Category: Western Romance

A #HarlequinHeartwarming #RomanceTuesdays | Wildfire comes to Shelter Creek! within the pages of Clarie McEwen’s “Rescuing the Rancher”!

Posted Tuesday, 30 March, 2021 by jorielov , , , , 0 Comments

#RomanceTuesdays badge created by Jorie in Canva.

Acquired Book By: I’ve come to know this series [Heroes of Shelter Creek] through hosting the blog tours celebrating releases within the series with Prism Book Tours. However, in September 2020 in lieu of an organised blog tour Ms McEwen was seeking book bloggers who were interested in her series and wanted to read the fourth novel in the series “Rescuing the Rancher”. Whilst I was conferring with the author about receiving this for review, I asked if I could receive the second novel in the series “After the Rodeo” as I never had the chance to read Jace and Vivian’s story! I was thankful Ms McEwen was also available to be a featured guest during my @SatBookChat wherein I celebrate Romance, Women’s Fiction, strong female characters across genres and Feminist Lit on Saturdays each month.

I decided to read and feature “After the Rodeo” ahead of her #SatBookChat appearance and run my review during my #RomanceTuesdays feature wherein I love to showcase Harlequin Heartwarming and Love Inspired authors as they are writing the kinds of Romances I am appreciating most to be reading right now. However in regards to reading “Rescuing the Rancher” – I had difficulty getting into the storyline until recently due to the fact the backdrop of the story is set against wildfires – for whichever reason the topic and subject of wildfires hit closer to home for me than originally anticipated. I’ll be sharing my review for “Rescuing the Rancher” after “Second Chance Cowboy” as it is part of the Harlequin Heartwarming reviews forthcoming to Jorie Loves A Story. I was thankful I could read it ahead of the fifth novel as now I am concurrently connected through all the stories!

I received a complimentary copy of “Rescuing the Rancher” direct from the author Claire McEwen in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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This is one of my top favourite #CowboyRomances by Harlequin Heartwarming:

When I was checking my feeds on Twitter (in Autumn 2020), I stumbled on an announcement by Ms McEwen who was seeking book bloggers to read and review her latest release of the Heroes of Shelter Creek series – wherein I was most excited seeing the notice posted as this is one of the Western & Cowboy Romance series I love reading the most published by Harlequin Heartwarming!

I wasn’t sure if I would be in time to request the book for review, but I immediately emailed the author and the rest knitted together out of that conversation! I am so thankful I contacted her when I had as it lead me to being reading this second of the series I had missed between books one and three as much as I have been wanting to host more of the authors I love via Harlequin Heartwarming and/or Love Inspired Suspense – having the Blackwell Brothers / Sisters authors booked during @SatBookChat in October, it was a lovely surprise to have Ms McEwen booked for early September!

If you’re a ready reader of Westerns and Western Romances, I hope this showcase might inspire you to give Harlequin Heartwarming a chance at winning over your love of Westerns because the authors who are writing these stories are writing wicked brilliant characters with stories which lift your spirits as you’re reading them! Plus, the settings alone are awe-inspiring and give you the kind of Western experience you are hoping for in a Western Rom!

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On a special note: This review is part of my celebrations for my 8th Blogoversary of Jorie Loves A Story! On the 31st of March, 2013 I created my blog and launched myself onto this beautiful journey I’ve taken as a book blogger! I had no idea where this blog was going to take me – both in the realms of literature or in the community of book bloggers – nor in the wider expanse of #bookTwitter,… what an incredible adventure it has been for me to watch myself grow into the blogger I am today.

I wanted to ring in the 8th Year with new reviews for #HarlequinHeartwarming as it has become my top favourite publisher imprint (alongside Love Inspired Suspense) for the past five years!! These are the years which brought a lift shift into my family (per my father’s stroke, Nov 2016) and it was through these stories of relationship-based romance which grounded me in the backdrop of small townes, family-centered story-lines and wicked sweet dynamically real characters. I have celebrated my blogoversary in the past with Heartwarming taking centre stage (per my 6th Blogoversary in particular) and during my 8th, two years later – my love and affection to these authors who continue to enrich my readerly life deserves continue recognition with a big note of GRATITUDE.

They have given me such a wonderful landscape of Contemporary Romances in which to entreat – whilst their larger print editions are kind to the eyes and heart of a migrainuer. It is with a hearty burst of JOY I am celebrating the Heroes of Shelter Creek today and return on the morrow to see my review for the latest in Carol Ross’s Seasons of Alaska – which I read during my 5th Year and celebrated on my 6th Blogoversary! Sometimes life has a way of coming full circle!!

Whilst throughout April and May you’ll be seeing me eagerly devour and discuss the Butterfly Harbour series by Anna J. Stewart, the next four installments (out of five) of the Blackwell Sisters series by the collective genius of Carol Ross, Amy Vastine, Cari Lynn Webb, Melinda Curtis and Anna J. Stewart as well as a review for Beth Carpenter’s series the Northern Lights!! Let’s all continue to celebrate stories and authors who give us such a hearty #randomJOY of #bookLOVE throughout the year and continue to champion their stories both online and off to everyone who likes to listen to our readerly lives.

