Tag: Seasons of Alaska

Happy 8th Blogoversary, Jorie Loves A Story! (#JLASblog turns 8!) | Celebrating with a #HarlequinHeartwarming Book Review | “Catching Mr Right” (Seasons of Alaska, Book Seven) by Carol Ross

Posted Wednesday, 31 March, 2021 by jorielov , , , , 0 Comments

8th Blogoversary of Jorie Loves A Story banner created by Jorie in Canva.

Yes, you’ve read correctly!

Jorie Loves A Story turns eight today!!

And, yes, I’ve spent the last 8 years explaining I purposely capitalised the A!

On the 31st of March, 2013 Jorie Loves A Story was in its infancy – being tinkered with behind the scenes of the internet as I as not yet *live!* to the world (that came along lateron in August, 2013 – hence why this blog has a ‘blog birthday’ as well as a ‘blogoversary’!). In the humbled origins of Jorie Loves A Story – I had no idea what was going to come out of this project I had undertaken. I wasn’t self-hosted until 2014 and the earlier days of the blog – I was experimenting with both the style of how I wanted to blog and the ways in which I would showcase stories and authors alike. There were always reviews but its the interviews which have provided me with a hearty challenge and a bounty of unexpected joy to host.

I’ve been exploring genres of interest (both known to me and unknown), styles of literary voice as much as cross-global literary markets and the unique variants of literature as seen through both mainstream and faith-based markets of interest, too. I have tackled reading poetry and works of poetic drama which took me into a different layering of how stories can be told through prose and poetic voice. I helped develop @WyrdAndWonder which is about to celebrate its 4th Year this May, 2021 and I founded the Romance, Women’s Fiction & Feminist Fiction bookish chat @SatBookChat in 2014.

I’ve participated in bookish reading challenges, readathons and other book blogger community events throughout the years as well as #ArmchairBEA. My second favourite annual event I am always a part of in some fashion is @SciFiMonth as it co-anchours my interests as I explore Fantasy during #WyrdAndWonder.

Yet. What remains are the memories. The conversations. The characters and their stories. The settings and timescapes I’ve traversed. The people I’ve communicated with in the comments and the interviews I’ve organised to get to the heart of what inspires the creative economnist to create their style of story. There is a lot of History on Jorie Loves A Story – of a reader redefining her journey into literature and the origins of a writer moonlighting as a book blogger and finding herself wholly inspired back into her own writings. Even if her season of publishing hasn’t yet arrived – the stories she can read and digest as she articulates her reactions throughout Jorie Loves A Story has been a blissitude of its own.

Here’s to celebrating ringing in my 8th Year of blogging on Jorie Loves A Story. May the stories and the authors who write them continue to inspire this blog and the writer behind it.

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

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Why I love reading Carol Ross & Harlequin Heartwarming novelists:

my #TopTenTuesday where I disclosed how much I personally LOVE reading Harlequin Heartwarming novelists

Return of the #BlackwellBrothers of which I had an ardent & passionate attachment of

her small towne series Seasons of Alaska which bewitched my heart & soul

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I regularly express gratitude to Prism Book Tours for helping me become introduced with Harlequin Heartwarming and for inspiring me to fetch their stories regularly through inter-library loans at my local library and/or borrowing directly from a reciprocal library which has a few of their authors in their card catalogue! In future, I’ll be ‘filling in gaps’ of my personal library and in my reading queues by frequenting Thrift Books online as I found they are one of the best resources for purchasing these novels second hand which makes collecting them fit my book buying budget! On the latter note – there will be announcement in APRIL 2021.

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my 6th Blogoversary on Jorie Loves A Story lamenting about my love for Ms Ross’s Seasons of Alaska series and now that I’ve just celebrated my 7th Blogoversary on Jorie Loves A Story 

my first Heartwarming #SatBookChat this Autumn, 2020 featured Claire McEwen in September, 2020 (whilst you can read why I am dearly attached inside her Heartwarming series #HeroesOfShelterCreek)

→November, 2020 showcased ALL *5* #BlackwellBrothers & #BlackwellSisters authors on @SatBookChat for a seriously EPIC #SatBookChat!!

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

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

Whilst in regards to Ms Ross – I had the chance to speak with her shortly after her guest appearance on #SatBookChat and it was one of the most cherished convos I’ve shared because I had the chance to talk to one of the authors whose given me such a positive boost of encouragement during the months/years where life felt especially adverse and where the future was looming off in the distance with more than a shadowing of stormy weather. Her stories anchoured me in moments of where I needed a respite and a settling of mind – her characters gave me something I needed during the hours I visited with them and for that I shall remain forever grateful.

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

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Happy 8th Blogoversary, Jorie Loves A Story! (#JLASblog turns 8!) | Celebrating with a #HarlequinHeartwarming Book Review | “Catching Mr Right” (Seasons of Alaska, Book Seven) by Carol RossCatching Mr Right
Source: Author via Prism Book Tours

They can’t both win…

Can they?

