Category: Western Romance

An early #blogmas #25PagePreview | feat. #HarlequinHeartwarming author Cathy McDavid’s “A Secret Christmas Wish” (Wishing Well Springs, Book Three)

Posted Wednesday, 10 November, 2021 by jorielov , , , , 0 Comments

#blogmas 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. 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 “A Secret Christmas Wish” 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 –

As I’ve eluded over the past several seasons of 2021 – my life has been a bit upturnt throughout the year as I’ve returnt to work full-time whilst at the latter half of October, I took-on a secondary job in combination with my first job. I began working three nights per week which is now expanding into four nights per week – blessedly, I love my work environment and my co-workers (in both jobs!) which makes the transitions and learning curves at both quite the blessing. However, in recent weeks and months, my family and I have been going through different bouts of difficulties whilst more immediately to this blog tour – I just came off a hard batch of hours (wherein my family was dealing with quite a heap in a short period of time) whilst nursing a bad migraine over the weekend which extended a bit into the early bits of this week.

I know this time round it was caused by an increase of stress and a few blog tours have been affected recently by events IRL which have taken my focus away from reading. Which is why I wasn’t able to read too far afield into this story right now and decided to cut my review back into a preview spotlight post rather than stress myself further and cause further delays as this was one of those migraines which didn’t let me read too much until it cleared and then, of course, I was greeting my tour deadline! Oy.

This is a series I ‘met’ last November, as an early #blogmas treat – as I have quite the affinity for Christmas Romances (Contemporary or Historical) and Western Christmas Romances are even more brilliant as I love tucking into Western Roms. Previously I read her  other series the Sweetheart Ranch!

Most especially if you’ve been visiting with me the past several years whilst I’ve become introduced to Harlequin Heartwarming and their lovely authors who keep writing series I cannot put down and eagerly await new installments. Of course, once they run their course, its even harder to put them down and step away from those characters and settings – but that gives me the joy of knowing another series or story is just round the corner from a favourite Heartwarming author.

This time round, I seem to have misplaced the sequencing of order with this series – as another story was published in the Spring of 2021 ahead of this third release. I knew about it last year, but of course – that has felt like a million miles away as honestly, if I were to contemplate how last November folded into this November, it would feel impossible that a year blinked past me! I still lament despite the medical emergencies of my parents last year where I was revolving through the ER like it was all the fashion to do so during a global pandemic – this year in particular has felt harder somehow and much more intense – isn’t that ironic?

I’ll have to gather a copy of the second novel at some point and properly bring myself current with this series. For now, I look forward to reading this novel in full but ahead of that – I wanted to share my initial thoughts and impressions about “A Secret Christmas Wish” for this lovely blog tour which is meant to inspire all of us to pick up our Christmas Romances now that Autumn has finally gripped our hearts and our weather. Wells, for some of us – Autumn still feels like a dream awaiting to arrive as its just not quite cold enough for sweaters but there is the hope of it on the horizon!

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An early #blogmas #25PagePreview | feat. #HarlequinHeartwarming author Cathy McDavid’s “A Secret Christmas Wish” (Wishing Well Springs, Book Three)A Secret Christmas Wish
by Ms Cathy McDavid
Source: Author via Prism Book Tours

The magic of Christmas

Could make her wish come true!

A small-town Christmas wedding. What could be more romantic? Unless you’re a plus-one for hire like single mom Maia MacKenzie. Too bad handsome cowboy Brent Hayes is her new coworker—and completely off-limits! Neither of them can afford to lose their job…or invest in a relationship. But when she sees Brent’s adorable connection with her young son, Maia can’t help wishing for a Christmas miracle.

