Publisher: Harlequin Books

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.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

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

This #RomanceTuesdays feat. #HarlequinHeartwarming | “The Single Dad’s Holiday Match” (Book One of the Smoky Mountain First Responders: a mini-series set in Hollydale) by Tanya Agler

Posted Tuesday, 12 October, 2021 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 “The Single Dad’s Holiday Match” direct from the author Tanya Agler in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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*waves!* Hallo, Hallo dear hearts,

I wanted to preface my review this #RomanceTuesdays with an apology to the author (Ms Agler) about the lateness in which this review is arriving on my blog, Jorie Loves A Story. I was struck down last week with a beast of a migraine – which did blindside me as I have been quite blessed this year with a reduction in frequencies of my migraines as compared to past years (especially the 2018/19 seasons) however, in September, 2021 I had a clustering attack of migraines and this past week, I was unfortunately offline due to another migraine which just wrecked my hours with its presence. I get the kind of migraines where screens (ie. online spaces), lights and even text (ie. reading books) can affect me quite dearly. I hadn’t even realised I had missed my tour stop this past week as I was so consumed with my migraine, you could say it blighted it out of my memory. For that, I apologise.

Generally, I can get on top of things a bit faster or rebound back a bit quicker – as I had planned to read this lovely ahead of the weekend (on Friday and Saturday) whilst posting this on Saturday afternoon, however, my weekend didn’t quite get off the ground as I had planned it would and I apparently needed a bit of extra time to transition back into reading as well. As luck would have it – blessedly, the tour is running through Wednesday the 13th, which is why I scheduled this to run during my #RomanceTuesdays as a final hoorah for the tour itself and as a way of shining a happy light at the end of the tour on a series and author I’ve continued to enjoy reading and discovering!

As you know, I LOVE Heartwarming series and this one is a unique situation where you have a trilogy of stories interlinked into Hollydale and now, there is a lovely new mini-series attached to Hollydale which begins with this novel: The Single Dad’s Holiday Match

Now without further adieu,… let’s get back to the blog tour today!

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If you caught sight of my #BestBooksOf2020 you know “A Ranger for the Twins” was a winner of my Cuppa Book Love Awards – which you can read about HERE!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.comOn where I last left my adventures in Hollydale:

Happily read through my Harlequin Heartwarming archives!

As Agler had written one of my favourite Romance novels from 2020 – I was truly delighted to be caught inside this novel for 2021! She was touching on all the elements I love in a Contemporary Romance – a small towne setting, two bull-headed adults who want the best for someone but might not know how to communicate with each other towards that end and of course, at the heart of it all – a slow brewing romance which is about to upset the plans for the lead characters! I loved the quirkiness of how the story began – from the perspective of how Aidan’s first impression of Natalie was the wrong one because he was reading more into her words than what were there to be heard. Whereas with Natalie she’s on the defensive due to how much it aches her to even consider a life and world without Danny; the young boy she was given guardianship over since his Mum died.

The part of the opening chapters which held my eye the most was when Agler had her heroine of this story overhear what defines family from her Mum to the child she shares guardianship with an Uncle stationed overseas. There is deep rooted tragedy in the origins of this story but at the bedrock of the characters’ lives is a wealth of hope and a light of promise filtering through their lives, too. I loved how Agler focused on where they were in their lives a few months after the tragedy as it showed how much Natalie wants things to change for Danny and how much she aches to learn if she is able to stay in his life once his Uncle Aidan returns home from overseas. It is one of those uniquely non-conventional families which I was loving to see develop as it isn’t oft non-conventional families are showcased in Contemporary Romance. Blessedly I’ve noticed an uptick of inclusion within the Harlequin Heartwarming line of romances and I was thankful to read this one by Agler after having felt charmed by A Ranger for the Twins.

If I hadn’t watched the entire series of Army Wives over the last year, I might not have picked up on the subtle reasons why Aidan was being such a difficult person to deal with as he realised his chances of taking Danny out of state were dwindling now that he knew how hard Natalie would fight for custody. The irony of course is his misunderstanding about her remarks when they first met and that reminded me a lot of Frank from Army Wives – as he tended to see things more literally rather than figuratively – which caused a lot of grief in his marriage. However, back to the story at hand – what was interesting to me were the layers Agler was building to the drama behind the premise of the novel.

I loved how she didn’t waste time getting Aidan and Natalie in front of a lawyer and how quickly she wanted to make the case for both Aidan and Natalie to show why they equally had a motive in wanting to keep custody of Danny. It was an interesting premise from the jump start as this is a case involving co-guardianship of a young boy whom both guardians are not the biological custodial parent but rather, Aidan is the boy’s biological Uncle (though the mother was his half sibling) and Natalie was the mother’s best friend. This is one of those more complicated adoption cases where a person’s will and final intentions before death are being brought to life and court.

