#HarlequinHeartwarming Blog Book Tour | “Her Surprise Cowboy” (Book Three of the Heroes of Shelter Creek series) by Claire McEwen

Posted Friday, 10 April, 2020 by jorielov , , , , 0 Comments

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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 “Her Surprise Cowboy” direct from the author Claire McEwen in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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This is one of my top favourite #CowboyRomances by Harlequin Heartwarming:

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!

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The Cowboy Romances I am wicked addicted to reading
by this lovely imprint are the following:

The Rocky Mountain Cowboys by Karen Rock

Return of the Blackwell Brothers by Carol Ross, Anna J. Stewart,
Melinda Curtis, Cari Lynn Webb & Amy Vastine

The Heroes of Shelter Creek by Claire McEwen

I’ll be honest – before I even knew a whisper of a hint of where this story would take me – the novel perked my interest for a singular word in the book’s title: *cowboy!* I know, that sounds interesting doesn’t it? How can one word in a book’s title give you the wickedest sweet joy of anticipation in order to read a story? You’d have to go back into my childhood & teenage years to realise that I read quite a lot of lovely Cowboy & Western Fiction! So much so, this is one reason I was wickedly thankful to have found the Rocky Mountain Cowboys & Return of the Blackwell Brothers over the last few years – because they’ve given me *contemporary!* cowboys I can rally behind rather than my usual guilty pleasure of reading the Historicals!

Open country, horse-back riding, close-knit families & communities who care about each other is what draws me into Cowboy Fiction & stories of the West. However, you can find cowboys in nearly every state – outside of my wanderings in the Rockies and other points West – I have found some of the most delightful stories are about Northern California ranchers & ranches! This particular story is set in NorCal and I was wicked excited about meeting the community of Shelter Creek but even moreso – the characters who populate the towne and the series itself!

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I *completely!* forgot there was a sequel releasing in September, 2019! Mind you, most of last Autumn was the beginning of my six months of health afflictions (combination of migraines & bad colds) – however, the *good news!* is I’ve found “After the Rodeo” listed on a used book website and that makes me smile because when I’m able to order a copy I’ll be purchasing this lovely along with a few other Harlequin Heartwarming stories I’ve not had the chance to ‘add’ to my personal library!

I look forward to ‘meeting’ Jace & Vivian’s story after I’ve had the chance to bring this story home. I’m not a stranger to reading a Harlequin Heartwarming series ‘out of sequence’ of the series either – I’ve done this in the past with Karen Rock’s Rocky Mountain Cowboys and there are others as well – it is one of the few imprints & publishers wherein the authors make it easier for you to navigate between installments of their series!

Something I am truly thankful to have experienced – even though, in the end, I’ll be gathering all the installments and re-reading the series start to finish as I personally love watching the growth and maturity of a series as it takes root, stock and height in the development of the characters’ lives, the community’s involvement behind their lives and the continuity the writer intuits into the series – I know for other readers, they like to dip in and out of a series.

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#HarlequinHeartwarming Blog Book Tour | “Her Surprise Cowboy” (Book Three of the Heroes of Shelter Creek series) by Claire McEwenHer Surprise Cowboy
Subtitle: Heroes of Shelter Creek
by Claire McEwen, Ms Claire McEwen
Source: Author via Prism Book Tours

Looking for redemption…

Finding a future

Rancher Liam Dale is in Shelter Creek to make amends for his troubled past. He had no idea vet assistant Trisha Gilbert would be there, too—and he’s even more shocked to discover he’s a daddy! Trisha has good reasons not to trust him and a baby boy to protect. But now that he knows he’s a father, Liam longs to transform this unexpected reunion into a true family.

Genres: Contemporary Romance, Ranches & Cowboys, Romance Fiction, Western Fiction, Western Romance


Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781335889676

Also by this author: Reunited with the Cowboy, After the Rodeo

Also in this series: Reunited with the Cowboy, After the Rodeo


Published by Harlequin Heartwarming

on 7th April, 2020

Format: Larger Print (Mass Market Paperback)

Pages: 384

The Heroes of Shelter Creek series:

Reunited with the Cowboy by Claire McEwenAfter the Rodeo by Claire McEwenHer Surprise Cowboy by Claire McEwen

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Reunited with the Cowboy (book one) – Caleb & Maya’s story

After the Rodeo (book two) – Jace & Vivian’s story ← the one I missed!

Her Surprise Cowboy (book three) – Liam & Trisha’s story

Rescuing the Rancher (book four) → forthcoming September, 2020!

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: #CowboyRomance, #WesternRomance & #ContemporaryRomance
as well as #HSCPrism and #HarlequinHeartwarming with #HeroesOfShelterCreek

About Claire McEwen

Claire McEwen

Claire McEwen writes stories about strong heroes and heroines who take big, emotional journeys to find their happily-ever-after. She lives by the ocean in Northern California with her family and a scruffy, mischievous terrier. When she’s not writing, Claire enjoys gardening, reading and discovering flea-market treasures. She loves to hear from readers!

