The Cottages On Silver Beach by RaeAnne Thayne

Review copy provided by HQN, Little Bird Publicity, NetGalley

THE COTTAGES ON SILVER BEACH

On-sale: June 19, 2018
$7.99 U.S. / $9.99 CAN.
ISBN-13: 978-1335007018

Description:  Years after betraying her, he’s back in Haven Point…and ready to learn the truth

Megan Hamilton never really liked Elliot Bailey. He turned his back on her family when they needed him the most and it almost tore them all apart. So she’s shocked when Elliot arrives at her family’s inn, needing a place to stay and asking questions that dredge up the past. Megan will rent him a cottage, but that’s where it ends—no matter how gorgeous Elliot has become.

Coming back home to Haven Point was the last thing bestselling writer Elliot Bailey thought he’d ever do. But the book he’s writing now is his most personal one yet and it’s drawn him back to the woman he can’t get out of his mind. Seeing Megan again is harder than he expected and it brings up feelings he’d thought were long-buried. Could this be his chance to win over his first love? (publisher)

My take:  Megan Hamilton is a talented photographer and owner of the Inn at Haven Point. She’s also quite adept at guarding her feelings. When FBI agent Elliot Bailey comes back to town she’s on high alert knowing he could bring down her brother, the prime suspect of a cold case, as well as capture her heart. What she doesn’t know is that Elliot is on leave having disobeyed a direct order. He’s nursing a physical wound and now he has to deal with the re-opened wound of loving Megan from afar but never being able to act on it. What will happen when the two are thrown together?

I love a good road trip and really enjoyed the one that put Megan and Elliot together for several hours. You’ll want to read the latest in the Haven Point series to see if they’ll be able to work through misunderstandings and perceived personal offenses to find their chance for love. As expected, I enjoyed The Cottages on Silver Beach and look forward to the promised follow-up story of Luke and Elizabeth – Megan’s brother and sister-in-law.

Note: Although this book is the 8th in the Haven Point series it can stand alone.


About the author:

New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author RaeAnne Thayne loves words. Her love affair started as soon as she learned to read, when she used to devour
anything she could get her hands on: cereal boxes, encyclopedias, the phone book, you name it! She loves the way words sound, the way they look on the page, and the amazing way they can be jumbled together in so many combinations to tell a story. Her love of reading and writing those words led her to a fifteen-year career in journalism as a newspaper reporter and editor. Through it all, she dreamed of writing the kind of stories she loved best. She sold her first book in 1995 and since then she’s published more than 40 titles. Her books have won many honors, including three RITA® Award nominations from the Romance Writers of America and a Career Achievement Award from RT Book Reviews.
RaeAnne finds inspiration in the rugged northern Utah mountains, where she lives with her hero of a husband and their children. She loves to hear from readers and can be reached through her website at http://www.raeannethayne.com.


 

Mornings on Main by Jodi Thomas – Review; Guest Post

  • Title:  Mornings on Main
  • Author:  Jodi Thomas
  • Genre:  Contemporary Fiction; Romance
  • Pages:  384
  • Published:  April 2018 – HQN
  • Source:  Publisher; NetGalley

Description:  When Jillian James lands in the small town Texas community of Laurel Springs, she’s definitely not planning to stay—except to find a few clues about the father who abandoned her and destroyed her faith in family.

Connor Larady is a single dad, and the only one caring for his grandmother, Eugenia, who has Alzheimer’s. And now he has to close Eugenia’s quilt shop. When Connor meets down-on-her-luck Jillian, he’s out of options. Can he trust the newcomer to do right by his grandmother’s legacy?

Jillian is done with relationships. But as she grows closer to Connor and Eugenia, she must consider giving up her nomadic life for a future with those who need her. (publisher)

My take:  Jillian has lived all over the world, it seems. She traveled with her father, an oil worker who went from job to job. Growing up this way made her a wanderer of sorts. After college she’d work in a town and move on when she wanted to another. In her search for information about her father and mother Jillian arrives in Laurel Springs. She’s hoping to find a job and a place to live but isn’t looking for a relationship. Her new boss, Connor Larady, has deep roots in the town. He also can offer a job to Jillian running his grandmother’s quilt shop. She can’t turn down the offer and she soon can’t ignore her attraction to Connor.

