Genre: Romance Fiction

#Harlequin #SuperRomance Book Review | “Nights Under the Tennessee Stars” (part of a duology) by Joanne Rock

Posted Sunday, 8 April, 2018 by jorielov , , , , , 0 Comments

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

Acquired Book By: I was a host for Lola’s Blog Tours back in [2015] – enjoying working with Lola to showcase the authors who were using her services with their stories until my personal life tipped the scales a bit in regards to what I could handle doing back then and what I needed to realise was a sign I needed to withdraw from a few newer commitments to seek better balance in the future. It was a two year journey – of being mindful and conscious of pulling back on requesting too many books – which at the time I hadn’t thought I was doing – opting instead for a reduced blog schedule which yielded better personal health. It was also prior to recognising my chronic migraines were not going to ‘go away’ on their own and I had to take steps to curb their re-appearances; hence why in [2016] I started to seek out audiobooks in earnest as a break from reading books in print.

Originally, I was meant to post my reviews of both novels “Promises Under The Peach Tree” and “Nights Under the Tennessee Stars” within the same week of each other. I did receive them with an open-ended deadline – meaning, they were received without an obligation to post an immediate honest review and could be read in my leisure. Thus, as [2017] took it’s final countdown to greet [2018] I found I could finally re-focus on the stories awaiting me on my backlogue.

I received a complimentary copy of “Nights Under the Tennessee Stars” direct from the author Joanne Rock in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

What I enjoyed about the first half of this duology:

I don’t believe I’ve read a more intensely emotional opening sequence of a novel than this one! At least, not for quite a long time. Nina is beyond distraught over her emotional angst stemming from a past relationship she’s never allowed herself to heal from or recover out of – as noted by how her impulsive emotional triggers are responding to things never spoken aloud. Mack on the other hand is trying to find a way to tread through his return to Heartache – a call from his brother was insisting he was needed; his brother had a marriage drifting towards divorce, their mother was having a bad spell with her mental health struggles and meeting up with his teenage love Nina was pushing him a bit over the edge. To be honest, neither of them were ready to see each other, much less try to fill the gap of the years they had been apart with idle conversation now.

Nina’s emotional health was shouldered on the surface of her being – she didn’t hold back and she didn’t wait long enough to think through what she wanted to say either. She simply spoke her mind – whatever she was feeling at that moment and ran with it. This sort of brokered trouble because she misread most of the conversation – especially in regards to the motives behind Mack’s return to their hometown. His intentions were to help his family, she only believed he wanted to goad his success over her own failures – the sad truth really is they both were emotionally shattered by how their relationship ended. Ironically or not, they each had a different point-of-view on their exit from their romance affected them long-term – of how theirs was a relationship which should have lasted but only left them with remorse, regret and uncertainty of what really went wrong.

Heartache is well named – the residents have a hard time expressing their emotions – some leave their emotions bottled inside them, others shout to release them and a few have no understanding about how to even approach expressing themselves until they find the harsh words they say in haste isn’t the right way round to fix the issue at hand. The characters, young and old are struggling to find resolution in their lives – the teens are emotionally anguished by their families choices and the adults, are either still trying to heal their own teenage lives (as a lot happened with affected the whole town when one teen died tragically premature) or they have difficulties in their relationships. Some have commitment issues, others struggle to accept they can parent children without the worrying concerns over inherited health issues whilst a few are just trying to find stability in their lives as a measure of growth past their adversities.

I admit, I was a bit more wrapped inside Ally’s struggle to find truth and understanding about her mental health issues than I was as held by Nina and Mack’s hard-fought restitution for past hurts. There were a lot of back and forth narrative choices which muddled Nina and Mack’s growth from the past but also, at one point, I was finding myself not as interested in if they resolved their issues or if they parted company. Their story-line I didn’t feel was the strongest one in the novel – it was Ally, her friends at school and the break-down of her parents marriage which I felt held far more traction of interest.

-quoted from my review of Promises Under the Peach Tree

As I had mentioned previously, it was my intention to read both stories in this duology back-to-back, however, I had a difficult month for health and wellness in March, 2018 which threw off most of my reading life. I enjoyed the stories I was able to tuck inside but overall, I yearned to read more of the stories I felt were calling to me to be read as Spring started to come into sight. We had a small shift in our weather patterns this year – where Spring came quite unexpectedly ‘later’ than usual! For my family and I, this was quite the blessing – as the idyllic glimpse Ms Rock gives in her Author’s Note about why she *loves!* slipping back into Heartache, Tennessee in Nights Under the Tennessee Stars is reminiscent of what I long to find myself – a slower pace of living hugged close to the natural world, where you not only can see the stars but you can feel the joys of the Seasons as they enter and exit your life.