Louisiana angler Victoria Thibodeaux needs the spokesperson contract with Romeo Reels to keep her business going and give her daughter a better life. But her hard-won confidence sinks to the bottom of the bayou when her rival, Alaskan fisherman Seth James, arrives. With his smooth-talking charm, handsome Seth could steal both her job and her heart, unless secrets from her past catch up with her first…

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


Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 978-1335179746

Published by Harlequin Heartwarming

on 9th February, 2021

Format: Larger Print (Mass Market Paperback)

Pages: 384

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

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

Rankins is coming up in the world now – the hospital is fully staffed and ready for receiving patients – a feat in of itself, as most of the more remote areas of Alaska in today’s world still require the efforts of real-life Tag’s to fly you out to the nearest hospital; generally speaking, those are located in Fairbanks, Anchorage and Juneau – whilst having subscriptions to the three main air ambulances to get you evac’d is a good idea as sometimes your best bet is to get to a hospital in Canada rather than stay in Alaska depending on where you are when the emergency occurs. When Tag asks Ally to fly to either Alaska Regional or to Bartlett – you can have a better understanding where Rankins is located as Bartlett is in Juneau and Alaska Regional is in Anchorage. I’ve been trying to discern since I first began reading Seasons of Alaska where Ms Ross might pin down Rankins on a map. The problem of course is that there are 23 hours separating the two cities and a world of wilderness, small townes and cities between the two hospitals. Juneau is tucked under the Yukon and is next door to British Columbia – so I was a bit surprised Tag hadn’t mentioned going to the Yukon to reach the hospital in Whitehorse. This is what made me question if Rankins is somewhere in the more remote areas of interior Alaska outside of the cities which have hospitals and why Rankins getting their own hospital was as imperative as it was to become a more established city with self-sufficient means to help their own community.

Ross broached the option taboo topic of ageism in relationships and how old/young is too much of a chasm to bridge between two people who are falling in love? Technically speaking – I think more people ought to learn about Tony Randall’s life and realise when it comes to true love – age is never a barrier you should entertain. I personally found it a bit ironic that Tag was thinking that a woman aged 22 and a bloke aged 38 was too big of a difference in age – as realistically, he was only 16 years older than Ally. Generally, the upper limit I’ve seen is a 15 year difference but if you factor in how Ally had grown up and what she’d accomplished in her 22 years – to me she felt closer to 35, which would make plausible sense and also might have been why I observed their ease with each other was as natural as it seemed. I think maybe even Ms Ross felt that herself – as emotionally Ally was much older than her lived years.

I loved seeing this side of her writing explored – it gave a lovely tug-of-war aspect to the relationship – where you can see what conflicted Tag and how enlightened Ally truly was before Tag could wrap his head round why he was feeling any attraction at all. Men, truly! Sometimes they can be quite thick-headed about what they don’t or choose not to understand.

By the time I started to see how Iris and Flynn’s story-line was expanding and evolving to become inclusive of the entire James’ family – where updates on marriages within the series were coming back to centre focus and how the children of the series were maturing towards adulthood, my feelings for the series deepened. The continuity is brilliant and as I felt this was a duology attached to Bachelor Remedy I couldn’t be happier for how everything tied together in the end.

-quoted from my review of In the Doctor’s Arms

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Season of Alaska series:

Bachelor Remedy by Carol RossIn the Doctor's Arms by Carol RossCatching Mr Right by Carol Ross

Mountains Apart (Book One)

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

If Not for A Bee (Book Three)

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

Bachelor Remedy (Book Five)

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

Catching Mr Right (Book Seven)

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Formats Available: Paperback* and Ebook

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

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

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Posted Wednesday, 31 March, 2021 by jorielov in 21st Century, Blog Tour Host, Book Review (non-blog tour), Contemporary Romance, Cookery, Family Drama, Family Life, Fishing, Fly in the Ointment, Geographically Specific, Life Shift, Modern Day, Mother-Daughter Relationships, Nature & Wildlife, Non-traditional characters, Passionate Researcher, Post-911 (11th September 2001), Prism Book Tours, Romance Fiction, Second Chance Love, Single Mothers, Small Towne Fiction, Small Towne USA, Southeastern USA, The Natural World, Wordsmiths & Palettes of Sage

#TopTenTuesday No.8 | Top Twelve Authors Who Deserve More Recommendation (feat. their characters I loved discovering!)

Posted Tuesday, 8 October, 2019 by jorielov , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , 6 Comments

Top Ten Tuesday blog banner created by Jorie in Canva.

[Official Blurb] Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature / weekly meme created by The Broke & the Bookish. The meme was created because we are particularly fond of lists here at The Broke & the Bookish. We’d love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your Top 10 Lists! In January, 2018 this meme is now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl.

[ Topic of 8th October, 2019:
Character Traits I Love;
Personality Traits I Love to See In Book Characters:
Things That Make Me Love a Character ]

Which works brilliantly into a Top Ten Tuesday post
I originally wrote to coincide with the Topic of 2nd July, 2019:

We needed to discuss *characters!* with an OPEN THEME/CHOICE:

Top Ten Authors Who Deserve More Recommendation
(and their characters I loved discovering!)

