Category: Family Drama

Blog Book Tour | returning to The Bradford Sisters Romance series by Becky Wade within the third novel “Sweet On You”!

Posted Wednesday, 29 May, 2019 by jorielov , , , , 1 Comment

Book Review badge created by Jorie in Canva using Unsplash.com photography (Creative Commons Zero).

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 “Sweet On You” direct from the publisher Bethany House Publishers in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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On the joy of re-visiting an INSPY Contemporary novelist I love reading,

within the Bradford Sisters Romance series – which reminds me dearly of a new series I am loving to watch via #HMNow which is “Chesapeake Shores” inspired by the book series from Sherryl Woods (an author I knew from the *Sweet Magnolias* series)…

You could say I have shared quite a heap about this series when I first hosted the blog tour for the second novel in the series – I simply took to the series quite immediately and I came to *love!* the ways in which Ms Wade was crafting the journey her characters were taking within the fuller breadth of where the Bradford Sisters were taking us all as we tucked close to their lives. The interesting bit is during May of 2019 I was able to finally see the first & second season of Chesapeake Shores (a tv series on Hallmark Channel) – wherein, I realised that the series on tv and this book series have a heap in common!

I have the tendency to seek out similar stories which are both familiar and dynamically drawn to give you a full glimpse into the life of a family. Whether the dynamic is made of three sisters like the Bradford’s or have a five sibling unit like the O’ Brien’s – one thing is for certain, if you look at my more recent readings of the Rocky Mountain Cowboys & Blackwell Brothers – you’ll notice how much I love soaking into sibling series! The same can be said of the Seasons of Alaska series, too! When it comes to family, small townes and siblings – I simply cannot get enough of the writers who are giving us heartwarming characters to fall in love with reading about – I am blessed I could continue where I left off with the Bradford’s as I was dearly curious what was going to happen with Britt!!

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I’m unsure how I would have reacted if the roles had been reversed – faux hostage situations to help those who needed to know how to handle these situations at the ready was not exactly something I’d see myself signing on to tackle. Then, again – if truth be told, I seriously doubt Nora would have fashioned herself a willing player in this game either if it hadn’t been for Britt. As we re-enter the Bradford family, we are finding the girls are well into their twenties, not the young girls of the novella Then Came You. The interesting thing to note is the order of the stories – Nora is the middle sister, Britt the youngest and Willow is the eldest – yet we were happily sorting out Nora’s story first!

She’s a girl after my own heart – she loves being enraptured by the written word, jaunting through time, travelling into history and aligning her mind and heart with the characters’ she’s reading about with every story she picks up to read. She’s also passionately invested into genealogical research (as she’s a historian and genealogist) but where she falls a bit short is handling faux extreme stress presentations! One thing is for sure, you never quite know what to expect when your beginning a Becky Wade novel – which is quite refreshing, as her Contemporary stories are clued into a reality we can all recognise with stories which seek to find the truth of our own world and intermix life lessons, strong characters and a captivating narrative to draw our attention into the messages her stories are attempting to convey to us. I was honestly hooked as soon as I started the first chapter – how can you not get caught up in the drama unfolding between the two sisters – one wants to take flight and ‘win’ the game whilst the other is thinking of every which way to Sunday her day could have gone if she had only made better plans with her hours!

Mind you, I haven’t seen someone this loss for words since I first watched All of my Heart: Inn Love this past Mother’s Day weekend! (FYI: there is a blogger in the film who is researching B&B’s and it’s her insta-attraction to the General Store owner who provides a lot of comedic relief!) In this instance, Nora was taken for a loop when John Lawson decided to carry her out of the building and thus ending her tenure in this particular exercise – a spontaneous act which rendered her without the ability to articulate anything other than a brief conversation once she was reunited with her sister, Britt.

When Nora is around her sisters, you get to see their different dynamics come into play – especially as I remember how this family began through the origin story Then Came You. Britt has a beau-in-the-wings named Zander who happily took me by surprise, as generally speaking men with tattoo sleeves (on their arms) are not known for their inclusivity to INSPY Romance (although they ought to be – some of the most artistic and kind gentleman wear tatt’s!). This was another nod towards my heart growing aflutter in appreciation for Ms Wade’s writing style – she is part of the changing tides of realistic characterisations and story-lines for the INSPY market; for which, she has my hat of gratitude. By the time we reside inside Britt’s story (next in line), I do hope we get to see a larger portion of Zander’s past and current life explored; not to mention, seeing these two find themselves falling in love rather than Zander consistently being the one who knows the will of his heart.

Seeing the sisters’ admiration and affection towards Valentina (their housekeeping nanny from years ago) was heart-warming, as it proved their father (Garner) knew exactly what he was doing in hiring her to watch over his darling girls; though in theory, he at first only meant to give Willow a chance at having a bit more normalcy in her life. These are the kind of details where you can easily see the flow of continuity within the series – even from the prequel novella – as you tuck closer to the girls’ and follow where their footsteps lead.

