Blog Book Tour | “Two Hearts: When I Said I Do, I Meant Forever” by James Eric Richey

Posted Friday, 31 July, 2015 by jorielov , , 0 Comments

Ruminations & Impressions Book Review Banner created by Jorie in Canva. Photo Credit: Unsplash Public Domain Photographer Sergey Zolkin.

Acquired Book By: I was selected to be a part of the blog tour for “Two Hearts” hosted by iRead Book Tours. I received a complimentary copy of the book direct from the author James Eric Richey in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Suspense-filled Love Stories turn quite Epic:

Are a bit hard to find but are treasured once they are discovered; the type of love story where despite the adversities and the entangled woes of life itself, the two dearly beloved souls find a way to make it against the odds stacked ontop of them. I like finding romance rooted in realism and a conviction of experiences where both sides have to make marked steps towards keeping their relationships healthy. Marriage isn’t for the weak of heart nor the faint of circumstances because life has a way of endearing us with tides of uncertainty and unknown disasters.

Finding characters who are writ to such a strong degree as Jax and Annie is a rare gift indeed; partially why I love seeking out ChocLit novels as I have come to treasure the strength and beauty of the authors’ conjoined focus on ‘relationship-based romances’ whilst painted against a back-drop of real-life situations that will test their wills for a strength to endure at all costs. I am finding there are other authors out there of whom are a bit harder to find; their novels are released by either Small Trade, Hybrid, or Indie publishers not yet known for their titles; Richey falls under this category, and it was a joy to be able to read his story on this blog tour, if only to help readers find the quality and the depth of his novel.

This is one reason I celebrate Indie Authors – because the routes they take to reach their reading audience differ from one another, but their strength of the craft of story-telling remains acute and self-aware in knowing which types of stories we readily want to consume. Those who hunger for Romance novels like the ones I appreciate myself, enjoy the relationship bits and the in-between moments where characters show their flaws as much as their keen ability to champion adversity blighted against their path. To seek out characters who live as wholly true to contemporary composites will always be a joy for me, but to find an ‘epic love story’ out of the blue is golden!

Blog Book Tour | “Two Hearts: When I Said I Do, I Meant Forever” by James Eric RicheyTwo Hearts:
Subtitle: When I Said I Do, I Meant Forever
by James Eric Richey
Source: Author via iRead Book Tours

Jaxon Tagget is a cattle-rancher's son, born and raised on the Double T, just outside of Dillon, Montana. In love with his high-school sweetheart, Annie, Jaxon proposes on graduation night, presenting her with a wedding ring made from gold he mined himself. Annie accepts immediately, to the horror of her bitter, man-hating mother.

Jaxon's a wonderful husband, but the warnings of Annie's mother linger in the young bride's ears. And it doesn't help that women continue to fall all over the markedly handsome Jaxon.

Unaware of his wife's persistent doubts, Jaxon is struggling with his own troubles when he finds out his dad is sorely in need of money to save the ranch. But hope glimmers gold when he rediscovers the old mine on the Double T.

While Jaxon travels to verify the mine's productivity, Annie grows increasingly suspicious. Is Jaxon's absence what it seems, or does he have another, less faithful reason for his travels? When Annie sees a picture of the beautiful laboratory owner whom Jaxon is visiting, she's sure the only gold he's interested in is long, blond hair. Is Annie right, or will it be her doubts that forever sever their Two Hearts?

Genres: Historical Fiction, Romantic Suspense, Western Fiction

Places to find the book:

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Also by this author:

Published by JER Books

on 15th December, 2014

Format: Paperback Edition

Pages: 426

Published By: JER Books (@JERBooks)
Available Formats: Paperback and Ebook

About James Eric Richey

James Richey

James Eric Richey was born and raised in California. He attended Brigham Young University, studying English with an emphasis in Literature. After graduating from BYU he returned home to California to further his education by attending law school. After passing the bar, James practiced in California for several years, but he quickly learned that he did not have a passion for the law.

In 1998 James obtained his real estate appraiser license, which has given him a flexible work schedule and allowed him to pursue his true passion, writing books. Besides his writing, he also enjoys reading, running, and sailing. James currently lives in Cheyenne, Wyoming, with his wife, Heather, and their two daughters.

