Category: Book Review (non-blog tour)

Happy 8th Blogoversary, Jorie Loves A Story! (#JLASblog turns 8!) | Celebrating with a #HarlequinHeartwarming Book Review | “Catching Mr Right” (Seasons of Alaska, Book Seven) by Carol Ross

Posted Wednesday, 31 March, 2021 by jorielov , , , , 0 Comments

8th Blogoversary of Jorie Loves A Story banner created by Jorie in Canva.

Yes, you’ve read correctly!

Jorie Loves A Story turns eight today!!

And, yes, I’ve spent the last 8 years explaining I purposely capitalised the A!

On the 31st of March, 2013 Jorie Loves A Story was in its infancy – being tinkered with behind the scenes of the internet as I as not yet *live!* to the world (that came along lateron in August, 2013 – hence why this blog has a ‘blog birthday’ as well as a ‘blogoversary’!). In the humbled origins of Jorie Loves A Story – I had no idea what was going to come out of this project I had undertaken. I wasn’t self-hosted until 2014 and the earlier days of the blog – I was experimenting with both the style of how I wanted to blog and the ways in which I would showcase stories and authors alike. There were always reviews but its the interviews which have provided me with a hearty challenge and a bounty of unexpected joy to host.

I’ve been exploring genres of interest (both known to me and unknown), styles of literary voice as much as cross-global literary markets and the unique variants of literature as seen through both mainstream and faith-based markets of interest, too. I have tackled reading poetry and works of poetic drama which took me into a different layering of how stories can be told through prose and poetic voice. I helped develop @WyrdAndWonder which is about to celebrate its 4th Year this May, 2021 and I founded the Romance, Women’s Fiction & Feminist Fiction bookish chat @SatBookChat in 2014.

I’ve participated in bookish reading challenges, readathons and other book blogger community events throughout the years as well as #ArmchairBEA. My second favourite annual event I am always a part of in some fashion is @SciFiMonth as it co-anchours my interests as I explore Fantasy during #WyrdAndWonder.

Yet. What remains are the memories. The conversations. The characters and their stories. The settings and timescapes I’ve traversed. The people I’ve communicated with in the comments and the interviews I’ve organised to get to the heart of what inspires the creative economnist to create their style of story. There is a lot of History on Jorie Loves A Story – of a reader redefining her journey into literature and the origins of a writer moonlighting as a book blogger and finding herself wholly inspired back into her own writings. Even if her season of publishing hasn’t yet arrived – the stories she can read and digest as she articulates her reactions throughout Jorie Loves A Story has been a blissitude of its own.

Here’s to celebrating ringing in my 8th Year of blogging on Jorie Loves A Story. May the stories and the authors who write them continue to inspire this blog and the writer behind it.

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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. 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 “Catching Mr Right” 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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Why I love reading Carol Ross & Harlequin Heartwarming novelists:

my #TopTenTuesday where I disclosed how much I personally LOVE reading Harlequin Heartwarming novelists

Return of the #BlackwellBrothers of which I had an ardent & passionate attachment of

her small towne series Seasons of Alaska which bewitched my heart & soul

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I regularly express gratitude to Prism Book Tours for helping me become introduced with Harlequin Heartwarming and for inspiring me to fetch their stories regularly through inter-library loans at my local library and/or borrowing directly from a reciprocal library which has a few of their authors in their card catalogue! In future, I’ll be ‘filling in gaps’ of my personal library and in my reading queues by frequenting Thrift Books online as I found they are one of the best resources for purchasing these novels second hand which makes collecting them fit my book buying budget! On the latter note – there will be announcement in APRIL 2021.

