Tag: Harlequin Heartwarming

#HarlequinHeartwarming Blog Book Tour | “Always the One” (Meet Me At The Altar series, Book Four) by Tara Randel

Posted Thursday, 13 February, 2020 by jorielov , , , , 1 Comment

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 “Always the One” direct from the author Tara Randel 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

Why I appreciate reading

the Meet Me At the Altar series by Tara Randel:

Serena’s store Blue Ridge Cottage is the kind of eclectic papery shoppe I’d love to find IRL! Especially as it brings me back to the joyful past of being an ardent letter writer who loved sending letters through the post office! Stationery stores and typewriter repair shoppes are a bit harder to come by these days as much as a solidly outfitted scrapbooking and/or rubberstamp shoppe for those of us who love paper crafting, mixed media collage and the art of creating handmade greeting cards. You can get lost inside a store like Serena’s inasmuch as you could a book shoppe! The choices, the designs and the curiously clever way she used vintage furnishings to display her wares was enticing enough but it was the soul sister vibe she carried off by endearing herself to fellow typospherians which made it seem sweeter somehow!

Mrs M is quite the stitch and a half! She is the kind of landlord who has a grandmotherly attitude which lands her into a bit of a tricky spot when she wants to earnestly offer her grandson to a winning match such as Serena! She can’t help herself really, if you observe her as she tries to encourage a love match between two singleton’s who aren’t entirely ready for the prospect of a relationship! Matching is a fun activity for the person whose doing the pairings but for those on the opposite end of the match? I could see why Serena was hesitating to acknowledge the cunning smiles and the curious way Mrs M attempted to stall in the shoppe long enough for Logan to collect her for their day out.

Logan enjoys his job a bit too much if you ask me! He gets too much pleasure out of uncovering a person’s secrets and of finding out what they wish to hide from the world. Not that that is always a bad thing mind you, but in his eyes? He seems to place himself above reproach and just because there was a bad apple incident who affected his grandmother’s life years ago; he’s now embolden to believe others will follow suit. Others like Serena who just want to carve out an honest business and make it as an independent shoppe owner in an era of chains and box stores. You had to feel for him a bit – for his misguided sense of duty as it is one thing to honour your grandmother and protect her interests but it is another to marginalise everyone just because you can’t believe that someone would be honourable and trustworthy. Even Mrs M called him on that!

Serena loved being involved in the local activities Golden provided but sometimes the cost of participation was more than she was willing to yield. You could almost see the mistake in judgement on her face when Logan started to grill her again for information. He thinks he’s this suave bloke who could charm the daisies off any woman but in reality, he’s hard-edged and if your intuitive, you can see what he’s doing even before he finishes his enquiry.

My three favourite characters ended up being Serena’s father, Jasmine (the new love of his life) and Mrs M; mostly as the three of them are the crafty parental figures who knew how to get forward motion churning in the lives of Serena and Logan. They needed a lot of pushes and nudges to work through their feelings, re-think what they felt they knew of each other and of course, like most relationships that have a rocky foundation they needed help finding common ground. All of this is put together through the vision Randel had in showcasing how ordinary life can be messy but its the hours betwixt and between which count the most.

The person I felt the most sorry for was Logan and Reid’s father – I think he never truly gave himself permission to feel the losses he experienced nor had the capacity to find a way to heal through self-forgiveness for his own past sins. Logan’s father was a proud man but what he needed most was his sons to accept his faults, understand his frailties and still find a reason to accept him as a father who loved his sons most of all. This is why the series feels rooted in a family drama set in a small close-knit mountain community. Everyone is in a different stage of progress towards resolving something of their lives or of their past; no one is unaffected by the secrets but it is those secrets which cause more harm than good.

What pulls me back into the plotting of Meet Me At the Altar series is the thickening plot points – there is an overlapping arc of narrative threading between the novels which is leading into a revelation period. There is one underscoring mystery involving Serena’s own past, her family and especially the goings on with her father which stem from the investigative instincts of detectives both private and publicly employed. It is within this scope that Randel encourages your curiosity because each new installment of the series hugs you closer to the truth but also pulls away from it quite a bit in order to lengthen the reveal.

I am hoping there are a few more stories yet to come in this series – I’d love to see what becomes of Reid, but also the supporting characters of Heidi and Carrie. There are more characters whose lives are entwined with the leads and I would love to see how their lives begin to work out as well!

What gives you the best joy of course is watching how Ms Randel knits her characters closer together at moments where they’d prefer to remain isolated, alone and single. She doesn’t let them root there in their own self-pity, but rather attempts to push them towards the people who have unconditional love to share and friendship which will last longer than a rumour. This is a series that is about working through your problems, trusting in yourself to have the chance to repair the past and finding a place as calm as Golden to renew your spirit as you redefine your path.

