Publisher: Harlequin Heartwarming

A bit more #blogmas this #RomanceTuesdays feat. #HarlequinHeartwarming | “The Christmas Promise” by Janice Carter

Posted Tuesday, 19 January, 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 enquiried about hosting for Prism, I found I liked the niche of authors and stories they were featuring regularly. This is how I came to love discovering the Harlequin Heartwarming authors & series as much as it has been an honour to regularly request INSPY stories and authors. Whenever I host for Prism, I know I am in for an uplifting read and a journey into the stories which give me a lot of joy to find in my readerly queue of #nextreads. It is an honour to be a part of their team of book bloggers.

I received a complimentary copy of “The Christmas Promise” direct from the author Beth Carpenter 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.comThe joy of reading a #newtomeauthor of #HarlequinHeartwarming:

Happily read through my Harlequin Heartwarming archives!

Interestingly enough, as I’ve been revealling on my posts and reviews this January, my readerly life has taken quite a few hits in recent weeks due to current events and the state of the country. It is hard not to find your readings sidelined whilst you’re watching the news and/or trying to resolve what the news is telling you. However, I made a bit of headway by focusing on the opening pages of a Historical Romance yesterday and of course, the Fantasy novel Fly Free thankfully managed to greet me before anything was able to segue me out of reading whilst it is the Harlequin Heartwarming novels which keep pulling me back into reading due to their gentle stories and their uplifting reveals.

Towards that end, this coming Saturday, I will be able to release my thoughts on behalf of the second #BlackwellSisters novel Montana Wishes as I withheld it the week of the 6th and have been rounding out my thoughts on the story ever since. It is good to finally be able to share those revelations and to carry-on with the series, as the third novel Montana Dreams is written by our 30th January @SatBookChat guest author Anna J. Stewart!

Today, I am focusing on a new Heartwarming novelist, Janice Carter, of whom I originally thought was a standalone novelist with Heartwarming but this particular novel turnt out to be part of a series! I love reading stories within Heartwarming because they happen to be the kind of respite I need in today’s chaotic world as much a lovely exit from adversely unique circumstances which arise in all of our lives – their the kind of story you can just soak into without realising the break their giving you is a balm to your soul. Their also the stories I can read betwixt and between my migraines (which thankfully I’m still free of right now in the Winter) due to the larger print of their novels by Heartwarming.

Find out what my thoughts were about The Christmas Promise
and see if this Heartwarming novelist is meant to be on your TBR, too!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

A bit more #blogmas this #RomanceTuesdays feat. #HarlequinHeartwarming | “The Christmas Promise” by Janice CarterThe Christmas Promise
by Janice Carter
Source: Author via Prism Book Tours

The Christmas season…
Is perfect for new beginnings

After a tragedy seventeen years ago, author Ella Jacobs never wanted to come back to Lighthouse Cove. Not to the whispered rumors, the judgment or even to Ben Winters, the boy she loved. Now she’s returned in time for Christmas—and some much-needed closure. But old flames burn bright. Can Ella find her way back to Ben…or will the secrets of their past extinguish their love for good?

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


Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781335179715

Published by Harlequin Heartwarming

on 12th January, 2021

Format: Larger Print (Mass Market Paperback)

Pages: 384

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

The Lighthouse Cove series:

His Saving Grace (book one)

The Christmas Promise* (book two)

*initially I thought this was a one-off novel unattached to a series however in the author’s note of the story, she discloses the connection to “His Saving Grace” as well as mentions the series name. Interestingly this is the first novel of a series by Heartwarming where the series name itself is not included on the back cover of the novel – nor is it listed as a series online from the sites I check. I am thankful the author disclosed the connections esp for those of us who read serial fiction!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

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

Formats Available: Paperback* and Ebook

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

Converse via: #JaniceCarter and #HarlequinHeartwarming

About Janice Carter

Janice Carter

Writing has been a passion for Janice Carter since elementary school but her second career after teaching began with the publication of a Harlequin Intrigue, many years ago. Since then, she's been very lucky to be able to do what she enjoys most - writing about the connections between people, their families and the places where they live. And of course, love is always at the heart of those connections.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Read More

Divider

Posted Tuesday, 19 January, 2021 by jorielov in Blog Tour Host, Contemporary Romance, Prism Book Tours, Romance Fiction

#Blogmas | feat. #HarlequinHeartwarming | “Christmas on the Ranch” (Hearts of Big Sky, Book Two) by Julianna Morris

Posted Wednesday, 23 December, 2020 by jorielov , , , , , 0 Comments

#blogmas badge created by Jorie in Canva.

