Category: Medical Fiction

A #SaturdaysAreBookish Book Review | The Rancher’s Wyoming Twins (Book One: Back to Adelaide Creek) by Virginia McCullough

Posted Saturday, 30 April, 2022 by jorielov , , , , 2 Comments

#SaturdaysAreBookish banner 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 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 “The Rancher’s Wyoming Twins” direct from the author Virginia McCullough in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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Why I enjoy reading a Virginia McCullough
Harlequin Heartwarming novel:

In this installment of Back to Bluestone River, I was happy to see an intergenerational plotting – wherein Amy is with her grandmother and there is a history of grandparents raising children in the storyline. Lately, I’ve been enjoying finding intergenerational stories – where different role models and guardians are being explored in the context of Contemporary stories. It is a refreshing twist and one I think should be celebrated more often as there are a lot of children who live in non-conventional families and those families should be represented more as I am loving how Ms McCullough presented Amy’s presence in her grandmother’s life.

Bluestone River is one of those communities which is thinking about how it wants to make positive progress into their own towne’s future. There is something to be said for that kind of thinking – of where a towne considers all angles of new proposals but also takes stock into consideration how they want to grow rather than just growing without a firm plan in mind to execute. Too often I think smaller townes grow too fast and they all start to look like a commercial zone of big box stores and differing styles of architecture without any cohesive way of bridging the towne and their aesthetic together. It was nice to see this discussion taking place and having a community question what is motivating their future endeavours as the towne continues to grow.

Ms McCullough brought the continuity together beautifully between installments – as Eric is the mutual friend of our first Bluestone River sweethearts, Ruby and Mike. It wasn’t lost on me the connection between the title’s metaphor and the symbolism of the bridge being in jeopardy throughout the storyline – not to mention that this story took place during my favourite season of Winter! Everything was percolating so well in this installment – from how the community was rallying together to discuss their future plans for development and to how Amy needed to find her footing in her choices to return to Bluestone River. Even Eric was at a crossroads in his life wherein he needed to sort through what was motivating him and the choices he needed to be making for himself as he looked towards where he wanted to be in the next chapter of his life. This is a story about choices and owning them once they are made as everyone needs a boost of confidence at different junctions of their lives.

I felt this installment brought me back to centre – back to where I originally felt hugged close into the series within the pages of A Family for Jason. Bluestone River has a way of settling into your heart because its the kind of towne where you can either return home after a long absence or it is a towne where you can move to redefine your life and have your own new beginning. What keeps you rooted in the series is the familiar way in which McCullough makes you feel like you’ve gone home yourself – Back to Bluestone River!

-quoted from my review of A Bridge Home

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I need to preface this with a note about why I am posting my ruminative thoughts several days after my previously scheduled tour stop for this lovely blog tour. On Monday, I had one of the worst ocular migraines of my life – so much so, I had to call in sick from my night job and had to take straight to sleep as it was one of those supernova ones where you have to just rest and obliterate all light from reaching your eyes. Over five hours of sleep and I was feeling a bit more like ‘me’ but not quite to the point I’d say I was back to ‘normal’ either Monday night. By Tuesday, as much as I wanted to resume my life where I had left it the night before it wasn’t until Wednesday morning I felt I had turnt the corner and things were starting to feel like I had reached a healthier patch of road again. Despite that, I asked for an extension to read this novel as I didn’t want to push my eyes past the point they could go with reading and blogging; as sometimes even with traditional migraines it takes me hours/days to recover to the point I can read or blog again.

Ergo, I asked to post this on Saturday giving me more time to read and allowing my eyes not to feel too overwhelmed by reading too fast, too soon. Unfortunately, I had some other health issues arise this weekend which delayed me from sharing my thoughts until late morning rather than earlier as I had planned. It also pushed forward other reviews I was meant to feature this week as well. I was grateful to be on the tour, as Prism is winding down for the Summer and might be on an extended hiatus thereafter. As my regular readers know, I am full of gratitude to Prism (especially to Tressa) for encouraging me to first pick up Heartwarming novels and the journey as a book blogger hosting these authors and series has been a true joy of mine these past six years.