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A preview of why I feel so dearly attached inside this series:

McEwen threaded in the issues with childhood abandonment and the emotional baggage children take with them in being placed outside their home. Even though this is a story about kinship placement between nieces, a nephew and an Uncle; the larger reach of the issues developed out of the conditions of their home life prior to entering their stay with Jace had such a levelling of strife and guttingly difficult emotional anguish attached to their survival that even Jace was quickly picking up on the fact no man is an island. It is okay to reach out for help and to seek advice as it is needed to best help the children and to find new paths towards solid ground.

The kindness of Jace’s third grade teacher melted my heart – she was one of those everyday characters who fits so well in the background of the story but has such a lot of depth of heart to share with you as you’re reading her sequences in the narrative. In many ways, she’s still able to positively affect Jace’s life now as an adult as she apparently had as a child. There are moments wherein Jace is re-tracing his own memories as he shifts into fatherhood; struggling to resolve some of those past hurts against the current issues he needs to focus on to be a better father for his nieces and nephews. None of it is quick and easy – its a long road towards finding the healing he and they will need to embrace together and that is what McEwen wrote best: the moments of a new family emerging out of the ashes of an old one.

Being able to back-track in the series right now – seeing how Vivian first met Trisha and how these women along with Maya formed such a strong unity of a team for being wildlife warriors was such a special treat for me as a reader! It was a beautiful time capsule – getting to knit together the missing pieces between the first and third installments; etching out more of the girth of the series whilst finding myself so dearly connected to this installment as well. The whole series itself is full of characters you are excited to meet and become familiar with because of how McEwen granted you such wonderful licence to walk beside them and find your own way to fit into their lives.

I truly understood the complicated web of choices befuddling the calm of Vivian – how much was too much stress? And when does positive stress turn to negative stress? How do you balance your own mental health with the needs of others and how do you turn off your emotional responses when life has a way of sneaking up on you whilst your focusing on rebuilding your career? Vivian was moving through the same emotional tides as Jace just from a different entry point. They both had too much to juggle and yet, their paths had crossed and there was a murmuring of interest bubbling under the surface of their heated conversations. Heated of course because they were both stubbornly prideful of their own opinions and they each believed the other was right when they could learn to concede and compromise a bit to get more done that worked for them both.

I could definitely relate to Vivian wanting to keep her health issues private but as I learnt over the years, at some point it is better to be transparent about a chronic health issue than to try to hide it (ie. my migraines) as it just doesn’t serve a purpose. When you have a chronic issue that effects your life at different intervals of time, it is better to simply state why you’re having a bad day or having difficulties doing normal things you love doing than to try to shirk out of owning the truth which could lead to misunderstandings. I felt McEwen knew exactly the internal conversation everyone has about how much to keep private, when to share a health issue and how to find balance when your medical issues start to overtake your life.

I loved how realistically this story was penned – how McEwen tackled the harder topics of kinship placements wherein rather than seeing the world through your own eyes you have to start to see the world through foster care eyes – which comes with its own set of rules, restrictions and regulations about the home, your property and the friends you keep in your company. The rules are in place to keep the kids safe first and foremost but their a bit lengthy and the process towards a home study for any foster placement takes a lot of patience to work through the list of what needs to be fixed in order to pass inspection. Simple things like keeping medicine in a cabinet has to be stored in a locked cabinet and the same with cleaning supplies under the counter – but the larger issues are effectively what McEwen tackled with Jace’s friendship with Caleb. How this veteran who had invisible scars of service had a struggle with anger and his temper – something that was flagged by social services. These kinds of judgement calls are hard to process and to sort through whilst working towards the final acceptance by your social worker and I felt McEwen humbled Jace by having to juggle both his internal struggles as a new father and the responsibilities this presented as a foster kinship parent.

There is a conscience of environmentalism at the heart of this story as well – from conservation, preservation and the connectedness of the living ecosystem concurrently alive next to our own habitats of modern living. The natural world places a strong role in this novel as much as McEwen has found a way to re-adjust our understanding about wildlife and the curious ways in which nature ‘finds us’ when we least expect to be seen ourselves. One of my absolute favourite passages of any story which is pro-positively focusing on the environment and/or the natural world is within After the Rodeo. McEwen shared a notation about trees and how they use biochemical communication – it is by extension a theory of my own about the old soul murmurings of trees and how these stoic giants in our world say more as silent warriors against time than any word we could express ourselves about the amount of time they’ve witnessed. There is another saying about how if you spend time next to a tree it begins to whisper to you as well – trees have ancient wisdom and ancient knowledge; we’d be wise to respect them more than we do as a global society.

