Category: Christmas Romance &/or Holiday Story

An early #blogmas #25PagePreview | feat. #HarlequinHeartwarming author Cathy McDavid’s “A Secret Christmas Wish” (Wishing Well Springs, Book Three)

Posted Wednesday, 10 November, 2021 by jorielov , , , , 0 Comments

#blogmas book review banner created by Jorie in Canva.

Acquired Book By: I’ve been hosting for Prism Book Tours since September of 2017 – having noticed the badge on Tressa’s blog (Wishful Endings) as we would partake in the same blog tours and/or book blogosphere memes. As I enquired about hosting for Prism, I found I liked the niche of authors and stories they were featuring regularly. Oft-times you’ll find Prism Book Tours alighting on my blog through the series of guest features and spotlights with notes I’ll be hosting on behalf of their authors when I’m not showcasing book reviews on behalf of Harlequin Heartwarming which has become my second favourite imprint of Harlequin next to my beloved #LoveINSPIRED Suspense. I am also keenly happy PRISM hosts a variety of Indie Authors and INSPY Fiction novelists. 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 “A Secret Christmas Wish” direct from the author Cathy McDavid in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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Hallo, Hallo dear hearts –

As I’ve eluded over the past several seasons of 2021 – my life has been a bit upturnt throughout the year as I’ve returnt to work full-time whilst at the latter half of October, I took-on a secondary job in combination with my first job. I began working three nights per week which is now expanding into four nights per week – blessedly, I love my work environment and my co-workers (in both jobs!) which makes the transitions and learning curves at both quite the blessing. However, in recent weeks and months, my family and I have been going through different bouts of difficulties whilst more immediately to this blog tour – I just came off a hard batch of hours (wherein my family was dealing with quite a heap in a short period of time) whilst nursing a bad migraine over the weekend which extended a bit into the early bits of this week.

I know this time round it was caused by an increase of stress and a few blog tours have been affected recently by events IRL which have taken my focus away from reading. Which is why I wasn’t able to read too far afield into this story right now and decided to cut my review back into a preview spotlight post rather than stress myself further and cause further delays as this was one of those migraines which didn’t let me read too much until it cleared and then, of course, I was greeting my tour deadline! Oy.

This is a series I ‘met’ last November, as an early #blogmas treat – as I have quite the affinity for Christmas Romances (Contemporary or Historical) and Western Christmas Romances are even more brilliant as I love tucking into Western Roms. Previously I read her  other series the Sweetheart Ranch!

Most especially if you’ve been visiting with me the past several years whilst I’ve become introduced to Harlequin Heartwarming and their lovely authors who keep writing series I cannot put down and eagerly await new installments. Of course, once they run their course, its even harder to put them down and step away from those characters and settings – but that gives me the joy of knowing another series or story is just round the corner from a favourite Heartwarming author.

This time round, I seem to have misplaced the sequencing of order with this series – as another story was published in the Spring of 2021 ahead of this third release. I knew about it last year, but of course – that has felt like a million miles away as honestly, if I were to contemplate how last November folded into this November, it would feel impossible that a year blinked past me! I still lament despite the medical emergencies of my parents last year where I was revolving through the ER like it was all the fashion to do so during a global pandemic – this year in particular has felt harder somehow and much more intense – isn’t that ironic?

I’ll have to gather a copy of the second novel at some point and properly bring myself current with this series. For now, I look forward to reading this novel in full but ahead of that – I wanted to share my initial thoughts and impressions about “A Secret Christmas Wish” for this lovely blog tour which is meant to inspire all of us to pick up our Christmas Romances now that Autumn has finally gripped our hearts and our weather. Wells, for some of us – Autumn still feels like a dream awaiting to arrive as its just not quite cold enough for sweaters but there is the hope of it on the horizon!

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An early #blogmas #25PagePreview | feat. #HarlequinHeartwarming author Cathy McDavid’s “A Secret Christmas Wish” (Wishing Well Springs, Book Three)A Secret Christmas Wish
by Ms Cathy McDavid
Source: Author via Prism Book Tours

The magic of Christmas

Could make her wish come true!