-quoted from my review of Trusting Her Heart
(Meet Me At the Altar series, Book Three)

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

#HarlequinHeartwarming Blog Book Tour | “Always the One” (Meet Me At The Altar series, Book Four) by Tara RandelAlways the One
Subtitle: Meet Me At The Altar
by Tara Randel
Source: Author via Prism Book Tours

She’s the love of his life… but is he still hers?

FBI agent Derrick Matthews has finally found his childhood sweetheart and the love of his life—but she isn’t exactly happy about it! Years ago, Hannah Rawlings disappeared overnight when her family went on the run, and she blames Derrick. She tells him she’s moved on and he should, too, but Derrick fears Hannah’s still in danger. He vows to protect her—even if that means betraying her trust…again.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 978-1-335-88957-7

Also by this author: His One and Only Bride, His Honor, Her Family, Trusting Her Heart

Also in this series: His Honor, Her Family, Trusting Her Heart


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


Published by Harlequin Heartwarming

on 4th February, 2020

Format: Larger Print (Mass Market Paperback)

Pages: 385

Published by: Harlequin Heartwarming

Converse via: #Contemporary + #Romance and #HarlequinHeartwarming

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Meet Me At The Altar series:

The Lawman's Secret Vow by Tara RandelHis Honor, Her Family by Tara RandelTrusting Her Heart by Tara RandelAlways the One by Tara Randel

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

how this series began within the pages of : The Lawman’s Secret Vow

To have and to hold — until the case is solved?

When an undercover assignment pairs laid-back Florida detective Dante Matthews with by-the-book cop Eloise Archer, he knows it won’t be easy. And not just because they’re competing for the same promotion. Now they’re living together under the same roof, and it’s getting harder to ignore his deepening feelings for his “wife.” Can he convince Eloise to partner up—for life?

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

As an aside – when it comes to the redesign for Harlequin Heartwarming – I am on board with it as far as the front covers are concerned with one note of criticism from a reader who loves her serial fiction. The series names have been moved to the back cover and that is most distressing as it is harder to sort out which books are meant to be read in which sequence per series. I noticed that they are not routing through the series names either online except thankfully on Fantastic Fiction. That is the only mark of criticism I have though as I liked the triangle graphic on the upper left but I wish the series names were still on the front covers.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

About Tara Randel

Tara Randel

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

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com Read More

Divider

Posted Thursday, 13 February, 2020 by jorielov in 21st Century, Blog Tour Host, Contemporary Romance, Family Drama, Indie Author, Life Shift, Modern Day, Prism Book Tours, Romance Fiction, Small Towne Fiction, Small Towne USA

A #blogmas #HarlequinHeartwarming Blog Book Tour | “The Christmas Kiss” (Back to Bluestone River series, Book Two) by Virginia McCullough

Posted Friday, 13 December, 2019 by jorielov , , , , 0 Comments

#blogmas 2019 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. 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 “The Christmas Kiss” direct from the author Virginia McCullough 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

Why I enjoy reading a Virginia McCullough
Harlequin Heartwarming novel:

Ruby is the kind of woman who likes to see the potential in life rather than the sour lemons that can upset your plans. She wouldn’t be the first to admit that losing a job she believed in struck her in the heart and was effectively difficult to re-group after due to how much of herself she put into the belief her job was one that had mattered. Instead, she put on the kind of brave face you hope will soak through you the longer you wear it and decides to re-settle into her hometowne of Bluestone River! This coming off the suggestions of her bestie Emma kept nudging her with photos of the open prairie grasses, the calming scenes of wildlife and the potential of what Ruby might find once she arrived. I think the key word there is how Ruby might find something she hadn’t planned to find and thereby, finding a new way forward when life felt like it was falling apart. That’s a sentiment I think most can relate too when things go south and you have to rebuild your life.

Counter to Ruby’s woes are Emma’s concerns for her own health – as she has a serious condition that requires not just surgery but loads of patience as the recovery isn’t an easy one. These are two woman at cornerstones of their lives seeking comfort and shelter together if only to weather the storms and find a way to come through them a bit less affected than if they were to ride them out alone. Although the same could be said for Mike and his young son Jason; as they were two warriors riding into their own storm as well. Mike was the kind of father who was not just committed to his son but he was an encourager of random joy. He liked to keep the legacy of how he was raised in the growing years of his son Jason, even if his own childhood and his son’s held a few stark differences between them. For instance, when Mike was growing up he wasn’t struggling with PTSD like his son but there was solace in being back in Bluestone River. The area held a calmness over it – where the natural world in of itself had the best calming effect on the residents and perhaps, a healing effect as well.