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Today’s entry was inspiring to me for the following reasons:

As avid readers, we meet so many dearly incredible characters throughout our bookish journeys – it would make sense, somewhere over the score of time – we are going to come across authors & characters who leave imprinted impressions on our bookish hearts which not just effect us through time and space but they leave such a distinction of presence on our readerly lives. Sometimes they never quite leave us – as there is a part of them inside us still – all these hours after they’ve left our thoughts, because for each character we’ve met in a story, their life and their experiences have bled into our own; their memories are now our memories as for each story we read, there is a potential there to live another life, through another person’s shoes irregardless of their gender; their essence affects us because we’ve breathed in their life.

It is hard to even speculate which characters in the *six years!* I’ve blogged have staid with me the longest and which stories I ache the most to re-read and re-visit alongside – those are goals and dreams I have for Winters long spent by fireside cosy nooks of space where knitting needles, hot tea and scones await me as cats linger in dreamscapes and snow gently falls outside frozen windows. Until then, when I’m granted the joy of a seasonal experience outside of volcanic Summers and blink-you-missed-it Winters, I happily appreciate the hours I have to spend with the characters as their stories ‘greet’ me on the pages their writers left me to find.

As a genre dancer – it is even harder to pin down the characters I regularly interact with as they could be a fantastical creature, a science fiction adventurer, a Magical Realism time bender or they’re living Contemporary or Historical lives – they could be young, old, or somewhere between; sorting out their lives or re-defining a second career or tackling adversity inasmuch as they are giving love a second chance. I love stories and for all the lovelies I regularly read there are still so many more horizons out there in the literary realms I desire to explore further, read harder and read particularly closer to the eras of time I love exploring most.

Whilst at the same time, if I can disappear into my favourite eras such as the Victorian, Regency & Edwardian periods of England – the Highlands of Scotland and criss-cross through a time portal which skips round the historical past from Ancient times to present-day on all the continents of curiosity and interest; wells, you can see where the well of possibilities deepens greatly!

Narrowing down this list of choices was a bit of a curiously serendipitous experience – I went with the inspiration at the moment and as this was originally composed in July, I dearly had to break the 11 references into 12 as – oh, my dear sweet bookish heavens – those Spinsters have left me hungering for more of their stories! I cannot wait to re-invest into their lives as I move into the second novel having consumed (er, devoured?) the first and fourth!

It goes without saying but I will remind you: brew your favourite cuppa & get comfy as this is a seriously long post about the stories and authors I hope might encourage a few new choices on your TBR Lists!Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

DUE NOTE: all the books featured on this Top Ten Tuesday post were complimentary books sent to me for review consideration and/or were sent in exchange for an honest review at some point or another over the past few years. I received them from publishers, publicists, authors and/or blog touring companies. I was not obligated to feature them on this Top Ten Tuesday post but wanted to feature them due to how incredibly attached I became to their narratives, characters and the immersive experience I felt as I read their stories.

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Posted Tuesday, 8 October, 2019 by jorielov in Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blogosphere Events & Happenings, Bookish Memes, JLAS Update Post, Jorie Loves A Story, Jorie Loves A Story Features, Top Ten Tuesday

6th #Blogoversary celebrating #Harlequin Heartwarming | Series Book Review feat. “Bachelor Remedy” and “In the Doctor’s Arms” (Book Five & Six: Seasons of Alaska) by Carol Ross Otherwise known as the small towne romance series Jorie has wickedly found #unputdownable! So much so, she nudged her Mum to read it!

Posted Sunday, 31 March, 2019 by jorielov , , , , , , 0 Comments

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

Borrowed 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.

This particular review is slightly different from my regular blog tours and hosting features for Prism Book Tours – as an opportunity came along this March to secure a spot on a ‘review tour’ rather than a ‘blog tour’ for a novel within the Seasons of Alaska series by Carol Ross. I had previously read a novel by Ms Ross when I was attached to the five-book series “Return of the Blackwell Brothers” review tour wherein I read the entire series as a hostess for Prism Book Tours.

This time round – I borrowed most of the “Seasons of Alaska” book series through my local libraries – either through ILL (inter-library loan) and/or local borrowing opportunities as one of my libraries had more of the books in their local catalogue than the others. My readings of this series will be spilt into review showcases of two books in sequence leading into my review for the review tour of “In the Doctor’s Arms” which is the latest release for this Harlequin Heartwarming series.

We had a lot of flexibility with this review tour – we were not required to read the entire series, however, being a serial fiction reader who likes to read more of a series than less – I elected to seek out the series in full to be read before “In the Doctor’s Arms”. The author herself was kind enough to send me a copy of the one novel I couldn’t borrow through my library which is “Bachelor Remedy”. The scheduling of my readings and my review postings for this review tour are as follows: “Mountains Apart” and “A Case for Forgiveness” (post one); “If Not for a Bee” and “A Family Like Hannah’s” (post two) and “Bachelor Remedy” and “In the Doctor’s Arms” (post three) – the third of which will be featured on my 6th Blogoversary the 31st of March, 2019.

