Showing posts with label 4 stars. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 4 stars. Show all posts

Friday, August 10, 2018

Review: The Lady and the Gent by Rebecca Connolly

Book One in the London League series

Heidi Reads... The Lady and the Gent by Rebecca Connolly

My rating: 4 stars / I really liked it


A woman of great fortune…
Margaret Easton needs a husband, and she needs one now. Her parents are convinced that only a European will do, but Margaret wants nothing more than to stay in England. The trouble is that there is only one man Margaret can think of, or rather, one she cannot forget, and he wouldn’t do as a husband at all. Then she finds herself in his care unexpectedly, and her hunt becomes even more complicated than she could have ever imagined.

A man of great mystery…
Rafe Thornton has never said more than ten words to Margaret Easton, but she is rapidly becoming the sole occupant of his thoughts. She is distracting him from his operative work as the Gent, and keeps him from his usual focused nature, which he doesn’t mind at all. When she stumbles into his world, his work and his emotions collide, forcing him to choose between saving the Crown, and protecting his love.

My Review

This was a fun book to read and I loved the undercover mystery man persona of Rafe. He and Margaret have an undeniable connection, even before they officially met. It was sweet how they always looked for each other to make eye contact and while Margaret knew that he probably wasn't as he seemed, it didn't stop her from fantasizing. Fortunately for her he was even more than what she hoped ;) I was surprised at what Margaret allowed herself to endure at the hands of the chaperone/companion/matchmaker her parents hired sight unseen. It was strange that she, her parents, and friends who might have rescued her allowed someone of a lower class, obvious animosity, and questionable taste to have that much power over her life. I loved the time Rafe and Margaret spent together and how they were able to get to know one another. Their time with the gypsies was especially fun and exciting! There are plenty of great kissing scenes and I enjoyed their chemistry and the dynamic of their relationship. The intrigue of Rafe's work added an element of suspense and made this an enthralling book I didn't want to put down. Fans of The Suspect's Daughter by Donna Hatch will definitely enjoy this book!

(I received a complimentary copy of the book; all opinions in this review are my own)

Don't miss the next book in the London League series . . .

Now available!


A disgruntled operative…
Gabriel Statler, Lord Wharton, has a problem. His duties as an operative for the Crown are being compromised for the sake of his cover, where he is known only as the Rogue. His days are now filled with trivial investigations, and none of the problems are ones he wants to solve. Then he meets a mysterious young woman who holds more secrets than he likes, and, against his better judgment, he takes her case.

A determined client...
Amelia Berger needs the Rogue, and she needs everything he can offer without revealing everything she knows. Her secrets are her own, and she has far too many to risk revealing even one. But when working with Rogue turns into something entirely unexpected, she finds that the secrets she began with are not the ones she most needs to protect.

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Review: The Merry Lives of Spinsters by Rebecca Connolly

Book One in The Spinster Chronicles series

Heidi Reads... The Merry Lives of Spinsters by Rebecca Connolly

My rating: 4 stars / I really liked it


Spinster is as spinster does...

Georgiana Allen is a spinster and everybody knows it. She also happens to be one of the writers for the Spinster Chronicles, and everybody knows that as well. She’s accepted her lot in life, and, along with the other spinsters in her circle, takes great pride in the articles she writes and the influence she has. Then Captain Anthony Sterling infiltrates their group, and her life, and Georgie impossibly begins to hope once more.

Tony Sterling had no idea what to expect when he agreed to break up the Spinsters for his cousin, but he certainly did not expect Georgie Allen. From the very first meeting, she upends everything he thought a spinster would be, and her beauty and wit keeps him on edge in thrilling ways. The more he gets to know the Spinsters, the less he wants to break them up. And the more he wants Georgie in his life. Permanently.

