Monday, November 30, 2015

Heir to Edenbrooke (A Proper Romance) by Julianne Donaldson

Philip Wyndham has never envied his older brother for being the heir to Edenbrooke. He would much rather carve out his own destiny than live under the constraints of that position. But when his older brother dies unexpectedly, Philip's life is turned upside down as duty requires him to give up the life he planned. Philip takes on his new role as the most sought-after bachelor in London with alternating reluctance, boredom, and resentment. But all that changes the night fate leads him to an inn, where he meets the incomparable Marianne Daventry.

 * Amazon * Goodreads *

The biggest problem I had with this novelette was that it was WAY TOO SHORT!  I want more.  Greedy?  Maybe.  But now that I've had a taste of Philip's side of things, I want it all. This novelette gives some insight into Phillip's life and how he came to be the heir to Edenbrooke and takes us up through his first meeting with Marianne.  I loved it.  Love, love, loved it.

BUT.  I want more.  I want the whole Edenbrooke story told from Philip's point of view.  This little story filled me with longing to read Edenbrooke again, to go back and relive that fabulous love story all over.  Sigh.  This was a perfect little snippet.  If you have read Edenbooke, this is a must read.  If you haven't read Edenbrooke, you really should.  It's one of my favorite books.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Storm (Western Hearts #2) by Kate Palmer

A woman rancher struggles to save her ranch, but it’s her heart she’s most in danger of losing.
Storm’s ranch is teetering on the edge of bankruptcy after cattle rustlers strike. When her part-time ranch hand dies under suspicious circumstances, two neighboring ranchers step in to help. In jeopardy of losing the only place that’s ever felt like home, who can she trust with her heart?

 * Amazon * Goodreads *

Ummm, there were lots of yummy parts in this book.  Mostly is relation to Dak, although he had a rocky start.  He did own up to his mistake though and worked really hard to prove he was sorry.  I liked the way Dak was patient with Storm.  Sometimes it reminded me of how a parent tries to teach and reason with a child, which doesn't say too much for Storm, I guess.

Storm is a fiercely independent woman.  She is tough on the outside but is insecure and scared on the inside.  I thought she acted very childish a lot of the time- especially in relation to Dak and other people trying to be friendly and help but even I can't deny the love and loyalty she had for her Uncle Boots or how hard she worked. 

There were parts in this book that literally had my emotions threatening to spill over.  My heart may have broken just a little bit.  While I hate to get emotional, I love when a book can evoke such real emotions in me.  This one did.

I enjoyed the bit of suspense thrown in to the story line.  It was a good book and I really enjoyed reading it.  I haven't read the first book in this series, but I wasn't lost or missing anything by having not read it.  I am going to go back and read it though and I'm looking forward to the next book in this series by Kate Palmer.

Content:  Clean!  

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

By the River by Jennie Hansen + $25 and Book Giveaway!

It was supposed to be a relaxing early morning run, but the path along the river trail quickly turns into the scene of a nightmare for recent college graduate Kira Paxton. An unintended exploration of a secluded riverbank leads to a gruesome discovery that sets her on a collision course with danger: it is the body of a young woman. In shock, all Kira can manage to do is scream . . . From the moment Ford Kettering hears the cries for help along the trail, he is drawn irrevocably into a mystery in which he plays a shocking role. Ford, a local high school teacher, had a recent classroom clash with the victim—now, he’s a person of interest. As Ford and Kira bond over their shared ordeal, they work together to prove Ford’s innocence—and soon, their attraction is undeniable. But it seems that Kira’s nightmare is far from over. What begins as a series of close calls and acts of vandalism soon escalates, putting Kira’s own life in jeopardy. It appears that Kira saw something that day along the trail, something that has made her a target. With Ford’s help, she is determined to track down the killer—before she becomes the next victim.

Jennie Hansen is an author I always look to for a good romantic suspense story.  She knows how to weave in the perfect balance of suspense and romance.  

This book jumps right into the thick of things.  I love that.  I open the book and immediately I am sucked right into the mystery and suspense.  Consequently, I read through this book quickly (in one day!) because I just didn't want to put it down.

I liked Ford.  He saw Kira, was interested in her, and asked her out.  Just like that.  He saw something he was interested in pursuing and just went for it.  He is a guy any girl would love to have on her side.  Solid.  Honest.

Kira is small but mighty.  Being independent is so important to her and she struggles with the tight hold her father tries to keep on her.  Kira is a thinker though, and a doer.  She doesn't just sit around and let things happen.  I liked that.

