Category: Family Drama

Harlequin Romance Blog Book Tour | feat. a #PubDay Book Review for “The Prince and the Wedding Planner” by Jennifer Faye

Posted Tuesday, 3 March, 2020 by jorielov , , , , 0 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 “The Prince and the Wedding Planner” direct from the author Jennifer Faye in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Rainbow Digital Clip Art Washi Tape made by The Paper Pegasus. Purchased on Etsy by Jorie and used with permission.

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 have been enjoying exploring her stories, stepping in the shoes of her characters and happily appreciating the journey of discovering her collective works.

Rainbow Digital Clip Art Washi Tape made by The Paper Pegasus. Purchased on Etsy by Jorie and used with permission.

Harlequin Romance Blog Book Tour | feat. a #PubDay Book Review for “The Prince and the Wedding Planner” by Jennifer FayeThe Prince and the Wedding Planner
Subtitle: A Bartolini Legacy Novel
by Jennifer Faye
Source: Author via Prism Book Tours

When different worlds collide…

…sparks fly!

With her family name on the line, wedding planner Bianca Bartolini needs this royal wedding to go perfectly—she can’t afford distractions. Too bad the bride’s dashing brother has other plans! Duty-bound Crown Prince Leo has mere weeks to announce his own engagement, but none of the candidates measure up to Bianca. They’re the most unlikely match, but might that just make them perfect for one another?

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781335556189

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

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


Published by Harlequin Books

on 3rd March, 2020

Format: Large Print Edition

Pages: 256

Published by: Harlequin Books (@HarlequinBooks)

Formats Available: Ebook and Paperback

Converse via: #Contemporary #RomanceBooks/Novels and #HarlequinRomance

Rainbow Digital Clip Art Washi Tape made by The Paper Pegasus. Purchased on Etsy by Jorie and used with permission.

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 Tuesday, 3 March, 2020 by jorielov in Arranged Marriages in Royalty, Blog Tour Host, Contemporary Romance, Family Drama, Family Life, Inheritance & Identity, Prism Book Tours, Romance Fiction, Sweet Romance, Unexpected Inheritance

#HarlequinHeartwarming Blog Book Tour | “Always the One” (Meet Me At The Altar series, Book Four) by Tara Randel

Posted Thursday, 13 February, 2020 by jorielov , , , , 1 Comment

Book Review banner created by Jorie in Canva.

Acquired Book By: I started hosting with Prism Book Tours at the end of [2017], having noticed the badge on Tressa’s blog (Wishful Endings) whilst I was visiting as we would partake in the same blog tours and/or book blogosphere memes. I had to put the memes on hold for several months (until I started to resume them (with Top Ten Tuesday) in January 2018). When I enquiried about hosting for Prism, I found I liked the niche of authors and stories they were featuring regularly. This is how I came to love discovering the Harlequin Heartwarming authors & series as much as it has been an honour to regularly request INSPY stories and authors. Whenever I host for Prism, I know I am in for an uplifting read and a journey into the stories which give me a lot of joy to find in my readerly queue of #nextreads. It is an honour to be a part of their team of book bloggers.

I received a complimentary copy of “Always the One” direct from the author Tara Randel 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.com

Why I appreciate reading

the Meet Me At the Altar series by Tara Randel:

Serena’s store Blue Ridge Cottage is the kind of eclectic papery shoppe I’d love to find IRL! Especially as it brings me back to the joyful past of being an ardent letter writer who loved sending letters through the post office! Stationery stores and typewriter repair shoppes are a bit harder to come by these days as much as a solidly outfitted scrapbooking and/or rubberstamp shoppe for those of us who love paper crafting, mixed media collage and the art of creating handmade greeting cards. You can get lost inside a store like Serena’s inasmuch as you could a book shoppe! The choices, the designs and the curiously clever way she used vintage furnishings to display her wares was enticing enough but it was the soul sister vibe she carried off by endearing herself to fellow typospherians which made it seem sweeter somehow!

