Ransom Canyon by Jodi Thomas

  • Ransom Canyon (8:25)Title:  Ransom Canyon
  • Series:  Ransom Canyon #1
  • Author:  Jodi Thomas
  • Genre:  Contemporary Romance
  • Pages:  368
  • Published:  August 2015 – HQN Books
  • Source:  Publisher

Synopsis:  From New York Times bestselling author Jodi Thomas comes the first book in a compelling, emotionally resonant series set in a remote west Texas town—where family can be made by blood or by choice… 

Rancher Staten Kirkland, the last descendent of Ransom Canyon’s founding father, is rugged and practical to the last. No one knows that when his troubling memories threaten to overwhelm him, he runs to lovely, reclusive Quinn O’Grady… or that she has her own secret that no one living knows. 

Young Lucas Reyes has his eye on the prize—college, and the chance to become something more than a ranch hand’s son. But one night, one wrong decision, will set his life on a course even he hadn’t imagined. 

Yancy Grey is running hard from his troubled past. He doesn’t plan to stick around Ransom Canyon, just long enough to learn the town’s weaknesses and how to use them for personal gain. Only Yancy, a common criminal since he was old enough to reach a car’s pedals, isn’t prepared for what he encounters. 

In this dramatic new series, the lives, loves and ambitions of four families will converge, set against a landscape that can be as unforgiving as it is beautiful, where passion, property and pride are worth fighting—and even dying—for.

My take:  Ransom Canyon is the first book in Jodi Thomas’s new series. I enjoyed meeting the people who live in and around Crossroads, Texas. After maintaining an almost aloof relationship for years Staten Kirkland and Quin O’Grady are faced with a life-changing decision.

Newcomer Yancy Grey is hoping for a second chance at life when he falls into a job that surprises him even more than the people who will come to rely on him.

There’s a budding friendship between two teens that may become more over the course of the next few years. That will have to wait if Lauren’s father has anything to say about it. He’s the sheriff, after all.

I loved the way Jodi Thomas wove her story with love, drama and humor. It’s why I enjoy her books so much. I can’t wait to read the next book in the Ransom Canyon series. Recommended to fans of the author and contemporary, small town romance.

 

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A New Hope by Robyn Carr

  • a new hope (6:30)Title:  A New Hope
  • Series:  Thunder Point #8
  • Author:  Robyn Carr
  • Genre:  Contemporary Romance; Small town fiction
  • Published:  June 2015 – Mira
  • Source:  Publisher

Synopsis:  After losing her child, Ginger Dysart was lost in grief. But since moving to Thunder Point, a small town on the Oregon coast, Ginger is finally moving forward. Her job at the flower shop is peaceful and fulfilling, and she’s excited to be assisting with the Lacoumette wedding. 

In spite of her lasting heartache, Ginger is swept up in the pleasure of the occasion. But the beauty of the Lacoumette farm and the joy of the gregarious family are ruined by an unfortunate encounter with the bride’s brother, Matt. Struggling with painful memories of his own, Matt makes a drunken spectacle of himself when he tries to make a pass at Ginger, forcing her to flee the scene in embarrassment. 

But when Matt shows up at the flower shop determined to make amends, what started out as a humiliating first meeting blossoms into something much deeper than either of them expected. Everyone around them worries that Ginger will end up with a broken heart yet again. But if Ginger has the courage to embrace the future, and if Matt can finally learn to let go of the past, there may still be hope for a happy ending.  (publisher)

My take:  I’m beginning to think Robyn Carr’s Thunder Point series would make a good cable series. All of the books in the series could stand alone but I’m glad I got in with the first and kept up. It’s always nice to see past characters make an appearance in a supporting role. For those keeping up with the series, book 8 picks up where book 7 left off.

I loved Ginger. She’d been through so much and had learned from her past experiences. The scene where she met Matt made me laugh out loud. Their story picked up from there and on the last page of the book I was very happy with their progress. Matt was all about getting over his first marriage but he had never truly faced why that marriage failed – that perhaps he shared some of the responsibility. He had a lot of anger to let go. I appreciate how Carr wove the theme of forgiveness through the novel.

There are a couple of related subplots that will arc into the next book (or two). I can’t wait to see how they progress. I really enjoyed A New Hope and recommend it to fans of the series and Robyn Carr.