Ms McCullough is beginning a new series now with The Rancher’s Wyoming Twins and I was grateful to be part of the reviewers on the tour as most of the Western Romances I read are either inclusive of Colorado or Montana; it isn’t too often I get to travel into Wyoming and it was a special treat of joy to find this series settled there. Of course, when the Blackwells return this Summer, I’ll be travelling into Wyoming as well (ie. Blackwell Brothers series) but for now, it felt fitting to be in Wyoming and following the adventures therein.

NOTE: The Blackwell series is by fellow Heartwarming authors: Anna J. Stewart, Carol Ross, Melinda Curtis, Amy Vastine and Cari Lynn Webb. It started with Return of the Blackwell Brothers, followed by the Blackwell Sisters and I believe its the Blackwell Cousins this Summer but I haven’t confirmed that yet but the stories are set in Wyoming not Montana.

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A #SaturdaysAreBookish Book Review | The Rancher’s Wyoming Twins (Book One: Back to Adelaide Creek) by Virginia McCulloughThe Rancher's Wyoming Twins
Subtitle: Back to Adelaide Creek
by Virginia McCullough
Source: Author via Prism Book Tours

Her worst enemy...

Could bring her heart home

Heather Stanhope wants to despise the man who now owns the ranch her family lost. But Matt Burton is raising his late sister’s adorable twins, loves horses, and is known for his loyalty and honesty. Sneaking into Adelaide Creek for her friend’s wedding, Heather hopes to avoid Matt, but fate and family have them crossing paths. Heather knows falling for Matt means risking her heart, but it’s a risk she can’t resist.

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



Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 78-1335426680

Also by this author: A Family for Jason, The Christmas Kiss, A Bridge Home

Published by Harlequin Heartwarming

on 29th March, 2022

Format: Larger Print (Mass Market Paperback)

Pages: 384

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Back to Adelaide Creek series:

The Rancher’s Wyoming Twins (book one)

The Doc’s Holiday Homecoming (book two) *forthcoming November, 2022!

Keep up with this series via FantasticFiction!

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

Converse via: #ContemporaryRomance, #WesternRomance and #HarlequinHeartwarming

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About Virginia McCullough

Virginia McCullough

Born and raised in Chicago, Virginia McCullough has been lucky enough to develop her writing career in many locations, including the coast of Maine, the mountains of North Carolina, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and currently, Northeast Wisconsin. She started her career in nonfiction, first writing articles and then books as a ghostwriter and coauthor. She’s written more than 100 books for physicians, business owners, professional speakers and many others with information to share or a story to tell.

Virginia’s books feature characters who could be your neighbors and friends. They come in all ages and struggle with everyday life issues in small-town environments that almost always include water—oceans, lakes, or rivers. The mother of two grown children, you’ll find Virginia with her nose a book, walking on trails or her neighborhood street, or she may be packing her bag to take off for her next adventure. And she’s always working on another story about hope, healing, and second chances.

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Posted Saturday, 30 April, 2022 by jorielov in #SaturdaysAreBookish, 21st Century, Adoption, Ancestry & Genealogy, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host, Bookmark slipped inside a Review Book, Brothers and Sisters, Contemporary Romance, Family Drama, Family Life, Life Shift, Modern Day, Nurses & Hospital Life, Orphans & Guardians, Prism Book Tours, Romance Fiction, Siblings, Single Fathers, Sisterhood friendships, Small Towne Fiction, Small Towne USA, Twin Siblings, West Coast USA, Western Romance, Wyoming

A #RomanceTuesdays #25PagePreview | feat. #LoveInspired author Tina Radcliffe’s Hearts of Oklahoma series: “The Cowgirl’s Sacrifice” (Book Four)

Posted Tuesday, 20 July, 2021 by jorielov , , , 2 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 “The Cowgirl’s Sacrifice” direct from the author Tina Radcliffe in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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How I originally crossed paths with Ms Radcliffe:

Before I became a book blogger seven years ago in [2013] – I was an avid reader of bookish blogs specifically group author blogs like Heroes, Heroines & History and Seekerville; the latter was focused more on the process of writing and getting published as each of the authors featured on Seekerville originally were in their season of finding publication whereas HHH’s blog was devouted to authors who were either publishing for the first time or were established in their respective genres of INSPY Fiction.

