Category: Contemporary Romance

Book Spotlight | Featuring an Extract with Notes by Jorie on behalf of “The Matchmaker’s Rogue” (Book One: Grace-by-the-Sea) by Regina Scott

Posted Monday, 20 January, 2020 by jorielov , , 0 Comments

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Hallo, Hallo dear hearts!

In [2017] I hosted a similar spotlight & feature for this author – ever since I was first clued into her Love Inspired Historical writings, I’ve been keeping a ready eye out for her novels. I have also started to gather the stories I can find published through LI: Historical ever since the imprint was discontinued. They are starting to repack the stories into dual author or triple author releases now and sadly, I haven’t had the chance to gather those as I thought it was nice to see those coming out for those of us who enjoyed the imprint & were sad to see it go by the wayside.

Fast forward to [2020] and I am proud to host my second spotlighted post for this lovely author & share an extract from the story which is being featured on a January blog tour for PRISM. I personally *adore!* the Regency – an era I have become to know rather well and an era of time where I feel cosy comfortable to keep disappearing inside! I truly get caught up in all the drama of the ton and all the craziness set round matchmakers & those who are hoping for a true match rather than one attached to gaining property, wealth and status (or all three!). It was an era of balls, catty rivarly and beautiful fashion whilst at the same time it had a very conservative spin on society & the expectations of family, friends & peers. And, yet, despite that conservative edge to the Regency – I still find myself able to carve out certain niches of romantic joy i the writers who keep writing the Regency in ways I love to read about it!

When I first read the premise of “The Matchmaker’s Rogue” and saw the cover art which accompanied it – boy! did I feel like swooning into a wicked good read! I had wished this might have been available to review for the tour as it looks dearly #unputdownable! I’ve queued the book to be requested at my local library as they’ve been blessedly receptive this past year to my purchase requests and I am hoping this one might become added to their card catalogue in February! I’ll have to keep everyone posted in case it becomes one of my next #libraryreads!

For now – brew yourself a cuppa of your favourite tea & enjoy getting to know a bit more about this story & the latest release by Ms Scott! I am truly hoping by year’s end, I can finally say I’ve read a handful of her Love Inspired Historicals & The Matchmaker’s Rogue! As this New Year’s 2020 for me is about seeking out the authors I’ve previously featured and finally getting the chance to have their stories alight in my hands to be read!

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The Matchmaker's Rogue by Regina Scott

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Converse via: #MatchRogue, #GraceByTheSeaSeries and #Regency
as well as #HistRom or #HistoricalRomance

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add to LibraryThing

Published: 8th January, 2020 | ISBN: 978-1657611467

Grace-by-the-Sea: Where romance and adventure come home.

Polished Jesslyn Chance has one of the most enviable positions in the little Regency coastal village of Grace-by-the-Sea. She is the hostess of the spa, arranging introductions and entertainments and playing matchmaker to the ladies and gentlemen who come to take the waters, promenade through the shops, and dance at the assembly. But when a rogue returns from her past, Jess finds herself suddenly at sea.

Always an adventurer, Larkin Denby left Grace-by-the-Sea to right the wrongful death of his father. Now he’s back on a mission: to identify the mysterious Lord of the Smugglers who allegedly sails from Grace Cove and takes England’s secrets to France. But Grace-by-the-Sea is the perfect little spa town, run by the still oh-so-perfect Jesslyn Chance. When the village’s future is threatened, Jess must work with Lark to solve the mystery and protect the town’s own. In doing so, the matchmaker of Grace-by-the-Sea may just find that the best match for her is the rogue who stole her heart years ago.

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Posted Monday, 20 January, 2020 by jorielov in #blogmas, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host, Book | Novel Excerpt, Book Spotlight, Contemporary Romance, Indie Author, Prism Book Tours, Sweet Romance, YA Fantasy

A #blogmas #HarlequinHeartwarming Blog Book Tour | “The Christmas Kiss” (Back to Bluestone River series, Book Two) by Virginia McCullough

Posted Friday, 13 December, 2019 by jorielov , , , , 0 Comments

#blogmas 2019 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. I am unsure how many books I’ll review for them as most are offered digitally rather than in print but this happily marks one of the blog tours where I could receive a print book for review purposes. 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.

I received a complimentary copy of “The Christmas Kiss” 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:

Ruby is the kind of woman who likes to see the potential in life rather than the sour lemons that can upset your plans. She wouldn’t be the first to admit that losing a job she believed in struck her in the heart and was effectively difficult to re-group after due to how much of herself she put into the belief her job was one that had mattered. Instead, she put on the kind of brave face you hope will soak through you the longer you wear it and decides to re-settle into her hometowne of Bluestone River! This coming off the suggestions of her bestie Emma kept nudging her with photos of the open prairie grasses, the calming scenes of wildlife and the potential of what Ruby might find once she arrived. I think the key word there is how Ruby might find something she hadn’t planned to find and thereby, finding a new way forward when life felt like it was falling apart. That’s a sentiment I think most can relate too when things go south and you have to rebuild your life.