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



Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 978-1335426475

Also by this author: The Cowboy's Holiday Bride

Published by Harlequin Heartwarming

on 26th October, 2021

Format: Larger Print (Mass Market Paperback)

Pages: 384

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The Wishing Well Springs series:

The Cowboy's Holiday Bride by Cathy McDavidHow to Marry A Cowboy by Cathy McDavidA Secret Christmas Wish by Cathy McDavid

The Cowboy’s Holiday Bride (book one) : (see also Review)

My impressions about how this series first began:

One of the happy discoveries I made very early-on into reading The Cowboy’s Holiday Bride is that Ms McDavid has created a new wedding venue series – as I had a feeling she might return to this kind of storytelling. It was a refreshing surprise finding Wishing Well Springs is quite similar to Sweetheart Ranch! Especially on the level of how the land, the ranch and the usage of the grounds for weddings and events is what is providing a way for the family who owns the property to keep the land in the family. There was a slight mention of how most of the land was lost to the family and how this small bit which is leftover is what has kept a part of their legacy intact. I could sympathise with them – whenever you lose something this important to you, it is hard to reconcile moving forward. It felt like there was a lot riding on the success of Wishing Well Springs as much as the tender balance within the partnership – as two siblings owned the ranch itself whilst they had a third partner who was meant to be equal to their shares of the business. And, that is where you find the first bout of conflict erupting between Cash and Phoebe as Cash had overridden Phoebe’s ability to be an equal partner when he made a choice about the business with his sister Laurel.

What was more interesting though is how much Cash was only interested in the business side of the wedding venue rather than focusing on the needs of the clients. You can tell this quickly was taking a toll on Phoebe’s resolve because she was dealing with a bull-headed bloke who wasn’t quite as clued into the wedding industry as he presumed! He was more interested in dollars and cents than he was in people’s lives – as Phoebe explained it brilliantly herself – they weren’t there to judge the choices of their clients’ they were meant to encourage them on their journey towards having a wedding of their dreams. The key being the weddings they hosted were the clients’ dreams not their own.

McDavid has the knack for creating Western ranches and wedding venues with the care and concern of those who work there whose main goals are to celebrate the couples to whom they are serving. McDavid you can tell loves these kinds of settings and again, it did not surprise me that two of her series now (which I’ve happily read) with Heartwarming are focusing on this kind of business and are equally set in smaller townes which can thrive on the kind of traffic and business these endeavours can give the local community.

In this new series, she has set the stage for an interesting collection of stories – as at the heart of the Wishing Well Springs wedding venue is one sister trying to assert herself out of the shadows of her sisters (ie. Laurel), a retired rodeo cowboy whose trying to re-define himself and his life (ie. Cash) and a woman who is in love with the joy of hosting weddings and other events with the dedication of someone who isn’t used to being limited to budget (ie. Phoebe). Each of them have their own bit of baggage they are carrying into the business too – as I thought it was interesting how McDavid created this series rooted out of the fact none of the business owners and partners are happily settled in matrimony themselves!

I felt this provided just the right amount of irony for the series – how they can plan and produce weddings but they cannot find that kind of sweetened harmonic happiness in their own lives which they regularly give to their clients. There is a lot of tongue-in-cheek moments between Phoebe and Cash – where they are each not necessarily willing to compromise with the other but where they get into bouts of arguments where you can tell neither one minds being the one to compromise in the end. You can see how they are simply two persons who never fully gave each other the time or inclination to pursue romantically and in that kind of way, the set-up McDavid has provided for the backdrop of this novel is apt fodder for a romance reader to soak inside because of the drama it organically brings into the story-line.

After reading the novel though I am on the fence about how I feel about the ending – although, there was resolution and restitution in regards to Cash’s issues in both communication and the issues he has with relationships, I felt there was still more work to be had in how he can improve his future by the work he needed to still resolve out of his past. He had such a lot of emotional and psychological baggage that for me, I felt his story might have been better served over two stories rather than one as he just felt like a work-in-progress to me rather than a polished stone by the end of the novel.