Mornings on Main is a story about two people who are very different yet similar in small ways. I enjoyed Jodi Thomas’ novel about creating family and appreciating people for who they are. It was a total comfort read for me at a time when I needed it. Fans of small town stories and Jodi Thomas are sure to enjoy it.


Praise for Jodi Thomas:

“You can count on Jodi Thomas to give you a satisfying and memorable read.” —Catherine Anderson, New York Times bestselling author

“Western romance legend Thomas’s Ransom Canyon will warm readers with its huge heart and gentle souls.” —Library Journal

“Compelling and beautifully written, it is exactly the kind of heart-wrenching, emotional story one has come to expect from Jodi Thomas.” —Debbie Macomber, #1 New York Times bestselling author

“This tale will grab readers, who will fall in love with the main characters and be just as enamored of the others.” —Library Journal, starred review, on Lone Heart Pass


A guest post from Jodi Thomas:

I just love this quote from my newest release MORNINGS ON MAIN, “Ah! A slower pace in a small town would give me time to think,” Jillian James decided.

When you grow up in a small town you’re very much aware of how much the people around you shape your life.  No matter how old I get, I’ll still be Cliff and Sally’s daughter. I’ve always loved wandering the main streets in small towns.  Stepping into the shops.  Talking to the people.  Sometimes all you have to say is, “How are things going?” and an hour later you’re still listening. In MORNINGS ON MAIN, I wrote about the people of Laurel Springs.

As the stories of the town’s history is displayed in quilts, MORNINGS ON MAIN weaves three women’s stories together.   One beginning to collect memories, one always leaving the past behind, and a one losing a lifetime. 

I hope readers will think about how they store their memories.  Whether in quilts or scrapbooking, a diary or pictures.   Our lives are stored in pieces, in memories that shape our beliefs and actions. I’d hope that my readers will smile when they finish my story and maybe pull out a few of their favorite memories to enjoy.

Come visit Laurel Springs, and stay for a while!

Jodi Thomas 


About the author:

A fifth-generation Texan, New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author Jodi Thomas chooses to set the majority of her novels in her home state, where her grandmother was born in a covered wagon. A former teacher, Thomas traces the beginning of her storytelling career to the days when her twin sisters were young and impressionable.

With a degree in family studies, Thomas is a marriage and family counselor by education, a background that enables her to write about family dynamics. Honored in 2002 as a Distinguished Alumni by Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Thomas enjoys interacting with students on the West Texas A&M University campus, where she currently serves as Writer in Residence.

Commenting on her contribution to the arts, Thomas said, “When I was teaching classes full- time, I thought I was making the world a better place. Now I think of a teacher or nurse or mother settling back and relaxing with one of my books. I want to take her away on an adventure that will entertain her. Maybe, in a small way, I’m still making the world a better place.”

When not working on a novel or inspiring students to pursue a writing career, Thomas enjoys traveling with her husband, renovating a historic home they bought in Amarillo and checking up on their two grown sons.

For more information, please visit Jodi’s website at www.jodithomas.com.


Mornings on Main by Jodi Thomas
April 10, 2018 • Trade paperback original • HQN • 384 pages • ISBN 978-1-335-06295-6 • $15.99 U.S./$19.99 CAN.


Sugar Pine Trail by RaeAnne Thayne

  • Title:  Sugar Pine Trail
  • Author:  RaeAnne Thayne
  • Series:  Haven Point #7)
  • Genre:  Contemporary Romance
  • Pages:  384
  • Published:  September 2017 – HQN
  • Source:  Publisher; NetGalley; Little Bird Publicity

Description:  Librarian Julia Winston is ready to ditch the quiet existence she’s been living. She’s made a list of new things to experience, but falling for Jamie Caine, her sexy military pilot neighbor, isn’t one of them. Julia’s looking to conquer life, not become the heartbreaker’s latest conquest. But when two young brothers wind up in Julia’s care for the holidays, she’ll take any help she can get—even Jamie’s. 