My Review

This is such a great idea for a series of books! I already can't wait to read the next one. It was fun to get to know each of the very different young women in the group that has bonded together as friends and supporters. By today's standards, mid-twenties are not old maids, but in Regency times they are past their prime. Each woman has a unique personality and situation that has brought them to this point, whether it's too selective, too shy, too opinionated, too independent, too cynical, or undesirable family. For some it's a mystery why no man has taken an interest. Georgie has had a desire to marry and have a family, but she never received any offers, despite her beauty and moderate dowry. We get to see her conflict and angst over her pride in what she has created with the Spinsters, but also her regrets and unfulfilled dreams. The first part of the book was slow for me and I felt it was too wordy, with lots of inconsequential conversation, even though it was giving a good feel for the dynamic of the group of friends. I would have liked to see more plot-based action with their role as Spinsters and models/mentors for the younger girls of Society. Tony really livened things up and the more time he and Georgie spend together, the more I became interested and involved in the book and their relationship. Their romance was unexpected for both and their delight in those falling-in-love feelings was a pleasure to read. They both revel in the affection they have for each other and the joy in expressing it, especially with sweet kisses ;) I liked the first part of the book okay, but I loved the second part!

(I received a complimentary copy of the book; all opinions in this review are my own)

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Review, Tour Extras & Giveaway: The Songs of You and Me by Mylissa Demeyere


The Songs of You and Me by Mylissa Demeyere 

Jane Hartford fell head over heels for Jackson at the tender age of fifteen. She spent most of high school pining for him, until she realized he wasn’t going to see her as anything more than his baby sister’s best friend. Now she finds herself single with a daughter, a broken heart, and songs that remind her of a long lost love. Jackson Wright is a man living with regret. His biggest one, never acting on his feelings for Jane. When he returns to Bellebrook, the town they grew up in, he literally runs into her and his world gets tossed upside down and sideways. This time, Jackson isn’t willing to give up. With a meddling sister eager to push both of them together, he believes things might actually work out. That is, if they can overcome the heavy baggage they both carry. Follow Jackson and Jane as they revisit their past, figuring out what went wrong so long ago. Will they learn they have the power to make things right in the present? 
Also available on Kindle Unlimited
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My Review

4 stars / I really liked it

This is a lovely second chance romance story. Jane and Jackson have so much chemistry, and the anticipation of their romance through their rekindled friendship and flashbacks to high school was well-worth the wait. I loved how comfortable they are with each other as friends, and yet not, because there is strong attraction simmering just beneath the surface. I loved that I didn't have to wait for the very end of the book for them to get together and there was plenty of time to enjoy their new dynamic and see them work through more complicated issues. Jackson's sister and Jane's best friend Sarah plays a big role in their lives by supporting them through their hardest times and also encouraging and "pushing" them to move on from living in the past and embracing their future. There are strong themes of regrets, grief, and courage which give the characters and story depth. A couple of the plot devices used to bring conflict were cliché, but thankfully not dwelt on overlong. I appreciated the focus on Jane and Jackson's strength together and the way they brought out the best in each other, and Jane's sweet daughter Emma. A great debut novel with a sneak peek for the next book in the series!

(I received a complimentary copy of the book; all opinions in this review are my own)
Book Trailer

What Readers are saying: 

A tender debut novel that will leave you remembering the sweet angst of first love. The Songs of You and Me is a charmer. - Taylor Dean, author of I’m With You and Chasing Fireflies

In this romantic debut about first love, second chances, Ms. DeMeyere weaves the past and present together in a way that brings the characters' hearts to life as they heal from tragedies and struggle to move on in life. Sweet and heartwarming. – Charissa Stastny, author of Between Hope and the Highway and the Rules out Romances Series. 

A fun and enticing love story that combines the bitter with the sweet and keeps you laughing amidst the tears. You won't want to miss this touching story that explores true love in all its depth and beauty. – Aubrey, Amazon Reviewer 

The Songs of You and Me pulled me in from page one. The characters came to life and I felt as if I was part of their story. I stayed up night after night fascinated with their personal and individual challenges. Their obstacles were relatable and tugged at my heart. I couldn’t wait to finish and yet I didn’t want it to end. As I read the last page, I was ecstatic to see what would come next from Mylissa Demeyere. – Jamie, Amazon Reviewer  


Read the Prologue & First 2 Chapters


The whole idea for this book started out as a scene after listening to a song. Then I would listen to that song over and over and see more of the pieces fall into place. Soon, I had an entire playlist, with scenes mapped out, and a whole story ready to write. This book tells the story of Jane and Jackson, the songs of them. Included in the book is a unique playlist. Here is the list, but in the back of the book, I give you a full breakdown of how I saw each scene and how I felt that song was best fitted for the chapter. Enjoy!

