them. At least for awhile anyway…
I really liked Kate Lloyd’s voice in this story. She had that delicate balance between blunt honesty and Christian, well, morality, down pat. It made the story so much more relatable and, in my opinion, flat out more enjoyable. I also loved that Stage Fright was a cross between women’s fiction, romance, and even a surprising bit of suspense near the end.
Stage Fright may have been a different genre than usual for Kate Lloyd, but, in my opinion, she aced it and I wouldn’t hesitate to read any of her books whether they are Amish or not. Now I just have to impatiently wait to find out what she has next in store for readers… — J. Augustine