Happy to step in, Jamie reveals a side of himself that’s much harder to resist. Not only is he fantastic with kids, he provides the strength Julia needs to tackle her list. She knows their temporary family can’t last beyond the holidays, but the closer she gets to Jamie, the more she wonders if things could be this merry and bright forever… (publisher)

My take:  Julia’s life hasn’t gone the way she’d expected. She ended up putting other people before her own dreams and had accepted that path. That was before two little boys showed up at her library and, once again, the course of her life changed. Jamie’s life is filled with running the corporate air travel for his brother’s tech company and only dating casually. He doesn’t do serious relationships. When he rents Julia’s upstairs apartment his only intent is to have a place to sleep when in town until his condo is ready for him to move in. What he doesn’t expect is to have his life turned upside down by the same two little boys and his pretty landlord. Sugar Pine Trail is perfect for getting readers in the holiday spirit – and it should come with a box of tissues. It’s an emotional story about learning to trust, giving and receiving, and learning to take a chance. I loved it all and recommend it to fans of RaeAnne Thayne, the Haven Point series, and a heart-warming Christmas novel. It can stand alone if you haven’t had the chance to read the rest of the series.


About the author:

New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author RaeAnne Thayne loves words. Her love affair started as soon as she learned to read, when she used to devour anything she could get her hands on: cereal boxes, encyclopedias, the phone book, you name it! She loves the way words sound, the way they look on the page, and the amazing way they can be jumbled together in so many combinations to tell a story.

Her love of reading and writing those words led her to a fifteen-year career in journalism as a newspaper reporter and editor.

Through it all, she dreamed of writing the kind of stories she loved best. She sold her first book in 1995 and since then she’s published more than 40 titles. Her books have won many honors, including three RITA® Award nominations from the Romance Writers of America and a Career Achievement Award from RT Book Reviews.

RaeAnne finds inspiration in the rugged northern Utah mountains, where she lives with her hero of a husband and their children. She loves to hear from readers and can be reached through her website at http://www.raeannethayne.com.


Praise for RaeAnne Thayne:

“Entertaining, heart-wrenching, and totally involving, this multi-threaded story overflows with characters readers will adore.” —Library Journal on Evergreen Springs (starred review)

“Romance, vivid characters and a wonderful story; really who could ask for more?” —Debbie Macomber, #1 New York Times bestselling author

“This quirky, funny, warmhearted romance will draw readers in and keep them enthralled to the last romantic page.” —Library Journal on Christmas in Snowflake Canyon

“RaeAnne Thayne is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors… Once you start reading, you aren’t going to be able to stop.” —Fresh Fiction

“RaeAnne has a knack for capturing those emotions that come from the heart.” —RT Book Reviews

“A sometimes heartbreaking tale of love and relationships in a small Colorado town…. Poignant and sweet.” —Publishers Weekly on Christmas in Snowflake Canyon

“Her engaging storytelling…will draw readers in from the very first page.” —RT Book Reviews on Riverbend Road


SUGAR PINE TRAIL

by RAEANNE THAYNE

$7.99 U.S. / $9.99 CAN.

ISBN-13: 978-0373803682


Guest Post and my review: Lone Heart Pass by Jodi Thomas

I’m pleased to welcome author Jodi Thomas today:

Lone Heart Pass (4:26)

When I began LONE HEART PASS two people stepped into my mind.  One, Jubilee Hamilton, who has just had all her dreams crash and the other, Charley Collins, who feels like he’s never had the chance to follow even one dream.  Both are fighting to simply survive.  Together they learn to start believing in love and form a dream, not of riches or fame, but of family.

I write the RANSOM CANYON series in a little room out back of my house that we now call the bunkhouse.  It’s not big, mission designed and almost a hundred years old.  I took down all the western art and put up white boards.  I even removed all the books except those on ranching, horses, Texas, or research I might need. Family histories of characters fill one wall and plot lines another.  When I step into the bunkhouse, I step into the world of Ransom Canyon.

One by one my characters come in and sit down to tell me their story. Jubilee and Charley came to me fully developed.  I saw them sit down in front of my desk (in my mind) and begin to tell me their story.  Charley’s love for his daughter.  Jubilee’s need to put down roots.  His knowledge of ranching.  Her fascination with keeping records and charts.  Them learning to trust one another when no one believed in either of them.

LONE HEART PASS marks my 43rd novel.  Sometimes I feel like I’ve had an extra lifetime of friends and family. It was hard writing the end to this one.  I hope you enjoy reading my story as much as I enjoyed writing it.

