#HarlequinHeartwarming Blog Book Tour | “Sweet Home Alaska” (Book No.5 of the Northern Lights series) by Beth Carpenter

Posted Wednesday, 10 July, 2019 by jorielov , , , , 4 Comments

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

Acquired 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.

I received a complimentary copy of “Sweet Home Alaska” direct from the author Beth Carpenter in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Why I wanted to read this story & why I forgot it was the fifth novel:

The beauty really are the authors Harlequin has within Heartwarming and Love Inspired – they know how to write the drama within the romance but also how to write compelling series with realistic characters & narratives which are a joy to be reading. I get quite giddy whenever there is a new author to read from Heartwarming or Love Inspired – whilst having the chance to participate on one of their blog tours is quite icing on the romantic cake! I love celebrating authors who are writing the STORIES which give me a heart full of blissitude to be #amreading – thus, for the past two years I’ve been hosting PRISM’s blog tours, I’ve been doubly blessed to become acquainted with the Heartwarming imprint and their series!

I’ve previously shared this sentiment of mine on behalf of these two Harlequin imprints – as my blog Jorie Loves A Story has been happily featuring their authors off/on for the past few years. My admiration for the authors is fiercely strong & I love being able to ‘meet’ a new author I’ve not yet read – thus, when I first found out about the blog tour for Sweet Home Alaska – I thought for sure I’d have enough time to fetch the four books leading into this fifth release as I had with the Seasons of Alaska series which I also reviewed earlier this year – where I was able to back-read the series before arriving in the latest installment.

A bit of best laid plans for this July – it took me all of June to feel like myself again – I was battling through a lot fatigue and exhaustion because of the bout of migraines (I had five in case its been bit since you visited with me or this is your first time stopping by) to where my reading queues were all but evaporating away from me. It wasn’t until July began where I started to feel like I had *finally!* taken a clear step away from May’s migraines and settled into a groove which reminded me of what my life is like without migraines.

What renewed my readerly spirits the most was picking up some Love Inspired Suspense novels to kick-off my INSPY readings in July. Whenever I read LIS and the Heartwarming stories, I am thankful their imprints provide Larger Print editions – their much easier to shift inside after strong bouts of migraines – not sure if they knew that but it helps me get back into reading quite a bit faster! Having read two and a half of those now, I feel like I am ready to tackle not just the books going on blog tours this Summer but my plans to read more Fantasy this month and tackle #MyYASummer from whence I began it just a few short weeks ago!

Thus, I decided to throw caution to the wind – mostly (of course!) as a result of having *forgotten!* I needed to queue the novels ahead of this one to read through my library’s ILL services (inter-library loans) – which I blame on the migraines – and soak into this series arriving in the fifth release! I know most authors lament their novels can be read as one-offs rather an series in-progress – however, whenever I’m able to queue my ILLs far ahead of a blog tour or after a randomly discovered #newtomeauthor – I *love!* being able to follow their vision for their series start to finish. That’s just how I like to roll.

This time round, I was hoping that my past experiences of jumping into a Harlequin Heartwarming series midway through it would prove as equally enjoyable now as it has in the past – as it is one of the few imprints/publishers where I can actually confidently say I can handle *missing out!* on the prior installments – to save to read for later and ahead of the author’s next release! I’ve found some wonderful authors this way – lest I mention, that my path into the Rocky Mountain Cowboys series has been anything but traditional?

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

#HarlequinHeartwarming Blog Book Tour | “Sweet Home Alaska” (Book No.5 of the Northern Lights series) by Beth CarpenterSweet Home Alaska
Subtitle: A Northern Lights Novel
by Beth Carpenter
Source: Author via Prism Book Tours

Some sparks last forever.

But once burned…

World traveler Dr. Scott Willingham is known for being calm and levelheaded—except where Volta Morgan is concerned. In the ten years since they parted, Scott still can’t forget her. Now he’s come to Alaska to find Volta and finally let her go, only to find their attraction is stronger than ever. Can Scott leave her behind one last time…or has he truly found a place to call home?

Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781335510754

Genres: Contemporary Romance, Romance Fiction


Published by Harlequin Heartwarming

on 2nd July, 2019

Format: Larger Print (Mass Market Paperback)

Pages: 384

The Northern Lights series:

The Alaskan Catch by Beth CarpenterA Gift for Santa by Beth CarpenterAlaskan Hideaway by Beth CarpenterAn Alaskan Proposal by Beth Carpenter

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

The Alaskan Catch (book one) | A Gift for Santa (book two)

Alaskan Hideaway (book three) | An Alaskan Proposal (book four)

→ Sweet Home Alaska (book five) ← *where I began the series!

