A #RomanceTuesdays | Returning to Pacific Cove within “His Hometown Yuletide Vow” (Pacific Cove Romance, Book Five) by Carol Ross

Posted Tuesday, 15 February, 2022 by jorielov , , , , 0 Comments

#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 “His Hometown Yuletide Vow” direct from 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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On where I left the Pacific Cove series:

In so many regards, Second Chance for the Single Dad is a potboiler of a drama waiting to reach the point where all the parties involve have to take a firm look at each other and decide what is the best course of action to take knowing all the details of what brought them together. You have one family pitted against another due to a custody battle and on the other hand, you have a woman whose trying to em-better her future by what she can achieve in the present. Both situations require a bit of dexterity and gumption because neither side wants to yield – Camille is fiercely independent and is working actively towards her own personal goals whilst Rhys has a reason to be protective of his private life and affairs. It is how Ross chooses to take you through their lives and to show how resolution can come in unexpected ways which gives you the best uplift of all to read the story!

Carol Ross is one of the Harlequin Heartwarming authors I’ve felt connected to through her stories – as she has such a keenly realistic styling about her series; from the way she crafts the back-histories of her characters, to the settings she chooses and the ways in which she gives you an emotional tug of narrative. I was not surprised to find myself bemused by Rhys and wanting to find a way to distract Camille off the disappointments of having to have multiple jobs just to make ends meet or at least the illusion of it. Camille definitely needed a few more friends to commiserate with and Rhys just needed a firm nudge to get himself out of his own headspace for awhile!

What I loved about how Ms Ross paced this novel is how she let you get into Rhys and Camille’s lives – Camille is holding back a bit from Rhys and he’s befuddled in such a cleverly keen way because he doesn’t understand what is holding Camille back – that in of itself was ingenious because Rhys has this personality for being single-minded and all-inclusive to himself. It would be fitting for him to be set-up in this way (so to speak) if only to teach him a lesson about sociability and how to properly interact with others which is definitely his downfall.

Ross expertly moves through the trickier parts of grief and the long reaches of how grief can affect people’s judgement of each other. At the heart of this story is the tragic loss of a young woman’s parents and how that has a ripple effect on those left behind. It is a story rooted in having a convicting belief in doing the right thing and knowing you are the right person to step into the shoes of those who have passed on in order to rise through the adversities of their absence to be of a benefit to the child they left in your care. What I felt was beautiful about how Ross approached telling the story is how muddling it is to sort yourself out in the process of trying to do the right thing and be the person someone else can lean on as you both find a path towards healing after such difficult loss.

-quoted from my review of Second Chance for the Single Dad

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A #RomanceTuesdays | Returning to Pacific Cove within “His Hometown Yuletide Vow” (Pacific Cove Romance, Book Five) by Carol RossHis Hometown Yuletide Vow
by Carol Ross
Source: Author via Prism Book Tours

All he wants for Christmas

Is a second chance…

Derrick Bright’s baseball career may be over, but his brother’s is just starting—until a scandal threatens to end things. PR specialist Anne McGrath hasn’t spoken to Derrick since he left her eleven years ago. But she agrees to help for his brother’s sake. Escaping the press in Pacific Cove allows them to reconnect. Will she accept Derrick’s vow and make his Christmas dreams finally come true?

Genres: Contemporary (Modern) Fiction (post 1945), Romance Fiction, Contemporary Romance, Christmas Story &/or Christmas Romance

Christmas Romance Book Icon made by Jorie in Canva.

Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 978-1335426512

Also by this author: The Rancher's Twins, Mountains Apart, A Case for Forgiveness, If Not for a Bee, A Family Like Hannah's, Bachelor Remedy, In the Doctor's Arms, 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

Published by Harlequin Heartwarming

on 30th November, 2021

Format: Larger Print (Mass Market Paperback)

Pages: 384

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Pacific Cove Romance series:

Pacific Cove books one and two collage provided by Prism Book Tours.

Keeping Her Close by Carol RossSecond Chance for the Single Dad by Carol RossHis Hometown Yuletide Vow by Carol Ross

Christmas in the Cove (Book One)

Summer at the Shore (Book Two)

→ Keeping Her Close (Book Three) (see also Review) : where I entered the series!