 

Carr_Robyn_11_ColAbout the author:  Originally from Minnesota, Robyn Carr and her family have seen much of the country thanks to her husband, Jim, and his career in aviation. After the two high school sweethearts married, Jim joined the Air Force. They’ve lived in Texas – all four corners – Alabama, Florida, California, Utah, Arizona and Nevada. The couple moved to Henderson, Nevada, so Jim could explore a new business opportunity. “At first, being a Midwest girl at heart, I said, ‘Oh, no, not another desert!’ It didn’t take me long to fall in love with the beauty of Nevada – and the unrivaled spectacle of Las Vegas!”

Now that Robyn’s two children are grown – and finally out of the house – she has the luxury of a little free time. “Until my kids grew up, I didn’t realize that a person could have hobbies other than laundry,” she jokes. But it turns out not to be hobbies that keep Robyn busy when she isn’t writing – she has found her niche in community service. She has mentored a seniors’ memoir-writing group, attends book club chats in and out-of-state whenever possible and is working with her local library on the Carr Chat Series, a program centered on fund-raising and visiting author events that bring writers, their books and the community together. “It is the people in my life that fill the well,” she says. “Especially the people who share my love for books and writing.”

Just One Kiss by Susan Mallery

  • just one kissTitle:  Just One Kiss
  • Series:  Fool’s Gold #10
  • Author:  Susan Mallery
  • Genre:  Contemporary Romance; Small town; Series
  • Published:  May 2013 – Harlequin HQN
  • Source:  Purchased

Synopsis:  He won’t hesitate to put his life on the line…but will he ever risk his heart?

Falling for Justice Garrett was a high point in Patience McGraw’s otherwise awkward adolescence. Even after he disappeared, Patience never forgot the boy who captured her heart. Now he’s back in Fool’s Gold, California, and her passion for him is as strong as ever. But how can she trust that he won’t abandon her again—and her daughter, too?

When bodyguard Justice Garrett was a young man, witness protection brought him to this idyllic town and he never forgot its warmth, or the sweet beauty of his childhood friend. He’s returned to open a defense academy, and the Patience he once knew is all grown up. He can’t resist her smile, or her curves. But Justice’s past doesn’t make him husband, or father, material.

Patience and Justice think they’ll succumb to just one kiss… Then one more… Okay, just one night together. But they might learn that falling in love is beyond anyone’s control.  (publisher)

My take:  Patience and Justice knew each other when they were in high school. She had a huge crush on him and he thought she was a great person. One day Justice just disappeared. Patience went to his house on her way to school and the house was cleared out. Fast-forward to fifteen years later. Patience has a ten-year-old daughter and they live with her mother. Justice is back in Fool’s Gold to set up a “defense academy” with some of his former military friends. This is the first of a trilogy within the series that will involve Justice and his co-workers/friends.

I enjoyed Patience and Justice’s story. It was rather predictable but as long as that’s what I expect I’m ok with that. It’s a contemporary romance series (#10) so despite the predictable parts I know I’m going to like Susan Mallery’s small town stories. It’s why I keep reading them – I like them 🙂

Justice’s past is an interesting story. It catches up to him in this book in a lot of drama near the end of the story. Things wrapped up neatly and I look forward to “seeing” these two in future books.

Return to Glory by Sara Arden

  • return to glory (Aug26)Title:  Return to Glory
  • Series:  Home to Glory, #1
  • Author:  Sara Arden
  • Genre:  Contemporary/ Small town Romance
  • Published:  August 2014 – Harlequin HQN
  • Source:  Publisher

Synopsis:  In Glory, Kansas, the best bakery in three counties not only brings together ingredients for sweet treats, but is the place where—through the powerful mix of friendship, community and a well-stocked kitchen—a wounded hero can forge a forever kind of love. 

Back in the hometown he left behind five years ago, Jack McConnell has returned battle-scarred and feeling like half a man. But Betsy Lewis only sees the hero who once saved her life and set her heart on fire. Now she’s burning to save him in return. She’ll use every trick she’s got up her sleeve, from her generous natural assets to her talent for baking, to coax Jack out from the bottom of his whiskey bottle. 

At first, Jack responds to Betsy like any red-blooded man would. He’s always denied his attraction to the innocent girl he used to know, but he’s returned to find Betsy’s grown into a full-on woman with strength enough for both of them. Until Jack realizes the only way to conquer his demons and be worthy of the hero’s mantle she’s pinned to his shoulders is to save Betsy one last time—from himself.  (publisher)

My take:  Betsy has been in love with Jack, her brother’s best friend, since she was a young girl. When he comes home wounded from war she’s determined to make him well again using any means that will work. Jack is determined to make her see that he’s not the man for her.