A small-town Christmas wedding. What could be more romantic? Unless you’re a plus-one for hire like single mom Maia MacKenzie. Too bad handsome cowboy Brent Hayes is her new coworker—and completely off-limits! Neither of them can afford to lose their job…or invest in a relationship. But when she sees Brent’s adorable connection with her young son, Maia can’t help wishing for a Christmas miracle.

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



Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 978-1335426475

Also by this author: The Cowboy's Holiday Bride

Published by Harlequin Heartwarming

on 26th October, 2021

Format: Larger Print (Mass Market Paperback)

Pages: 384

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The Wishing Well Springs series:

The Cowboy's Holiday Bride by Cathy McDavidHow to Marry A Cowboy by Cathy McDavidA Secret Christmas Wish by Cathy McDavid

The Cowboy’s Holiday Bride (book one) : (see also Review)

My impressions about how this series first began:

One of the happy discoveries I made very early-on into reading The Cowboy’s Holiday Bride is that Ms McDavid has created a new wedding venue series – as I had a feeling she might return to this kind of storytelling. It was a refreshing surprise finding Wishing Well Springs is quite similar to Sweetheart Ranch! Especially on the level of how the land, the ranch and the usage of the grounds for weddings and events is what is providing a way for the family who owns the property to keep the land in the family. There was a slight mention of how most of the land was lost to the family and how this small bit which is leftover is what has kept a part of their legacy intact. I could sympathise with them – whenever you lose something this important to you, it is hard to reconcile moving forward. It felt like there was a lot riding on the success of Wishing Well Springs as much as the tender balance within the partnership – as two siblings owned the ranch itself whilst they had a third partner who was meant to be equal to their shares of the business. And, that is where you find the first bout of conflict erupting between Cash and Phoebe as Cash had overridden Phoebe’s ability to be an equal partner when he made a choice about the business with his sister Laurel.

What was more interesting though is how much Cash was only interested in the business side of the wedding venue rather than focusing on the needs of the clients. You can tell this quickly was taking a toll on Phoebe’s resolve because she was dealing with a bull-headed bloke who wasn’t quite as clued into the wedding industry as he presumed! He was more interested in dollars and cents than he was in people’s lives – as Phoebe explained it brilliantly herself – they weren’t there to judge the choices of their clients’ they were meant to encourage them on their journey towards having a wedding of their dreams. The key being the weddings they hosted were the clients’ dreams not their own.

McDavid has the knack for creating Western ranches and wedding venues with the care and concern of those who work there whose main goals are to celebrate the couples to whom they are serving. McDavid you can tell loves these kinds of settings and again, it did not surprise me that two of her series now (which I’ve happily read) with Heartwarming are focusing on this kind of business and are equally set in smaller townes which can thrive on the kind of traffic and business these endeavours can give the local community.

In this new series, she has set the stage for an interesting collection of stories – as at the heart of the Wishing Well Springs wedding venue is one sister trying to assert herself out of the shadows of her sisters (ie. Laurel), a retired rodeo cowboy whose trying to re-define himself and his life (ie. Cash) and a woman who is in love with the joy of hosting weddings and other events with the dedication of someone who isn’t used to being limited to budget (ie. Phoebe). Each of them have their own bit of baggage they are carrying into the business too – as I thought it was interesting how McDavid created this series rooted out of the fact none of the business owners and partners are happily settled in matrimony themselves!

I felt this provided just the right amount of irony for the series – how they can plan and produce weddings but they cannot find that kind of sweetened harmonic happiness in their own lives which they regularly give to their clients. There is a lot of tongue-in-cheek moments between Phoebe and Cash – where they are each not necessarily willing to compromise with the other but where they get into bouts of arguments where you can tell neither one minds being the one to compromise in the end. You can see how they are simply two persons who never fully gave each other the time or inclination to pursue romantically and in that kind of way, the set-up McDavid has provided for the backdrop of this novel is apt fodder for a romance reader to soak inside because of the drama it organically brings into the story-line.