I can dearly relate to Nora – my soul was literally crushed in half when Matthew died (ie. Downton Abbey and never fully recovered; I left the series after Anna was brutally attacked) – I definitely know her anguish over cross-comparing Rochester’s as I have a penchant for Little Women, A Christmas Carol and other classical adaptations where you do find yourself talking about which actor or actress best brought the character forward! I haven’t seen too many adaptations of Jane Eyre – as my favourite is the first one I found (1996) whilst knowing full well Keira Knightley’s Pride and Prejudice was my celebration film for finally finishing reading the novel – it will be (most likely!) Colin Firth’s adaptation which will feel organically tied to Austen’s vision (methinks!). I even love the Bollywood version of Pride which is Bride and Prejudice. *le sigh* Yes, I can dearly relate to Nora,… what grieved me dearly, dear hearts, is realising ‘Northamptonshire’ is not rooted in our reality but is a fictional tv series in Nora’s world. I seriously would have requested it at my library!

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Being this story was published in 2017, it is interesting how current it is written as I am hoping one day we can look back on this decade and realise we’ve come a long way from it – as a society and as a country. The work John does for emergency training shouldn’t have to be in such high demand in other words but the way in which he has hardened a bit through life – due to the many unknowns in his origin story, prove how hard it is for adopted children to understand who they are if they have too little to fall back in regards to personal memory (especially if like John, they were adopted as infants or young children). I appreciated the candor of the story-line delving into the hurdles adoptees face as it is an important part of their journey; finding peace from the past but also, finding ways to move forward in the present.

I believe what I loved most about True to You, were the conveyances of how it was articulated through the slow narrative wisely chosen by Ms Wade to draw out the rounded edges of two people on the brink of finding each other. The kind of narrative where you don’t have to forsake not understanding what happens between conversations because the details are pulled forward, knitting together an image of where Nora and John find comfortable consistency in their hours. The pattern of this story reminded me a lot of a Jane Austen novel – for it tucks into those hidden moments very well whilst eclipsing a character’s journey through all the different pieces of her experience – leaving everything open to be seen, examined and understood. You can breathe into a rhythm following Ms Wade’s muse – so much so, you have to brace yourself for the ending, as it truly becomes such a comfortable world in which to reside.

There is a point towards the end, where your heart and your emotions start to spill over – where all the anguish this family has gone through over the years hits you stock and centre. It is a very well- conceived plot, to the point where your not even sure if your prepared for what is coming next – I know I wasn’t, as it could go so many different ways to Sunday, how to do you brace yourself for what is now being revealled!? Charlotte bless her, was the one who inspired everyone to take action but sometimes, between action and restitution for what is once lost is a fine line to walk – where the soul and the heart have a longer path towards reconciliation and healing. I give full credit to Ms Wade for curating such an incredibly layered suspenseful plot thickening in the background whilst addressing the relationships of the Bradford sisters.

I missed seeing the progression of Nora and John’s relationship in the back-folds of the narrative – as there were serious things happening in their lives which I felt begged to be explored in Falling for You. I am unsure if those threads will be re-explored in Britt’s novel or if there will be a conclusionary novella after the third novel releases – but this is one error in the continuity I’ve loved so dearly for remaining inclusively intact with the characters.

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Despite my grievances with the leading beau for Willow, there is so much heart writ into the tapestry of this series, the emotions simply pull you forward, eager to see how the sisters’ lives will continue to evolve, to feel what their feeling in the moments of their lives where destiny and conviction interconnect. I am blessed to have started this journey into their stories – I am itching to read the next stories, to gleam more of what is yet to come and to feel as if I’ve travelled miles of hours beside them until the very last story is published. It’s hard to ‘let go’ of series you feel so dearly attached too – this one definitely touched a special place in my heart and will not ‘let go’ anytime soon! I hope, my words will inspire my readers to pick up one of the stories in this series – if only to meet Nora, Britt and Willow for themselves! Even if I am rather partial to Garner, without whom the sisters would not be here!

By the time I concluded reading Falling for You, I understood the reasons why the novel was written the way in which it was but on a personal level of honesty, I just didn’t feel connected to Corbin. I believed he had a lot of personal growth which was showcased in this novel to prove change is possible even in the most stubborn of individuals but in regards to feeling an attachment to his person? I honestly never felt it. For me, this story was a happy thread of insight into the sisters’ lives with an incredible slice of suspense in the back-threads – giving us an exhilarating read and a heap of emotions to shift through to boot!

I *love!* how realistically real this series feels to our own world – it’s a wonderful composite both in setting and tone whilst it hones in our contemporary awareness of technology and certain socially conscience recognition’s which seek to either make us smile or laugh! For instance, Ms Wade has definitely taken a leaf out of my own journal for how to knit out a laugh from an analogy of a contemporary New Age car (ie. Tesla) and make it cross-relate to how relationships can be short-lasting! (as observed in True to You) She fuses wit with humour in such a layered approach as to make you nearly forget this isn’t a story based on real persons who lived but rather it’s a fictional series created in such a way to grant you the illusion her characters *could!* live if only they could step straight through the threshold of their fictional existence. This is also why I sent out that tweet of joy celebrating the #booklove of the authors I am finding in Contemporary INSPY Romance to be of the variety I love most to be #amreading: Dee Henderson (see also Review); Brenda S. Anderson (see also Archive) and Kellie Coates Gilbert (see also Review).