Mrs M is quite the stitch and a half! She is the kind of landlord who has a grandmotherly attitude which lands her into a bit of a tricky spot when she wants to earnestly offer her grandson to a winning match such as Serena! She can’t help herself really, if you observe her as she tries to encourage a love match between two singleton’s who aren’t entirely ready for the prospect of a relationship! Matching is a fun activity for the person whose doing the pairings but for those on the opposite end of the match? I could see why Serena was hesitating to acknowledge the cunning smiles and the curious way Mrs M attempted to stall in the shoppe long enough for Logan to collect her for their day out.

Logan enjoys his job a bit too much if you ask me! He gets too much pleasure out of uncovering a person’s secrets and of finding out what they wish to hide from the world. Not that that is always a bad thing mind you, but in his eyes? He seems to place himself above reproach and just because there was a bad apple incident who affected his grandmother’s life years ago; he’s now embolden to believe others will follow suit. Others like Serena who just want to carve out an honest business and make it as an independent shoppe owner in an era of chains and box stores. You had to feel for him a bit – for his misguided sense of duty as it is one thing to honour your grandmother and protect her interests but it is another to marginalise everyone just because you can’t believe that someone would be honourable and trustworthy. Even Mrs M called him on that!

Serena loved being involved in the local activities Golden provided but sometimes the cost of participation was more than she was willing to yield. You could almost see the mistake in judgement on her face when Logan started to grill her again for information. He thinks he’s this suave bloke who could charm the daisies off any woman but in reality, he’s hard-edged and if your intuitive, you can see what he’s doing even before he finishes his enquiry.

My three favourite characters ended up being Serena’s father, Jasmine (the new love of his life) and Mrs M; mostly as the three of them are the crafty parental figures who knew how to get forward motion churning in the lives of Serena and Logan. They needed a lot of pushes and nudges to work through their feelings, re-think what they felt they knew of each other and of course, like most relationships that have a rocky foundation they needed help finding common ground. All of this is put together through the vision Randel had in showcasing how ordinary life can be messy but its the hours betwixt and between which count the most.

The person I felt the most sorry for was Logan and Reid’s father – I think he never truly gave himself permission to feel the losses he experienced nor had the capacity to find a way to heal through self-forgiveness for his own past sins. Logan’s father was a proud man but what he needed most was his sons to accept his faults, understand his frailties and still find a reason to accept him as a father who loved his sons most of all. This is why the series feels rooted in a family drama set in a small close-knit mountain community. Everyone is in a different stage of progress towards resolving something of their lives or of their past; no one is unaffected by the secrets but it is those secrets which cause more harm than good.

What pulls me back into the plotting of Meet Me At the Altar series is the thickening plot points – there is an overlapping arc of narrative threading between the novels which is leading into a revelation period. There is one underscoring mystery involving Serena’s own past, her family and especially the goings on with her father which stem from the investigative instincts of detectives both private and publicly employed. It is within this scope that Randel encourages your curiosity because each new installment of the series hugs you closer to the truth but also pulls away from it quite a bit in order to lengthen the reveal.

I am hoping there are a few more stories yet to come in this series – I’d love to see what becomes of Reid, but also the supporting characters of Heidi and Carrie. There are more characters whose lives are entwined with the leads and I would love to see how their lives begin to work out as well!

What gives you the best joy of course is watching how Ms Randel knits her characters closer together at moments where they’d prefer to remain isolated, alone and single. She doesn’t let them root there in their own self-pity, but rather attempts to push them towards the people who have unconditional love to share and friendship which will last longer than a rumour. This is a series that is about working through your problems, trusting in yourself to have the chance to repair the past and finding a place as calm as Golden to renew your spirit as you redefine your path.

-quoted from my review of Trusting Her Heart
(Meet Me At the Altar series, Book Three)

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

#HarlequinHeartwarming Blog Book Tour | “Always the One” (Meet Me At The Altar series, Book Four) by Tara RandelAlways the One
Subtitle: Meet Me At The Altar
by Tara Randel
Source: Author via Prism Book Tours

She’s the love of his life… but is he still hers?