This goes back to at least a full year before the end of March, 2013 when I developed Jorie Loves A Story as I would regularly converse with authors who are today’s well-known Christian Fiction authors across publishers and outlets of the pub world. Quite a few of those authors I was engaged with during my blog hops and commentary are authors who are still on my TBR List!! I even have a list of #nextreads featuring INSPY Authors on my 70 Author’s Challenge whilst each New Year, I hope to draw closer to reading each of the authors I originally sought out to read as a blog commenter ahead of becoming a book blogger myself!

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And, why I am in love with reading her stories:

I definitely love unexpected inheritance stories! And, Ms Radcliffe hasn’t disappointed me either – she’s set the stage for such a wicked wonderful inheritance story I was thrilled just to hear the details of the will being read as both Claire and Reece were trying to process the news themselves as this was a twist of fate for them to hear as her father never shared any information about what would happen after he passed. The fact he’s left her and Reece in a pickle whilst he’s gone felt a bit fitting because he doesn’t have to explain his actions and he can leave them to ask the questions he never answered. The interesting bit of course is how the inheritance was divided and that leads you as a reader to ask questions of your own about why a father would want to give part of his assets to the neighbour next door.

Oh! I definitely need to find a copy of the first novel in this series now – apparently, Mitch and Daisy’s story involves adoption (as Daisy relates how she adopted her nieces and nephews to Claire) as I am constantly seeking stories which touch on adoption and/or foster care families as I’ll be adopting in the future from foster care myself. It is nice to find stories which present adoptive and foster families in a positive light – even those families where it is a kinship placement like it would have been for Daisy, as it any story which can talk to the positives of adopting children is a winner in my book! I was dearly thankful Radcliffe mentioned Daisy and her husband so very early-on in the timeline for Ready to Trust. It helped fill in a few of the questions I had about what came before this novel but also, it gave me a purposeful reason to collect the first novel rather than to focus on the third which comes out later this year.

Radcliffe has written a romance which in of itself isn’t a romance as it is more of a healing of hearts and a second chance at a new beginning for two characters weather worn from life. She takes you through the motions of how one of them is more willing to let go of the past than the other whilst at the same time, there is this little girl in the middle of it all, too. Young Zoe has the innocence of a five year old and the charm of a father’s girl about her as she sweetens the story by her presence. The story also evokes a reckoning of thought about independent farming and ranching – how those operations have to think outside the box to survive and be sufficient in the worst of times as well as in the best of times. Overall, what I loved most about the story and the characters is how grounded Reece is now in his life and how important family is to him and his brothers. This is a story about how brothers and siblings can redefine their own lives after something goes horridly wrong and seeks to define their futures.

Ms Radcliffe places you into her characters’ shoes quite immediately after you open her novel – the joy therein is getting to have such a clear path towards understanding the emotional angst of her characters’ lives! In this case, Claire seems to be shouldering more than she is willing to share and Reece is a man with purpose who counts his hours as carefully as he completes his duties on his ranch. To see how their personalities both clash when they are together was a bit telling in of itself – as Claire was definitely confused by Reece’s presence as much as he was to be in her company. This is a lovely set-up as these are two people who haven’t seen each other in several years and because of Claire’s father’s will they are now back front and centre into each other’s life! I mean, what could you hope for more than a situation of convenience and unexpected inheritance to reunite two people who lost touch with one another!?

Radcliffe has writ a realistic storyline which brokers itself to discuss single parenthood and the secrets people keep from others when they are attempting to safeguard themselves. Those secrets of course have a way of spilling forward in the future at some point and that is at the heart of the story Radcliffe has written. With a realistic nod towards a scenario you can see happening IRL – Radcliffe guides her readers towards understanding both sides of the coin – in this case, the motivations and reasonings behind Claire’s omission and secret from Reece and the periods of growth Reece undertook since Claire last saw him.