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my 6th Blogoversary on Jorie Loves A Story lamenting about my love for Ms Ross’s Seasons of Alaska series and now that I’ve just celebrated my 7th Blogoversary on Jorie Loves A Story 

my first Heartwarming #SatBookChat this Autumn, 2020 featured Claire McEwen in September, 2020 (whilst you can read why I am dearly attached inside her Heartwarming series #HeroesOfShelterCreek)

→November, 2020 showcased ALL *5* #BlackwellBrothers & #BlackwellSisters authors on @SatBookChat for a seriously EPIC #SatBookChat!!

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You might have noticed these features & showcases throughout the years of Jorie Loves A Story. In truth, I have only been reading the stories by Ms Ross since [2018] – it has been such a wicked wonderful journey into her different series and seeing how she attaches us with the vision of her characters’ worlds simply by how she creates the drama behind their lives. I have felt dearly attached now to *Seasons of Alaska* as I had the pleasure of joy binge reading this series via interlibrary loan. One of these days I’m going to bring the series home to roost on my shelf in full point of pride as it has given me an infinite delight of happiness to discover, read and savour.

It is hard to capture *why!* I love Harlequin Heartwarming as much as I do except to say – if you’re seeking relationship-based Romances with a deepening centre of focus on family (biological, adopted, found, etc) and the strength of community – these are realistically told romantic dramas with a particular encaptured portrait of contemporary modern life within the backdrop of realistic characters living real lives. You can tell what inspires these stories by the authors who pen them and how much heart and soul of themselves they etch into the stories as you’re reading them. You don’t want to put these lovelies down – their #unputdownable, memorable and they knit themselves into your heart. The epitome of a #bookHUG if there ever were one to be had, too!

Whilst in regards to Ms Ross – I had the chance to speak with her shortly after her guest appearance on #SatBookChat and it was one of the most cherished convos I’ve shared because I had the chance to talk to one of the authors whose given me such a positive boost of encouragement during the months/years where life felt especially adverse and where the future was looming off in the distance with more than a shadowing of stormy weather. Her stories anchoured me in moments of where I needed a respite and a settling of mind – her characters gave me something I needed during the hours I visited with them and for that I shall remain forever grateful.

More than that even,.. Heartwarming stories give all of us singletons the hope of what tomorrow can bring when we least expect our lives to intersect with a bit of romance & the unexpected blissitudes of meeting someone who understands us without having to explain ourselves. Romance is an uplift for the heart and a pulse of inspired joy for the joy and that is why I love reading Harlequin Heartwarming stories. Their the kind of Romances I crave to read and the kind of Romances I cannot get enough of as a reader.

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Happy 8th Blogoversary, Jorie Loves A Story! (#JLASblog turns 8!) | Celebrating with a #HarlequinHeartwarming Book Review | “Catching Mr Right” (Seasons of Alaska, Book Seven) by Carol RossCatching Mr Right
Source: Author via Prism Book Tours

They can’t both win…

Can they?

Louisiana angler Victoria Thibodeaux needs the spokesperson contract with Romeo Reels to keep her business going and give her daughter a better life. But her hard-won confidence sinks to the bottom of the bayou when her rival, Alaskan fisherman Seth James, arrives. With his smooth-talking charm, handsome Seth could steal both her job and her heart, unless secrets from her past catch up with her first…

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


Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 978-1335179746

Published by Harlequin Heartwarming

on 9th February, 2021

Format: Larger Print (Mass Market Paperback)

Pages: 384

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

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A quick recapturing of the JOY I had reading the last novel in this series:

Rankins is coming up in the world now – the hospital is fully staffed and ready for receiving patients – a feat in of itself, as most of the more remote areas of Alaska in today’s world still require the efforts of real-life Tag’s to fly you out to the nearest hospital; generally speaking, those are located in Fairbanks, Anchorage and Juneau – whilst having subscriptions to the three main air ambulances to get you evac’d is a good idea as sometimes your best bet is to get to a hospital in Canada rather than stay in Alaska depending on where you are when the emergency occurs. When Tag asks Ally to fly to either Alaska Regional or to Bartlett – you can have a better understanding where Rankins is located as Bartlett is in Juneau and Alaska Regional is in Anchorage. I’ve been trying to discern since I first began reading Seasons of Alaska where Ms Ross might pin down Rankins on a map. The problem of course is that there are 23 hours separating the two cities and a world of wilderness, small townes and cities between the two hospitals. Juneau is tucked under the Yukon and is next door to British Columbia – so I was a bit surprised Tag hadn’t mentioned going to the Yukon to reach the hospital in Whitehorse. This is what made me question if Rankins is somewhere in the more remote areas of interior Alaska outside of the cities which have hospitals and why Rankins getting their own hospital was as imperative as it was to become a more established city with self-sufficient means to help their own community.

Ross broached the option taboo topic of ageism in relationships and how old/young is too much of a chasm to bridge between two people who are falling in love? Technically speaking – I think more people ought to learn about Tony Randall’s life and realise when it comes to true love – age is never a barrier you should entertain. I personally found it a bit ironic that Tag was thinking that a woman aged 22 and a bloke aged 38 was too big of a difference in age – as realistically, he was only 16 years older than Ally. Generally, the upper limit I’ve seen is a 15 year difference but if you factor in how Ally had grown up and what she’d accomplished in her 22 years – to me she felt closer to 35, which would make plausible sense and also might have been why I observed their ease with each other was as natural as it seemed. I think maybe even Ms Ross felt that herself – as emotionally Ally was much older than her lived years.

I loved seeing this side of her writing explored – it gave a lovely tug-of-war aspect to the relationship – where you can see what conflicted Tag and how enlightened Ally truly was before Tag could wrap his head round why he was feeling any attraction at all. Men, truly! Sometimes they can be quite thick-headed about what they don’t or choose not to understand.

By the time I started to see how Iris and Flynn’s story-line was expanding and evolving to become inclusive of the entire James’ family – where updates on marriages within the series were coming back to centre focus and how the children of the series were maturing towards adulthood, my feelings for the series deepened. The continuity is brilliant and as I felt this was a duology attached to Bachelor Remedy I couldn’t be happier for how everything tied together in the end.

-quoted from my review of In the Doctor’s Arms

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Season of Alaska series:

Bachelor Remedy by Carol RossIn the Doctor's Arms by Carol RossCatching Mr Right by Carol Ross

Mountains Apart (Book One)

A Case for Forgiveness (Book Two) | see also Reviews of Book One & Two

If Not for A Bee (Book Three)

A Family Like Hannah’s (Book Four) see also Reviews of Book Three & Four

Bachelor Remedy (Book Five)

In the Doctor’s Arms (Book Six) see also Reviews of Book Five & Six

Catching Mr Right (Book Seven)

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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
as well as #SeasonsOfAlaska and #CarolRoss

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Posted Wednesday, 31 March, 2021 by jorielov in 21st Century, Blog Tour Host, Book Review (non-blog tour), Contemporary Romance, Cookery, Family Drama, Family Life, Fishing, Fly in the Ointment, Geographically Specific, Life Shift, Modern Day, Mother-Daughter Relationships, Nature & Wildlife, Non-traditional characters, Passionate Researcher, Post-911 (11th September 2001), Prism Book Tours, Romance Fiction, Second Chance Love, Single Mothers, Small Towne Fiction, Small Towne USA, Southeastern USA, The Natural World, Wordsmiths & Palettes of Sage

#SciFiMonth Book Review | “Suzy Spitfire Kills Everybody” (Suzy Spitfire series, Book One) by Joe Canzano

Posted Saturday, 28 November, 2020 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

#SciFiMonth Book Review banner created by Jorie in Canva.