I especially enjoy watching characters have true growth during our time spent with them – or even, to observe them in full confidence within their chosen fields, but still have a few things they need to work through – where everything isn’t quite ‘neat and tidy’. I love this aspect of character development because it eludes to how evolving all our lives become – it is also a benefit to grounding a story in the realism of real-life and the ways in which despite our best intentions, we cannot always foresee everything which will come onto our path. This is a gift Ms Wade share swith the other authors I’ve mentioned – she digs in deep into the human condition, into the ways in which relating to another person isn’t just about romantic overtures – but of listening, in-tuning what is being said against what is inferred (including through body language) and of finding a middle ground. In essence, my favourite stories are full of flawed characters doing their best to embetter their lives for the good.

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Ms Wade has eloquent overtures of living histories ebbing into her narrative – such as how Bradfordwood was properly shipped in pieces from its origins in England and reassembled into what is now known as the estate of the Bradford family (200 acres strong). She gives you this sense of familial pride, of the hard work behind the legacies still in evidence today in the lives of the sisters’ and humbles the family through their good deeds, their personal growth exploits and how having a strong sense of business mindfulness can continue to lead for generations (as their assets are diversified).

felt Ms Wade’s styling within True to You was classically eloquent (foresaid) and her entire Bradford Sisters Romance series is refreshingly lovely to have discovered – for she’s another Contemporary INSPY author who is providing me with the kind of Contemporaries I am most appreciative of reading! So much so, it is another confirmation the number of Contemporaries which will be winning over my heart outside of INSPY are quite limited (at least for now) – as I have a select number of authors I am enjoying reading now. I used to love Contemporaries as much as I loved Historical Romance – what I never linked together though is the reason I had such a paradigm shift in my reading habits is due to innate frustration stemming out of what I was finding inclusive to mainstream Contemporaries vs INSPY. Clearly, sometimes being a book blogger has it’s advantages as whilst your journalling your reading life, you understand yourself better as a reader!

Her continued appreciation for inserting popular cultural references takes an all-star glimpse into social media life today – as if I hadn’t been a joyful tweeter, I’d never have known I already know the *name!* of a highly beloved K-Pop band: BTS! This is important to know a) if you love discovering new music and b) if you want to better understand Charlotte in Falling for You. I love when writers go a bit further than necessary to make their novels relevant to our times – they have a way of knitting out the best of what is ‘happening in the moment’, adding those bits to their stories and re-grounding us in a quasi-reality such a strong composite to our own – we nearly have to pinch ourselves as reminders we’re reading a fictional story! I love how this is achieved!

Yet, what truly captured my heart about Ms Wade’s Contemporary style is the authentic nature of her style – you can tell she has had experience outside of INSPY, as her style feels mainstream but has an INSPY core of heart. I think this is why I like the authors I am finding lately for Contemporary INSPY – their writing the cutting edge INSPY Contemporaries I am hungry for as a reader with enough of the content I’m seeking out of the mainstream but cannot find. For this, I feel truly blessed I was given the opportunity to start reading her stories!

Secondly, what warmed my bookish heart is her instinctive nature of threading continuity into her stories – from novella to novel, her intentional connections between her characters and her story-lines are some of the best I’ve come across – irregardless of which genre I am writing! Continuity sometimes is overlooked in serial fiction (by some) but it is something I hail as being the mark of a superhero writer, because to knit into an on-going series the organic inclusions of previous stories, is rather impressive! If you’re a regular reader of my blog, you know the authors I’ve mentioned previously who ‘wow’ me over with this technique but if your a new visitor or reader, the short-list includes Julie E. Czerneda (for Science Fiction, I am just now reading her Fantasy), Brenda S. Anderson, Julie Lessman (will be blogging about her stories!), Anna Lee Huber, L.M. Montgomery, Jennifer Lamont Leo, Jackie Gamber, Larry D. Sweazy, Susan Spann, Sue Hallgarth, Margaret James, Lucinda Riley, Linda Mitchelmore, AshleyRose Sullivan, Renee Patrick and Rachel Amphlett.

-quoted from my reviews and ruminative thoughts on behalf of the following stories
within this series “Then Came You”, “True to You” and “Falling For You”

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Blog Book Tour | returning to The Bradford Sisters Romance series by Becky Wade within the third novel “Sweet On You”!Sweet on You
Subtitle: A Bradford Sisters Romance
by Becky Wade
Source: Publisher via Prism Book Tours

Britt Bradford and Zander Ford have been the best of friends since they met thirteen years ago. Unbeknown to Britt, Zander has been in love with her for just as long.

Independent and adventurous Britt channels her talent into creating chocolates at her hometown shop. Zander is a bestselling author who's spent the past 18 months traveling the world. He's achieved a great deal but still lacks the only thing that ever truly mattered to him--Britt's heart.

