Category: Contemporary Romance

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

Blog Book Tour | “Love Blooms” (Book One: Bluestar Island series) by Jennifer Faye

Posted Friday, 2 July, 2021 by jorielov , , , 5 Comments

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.

I received a complimentary copy of “Love Blooms” direct from the author Jennifer Faye in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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On why I’ve been enjoying reading this author:

When I first started seeking out authors via the imprints of Harlequin, one of the authors who stood out to me initially from the Harlequin Romance line (as at the time, I was sampling stories from Romance, Super Romance & Heartwarming – sorting out which of the three imprints suited me best as a reader; as I had already realised how much the LI: Suspense line fit me!) was Jennifer Faye.

In a large part due to her consistency, her continuity when she wrote duologies, specialised focused serials and the ways in which she drew you into her Contemporary Romance worlds within this curious imprint which features pink covers in handle portable sized paperback editions! I liked the convenience of the size, the realistic characters she pulled into her world(s) and the ways in which our contemporary modern lives were explored elsewhere from where we generally live our own lives. It gave a sense of place but also, of how uniquely you can find a Contemporary placed in a setting you are itching to visit such as her Greek Isles Brides series which took me back to Greece.

I’ve enjoyed re-visiting Greece through Faye’s eyes due to how many fond memories I have of corresponding with a friend who lived on the Isles themselves. She truly captured a bit of that kind of lifestyle I had remembered reading through letters & correspondences but also, she brought a convicting narrative together which interlocked three different women in their pursuit at their own ‘happily ever after’.

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Whilst at the same time, I hadn’t realise the Fairytale Romances she created has a new addition – Fairytale Christmas with the Millionaire as I originally was led to believe this was a duology rather than a series or trilogy. I hadn’t wanted the journey of that series to end where it had and I was most excited now, in June 2021 realising a 3rd novel was released last December! As it gives me something wicked to look forward to gathering to read.

Likewise, as you’ll note from my review for Love Blooms – when it comes to this type of Contemporary, I am most definitely an avid reader of a Romance being situated and set in a ‘small towne’. It is nice to find such wonderful writers who are giving all of us who love Contemporaries stories to chew on and absorb; Faye, alongside my Harlequin Heartwarming novelists are my top favourites when it comes to this niche of genre as well as quite a few of the ChocLitUK authors I used to regularly review who focused on Contemporary Romance.

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Blog Book Tour | “Love Blooms” (Book One: Bluestar Island series) by Jennifer FayeLove Blooms
Subtitle: A Bluestar Island novel
by Jennifer Faye
Source: Author via Prism Book Tours

“With the bloom of springtime flowers…

comes the opportunity for new beginnings.”

He's an injured firefighter. She bakes the most delightful treats. When their worlds collide will the baker help heal the firefighter with a mix of blueberry muffins and her caring way?

The elegant baker, Hannah Bell, has always lived on Bluestar Island with her family. While still grieving for her father, who died in a fire, she focuses all of her energy on making her dream come true--opening her very own bakery. But when a broken water pipe washes away her carefully laid plans, she's on the verge of losing everything.

New York firefighter Ethan Walker's life is in a tailspin after he's injured on-the-job. When an urgent call detours him to Bluestar Island, he agrees to help his lovable but meddlesome great-aunt. But organizing the island's Spring Fling proves a lot harder than he originally imagined. He needs help...and fast.

Under the magic of Bluestar Island's sea breeze and warm sunshine, Hannah and Ethan must not only face their immediate obstacles but also their own turning points in life. Will they have to do that alone? With a leap of faith and a dash of romance, they might just find the perfect mix to make their dreams come true.

Includes a delicious recipe for The Elegant Baker's Blueberry Crumble Muffin!