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

Formats Available: Paperback* and Ebook

*Harlequin has the luxury of offering Regular, Large & Larger Print editions which I personally can attest are lovely to be reading! Especially after a migraine or when my eyes are fatigued.

Converse via: #SHATour and #HarlequinHeartwarming

About Beth Carpenter

Beth Carpenter

Once upon a time ...

when Beth Carpenter was a little girl, she read everything she could get her hands on, and entertained herself on the school bus by making up stories in her head. Not a lot has changed. She's still consuming books like M&Ms, and spends her days creating happily-ever-afters for her imaginary friends.

She lives in Alaska and Arizona with her husband and an aggressively affectionate fifty-pound lap dog. She loves to hear from readers.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Author Notes to Readers:

I will fully admit that what charmed me into wanting to read a *second!* Harlequin Heartwarming series set in Alaska is because of how much *wicked sweet fun!* I had residing in the Seasons of Alaska series by Carol Ross! (big smiles) I hadn’t realised Ms Carpenter was a native of Alaska when I joined the blog tour nor did I fully read the synopsis for the novel – honestly, I saw two things that piqued my attention: the name of the publisher and the fact this is set in Alaska!

Being someone who has wanted to visit Alaska and has been well informed of the risks in travelling round the state as Carpenter outlined – there are certain dangers to living in Alaska as much as there are dangers in being a tourist there, too. Planes can go down, volcanic ash can cause a lot of issues in the air, emergencies can arise outside of larger metro areas where hospitals are commonplace and you can’t predict what is forever unexpected. Life can be random and confounding but even I knew about the dedicated services the men and women of the air team supports who fly as medics criss-crossing Alaska are the first responders you’d be blessed to have in your backyard! You can even join at least three different air ambulance services to ensure you’re covered if and when something were to happen rather unexpected in the midst of an ordinary day.

I agreed with Ms Carpenter – seconds count and these first responders have to be not just properly trained but they have to have it in themselves to serve people in this capacity. It takes a special calling to be able to jump on a helio or a plane at a moment’s notice and be the in-flight medical response as your enroute to a hospital’s in-take trauma location. I have had a healthy respect for first responders, medics and on-call doctors and nurses for most of my life. Or rather, ever since I knew about their jobs which points towards my younger years wherein I felt anyone who worked in emergency services was a special kind of spirit and generous soul.

I was truly captured by what inspired this novel and I couldn’t wait to meet her characters: Volta and Scott!

my review of sweet home alaska:

I hadn’t even read the first pages of Sweet Home Alaska when I had inferred the fact that ash from the volcanoes round the state could prove to be dangerous – as it is common knowledge – but to find that this foreshadow of my own making was actually present in the novel made me smile as who would have known Ms Carpenter would have included this on the arrival of the flight crew to help a remotely located woman facing a major pregnancy crisis? Surely, not I! And, yet she had – the good news about the way the first responders are outfitted for their flights is that they generally have a lot of provisions with them when the unexpected blights their plans. I liked how Carpenter placed us in the height of the flight itself – how Volta was going over her altered plans in her mind and how that would effect her young daughter’s plans as well. There is a lot to be said for working Mums and how they have to constantly juggle work with family; finding balance somewhere betwixt and between and still finding a bit of joy along the way.

I liked how Carpenter connected a thread of faith into her Contemporary Sweet Romance – not all the authors in the Heartwarming line do this directly, though some I feel imply it which makes my heart happy. I liked how it applied in the context of this story – how being a doctor and/or a medic has a certain measure of faith associated with the careers. You can go only so far on your own merits before you have to recognise there is point where you have to lean on something outside of yourself in order to be the better medical professional. Not everything is understood through medicine and science – yet, how Carpenter broaches these topics within her narrative align well with two characters who haven’t yet decided what their final thoughts are on life, their careers or how they might still be attracted to one another!

When we first see Volta and Scott together – it is like a random snowstorm burrowing people in a house together who would otherwise not expect to be confined in the same place with each other. Volta has mixed feelings – which felt natural given their history and how she has become a widow in his absence and a single Mum. Her responsibilities are different now than they were before they had met even if there is still a bit of an open door to their hearts, it is interesting watching how Carpenter is going to reveal the story as we hug close to both of them as they ride out the volcanic ash which has grounded their plane.

