6th #Blogoversary celebrating #Harlequin Heartwarming | Series Book Review feat. “Bachelor Remedy” and “In the Doctor’s Arms” (Book Five & Six: Seasons of Alaska) by Carol Ross Otherwise known as the small towne romance series Jorie has wickedly found #unputdownable! So much so, she nudged her Mum to read it!

Posted Sunday, 31 March, 2019 by jorielov , , , , , , 0 Comments

Book Review badge created by Jorie in Canva using Unsplash.com photography (Creative Commons Zero).

Borrowed Book By: I’ve been hosting for Prism Book Tours since September of 2017 – having noticed the badge on Tressa’s blog (Wishful Endings) as we would partake in the same blog tours and/or book blogosphere memes. As I enquired about hosting for Prism, I found I liked the niche of authors and stories they were featuring regularly. Oft-times you’ll find Prism Book Tours alighting on my blog through the series of guest features and spotlights with notes I’ll be hosting on behalf of their authors when I’m not showcasing book reviews on behalf of Harlequin Heartwarming which has become my second favourite imprint of Harlequin next to my beloved #LoveINSPIRED Suspense. I am also keenly happy PRISM hosts a variety of Indie Authors and INSPY Fiction novelists.

This particular review is slightly different from my regular blog tours and hosting features for Prism Book Tours – as an opportunity came along this March to secure a spot on a ‘review tour’ rather than a ‘blog tour’ for a novel within the Seasons of Alaska series by Carol Ross. I had previously read a novel by Ms Ross when I was attached to the five-book series “Return of the Blackwell Brothers” review tour wherein I read the entire series as a hostess for Prism Book Tours.

This time round – I borrowed most of the “Seasons of Alaska” book series through my local libraries – either through ILL (inter-library loan) and/or local borrowing opportunities as one of my libraries had more of the books in their local catalogue than the others. My readings of this series will be spilt into review showcases of two books in sequence leading into my review for the review tour of “In the Doctor’s Arms” which is the latest release for this Harlequin Heartwarming series.

We had a lot of flexibility with this review tour – we were not required to read the entire series, however, being a serial fiction reader who likes to read more of a series than less – I elected to seek out the series in full to be read before “In the Doctor’s Arms”. The author herself was kind enough to send me a copy of the one novel I couldn’t borrow through my library which is “Bachelor Remedy”. The scheduling of my readings and my review postings for this review tour are as follows: “Mountains Apart” and “A Case for Forgiveness” (post one); “If Not for a Bee” and “A Family Like Hannah’s” (post two) and “Bachelor Remedy” and “In the Doctor’s Arms” (post three) – the third of which will be featured on my 6th Blogoversary the 31st of March, 2019.

I decided to read all the stories in this series ‘blind’ – meaning, I didn’t read each of the synopsis’s before setting into the stories as I was reading them. I knew I could trust where Ms Ross would take me as I loved her instincts for Return of the Blackwell Brothers – therefore, it became a bit of a lovely adventure seeing how her characters within this new series would develop, strengthen and grow!

I received a complimentary copy of “Bachelor Remedy” and “In the Doctor’s Arms” direct from the author Carol Ross in exchange for an honest review.. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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What I have been enjoying about reading the #SeasonsOfAlaska series:

I was so caught inside the evolution of Emily and Bering’s romance, I somehow missed seeing or even acknowledging Emily’s brother Aidan! This clearly was a character I ought to have taken a few notes about though as he’s making a return appearance whilst he also is not winning over Janie with his nonchalant attitude over a spoilt cake! I could almost see his reasoning about the bee which led to the cake fiasco but it how he was dismissing the obvious emotional reactions out of Janie and her son which felt like he was a bit clueless round the edges. Either that or he was just misconstruing the whole situation which wasn’t any kinder to the other parties involved.

Something told me this might have been a special cake for Gareth, Reagan and Janie – considering their father had died I was thinking this might have been a cake in his honour or it was for celebrating one of their birthdays or perhaps even, their twin siblings? Either way – the disappointment over what befell the cake’s demise was dearly felt by everyone except for Aidan, of course, who thought everything could simply be re-purchased or re-made. Clearly he hasn’t lived within set perimeters and the limits of food allergies to recognise how futile his attempts were at rectifying this particular upset.

Your heart simply goes out to Janie and her four sons; this cake meant something special to them and after you find out what the cake was representing you can re-feel the sense of emotions this young family has been struggling through over the years. Finding out Aidan is in Alaska because he’s an expert on bees shouldn’t have surprised me even though it had as being that bees are his field of experience, I would have thought he would have understood people’s hesitations about being too close to them? As a lot of people are seriously allergic to bee stings?

I never would have realised he was Emily’s brother – part of his personality is quite opposite of her own it didn’t quite seem like they were related! They both are seriously focused on their careers which they shared in common with one another and that single-mindedness was definitely a sibling trait of theirs as well.

I must admit, I’d love to take a table and experience the Cozy Caribu myself – though, mind, I’m not entirely sure if their menu includes some lovelies of the vegetarian kind but it is the ambiance Ross etched into this #musteat restaurant of Rankins which makes your mouth water whenever your making a return trip into this cosy small towne! It is the kind of haunt the locals love to be caught inside and it has the essence of a wicked good restaurant you can’t wait to experience for yourself! I could see why Aidan was immediately attracted to the place and why he felt like his foodie self had finally landed in a place where his palette would be treated to a lot of savoury delights!