Counter to Ruby’s woes are Emma’s concerns for her own health – as she has a serious condition that requires not just surgery but loads of patience as the recovery isn’t an easy one. These are two woman at cornerstones of their lives seeking comfort and shelter together if only to weather the storms and find a way to come through them a bit less affected than if they were to ride them out alone. Although the same could be said for Mike and his young son Jason; as they were two warriors riding into their own storm as well. Mike was the kind of father who was not just committed to his son but he was an encourager of random joy. He liked to keep the legacy of how he was raised in the growing years of his son Jason, even if his own childhood and his son’s held a few stark differences between them. For instance, when Mike was growing up he wasn’t struggling with PTSD like his son but there was solace in being back in Bluestone River. The area held a calmness over it – where the natural world in of itself had the best calming effect on the residents and perhaps, a healing effect as well.

I liked how McCullough took her time in allowing Jason to come round to others; how he interacted with his father, his teacher and even new persons he was just starting to meet like Ruby and Peach (the dog). His behaviour matched what you would expect from a young child who was struggling with the issues he had and yet, each time he was in-scene, it felt organic, honest and real. Nothing felt forced and I appreciated the realism and the extra touches of honesty threading into how Jason was portrayed.

McCullough tackles childhood PTSD and what causes a child to be mute rather than to speak through their emotions and their crises; giving new empathy for how PTSD affects children but also, how sometimes children find the hardest part of their recovery and healing process is resuming the art of speaking. Words have a lot of hidden meanings but they also hold a lot of truths that can be hard to speak; which I felt is partially why Jason might have stopped speaking as his reality had become shattered in such a tragic and traumatic way, it was easy to see why his voice might have become silent for awhile.

There is an ease of awareness and of setting here – you can tell McCullough has taken her time to develop this series, of giving us a well-rounded and well-thought out plotting to where the foundation of the series can build out of this first installment. It is a place that isn’t entirely without its prickles of angst but it has a heart-centred feel to it which gives you the hope of what could happen if people allow themselves to forgive the past and to seek a future without allowing the past to dictate how your life is meant to be lived.

-quoted from my review of A Family for Jason

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A #blogmas #HarlequinHeartwarming Blog Book Tour | “The Christmas Kiss” (Back to Bluestone River series, Book Two) by Virginia McCulloughThe Christmas Kiss
Subtitle: Back to Bluestone River
by Virginia McCullough
Source: Author via Prism Book Tours

Will working together

…lead to together forever?

Recently divorced, Parker Davis needs to focus on his new job so he can provide a stable home for his daughter in time for the Christmas holidays. The problem is, he’s frequently at odds with his boss. He and Emma O’Connell approach everything differently. Yet he finds her intriguing, and Bluestone River festivities keep pushing them together—often enough that two people at odds could find themselves evenly matched in love!

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781335510969

Also by this author: A Family for Jason

Also in this series: A Family for Jason


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


Published by Harlequin Heartwarming

on 3rd December, 2019

Format: Larger Print (Mass Market Paperback)

Pages: 375

Published by: Harlequin Heartwarming

Converse via: #Contemporary + #Romance and #HarlequinHeartwarming

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Back to Bluestone River series:

A Family for Jason (book one) : Ruby & Mike’s story (see also Review)

The Christmas Kiss (book two) : Emma & Parker’s story

I love how the sequel involves Emma! She’s Ruby’s best friend & she helped Ruby become re-established back into Bluestone River. I thought it was fitting she’d get her own story after finding out how tied-in she is to the community & Ruby’s life!

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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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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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Posted Friday, 13 December, 2019 by jorielov in 21st Century, A Father's Heart, Blog Tour Host, Bookmark slipped inside a Review Book, Contemporary Romance, Content Note, Equality In Literature, Family Drama, Flashbacks & Recollective Memories, Fly in the Ointment, Grief & Anguish of Guilt, Indie Author, Life Shift, Modern Day, Mute | Medical Loss of Voice, Prism Book Tours, PTSD, Realistic Fiction, Romance Fiction, Second Chance Love, Single Fathers, Small Towne Fiction, Small Towne USA, Special Needs Children

A #ChristmasReads selection of Jorie’s during #blogmas | “A Family by Christmas” (Book One: Little Shops on Heart Street series) by Viv Royce

Posted Thursday, 12 December, 2019 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

#blogmas 2019 badge created by Jorie in Canva.

