Such hilarious real-to-life situations between a couple that are laugh-out-loud funny. An injured war veteran and a former high school cheerleader start a bar fight over Christmas songs. Things go from wrong to worse and they end up doing community service over the holidays. "Bah humbug" is a love-match in the small town of Hope's Crossing.
As a fan of the Hope's Crossing series, I have been anticipating Dylan Caine's story since getting to know him in WILLOWLEAF LANE. I had such a great time reading this heartrending and often hilarious romance about a wounded war veteran who finds himself jailed with his partner in crime, former head cheerleader Genevieve Beaumont. Destined to become a holiday favorite, CHRISTMAS IN SNOWFLAKE CANYON explores love between two people with a bad case of "bah humbug".
Dylan Caine moved back to his hometown of Hope's Crossing after spending time in rehab for his injuries sustained in an explosion in Afghanistan. He's been keeping to himself at his cabin, sulking about the loss of his arm and an eye, as well as dealing with the flashbacks of war and his sense of failure. In the meantime, he is making his family crazy enough to try anything to get him to socialize. While waiting for his brother to meet him at a local bar, Dylan gets into a bar fight when he tries to protect Genevieve "Gen" Beaumont, the mayor's daughter. Gen has been forced home from Paris by her parents who are tired of paying her way. Determined to get Gen to make something of herself, her father cuts off her money and gives her an ultimatum to fix up her grandmother's house in order to sell it, which will fund her future interior design business in Paris.
Gen isn't happy about being back in Hope's Crossing since her complete humiliation by a cheating fiancé who got another girl pregnant right before their wedding day is still the talk of the town. Listening to the same Christmas carols over and over in the bar, where she's drowning her sorrows about being without her friends during the holidays, sends her right over the edge. Confronting the woman responsible for Gen's music misery, Gen pops her one in the nose when she won't stay away from the jukebox. Dylan comes to Gen's aid when the woman's associate steps in and the altercation leads to a bar fight, then consequently, Gen and Dylan's arrest.
Apparently, punching a District Attorney in the nose, even one with a bad taste in music, isn't the smartest thing the mayor's daughter has done, but Dylan doesn't regret defending Gen. His brother finagles an agreement for one hundred hours of community service to keep them both from serving time and having a record. Neither of them is thrilled about the arrangement but they must spend the holiday season helping out at the newly formed program, A Warrior's Hope.
I really can't say enough good things about this book. There were so many laugh-out-loud moments between Gen and Dylan, not to mention their families who add in more comedic situations. For those who love the Hope's Crossing series, you'll be thrilled to read more about the many characters from previous books that we've come to love, plus some new ones at A Warrior's Hope. The program designed to help veterans adds to the emotional pull of this story.
After reading WILLOWLEAF LANE, I couldn't think of anyone I'd rather read more about than Dylan Caine. He's rough around the edges but you can't help but hope that there is a perfect woman for him. Believe it or not, Gen is exactly that. Gen is also hilariously funny in her own right. She says the darnedest things without thinking and gets herself and anyone else around her into one fix after another. Their growing affection for one another is endearing and once you know Gen for who she really is, instead of the bratty little rich girl we all think she was, then I think you'll agree that their romance is quite precious to witness.
I'm really going to miss this series when it ends. RaeAnne Thayne knows how to tie her readers to her characters with laughter and heartache before gifting them with another happy-ever-after. Just when I think I've read my favorite book by Ms. Thayne, I find another one that claims that spot. Although it's not necessary to read the prior books to this one in order to enjoy CHRISTMAS IN SNOWFLAKE CANYON, you'll have a better sense of what this couple has been through prior to coming together in this novel. That backstory makes the enjoyment all the sweeter.
Kaleidoscopic emotion, CHRISTMAS IN SNOWFLAKE CANYON is a guaranteed joyride through some uneven and unexpected holiday terrain, celebrating the season with heartwarming and heartrending moments where laughter, tears and love collide. A Romance Junkies Recommended Read!(less)
There is a lot to love about this compassionate novel concerning a scarred protector of wild ho...moreAlso posted with covers at my blog, TBR Mountain Range.
There is a lot to love about this compassionate novel concerning a scarred protector of wild horses who falls in love with the city slicker who is determined to commercialize his quiet oasis. Can they both get what they want and heal their injured hearts in the process? Recommended Read!
Having grown up surrounded by horses, dreaming of them in the wild ever since reading MISTY OF CHINCOTEAGUE by Marguerite Henry as a child, it's easy to understand my immediate connection to a book partially about wild horses. The vivid imagery of this windswept oasis captivated me quickly. Add in that I was on my way to an island vacation, dreaming of riding horseback on the beach and there was no doubt that SANCTUARY ISLAND was one of the books coming with me. That it turned out to be such a superb beach read is a bonus!
I never expect a "new to me" author's novel to touch me deeply like one of my favorites, so it is always surprising when it happens, which is exactly why I highly recommend SANCTUARY ISLAND—it is full of surprises and great emotional moments in a brilliant story of perseverance.
Off the coast of Winter Harbor, Virginia lies Sanctuary Island, accessible only by ferry so it adds to the trepidation that sisters Ella and Merry feel on their way to meet their mother for the first time in fifteen years. Ella has always taken care of her baby sister, no matter what she dared to do, so when pregnant, husbandless Merry decides to finally accept one of their mother's many requests to spend time with her, Ella has to accept, too.
Even though Merry is pregnant and they're an hour by boat from the mainland, Ella feels that two weeks won't be a danger to a baby not due for several weeks. Just how much emotional damage can be done by their estranged mother to her sister during that time remains to be seen. That's why Ella is there to protect Merry, because Ella feels that she's immune to the woman who gave birth to them since Jo Ellen abandoned them in preference of her alcohol obsession. But Merry has other ideas and thinks that two weeks won't be enough. Can Ella convince Merry that their mother is a mom in name only and hasn't changed from the drunken irresponsible woman Ella remembers?
Grady Wilson loves Sanctuary Island and considers himself its protector, as well as the protector of his very good friend, Jo Ellen Hollister. Jo had saved Grady from himself, with the help of Sanctuary Island, after the injuries from his last rescue mission left him jobless and full of self doubt. Although he still hides his hands beneath the leather gloves he always wears and the clothing that keeps the rest of his scars hidden, Sanctuary Island has given Grady strength and purpose.
Grady is convinced that Jo's daughters are trouble that Jo doesn't need, especially Ella, who seems to have her sights set on Jo's inheritance for all the wrong reasons. That is, until Grady is forced to get close to Ella when she needs his rescue skills. No woman has ever made him feel as alive as Ella Preston did in those few short minutes.
Jo Ellen Hollister is about to lose her family's inheritance due to a bad business deal made by her aunt before she died. Jo has options, with the man who wants to marry her, but settling for marriage based on finances isn't what Hollister women do. Besides, adding another person into her relationship with her daughters right now may push them away forever. Can Jo find a way to keep her ancestral home and also reunite permanently with her daughters?
