#HarlequinHeartwarming Blog Book Tour | “Falling for Her Bodyguard” (Grace Note Records series, Book Four) by Amy Vastine

Posted Wednesday, 14 August, 2019 by jorielov , , , , 2 Comments

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

Acquired Book By: I started hosting with Prism Book Tours at the end of [2017], having noticed the badge on Tressa’s blog (Wishful Endings) whilst I was visiting as we would partake in the same blog tours and/or book blogosphere memes. I had to put the memes on hold for several months (until I started to resume them (with Top Ten Tuesday) in January 2018). When I enquiried about hosting for Prism, I found I liked the niche of authors and stories they were featuring regularly. I am unsure how many books I’ll review for them as most are offered digitally rather than in print but this happily marks one of the blog tours where I could receive a print book for review purposes. 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.

I received a complimentary copy of “Falling for Her Bodyguard” direct from the author Amy Vastine in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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What I enjoyed about Amy Vastine’s Contemporary Romance style as read in Return of the Blackwell Brothers:

This is why I loved this installment: it brought back to centre the entire back-history of the Blackwell family. This series is anchoured on its living histories – even Big E for all his glory and issues, he held his family close in his heart. Evident moreso by the time you reached the final chapter of this story but more to the point, the Blackwells were a family who held a resilience in them that gave them a bit of an edge on others. They didn’t back down easily and they knew when to fight for something important. The joy of reading the series, of course, is watching how all these entangled issues start to unravel and how the family itself learns to ‘heal’.

The writers are putting a lot of their own experiences into their narratives and it is helping to shape the back-stories and present day trials of the Blackwells.

This installment felt a bit more seamless in transition as it echoed more of the original groundwork in the series. Each of the writers has their own unique style, voice and spin on the Blackwell Brothers – however, of the three I’ve read before this one, this one felt closer to the first narrative voice where we first learnt who the Blackwell Brothers are and why this series is centred round their second chance at brotherhood.

Vastine also nails how to bridge all the characters back into the narrative – where she gives ample time to each of the characters we’ve come to appreciate in the series to a level of rotation I was clapping in joy to read. I really felt she understood how to re-centre the series – by creating this bridge between the first three installments and the fourth, whilst giving us a proper refresher on everyone’s quirks before we moved into the fifth and final installment. I truly applaud how she managed to do this as it was fastly become my favourite novel in the series outside of the first!

The setting is dearly appealling as the ranch the Blackwell Brothers own is in Montana – nestled with a backdrop of the Rockies, the brothers surely have a lovely sky to look out over everyday. Outside of the continuity she maintained, she put her own spin on the brothers and she enlarged our view of the large ensemble cast this series has become to include. I love larger casts in novels but sometimes, you find some of the characters get forsaken for others or sometimes, the ones you want to come back into sight yield to the current ones being focused upon. I give Ms Vastine full credit for giving us a chance to catch-up with everyone we’ve met thus far along but also, allowing us to feel as if we’ve maintained a connection to them from start to finish.

-quoted from my review of The Rancher’s Fake Fiancee
(Return of the Blackwell Brothers series, Book Four)

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#HarlequinHeartwarming Blog Book Tour | “Falling for Her Bodyguard” (Grace Note Records series, Book Four) by Amy VastineFalling for Her Bodyguard
Subtitle: Grace Note Records
by Amy Vastine, Ms Amy Vastine
Source: Author via Prism Book Tours

She needs his protection…

But can he protect his heart?

Radio personality Kelly Bonner isn’t convinced she needs a bodyguard, especially one as intensely good-looking as Detective Donovan Walsh. Yet beneath Donovan’s tough-guy facade is a man struggling to raise his sister’s children. A man Kelly could care about…if he’d let her. Now she’ll have to find a way to convince her big, bad bodyguard that his family—and his heart—are safe in her hands.

Genres: Contemporary (Modern) Fiction (post 1945), Contemporary Romance, Romance Fiction

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781335510778

Also by this author: The Rancher's Fake Fiancee, A Marriage of Inconvenience

Published by Harlequin Heartwarming

on 6th August, 2019

Format: Larger Print (Mass Market Paperback)

Pages: 384

Published by: Harlequin Heartwarming

Converse via: #Contemporary + #Romance and #HarlequinHeartwarming

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Grace Note Records series:

The Girl He Used to Love by Amy VastineCatch a Fallen Star by Amy VastineLove Songs and Lullabies by Amy Vastine

The Girl He Used to Love (book one) : Faith & Dean’s story

Catch A Fallen Star (book two) : Boone & Ruby’s story

Love Songs & Lullabies (book three) : Sawyer & Piper’s story

The foundation of Boone & Sawyer’s lives are set in “The Girl He Used to Love” – it made sense she would have released them in this order, as Boone had a lot of “life” to repair whilst Sawyer was still sorting things out. I wasn’t surprised he would be linked with Piper either as they were each starting out, carving out their destiny & following the passion they had for music. All those pieces of future stories were there & I can’t wait to back-read these lovelies one day to see how they all knit together!