McEwen showed the realities of how two persons who had zero interest in meeting someone could find themselves in a love story being knitted out of happenstance and serendipity! It is also a story that celebrates found families and how the beauty of life is truly a life that is shared with people who love you – however which way they enter your life, their the true blessing which enrich our hours in far more ways than we can ever hope to foresee being possible. This story truly touched my heart and soul because of how much of a life it celebrates that I would love to have for myself one day. I cannot hug it enough and the characters who burst to life off the pages of Ms McEwen’s soulful romantic style which etches itself into your memories.

-quoted from my book review of After the Rodeo

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A #HarlequinHeartwarming #RomanceTuesdays | Wildfire comes to Shelter Creek! within the pages of Clarie McEwen’s “Rescuing the Rancher”!Rescuing the Rancher
Subtitle: Heroes of Shelter Creek
by Claire McEwen, Ms Claire McEwen
Source: Direct from Author

She'll help protect his ranch...
And heal his heart

Firefighter Jade Carson needs to get the local residents out of a wildfire's path, but Aidan Bell isn't moving. Still grieving a tragedy, the stubborn rancher plans to stay and save his animals Jade and Aidan battle the blaze on his property, only to feel he spark of something unexpected. Secrets are shared, hope kindles... but can they leave the past's ashes behind and let love grow?

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


Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 978-1335889867

Also by this author: Reunited with the Cowboy, Her Surprise Cowboy, After the Rodeo

Also in this series: Reunited with the Cowboy, Her Surprise Cowboy, After the Rodeo, Second Chance Cowboy


Published by Harlequin Heartwarming

on 8th September, 2020

Format: Larger Print (Mass Market Paperback)

Pages: 384

The Heroes of Shelter Creek series:

Reunited with the Cowboy by Claire McEwenAfter the Rodeo by Claire McEwenHer Surprise Cowboy by Claire McEwenRescuing the Rancher by Claire McEwen

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Reunited with the Cowboy (book one) – Caleb & Maya’s story (see also Review)

After the Rodeo (book two) – Jace & Vivian’s story (see also Review)

Her Surprise Cowboy (book three) – Liam & Trisha’s story (see also Review)

Rescuing the Rancher (book four) – Aidan & Jade’s story

Second Chance Cowboy – (book five) – Wes & Emily’s story (see also Review)

I’ll admit – I was a bit worried this was ending as a quartet until I spied the release for 2021 via FantasticFiction which is my main resource for sourcing advance notice about series I am reading when new installments of those series will be revealled in forthcoming months.

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

Formats Available: Paperback* and Ebook

*Harlequin has the luxury of offering Regular, Large & Larger Print editions which I personally can attest are lovely to be reading! Especially after a migraine or when my eyes are fatigued.

Converse via: #CowboyRomance, #WesternRomance & #ContemporaryRomance
as well as #HarlequinHeartwarming with #HeroesOfShelterCreek

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Posted Tuesday, 30 March, 2021 by jorielov in #RomanceTuesdays, 21st Century, A Father's Heart, Blog Tour Host, Bookmark slipped inside a Review Book, California, Contemporary Romance, Contemporary Western Fiction, Cowboys & Ranches, Environmental Conscience, Environmental Solutions, Family Drama, Family Life, Life of Thirty-Somethings, Life Shift, Men's Fiction, Modern Day, Motherhood | Parenthood, Nature & Wildlife, Preservation, Prism Book Tours, Realistic Fiction, Romance Fiction, Second Chance Love, Small Towne Fiction, Small Towne USA, Sweet Romance, The Natural World, Western Fiction, Western Romance, Women's Fiction

A #HarlequinHeartwarming #RomanceTuesdays | Celebrating my love of the #HeroesOfShelterCreek series by Claire McEwen with my review for “Second Chance Cowboy”!

Posted Tuesday, 16 March, 2021 by jorielov , , , , 1 Comment

#RomanceTuesdays badge created by Jorie in Canva.

Acquired Book By: I’ve come to know this series [Heroes of Shelter Creek] through hosting the blog tours celebrating releases within the series with Prism Book Tours. However, in September 2020 in lieu of an organised blog tour Ms McEwen was seeking book bloggers who were interested in her series and wanted to read the fourth novel in the series “Rescuing the Rancher”. Whilst I was conferring with the author about receiving this for review, I asked if I could receive the second novel in the series “After the Rodeo” as I never had the chance to read Jace and Vivian’s story! I was thankful Ms McEwen was also available to be a featured guest during my @SatBookChat wherein I celebrate Romance, Women’s Fiction, strong female characters across genres and Feminist Lit on Saturdays each month.

I decided to read and feature “After the Rodeo” ahead of her #SatBookChat appearance and run my review during my #RomanceTuesdays feature wherein I love to showcase Harlequin Heartwarming and Love Inspired authors as they are writing the kinds of Romances I am appreciating most to be reading right now. However in regards to reading “Rescuing the Rancher” – I had difficulty getting into the storyline until recently due to the fact the backdrop of the story is set against wildfires – for whichever reason the topic and subject of wildfires hit closer to home for me than originally anticipated. I’ll be sharing my review for “Rescuing the Rancher” after “Second Chance Cowboy” as it is part of the Harlequin Heartwarming reviews forthcoming to Jorie Loves A Story. I was thankful I could read it ahead of the fifth novel as now I am concurrently connected through all the stories!

