A #25PagePreview #HarlequinHeartwarming #RomanceTuesdays | “Stealing Her Best Friend’s Heart” (Golden Matchmaker’s Club series, Book One) by Tara Randel

Posted Tuesday, 3 August, 2021 by jorielov , , , , 1 Comment

#RomanceTuesdays badge created by Jorie in Canva.

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 enquired about hosting for Prism, I found I liked the niche of authors and stories they were featuring regularly. This is how I came to love discovering the Harlequin Heartwarming authors & series as much as it has been an honour to regularly request INSPY stories and authors. Whenever I host for Prism, I know I am in for an uplifting read and a journey into the stories which give me a lot of joy to find in my readerly queue of #nextreads. It is an honour to be a part of their team of book bloggers.

I received a complimentary copy of “Stealing Her Best Friend’s Heart” direct from the author Tara Randel in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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Why I appreciate reading

stories by Tara Randel which feature “Golden”:

Serena’s store Blue Ridge Cottage is the kind of eclectic papery shoppe I’d love to find IRL! Especially as it brings me back to the joyful past of being an ardent letter writer who loved sending letters through the post office! Stationery stores and typewriter repair shoppes are a bit harder to come by these days as much as a solidly outfitted scrapbooking and/or rubberstamp shoppe for those of us who love paper crafting, mixed media collage and the art of creating handmade greeting cards. You can get lost inside a store like Serena’s inasmuch as you could a book shoppe! The choices, the designs and the curiously clever way she used vintage furnishings to display her wares was enticing enough but it was the soul sister vibe she carried off by endearing herself to fellow typospherians which made it seem sweeter somehow!

Mrs M is quite the stitch and a half! She is the kind of landlord who has a grandmotherly attitude which lands her into a bit of a tricky spot when she wants to earnestly offer her grandson to a winning match such as Serena! She can’t help herself really, if you observe her as she tries to encourage a love match between two singleton’s who aren’t entirely ready for the prospect of a relationship! Matching is a fun activity for the person whose doing the pairings but for those on the opposite end of the match? I could see why Serena was hesitating to acknowledge the cunning smiles and the curious way Mrs M attempted to stall in the shoppe long enough for Logan to collect her for their day out.

Logan enjoys his job a bit too much if you ask me! He gets too much pleasure out of uncovering a person’s secrets and of finding out what they wish to hide from the world. Not that that is always a bad thing mind you, but in his eyes? He seems to place himself above reproach and just because there was a bad apple incident who affected his grandmother’s life years ago; he’s now embolden to believe others will follow suit. Others like Serena who just want to carve out an honest business and make it as an independent shoppe owner in an era of chains and box stores. You had to feel for him a bit – for his misguided sense of duty as it is one thing to honour your grandmother and protect her interests but it is another to marginalise everyone just because you can’t believe that someone would be honourable and trustworthy. Even Mrs M called him on that!

Serena loved being involved in the local activities Golden provided but sometimes the cost of participation was more than she was willing to yield. You could almost see the mistake in judgement on her face when Logan started to grill her again for information. He thinks he’s this suave bloke who could charm the daisies off any woman but in reality, he’s hard-edged and if your intuitive, you can see what he’s doing even before he finishes his enquiry.

What gives you the best joy of course is watching how Ms Randel knits her characters closer together at moments where they’d prefer to remain isolated, alone and single. She doesn’t let them root there in their own self-pity, but rather attempts to push them towards the people who have unconditional love to share and friendship which will last longer than a rumour. This is a series that is about working through your problems, trusting in yourself to have the chance to repair the past and finding a place as calm as Golden to renew your spirit as you redefine your path.

-quoted from my review of Trusting Her Heart
(Meet Me At the Altar series, Book Three)

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A #25PagePreview #HarlequinHeartwarming #RomanceTuesdays | “Stealing Her Best Friend’s Heart” (Golden Matchmaker’s Club series, Book One) by Tara Randel(#25PagePreview) of Stealing Her Best Friend's Heart
Subtitle: The Golden Matchmaker's Club
by Tara Randel
Source: Author via Prism Book Tours

A home renovation…

Could change this friendship forever

Heidi Welch has her eye on the perfect home…until Reid Masterson buys it! Now Heidi has one last chance to get back the home of her dreams from her childhood friend and longtime crush. If she helps Reid with the renovations, he'll sell her the house. But “just friends” seems just about impossible…especially when friendship keeps getting in the way of falling in love.