SANCTUARY ISLAND proves why the "Beauty and the Beast" story arc works so well in a romance novel when it's done with such emotional precision. Grady is broken and steadily healing physically, with scars, but he hasn't let his heart complete the cycle…yet. Ella seems so pulled together after years of therapy, but confidence doesn't always mean that you're emotionally fulfilled. An alcoholic, Jo Ellen Hollister damaged her relationship with her daughters fifteen years ago, and even though she's changed, as well as developed other important personal relationships, it's her daughters' approval she craves the most. Merry loves her sister and her unborn child, but is she willing to risk both to experience the love of her mother? The pain that all these characters have endured is palpable, yet when they take solid steps towards healing, you can't help but cheer them on. It's that tug of combined emotion that pulls you deeply into their lives.
A riveting tale of overcoming fear and emotional roadblocks, SANCTUARY ISLAND makes you fall in love with the island and its inhabitants. Author Lily Everett brings tears, laughter and a happy-ever-after smile to your face while you're experiencing her well-written, compassionate novel. I highly recommend SANCTUARY ISLAND as a "no excuses" emotional fight for a happy life in a book that hits home with real-to-life characters. Their struggles are emotional but cleansing at the same time, making the time spent within the pages of this novel completely mesmerizing. I can't wait for Merry and Ben's story in book two of the SANCTUARY ISLAND series, SHORELINE DRIVE, due out in January 2014. I think others will feel immediately connected to the quirky Merry, who is as full of light as her name, and the rough-around-the-edges veterinarian, who avoids human contact in preference of animals who don't talk back.
Sometimes you fall into a story and are captured by the characters who melt your heart, h...moreRecommended Read! Also posted at my blog, TBR Mountain Range.
Sometimes you fall into a story and are captured by the characters who melt your heart, hoping that they'll find their way from tragedy to a happy-ever-after. THE SWEET SPOT is a journey from the overwhelming sadness of loss, its ability to destroy a family, then bit by bit, their recovery through the healing power of love. Heart-wrenching, funny and thought-provoking, this novel is an awesome beach read.
After firing her ex-husband and throwing him off her father's ranch, Charla Rae Denny is in control of her life for the first time since the accident that changed everything. In their divorce, the judge split their bull bucking business in half so that Charla could sustain herself without alimony. Her ex-husband, Jimmy, who hooks up with someone half Charla's age is just another jolt that she can't deal with. As if the death of their son isn't enough to rock her world, then her addiction to Valium in order to cope with what life has become, while living with her father's progressing Alzheimer's symptoms, just hurdles her faster into a tailspin out of control. Whoever thought that bull semen would be the avenue to her family's way of living, let alone her responsibility as the once-upon-a-time, stay-at-home mom?
In addition to raising bucking bulls, JB (Jimmy) Denton is an arena announcer for professional bull riding events. That's where he met his ex-girlfriend, Jess, when he was at the lowest point of his life. She made life bearable and hopeful for a short time, but that connection sure made a mess of his relationship with his ex-wife. He realizes what he really wants is the life he had with Charla that he left behind after their son died and Charla pushed him away along with everything else. Hoping it's not too late to repair their damaged relationship, JB wonders if he can ever get Charla to forgive him.
Whether Jimmy left Charla, or Charla pushed him away isn't important when they need each other now, more than ever. Will they realize that past mistakes don't have to last forever?
Charla meets Bella, a transplanted New Yorker who has recently moved to town with her husband. Working at the feed store, Bella is as different as night is to day from Charla, which makes their friendship just as hilarious as it is perfect for the both of them. City slicker meets farm girl is just part of what makes them so different, just like comparing a silk negligee to flannel pajamas. Bella adds some fashion sense to Charla's expanding bank of knowledge while Charla teaches Bella how to mold her swag into being a true cowgirl, without either of them passing judgment on the other for their differences. Besties couldn't be better suited.
Angry at the world, Charla has more than enough to contend with but she decides to run the family business on her own, even though she's terrified of horses, cows and everything it takes to manage a ranch on the outside. Her dad's medicine costs more than the business profits can handle, so she has no choice but to break her addiction to Valium and move on with living, hoping to make the business more prosperous than it is now.
THE SWEET SPOT plays with your emotions right away but some animal humor made me laugh by chapter four. Charla has her hands full with her dad going in and out of lucidity, but the cows, especially a wandering mother-to-be named Trixie are what will make her realize that she might just have the spunk needed to succeed at this ranching business without the help of her ex-husband.
Even though THE SWEET SPOT explores the stages of grief very realistically, often passing the characters' deep felt sorrow to the reader, it also concentrates on the humor surrounding this family and the love that they have deep inside for one another. Is living for what they have now and not for what they've lost in the past the answer?
The secondary characters, including the animals, add heart to this already endearing novel. I felt instantly connected, enjoying the humor and tearful by page 135. An emotional roller coaster, THE SWEET SPOT touches your soul with the joy of living, enfolding your emotions in the characters' love for life in the end. Author Laura Drake's storytelling skills are a gift to those of us who love to read an emotional story with an uplifting ending. If you want a novel that will call to you every time you step away, then THE SWEET SPOT is highly recommended. Nothing is sweeter than realizing that there's more to come in book two of the SWEET ON A COWBOY series—NOTHING SWEETER releases in December 2013.
A very funny adult rated contemporary romantic comedy, TANGLED is written from the male p...moreAlso posted at my blog, TBR MOUNTAIN RANGE. Recommended Read!
A very funny adult rated contemporary romantic comedy, TANGLED is written from the male point of view and is just as crass and hilarious as you can imagine.
Book recommends from other readers are always a great way to find a "new to me" author and that's exactly how this one landed within my radar. Thanks to Jill at Goodreads for suggesting TANGLED because the cheeky humor is just what the doctor ordered.
There are so many things to love about TANGLED by Emma Chase. First, it's written from the male's point of view and not just any male, but from one who is a proven and self-proclaimed player. Drew Evans, an investment banker, is as nasty as they come in a "love ‘em and leave 'em" kind of way, but his one redeemable quality is that he doesn't pretend he's anything else so you get exactly what you should expect if you tangle with him. Don't worry though—the other thing that I love about this book is that the heroine, Katherine "Kate" Brooks, can outplay the player in more ways than one. She's smart, successful and engaged. Smart enough to outwit Drew's every move, if she wants to, and can give him exactly what he has coming to him when he decides to be a jerk.
If you love raunchy and funny movies like NO STRINGS ATTACHED, then you won't be offended by the words and naughtiness within this book. TANGLED is written with the adult reader in mind, taking full advantage of adult language and situations for your entertainment. Drew will probably appall some readers and you might want to smack him a time or two before you've read to the end of his story. But, if you love to laugh, Drew isn't the only character who is ridiculously funny, sometimes in a very irreverent way. He has friends who can be just as crass and sometimes worse, plus, family members who know him well and love him anyways but who aren't afraid to say exactly what they think of his antics when he deserves it. Truthfully, Drew is sort of afraid of his sister and with good reason. She's a viper just waiting for Drew to screw up so she can put him in his place. Of course, Drew is humanized by his interaction with his almost four-year-old niece who adores him. I'm sure she'll make you laugh and melt your heart!