Laughs with mirth! Immediately connecting with the antidote of Ms Ross’s life – as she shared how her family sees the positive even if life turnt into lemons and gave you a heck of a ride for adversity! Her example led me to remember when our car broke down in the Everglades (whilst we were on holiday with a short time window to appreciate our visit) – there is a spot down there where you can literally be stranded for hours due to how infrequent it is travelled at certain times of the day or night. It was before the golden twilight hours – in the heat of a humid Summer, where the mosquitoes and other lovelies were starting to emerge but the blessing for us like her, the storms of intensity were at bay and a kind Samaritan came to our rescue. We decided that perhaps our stay-over needed a small extension? And/or – perhaps our arrival to where we were heading needed a short delay? Whichever way you look at it – we were being watched over as later we learnt that stranded motorist on that stretch were notoriously having issues with people who had nefarious intentions. Blessedly we left that patch of road unscathed.

There are other instances of where I can relate to what she’s talking about, too. Where we choose how we set our attitude to get through our harder days, we immediately rejoice when life brings a spirit of joyfulness into our lives as well. We’re generally known as the positive-minded family or the ones with the cheerful spirits. Ironically, we do not oft hear this said of others – as wherever you are in life, your either going to have a wicked run of good days, a spurt of adverse days or perhaps somewhere betwixt the two – without the rougher patches, the sweetness of joy isn’t as appreciated as you learn through your experiences; good, bad or indifferent, life has a well of circumstances to take something away from,… which is why I felt I was identifying with what Ms Ross was sharing in her lovely author’s note. This might also point towards why reading this particular series is now in my top 3rd position of bookish love for Harlequin Heartwarming!

Ross has continued to etch out the families in Rankins to where you feel like you get an inside edge into knowing the major families who call this community their home. The James family (ie. Bering and Janie) have a stronghold in the towne but it is how their extended family, friends and their neighbours play such a distinctive role in their lives which makes returning here such a pleasant experience each time I settle into a new novel within the series! This time round it is due to how familiar I feel inside the series – being my third reading of the Seasons of Alaska series, I feel like Ross has carved out a place I have come to know quite well.

She has a keen sense of what makes the most interesting stories to knit into a Contemporary Romance but also does it with an uplifting insight of hope to encourage you forward into the series itself. Each time you soak into one of these stories, you feel your heart charged with the beauty of the setting but also the beauty of the people – they really are down to earth people who love their families and their community members. It is lovely to celebrate fiction like this and the other series I’ve become fond of within Harlequin Heartwarming who give me this same kind of takeaway – as these are the kinds of stories you can relax inside and know you’re going to be treated to a wickedly brilliant story within a larger arc of narrative that lets you root a bit in one particular place until the last of its story is told.

I love her instincts for rounding out her characters – for instance, within If Not for a Bee – one of the main interests of Janie is knitting. This is something I could insta-relate too being a knitter myself – from the calming influence of the patterns to the curious ways in which the tacticle benefits enrich your joy as your knitting with different fibres. I loved this portion of Janie’s life and I liked seeing how it developed throughout the story.

-quoted from my reviews of If Not for a Bee and A Case for Forgiveness

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6th Blogoversary banner created by Jorie in Canva. Jorie Loves A Story badge embedded in the banner was created by Ravven.

As you can see, I have a special announcement to share with those of whom enjoy visiting with me as I’m sharing my readerly life here on Jorie Loves A Story! Today [the 31st of March] marks the beginning of my 6th Year as a Book Blogger! I created Jorie Loves A Story in 2013 at the tail-end of March where it was only a whisper of a thought of what it *could become!* as I spent the next several months tweaking it, creating content and sorting out how I wanted to approach my own niche of a space in the book blogosphere.

It became quite the daring adventure – there was no blueprint to follow and I sorted out my writerly voice, the style of how I wanted to articulate my thoughts and ruminations inasmuch as I sorted out how I wanted the aesthetic of this space to ‘look’ – which is why I didn’t release this lovely blog of mine to the world until the 6th of August, 2013! However, for me both days are of keen importance – it was the 31st of March where I quite literally took the plunge, created [jorielovesastory.com] and began the journey. All bloggers have a beginning and this particular day marked my own. Hence why I celebrate both my blogoversary (31st of March) and my blog’s birthday (6th of August) each year. I’ve had parties thrown in their honour by my family and each year I get a lovely surprise – either bookish or lifestyle inclined from my fam as well! It is a special treat – this journey of mine, not just for the memories – the stories, the writers, the characters and the worlds – but the conversations online & off, the celebrations and milestones along the way and the beauty of taking a risk to sort out how to have a quasi-public life in-line with having a private one offline. It is a balance I’ve sought and feel I have claimed in the years since I first started walking down this path.