-quoted from my book review for The Cowboy’s Holiday Bride

How to Marry a Cowboy (book two)

A Secret Christmas Wish (book three)

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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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Posted Wednesday, 10 November, 2021 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

#SaturdaysAreBookish and Heartwarming has a NEW Western imprint! | “Trusting the Rancher with Christmas” (Three Springs, Texas, Book Two) by Cari Lynn Webb

Posted Saturday, 6 November, 2021 by jorielov , , , , , 0 Comments

#SaturdaysAreBookish 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. 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 “Trusting the Rancher with Christmas” direct from the author Cari Lynn Webb in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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Did you notice Heartwarming has a lovely new imprint?:

I admit, I’m a bit behind on bookish news these past few seasons of 2021 – returning to work in February proved to be its own learning curve and this Autumn, starting the last fortnight of October, I took-on a secondary job working three nights which are now expanding into four nights a week this November. Some years bring more change than others and this year definitely has been a New Year of changes for myself and my family. I’ve missed out on noticing which authors I love reading have release new books – something I hope to remedy in 2022 and in this instance, I missed the announcement about how Heartwarming was seeking Westerns!

As I previously mentioned, Western Romances are part of my cosy comfort reads. They always have been and I believe they always shall be – as I find great joy in reading stories set on ranches and farms and which occupy that part of America which can only be lived in the West. I might have grown up in a metropolis with the bursting chaos of city life but there is a part of me which appreciates the slower pace of small townes and getting back into a lifestyle closer to the natural world whilst loving the large expanse of space only rural and country living can give you. Not to mention the fact its been a life long dream to get back into horse-back riding and purse different Equestrian sports.

Finding out Harlequin Heartwarming is now shifting the Three Springs, Texas series by Ms Webb into their new Western imprint is wicked brilliant. As it turns out, most of my top favourite series by Heartwarming *are!* Western Romances and series!! Isn’t that interesting?! I now wonder if all of those series are going to shift into this imprint and if Heartwarming itself will go between having Contemporaries with Non-Western themes on the main imprint and then, all the lovely joys of Westerns kept separate? Of course, sometimes Harlequin does mini-runs of imprints, too. Either way, I’m game to take-on the adventure and see which new authors will be publishing under this imprint in 2022-beyond whilst continuing to celebrate the authors I already love reading who are publishing under it now!

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On why I love reading Harlequin Heartwarming and Romances
(outside of this imprint) overall:

I have a lot of joy in finding writers who love to celebrate and champion family and friendships – it is the backbone of why I love reading relationship-based romances, as you get to tuck close to the characters, peer into their personal lives and take up residence in their shoes for the hours you’re reading their stories.

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Three Springs, Texas likes to let you find out about the towne as you progress through the story, as it is the backdrop of the series but it is also one of those kinds of sleepier townes where it takes a bit to see the sights and understand the rhythm of how the community functions. On the surface, you might blink and miss the towne itself but it has more to it than what can be perceived. Tess, the barely knows her cousin relation of Abby is a clever character in her own right. Relocated to a towne on a whim and hope of starting over with their grandfather’s store and without knowing how it might all turn out in the end. That’s the kind of second chance you want to bet on and see come to fruition because of the courage it takes to re-write your own destiny. I was hoping a bit of that spunk and spark might inspire Abby a bit too. Even if she doesn’t think Tess is as strong as Tess actually is and that of course was an observation which made me smirk. People sometimes misconstrue others and misunderstand their own strength.

The General store Tess inherited from their grandparents is a bit of a work-in-progress – whereas what was once a thriving store front is now a bit of a build yourself a new inventory kind of store! It has the bare bones of a thriving business but the heart and substance it once held in its shelves is long since gone. I thought it was quite clever Tess was taking custom orders, which seemed to be more of the antique and hard to source variety than the kinds of items you’d think ranchers might want to seek out to purchase on the regular. I had a feeling the General store might have a new identity dawning for itself. Of course, for two women trying to make amends for their insurrected pasts and try to find new ground in this new community in which to reset their lives, I felt a project like this one might be the best medicine they could each mutually have found.