Jodi Thomas

Description: With a career and a relationship in ruins, Jubilee Hamilton is left reeling from a fast fall to the bottom. The run-down Texas farm she’s inherited is a far cry from the second chance she hoped for, but it and the abrasive foreman she’s forced to hire are all she’s got. 

Every time Charley Collins has let a woman get close, he’s been burned. So Lone Heart ranch and the contrary woman who owns it are merely a means to an end, until Jubilee tempts him to take another risk—to stop resisting the attraction drawing them together despite all his hard-learned logic. 

Desperation is all young Thatcher Jones knows. And when he finds himself mixed up in a murder investigation, his only protection is the shelter of a man and woman who—just like him—need someone to trust.  (publisher)

My take:  Lone Heart Pass is a story about people who’ve been cast away by people who should have loved them. Whether by parents or partners each one had their trust abused so it’s no wonder they’re reluctant, no, determined not to let anyone get that close to them again.

One of the things I love about Jodi Thomas’s books is that her characters, though flawed like us all, are usually kind. Their feelings are recognizable because the reader can identify with many of them. I think that’s what makes her books comfort reads for me. Lone Heart Pass is no exception. It’s a great addition to the Ransom Canyon series. There’s romance, mystery and drama – and I enjoyed it all.

Recommended to fans of Jodi Thomas, contemporary romance and the Ransom Canyon series. I can’t wait for the next book.


1028_jodibio A fifth ­generation Texan, New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author Jodi Thomas chooses to set the majority of her novels in her home state, where her grandmother was born in a covered wagon. A former teacher, Thomas traces the beginning of her storytelling career to the days when her twin sisters were young and impressionable.

With a degree in family studies, Thomas is a marriage and family counselor by education, a background that enables her to write about family dynamics. Honored in 2002 as a Distinguished Alumni by Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Thomas enjoys interacting with students on the West Texas A&M University campus, where she currently serves as Writer in Residence.

Commenting on her contribution to the arts, Thomas said, “When I was teaching classes full­ time, I thought I was making the world a better place. Now I think of a teacher or nurse or mother settling back and relaxing with one of my books. I want to take her away on an adventure that will entertain her. Maybe, in a small way, I’m still making the world a better place.”

When not working on a novel or inspiring students to pursue a writing career, Thomas enjoys traveling with her husband, renovating a historic home they bought in Amarillo and “checking up” on their two grown sons.

For more information, please visit Jodi’s website at http://www.jodithomas.com.

Once a Rancher by Linda Lael Miller

  • Once a Rancher (3:29)Title:  Once a Rancher
  • Author:  Linda Lael Miller
  • Series:  The Carsons of Mustang Creek, #1
  • Pages:  320
  • Genre:  Contemporary Romance
  • Published:  March 2016 – HQN
  • Source:  Publisher/NetGalley

Synopsis:  The Carsons of Mustang Creek: three men who embody the West and define what it means to be a rancher, a cowboy and a hero in this brand-new series from the queen of Western romance.

Slater Carson might be a businessman by trade, but he’s a cowboy at heart—and he knows the value of a hard day’s work under the hot Wyoming sun. So when he sees troubled teen Ryder heading down a dangerous path, he offers the boy a job on the ranch he shares with his two younger brothers. And since Ryder’s temporary guardian is the gorgeous new resort manager, Grace Emery, Slater figures it can’t hurt to keep a closer eye on her as well…

Grace Emery doesn’t have time for romance. Between settling in to her new job and caring for her ex-husband’s rebellious son, her attraction to larger-than-life Slater is a distraction she can’t afford. But when the past catches up to her in Mustang Creek, she’ll discover just how far Slater will go to protect what matters most—and that love is always worth fighting for. (publisher)

My take:  Linda Lael Miller builds on her Bliss County series with her newest book Once a Rancher – book 1 of The Carsons of Mustang Creek series. It was fun to see characters from the four previous books as they made brief appearances. That said, you don’t have to have read the previous books to enjoy Once a Rancher.

The new series involves the Carson family of three brothers. This book is about Slater Carson, a documentary film producer and Grace Emery, manager of a high-end hotel and spa in the area.