In the end, I think that Emma Chase is one of my favorite "new to me" authors of 2013. Ms. Chase's ability to write a believable romantic comedy from the male POV is a sparkling addition to the romance genre. TANGLED will make you wish for more and hope that someone realizes that this book has great movie potential. I know it played out like a movie in my head, making me laugh while wanting to throw something at Drew, then diving in for more. After reading this book, you'll be pleased that TANGLED is now a series with more to come in 2014. Don't we all want to know if Drew can actually behave himself in the future? Sexy, smart, modern and hilariously funny, TANGLED is highly recommended to adults who love a naughty book with a sarcastic sense of humor.
Note: I read the eBook version of TANGLED that was published by Omnific Publishing in May 2013, which I purchased earlier in the year and just got a chance to read. TANGLED has since been published by Gallery Books, released August 2, 2013 in eBook and will publish in print in January 2014. Enjoy!(less)
An absorbing historical love story by a “new to me” author that I highly recomme...moreAlso posted at my blog, the TBR MOUNTAIN RANGE, as a Recommended Read!
An absorbing historical love story by a “new to me” author that I highly recommend, A PRINCE TO BE FEARED is my favorite discovery of the year so far.
There’s nothing more thrilling than to stumble upon a book that surprises me from the very first paragraph. Author Mary Lancaster has taken mid 1400s history and made it come alive through her exquisite characterization and storytelling skills. We’re given glimpses of Vlad Dracula as a man, a teenager, a prince of Wallachia, a warrior and an exiled prince jailed for twelve years, awaiting his chance to recover his throne and gain vengeance against those who have denied him his right by birth and accomplishment. Back and forth through history we follow his determination to gain what he feels is rightfully his, including the woman he loves. He’s cruel, he’s compassionate, he’s fearless and he loves with fervor only his future wife can understand.
Ilona Szilagyi is a complete mystery when the reader is first introduced to her. Her sadness is actuated by her dull grey attire and veiled headdress. We know she’s the king’s cousin and is to marry Vlad Dracula but we don’t know why she wants to hide from everyone, including the man she once loved. The setting is perfect; a mystery surrounds the couple who have been separated for years while Vlad has served his time. There have been plenty of atrocities against, as well as done by, Vlad Dracula but who has turned the vibrant Ilona into this sad soul who seems better suited to a convent?
This begins their tale and the reader is transported along with them, embraced by a love story as poignant as Romeo and Juliet. If you love a rich, vibrant historical novel that is a rare find, then I suggest that you run to your nearest eRetailer and grab yourself a copy of A PRINCE TO BE FEARED. I highly recommend this novel as a fabulous rendition of historical events so real that you’ll swear they happened exactly as Mary Lancaster portrayed it. So addictive and captivating that I didn’t want to read the end. More, please!(less)
The first book in this romantic suspense trilogy is sure to grab readers' attention as it...moreRecommended Read! Also posted at my blog, TBR MOUNTAIN RANGE.
The first book in this romantic suspense trilogy is sure to grab readers' attention as it did mine. Highly recommended to those who love gritty suspense with well-drawn characters, promising more to come in these intriguing stories about three runaways all grown up and struggling to survive their past.
Fifteen years ago three teenagers became friends while living on the streets as runaways. Their ability to survive depended on each other and one young man who watched out for them. Being in the wrong place at the wrong time and two murders force the three young women to run, hide the evidence and keep their identities secret. Until now.
Cold case detective Parker McCall is positive that the candid shot of the woman in Baltimore's newspaper's exposé is reclusive photographer B.K. Elliot, his brother's killer. Determined to prove that the teenaged girl in the photo with his brother taken fifteen years ago is the very same woman in the exposé, Parker has the older picture professionally aged. There's no doubt that they're one and the same. Now he must find her before she disappears again.
Brynn Elliot has remained out of the spotlight even though she is well-known for her photojournalist techniques in revealing the desperation of homeless youths. Depicting the cruelty and hopelessness of the runaway lifestyle is her specialty, a subject she knows well, having been one herself.
The newspaper photo exposé followed by a cop at her door forces Brynn to consider running once again. Having just bought a home under a fake name and enjoying a prosperous career, Brynn had thought she could finally settle down. But, the cop is persistent and too close to the truth with her enemies nipping at their heels. Will she ever feel safe again?
When Brynn finds her agent almost murdered, she knows her only chance is to partially confide in Parker McCall and convince him to help her. He seems sincere and when a child turns up dead, Brynn knows she has no choice but to expose the man from her past for what he is before more children are hurt. Can she face the demons from her past and get justice for the crimes, all while keeping her two best friends, Haley and Nadine, safe?
I haven't read a romantic suspense this good in years. FATAL EXPOSURE packs in the details in a small package of 288 pages with some of the best gritty police work, where every word and sentence counts toward unmistakable believability. An unusual background for a heroine makes this one as heroic as the detective she relies on. Brynn is smart and brave, as well as never helpless. She pushes just as hard as Parker and earns his respect. Street savvy in his own right, the pair of them form a team that works beautifully in love as much as in defense.
I love the concept of this trilogy—three runaways become friends as teenagers, witness a crime, then go into hiding, working hard to realize their dreams without discovery by an unknown killer. It's the perfect set-up for a trilogy and the characters are interesting, strong and sympathetic enough to make you want to take up their cause.
Superb characterization in a true-to-life story, FATAL EXPOSURE is a thrill to read. It's modern, edgy and convincing, ramping up expectations for what's to come. Author Gail Barrett has crime writing chops proven by her wordsmithing talent.
The layering of clues is exquisite. I was so surprised by the turn of events toward the end. THE BURIED SECRETS trilogy kicks off with a gripping and heartrending story of runaways in FATAL EXPOSURE, setting the stage for readers to crave the next two installments. We won't have too long to wait because A KISS TO DIE FOR (Haley's story) releases in August 2013 and SEDUCED BY HIS TARGET (Nadine's story) releases in December 2013. I can't wait to find out what happens next! FATAL EXPOSURE earns Romance Junkies' highest rating of 5 Blue Ribbons and a Recommended Read status for packing a punch in a small package.
This small town series continues with the best book so far! You don't want to miss...moreRecommended Read! Review also posted at my blog, TBR Mountain Range.
This small town series continues with the best book so far! You don't want to miss Alex and Sam's emotional journey to a well-deserved happy-ever-after. Grab books one through four and spend the weekend in a place of hope and happy endings.
Alexandra "Alex" McKnight has earned the head chef position when construction is finished at Brodie Thorne's exclusive new restaurant, Brazen. Having worked as a sous chef at another restaurant in town after culinary school in Europe, it has always been her dream to run her own restaurant. When the contractor has a family medical issue and can no longer work within the deadlines on the restaurant, Brodie hires Sam Delgado to finish the job so they can open on schedule.
It's up to Alex to work with Sam to bring her kitchen vision to life. It would help if Sam wasn't the most exasperating man she knows and if she wasn't so attracted to him.