Ms Radcliffe has an easy manner about her storytelling – she lets you dip into her world and see the flaws of her characters and challenges you a bit to understand their personal motives for what they are doing in their lives. For me, the true hero of the story is Reece because of how far he had come in his life and how he was rooted to his family. His siblings and him forged a life and lifestyle many might not have taken advantage of curating but because of their willingness to succeed and to remain in close touch with each other, I felt they had the best kind of life anyone could lead.

-quoted from my review of Ready to Trust

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A #RomanceTuesdays #25PagePreview | feat. #LoveInspired author Tina Radcliffe’s Hearts of Oklahoma series: “The Cowgirl’s Sacrifice” (Book Four)The Cowgirl's Sacrifice
Subtitle: Making new dreams is never easy...
by Tina Radcliffe
Source: Author via Prism Book Tours

This cowgirl has wandered back home…

Will she choose her past or her future?

Needing time to heal after a rodeo injury, Kate Rainbolt heads to her family ranch to accept the foreman job her brothers offered her months ago. But the position’s already been filled by her ex-boyfriend, Jess McNally, and the only open job reports to him. With Jess as her temporary boss—and turning into something more—might he finally convince Kate to put down roots?

Genres: Contemporary (Modern) Fiction (post 1945), Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, Romance Fiction, Contemporary Romance, Western Fiction, Ranches & Cowboys, Western Romance



Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781335758699

Also by this author: Ready to Trust

Published by Love INSPIRED

on 27th July, 2021

Format: Trade Paperback

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The Hearts of Oklahoma series:

Finding the Road Home by Tina RadcliffeReady to Trust by Tina RadcliffeHis Holiday Prayer by Tina RadcliffeThe Cowgirl's Sacrifice by Tina Radcliffe

Finding the Road Home (book one) : Daisy & Mitch’s story

Ready to Trust (book two) : Claire & Reece’s story (see also Review)

His Holiday Prayer (book three) : Jena & Tucker’s story

The Cowgirl’s Sacrifice (book four) : Kate & Jess’s story

Published by: Love Inspired (@LoveInspiredBks)
an imprint of Harlequin Books (@HarlequinBooks)
which is now an imprint of HarperCollins Publishing (@HarperCollins)

Note on Formats: Happily Love Inspired novels have the same kind of flexibility as Harlequin Heartwarming wherein you can receive these print copies in Regular Print, Larger Print or True Large Print for those who are vision impaired and/or have low vision. I personally love the Larger Print editions for Harlequin Heartwarming, Love Inspired Contemporary Romance & Love Inspired Suspense as it is much kinder on eyes of a migraineur! Generally I receive Larger Print copies of Love Inspired and/or Harlequin Heartwarming novels – however, I do on occasion receive Regular Print which I can’t read whilst in the throes of a migraine or shortly after one but when I’m migraine-free I can soak back inside them; hence why having different sized fonts available is a lovely gesture by the publisher for readers like me.

Converse via: #INSPYbooks and/or #INSPY, #SweetRomance and #LoveInspired

as well as #ChristFic, #ChristianFiction, #ContemporaryRomance or #INSPYRomance

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About Tina Radcliffe

Tina Radcliffe

Tina Radcliffe is the American Christian Fiction Writers Carol Award-winning author of inspirational romance. She is an ACFW and Romance Writers of America Honor Roll member, and a four time ACFW Carol Award finalist. Tina is the author of fifteen inspirational romances for Harlequin HarperCollins.

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Posted Tuesday, 20 July, 2021 by jorielov in #RomanceTuesdays, 21st Century, Balance of Faith whilst Living, Blog Tour Host, Child out of Wedlock, Contemporary Romance, Contemporary Western Fiction, Cowboys & Ranches, Family Drama, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, Life Shift, Modern Day, Nurses & Hospital Life, Prism Book Tours, Romance Fiction, Second Chance Love, Single Mothers, Singletons & Commitment, Small Towne Fiction, Small Towne USA, Western Fiction

A #HistoricalMondays #25PagePreview | feat. “Beauty Among Ruins” by INSPY Historical novelist J’nell Ciesielski

Posted Monday, 18 January, 2021 by jorielov , , , , , 1 Comment

#HistoricalMondays blog banner created by Jorie in Canva.

