Giveaway! Harlequin’s Small Town Christmas

xmasranchHome for the Holidays: Hope Nichols has never felt as if she belonged anywhere, except her hometown of Pine Gulch. So, when she hears that her family’s property, Christmas Ranch, is set to be shut down forever, a determined Hope heads home. She refuses to let the Grinch steal her holiday; this will be the most memorable ranch Christmas ever! And, thanks to hunky former navy SEAL Rafe Santiago and his adorable nephew, she might just pull off that miracle.

Buy: The Christmas Ranch (The Cowboys of Cold Creek)

lonestarA Texas Christmas: Just the sight of the beautiful widow who bought the sprawling spread east of his puts Nash in the yuletide spirit. Callie and the toddler in the tyke-size cowboy hat fill his head with visions of the three of them together under one roof. That is, if Callie can let go of her past and picture a future with her one and only Lone Star cowboy!

Buy: Lone Star Christmas (McCabe Multiples)




montanaBig Sky Centennial: A small town rich in history…and love: It’s time for mistletoe and merriment— for everyone except Robin Frazier. As Jasper Gulch’s centennial celebrations reach their festive conclusion, her guilt is only mounting. The shy historian is hiding something—something that will affect everyone in town. And the more time she spends with pastor Ethan Johnson, creating an old-fashioned Christmas for his church, the more she realizes what this secret is costing her. He’s just the kind of man her heart longs for, and his kind brown eyes seem to say he might feel the same. Can she take a chance this Christmas and reveal who she really is—and what her heart is longing to say?

Buy: Her Montana Christmas (Big Sky Centennial Book 6)

Giveaway: One (1) winner will win all three books! Enter by leaving a comment. Additional entries listed in widget below. Open to North American readers. No P.O. Boxes please. Thanks! Ends 12/16/2014.

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Audio Review: Sugar Rush (Cupcake Club, Book 1) by Donna Kauffman

sugar rushHero: Baxter Dunne is Chef Hot Cakes and Leilani’s former boss. When she left his restaurant Baxter realized he needed her in his life and not just for her cooking, but the woman herself. So he does what any man would do in order to woo a woman – he puts his television show on the road and themes it around bakeries just like hers and makes her his first stop.

Heroine: Leilani Trusdale quit New York City when her father became ill. Most of her city friends don’t understand, but Leilani wants to spend her time and talent on person’s who enjoy food and not their social status or figures. So she sets up shop in sleepy Sugarberry Island and is a hit with the residents. She can’t imagine moving back to NYC, he can’t imagine moving to a small town.

Review: Sugar Rush is a sweet romance in more ways than one! Each of the characters are likable. Baxter is a self-made chef and has worked in kitchens most of his life. He and Leilani get off on the wrong foot before they even start. She blames him for the stress and hard time she had professionally in his kitchen. He was trying to negate the gossip by not rising to it. In the end he’s got to win her heart by being vulnerable. My favorite aspect of the story besides the steamy kissing scenes in the kitchen, was Leilani and Charlotte’s friendship. I also enjoyed Alma – she reminded me of Betty White. There were some other characters like an assistant and a college student and a lesbian that kind of blurred in the narrating. I couldn’t tell if they were one and the same or different. In the end it doesn’t truly signify because as side characters they were supporting not staging the romance.

Narrator: Amanda Ronconi is a lovely narrator to listen to. She did an excellent job with Baxter’s and Charlotte’s accents. I’d listen to her again.

Rating: ★★★½☆

Buy: Sugar Rush (Cupcake Club), Sugar Rush (Audio book)

Review: In Your Dreams (Blue Heron, Book 4) by Kristan Higgins

in your dreamsReviewed by Lynn Reynolds

Emmaline Neal is a police officer in Manningsport New York.  She has an extracurricular activity that most women don’t do.  Jack Holland puts on a brave face but he has some personal demons he has to deal with.  Right from the start this author will have you laughing and if you’re having a bad day, or even a bad week, this is a great pick-me-up.

As the story begins there are circumstances that will have you feeling sorry for these two.  Even though Em has a job most of us wouldn’t have, this author has made her a woman that you can identify with.  There’s a couples bonding scene that had me wishing I were an actual spectator.  And then the scene ends with me laughing – sorry I just couldn’t help myself.

Our author shows her readers how some of the “beautiful” people can be so self-absorbed.  She also shows how cruel people can be toward those that are “different”.  This would be a perfect book to read while you sit by a fire – jealous – having a mulled wine or cider along with your favorite throw or animal.  One thing I loved about this story is that the author didn’t create one picture perfect character.  It made them more believable and some more relatable.  There are even some readers who may also be able to identify with a few of them.  Jack is what might be called brooding and not everyone will like his character but that just adds to his persona.