I liked how McCullough took her time in allowing Jason to come round to others; how he interacted with his father, his teacher and even new persons he was just starting to meet like Ruby and Peach (the dog). His behaviour matched what you would expect from a young child who was struggling with the issues he had and yet, each time he was in-scene, it felt organic, honest and real. Nothing felt forced and I appreciated the realism and the extra touches of honesty threading into how Jason was portrayed.

McCullough tackles childhood PTSD and what causes a child to be mute rather than to speak through their emotions and their crises; giving new empathy for how PTSD affects children but also, how sometimes children find the hardest part of their recovery and healing process is resuming the art of speaking. Words have a lot of hidden meanings but they also hold a lot of truths that can be hard to speak; which I felt is partially why Jason might have stopped speaking as his reality had become shattered in such a tragic and traumatic way, it was easy to see why his voice might have become silent for awhile.

There is an ease of awareness and of setting here – you can tell McCullough has taken her time to develop this series, of giving us a well-rounded and well-thought out plotting to where the foundation of the series can build out of this first installment. It is a place that isn’t entirely without its prickles of angst but it has a heart-centred feel to it which gives you the hope of what could happen if people allow themselves to forgive the past and to seek a future without allowing the past to dictate how your life is meant to be lived.

-quoted from my review of A Family for Jason

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

A #blogmas #HarlequinHeartwarming Blog Book Tour | “The Christmas Kiss” (Back to Bluestone River series, Book Two) by Virginia McCulloughThe Christmas Kiss
Subtitle: Back to Bluestone River
by Virginia McCullough
Source: Author via Prism Book Tours

Will working together

…lead to together forever?

Recently divorced, Parker Davis needs to focus on his new job so he can provide a stable home for his daughter in time for the Christmas holidays. The problem is, he’s frequently at odds with his boss. He and Emma O’Connell approach everything differently. Yet he finds her intriguing, and Bluestone River festivities keep pushing them together—often enough that two people at odds could find themselves evenly matched in love!

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781335510969

Also by this author: A Family for Jason

Also in this series: A Family for Jason


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


Published by Harlequin Heartwarming

on 3rd December, 2019

Format: Larger Print (Mass Market Paperback)

Pages: 375

Published by: Harlequin Heartwarming

Converse via: #Contemporary + #Romance and #HarlequinHeartwarming

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Back to Bluestone River series:

A Family for Jason (book one) : Ruby & Mike’s story (see also Review)

The Christmas Kiss (book two) : Emma & Parker’s story

I love how the sequel involves Emma! She’s Ruby’s best friend & she helped Ruby become re-established back into Bluestone River. I thought it was fitting she’d get her own story after finding out how tied-in she is to the community & Ruby’s life!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

About Virginia McCullough

Virginia McCullough

Born and raised in Chicago, Virginia McCullough has been lucky enough to develop her writing career in many locations, including the coast of Maine, the mountains of North Carolina, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and currently, Northeast Wisconsin. She started her career in nonfiction, first writing articles and then books as a ghostwriter and coauthor. She’s written more than 100 books for physicians, business owners, professional speakers and many others with information to share or a story to tell.

Virginia’s books feature characters who could be your neighbors and friends. They come in all ages and struggle with everyday life issues in small-town environments that almost always include water—oceans, lakes, or rivers. The mother of two grown children, you’ll find Virginia with her nose a book, walking on trails or her neighborhood street, or she may be packing her bag to take off for her next adventure. And she’s always working on another story about hope, healing, and second chances.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com Read More

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

Divider

Posted Friday, 13 December, 2019 by jorielov in 21st Century, A Father's Heart, Blog Tour Host, Bookmark slipped inside a Review Book, Contemporary Romance, Content Note, Equality In Literature, Family Drama, Flashbacks & Recollective Memories, Fly in the Ointment, Grief & Anguish of Guilt, Indie Author, Life Shift, Modern Day, Mute | Medical Loss of Voice, Prism Book Tours, PTSD, Realistic Fiction, Romance Fiction, Second Chance Love, Single Fathers, Small Towne Fiction, Small Towne USA, Special Needs Children

#Blogmas | A #ChristmasReads selection of Jorie’s featuring a #Harlequin Heartwarming Book Review | “In Love by Christmas” (City by the Bay Stories, Book Five) by Cari Lynn Webb

Posted Thursday, 5 December, 2019 by jorielov , , , , 2 Comments

#blogmas 2019 badge 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.