The more Abby and Wes were placed onto each others’ paths, the more you could see how both of them ached for more connection. Not necessarily from each other, though that is the underthread of interest throughout the story, but just from someone who would understand them. They’re both a bit untethered at the beginning, as their both seeking elsewhere to find their roots. They want to find a way to recharge their lives, which is why Abby selected Three Springs as a potential root making option for herself as Tess was already anchoured here. For Wes, it was further complicated by what had previously happened before his arrival in Three Springs; both on a personal and professional front. For him, life couldn’t rebegin until he was certain he had a foundation on which to build. For Abby, she was a bit more daring and decided to take her chances as she found them rather than wait for a better moment to begin. They both had their strengths and they both had their own share of reservations, which were understandable given the circumstances.

What truly anchours you into this story though is the unconditional love this community has for each other – it is even evident in the letter by Abby’s grandmother, which she wrote to Abby to encourage her on her new path towards finding out if Three Springs is the right fit for her as it had been for her grandparents. Sometimes life leads you in different places than your expecting to find yourself but those places are the right place to find your life. This is why I loved seeing this story develop and endeavour to paint the larger portrait of the towne of Three Springs. There are so many lovely characters here to draw your eye towards them and to have a piece of your heart left behind in a community who truly feels its more one extended family than a community of neighbours. These people care about each other, about welcoming in new visitors and residents alike and in finding common ground in which to build a solid future. All of us would be blessed to find the same in our world, too.

-quoted from my review of The Texas SEAL’s Surprise

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In case you missed it, during my 8th Blogoversary this March,
I re-celebrated why I love reading Harlequin Heartwarming stories as I had during my 6th!

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#SaturdaysAreBookish and Heartwarming has a NEW Western imprint! | “Trusting the Rancher with Christmas” (Three Springs, Texas, Book Two) by Cari Lynn WebbTrusting the Rancher with Christmas
Subtitle: Three Springs Texas
by Cari Lynn Webb
Source: Author via Prism Book Tours

A visit for the holidays

Brings love for a lifetime

Cattle rancher Evan Bishop is desperate for Paige Palmer’s help. The veterinarian is in Three Springs for the holidays, but the single dad hopes she has time to save his ailing livestock. Paige is up for the challenge, though not quite up to resisting the cowboy’s rugged charm and his darling devotion to his little girl. Can Paige learn to trust the rancher before the countdown to Christmas ends?

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



Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781335426499

Also by this author: The Rancher's Rescue, Single Dad to the Rescue, In Love by Christmas, Her Surprise Engagement, Three Makes A Family, The Texas SEAL's Surprise

Published by Harlequin Heartwarming

on 26th October, 2021

Format: Larger Print (Mass Market Paperback)

Pages: 377

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

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Three Springs, Texas series:

The Texas SEAL's Surprise by Cari Lynn WebbTrusting the Rancher with Christams by Cari Lynn Webb

The Texas SEAL’s Surprise (Book One) : Abby & Wes’s story

Trusting the Rancher with Christmas (Book Two) : Evan & Paige’s story

Her Cowboy Wedding Date (Book Three) :

forthcoming release June, 2022!

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Converse via: #Contemporary #Romance or #WesternRomance

#HarlequinWestern and #HarlequinHeartwarming & #ThreeSpringsTexas

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About Cari Lynn Webb

Cari Lynn Webb

Cari Lynn Webb lives in South Carolina with her husband, daughters and assorted four-legged family members. She's been blessed to see the power of true love in her grandparent's 70 year marriage and her parent's marriage of over 50 years. She knows love isn't always sweet and perfect, it can be challenging, complicated and risky. But she believes happily-ever-afters are worth fighting for. She loves to connect with readers. Visit her at her website.

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Posted Saturday, 6 November, 2021 by jorielov in Blog Tour Host, Christmas Romance &/or Holiday Story, Contemporary Romance, Contemporary Western Fiction, Cowboys & Ranches, Farm and Ranching on the Frontier, Indie Author, Prism Book Tours, Romance Fiction, Single Fathers, Small Towne Fiction, Western Fiction, 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

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

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.

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

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com Read More

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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