Prologue: Tears in Heaven – Eric Clapton 
C1: Lay Me Down – Sam Smith 
C2 : It’s a Beautiful Day – U2 
C3: Hello – Martin Solveig 
C4: Hanging by a Moment – Lifehouse 
C5: This Girl – Kungs 
C6: Disappointment – The Cranberries 
C7: Everybody Hurts – R.E.M 
C8: My Father’s Eyes – Eric Clapton 
C9: It’s Time – Imagine Dragons 
C10: Could this be love? – The Wanted 
C11: Hold Back the River – James Bay 
C12: September Song – J.B. Cooper 
C13: Count on Me – Bruno Mars 
C14: The Other – Stripped / Lauv 
C15: Breathing – Oscar and the Wolf 
C16: Love Love – Amy MacDonald 
C17: Push the Button – Sugababes 
C18: Animal – Neon Trees 
C19: Perfect – Ed Sheeren 
C20: Someday – Sugar Ray 
C21: What Lovers Do (feat. SZA) – Maroon 5, SZA 
C22: Gotta Get Thru This – Daniel Bedingfield 
C23: It’s Gotta Be You – Isaiah 
C24: Welcome to New York – Taylor Swift 
C25: Best Day of My Life – American Authors 
C26: Over My Head – The Fray 
C27: Water under the Bridge – Adele 
C28: The Middle – Jimmy Eat World 
C29: Silence – Marshmellow ft Khalid 
C30: Demons – Imagine Dragons 
C31: Walking The Wire – Imagine Dragons 
C32: Home – Dotan 
C33: No Sound But The Wind – Editors 
C34: WhoKnew – Pink 
C35: Stargazing – Kygo 
C36: Love – Jana Kramer 
C37: Quicksand – Tom Chaplin 
Epilogue: False Alarm – Matoma , Becky Hill

 Author Mylissa Demeyere   

Mylissa Demeyere was born in Belgium, and resides in the beautiful city of Ghent. She lives in a somewhat organized home with her four beautiful children and the love of her life. If she isn’t working, she’s writing, running, reading, or enjoying time with her kids, who are growing up way too fast. The Songs of You and Me is her debut novel, with a sequel already in the works.  

Connect with Mylissa
 Blog Tour Schedule 

July 30th  
I Am A Reader - Spotlight  
Clean Wholesome Romance - Spotlight  
Cuzinlogic - Spotlight 
July 31st  
Mythical Books - Review 
I'm All About Books - Spotlight  
T's Stuff - Spotlight 
August 1st  
Heidi Reads... - Review  
August 2nd  
Room With Books - Spotlight  
Paulette's Papers - Spotlight  
The Avid Reader - Spotlight 
August 3rd  
FLY HIGH! - Spotlight  
A Writer's Life - Spotlight 
August 6th  
Remembrancy - Review  
Bargnhtress - Spotlight  
Wishful Endings - Spotlight 
August 7th  
Our Book Confessions - Spotlight  
Deliciously Savvy - Spotlight  
Diana's Book Reviews - Spotlight 
August 8th  
Periodical Gazette - Spotlight 
Books Direct - Spotlight  
The Eco Lifestyle - Spotlight 
August 9th  
Kimber's Life - Spotlight  
August 10th  
Bookish Reviews - Spotlight  
BookHounds - Spotlight

Blog Tour Giveaway  

$25 Amazon Gift Code or $25 in Paypal Cash 

Ends 8/19/18 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. 

Saturday, July 28, 2018

Review: The Affair at Wildemoore by Annette Lyon

Heidi Reads... The Affair at Wildemoore by Annette Lyon

My rating: 4 stars / I really liked it


Ellen Stanhope escorts her three daughters to a ball. As her oldest flirts with a beau, Ellen is reminded of her courtship and early years of marriage with Anthony, before tragedy struck, which made their marriage fade and dull. Not until Ellen sees Anthony dancing with a woman he courted years before does she realize how much she misses him, still loves him, and wish he still loved her.