FBI agent Derrick Matthews has finally found his childhood sweetheart and the love of his life—but she isn’t exactly happy about it! Years ago, Hannah Rawlings disappeared overnight when her family went on the run, and she blames Derrick. She tells him she’s moved on and he should, too, but Derrick fears Hannah’s still in danger. He vows to protect her—even if that means betraying her trust…again.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 978-1-335-88957-7

Also by this author: His One and Only Bride, His Honor, Her Family, Trusting Her Heart

Also in this series: His Honor, Her Family, Trusting Her Heart


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


Published by Harlequin Heartwarming

on 4th February, 2020

Format: Larger Print (Mass Market Paperback)

Pages: 385

Published by: Harlequin Heartwarming

Converse via: #Contemporary + #Romance and #HarlequinHeartwarming

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Meet Me At The Altar series:

The Lawman's Secret Vow by Tara RandelHis Honor, Her Family by Tara RandelTrusting Her Heart by Tara RandelAlways the One by Tara Randel

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

how this series began within the pages of : The Lawman’s Secret Vow

To have and to hold — until the case is solved?

When an undercover assignment pairs laid-back Florida detective Dante Matthews with by-the-book cop Eloise Archer, he knows it won’t be easy. And not just because they’re competing for the same promotion. Now they’re living together under the same roof, and it’s getting harder to ignore his deepening feelings for his “wife.” Can he convince Eloise to partner up—for life?

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

As an aside – when it comes to the redesign for Harlequin Heartwarming – I am on board with it as far as the front covers are concerned with one note of criticism from a reader who loves her serial fiction. The series names have been moved to the back cover and that is most distressing as it is harder to sort out which books are meant to be read in which sequence per series. I noticed that they are not routing through the series names either online except thankfully on Fantastic Fiction. That is the only mark of criticism I have though as I liked the triangle graphic on the upper left but I wish the series names were still on the front covers.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

About Tara Randel

Tara Randel

USA Today Bestselling Author Tara Randel has enjoyed a lifelong love of books, especially romance and mystery genres, so it didn't come as a surprise when she began writing with the dream of becoming published. Family values, mystery and, of course, love and romance are her favorite themes, because she believes love is the greatest gift of all. Tara lives on the West Coast of Florida, where gorgeous sunsets inspire the creation of heartwarming stories, filled with love, laughter and the occasional mystery.

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Posted Thursday, 13 February, 2020 by jorielov in 21st Century, Blog Tour Host, Contemporary Romance, Family Drama, Indie Author, Life Shift, Modern Day, Prism Book Tours, Romance Fiction, Small Towne Fiction, Small Towne USA

A Jane Austen Conversation | featuring Collins Hemingway in discussion about his Marriage of Miss Jane Austen series

Posted Wednesday, 15 January, 2020 by jorielov , , 0 Comments

Conversations with the Bookish badge created by Jorie in Canva

Hallo, Hallo dear hearts,

I am not entirely sure if everyone who reads my blog is aware of my admiration for Jane Austen or the fact, I consider myself a #Janeite. I have loved the author’s style of narrative for many years, in fact, I wrote an Essay about it during 2017’s #AustenInAugust and couldn’t help but gush over the reading of the first novel in this trilogy as well.

What implored me truly to read this after canon selection on a theory of Jane Austen’s life is my affection for the author herself. I love reading after canon works based on her collective works but I also like to entertain readings of stories which relate directly to the writer, herself. Previously, I have explored this through the Jane Austen Mysteries a series I look forward to re-visiting, as I hadn’t had the time to re-read the first novel nor continue with the rest of the stories which followed suit. This was initially my goal whilst reading the first volume in this series – however, in the past few years, my readings of Austen Literature has taken a few interesting hiatuses.

Whilst noting this is a novel of an evolving theory based on what ‘could have been’ in accord to Ms Austen’s life, I felt it warranted exploring because after all, how much do any of us know about the Classical authors we love to read? In this, I had a curious thought – what if this novel had a foundation of grounding based on one of the author’s own works? This is something which came into better clarity as I read the novel directly and one in which, I had wondered if other readers on the blog tours had noted themselves.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Directly though – I was dearly curious to continue reading this series due to these
ruminative thoughts I had shared after finishing Volume Two:

As I re-entered Jane’s life as a married woman, I was happy to find Cassandra was beside her, news of the Napoleonic War held good news for her family (especially in regards to her brother) whilst her new life was still one she was settling into accepting. Ashton provided a step-up in social standing for Jane, including how they lived and what they had within their environs. You can see her a bit uncertain how to handle the luxuries of this life compared to what she was used to previously with the Austens, who lived a humbled existence.

