Showing posts with label Regina Jennings. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Regina Jennings. Show all posts

Saturday, December 26, 2020

Review: The Kissing Tree: Four Novellas Rooted in Timeless Love by Karen Witemeyer, Regina Jennings, Amanda Dykes, Nicole Deese

My rating: 4 stars / I really liked it


Bestselling novelist Karen Witemeyer joins award-winning authors Regina Jennings, Amanda Dykes, and Nicole Deese for this Texas-sized romance novella collection. Each of the authors' unique voices is on display in stories where courting couples leave a permanent mark of their love by carving their initials into the same oak's bark.  

In Regina Jennings' Broken Limbs, Mended Fences, a small-town teacher has her credentials questioned by a traveling salesman.

In Karen Witemeyer's Inn for a Surprise, two opinionated collaborators with conflicting visions must turn a doomed business venture into a successful romantic retreat.

From Roots to Sky by Amanda Dykes follows a young WWII naval airman who heads to Texas to meet the sister of a lost compatriot.

by Nicole Deese is a modern-day romance about the groundskeeper of a historic inn who's reunited with someone from her past while she fights to save a town landmark.

My Review

I love beautiful old trees, so the theme of a tree connecting four generations really appealed to me. Because of the variety of eras and the authors writing the different stories, each was unique and incorporated the Kissing Tree in a different way. While each story and couple was interesting, I connected the most with the emotions of the first, by Regina Jennings. A dream-killing injury, a challenge to her job, a wager, and unrequited love lead to an unlikely friendship between Bella and a schoolmate from her past. I appreciated how Bella does her best to forgive and look for the good in Adam. He is back in the town he grew up in to sell the latest technology in harvesting, yet his former community has difficulty believing his promises. He and Bella both have something to prove, and the support they give each other goes a long way to make them both successful in their endeavors and relationship. They feel strongly and are compelling as they earnestly seek for solutions to their quandary.

Inn for a Surprise brings the gentle humor author Karen Witemeyer brings to all her books, and the conflicting opinions on what would please the clientele of a hotel brought fun banter as the competition between Phoebe and Barnabas teaches them to listen and compromise in order to make the inn its best. 

I most enjoyed in Roots to Sky was the long correspondence between Hannah and Luke, and the way they grew to know each other before ever meeting. The healing and slow-developing sweet romance when they finally meet is lovely.

Heartwood was a little heartbreaking, since the great old tree is coming to the end of its days. I was fascinated with Griffin's occupation of arborist and all the skills and knowledge it involves. Abby's grief over her father bleeds into her lifestyle and the way she can't leave behind his work on the grounds of the inn and move on with her own life choices. Griffin's return resurrects old hurts for both of them that they must face and resolve in order to take risks again and heal.

Disclosure statement: A complimentary copy of this book was provided from a tour group, publisher, publicist, or author, including NetGalley, OR was borrowed from the library, including OverDrive, OR borrowed from Kindle Unlimited, OR purchased. A review was not required and all views and opinions expressed are unbiased and my own.

Monday, November 26, 2018

#TFBRC Novella

I absolutely love novella collections!!! One of my favorites to re-read is A Match Made in Texas. Three of the stories are by some of my favorite Christian fiction authors, and if you buy the novella e-books individually they are only $1.99! (I included the links to the individual novellas in the synopsis). An Unforeseen Match by Regina Jennings has one of my most favorite first kiss scenes ever!

My rating: 5 stars / It was amazing


In the small town of Dry Gulch, Texas, a good-hearted busybody just can't keep herself from surreptitiously trying to match up women in dire straits with men of good character she hopes can help them. How is she to know she's also giving each couple a little nudge toward love?

A Cowboy Unmatched
Neill isn't sure who hired him to repair Clara's roof--he only knows Clara desperately needs his help. Can he convince this stubborn widow to let down her guard and take another chance on love?

An Unforeseen Match
Hoping to earn an honest wage on his way to the land rush, Clayton ends up on Grace's doorstep, lured by a classified ad. He may have signed on for more than he expected though--and he may have found the one woman who can keep him from moving on.

No Match for Love
Andrew can't fathom how refined Lucy ended up as the caretaker to his dotty aunt, and somehow her arrival has prompted even more bizarre occurrences around the ranch. When they join forces to unearth the truth, will the attraction between Andrew and Lucy develop into more?

Meeting Her Match
When the tables are turned and a tenderhearted meddler becomes the beneficiary of a matchmaking scheme, her world is turned upside down. As her entire life changes, will she finally be able to tell the banker's son how much she cares for him?