Sara Arden’s descriptions of the wounded warrior, Jack, seemed completely believable. I also bought into the way Betsy felt about him both when she thought they had a future and when she didn’t. The heartache was palpable. Their story is an emotional one that is further charged by their feelings for each other. Be prepared for some very spicy scenes!

The town of Glory is intriguing. Arden hints at the occupations of a few former military that I can only imagine will figure into future books of the Home to Glory series. It’s a charming town where the citizens have each others’ back. I look forward to my next visit to Glory, Kansas. Recommended to fans of contemporary, small town Romance.

The Homecoming by Robyn Carr

  • the homecoming (August26)Title:  The Homecoming
  • Series:  Thunder Point #6
  • Author:  Robyn Carr
  • Genre:  Contemporary Romance; series
  • Published:  August 2014 – Harlequin MIRA
  • Source:  Publisher

Synopsis:  In a small town, reputation is everything. In her latest novel, #1 New York Times bestselling author Robyn Carr explores the burden placed on a young man returning home to face his mistakes—the first step in claiming the life he was meant to live.  

At the age of nineteen, Seth Sileski had everything. A superb athlete and scholar, handsome and popular, he was the pride of Thunder Point. Destined for greatness, he lost it all in a terrible accident that put an end to his professional football career when it had barely begun. The people in his hometown have never forgotten what might have been. 

Seth has come to terms with the turns his life has taken. But now he’s been presented with an opportunity to return home and show his father—and the people of Thunder Point—he’s become a better, humbler version of his former self. 

Winning over his father isn’t the only challenge. Seth must also find a way to convince his childhood neighbor and best friend, Iris McKinley, to forgive him for breaking her heart. With his homecoming, will Seth be able to convince the town, his family and especially Iris that he’s finally ready to be the man who will make them all proud?  (publisher)

My take:  The Homecoming is another good addition to the Thunder Point series. It was quite different from the other books, I thought. Yes, there’s romance for Seth and Iris and they have issues to work through, but, at the forefront, is the issue of possible physical and verbal abuse – at Thunder Point High School. I thought Carr did a good job with this storyline. The novel culminated with a dramatic scene. As everything played out – the pages almost turned themselves. 

I can’t wait to read Carr’s next book in the Thunder Point series and hope I don’t have to wait too long. Recommended to fans of Contemporary/Small Town Romance and Robyn Carr.

Butternut Summer by Mary McNear

  • butternut summer (Aug12)Title:  Butternut Summer
  • Series:  The Butternut Lake trilogy #2
  • Author:  Mary McNear
  • Genre:  Contemporary Romance
  • Published:  August 2014 – William Morrow
  • Source:  Publisher

Synopsis:  Every summer on Butternut Lake the tourists arrive, the shops open, and the waves lap its tree-lined shores, just as they have for years. But this season everything changes for one mother and daughter who’ve always called the lake home. . . .

 

Caroline’s life is turned upside down the moment her ex-husband, Jack, strides through the door of her coffee shop. He seems changed—stronger, steadier, and determined to make amends with Caroline and their daughter, Daisy. Is he really different, or is he the same irresistibly charming but irresponsible man he was when he left Butternut Lake eighteen years ago? Caroline, whose life is stuck on pause as her finances are going down the tubes, is tempted to let him back into her life . . . but would it be wise?

For Caroline’s daughter, Daisy, the summer is filled with surprises. Home from college, she’s reunited with the father she adores—but hardly knows—and swept away by her first true love. But Will isn’t what her mother wants for her—all Caroline can see is that he’s the kind of sexy “bad boy” Daisy should stay away from.

As the long, lazy days of summer pass, Daisy and Caroline come to realize that even if Butternut Lake doesn’t change, life does. . . .    (publisher)

My take:  The synopsis tells you all you need to know so be sure to read it. This second book in the trilogy picks up three years after the end of the first book, Up at Butternut Lake.

I can tell you that I liked Butternut Summer very much. I liked the characters and the plot and I found McNear’s writing quite enjoyable. The flow of the novel was good. So good that if I had to stop reading, I did so reluctantly.

This is a story of second chances, hope, and first love. And it ends with a cliff-hanger. I can’t wait to read the third book in the Butternut Lake trilogy. I hope I don’t have to wait too long!


 

McNear Mary ap1Mary McNear is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author living in San Francisco with her husband, two teenage children, and a high-strung, miniscule white dog named Macaroon. She bases her novels on a lifetime of summers spent in a small town on a lake in the Northern Midwest.


The publisher sent a finished copy

so I’ll share it with one of my US readers 🙂

Please click here and fill out the form

Good luck!

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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