This is a series that each book could probably be read on their own but it’s my hope that you are reading them in order.  It’s a town you will fall in love with and wish you could visit while on vacation.  If you do find that place and take reading material with you, make sure to take this series along for the ride.  It will be interesting to see if we get another look into the lives of the residents of Manningsport – I certainly look forward to finding out.

Rating: ★★★★½

Buy: In Your Dreams (The Blue Heron Series)

Review: Catch of The Day by Carla Caruso

Catch of The Day by Carla CarusoReviewed by Fleur, of A Daily Romance

Glamorous but flawed Winnie Cherry is exiled to small town Australia for work, following an imbroglio involving a senior staff member. Upon immediately entering the local area, our heroine has an accidental run-in with worldly local hunk Alex Bass. As superficial as this sounds, readers may fall in love with Alex before he even opens his mouth.

Excerpt:

Woah. The sunnies were up and she sucked in her breath. He was actually quite dreamy-looking, if you liked rugged seafaring types. Up close, he had ocean-green eyes, an aqualine nose and just the right amount of sexy stubble. His fair hair looked artfully tousled, a style that would take Sydney pretty-boys hours to perfect with texturising sea-salt spray, but was no doubt au naturel. His biceps, straining beneath the polo fabric, looked like they could bench press the Big Lobster any day.

Winnie’s tumultuous beginnings with Alex, sets the stage for many more contretemps and some fiery dialogue. Not only is the sexual tension between the two protagonists enthralling, but the insight into small town living is really interesting and makes for a great story. The side characters are real characters, in some cases a bit odd if not dysfunctional. The story is also littered with quirky details, like reference to slogans on the coffee mugs in the office, “wake up smarter, sleep with a mortgage broker.”

While providing a contrast between town and country life, Catch of the Day explores issues that women in their late 20s and early 30s often ask themselves, is life in the fast lane all it’s cracked up to be? Are my relationships meaningful? What do I really want out of life?

This book is hilarious and if you liked reading Bridget Jones’s Diary then you will probably love this book.

Rating: ★★★★★

Buy: Catch of The Day: Destiny Romance

Review: The Promise (Thunder Point, Book 5) by Robyn Carr

the promiseReviewed by Lynn Reynolds

Peyton Lacoumette stops in town not realizing that she’s looking for a job.  Dr. Scott Grant is looking for some help with his practice.  Ms. Carr has a way with words – you can feel the connection as it develops between Scott and Peyton.  She also catches the readers up on some of the characters that we met in previous books.  One thing that is constant in this series is how quaint the town is and how friendly everyone appears to be.

There’s one scene that ends with Peyton making me very jealous – she has a gallon of my favorite ice cream.  That makes it definite – I’m moving to Thunder Point.  Robyn has a way of creating a sense of community in this series it’s not all about a couple falling in love.  You come to care about the people she writes about.

Women aren’t the only ones that can find love the second time around.   This author makes Scott out to be a very romantic man who thinks about the woman he’s with.  He’s also a man who’s very understanding.  He also doesn’t try to stand in the way of Peyton doing what she wants.

This author takes great care in creating her scenes, which makes it very easy to picture what’s going on.  You can count on her to help you forget the stress that for some can almost be constant.  I’m able to just sit back, relax, and get lost in a town that you want to find and get to know the people there.

If you’re looking for a story that will make you smile – you’ve found a great choice.  There are a lot of pages, not as many as some, but you will get so lost in the story that you don’t realize how quickly they go by.  The disappointment comes when you realize that you’ve come to the end.  But then you realize that there’s another book just around the corner.

Rating: ★★★★☆

Review: Once Upon a Kiss (Book Club Belles Society, Book 1) by Jayne Fresina

once upon a kissHero: Darius Wainright doesn’t know it, but the ladies of the local book society of Hawcombe Prior have labeled him a real-life Mr. Darcy. He doesn’t have plans for matrimony, he just wants to sort his uncle’s things, sell the house, and leave for society as quickly as possible, but all that changes when he realizes who is in town — that young lady who jumped on him in his bed one year ago in Bath.

Heroine: Not only does Justina Penny not understand her friend’s fascination with Darius Wainright, but she doesn’t understand the appeal of the priggish brute Mr. Darcy. Clearly Mr. Wickham is the hero of Pride and Prejudice. So while she has her sights set on a certain local captain, Jussy plans to help her sister snag Darius… only things don’t quite go as planned as Darius Wainright is the WRONG MAN she encountered a year ago.