Slater is between projects and is looking forward to a few days of R&R at the ranch. That plan  gets tossed when Grace and her step-son Ryder arrive at his door. Their story takes off from there. It’s what you’d expect from LLM and I enjoyed it all. I liked that there was a bit of a mystery to be solved that grew more and more sinister as the book progressed. I loved the setting – both the hotel and the ranch.

Of course, all’s well that ends well – and this book did. I look forward to the next book in the trilogy. Recommended to fans of the author and contemporary and western romance.


Miller_Linda Lael_09-2The daughter of a town marshal, Linda Lael Miller is a #1 New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author of more than one hundred historical and contemporary novels, most of which reflect her love of the West. Raised in Northport, Washington, the self-confessed barn goddess now lives in Spokane, Washington. Linda hit a career high in 2011 when all three of her Creed Cowboys books—A Creed in Stone Creek, Creed’s Honor and The Creed Legacy—debuted at #1 on the New York Times bestseller list.

Linda has come a long way since leaving Washington to experience the world. “But growing up in that time and place has served me well,” she allows. “And I’m happy to be back home.” Dedicated to helping others, Linda personally finances her “Linda Lael Miller Scholarships for Women,” which she awards to those seeking to improve their lot in life through education.

More information about Linda and her novels is available at http://www.lindalaelmiller.com. She also loves to hear from readers by mail at P.O. Box 19461, Spokane, WA 99219.

Until We Touch by Susan Mallery

Until We Touch (Aug12)

  • Title:  Until We Touch
  • Series:  Fool’s Gold # 15
  • Author:  Susan Mallery
  • Genre:  Contemporary Romance; series
  • Published:  June 2014 – Harlequin HQN
  • Source:  Publisher

Synopsis:  After a family tragedy, former football hero Jack McGarry keeps the world at arm’s length—a challenge now that his PR firm has moved to neighborly Fool’s Gold, California. 
Larissa Owens knows where she stands—Jack sees her as just another one of the guys. No matter what her heart wishes, Jack’s her boss, not her boyfriend. But then Larissa’s big secret is revealed…by her mother! 
When Jack discovers the truth about Larissa’s feelings, her touch suddenly becomes tantalizing, and he’s not sure he wants to resist. But if he gives in to desire, heartache is sure to follow. Friendship or true love—will Jack go for the ultimate play?  (publisher)

My take:  Jack McGarry has been operating on autopilot for most of his life – ever since his twin brother died when they were teens. He’s a self-described shell of a man who financially backs the causes of his friend and assistant Larissa. When the two become romantically involved everything is great – until it isn’t. Pressure from unexpected sources throw Jack into a tail-spin and he lashes out at everyone near and dear to him.

I really wanted to love this addition to the Fool’s Gold series but ended up liking it. The actions of Jack toward those he loved most were explained but, I don’t know, I just didn’t buy it. Regardless, Susan Mallery wrote an emotional ending that was sweet (although rather abrupt).

Despite that I found Until We Touch not as strong as others in the series, I’m a fan of the Fool’s Gold series and look forward to the next book.

Suddenly Last Summer by Sarah Morgan

Suddenly Last Summer ()

  • Title:  Suddenly Last Summer
  • Series:  O’Neil Brothers #2
  • Author:  Sarah Morgan
  • Genre:  Contemporary Romance; series
  • Published:  June 2014 – Harlequin HQN
  • Source:  Publisher

Synopsis:  Fiery French chef Élise Philippe is having a seriously bad day. Not only have the grand opening plans for her beloved café fallen apart, but Sean O’Neil is back in town and looking more delectable than ever. Memories of the electrifying night they shared last summer leave Élise very tempted, but she knows all too well that eventually Sean will be leaving…again. 
Being back in Vermont—even temporarily—is surgeon Sean O’Neil’s worst nightmare. Returning home to the Snow Crystal Resort means confronting the guilt he feels about rejecting his family’s lifestyle years ago. But discovering that Élise is still in Vermont and still sets his blood racing is a very welcome distraction! Remembering last summer and how good they were together is going to make walking away more difficult than he could imagine….  (publisher)

My take:  Sarah Morgan introduced us to Elise and Sean in the first book of the series, Sleigh Bells in the Snow, so I had the sense that they were both passionate about their work and a bit on the stubborn side. In Suddenly Last Summer we find out just how passionate and stubborn these two can be. At times I wanted to say “enough, already!” But that would have made for a very short book.