After reading the novel though I am on the fence about how I feel about the ending – although, there was resolution and restitution in regards to Cash’s issues in both communication and the issues he has with relationships, I felt there was still more work to be had in how he can improve his future by the work he needed to still resolve out of his past. He had such a lot of emotional and psychological baggage that for me, I felt his story might have been better served over two stories rather than one as he just felt like a work-in-progress to me rather than a polished stone by the end of the novel.

-quoted from my book review for The Cowboy’s Holiday Bride

How to Marry a Cowboy (book two)

A Secret Christmas Wish (book three)

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Published by: Harlequin Heartwarming,
an imprint of Harlequin Books (@HarlequinBooks)

Formats Available: Ebook and Paperback

Converse via: #Contemporary #WesternRomance & #Harlequin Heartwarming

About Ms Cathy McDavid

Cathy McDavid

In the third grade, NY Times, USA Today and Amazon bestselling author Cathy McDavid made it her goal to read every Black Stallion book ever written. Who knew such an illustrious ambition would eventually lead to a lifelong love of all things western, owning a stagecoach pulled by six mules, and a career writing contemporary romances for Harlequin?

With over 50 titles in print and 1.3 million-plus books sold, Cathy is also a member of the prestigious Romance Writers of America’s Honor Roll. This “almost” Arizona native and mother of grown twins is married to her own real-life sweetheart.

After leaving the corporate world six years ago, she now spends her days penning stories about good looking cowboys riding the range, busting broncs, and sweeping gals off their feet — oops, no. Make that winning the hearts of feisty, independent women who give the cowboys a run for their money. It's a tough job, but she’s willing to make the sacrifice.

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Posted Wednesday, 10 November, 2021 by jorielov in Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host, Christmas Romance &/or Holiday Story, Contemporary Romance, Contemporary Western Fiction, Cowboys & Ranches, Prism Book Tours, Romance Fiction, Western Fiction, Western Romance

#SaturdaysAreBookish and Heartwarming has a NEW Western imprint! | “Trusting the Rancher with Christmas” (Three Springs, Texas, Book Two) by Cari Lynn Webb

Posted Saturday, 6 November, 2021 by jorielov , , , , , 0 Comments

#SaturdaysAreBookish banner created by Jorie in Canva.

Acquired Book By: I’ve been hosting for Prism Book Tours since September of 2017 – having noticed the badge on Tressa’s blog (Wishful Endings) as we would partake in the same blog tours and/or book blogosphere memes. As I enquired about hosting for Prism, I found I liked the niche of authors and stories they were featuring regularly. Oft-times you’ll find Prism Book Tours alighting on my blog through the series of guest features and spotlights with notes I’ll be hosting on behalf of their authors when I’m not showcasing book reviews on behalf of Harlequin Heartwarming which has become my second favourite imprint of Harlequin next to my beloved #LoveINSPIRED Suspense. I am also keenly happy PRISM hosts a variety of Indie Authors and INSPY Fiction novelists. 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 “Trusting the Rancher with Christmas” direct from the author Cari Lynn Webb in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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Did you notice Heartwarming has a lovely new imprint?:

I admit, I’m a bit behind on bookish news these past few seasons of 2021 – returning to work in February proved to be its own learning curve and this Autumn, starting the last fortnight of October, I took-on a secondary job working three nights which are now expanding into four nights a week this November. Some years bring more change than others and this year definitely has been a New Year of changes for myself and my family. I’ve missed out on noticing which authors I love reading have release new books – something I hope to remedy in 2022 and in this instance, I missed the announcement about how Heartwarming was seeking Westerns!

As I previously mentioned, Western Romances are part of my cosy comfort reads. They always have been and I believe they always shall be – as I find great joy in reading stories set on ranches and farms and which occupy that part of America which can only be lived in the West. I might have grown up in a metropolis with the bursting chaos of city life but there is a part of me which appreciates the slower pace of small townes and getting back into a lifestyle closer to the natural world whilst loving the large expanse of space only rural and country living can give you. Not to mention the fact its been a life long dream to get back into horse-back riding and purse different Equestrian sports.