I received a complimentary copy of “In Love by 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

Why I previously enjoyed reading Cari Lynn Webb’s style of Contemporary Romance:

Although Webb doesn’t fully come out and claim that her characters (as well as the dogs and cats themselves) have been suffering through PTSD, you can gather the fact that they have been. Their scars are not visible on the outside except for when their exhausted and bits of their truths are revealled. Webb explores the limitations and the challenges of people who are caught inside their own situation to where they cannot see past it. They hug close to the complacency of not wanting to construct change in their lives because change could bring factors they cannot control and this is definitely a story about how the harder you try to control your life the more angst you will give yourself because life cannot be controlled. You can only control your own actions but not the sequencing of events that evolve outside them. Nor in the behaviour of others or the sense of morality and ethics others choose outside of your own convictions. That is the hardest bit really. In accepting that out of our own human condition that there are limitations towards what we can personally accept to handle when life throws us a situation we are unprepared to transition through such as how Dan and Brooke find themselves now.

At the same time of course, is the unexpected ex who wants to make her presence known and her needs to be demanded. This re-brought up the memory I had of Oliver of how self-centered his ex had been and how sometimes, in the mix of living, others who are outside your experience or have chosen to distance themselves from your life truly do not fully understand where you are currently on your path. Valarie wants to sweep back into her son’s life but at what cost? To the son and to the father? How can her narrow-minded view of motherhood fail to see that the needs of her son should outweigh the impulsive choices she wants to make on his behalf?

Throughout the trials facing them, Brooke is the calming voice next to Dan’s rock of strength. They fit together because they each benefited from the other; where they could re-shape the path they were walking into a relationship built not only on trust and grace but one where each of them could still have their own voice. They were injured through past relationships where they weren’t given the chance to breathe long enough to understand the reasons why their lives took several left turns. Although Dan’s ex was living life elsewhere from him, it was how this left an ambiguous sense of closure that rankled the most for him. On the flip-side, for Brooke, her past was harder to reconcile as it meant letting go of the things she couldn’t control – in effect, the things that none of us can control and have to accept just as they are.

This is a multi-layered story about the intersection of lives and the curious ways in which the heart leads us forward into a tomorrow that has more hope of promise than the past we’re trying to outrun. I loved the way Ms Webb composed this story, how she tucks us so dearly close to her characters and their internal battles; whilst providing us with a firm understanding about life, love, loss and the second chances we must choose to embrace if we hope to aspire towards a future filled with the hopefulness of a renewed sense of purpose.

The most guttingly realistic emotional arc was centred on Brooke – Webb anchoured us intrinsically into her psychological spiral. We felt what she bleed out of her heart – she was beyond the point where she could process what was emotionally overwhelming her as she had suffered a loss beyond words. How do you process seeing your home incinerated? How do you prepare yourself for rebuilding when you can barely breathe and choke past your emotional response to what has just happened? Webb takes you into her internal world – of where she second-guesses her ability to find strength out of hopelessness and how courage was on holiday because she didn’t feel an ounce of it whilst trying to believe in the goodness of those who are coming to her aide.

This is an emotionally intensive novel – from both Brooke and Dan; Webb takes us closer to both of their struggles as they both have found this methodology of surviving which works for them. They don’t want to alter the routines that have given them a false sense of normalcy in case they discover that the fragile confidence they’ve held inside that routine proved to be a shadow of their fears to where everything they were afraid of happening might suddenly begin to unravel the very last nerve they have left. Webb writes with an intuitive layer of understanding – of what happens when your trying to rise above your circumstances and how hard it is to work through the emotional upheavals you cannot prepare for in life.

-quoted from my review of Single Dad to the Rescue
(Book Four: City by the Bay series)

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

In case you missed it, during my 6th Blogoversary I celebrated why I love Harlequin Heartwarming whilst I also showcased the authors I’ve loved discovering via this imprint for #TopTenTuesday!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Interestingly enough, this was one of the series I was trying to borrow via interlibrary loan – however, I wasn’t able to read The Charm Offensive or Ava’s Prize for two reasons: a) I ran out of the hours I needed with the books and b) there was perfume or a scent affecting my attempts to read them. I decided I’d have to gather my own copies one day for this series and re-read it from the beginning. Until then, I am thankful I be hosting the latter stories of City by the Bay as I’ve truly felt connected to this community despite the fact Single Dad to the Rescue marked my first entry!

Each Christmas I try to find some uplifting stories to be reading – I generally gravitate towards Historical Romances set during the Christmastide – however, in recent years, I’ve noticed I’ve been a bit curious if I could start to seek out a few Contemporaries again. With my ardent love of Harlequin Heartwarming throughout my blog these past years, I was delighted finding some of my favourites are now featuring Christmas installments within the series I’ve been enjoying to read. This year as the Christmas blog tours were being announced, I spied two Heartwarming novelists and quickly asked to be the tours as I felt they would be the kind of uplifting reads I dearly could use during the beginning weeks of the holidays.