Hallo, Hallo dear hearts!

As you know, I love a wicked good Harlequin Heartwarming novel – as this has seriously become one of my top favourite imprints by a publisher and the second one I love from Harlequin – Love Inspired Suspense being the second one! When it comes to Harlequin Heartwarming, I have to credit Tressa who runs Prism Book Tours who inspired me to ‘take a chance’ on Heartwarming and it became a wicked sweet match for me as a reader! Most of the Heartwarming authors I am discovering come from hosting blog tours and/or review tours with Prism during the course of the year and it has been this way since 2017. Though uniquely I had forgotten I read and reviewed my first Heartwarming novel in 2014 – which was within the first year of being a book blogger! I’ve always felt it was Tressa who nudged me into reading Heartwarming – and in many regards, that’s still true – because with her nudge to read more Heartwarming, I am unsure if I would have remembered the imprint!

I clearly have a longer history with Heartwarming than I tend to realise – more uniquely, the first novel I read was by Karen Rock – of whom has written my one of my favourite Western Cowboy Romance series (the Rocky Mountain Cowboys) and yet, my first experience with Heartwarming was with a different novel altogether as there were no cowboys in sight!

The main reason I think I overlook the first Heartwarming novel I read is because at the time I read it, I was still quite new to understanding the imprints at Harlequin and still sorting out which of Harlequin’s novels might interest me to start reading. I know Love Inspired was in my life prior to Heartwarming and that might be another reason I overlooked the imprint as well – thereby, I still stand by my previous declarations that without Tressa I might have missed out on reading all these dearly lovely stories and series! Plus, I would have missed hosting the #BlackwellSisters focused chat with all 5x of the lovely authors in November, 2020 as well!

I am truly thankful I crossed paths with Ms Morris on Twitter during one of the #SweetChristmasChat’s hosted by Vivian Conroy – as Ms Conroy was putting authors & readers together to chat Christmas and to help celebrate the season together this year. I missed a few of the chats, and even came a bit late to one of the ones I enjoyed the most. However, Ms Conroy loves hosting chats as much as I do – she has a unique way of using themes for her chats whereas I strictly host @SatBookChat quite consistently. The main chat she hosts during the year is #HistFicChat which unites the Historical Fiction world of authors & stories with those of us who love devouring the genre!

When it comes to Christmas Romances and serial fiction – I am an avid reader of both – as I like series which have a Christmas story within their sequencing of stories as much as I love reading Christmas stories in general. Knowing how much my heart swoons in glee whenever I find a Western Rom or a Cowboy centred story – this latest release by Morris held my eye at “Hallo!”

Especially perhaps even moreso because the lead character wants to be a wildlife photographer – which is something I can personally relate to as I’m a self-taught nature and wildlife photographer IRL – being out in natural habitats and finding a way to capture what I am finding is truly a gift of joy. Being so close to the natural world and respecting their habitats and their right of way to live and be free is also a blessing because I never want to intrude on their lives but rather capture a moment of their life from a reasonable distance wherein we’re both respectfully safe from each other. There is a stillness within you as a photographer as you go to take a photo of a wild animal – you almost get caught inside the moment of living that connection to the animal before you realise you need to focus on the shot at hand. I love it personally – the creativeness of it and of the direct connections you feel within the natural world itself as you photograph what you observe.

I must admit, the fact this is a second chance romance sealed the fate I need to seek out these stories in the New Year because more than other types of Romances, I have a personal penchant for ‘second chances, new beginnings and the start of something new’ kind of stories!! I believe its because of all the hope which lives in the pages of the budding new romance and the joy in knowing people have found the ones they’re meant to be with after a long journey towards finding them whilst caught up in the art of living their lives.

I wanted to offer to showcase this series during my #blogmas showcases this year as I had such a wicked fun time during the chat when I had the chance to interact with Ms Morris. I wanted her series to receive a bit of a boost of blogger love this Christmas as much as celebrating the fact I found a new voice within Heartwarming to read in the New Year. I hope you’ve been enjoying my focused features this #blogmas – for both Romances and Fantasy – as it truly has been a lot of fun assembling the posts and trying to insert a bit of IRL Christmassy tidbits to go along with them!