My Review

I loved the first story by Karen Witemeyer! I was anxious read about Neill Archer, the youngest brother from her book Short-Straw Bride (which was wonderful). A sweet relationship developed quickly between Neill and the strong Clara, and the action from the plot was non-stop. There was a nice balance between moments of character development and romance, and the excitement really moved the story forward.

The second story by Regina Jennings turned out to be my favorite. The unusual premise was so interesting and the main characters so vivid. Again, several sweet moments between them as their relationship developed, and the personality clashes kept things lively. Great romantic tension and chemistry!

The third story by Carol Cox was okay, but the characters were not developed enough for me to feel an emotional connection to their story. There didn't seem to be any reason for the main characters to fall in love other than that they were there and convenient. The attraction was stated, and then all the focus was on the mystery. A three star rating for me on this one, but the other stories were strong enough to carry the five star overall rating.

The last by Mary Connealy was a story of unrequited love full of emotion and tempered with a huge dose of humor, as usual. It was fun to read the story of the matchmaker and how the town conspired to make her match.

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

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

#TackleYourTBR Update: Day One

Day One: September 17th

Books Read: Charming the Mountain Man by Jeanette Lewis
Pages Read: 181 
Total Pages Read: 181
Finished Books: 1

I know, I know. Charming the Mountain Man is not on my book list for this read-a-thon. But I couldn't sleep last night and it just loaded on my kindle from the 99 cent sale the other day! It was awesome, and I'm definitely going to check out the other books in the series!

Monday, September 17, 2018

Review: A Most Inconvenient Marriage by Regina Jennings

Book One in the Ozark Mountain Romance series

Heidi Reads... A Most Inconvenient Marriage by Regina Jennings

My rating: 5 stars / It was amazing


A Marriage of Convenience Turns Most Inconvenient in this Historical Charmer

Having fled a difficult home life, Civil War nurse Abigail Stuart feels like her only friend in the world is sweet but gravely wounded patient Jeremiah Calhoun. Fearing he won't survive, the Confederate soldier's last wish is that Abigail look after his sickly sister at home. Marry him, return to his horse farm, and it'll be hers.

Left with few choices, Abigail takes him up on his offer and moves to Missouri after his death, but just as the family learns to accept her, the real Jeremiah Calhoun appears--puzzled to find a confounding woman posing as his wife. Jeremiah is determined to have his life back to how it was before the war, but his own wounds limit what he can do on his own. Still not fully convinced Abigail isn't duping him, he's left with no choice but to let the woman stay and help--not admitting to himself she may provide the healing his entire family needs.

My Review

The unusual plot made this story one that was hard to put down! Abigail and Jeremiah are both determined and stubborn, and it was fun to see their personalities clash before they began to work together for his family and the farm. There are complicated family dynamics with Jeremiah's grown sister who is dying and making everyone miserable with her, a sweet-hearted mother who is devoted to both Jeremiah and Abigail, and a community still dealing with the dangerous aftermath of war. Balancing out the entertaining banter are the themes of loss, grief, and forgiveness, which bring depth and purpose to the day to day efforts of the characters. A bright spot in the story is the mischievous neighbor children, Josiah and Betsy, who each have their own tales later in the series. There is some suspense and action as Josiah and Abigail defend their land against those who would take advantage.

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

Check out the other books in the Ozark Mountain Romance series . . .

Book Two
Heidi Reads... At Love's Bidding by Regina Jennings


After helping her grandfather at their Boston auction house, Miranda Wimplegate discovers she's accidentally sold a powerful family's prized portrait to an anonymous bidder. Desperate to appease the furious family, her grandfather tracks it to the Missouri Ozarks and makes an outlandish offer to buy the local auction house if they promise not to sell anything until he arrives.

Upon their arrival, however, they discover their new business doesn't deal in fine antiques, but in livestock. And its manager, ruggedly handsome Wyatt Ballentine, is frustrated to discover his fussy new bosses don't know a thing about the business he's single-handedly kept afloat. Faced with more cattle than they can count--but no mysterious painting--Miranda and Wyatt form an unlikely but charged partnership to try and salvage a bad situation getting worse.

Book 2.5 (From the With This Ring? novella collection)

1870s Missouri

Heavy rain means trouble for Katie Ellen. With her parents away, she's left to take care of the mountaintop farm alone until Josiah Huckabee happens to check on her. She used to think him charming--used to--but before she can run Josiah off, a stranger appears. The bridge has washed out, stranding a weathered and threatening man with them. Immediately sensing danger, Josiah steps in and claims the place--and Katie Ellen--as his own. His farm, his wife, and this Silas Ruger character better be respectful. Furious, Katie Ellen is forced to play along. Readers of Regina's Ozark Mountain Romance series will love seeing favorite characters all grown up.