I enjoyed my day reading this book.  It was perfect for the mood I was in.

Content:  Clean.  No swearing or sexual content beyond kissing.  LDS fiction although nothing preachy or particularly religious.  

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, November 23, 2015

The Cactus Creek Challenge (Cactus Creek Challenge #1) by Erica Vetsch

Anything he can do, I can do better. At least that was what Cassie Bucknell thought before she pinned on Ben Wilder’s badge and took to patrolling the streets of Cactus Creek, Texas. Cassie has been in love with Ben since primer school, but Ben treats her like a little sister. When they are picked to swap jobs for a month as part of the annual Cactus Creek Challenge in their Texas hometown, the schoolhouse is thrown into an uproar, the jail becomes a temporary bank vault, and Cassie and Ben square off in a battle of wills that becomes a battle for their hearts.
 * Amazon * Goodreads *

Reviews for this book were popping up and people were saying how fun this book was so I decided that I need to check it out for myself.  I love a good, fun romance.

It took me a little while to get into this book.  It jumps between four main characters and at first I found myself a little annoyed that there were so many people.  I wanted to just focus on the one couple or the other.  Not both.  From the blurb, it sounds like it is just one couple, but it isn't.  It took awhile for me to settle in and know the characters enough that I cared about them all but it did happen.  I became invested in each one of them.  Things start out a little slowly but the momentum builds and by the end things are really rolling along.

I enjoyed Cassie and her inner turmoil the most.  She is trying so hard to get Ben to realize that she is a woman and not a kid anymore.  Ben is so dense.  It's all very amusing.  I enjoyed the dialogue and the sparks between all the main characters.

I thought the premise of the book was creative and different.  The characters switch jobs for a month and Ben becomes the school teacher and Cassie becomes the sheriff.  The other couple switch also and he becomes a baker and she runs the livery.  It's all very comical and I enjoyed this book a whole bunch.  I'll be on the lookout for the next book in this series by this author.

Content:  Clean.  Christian fiction.

Friday, November 20, 2015

One Last Spring by Sian Ann Bessey + $25 Giveaway

The quiet village of Llanwddyn has long been a safe haven for Gwen, a young Welsh country girl whose life has been fraught with tragedy. Following the untimely death of her parents, it was her aunt's home in Llanwddyn that provided Gwen and her brother a refuge from their grief. Now, with the unwelcome news that the village is to be razed in the name of progress, an inescapable wave of change has begun.

When her brother departs to follow his dream of sailing the high seas, Gwen is left alone to navigate the shifting world around her. She soon finds herself relying on the support of her brother's best friend, Lewis, a gentle blacksmith whose kindness stirs her heart. Resigned to the fact that Lewis may never see her as more than a child, Gwen is soon swept off her feet by Thomas, a prosperous young Englishman. Torn between two men and two very different paths, Gwen has little time to determine what course her heart will follow. With time running out for her beautiful valley, will love come too late?

This book wraps around you like a warm blanket on a cold day.  I loved it!  It was gentle and lulling and full of warmth.

I love that this book was based on actual events of a village in Wales.  It may seem like a relatively small event in the whole historical scheme of things, but for this one village it was the largest, hardest thing in their history.  They literally had to pack up and move their whole village.  Can you imagine?

Gwen is a sweet, gentle creature.  She has never had the praise and emotional building up that children and teens crave as she was raised by a no nonsense aunt who was more prone to criticize with a sharp tongue.  Gwen is lonely and a more solitary creature, especially after her brother leaves to follow his dream of adventure on the seas.  She is intelligent and artistic and spends many hours drawing and thinking.

I loved the gentle progression of events in this book.  It was like I sat in the pocket of the story while the events unfolded all around me.  You really get a deep sense of community as the villagers come together to support and help each other, especially in times of need.  It all felt so real and well defined to me.  So well done.  I really loved this book!

Content:  Clean.  No swearing or sexual content.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Merry Christmas, Henry by Aubrey Wynne

Henry, a shy and talented artist, moonlights as a security guard at a museum and loses his heart to a beautiful, melancholy woman in a painting. As his obsession grows, he finds a kindred soul who helps him in his search for happiness. On Christmas Eve, Henry dares to take a chance on love and fulfill his dream.

 * Amazon * Goodreads *

This is a novella and it doesn't take much time to read.  If you are in the mood for a quick romance set around Christmas, this might perfect for you.  

