Genre: Christmas Story &/or Christmas Romance

A #RomanceTuesdays | Returning to Pacific Cove within “His Hometown Yuletide Vow” (Pacific Cove Romance, Book Five) by Carol Ross

Posted Tuesday, 15 February, 2022 by jorielov , , , , 0 Comments

#RomanceTuesdays badge created by Jorie in Canva.

Acquired Book By: I started hosting with Prism Book Tours at the end of [2017], having noticed the badge on Tressa’s blog (Wishful Endings) whilst I was visiting as we would partake in the same blog tours and/or book blogosphere memes. I had to put the memes on hold for several months (until I started to resume them (with Top Ten Tuesday) in January 2018). When I enquired 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 “His Hometown Yuletide Vow” direct from author Carol Ross in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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On where I left the Pacific Cove series:

In so many regards, Second Chance for the Single Dad is a potboiler of a drama waiting to reach the point where all the parties involve have to take a firm look at each other and decide what is the best course of action to take knowing all the details of what brought them together. You have one family pitted against another due to a custody battle and on the other hand, you have a woman whose trying to em-better her future by what she can achieve in the present. Both situations require a bit of dexterity and gumption because neither side wants to yield – Camille is fiercely independent and is working actively towards her own personal goals whilst Rhys has a reason to be protective of his private life and affairs. It is how Ross chooses to take you through their lives and to show how resolution can come in unexpected ways which gives you the best uplift of all to read the story!

Carol Ross is one of the Harlequin Heartwarming authors I’ve felt connected to through her stories – as she has such a keenly realistic styling about her series; from the way she crafts the back-histories of her characters, to the settings she chooses and the ways in which she gives you an emotional tug of narrative. I was not surprised to find myself bemused by Rhys and wanting to find a way to distract Camille off the disappointments of having to have multiple jobs just to make ends meet or at least the illusion of it. Camille definitely needed a few more friends to commiserate with and Rhys just needed a firm nudge to get himself out of his own headspace for awhile!

What I loved about how Ms Ross paced this novel is how she let you get into Rhys and Camille’s lives – Camille is holding back a bit from Rhys and he’s befuddled in such a cleverly keen way because he doesn’t understand what is holding Camille back – that in of itself was ingenious because Rhys has this personality for being single-minded and all-inclusive to himself. It would be fitting for him to be set-up in this way (so to speak) if only to teach him a lesson about sociability and how to properly interact with others which is definitely his downfall.

Ross expertly moves through the trickier parts of grief and the long reaches of how grief can affect people’s judgement of each other. At the heart of this story is the tragic loss of a young woman’s parents and how that has a ripple effect on those left behind. It is a story rooted in having a convicting belief in doing the right thing and knowing you are the right person to step into the shoes of those who have passed on in order to rise through the adversities of their absence to be of a benefit to the child they left in your care. What I felt was beautiful about how Ross approached telling the story is how muddling it is to sort yourself out in the process of trying to do the right thing and be the person someone else can lean on as you both find a path towards healing after such difficult loss.

-quoted from my review of Second Chance for the Single Dad

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A #RomanceTuesdays | Returning to Pacific Cove within “His Hometown Yuletide Vow” (Pacific Cove Romance, Book Five) by Carol RossHis Hometown Yuletide Vow
by Carol Ross
Source: Author via Prism Book Tours

All he wants for Christmas

Is a second chance…

Derrick Bright’s baseball career may be over, but his brother’s is just starting—until a scandal threatens to end things. PR specialist Anne McGrath hasn’t spoken to Derrick since he left her eleven years ago. But she agrees to help for his brother’s sake. Escaping the press in Pacific Cove allows them to reconnect. Will she accept Derrick’s vow and make his Christmas dreams finally come true?

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


Christmas Romance Book Icon made by Jorie in Canva.

Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 978-1335426512

Also by this author: The Rancher's Twins, Mountains Apart, A Case for Forgiveness, If Not for a Bee, A Family Like Hannah's, Bachelor Remedy, In the Doctor's Arms, Keeping Her Close, Second Chance for the Single Dad, Series Spotlight w/ Notes: Return of the Blackwell Brothers, Catching Mr Right, The Secret Santa Project

Published by Harlequin Heartwarming

on 30th November, 2021

Format: Larger Print (Mass Market Paperback)

Pages: 384

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Pacific Cove Romance series:

Pacific Cove books one and two collage provided by Prism Book Tours.

Keeping Her Close by Carol RossSecond Chance for the Single Dad by Carol RossHis Hometown Yuletide Vow by Carol Ross

Christmas in the Cove (Book One)

Summer at the Shore (Book Two)

→ Keeping Her Close (Book Three) (see also Review) : where I entered the series!

Second Chance for the Single Dad (Book Four) (see also Review)

This story received my award for Best Contemporary Romance.

A bit of a note about Rhys McGrath (the lead character)

Although I first suspected Second Chance for the Single Dad was part of Ross’s series Pacific Cove, I couldn’t get a lead-line on this online. The only clue I did uncover is from the novel itself wherein Ms Ross acknowledged she wanted to involve a story about Rhys after having written Keeping Her Close. (*) Read more about this on  my Second Chance for the Single Dad book review wherein I explain the order of the series.

His Hometown Yuletide Vow (Book Five)

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

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 on Twitter via: #ContemporaryRomance & #HarlequinHeartwarming

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About Carol Ross

Carol Ross

USA Today bestselling author Carol Ross grew up in small town America right between the Pacific Ocean and the Cascade Mountains, in a place where you can go deep sea fishing in the morning and then hit the ski slopes the same afternoon. The daughter of what is now known as free range parents, she developed a love of the outdoors at a very early age.

As a writer, Carol loves to breathe the life she has lived into the characters she creates, grateful for the “research material” that every questionable decision, adrenaline-charged misstep, and near-death experience has provided.

Read More

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Posted Tuesday, 15 February, 2022 by jorielov in #RomanceTuesdays, Blog Tour Host, Book Review (non-blog tour), Contemporary Romance, Prism Book Tours, Romance Fiction, Small Towne Fiction

A #HarlequinHeartwarming #RomanceTuesdays | “Her Christmastime Family” (Golden Matchmaker’s Club series, Book Two) by Tara Randel

Posted Tuesday, 4 January, 2022 by jorielov , , , , 0 Comments

#RomanceTuesdays badge created by Jorie in Canva.

Acquired Book By: I started hosting with Prism Book Tours at the end of [2017], having noticed the badge on Tressa’s blog (Wishful Endings) whilst I was visiting as we would partake in the same blog tours and/or book blogosphere memes. I had to put the memes on hold for several months (until I started to resume them (with Top Ten Tuesday) in January 2018). When I enquired 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 “Her Christmastime Family” direct from the author Tara Randel in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

NOTE: In conjunction with this review, I’ve also shared a full review for “Stealing Her Best Friend’s Heart” appearing during #SaturdaysAreBookish. Originally scheduled for a December tour stop for this second release in the series – both were unfortunately detained behind my blog until I fixed a technical mistake! Thereby, they are part of my ringing in New Year, 2022 with celebrations of #ChristmasReads, Romances and Jane Austen.

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A note about what I loved from “Stealing Her Best Friend’s Heart”:

You have to give credit to Gayle Ann and Alveda! Not only are they interfering with the lives of Heidi and Reid, their doing it in such a crafty way that you can’t help but want to hug them! Seriously – these two women are sharp as fiddles and despite what everyone else might think, they definitely know how to bend the truth to where it influences someone else to act! I loved their scenes together and of course, following along with their schemes. I don’t think anyone could have talked them out of their plans because in their eyes, they were in the right and it would just take a bit of time for others to see that for themselves.