Borrowed Book By: I came to find out about this Christmas Romance release as I follow the social feeds on Twitter for Vivian Conroy – of whom is the writer behind this novel. She writes for different publishers and uses a few different pen names to denote which type of story and/or series she is writing. When I learnt about this upcoming Christmas release I asked my local library to purchase a copy as I was hoping they might consider it for one of their new Christmas selections for the year. I happily received the news they did select it and was thankful I had the chance to read it during #blogmas.

Therefore borrowed a print copy of “A Family by Christmas” from my local library and I was not obligated to post a review and are sharing my ruminations with my readers for my own edification as well as happily sharing my bookish life with my readers and visitors alike. The Press Materials however were provided by the author and are used with permission.

On how I came to find this author:

I first became introduced to this author’s writing style through her Cosy Historical and Cosy Contemporary Mysteries – as I previously read “In Peppermint Peril” for last year’s #cloakanddaggerchristmas readathon and I had the joyful pleasure of being involved in the Twitter chat #Conroy10 which celebrated the release of “The Butterfly Conspiracy” before I had the chance to read the book myself!

However, more to the point, I truly came to know her as a writer and as a conversationalist through her Historical Fiction Twitter chat #HistFicChat – of which we both share a mutually beloved passion for the historic past as explored through today’s Historical narratives which criss-cross through History and give us a wicked good impression of the past!

This marks the first release of her Contemporary Romances by Entangled Publishing – a new Indie publisher I was thankful to have crossed paths with as they offer romances within a lot of the sub-genres of interest I have as a Romance reader.

When I learnt of the release for “A Family by Christmas” I knew I wanted to see if my local library could purchase it in time to read by Christmas. What I hadn’t expected was reading it in the golden hour of having it a bit too long due to my father’s medical crisis & my Winter cold which not just took me offline for a week but also had me have a bit of amnesia when it came to my library account! I completely lost track of ‘where’ I was with my borrows both for print and audio – so I quickly made amends to get this novel & Ms Bacarr’s novel back to the library for the next borrowers in queue to read them before Christmas!

I also had the pleasure of hosting Vivian Conroy during one of my 2019 @SatBookChat‘s! The archived conversations are available to be seen in @SatBookChat’s Moments.

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A #ChristmasReads selection of Jorie’s during #blogmas | “A Family by Christmas” (Book One: Little Shops on Heart Street series) by Viv RoyceA Family by Christmas
Subtitle: Sometimes Wishes Do Come True | Little Shops on Heart Street
by Viv Royce
Source: Borrowed from local library, Purchase REQ | local library

Chocolatier Emma Miller has a new business selling bonbons to the residents of the quaint town of Wood Creek. When a tiny visitor stops by her shop with an interesting request. Emma is intrigued. The young girl needs chocolates that will help her widowed dad fall in love, preferably with her teacher. What Emma didn’t count on was Casey’s ever so charming and handsome dad, Grant, stepping into her life. She has to remind herself to be cautious because the one thing she learned in foster care is that people always leave.

Pilot Grant Galloway is touched by his daughter’s gift and is curious about the person who made the world-class chocolates. But when he steps into Emma’s shop full of delicious smells and tasty morsels, he forgets to breathe. And it has nothing to do with the his favourite desert. She’s pretty and kind, and when she has to deal with a difficult client, his protective instincts kick into high gear. But he risked his heart once. When his wife died, it left him broken. He’s just now beginning to pick up the pieces, and he and his daughter will be leaving town once the holidays are over.

Thanks to some Christmas wishes, though, these two might discover that their carefully laid plans are about to change.

Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 978-1694079374

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


Published by Entangled Publishing

on 18th September, 2019

Format: Trade Paperback

Pages: 160

Published by: Entangled Publishing (@entangledpub)

Available Formats: Trade paperback and Ebook

Christmas Romance Book Icon made by Jorie in Canva.

Converse via: #ChristmasRomance and #SweetRomance

About Viv Royce

A Family by Christmas promo banner provided by the author Viv Royce and is used with permission.

With the same trademark atmospheric settings, relatable characters and cute canines that made several of her cozy mysteries #1 Amazon US and Canada bestsellers in multiple categories, Vivian Conroy pens romance as Viv Royce, creating heartthrob heroes ranging from rugged pilots to royals reluctant to believe in true love who meet their match in that girl next door or the co-worker with the business ideas exactly opposing their own – happy endings guaranteed! When not frequenting fictional worlds, Viv loves to hike (especially in the mountains), craft with paper, felt and clay, and hunt for the perfect cheesecake. Quite active on Twitter, she's the founder of #HistFicChat, a live Twitter chat about historical fiction, featuring authors like Kate Quinn, Anna Lee Huber and Susan Spann, and would love for readers to follow her and connect via @VivWrites.