When Zander's uncle dies of mysterious causes, he returns to Merryweather, Washington, to investigate, and Britt is immediately there to help. Although this throws them into close proximity, both understand that an attempt at romance could jeopardize their once-in-a-lifetime friendship. But while Britt is determined to resist any change in their relationship, Zander finds it increasingly difficult to keep his feelings hidden.

As they work together to uncover his uncle's tangled past, will the truth of what lies between them also, finally, come to light?

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9780764219382

Also by this author: Falling for You (Spotlight w/ Notes), Then Came You, True to You, Falling for You

Also in this series: Then Came You, True to You, Falling for You


Genres: INSPY Realistic Fiction, Contemporary (Modern) Fiction (post 1945), Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, Contemporary Romance


Published by Bethany House Publishers

on 30th April, 2019

Format: Trade Paperback

Pages: 368

Published by: Bethany House Publishers (@bethany_house)

an imprint of Baker Publishing Group

Formats Available: Ebook and Paperback

The Bradford Sisters Romance series:

Then Came You (prequel novella)

True to You (Book One)

Falling for You (Book Two)
you can read my thoughts on these previous stories

Sweet on You (Book Three)

The Christmas Heirloom : Because of You
(holiday novella)*the one I didn’t get to read yet

Converse via: #Contemporary #INSPYRomance +
#INSPY or #INSPYBooks and #BradfordSistersRomance

The only difficulty I had in reading this novel – a year later from my last readings of the series is I found the font to be set at a level of size a bit lower than my eyes can tolerate. I didn’t strain to read the novel but I had to take extra care to focus on the words because I swear the font felt ten times smaller than I remember the last two novels in print had read.

About Becky Wade

Becky Wade

Becky’s a California native who attended Baylor University, met and married a Texan, and settled in Dallas. She published historical romances for the general market before putting her career on hold for several years to care for her three children.

When God called her back to writing, Becky knew He meant for her to turn her attention to Christian fiction. She loves writing funny, modern, and inspirational contemporary romance! She’s the Christy Award and Carol Award winning author of My Stubborn Heart, the Porter Family series, and the Bradford Sisters Romance series.

Photo Credit: Creative Photography

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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Posted Wednesday, 29 May, 2019 by jorielov in 21st Century, Adoption, Balance of Faith whilst Living, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Clever Turns of Phrase, Contemporary Romance, Epistolary Novel | Non-Fiction, Family Drama, Family Life, Humour & Satire in Fiction / Non Fiction, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, INSPY Realistic Fiction | Non-Fiction, Life Shift, Modern Day, Passionate Researcher, Prism Book Tours, Realistic Fiction, Romance Fiction, Siblings, Sisters & the Bond Between Them, Small Towne USA, Sweet Romance, The Writers Life, Washington, West Coast USA, Women's Fiction, Wordsmiths & Palettes of Sage, Writing Style & Voice

#SaturdaysAreBookish | “The Royal Secret” by Lucinda Riley

Posted Saturday, 25 May, 2019 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

#SaturdaysAreBookish created by Jorie in Canva.

After launching this lovely new feature of mine during [Autumn, 2018] it is a pleasure of joy to continue to bring #SaturdaysAreBookish as a compliment focus of my Twitter chat @SatBookChat. If you see the chat icon at the top of my blog (header bar) you can click over to visit with us. The complimentary showcases on my blog will reflect the diversity of stories, authors and publishers I would be featuring on the chat itself. As at the root and heart of the chat are the stories I am reading which compliment the conversations.

#SaturdaysAreBookish throughout [2019] will be featuring the Romance & Women’s Fiction authors I am discovering to read across genre and point of interest. Every Saturday will feature a different author who writes either Romance or Women’s Fiction – the stories I am reading might simply inspire the topics in the forthcoming chats or they might be directly connected to the current guest author.

I am excited about where new guests and new stories will lay down the foundation of inspiring the topics, the conversations and the bookish recommendations towards promoting Romance & Women’s Fiction. Here’s a lovely New Year full of new authors and their stories to celebrate!

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Acquired Book By: I became introduced to the writing style of Lucinda Riley through reading her dearly epic Seven Sisters saga – I have also participated on a few of the last blog tours celebrating this series whilst having had the pleasure of borrowing the books through my local library in order to read the series start to finish. Through these readings during the past few years, I’ve felt her writings and stories have etched themselves into my heart for their breadth of depth and the wondrous ways in which her characters never quite leave your heart after you conclude their individual stories!

Therefore, when I was approached about a new book being released that is outside this series I have a fond attachment too but is within the scope of the recent IRL Royal Romance between Prince Harry and the Duchess of Sussex – I knew I had to read this novel!

I received a complimentary ARC copy of “The Royal Secret” direct from the publisher Atria Books 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 love returning back inside a Lucinda Riley novel:

What was beautiful about the story is the resolve of Tiggy’s grandmother and the rest of the women in the family; I leaned closer to Maria than Lucia; though in truth, Lucia had a complicated life. She was passionate to a fault, addicted to her talent and sought for nothing outside the pursuit of her chosen craft: dancing. She also was at a deficit in life to strive for her own goals due to her father’s manipulations – overall, you felt for her in those moments where you wonder how things could have gone if she hadn’t hitched her dreams to her father’s selfish motivations.