Something is sizzling and the kitchen isn't done yet!
Alex and Sam drew me into their story immediately. Independent, smart, with a great future as a chef, surrounded by family and friends, Alex makes the best of every minute of her day. She works, spends time making freezer meals for those who need them, and spends time with family and friends, so there isn't much room left for anything else in her very full life. Then why does it seem like something is missing?
Sam Delgado needs this restaurant finishing job to work out so that he can start his carpentry business in Hope's Crossing. Since the death of his wife, Sam and his young son, Ethan, have been in need of a fresh start. If he can just convince the beautiful chef of Brazen to share that new start with him, everything would be perfect.
RaeAnne Thayne's books are addictive, pulling the reader in to read far further in one sitting than ever intended, making me late for whatever I was supposed to do! I get so lost within the first few pages that before I know it I've read half the book and rush with my tasks so I can get back to it! So soothing, lulling me into a sweet small town with characters who deserve the happiness they seek, CURRANT CREEK VALLEY continues the HOPE'S CROSSING series with a special couple, sparks flying within minutes of laying eyes on each other. This one really touched my heart in many places throughout the book.
I was enthralled with the characters from the beginning, but it was on page 236 when the emotions skyrocketed. I think you'll understand once you read the book, but it was as if I had been lulled by a slow build enhanced by a creative layering that made me free-fall at that moment, never quite sure how we'd land, from that page until the very satisfying ending. You'll feel like you've earned that happy-ever-after right along with this couple, after experiencing the black moment before the joy. So Good!
CURRANT CREEK VALLEY is my favorite HOPE'S CROSSING series book so far for several reasons, which easily earns it Romance Junkies' highest rating of five blue ribbons and a recommended read status!
First, from the moment they meet, Alex and Sam's relationship is fun and flirty. They both have secrets so when those are revealed, it's an emotional discovery. Ethan, Sam's son, is irresistible as a super smart child, saying what he thinks in the most appropriate moments. Many of the characters from previous books make an appearance, which ties in the series nicely and gives us updates on each couple. I especially loved seeing Claire, Alex's best friend and sister-in-law interact with her, as well as Alex's mother, Mary Ella. There's a secondary romance going on, a new baby, sorrow, rejoicing and let's not forget Leonidas "Leo" the dog, who makes himself right at home. A super emotional ending with a charming catch-up epilogue, what's not to love?
For realistic characters with heart-wrenching dilemmas that are buoyed by hope, author RaeAnne Thayne tugs at the heartstrings before giving us the happy-ever-after we crave. Like candy, the HOPE'S CROSSING series should be gobbled up back-to-back and re-read when you need a bolster of hope. CURRANT CREEK VALLEY is the perfect continuation of a fabulous series and highly recommended to anyone who loves a well-deserved and hard-earned happy-ever-after.
This is the best read and play interactive book for Nook. My granddaughters pick this one first off my Nook Tablet every time and giggle constantly at...moreThis is the best read and play interactive book for Nook. My granddaughters pick this one first off my Nook Tablet every time and giggle constantly at the animation and sounds. There are several activities that they love doing over and over again.
If you have a Nook Tablet, Nook Color, or Nook HD, I highly recommend this for two to five-year-olds. You'll have as much fun reading it with them as they have listening and playing. (less)
Recommended Read! This review is also posted on my blog, the TBR MOUNTAIN RANGE. Come for a visit :)
Having the ability to write this good should be il...moreRecommended Read! This review is also posted on my blog, the TBR MOUNTAIN RANGE. Come for a visit :)
Having the ability to write this good should be illegal, or revered somehow. Just when I thought I knew what was going to happen next in THE REASON IS YOU, author Sharla Lovelace made sure I knew that she was the one in control of my emotions!
I received THE REASON IS YOU for free through Goodreads First Reads. Had I known this book would be this good, I would have read it a long time ago. I should have suspected, given how much I loved Ms. Lovelace’s second book, BEFORE AND EVER SINCE. But, being skeptical, I always wonder if an author can hit one outside of the park over and over again. Not this time. I have proof that Sharla Lovelace’s talent is golden, and I’m forever grateful for being able to experience her gift. Both books will be part of my rare rereads in the future.
Dani Shane has experienced disappointments in her life but nothing is harder than going home at forty-years-old, feeling like the alien that everyone had always thought that she was, back to square one. It’s even harder when she has to bring her teenage daughter along for the ride. A single mother and having lost her job, Dani has no choice than to move them back to her hometown to live with her dad.
Being home with her dad feels good, if she could just say the same for the rest of the small-minded people who live in this town. Now she has to face them as a strong woman who doesn’t want her daughter to experience life under the same small-minded scrutiny. Especially when she realizes that her daughter is more like her than she ever imagined.
Dani has many secrets. The fact that she can see ghosts is just the beginning…
Although I sensed some of the surprises coming in this book, how they were revealed and the depth that they went into emotionally was breathtaking. I was completely mesmerized by the characters, taken in by their laughter and often sarcastic look at the world around them, a slow jaunt into their lives that soon becomes a whirlwind of feelings. Sometimes in awe, sometimes in shock, and sometimes in sorrow, the love found within these pages is an amazing journey.
Dani is quirky and her daughter suits her perfectly. Their banter is often laugh-out-loud funny and their relationship with Dani’s father is just as charming. Real-to-life in a way that makes the characters jump off the page and into your heart, as if they’re someone you know. None of them are perfect, which makes them great characters to connect with.
Following Dani’s journey to a happy-ever-after is gut-wrenching at times, but once you get started, you can’t bear to stop reading until you know how this book will end. Why do we read fiction? To be taken on a journey that we can’t quite imagine ourselves is my answer. There are many great books that do that, week after week I find them, but then I found “the one”. I can’t fathom for the life of me how anyone can write a book this good. It’s beyond conception when every layer is leading to a climax so completely unexpected and so good, that you just sit there stupefied, wondering how you were so sucked into it that the world you’re experiencing plays back like a movie in your head.
THE REASON IS YOU is the one book that everyone should read because it touches on the basic emotion within our lives. What is love, really? And, what risks would you take in the name of love?
After gasping through so many emotional pages, witness to a life that had always been leading to this very moment, I realized that I had just experienced a master storyteller. Bravo, Sharla Lovelace!
I’m not saying anything else. I want each reader to be just as surprised as I was—do yourself a favor and experience this romantic story for yourself. It’s beyond exceptional. (less)
For a feel-good story full of emotion, Jocelyn and Will's journey to a happy-ever-after is filled with secrets from their past waiting to be revealed. If you love a full cast of great friends supporting each other through a crisis with laughter and tears, then this novel is definitely for you.
Jocelyn Bloom, thirty-something girl-next-door, is all grown up and a life coach to the rich and famous in Los Angeles. Will Palmer, minor league baseball player, is working as a carpenter at an up-and-coming resort on Mimosa Key, while waiting on a second chance at his baseball career. Fifteen years ago, the night Will told Jocelyn that he loved her, seems like a lifetime ago, and yet, it seems like yesterday if the fresh pain of love lost is considered.