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


Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781942680130

Also by this author: Beauty and Her Boss, Miss White and the Seventh Heir, Heiress's Royal Baby Bombshell, Carrying the Greek Tycoon's Baby, Claiming the Drakos Heir, Wearing the Greek Millionaire's Ring (Spotlight), Wearing the Greek Millionaire's Ring , Her Christmas Pregnancy Surprise, The Prince and the Wedding Planner, Christmas in Bayberry

Published by Lazy Dazy Press

on 3rd April, 2021

Format: Trade Paperback

Pages: 285

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Bluestar Island series:

Love Blooms by Jennifer FayeHarvest Dance by Jennifer Faye

Love Blooms (book one)

Harvest Dance (book two) ← forthcoming release, 2021!
(this will be a Digital First sequel)

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Formats Available: Trade Paperback and Ebook

Converse via: #ContemporaryRomance and #Romance

About Jennifer Faye

Jennifer Faye

Award-winning author, Jennifer Faye pens fun, heartwarming contemporary romances with rugged cowboys, sexy billionaires and enchanting royalty. Internationally published with books translated into nine languages. She is a two-time winner of the RT Book Reviews Reviewers' Choice Award, the CataRomance Reviewers' Choice Award, named a TOP PICK author, and been nominated for numerous other awards.

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Posted Friday, 2 July, 2021 by jorielov in 21st Century, Blog Tour Host, Contemporary Romance, Content Note, Family Life, Fly in the Ointment, Life Shift, Modern Day, Post-911 (11th September 2001), Prism Book Tours, Romance Fiction

A #RomanceTuesdays #25PagePreview feat. #HarlequinHeartwarming | “An Alaskan Homecoming (Northern Lights: Book Eight) by Beth Carpenter

Posted Tuesday, 22 June, 2021 by jorielov , , , , 1 Comment

#RomanceTuesdays badge created by Jorie in Canva.

Acquired Book By: I started hosting with Prism Book Tours at the end of [2017], having noticed the badge on Tressa’s blog (Wishful Endings) whilst I was visiting as we would partake in the same blog tours and/or book blogosphere memes. I had to put the memes on hold for several months (until I started to resume them (with Top Ten Tuesday) in January 2018). When I 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 “An Alaskan Homecoming” direct from the author Beth Carpenter in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.comHallo, Hallo dear hearts,

Every Summer, I am vexed and plagued with severe storms and *every!* Summer, I try to divert the angst of storm season by being better prepared to dodge the agony of riding out the worst of them from affecting or rather in this instance *disrupting!* my readerly life and blog schedule. However, there are a few years which stand out in my mind where despite your plans to circumvent issues before they happen, nature has a way of surprising you ahead of time! Such is why I had to cut back this review to a preview review rather than a full-length review – as my intentions were to read this lovely novel ahead of the storms rather than being short-changed in time due to their imminent arrival into my life.

Such a simple plan and yet, as soon as June began – the storms not only affected the internet connectivity I enjoy using but it also started to affect my work life as well. The hours I would normally have to spare to read after or before work were lost to lightning and last week in particular, I was without the internet completely for nearly the full week. Considering of course that particular circumstance left me with a full system failure which required the service provider to switch out all the equipment as nothing was working at one point! Oy.

Thereby, the one wench in my plans this June is when I was able to begin reading this lovely novel which would also be the kick-off of one of my secreted readerly plans for Summer! 

Let me share with you what I’ve sorted out – as I have plans to celebrate #MyYASummer with you from June through September, whilst I also have another little idea to make me a wicked happy Romance reader: A Harlequin Heartwarming Summer!! Mostly as I’ve been sitting on a bit of a BIG secret – not to long ago, a few months back now, I came across a lovely resource for buying these lovelies second-hand wherein I could ‘add’ some #newtomeauthors onto my shelves whilst picking up books by authors I have come to know through the Heartwarming line – either as a reader and/or as a chat hostess via @SatBookChat!

I purchased 7x novels – combined with the EPIC LOVELY Butterfly Harbour novels Ms Stewart graced my life with this Spring and the four remaining stories of the #BlackwellSisters series those authors sent to me as well — you could say, my Summer is going to be brilliantly EPIC all the way round!! I’ve been wanting to jump dive back into reading Heartwarming novels but betwixt life, work and storms (ie. the intensely driven ones with heaps of lightning & flooding rains most of us are contending with right now) – you could say, I had to put a lot of my #currentreads on hold!