At the root and heart of what I love sharing is my readerly wanderings in literature – I’ve striven for better balance between what I request to review and what I personally want to read off my shelves – or borrow from my local libraries; something I still feel I am working ‘towards’ achieving rather than saying I’ve mastered the art of this bookish balance in my life! Laughs. One day, surely I’ll find that golden blissitude of joy knowing I’ve sorted it out! Til then, I love settling into stories which are both heartfelt and soul lifting – outside of my historical and suspenseful wanderings, I find a hearty joy in Speculative Fiction but in the background of my literary interests are Contemporaries and Classical wanderings. These two are the ones I’ve struggled with finding enroads with over the years but have thankfully made strides towards sorting out which Contemporary Romance & Women’s Fiction authors I can follow as they continue to write the stories I am most keen to be reading!

Last year, during my 5th Blogoversary, I focused on the joyful discovery of Kellie Coates Gilbert and shared my affection for INSPY Literature. This year, I am also highlighting a Contemporary novelist whilst I want to ring a bell of delight for the Harlequin Heartwarming writers who have given me such a burst of happiness in my readerly life these past few years! Specifically the authors behind the following series: Return of the Blackwell Brothers, Karen Rock of the Rocky Mountain Cowboys series, Ms Ross with Seasons of Alaska and Catherine Lanigan with her series Shores of Indian Lake. The next series I will be reading in earnest is Ms Lanigan’s as I am participating in the next novel in sequence’s blog tour. I want to back-read as many of the stories as I can as I’ve read the last two releases out of step with the fuller arc of her series.

Similar to what attracted me to the Contemporary Romances by ChocLitUK – the novelists behind Harlequin Heartwarming are writing the kinds of relationship-based romances my heart swoons to find! I also like the fact that unlike with ChocLit novels, there is one small difference which makes me feel a bit at ease seeking out the Heartwarming line a bit more frequently – the absence of strong language! There were a few Heartwarming stories where the language went strong but it is nothing compared to having to blink out a lot of language which are more inclusive to ChocLit novels. I’m just not that kind of girl – I’d much prefer to read a wicked awesomesauce romance without strong language than to have it peppered to death! I still have my favourite ChocLit authors who’ve touched my heart with their stories, their characters and their series – blessedly over the years, they know how fond I am of their writing styles – however, overall, I noticed a distinctive change in the direction of the ChocLit line of Romance.

Most of the Heartwarming stories are also set in small townes rather than large cities – this brings me to my second favourite bit of seeking them out – and let’s face it, there are so many lovely series in this Harlequin imprint, I could be seeking them out for the rest of my life just to read through them all and finding my top favourites! The small towne effect is something close to my bookish heart because instead of reading a one-off, you get the pleasure of joy of ‘staying with the characters’ as the stories not only evolve forward through the natural progressive evolution of their lives but such as you observe in Rankins with Ms Ross’s Seasons of Alaska – the towne and community grows behind them, too!

This 6th Year as a Book Blogger, I am overjoyed and grateful to being a blogger and reader working with Prism Book Tours as my time as a hostess for them has given me a renewed appreciation for Harlequin as previously I used to read their imprint Mira and other imprints of theirs which are now discontinued. I knew I was a solid appreciator of their #LoveINSPIRED Suspense novels – as this is a passion of joy I share with my Mum as we tag-team reading those all the time! In fact, Mum encouraged me to read those for ‘pleasure’ rather than for blogging purposes, which is why last July during a readathon for INSPY / Christian Fiction, I read quite a heap in that regard! I’m still a bit behind in the stories Mum’s read herself but our pursuit of those stories and series is a Mum and daughter scavenger hunt of joy!

Now I get to return the favour and am nudging Mum to read the Harlequin Heartwarming stories I’m enjoying myself! As initially I encouraged her to read #LoveINSPIRED Suspense as a method of decompressing her intensive work weeks as a caregiver for seniors – nowadays, we’re finding our readerly habits are a united front when it comes to Harlequin – both on the traditional side of the ledger and on the INSPY side! Since I first started reading Seasons of Alaska, she’s now finished Mountains Apart and we’ve been enjoying discussing both Rankins and the characters together!! The hardest bit though is being hush-hush about the details *til!* one of us gets to the end of all these stories we’re co-reading in tandem! Laughs. What a great challenge to have, eh?

Therefore – this 6th Year of mine is still a progressive journey towards readerly balance but also a renewal of celebration for seeking out Contemporaries which give my heart a burst of joy and a keen sense of readerly satisfaction knowing I’m finding the writers who make my heart swoon and give me that wicked good uplift for having read their romances! Here’s to a wonderful new year of romance and small towne fiction! I am overjoyed to have found this new imprint of bookish joy from Harlequin and I hope my showcases on my blog help encourage other readers seeking the same relationship-based romances I am to take a chance on these authors!