I decided to read all the stories in this series ‘blind’ – meaning, I didn’t read each of the synopsis’s before setting into the stories as I was reading them. I knew I could trust where Ms Ross would take me as I loved her instincts for Return of the Blackwell Brothers – therefore, it became a bit of a lovely adventure seeing how her characters within this new series would develop, strengthen and grow!

I received a complimentary copy of “Bachelor Remedy” and “In the Doctor’s Arms” direct from the author Carol Ross in exchange for an honest review.. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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What I have been enjoying about reading the #SeasonsOfAlaska series:

I was so caught inside the evolution of Emily and Bering’s romance, I somehow missed seeing or even acknowledging Emily’s brother Aidan! This clearly was a character I ought to have taken a few notes about though as he’s making a return appearance whilst he also is not winning over Janie with his nonchalant attitude over a spoilt cake! I could almost see his reasoning about the bee which led to the cake fiasco but it how he was dismissing the obvious emotional reactions out of Janie and her son which felt like he was a bit clueless round the edges. Either that or he was just misconstruing the whole situation which wasn’t any kinder to the other parties involved.

Something told me this might have been a special cake for Gareth, Reagan and Janie – considering their father had died I was thinking this might have been a cake in his honour or it was for celebrating one of their birthdays or perhaps even, their twin siblings? Either way – the disappointment over what befell the cake’s demise was dearly felt by everyone except for Aidan, of course, who thought everything could simply be re-purchased or re-made. Clearly he hasn’t lived within set perimeters and the limits of food allergies to recognise how futile his attempts were at rectifying this particular upset.

Your heart simply goes out to Janie and her four sons; this cake meant something special to them and after you find out what the cake was representing you can re-feel the sense of emotions this young family has been struggling through over the years. Finding out Aidan is in Alaska because he’s an expert on bees shouldn’t have surprised me even though it had as being that bees are his field of experience, I would have thought he would have understood people’s hesitations about being too close to them? As a lot of people are seriously allergic to bee stings?

I never would have realised he was Emily’s brother – part of his personality is quite opposite of her own it didn’t quite seem like they were related! They both are seriously focused on their careers which they shared in common with one another and that single-mindedness was definitely a sibling trait of theirs as well.

I must admit, I’d love to take a table and experience the Cozy Caribu myself – though, mind, I’m not entirely sure if their menu includes some lovelies of the vegetarian kind but it is the ambiance Ross etched into this #musteat restaurant of Rankins which makes your mouth water whenever your making a return trip into this cosy small towne! It is the kind of haunt the locals love to be caught inside and it has the essence of a wicked good restaurant you can’t wait to experience for yourself! I could see why Aidan was immediately attracted to the place and why he felt like his foodie self had finally landed in a place where his palette would be treated to a lot of savoury delights!

Laughs with mirth! Immediately connecting with the antidote of Ms Ross’s life – as she shared how her family sees the positive even if life turnt into lemons and gave you a heck of a ride for adversity! Her example led me to remember when our car broke down in the Everglades (whilst we were on holiday with a short time window to appreciate our visit) – there is a spot down there where you can literally be stranded for hours due to how infrequent it is travelled at certain times of the day or night. It was before the golden twilight hours – in the heat of a humid Summer, where the mosquitoes and other lovelies were starting to emerge but the blessing for us like her, the storms of intensity were at bay and a kind Samaritan came to our rescue. We decided that perhaps our stay-over needed a small extension? And/or – perhaps our arrival to where we were heading needed a short delay? Whichever way you look at it – we were being watched over as later we learnt that stranded motorist on that stretch were notoriously having issues with people who had nefarious intentions. Blessedly we left that patch of road unscathed.

There are other instances of where I can relate to what she’s talking about, too. Where we choose how we set our attitude to get through our harder days, we immediately rejoice when life brings a spirit of joyfulness into our lives as well. We’re generally known as the positive-minded family or the ones with the cheerful spirits. Ironically, we do not oft hear this said of others – as wherever you are in life, your either going to have a wicked run of good days, a spurt of adverse days or perhaps somewhere betwixt the two – without the rougher patches, the sweetness of joy isn’t as appreciated as you learn through your experiences; good, bad or indifferent, life has a well of circumstances to take something away from,… which is why I felt I was identifying with what Ms Ross was sharing in her lovely author’s note. This might also point towards why reading this particular series is now in my top 3rd position of bookish love for Harlequin Heartwarming!

Ross has continued to etch out the families in Rankins to where you feel like you get an inside edge into knowing the major families who call this community their home. The James family (ie. Bering and Janie) have a stronghold in the towne but it is how their extended family, friends and their neighbours play such a distinctive role in their lives which makes returning here such a pleasant experience each time I settle into a new novel within the series! This time round it is due to how familiar I feel inside the series – being my third reading of the Seasons of Alaska series, I feel like Ross has carved out a place I have come to know quite well.