Jane is the newly minted Mrs Dennis in the household – a duty and station which comes with a litany of obligation, responsibility and a foresight of understanding for social trademarks for a hostess. It is here where we first start to notice how Jane’s own upbringing fell short of what she would have to endure as a married woman. How her mother-in-law wouldn’t hesitate to point out her faults and where her sister Cassandra would provide a moral anchour to her nerves. It is here we find Jane attempting to do the biding of her husband but without the fuller knowledge of what a disaster it could become if she would blindly follow his advice without taking into consideration the suggestions of his mother, the other ‘Mrs Dennis’.

It is interesting to see how Jane would approach married life – how she is open to discussing things with Ashton or of finding ways to engage him in the romantic gestures she endeavours to instigate. Nothing is seen as this was inspired by Jane Austen and thus, Hemingway happily kept her style of narrative intact without deviating out of the tastefulness of a romance which made her infamous for the genre; yet what was interesting is how he gave a bit of freedom of expression to both Jane and Ashton. They were happily enjoying their married lives – all facets of it but most importantly the ways in which they were endearing each other in their more intimate moments.

There is a bit of cheeky humour threading into the backbone of this installment – how Jane is reflectively musing about how she’s surprised at how natural being a married woman has come to her and how she enjoys being with her husband. There are other sides to Jane as well, such as the woman who is not yet ready to lead a household but of whom, is attempting to remain outside her comfort zone if it means improving her connection to her husband, her staff and her mother-in-law. This is a story of growth – of seeing Jane move away from her years of youth and of embracing this new chapter where she is writing the hours as they arrive.

As Jane started to see how marriage loomed ahead of her, her one regret truly was the lack of hours in which to be creatively engaged with her pen. She spoke of this to Ashton, of whom did not see why she was upset (not really, though he attempted to try) as she had chosen to be with him, to be a wife and to have responsibilities that would naturally come out of the union. Quite a typical response, except that it fell short of realising from a husband’s perspective, how sometimes a woman in a marriage was not realising they were sacrificing a part of themselves for the sake of being with the man they loved. I think in this instance, Jane had become caught inside the romance and hadn’t fully thought about how her life might become altered if she followed course.

A lot of truth in those worries of Jane as I readily observe how not all husbands are supportive of their wives (especially if their writers) and how it would appear that women are still even now needing to defend why they write or why they want to be economically engaged outside of their marriage. This was a moment of reckoning for Jane, as it wasn’t just putting aside her desires to write which plagued her conscience but certain aspects of marriage itself; which also acted as a conflict with how she was raised and the more sheltering views of being a clergy’s daughter.

Similarly, Hemingway was not shy to highlight the other tensions in their marriage – such as the blunderment Ashton made in deference to Jane in private conversation. It shows how he was effectively examining their marriage from an outside vantage point which had the pleasure of seeing the more intimate moments of their private hours. In thus, he pulled back the layers of what was shielding them from the outside world – drawing them out, letting them reveal their raw emotional thoughts and to speak plainly how they felt about not just one another but the topical issues of their era. They were together for most things but they struck a chord apart on deeper issues I think bemused both of them to notice they truly were two passionate souls who each had their own individual mind. To which end, there were some aspects of their disagreements which were worth owning and there were others worth realising they would never agree on the finer points which separated them.

They do remain united in their ability to draw back together after their differences are shed – for they have a strong marriage built out of trust and truthfulness. It is through their discussions they realise certain aspects of their business and their personal lives are coming to a head of discourse. They cannot continue to engage in partnerships which go against their own minds and hearts which reflect the current events – from slavery to the promise of war, they are keeping on the fringes of what is reflective in the papers. This causes disruptions for them naturally but at the heart of their marriage is a union sparked out of love and united in a fond respect for each other, the world at large and the auspicious emblems of living a life with ethical morals.