Spring is generally a difficult season for me (pollen allergies) however, I had a small reprieve from fighting them whilst finding my heart uplifted due to the cooler weather patterns, the overcast skies and the joyfulness of watching the seasonal birds hearken from above as they found new places to nest in the boughs of the trees they call home this time of the year. When you hear the songbirds singing and feel the last bits of cold nipping in the air, you know Spring is coming soon. I thrive in colder weather, make no mistake and although, I shudder to think about how abominable Summer’s wrath will be – it’s nice to read about settings and locales like Heartache where you feel the climate doesn’t suffocate you nearly as much and where you can relax into the community.

As I feel a renewal in focus in my readings this April, it is nice to have my ‘send-off’ to Heartache to be at the start of the month, just as Spring is starting to bloom in front of me. And, let’s pray the pollen levels are not as increased as they have been in years past,… honestly that is not something I wish to repeat!

In regards to the hopeful message about love and the inspiring joy of reading Romances where you know despite the adversity or anguish – a happier ending is coming round for the characters – I had to smile as I read the author’s words in this vein of thought! This is what first attracted me to reading Romances all those years ago as a young girl – I loved being caught up in the moments, between the first meeting and the joyfulness of finding love take root in the heart’s of the characters I was growing attached to watching come together as each chapter ended. Romances are the heart-blood of our living realities – as it is the celebration of part of the goodness in our lives, the moments where we seek out of love and find it warmly reciprocated. It is wonderful to find other authors who feel the same way as we do (the readers) as it makes it a happy celebration of the stories we all love most to find!

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#Harlequin #SuperRomance Book Review | “Nights Under the Tennessee Stars” (part of a duology) by Joanne RockNights under the Tennessee Stars
by Joanne Rock
Source: Author via Lola's Blog Tours

Heartache—the best place to heal

Erin Finley heads home to Heartache, Tennessee, after the perfect guy turns out to be anything but. She throws herself into running a vintage store with her sister and surrounding herself with the comforts of her small town. Then one rainy night, TV producer Remy Weldon shows up and almost sweeps her off her feet!

Remy sees more in Erin than she sees in herself. Quirky, beautiful and capable, he needs her for his antiques show—and for himself. Because Erin is the first star Remy’s found in the very dark night that has become his life. And she might just be able to lead him into the dawn…

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to Riffle

ISBN: 9780373609079

Also by this author: Promises Under the Peach Tree

Also in this series: Promises Under the Peach Tree


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


Published by Harlequin Super Romance

on 7th April, 2015

Format: Larger Print (Mass Market Paperback)

Pages: 384

Published By: Harlequin Books (@HarlequinBooks)
via their imprint Harlequin Super Romance

A Harlequin Super Romance duology:

Promises Under the Peach Tree by Joanne RockNights Under the Tennessee Stars by Joanne Rock

Available Formats: Paperback and Ebook

Converse on Twitter via: #HarlequinBooks + #HarlequinSuperRomance; #Contemporary #Romance

four-flames

I’ve started adding ‘flames’ when I’m reading Romances where the descriptions inside were a bit more than I was thinking they would be – in other words, I am definitely a reader who finds ‘less is more’ and where a lot of what makes a Romance work for me doesn’t necessary have to be spent on the page. This Romance is a bit tamer than a few I’ve read recently but it still merits the flames as it doesn’t leave that much to your imagination.

About Joanne Rock

Three-time RITA nominee Joanne Rock never met a romance subgenre she didn't enjoy. The author of over sixty romances from contemporary to medieval historical, Joanne dreams of one day penning a book for every Harlequin series. A former Golden Heart recipient, she has won numerous awards for her stories. Learn more about Joanne's imaginative Muse by visiting her at the sites below.