Acquired Book By: I am a regular tour hostess for blog tours via Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours whereupon I am thankful to have been able to host such a diverse breadth of stories, authors and wonderful guest features since I became a hostess! HFVBTs is one of the very first touring companies I started working with as a 1st Year Book Blogger – uniting my love and passion with Historical Fiction and the lovely sub-genres inside which I love devouring. Whether I am reading selections from Indie Authors & publishers to Major Trade and either from mainstream or INSPY markets – I am finding myself happily residing in the Historical past each year I am a blogger.

What I have been thankful for all these years since 2013 is the beautiful blessing of discovering new areas of Historical History to explore through realistically compelling Historical narratives which put me on the front-lines of where History and human interest stories interconnect. It has also allowed me to dive deeper into the historic past and root out new decades, centuries and millenniums to explore. For this and the stories themselves which are part of the memories I cherish most as a book blogger I am grateful to be a part of the #HFVBTBlogTours blogger team.

I received a complimentary ARC copy of “Beauty Among Ruins” direct from the publisher Thomas Nelson (an imprint of HarperCollins Christian Publishing) in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

NOTEI was originally scheduled to share my review of this novel earlier in the blog tour and had to amend my date for my post to be featured a week later in the tour. My apologies to those who are following the blog tour and to the author and publisher as well.

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On why I am sharing a shorter preview of my readings of
“Beauty Among Ruins”:

Recently, I started to mention how my readerly life this first half of January has been a bit stalled by current events – as like the rest of the country, it has been quite unsettling and it is hard to focus on reading. I thought if I rescheduled my review to post this week instead of last week, I’d have enough time to re-settle into books, re-find my rhythm with blogging and carry-on with my readerly plans for 2021. However, I’ll admit, I’ve been a bit glued to the newsfeeds recently and have been spending a lot of time offline – as my joy in both reading and being socially bookish hasn’t quite been the focus of how my January has begun. Except for the lovely distraction of #SatBookChat, I honestly have been absent from both the blogosphere & the twitterverse!

I decided to shorten my showcase for this novel rather than stall out in the middle of reading it – not due to disinterest as the story still appeals to me to be read but simply due to timing I’m meant to be reading it. I am sure there are others out there in the book blogosphere struggling to find their way with stories right now as well and I am hopeful I’ll be able to soak into stories with the same fierce joy I’ve always have had as a seventh year book blogger before January concludes. The past few weeks simply have felt a bit ‘off’ for me as a reader and I look forward to finding my way back into books whilst hoping for the calm & peace we all are hoping our country will embrace especially during this week of transitional changes.

For those of whom are new to Jorie Loves A Story, my #25PagePreview showcases are a way for me to get a wicked good sampling of an author’s style, voice and presence within the story they’ve written whilst offering my opinions and impressions of the pages I’ve read to my readers in the hopes that perhaps the story I am featuring might be a wicked good fit for them as well.

Today, I am featuring a #newtomeauthor from Thomas Nelson of whom is an INSPY publisher I’ve started to selectively find new stories & authors of whom interest me to be reading. Especially as they have had such a lovely batch of new Historicals this 2021, I am truly blessed they are touring with Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours!

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A #HistoricalMondays #25PagePreview | feat. “Beauty Among Ruins” by INSPY Historical novelist J’nell CiesielskiBeauty Among Ruins
by J’nell Ciesielski
Source: Publisher via Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours

In Ciesielski’s latest sweeping romance, an American heiress finds herself in Scotland amid the fallout of the Great War, and a wounded Scottish laird comes face-to-face with his past and a woman he never could have expected.