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Seasons of Alaska series by Carol Ross

Seasons of Alaska series by Carol Ross

Mountains Apart (book one)

A Case for Forgiveness (book two)

If Not for a Bee (book three)

A Family Like Hannah’s (book four)

Bachelor’s Remedy (book five)

In the Doctor’s Arms (book six)

Bachelor Remedy
Subtitle: Seasons of Alaska
by Carol Ross
Source: Author via Prism Book Tours

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781335633583

Also by this author: The Rancher's Twins, Mountains Apart, A Case for Forgiveness, If Not for a Bee, A Family Like Hannah's, Keeping Her Close, Second Chance for the Single Dad, Series Spotlight w/ Notes: Return of the Blackwell Brothers, Catching Mr Right, The Secret Santa Project, His Hometown Yuletide Vow

Setting: Alaska

Published by Harlequin Heartwarming

on 3rd April, 2018

Format: Larger Print (Mass Market Paperback)

Pages: 384

Published by: Harlequin Heartwarming (@HarlequinBooks) | imprint of Harlequin

Converse via: #Contemporary #Romance & #Harlequin

& #SeasonsOfAlaska

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About Carol Ross

Carol Ross

USA Today bestselling author Carol Ross grew up in small town America right between the Pacific Ocean and the Cascade Mountains, in a place where you can go deep sea fishing in the morning and then hit the ski slopes the same afternoon. The daughter of what is now known as free range parents, she developed a love of the outdoors at a very early age.

As a writer, Carol loves to breathe the life she has lived into the characters she creates, grateful for the “research material” that every questionable decision, adrenaline-charged misstep, and near-death experience has provided.

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from the note of the author:

From my conversations with Mum about the Seasons of Alaska series, we were starting to speculate which characters would be getting their own stories as the series shifts forward. We aren’t sure how many installments are going to be within the scope of the series, as it could be ending with In the Doctor’s Arms or this could be progressively moving forward after the sixth release. Sometimes it is hard to know how long a series will be as each of the Heartwarming series end on different numbers of installments. As she was curious which characters were featured in the stories I was reading after Mountains Apart, I simply told her whom to expect to read about next and of course, I told her about my grievances over Aidan – but I didn’t want to spoilt her own discovery of their lives, which is why we kept it a bit nebulous about the ins/outs of those stories!

Through these conversations, we picked two blokes we truly wanted to see brought back to the foreground of focus: Cricket and Tag! Imagine my delighted joy in finding out Bachelor Remedy is Tag’s story!! I definitely agreed with her assessment about how Tag’s bachelorhood was becoming a badge of honour for him! He wasn’t as keen on seeking out relationships as his friends’ nor did he seem that motivated to alter his life from the course he was set on walking on the path he chose to be living! I could see why it would be a bit complicated to draw him out but also to find the right woman who would be the best match for this determined bachelor!

On a personal note – I am overjoyed and full of gratitude the author was able to send me this novel, as it was the one story I couldn’t get from my library. I am so dearly appreciative of being able to continue reading this series without missing any of the installments! Bless you, Ms Ross!

my review of bachelor remedy:

I was a bit surprised Tag was interested in a political bid in the Alaskan Senate, however, as Ms Ross explains his stance and his inclination of pursuing the office, it truly fit in with the continuity of the series as this reflects the dedication of the James’ family to the towne of Rankins! I love this about the series – how it isn’t just the lives of the characters which is of import to the series but the towne itself. There is a strong emotional attachment to Rankins, to the natural environment which surrounds it and the honest look at life in Alaska through the pen of Carol Ross. I almost would have suspected she’d either spent a considerable amount of hours in Alaska or her passion for the state is reflective of the research she’s done to enable all of us to feel as if we’ve lived in Rankins as we’ve come to know her characters as well as she has writing about them!

I had to brace myself for the depictions of what happens shortly after this story begins – as everyone whose interested in this state realises the dangers of which wild animal up there can cause the most grief for a human – grizzlies are not to be toyed with nor are they to be questioned for their need for an expansive territory. Although I’ve not had an encounter with a grizzly (or a brown bear in general) I did have a rather startling encounter with a mama (black) bear whose errant cubs (up a tree, no less!) gave me a bit of a re-thinking about how wildlife and mankind walk a tightrope of shared territory. I also knew I could handle this sequence of a medical emergency – not just because Tag has been the medic in the air all along in the series but because of how A Family Like Hannah’s ended on a note of intensive suspense similar to the #LoveINSPIRED stories I love reading alongside my Mum! I have come to trust Ross’s instincts and her method of depicting life in this Alaskan community – in other words, I might have felt slightly uncomfortable for what happened but I knew Ross could carry me through the worst bits to get to the heart of the story!

Ooh, I like this Ally Mowak! I felt an instant liking towards her – not just because she has a firm understanding of natural medicine but because she’s rubbing Tag the wrong way! She didn’t even do anything yet except be herself, taking charge of the patient (involved with the bear!) and asserted herself when it came time to tell him where to take his plane with them on board. It was classic really – how a woman took a bloke off-guard and how the bloke isn’t quite sure how he feels about the experience? Loved too, how he underestimated both her age, her experience and her wherewithal to answer any of his enquiries! The fact she has Native American ancestry warmed my heart, too, as I was curious if Ross was going to broach the fact Alaska has a strong Native American presence and how their cultural history is integrated into Alaskan life.

I honestly wasn’t surprised – Tag has always presented himself calm, cool and efficient but in this novel, we’re seeing a different side of him. The side which becomes short-tempered, flared with emotion and in many ways, his less charming approach to having an articulate conversation with a colleague. I had to question – was it simply because Ally’s approach at medicine was outside the realm of the conventional or was it something else? It was a bit startling to think Tag could be undone by a woman but then again, I know from experience, if you take a bloke off-guard by either your knowledge of something they feel their an expert or if you show bold confidence where they think you should yield to those who have seniority – wells, it just proves that sometimes no matter what you do is going to rub someone the wrong way for something you can’t control.