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Author Notes to Readers & learning more about this novel:

I was thankful Ms McEwen talked about how Trisha became the focus of Her Surprise Cowboy as I honestly had forgotten there was a second novel releasing last September. This lovely series like most of the Harlequin Heartwarming series I love reading about cowboys & Western Romances has a beautiful continuity inside its pages. I usually like to read them all together and in sequence, but over the course of time I’ve been reading Heartwarming I have sometimes missed an installment here or there and have had the joy of having writers ‘catch me up a bit’ in the next installment I’ve read to where I feel satisfied before I get the chance to double-back and read the stories I’ve missed.

What was interesting to find out about is how Trisha was a bit of a surprising character for the author this time round – she wasn’t an easy nut to crack as they say and yet, it developed into this third novel of the series! I love reading about there serendipitous bits of trivia #behindthebook whilst gaining a bit of insight into how an author approaches writing their series. I also love romances where the two lead characters aren’t quite sure about each other – where the match between them might not be as clear cut and how in the end you’ve become charmed by how they’ve been brought together. As I moved into reading Her Surprise Cowboy I had a feeling this is exactly how I would be feeling about reading Trisha and Liam’s romance!

I was also touched with the kindness of the author – she included her author’s calling card, a lovely postcard with a vintage butterfly theme and a bookmark which I happily started using right away! The bookmark has a cowboy on one side and horses on the other – the perfect combination for a girl who loves #cowboyfiction and reading Western Romances!! The fact the bookmark has a heart charm attached to the tassel was even more fitting as I love reading romances in general! I love finding enclosures with the stories I receive for review consideration and these small surprises brought a lot of lovely random joy into my life!

my review of Her surprise cowboy:

One interesting turn at the beginning of the novel was learning about the changing tides of the cattle industry – how traditional cattlemen and ranchers wanted to turn towards a greener and healthier way of producing their product and why that was an important resurgency in how they could maintain their ranches. Not that all ranchers were open to innovative changes which McEwen happily discloses within Liam’s own family as his brothers are spilt on the issue whilst their father is keenly invested in learning more – hence, how we find Liam is the chosen one to visit with Jace in Shelter Creek!

I, for one love all sorts of Western Romances however it is a bit rarer when within a Contemporary Western we get to talk about how ranching is trying to change its habits and become a more sustainable industry. Across the board farmers and ranchers are having to diversify their yields yearly due to different issues in climate and how to sustain themselves during leaner years wherein I felt broaching the topic of how they approach ranching their land and their cattle is also a valid point because there is a stark difference between big industry and keeping family ranchers in business by modifying their practices to reach a more educated consumer about the differences in those practices. To say I was wholly intrigued by how this novel began is putting it mildly!

Liam is at a cornerstone of his life – where he has to choose to step forward into his future rather than constantly think he cannot handle what life has to offer. This is an intriguing story about redemption – how a man can redeem his own image and identity of himself post trauma and addiction and redirect his own life back onto a purposeful path which renews his own spirit. The foundation of how McEwen laid that down for us to find was lovely because there was a moment where I felt Jace could inspire Liam simply by someone who had gone before him and had to re-alter his own opinion about what life could involve for a man who had a determined view of his own path. Even though I hadn’t had the chance to read After the Rodeo, McEwen gave some lovely hints toward Jace’s own story where I felt I could intuit why she wanted Liam closer to Jace during this transitional period of his own life.

Trisha has such a unique job at the wildlife center – I remember visiting those whilst growing up and wondering about the people who worked there. As I was fascinated how close the handlers could get to the wild animals and how much trust was between the handler and/or trainer and the animal themselves – this is one reason why I love watching shows and series like Crikey! It’s the Irwins because you get to see inside this hidden world of where animals and humans have united together for their own protection and conservation. Trisha has a heart of gold though – even though her life’s story is unconventional – it just suits her personality because she adapts to whatever is happening in her life in the moment. I liked her instantly where we find her in Her Surprise Cowboy because of how earnest she is about finding what Jace and Vivian share between them and how confident she is in her own abilities to give back to the center.

Ooh my! There are twists in stories and then there is the beauty of a twist McEwen treats us within this story – she treats us to it so very early-on, too! I hadn’t quite connected those dots myself – as I knew there was something about to spring into the sequencing she layered to elude towards how we were going to transition through the novel but oh dear my – I truly love when a writer can take you off-guard as a reader and give you such a delish bit of backstory!

The humour within this romance is sweetened by the awkwardness of how Trisha keeps getting herself into the kind of pickles most women would hope to avoid! She hasn’t had the proper chance to work through her emotions or to even consider her next step after finding out some information she never hoped to uncover; that in of itself was a bit of cheeky fodder I enjoyed learning about because Trisha like Liam now had a reason to live their hours a bit on the edge. He wanted a fresh start and she just wanted to leave the past in the past; which technically is what Liam wanted as well – it was unique how they both had something to outrun and yet didn’t actually realise they were walking the same path towards letting themselves realise that sometimes despite the strange paths life takes you down, you really do end up where you are meant to be.