Acquired Book By: In February, 2020 Kimberley @ Caffeinated PR contacted me about the Suzy Spitfire series whilst asking me if I would enjoy being one of the book bloggers on her PR Team. The request arrived at a point in my life where I was seriously in need of a wicked good story to pull me out of the funk I was experiencing with my health and the afflictions associated with a bad Winter’s cold. The timing for me was perfect and as I read about Suzy Spitfire – the context of the story fit within what I enjoyed about the Urban Fantasy series October Daye by Seanan McGuire.

I joined the book blitz for showcasing the second novel in the Suzy Spitfire series whilst I requested the first novel to read and review in order to understand the author’s style, voice and the continuity of the series. I therefore received a complimentary copy of “Suzy Spitfire Kills Everybody” in exchange for an honest review from the author Joe Canzano. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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What truly attracted me to read #SuzySpitfire:

I heart #SciFiMonth | #RRSciFiMonth every November – but the last several years have been a bit of a mixed bag for me. Mostly as my migraines seem to derail *all!* efforts to read the stories I’ve selected for the month (see also this annoucement from 2019 wherein I barely touched the surface of what I disclosed) which is why I’m trying to start reading Sci Fi outside of November this year! (big smirks)

To be perfectly transparent – I was in the mood for an unlikely heroine adventuring in outer space and taking me on an adventure I didn’t realise I *needed!* in my life! lol A bit like how seeing “Star Trek: Enterprise” recently filled a need as well – we’ve just finished the fourth year and are saddened for the loss of episodes – except for 3x, one we skipped (the Detroit one) and two were just too weird for words to describe and had zero bearing on the series as a whole! (“through a glass darkly” – the mirror universe duology) I wanted to read a series COMPLETELY outside my zone of comfort – I wanted to tuck into her story and just have this wicked wild ride of reading a book which would give me a healthy respite from my backlogue, my illnesses and of course, the weight of current events! And, blessedly dear hearts – #SuzySpitfire filled that void for me!

As soon as I happily read the pitch about this series by Kimberly @ Caffeniated PR, I just *knew!* I had to sign on to spotlight #SuzySpitfire! This also marks my first blog tour with her blog touring company and I couldn’t be happier! I look forward to continuing my adventure with Suzy Spitfire this weekend but for now, let’s take a bit of a closer look at what you can expect to find in the sequel “Suzy Spitfire and the Snake Eyes of Venus!” – by the by, is it me or does this series have the most brilliant titles!?

-as previously shared on the spotlight for Suzy Spitfire and the Snake Eyes of Venus

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#SciFiMonth Book Review | “Suzy Spitfire Kills Everybody” (Suzy Spitfire series, Book One) by Joe CanzanoSuzy Spitfire Kills Everybody
by Joe Canzano
Source: Author via Caffeinated PR

When outlaw Suzy Spitfire discovers her father was murdered after creating a super-duper artificial intelligence, she races across the solar system in search of the brain he built—but it’s a rough ride, and she’s soon forced to tangle with pirates, predators, and her father’s killer—as well as a man she thinks she can love.

Suzy Spitfire Kills Everybody is a smash-bang science fiction adventure filled with action, intrigue, and a dose of dark humor.

Genres: Action & Adventure Fiction, Science Fiction, Space Opera


Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 978-0990636564

Also by this author: Suzy Spitfire Kills And the Snake Eyes of Venus (Spotlight)

Also in this series: Suzy Spitfire Kills And the Snake Eyes of Venus (Spotlight)


Published by Happy Joe Control Books

on 2nd July, 2019

Format: POD | Print On Demand Paperback

Pages: 306

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The Suzy Spitfire Series:

Suzy Spitfire Kills Everybody by Joe CanzanoSuzy Spitfire and the Snake Eyes of Venus by Joe Canzano

Suzy Spitfire Kills Everybody (book one)

Suzy Spitfire & the Snake Eyes of Venus (book two)

Published by: Happy Joe Control Books

Formats Available: Trade Paperback and Ebook

Converse on Twitter via: #SuzySpitfire, #ScienceFiction or #JoeCanzano

About Joe Canzano

Joe Canzano

Joe Canzano is a writer and musician. He lives in New Jersey, U.S.A., in a house with a basement where he usually stays. Occasionally he leaves the basement and visits the kitchen.