The man who caused their break-up, in more ways than Will knows, is also Jocelyn's father, now a helpless, aging man living next door, who remembers very little of his past. Plagued with Alzheimer's, Guy Bloom has earned Will's compassion and friendship.
Involved in a scandal with one of her famous clients, Jocelyn needs somewhere to hide from the media until the paparazzi forgets about her. Logically, Mimosa Key, where she grew up, is the destination, since Jocelyn's college roommate has a secluded place for her to stay. Jocelyn doesn't expect to find her love from the past acting like her estranged father's best buddy, nor a father who has lost all memory of her to Alzheimer's.
Of course, Tessa and Zoe have to join Lacey in supporting Jocelyn through a crisis. That's what friends do, but can Jocelyn keep her secrets contained, when so many people who know her best surround her?
BAREFOOT IN THE RAIN is exquisitely staged so that the reader falls for all the characters, sometimes in sorrow, sometimes in anger, but mostly in laughter. Even though you should hate Guy Bloom as much as Jocelyn does, you can't help but love the man he's become. He engages Jocelyn's friends too, so resistance may be futile for the woman who, at one time, was happy as daddy's little girl. Will has also discovered Guy's charm, but what he doesn't realize is that Jocelyn has secrets that may keep her forever from his grasp, as well as from her father's.
I couldn't find anything not to like about this book. It made me laugh like a romantic comedy movie does, and yet, it still covers some very serious subjects that many of us may experience in our lifetime. The best part? It's filled with realistic good friends, like the ones you've known for a lifetime, who can make you smile even when you're at your lowest.
If you're considering this book, you might want to read book one, BAREFOOT IN THE SAND, even though I wasn't confused by missing it. I'm anxious to read more about these charming characters, so I'll go backwards before the next book comes out. If you like to be teased, there's a snippet of book three in the back of BAREFOOT IN THE RAIN, as well as a letter from Roxanne St. Claire describing a part of her life that was the seed that germinated book two. Don't miss that tidbit because it's an endearing story.
BAREFOOT IN THE RAIN is a laugh-out-loud, gasp-at-the-heartache, rollercoaster of love. Author Roxanne St. Claire orchestrates a full cast of characters, amongst a complicated story, jam-packed with emotion, encased with seamless flow. It's brilliant, modern, sophisticated and yet, feels like coming home. I can't wait for Zoe's story in BAREFOOT IN THE SUN.(less)
5 Blue Ribbon Review + Recommended Read courtesy of Romance Junkies. Full review also available at my blog, TBR Mountain Range. For a light-hearted co...more5 Blue Ribbon Review + Recommended Read courtesy of Romance Junkies. Full review also available at my blog, TBR Mountain Range. For a light-hearted contemporary story that surprises you with its deep, emotional, black moments, you don't want to miss this one! From the first sentence, first paragraph and first page, I was enamored by this heroine's voice. And the hero? Scrumptious!
Sometimes I wonder if I can do a book justice by trying to describe how good it really is, and this novel is one of those indescribable-without-experiencing-it types of love stories. The book kicks off with a great first sentence, onto a fun paragraph, peaking with an engaging first page of the first chapter that drew me right in. I was immediately hooked on the heroine's comedic look at her lousy life that just gets worse as the day continues. If you've ever had one of those days, weeks or years, you'll completely relate to these characters and their methods of dealing with harbored lifetime heartache that will hopefully be forgiven. After all, doesn't everything always happen for a reason?
Emily Lockwood is a divorced single mom of a nearly twenty-one-year-old daughter. Her cheating husband became her ex-husband some time ago, but he still butts into her life for various reasons, usually concerning their daughter. Not today.
Today he decides to tell Emily that he wants to buy her mother's house. Except Emily knows her mom's house isn't for sale. After all, as a realtor herself, wouldn't she know that? Not today.
In Emily's life, surprises should be expected since her ex-husband surprised her enough with his multitude of indiscretions. Emily has moved beyond all that history, or at least, she thought she had, until the love of her life, before the ex-husband, returns to their hometown and rekindles more than their lust for each other.
Can Emily deal with her mother selling their family home and the emotion it renews from her childhood, plus a secret she's so desperate to keep that it seems to seep from every wall of the house? Ben Landry is back, taunting her memories just as much as the house she's trying to pack up, not to mention her sister who knows her secret, and her crazy aunt who is bound to discover it. Let's not forget Emily's free-spirited daughter and her boyfriend, who come to help Emily's mom, as well as the meddlesome ex-husband and his annoying realtor girlfriend. All of them descending upon one house and the memories it holds. What could possibly go wrong? Emily is about to find out in ways she never dreamed possible. Until today.
Light-hearted with situations so real that you can't help but laugh, while shaking your head in agreement ‒ BEFORE AND EVER SINCE resonates with entertaining characters that you can relate to because someone you know is just like them. It's so easy to get into the rhythm of a light-hearted story like this, so when the black moment comes, you feel like you've been thwacked over the head with a vacuum, which proceeds to suck the life right out of you in one huge unexpected sob. It didn't take long to realize that this book wasn't finished with putting this reader through the wringer yet, and I gladly rode the emotional roller coaster right to the end. Fantastic!
BEFORE AND EVER SINCE is an outstanding contemporary story with a mystical element that fuels the conflict. Never quite sure what their family home has in store for Emily, you can't help but hope that somehow she'll find the happiness she deserves. I highly recommend BEFORE AND EVER SINCE as a creative exploration through human emotions and the power of forgiveness. Author Sharla Lovelace has a style all her own ‒ a talent you don't want to miss!(less)
5 Blue Ribbon Review + Recommended Read courtesy of Romance Junkies. Full review also available at my blog, TBR Mountain Range. If you agree that ther...more5 Blue Ribbon Review + Recommended Read courtesy of Romance Junkies. Full review also available at my blog, TBR Mountain Range. If you agree that there's something so very magnetic about a soldier who has faced the worst that humanity can throw at him, with enough humanity left within to want to heal an abused horse… Who also continues to deny his own happiness because he's so broken that he can't possibly expect another human to endure the non-existent love he has to give… Then you're ready for Adam and the only woman who completes him.
Adam Connelly returns to Idaho to work at the animal clinic that he runs with his brothers, Brady and Dell. Everything that he experienced in Search and Rescue has given him the training he needs to continue to help others who need someone with his expertise. But Adam no longer rescues, so broken from one rescue in a war-zone that he can't forget, haunted by it actually, to the point that therapy may be his only salvation, if he's willing to do it.
Holly Reid is satisfied with her life as it is, working for her father at their ranch, even though the pain from her divorce is a fresh reminder of what she never wants to do again. Relationships are for others who have the ability to forget the pain of being duped not just once, but twice.
But, what if you're thrown together with the man who broke your teenaged heart, when he's the best man to help you find your father, who may be lost or injured in the mountain wilderness? Can Holly push their past history far behind, enough to convince Adam to help her find her dad? Can Adam ignore his PTSD long enough to help the woman he left years ago holding his heart? Can either of them resist the magnetic pull that seems to insist that they belong together?