Heidi was so caught up in her own headspace, she wasn’t allowing herself to entertain the moment of being with Reid. There were moments where you thought they might realise their own affections for each other and yet, both were so strong willed they would tuck away from one another as soon as they even felt an emotional shift hovering between them. Reid was just as stubborn as Heidi – not wanting to admit his own heart was giving him reasons to reconsider where he stood in their relationship – as over the years, it had been maintained as a platonic friendship which had started in their youth. Now, they were both finding themselves in each others’ company much more often and yet, both of them couldn’t quite connect their hearts and their feelings together. All whilst Randel etched out reasons why both were hesitating to take a chance on a love they never expected to find. Randel fused the story with the emotional bits you’d hope to find in a relationship-based romance with the angst of trying to bridge two lives together which were fighting their own natural chemistry.

And, yet nothing quite prepares you for the life and death situations Randel places inside Heidi and Reid’s story to serve as a catalyst of enlightened change for all the characters involved. I’ll only say it involves fire, so if stories which have heavily dramatic scenes involving fire upset you, just know this one is a small scene at the end of the novel which packs quite the punch in regards to how it affects your own heart to read the passages involved. I generally find stories involving fire or wildfires the hardest to read myself but the ways in which Randel handled both the intensity of the scene and the ways in which she used that situation as a turning point for the story on all fronts, served as such a strong ending for a story I thoroughly enjoyed reading. I hope others who pick up this novel to read will find the same true for them as well.

One of the best scenes of the story was how Randel choose to bring the Golden Matchmakers Club into its official standing with the men and women in the ‘club’ itself choosing to band together for the good of the community. Each of the members of the club had something different to offer but they had a common goal which makes you smirk and smile; mostly because it is their love of Golden and the will to see this community continue to grow and develop into a destination others would appreciate finding to live out their own lives which endears you to the Club itself because of how their efforts are for the joy they can give to others. Their intentions might be honourable but its how they go about producing results which might blur the lines a bit on what could be considered interference – however, its how they bring lives together which entertained me the most and I can’t wait to read the next installment in this series!

-quoted from my review of Stealing Her Best Friend’s Heart

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A #HarlequinHeartwarming #RomanceTuesdays | “Her Christmastime Family” (Golden Matchmaker’s Club series, Book Two) by Tara RandelHer Christmastime Family
Subtitle: The Golden Matchmaker's Club
by Tara Randel
Source: Author via Prism Book Tours

A holiday match…

For a lifetime of love!

Creating new Christmas traditions is a priority for single mom Faith Harper. But the handsome widower next door, police officer Roan Donovan, is struggling to make the season merry for his two girls. Sunny Faith could brighten the holiday for Roan. And the way he protects his daughters touches her heart. Will facing their challenges together unite their families…and build a love to weather all seasons?

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


Christmas Romance Book Icon made by Jorie in Canva.

Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 978-1335426529

Also by this author: His One and Only Bride, His Honor, Her Family, Trusting Her Heart, Always the One, (#25PagePreview) of Stealing Her Best Friend's Heart, Stealing Her Best Friend's Heart

Published by Harlequin Heartwarming

on 30th November, 2021

Format: Larger Print (Mass Market Paperback)

Pages: 384

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

Converse via: #Contemporary + #Romance and #HarlequinHeartwarming

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The Golden Matchmaker’s Club series:

Stealing Her Best Friend's Heart by Tara RandelHer Christmastime Family by Tara Randel

Stealing Her Best Friend’s Heart (Book One)
| see also Review |
Her Christmastime Family (Book Two)
His Small Town Dream
← forthcoming August, 2022!

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re-visits the small towne I fell in love with whilst reading two stories from the Meet Me At the Alter series: “Trusting Her Heart” & “His Honour, Her Family” – I am so grateful this new series continues to develop the towne and the characters I’ve come to know in this North Georgia mountain community!

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About Tara Randel

Tara Randel

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

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Posted Tuesday, 4 January, 2022 by jorielov in 21st Century, Blog Tour Host, Contemporary Romance, Family Drama, Indie Author, Life Shift, Modern Day, Prism Book Tours, Romance Fiction, Small Towne Fiction, Small Towne USA

This #SaturdaysAreBookish features #HarlequinHeartwarming | “The Secret Santa Project” (Seasons of Alaska, Book Eight) by Carol Ross

Posted Saturday, 18 September, 2021 by jorielov , , , , 0 Comments

#SaturdaysAreBookish banner created by Jorie in Canva.