He likes to write absurd comic fantasy and fun science fiction.

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • #SciFiMonth 2020
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Posted Saturday, 28 November, 2020 by jorielov in Blog Tour Host, Book Review (non-blog tour), Caffeniated PR, Excessive Violence in Literature, Fly in the Ointment, Indie Author, Science Fiction, Space Opera, Vulgarity in Literature

#RomanceTuesdays | the return of one of Jorie’s beloved families from #HarlequinHeartwarming (the Blackwells) feat.”Montana Welcome” (Book One: Blackwell Sisters, sequel series to Return of the Blackwell Brothers) by Melinda Curtis [of a five book series!]

Posted Tuesday, 24 November, 2020 by jorielov , , , , 0 Comments

#RomanceTuesdays badge created by Jorie in Canva.

Acquired Book By: I initially learnt about the Return of the Blackwell Brothers series through being part of the book blogger team with Prism Book Tours run by Tressa @ Wishful Endings. I’ve been enjoying hosting for her since [2016] and especially due to the fact by hosting her blog tours, I had the pleasure of joy of discovering the Harlequin Heartwarming line of stories and series for Contemporary Romance when I needed to fill a gap in my readerly wanderings for that genre! When it comes to the Return of the Blackwell Brothers series – I was signed on as a reviewer for the series wherein I had a bit of leeway to read the stories at my own pace and post my reviews as I read them.

My reviews ran from August 2018 through January 2019 beginning with the first novel by Carol Ross. This year, as I knew we were inching closer to the release of the sequel series for Return of the Blackwell Brothers known as BlackwellSisters, I reached out to one of the authors (Anna J. Stewart) who helped me collaborate with all 5x authors to bring together a special round robin chat via my Twitter chat @SatBookChat whilst coordinating with the authors for me to receive each of the Blackwell Sisters novels to read and review in connection with the chat itself. This review marks the first of those featured reviews which will run throughout November and December 2020.

I received a complimentary copy of “Montana Welcome” direct from the author Melinda Curtis in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

NOTE: Be sure to view my #WaitingOnWednesday announcement post for the #BlackwellSisters series as well as the archives for #SatBookChat for the 14th November chat.

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a notation about where we’ve left off with the blackwell brothers:

I remember how I felt when I reached the fifth installment of the Return of the Blackwell Brothers series – it was bittersweet for me as a reader because I had become so hugged inside the series these lovely authors had written for us – those characters and the family of the Blackwells (as quirky as they were!) had become a part of my life and world. It was heartbreaking to realise my journey with them was ending – which is why in small ways I was putting it out there in the universe if there could be ‘more stories’ for this family I’d taken into my heart and hadn’t want to ‘let go’ of – to see if perhaps the authors could flex their writerly muses and sort out a way ‘back into the fold’ of the Blackwells?

I still recall to this day the JOY I had overflowing through me when Ms Webb first broke the good news with me on my blog – about how there was going to be a sequel series which I later learnt would be called the #BlackwellSisters! And, that threw me for a complete loop! As despite my ability to remember most of what I read (as a migraineur) I have lost some gaps of memory (blessed for this blog which houses my readerly memories!) when it comes to series and specific stories overall due to the higher frequencies of migraines I’ve traversed through from 2018-2020. I still remember important bits and bobbles of the stories and the series, but those minute details I love as a reader – sometimes those go by the wayside. Which is why for the longest time I was trying to drum up my memories to recollect just exactly how do we have ‘Blackwell sisters’? As from everything I did remember there weren’t any girls’ in the family!