Tiggy’s story has a lot of unexpected surprises within it – the best of all is when Ally came back into the time-line as I was most happy with what is revealled about her and where she is presently in her life. Other sisters came in and out of the sequencing of events but it was truly more centred on Tiggy and Ally at one point which was quite lovely, I thought! Tiggy didn’t have an easy path anymore than Lucia – similar to how the past and the present affected her sisters, Tiggy was learning that her past was also influencing her present in ways she might never had understood if she hadn’t believed in her instincts to live and work the way she believed was her heart’s passion.

It speaks to how we all need to listen to our intuition and to be mindful of the things we are understanding – living life on faith and for hugging close to our family. Whether our family is found, adopted or biological – all families are important in our lives as it is the one place in this crazy world where we can find unconditional love and acceptance. This is truly a series which champions family, love and the fierce strength of the women who the seven sisters are related too. Each new installment re-strengthens the legacy of their lives and draws us closer to the truth emerging out of the unknown passages of time uniting them all.

I truly love when writers insert linguistical expressions of phrase into their stories – I’ve read quite a few stories about Scotland and the Highlands in particular (as it is my favourite setting!) – however Ms Riley truly tapped into their dialect in a beautiful way of convincing you on your arrival to the Kinnaird estate! The words are writ just as they would be heard and it added more dimension I felt to Tiggy’s story as this is how she would be hearing the words herself when she was interacting with everyone.

The linguistics continued in the sections highlighting life in Spain – including the cultural heritage of gypsies and the flamingo dance. You truly felt taken on a flight through history – seeing how Tiggy’s ancestors once lived in caves and how their cultural heritage was something they were not just proud of but something they maintained generationally. Getting to peer into the past was a blessing as it showed the background of Tiggy’s origins whilst it contrasted with who she is today. It also spoke to those moments of insight she felt as she had grown up and what her intuition truly could reveal about her truer nature.

Riley continues to inspire me for the depth of conception within her series – she spends a heap of time developing the characters, their back-stories, their present lives and the ways in which the past arches back into the present to where you will lovingly feel dearly attached her narrative style for giving you a breadth of joy as you settle into her series.

I love how this series transitions through a Contemporary narrative into a Historical one – it is a time shift series where you spend half of your time in the past and the rest of the time in the present. Each section of the novels inter-relate to the other sections to where you have this beautifully strung continuity between the ancestral lines of the sisters and their own lives in the present day. It makes for a lovely reading experience because your shifting back and forth, digging into the past but also walking through the present towards the future. I love this style of story and the best bits really is how taut and exacting she’s crafted the continuity between the installments.

-quoted from my review of The Moon Sister

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com#SaturdaysAreBookish | “The Royal Secret” by Lucinda RileyThe Royal Secret
by Ms Lucinda Riley
Source: Direct from Publisher

When Sir James Harrison, one the greatest actors of his generation, passes away at the age of ninety-five, he leaves behind not just a heartbroken family but also a secret so shocking, it could rock the English establishment to its core.

Joanna Haslam, an up-and-coming reporter, is assigned to cover the legendary actor’s funeral, attended by glitzy celebrities of every background. But Joanna stumbles on something dark beneath the glamour: the mention of a letter James Harrison has left behind—the contents of which many have been desperate to keep concealed for over seventy years. As she peels back the veil of lies that has shrouded the secret, she realizes that she’s close to uncovering something deadly serious—and the royal family may be implicated. Before long, someone is on her tracks, attempting to prevent her from discovering the truth. And they’ll stop at nothing to reach the letter before she does…

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781982115067

Genres: Contemporary (Modern) Fiction (post 1945), Epistolary | Letters & Correspondences, Genre-bender, Women's Fiction


Published by Atria Books

on 21st May, 2019

Format: Paperback ARC

Pages: 528

 Published By: Atria ()
{imprint of} Simon & Schuster (

Available Formats: Hardcover, Audiobook, Paperback and Ebook

Converse via: #TheRoyalSecret and #SaturdaysAreBookish

About Ms Lucinda Riley

Lucinda Riley Photo Credit Boris Breuer

Lucinda Riley is the New York Times bestselling author of The Orchid House, The Girl on the Cliff, The Lavender Garden, The Midnight Rose, and the Seven Sisters series. Her books have sold more than fifteen million copies in thirty-five languages globally. She was born in Ireland and divides her time between England and West Cork with her husband and four children.

Photo Credit: Boris Breuer

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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Posted Saturday, 25 May, 2019 by jorielov in 21st Century, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Family Drama, Family Life, Inheritance & Identity, Life Shift, Modern Day, Post-911 (11th September 2001), Unexpected Inheritance, Vulgarity in Literature, Women's Fiction

6th #Blogoversary celebrating #Harlequin Heartwarming | Series Book Review feat. “Bachelor Remedy” and “In the Doctor’s Arms” (Book Five & Six: Seasons of Alaska) by Carol Ross Otherwise known as the small towne romance series Jorie has wickedly found #unputdownable! So much so, she nudged her Mum to read it!