I struggled with moving past the last of my Harlequin Suspense reads as I read a few jarring stories which sort of messed with my headspace. I *knew!* I wanted to resume from whence I’ve left off but like most things in our lives, when it comes to our readerly lives, patience is KEY. I decided despite the frequent imbalances between work and life, I refuse to give in the towel. I just have to continue to be more proactively creative when it comes to when I can binge read my favourites and when I can snack on stories which enrich my heart and give me heaps of readerly blissitude to be read. And, that dear hearts is why I’m spending Summer anchoured into both Young Adult Reads and Harlequin Heartwarming!

Soon I’ll be talking about another sweet find I made recently and how it ties into a birthday project wherein all of us (Mum, Da & I) are journeying together into a new series where faith, romance and a hospital set the backdrop of a new Cosy Mystery series wherein as a family we’re doing something new together.

For now, let’s celebrate my continued joys in reading the Heartwarming novelists who give me #wickedgoodreads and endeavour me to have more cuppa love moments as I seek out their stories and series. Not to mention its the PURFECT way to unwind after work – with my tux by my side and a Heartwarming novel in my hands – queuing Spotify into my ears and I’m one delightfully happy book blogger!

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Why I loved the Northern Lights series coming into it at Book Eight:

What I love most about travelling to such an wicked adventurous state like Alaska through the series I am reading by Heartwarming novelists like Carpenter are the awesome depictions of the wild Alaska residents and the impressively majestic observations you can get from just ‘being still’ somewhere in the natural world therein. Carpenter treats us straight-off the bat with a moose sighting as Natalie takes the train to Anchorage – which next to their ferry system, the trains I felt would provide the most wonderment of JOY to a visitor or local resident because of what can be seen ashore and just outside the windows. I know one day I’ll get to visit and adventure in and out of the cities, townes and villages of our most northern state one day but for now, I am happily content in ‘being there’ rapt in the same joy of mirth these lovely authors are giving me through their stories!!

The kind of synthesis of plotting Carpenter used is one that I personally love – because it enables you to see the plot from different perspectives not merely limited to the two key characters you might presume are at the forefront of the novel! This allows for heartier depth, keen observation of the evolving threads of underlying suspense (as this refers to the twist) and a lovely bounce and volley watching the characters react and respond to everything in their purview! Honestly – it is a seriously awesome installment for this series because it tackles a story from a different starting point than the others in the series yet gives you the added benefit of having four characters to chase after into the thickening plot than merely two! And, that dear hearts is all I’ll say as it sneaks close enough to a spoiler and its too much of an enjoyable novel to even nibble off a telling hint about the overall plot for you!

I fell hard for this family and for the warmth Carpenter brought into how she told this story – reading it was such a refreshing balm to my soul after such a long hard fight to get my health realigned recently. Curling inside the beauty of how Carpenter took two strangers and a Wintry backdrop situated in a state I have held such a fond affection for from afar is what I loved most about reading An Alaskan Family Christmas. In the end, all that matters is the family we love, the memories we create and the willingness to be open to the unexpected – to fully embrace life in whichever way it alights in our lives and to give ourselves the chance to welcome into our lives a relationship we never expected would arrive the day we were thinking about everything else but our own dreams for the future. This is the kind of heart-lifting romance to give yourself a treat during the holiday season – fully enraptured in the mirth of how serendipity and a bit of Christmas magic can sometimes give you the present you need at a time where you felt you couldn’t be surprised anymore!

If Ms Carpenter is on the fence about writing more installments for this series – I hope she extends it out to a rounded eight, ten or twelve novels all told because she could seriously keep penning these lovelies as I wickedly keep devouring them! Time to see if my favourite used book shoppe which carries Harlequin Heartwarming novels has the first four which I never had the pleasure of reading before arriving inside the fifth!

-quoted from my book review for An Alaskan Family Christmas

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A #RomanceTuesdays #25PagePreview feat. #HarlequinHeartwarming | “An Alaskan Homecoming (Northern Lights: Book Eight) by Beth CarpenterAn Alaskan Homecoming
by Beth Carpenter
Source: Author via Prism Book Tours

“Ever after” wasn’t the plan…

Until now!

Rowan O'Shea's intention was just to visit her family in the small Alaskan town she calls home. Now she's not sure she wants to leave, given the romantic mess she's left behind. A temporary fake marriage to gorgeous veterinarian Zack Vogel might be the perfect solution, if she can convince Zack. But Rowan's marriage of convenience has a seriously inconvenient snag—she's falling for her new fake husband!