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About Ms Amy Vastine

Amy Vastine

Amy Vastine has been plotting stories in her head for as long as she can remember. An eternal optimist, she studied social work, hoping to teach others how to find their silver lining. Now, she enjoys creating happily ever afters for all to read. Amy lives outside Chicago with her high school sweetheart husband, three teenagers who keep her on her toes, and their two sweet but mischievous pups.

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my notes & thoughts on behalf of the girl he used to love:

One of the last requests I made through inter-library loan was for this novel. I had originally thought I had requested one of the Cari Lynn Webb novels – however, it turnt out it was the first novel in the Grace Note Records series! I was overjoyed I received this due to the fact my ILL services are taking a sabbatical at the moment. I’ve previously blogged about this wench in my wheel of borrowing privileges on prior Heartwarming reviews due to how it will affect which stories in sequence I can and cannot read. For this tour, I was thankful to return to the beginning and see how Grace Note began!

One surefire way to make your way into a bar where the local talent is showcasing their songs is to be caught dead to rights in a rainstorm! Dean has the opposite of luck when he finds himself stranded in a towne he left long ago but with the uptick of serendipity gracing his route when he finds his teenage sweetheart and her brother were meant to re-cross his path! It was here where Dean first listened to Sawyer’s crooning in a bar where someone was hankering for some old country songs and another bloke was celebrating his fourth decade. It wasn’t exactly on the map for discovering musical talent but sometimes, that’s exactly where scouts should look because that is generally where the talent can be found!

With all this talk of whiskey salted chocolate chip cookies and other concoctions which merged a mixed drink into cookie batter – I was definitely itching for some recipes! Faith has a knack for creating cookies which melt in your mouth and remind you of your favourite cocktails! Which isn’t a bad combination! She sells them through the local honky tonk bar whilst her brother crones to the audience and tries not to think about the life he could have if he wasn’t assisting his sister in running their family’s horse ranch. Theirs was a story all too familiar – how they lost their father but still wanted to maintain the dream he had for their business. The work was hard and the hours were long but Faith found solace in keeping the tradition alive which their father had set the foundation. Her brother Sawyer on the other hand had his own dreams and aspirations but it was unclear if he would seek to reach past their small towne to carve out his own path as his loyalty was a credit to he is was as a man.

Meanwhile, Dean has a lot of serious baggage to work through – specifically, the death of his sister Addison which is connected somehow to Faith. Vastine touches on that secreted history in the beginning of the novel but she lets time set between us and her characters; to where no one is in a rush of a hurry to reveal what happened the day Addison died. The loss also drove a bit of a wedge between Faith and Dean; making their reunion strained and uneasy. Dean for whichever reason was also avoiding his family – something that even I questioned as why would you refuse to go home? I felt there was something hiding outside of view in that regard; perhaps his parents put the blame on him years ago and he hadn’t healed from that experience? Something was bothering him at his core and I was keen to see where Vastine would lead us as the story progressed.

Emotionally, everyone involved in the story had their fair share of issues. They each had to come to terms with the past and find a way forward into their future. What Vastine does well is gives us the time to truly understand what is motivating them – what is causing their concerns, fuelling their fears and casting the doubts over their choices. Each of them has something at stake – something they aren’t sure they can give up or sacrifice irregardless of the reason behind letting it go. Vastine tucks you close to their internal strife and the outward ways our lives can alter in front of us – giving you ample time to understand the choices they’ve made and the choices of the past which nearly undid them in the years since the tragedy.

My review of falling for her bodyguard:

I, personally would have called Uncle Hal several steps before it accelerated this out of control but then again, Kelly is a stubbornly independent woman who doesn’t like to lean on someone if she can handle her crises herself. Admirable but in this instance, not quite the wisest course of action to take when you have a stalker. By the time her Uncle sticks Detective Donovan on her to keep her safe, you have had enough time to get to know what makes both of them annoyed with her uncle! Donovan just wants to get back to his life as a cop whilst Kelly wants to keep believing she can take care of whatever life throws at her without any interference; from friends or her extended family on the force.

When we first met Donovan’s teenage nephew, I flashed back to watching Ties that Bind which was a series which only received two years but I was wicked thankful it could be streamed last year via Hallmark Movies Now. The drama was centred round the fact two parents had to forfeit raising their teenaged children due to being in trouble with the law whilst the Aunt and Uncle tried to pick up the pieces. The final episode unfortunately left me on a cliffhanger and an emotional one at that – however, it was how their lives were being positively intervened upon by their Aunt and Uncle which grounded the series. The Aunt was a detective just like Donovan and that is why I started to remember the series as I was reading Falling for Her Bodyguard. As a side note, the father of the teenagers in the series was Luke Perry.

This foodie is in love with this series – first it was the whiskey fused cookies in The Girl He Used To Love and now its bbq foods which make your mouth water! I’d love to try the vegetarian varieties which are available nowadays – from bbq jackfruit to new ways of spinning cornbread whilst I also love the idea of the Beyond burger as you can get Beyond meatless meat as well; the possibilities are quite endless really! Vastine focuses more on traditional bbq fare but my heart was hankering for some alternatives all the same!