American socialite Lily Durham is known for enjoying one moment to the next, with little regard for the consequences of her actions. But just as she is banished overseas to England as a “cure” for her frivolous ways, the Great War breaks out and wreaks havoc. She joins her cousin in nursing the wounded at a convalescent home deep in the wilds of Scotland at a crumbling castle where its laird is less than welcoming.

Alec MacGregor has given his entire life to preserving his home of Kinclavoch Castle, but mounting debts force him to sell off his family history bit by bit. Labeled a coward for not joining his countrymen in the trenches due to an old injury, he opens his home to the Tommies to make recompense while he keeps to the shadows. But his preference for the shadows is shattered when a new American nurse comes streaming into the castle on a burst of light.

Lily and Alec are thrown together when a series of mysterious events threatens to ruin the future of Kinclavoch. Can they put aside their differences to find the culprit before it’s too late, or will their greatest distraction be falling in love?

Genres: Historical Fiction, Historical Romance, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, War Drama



Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 978-0785233565

ASIN: B0868WK6T1

Published by Thomas Nelson

on 12th January, 2021

Format: Paperback ARC

Length: 12 hours and 23 minutes (unabridged)

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Published by: Thomas Nelson (@ThomasNelson)
an imprint of HarperCollins Christian Publishing (@HCChristianPub)

Converse via: #HistFic or #HistNov as well as #INSPY #HistoricalFiction
+ #BeautyAmongRuins, #audiobook or #audioreads
as well as #TNZFiction and #HFVBTBlogTours

Available Formats: Trade paperback, Audiobook and Ebook

About J’nell Ciesielski

J'nell Ciesielski

With a passion for heart-stopping adventure and sweeping love stories, J’nell Ciesielski weaves fresh takes into romances of times gone by. When not creating dashing heroes and daring heroines, she can be found dreaming of Scotland, indulging in chocolate of any kind, or watching old black and white movies. Winner of the Romance Through the Ages Award and the Maggie Award, she is a Florida native who now lives in Virginia with her husband, daughter, and lazy beagle.

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • 2021 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge
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Posted Monday, 18 January, 2021 by jorielov in #25PagePreview, #HistoricalMondays, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host, Book Spotlight, During WWI, England, Historical Fiction, Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours, Historical Romance, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, INSPY Realistic Fiction | Non-Fiction, Medical Fiction, Nurses & Hospital Life, Realistic Fiction, War Drama

A #HarlequinHeartwarming #RomanceTuesdays | “After the Rodeo” (Book Two of the Heroes of Shelter Creek series) by Claire McEwen

Posted Tuesday, 1 September, 2020 by jorielov , , , , 2 Comments

#RomanceTuesdays badge created by Jorie in Canva.

Acquired Book By: I’ve come to know this series [Heroes of Shelter Creek] through hosting the blog tours celebrating releases within the series with Prism Book Tours. However, this September in lieu of an organised blog tour Ms McEwen was seeking book bloggers who were interested in her series and wanted to read the fourth novel in the series “Rescuing the Rancher”. Whilst I was conferring with the author about receiving this for review, I asked if I could receive the second novel in the series “After the Rodeo” as I never had the chance to read Jace and Vivian’s story! I was thankful that Ms McEwen was also available to be a featured guest during my @SatBookChat wherein I celebrate Romance, Women’s Fiction, strong female characters across genres and Feminist Lit on Saturdays each month.

I decided to read and feature “After the Rodeo” ahead of her #SatBookChat appearance and run my review during my #RomanceTuesdays feature wherein I love to showcase Harlequin Heartwarming and Love Inspired authors as they are writing the kinds of Romances I am appreciating most to be reading right now.

I received a complimentary copy of “After the Rodeo” 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:

When I was checking my feeds on Twitter a short while ago, I stumbled on an announcement by Ms McEwen who was seeking book bloggers to read and review her latest release of the Heroes of Shelter Creek series – wherein I was most excited seeing the notice posted as this is one of the Western & Cowboy Romance series I love reading the most published by Harlequin Heartwarming!