My Review of Two Hearts:

The opening of Two Hearts hinges on a promise Jax made to himself about how to properly convey his feelings to his beloved Annie: to find enough gold from a mine no longer harvested to create a one of a kind ring Annie will know has part of his soul etched into it’s design. I had to agree with Jax and disagree with his father, who was speaking on behalf of rings and the wild fancies of most girls; some do like anything that is flash and glam, but there are others of us who appreciate the sincerity of having a ring that tells a story rather than one that receives the most awed attention.

Young sweethearts whose romance began during their senior year, Jaxon and Annie were the kismet couple who made high school memorable in their small towne. It’s the kind of towne that has a heap of ambiance at their eateries and a throwback towards a simpler time where everyone enjoyed meeting up for a nosh and a conversation. A hard-working attitude gave Jax a grounding most young men his age were not quite able to obtain where Annie proved to have a harbinger of ill thoughts spurn out of a lifetime of disappointments ebbing out of her father’s absence. The two were as a connected as you can become at seventeen yet there was a strength missing between them all the same at the time of their graduation. Their love was strong but a relationship needs a sturdier foundation than love alone in order to survive through a lifetime of marriage.

I felt Richey gave an honest impression of a mother (Annie’s) whose embitterment over her divorce and the infidelity of her husband had not only tainted her against men but proved to seek a way to wedge her icy discontent of men onto her daughter. Such discontent and disrespect for men as a whole can prove weariness on a daughter whose life has not yet begun and whose joy of living is still in balance to the realities of what can go wrong whilst keeping mindful of how much hope is still left to thrive inside.

There is a portrait of adolescence transitions – between where high school and college intersect and where life picks up where childhood ends. Life came at such a rush for Jaxon and Annie, they had found a rhythm that suited them when Jax’s job took them to South America at a mining firm. He quickly was promoted more than once, but it was an alert towards an alarm of caution that he should have listened too rather than tuck under the rug. He wasn’t as open and honest with Annie when he started to notice certain things happening towards him in the office, and it reminded me of a few of the life lessons my mother had taught whilst I was growing up. Especially about how fathers who work long hours and/or are put into certain situations at work should remember a few things their wives tell them about the ways of the world. I never forgot those moments, because it is quite true; given the right situation anyone could fall. Richey has taken this lesson to heart as well, and gave it to Jaxon to play out in his life.

Unfortunately for both Jax and Annie – their parents were not as well-versed in knowing how to prepare either one of them for the real world. Her mother was so bent against men she never spoke of how to be married to one you could trust and Jaxon’s family was more concerned with inheritance of a five generation ranch than to teach Jax about how to get-on in a corporate setting.

This isn’t just a story about Jax and Annie though; it’s about their childhood friendships, how the tides of life effected each of their friends in different ways whilst how their lives panned out after graduation. Richey incorporates their story-lines whilst taking a break from the main thread of thought; it was interesting seeing the differences between where the dreams of a teenager and the harsher realities of the world at large co-merged and brought out a bit of disparity of truth. There is a secondary thread that opens up a vein of the dark shadows that follow you if you gamble more than you win and what happens when your debts are owed to those who will take them out in blood. This is the part of the story that starts to bridge the suspense into the romance – as Jax’s high school friend Zeren ends up in over his proverbial head!

As the action recedes and the truth of how much Jaxon loves Annie wins out her heart in the concluding chapters has a bit of a happier glow of honesty that I was hoping Richey would give his characters! There is a bit of a cliffhanger at the ending – a moment of where this could be turnt into a duology (where a second book could anchour this first installment) or a beginning of a trilogy. I am not sure if the author meant for this to be a stand-alone or a series, but there is a way forward if he chooses! I was truly caught up in Jaxon and Annie’s story – it was bittersweet in some places, light-hearted in others, and a testament of wills throughout the whole of it. A truly enjoyable read that I recommend to readers who are seeking a bit of suspense with a honest love story entwined into it!