And, then of course – it took Ms Curtis’s author’s note in Montana Welcome to set me straight and give me such an enriched new appreciation for how these lovely women are collaborating on these series for Harlequin Heartwarming! You see, the key to the whole 10x novels (spilt over 2x five novel series) is “Big E” – the infamous grandfather who meddles in his grandsons and now grand-daughters lives! Yes, you read that right – he has *granddaughters!* and can you just imagine the kind of mischief that might foretell about this new series!? I smirked to the moon when I read the disclosure of connection between the two series as honestly it was such a sweet surprise for me!

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This is a series that is both redemptive as it is empowering – as it is about ordinary people who are having these tiny interruptions sprinkled into their lives to where they can choose which direction they wish to take next – do they make a life altering choice or do they play it safe? Do they risk their heart or do they risk something more? I felt fully anchoured every bit of the journey with the Blackwells because each of the writers were bridging the gaps between installments with ‘just enough’ continuity to make this not just believable but realistically compelling. It is the kind of Western dramatic romance series you can’t put down and you hunger after new installments that might never arrive.

-quoted from my review of The Rancher’s Homecoming

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#RomanceTuesdays | the return of one of Jorie’s beloved families from #HarlequinHeartwarming (the Blackwells) feat.”Montana Welcome” (Book One: Blackwell Sisters, sequel series to Return of the Blackwell Brothers) by Melinda Curtis [of a five book series!]Montana Welcome
Subtitle: Blackwell Sisters
by Melinda Curtis
Source: Direct from Author

A bride on the run and a cowboy to show her the way home…

Lily Harrison’s wedding day isn’t quite what she imagined. Not only does her fiancé not love her, she’s just discovered she’s a Blackwell—a member of Montana’s well-known ranching family. Now Lily’s ditched her own wedding for a road trip with handsome cowboy Conner Hannah. But will Lily find her answers in Montana…or lose the cowboy she’s already begun falling for?

Genres: Contemporary (Modern) Fiction (post 1945), Contemporary Romance, Heartland Fiction, Ranches & Cowboys, Western Romance


Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781335889812

Also by this author: The Rancher's Redemption

Setting: Montana


Published by Harlequin Heartwarming

on 1st August, 2020

Format: Larger Print (Mass Market Paperback)

Pages: 380

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The #BlackwellSisters series:

Elias Blackwell never knew he had a second son. But now that he does, he’s determined to find him and get to know his five granddaughters. But when he shows up at his granddaughter’s wedding…

Some Secrets Lead You Home.

Montana Welcome by Melinda CurtisMontana Wishes by Amy VastineMontana Dreams by Anna J. Stewart

Montana Match by Carol RossMontana Wedding by Cari Lynn Webb

Montana Welcome (book one)

Montana Wishes (book two)

Montana Dreams (book three)

Montana Match (book four)

Montana Wedding (book five)

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Read about the series via Melinda Curtis’s page for the Blackwells!

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The series which started it all:

With his 80th birthday approaching, family patriarch Elias Blackwell has done some serious soul searching and has come to the conclusion he’s made some mistakes in his life – a lot of them! As a result, the grandsons he raised after his son and daughter-in-law’s tragic death want nothing to do with him, the Blackwell Ranch they’ll one day inherit, and in some cases each other. Elias doesn’t want to go to his grave with regrets. It’s well past time for all the Blackwell men to do a little soul searching of their own. And if they have to come home to do it, so be it. No one ever claimed Elias Blackwell played fair.

Return of the #BlackwellBrothers:

The Rancher’s Twins by Carol Ross → my review
The Rancher’s Rescue by Cari Lynn Webb → my review
The Rancher’s Redemption by Melinda Curtis → my review
The Rancher’s Fake Fiancée by Amy Vastine → my review
The Rancher’s Homecoming by Anna J. Stewart → my review

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

Converse via: #ContemporaryRomance, #WesternRomance & #HarlequinHeartwarming

as well as the series tag: #BlackwellSisters and the previous series is now #BlackwellBrothers

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7th Annual Jorie Loves A Story Cuppa Book Love Awards badge created by Jorie in Canva. Coffee and Tea Clip Art Set purchased on Etsy; made by rachelwhitetoo.