I received a complimentary copy of “Second Chance Cowboy” direct from the author Claire McEwen in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein. I originally was going to purchase a copy of this novel however the publication date changed and blessedly Ms McEwen was able to send me a copy of the novel otherwise I wouldn’t have been able to read and review the novel in time for the blog tour.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

This is one of my top favourite #CowboyRomances by Harlequin Heartwarming:

If you’re a ready reader of Westerns and Western Romances, I hope this showcase might inspire you to give Harlequin Heartwarming a chance at winning over your love of Westerns because the authors who are writing these stories are writing wicked brilliant characters with stories which lift your spirits as you’re reading them! Plus, the settings alone are awe-inspiring and give you the kind of Western experience you are hoping for in a Western Rom!

I’ve had the joy of reading the Shelter Creek series from the beginning whilst I read a few out of sequence as well. I happily caught up with the series ahead of this installment giving me the chance to see Emily right before her story was being told, too! What I love most about how Ms McEwen approached writing this series is the firm presence of community and family; I love seeing series develop which feature both the family you’ve been bourne into and the family you find in the community in which you live. There are all kinds of families in the world and one wicked good thing about reading Harlequin Heartwarming is the celebration of different kinds of family and the unique ways neighbours can become as close as those persons we grew up alongside.

This is one of those close-knit communities you will love re-visiting due to how community focused the towne is and how reliant they are on helping each other to get through the adversities of life. It is a sweet series in that regard because former characters being showcased in the different installments return to make guest appearances lateron in the series whilst the entire series has a wonderful breadth of continuity from one book into the next! This is definitely for readers who love reading romantic dramas set in a Western atmosphere and setting.

Heroes of Shelter Creek and Karen Rock’s Rocky Mountain Cowboys are equal compliments of each other due to how both writers approached writing their series. In regards to Rock’s series – it has been a few years since I could find an update about both the series and the writer; I am still trying to get a hold of the prequel novel to round out my collection of the Rocky Mountain Cowboys as I have my eye on copies filtering into Thrift Books (as of course due to its age its OOP otherwise) – however, in case this series catches your eye, know you’ll want to read Rock’s series next! OR if you’ve read the Rocky Mountain Cowboys you’ll simply *devour!* McEwen’s Heroes of Shelter Creek!

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McEwen starts to describe the wildfire encroaching on Aidan’s ranch the way I recognise hearing about them on the news – whilst at the same time, I believe it would be harder for her to write this story due to how close she is to the actual danger of having a wildfire in your backyard! I know it never fails to affect me whenever I know a friend or author is near a fire and riding out the news updates is emotionally draining! Yet, somehow she found a way through all of that and found a way to create such a realistically dramatic story wherein you truly feel your with Aidan as he’s trying to resolve an emergency before it becomes a catastrophic event!

This is where McEwen excells at showcasing how her characters are willing to not just go the extra mile for what they believe in but they’re willing to do whatever is necessary to reach a goal that others might not be willing to risk. She also hones in on the smaller details – the origins of the smoke as it starts to set into the ridgeline of where Aidan’s ranch is located and the intensity of how it starts off a slowly creeping smell and starts to turn into a toxic pollutant that is inhibiting the ability to breathe properly.

I have admired how McEwen has brought in both knowledge and Science into her novels within the Shelter Creek series but what I loved about this installment is how it spoke towards a ready knowledge of wildfires and the ways in which people with land need to be prepared. There is a lot of prep work which goes into ensuring that your safety and the safety of your property is maintained. This includes fire breaks and clearing anything that could burn away from essential areas of your land and property. One of the downfalls of falling short of maintaining those priorities is shown in Rescuing the Rancher. The only bit of trivia I knew ahead of reading this novel was that the Burr Oak can help as a firebreak or shield on property because the fire can’t burn the tree – it is generally used on land to set a barrier in wildfire country.

I truly loved how McEwen shifted between the raging wildfire and how it moves across fields destroying everything in its wake and then giving reason to its noises alerting her readers to why those noises are death sentences if you don’t keep your wits about you. The fire itself is an intense machine of artistry – how it carves its presence out of whatever is in its path and illuminates the world with a fiery glow of its power. McEwen captured this personality of the fire and also showcased what we’ve learnt to not just prevent fire but how to survive through a fire. This is definitely an eye-opener for anyone who wants to live down range out West or anywhere in a Western state or Southern Canada where wildfires are as common as dragonflies. Its a brilliant primer on what it takes to act on instinct and plan your actions of attack based on modern fire science.

In the aftermath of the fire, it took true courage for both Jade and Aidan to resolve what they had learnt through their ordeal. I was applauding like mad for Jade’s speech to her parents and brothers; she had simply reached the boiling point on that topic and it was such a wicked scene! Aidan on the other hand had a welcome wagon from Shelter Creek arrive to give him a boost of neighbourly love and encouragement as well as the kind of help one didn’t expect to receive but warmly was grateful was given.