Finding out Harlequin Heartwarming is now shifting the Three Springs, Texas series by Ms Webb into their new Western imprint is wicked brilliant. As it turns out, most of my top favourite series by Heartwarming *are!* Western Romances and series!! Isn’t that interesting?! I now wonder if all of those series are going to shift into this imprint and if Heartwarming itself will go between having Contemporaries with Non-Western themes on the main imprint and then, all the lovely joys of Westerns kept separate? Of course, sometimes Harlequin does mini-runs of imprints, too. Either way, I’m game to take-on the adventure and see which new authors will be publishing under this imprint in 2022-beyond whilst continuing to celebrate the authors I already love reading who are publishing under it now!

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On why I love reading Harlequin Heartwarming and Romances
(outside of this imprint) overall:

I have a lot of joy in finding writers who love to celebrate and champion family and friendships – it is the backbone of why I love reading relationship-based romances, as you get to tuck close to the characters, peer into their personal lives and take up residence in their shoes for the hours you’re reading their stories.

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Three Springs, Texas likes to let you find out about the towne as you progress through the story, as it is the backdrop of the series but it is also one of those kinds of sleepier townes where it takes a bit to see the sights and understand the rhythm of how the community functions. On the surface, you might blink and miss the towne itself but it has more to it than what can be perceived. Tess, the barely knows her cousin relation of Abby is a clever character in her own right. Relocated to a towne on a whim and hope of starting over with their grandfather’s store and without knowing how it might all turn out in the end. That’s the kind of second chance you want to bet on and see come to fruition because of the courage it takes to re-write your own destiny. I was hoping a bit of that spunk and spark might inspire Abby a bit too. Even if she doesn’t think Tess is as strong as Tess actually is and that of course was an observation which made me smirk. People sometimes misconstrue others and misunderstand their own strength.

The General store Tess inherited from their grandparents is a bit of a work-in-progress – whereas what was once a thriving store front is now a bit of a build yourself a new inventory kind of store! It has the bare bones of a thriving business but the heart and substance it once held in its shelves is long since gone. I thought it was quite clever Tess was taking custom orders, which seemed to be more of the antique and hard to source variety than the kinds of items you’d think ranchers might want to seek out to purchase on the regular. I had a feeling the General store might have a new identity dawning for itself. Of course, for two women trying to make amends for their insurrected pasts and try to find new ground in this new community in which to reset their lives, I felt a project like this one might be the best medicine they could each mutually have found.

The more Abby and Wes were placed onto each others’ paths, the more you could see how both of them ached for more connection. Not necessarily from each other, though that is the underthread of interest throughout the story, but just from someone who would understand them. They’re both a bit untethered at the beginning, as their both seeking elsewhere to find their roots. They want to find a way to recharge their lives, which is why Abby selected Three Springs as a potential root making option for herself as Tess was already anchoured here. For Wes, it was further complicated by what had previously happened before his arrival in Three Springs; both on a personal and professional front. For him, life couldn’t rebegin until he was certain he had a foundation on which to build. For Abby, she was a bit more daring and decided to take her chances as she found them rather than wait for a better moment to begin. They both had their strengths and they both had their own share of reservations, which were understandable given the circumstances.

What truly anchours you into this story though is the unconditional love this community has for each other – it is even evident in the letter by Abby’s grandmother, which she wrote to Abby to encourage her on her new path towards finding out if Three Springs is the right fit for her as it had been for her grandparents. Sometimes life leads you in different places than your expecting to find yourself but those places are the right place to find your life. This is why I loved seeing this story develop and endeavour to paint the larger portrait of the towne of Three Springs. There are so many lovely characters here to draw your eye towards them and to have a piece of your heart left behind in a community who truly feels its more one extended family than a community of neighbours. These people care about each other, about welcoming in new visitors and residents alike and in finding common ground in which to build a solid future. All of us would be blessed to find the same in our world, too.