As we peer more into Jane and Ashton’s world as a married couple, we start to see how difficult it is for both of them – how they must learn to yield to one another and draw a closer circle of strength to tackle what is awaiting them. There is a joyful revelation in this installment – one that further enlarges our scope of understanding for how Jane is fully lit alive by her experiences as a wife and how by embracing these subtle changes she is finding herself radically new and altered. Jane is happily introspective throughout the story – owning to her pursuit to understand herself and her environment but also, to acknowledge how each new year of a life lived is a chance to see the milestones of the experiences you’ve gained.

This particular installment ends on a happy note but one which is guarded for the future – for not everything is certain and there are a few key reasons for Ashton and Jane to feel as if the future yet to come might prove to be far more taxing than the hours that they have just passed through. It is a keenly intriguing series and one I hope more Janeites discover as it truly is a unique testimony about how a modern writer can re-tap into the life of Jane and bring her out so wholly original and true of her person to give us a near-living testimony of how she would have lived had she taken the paths and passageways he’s explored in this trilogy.

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It is hard to put into words how much this trilogy has taken up a cosy niche of joy in my heart – as I first started reading this beautiful sequence of Jane Austen’s life in January 2018. The past two years has given me a lot of heartfelt joy to reconnect to Austen in a plausible and believable way of re-introducing myself into her world and the ways in which this sequence of her life could have been lived. I have felt from the start, Hemingway himself was channelling a special entreaty into her life and world – the ways in which he instinctively knew how to write about her innermost thoughts, the way he tucked in letters and correspondences into the trilogy and how he captured the heart of the Regency as an era and background to the story itself.

His capacity to tell this story has been a heartwarming experience for me and I am truly thankful I could close out 2019 with reading the finale installment which brings our experiences with Jane in this beautiful trilogy to a close.

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A Jane Austen Conversation | featuring Collins Hemingway in discussion about his Marriage of Miss Jane Austen seriesThe Mariage of Miss Jane Austen
Subtitle: Volume Three
by Collins Hemingway

The Stunning Finale to Jane Austen’s Saga

In the moving conclusion to “The Marriage of Miss Jane Austen,” Jane and her husband struggle with the serious illness of their son, confront a bitter relationship with the aristocratic family who were once their friends and face the horrific prospect of war when the British Army falters on the continent. The momentous events of the Napoleonic wars and the agonizing trials of their personal lives take Jane and Ashton to a decision that will decide their fate—and her future—once and for all.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781979472760

Also by this author: The Mariage of Miss Jane Austen : Volume One, The Mariage of Miss Jane Austen : Volume Two, The Mariage of Miss Jane Austen

Genres: After Canons, Historical Fiction, Historical Romance, Re-telling &/or Sequel


on 4th November, 2017

The Marriage of Miss Jane Austen trilogy:

The Marriage of Miss Jane Austen by Collins HemingwayThe Marriage of Miss Jane Austen Vol II by Collins HemingwayThe Marriage of Miss Jane Austen Volume 3 by Collins Hemingway

Converse via: #HistFic, #HistoricalFiction, #HistRom + #JaneAusten

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Posted Wednesday, 15 January, 2020 by jorielov in #SaturdaysAreBookish, 19th Century, After the Canon, Blog Tour Host, Bookish Discussions, Christianity, Family Drama, Family Life, Historical Fiction, Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours, Historical Romance, Inspired By Author OR Book, Jorie Loves A Story Features, Mother-Daughter Relationships, Pride & Prejudice Re-telling, Second Chance Love, Siblings, Sisters & the Bond Between Them, the Regency era, Women's Fiction, World Religions

A #blogmas of Austen Book Review during #SaturdaysAreBookish | “The Marriage of Miss Jane Austen” (Vol.3) by Collins Hemingway

Posted Saturday, 21 December, 2019 by jorielov , , 2 Comments

#blogmas 2019 badge created by Jorie in Canva.

This #blogmas I knew I wanted to be reading a select few after canon sequences focused on Jane Austen’s narratives and/or of her life – lateron this afternoon I’ll be posting a special post announcing how I’m taking the weekend to be with Jane and the writers who have written stories which excite me as a reader who is chasing after her after canons with a heart full of giddy joyfulness! However, this morning I wanted to focus on my ruminative thoughts and musings for having read & finished the finale of this beautiful trilogy given to us by Mr Hemingway!