I did like how Ross anchoured Ally’s presence at Rankins hospital between the old and new school doctors’ – of the two, I could see myself warming to Flynn, as the more traditionalist of the two doctors (Dr Boyd) would irk me let alone how much he’s irking the ire of Ally! You can’t be that closed-off to non-traditional medicine as there are plenty of resources out there today proving that having non-conventional options is a healthier route to explore. Although this particular argument is as old as defending how you can be a hybrid reader of both mainstream and INSPY literature to have a fully well-rounded joyful readerly life. People make things too black and white – sometimes there is a path down the middle which ought to be explored.

Ooh, I love this – Flynn is related to Doc, of whom I last saw the most of whilst reading A Case for Forgiveness as Doc was best friends with Jonah’s grandfather! I love how inter-connected Rankins is but also how well attuned Ms Ross is for re-bringing to the foreground past characters and/or their relations!

When Flynn made the round of introductions at the Cozy Caribou, I knew Ally would start to feel more at ease in Rankins! Sure enough, Emily, Hannah and Shay were there to give her a sisterly welcome and to put her in a mood where she could let the toils of the day recede from her shoulders. It is definitely the place to unwind and relax, whilst having the chance to get to know the neighbourly souls who reside in the area. I was pleasantly surprised the group rounded out with having Janie, Adele and Laurel included, too! A part of me was hoping Laurel might get her own story in the series at some point, alongside Adele, even though Adele’s story was highlighted already I was hoping we could lengthen it a bit by how much her life had changed once she had relocated officially to Rankins.

I even liked how Ross pulled Park back into the fray and continued his role in Hannah’s life with an inside joke (which of course she explained for those unfamiliar with the series) – he’s such a cad and yet, I suppose since Hannah secured his role in society without the law running interference, I suppose his personality has gone through an upgrade of sorts? He’s just not the kind of bloke I’d like to see much of anymore but I must admit, he’s not the worst either. I suppose it was fitting to see him again but he just wasn’t my cuppa to be honest; minor character or otherwise.

When Tag and Ally have a heart to soul conversation about natural vs conventional medicine and the uniqueness of how different their growing years were from each other, I felt myself dearly invested in both their trajectories at this point in the story-line. Ally had a lot to defend – from how people’s perception of her (similar in the vein of the angst Hannah had to deal with herself) to questioning the validity of her right to defend alternative medicine practices rang true for me. Whenever you step outside the conventional lines of any industry, you find yourself needing to be on the defensive because that is when people try to strike you down. It isn’t that there is only one right or wrong way to approach a particular methodology of executing the same outcome but its due to the nature of how close-minded a lot of people can become to ‘newer ideas’ and non-traditional medicines. I also loved how Ross made these two find neutral ground in the ‘air’ rather than on the ‘ground’.

The greater irony of course, is the more Tag learnt about Ally, the less he felt he could accept her without conditions and that was the rub for me. Why he felt inferior to Ally is quite peculiar but he also felt conflicted – her beliefs for whichever reason unsettled him and it was beyond ironic, as one thing I loved about Ally is how accepting she is towards other people. She barely gets the respect she deserves in return but her heart is in the right place all the time. I was thankful Ross added-in her long-lasting friendship with Flynn and her newly minted sisterhood connection to Iris (one of the triplets related to Tag). It proved to be a buffer she would need to wade through the mind-numbing angst Tag was creating for her to deal with on a constant basis.

Part of me had trouble separating the Tag of the previous books with the Tag in this installment – when it came to personal relationships, Tag really was not the most agreeable bloke to be dating. If anything, he was rather full of himself in a chuffed sort out manner. He oozed self-esteem but in a negative way as he was constantly judging others against what he believed and due to this, he came across as cold and unforgiving. I was just shocked at how radical he felt about the differences in his culture and Ally’s as in all honesty, it wasn’t just a political, personal, religious or medical dispute brewing between them but a cultural heritage issue which was seeking to disintegrate everything they had bonded over up til that point.

I couldn’t even sort out what was motivating Tag – there was a scene with Iris which I felt struck true. When you see Tag through Iris’s perceptional advantage, a lot of things just ‘make sense’ and you feel like without Iris, understanding Tag at this junction is a bit ‘above and beyond’. Ross loves to throw a few wenches of anguish into her character’s lives but this one felt like a doozy be of how unwilling Tag was to see reason and to develop a tolerance for the things he hadn’t yet understood. He was very much a jump first and take notes later kind of bloke and I almost felt it would surely become his undoing.

On the opposite side of the ledger, I love Ally because she has so much to give of herself. I almost felt she might have picked the wrong occupation as she could accomplish so much more in the community of Rankins but I just wasn’t sure about the vehicle she chose to use as her method of ‘reach’. It’s definitely a complex story-line as there are a lot of factors swirling in the background to put a stop to everything you felt was positive happening in their lives. It was in those moments where I could only hope for the best but truly wasn’t sure how anything could resolve which wouldn’t feel like my heart would feel the grief of their ensuing anguish.