Posted Sunday, 31 March, 2019 by jorielov , , , , , , 0 Comments

Book Review badge created by Jorie in Canva using Unsplash.com photography (Creative Commons Zero).

Borrowed 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.

This particular review is slightly different from my regular blog tours and hosting features for Prism Book Tours – as an opportunity came along this March to secure a spot on a ‘review tour’ rather than a ‘blog tour’ for a novel within the Seasons of Alaska series by Carol Ross. I had previously read a novel by Ms Ross when I was attached to the five-book series “Return of the Blackwell Brothers” review tour wherein I read the entire series as a hostess for Prism Book Tours.

This time round – I borrowed most of the “Seasons of Alaska” book series through my local libraries – either through ILL (inter-library loan) and/or local borrowing opportunities as one of my libraries had more of the books in their local catalogue than the others. My readings of this series will be spilt into review showcases of two books in sequence leading into my review for the review tour of “In the Doctor’s Arms” which is the latest release for this Harlequin Heartwarming series.

We had a lot of flexibility with this review tour – we were not required to read the entire series, however, being a serial fiction reader who likes to read more of a series than less – I elected to seek out the series in full to be read before “In the Doctor’s Arms”. The author herself was kind enough to send me a copy of the one novel I couldn’t borrow through my library which is “Bachelor Remedy”. The scheduling of my readings and my review postings for this review tour are as follows: “Mountains Apart” and “A Case for Forgiveness” (post one); “If Not for a Bee” and “A Family Like Hannah’s” (post two) and “Bachelor Remedy” and “In the Doctor’s Arms” (post three) – the third of which will be featured on my 6th Blogoversary the 31st of March, 2019.

I decided to read all the stories in this series ‘blind’ – meaning, I didn’t read each of the synopsis’s before setting into the stories as I was reading them. I knew I could trust where Ms Ross would take me as I loved her instincts for Return of the Blackwell Brothers – therefore, it became a bit of a lovely adventure seeing how her characters within this new series would develop, strengthen and grow!

I received a complimentary copy of “Bachelor Remedy” and “In the Doctor’s Arms” direct from the 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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What I have been enjoying about reading the #SeasonsOfAlaska series:

I was so caught inside the evolution of Emily and Bering’s romance, I somehow missed seeing or even acknowledging Emily’s brother Aidan! This clearly was a character I ought to have taken a few notes about though as he’s making a return appearance whilst he also is not winning over Janie with his nonchalant attitude over a spoilt cake! I could almost see his reasoning about the bee which led to the cake fiasco but it how he was dismissing the obvious emotional reactions out of Janie and her son which felt like he was a bit clueless round the edges. Either that or he was just misconstruing the whole situation which wasn’t any kinder to the other parties involved.

Something told me this might have been a special cake for Gareth, Reagan and Janie – considering their father had died I was thinking this might have been a cake in his honour or it was for celebrating one of their birthdays or perhaps even, their twin siblings? Either way – the disappointment over what befell the cake’s demise was dearly felt by everyone except for Aidan, of course, who thought everything could simply be re-purchased or re-made. Clearly he hasn’t lived within set perimeters and the limits of food allergies to recognise how futile his attempts were at rectifying this particular upset.

Your heart simply goes out to Janie and her four sons; this cake meant something special to them and after you find out what the cake was representing you can re-feel the sense of emotions this young family has been struggling through over the years. Finding out Aidan is in Alaska because he’s an expert on bees shouldn’t have surprised me even though it had as being that bees are his field of experience, I would have thought he would have understood people’s hesitations about being too close to them? As a lot of people are seriously allergic to bee stings?

I never would have realised he was Emily’s brother – part of his personality is quite opposite of her own it didn’t quite seem like they were related! They both are seriously focused on their careers which they shared in common with one another and that single-mindedness was definitely a sibling trait of theirs as well.

I must admit, I’d love to take a table and experience the Cozy Caribu myself – though, mind, I’m not entirely sure if their menu includes some lovelies of the vegetarian kind but it is the ambiance Ross etched into this #musteat restaurant of Rankins which makes your mouth water whenever your making a return trip into this cosy small towne! It is the kind of haunt the locals love to be caught inside and it has the essence of a wicked good restaurant you can’t wait to experience for yourself! I could see why Aidan was immediately attracted to the place and why he felt like his foodie self had finally landed in a place where his palette would be treated to a lot of savoury delights!

Laughs with mirth! Immediately connecting with the antidote of Ms Ross’s life – as she shared how her family sees the positive even if life turnt into lemons and gave you a heck of a ride for adversity! Her example led me to remember when our car broke down in the Everglades (whilst we were on holiday with a short time window to appreciate our visit) – there is a spot down there where you can literally be stranded for hours due to how infrequent it is travelled at certain times of the day or night. It was before the golden twilight hours – in the heat of a humid Summer, where the mosquitoes and other lovelies were starting to emerge but the blessing for us like her, the storms of intensity were at bay and a kind Samaritan came to our rescue. We decided that perhaps our stay-over needed a small extension? And/or – perhaps our arrival to where we were heading needed a short delay? Whichever way you look at it – we were being watched over as later we learnt that stranded motorist on that stretch were notoriously having issues with people who had nefarious intentions. Blessedly we left that patch of road unscathed.