I have been dearly appreciative to have hosted this entire trilogy as it has toured the book blogosphere via Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours – it has been an incredibly lovely experience and having this trilogy in my personal library has become a treat of joy. I have loved his instincts for how he told this story and how he crafted a realistically compelling narrative about a writer we all long to read & to understand better as we do.

As a Janeite whose approached reading this trilogy with an open mind and heart – it is a mark of joy to feature this third installment as one of my final #SaturdaysAreBookish reviews for 2019. As you know – this was my new featured showcase of reviews for Romance & Women’s Fiction which launched in January 2019. I look forward to seeing where those journeys take me in the New Year of 2020 and beyond – whilst it is lovely to end this year with a trilogy I’ve loved reading. Be sure to return next Saturday as I feature my final review for this sequence of featured reviews as I say ‘goodbye’ to 2019 and all the beautifully lovely Romance & Women’s Fiction stories which have graced my life this bookishly happy year.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Acquired Book By: I am a regular tour hostess for blog tours via Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours whereupon I am thankful to have been able to host such a diverse breadth of stories, authors and wonderful guest features since I became a hostess!

I received a complimentary copy of “The Marriage of Miss Jane Austen Volume 3” direct from the author Collins Hemingway 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.com

Why I was interested in the premise behind this novel:

I am not entirely sure if everyone who reads my blog is aware of my admiration for Jane Austen or the fact, I consider myself a #Janeite. I have loved the author’s style of narrative for many years, in fact, I wrote an Essay about it during 2017’s #AustenInAugust and couldn’t help but gush over the reading of the first novel in this trilogy as well.

What implored me truly to read this after canon selection on a theory of Jane Austen’s life is my affection for the author herself. I love reading after canon works based on her collective works but I also like to entertain readings of stories which relate directly to the writer, herself. Previously, I have explored this through the Jane Austen Mysteries a series I look forward to re-visiting this year, as I hadn’t had the time to re-read the first novel nor continue with the rest of the stories which followed suit. This was initially my goal whilst reading the first volume in this series – however, in the past few years, my readings of Austen Literature has taken a few interesting hiatuses.

Whilst noting this is a novel of an evolving theory based on what ‘could have been’ in accord to Ms Austen’s life, I felt it warranted exploring because after all, how much do any of us know about the Classical authors we love to read? In this, I had a curious thought – what if this novel had a foundation of grounding based on one of the author’s own works? This is something which came into better clarity as I read the novel directly and one in which, I had wondered if other readers on the blog tour had noted themselves.

Directly though – I was dearly curious to continue reading this series due to these
ruminative thoughts I had shared after finishing Volume Two:

As I re-entered Jane’s life as a married woman, I was happy to find Cassandra was beside her, news of the Napoleonic War held good news for her family (especially in regards to her brother) whilst her new life was still one she was settling into accepting. Ashton provided a step-up in social standing for Jane, including how they lived and what they had within their environs. You can see her a bit uncertain how to handle the luxuries of this life compared to what she was used to previously with the Austens, who lived a humbled existence.

Jane is the newly minted Mrs Dennis in the household – a duty and station which comes with a litany of obligation, responsibility and a foresight of understanding for social trademarks for a hostess. It is here where we first start to notice how Jane’s own upbringing fell short of what she would have to endure as a married woman. How her mother-in-law wouldn’t hesitate to point out her faults and where her sister Cassandra would provide a moral anchour to her nerves. It is here we find Jane attempting to do the biding of her husband but without the fuller knowledge of what a disaster it could become if she would blindly follow his advice without taking into consideration the suggestions of his mother, the other ‘Mrs Dennis’.

It is interesting to see how Jane would approach married life – how she is open to discussing things with Ashton or of finding ways to engage him in the romantic gestures she endeavours to instigate. Nothing is seen as this was inspired by Jane Austen and thus, Hemingway happily kept her style of narrative intact without deviating out of the tastefulness of a romance which made her infamous for the genre; yet what was interesting is how he gave a bit of freedom of expression to both Jane and Ashton. They were happily enjoying their married lives – all facets of it but most importantly the ways in which they were endearing each other in their more intimate moments.