A family emergency brings the two together and, over the course of several weeks, they learn more and more about each other. More importantly they learn the motivation behind their reluctance to let a connection become a relationship.

By the last page I was pleased with how Morgan tied things together and look forward to seeing these two continue in the third book due out this fall, Maybe This Christmas. Recommended to fans of Sarah Morgan, the O’Neil Brothers series, and fun contemporary romance.

Blog Tour Review and Giveaway: Wild Iris Ridge by RaeAnne Thayne

wildiris Welcome to my tour stop for Wild Iris Ridge by RaeAnne Thayne. This is an adult contemporary romance published by Harlequin. The tour runs July 21-31 with reviews, author interviews and guest posts. Be sure to check out the Tour Page & Schedule.

Wild Iris Ridge by RaeAnne Thayne

Release: July 2014

Imprint: Harlequin HQN

ISBN: 978-0-373-77859-1

Pages: 352

A big-city, high-powered advertising executive and a small-town firefighter learn that no matter where you started or what you’ve lost, if you open your heart, you can find joy and love again. WILD IRIS RIDGE is the latest book inUSA TODAY bestselling author RaeAnne Thayne’s charming Hope’s Crossing series.

Wild Iris Ridge (June24)Synopsis:  Lucy Drake and Brendan Caine have only one thing in common…  And it’s likely to tear them apart. Because it was Brendan’s late wife, Jessie—and Lucy’s best friend—who’d brought them together in the first place. And since Jessie’s passing, Brendan’s been distracted by his two little ones…and the memory of an explosive kiss with Lucy years before his marriage. Still, he’ll steer clear of her. She’s always been trouble with a capital T.  Lucy couldn’t wait to shed her small-town roots for the big city. But now that she’s back in Hope’s Crossing to take care of the Queen Anne home her late aunt has left her, she figures seeing Brendan Caine again is no big deal. After all, she’d managed to resist the handsome fire chief once before, but clearly the embers of their attraction are still smoldering….  (publisher)

My take:  Wild Iris Ridge is the follow-up book to Christmas in Snowflake Canyon (the first book I read in the Hope’s Crossing series). It centers around Brendan,one of the Caine boys, and Lucy, the girl he had a brief but memorable history with – before he married her cousin. I promise, it’s not confusing when you read the book ;-). I enjoyed their story and understood their reluctance to start anything more than a friendship even when they both realized they had strong feelings for each other. RaeAnne Thayne paced the story perfectly. I also enjoyed the not-too-sacharine scenes with Brendan’s children. I loved that Lucy introduced young Faith to Anne of Green Gables. As Lucy, Brendan and his kids are working through their story Brendan’s dad has a storyline of his own. Even though I’ve only read one other book in the series I can tell Dermot’s story has been a part of most, if not all, of the previous books. Lucy’s step-sister Crystal also figures into the book. Lucy is able to do for Crystal what her great-aunt did for Lucy years earlier – she gave her a place to call home and be loved. This is a nice series and I’m looking forward to catching up with the first five books. Recommended to fans of small town contemporary romance and RaeAnne Thayne.  4 stars

Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | IndieBound | The Book Depository

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About the author:

Best-selling author RaeAnne ThayneUSA TODAY bestselling author RaeAnne Thayne loves words. This led her to a fifteen-year career in journalism as a newspaper reporter and editor. But through it all, she dreamed of writing the kind of stories she loved best, romance, and has since published more than 40 titles. RaeAnne finds inspiration in the rugged northern Utah mountains, where she lives with her hero of a husband and their children. She loves to hear from readers and can be reached through her website, RaeAnneThayne.com and Facebook.

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And now for the giveaway:

Hopes-Crossing-Giveaway-Banner

Please click here to go to giveaway page.

Good luck!