She has a keen sense of what makes the most interesting stories to knit into a Contemporary Romance but also does it with an uplifting insight of hope to encourage you forward into the series itself. Each time you soak into one of these stories, you feel your heart charged with the beauty of the setting but also the beauty of the people – they really are down to earth people who love their families and their community members. It is lovely to celebrate fiction like this and the other series I’ve become fond of within Harlequin Heartwarming who give me this same kind of takeaway – as these are the kinds of stories you can relax inside and know you’re going to be treated to a wickedly brilliant story within a larger arc of narrative that lets you root a bit in one particular place until the last of its story is told.

I love her instincts for rounding out her characters – for instance, within If Not for a Bee – one of the main interests of Janie is knitting. This is something I could insta-relate too being a knitter myself – from the calming influence of the patterns to the curious ways in which the tacticle benefits enrich your joy as your knitting with different fibres. I loved this portion of Janie’s life and I liked seeing how it developed throughout the story.

-quoted from my reviews of If Not for a Bee and A Case for Forgiveness

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6th Blogoversary banner created by Jorie in Canva. Jorie Loves A Story badge embedded in the banner was created by Ravven.

As you can see, I have a special announcement to share with those of whom enjoy visiting with me as I’m sharing my readerly life here on Jorie Loves A Story! Today [the 31st of March] marks the beginning of my 6th Year as a Book Blogger! I created Jorie Loves A Story in 2013 at the tail-end of March where it was only a whisper of a thought of what it *could become!* as I spent the next several months tweaking it, creating content and sorting out how I wanted to approach my own niche of a space in the book blogosphere.

It became quite the daring adventure – there was no blueprint to follow and I sorted out my writerly voice, the style of how I wanted to articulate my thoughts and ruminations inasmuch as I sorted out how I wanted the aesthetic of this space to ‘look’ – which is why I didn’t release this lovely blog of mine to the world until the 6th of August, 2013! However, for me both days are of keen importance – it was the 31st of March where I quite literally took the plunge, created [jorielovesastory.com] and began the journey. All bloggers have a beginning and this particular day marked my own. Hence why I celebrate both my blogoversary (31st of March) and my blog’s birthday (6th of August) each year. I’ve had parties thrown in their honour by my family and each year I get a lovely surprise – either bookish or lifestyle inclined from my fam as well! It is a special treat – this journey of mine, not just for the memories – the stories, the writers, the characters and the worlds – but the conversations online & off, the celebrations and milestones along the way and the beauty of taking a risk to sort out how to have a quasi-public life in-line with having a private one offline. It is a balance I’ve sought and feel I have claimed in the years since I first started walking down this path.

At the root and heart of what I love sharing is my readerly wanderings in literature – I’ve striven for better balance between what I request to review and what I personally want to read off my shelves – or borrow from my local libraries; something I still feel I am working ‘towards’ achieving rather than saying I’ve mastered the art of this bookish balance in my life! Laughs. One day, surely I’ll find that golden blissitude of joy knowing I’ve sorted it out! Til then, I love settling into stories which are both heartfelt and soul lifting – outside of my historical and suspenseful wanderings, I find a hearty joy in Speculative Fiction but in the background of my literary interests are Contemporaries and Classical wanderings. These two are the ones I’ve struggled with finding enroads with over the years but have thankfully made strides towards sorting out which Contemporary Romance & Women’s Fiction authors I can follow as they continue to write the stories I am most keen to be reading!

Last year, during my 5th Blogoversary, I focused on the joyful discovery of Kellie Coates Gilbert and shared my affection for INSPY Literature. This year, I am also highlighting a Contemporary novelist whilst I want to ring a bell of delight for the Harlequin Heartwarming writers who have given me such a burst of happiness in my readerly life these past few years! Specifically the authors behind the following series: Return of the Blackwell Brothers, Karen Rock of the Rocky Mountain Cowboys series, Ms Ross with Seasons of Alaska and Catherine Lanigan with her series Shores of Indian Lake. The next series I will be reading in earnest is Ms Lanigan’s as I am participating in the next novel in sequence’s blog tour. I want to back-read as many of the stories as I can as I’ve read the last two releases out of step with the fuller arc of her series.

Similar to what attracted me to the Contemporary Romances by ChocLitUK – the novelists behind Harlequin Heartwarming are writing the kinds of relationship-based romances my heart swoons to find! I also like the fact that unlike with ChocLit novels, there is one small difference which makes me feel a bit at ease seeking out the Heartwarming line a bit more frequently – the absence of strong language! There were a few Heartwarming stories where the language went strong but it is nothing compared to having to blink out a lot of language which are more inclusive to ChocLit novels. I’m just not that kind of girl – I’d much prefer to read a wicked awesomesauce romance without strong language than to have it peppered to death! I still have my favourite ChocLit authors who’ve touched my heart with their stories, their characters and their series – blessedly over the years, they know how fond I am of their writing styles – however, overall, I noticed a distinctive change in the direction of the ChocLit line of Romance.