On the writing style of James Eric Richey:

Richey takes you slow and easy into his narratives, allowing you the beauty of soaking inside the ambiance of where your walking alongside his characters! He has this relaxed feeling to his stories, where you can tell he’s a master story-teller; he knows what he wants to reveal and how he wants everything to become disclosed to the reader. He doesn’t forsake any of the details; giving you a full scope of what his characters are feeling, sensing, and how they are approaching their everyday lives. I liked how you could soak inside this novel and feel as if you had jumped a plane straight for Montana! You become a part of the scenery and feel secure in the backdrop of where the story resides!

Contemporary Westerns are a niche of Western Fiction I do not oft have the proper chance to read, as it is part of my quest to seek out more contemporary stories writ in the West, as I oft-times would soak inside Historical Westerns, wherein I was time travelling through most of the 19th Century! Westerns hold quite the appeal for me, because I love everything about the Old West and the West as it is today in the 21st Century. There is a deep rugged appeal to the wild forests and the small townes where people live on ranches where you cannot even see the end of their property lines! A true freedom of space and time, intermixed with the harsh realities of carving out a life on land where weather and livelihood are not generally acquaintances of kindness.

I love reading Cowboy Fiction which are those stories I find quite attractive because your either hog-tied to a cattle drive or your caught up in the goings-on of an active ranch. Yet when I find Western Romances I get a bit giddy for the delight of what I’m about to read because those wide open skies and the beauty of the mountains have a true calling of joy for me! Hence why whenever I can, I truly try to seek out new Westerns and new authors who can give me such a deepening awareness of a place my heart seeks to alight. This was true in the past as I read A Bargain Struck (by Liz Harris), Flight to Coorah Creek (by Janet Gover) and Softly Falling (by Carla Kelly)! I even have earmarked to read at some point the Virgin River series by Robyn Carr, as the first novel has been on my shelf winking at me every blue moon to pick up! Nevermind the fact I am quite attached and keen to finish my readings of Alaina Claiborne by the lovely M.K. McClintock!

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Reader Interactive Question:

I look forward to hearing your reactions if you’ve read this novel too

and/or if your curiosity had become piqued to read it after reading my own ruminations!

What inspires your mind to consume Western Fiction with an appetite for hearty Romance
and/or Romantic Suspense woven into the plot!?

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{SOURCES: Cover art of “Two Hearts”, book synopsis, author photograph of James Eric Richey, author biography and the tour badge were all provided by iRead Book Tours and used with permission. Ruminations & Impressions Book Review Banner created by Jorie in Canva. Photo Credit: Unsplash Public Domain Photographer Sergey Zolkin. Comment Box Banner made by Jorie in Canva. Tweets embedded due to codes provided by Twitter. Post dividers by Fun Stuff for Your Blog via Pure Imagination.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2015.

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • 2015 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge

About jorielov

I am self-educated through local libraries and alternative education opportunities. I am a writer by trade and I cured a ten-year writer’s block by the discovery of Nanowrimo in November 2008. The event changed my life by re-establishing my muse and solidifying my path. Five years later whilst exploring the bookish blogosphere I decided to become a book blogger. I am a champion of wordsmiths who evoke a visceral experience in narrative. I write comprehensive book showcases electing to get into the heart of my reading observations. I dance through genres seeking literary enlightenment and enchantment. Starting in Autumn 2013 I became a blog book tour hostess featuring books and authors. I joined The Classics Club in January 2014 to seek out appreciators of the timeless works of literature whose breadth of scope and voice resonate with us all.

"I write my heart out and own my writing after it has spilt out of the pen." - self quote (Jorie of Jorie Loves A Story)

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Posted Friday, 31 July, 2015 by jorielov in #JorieLovesIndies, 21st Century, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host, Bookish Discussions, Cliffhanger Ending, Contemporary Romance, Creative Arts, Debut Author, Debut Novel, Divorce & Martial Strife, Farm and Ranching on the Frontier, Father-Daughter Relationships, Historical Fiction, Indie Author, iRead Book Tours, Life Shift, Modern Day, Montana, Mother-Daughter Relationships, Passionate Researcher, Romance Fiction, Romantic Suspense, Single Mothers, Small Towne Fiction, Small Towne USA, South America, Western Fiction, Western Romance, Women's Fiction

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