You really need to read this book to find out what happens next. I loved all of it, but it's a story that needs to be experienced first-hand to understand why this novel and these characters are so addictive.
There was a point in the book when I realized why I enjoyed it so much. Here's this bad-ass former soldier with his tough exterior and silent, dark mystique that's sure to draw women to him like a moth to a flame. Adam runs a dog obedience class and his reactions to his students, as well as their reactions to him, are very telling. If you haven't fallen in love with Adam by this point in the book, I'm betting you will in chapter seventeen. I laughed, and then was awed by how heart-rending a rollercoaster this love story could be.
I chose this book for review because I really love stories about animal shelters. What's not to love about three guys who love animals enough to run a clinic to help them? But more than that, what if they're battle-worn, damaged individuals? I couldn't help but wonder how author Jill Shalvis was going to make that work. What I never imagined was that I'd thoroughly enjoy finding out how. Adam is vulnerable yet tough, and funny because what he experienced at war is very probably beyond anything most of us have ever known or could imagine, and when he jokes, or someone jokes with him, you can feel who he is deep down inside. This hard outer shell, difficult to penetrate, is softened around others just like him because they can let loose and enjoy the moment with a sarcasm and wit born to share with lifelong comrades.
It may take them years of putting up a false façade, never truly loving until the perfect, yet damaged, woman comes along. The kind of woman who can get past those walls built to protect and hide their pain because she knows mind-numbing pain in some way herself.
Adam was lost and hid behind the walls that he built to protect himself as much as protecting others from him, and what he couldn't give to another human being. It's his journey back to living as a whole person with that very strong woman that makes this novel exceptional.
RESCUE MY HEART is a definite re-read for me for many reasons. First, it's part of a series but completely standalone as a mesmerizing romance. I loved the other characters too, so much so that I'll probably read the two books before this one, but by itself, RESCUE MY HEART is an absorbing romance. Secondly, the hero and heroine are both someone I'd like to know. They're brave, yet vulnerable, and perfect for one another. They're adorable together, yet they have a passion for one another that is frightening enough to make them second guess themselves. The push and pull between them throughout their story was everything that I love in a great romantic novel. The sex was very well-written and smoking hot, but it wasn't their sexual escapades that made this novel sizzle. It was the slow build, their magnetic push and pull, that made this a tantalizing romance, but the story, the full story and everything they experienced on a day-to-day basis, combined with the sizzling chemistry, that held my attention and kept me anticipating the gut-wrenching ending. Jill Shalvis makes you feel like you've earned that happy-ever-after right along with her tortured characters. So good, that you may just hang on tighter to those you love.
For a romance that meets expectations with characters that you can easily care about, to a plot that moves at the right pace to enhance the romance, to an overall perfect experience that is sexy, yet vulnerable, tense and compassionate, yet often laugh-out-loud funny, RESCUE MY HEART earns Romance Junkies' five blue ribbons and a Recommended Read stamp of approval for portraying the disparity versus the undeniable attraction between the sexes, that magnetism or spark, that fuels a perfect love story.(less)
5 Blue Ribbon Review courtesy of Romance Junkies. For one of the most engaging, unusual, galloping historical westerns I've read this year, grab this...more5 Blue Ribbon Review courtesy of Romance Junkies. For one of the most engaging, unusual, galloping historical westerns I've read this year, grab this novel for an addictive chase through the old west. Green-eyed beauty, Cat O'Banyon is a tough bounty hunter by circumstance who hooks up with a sharp-shooting, charm-the-pants-off-you, sexy master of illusion Alexi Romanov. The question will be, who is protecting whom, and will they live or die by the bounty?
Farmer Cathleen Chase becomes the infamous bounty hunter Cat O'Banyon when she decides to track her husband's killer. The killer's words invade her dreams and haunt her days, while one by one Cat hunts down bad men who may or may not be "the one" she's determined to find.
Master of illusion and former sharp-shooter Alexi Romanov craves the game of deceit, cheating others becomes his way of survival…even though he looks at it as taking what's offered. When Cat came into his life, she was tattered. By the time she left him, she had purpose and skills only he could teach her. They had an agreement, her body for his training, but he never agreed for her to steal his heart.
They've moved on as individuals, trying to stay alive, until Alexi discovers a sizeable bounty for Cat, dead or alive. Not able to leave a former colleague and lover to fend for herself, Alexi and his companion, Mikhail, go to Cat's aid. Not that Cat wants or needs their help, and if truth be told, helping her can be just as dangerous as being Cat O'Banyon yourself.
Cat and Alexi make a great team once they decide to work together, but how long that lasts depends on whether it's safer to be together or apart. Just like there's a certain addiction to danger for these two independent hellions, there's a spark of attraction to each other that neither of them can deny for long. Never quite sure who's charming-the-pants-off of whom, their one-upmanship is very entertaining. But, with a bounty on her head, Cat isn't safe to be around and she intends to keep Alexi and Mikhail safely out of her way. The question is, can the student of disguise outfox the master and live to tell about it?
You know you've read a great book when you can't figure out exactly how the author transported you into her world and left you there stewing about it, wanting more, needing more, long after the last page was turned. Alexi and Cat's story was captivating and it's very hard to let it go when a novel is as magnetic as this one. Lori Austin's style is so convincing that you can't imagine her story told any other way other than exactly like she layered it for our reading pleasure.
BEAUTY AND THE BOUNTY HUNTER is a galloping kick-off to Lori Austin's ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST historical series. Witty, adventurous, loving, heart-breaking, fast-paced with unexpected characters sure to entrance, BEAUTY AND THE BOUNTY HUNTER is so fun and addictive!
Taking place in 1870, this novel will easily draw in new readers with its fresh storyline, as well as capture the hearts of western historical lovers. For non-stop action, an irresistible, but tough, heroine with a heart-rending story, and the tempting man we all hope she gets in the end, BEAUTY AND THE BOUNTY HUNTER is highly recommended as the next book you'll add to your keeper shelf. There's not a dull moment and I'm not ashamed to beg for book two, AN OUTLAW IN WONDERLAND, to magically arrive on my doorstep tomorrow! Doggone it, I read that sneak-peek excerpt for book two and now I'm toast! Back to re-reading book one...again. (less)
A Recommended Read! A women's fiction novel that brilliantly contradicts uniformity with quirky characters in need of stability amongst their inner...moreA Recommended Read! A women's fiction novel that brilliantly contradicts uniformity with quirky characters in need of stability amongst their inner chaos. Tilly and James are uniquely flawed individuals whose friendship encompasses more than just a boy meets girl story. This novel unabashedly dives into psychological fears created by death, guilt and OCD, testing friendships beyond the normal range with humor, vivid emotion and understanding.
Tilly Silverberg began gardening to work through her grief after she lost her husband, left to build a new life as a widow with their young son in tow. She hadn't planned to start a business of her own, but eventually, her wholesale perennial business became her livelihood. Her gardens in North Carolina speak of her passion for color and not surprisingly, draw the attention of someone who wants to hire Tilly as his garden designer. Can she let a man into her life and consider a change in direction for a business that she's satisfied with as it is? It has been three years since her husband's death. Is it really time for her to move forward? So far, avoiding people as a plant wholesaler has suited her just fine.