This story received my award for BEST Sequel Anchour Story:
(this anchours the Return of the Blackwell Brothers series
to the Blackwell Sisters series with brilliant continuity between both series)

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About Melinda Curtis

Prior to writing romance, award-winning, USA Today Bestseller Melinda Curtis was a junior manager for a Fortune 500 company, which meant when she flew on the private jet she was relegated to the jump seat—otherwise known as the potty. After grabbing her pen (and a parachute) she made the jump to full-time writer. A hybrid author, Melinda has over 60 titles published or sold, including 40 works to Harlequin and five to Grand Central Forever, mostly sweet romance and sweet romantic comedy. One of her books – Dandelion Wishes – was made into a TV movie. She recently came to grips with the fact that she’s an empty nester and a grandma, concepts easier to grasp than movies made from her books or jet-setting on a potty.

(Biography updated: November, 2020)

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Posted Tuesday, 24 November, 2020 by jorielov in Book Review (non-blog tour), Compassion & Acceptance of Differences, Contemporary Romance, Equality In Literature, Farm and Ranching on the Frontier, Jorie Loves A Story Cuppa Book Love Awards, Romance Fiction, Special Needs Children, Western Fiction, Western Romance

A #SpooktasticReads audiobook review | “Jorvik Calling” (Soul Riders: Book One) by Helena Dahlgren, narrated by Jennifer Jill Araya; courtesy of #NetGalley

Posted Monday, 19 October, 2020 by jorielov , , , , , , 0 Comments

#SpooktasticReads Book Review badge created by Jorie in Canva.

Acquired Book By: Earlier this year, in late Winter (February) I joined NetGalley for the first time as they finally announced they were going to be offering full-length audiobooks for reviewers. I was never able to join NetGalley due to having chronic migraines and being unable to read ebooks. I started requesting audiobooks to review as soon as they opened their audiobook catalogue in July, 2020. I am an eclectic reader and thereby, you will see all genres in Fiction explored from both markets of interest: mainstream and INSPY as well as from Major Trade, Indie Publishers & Press and other routes of publication, too. There might be the occasional Non-Fiction title appearing in my NetGalley queue of reviews as well. This marks a new adventure for me seeking stories for review consideration and I look forward to seeing where the stories lead me to venture.

I received a complimentary digital and temporary audiobook copy of “Soul Riders” direct from the publisher Andrews McMeel Publishing via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All audiobooks via NetGalley are able to be heard via the NetGalley Shelf which is why I was thankful to be gifted an android tablet by my parents to celebrate my 7th Blog Birthday on Jorie Loves A Story. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

NOTE: As a new reviewer on NetGalley, I’m sorting out how to get the Press Materials for each of the audiobooks I’m reviewing when I share them on my blog Jorie Loves A Story. When I contacted NetGalley Support they informed me that if a separate Press Kit is not included on the audiobook’s book page we’re allowed as reviewers to use the book cover and synopsis provided when we go to share our review of that audiobook on our blogs; as long as we give attribution as I have done at the bottom of this review in “Sources”. Those materials are provided with permission of the publishers to be used by reviewers via NetGalley.

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Why I wanted to read &/or listen to “Soul Riders”:

I was attracted to a few elements about this story when I first found it on NetGalley – the horses, the sisterhood friendships of the girls’ and the fact this is all set in a fantastical world. I originally thought this was a story that was ‘set elsewhere’ without any tangible connection to our own living reality however as I shifted into the audiobook itself, I realised this is an Urban Fantasy wherein there are elements of modern life (our world) within the sphere of the series but there are elements of the fantastical in the background running concurrent to the girls’ school and life experiences.