By the conclusion I was wicked grateful I finally found my own courage to read this story! The title eludes to the layers of depth within it – how this isn’t merely about a rancher whose in over his head with a wildfire or a simple solution to a problem you can see on the surface of his life. This is a story about a man whose build himself a barrier with the outside world and its going to take a community effort to help him find a passage forward out from under the grief and sorrow he’s been sheltering under since his tragic loss. That’s where Jade steps in during a new crisis of his life and starts to unwind his emotions – the ways in which McEwen gets into the psychology of Aidan’s past and the current tidal waves of how the past is affecting his present were some of the best parts of the story because of how the undercurrent of this romantic plot is firmly hinged against the will of one man to accept that everyone deserves both forgiveness and happiness in equal measures throughout their lives.

-quoted from my book review of Rescuing the Rancher
The full review of this will be featured during #RomanceTuesdays 30th March!
Coincidentally part of my 8th Blogoversary posts!!

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A #HarlequinHeartwarming #RomanceTuesdays | Celebrating my love of the #HeroesOfShelterCreek series by Claire McEwen with my review for “Second Chance Cowboy”!Second Chance Cowboy
Subtitle: Heroes of Shelter Creek
by Claire McEwen, Ms Claire McEwen
Source: Direct from Author

He was her first love…
But some things she can’t forget

Busy small-town veterinarian Emily Fielding is finally ready to take on some help. The best man for the job, however, is Wes Marlow—who broke her heart in high school. Though Wes has a way with horses and a way of melting her resolve, Emily needs to keep things purely professional. Wes left her once—will he do it again? Because she can’t lose her heart a second time…

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


Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 978-1335179784

Also by this author: Reunited with the Cowboy, Her Surprise Cowboy, After the Rodeo, Rescuing the Rancher

Also in this series: Reunited with the Cowboy, Her Surprise Cowboy, After the Rodeo, Rescuing the Rancher


Published by Harlequin Heartwarming

on 9th March, 2021

Format: Larger Print (Mass Market Paperback)

Pages: 384

The Heroes of Shelter Creek series:

Reunited with the Cowboy by Claire McEwenAfter the Rodeo by Claire McEwenHer Surprise Cowboy by Claire McEwen

Rescuing the Rancher by Claire McEwenSecond Chance Cowboy by Claire McEwen

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Reunited with the Cowboy (book one) – Caleb & Maya’s story (see also Review)

After the Rodeo (book two) – Jace & Vivian’s story (see also Review)

Her Surprise Cowboy (book three) – Liam & Trisha’s story (see also Review)

Rescuing the Rancher (book four) – Aidan & Jade’s story

→ my review will shared on the 30th of March!

Second Chance Cowboy – (book five) – Wes & Emily’s story

→ Book Six is forthcoming August, 2021!!

I’ll admit – I was a bit worried this was ending as a quartet until I spied the release for 2021 via FantasticFiction which is my main resource for sourcing advance notice about series I am reading when new installments of those series will be revealled in forthcoming months.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

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

Formats Available: Paperback* and Ebook

*Harlequin has the luxury of offering Regular, Large & Larger Print editions which I personally can attest are lovely to be reading! Especially after a migraine or when my eyes are fatigued.

Converse via: #CowboyRomance, #WesternRomance & #ContemporaryRomance
as well as #HarlequinHeartwarming with #HeroesOfShelterCreek

About Claire McEwen (2021)

Claire McEwen

Claire McEwen is an award-winning author whose strong heroes and heroines take big, emotional journeys to find their happily-ever-afters. She loves writing stories set in quirky small towns and romantic western settings. Claire lives by the ocean in Northern California with her family and a scruffy, mischievous terrier. When not dreaming up new stories, she’s a busy mom who also enjoys gardening, hiking, discovering flea-market treasures and wandering on the beach. A life-long bookworm, she always has her kindle close by.

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Posted Tuesday, 16 March, 2021 by jorielov in #RomanceTuesdays, 21st Century, Blog Tour Host, Bookmark slipped inside a Review Book, California, Contemporary Romance, Contemporary Western Fiction, Cowboys & Ranches, Family Drama, Family Life, Foster Care, Kidnapping or Unexplained Disappearances, Life Shift, Men's Fiction, Modern Day, Nature & Wildlife, Prism Book Tours, Realistic Fiction, Romance Fiction, Second Chance Love, Small Towne Fiction, Small Towne USA, Sweet Romance, Teenage Relationships & Friendships, The Natural World, Western Fiction, Western Romance

#RomanceTuesdays | the return of one of Jorie’s beloved families from #HarlequinHeartwarming (the Blackwells) feat.”Montana Welcome” (Book One: Blackwell Sisters, sequel series to Return of the Blackwell Brothers) by Melinda Curtis [of a five book series!]