Most of the Heartwarming stories are also set in small townes rather than large cities – this brings me to my second favourite bit of seeking them out – and let’s face it, there are so many lovely series in this Harlequin imprint, I could be seeking them out for the rest of my life just to read through them all and finding my top favourites! The small towne effect is something close to my bookish heart because instead of reading a one-off, you get the pleasure of joy of ‘staying with the characters’ as the stories not only evolve forward through the natural progressive evolution of their lives but such as you observe in Rankins with Ms Ross’s Seasons of Alaska – the towne and community grows behind them, too!

This 6th Year as a Book Blogger, I am overjoyed and grateful to being a blogger and reader working with Prism Book Tours as my time as a hostess for them has given me a renewed appreciation for Harlequin as previously I used to read their imprint Mira and other imprints of theirs which are now discontinued. I knew I was a solid appreciator of their #LoveINSPIRED Suspense novels – as this is a passion of joy I share with my Mum as we tag-team reading those all the time! In fact, Mum encouraged me to read those for ‘pleasure’ rather than for blogging purposes, which is why last July during a readathon for INSPY / Christian Fiction, I read quite a heap in that regard! I’m still a bit behind in the stories Mum’s read herself but our pursuit of those stories and series is a Mum and daughter scavenger hunt of joy!

Now I get to return the favour and am nudging Mum to read the Harlequin Heartwarming stories I’m enjoying myself! As initially I encouraged her to read #LoveINSPIRED Suspense as a method of decompressing her intensive work weeks as a caregiver for seniors – nowadays, we’re finding our readerly habits are a united front when it comes to Harlequin – both on the traditional side of the ledger and on the INSPY side! Since I first started reading Seasons of Alaska, she’s now finished Mountains Apart and we’ve been enjoying discussing both Rankins and the characters together!! The hardest bit though is being hush-hush about the details *til!* one of us gets to the end of all these stories we’re co-reading in tandem! Laughs. What a great challenge to have, eh?

Therefore – this 6th Year of mine is still a progressive journey towards readerly balance but also a renewal of celebration for seeking out Contemporaries which give my heart a burst of joy and a keen sense of readerly satisfaction knowing I’m finding the writers who make my heart swoon and give me that wicked good uplift for having read their romances! Here’s to a wonderful new year of romance and small towne fiction! I am overjoyed to have found this new imprint of bookish joy from Harlequin and I hope my showcases on my blog help encourage other readers seeking the same relationship-based romances I am to take a chance on these authors!

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Seasons of Alaska series by Carol Ross

Seasons of Alaska series by Carol Ross

Mountains Apart (book one)

A Case for Forgiveness (book two)

If Not for a Bee (book three)

A Family Like Hannah’s (book four)

Bachelor’s Remedy (book five)

In the Doctor’s Arms (book six)

Bachelor Remedy
Subtitle: Seasons of Alaska
by Carol Ross
Source: Author via Prism Book Tours

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


Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781335633583

Also by this author: The Rancher's Twins, Mountains Apart, A Case for Forgiveness, If Not for a Bee, A Family Like Hannah's, Keeping Her Close, Second Chance for the Single Dad, Series Spotlight w/ Notes: Return of the Blackwell Brothers

Also in this series: Mountains Apart, A Case for Forgiveness, If Not for a Bee, A Family Like Hannah's


Setting: Alaska


Published by Harlequin Heartwarming

on 3rd April, 2018

Format: Larger Print (Mass Market Paperback)

Pages: 384

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

Converse via: #Contemporary #Romance & #Harlequin

& #SeasonsOfAlaska

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

About Carol Ross

Carol Ross

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

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

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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Posted Sunday, 31 March, 2019 by jorielov in Blog Tour Host, Book Review (non-blog tour), Family Drama, Family Life, Indie Author, Life Shift, Prism Book Tours, Romance Fiction, Second Chance Love, Small Towne Fiction

#Harlequin Heartwarming Series Book Review | “If Not for a Bee” and “A Family like Hannah’s” (Book Three & Four: Seasons of Alaska) by Carol Ross

Posted Friday, 29 March, 2019 by jorielov , , , , , 0 Comments

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

Borrowed 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.

This particular review is slightly different from my regular blog tours and hosting features for Prism Book Tours – as an opportunity came along this March to secure a spot on a ‘review tour’ rather than a ‘blog tour’ for a novel within the Seasons of Alaska series by Carol Ross. I had previously read a novel by Ms Ross when I was attached to the five-book series “Return of the Blackwell Brothers” review tour wherein I read the entire series as a hostess for Prism Book Tours.

This time round – I am borrowing most of the “Seasons of Alaska” book series through my local libraries – either through ILL (inter-library loan) and/or local borrowing opportunities as one of my libraries had more of the books in their local catalogue than the others. My readings of this series will be spilt into review showcases of two books in sequence leading into my review for the review tour of “In the Doctor’s Arms” which is the latest release for this Harlequin Heartwarming series.