Curiously – If you’re a reader of Harlequin Heartwarming OR any of the lovely imprints from Harlequin Books – what do you love most about the stories of Romance Harlequin is publishing? What drew you into one of their imprints and what has kept you hooked into reading more!?

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Christmas on the Ranch by Julianna Morris

Can the warmth of Christmas melt his frozen heart?

Alaina Wright is finally following her dream of becoming a wildlife photographer. And Gideon Carmichael’s Montana ranch on the edge of Yellowstone is the perfect home base. After losing the love of her life two years earlier, Alaina isn’t looking for romance. But there’s something about the gruff, wounded rancher that makes her wonder…could they both get a second chance at happily-ever-after this Christmas?

Add to LibraryThing | ISBN: 978-1-335-89000-9

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Hearts of Big Sky series:

Twins for the Rodeo Star by Julianna MorrisChristmas at the Ranch by Julianna Morris

Twins for the Rodeo Star (book one)

From rodeo star to daddy…twice over!

Every cowboy makes mistakes, and champion bull rider Josh McKeon is no exception. But gorgeous Montana rancher Kelly Beaumont isn’t quite ready to forgive Josh for breaking her heart. Especially when she’s been hiding a secret—he’s the father of her twin boys! Now this rodeo star has one last chance to convince Kelly that they belong together…as a family. Only this time, he’s not letting go…

Christmas on the Ranch (book two)

The Man from Montana(book three)
← forthcoming release, JUNE 2021!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Converse via: #HarlequinHeartwarming + #ContemporaryRomance
as well #WesternRomance and/or #CowboyRomance

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Read More

Divider

Posted Wednesday, 23 December, 2020 by jorielov in #blogmas, Book Spotlight, Romance Fiction

#Blogmas | feat. #HarlequinHeartwarming | “A Christmas Proposal (Texas Rebels, Book Ten) by Linda Warren

Posted Saturday, 5 December, 2020 by jorielov , , , , 0 Comments

#blogmas badge created by Jorie in Canva.

Hallo, Hallo dear hearts!

This #blogmas on Jorie Loves A Story you’ll find a lot of hearty varieties of stories being featured as I look into the genres I regularly love to read and have started to seek out finding #newtomeauthors within those genres I can look forward to reading in the New Year. As you might have already suspected the Harlequin Heartwarming imprint by Harlequin Books is one of my top favourites – year round without fail! I love setting my heart & mind into their series and one-offs, as the authors I find penning these stories are curating a wonderful landscape of relationship-based Romances which are my favourites to seek out! They write them with a heap of heart, a grounding of family and/or community (or both!) whilst giving me a lovely realistic backdrop of a story to soak inside!

There are loads of lovely Harlequin Heartwarming authors I haven’t yet had a chance to read and/or feature on Jorie Loves A Story. This December, I found a few I can spotlight and draw attention to during #blogmas and this is my first author I wanted to mention as my showcases this month start to get underway in full force. My readings have been a bit hit/miss as December began but I’m hoping before the middle of the month, I’ll be able to share some new reviews & discuss the stories I am currently reading and/or listening via audiobook as we move towards the Christmas and holiday season in full earnest.

What drew my eye to this story and the series which it is set inside is actually the *length!* of the series itself – 10 books strong!? Imagine!! I get as giddy as my Mum whenever I find a series which is fully in-progress and has been making keen strides with readers throughout the duration of the series. Longer series are a sweet joy for me because it means you can spend more time with the writer and their characters whilst getting to know every inch of their setting, community and which of the characters are going to come and go as new installments arrive in the series itself. It makes for a lot of lovely hours of reading and series as big as this one are a sweet find indeed!

Plus, I have a soft spot in my bookish heart for Christmas Romances & stories set at Christmas! After all, it wasn’t too many years ago where I first started to read the Coffeehouse Mysteries by Cleo Coyle by picking up “Holiday Grind” and finding myself so wholly enthused by what I found in that mystery that I immediately started to backread the whole series starting with “On What Grounds”. It is still a project I am undertaking today along with my readings of Aunt Dimity by Nancy Alterton as I discovered both series during the same year of 2008.

