Thursday, September 13, 2018

Review & Giveaway: Long Journey Home by Sarah M. Eden




Heidi Reads... Long Journey Home by Sarah M. Eden

My rating: 5 stars / It was amazing

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Synopsis

Widowed by war, Maura O’Connor has raised her son alone under the weight of poverty in the unforgiving slums of New York City. That harsh and difficult life has taken a toll on them both. Desperate to save her son from the misery around them, she moves them both to the tiny western town of Hope Springs, where her late husband’s family lives, hoping that the decade of silence between them does not mean she and Aidan will be rejected outright. Her son needs family, and she would endure anything to see him happy.

Ryan Callaghan has worked the land belonging to the late Granny Claire for years, dreaming of one day claiming it as his own. Living in his brother’s home affords him no freedom, no stability, no joy. The arrangement is even harder on his mother, whose health is quickly deteriorating. A risky investment in the land has finally begun to pay off, and he is at last in a position to secure a better future for them both. When use of the home is, without warning, offered to a newly arrived widow and her son, that future is entirely uncertain.

Both Maura and Ryan desperately need the Claire farm, for their own futures as well as those of the loved ones who depend on them. Neither can remain in Hope Springs without the house and land, but only one can claim it in the end.


My Review

Another amazing addition to the series! I think each book just gets better and better as we come to know the O'Connor family and their community in Hope Springs even more. I loved the way the author incorporated the main characters from previous books in meaningful ways, not just appearances for the sake of having their names in the book. Also, without doing a plot rehash of the previous books. These can be read out of order, but meeting them Long Journey Home will definitely make you want to go back and read the stories of the other characters.

It took me a little bit to get a feel for Maura, but I grew to love her and understand her as she allows herself to open up to her O'Connor family and accept their unconditional love and support in the midst of her hardships and theirs. Ryan is someone who is easy to admire with his compassion for his mother, strong work ethic, and service to his community. I loved seeing Maura and Ryan develop a friendship in spite of their conflicting goals, and the way they sacrificed for each other. The sweet romance between them grew slowly and naturally, and their special moments together are even more so because of that wait. Maura's son Aiden was also an important member of this story and I thought he was realistically portrayed and enjoyed seeing him blossom in Hope Springs. There are strong themes of family, service, sacrifice, and community. I thoroughly enjoyed every page of this wonderful book!

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



Connect with author Sarah M. Eden:

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 Don't miss the previous books in the Longing for Home Series:

Longing for Home
Hope Springs
My Dearest Love
Love Remains

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Falling in Love Event: Author Delaney Cameron, Freebie & Giveaway!

 

  

 Team Mom by Delaney Cameron 

Julie’s calm life is thrown a curve ball when her brother arrives the night before his seven-month deployment asking her to take care of his son. As a preschool teacher, she’s used to dealing with toddlers, not nine-year-olds. Noting her nephew’s interest in baseball, Julie signs him up for little league. She’s anything but thrilled to find out that his coach is a celebrity. 

Eric returned to St Marys to lick his wounds and start over. But even in his hometown, he’s known more for his unfortunate appearance on a reality dating show than for his seven years in the major leagues. All he has to show for that poor decision is an ex-wife and a broken heart. Julie’s obvious disapproval makes her the perfect choice for his team mom. If she doesn’t like him, she won’t cause any problems. But will that be enough to keep his growing interest in her in check? And as Julie’s preconceived notions about sports figures slowly unravel, will she be able to resist the man behind the public persona?  