We had a lot of flexibility with this review tour – we were not required to read the entire series, however, being a serial fiction reader who likes to read more of a series than less – I elected to seek out the series in full to be read before “In the Doctor’s Arms”. The author herself was kind enough to send me a copy of the one novel I couldn’t borrow through my library which is “Bachelor Remedy”. The scheduling of my readings and my review postings for this review tour are as follows: “Mountains Apart” and “A Case for Forgiveness” (post one); “If Not for a Bee” and “A Family Like Hannah’s” (post two) and “Bachelor Remedy” and “In the Doctor’s Arms” (post three) – the third of which will be featured on my 6th Blogoversary the 31st of March, 2019.

I decided to read all the stories in this series ‘blind’ – meaning, I didn’t read each of the synopsis’s before setting into the stories as I was reading them. I knew I could trust where Ms Ross would take me as I loved her instincts for Return of the Blackwell Brothers – therefore, it became a bit of a lovely adventure seeing how her characters within this new series would develop, strengthen and grow!

I borrowed the following novels “If Not for a Bee” and “A Family Like Hannah’s” through the local library’s catalogue. I was not obligated to post a review and am sharing my ruminative thoughts for my own personal edification whilst keeping my readers updated on my readerly life whilst I progress through the Seasons of Alaska series. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein. Although I did not receive these novels through Prism Book Tours and/or the author – I did receive a few of the Press Materials to be used in conjunction with my reviews leading up to reviewing “In the Doctor’s Arms”.

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What I have been enjoying about reading the #SeasonsOfAlaska series:

Considering the fact I have oft-mused what it would be like to live in Alaska despite the jaw-dropping ice-inducing temperatures the state is renown for having during Winter – the opening paragraphs of Mountains Apart gave me a hearty laugh of joy as I had a feeling nothing is ever quite as it seems when your living in a place whose harsh environs would test even the strongest of wills for a transplant! Alaska is truly one of the last places where you can honestly say going in is an experience in survival, wit and adventure; still though – if you jaunt round the Alaskan cities websites, drink in the videos on YT and find the awe-inspiring raw lifestyle of living on the fringes of the wilds a compelling reason to jump ship from the lower 48 – you can see why people opt for Alaska! I know my adventurous soul has considered it more than a half dozen times as there is just something alluring about that particular state! The lack of regional hospitals notwithstanding as you can opt-in to helio ambulance services – Alaska has a lovely niche of natural living and natural beauty which is unparalleled.

Thus, as I started to soak into #SeasonsOfAlaska – what you can gleam through online research and what you can ascertain through other stories set in this lovely state, you could immediately identify with the angst of what Emily is facing – the intensity of the cold wicking through your bones and the antiquated technology which hasn’t gone through an upgrade but still assists you in your business if you have the patience to wait out the quirks of using it. Felt like the best way to enter her life as it hugged close to what you presume might be a life set in Alaska and the quirkiness of how life has a way of keeping you on your toes even if you think you have all your ducks in a row!

I felt Ross presented both sides of the argument well – even though some of the more technical aspects of what drives the risks and toxicity of fracking can do on a particular region of extraction were left for readers to research themselves, she took the compassionate route to entice the reader to view this from a community-based response – where a towne has to decide where they stand for their future and what kind of legacy they want to instill on the present lives of their residents. That is truly what matters the most – what you believe in and how far you will stand on the side of that truth to overtake a powerful company from re-identifying your own community.

However this wasn’t just an entreaty about the concerns over environmental impact and small communities – at the heart of the story remained a turning point in the lives of Bering and Emily. They were each smitten with each other but for different and very distinctive reasons – Bering saw in Emily aspects of herself she was a bit blind to knowing existed as she lived life with a very narrow focus on her career. Emily on the other hand was like a woman moving through her own personal insurrection – where she had to stop, examine and re-evaluate her own life. Bering brought out the unexpected and the unknown – he encouraged her to embrace the ordinary of the hour and the beauty of a living moment. Emily hadn’t known how to live before she met Bering because her whole life was rooted in how her family had raised her to see the world. And, this is what I felt made reading Mountains Apart even more dimensionally intuitive – how a stepping out of time and of life can re-render a world view you never considered.

Ross is etching a firm grip on the art of living within A Case for Forgiveness – as we view Jonah going through the motions of life in Rankins, we find a bloke who has forgotten that there is more to life than living for work. He’s a predominately Type-A personality – he can’t stop thinking about work nor can he separate his corporate life as a lawyer in the Mid-West for the slower paced lifestyle his grandfather (whose also a lawyer) enjoys in coastal Alaska. For Jonah, if your not billing hours you’re defeated – he views everything in his life by the bankable hours he could be earning at his firm and it doesn’t take long to realise how backwards he has set his life to run. Having a stable income is viable and important but Jonah takes this to the next level – he cannot separate himself from the job and it is this obsessive compulsion to work without having a life outside of it which Ross brings to the center inside his character’s journey.

Jonah is the kind of guy he’s facing his own insurrection of sorts – he has caught between the life he believes is the right one for him to claim and the life that someone a bit wiser thinks he should reconsider. He’s also a bit of a lousy friend and lacks better judgement in knowing when to route information to people in his life – such as the exchange between him and Shay at the restaurant wherein he discredited the importance of making a phone call. He tries to side-step it with Shay but if you read between the lines, he simply didn’t place an importance on that call as much as Shay had herself. It was another glimpse at his disconnection with Rankins and of the life they once shared together whilst he lived there.