I find sometimes reading a Christmas installment in a series is a good footing on the development of the series and of where you expect to find the writer shifting the series forward. Sometimes their just a hoot to read and give you a bit of holiday licence to break your own mainstay preference (like mine!) of reading series in order! I know if I see this lovely at my library I’ll be picking it up to read!!

Curiously – when you come across a book series such as the Texas Rebels one I’m featuring today – do you get as wicked excited as I do about finding a series already in-progress where you can binge read the series OR would you prefer to find series which are just starting to gain traction within the first 1-3 stories?

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

A Christmas Proposal by Linda Warren

A child’s Christmas wish…

Gives love a second chance

Becky Tullous has never forgiven boy-next-door Bo Goodnight for breaking her teenage heart. Now the SWAT sergeant is back in Horseshoe, Texas, and getting far too attached to her three-year-old daughter. Becky never wanted Bo in Luci’s life, but her developmentally delayed little girl is making great progress with him around.

Will Bo prove he’s worth a second chance this Christmas?

Add to LibraryThing | ISBN: 978-1-335-88998-0

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

This series has 10 books inside it including:

Texas Rebels graphic provided by Prism Book Tours and is used with permission.

Be sure to visit her FantasticFiction page to find the full listing!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

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

Converse via: #ContemporaryRomance &/or #ChristmasRomance
as well #HolidayReads or #ChristmasReads and #HarlequinHeartwarming

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Read More

Divider

Posted Saturday, 5 December, 2020 by jorielov in #blogmas, Blog Tour Host, Book | Novel Extract, Book Spotlight, Christmas Romance &/or Holiday Story, Contemporary Romance, Prism Book Tours, Romance Fiction

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

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

#RomanceTuesdays badge created by Jorie in Canva.

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

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

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

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

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

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

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

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

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

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

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

-quoted from my review of The Rancher’s Homecoming

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

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

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

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

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


Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781335889812

Also by this author: The Rancher's Redemption

Setting: Montana


Published by Harlequin Heartwarming

on 1st August, 2020

Format: Larger Print (Mass Market Paperback)

Pages: 380

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

The #BlackwellSisters series:

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

Some Secrets Lead You Home.

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

Montana Match by Carol RossMontana Wedding by Cari Lynn Webb

Montana Welcome (book one)

Montana Wishes (book two)

Montana Dreams (book three)

Montana Match (book four)

Montana Wedding (book five)

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

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

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

The series which started it all:

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

Return of the #BlackwellBrothers:

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

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

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

Converse via: #ContemporaryRomance, #WesternRomance & #HarlequinHeartwarming

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

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

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

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

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

About Melinda Curtis

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

(Biography updated: November, 2020)

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Read More

Divider

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

An early #blogmas #HarlequinHeartwarming Book Review | “An Alaskan Family Christmas” (Northern Lights: Book Seven) by Beth Carpenter

Posted Friday, 13 November, 2020 by jorielov , , , , 2 Comments

#blogmas book review banner created by Jorie in Canva.

Acquired Book By: I started hosting with Prism Book Tours at the end of [2017], having noticed the badge on Tressa’s blog (Wishful Endings) whilst I was visiting as we would partake in the same blog tours and/or book blogosphere memes. I had to put the memes on hold for several months (until I started to resume them (with Top Ten Tuesday) in January 2018). When I enquiried about hosting for Prism, I found I liked the niche of authors and stories they were featuring regularly. This is how I came to love discovering the Harlequin Heartwarming authors & series as much as it has been an honour to regularly request INSPY stories and authors. Whenever I host for Prism, I know I am in for an uplifting read and a journey into the stories which give me a lot of joy to find in my readerly queue of #nextreads. It is an honour to be a part of their team of book bloggers.

I received a complimentary copy of “An Alaskan Family Christmas” direct from the author Beth Carpenter 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.comWhy I am loving finding #blogmas #ChristmasRomances this year:

Each year, I try to gather together quite a few #newtomeauthors and beloved authors alike to read Christmas stories by which are within my favourite genres of interest – such as Historical Fiction, Contemporary Romance or Historical Romance or even Speculative Fiction. I love to see what I can find each year – never knowing what I might discover, what might be publishing or in regards to blog tours – which stories are going on tour ahead of December!

