Friday, January 4, 2019

Review & Giveaway: Meant for You by Raneé S. Clark





Heidi Reads... Meant for You by Ranee S. Clark

My rating: 4 stars / I really liked it

http://www.amazon.comhttp://www.amazon.comhttp://www.goodreads.com

Synopsis

A hometown hero that’s suffering a personal crisis. A single-mom who’s finally back on her feet. And the what-ifs they finally have a chance of seeing come true.

A year after her divorce, Chelsea Lewis spends most of her days working part-time at her cousin’s bakery and hiding veggies in her picky son’s lunches. Then she reconnects with an old friend who helps Chelsea in all the ways she’s forgotten she needs—including romantic ones.

Former football player, DJ Kaiser, is back in his hometown, working as a fireman to serve his community, but after nearly burning down his own house with a barbeque and wrecking the Chief’s truck, his mistakes are stacked against him—until he sets out to ease the stress of Chelsea’s load. Serving her has him feeling like a hero again.

When Chelsea’s ex shows up and begs Chelsea to move closer so his young son doesn’t grow up without his father, Chelsea and DJ have to consider what’s best for Chelsea’s little family, even if that means sacrificing the relationship that has saved them both.


My Review

I enjoyed getting to know DJ and Chelsea and all their flaws, quirks, and strengths. They felt very realistic. Chelsea has been living at her parents home recovering from a divorce, and struggling with her two year old's resulting behavior. It was interesting that in a situation that she feels helpless, she chooses to exert control in what she feeds her son and allows him to consume. There is definitely some mom guilt there. I liked her attitude towards her relationship with her ex-husband Brady. They are friends and do their best to be considerate of each other. The fact that DJ is Brady's close friend and hers from high school make them both feel conflicted when they reconnect and begin a romance. It was nice that they fell right back into their friendship so they had that foundation when they began to consider more, and they went in with their eyes open as to what that could mean for Brady. Some drama and angst ensues of course, and they each are tested with their vulnerabilities and levels of self-confidence and confidence in each other. DJ is struggling with his job and future career path, which made him more susceptible to doubt even though he is generally a confident person. I appreciated that the author included a spiritual aspect with Chelsea turning to the Lord in prayer, especially since the characters are portrayed as active members of the Church. I think it would have felt shallow without showing that Chelsea, DJ, and the other characters live their beliefs. Overall, this is a sweet romance that explores the unexpected transitions we go through in life and the importance of friends and family to support and encourage us.

(The characters are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and there are some references that are specific to that faith, but this story can be enjoyed by any fan of clean contemporary romance).

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

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Review: Kiss Me at Midnight by Lucinda Whitney


Heidi Reads... Kiss Me at Midnight by Lucinda Whitney

My rating: 4 stars / I really liked it

http://www.amazon.comhttp://www.amazon.comhttp://www.goodreads.com

Synopsis

She’s a single mom holding on to her job. He’s a career man focused on his business. Can they put the past behind them in order to build a future together?

When Filipe Romano arrives at the SoliMar beach resort, his newest acquisition, he plans to complete renovations quickly before moving on to his next property. But a stumbling block arises when he discovers Celeste, the sister of his deceased best friend, is an employee at the resort’s aquarium, which he intends to sell. To complicate matters more, he has unresolved feelings for Celeste and blames himself for the accident that killed her brother.

Celeste Ferreira, a stressed single mom, needs a miracle. Without any prospects or means to start over, she clings to the job she loves as aquarist at the SoliMar Aquarium. After she discovers the new owner is Filipe, an old family friend, their history makes it hard for Celeste to trust him, especially with her position in peril.

Though closing down the aquarium makes good financial sense, Filipe finds himself reluctant to disappoint Celeste and decides to help her with the repairs for the upcoming inspection. But is working side by side enough to forget the past and build a new future, or is the pain between them too deep to move on?


My Review

This was a great second chance romance- well, more like a rekindled friendship that turned into more. The characters were so likeable and I really enjoyed their relationship as they quickly got to know each other again. I didn't feel connected to their emotions, but the story was compelling and kept me reading. The setting is lovely and I always appreciate the way the author makes me feel like I am visiting the beautiful locations. There are strong themes that are explored such as forgiveness, trust, grief, and hope. There is some conflict brought into the story with resentment from one of Celete's coworkers and her unreliable ex-husband. I wish we had gotten a little more closure about why the coworker was so vindictive, but that's kind of like life- we don't always get all the answers. I was pleased with Celeste and Filipe's happy ending and another wonderful story in the Romano family series.

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



The Romano Family series follows the stories of the Romano cousins of northern Portugal as they find love and their Happily-Ever-Afters.