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


Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 978-1335179876

Also by this author: Sweet Home Alaska, Alaskan Dreams, An Alaskan Family Christmas

Published by Harlequin Heartwarming

on 25th May, 2021

Format: Trade Paperback

The Northern Lights series:

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The Alaskan Catch (book one)

A Gift for Santa (book two)

Alaskan Hideaway (book three)

An Alaskan Proposal (book four)

→ Sweet Home Alaska (book five) ← *where I began the series! (see also Review)

Alaskan Dreams (book six) ← review forthcoming this Summer!

An Alaskan Family Christmas (book seven) (see also Review)

An Alaskan Homecoming (book eight) ← review forthcoming this Summer!

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: #BethCarpenter and #HarlequinHeartwarming

About Beth Carpenter

Beth Carpenter

Once upon a time ...

when Beth Carpenter was a little girl, she read everything she could get her hands on, and entertained herself on the school bus by making up stories in her head. Not a lot has changed. She's still consuming books like M&Ms, and spends her days creating happily-ever-afters for her imaginary friends.

She lives in Alaska and Arizona with her husband and an aggressively affectionate fifty-pound lap dog. She loves to hear from readers.

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Posted Tuesday, 22 June, 2021 by jorielov in Blog Tour Host, Contemporary Romance, Prism Book Tours, Romance Fiction

#CrimeFicFridays | featuring Harlequin Romantic Suspense novel “Colton on the Run” (The Coltons of Roaring Springs series, Book 9) by Anna J. Stewart

Posted Friday, 23 April, 2021 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

Reading the stories of Anna J. Stewart banner created by Jorie in Canva.

This Spring, I have the pleasure of joy to be reading a select sequencing of stories writ by the lovely Ms Anna J. Stewart – of whom, I first became introduced to whilst reading the #BlackwellBrothers series via Harlequin Heartwarming! Whilst continuing to get to know her further through her guest appearances on @SatBookChat (the Saturday chat I’ve hosted since 2014 celebrating Romance, Women’s Fiction & Feminist Lit). You’ll find me reading selections from her Romantic Suspense stories for Harlequin as well as her wicked lovely series ‘Butterfly Harbour’ which is a celebration of family, community and new beginnings!

Hence why I’m calling this special featured showcase of reviews:

Celebrating Spring whilst reading the stories of Anna J. Stewart!

Acquired Book By: Whilst speaking with Ms Stewart about being a guest on @SatBookChat in the New Year of 2021 – as this conversation we shared was in late 2020 – I realised there was a whole series of stories by her I haven’t yet had the pleasure of reading! The first series which charmed my heart was Butterfly Harbour – which we happily discussed during #SatBookChat in January, 2021. She mentioned to me she also writes for Harlequin’s Romantic Suspense line and I was quite curious about those stories as I regularly read their Love Inspired Suspense novels. The key difference between the two is that Love Inspired is their faith-based imprint and the Romantic Suspense stories are Contemporary and mainstream. I tend to be a hybrid reader of both mainstream and faith-based markets which is why I agreed to reading 3x of her Romantic Suspense releases.

This is one of two reviews which features the Coltons – a very large series of novels spilt over different mini-series and settings throughout the Romantic Suspense line of novels by Harlequin Books. The two stories I am reading are rooted inside the Colton 911: Chicago series and The Coltons of Roaring Springs – both of which were discussed today (27 March, 2021) during #SatBookChat to celebrate the March 2021 release for “Undercover Heat” which is the third novel in the Colton 911: Chicago series.

I received a complimentary copy of “Colton on the Run” direct from the author Anna J. Stewart in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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a notation about reading Harlequin Romantic suspense novels:

My first Contemporary Romantic Suspense novel by Ms Stewart also marked my first time reading their non-Love Inspired imprint of Suspense novels. I began with the series Honour Bound which ‘Gone in the Night’ and ‘Guarding His Midnight Witness’ are attached too. I held off reading the latter to await my interlibrary loan for ‘Gone in the Night’ which blessedly has finally arrived! (eek!) Thereby, I’ll be featuring those novels next – however, whilst I had that particular series on hold I decided to pick up ‘Undercover Heat’ and today’s featured novel ‘Colton on the Run’!!