Second Chance for the Single Dad (Book Four) (see also Review)

This story received my award for Best Contemporary Romance.

A bit of a note about Rhys McGrath (the lead character)

Although I first suspected Second Chance for the Single Dad was part of Ross’s series Pacific Cove, I couldn’t get a lead-line on this online. The only clue I did uncover is from the novel itself wherein Ms Ross acknowledged she wanted to involve a story about Rhys after having written Keeping Her Close. (*) Read more about this on  my Second Chance for the Single Dad book review wherein I explain the order of the series.

His Hometown Yuletide Vow (Book Five)

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

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 on Twitter via: #ContemporaryRomance & #HarlequinHeartwarming

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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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My review for his hometown yuletide vow:

It takes a lot of self-confidence to go up against someone who is equally confident in themselves like Jack and I felt Ross chose the best opponent for him in Anne. She was calm with a serene sensibility which was something he clearly lacked himself whilst she also could broker her point without him feeling rankled. Except of course when he was insisting on proving a point she didn’t need to hear as she wasn’t the audience who doubted his own truth. No, she was his partner in publicity and because of that, I appreciated the angle we entered through the opening sequence to showcase what happens when a media firestorm seeks to derail a company’s reputation and what is needed behind the ‘newsprint’ so to speak to rectify the public perception of said company. Anne is wicked brilliant in her execution of convincing a client she trusted would trust her judgement to redirect their own opinions on how to handle a situation and let her take over. I loved that about her and also how hopeful she was about the illusion and perception of how the public perceive everything around them.

On the other side of the story is a newly retired baseball player who I felt broached a rather timely discussion about the differences between a forced retirement and a retirement of one’s choosing. The latter of course is most ideal but it’s the first kind that bites back a bit more and takes longer to accept in the long-term. Mostly because a forced retirement isn’t one of your own choosing – its simply a circumstance which arose which forced your hand and redirected your path without your consent. This isn’t oft discussed in Contemporary Romance and I felt it was a fittingly realistic journey to broach given how oft it can happen in reality. Not just due to sports but if you put in the perspective of our own current reality – how the pandemic shifted commerce and trade and how many independent businesses went under before they could pivot to compensate for the lack of consumers in their stores; you can see the validity of pursuing this kind of plot point. Whichever circumstance ends one journey and forces someone to begin a new one is a plot I desire to see explored in full — thankfully, Ross was at the helm of this story and I knew I was in for a wicked good adventure into finding ‘what comes next’ when you don’t have all your ducks in row.

Derrick reminded me dearly of Tim the Toolman Taylor on the 90s sitcom Home Improvement; where he had the zest for tools and handiwork but whether or not he had the skill set was something else completely! Laughs. It was a good ice breaker and a smart way to introduce us to both Derrick and his brother Easton, as both brothers are at the centre of the plot in this installment of the series. Derrick for his benefit is betwixt knowing what his next stage in life will become and is exploring his options – sadly, I think carpentry might not be in the cards! Their grandmother stood out to me as one of those secondary characters who steals scenes and your heart all in one swoop! Quite the lady and she nailed asking a question without allowing herself to reveal her emotional response, too!

I had recently watched a Hallmark Movie starring Rachel Leigh Cook (Just My Type) wherein she was a bookstore owner in desperate need of a PR overhaul and she was paired with a hockey player (ironically or not, the adorably charming husband of Aurora Teagarden; a series on the same channel) who equally had a reputation in need of immediate repair. The ways in which that film showcased publicity and the ways in which agents strive to go to bat for their clients was echoing in His Hometown Yuletide Vow. Ross tucked us close to Anne’s world – of seeing what kind of clients she preferred, how she approached her industry and why she was in denial about the type of clients she wouldn’t represent as it cut too close to home.

The world of publicity isn’t an easy one to showcase because a lot of it is either visual or conversational – you have to give full respect to those who strive to re-define a public image which is already rooted in their audience’s perception of their lives. PR advisors seek to advise, re-design and sometimes when needed clean up a person’s public persona in order for them to succeed. I felt Ross gave us just enough insight into this job and world to make it believable whilst leaving us in awe of the challenges PR agents go through on a daily basis. They have to react in the moment and sort out a negative disruption as its happening without faltering their confidence or letting their clients lose faith in their ability. Talk about deep seeded courage and moxie!