Posted Tuesday, 24 November, 2020 by jorielov , , , , 0 Comments

#RomanceTuesdays badge created by Jorie in Canva.

Acquired Book By: I initially learnt about the Return of the Blackwell Brothers series through being part of the book blogger team with Prism Book Tours run by Tressa @ Wishful Endings. I’ve been enjoying hosting for her since [2016] and especially due to the fact by hosting her blog tours, I had the pleasure of joy of discovering the Harlequin Heartwarming line of stories and series for Contemporary Romance when I needed to fill a gap in my readerly wanderings for that genre! When it comes to the Return of the Blackwell Brothers series – I was signed on as a reviewer for the series wherein I had a bit of leeway to read the stories at my own pace and post my reviews as I read them.

My reviews ran from August 2018 through January 2019 beginning with the first novel by Carol Ross. This year, as I knew we were inching closer to the release of the sequel series for Return of the Blackwell Brothers known as BlackwellSisters, I reached out to one of the authors (Anna J. Stewart) who helped me collaborate with all 5x authors to bring together a special round robin chat via my Twitter chat @SatBookChat whilst coordinating with the authors for me to receive each of the Blackwell Sisters novels to read and review in connection with the chat itself. This review marks the first of those featured reviews which will run throughout November and December 2020.

I received a complimentary copy of “Montana Welcome” direct from the author Melinda Curtis in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

NOTE: Be sure to view my #WaitingOnWednesday announcement post for the #BlackwellSisters series as well as the archives for #SatBookChat for the 14th November chat.

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a notation about where we’ve left off with the blackwell brothers:

I remember how I felt when I reached the fifth installment of the Return of the Blackwell Brothers series – it was bittersweet for me as a reader because I had become so hugged inside the series these lovely authors had written for us – those characters and the family of the Blackwells (as quirky as they were!) had become a part of my life and world. It was heartbreaking to realise my journey with them was ending – which is why in small ways I was putting it out there in the universe if there could be ‘more stories’ for this family I’d taken into my heart and hadn’t want to ‘let go’ of – to see if perhaps the authors could flex their writerly muses and sort out a way ‘back into the fold’ of the Blackwells?

I still recall to this day the JOY I had overflowing through me when Ms Webb first broke the good news with me on my blog – about how there was going to be a sequel series which I later learnt would be called the #BlackwellSisters! And, that threw me for a complete loop! As despite my ability to remember most of what I read (as a migraineur) I have lost some gaps of memory (blessed for this blog which houses my readerly memories!) when it comes to series and specific stories overall due to the higher frequencies of migraines I’ve traversed through from 2018-2020. I still remember important bits and bobbles of the stories and the series, but those minute details I love as a reader – sometimes those go by the wayside. Which is why for the longest time I was trying to drum up my memories to recollect just exactly how do we have ‘Blackwell sisters’? As from everything I did remember there weren’t any girls’ in the family!

And, then of course – it took Ms Curtis’s author’s note in Montana Welcome to set me straight and give me such an enriched new appreciation for how these lovely women are collaborating on these series for Harlequin Heartwarming! You see, the key to the whole 10x novels (spilt over 2x five novel series) is “Big E” – the infamous grandfather who meddles in his grandsons and now grand-daughters lives! Yes, you read that right – he has *granddaughters!* and can you just imagine the kind of mischief that might foretell about this new series!? I smirked to the moon when I read the disclosure of connection between the two series as honestly it was such a sweet surprise for me!

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This is a series that is both redemptive as it is empowering – as it is about ordinary people who are having these tiny interruptions sprinkled into their lives to where they can choose which direction they wish to take next – do they make a life altering choice or do they play it safe? Do they risk their heart or do they risk something more? I felt fully anchoured every bit of the journey with the Blackwells because each of the writers were bridging the gaps between installments with ‘just enough’ continuity to make this not just believable but realistically compelling. It is the kind of Western dramatic romance series you can’t put down and you hunger after new installments that might never arrive.

-quoted from my review of The Rancher’s Homecoming

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#RomanceTuesdays | the return of one of Jorie’s beloved families from #HarlequinHeartwarming (the Blackwells) feat.”Montana Welcome” (Book One: Blackwell Sisters, sequel series to Return of the Blackwell Brothers) by Melinda Curtis [of a five book series!]Montana Welcome
Subtitle: Blackwell Sisters
by Melinda Curtis
Source: Direct from Author

A bride on the run and a cowboy to show her the way home…

Lily Harrison’s wedding day isn’t quite what she imagined. Not only does her fiancé not love her, she’s just discovered she’s a Blackwell—a member of Montana’s well-known ranching family. Now Lily’s ditched her own wedding for a road trip with handsome cowboy Conner Hannah. But will Lily find her answers in Montana…or lose the cowboy she’s already begun falling for?

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


Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781335889812

Also by this author: The Rancher's Redemption

Setting: Montana


Published by Harlequin Heartwarming

on 1st August, 2020

Format: Larger Print (Mass Market Paperback)

Pages: 380

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The #BlackwellSisters series:

Elias Blackwell never knew he had a second son. But now that he does, he’s determined to find him and get to know his five granddaughters. But when he shows up at his granddaughter’s wedding…

Some Secrets Lead You Home.