I was dearly emotionally connected to this story – there is a beautiful arc within the novel evolving through traditional vs non-traditional beliefs which truly was well executed. I loved how Ross explored two strong personalities within her characters of Tag and Ally. They were wonderfully created to give you a wicked good read rooted in realistically emotional life experiences where you never felt you could ‘guess’ what was going to happen or how they were each going to individually react to their circumstances. It felt authentic and real – the connective feeling I have had throughout the Seasons of Alaska series as Ross roots us into her character’s lives as if we’re walking beside them.

I could hug Ms Ross dearly for this series!! There is something so dearly realistic about how she’s written the dramatic story arc and how she’s inter-connected her characters’ lives! By the time I put down Bachelor Remedy my heart wasn’t just full it was emotionally content!

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6th #Blogoversary celebrating  #Harlequin Heartwarming | Series Book Review feat. “Bachelor Remedy” and “In the Doctor’s Arms” (Book Five & Six: Seasons of Alaska) by Carol Ross Otherwise known as the small towne romance series Jorie has wickedly found #unputdownable! So much so, she nudged her Mum to read it!In the Doctor's Arms
by Carol Ross
Source: Author via Prism Book Tours

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781335510594

Also by this author: The Rancher's Twins, Mountains Apart, A Case for Forgiveness, If Not for a Bee, A Family Like Hannah's, Keeping Her Close, Second Chance for the Single Dad, Series Spotlight w/ Notes: Return of the Blackwell Brothers, Catching Mr Right, The Secret Santa Project, His Hometown Yuletide Vow

Series: Seasons of Alaska

Also in this series: Mountains Apart, A Case for Forgiveness, If Not for a Bee, A Family Like Hannah's

Setting: Alaska

Published by Harlequin Heartwarming

on 5th March, 2019

Format: Larger Print (Mass Market Paperback)

Pages: 384

from the note of the author:

Blessedly, I had already fallen for the hero of this story, Flynn from reading Bachelor Remedy! I suspected him and Iris might be the two being featured next and quickly confirmed that guess of mine whilst I was in the opening chapters of the story as I’ve grown accustomed to how Ms Ross introduces us to her characters’ whose stories are about to be ‘featured’ next in the Seasons of Alaska series! This immediately felt like a duology in the middle of a six novel series – as the two stories are equally anchoured together! Where we first begin our knowledge about Flynn and Iris in Bachelor Remedy we’re about to conclude their story within the pages of In the Doctor’s Arms!

I appreciated how the key focus of this novel is about perception and perspective – in many regards, you could claim the ENTIRE series is set to the same rhythm of discovery and disclosure! Having learnt a bit about Iris previously, I knew she might be a hard-sell when it comes to romance and love – she is one of the few characters we’ve met in Rankins who doesn’t believe she’s owed a happy ending. In this regard, I was surprised she didn’t get to know Adele a bit more closely as that is a sentiment she used to share about herself when she first relocated.

I’m hoping Tag and Ally are still overlapping into Flynn and Iris’s story-line as much as they had with theirs – there is an inseparable line between all of them and it would be wicked lovely to see continuing to stay a close-knit group. Mostly though – I am worried about if this is how the series concludes – I’m not prepared to ‘let go’ of Rankins of the James’ family,… I am dearly hopeful Ms Ross is working on a ‘new’ story for this series and perhaps, it could end at an even ten or twelve stories? This is the one downside when you read serial fiction – how ‘attached’ you become to everyone!!

my review of in the doctor’s arms:

Now why am I not surprised!? Iris had this confidence about her in the previous story-line but I noticed it applied directly to other people (of whom she was speaking about) rather than as a reflection of herself. If Iris had to share a personal revelation about herself, she would turn silent, dodge the question entirely or find another way which would seem plausible but really be a distraction from what was originally asked. I gathered for whichever reason Iris would rather focus on others but not have the focus be on her directly. I didn’t sort out what was causing her duress – of what could bother her to the point where she would rather have attention deflected away from her than to have it placed on her shoulders, but something was driving her to keep people as far away from her personal affairs as she could arrange.

I was quite giddy about Doc making a return appearance – especially as I was still full of giggles over how he and Jonah’s grandfather were getting up to mischief previously. In this vein of light, it was nice to see him with his grandson, Flynn and learning about how he set Flynn on the right path growing up when the young boy could have taken any other route but the one which led him towards becoming a doctor. It is interesting how people inspire us and how they help us find our innermost passions in life – the ways they encourage and nurture our dreams says a lot about their love on our behalf.

Flynn is such a unique bloke because he has interests which most might not have themselves – observing him with Iris selecting potential dresses for her role as bridesmaid in Ally’s upcoming wedding was a good example of his knack for style. I have liked Flynn for awhile now – he is patient, kind-hearted and he has a true passion for practicing medicine. He also listens to patients, works well as a team-player in medical environments and has an enduring loyalty to his friends of whom at times you can tell feel more like extensions of his family. I believe this is a trait most of the characters share as we tuck into their lives in Rankins, whether their related by family or not, everyone feels part of the community family which makes Rankins such a winsome small towne.