There are other instances of where I can relate to what she’s talking about, too. Where we choose how we set our attitude to get through our harder days, we immediately rejoice when life brings a spirit of joyfulness into our lives as well. We’re generally known as the positive-minded family or the ones with the cheerful spirits. Ironically, we do not oft hear this said of others – as wherever you are in life, your either going to have a wicked run of good days, a spurt of adverse days or perhaps somewhere betwixt the two – without the rougher patches, the sweetness of joy isn’t as appreciated as you learn through your experiences; good, bad or indifferent, life has a well of circumstances to take something away from,… which is why I felt I was identifying with what Ms Ross was sharing in her lovely author’s note. This might also point towards why reading this particular series is now in my top 3rd position of bookish love for Harlequin Heartwarming!

Ross has continued to etch out the families in Rankins to where you feel like you get an inside edge into knowing the major families who call this community their home. The James family (ie. Bering and Janie) have a stronghold in the towne but it is how their extended family, friends and their neighbours play such a distinctive role in their lives which makes returning here such a pleasant experience each time I settle into a new novel within the series! This time round it is due to how familiar I feel inside the series – being my third reading of the Seasons of Alaska series, I feel like Ross has carved out a place I have come to know quite well.

She has a keen sense of what makes the most interesting stories to knit into a Contemporary Romance but also does it with an uplifting insight of hope to encourage you forward into the series itself. Each time you soak into one of these stories, you feel your heart charged with the beauty of the setting but also the beauty of the people – they really are down to earth people who love their families and their community members. It is lovely to celebrate fiction like this and the other series I’ve become fond of within Harlequin Heartwarming who give me this same kind of takeaway – as these are the kinds of stories you can relax inside and know you’re going to be treated to a wickedly brilliant story within a larger arc of narrative that lets you root a bit in one particular place until the last of its story is told.

I love her instincts for rounding out her characters – for instance, within If Not for a Bee – one of the main interests of Janie is knitting. This is something I could insta-relate too being a knitter myself – from the calming influence of the patterns to the curious ways in which the tacticle benefits enrich your joy as your knitting with different fibres. I loved this portion of Janie’s life and I liked seeing how it developed throughout the story.

-quoted from my reviews of If Not for a Bee and A Case for Forgiveness

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6th Blogoversary banner created by Jorie in Canva. Jorie Loves A Story badge embedded in the banner was created by Ravven.

As you can see, I have a special announcement to share with those of whom enjoy visiting with me as I’m sharing my readerly life here on Jorie Loves A Story! Today [the 31st of March] marks the beginning of my 6th Year as a Book Blogger! I created Jorie Loves A Story in 2013 at the tail-end of March where it was only a whisper of a thought of what it *could become!* as I spent the next several months tweaking it, creating content and sorting out how I wanted to approach my own niche of a space in the book blogosphere.

It became quite the daring adventure – there was no blueprint to follow and I sorted out my writerly voice, the style of how I wanted to articulate my thoughts and ruminations inasmuch as I sorted out how I wanted the aesthetic of this space to ‘look’ – which is why I didn’t release this lovely blog of mine to the world until the 6th of August, 2013! However, for me both days are of keen importance – it was the 31st of March where I quite literally took the plunge, created [jorielovesastory.com] and began the journey. All bloggers have a beginning and this particular day marked my own. Hence why I celebrate both my blogoversary (31st of March) and my blog’s birthday (6th of August) each year. I’ve had parties thrown in their honour by my family and each year I get a lovely surprise – either bookish or lifestyle inclined from my fam as well! It is a special treat – this journey of mine, not just for the memories – the stories, the writers, the characters and the worlds – but the conversations online & off, the celebrations and milestones along the way and the beauty of taking a risk to sort out how to have a quasi-public life in-line with having a private one offline. It is a balance I’ve sought and feel I have claimed in the years since I first started walking down this path.

At the root and heart of what I love sharing is my readerly wanderings in literature – I’ve striven for better balance between what I request to review and what I personally want to read off my shelves – or borrow from my local libraries; something I still feel I am working ‘towards’ achieving rather than saying I’ve mastered the art of this bookish balance in my life! Laughs. One day, surely I’ll find that golden blissitude of joy knowing I’ve sorted it out! Til then, I love settling into stories which are both heartfelt and soul lifting – outside of my historical and suspenseful wanderings, I find a hearty joy in Speculative Fiction but in the background of my literary interests are Contemporaries and Classical wanderings. These two are the ones I’ve struggled with finding enroads with over the years but have thankfully made strides towards sorting out which Contemporary Romance & Women’s Fiction authors I can follow as they continue to write the stories I am most keen to be reading!