-quoted from my review of The Texas SEAL’s Surprise

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In case you missed it, during my 8th Blogoversary this March,
I re-celebrated why I love reading Harlequin Heartwarming stories as I had during my 6th!

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#SaturdaysAreBookish and Heartwarming has a NEW Western imprint! | “Trusting the Rancher with Christmas” (Three Springs, Texas, Book Two) by Cari Lynn WebbTrusting the Rancher with Christmas
Subtitle: Three Springs Texas
by Cari Lynn Webb
Source: Author via Prism Book Tours

A visit for the holidays

Brings love for a lifetime

Cattle rancher Evan Bishop is desperate for Paige Palmer’s help. The veterinarian is in Three Springs for the holidays, but the single dad hopes she has time to save his ailing livestock. Paige is up for the challenge, though not quite up to resisting the cowboy’s rugged charm and his darling devotion to his little girl. Can Paige learn to trust the rancher before the countdown to Christmas ends?

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



Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781335426499

Also by this author: The Rancher's Rescue, Single Dad to the Rescue, In Love by Christmas, Her Surprise Engagement, Three Makes A Family, The Texas SEAL's Surprise

Published by Harlequin Heartwarming

on 26th October, 2021

Format: Larger Print (Mass Market Paperback)

Pages: 377

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

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Three Springs, Texas series:

The Texas SEAL's Surprise by Cari Lynn WebbTrusting the Rancher with Christams by Cari Lynn Webb

The Texas SEAL’s Surprise (Book One) : Abby & Wes’s story

Trusting the Rancher with Christmas (Book Two) : Evan & Paige’s story

Her Cowboy Wedding Date (Book Three) :

forthcoming release June, 2022!

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Converse via: #Contemporary #Romance or #WesternRomance

#HarlequinWestern and #HarlequinHeartwarming & #ThreeSpringsTexas

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About Cari Lynn Webb

Cari Lynn Webb

Cari Lynn Webb lives in South Carolina with her husband, daughters and assorted four-legged family members. She's been blessed to see the power of true love in her grandparent's 70 year marriage and her parent's marriage of over 50 years. She knows love isn't always sweet and perfect, it can be challenging, complicated and risky. But she believes happily-ever-afters are worth fighting for. She loves to connect with readers. Visit her at her website.

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Posted Saturday, 6 November, 2021 by jorielov in Blog Tour Host, Christmas Romance &/or Holiday Story, Contemporary Romance, Contemporary Western Fiction, Cowboys & Ranches, Farm and Ranching on the Frontier, Indie Author, Prism Book Tours, Romance Fiction, Single Fathers, Small Towne Fiction, Western Fiction, Western Romance

This #SaturdaysAreBookish features #HarlequinHeartwarming | “The Secret Santa Project” (Seasons of Alaska, Book Eight) by Carol Ross

Posted Saturday, 18 September, 2021 by jorielov , , , , 0 Comments

#SaturdaysAreBookish banner created by Jorie in Canva.

Happily, I was able to read two lovely novels in the Seasons of Alaska series this year!

Which was sweetened by celebrating my 8th Blogoversary, this March!

I blessedly read the eighth novel in this series, a month and one week after I celebrated my 8th Blog’s Birthday which was on the 6th of August, 2021. 8 is definitely my number now!

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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 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 Secret Santa Project” 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:

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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!

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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This #SaturdaysAreBookish features #HarlequinHeartwarming | “The Secret Santa Project” (Seasons of Alaska, Book Eight) by Carol RossThe Secret Santa Project
Subtitle: Seasons of Alaska
by Carol Ross
Source: Author via Prism Book Tours

A gift he wasn’t expecting…

A special Christmas wish

Working with his best friend’s sister isn't how Cricket Blackburn had planned to spend his holidays. He’d tried to forget about sweet, beautiful Hazel James for ten whole years and now she's back, closer to him than ever. They have a Christmas charity to run—certainly that will keep Cricket’s mind off what might have been. Perhaps if he tells Santa his secrets, his ultimate wish might 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:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 978-1335426352

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

Published by Harlequin Heartwarming

on 27th July, 2021

Format: Larger Print (Mass Market Paperback)

Pages: 384

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

I found it wicked interesting how Ross started us off in this story by stepping into the joy of fishing! We do not have a lot of information about who is fishing but its how their fishing that means more than their name and identity! The care and attention they have to the sport of fishing as much as the mindfulness of releasing the fish after archiving data and evidence of the fish being caught. I was a compassionate fisherwoman myself – I never caught for anything more than the joy of the time I spent fishing. Between the natural environment and the quiet calm of the setting – there wasn’t any reason not to feel relaxed in that moment.