It is hard not to laugh when Doc and Jonah’s grandfather Caleb are around – finding them involved in this story was wicked brilliant as they had a lot of scenes previously I enjoyed reading. Mostly as they’re both curiously keen on interfering with the personal lives of their relations as they deem themselves to be a bit of a matchmaking team. Their love of fishing though is what makes you smile and it is hard to be too hard on them for interfering with people’s love lives when they are so agreeably fun loving overall. Seeing Flynn interacting with them and finding out he also enjoyed to fish as much as Jonah did himself was a nice component of his personality.

What surprised me is how Iris had misunderstood aspects of Flynn’s light-heartedness around women – he had his own ways of compensating for his tongue-tied approach to sharing his thoughts with the women he truly admired- which to me is why Iris was getting the wrong end of the stick in regards to Flynn. When Iris heard Flynn talking about her or about anything remotely personal, she had this internal reaction which didn’t match his intentions but if you fact in her back-story about what she lived through whilst she was growing up in Rankins, part of her reactionary responses seem to be what are hindering her now that she’s an adult. There is a lot of positive sharing about how the memories you try to leave in the past can affect your present but also, how sometimes the trials of your youth can never truly ‘go away’ if you can’t find distance between them and your current life. I felt for Iris, she was getting too many triggers of the past due to how she was experiencing Rankins in the present – some of it was from her perceptive and not from those she knew in the community whilst at other times, I felt like we were still in the dark about what truly was affecting Iris to where she couldn’t re-see Rankins as an adult.

On the other hand – there is also a strong case for realising that for whichever reason an area isn’t your cuppa tea. Sometimes it is your hometown you don’t wish to return for a visit or a lifetime; other times, it is just an area which goes sour after previous visits. I could definitely believe how Iris was feeling because of how Ross was revealling her emotions and her reactions; it was very organically developed, honing in on how Iris felt and why she was experiencing those feelings in a way which made sense due to her past.

Part of Iris’s story was connected to her siblings – this is another component of the story I could relate too as I have known siblings who feel like they have grown up in different families due to how their interests and the family’s interests were never on the same page. It was fitting how Ross put into this story a lot of realistic interactions and takeaways – of course, I knew part of this was inspired (if not entirely) by the author’s own experiences as she prefaced this with a disclosure about her own family in her author’s note – however, it is how she intuitively shared those nuanced revelations and feelings which made this story feel wholly alive.

Getting to know Iris’s triplet siblings Seth and Hazel was a special treat – they’ve been hovering in the background but when you see how they interact with each other it felt wicked awesome! Especially considering how much Hazel understands Iris even if Iris refuses to accept that she’s not a closed book but rather an open one both Hazel and Flynn are starting to be able to ‘read’. In that regard, Seth is horridly clueless and the rest of her family I felt overlook what makes Iris uncomfortable in the natural environment Alaska is known for even though a part of me thinks she was blowing half of that out of proportion at the same time. You can sort of see this shining through when Flynn calls her on it and how disproportionate it feels whenever she tries to find justification for her actions or rather, lack of action.

There is a lovely scene between Flynn and Iris’s Mum, Margaret at Ally and Tag’s wedding – the kind of scene where you want to hug Mrs James due to her motherly way of nudging a bloke in the right direction! It also gave us a wonderful keen insight into why Iris is the way she is and how she perceives the world. Each time I draw closer to one of these characters, the more appreciation I have for Ms Ross and how she’s crafting the whole series together. The series is just a charming saga which continues to warm your heart whenever your re-visiting Rankins through Ms Ross’s eye for capturing the heart of the community.

I honestly found this to be one of the most emotional stories in the Seasons of Alaska series – mostly as what evolves into Flynn and Iris’s lives hit close to home as it there is an aspect of their life which can relate back to my own. The joy for me is how organic this all felt – there was a moment where I considered how everything was progressing towards the ending and it seemed to me that Ms Ross not only spent a lot of time thinking through those revelations but how they could be written to make believable sense to the reader. A lot of what happens in this story is set against how Iris views herself, her worth in the community and her own self-identity overall – it is a walk of trust and patience as Iris never allowed herself to self-evolve until now. That was a keen insight on behalf of her sister Hazel and for me, it felt like the realisation of this from her sister’s perspective set the tone for In the Doctor’s Arms.

Blessedly there was an Epilogue attached to this novel and within it, my heart was seriously rejoicing as there was an added blessing awaiting my eyes! There is a group of active seventy year olds attached to the story wherein I was hoping they might make a return visit somewhere in the narrative and happily I found them re-appearing quite a few times in different ways. I loved their inclusion because I love stories which are inter-generational – where age is never a barrier and where friendship can develop naturally between people with shared interests or points of view. This was seriously one of the best installments and I am so dearly thankful I had the chance to discover the series as it has become such a beloved read of mine this Spring!

on the contemporary rom styling of carol ross:

Rankins is coming up in the world now – the hospital is fully staffed and ready for receiving patients – a feat in of itself, as most of the more remote areas of Alaska in today’s world still require the efforts of real-life Tag’s to fly you out to the nearest hospital; generally speaking, those are located in Fairbanks, Anchorage and Juneau – whilst having subscriptions to the three main air ambulances to get you evac’d is a good idea as sometimes your best bet is to get to a hospital in Canada rather than stay in Alaska depending on where you are when the emergency occurs. When Tag asks Ally to fly to either Alaska Regional or to Bartlett – you can have a better understanding where Rankins is located as Bartlett is in Juneau and Alaska Regional is in Anchorage. I’ve been trying to discern since I first began reading Seasons of Alaska where Ms Ross might pin down Rankins on a map. The problem of course is that there are 23 hours separating the two cities and a world of wilderness, small townes and cities between the two hospitals. Juneau is tucked under the Yukon and is next door to British Columbia – so I was a bit surprised Tag hadn’t mentioned going to the Yukon to reach the hospital in Whitehorse. This is what made me question if Rankins is somewhere in the more remote areas of interior Alaska outside of the cities which have hospitals and why Rankins getting their own hospital was as imperative as it was to become a more established city with self-sufficient means to help their own community.

Ross broached the option taboo topic of ageism in relationships and how old/young is too much of a chasm to bridge between two people who are falling in love? Technically speaking – I think more people ought to learn about Tony Randall’s life and realise when it comes to true love – age is never a barrier you should entertain. I personally found it a bit ironic that Tag was thinking that a woman aged 22 and a bloke aged 38 was too big of a difference in age – as realistically, he was only 16 years older than Ally. Generally, the upper limit I’ve seen is a 15 year difference but if you factor in how Ally had grown up and what she’d accomplished in her 22 years – to me she felt closer to 35, which would make plausible sense and also might have been why I observed their ease with each other was as natural as it seemed. I think maybe even Ms Ross felt that herself – as emotionally Ally was much older than her lived years.

I loved seeing this side of her writing explored – it gave a lovely tug-of-war aspect to the relationship – where you can see what conflicted Tag and how enlightened Ally truly was before Tag could wrap his head round why he was feeling any attraction at all. Men, truly! Sometimes they can be quite thick-headed about what they don’t or choose not to understand.

By the time I started to see how Iris and Flynn’s story-line was expanding and evolving to become inclusive of the entire James’ family – where updates on marriages within the series were coming back to centre focus and how the children of the series were maturing towards adulthood, my feelings for the series deepened. The continuity is brilliant and as I felt this was a duology attached to Bachelor Remedy I couldn’t be happier for how everything tied together in the end.

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I truly have become attached to this particular series – it is definitely one I want to seek out the other installments to have in my personal library, as similar to my love & affection for the Rocky Mountain Cowboys + the Return of the Blackwell Brothers, I want to be able to tuck inside this series again… re-live those memories of their lives and see new scenes to reflect upon which I might have missed or overlooked the first time round. You know, those kinds of re-readings you can have during a blizzard or in the middle of a fierce thunderstorm? Where hours can wick off the clock and no one cares because your lost inside a beloved series?

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Which Harlequin Heartwarming series do you appreciate reading?

Do you have a preference? Western, Contemporary, Historical, Suspense, etc?

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This review tour is courtesy of: Prism Book Tours

Prism Book Tours

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I look forward to reading your thoughts & commentary!
Especially if you read the book or were thinking you might be inclined to read it.
I appreciate hearing different points of view especially amongst
readers who gravitate towards the same stories to read.
Bookish conversations are always welcome!

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Reading this novel counted towards
my New Year Reading Challenges & Focuses:

Beat the Backlist banner created by Austine at A Novel Knight and is used with permission.

2019 New Release Challenge created by mylimabeandesigns.com for unconventionalbookworms.com and is used with permission.

The only one which doesn’t count towards my #BeatTheBacklist goals is the newest release of the series “In the Doctor’s Arms” – as this is a 2019 release. The rest of the series (the previous five!) do count as they were published prior to *2019!* and thereby are part of my reading adventures for this challenge!

These reviews are cross-posted to LibraryThing. You can read what I shared on behalf of “Bachelor Remedy” & “In the Doctor’s Arms” with readers on LibraryThing.

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{SOURCES: Seasons of Alaska series collage graphic, the author photo of Carol Ross and her biography; as well as the Prism Book Tours badge were all provided by Prism Book Tours and used with permission. Post dividers by Fun Stuff for Your Blog via Pure Imagination. Beat the Backlist banner provided by novelknight.com and is being used with permission. Tweets embedded by codes provided by Twitter. Blog News graphic provided by Parajunkee Designs. 2019 New Release Challenge created by mylimabeandesigns.com for unconventionalbookworms.com and is used with permission. Blog graphics created by Jorie via Canva: Book Review Banner using Unsplash.com (Creative Commons Zero) Photography by Frank McKenna; Seasons of Alaska series Books Five & Six collage graphic (Book Photography Credit: Jorie of jorielovesastory.com); 6th Blogoversary banner (Jorie Loves A Story badge embedded in the banner was created by Ravven) and the Comment Box Banner.}

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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 Sunday, 31 March, 2019 by jorielov in Blog Tour Host, Book Review (non-blog tour), Family Drama, Family Life, Indie Author, Life Shift, Prism Book Tours, Romance Fiction, Second Chance Love, Small Towne Fiction

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