I have a personal attachment to horse dramas & Westerns – whenever I can find one or the other which suits my interests, I love to soak inside the stories! Having had a close connection to horses when I was a child I believe plays a strong part in why I continue to seek out stories which features horses and/or the world of horses – from Contemporary &/or Historical Westerns to Contemporary Western Romances or Cowboy Romances (such as my Harlequin Heartwarming readings).

Finding a story set in a blended Middle Grade & Young Adult world for Fantasy which brings into focus my love of horses with the added advantage of hidden talents and special gifts given to the girls who ride star horses – honestly, what could be a better bookish find!?

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A #SpooktasticReads audiobook review | “Jorvik Calling” (Soul Riders: Book One) by Helena Dahlgren, narrated by Jennifer Jill Araya; courtesy of #NetGalleyJorvik Calling
Subtitle: Soul Riders (series), Video Game Tie-In (Star Stable)
by Helena Dahlgren
Source: Audiobook Direct from Publisher via NetGalley

Step into the universe of the massively popular adventure game Star Stable, and follow four friends who discover their magic powers and learn that every girl can be a hero in this fantasy trilogy.

Soul Riders tells the heroic tale of four young girls who have been chosen by destiny to save the world from the ancient demon: Garnok and his band of dangerous Dark Riders. Lisa is a teenage girl who is still coming to terms with the tragic loss of her mother in a riding accident and has sworn never to go near a horse again until she met Starshine, a mysterious blue-maned steed who comes to her in dreams. New on the island of Jorvik, Lisa befriends Alex, Linda, and Anne. Under the guidance of mystical druids, they discover they each have a special bond to their horses that gives them magical powers. While trying to balance school, family, and friendships they have to figure out what it means to be a Soul Rider. They are attacked by the Dark Riders and the mysterious Mr. Sands discover that their horses are in danger. Instead of relying on their combined strength, they decide to split up on their quest to find answers and learn to fight back against their enemies. However, will it be too late before they realize their mistake?

Jorvik Calling is the first installment in the epic, fantasy trilogy, Soul Riders, about magic, friendship, and horses bound to thrill all young equestrian fans.

Genres: Dark Fantasy, Equestrian Fiction, Horse Drama, Upper YA Fiction, Urban Fantasy, Video Game Tie-In Series, YA Fantasy, YA Paranormal Suspense, YA Urban Fantasy


Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781524855338

ASIN: B087D8F3SW

Published by Andrews McMeel Audio, Andrews McMeel Publishing

Format: Audiobook | Digital Review Copy (NetGalley)

Length: 5 hours and 40 minutes (unabridged)

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Published By: Andrews McMeel Audio
an imprint of Andrews McMeel Publishing (@AndrewsMcMeel)

NOTE: When I first started listening to this title I thought for sure it would be considered Middle Grade Fantasy – however, as it progressed forward, I started to see it leans into YA Fantasy. It might be on the fence of merging Upper YA into Adult Fantasy within an Urban Fantasy world-building and setting. Ergo, if your considering this for younger readers rather than adult, know that this has the innocence of a Middle Grade Fantasy intermixed with the darker villains of an Upper YA/Adult Fantasy wherein if you are seeking lighter readers for Middle Grade readers I would advise against this one.

Converse via: #UrbanFantasy as well as #DarkFantasy and Upper #YAFantasy
+ #SoulRiders, #audiobook or #audioreads as well as #JorikRising and #StarStable

Available Formats: Trade paperback, Audiobook and Ebook

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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Posted Monday, 19 October, 2020 by jorielov in Book Review (non-blog tour), Bullies and the Bullied, Childhood Friendship, Coming-Of Age, Dark Arts (Dark Magic), Dark Fantasy, Fantasy Fiction, Folklore, Folklore and Mythology, NetGalley, Supernatural Creatures & Beings, Teenage Relationships & Friendships, Upper YA Fiction, Urban Fantasy, YA Fantasy, Young Adult Fiction