Agler has a way of knitting you into the heart of their lives – digging deep and expounding on the emotional side of trying to resolve a custody battle between two guardians who aren’t the best at communicating with each other nor understanding where the others is coming from in regards to why their each fighting so hard towards the same end goal. I was definitely hooked quite immediately after Aidan showed up in the park and throughout the passages in the book where he’s trying to assert himself as the predominant reason why the court should lean in his favour but he has a few misguided reasons behind that train of logic which I was looking forward to seeing Agler explore in more detail. Especially about his concept about how love is co-dependent on biology and how custody should only concern those with biological connections.

What I loved most is the ways in which Agler took us on this journey with her characters – to show how life doesn’t have to be deadlocked into one singular plan nor be scheduled within an inch of insanity for missing out on the smaller moments which give life fuller meaning. Agler has a gift for curating a natural rhythm of pacing within a slow burning romance wherein you feel for the characters and for the adversities their facing because of how authentically true their lives have been told by Agler. I definitely will be seeking out more stories from her in future but I also want to get a copy of the first novel The Sheriff’s Second Chance and re-read this trilogy start to finish!

-quoted from my review for The Soldier’s Unexpected Family

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If you love reading Harlequin Heartwarming & the reviews I am sharing
kindly let me know if we’re reading the same authors and/or if you think I need to add someone to my TBR to be read as soon as I can get my hands on their books!!

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Where my journey into Hollydale began:

The Sheriff's Second Chance by Tanya AglerA Ranger for the Twins by Tanya AglerThe Soldier's Unexpected Family by Tanya Agler

The Hollydale series:

The Sheriff’s Second Chance (book one) – Mike and Georgie’s story *need to acquire a copy!

A Ranger for the Twins (book two) – Caleb and Lucie’s story (see also Review)

The Soldier’s Unexpected Family (book three) Aidan and Natalie’s story (see also Review)

*Please note: I noticed there is a connection with all of these stories being set inside the small towne of Hollydale and have chosen to collect them into a ‘series’ as they are a series by setting – however, I am not sure if they have been officially named as either a collection and/or a series or continuity with Harlequin Heartwarming as there isn’t a series name on the books nor on their informational pages online. I collected them together for my own frame of reference and for other readers and visitors to my blog Jorie Loves A Story who likes to read series in order and/or meet stories in order of how they were first disclosed.

Finally sorted: This was a trilogy and the series is officially called: Heroines of Hollydale!!

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Where my journey into Hollydale continues:

the Smoky Mountain First Responders mini-series:

The Single Dad's Holiday Match by Tanya Agler

The Single Dad's Holiday Match
Subtitle: Smoky Mountain First Responders
by Tanya Agler
Source: Author via Prism Book Tours

'Tis the season…
For unexpected love!

Officer Jonathan Maxwell is just as devoted to his job as he is to his two young daughters, leaving zero time for a social life. Until he meets Brooke Novak. The newly hired community center director is a single parent, too, and also part of his latest investigation. Jonathan needs Brooke’s help if he's going to close his case by Thanksgiving…but she might be the biggest distraction from keeping his mind on his job.

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



Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781335426437

Also by this author: A Ranger for the Twins, The Soldier's Unexpected Family

Published by Harlequin Heartwarming

on 28th September, 2021

Format: Larger Print (Mass Market Paperback)

Pages: 384

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The Single Dad’s Holiday Match (book one) – Jonathan and Brooke’s story

The Paramedic’s Forever Family (book two) – *forthcoming in 2022!

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

Formats Available: Paperback* and Ebook

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

Converse via: #TanyaAgler and #HarlequinHeartwarming

About Tanya Agler

Tanya Agler

An award-winning author,Tanya Agler moved often during her childhood and settled in Georgia where she writes sweet contemporary romance novels, which feature small towns, family and pets, and themes of second chances and hope.

Her debut, The Sheriff’s Second Chance, is a January of 2020 Harlequin Heartwarming release. The sequel, A Ranger for the Twins, will be released in Oct. 2020. A graduate of the University of Georgia with degrees in journalism and law, she lives with her wonderful husband, their four children, and a lovable Basset, who really rules the roost. Represented by Dawn Dowdle and the Blue Ridge Literary Agency, she’s currently at work on the sequels to her debut. When she’s not writing, Tanya loves classic movies, walking, and a good cup of tea.

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Posted Tuesday, 12 October, 2021 by jorielov in #RomanceTuesdays, 21st Century, Adoption, Blog Tour Host, Bookmark slipped inside a Review Book, Contemporary Romance, Death, Sorrow, and Loss, Equality In Literature, Family Drama, Family Life, Flashbacks & Recollective Memories, Life Shift, Mental Health, Military Fiction, Modern Day, Mother-Son Relationships, Motherhood | Parenthood, North Carolina, Orphans & Guardians, Post-911 (11th September 2001), Prism Book Tours, Realistic Fiction, Romance Fiction, Single Fathers, Single Mothers, Small Towne Fiction, Small Towne USA, Social Services

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

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.

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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