Undercover Heat by Anna J. StewartColton on the Run by Anna J. StewartGone in the Night by Anna J. StewartGuarding His Midnight Witness by Anna J. Stewart

Let me share with you a few reasons why ‘Undercover Heat’ became such a wicked #unputdownable read for me and why I believe ANY reader who loves both police procedural novels and second chance romances will fall in LOVE with Tatum and Cruz:

Guilt and remorse can wreck a guy – which is why I felt sympathetic to Cruz’s internal struggles in being Tatum as she was giving him a reason to question everything in his life. From the choices he was making about his personal life to the choices he was making about how he was able to function after the losses he’s sustained; the one thing he never seemed to give himself was the freedom to live. He was constantly awash with memory and trauma to where it was hard for Cruz to separate the past and the present. Something Stewart did a smashing job at showing as she built his character inside and out. She painted in the rougher bits of his personality with a rock solid passion for law and justice whilst tempering it with family and the compassions of a bloke who cares about his community. In essence, Cruz was a complicated character with a past which was trying to overtake his future.

Tatum on the other hand was raised to rise through her adversities and to seek a way to stabalise her present without forsaking the future. You could see the differences in their personalities almost immediately as for Tatum, her love of cooking and feeding people outweighed the hurt of her own losses. She wanted to move forward as a mark of honour rather than to avoid what she loved most in life. For her, moving forward meant a way of giving peace to her heart and a way of finding a way to continue to celebrate the persons she had lost. Whereas I felt Cruz wanted to punish himself for things he needed to forgive himself for rather than carry on the load of anguish he was supporting on his shoulders.

This novel is definitely for anyone who gets caught inside the movement of a service at any restaurant they dine as Stewart has created such a lively environment for us to explore! From how the staff interacts with each other to how they put the food out the kitchen; all those details you ache to know about whenever your eating out is included. Whilst it also gives you the strong impression that all kitchens big or small should operate on the efficiency and expedited scale as True! (big smiles) However, its not without its hidden dangers and bouts of suspenseful shock which make you itch to turn the pages! Especially when Stewart conceived of the idea for the refrigerator scene – she definitely knew how to stop your pulse for a few beats!

There is something wickedly brilliant about how a character can be surprised by her mother and Aunt! I loved how Stewart placed Tatum in a situation which tested both her patience and her sense of humour – especially considering how humourous Cruz felt the situation was for them both. Her Mum and Aunt ware good-natured and truly care about Tatum but to say they have tact and respect for her privacy is asking a bit too much from them! Laughs. I felt it was all in good folly but the reaction of Tatum put it all in a different kind of perspective because I think she likes to keep this part of her life separate from the eyes of her family; at least until she’s ready herself to share the details and that in of itself is what I felt ribbed her the most from the intrusion.

The scene where Tatum is fondly remembering her father whilst surprising Cruz with an unexpected foodie experience was one of my top favourite scenes. There was such a stirring of heart and emotions in this scene – where you could see Tatum in a different ray of light than the one she presents to her colleagues and for Cruz, I felt it was humbling for him to realise why she had brought him to that place on that particular night. Tatum was definitely her father’s daughter – she wanted to nurse the emotional wounds she couldn’t fix any other way with a meal which would warm the soul and then soothe the heart. There is something to be said for that kind of nurturing instinct and I loved how the scene played out.

From this moment in the story until the very last page, I was completely glued to the pages!! I loved how Stewart kept this centred on Tatum and Cruz; how she pulled us emotionally through the hurdles of an undercover investigation and how even at the end – I wasn’t sure I was prepared to see how this would conclude! Tatum and Cruz were both put through the ringer for different reasons – each of them, putting their personal and professional lives on the edge of what they felt they could handle in order to secure the truth. And, even then, I am not sure either of them were ready for what was revealled! It was one highly suspenseful romantic story which leaves you aching for more by Stewart! I’m not sure if this storyline can become revisited in a future installment of this particular series, but I’d love to know what ‘came next’ for Tatum and Cruz after this part of their story concluded.