Donovan and Kelly are like oil and vinegar in the beginning – she doesn’t like his interference in her life and he would rather she’d alter her plans at her job to make his assignment to protect her easier. The irony of course is how because they are two active persons in their own careers, you can’t just expect them to merge their lives together. Kelly doesn’t like to rely on others and Donovan is just as thick-headed as she is in that regard. He doesn’t even take criticism or suggestions well when it comes to his parenting skills. Even when the person doing the suggesting has some honest answers about the situations he’s going through, he’d rather be bullish and just plough through them like he has all the answers.

Kelly’s Uncle is a sweetheart and her mother, also a cop though in a different jurisdiction isn’t thrilled with how her daughter is handling the stalking issue. You can sympathise with Kelly but also understand the concerns of her family; she doesn’t want to let this affect her career but at the same time, with the increasing risk to her life, what is more important? Vastine takes you through the motions of alighting into Kelly’s life whilst trying to sort through Donovan’s newly appointed title as parent and guardian. Where you see the potential of Kelly and Donovan coming together is how she can relate to Avery and Graham; she tries to make a connection with the kids even if Donovan is less than enthused by her efforts. It is a small entry towards relating to them and I felt, if Donovan wasn’t such a brute of a bloke, some of his everyday crises could be tempered by outside help and influence.

The person I felt the worst for was Lyle! He was the producer of Kelly’s radio show and of course, he was in a few pickles along the way; from romance to having a misunderstanding with Donovan! Such a sweet-hearted guy and all he gets is grief for his efforts!

At some point you just have to laugh at them a bit because Donovan and Kelly never yield; even when one of them is trying to help the other, they’d rather not hear the advice! Except of course, when you start to see them letting their defences down when Donovan decides to let Kelly be round Avery and Graham. The children find a way to repair some of the angst happening between Donovan and Kelly; a lot of which, I felt was connected to the stresses of their situation and had a lot less to do with their potential in pursuing a relationship.

There was something wholesome and sweet about how this story resolves itself; as Vastine lets you take the adventure with Donovan and Kelly. In many instances, they were more caught inside the hours they spent with Avery and Graham; where they were laying down the foundation of a relationship but moreso to that, they were setting down a foundation for a family. Those hours were the most special of the story, as it is where you saw the barriers of grief and anguish starting to tumble down and where true healing could emerge. The kids needed someone as a mediator between themselves and their Uncle Donovan whereas where Kelly excelled at understanding what it was like to have a cop in the family, she also softened Donovan’s heart to accept that sometimes life brings unexpected circumstances that are good for the soul.

On the Contemporary writing style of amy vastine:

What I liked about this series is how its threaded and anchoured through a recording studio! I’ve been binge watching Chesapeake Shores this Summer (Seasons 1-3) and I must say, all the episodes involving the intricacies with Trace trying to jump start his career and help make the Trace Riley Band a success was placing me in the mood for more music industry stories right now! The Grace Note Records series has a lot of heart behind it and if your seeking a series where the characters become inter-connected and form their own ‘found family’, this is definitely one to earmark.

This is my third chance to read one of the Blackwell Brothers novelists outside the original series I discovered them through – as previously I had the joy of reading Carol Ross’s Seasons of Alaska series and the latest installment of Cari Lynn Webb’s City by the Bay Stories. I am enjoying seeing their individual styles but also happy about the announcement Return of the Blackwell Brothers is getting a sequel series to release in 2020! (big smiles) Whenever you find authors you love to read, it is lovely finding out a series you adored *devouring!* is going to be making a return visit into your readerly life! This gives me time to seek out the other authors and try to read as much as I can before re-visiting the Blackwells next year!

The only thing missing from this novel and the first were the recipes! I also felt that Vastine could make a pitch for writing for Love Inspired Suspense as this Heartwarming novel was a good fit for the other imprint as she had good instincts for balancing the mysterious with the romantic.

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This blog tour is courtesy of: Prism Book Tours

Prism Book Tours

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Falling for her Bodyguard blog tour via Prism Book Tours

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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 book review is cross-posted to LibraryThing.

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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 story counted towards my 2019 reading challenges, specifically:

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

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{SOURCES: Cover art of “The Girl He Used to Love”, “Catch a Fallen Star”, “Love Songs and Lullabies”; book synopsis, author biography, author photograph of Amy Vastine, blog tour banner and 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.

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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)

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Posted Wednesday, 14 August, 2019 by jorielov in 21st Century, Blog Tour Host, Contemporary Romance, Family Drama, Indie Author, Life Shift, Modern Day, Prism Book Tours, Romance Fiction

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2 responses to “#HarlequinHeartwarming Blog Book Tour | “Falling for Her Bodyguard” (Grace Note Records series, Book Four) by Amy Vastine

    • Hallo, Hallo Tressa,

      When it comes to Harlequin Heartwarming stories, I get such a burst of JOY being inside the heart of the stories themselves, I am forevermore grateful I can be a book blogger whose championing them as I read | blog | share and repeat! Thank you for including me on this lovely tour! Truly the honour is mine.

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