James Nealy has hidden his OCD fears and compulsions from everyone in his life until now. Having sold his successful software company and his home in Chicago, he moves to North Carolina with the hope of finally beating his demons into submission. He wants to build a garden to offset his fear of dirt. Once he sees Tilly Silverberg's gardens of chaotic color, he knows she's the one to help him. After meeting Tilly, James is sure she is the answer to everything he wants in his future.
James and Tilly are wonderfully damaged characters who will snag your heartstrings from the very beginning of their story. Tilly's son, Isaac, enhances the hilarity of their first meeting and continues to be a catalyst for Tilly's every thought in their future. When Tilly has to rush back to England to help her mother, James follows uninvited, pursuing his wishes without thought about what kind of chaos he's bringing to Tilly's already strained friendships from the past. Will Tilly's friends and family push James away, or see the truth that Tilly refuses to acknowledge?
I'm easily drawn to books with "garden" in the title or gardening as a theme. I've always felt the healing properties of being one with the soil and creating something so very unique with nature's help. Naturally, being drawn to THE UNFINISHED GARDEN was inevitable and instantaneous, but I never expected to be enraptured by every emotion this novel evokes.
At first, you don't realize how damaged Tilly is emotionally, or how much she needs James in all his self-professed, flawed glory. The humor is what enamored me in the beginning, but it was curiosity and caring generated by the characters through author Barbara Claypole White's unique style that made me race to the end. Tilly and James aren't the only ones grieving for one reason or another. Sebastian, Tilly's teenage love, as well as Rowena, Tilly's lifelong best friend, have almost as many issues to overcome, which Tilly slowly discovers as she tries to figure out just where she and her son belong.
For those who understand the longing for your childhood home, a time when memories glow bright and vivid, even if you've made a new place or a different country your home, THE UNFINISHED GARDEN will tease some of those cherished memories to the surface. You can't help but love Woodend and Bramwell Hall estates in England, including their gardens, as Tilly relives her past while trying to heal her future. Landscapes come alive, teaming with nature, vibrantly portrayed by Tilly's observations and memories.
The character development in THE UNFINISHED GARDEN is superb, quirky, heartrending and enchanting. The language used is oftentimes raw, but completely appropriate for the times, as well as creates some hilarious laugh-out-loud moments. For gardeners, this novel is pure nirvana, coaxing the rebellious cottage gardener within out to play. I loved this book, filled with imperfect people struggling to find the quiet within their emotional storm. Beautifully written, THE UNFINISHED GARDEN blooms with intensity and a riotous wit perfectly suited for the survival spirit within us all. A fabulous debut novel, THE UNFINISHED GARDEN easily earns Romance Junkies' highest rating of five blue ribbons and a recommended read status for its unpredictable originality! So good!(less)
Recommended Read ~ For women's fiction at its best, Charlotte's journey through her past and present is inspirational as well as a deeply emotional l...moreRecommended Read ~ For women's fiction at its best, Charlotte's journey through her past and present is inspirational as well as a deeply emotional look at life. With a good dose of faith mixed in, you can't help but be affected by the diverse characters in this thought-provoking first book in the contemporary GODDESSES ANONYMOUS series.
Charlotte Hale is a savvy, very successful, business woman with a quirky instability ‒ the inability to park a car within an allotted space, no matter how hard she tries. She's bossy and brass, as well as used to getting her own way. She has built an empire from very modest beginnings and no one knows more than her family what she's sacrificed to be at the top of her field. For all her self-confidence, how can she feel so small waiting on her minister at this very moment? Could it be that she's not as self-assured or as perfect as she believes?
Reverend Analiese "Ana" Wagner pulls into the parking lot at Asheville's Church of the Covenant and discovers that someone has parked partially in her designated parking place. Once she recognizes whose car it is, she finds another spot and prays for patience amongst other things. Charlotte Hale and Reverend Ana don't usually see eye-to-eye on most subjects and since Ana needs to prepare for a memorial service beginning within an hour, patience isn't the only virtue she'll need. Reverend Ana is nothing but honest, and the big question will be ‒ is Charlotte ready to hear her?
Ethan Martin does his best to help his daughter care for her ten-year-old child who has epilepsy. As a single mom, Taylor works two jobs to help support herself and Maddie. She receives financial support from Maddie's father, but raising her daughter in a safe environment takes every moment that she's not working. Luckily, she has her best friend, Samantha, and her daughter, Edna, to help make life seem as normal as possible. Can life really always be normal, or is a bit of a shake-up just what this single mom needs?
Ethan finds his mind wandering, thinking about his ex-wife, Charlotte, because he's sure he saw her watching Maddie at the park today. For ten years, since the day Maddie was born, Ethan and his daughter have successfully avoided Charlotte. Now he's not sure why his ex-wife has surfaced and how he's going to tell his daughter about it. Taylor still holds a great deal of anger toward her mother and Ethan doesn't blame her. Has Charlotte always been lurking unseen around the corner, and if not, why would she start now?
Harmony Stoddard works at the coffee shop that Charlotte frequents. After a bad night dealing with rude customers, Harmony just needs some rest. Charlotte had witnessed the situation and hopes to assure Harmony that the incidents weren't her fault. What she doesn't expect is to find the young woman sleeping in her car and decidedly offering her own home as a refuge. Is this unexpected gift to a stranger really a wise thing to do?
These are just a few of the intriguing characters you'll meet in book one of the GODDESSES ANONYMOUS series by author Emilie Richards. Charlotte has taken up journaling, so while the characters weave in and out of Charlotte's life, so do the memories of her past, much of which she needs to atone for. What I loved best about this novel is the interaction between the characters scattered amongst Charlotte's spiritual growth. Most of the women are quick-witted and sometimes smart-mouthed to the extent of being very funny at the most unexpected moments. I'm especially fond of Harmony and hope to find her in future novels. Reverend Ana is a hoot and so perfect for Charlotte at this time of her life. And Ethan. What an amazing man.
I need to mention that ONE MOUNTAIN AWAY may not meet the expectations of those who read mostly romance, even though it has a beautiful love story within it. It's women's fiction and definitely follows a different drummer, which is why I love it. I highly recommend this novel as an inspirational journey well worth the box of tissue you'll go through while reading, and even though there's a great deal of love within this novel, it's more about women's relationships and their personal growth. ONE MOUNTAIN AWAY is filled with sorrow, optimism, forgiveness, faith and a deep love that transcends a lifetime.
Emile Richards' talent for characterization makes this novel a pure joy to read. Every moment spent with each of the characters seems completely in-tune with how you'd imagine they'd act or sound if you could meet them. They're a diverse lot, from young to old, and then divided up as wise to cranky to quirky or hilarious.