You can tell Ross has a passion for fishing herself – especially how she describes how her characters’ are fishing and the methods they are using to fish. There is an art to it – from the choices of bait to what you use on your lines to draw the fish to you. Everyone makes their own choices and of course, a lot of those choices depend on where you’re fishing, too. Reading the opening chapters of this novel brought back a wealth of happy memories and a childhood where there was still a lot of innocent joy to be found.

I surmised the Cajun ancestry in Victoria’s family even before it was disclosed and that is credit to Ms Ross who had tucked in subtle hints about her family’s origins. From the name she called her grandmother to the ways in which she spoke herself – she had such a distinctive tone and sound to her person, I knew her ancestry even before it was properly announced! This is one reason why I enjoy reading Contemporary and/or Historical stories set in and round NOLA. And, coincidently before the storylines went askew that is also why I loved that variant of NCIS. There is something special about stories set in the bayous of Louisiana and I felt Ms Ross did a chamption job in capturing but the history and the spirit of the setting.

I especially loved seeing how this story took on a role of ‘perspectives’ – from Seth and from Victoria and how dearly realistic and relatable their stories were from that angle. Ross makes the critical observation of how we sometimes get ‘stuck in our heads’ to the point where we’re either overthinking something or we’re nearly to the point of talking ourselves out of something without any rationality attached to that choice other than where our hearts and emotions are leading us. From this, Ross deepens their individual and conjoined journeys as they shift forward in their individual lives whilst attempting to test the waters if there is a way their paths can not just cross but continue to merge in a role neither of them are fully comfortable defining. For me, this was the most immediate joy of Catching Mr Right – it wasn’t a meet-cute circumstance nor was it an insta-attraction plot either – it was more of seeing two people re-discover what they want out of life and what they potentially had overlooked in what they might want in someone else.

The best takeaway from Catching Mr Right is that family stands behind family. You cannot get far in this world without people who will defend you at a moment’s notice and you cannot hope to survive this world without a family behind you. Whether your family is biological, adopted or found – family is EVERYTHING. And, this is the best part of reading this story – Ross champions FAMILY and gives us such a stirringly brilliant ending which makes our heart rejoice for having read it.

-quoted from my review of Catching Mr Right

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Seasons of Alaska series:

Bachelor Remedy by Carol RossIn the Doctor's Arms by Carol RossCatching Mr Right by Carol RossThe Secret Santa Project 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) see also Review

The Secret Santa Project (Book Eight)

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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
as well as #SeasonsOfAlaska and #CarolRoss

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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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Posted Saturday, 18 September, 2021 by jorielov in 21st Century, Blog Tour Host, Book Review (non-blog tour), Christmas Romance &/or Holiday Story, Contemporary Romance, Family Drama, Family Life, Life Shift, Modern Day, Passionate Researcher, Post-911 (11th September 2001), Prism Book Tours, Romance Fiction, Small Towne Fiction, Wordsmiths & Palettes of Sage

An #INSPY Christmas Novella Spotlight with Notes | featuring “An Ivy Hill Christmas” (Tales from Ivy Hill series, Book 3.5) by Julie Klassen

Posted Friday, 18 December, 2020 by jorielov , , , , , , , 0 Comments

Stories in the Spotlight banner created by Jorie in Canva.

Hallo, Hallo dear hearts!