As the ash storm passed over, what hadn’t released the tension of the hour is the friction between Volta and Scott. For her part, I think Volta was running a bit scared – she didn’t share her feelings very well – she came across as being guarded and reserved. I could see why – she had a lot she went through in her life in the short time they had been apart but evenso, when she was round Scott, you could tell she felt an ease about him. I almost thought perhaps she was frustrated with herself to find that she not only still have feelings for Scott but by reuniting with him, she felt a renewal of hope for her future. When it came to Scott, I sensed a lot of personal anguish in him – especially of the guilt of not establishing a life for himself. He had his career but how many people are happy to thrive on a career without a home base and family?

I could understand the angst of Emma (Volta’s daughter) – when you want to ride horses, it is quite amazing how difficult it is to find places that are not just affordable but are of the benefit of the rider not just the horse. Once you’re smitten by a horse, it is rather difficult to stop thinking about them and how companionable they are to be around. I had hoped she might find a way to have either a horse or at least regular lessons before she became an adult.

I loved when Carpenter re-shifted back into the planes and took us into the air to be with the air ambulance crews. It gave more foundation to the roles these people have IRL but also, how their shifts can run longer than your realise as Volta had a 24 hour rotation facing her when she agreed to be Scott’s liaison. This was another smart move I felt in the story itself – how Scott, was wanting to bring changes to the Alaskan methodology of approaching prenatal care in the state, he needed someone who understood how to interact with the locals. Someone who could give them assurances he couldn’t as an outsider and that someone felt perfect to be Volta even for me! I liked how he fuelled his desires to help others into plausible situations where he could yield the most good and be of the most help. This plan had to change the prenatal care of Alaska felt like the kind of forward-thinking leadership needed in rural medical inefficient areas need in order to find a gateway into a future where they are more self-sufficient.

How can you not laugh when Volta’s Mum brings up the subject of Scott re-entering her life? Mum’s are intuitive that way with their daughters – they understand far more than what you reveal. It wouldn’t have taken long for her to recognise that Volta was struggling to understand this new role of Scott’s in her life and I, for one, was questioning why she kept him at such a stilted distance. Clearly the years had been kind to them both- they might not have reached the place they each wanted to be the most, but they had found their own kind of happiness and that was alright, too.

Being a foodie, I love when authors discuss food in their novels – Ms Carpenter had me craving all kinds of foods in this one! From the tacos to the creama desert to all the different flavours and dishes she’s built into the framework of the dietary needs of her characters! The tacos though – those seemed the best because you could custom order them to whichever style you’d prefer yourself – so mine would have been full-on veg with loads of extra salsa and chips on the side with a huge portion of gauc! Laughs. I tried to seek out which Anchorage taco joint was being referenced but Carpenter twisted the name a bit too fictionally for me to sort it out!

I liked how Emma had a strong role to play – she wasn’t just Volta’s young daughter – she had her own segue of interest running in the background of the main threads of the story-line. She was able to pursue a sport of interest whilst she also went through a period of personal growth to where she was starting to see the world outside school and outside her own experiences. She was also learning about how sometimes life grows difficult and how emotionally confusing life is as well. In other words, Emma was as fully fleshed out as a supporting character as her Mum had been as a leading heroine. I loved that because children are viable and important in their own right when telling a story involving a family.

You know when your watching a movie you’ve settled into about two people who can’t quite put their lives together but they seem to be making enroads towards finding common ground? Even though things continue to go astray and their lives seem to be going down different routes and avenues; there is something drawing them back together? This novel is a lot like that kind of movie! The more you dig into their lives – you see how dedicated they are to their jobs but what good is a job if it doesn’t allow you to live?

This is a critical question Carpenter wants her readers to chew on because it is the main thesis behind the story itself. Wells, at least one of them anyway! She wants you to see past their sense of honour and duty; past the point where they were unselfish in serving others who needed them and started to take stock of their own lives for a change. To sort out what Scott and Volta needed most in their lives – whether that meant making changes or being open to the change within themselves, Carpenter lets you see what they decide as you tag along for their journey.

On the Contemporary romance style of beth carpenter:

Volta is such an interestingly unique name, I had to sort out the origins of it – I found it as a surname rather than a first name and the personality traits seemed to befit the Volta Carpenter wanted us to find in her story-line. I love when writers think outside the box with names – adding new names into the mix for contemporary stories and offering us a chance to get to know someone whose name is remarkably unique for today’s world. As you read further into the story, you realise she was named by her electrician father and that made so much sense to me! I had an electrician great-grandfather – never met him, but the stories of his life populated my childhood. I think he would have seen the beauty of her name as much as he was constantly in awe of the lightning during a fierce storm system.