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Before We Kiss by Susan Mallery

Before we Kiss

  • Title:  Before We Kis
  • Series:  Fool’s Gold #14
  • Author:  Susan Mallery
  • Published:  May 2014 – Harlequin
  • Source:  Publisher

Synopsis:  Former pro-football kicker Sam Ridge has notoriously bad luck with women—from cheaters to fame chasers. Still, the gorgeous brunette at the bar in Fool’s Gold looks harmless—until she takes him home and he discovers a room devoted to securing a man, for life. 
Dellina Hopkins never guessed that storing gowns from a friend’s bridal boutique would chase away her first and only fling. After her parents died, she skipped her “wild youth” to raise her sisters. She doesn’t want forever from Sam, but one night—all night—would’ve been nice. 
His clean getaway gets messy when his firm hires Dellina to plan an event. As long hours lead to late nights, the two succumb to temptation again. Has Sam’s luck finally changed? Or this time, will Dellina be the one to run?  (publisher)

My take:  This book was a lot of fun. Sure it had it’s emotional moments but, that aside, I also laughed a lot while reading it.  Sam and Dellina’s love story was a good one but even more entertaining were their family members. His uninhibited, inappropriate information sharing parents and her sister who had to find a way to make her boyfriend propose after asking him to wait – they added a lot of humor to the story.

Susan Mallery also set up future books in the Fool’s Gold series by having Mayor Marsha take a mysterious trip to New Zealand. I look forward to those books. I can see a never-ending source of books for this series and I’ll probably want to read them all.  Recommended to fans of the series and small town contemporary romance.

Christmas in Snowflake Canyon by RaeAnne Thayne

christmas in snow flake canyon

  • Title:  Christmas in Snowflake Canyon
  • Series: Hope’s Crossing, #6
  • Author:  RaeAnne Thayne
  • Genre:  Contemporary Romance; Christmas
  • Published:  October 2013 – Harlequin HQN
  • Source:  Publisher

Synopsis:  Holiday gifts don’t always come in expected packages…especially in the town of Hope’s Crossing. 

No one has ever felt sorry for Genevieve Beaumont. After all, she has everything money can buy. That is, until she discovers her fiancé has been two-timing her and she’s left with two choices: marry the philanderer to please her controlling father or be disinherited and find a means to support herself. 

Genevieve’s salvation appears in the most unlikely of prospects: Dylan Caine, a sexy, wounded war vet whose life is as messy as hers. Dylan’s struggling to adjust after his time in Afghanistan, and the last thing he needs is a spoiled socialite learning about the real world for the first time. True, she may have unexpected depths and beauty to match. But he knows he could never be the man she needs…and she knows he could never be the man she thinks she wants. So why are they each hoping that a Christmas miracle willl prove them both wrong?

My take: I loved how this novel began – with a bar fight on the day after Thanksgiving. The fight was started by a young socialite when someone wouldn’t stop playing the same rendition of The Little Drummer Boy over and over. It’s also the scene where Genevieve and Dylan meet. Now that is an unusual start for a Christmas romance!

Gen and Dylan find themselves thrown together when the judge sentences them to 100 hours of community service to begin immediately at a local resort for wounded veterans. This was not the way either had intended to spend the time leading up to Christmas.

RaeAnne Thayne’s novel is a sweet and emotional story of hope for more than just these two people who’d stopped believing they were worthy of being loved. If you like Christmas romances set in a small town I think you’ll enjoy Christmas in Snowflake Canyon. I did and now want to catch up with the series.

Expected publication: October 29, 2013

Christmas on 4th Street by Susan Mallery

Christmas on 4th street

  • Title:  Christmas on 4th Street
  • Series:  Fool’s Gold  #12.5
  • Author:  Susan Mallery
  • Genre:  Contemporary Romance; Christmas
  • Published:  September 2013 – Harlequin HQN
  • Source:  Publisher

Synopsis:  Noelle Perkins just got a second chance at life, and she intends to make the most of every minute. That’s why she ditched a frustrating legal career to open her own store in Fool’s Gold, California. The Christmas Attic celebrates everything that’s magical about her favorite season. Business is booming, and as a bonus, gorgeous army doctor Gabriel Boylan has offered to help out during the holiday rush. 

Gabriel’s memories of Christmas past contain more sour grapes than sugar plums, thanks to a drill sergeant father who ran his home like a boot camp. Spending the holidays with his family while he recuperates from injury sounds as appetizing as last year’s eggnog. Still, there are some enjoyable distractions in town, including sunny, sexy Noelle…and the red-hot mistletoe kisses they can’t stop sharing. 