I am unsure if I’ve blogged about my curiosity over Julie Klassen’s novels – I know I might have winked a bit about them during this year’s Christian Fiction Reading Safari in August – as I was seriously attempting to read my first Klassen novel *then!* – however, something has always distracted me and/or left me questioning which of her novels I need to be reading ‘first’ to where I have not made any progress at all in reading her collective works!! I wanted to change this sad fate of mine as she’s an author I’ve been following in the book blogosphere since a year before I became a book blogger (ie. 2012) as much as I have appreciated her guest posts, interviews and other interactions she gives to her readers whilst being a follower of hers on Twitter, too!

When I first learnt about “An Ivy Hill Christmas” – it was when this particular blog tour had been originally announced. I thought, hmm. This might be a good time to dive back into a Klassen novel and/or series – I especially love *Christmas stories* and at the time, I couldn’t discern if this was a novella which ‘fit into the series’ already established in the trilogy of stories released and/or if it was an extension of the series itself wherein new/old characters would be populating the storyline. It took some digging – both on Ms Klassen’s website, her group author’s blog (?) and a random search which led me onto a short Q&A (courtesy of Family Fiction) which revealled the truth! This is a novella within the series and it recaptures the series as it has already become established and thus, moves it forward – thereby, I anchoured this as Book 3.5 as it is a continuation of what was already established and follows suit after the third novel.

I originally borrowed a print copy of The Innkeeper of Ivy Hill thinking it would be an easier way for me to read the story – best laid plans, eh? – however, I quickly amended those plans and borrowed it via audiobook digitally via my local library’s CloudLibrary instead! Whilst I also borrowed An Ivy Hill Christmas – I wasn’t in enough time to provide a proper review today, though if you’re familiar with my #25PagePreview posts time after time on Jorie Loves A Story, I think you might get a hoot of a kick out of how I’ve assembled this spotlighted feature for the blog tour with Love Books Tours!

I must confess, this spotlight is arriving late in the night on my day of the blog tour because I misplaced the tour materials and the ‘date’ my spotlight was meant to run! After a seriously long week, I settled into sorting out my blog with some Christmas Coffeehouse songs via #Spotify and tucked into how I could ring out a post about Ivy Hill even if I had to forego the schedule for the tour as I honestly couldn’t sort out where my materials had gone off too! Then, right at the point I thought all was lost – I found everything I needed in two key places – Baker Publishing and a short scribbled note which revealled the 18th was my day! *whew!*

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An #INSPY Christmas Novella Spotlight with Notes | featuring “An Ivy Hill Christmas” (Tales from Ivy Hill series, Book 3.5) by Julie KlassenAn Ivy Hill Christmas
Subtitle: A Tales from Ivy Hill Novella
by Julie Klassen
Source: Borrowed from local library's CloudLibrary

Spend a festive Christmas in the English village of Ivy Hill, as divine hope, friendship, and unexpected romance work their magic. . . .

Richard Brockwell, the younger son of Ivy Hill's most prominent family, hasn't been home for Christmas in years. He prefers to live in the London townhouse, far away from Brockwell Court, the old family secret that haunts him, and the shadows of his past mistakes. But then his mother threatens to stop funding his carefree life--unless he comes home for Christmas. Out of options, he sets out for Ivy Hill, planning to be back on a coach bound for London and his unencumbered bachelor life as soon as the festivities are over.

But Christmas in the country presents many surprises, including encounters with an orphaned apprentice, the first love he disappointed years ago, and Arabella Awdry, a young lady who is far more appealing than he recalled--and determined to have nothing to do with him.

Will Christmastime in Ivy Hill, with its village charm, kissing boughs, and joyous songs, change his heart . . . and hers as well?

Genres: Christmas Story &/or Christmas Romance, Historical Fiction, Historical Romance, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction



Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9780764233807

Published by Bethany House Publishers

on 1st September, 2020

Format: Audiobook | Digital

Length: 7 hours and 35 minutes (unabridged)

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Tales of Ivy Hill series:

The Innkeeper of Ivy Hill by Julie KlassenThe Ladies of Ivy Cottage by Julie KlassenThe Bride of Ivy Green by Julie Klassen

The Innkeeper of Ivy Hill (book one)

Welcome to the English village of Ivy Hill,
where friendships thrive, romance blossoms, and mysteries await. . . .