Carpenter puts you front and centre on the action within her medically focused Contemporary (Sweet) Romance wherein you get to see first-hand what first responders go through in Alaska when their patients live rather remotely. Even the first case she presented in the novel wasn’t routine as it was a woman who had hypertension and it was causing issues with her pregnancy – I did give a bit of a pause of thought as to what would have happened if Volta and Scott hadn’t been there at that particular moment in order to intervene on the woman’s behalf. A credit to what Carpenter had already established about how due to how lean the state is on medical facilities and how the support staff in the more rural areas were limited to aides; you can see how Alaska can become a medically adverse state in which to live.

I definitely will be seeking out the rest of this Northern Lights series as I liked the pacing and the presentation of how Carpenter implores us to want to know more about this world she’s created for us to find! She hugs us so close to the hearts of her characters, it is easy to feel what they’re feeling and live a period of time in their shoes rather than our own. In essence, I love that this is another small towne series focused on family, hearth, home and a wicked dollop of romance! Best of all, she gave me a new reason to venture back to Alaska and that was the icing on the cake!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

This blog tour is courtesy of: Prism Book Tours

Prism Book Tours

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Sweet Home Alaska blog tour via Prism Book Tours

End of the Blog Tour badged provided by Prism Book ToursBy clicking this badge you can find out about the giveaway associated with the tour;
my particular tour stop doesn’t host the giveaway as I’m a review stop, however,
you’ll find many other bloggers who are hosting the information!

This review is cross-posted to LibraryThing.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com{SOURCES: Cover art of “The Alaskan Catch”, “A Gift for Santa”, “Alaskan Hideaway” and “An Alaskan Proposal”, the synopsis for “Sweet Home Alaska”, the author’s photo and 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. Tweets embedded by codes provided by Twitter. Blog graphics created by Jorie via Canva: Book Review Banner using Unsplash.com (Creative Commons Zero) Photography by Frank McKenna and the Comment Box Banner.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2019.

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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)

read more >> | Visit my Story Vault of Book Reviews | Policies & Review Requests | Contact Jorie

Divider

Posted Wednesday, 10 July, 2019 by jorielov in 21st Century, Alaska, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Contemporary Romance, Indie Author, Modern Day, Prism Book Tours, Realistic Fiction, Romance Fiction, Small Towne Fiction, Small Towne USA




All posts on my blog are open to new comments & commentary! I try to visit your blog in return as I believe in ‘Bloggers Commenting Back’. Comments are moderated. Once your comment is approved for the first time, your comments thereafter will be recognised and automatically approved. All comments are reviewed and continue to be moderated after automated approval. By using the comment form you are consenting with the storage and handling of your personal data by this website. Once you use the comment form, if your comment receives a reply (this only applies to those who leave comments by email), there is a courtesy notification set to send you a reply ticket. It is at your discretion if you want to return to re-respond and/or to continue the conversation established. This is a courtesy for commenters to know when their comments have been replied by either the blog's owner or a visitor to the blog who wanted to add to the conversation. Your email address is hidden and never shared. Read my Privacy Policy.

4 responses to “#HarlequinHeartwarming Blog Book Tour | “Sweet Home Alaska” (Book No.5 of the Northern Lights series) by Beth Carpenter

    • Hallo, Hallo Tracy,

      The setting really pulls you into Alaska – I hope you’ll enjoy the setting as much as I did inasmuch of how the plot unfolds! You truly can’t go wrong with any of the Harlequin Heartwarming novelists; they know how to write stirringly realistic and uplifting Contemporary Romances! I appreciate your visit and for leaving me such a kind note about the book cover.

  1. Thank you for a lovely review, Jorie. The taco joint is fictional, an amalgamation of several restaurants. If you ever find yourself visiting Anchorage, email me and I’ll point your toward the best Mexican food. *wink*

    • *waves!* Hallo, Hallo Ms Carpenter,

      I will definitely remember this and take you up on the suggestion when I get to Alaska! :) I know I want to visit eventually – I’ve heard such good things about the state and I’ve had people I’ve known to travel there and/or relocate who have come back with lovely stories of their time there. This was my thought as I was reading the story, actually! It might have been a composite as I quite literally *did!* take a look at the menus available and I couldn’t quite pin it down – however, lovely to know there is a really awesomesauce place to eat when I finally make my way to Anchorage!!! (big smiles)

      I love reading Harlequin Heartwarming – next to reading INSPY Lit, I consider it my guilty pleasure of bookish joy!!

Leave a Reply

(Enter your URL then click here to include a link to one of your blog posts.)