This book doesn't have the typical romantic feel to it.  This one is more melancholy and even a bit sad as you get to know Henry a little bit.  He lives a sort of pathetic life where he works as a security guard at night so he can spend time with a painting of a woman he is obsessed with.  He has no real life outside his work and the art he creates at home when he is not at work.  He is middle aged, never married and isolates himself from everyone in the world, with one exception.  See?  Sort of pathetic.  And sad.

Oh, I just realized that the feel of this book, the melancholy emotion and single focus on a painted woman in the past sort of reminds me of Somewhere in Time.  Yeah, it really had that sort of feel to me.

I liked the ending.  It was a bit surprising and yes, romantic.  It was an interesting diversion from the usual holiday romance.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Harlequin Heartwarming Thanksgiving with Karen Rock! Giveaways Galore!

On tour with Prism Book Tours.

We'll be highlighting 13 FREE short stories by beloved Harlequin Heartwarming authors that will be available from Harlequin during November. All Heartwarming titles are 30% OFF during November from Harlequin as well! Use code HEART1115.


Thankful for You by Karen Rock


Way back when, Hunter Boone thought he and Josie Stephens had something that would last forever. Then she got her ticket out of town and took off—alone. The hurt nearly tore him apart. By the time Josie realized she'd made a mistake, Hunter had already married.

Now Josie's back in Stonewall Crossing, and while instant fire flares between them, she can't come between the now single dad and his son. As the whole town gets ready for Christmas, Josie finds it hard to avoid Hunter. No matter how much he tempts her with the promise of a future together, she has to tell herself—for her own survival—that relationships just aren't her thing…

Maggie James has worked hard to get over her commitment phobic ex, Lt. Eric Langley. Yet old feelings resurface when they’re reunited to put on a Thanksgiving dinner for foster children displaced by their group home’s fire. She still loves Eric, but she’d grown up vowing to have the traditional, nuclear family her loving parents provided and won’t accept anything less. This time around, does she dare give them a second chance?

After watching his vibrant mother retreat from life following his firefighter father’s tragic death, Lt. Eric Langley vowed never to inflict that pain on anyone, especially Maggie. When she’d begun talking kids, marriage, it’d nearly killed him to break things off. But how could he take the risks his job required, if he worried about a family counting on his safety? Although he’d shut away his pain when he and Maggie had broken up, his old feelings rush back after one glimpse of her beautiful face. He should want to avoid her, but feels thankful for this time together instead. Is it possible some surprising wisdom from the children he saved, could rescue him, too?

Read it HERE!

Thankful for You Guest Post by Karen Rock
Three years ago, I taught ELA to 8th graders and spent nights co-authoring a teen romance series, CAMP BOYFRIEND with my dearest friend and sister-in-law, Harlequin romance author, Joanne Rock. When her agent forwarded an email from Victoria Curran, Senior Editor of Harlequin Heartwarming, I was intrigued. In the note, Victoria asked if Barbara, (Joanne’s and now my agent) had any authors interested in writing wholesome romance that mothers would feel comfortable sharing with their teenage daughters.

I’d never written adult romance before, and nearly deleted the forwarded note. Yet something held me back. The next day, on my way to work, I passed the home of a couple my husband and I have been friends with for years. They have one of the most beautiful, moving love stories of all time. While in nursing school, Marty contracted leukemia and thought he’d have to leave the program and lose the woman he’d recently begun dating and fallen for. Cathy, however, refused to let go of Marty. She didn’t give up on her new love because she wanted it to be forever. She stayed by his side during his treatment and kept him up to date with his school work so that they graduated together. Twenty five years later, they’re still happily married, have three lovely children and Marty is cancer free.

I mulled over their story all day and thought how much I wanted to write a love story between two people when tomorrow wasn’t guaranteed. I wrote a quick proposal to my agent which was later on accepted by Victoria and, after writing chapters and gaining a contract, my very first Harlequin Heartwarming novel, WISH ME TOMORROW was born.

I love writing Heartwarming novels because they are deeply emotional and extremely romantic. As they are “clean reads” the author has lots of page room to devote to developing the love between two compelling characters and their journey to find it. I believe that the awards I, and several of my fellow Heartwarming authors have won for these heartfelt books demonstrates just how moving and intricate these uplifting stories are. Chicken Soup for the Heart? Maybe…

I’m grateful to have published six of them thus far with three more on the way. My most recent Heartwarming project is one of three, connected novellas in Harlequin Heartwarming’s Christmas anthology out this month, about a holiday destination wedding gone awry, WINTER WEDDING BELLS as well as my Thanksgiving short read THANKFUL FOR YOU available for free download at eHarlequin.

