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.  


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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.


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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.

TODAY'S FREE SHORT STORY:

Thankful for You by Karen Rock

A HAPPY REUNION?

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 http://www.karenrock.com or click on the follow button beneath my picture on Amazon’s author page http://amzn.to/1NSRVrT  You can also find me on twitter at http://www.twitter.com/karenrock5 or facebook at http://facebook.com/karenrockauthor 
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

TOUR SCHEDULE

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

GIVEAWAYS

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

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Tuesday, November 17, 2015

An Unexpected Proposal (Treasured Dreams Book 4) by Susan Hatler


When Holly’s boyfriend is offered the job of his dreams in Africa, Holly must choose between the love of her life and the small mountain town that soothes her soul.

 * Goodreads * Amazon *

It was just before bed and I had just finished reading a book.  I had a few minutes more and I didn't want to start a whole new book just before going to bed because what if it was so good I couldn't put it down?  Then I would be up all night long.  So, I had a light bulb moment and remembered that I had just been sent this little gem of a short story.  It was perfect for those last few "me" moments before heading to bed.

An Unexpected Proposal is part of an ongoing short story series.  Each short story is about 25 pages and literally takes about 10-15 minutes to read.  In this snippet, Holly is worried about her boyfriend taking a job in Africa.  She doesn't want him so far away but she also doesn't want to leave her favorite place to live.

These short stories remind me of little pieces of chocolate.  You just get one bite but that one bite is SO YUMMY.  You close your eyes and savor those few moments of deliciousness.  Yup.  That's exactly what it's like.

Content:  Clean.  :)
 

Monday, November 16, 2015

A Healing Heart (Riverview Series #1) by Melissa A. Hanson


On a bitter cold winter night Bailey Walsh’s family was killed in a traffic accident. Two years later as she lives with her aunt and uncle in Southern California, Bailey is still plagued by the nightmares of that terrible night. Everywhere around her are reminders of what she lost. Even her aunt, in a cruel twist of fate, is not just her mom’s sister, but her identical twin. Babysitting Riley, a spunky two-year old, is a sweet distraction and one constant light in her life. One day as she takes Riley to the park she meets Collin McKenna, a senior at her high school and her life is changed forever as he helps her find herself and realize her life is worth living. As the romance between them grows her broken heart begins to heal. However, still nagging in the back of her conscious is the fear that her new found happiness could come crashing down and she could lose everything she loves, yet again. Outside forces begin to tear them apart and Bailey must learn to trust in herself and realize that she is worthy of happiness. That sometimes love and healing comes in unexpected forms.


A Healing Heart is what I would summarize as a YA clean romance.  It is simplistic in delivery and told in the first person from multiple points of view.  I would say that the overall feel of the book would lend itself to be on the younger side of the YA range.

Bailey is a character you cannot help but have sympathy for.  She has suffered greatly in her young years and lost much.  As a reader, I could see growth in Bailey and that is always important.  Bailey really is on a journey of healing in so many ways.

I liked this book but I never really had that emotional connection to the characters.  It felt more like telling the whole time.  We did this and then we went here and then I did this and so on.  First person can be tricky that way, I think.  The book felt a little long to me but as I said before, I did like it.  

Content:  Some instances of mild swearing.  Mention of waiting for marriage to have sex.



Saturday, November 14, 2015

Gratitude Giveaway Hop- Enter to Win a Book of Your Choice!


It's time for another giveaway hop!  I love this hop because it gives me a chance to say thank you to all those who take the time to read my reviews and follow me.  I am grateful for the opportunity to do something I love- which is read, and I'm grateful to be able to talk about it with people who share the same love for reading.

The giveaway is for a book of your choice, $12 or less, from Amazon if you are US or The Book Depository if you are INT (and they ship to you free).  The giveaway is for a book, not a gift card or any other item.  

Thanks for stopping by!  Enjoy all the stops on this hop listed below.


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Friday, November 13, 2015

Puzzle Pieces by Betsy Brannon Green + $25 and Book Giveaway!