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Posted Sunday, 8 April, 2018 by jorielov in 21st Century, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Child out of Wedlock, Coming-Of Age, Contemporary Romance, Cutting, Equality In Literature, Family Life, Fly in the Ointment, LGBTTQPlus Fiction | Non-Fiction, Lola's Blog Tours, Mental Health, Mental Illness, Modern Day, Prejudicial Bullying & Non-Tolerance, Psychological Abuse, Realistic Fiction, Romance Fiction, Self-Harm Practices, Singletons & Commitment, Small Towne USA, Teenage Relationships & Friendships, Transfer Student at School, Vulgarity in Literature, Women's Health

Book Review | “Hubble Bubble” (Book Two: Yorkshire Romances) by Jane Lovering #ChocLitSaturdays

Posted Saturday, 17 March, 2018 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

#ChocLitSaturdays banner created in Canva by Jorie.

Why I feature #ChocLitSaturdays (book reviews & guest author features)
and I feature Romance & Women’s Fiction authors during @SatBookChat:

I wanted to create a bit of a niche on Jorie Loves A Story to showcase romance fiction steeped in relationships, courtships, and the breadth of marriage enveloped by characters written honestly whose lives not only endear you to them but they nestle into your heart as their story is being read!

I am always seeking relationship-based romance which strikes a chord within my mind’s eye as well as my heart! I’m a romantic optimist, and I love curling into a romance where I can be swept inside the past, as history becomes lit alive in the fullness of the narrative and I can wander amongst the supporting cast observing the principal characters fall in love and sort out if they are a proper match for each other!

I love how an Indie Publisher like ChocLitUK is such a positive alternative for those of us who do not identify ourselves as girls and women who read ‘chick-lit’. I appreciate the stories which alight in my hands from ChocLit as much as I appreciate the inspirational romances I gravitate towards because there is a certain level of depth to both outlets in romance which encourage my spirits and gives me a beautiful story to absorb! Whilst sorting out how to promote my book reviews on behalf of ChocLit, I coined the phrase “ChocLitSaturdays”, which is a nod to the fact my ChocLit reviews & features debut on ‘a Saturday’ but further to the point that on the ‘weekend’ we want to dip into a world wholly ideal and romantic during our hours off from the work week!

Coffee and Tea Clip Art Set purchased on Etsy; made by rachelwhitetoo.

Acquired Book By: I am a regular reviewer for ChocLitUK, where I hand select which books in either their backlist and/or current releases I would like to read next for my #ChocLitSaturdays blog feature. As of June 2016, I became a member of the ChocLit Stars Team in tandem with being on the Cover Reveal Team which I joined in May 2016. I reference the Stars as this is a lovely new reader contribution team of sending feedback to the publisher ahead of new book releases. As always, even if I’m involved with a publisher in this sort of fashion, each review is never influenced by that participation and will always be my honest impression as I read the story. Whether the author is one I have previously read or never had the pleasure to read until the book greets my shelf.

I received a complimentary copy of “Hubble Bubble” from ChocLit in exchange for an honest review! I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Coffee and Tea Clip Art Set purchased on Etsy; made by rachelwhitetoo.

a bit of back-history on this sequence of roms:

I started reading the Yorkshire Romances with the sixth installment of the series: Can’t Buy Me Love as I have been wanting to start reading the stories by Ms Lovering for quite an age at that point. I felt it was a good place to start – to get familiar with her quirky humour & become acquainted with her style! I had intended to read more stories within this series and am thankful I can pick up where I left off this Spring through my readings of Hubble Bubble and Please Don’t Stop the Music.

I have been wanting to keep seeking out stories of non-traditional families, foster care and/or adoptive families this New Year – I asked the authors I regularly interact with during @SatBookChat if they knew of any story-lines which would ‘fit’ this niche of interest wherein happily Ms Lovering felt Hubble Bubble might be one of the ones I’d enjoy reading! For me, it offered me the chance to see how the theme I was seeking was incorporated but on a personal note, it was a lovely transition back into the Yorkshire Romances!

As you’ll notice, these are all one-off stories which can be read out of sequences as it is not a series where each story conjoins into the new one – the setting is what unites the stories together, therefore, despite my preference of reading ‘series’ in order of sequence, in this particular instance I get to have the happy folly of moving in and out of the series per each story which feels it ought to be ‘read’ next vs having to stick to the order of publication!

The Yorkshire Romances in sequence:

{please note: all of these are stand-alone; only the setting unites them}

To properly recap my ruminative pre-reading thoughts about the series,

kindly visit my Spotlight w/ Notes!

Coffee and Tea Clip Art Set purchased on Etsy; made by rachelwhitetoo.