You have to give it to Ms Ross – this is the second series I’ve read of hers which involves the craftiness of an old gent who is bent on proving a point to the younger generation! lol I won’t say what exactly is going on in this regard, but I happen to think one of her assets as a writer is setting the field for characters to become involved in a moment of truth reckoning that is set-up by someone close to them who feels they need to take a better stock of the kind of life their living and if that life is the one they really wanted to choose to live. From that – I love how she puts a spin on Contemporary Romances – where it is not merely about the two persons who need to develop or reconsider their own relationships but how she carries the arc of the narrative through all the characters’ in her series. She paints the broader picture of how individual lives are at the intersection of affecting other people’s lives as much as their own but also, how as a community, everyone’s life has a purpose towards the benefit of the whole. I love that adage of insight but I also love how she writes Contemporaries rooted in family and the benefits of finding family even if they are outside the ones you’ve been raised. She has both sets of family in Seasons of Alaska – giving you a proper glimpse into how all of her characters have chosen to live intuitively next to the wilds and to live authentically with the persons who call this remote Alaskan towne home. This is of course one of the underlying testaments of the series – how if your not living authentically and owning your own choices in life, how then, can you have proper friendships and relationships?

The fact she set this one in Alaska is wicked brilliant as I have a personal affection of interest in the state and I also like how she brought current events and environmental issues into the foreground of the story itself. Ross has a true gift for bridging you into the lives of persons who have a very dramatic life – they’re going through this epic life shift and sometimes, they are not even aware of how much change is about to enter into their lives until their living through it. I find this to be the most relatable aspect of her writing style as she knits in real world situations into her characters lives in such a way as to be not just believable but honestly compelling. You start to feel for her characters – the unresolved angst, the anguish of striving towards something they feel they need to prove and the overwhelming odds stacks against them – you take this incredible journey alongside her characters and along the way, your spirit soars with their triumphs and their heartaches.

I was hoping #SeasonsOfAlaska would be family centred as much as #ReturnOfTheBlackwellBrothers and I was not disappointed! Bering has such a close-knitted family – you can’t help but become caught inside his love for his nephews which are in-scene with both Emily and Bering whilst they babysat the boys together. It was lovely finding young boys not just articulate in a Contemporary Romance but also very matter-of-fact and interesting just like their composites would be IRL. The two were a bit opposite of the other – one was intellectual and the other was more game oriented but the blessing was how much admiration they had for their Uncle Bering. I loved finding this thread of familial connection inside the Seasons of Alaska series and I was definitely intrigued at how the series would progress forward – would it remain within Bering’s family or extend to other families in the towne?

As we made our return back into the series with A Case for Forgiveness – what I loved the most is how I felt whilst I was reading the story. When you read serial fiction, your looking for the moment where you feel as if time has stalled and where as soon as you re-direct yourself back inside an installment of the series you’re progressing through – it is as if nothing has happened before your return. I felt this rather immediately as soon as I was keeping in step with Shay, Jonah, Caleb (Jonah’s grandfather) and Hannah (Shay’s sister). Everyone is just as I had remembered them being – they didn’t change their personalities and the continuous line of entry into the evolving series felt organic and natural. I love series which reflect an awareness of their characters and setting – Ross has definitely maintained this scope of identity within Seasons of Alaska!

-quoted from my reviews of Mountains Apart & A Case for Forgiveness

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Seasons of Alaska series by Carol Ross

Seasons of Alaska series by Carol Ross

Mountains Apart (book one)

A Case for Forgiveness (book two)

If Not for a Bee (book three)

A Family Like Hannah’s (book four)

Bachelor’s Remedy (book five)

In the Doctor’s Arms (book six)

If Not for a Bee
Subtitle: Seasons of Alaska
by Carol Ross
Source: Borrowed from local library

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


Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9780373367436

Also by this author: The Rancher's Twins, Mountains Apart, A Case for Forgiveness, Bachelor Remedy, In the Doctor's Arms, Keeping Her Close, Second Chance for the Single Dad, Series Spotlight w/ Notes: Return of the Blackwell Brothers

Also in this series: Mountains Apart, A Case for Forgiveness, Bachelor Remedy, In the Doctor's Arms


Setting: Alaska


Published by Harlequin Heartwarming

on 1st October, 2015

Format: Larger Print (Mass Market Paperback)

Pages: 380

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

Converse via: #Contemporary #Romance & #Harlequin

& #SeasonsOfAlaska

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

About Carol Ross

Carol Ross

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

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

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Read More

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

Divider

Posted Friday, 29 March, 2019 by jorielov in Blog Tour Host, Book Review (non-blog tour), Contemporary Romance, Family Drama, Family Life, Indie Author, Inheritance & Identity, Life Shift, Prism Book Tours, Romance Fiction, Second Chance Love, Small Towne Fiction