Gabriel didn’t think he was made for happily-ever-afters. But when fate hands you a love as sweet and surprising as this, only a fool could refuse….  (publisher)

My take:  It’s been too long since my last visit to Fool’s Gold, CA. I need to go back and catch up in this series because while reading this latest installment I was reminded how much I enjoy Susan Mallery’s novels.

Christmas on 4th Street is filled with likable characters who are in the midst of the build up to Christmas. That’s a big deal in this small town known for big celebrations. What makes this Christmas extra special is the added surprise to the upcoming annual Dance of the Winter King.

What makes the book special are the two main characters: Noelle, an optimistic, funny and smart (not to mention beautiful) young woman and Gabriel, a handsome army doctor on leave and visiting his brother in Fool’s Gold. He’s seen the worst of war and thinks happiness is fleeting. Can Noelle convince him to take a leap of faith and believe he can find joy not only in this season but every day?

Like I said, I’m a bit behind in the series but that didn’t impede my enjoyment of this book. Mallery filled in with pertinent information on characters from previous books and she also hinted about a few people moving to town. Nice to know the series will continue!

If you’re a fan of Christmas romances, Susan Mallery, or the Fool’s Gold series you’ll want to add Christmas on 4th Street to your list of books to read this season. If you’re like me, it will put you in a Christmas decorating mood!

Until There Was You by Kristan Higgins

Title:  Until There Was You

Author:  Kristan Higgins

Genre:  Chick Lit; Contemporary Romance

Published:  October 2011 – HQN Books

About:  (Pub. synopsis) Posey Osterhagen can’t complain. She owns a successful architectural salvaging company, she’s surrounded by her lovable, if off-center, family and she has a boyfriend—sort of. Still, something’s missing. Something tall, brooding and criminally good-looking…something like Liam Murphy.

When Posey was sixteen, the bad boy of Bellsford, New Hampshire, broke her heart. But now he’s back, sending Posey’s traitorous schoolgirl heart into overdrive once again. She should be giving him a wide berth, but it seems fate has other ideas….

My take:  Sounds like another fun Kristan Higgins novel, doesn’t it? Well, it is that and more.

Higgins’ trademark humor and sympathetic heroine-with-a-wacky-family are definitely there but, in my opinion, the true star of Until There Was You is Liam Declan Murphy.He is not your run-of-the-mill former bad boy. Liam Murphy is a complex man. He is also a widower with a teenage daughter. He’s just trying to be a good father and make a home for his daughter. I loved that Higgins revealed his layers throughout the entire novel and not in one pat description.

Posey is an ordinary young woman who wants to find what seems so easy for her brother and cousin – someone to love. She is such a relatable character that it was easy to cheer her on. What she finds is that her impression of people and events (present and past) may or may not have been accurate. That knowledge makes all the difference to Posey and her life going forward. Until There Was You  is charming and heartwarming. I really enjoyed it.

Recommended to fans of Chick Lit, Contemporary Romance, and Kristan Higgins.

Source:  HQN

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Merciless by Diana Palmer

Title:  Merciless

Author:  Diana Palmer

Published:  July 2011 HQN Books

Genre:  Romance

About:  FBI agent Jon Blackhawk finds out that a criminal he helped put behind bars has been released and wants revenge. People in his life are getting threatening anonymous phone calls. When Jon is shot he realizes the situation is more dangerous than he thought – especially to the people he cares about most: his mother, his brother, and even his smart and efficient office assistant, Joceline. She’s been his loyal co-worker for years and harbors a secret that could change his life. Will Jon learn the secret? Will he be able to keep his loved ones safe?

My take:  Merciless is the first book I’ve read by Diana Palmer. There are references to the case that involved a family of criminals that made me think it was the focus of a previous novel but Ms. Palmer caught me up to speed along the way.

The Blackhawk family is quite loyal to one another. Jon’s mother is a force to be reckoned with and it is no secret that she doesn’t like Joceline. She’s constantly trying to match him with women she thinks are suitable – something that drives Jon a little crazy. During those scenes there’s a lot of witty banter between Joceline and Jon which I found amusing.

All in all, Merciless was an ok read for me. I would have liked a few of the characters to be a little more fleshed out – but perhaps they were in a previous book?  Although I enjoyed the banter between Jon and Joceline I found their romance a bit forced and rushed. I really liked the conclusion that surprised me with a bit of a twist.

Source:  Planned Television Arts