Montana Welcome by Melinda CurtisMontana Wishes by Amy VastineMontana Dreams by Anna J. Stewart

Montana Match by Carol RossMontana Wedding by Cari Lynn Webb

Montana Welcome (book one)

Montana Wishes (book two)

Montana Dreams (book three)

Montana Match (book four)

Montana Wedding (book five)

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Read about the series via Melinda Curtis’s page for the Blackwells!

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The series which started it all:

With his 80th birthday approaching, family patriarch Elias Blackwell has done some serious soul searching and has come to the conclusion he’s made some mistakes in his life – a lot of them! As a result, the grandsons he raised after his son and daughter-in-law’s tragic death want nothing to do with him, the Blackwell Ranch they’ll one day inherit, and in some cases each other. Elias doesn’t want to go to his grave with regrets. It’s well past time for all the Blackwell men to do a little soul searching of their own. And if they have to come home to do it, so be it. No one ever claimed Elias Blackwell played fair.

Return of the #BlackwellBrothers:

The Rancher’s Twins by Carol Ross → my review
The Rancher’s Rescue by Cari Lynn Webb → my review
The Rancher’s Redemption by Melinda Curtis → my review
The Rancher’s Fake Fiancée by Amy Vastine → my review
The Rancher’s Homecoming by Anna J. Stewart → my review

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

Converse via: #ContemporaryRomance, #WesternRomance & #HarlequinHeartwarming

as well as the series tag: #BlackwellSisters and the previous series is now #BlackwellBrothers

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7th Annual Jorie Loves A Story Cuppa Book Love Awards badge created by Jorie in Canva. Coffee and Tea Clip Art Set purchased on Etsy; made by rachelwhitetoo.

This story received my award for BEST Sequel Anchour Story:
(this anchours the Return of the Blackwell Brothers series
to the Blackwell Sisters series with brilliant continuity between both series)

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About Melinda Curtis

Prior to writing romance, award-winning, USA Today Bestseller Melinda Curtis was a junior manager for a Fortune 500 company, which meant when she flew on the private jet she was relegated to the jump seat—otherwise known as the potty. After grabbing her pen (and a parachute) she made the jump to full-time writer. A hybrid author, Melinda has over 60 titles published or sold, including 40 works to Harlequin and five to Grand Central Forever, mostly sweet romance and sweet romantic comedy. One of her books – Dandelion Wishes – was made into a TV movie. She recently came to grips with the fact that she’s an empty nester and a grandma, concepts easier to grasp than movies made from her books or jet-setting on a potty.

(Biography updated: November, 2020)

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Posted Tuesday, 24 November, 2020 by jorielov in Book Review (non-blog tour), Compassion & Acceptance of Differences, Contemporary Romance, Equality In Literature, Farm and Ranching on the Frontier, Jorie Loves A Story Cuppa Book Love Awards, Romance Fiction, Special Needs Children, Western Fiction, Western Romance

An early #blogmas book review | feat. #HarlequinHeartwarming author Cathy McDavid’s “The Cowboy Holiday Bride” (Wishing Well Springs, Book One)

Posted Thursday, 5 November, 2020 by jorielov , , , , 0 Comments

#blogmas 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 “The Cowboy’s Holiday Bride” direct from the author Cathy McDavid in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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Hallo, Hallo dear hearts –

This year, my showcases for #blogmas started a bit earlier than expected – as I never know which month the Christmas stories will be available to host – as some touring companies set the standard early-on in Autumnal months whilst others leave most of their showcases for November in an early draw for Christmas readers seeking new books to read in December. Each year, I have the tendency of leaving it to chance and to simply enjoy the journey of discovering #newtomeauthors and celebrating new reads by the authors I already know I dearly love to be reading!

Such is the case today – as I came to know the Western Contemporary Romance styling of Ms McDavid through her first series with Harlequin Heartwarming which was the Sweetheart Ranch series which has concluded as a quartet! I was wicked thrilled with the ways in which she gave us a sweet ending to a series which I had truly become attached to reading. It was one of my top favourite series by the Heartwarming line overall and definitely one of my top Western Romance series I’ve been reading for the past several years.

When I first saw this blog tour being adverted I was growing more than a bit giddy about the announcement as I was curious which direction she might take us in next as she endears us to continue our journey into her next series with Heartwarming. Finding out she’s kicking off this new series “Wishing Well Springs” with a Christmas story was brilliant news – as this is how she started off the Sweetheart Ranch series as well. There is something quite special about series which begin at Christmastime and then, carry on through the seasons thereafter, connecting you to their communities, their characters and the writers who are penning them.