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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Posted Thursday, 12 December, 2019 by jorielov in #blogmas, #JorieLovesIndies, A Father's Heart, Blog Tour Host, Book Review (non-blog tour), Christmas Romance &/or Holiday Story, Contemporary Romance, Family Drama, Family Life, Fathers and Daughters, Flashbacks & Recollective Memories, Foster Care, Indie Author, Life Shift, Motherhood | Parenthood, New England, Northeast USA, Orphans & Guardians, Realistic Fiction, Romance Fiction, Second Chance Love, Single Fathers, Singletons & Commitment, Small Towne Fiction, Sudden Absence of Parent, Sweet Romance, Widows & Widowers

#Blogmas | feat. Sweet Romance stories for the romantic reader | “Truth or Dare” (novella) by Julie Coulter Bellon

Posted Thursday, 12 December, 2019 by jorielov , , 0 Comments

#blogmas 2019 badge created by Jorie in Canva.

Hallo, Hallo dear hearts!

I had fully intended to have a mixture of reviews and #blogmas spotlights running throughout the first week and a half of December – however, when your struck down by a naughty Wintry cold and your father is having some serious health issues with his BP levels, it gives you a bit of a pause for knowing what you can juggle, handle and execute! Therefore, a happy switch of sails right now – as we move into the latter half of my featured spotlights spilt between Fantasy & Sweet Romance authors – you’ll start to see reviews and perhaps a few memes or features pop up amongst the #blogmas posts as we tuck closer to Christmas!

Especially considering I can *finally!* find a comforting break from sneezing & coughing (or rather, hacking my lungs into oblivion!) fits of discomfort where reading is once again a pleasurable joy and where blogging isn’t broken by the cold’s influence! Hence why I was more of a turtle in her shell recovering than trying to face being online whilst consumed by the cold itself! Some days and weeks you just have to throw in the towel on your plans and resume them as soon as you’re well again.

Which brings me to my first featured spotlight for the *Sweet Romances!* event hosted by Prism Book Tours! This is the first year I remember they hosted an event like this one – although, I could be mistaken? What I like about the allure of ‘Sweet Romance’ are a few things really – one, it could be a nod towards an INSPY novelist or story-teller if they are writing shorter form fiction (ie. short stories, novellas, etc) or it could be a mainstream writer who wants to exclude explicit and graphic content from their realistic Romantic stories (ie. no stong language, graphic violence, etc) which parlays into my own readerly interests as that is a heady topic which I regularly explore through my ‘Fly in the Ointments’ sections! lol

I admit, I prefer Romance to be on the ‘cleaner’ side of the ledger as per what the publishing industry is disclosing as being a Clean Read or a Clean Romance or in this instance what they denote being a ‘Sweet Romance’. I don’t need all the details of the bedroom explored on-scene nor do I flinch if there is a bit of heat in the sequencing either – I’d rather have a nice balance of romantic overtures & encounters but *nothing!* which suggests a romance is moving into the headwaters of the ‘other side’ of the genre either! Hence why I happily host @SatBookChat featuring the kinds of Women’s Fiction & Romance novels, novellas and short stories I personally love reading and cheerleading for in the bookish community of the twitterverse!

This is also why I’ve been championing & celebrating hosting for Prism throughout the past few years as they helped me *discover!* the Harlequin Heartwarming imprint of stories as I had previously already fallen in love with their Love Inspired Suspense (& the ill-fated Historical imprint) stories. Heartwarming is truly the kind of sweetened romance you can curl up inside even within a realistically convicting narrative and find the kind of romance your bookish heart can celebrate as being lovingly focused on relationship-based romance! As those are my preferences of what I regularly seek out myself!

Thus, today marks the first day where I am featuring #newtomeauthors of *Sweet Romance* story-tellers who are giving me a lovely curiosity to start seeking out their stories in either print or audio formats throughout the New Year of 2020! Join me for the next 11 days I see which of their stories resonates with me and how their stories become ‘introduced’ to us all as their featured spotlights run on Jorie Loves A Story! Join the celebration, shall you?

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Truth or Dare by Julie Coulter Bellon

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Published by: Stone Hall Books

Converse via: #RomBks4Chris19 and #SweetRomance
as well as #RomSusp and #RealisticFiction

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add to LibraryThing

Published: 5th October, 2018 | ISBN: 978-0999794623

After a year of recovery, wounded war veteran Jonah Harrison comes home for Christmas. No longer the outgoing high school track star, he just wants to be left alone, away from well-meaning friends and neighbors. But when a blizzard strands him withKami Jackson—the girl who once knew him best—he can’t hide anything from her, no matter how much he wants to. Kami has a wounded heart of her own, though, and it might take a miracle—or at least two matchmaking dogs—for them to find the healing they both long for and the courage to reach for a chance at love.

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Posted Thursday, 12 December, 2019 by jorielov in #blogmas, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host, Book | Novel Excerpt, Book Spotlight, Contemporary Romance, Indie Author, Prism Book Tours, Sweet Romance, YA Fantasy