My Review

This is a sweet story about a couple who have grown apart. It was sad to learn about what happened that made them drift apart and how they both had given up hope of bringing their relationship back to what it was. Lack of communication and misunderstanding brings their issues to the surface and although it was a bit heartbreaking, they finally draw together instead of apart. I liked that it was told from the perspective of the husband and the wife, and also that they both reflected on their early days together, what they loved about their spouse in the beginning and as their marriage matured. Emotional and lovely.

Originally published in A Timeless Romance Anthology: All Regency Collection

(I received a complimentary copy of the book; all opinions in this review are my own)

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Review & Giveaway: Legacy of the Heart by Danica Favorite, Stacy Henrie, Tina Radcliffe, Terri Reed, Sherri Shackelford

On Tour with Prism Book Tours

Heidi Reads... Legacy of the Heart by Danica Favorite, Stacy Henrie, Tina Radcliffe, Terri Reed & Sherri Shackelford
Legacy of the Heart
By Danica Favorite, Stacy Henrie, Tina Radcliffe, Terri Reed & Sherri Shackelford
Inspirational Romance, Novella Collection
ebook, 378 Pages
June 22nd 2018 by Beyond the Page Publishing

An antique locket with the power to inspire everlasting love unites the five stories in this stunning collection of historical and contemporary inspirational romance novellas!

In Heritage of Love, Danica Favorite takes us to the Chicago world’s fair, where a chance encounter will spark an opportunity for true love, if only the young couple can first overcome polite society’s rigid rules . . .

Stacy Henrie tells the story of a sheriff desperate to escape the matchmaking efforts of the women in his small town, only to discover that his attempts to sidestep them may lead to eternal love and happiness in By Any Other Name . . .

Tina Radcliffe’s Forget Me Not paints the picture of a charming antique store, where love will blossom when two strangers learn the secret about a long-ago hurt and a love that never died . . .

In The Lost Locket, Terri Reed introduces readers to two people who have given up on love and will fight their undeniable attraction until it may be too late . . .

And in Winning the Fireman’s Heart, Sherri Shackelford shows us two long-time friends forever searching for the perfect mate, until a gesture of kindness reveals the love that’s always been waiting for them . . .

My Review

I enjoyed the stories in this collection and seeing the locket pass from one character to another. The first two stories are historical, and the last three are contemporary. I liked the setting of the first story, with an eligible society daughter interested in seeing more exhibits than the horticulture one deemed acceptable to young ladies, and her unlikely friendship that springs up with a cowboy from the Wild West show. However the dialogue was pretty stilted, the insta-love unrealistic, and the characters repeatedly fixated on his partial Native American heritage. 

The collection vastly improved with Stacy Henrie's novella which had vibrant characters, interesting banter, and a compelling narrative. The small-town sheriff thought he was corresponding over a year with the lovely lady he met at the Chicago World's Fair, but it turns out that he mixed up her name with her plainer sister's. They don't discover the misunderstanding until she arrives to marry him, and a marriage of convenience results. I'm always intrigued by how a couple falls in love while in such close circumstances but also withholding- or attempting to ;) His bride fits right in, helps him with his duties and befriends the neglected youngster he has been reaching out to. Their blossoming romance based on friendship develops sweetly and some dangerous outlaws bring action to the plot.

The first contemporary story by Tina Radcliffe was fun and quirky with the antique shop passed down to a niece who learns that her aunt's long-ago broken relationship with the owner and landlord of the building it's in has put the future of the shop at risk. The building owner's nephew who is also his lawyer comes to town to foreclose but ends up solving the mystery of the relationship and falls in love with the town himself. I appreciated the genuine and friendly nature of the main characters and their friends in the tight-knit community. The retro vibe was fun and I loved how in her antique shop the objects of an older era are valued instead of disregarded or discarded.

The next story by Terri Reed has a doctor and a nurse who work well together professionally sparking a friendship outside of work and discovering their chemistry and attraction for one another. I liked how well they respected each other and the fun they had together. The conflict of the plot is that Penny has a hard time trusting her own heart to love and Brad is only in the town on a temporary contract, with his next job already lined up in Chicago. Even though they alternate between closeness and avoiding each other, they are honest about their feelings and I appreciated that they allowed each other space to figure out their own hearts and futures.