During a recent visit to my library, I also had the joy of being placed on the used bookstore’s list for contacting me if they have any Heartwarming stories come into their store. They noticed how much I love them and had bought a few whilst I was there and decided to offer to phone me whenever they had a new batch giving me the chance to be placed on hold to collect them. I thought it was a lovely gesture as this is one library who likes to offer Heartwarming to their readers for borrowing purposes whilst having a new chance to potentially purchase some of these lovelies in the New Year was quite kismet knowing how much I’ve loved discovering them since 2017. They give me a proper uplift of joy to be reading and a dearly needed reprieve from adversities IRL where a cosy comforting romance is just the wicked ticket to give you a random bit of joy in your readerly life! They’ve also given me a chance to resume reading more mainstream Contemporary Romances and that’s a blessing in of itself!

I am doubly blessed by having another local library offering Harlequin Heartwarming to their readers – wherein due to both these libraries efforts to bring stories into reader’s hands, I’m slowly growing a nice collection of Heartwarming stories – don’t be surprised if you see an uptick of showcases for Heartwarming and Love Inspired Suspense as well as Historical Love Inspired or a few of the Contemporaries for Love Inspired sprinkling into view via Jorie Loves A Story in 2020!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

#Blogmas | A #ChristmasReads selection of Jorie’s featuring a #Harlequin Heartwarming Book Review | “In Love by Christmas” (City by the Bay Stories, Book Five) by Cari Lynn WebbIn Love by Christmas
Subtitle: City by the Bay Stories
by Cari Lynn Webb
Source: Author via Prism Book Tours

This Christmas, two worlds collide

…under the mistletoe!

All Theo Taylor wants for Christmas is a profitable year-end and a flawless wedding for his sister. Hiring beautiful but unknown designer Josie Beck is a huge risk, especially when the Taylors’ reputation is at stake. Josie is sweet, kind and impossible to resist. But is Josie about to destroy Theo’s perfect wedding plan…or is she the answer to his heart’s secret Christmas wish?

Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 978-1-335-51095-2

Also by this author: The Rancher's Rescue, Single Dad to the Rescue

Also in this series: Single Dad to the Rescue


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


Published by Harlequin Heartwarming

on 3rd December, 2019

Format: Larger Print (Mass Market Paperback)

Pages: 384

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

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

the City by the Bay Stories:

The Charm Offensive by Cari Lynn WebbThe Doctor's Recovery by Cari Lynn WebbAva's Prize by Cari Lynn Webb

Single Dad to the Rescue by Cari Lynn WebbIn Love by Christmas by Cari Lynn Webb

The Charm Offensive (Book One)

The Doctor’s Recovery (Book Two)

Ava’s Prize (Book Three)

Single Dad to the Rescue (Book Four) | (see also Review)

In Love by Christmas (Book Five)

Her Surprise Engagement (Book Six) ← forthcoming 7th July, 2020!

Converse via: #Contemporary #Romance

+ #Harlequin OR #HarlequinHeartwarming & #CityByTheBayStories

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

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.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Read More

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

Divider

Posted Thursday, 5 December, 2019 by jorielov in Blog Tour Host, Contemporary Romance, Indie Author, Prism Book Tours, Romance Fiction

An early #blogmas Book Review | “Home for Christmas” (Book No.12 of the Shores of Indian Lake series) by Catherine Lanigan One of the #HarlequinHeartwarming series I love reading!

Posted Friday, 22 November, 2019 by jorielov , , , , 0 Comments

#blogmas 2019 badge 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.

I received a complimentary copy of “Home for Christmas” direct from the author Catherine Lanigan 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

Before I begin sharing my thoughts on this 12th installment,
let’s look back and re-visit what I enjoyed in “Hers to Protect”:

You could feel the frustration Violet Hawks had within her – she was a rookie who wanted to make her mark on the force but in a way which would catapult her forward rather than keep her grounded in a small towne (such as Indian Lake); as she had goes to escape into a larger metropolis where her skills could be sharpened on more challenging cases. Except for the main concern hitting Midwestern small townes is the same as it is elsewhere (ironically or not) – the rise on drug runners and lines of distribution of said drugs is becoming a small towne issue rather than a big city trade. This is why local police and law enforcement have to think outside the box and rely on their detectives and officers to stay vigilant about enforcing the law in order to combat the complexities of erasing the drug trade from their region.

Being a woman who wants to advance in her field, you could almost feel the tension from Violet’s co-workers (all men) who did not wish to see her find traction on a case remotely of interest to their Chief. This is another keen example of Ruth Bader Ginsberg legacy case (showcasing “on the basis of sex”) wherein what is inherently wrong between the genders is a disillusion of equality and the fact most issues between men and women arise out of preferential treatment skewing inequality against the other.