One of the concerns of wildlife management broached in the story is one I’ve had myself whenever I hear about wildlife and humans crossing paths in less than ideal situations. What do you do when there are predators drawing too close to a ranch and/or where humans are bound to be about on a regular basis? McEwen talks openly about re-thinking how to manage the wildlife on your land and by using different techniques than the standard shoot on sight which I always felt was a bit heavy-handed for problems which arise from our shifting habitats into the natural ones which were there prior to our arrivals. I would hope that others would be open to these newer techniques and where perhaps a bit more harmony could become restored to where we do not always have to react with aggressive force.

The kind of friends you want when personal crises arise are the friends Trisha has at book club. Not just a group who are bookishly curious about stories but rather they are more in-tune with each others’ lives. The kind of sisterhood friendships where you can rally behind each other, support each other and give the kind of thoughtful help when a friend needs you most. I loved those scenes where they are hashing out a plan to aide Trisha whilst cheekily finding it humourous Henry has now become associated with a cat. That in of itself tickled my own sense of humour because it was such an off-handed suggestion and yet it had a beauty of ingenious redirection!

It was humbling coming into Jace and Vivian’s life a bit second-handed to get to know them in such an interpersonal way – because a lot of what anchoured Liam and Trisha together was through the fusion of friendship with Jace and Vivian. They really stepped up to the plate to help out their friends whilst they also offered a lot of heartfelt mentoring. Jace especially gave a lot back to Liam – as I had a feeling they would relate to one another as I was first starting to read this story – both lived the same kind of life in their prior lives and I believed that gave them each a unique perspective on the other. Liam and Trisha needed friends like them because they each were muddling through their own struggles where having a kind friend to lean on would go the extra mile towards finding resolution to what troubled them. Now more than ever I can’t wait to settle into the story of what drew Jace and Vivian together – as there are pieces of their romance peppered inside Her Surprise Cowboy but one day I’ll appreciate reading start to finish!

There is a certain layer of joy in reading a story about second chance romance, new beginnings and the redemption quality of forgiveness. Not just the kind of forgiveness others can give to you themselves but the kind of forgiveness that comes from within the person. A lot of the story is hinged on whether or not Liam and Trisha can find solace from their past and find a way to give themselves the leverage of understanding who they were in the past is not an indication of whom they could become in the future. That’s the rub about the human condition in us all – in not allowing ourselves the wallowing periods of never seeing past mistakes or wrong turns on our path and to continue to seek out the future with an optimistic impression of what we can achieve. By following the footsteps of Liam and Trisha you’re set to find out how forgiveness of one self can lead to a greater freedom than either Liam or Trisha could have envisioned for each other.

On the Contemporary romance style of claire mcewen:

McEwen has conceived of a realistic Contemporary Western Romance series wherein each of her characters are struggling through and/or are transitioning through a difficult period of their lives. The realism is brilliantly layered as despite their obstacles and the hurdles they have to overcome there is a defining thread of individual courage and moxie uniting them. McEwen writes soul lifting Contemporary Romance which gives you what you want out of a modern Western Rom whilst grounding you in realistic lives which you can identify with due to how her characters are self-transitioning through the challenges which arise in all of our lives. The circumstances might differ between us and them but its their resolve to fight through to tomorrow which connects us.

I definitely loved how much #EqualityInLit is focused on characters who are either working through a medical diagnosis and/or are sorting out life post-trauma and/or addiction. McEwen’s characters might have their quirks and their flaws but their willingness to change their lives one day at a time is what charms you into their storylines.

McEwen has such a wonderful way of tucking you into her character’s lives and giving you a reason to take up residence beside them as their working out their problems. Although the circumstances within Her Surprise Cowboy aren’t ideal they are realistic and it is how she showed the willingness to grow and the ability to right wrongs is what rooted me in the pages of the novel – whilst having this beautiful community of Shelter Creek fully represented and present. It is this small towne which helps you alight into the storyline because everyone whose is interacting with Liam and Trisha are involved because they truly care about them and want to see them succeed. It is the type of community you hope to have in your own life where neighbours and friends alike are enough about being actively involved in your life and in the concerns of what trouble you as life turns adverse. I never tire of reading stories like this one and of finding more #smalltownefiction to champion!

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This blog tour is courtesy of: Prism Book Tours

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Her Surprise Cowboy blog tour banner provided by 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!

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This review is cross-posted to LibraryThing.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com{SOURCES: Cover art of “Reunited with the Cowboy”, “After the Rodeo” and “Her Surprise Cowboy” as well as the synopsis for “Her Surprise Cowboy”, 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. LibraryThing banner provied by librarything.com and used with permission. Tweets embedded by codes provided by Twitter. Blog graphics created by Jorie via Canva: Book Review Banner 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 Friday, 10 April, 2020 by jorielov in 21st Century, Blog Tour Host, California, Child out of Wedlock, Contemporary Romance, Contemporary Western Fiction, Cowboys & Ranches, Drugs & Alcohol, Family Life, Life Shift, Modern Day, Prism Book Tours, Realistic Fiction, Romance Fiction, Second Chance Love, Self-Harm Practices, Single Mothers, Singletons & Commitment, Sisterhood friendships, Small Towne Fiction, Small Towne USA, Unexpected Pregnancy, Western Fiction, Western Romance, Women's Fiction




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