I’m thankful for many things this holiday season and at the top of the list is being a part of the wonderful Heartwarming family! If you are interested in learning more about me or my books, please stop by or click on the follow button beneath my picture on Amazon’s author page  You can also find me on twitter at or facebook at 
Happy Holidays everyone!

Karen Rock is an award-winning YA and adult contemporary author. She holds a master’s degree in English and worked as an ELA instructor before becoming a full-time author. Most recently, her Harlequin Heartwarming novels have won the 2015 National Excellence in Romance Fiction Award and the 2015 Booksellers Best Award. When she's not writing, Karen loves scouring estate sales, cooking and hiking. She lives in the Adirondack Mountain region with her husband, daughter and Cavalier King Charles spaniels.

Other Heartwarming Titles by this Author

Wish Me Tomorrow His Hometown Girl
Someone Like You A League of Her Own
Raising the Stakes Winter Wedding Bells


Don't miss any of these FREE novellas or the extra tour content! Stop by each of the tour stops each day:

11/2: Snow Day Baby by Amy Vastine
Singing Librarian Books, The Power of Words, & Katie's Clean Book Collection

11/4: Wedding at Turkey Run by Liz Flaherty
My Love for Reading Keeps Growing, Babs Book Bistro, & Heidi Reads...

11/6: Her Thanksgiving Soldier by Leigh Riker
Letters from Annie (Douglass) Lima, Mel's Shelves, & Brooke Blogs

11/9: Mr. Right All Along by Jen Snow
Katie's Clean Book CollectionMin Reads and Reviews, & Love thy Shelf

11/11: Falling for the Cowboy by Sophia Sasson
Kindle and Me, The Power of Words, & Colorimetry

11/13: The Marriage Gift by Tara Taylor Quinn
deal sharing aunt, Babs Book Bistro, & Brooke Blogs

11/16: Heart of a Hero by Pamela Tracy
Writing Pearls, Wishful Endings, & Waiting For Wentworth

11/18: Thankful for You by Karen Rock
Christian Chick's Thoughts, Getting Your Read On, & Love, Laughter, Friendship

11/20: Autumn at Jasper Lake by Carol Ross
Reading Is My SuperPower, I Am A Reader, & Colorimetry

11/23: The Firefighter’s Promise by Kate James
Canadian Book Addict, Mel's Shelves, & Beck Valley Books

11/24: Wedding of His Dreams by Cari Lynn Webb
Bookworm Lisa, Kindle and Me, & Zerina Blossom's Books

11/25: The Sweetheart Tree by Rula Sinara
The Written Adventure, Reading Is My SuperPower, & Writing Pearl

11/26: Married by Thanksgiving by Melinda Curtis
Heidi Reads..., Love, Laughter, Friendship, & Singing Librarian Books 

11/29: Grand Finale
11/30: Facebook Party


Goodreads Giveaway

13 Harlequin Heartwarming Books
Enter on Goodreads HERE.

Pinterest Giveaway

Pin one or both of these images to spread the word and enter to win this adorably festive Thanksgiving Table Set:

Pinterest Prize includes: four reversible, quilted placemats, four matching napkins, hand-painted matching napkin rings, matching table runner, matching quilted hot pad/trivet, floral centerpiece in pot, and hand-crafted pilgrim pair.
- Enter via the Rafflecopter below
- Open to US/CAN only
- Ends December 4th

Tour Giveaway

Grand Prize: Harlequin Heartwarming Year Subscription (Provided by Harlequin and to US/CAN only)
$40 VISA card (US only)
13-Book Heartwarming Prize Pack: The Best Laid Plans, Back to McGuffy's, If I Loved You, Love, Lies & Mistletoe, First Comes Marriage, Once Upon A Marriage, Small Town Secrets, Winter Wedding Bells, If Not For A Bee, When The Right One Comes Along, Wedding of His Dreams, After The Silence, and A Memory Away (print copies if US, ebooks if international)
9-Book Prize Pack: The Best Laid Plans, If I Loved You, Love, Lies & Mistletoe, First Comes Marriage, Once Upon A Marriage, When The Right One Comes Along, Winter Wedding Bells, If Not For A Bee, and After The Silence (print copies if US, ebooks if international)
Ends December 4th

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Grab Our Button!