Presley DeGraff is a young woman on the run. With nothing but the clothes on her back, her escape from the ruthless manipulations of her former fiancĂ© leaves her with little time to hide. There is only one person to whom she can turn, only one place she may be safe . . . Haggerty, Georgia, is known for its Southern hospitality and quirky inhabitants. For Presley, her Aunt Violet’s home in the tiny town is a lifesaving haven. Her aunt, along with a cast of delightful friends and neighbors, warmly welcomes her. For the first time in so long, she feels hope—a hope that hinges on hiding her past. But the dreams of solitude that she had envisioned quickly fade when a disturbing discovery is made in her aunt’s backyard: a human skeleton. At the first hint of crime, Haggerty’s own amateur sleuth, Miss Eugenia, is on the case. Along with handsome Haggerty resident Mac and sprightly ninety-nine-year-old Loralee, Presley is quickly drawn into a mystery spanning generations of Haggerty’s history. But when news coverage of the investigation digs up Presley’s own secrets, it’s up to her new friends to come to her aid, by whatever means necessary.


This book started out with a well thought out and executed escape.  It had me interested and excited about where this book was going.  Then it just dropped off.  Everything slowed down to a snail's pace and I was so frustrated!  So my advice to anyone reading this book is expect a cozy mystery with a slow moving plot set in a small southern town.  

I've read lots of other books by this author and many of them set with these same characters.  The older women in this book have made appearances in the other Haggerty books so in a way it was like visiting with old friends.  I really liked Mac.

Presley's story starts off with a bang and then fizzles as she gets to Haggerty.  Her back story comes in little bits as she and the other residents get caught up in the mystery surrounding a human skeleton found in her aunt's backyard.  Of course things pick up toward the end, the gaps are filled in and the whole story breaks loose, but it takes some patience to get there.  

This book is a clean, cozy mystery.  It is big on southern charm and quirky characters.  Small towns know how to rally around their own and that is exactly what the characters in this book do.  It has all sorts of feel good things going on.  



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Thursday, November 12, 2015

Lost King (An Omar Zagouri Thriller #2) by H.B. Moore


Undercover agent Omar Zagouri has been ordered to Giza. A prominent Egyptologist was murdered, and a priceless artifact—the only complete version of the Book of the Dead—is missing. Omar is still reeling from the recent disappearance of his girlfriend, Mia Golding, but he puts his quest to find her on hold to track down the lost piece of history.

Omar’s mission is not just to locate the sacred book; he must also rescue the two archaeologists kidnapped and forced to translate its hieroglyphics under threat of death. Their kidnapper is determined to discover the text’s rumored explosive revelation: that Moses did not receive the Ten Commandments from God but instead copied them from the Egyptians. Though Omar’s need to find Mia grows more urgent, he must focus on finding the enemy who will stop at nothing to ignite a controversy that will change history, and the world, forever.


There are so many things I loved about this book.  This series is one of my favorites by H.B. Moore.  She does a fantastic job of bringing ancient Egyptian history to life.  In this book, we alternate between two stories.  Omar and his mission in the current day and age and Hatshepsut's story from long ago.  

 The pacing of this book is fantastic.  There is never a dull moment- especially when it comes to Omar and his mission.  There are car chases, kidnapping, explosions, gun fights and traitors.  It is exciting and full on the whole way.  I loved it.

Honestly, I think I loved Hatshepsut's story the best.  It was so rich and heartbreaking.  I was caught up in her world- I could see it and feel it and even smell it!  It made me want to dig into the history myself. 

This is the second book in this series.  The first book is "Finding Sheba" and I would recommend reading that book before you start this one.  It will give you the back history you need to understand the characters better.

Content:  Sensuality, sexual situations between a married couple and between unmarried couples.  Some details.




Wednesday, November 11, 2015

A Timeless Romance Anthology: Under the Mistletoe


Six Award-Winning Authors have contributed new stories to A Timeless Romance Anthology: Under the Mistletoe Collection. Six contemporary novellas, all adding sweet romance to the Christmas season.

In the enchanting novella FORGOTTEN KISSES by Cindy Roland Anderson, costume designer Madison Taylor has no love lost when the male lead playing Sir Lancelot in a TV series is fired. She couldn’t stand working with him anyway. But when she discovers who his replacement is, her heart nearly stops. Caleb Matthews is one of the hottest male actors ever… and not to mention Madison’s former boyfriend. When things got too serious between them, everything fell apart. And now, Madison must play nice or lose her job. She just has to forget all of the reasons she’d fallen for him in the first place.