The final story is another fun one with a creative premise- Logan, the attractive fireman who always keeps relationships short has a pact with his best friend Georgie who is a girl to attend all weddings as each other's date. She has a tomboy sense of humor and isn't a twig, and is about ready to give up on finding love. She wins a drawing for a wedding dress complete with a trip to NYC with her groom-to-be and a photo shoot, so Logan volunteers to be her stand-in groom so she can claim the dress. There are plenty of laugh out loud moments and also some tender and vulnerable ones as they are drawn into situations that make them realize how much they care for each other, and not just as friends. A perfectly wonderful friends-to-lovers romance!

(I received a complimentary copy of the book; all opinions expressed in this review are my own)

About the Authors

A self-professed crazy chicken lady, Danica Favorite loves the adventure of living a creative life.

She and her family recently moved into their dream home in the mountains above Denver, Colorado. Danica loves to explore the depths of human nature and follow people on the journey to happily-ever-after. Though the journey is often bumpy, those bumps are what refine imperfect characters as they live the life God created them for. Oops, that just spoiled the ending of all of Danica’s stories. Then again, getting there is all the fun.

A USA Today bestselling author, Stacy Henrie is the author of more than a dozen inspirational historical romance novels and novellas. Her books include Hope at Dawn, a 2015 RITA Award finalist for excellence in romance. Born and raised in the West, where she currently resides with her family, Stacy enjoys reading, road trips, interior decorating, chocolate, and most of all laughing with her husband and kids.

Originally from Western, N.Y., Tina Radcliffe left home for a tour of duty with the Army Security Agency stationed in Augsburg, Germany, and ended up in Tulsa, Oklahoma. While living in Tulsa she spent ten years as a Certified Oncology R.N., followed by a move to Colorado, which led to a career as a library cataloger. A freelance writer for over twenty years, Tina is an RWA Honor Roll member, a two-time RWA Golden Heart finalist, two-time ACFW Carol Award finalist, and a 2014 ACFW Carol Award winner. She currently resides in Arizona, where she writes fun, heartwarming romance.

Terri Reed’s romance and romantic suspense novels have appeared on Publishers Weekly Top 25, Nielsen’s Bookscan Top 100, have been Amazon Bestsellers and featured in USA Today, Christian Fiction Magazine, and Romantic Times Magazine, finaled in the Romance Writers of America’s RITA contest, National Reader’s Choice Award contest, and American Christian Fiction Writers’ The Carol Award contest.

Sherri Shackelford is an award-winning author of inspirational, Christian romance novels for Harlequin/HarperCollins Publishers. A wife and mother of three, Sherri’s hobbies include collecting mismatched socks, discovering new ways to avoid cleaning, and standing in the middle of the room while thinking, “Why did I just come in here?” A reformed pessimist and recent hopeful romantic, Sherri has a passion for writing. Her books are fun and fast-paced, with plenty of heart and soul.

Tour Giveaway

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Thursday, July 19, 2018

Review & Giveaway: Veins of Gold by Charlie N. Holmberg

Heidi Reads... Veins of Gold by Charlie N. Holmberg

My rating: 4 stars / I really liked it


Desperate to save her siblings from poverty, a young woman discovers magic fueled by gold . . . and a love for the man who wields it.

Abandoned by their father for the gold rush, Gentry and her siblings labor to survive alone in the inhospitable west. When bizarre natural disasters begin wreaking havoc on the land, Gentry discovers a world of magic. Desperate for help, she accepts aid from a mysterious stranger.

Winn not only sees the magic, but controls its hunger by feeding it gold—the very thing Gentry’s father left to acquire. But the earth’s unrest only grows worse, and Gentry’s fear leads her to a terrible choice: marry a wealthy man she does not love, or trust in Winn’s unpredictable power to save her family.