This marks my first #ChristmasReads for November but not for 2020 – as that honour went to reading “Christmas in Bayberry” by Jennifer Faye (see also Review) during #ChristmasInJuly. From this moment forward you’ll be seeing me share more posts about what I’m reading for Christmas, which stories/series I’ll be focusing on this year for the Christmas season and how I’m determined to spend quite a heap of time wrapped up in one Classical author’s collective works as a Christmas gift to myself this year. Stay tuned – this is only the early beginnings of my #blogmas posts for 2020!

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My thoughts on how Ms McDavid concluded The Sweetheart Ranch series:

One of the reasons I’ve grown attached to the Sweetheart Ranch series (and the Harlequin Heartwarming line overall) are the realistic story-lines which continuously greet me whenever I make a return visit. What is hard about letting go of this series is the fact once you take up residence inside a series you love reading its hard to simply ‘let go’ and ‘let live’ wherever you last see the characters and where they have gone with their lives. It would be great to re-visit this series again in the future (if the author is inspired to do so) and to rekindle the joy of the Sweetheart Ranch.

Having said that – I loved how this installment focused on some rather difficult topics and remained true to its core about how those who come to the Sweetheart Ranch find a way of renewing their spirits, finding second chances and have taken some unexpected twisted turns to arrive in this small towne and to intersect their path with the Sweetheart Ranch. Some might call that fate but the beauty of the series is how serendipitously McDavid wrote their lives. In particular for this novel – if Carly hadn’t taken a chance to distance herself from her ex, she might not have had the opportunity to run the boutique at the ranch nor to raise her son without the fear of what ‘could’ happen if she had staid with her husband. Percolating in the background of this sweet and idyllic setting are dramatic lives of people who are overcoming their circumstances and finding a true way forward even if the path didn’t feel as assured previously. We all need a bit of hope and encouragement at any given time and the Sweetheart Ranch series feels like such a brilliant lift of joy to be reading.

McDavid also brought in a particular kind of craft Carly could make to turn a profit – I loved the ingenuity of what Carly chose to be a creator of as it ties into her love of the ranch and the lifestyle of a single Mum who lives on a ranch. I felt she had the right kind of instincts you need to make it in this life whilst at the same time, it felt right that she and JD might want to hope for ‘more’ for themselves rather than shortchanging their chances at happiness.

Ooh my goodness! This final installment of the series doesn’t disappoint! I had wished it might have looped back to the beginning a bit – or felt a bit more connected to the previous installments moreso than it had but what I loved about this story is how hopeful McDavid wrote it! She didn’t want you to give up on the hope peeking round the corners of the drama and the angst! And, trust me – there is angst in this novel! For one thing, McDavid truly tapped into the needless trauma self-deserving grandparents can inflict on their divorced daughter-in-laws! I was truly baffled by the lengths they went to deceive and assist someone against Carly! I mean, at some point – why did it take the grandfather to be the voice of reason?

The true heroes of this story are JD, Carly, Hombre and Rickie! Each of them has a reason to take notice of them – from JD whose rectifying where he is with his health and to Carly whose trying to sort out how to live out from under the shadow of her ex and his parents. The growth of the characters is happily in tandem with a sweet and slow romance – as both JD and Carly were unsure how they felt about pursuing any kind of a relationship. These are the kinds of romances I love most – the unexpecting ones and the ones you’re never quite sure how they will resolve until you reach the very last chapter!

-quoted from my book review for Her Cowboy Sweetheart

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An early #blogmas book review | feat. #HarlequinHeartwarming author Cathy McDavid’s “The Cowboy Holiday Bride” (Wishing Well Springs, Book One)The Cowboy's Holiday Bride
by Cathy McDavid, Ms Cathy McDavid
Source: Author via Prism Book Tours

Changing his heart…

Would be a Christmas miracle!

Cash Montgomery creates Western-themed weddings and knows all about happily-ever-after. In theory. He’s been hurt too many times to think that he could ever be a marrying man. His business partner Phoebe Kellerman doesn’t agree with him—on anything! At Christmas, Cash is visited by three of his past girlfriends…and he begins to see the error of his ways. Will it be before he loses Phoebe, the woman he’s falling for?

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


Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 978-1335889942

Also by this author: A Cowboy's Christmas Proposal, The Cowboy's Perfect Match, The Cowboy's Christmas Baby, Her Cowboy Sweetheart (Spotlight w/ Notes), Her Cowboy Sweetheart

Published by Harlequin Heartwarming

on 10th November, 2020

Format: Larger Print (Mass Market Paperback)

Pages: 384

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The Wishing Well Springs series:

The Cowboy’s Holiday Bride (book one)

→ forthcoming in 2021: How to Marry a Cowboy (book two)

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

Formats Available: Ebook and Paperback

Converse via: #Contemporary #WesternRomance & #Harlequin Heartwarming

About Ms Cathy McDavid

Cathy McDavid

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

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

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

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • #blogmas 2020
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Posted Thursday, 5 November, 2020 by jorielov in Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host, Christmas Romance &/or Holiday Story, Contemporary Romance, Contemporary Western Fiction, Cowboys & Ranches, Prism Book Tours, Romance Fiction, Western Fiction, Western Romance