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

Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 978-1335426369

Also by this author: His One and Only Bride, His Honor, Her Family, Trusting Her Heart, Always the One, Stealing Her Best Friend's Heart, Her Christmastime Family

Published by Harlequin Heartwarming

on 27th July, 2021

Format: Larger Print (Mass Market Paperback)

Published by: Harlequin Heartwarming

Converse via: #Contemporary + #Romance and #HarlequinHeartwarming

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The Golden Matchmaker’s Club series:
Stealing Her Best Friend’s Heart (Book One)
Her Christmastime Family (Book Two)
← forthcoming November 2021!

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re-visits the small towne I fell in love with whilst reading two stories from the Meet Me At the Alter series: “Trusting Her Heart” & “His Honour, Her Family” – I am so grateful this new series continues to develop the towne and the characters I’ve come to know in this North Georgia mountain community!

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About Tara Randel

Tara Randel

USA Today Bestselling Author Tara Randel has enjoyed a lifelong love of books, especially romance and mystery genres, so it didn't come as a surprise when she began writing with the dream of becoming published. Family values, mystery and, of course, love and romance are her favorite themes, because she believes love is the greatest gift of all. Tara lives on the West Coast of Florida, where gorgeous sunsets inspire the creation of heartwarming stories, filled with love, laughter and the occasional mystery.

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#25PagePreview banner created by Jorie in Canva.

Hallo, hallo dear hearts!

I hadn’t intended to cut this review into a preview of my reactions & impressions this morning – as I woke as early as the roosters in order to get onto my blog after the latest overnight batch of lightning storms abated! You’ve might have noticed an absence of posts here on Jorie Loves A Story this Summer!? Between my work life and dealing with a larger battery of severe lightning storms every day as the ‘new normal’ – you could say, being a book blogger has been rather taxing! I’ve missed reading as well – I’ve had less migraines this Summer but I’ve been knocked down by heat exhaustion due to the high levels of elevated temperatures, heat and humidity. Overall, I’ve tried to make lemonade out of the lemons these past few months but a girl can only do so much when it comes to severe storms and circumstances beyond her control.

This morning, whilst I had intended to re-settle into Ms Randel’s story and deliver a lovely expansive review for the tour today – I instead ran into more technical issues on my computer & blog than I felt I was equipped to rectify and resolve! Thankfully I had a bit of assistance from Ashley @ Nose Graze (my host server!) which made this post possible! I decided to curtail my initial plans to post the full review as I lost so many hours trying to work through the headache of a non-functioning blog! I didn’t want to run into another lightning storm either! (aye!)

Forgive this short reprieve into the Golden Matchmaker’s Club – however, know more new content is coming soon to Jorie Loves A Story – as I will be blogging more this week whilst I am also participating in #AustenInAugustRBR – which includes a guest post & a readalong of “Persuasion” as well as other lovelies coming such as a late kick-off for #MyYASummer and my personal readathon of all things #HarlequinHeartwarming which includes a variety of series and a particular mini-series which has charmed my heart and soul! 

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| Stealing Her Best Friend’s Heart | by Tara Randel

You cannot help but to smirk and roil in laughter as you first learn of the antics of Gayle Ann and Alveda!! Two women who are of a certain age and whom make no excuse for their opinions but who with a nudge of encouragement from Gayle Ann are considering matching two young unattached best friends in their towne! The hilarity ensues throughout their first conversation about this situation because Alveda is the more cautious one of the two – she hesitates a bit to get involved as she doesn’t want to interfere where their presence isn’t needed (or wanted more like!) but realises that without a bit of interference, these two singletons might not ever walk down the aisle as well!

Gayle Ann is the instigator – settling it into her mind this is her true calling – to find hearts who need a bit of a push to realise their ‘meant to be’ and find themselves in romantic harmony. I think for Alveda’s sake, its safer to go along with Gayle Ann than it is to discourage her efforts! Laughs. I’m unsure if Heidi and Reid know what is in store for them because by the sounds of things, these two ladies are going to give them a proper chance to reconsider their options and perhaps see each other in a different light than they have previously. Of course its all supposition until the two enter into the fold of the story – but for now, I was revelling in the plans and happily excited to see how Randel was going to have these matchmakers release their plan into action!