In THE LAST CHRISTMAS, a sweet romance novella by Annette Lyon, Meredith only has to make it through the Christmas holiday pretending that she and her husband Eric aren’t on the verge of divorce. She doesn’t want to ruin the holiday for her two grown daughters and their boyfriends. But when Eric hurries home after weeks of living in a motel to unpack before their daughters arrive, he starts pressing Meredith with questions about why she filed for divorce. The last thing Meredith wants to do it give Eric a second chance, but it seems that Eric is not willing to let her go without trying to win her back.

In Julie Coulter Bellon’s captivating novella TRUTH OR DARE After a year of recovery, wounded war veteran Jonah Harrison comes home for Christmas. No longer the outgoing high school track star, he just wants to be left alone, away from well-meaning friends and neighbors. But when a blizzard strands him with Cami Jackson—the girl who once knew him best—he can’t hide anything from her, no matter how much he wants to. Cami has a wounded heart of her own, though, and it might take a Christmas miracle for them to find the healing they both long for and the courage to reach for a chance at love.

In the charming novella HOLIDAY BUCKET LIST by Sarah M. Eden, Celeste Lagorio has officially given up on Christmas. A single mother, with her children grown and unable to return for the holiday, Celeste determines to take a break from everything. When her single neighbor and almost-best-friend, Mike Durham, discovers her non-plans, they discuss things they’ve always wanted to do, but never had time. Mike and Celeste put together a friendly competition of checking off the things on their bucket list, all the while drawing closer and discovering they have more in common than they thought.

In CHRISTMAS EVERY DAY, a delightful novella by Heather B. Moore, Monica is on the verge of buying her dream store, but when she tells her boyfriend, he turns it into an embarrassing public argument. Heartbroken, but determined to follow her dream, she goes to her employer’s Christmas party to play Mrs. Claus, only to be paired with someone unexpected. A young Mr. Claus who is the complete opposite of her ex-boyfriend in all the most important ways. Yet, Monica is not sure she can risk opening her heart again.

In Jennifer Griffith’s exciting novella FIRST (AND LAST) CHRISTMAS DATE, pilot Juliet Law has been in a holding pattern, dating the wrong guy, until she gets a holiday shake-up: old flame Tag McClintock e-mails her to ask for second date—after ten years. Their first date, back in high school, had been an unmitigated disaster culminating with Pepto Bismol and the police. Still, Juliet would have gone out with Tag again the next day—and the next—had he asked. So now that he’s finally popping up in her in-box again, Juliet must decide whether to say yes to the date, even if it puts her at risk of another decade of carrying a torch for Tag McClintock. Will their second date be their last?

 * Goodreads * Amazon *

'Tis the season for some Christmas romance!  This Timeless Romance Collection is so appropriately named "Under the Mistletoe" and all these novellas capture that holiday romance perfectly.  I love these novella collections.  I have come to know what to expect of them and they just never disappoint.

So many of my favorite authors are represented in this collection.  I really can't call out a favorite here because each one of these stories made me happy.  In this collection you will find the rekindling of old flames, friends turning into more, and the butterflies of new love. This was such a fun collection and I read straight through them all.

This is the perfect book to curl up with this holiday season.  I loved it.


Tuesday, November 10, 2015

A Timeless Romance Anthology: Sarah M. Eden British Isles Collection


The SARAH M. EDEN BRITISH ISLES COLLECTION contains two brand new historical romance novellas A FRIEND INDEED and A HAPPY BEGINNING, as well as four hand-picked readers’ and reviewers’ favorites of Sarah’s popular Timeless Romance Anthology novellas. Readers will love this selection of six historical romance novellas set in the British Isles.

 * Goodreads * Amazon *

Sarah Eden is one of my favorite authors so it's happier than happy that there is a whole collection dedicated to her stories.  The bonus for me was the two brand new novellas included in this collection.  I was so excited to read them!

Sarah Eden has such a gift for writing.  Her characters are personable and human.  I so easily fall into her books, caught up in the people and places.  To me, the writing feels gentle and full.