There is a bit of cheeky humour threading into the backbone of this installment – how Jane is reflectively musing about how she’s surprised at how natural being a married woman has come to her and how she enjoys being with her husband. There are other sides to Jane as well, such as the woman who is not yet ready to lead a household but of whom, is attempting to remain outside her comfort zone if it means improving her connection to her husband, her staff and her mother-in-law. This is a story of growth – of seeing Jane move away from her years of youth and of embracing this new chapter where she is writing the hours as they arrive.

As Jane started to see how marriage loomed ahead of her, her one regret truly was the lack of hours in which to be creatively engaged with her pen. She spoke of this to Ashton, of whom did not see why she was upset (not really, though he attempted to try) as she had chosen to be with him, to be a wife and to have responsibilities that would naturally come out of the union. Quite a typical response, except that it fell short of realising from a husband’s perspective, how sometimes a woman in a marriage was not realising they were sacrificing a part of themselves for the sake of being with the man they loved. I think in this instance, Jane had become caught inside the romance and hadn’t fully thought about how her life might become altered if she followed course.

A lot of truth in those worries of Jane as I readily observe how not all husbands are supportive of their wives (especially if their writers) and how it would appear that women are still even now needing to defend why they write or why they want to be economically engaged outside of their marriage. This was a moment of reckoning for Jane, as it wasn’t just putting aside her desires to write which plagued her conscience but certain aspects of marriage itself; which also acted as a conflict with how she was raised and the more sheltering views of being a clergy’s daughter.

Similarly, Hemingway was not shy to highlight the other tensions in their marriage – such as the blunderment Ashton made in deference to Jane in private conversation. It shows how he was effectively examining their marriage from an outside vantage point which had the pleasure of seeing the more intimate moments of their private hours. In thus, he pulled back the layers of what was shielding them from the outside world – drawing them out, letting them reveal their raw emotional thoughts and to speak plainly how they felt about not just one another but the topical issues of their era. They were together for most things but they struck a chord apart on deeper issues I think bemused both of them to notice they truly were two passionate souls who each had their own individual mind. To which end, there were some aspects of their disagreements which were worth owning and there were others worth realising they would never agree on the finer points which separated them.

They do remain united in their ability to draw back together after their differences are shed – for they have a strong marriage built out of trust and truthfulness. It is through their discussions they realise certain aspects of their business and their personal lives are coming to a head of discourse. They cannot continue to engage in partnerships which go against their own minds and hearts which reflect the current events – from slavery to the promise of war, they are keeping on the fringes of what is reflective in the papers. This causes disruptions for them naturally but at the heart of their marriage is a union sparked out of love and united in a fond respect for each other, the world at large and the auspicious emblems of living a life with ethical morals.

As we peer more into Jane and Ashton’s world as a married couple, we start to see how difficult it is for both of them – how they must learn to yield to one another and draw a closer circle of strength to tackle what is awaiting them. There is a joyful revelation in this installment – one that further enlarges our scope of understanding for how Jane is fully lit alive by her experiences as a wife and how by embracing these subtle changes she is finding herself radically new and altered. Jane is happily introspective throughout the story – owning to her pursuit to understand herself and her environment but also, to acknowledge how each new year of a life lived is a chance to see the milestones of the experiences you’ve gained.

This particular installment ends on a happy note but one which is guarded for the future – for not everything is certain and there are a few key reasons for Ashton and Jane to feel as if the future yet to come might prove to be far more taxing than the hours that they have just passed through. It is a keenly intriguing series and one I hope more Janeites discover as it truly is a unique testimony about how a modern writer can re-tap into the life of Jane and bring her out so wholly original and true of her person to give us a near-living testimony of how she would have lived had she taken the paths and passageways he’s explored in this trilogy.