The lifeblood of the village of Ivy Hill is its coaching inn, The Bell. When the innkeeper dies suddenly, his genteel wife, Jane Bell, becomes the reluctant landlady. Jane has no idea how to manage a business, but with the town’s livelihood at stake and a large loan due, she must quickly find a way to save the inn.

Despite their strained relationship, Jane turns to her resentful mother-in-law, Thora, for help. Formerly mistress of The Bell, Thora is struggling to overcome her losses and find purpose for the future. As she works with Jane, two men from her past vie for her attention, but Thora has promised herself never to marry again. Will one of them convince her to embrace a second chance at love?

As pressure mounts from the bank, Jane employs new methods, and puzzles over the intentions of several men who seem to have a vested interest in the place, including a mysterious newcomer with secret plans of his own. With the help of friends old and new, can Jane restore life to the inn, and to her empty heart as well?

The Ladies of Ivy Hill (book two)

Return to Ivy Hill as friendships deepen, romances blossom, and mysteries unfold . . .

A gentlewoman in reduced circumstances, Miss Rachel Ashford lives as a guest in Ivy Cottage. With her meager funds rapidly depleting, she is determined to earn her own livelihood . . . somehow. Her friend Jane Bell and the other village women encourage her to open a circulating library with the many books she’s inherited from her father. As villagers donate additional books and Rachel begins sorting through the volumes, she discovers mysteries hidden among them. A man who once broke her heart helps her search for clues, but both find more than they bargained for.

Rachel’s hostess, Mercy Grove, has given up thoughts of suitors and finds fulfillment in managing her girls school. So when several men take an interest in Ivy Cottage, she assumes pretty Miss Ashford is the cause. Exactly what–or whom–has captured each man’s attention? The truth may surprise them all.

The Bride of Ivy Green (book three)

Come home to Ivy Hill, where friendship endures, romance triumphs,
and mysteries are revealed in this eagerly anticipated conclusion. . . .

Spring is in the air . . . and change is too. Mercy Grove has lost her girls’ school and is resigned to life as a spinster, especially as the man she admires is out of reach. She contemplates leaving Ivy Cottage to become a governess–a decision with consequences she never imagined.

Meanwhile, her friend Jane Bell is facing a difficult decision of her own. Should she accept Gabriel Locke even if it means giving up her inn and destining another man to a childless marriage?

When a secretive new dressmaker arrives in the village, Mercy, Jane, and the other ladies of Ivy Hill attempt to befriend her, but they soon suspect she isn’t who she claims to be.

Together, the women of Ivy Hill look forward to one wedding, but surprises lie in store and dearly held dreams may yet come true.

An Ivy Hill Christmas (book 3.5)

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Published by: Bethany House Publishers (@bethany_house)
an imprint of Baker Publishing Group

Available Formats: Hardcover, Trade Paperback, Audiobook and Ebook

Converse via: #INSPY #HistoricalFiction or #HistFic as well as #ChristmasRomance
as well as #JulieKlassen, #HolidayReads or #ChristmasReads and #INSPYRomance

About Julie Klassen

Julie Klassen Photo Credit: © Farrow Media

Julie Klassen (www.julieklassen.com) loves all things Jane--Jane Eyre and Jane Austen. Her books have sold over a million copies, and she is a three-time recipient of the Christy Award for Historical Romance. The Secret of Pembrooke Park was honored with the Minnesota Book Award for Genre Fiction. Julie has also won the Midwest Book Award and Christian Retailing's BEST Award and has been a finalist in the RITA and Carol Awards. A graduate of the University of Illinois, Julie worked in publishing for sixteen years and now writes full time. She and her husband have two sons and live in a suburb of St. Paul, Minnesota.

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Posted Friday, 18 December, 2020 by jorielov in 19th Century, Blog Tour Host, Book Spotlight, Christmas Romance &/or Holiday Story, Historical Romance, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, Love Books Tours, Sampler Chapters &/or Excerpt of Novel, the Regency era