Similar to past years, this November has seen quite a few #blogmas showcases ahead of Thanksgiving and right in-line with everyone sorting out what they want to read for the last season of the year where all of us are feeling rather festive and in the mood for a light read with a wicked good plot and an uplift of spirit by the conclusion! This is why I am thankful to be on this blog tour to return back to the Northern Lights series – as I haven’t yet had the pleasure of reading Spring’s “Alaskan Dreams” which is slated to be read for one of my December #RomanceTuesdays showcases wherein I spotlighted this sixth novel of the series during its blog tour.

My health has been a bit of a juggling act the past few months – the first weeks of November I was hoping to dive into my Science Fiction reads to celebrate #SciFiMonth properly with a strong footing at the start of the month, however, I had to push those forward to this weekend and into next week. For now, I’m just grateful my migraine has finally ‘let go’ of me as it was a humdinger to get through recently whilst my overall health has improved to where I can start to focus on blogging, reading and being engaged online. I’ve missed reading and blogging the most – as reading is such a wonderful respite from our IRL adversities and concerns; we’ve all had a long and hard won 2020 – it is nice to find solace a bit in my health afflictions to start to reconnect to stories and the authors who are writing the stories I love to read!

Thereby this tour is my return to reading full-time and to championing the Harlequin Heartwarming authors who I find give me wicked good cheer all the year through! If you’re available tomorrow – please join us for a SPECIAL 5x author chat with ALL 5 of the #BlackwellSisters authors via @SatBookChat! More details at the bottom of this review!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Why I loved the Northern Lights series coming into it at Book Five:

I liked how Carpenter connected a thread of faith into her Contemporary Sweet Romance – not all the authors in the Heartwarming line do this directly, though some I feel imply it which makes my heart happy. I liked how it applied in the context of this story – how being a doctor and/or a medic has a certain measure of faith associated with the careers. You can go only so far on your own merits before you have to recognise there is point where you have to lean on something outside of yourself in order to be the better medical professional. Not everything is understood through medicine and science – yet, how Carpenter broaches these topics within her narrative align well with two characters who haven’t yet decided what their final thoughts are on life, their careers or how they might still be attracted to one another!

When we first see Volta and Scott together – it is like a random snowstorm burrowing people in a house together who would otherwise not expect to be confined in the same place with each other. Volta has mixed feelings – which felt natural given their history and how she has become a widow in his absence and a single Mum. Her responsibilities are different now than they were before they had met even if there is still a bit of an open door to their hearts, it is interesting watching how Carpenter is going to reveal the story as we hug close to both of them as they ride out the volcanic ash which has grounded their plane.

As the ash storm passed over, what hadn’t released the tension of the hour is the friction between Volta and Scott. For her part, I think Volta was running a bit scared – she didn’t share her feelings very well – she came across as being guarded and reserved. I could see why – she had a lot she went through in her life in the short time they had been apart but evenso, when she was round Scott, you could tell she felt an ease about him. I almost thought perhaps she was frustrated with herself to find that she not only still have feelings for Scott but by reuniting with him, she felt a renewal of hope for her future. When it came to Scott, I sensed a lot of personal anguish in him – especially of the guilt of not establishing a life for himself. He had his career but how many people are happy to thrive on a career without a home base and family?

I could understand the angst of Emma (Volta’s daughter) – when you want to ride horses, it is quite amazing how difficult it is to find places that are not just affordable but are of the benefit of the rider not just the horse. Once you’re smitten by a horse, it is rather difficult to stop thinking about them and how companionable they are to be around. I had hoped she might find a way to have either a horse or at least regular lessons before she became an adult.

I loved when Carpenter re-shifted back into the planes and took us into the air to be with the air ambulance crews. It gave more foundation to the roles these people have IRL but also, how their shifts can run longer than your realise as Volta had a 24 hour rotation facing her when she agreed to be Scott’s liaison. This was another smart move I felt in the story itself – how Scott, was wanting to bring changes to the Alaskan methodology of approaching prenatal care in the state, he needed someone who understood how to interact with the locals. Someone who could give them assurances he couldn’t as an outsider and that someone felt perfect to be Volta even for me! I liked how he fuelled his desires to help others into plausible situations where he could yield the most good and be of the most help. This plan had to change the prenatal care of Alaska felt like the kind of forward-thinking leadership needed in rural medical inefficient areas need in order to find a gateway into a future where they are more self-sufficient.