Last year, during my 5th Blogoversary, I focused on the joyful discovery of Kellie Coates Gilbert and shared my affection for INSPY Literature. This year, I am also highlighting a Contemporary novelist whilst I want to ring a bell of delight for the Harlequin Heartwarming writers who have given me such a burst of happiness in my readerly life these past few years! Specifically the authors behind the following series: Return of the Blackwell Brothers, Karen Rock of the Rocky Mountain Cowboys series, Ms Ross with Seasons of Alaska and Catherine Lanigan with her series Shores of Indian Lake. The next series I will be reading in earnest is Ms Lanigan’s as I am participating in the next novel in sequence’s blog tour. I want to back-read as many of the stories as I can as I’ve read the last two releases out of step with the fuller arc of her series.

Similar to what attracted me to the Contemporary Romances by ChocLitUK – the novelists behind Harlequin Heartwarming are writing the kinds of relationship-based romances my heart swoons to find! I also like the fact that unlike with ChocLit novels, there is one small difference which makes me feel a bit at ease seeking out the Heartwarming line a bit more frequently – the absence of strong language! There were a few Heartwarming stories where the language went strong but it is nothing compared to having to blink out a lot of language which are more inclusive to ChocLit novels. I’m just not that kind of girl – I’d much prefer to read a wicked awesomesauce romance without strong language than to have it peppered to death! I still have my favourite ChocLit authors who’ve touched my heart with their stories, their characters and their series – blessedly over the years, they know how fond I am of their writing styles – however, overall, I noticed a distinctive change in the direction of the ChocLit line of Romance.

Most of the Heartwarming stories are also set in small townes rather than large cities – this brings me to my second favourite bit of seeking them out – and let’s face it, there are so many lovely series in this Harlequin imprint, I could be seeking them out for the rest of my life just to read through them all and finding my top favourites! The small towne effect is something close to my bookish heart because instead of reading a one-off, you get the pleasure of joy of ‘staying with the characters’ as the stories not only evolve forward through the natural progressive evolution of their lives but such as you observe in Rankins with Ms Ross’s Seasons of Alaska – the towne and community grows behind them, too!

This 6th Year as a Book Blogger, I am overjoyed and grateful to being a blogger and reader working with Prism Book Tours as my time as a hostess for them has given me a renewed appreciation for Harlequin as previously I used to read their imprint Mira and other imprints of theirs which are now discontinued. I knew I was a solid appreciator of their #LoveINSPIRED Suspense novels – as this is a passion of joy I share with my Mum as we tag-team reading those all the time! In fact, Mum encouraged me to read those for ‘pleasure’ rather than for blogging purposes, which is why last July during a readathon for INSPY / Christian Fiction, I read quite a heap in that regard! I’m still a bit behind in the stories Mum’s read herself but our pursuit of those stories and series is a Mum and daughter scavenger hunt of joy!

Now I get to return the favour and am nudging Mum to read the Harlequin Heartwarming stories I’m enjoying myself! As initially I encouraged her to read #LoveINSPIRED Suspense as a method of decompressing her intensive work weeks as a caregiver for seniors – nowadays, we’re finding our readerly habits are a united front when it comes to Harlequin – both on the traditional side of the ledger and on the INSPY side! Since I first started reading Seasons of Alaska, she’s now finished Mountains Apart and we’ve been enjoying discussing both Rankins and the characters together!! The hardest bit though is being hush-hush about the details *til!* one of us gets to the end of all these stories we’re co-reading in tandem! Laughs. What a great challenge to have, eh?

Therefore – this 6th Year of mine is still a progressive journey towards readerly balance but also a renewal of celebration for seeking out Contemporaries which give my heart a burst of joy and a keen sense of readerly satisfaction knowing I’m finding the writers who make my heart swoon and give me that wicked good uplift for having read their romances! Here’s to a wonderful new year of romance and small towne fiction! I am overjoyed to have found this new imprint of bookish joy from Harlequin and I hope my showcases on my blog help encourage other readers seeking the same relationship-based romances I am to take a chance on these authors!

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Seasons of Alaska series by Carol Ross

Seasons of Alaska series by Carol Ross

Mountains Apart (book one)

A Case for Forgiveness (book two)

If Not for a Bee (book three)

A Family Like Hannah’s (book four)

Bachelor’s Remedy (book five)

In the Doctor’s Arms (book six)

Bachelor Remedy
Subtitle: Seasons of Alaska
by Carol Ross
Source: Author via Prism Book Tours

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781335633583

Also by this author: The Rancher's Twins, Mountains Apart, A Case for Forgiveness, If Not for a Bee, A Family Like Hannah's

Also in this series: Mountains Apart, A Case for Forgiveness, If Not for a Bee, A Family Like Hannah's


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


Setting: Alaska


Published by Harlequin Heartwarming

on 3rd April, 2018

Format: Larger Print (Mass Market Paperback)

Pages: 384

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

Converse via: #Contemporary #Romance & #Harlequin

& #SeasonsOfAlaska

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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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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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Posted Sunday, 31 March, 2019 by jorielov in Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Book Review (non-blog tour), Family Drama, Family Life, Indie Author, Life Shift, Prism Book Tours, Romance Fiction, Second Chance Love, Small Towne Fiction