One thing that irks my ire inasmuch as Violet’s are the people who think money and their own self-deducing sense of power can entitle them to just about anything they please. Thus, when you see how she arrests Josh for his outwardly poor choices in driving in excess of speeds past 200 mph – you can see why she made the choice to arrest his sorry butt than to debate the merits of his ironically self-inflated ego to compensate for said poor choices in driving speeds! You really want to rally behind Violet – not just for the flak she might be hedging to take once she’s back at HQ but for how she stood her ground, drove home her point in a decidedly calm manner of delivery and also didn’t let the county sheriff derail her effects to take-in a person who felt he was above the law.

You had to laugh really, how Josh didn’t check his conscience until after he spoke to his agent? If you flashback to the CARS sequence of films, even Lightning McQueen had to learn that life lesson! If all you do is coast through life on an ego trip and view everything as one entitled perk after another – then where do you draw the line? Josh Stevens is your typical celebrity racer who hasn’t learnt how to eat humble pie but something told me Violet Hawks was going to be part of the proverbial change in his inflated perspective of self.

In true Lanigan fashion, there is always something a bit extra bubbling beneath the surface of her characters – by the time you sort through the kind of childhood Josh Stevens had lived and the traumatic deaths he had endured from his family, you can see a margin of reason towards his recklessness now as an adult. It wasn’t an excuse for his choices but it was a reason of intention behind them which softened your ire against him. He wasn’t just a reckless driver for the benefit of the joy in the height of driving without limitations – there was more to it than that and this is what made him an interestingly flawed character to read about as the story evolved.

Mrs Beabots is the kind-hearted landlady you definitely wish you had in your life – not just for the random dinner parties and the kindnesses she gives to make you feel welcome as a neighbour but for how she proves that community begins with people reaching out to people. She is also the spearheaded visionary behind the new start-up non-profit to help the foster children in Indian Lake – which proves that sometimes a lot of change can begin with a singular act. She was the secondary character who stood out to me the most within the pages of Hers to Protect. I had a feeling the rest of the supporting cast were making re-appearances from previous stories – I eagerly await making their acquaintances as I journey back into the series lateron this year; however for now, it was Mrs Beabots who held my heart.

One of the reasons I love reading (or watching) police procedurals is how the cases are worked from the inside out. You can have a seemingly one layered case to solve but the more you dig into the particulars of what is involved the more complicated the whole thing becomes and this is what I was loving about the direction Hers to Protect was taking as it gave way to seeing how small townes are policing their communities with an edge of insight generally resolved for larger departments in larger cities.

Lanigan excells in giving you a feel for the track as Josh retakes his position as a driver in the high stakes racing renown for an Indianapolis race. Repleat with the dangers that go with racing in general – you can’t peel your eyes off the race even though your concern for Violet’s heart is on the line as well. There is a tempering of emotions between Violet and Josh which make sense since their both in new territory – her for bracing herself against a potentially attractive bloke who may or may not be involved in her current case whilst for Josh, the temptations for feeling smitten by anyone is new for a bloke whose tried to remain emotionally neutral for most of his life.

By the time this story concludes, you feel as hugged inside Indian Lake as your first visit – Lanigan has created a close-knit community where neighbours become extensions of your family and where friendships thrive against the backdrop of the love and warmth only a small towne can provide. I enjoyed watching how Josh grew out of the desperation he was facing as a racer – as a lot of what plagued him on the track was internal and emotionally dimensional to his past. He found a new lease on life in a place he would hardly have considered if life hadn’t intervened and that is what makes this such a sweet second chance romance – as it wasn’t a second chance relationship but rather of carving out your own niche of living in a place which took you by surprise.

-quoted from my review of Hers to Protect

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

An early #blogmas Book Review | “Home for Christmas” (Book No.12 of the Shores of Indian Lake series) by Catherine Lanigan One of the #HarlequinHeartwarming series I love reading!Home for Christmas
Subtitle: Shores of Indian Lake
by Catherine Lanigan
Source: Author via Prism Book Tours

Can a magical Christmas under glass…

…bring them back together for good?