It is hard to put into words how much this trilogy has taken up a cosy niche of joy in my heart – as I first started reading this beautiful sequence of Jane Austen’s life in January 2018. The past two years has given me a lot of heartfelt joy to reconnect to Austen in a plausible and believable way of re-introducing myself into her world and the ways in which this sequence of her life could have been lived. I have felt from the start, Hemingway himself was channelling a special entreaty into her life and world – the ways in which he instinctively knew how to write about her innermost thoughts, the way he tucked in letters and correspondences into the trilogy and how he captured the heart of the Regency as an era and background to the story itself.

His capacity to tell this story has been a heartwarming experience for me and I am truly thankful I could close out 2019 with reading the finale installment which brings our experiences with Jane in this beautiful trilogy to a close.

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A #blogmas of Austen Book Review during #SaturdaysAreBookish | “The Marriage of Miss Jane Austen” (Vol.3) by Collins HemingwayThe Mariage of Miss Jane Austen
Subtitle: Volume Three
by Collins Hemingway
Source: Author via Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours

The Stunning Finale to Jane Austen’s Saga

In the moving conclusion to “The Marriage of Miss Jane Austen,” Jane and her husband struggle with the serious illness of their son, confront a bitter relationship with the aristocratic family who were once their friends and face the horrific prospect of war when the British Army falters on the continent. The momentous events of the Napoleonic wars and the agonizing trials of their personal lives take Jane and Ashton to a decision that will decide their fate—and her future—once and for all.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781979472760

Also by this author: The Mariage of Miss Jane Austen : Volume One, The Mariage of Miss Jane Austen : Volume Two, The Mariage of Miss Jane Austen

Also in this series: The Mariage of Miss Jane Austen : Volume One, The Mariage of Miss Jane Austen : Volume Two


Genres: After Canons, Historical Fiction, Historical Romance, Re-telling &/or Sequel


Published by Self Published

on 4th November, 2017

Format: Trade Paperback

Pages: 338

The Marriage of Miss Jane Austen trilogy:

The Marriage of Miss Jane Austen by Collins HemingwayThe Marriage of Miss Jane Austen Vol II by Collins HemingwayThe Marriage of Miss Jane Austen Volume 3 by Collins Hemingway

Converse via: #HistFic, #HistoricalFiction, #HistRom + #JaneAusten

About Collins Hemingway

Collins Hemingway

Whether his subject is literature, history, or science, Collins Hemingway has a passion for the art of creative investigation. For him, the most compelling fiction deeply explores the heart and soul of its characters, while also engaging them in the complex and often dangerous world in which they have a stake. He wants to explore all that goes into people’s lives and everything that makes tThe hem complete though fallible human beings. His fiction is shaped by the language of the heart and an abiding regard for courage in the face of adversity.

As a nonfiction book author, Hemingway has worked alongside some of the world’s thought leaders on topics as diverse as corporate culture and ethics; the Internet and mobile technology; the ins and outs of the retail trade; and the cognitive potential of the brain. Best known for the #1 best-selling book on business and technology, Business @ the Speed of Thought, which he coauthored with Bill Gates, he has earned a reputation for tackling challenging subjects with clarity and insight, writing for the nontechnical but intelligent reader.

Hemingway has published shorter nonfiction on topics including computer technology, medicine, and aviation, and he has written award-winning journalism.

Published books include The Marriage of Miss Jane Austen trilogy, Business @ the Speed of Thought, with Bill Gates, Built for Growth, with Arthur Rubinfeld, What Happy Companies Know, with Dan Baker and Cathy Greenberg, Maximum Brainpower, with Shlomo Breznitz, and The Fifth Wave, with Robert Marcus.

Hemingway lives in Bend, Oregon, with his wife, Wendy. Together they have three adult sons and three granddaughters. He supports the Oregon Community Foundation and other civic organizations engaged in conservation and social services in Central Oregon.

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Posted Saturday, 21 December, 2019 by jorielov in #SaturdaysAreBookish, 19th Century, After the Canon, Blog Tour Host, Bookish Discussions, Christianity, Family Drama, Family Life, Historical Fiction, Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours, Historical Romance, Inspired By Author OR Book, Jorie Loves A Story Features, Mother-Daughter Relationships, Pride & Prejudice Re-telling, Second Chance Love, Siblings, Sisters & the Bond Between Them, the Regency era, Women's Fiction, World Religions

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