Happily, I was able to read two lovely novels in the Seasons of Alaska series this year!

Which was sweetened by celebrating my 8th Blogoversary, this March!

I blessedly read the eighth novel in this series, a month and one week after I celebrated my 8th Blog’s Birthday which was on the 6th of August, 2021. 8 is definitely my number now!

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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 enquired 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 Secret Santa Project” direct from author Carol Ross in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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Why I love reading Carol Ross & Harlequin Heartwarming novelists:

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You might have noticed these features & showcases throughout the years of Jorie Loves A Story. In truth, I have only been reading the stories by Ms Ross since [2018] – it has been such a wicked wonderful journey into her different series and seeing how she attaches us with the vision of her characters’ worlds simply by how she creates the drama behind their lives. I have felt dearly attached now to *Seasons of Alaska* as I had the pleasure of joy binge reading this series via interlibrary loan. One of these days I’m going to bring the series home to roost on my shelf in full point of pride as it has given me an infinite delight of happiness to discover, read and savour.

It is hard to capture *why!* I love Harlequin Heartwarming as much as I do except to say – if you’re seeking relationship-based Romances with a deepening centre of focus on family (biological, adopted, found, etc) and the strength of community – these are realistically told romantic dramas with a particular encaptured portrait of contemporary modern life within the backdrop of realistic characters living real lives. You can tell what inspires these stories by the authors who pen them and how much heart and soul of themselves they etch into the stories as you’re reading them. You don’t want to put these lovelies down – their #unputdownable, memorable and they knit themselves into your heart. The epitome of a #bookHUG if there ever were one to be had, too!

More than that even,.. Heartwarming stories give all of us singletons the hope of what tomorrow can bring when we least expect our lives to intersect with a bit of romance & the unexpected blissitudes of meeting someone who understands us without having to explain ourselves. Romance is an uplift for the heart and a pulse of inspired joy for the joy and that is why I love reading Harlequin Heartwarming stories. Their the kind of Romances I crave to read and the kind of Romances I cannot get enough of as a reader.

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This #SaturdaysAreBookish features #HarlequinHeartwarming | “The Secret Santa Project” (Seasons of Alaska, Book Eight) by Carol RossThe Secret Santa Project
Subtitle: Seasons of Alaska
by Carol Ross
Source: Author via Prism Book Tours

A gift he wasn’t expecting…

A special Christmas wish

Working with his best friend’s sister isn't how Cricket Blackburn had planned to spend his holidays. He’d tried to forget about sweet, beautiful Hazel James for ten whole years and now she's back, closer to him than ever. They have a Christmas charity to run—certainly that will keep Cricket’s mind off what might have been. Perhaps if he tells Santa his secrets, his ultimate wish might come true.

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


Christmas Romance Book Icon made by Jorie in Canva.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 978-1335426352

Also by this author: The Rancher's Twins, Mountains Apart, A Case for Forgiveness, If Not for a Bee, A Family Like Hannah's, Bachelor Remedy, In the Doctor's Arms, Keeping Her Close, Second Chance for the Single Dad, Series Spotlight w/ Notes: Return of the Blackwell Brothers, Catching Mr Right, His Hometown Yuletide Vow

Published by Harlequin Heartwarming

on 27th July, 2021

Format: Larger Print (Mass Market Paperback)

Pages: 384

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A quick recapturing of the JOY I had reading the last novel in this series:

I found it wicked interesting how Ross started us off in this story by stepping into the joy of fishing! We do not have a lot of information about who is fishing but its how their fishing that means more than their name and identity! The care and attention they have to the sport of fishing as much as the mindfulness of releasing the fish after archiving data and evidence of the fish being caught. I was a compassionate fisherwoman myself – I never caught for anything more than the joy of the time I spent fishing. Between the natural environment and the quiet calm of the setting – there wasn’t any reason not to feel relaxed in that moment.