More complicated than publicity and public image repair are the dramas of the heart. Ross does a wonderful service to representing the heartache and the heart clutch of working through past memories and rectifying past wrongs in ways which are both relatable and realistically presented. I especially loved how she allowed Anne and Derrick the grace to re-examine their past, to see through their memories and to re-perceive what was never discussed until now. The truth has a way of surfacing and it was how Ross allowed them the mercy of a second-chance to re-see what was lost to the past was part of the beauty of the story.

on the continued joy I have reading a carol ross contemporary romance:

Ross tackles the complexity of anchouring us into a very modern and sophisticated world of PR and publicity whilst grounding her story with a character whose full of heart. Even the usage of online technology can be a slippery slope as slogans and slang words exchange themselves as quickly as they are created whilst how we technospeak to ourselves out loud vs online is a revolving door in of itself. I felt Ross brokered herself a keen balance of understanding the world of being interactively active online with the in-scene realities of a publicity firm who has to temper the needs of their clients against the better sense of their PR agents.

I appreciated how Ross approached writing this story – it has a lot of lovely layers inside it – from the juxtaposition of Anne to Derrick and how there are flashback sequences to redirect us to better understand their mutual past connections and how those past moments reconnect to the present, etc. It isn’t an easy trajectory either because of how Ross is intentional in how she is showing how her characters have free will and they carefully weight their choices – against their better logic or conscience or against the will they have to choose a course of action in the moment a decision is needed to be made.

Realistically well-timed: Performance enhancing substances

The reason this novel is so dearly well-timed is playing out right now in the Olympic Games in regards to the figure skating side of the Winter Olympics. I completely agree and stand behind Tara and Johnny and the ways in which they’ve been honest and transparent about the rules, the protocols and the reasons why the choice to allow a skater to move forwards is not just ethically wrong but it taints the entire world of sport where other athletes are playing clean without any issues in following the rules. Ergo, as this is a key component of the plot within this novel – it is not just well-timed it is justified to not only broach the topic itself but to unpack it and see where it leads both the story and the characters therein.

As an aside, as a child athlete myself (ie. competitive swimmer, volleyball and basketball) it is very important to note that all sports are best played with transparency, honesty and ethics were everyone is on equal ground and no one takes a short-cut to achieve their own personal best in the sport of their choice. I learnt from a young age – your not competing against everyone else – your competing against yourself, the clock and the challenge in front of you. Even if your on a team, you still are responsible for yourself and your skill set. You have to find joy in the game and the sport itself but you can’t let your pursuit of a win outweigh the realities of what is right and fair and what is wrong and dishonest.

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I am blessed to host for: Prism Book Tours
as they first introduced me to Harlequin Heartwarming!

Prism Book Tours

Sharing on behalf of the review tour for January & February:

due note: this review tour was extended until 15th February!

His Hometown Yuletide Vow reviewer banner provided by Prism Book Tours and is used with permission.

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LibraryThing banner provied by librarything.com and used with permission.

This review will be cross-posted to LibraryThing.

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{SOURCES: Book cover for “Second Chance for the Single Dad”, “Keeping Her Close”, “His Hometown Yuletide Vow” and the “Christmas in the Cove” & “Summer at the Shore” cover collage, author photograph of Carol Ross, author biography as well as the Prism Book Tours badge and Review Tour badge for “His Hometown Yuletide Vow” were provided by Prism Book Tours and are being used with permission. Post dividers by Fun Stuff for Your Blog via Pure Imagination. LibraryThing banner provided by LibraryThing and is used with permission. Tweets were embedded due to codes provided by Twitter. Blog graphics created by Jorie via Canva: #RomanceTuesdays banner, Christmas Romance icon 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 Tuesday, 15 February, 2022 by jorielov in #RomanceTuesdays, Blog Tour Host, Book Review (non-blog tour), Contemporary Romance, Prism Book Tours, Romance Fiction, Small Towne Fiction

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