I didn't take the time to go back and read the novellas I've already read in previous collections.  I've already loved them once.  I did read the two new novellas in this book and they were perfect, classic Sarah Eden.  I'm so glad to have all her novellas in one place.  It will be perfect for the moment I want to go back and do a Sarah Eden marathon because I love her so much.  :)  Always love, always a bit of a struggle but always a happy ending that leaves me sighing with contentment.


Monday, November 9, 2015

Movie Review: The Miracle Maker: A Christmas Tale


"The Miracle Maker is coming!" If any town is in need of a miracle, it’s Woodhaven, a tiny town hanging on the edge of the American frontier. It’s nearly Christmas, but it’s hardly a season of celebration. Work is scarce, money is tight, love is lagging, and spirits are down. Maybe the Miracle Maker can turn things around. The town anxiously waits for someone magnificent who can change their lives. But the ragged traveler who appears isn’t what anyone expects—except for one small silent boy and a precocious little girl. It seems this man can barely take care of himself, let alone fulfill the dreams of others. But miracles can come in all shapes and sizes—and sometimes from unexpected places. Your entire family will love this Christmas tale of hope, love, and miracles.


I had the privilege of previewing this movie for review and I have to tell you that I really loved it.  It is the perfect movie for this Christmas season.  Think snuggles on the couch, a bowl of popcorn and a message that leaves you feel good inside.  

I love the the feeling of hope and healing.  I love the characters in this movie.  They did a great job of making this movie believable and real.  It never felt over the top or cheesy to me.  Every character in this movie is linked to another and as it seems like when one good thing happens, it is sort of like a domino effect.

The miracles come in gentle ways and bring peace and healing to one small town.  Like I said before, this is the perfect feel good movie for this holiday season.  I'm so glad I was able to watch this movie.  I cannot wait to share it with my family.  It's going to be a great gift for a few people on my Christmas list.  :)  

Here is the trailer if you haven't seen it yet.



Thursday, November 5, 2015

The Mannequin by S.G. Rogers

Aubrey Whittingham lost everything when his family drowned in a ferryboat accident, including the will to live. His neighbor Rosamund tries desperately to bring him back from the brink of despair, but the beastly young duke fights her every step of the way. His feelings for her deepen, and when she departs for London, he vows to regain his health and woo her properly. Unfortunately, she disappears before he has the chance.

Rosamund is admired and praised as a mannequin for an exclusive London modiste, but her life is empty without the man to whom she gave her heart. Now, just when happiness seems within her grasp, jealous rivals conspire to ruin her dreams.

Can a beastly duke and a beautiful mannequin ever achieve a fairytale ending?

 * Goodreads * Amazon *

This book was just full of all the elements that make up a great story.  The characters were well defined and I really felt like I knew them.  The places and events were so clear in my head and I could easily imagine everything playing out like a movie in my head.  

Rosamund is a sweet and gentle young lady.  She has been treated poorly most of her life by her distant relatives whom she has lived with since her parents died.  This part of the story has a very distinct Cinderella type feel to it with an aunt who can't stand her and cousins who treat her cruelly and spitefully.  But then Rosamund has the opportunity to help a neighbor and it seems an answer to her prayers.

The next part of the story has more of a Beauty and the Beast feel to it as Rosamund tries her best to bring Aubrey back from the brink of death.  Aubrey is depressed and has lost his will to live.  Slowly but surely Rosamund coaxes Aubrey back into the land of the living despite his cruel words and temper tantrums.  Somewhere during Aubrey's transformation, Rosamund finds herself in love with him but is sure that he will never be able to love her back for she is so far beneath his station.  

I really enjoyed the growing relationship between Rosamund and Aubrey.  The transformations for them- together and separately- as they both grow stronger and fight to find their way.  The ending was fairy tale worthy and made all the struggle to get there worth it.


Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Christmas Kisses: An Echo Ridge Anthology + $200 Giveaway!!



Christmas Kisses is a collection from five bestselling and award-winning authors.
Set in the snowy town of Echo Ridge in upstate New York, these inspirational romances are sure to delight while you sip cocoa by the fire and listen to Christmas carols.