You can tell Ross has a passion for fishing herself – especially how she describes how her characters’ are fishing and the methods they are using to fish. There is an art to it – from the choices of bait to what you use on your lines to draw the fish to you. Everyone makes their own choices and of course, a lot of those choices depend on where you’re fishing, too. Reading the opening chapters of this novel brought back a wealth of happy memories and a childhood where there was still a lot of innocent joy to be found.

I surmised the Cajun ancestry in Victoria’s family even before it was disclosed and that is credit to Ms Ross who had tucked in subtle hints about her family’s origins. From the name she called her grandmother to the ways in which she spoke herself – she had such a distinctive tone and sound to her person, I knew her ancestry even before it was properly announced! This is one reason why I enjoy reading Contemporary and/or Historical stories set in and round NOLA. And, coincidently before the storylines went askew that is also why I loved that variant of NCIS. There is something special about stories set in the bayous of Louisiana and I felt Ms Ross did a chamption job in capturing but the history and the spirit of the setting.

I especially loved seeing how this story took on a role of ‘perspectives’ – from Seth and from Victoria and how dearly realistic and relatable their stories were from that angle. Ross makes the critical observation of how we sometimes get ‘stuck in our heads’ to the point where we’re either overthinking something or we’re nearly to the point of talking ourselves out of something without any rationality attached to that choice other than where our hearts and emotions are leading us. From this, Ross deepens their individual and conjoined journeys as they shift forward in their individual lives whilst attempting to test the waters if there is a way their paths can not just cross but continue to merge in a role neither of them are fully comfortable defining. For me, this was the most immediate joy of Catching Mr Right – it wasn’t a meet-cute circumstance nor was it an insta-attraction plot either – it was more of seeing two people re-discover what they want out of life and what they potentially had overlooked in what they might want in someone else.

The best takeaway from Catching Mr Right is that family stands behind family. You cannot get far in this world without people who will defend you at a moment’s notice and you cannot hope to survive this world without a family behind you. Whether your family is biological, adopted or found – family is EVERYTHING. And, this is the best part of reading this story – Ross champions FAMILY and gives us such a stirringly brilliant ending which makes our heart rejoice for having read it.

-quoted from my review of Catching Mr Right

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Seasons of Alaska series:

Bachelor Remedy by Carol RossIn the Doctor's Arms by Carol RossCatching Mr Right by Carol RossThe Secret Santa Project by Carol Ross

Mountains Apart (Book One)

A Case for Forgiveness (Book Two) | see also Reviews of Book One & Two

If Not for A Bee (Book Three)

A Family Like Hannah’s (Book Four) see also Reviews of Book Three & Four

Bachelor Remedy (Book Five)

In the Doctor’s Arms (Book Six) see also Reviews of Book Five & Six

Catching Mr Right (Book Seven) see also Review

The Secret Santa Project (Book Eight)

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

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 on Twitter via: #ContemporaryRomance & #HarlequinHeartwarming
as well as #SeasonsOfAlaska and #CarolRoss

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About Carol Ross

Carol Ross

USA Today bestselling author Carol Ross grew up in small town America right between the Pacific Ocean and the Cascade Mountains, in a place where you can go deep sea fishing in the morning and then hit the ski slopes the same afternoon. The daughter of what is now known as free range parents, she developed a love of the outdoors at a very early age.

As a writer, Carol loves to breathe the life she has lived into the characters she creates, grateful for the “research material” that every questionable decision, adrenaline-charged misstep, and near-death experience has provided.

Read More

Divider

Posted Saturday, 18 September, 2021 by jorielov in 21st Century, Blog Tour Host, Book Review (non-blog tour), Christmas Romance &/or Holiday Story, Contemporary Romance, Family Drama, Family Life, Life Shift, Modern Day, Passionate Researcher, Post-911 (11th September 2001), Prism Book Tours, Romance Fiction, Small Towne Fiction, Wordsmiths & Palettes of Sage