Widowed dad Adam Masterson still doesn’t understand why Joy Boston left Indian Lake and broke his heart all those years ago. Now she’s returned to sell her grandfather’s beloved poinsettia greenhouse—and Joy and Adam’s connection is as strong as ever. But Joy has a life in New York. And Adam has only until Christmas to convince Joy that she belongs in Indian Lake—with him.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 978-1-335-51092-1

Also by this author: His Baby Dilemma, Rescued by the Firefighter, Hers to Protect

Also in this series: His Baby Dilemma, Rescued by the Firefighter, Hers to Protect


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


Published by Harlequin Heartwarming

on 5th November, 2019

Format: Larger Print (Mass Market Paperback)

Pages: 384

The Shores of Indian Lake series:

The Shores of Indian Lake series collage by Prism Book Tours

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Previously I’ve read the following in the series:

His Baby Dilemma (book nine) | see also Review

Rescued by the Firefighter (book ten) | see also Review

Hers to Protect (book eleven) | see also Review

Home for Christmas (book twelve)

(*) I’ve acquired a copy of “Sophie’s Path” to be read in conjunction with borrowing the rest of the series via inter-library loan

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: #ShoresOfIndianLake and #HarlequinHeartwarming

About Catherine Lanigan

Catherine Lanigan

Catherine Lanigan is the international bestselling and award-winning author of forty published titles in both fiction and non-fiction, including the novelizations of Romancing the Stone and The Jewel of the Nile, as well as over half a dozen anthologies, including “Chicken Soup for the Soul: Living your Dream”, “Chicken Soup for the Writer’s Soul”, and more.

Ms. Lanigan’s novels have been translated into dozens of languages including German, French, Italian, Spanish, Russian, Portuguese, Chinese, and Japanese. Ms. Lanigan’s novels are also available in E-books on Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble.com, Apple Store, Mobi and Kobo. Several of her titles have been chosen for The Literary Guild and Doubleday Book Clubs. Her Vietnam war-based novel, The Christmas Star, won the Gold Medal Award Top Pick from Romantic Times Magazine and has also won Book of the Year Romance Gold Award from ForeWord Magazine as well as Book of the Year Romance from Reader’s Preference.

Lanigan is the author of a trilogy of non- fiction books regarding angelic intervention in human life: Angel Watch, Divine Nudges and Angel Tales published by HCI and Cedar Fort. Skyhorse published Lanigan’s “how-to” book on writing: Writing the Great American Romance Novel. Lanigan was tasked by the NotMYkid Foundation to write a non-fiction book addressing teen addictions. Ms. Lanigan’s first Young Adult adventure novel, The Adventures of Lillie and Zane: The Golden Flute, was published by Cedar Fort.

Currently, she has published eight novels in the Shores of Indian Lake series for Harlequin Heartwarming: Love Shadows, Heart’s Desire, A Fine Year for Love, Katia’s Promise, Fear of Falling, Sophie’s Path and Protecting the Single Mom. Family of His Own pubs July, 2016. She has recently contracted for one more in the series: His Baby Dilemma.

As a cancer survivor, Ms. Lanigan is a frequent speaker at literary functions and book conventions as well as inspiring audiences with her real stories of angelic intervention from her Angel Tales series of books.

She is an outspoken advocate for domestic violence and abuse and was honored by The National Domestic Violence Hotline in Washington, D.C. (THE EVOLVING WOMAN). She has been a guest on numerous radio programs including “Coast to Coast” and on television interview and talk show programs as well as blogs, podcasts and online radio interview programs.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com Read More

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

Divider

Posted Friday, 22 November, 2019 by jorielov in 21st Century, Blog Tour Host, Contemporary Romance, Death, Sorrow, and Loss, Equality In Literature, Foster Care, Indie Author, Modern Day, Orphans & Guardians, Prism Book Tours, Realistic Fiction, Romance Fiction, Small Towne Fiction, Small Towne USA

Blog Book Tour during #HoHoHoRAT | “The Cowboy’s Christmas Baby” (Book Three: The Sweetheart Ranch) by Cathy McDavid a Contemporary Romance series by #Harlequin Heartwarming

Posted Wednesday, 13 November, 2019 by jorielov , , , , 0 Comments

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

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.

I received a complimentary copy of “The Cowboy’s Christmas Baby” direct from the author Cathy McDavid 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

What I loved most about the first novel of the Sweetheart Ranch series:

Of all the places I’ve stayed as I’ve travelled the best places by far are Bed and Breakfast Inns!! They have a cosy comfort level to them, most are in historic homes and all of them have their quirky hosts and hostesses who are welcoming you into their home for the duration of your stay! Unless, like what Molly and her Grandma Em were trying to accomplish – the B&B was also inclusive of cabins, which is rather ideal as it enlarges your booking possibilities!

McDavid doesn’t hesitate to talk about the worries and grief associated with historic properties either – from how issues can arise out of the blue with utilities to how doors can become warped or knobs can be frustrating to open; she presents a realistic impression on historic buildings and their upkeep which is a refreshing find as it anchours her story firmly in reality.