You know when your watching a movie you’ve settled into about two people who can’t quite put their lives together but they seem to be making enroads towards finding common ground? Even though things continue to go astray and their lives seem to be going down different routes and avenues; there is something drawing them back together? This novel is a lot like that kind of movie! The more you dig into their lives – you see how dedicated they are to their jobs but what good is a job if it doesn’t allow you to live?

This is a critical question Carpenter wants her readers to chew on because it is the main thesis behind the story itself. Wells, at least one of them anyway! She wants you to see past their sense of honour and duty; past the point where they were unselfish in serving others who needed them and started to take stock of their own lives for a change. To sort out what Scott and Volta needed most in their lives – whether that meant making changes or being open to the change within themselves, Carpenter lets you see what they decide as you tag along for their journey.

Carpenter puts you front and centre on the action within her medically focused Contemporary (Sweet) Romance wherein you get to see first-hand what first responders go through in Alaska when their patients live rather remotely. Even the first case she presented in the novel wasn’t routine as it was a woman who had hypertension and it was causing issues with her pregnancy – I did give a bit of a pause of thought as to what would have happened if Volta and Scott hadn’t been there at that particular moment in order to intervene on the woman’s behalf. A credit to what Carpenter had already established about how due to how lean the state is on medical facilities and how the support staff in the more rural areas were limited to aides; you can see how Alaska can become a medically adverse state in which to live.

I definitely will be seeking out the rest of this Northern Lights series as I liked the pacing and the presentation of how Carpenter implores us to want to know more about this world she’s created for us to find! She hugs us so close to the hearts of her characters, it is easy to feel what they’re feeling and live a period of time in their shoes rather than our own. In essence, I love that this is another small towne series focused on family, hearth, home and a wicked dollop of romance! Best of all, she gave me a new reason to venture back to Alaska and that was the icing on the cake!

-quoted from my book review for Sweet Home Alaska

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

An early #blogmas #HarlequinHeartwarming Book Review | “An Alaskan Family Christmas” (Northern Lights: Book Seven) by Beth CarpenterAn Alaskan Family Christmas
Subtitle: A Northern Lights Novel
by Beth Carpenter
Source: Author via Prism Book Tours

A little mix-up…
Could make her Christmas wonderful!

Natalie Weiss is mortified. After mistaking handsome Tanner Rockford for his cousin, she’s followed him to rural Alaska. Now she’s stranded—until Tanner invites her to spend Christmas with his family in their rustic, cozy cabin. But in this idyllic winter wonderland, Natalie discovers the family she’s never had…and the love she never knew she needed. But what happens when they all discover why she’s really there?

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


Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781335889959

Also by this author: Sweet Home Alaska, Alaskan Dreams

Also in this series: Sweet Home Alaska, Alaskan Dreams


Format: Larger Print (Mass Market Paperback)

Pages: 379

The Northern Lights series:

The Alaskan Catch by Beth CarpenterA Gift for Santa by Beth CarpenterAlaskan Hideaway by Beth CarpenterAn Alaskan Proposal by Beth Carpenter

Sweet Home Alaska by Beth CarpenterAlaskan Dreams by Beth CarpenterAn Alaskan Family Christmas by Beth Carpenter

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

The Alaskan Catch (book one)

A Gift for Santa (book two)

Alaskan Hideaway (book three)

An Alaskan Proposal (book four)

→ Sweet Home Alaska (book five) ← *where I began the series! (see also Review)

Alaskan Dreams (book six)

An Alaskan Family Christmas (book seven)

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: #BethCarpenter and #HarlequinHeartwarming

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

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

This story received my award for Best Contemporary Romance.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

About Beth Carpenter

Beth Carpenter

Once upon a time ...

when Beth Carpenter was a little girl, she read everything she could get her hands on, and entertained herself on the school bus by making up stories in her head. Not a lot has changed. She's still consuming books like M&Ms, and spends her days creating happily-ever-afters for her imaginary friends.

She lives in Alaska and Arizona with her husband and an aggressively affectionate fifty-pound lap dog. She loves to hear from readers.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Read More

Divider

Posted Friday, 13 November, 2020 by jorielov in Alaska, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host, Christmas Romance &/or Holiday Story, Contemporary Romance, Family Drama, Family Life, Jorie Loves A Story Cuppa Book Love Awards, Prism Book Tours, Romance Fiction, West Coast USA