Why I enjoyed my introduction into Ms Lovering’s writing style:

I had a sneaky feeling going into a Lovering novel, I might love her smart wit and wicked sense of humour; I wasn’t entirely sure, mind you as I only have seen her charming wit lace itself through #ChocLitSaturday in the past, but there was always a noddle of a wink towards what I might find inside her fiction! Oy vie. I nearly think I’ve waited a bit too long to dig into her stories – as one thing is for certain – I do love writers who make analogies into their own one liners of comedic relief! I do love clean stand-up comedy and improv; mostly as I come from a family of jokers and comedians; if there is a way to spin-off a connection between pop culture and life; we’re your family! We also love finding the cheekiness of ordinary life and imparting a bubble of a laugh out of anything that can be spun into a slice of comedic joy! We’re crackers I guess half the time, laughing at our own jokes but what makes us endearing is how we approach life with the light of joy even when times turn dearly turbulent. Without humour, where would any of us be anyway?

Some of the genius of Lovering’s pop cultural wit and humour was so innate you had to understand it was a reference when you stumbled across it such as the cheeky reference to the Daleks (ie. Doctor Who!). I found these instances and passages were my absolute favourites – which also goes to prove I have had such a hearty appetite of British tv and movies alongside my own country’s offerings (and Canada’s) that it would appear I have dual understanding of the insertions one can make on everyday life by lending wisdom from what we watch on either the small or large screen! lol

Truly Lovering has great wit and her best strength is how she augments her humour into the streamline of the conversational plot; as I liked how this didn’t read like a traditional RomCom on that level. No, it reminded me a bit when Ferris Bueller turns back to the camera and starts to talk to the audience? So, too does Willow speak to the reader rather than the writer whose narrating her story. It’s a tongue in cheek method of the craft but also, when you overlay and insert the pop culture one liners, zingers and over the top wicked inclusions only those of us ‘tuned in’ would understand becomes a wicked romp of a Rom to read; minus the overtly vulgar words which at one point felt ‘eh’ too much.

The ending Lovering conceived was ‘just desserts’ for a bloke who deserved understanding you cannot do what he did and not have consequences. There was a story-line similar to this one on Law and Order: SVU but with a different twist to it, but the outcome of course was the same; too many women were betrayed by the callus actions of one man who only did what he did to satisfy his own needs. In both instances, the ending was the best because neither man ever thought they’d have to ‘face the music’ so to speak in such a collective way in which they did. I loved Lovering for ending it like this as it was fitting to have the women re-take their power over a rat of a man.

-quoted from my review of Can’t Buy Me Love

Coffee and Tea Clip Art Set purchased on Etsy; made by rachelwhitetoo.

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Posted Saturday, 17 March, 2018 by jorielov in 21st Century, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Britian, Brothers and Sisters, ChocLitUK, Contemporary Romance, Equality In Literature, Family Life, Fly in the Ointment, Indie Author, Modern Day, Romance Fiction, Romantic Comedy, Siblings, Vulgarity in Literature

Blog Book Tour | “Beauty and Her Boss” (Book One: Once Upon A Fairy Tale) by Jennifer Faye a selection of #Harlequin Romance

Posted Monday, 5 March, 2018 by jorielov , , , , 2 Comments

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

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 enquried about hosting for Prism, I found I liked the niche of authors and stories they were featuring regularly. I am unsure how many books I’ll review for them as most are offered digitally rather than in print but this happily marks one of the blog tours where I could receive a print book for review purposes. Oft-times you’ll find Prism Book Tours alighting on my blog through the series of guest features and spotlights with notes I’ll be hosting on behalf of their authors.

I received a complimentary copy of “Beauty and Her Boss” direct from the author Jennifer Faye in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Why I wanted to read this story:

To be honest – I was hoping this was a re-telling of Beauty and the Beast – as I have been in love with this particular fairy tale for a long time! I still remember going to see the famed animated version starring Angela Lansbury as Mrs Potts as a young girl! The recently adapted live-action with Emma Watson and Dan Stevens not only captured my heart but it truly captured my emotions! I had the hardest time ‘letting go’ of the Beast – to where, I understood why Emma’s character instinctively mentioned she’d prefer if he had a ‘beard’ now that he was transformed back to being a human!