My Review

This is the first book I've read by the author, and I didn't really know what to expect, other than she had great reviews from reader friends and authors. I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of writing, and was easily drawn into the story and its characters. I always enjoy a western setting, and the addition of the paranormal/magic element made it exciting and new, with lots of unknowns. It was a nice balance of 1800's reality and imaginative fantasy. Gentry is strong and devoted to her family, and their increasingly desperate circumstances worry her to the point of anxiety. She has support from the Mormon family who adopted her half brother, and they help keep her grounded and hopeful. Winn is charming and sweet, and Gentry doesn't quite know what to make of her new friend. There are themes of self-reliance, trust, grief, and forgiveness that brought depth to the story. The concept of gold mining and the effect it had on the spirit of the land was intriguing, and I liked the way the author wove in elements of a Native American tribe, the crickets, and the seagulls- nods to the rich history of Utah. I'm looking forward to reading more from this author!

(I received a complimentary copy of the book; all opinions in this review are my own)

About the Author

Born in Salt Lake City, Charlie N. Holmberg was raised a Trekkie alongside three sisters who also have boy names. She is a proud BYU alumna, plays the ukulele, owns too many pairs of glasses, and finally adopted a dog. Her fantasy Paper Magician series, which includes The Paper Magician, The Glass Magician, and The Master Magician, has been optioned by the Walt Disney Company. Her stand-alone novel, Followed by Frost, was nominated for a 2016 RITA Award for Best Young Adult Romance, and her novel The Fifth Doll won the 2018 Whitney for Speculative Fiction. She is a board member for Deep Magic Ezine and lives with her family in Utah.


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Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Review: Where the Fire Falls by Karen Barnett

Book Two in the Shadows of the Wilderness series

Heidi Reads... Where the Fire Falls by Karen Barnett

My rating: 4 stars / I really liked it


Stunning Yosemite National Park sets the stage for this late 1920s historical romance with mystery, adventure, heart, and a sense of the place John Muir described as "pervaded with divine light."

Watercolorist Olivia Rutherford fashioned her image as an avant-garde artist to appeal to the region's wealthy art-collectors. When she lands a lucrative contract painting illustrations of Yosemite National Park for a travel magazine including its nightly one-of-a-kind Firefall event, she hopes the money will lift Olivia and her sisters out of poverty.

After false accusations cost him everything, former minister Clark Johnson has found purpose as a backcountry guide in this natural cathedral of granite and trees. Now he's faced with the choice of becoming a National Parks Ranger, but is it his true calling?

As Clark helps open Olivia's eyes to the wonders of Yosemite, she discovers the people are as vital to the park's story as its vistas-- a revelation that may bring her charade to an end.

My Review

There are two things I especially appreciated about this book- that it's set in Yosemite, a place I've visited several times, and that the main character Olivia is an artist. The author really made the time period come to life, and though it's not my favorite era for fiction, once Olivia got to Yosemite and began to shed her flapper girl facade, I was a happy camper ;) She really undergoes quite a transition,  from fearful and desperate to courageous and confident. Clark's frank demeanor influences her to make the effort to get in touch with the spirit of the landscape, enabling her paintings to evoke more emotion and touch the viewer. Clark is on his own spiritual journey, seeking for guidance with his purpose and future. These two lost and hurting souls have a bit of a rocky start, but in time form a friendship as they learn to trust and reveal their hidden secrets. There is plenty of intrigue and angst while Olivia faces pressure from various sources, all of which is balanced nicely with the beauty and grandeur of the location. I loved all the little nuggets of history of Yosemite's early days as a National Park sprinkled into the story, and it made me look forward to camping and backpacking there again.

(I received a complimentary copy of the book; all opinions in this review are my own)

Don't miss the first book in the Shadows of the Wilderness series . . .

Book One
Heidi Reads... The Road to Paradise by Karen Barnett


In 1927, Margie Lane, an avid naturalist, convinces her Senator father to procure her a position at the fledgling Mount Rainier National Park. Since Ranger Ford Brannon lost his father in a climbing accident, he doubts his ability to protect the park and its many visitors. He certainly doesn't relish the job of watching over an idealistic and privileged young woman with no practical survival skills.
When Margie's former fiance sets his mind on developing the Paradise Inn and its surroundings into a tourist playground, Margie and Ford will have to work together to preserve the beauty and simplicity of this mountain hideaway, but the developer's plans might put more than just the park in danger.