ONE MOUNTAIN AWAY by Emilie Richards is mesmeric, lulling you into the lives of its characters so thoroughly that your heart will break and mend, then mull over in amazement for hours afterward. Emilie Richards' flair is how she can reveal human frailties mixed with hope that is inspirational without feeling as though you've been taught a lesson ‒ even though you have. This novel will take your breath away in sorrow and joy. The end is thought-provoking and I wished Reverend Ana was real and sitting next to me at that moment. There's so much I can't wait to find out in the next book in the GODDESSES ANONYMOUS series. In truth, I was hoping one of the characters would give me a tidbit but none of them have been forthcoming ‒ yet. ONE MOUNTAIN AWAY by Emilie Richards earns a recommended read status for its divergence, for how it inspires and hopefully, for how it empowers women to be who they're meant to be ‒ for themselves and for each other.
The Hawk of Inverfyre is a warrior intent on seizing what he believes is his, including Lady Aileen of Abernye. Once The Hawk sets his eyes on his p...moreThe Hawk of Inverfyre is a warrior intent on seizing what he believes is his, including Lady Aileen of Abernye. Once The Hawk sets his eyes on his prey, no man can stop him from claiming it, as his own. Riding a dark stallion and dressed in dark garb, The Hawk exudes mystery and intrigue right from the beginning, as the story sweeps into an adventure born as a destiny. This couple is fated to have a dark, torrid affair filled with passion that breaches time and space. Two old souls reunited in new bodies, haunted by visions of past treachery and deceit.
Lady Aileen had accepted her fate, as unmarriageable, spending her days within her father's walls, avoiding her step-mother's cruelty whenever possible. Her reputation, as an ice maiden and her prowess with bow and arrows only incensed more criticism. Who was this dark visitor called The Hawk that could melt her inhibitions with one stolen kiss and whose sorcery brings visions of a past life? Why is he within Abernye's walls, never stating his purpose for his visit? Before long, Aileen will know The Hawk's intention, as the pair are taken on a journey neither of them expects.
If you enjoy a dark, mysterious hero with a husky voice and sensual appeal, then THE WARRIOR will not be a disappointment. The Hawk is a hero that transudes dark sensuality that will leave you breathless, as much as he surprises you with his tenderness. I had thought that THE SCOUNDREL had swept me away into a world that couldn't be bested. But, Claire Delacroix has created an emotional romance filled with a mystical plot that surpasses her second in the trilogy. As the legacy of these two people unfolds in their dreams and visions of the past, I was captured in the magical ways of medieval times. THE WARRIOR is a sensual romance that has found a place on my keeper shelf, to be revisited again and again. THE WARRIOR is in my top 5 reads of the year (2003) and The Hawk is my number one favorite hero.
2012 Note - Even though I reviewed this for Romance Junkies years ago, The Hawk remains one of my favorite heroes of all time.
If you love a historical novel that expresses the true spirit of the pioneer woman, with an underlying theme of unconditional faith, you will love th...moreIf you love a historical novel that expresses the true spirit of the pioneer woman, with an underlying theme of unconditional faith, you will love this novel. Hardships are faced with often emotional results, so expect to be moved by these women's stories as they travel thirteen hundred miles by foot with their families to their Promised Land.
I've read many historical novels over the years, but I have never experienced one so well suited to the American pioneer woman's struggles. This book concentrates heavily on two sisters and several women who travel with them, as well as their family and friends. Epic, heart wrenching, hopeful and often overwhelming, I was moved over and over by these strong women who represent in fiction what is based on a real-life journey.
Most of us can't imagine traveling across mountains and rivers in a covered wagon pulled by oxen, let alone walking with just a handcart to carry all your belongings. TRUE SISTERS illustrates the brave Mormon (Latter-day Saints) converts, who, promised a better life in a new land, traveled by ship from Europe to America, then train, and finally had just handcarts to push or pull their belongings thirteen hundred miles to Salt Lake City, Utah in the 1850's. Most of the converts couldn't afford a wagon and oxen, so, at less than twenty dollars and loaned to them by their church, the handcarts were a more economical way to get to their destination.
Since supply stations were planned along their journey, Ella and Nannie, plus Ella's husband, Andrew, weren't concerned that the handcarts were much smaller than a wagon. The three of them would share the pushing and pulling. Not wanting to be parted from her pregnant sister, Nannie comes to America with Ella and Andrew, hoping to forget her past hopes in a brand new future. Much to Nannie's embarrassment, her ex-fiancé and his new wife show up on the same journey. Nannie had thought she'd be Levi's only wife, and now she's wondering if he may want her as his second wife. Polygamy is accepted in their faith now, so it's a possibility that every woman on this journey must consider. Luckily for Ella, her husband Andrew promised that she would always be his only wife.
Anne Sully's husband, John, sells their gentlemen clothing store in London without her knowledge so they can make the pilgrimage to Salt Lake City. He assumes she'll come with him willingly to start a new life because he believes so strongly in the opportunity. Anne is furious and doesn't want to go. John became a Mormon without her knowledge, and now he threatens to take their children with him to America without her. What choice does she have? Can Anne travel as the only Gentile amongst the Saints without befriending these people who converted her husband against her will? Can she go back to England if she's unhappy?
Louisa is married to Thales Tanner, leader of one hundred of the Saints traveling together. Louisa's parents, plus her sister and two sons, join them in their faith and on this trek. Louisa is thrilled to be the wife of such an important man of God. But, it also means that her hardship will be more difficult in the coming days, because she will be left to tend to her family by herself, while her husband helps others in their group. She is strong and respects her husband, so she accepts her part without complaint.
Jessie Cooper and her two brothers were baptized into the Mormon faith by Thales Tanner. Thales had originally been interested in Jessie as a wife but she had no plans to marry yet, being too interested in working a farm alongside her brothers. Luckily, her best friend, Louisa, welcomed Thales' affection. Jessie and her brothers dream of a new farm in the rich untouched earth of Utah.
This is just a glimpse of the characters you will become attached to in TRUE SISTERS. Their joys and hardships jump off the page into your heart while you travel with them. All these women's paths cross one another, their hopes and dreams shared, as well as their many doubts, fears and sorrows.
Since Romance Junkies is a "romance" review site and that's where the book was obtained for review, I need to warn that this novel won't satisfy all the expectations of traditional romance readers. It can be described as a historical woman's fiction with some romance elements. Sandra Dallas tells her characters' stories with realism, sometimes in all its gory details. Although there is often great sadness in this novel, it is not a story without hope, and I highly recommend it to those who love the grit of American pioneer women. It is not always a happy story. Instead, it's an amazing passage that's a tribute to the Mormons' deeply rooted faith.
Inspirational beyond words, sometimes horrifyingly heartbreaking, TRUE SISTERS is a powerful novel sure to affect your emotions. It demonstrates the human spirit when faced with overwhelming odds against them. It's a harsh reality but even when they doubt, these friends' love for one another holds strong and pushes them forward.
For a book that will stay with you long after the last page is turned, TRUE SISTERS should grace every historical lover's shelf. Sandra Dallas has a gift for spinning a tale of epic proportions and making the reader feel as if they're inside the story. Breathtaking, tragic, rousing and love-inspired, TRUE SISTERS is an emotional saga of hope betrayed and renewed.