Over the years of being a book blogger, one of the joys has been seeking out aspects of literary adaptation which has held a special interest to me as a reader. Re-tellings, re-envisionings and sequels based upon original canons of work has been a bit of a niche of mine to seek out. Which is why, this isn’t my first re-telling of Beauty and the Beast – as I truly loved Becoming Beauty by Sarah E. Boucher  wherein I shared this takeaway:

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Boucher does a brilliant job of counter-balancing the fairy-tale narrative we all know as Beauty & the Beast with a new curtain of insight into how Bella fits within the story arc of where the Beast’s presence is going to lead her towards the best discovery of all: seeing herself for the first time without a cloud of untruth glossing over her infractions and faults of character. The ruminative lingering thoughts and the flashbacks of another life having lived before her, I appreciated seeing where the original tale and this one merged into one; granting a stronger impression of the Beast’s devotion and a curious itch into how Bella could befall under the bewitching dreams of a woman who had not yet let go of her beloved Beast.

I simply adore style of conception and creation of fairy-tale re-tellings by Ms. Boucher, who breathes not only new life into a tale you know by heart but she gives a warranted exploration of the depth of the characters therein. Her own imaginative heart is both full of moxie and a redefinition of the classical canon of how a fairy-tale can be seen through the eyes of someone who believes there is a bit more depth out of the superficiality of misguided souls. She transitions herself into a niche of the world of Fantasy and has fully convinced me to keep my eye on her next releases where she embodies her tagline: Bringing Twisted Fairy-Tales to Life.

-quoted from my review of Becoming Beauty

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

The unique spin on this ‘beauty’ and ‘beast’ story is how the characters are put together – the beastly hero was injured in a serious car accident and his ‘beauty’ is under his employ but they share a past neither of them fully realises until the climatic moment wherein they must decide if they should stay in each others’ lives; at least, this is how the Author’s Note reads to me!

The joy of hosting for Prism these past several months has been a return to reading Harlequin authors – whilst becoming better acquainted with the imprints I hadn’t previously known. Their Romance imprint is one I hadn’t explored previously – finding a re-telling as my first ‘introduction’ to the imprint is quite stellar if you ask me! I am looking forward to seeing what else Ms Faye has in store for all of us whilst she evolves through this series!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Blog Book Tour | “Beauty and Her Boss” (Book One: Once Upon A Fairy Tale) by Jennifer Faye a selection of #Harlequin RomanceBeauty and Her Boss
Subtitle: Once Upon A Fairy Tale
by Jennifer Faye
Source: Author via Prism Book Tours

An innocent beauty, a scarred hero...

Could she be the one to open up his heart?

Handsome but guarded former Hollywood star Deacon Santoro prefers the confines of his mansion since an accident left him scarred both inside and out. But he promised to protect sparky beauty Gabrielle Dupre, his new PA. Can Gabrielle convince Deacon that love will give them the fairy-tale ending they deserve?

Places to find the book:

Add to Riffle

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 978-1335135049

Genres: Contemporary (Modern) Fiction (post 1945), Contemporary Romance, Re-telling &/or Sequel


Published by Harlequin Books

on 6th March, 2018

Format: Paperback Edition

Pages: 256

Published by: Harlequin Books (@HarlequinBooks)

Formats Available: Ebook and Paperback

Next in series: Sage and Quinton’s story: Miss White and the Seventh Heir

According to the novel, this is meant to e a duet rather than a mini-series – I initially thought there were several upcoming novels – however, it is apparently more akin to a duology with a slight difference. As a duology has two linking stories which are in essence part one and part two of a continuing story-line; a duet are two stand-alone stories which are linked by theme or setting; in this case, re-tellings of Classical Fairy Tales.

Converse via: #Contemporary #Romance & #Harlequin

About Jennifer Faye

Jennifer Faye

Award-winning author, Jennifer Faye pens fun, heartwarming contemporary romances with rugged cowboys, sexy billionaires and enchanting royalty. Internationally published with books translated into nine languages. She is a two-time winner of the RT Book Reviews Reviewers' Choice Award, the CataRomance Reviewers' Choice Award, named a TOP PICK author, and been nominated for numerous other awards.

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Posted Monday, 5 March, 2018 by jorielov in Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Book Spotlight & Announcement, Castles & Estates, Contemporary Romance, Family Life, Fathers and Daughters, Indie Author, Inspired by Stories, Life Shift, Prism Book Tours, Re-Told Tales, Romance Fiction, Second Chance Love