Book Three


Betsy Huckabee might be a small-town girl, but she has big-city dreams. Writing for her uncle's newspaper will never lead to independence, and the bigger newspapers don't seem interested in the Hart County news. Trying a new approach, Betsy pens a romanticized serial for the ladies' pages, and the new deputy provides the perfect inspiration for her submissions. She'd be horrified if he read her breathless descriptions of him, but these articles are for a newspaper far away. No one in Pine Gap will ever know.
Deputy Joel Puckett didn't want to leave Texas, but this job in tiny Pine Gap is his only shot at keeping his badge. With masked marauders riding every night, his skills and patience are tested, but even more challenging is the sassy journalist lady chasing him.

Monday, February 5, 2018

Review: Hearts Entwined: A Historical Romance Novella Collection by Karen Witemeyer, Mary Connealy, Regina Jennings, Melissa Jagears

Heidi Reads... Hearts Entwined: A Historical Romance Novella Collection by Karen Witemeyer, Mary Connealy, Regina Jennings, Melissa Jagears

My rating: 4 stars / I really liked it


The path to love is filled with twists and turns in these stories of entangled romance with a touch of humor from four top historical romance novelists! Includes Karen Witemeyer's The Love Knot, Mary Connealy's The Tangled Ties That Bind, Regina Jennings's Bound and Determined, and Melissa Jagears's Tied and True.

My Review

I always look forward to the next novella collection from these four authors! Hearts Entwined is especially fun because the main characters in each story are connected in some way to a full-length novel. I love seeing secondary characters get a happy ending, like in Karen Witemeyer's story, the last of her Ladies of Harper's Station series. Claire is reconnected with a sweetheart from her past that she doesn't quite know how to handle and another surprise bundle of joy.

In Mary Connealy's story, it is two of the children from her Kincaid and Stone families that are reunited as adults and quickly fall back in love. Connor follows Maggie to the city as she follows her dreams of becoming a doctor. I loved seeing them work together in the doctor's office and the crazy action they encountered there. I am definitely grateful for the advances that have been made in medicine!

Regina Jennings's story was full of humor and action as camels are transported from Kansas to Texas in the midst of brutal heat and an even more brutal outlaw gang. The sweet romance that developed between cavalry soldier Bradley and officer's daughter Ambrosia was full of sparks and it was fun to read their interactions.

The story by Melissa Jagears had an entitled socialite in love with a mere secretary and going to work in a factory to prove that she could live the life he could provide. I admired her determination in new and difficult circumstances, and the compassion she had for those in poverty she connected with. He fought so much against the relationship that she came across as desperate and I missed the romance until the end.

Overall I enjoyed each of the stories with the fascinating history and sweet romance, although it wasn't as toe-curling as some of the previous collections.

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

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Review: With This Ring? by Karen Witemeyer, Mary Connealy, Regina Jennings, Melissa Jagears

Heidi Reads... With This Ring? by Karen Witemeyer, Mary Connealy, Regina Jennings, Melissa Jagears

My rating: 5 stars / It was amazing


Four top historical romance novelists team up in this new collection to offer stories of love and romance with a twist of humor. In Karen Witemeyer's "The Husband Maneuver," Marietta Hawkins decides to grab the reins when the ranch foreman she loves seems to be leaving forever. Regina Jennings offers "Her Dearly Unintended," where friends stranded by a rising river pretend to be newlyweds when a dangerous stranger arrives.

Mary Connealy's "Runaway Bride" finds a Texas ranger getting more than he expected when he rescues a young woman fleeing a dangerous arranged marriage. And Melissa Jagears' "Engaging the Competition" finds a young woman forced to assist the man she's often sparred with after an accident leaves him helpless. Each tale is a fun blend of history and romance that will delight readers.

My Review

I absolutely loved all these stories! They were each so interesting and unique with the angle of the plot, and all the stories have vibrant characters and settings. We get to revisit great characters from other books by Karen Witemeyer and Mary Connealy, but they are perfect as stand alone stories too. There is a fantastic element of humor throughout which kept me smiling as I read the predicaments the couples found themselves in. And the romance? So wonderful! I enjoyed all the novellas equally and highly recommend this collection!

(Thank you to Karen Witemeyer and Bethany House Publishing for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review)