The scenes with January (Tatum’s sister) were well timed as well. Tatum had a very close relationship with her family as much as Cruz did himself with his and it was great to have those extra moments hugging close to their families during quieter moments in the story itself. Most of this novel is set at such a high octane pace of delivery, you barely get to rest on the joys as their arriving into the scenes because something ’round the corner’ is going to be affecting the well-being of the characters you feel so close to as if they were already in your life!

The dizzying effect of unravelling the plot right alongside Stewart was brilliant on the part of how tightly she wound the suspenseful mystery behind the restaurant and of whom she put into position to have the great effect on the reader once the truth let out! I was beyond captivated by the plot and the persons she ferreted out at the end. It is definitely the kind of police procedural you hope to find and one that you love afterwards for having read. The ending of course was a complete nail-biter and I loved reading it because it was such a fitting conclusion to the story!! Definitely an #unputdownable read!!

-quoted from my review of Undercover Heat

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The next reviews you’ll see from me will be for “Gone in the Night” and “Guarding His Midnight Witness” before I move into reading the Butterfly Harbour series by Ms Stewart! I decided to push forward those readings in order to read the Romantic Suspense ones back to back especially after my ILL request came in so quickly! Those will be peppering through my featured reviews during #WyrdAndWonder wherein you’ll find 31 days of Fantasy being happily showcased, discussed and championed on Jorie Loves A Story! Plus, of course, a few other genres as well – as I had some scheduled blog tours as well running in the foreground of the event, too!

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#CrimeFicFridays | featuring Harlequin Romantic Suspense novel “Colton on the Run” (The Coltons of Roaring Springs series, Book 9) by Anna J. StewartColton on the Run
Subtitle: The Coltons of Roaring Springs
by Ms Anna J. Stewart
Source: Direct from Author

Where is Skye Colton?

One woman’s disappearance rocks Roaring Springs

When he finds a half-dead woman stranded in his barn, rancher Leo Slattery feels his blood run cold. Though she can’t remember who she is, she insists someone is trying to kill her. With his strong protective streak, Leo brings her into the fold and helps her heal. As they begin to solve the mystery of Jane Doe’s identity, a would-be killer works to eliminate her—forever.

Genres: African-American Literature, Contemporary (Modern) Fiction (post 1945), Crime Fiction, Contemporary Romance, Romantic Suspense, Ranches & Cowboys


Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

Heat Factor for Romance
four-half-flames

ISBN: 9781488041433

Also by this author: Undercover Heat

Published by Harlequin Romantic Suspense

on 3rd September, 2019

Format: Trade Paperback

Pages: 288

NOTE: As your reading this story, you can tell the characters would have preferred this not to be a slow burning romance – as they knew how they felt about each other quite early-on, however, it didn’t fit within the constructs of the story given the circumstances. This romance has even more ‘heat’ inside it than ‘Undercover Heat’ and definitely has more heat in it than most of the romances I regularly read by Harlequin because this series and imprint is different than the others I read – especially for content inclusions. Thereby if you’re new to this imprint just know this is writ more like a traditional Contemporary or Historical Romance.

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The Coltons of Roaring Springs series:

Colton Cowboy Standoff by Marie Ferrarella (book one)

Colton Under Fire by Cindy Dees (book two)

Colton’s Convenient Bride by Jennifer Morey (book three)

Colton’s Secret Bodyguard by Jane Godman (book four)

A Colton Target by Beverly Long (book five)

Colton’s Covert Baby by Lara Lacombe (book six) 

Colton’s Mistaken Identity by Geri Krotow (book seven) 

The Colton Sheriff by Addison Fox (book eight)

Colton on the Run by Anna J. Stewart (book nine)

👇 *there are more titles in this series!* 👇

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.comView the full sequence of the series via Fantastic Fiction!

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Published by: Harlequin Romantic Suspense (@HarlequinBooks) | imprint of Harlequin

Converse via: #ContemporaryRomance, #RomanticSuspense

as well as the series tag: #ColtonsOfRoaringSprings

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Posted Friday, 23 April, 2021 by jorielov in 21st Century, Book Review (non-blog tour), Contemporary Romance, Crime Fiction, Modern Day, Post-911 (11th September 2001), Romance Fiction, Romantic Suspense, Suspense