The Candy Counter Heiress by Lucy McConnell Amazon bestselling & award-winning author
Someday Reese Gates will own The Candy Counter at Kenworth's; but someday can't come fast enough when the manager threatens to bring in a national candy provider. Reese secretly takes matters into her own hands hoping to save her parents from additional worry and prove herself capable of running the company. Her deception deepens as she ropes computer guru Andy Edwards into helping her expand the business.  Reese wanted to shake things up, but she wasn't planning on her heart getting caught in the mix by Andy's stolen kisses. If she can hold it together until after Christmas, then she can reveal her successful online company and her feelings for Andy. Unfortunately for Reese, even the best laid plans can melt like chocolate.
https://lucymcconnell.wordpress.com/https://www.facebook.com/ChristinaDymock?fref=ts

Christmas Makeover by Cami Checketts Amazon bestselling author
Chelsea Jamison has been infatuated with Drew Stirling longer than she's loved playing basketball, high-top sneakers, and the Knicks. Unfortunately, all Drew sees is the kid who kicked his trash in the high school free throw contest and not the girl whose heart breaks into a fast dribble when he's near.
Drew makes an unexpected visit home to Echo Ridge and their friendship picks up where they left off as they scheme to make a teenaged boy's Christmas dreams come true. When Chelsea realizes she's fallen for her best friend, she wonders if there is any hope of a relationship with Drew or if she's stuck in buddy-status for life.
www.camichecketts.com * https://www.facebook.com/CamiCheckettsAuthor

Soda Fountain Christmas by Connie E. Sokol Amazon bestselling author
Keira Kenworth has one focus this holiday season: save her father's old-time department store from bankruptcy. She is not focused on Tayton Wells, the tall, dark, and genius marketing guru from downtown New York, hired to make it happen. He is as doubtful that her nostalgic connect-the-town ideas will succeed as she is about his numbers-first plan. However, it's not just their different approaches that cause sparks to fly. Working together on a fast deadline to save the store before Christmas, the unspoken connection between them grows. But will the tough decisions they face drive them back to their separate worlds, or will they lead to the beginning of love?
www.conniesokol.comhttps://www.facebook.com/8basics?_rdr=p

Hope for Christmas by Rachelle J. Christensen Amazon bestselling & award-winning author
Anika Fletcher hates Christmas--its promises of good tidings and hope for the future are as tinseled as the ornaments on Kenworth's Hope Tree. Despite her feelings, Anika wants to maintain her daughter's faith in the magic of the season and gladly accepts a second job working with the handsome Carlos Rodriguez to restore Kenworth's old fashioned soda fountain. Carlos is no stranger to hard times and slowly shares his life of light and joy with Anika as they work together. Just as her fragile soul begins to feel hope again, an ill-timed act of charity changes everything. Anika isn't sure who she can trust or if hope is worth nurturing--especially at Christmas when it's easy to enjoy a kiss and believe love can last longer than the season.
www.facebook.com/rachellechristensenauthor * http://rachellechristensen.com/

One Winter Night by Heather Tullis Amazon bestselling author
Jonah Owens thought moving to Echo Ridge to open his art gallery would solve all of his problems. The need to sell his grandma's house adds an unexpected complication. It would be easier if his neighbor didn't have all those farm animals.
Kaya Feidler's family has owned their land for nearly a hundred years--long before the neighbors were there. There's no way she's giving up the animal therapy business she's been struggling to make profitable. She gets a temp job helping Jonah in the gallery. Spending time together is a recipe for romance, but can they overcome their own hangups to be more than friends?
http://heathertullis.com/https://www.facebook.com/HeatherTullisBooks


***$.99 November 3 - 7***
Amazon * Barnes and Noble * Kobo * iTunes Smashwords
Add it to Goodreads


Ooh, this was such a fun getaway to Echo Ridge and Kenworth's Department Store.  I love how each of these novellas revolve around the same place but with different people.  It really felt like I was getting to know everyone.  It was also fun to see the characters cross paths in each story.  It was like making friends with people and still seeing them around.  I love that!

Each novella had it's own flavor because each was written by a different author.  These are some of my favorite authors and it was just like, well, Christmas having stories from all of them together in one place.

Each of these novellas will bring the warmth of Christmas and the flutterings of new love.  They are clean and so sweet.  Just perfect for this time of year!  I loved them.  And seriously?  For just a dollar you can read them all.  You just cannot beat that price.  Awesome!!!

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