Review: Jussy is a fun heroine to read due to her misadventures. She loves a good romp, a fast dash, and a delicious escapade here and there. Her parents have no hope for her to get married and rely on their other daughter to make a great catch. Justina is virtually overlooked when compared to her sister – that is until her scrapes call attention to her unladylike ways. Darius catches her in two scrapes involving his property and decides to teach her a lesson which leads to quite a lot of fun and misadventure. Darius draws on Mr. Darcy in a number of ways, but is still a unique character. Like Justina, he grew up under the shadow of his sibling, but whereas Jussy’s sister is kind, his brother was not. Darius has never been comfortable around women and had to go to great lengths to overcome a strong stutter. Around Jussy, he gets tongue-tied and that my dear readers makes him all the more adorable. I fully recommend this book and consider it one of the best reads of the year.

Rating: ★★★★★

Buy: Once Upon a Kiss (Book Club Belles Society)

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Review: The Chance (Thunder Point, Book 4) by Robyn Carr

chanceReviewed by Lynn Reynolds

Laine Carrington has arrived in Thunder Point and she’s there to recuperate. Eric Gentry happened to be in the diner when she walked in. They seem to be two people who just might have something in common and they have an interesting first date.

With Eric’s job, cars become the star. Makes me wonder if this author is a car enthusiast or if she did a lot of research. Robyn always seems to take great care in making sure things sound accurate. This just enhances the readers experience and enjoyment – she just seems to have a way with her stories. She helps you forget your troubles, outside stresses, and allows you to sit back, relax, and dream.

The title is perfect because this seems to be a town that gives everyone a second chance – and sometimes that includes love. Laine is a woman who knows who she is and where she wants to go. She’s not afraid of getting involved with someone whose background is less than stellar.

If you’re a fan of the Animal Planet network, you may have watched their series “Pit Bulls and Parolees”. The woman in charge is named Tia Maria Torres and Laine reminds me of her. Eric has a friend, Al Michel, who comes to town. I’ll be interested to see if he appears somewhere else along the way.

This story shows the bond between parent and child but as we progress into adulthood sometimes those lines blur. And speaking from experience, roles sometimes end up being reversed. It may have you looking at your parents a little differently as they age. It’s a story that will tug at your heart and if you’ve lost a parent, or grandparent, you may find a few tears forming – keep some Kleenex handy.

This author has packed a lot between two covers. None of it will seem confusing but you will realize that not everything is going to end happily – but then nothing in real life ever does. This has been an enjoyable series so far and this is another book that just makes it that much more. You don’t have to read the other three books to enjoy this one but if you want to know more about the residents of Thunder Point, I would make sure to go back and read the ones you’ve missed. The next book in the series is titled The Promise, which came out this past June.

Rating: ★★★★☆

Buy: The Chance: Book 4 of Thunder Point series

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Review: Until We Touch (Fool’s Gold, Book 15) by Susan Mallery

until we touchReviewed by Lynn Reynolds

Jack McGarry is having a talk about Larissa Owens and learns something interesting.  Larissa is relatively new to Fool’s Gold but she loves it there.  They work together in the same office.  The reader should realize early on that this is going to be a book that is hard to put down.  You will realize that this can be read as a stand-alone.  But you will find it very hard at times not to either smile or laugh.

So if you’ve never read this series before you won’t be lost.  And I hope that if this is your first read in the “Fool’s Gold” series that this will be incentive for you to read the other books.  If you stop over to Susan’s web site, http://susanmallery.com/series.html, you’ll notice that she makes it easy for her readers – she breaks this series down by years.

I’m not joking when I say how easy it is to get lost in this story.  I was never so happy to have a day where I had to take my father to a series of medical appointments.  I got to finish this great book with only a few interruptions.  But be prepared – I took him to one of our local bookstores and was getting toward the end when I started to get tears in my eyes.  But luck was on my side because I could blame it on my Frappuccino.  The only disappointment in the ending was that there was no picture – you’ll understand when you get to that point.

This book is a must have.  If you’re a reader who still loves paperbacks and also has an e-reader, personally this is a series that is perfect to have in paperback form.  With the amount of time I spent reading that day I was out with my father, my e-reader would have run out of power.  Make sure to also mark your calendar; the next book will be coming out in October.

Rating: ★★★★★

Buy: Until We Touch (Fool’s Gold Book 15)

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