I wasn’t sure if I would be in time to request the book for review, but I immediately emailed the author and the rest knitted together out of that conversation! I am so thankful I contacted her when I had as it lead me to being reading this second of the series I had missed between books one and three as much as I have been wanting to host more of the authors I love via Harlequin Heartwarming and/or Love Inspired Suspense – having the Blackwell Brothers / Sisters authors booked during @SatBookChat in October, it was a lovely surprise to have Ms McEwen booked for early September!

If you’re a ready reader of Westerns and Western Romances, I hope this showcase might inspire you to give Harlequin Heartwarming a chance at winning over your love of Westerns because the authors who are writing these stories are writing wicked brilliant characters with stories which lift your spirits as you’re reading them! Plus, the settings alone are awe-inspiring and give you the kind of Western experience you are hoping for in a Western Rom!

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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.

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.

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.

-quoted from my book review of Her Surprise Cowboy

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A #HarlequinHeartwarming #RomanceTuesdays | “After the Rodeo” (Book Two of the Heroes of Shelter Creek series) by Claire McEwenAfter the Rodeo
Subtitle: Heroes of Shelter Creek
by Claire McEwen, Ms Claire McEwen
Source: Direct from Author

Her passion for her job...
could cost him everything...

Former rodeo champion Jace Hendricks has six weeks to turn his run-down ranch around or he could lose custody of his nieces and nephews. But biologist Vivian Reed has to survey his land first - and she won't be rushed. Vivian's optimism and wonder start to win over the kids... and even Jace. But with all that's at stake, can he risk getting any more involved with Vivian?

Genres: Adoption & Foster Care, Biological Diversity, Children At Risk, Contemporary (Modern) Fiction (post 1945), Contemporary Romance, Ecology, Men's Fiction, Motherhood | Parenthood, Ranches & Cowboys, Realistic Fiction, Romance Fiction, Western Fiction, Western Romance



Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781335510815

Also by this author: Reunited with the Cowboy, Her Surprise Cowboy, Rescuing the Rancher

Also in this series: Reunited with the Cowboy, Her Surprise Cowboy, Second Chance Cowboy, Rescuing the Rancher


Published by Harlequin Heartwarming

on 3rd September, 2019

Format: Larger Print (Mass Market Paperback)

Pages: 376

The Heroes of Shelter Creek series:

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

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

After the Rodeo (book two) – Jace & Vivian’s story

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

Rescuing the Rancher – Aidan & Jade’s story (book four)

Second Chance Cowboy – (book five) – featuring ?? → forthcoming April, 2021!

I’ll admit – I was a bit worried this was ending as a quartet until I spied the release for 2021 via FantasticFiction which is my main resource for sourcing advance notice about series I am reading when new installments of those series will be revealled in forthcoming months.

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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 #HarlequinHeartwarming with #HeroesOfShelterCreek

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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 Western Contemporary Romance:
subniche Cowboy & Ranchers Romance series

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Posted Tuesday, 1 September, 2020 by jorielov in #RomanceTuesdays, 21st Century, A Father's Heart, Addictions and Afflictions, Adoption, Blog Tour Host, Bookmark slipped inside a Review Book, Brothers and Sisters, California, Conservation, Contemporary Romance, Contemporary Western Fiction, Cowboys & Ranches, Debilitating Diagnosis & Illness, Disabilities & Medical Afflictions, Ecology, Environmental Activism, Environmental Advocacy, Environmental Conscience, Environmental Science, Environmental Solutions, Family Drama, Family Life, Fathers and Daughters, Foster Care, Green-Minded Social Awareness, Life of Thirty-Somethings, Life Shift, Men's Fiction, Mental Health, Modern Day, Motherhood | Parenthood, Nature & Wildlife, Non-traditional characters, Preservation, Prism Book Tours, Realistic Fiction, Romance Fiction, Second Chance Love, Siblings, Single Fathers, Sisterhood friendships, Small Towne Fiction, Small Towne USA, Social Services, Sudden Absence of Parent, Sustainability & Ecological Preservation, Sweet Romance, The Natural World, Walking & Hiking Trails, Western Fiction, Western Romance, Widows & Widowers, Women of a Certain Age, Women's Fiction, Women's Health