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Eric glanced doubtfully at his fitted shirt and pants. If he’d been going to the couple’s shower alone, he would have settled for comfort and worn jeans. The fact that he’d sought his brother’s opinion on what to wear was an admission of his level of anxiety. Julie had agreed to come with him. Was it wrong to want to look nice for her sake?
The jarring sound of the gate buzzer jolted him out of his pensive reverie. After making sure Delilah had fresh water, he grabbed the wrapped box off the table and went out on the porch to wait. Jordan jumped out of the car and sprinted over to where he stood.
“Hey, Coach Gibson. I brought some of my Xbox games. I hope that’s okay.”
“That’s fine. You can go on in. Matt’s waiting on you.”
When Eric looked back in Julie’s direction, the greeting on his lips was forgotten. He swallowed once and then again as he watched her get something out of the backseat. The tiny straps and fitted bodice of her dress left most of her lovely shoulders and neck bare while the wide, flirty skirt hinted at nicely shaped legs.How was he going to behave with her looking like that?
“How have you not kissed her yet?” a teasing voice asked from behind him.
Did kissing her neck count for anything? Probably not in Matt’s view of the world. “How do you know I haven’t?” he muttered.
Matt snorted dismissively. “Because if you had, you wouldn’t be staring at her like a starving man waiting for the buffet to open.”
“Would you lower your voice?”
Not bothering to take his brother’s advice, Matt continued. “I approve, by the way. She’s just what you need.”
“Can we talk about this later?”
“Definitely. I want a full report of today’s events.”
Eric turned a laugh into a cough. “Get in the house before I throw you in there.”
“I’m going, sweet thing.”
“So help me, Matt, if you say another word...”
The arrival of Julie brought this conversation to an abrupt end.
“Hey, guys. Are we ready for this?” she asked with a smile.
“I think so,” Eric said.
“You kids have fun,” threw in Matt, ignoring his brother’s frown. “Don’t worry about Jordan. We’ll be fine.”
“You’ve got my number, right?” asked Julie.
“Sure do. See you later.”
Eric shook his head as he watched Matt enter the house and close the door. “He gets worse every day. Got everything you need?”
“Yes, sir.”
He grinned. “In that case, I think we should get going.” Once they were on their way, he glanced in her direction. “You look lovely. You remind me of a summer garden in that dress.”
“Thank you. You look like an ad for Ralph Lauren.”
“I’ve never seen any. Is that a compliment?”
“Definitely.”
“Then I thank you, too. I forgot to warn you about Thomas. He’s only slightly more mature than Matt, and neither of them knows the meaning of the word discretion. They speak first and worry about the consequences later.”
“I’ve got a brother, remember. I know how these things work. What did you get the happy couple?”
“A four-slice toaster. It’s sort of a private joke. That’s what Thomas got me as a wedding gift. I thought I’d return the favor.”
“I keep forgetting that you’ve already done this.”
Eric wished he could forget. He’d give anything to wipe out the memories of his marriage. “What did you get them?”
“Nothing as exciting as a toaster. I got bathroom towels. You can never have enough towels.”
Towels were about the only thing Sydney didn’t fight him over. To hear her talk, he would have left her destitute if he could have found a legal way to do it. In the end, he got tired of the endless arguments. What use did he have for all those things they’d bought together? The only memories they carried were bad ones. He was better off without them.
“Good idea. As far as the games go, if there’s something you don’t want to do, let me know. I’m all for being a good sport, but not at the expense of making you uncomfortable.”
“The same goes for you.”
He cast her a teasing glance. “I don’t embarrass easily, and to be honest, I can’t think of a single game I wouldn’t be willing to play with you.”
Her eyes fell to her lap. “I’m starting to think you say things just so you can see me blush.”
Eric laughed. “You do it so beautifully; I can’t resist.”
   


  

"Clean romance, but oh, those kisses sizzle. Great interaction between the brothers--they'll make you smile. I would recommend this book and read more by this author."   

"I loved this story, it was sweet, clean, and most of all it was just a straight forward book, without conflicts and huge misunderstandings you usually get in a romance book. The slow building romance was a pleasant surprise, too. Little Jordan was so precious, and let's face it....I've always be a sucker when it comes to animals and kids. I loved the playful interaction between the two brothers, Eric and Matt. They were hysterical, without trying to be. Just seemed so natural and real, but so did the relationship between Julie and Eric. I was so impressed that I just downloaded the next book in the series." 

"Just a lovely story. A heroine you can adore, a hero you can fall for and a love story you can get lost in. Well written. No cheesy catastrophes. Clean and well worth the read." 


     

Author Delaney Cameron 


I'm a Georgia girl at heart if not by birth. I love to read, watch college football, and spend time with my husband. I'm a hopeless romantic so there will always be a happily ever after in my stories. I also like to write about second chances because love doesn't always work out the first time. My books are sweet romances set in both contemporary and regency settings featuring stories about the journey to love, from that first meeting to the point where two people know their hearts are no longer their own. My characters aren't perfect. They make mistakes and have faults like the rest of us. They learn the sometimes painful truth that the path to love isn't always smooth, but it's a road worth traveling. 

 



  
     


   

Giveaway Details $25 Amazon Gift Code or $25 in PayPal Cash Ends 10/5/18 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use money sent via Paypal or gift codes via Amazon.com. 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. This giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.  





Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Spotlight & Giveaway: White as Silence, Red as Song by Alessandro D'Avenia



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Synopsis


Sixteen-year-old Leo has a way with words, but he doesn’t know it yet. He spends his time texting, polishing soccer maneuvers, and killing time with Niko and Silvia. Until a new teacher arrives and challenges him to give voice to his dreams.

And so Leo is inspired to win over the red-haired beauty Beatrice. She doesn’t know Leo exists, but he’s convinced that his dream will come true. When Leo lands in the hospital and learns that Beatrice has been admitted too, his mission to be there for her will send him on a thrilling but heartbreaking journey. He wants to help her but doesn’t know how—and his dream of love will force him to grow up fast.

Having already sold over a million copies, Alessandro D’Avenia’s debut novel is considered Italy’s The Fault in Our Stars. Now available in English for the first time, this rich, funny, and heartwarming coming-of-age tale asks us to explore the meaning—and the cost—of friendship, and shows us what happens when suffering bursts into the world of teenagers and renders the world of adults speechless.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Alessandro D’Avenia holds a PhD in Classical Literature, and teaches Ancient Greek, Latin and Literature at a high school in Milan. White as Silence, Red as Song was his first novel, published in Italy in 2010. It sold a million copies in Italy, has been translated into over twenty languages and was released as a film in 2012. Alessandro has since published four more books, the latest of which, Every Story is a Love Story, was published in October 2017.

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