What was more interesting to me is their connection to each other – when Gayle Ann mentioned how she had hired Alveda as a cook but soon found a true friend and confidante in Alveda. The two women were meant to be in each others’ lives – that much was certain but I’m not sure either of them knew how important they would become to each other as well. I loved being a bug on the wall and just listening to them theorise why this is the best for Reid and Heidi – how neither of them want to see a potential couple miss the chance to have someone to walk through life with together but also, how cheekily happy this plan was making the two women too as I had a feeling for whichever reason, they felt they were losing their purpose and worth in life. I think meddling into the romantic affairs of those they knew in Golden was one way of staying relevant in their community but also finding new purpose in trying to inspire others to live a good life in the only way they knew how to encourage that inspiration!

There is nothing worse than having your heart smashed by someone else’s actions – in this case, I understood why Heidi was aggrieved by Reid purchasing the house she wanted for herself. It happens whenever you are seeking a new place to live and the market is so firecracker hot it is hard to pin down a listing because everyone is courting the realtors so quickly that it makes your head spin twice as fast to find one listing you can afford to put in an offer! The ways in which Heidi found out about Reid’s purchase felt ironic as well – a daily ritual to check on the house itself led her to finding it sold. Of course that might prove a bit of tall task of the matchmakers to get Heidi to see Reid in a positive light – I’d imagine she might not feel as readily inclined to pursue him romantically now that he technically owned the house she felt was her ‘dream house’ which in effect was her way of finding roots to put down in Golden!

Ooh! If I could be a bug on the wall hearing what Gayle Ann & Alveda would say about this ripple of news once they’ve learnt of it themselves! I can’t wait to keep turning the pages as Randel has set us back into Golden quite expertly and given us a charming story to read! 

On the Contemporary Romance styling of Ms Randel:

I was overjoyed finding out how much Ms Randel *loved!* her characters & the setting of Golden in the Northern Georgia mountains – as I had instantly felt attached to them myself! I was quite thankful finding out this new series is anchoured to the stories I’ve previously have read as this was a setting I definitely wanted to re-visit and find myself residing in for quite a few more stories as Randel’s characters have a way of giving you new reasons to enjoy reading Contemporary Romance set in small townes! I admit, too, it wasn’t a hard sell for me – as a reader I have a penchant for small towne fiction and serial stories are always top choices as well. Plus, I know authors aren’t always able to explore secondary character story-lines and I couldn’t be more thrilled for her as much as I’m wicked excited about reading these stories myself.

Happily I had remembered a bit about the store Heidi works at in Golden but I was afraid I might have missed a few particulars of the series outside of that detail as sometimes with a lot of migraines (especially a year prior to reading a continuation of a former series) the details of certain series might lapse in my memory. Thankfully, from what Randel shared in the opening pages and chapters of Stealing Her Best Friend’s Heart – I was able to feel right as rain re-settling back into Golden, Georgia! Especially since Randel has such an ease about giving us a wicked good viewing of where we’re entering her characters’ lives and where she is hoping the journey of the story will lead us by the conclusion of it.

I love writers who can give us stories to chew on as much as find ways to tuck in the laughter as well. We all need more humour in our lives especially as life grows adverse and this is one story I loved for having started on such a humourous note between Alveda and Gayle Ann as it set the perfect tone for me as a reader.

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This blog tour is courtesy of: Prism Book Tours

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Stealing Her Best Friend's Heart blog tour banner provided by Prism Book Tours and is used with permission.

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By 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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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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{SOURCES: Cover art of “Stealing Her Best Friend’s Heart” as well as the book synopsis, author biography, author photograph of Tara Randel and blog tour banner 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: #RomanceTuesdays banner, #25PagePreview banner and the Comment Box Banner.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2021.

I’m a social reader | I tweet my reading life

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 Tuesday, 3 August, 2021 by jorielov in 21st Century, Blog Tour Host, Contemporary Romance, Family Drama, Indie Author, Life Shift, Modern Day, Prism Book Tours, Romance Fiction, Small Towne Fiction, Small Towne USA

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