I did have a good chuckle over how strained Molly felt realising her and Bridget were going to have open the Sweetheart Ranch on their own! She was just getting to the point where she believed in this idea her grandmother had of focusing on hosting weddings in a unique setting which could draw clients to their B&B when she encounters a shocking surprise the day of the ‘big reveal’!! Watching her interact with Owen, the father of three who is still trying to sort out his life one hour at a time, gave me a heartfelt smile, as even Molly was having trouble staying upset with Owen – as he was an unexpected arrival. Owen for his part was trying to smooth things over with Molly, even encouraging her to let him help due the tasks which were either inclusive of heavy lifting or tasks she could easily delegate to him.

I was overjoyed finding out what McDavid had in store for Owen!! I sensed it was going to head in that direction (in regards to his career) but watching it unfold was priceless! I also liked how she brought back Grandma Em right at a moment where the girls (Bridget and Molly) needed her to return. This is a novel centered round family and how sometimes, in order to find the tomorrow your wanting most in your life – you have to be willing to take risks. Without risking your heart, you lose the chance to find someone who is your rightful match and without being willing to go outside your comfort zones – sometimes you miss opportunities for self-growth.

What I noticed straightaway is how McDavid places us into the heart of the drama as it is unfolding – the curious bit there is you get to see her characters off-guard and out of confidence from who they are when things are going right. It leads to seeing their faults a bit earlier on in the story-line but also, to see their hearts and what makes them individualistically centred. For Molly and Bridget might have different personalities, there is no denying their sisters. Each of them helps compliment the other by what they are able to do in the pinch of a moment where life throws them a few curve balls! For this, I appreciated the choices McDavid was making on their behalf – as she was guiding us into where their lives shifted into the chaotic before giving us a path back to the serenity they once had known.

I look forward to seeing what develops through the series – being a quartet, I can imagine the POV is going to switch back and forth from characters we’ve become introduced too already in this first installment and newer characters we might meet in future ones. The best part of how this series was founded though is that McDavid kept family center-most of importance but also, how sometimes you have to encourage yourself to see life from different angles. Similar to how Bridget kept trying to encourage her sister Molly. It is one thing to see life from one perspective all the time but if you give yourself a chance to exchange one view for another, the surprises it affords could make the biggest differences.

-quoted from my review of A Cowboy’s Christmas Proposal

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Blog Book Tour during #HoHoHoRAT | “The Cowboy’s Christmas Baby” (Book Three: The Sweetheart Ranch) by Cathy McDavid a Contemporary Romance series by #Harlequin HeartwarmingThe Cowboy's Christmas Baby
Subtitle: The Sweetheart Ranch
by Cathy McDavid
Source: Author via Prism Book Tours

She gifted him with a daughter

He stunned her with the truth

When Tanner Bridwell discovers he’s a father, he gains some much needed hope. A year ago, Tanner lost his livelihood as a champion bull rider, and—more important—Jewel Saunders, the love of his life. Now this cowboy wants to do right by his family. But first he must reveal a stunning secret that will send Jewel and his beloved daughter either packing…or into his arms forever!

Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781335510891

Also by this author: A Cowboy's Christmas Proposal, The Cowboy's Perfect Match

Also in this series: A Cowboy's Christmas Proposal, The Cowboy's Perfect Match


Genres: Contemporary Romance, Heartland Fiction, Ranches & Cowboys, Western Fiction, Western Romance


Published by Harlequin Books, Harlequin Heartwarming

on 1st November, 2019

Format: Larger Print (Mass Market Paperback)

Pages: 384

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

Formats Available: Ebook and Paperback

The Sweetheart Ranch series:

A Cowboy's Christmas Proposal by Cathy McDavidThe Cowboy's Perfect Match by Cathy McDavidThe Cowboy's Christmas Baby by Cathy McDavid

A Cowboy’s Christmas Proposal (book one) | see also review

The Cowboy’s Perfect Match (book two) | see also review

The Cowboy’s Christmas Baby (book three)

This series is evolving into a proper quartet – there are four books planned!

Converse via: #Contemporary #Romance & #Harlequin Heartwarming

About Cathy McDavid

Cathy McDavid

In the third grade, NY Times and USA Today 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 and a career writing contemporary romances for Harlequin? With over 1.2 million books sold, Cathy is also a member of the prestigious Romance Writers of America’s Honor Roll.

An “almost” Arizona native, she’s married to her own real-life sweetheart, whom she re-met a few years ago at a high school reunion. Her grown twins are out on their own and finding their happily-ever-afters. In 2014, Cathy retired from the corporate world to write full-time. She now spends her days penning stories about good looking cowboys riding the range, busting a bronc, and sweeping gals off their feet. It a tough job, but she’s willing to make the sacrifice.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com Read More

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

Divider

Posted Wednesday, 13 November, 2019 by jorielov in Blog Tour Host, Contemporary Romance, Indie Author, Life Shift, Prism Book Tours, Romance Fiction, Small Towne Fiction, Sweet Romance, Western Fiction, Western Romance