Current books in the Romano Family series:


- Book 1- Hold Me At Twilight
- Book 2- Meet Me At Sunrise
- Book 3- Love Me At Sunset
- Book 4- Keep Me At Christmas
- Book 5- Kiss Me At Midnight
- Book 6- Marry Me At Dawn (coming soon)


Spotlight & Giveaway: A Cowboy in Shepherd's Crossing by Ruth Logan Herne

A Cowboy in Shepherd's Crossing blog blitz

Welcome to the blog blitz & giveaway for A Cowboy in Shepherd's Crossing by Ruth Logan Herne, hosted by JustRead Tours.
ABOUT THE BOOK

a cowboy in shepherd's crossing hires Title: A Cowboy in Shepherd's Crossing  
Series: Shepherd's Crossing #2  
Author: Ruth Logan Herne  
Publisher: Love Inspired
Release Date: January 1, 2019  
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Cowboy bachelor Jace Middleton was ready to leave Shepherd’s Crossing for good – until he learns his family’s unspoken secrets.

Now Jace finds himself not only caring for his twin baby nieces, but working with beautiful, strong-willed designer Melonie Fitzgerald to renovate his grandmother’s run-down estate.

Love wasn’t part of the plan… but Jace soon finds himself wishing Melonie could become part of his unexpected family.  

PURCHASE LINKS: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | CBD


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

ruth2blogan2bherne

Best-selling, multi-published, award-winning author Ruth Logan Herne is the author of nearly fifty novels and novellas through traditional publishers and her own independent works. She loves God, her family, country, coffee, chocolate and dogs, and wishes possums would leave the cat food on the side porch alone. And yet… they don’t. With over a million books in print, Ruthy is living her dream of touching hearts and souls by writing the kind of books she likes to read. She lives on a pumpkin farm in Western New York where they grow all kinds of cool things for fall from sumptuous squashes and veggies to gorgeous stacking pumpkins. Ruthy’s farm is quickly becoming the place to be every September and October!  

CONNECT WITH RUTHY: website | Facebook | Twitter

shepherd's crossing giveaway

 TOUR GIVEAWAY

(1) winner will receive (US only):
  • all 3 Shepherd's Crossing books (Her Cowboy Reunion, A Cowboy Christmas, A Cowboy in Shepherd's Crossing)
  • bookmarks
  • a Seekerville notepad
  • a bag of chocolate
Enter via the Rafflecopter giveaway below. Giveaway will begin at midnight January 4, 2019 and last through 11:59pm January 11, 2019. US only. Winners will be notified within a week of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.



Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!
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Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Release Blitz: The Marine's Return by Rula Sinara

On Tour with Prism Book Tours

Release Blitz for
The Marine's Return
By Rula Sinara

https://amzn.to/2Ss7v2OThe Marine's Return
(From Kenya, with Love #6)
By Rula Sinara
Contemporary Romance
Paperback & ebook, 384 Pages
January 1st 2019 by Harlequin Heartwarming

He can’t be her hero…

But he made a promise to keep her safe

Wounded marine Chad Corallis just wants to be left alone. Until he discovers his best friend’s very pregnant widow is in danger. A dedicated nurse, she refuses to leave her Serengeti medical clinic when it’s threatened by poachers. Chad is honor-bound to protect her, but who will save him from falling for his best friend’s wife?


Special Note from the Author

Dearest Readers,

Thank you for joining me in celebrating the release of THE MARINE’S RETURN, the sixth and final book in my ‘From Kenya, With Love’ series for Harlequin Heartwarming. No words can express how much I have loved writing this series, from watching the children in the first three books grow up to face their own romantic hurdles in books 4 through 6, to endearing orphaned baby elephants and other captivating wildlife, to the famous, breathtaking setting of Kenya’s Serengeti ecosystem and Masai Mara regions.

The stories in this series take on issues such as ivory poachers, loss of loved ones, selective mutism, fracking and other environmental issues, human rights and those of a country’s indigenous people, man vs nature conflicts, education for young girls/women who have little access, medical care in rural populations and the life-changing challenges our war veterans face, from PTSD to physical injuries.

The books do stand alone, although readers who have been following the series have said that, since it has a rich family saga/miniseries feel and characters from the first books play significant roles in the later stories, reading them all makes for a deeper experience. For example, Pippa Harper, who everyone meets as a spunky, adorable four-year old being raised at a remote, rustic elephant rescue camp in the Serengeti by her single-mom wildlife vet in book 1 (THE PROMISE OF RAIN), is a young adult in book 4 (EVERY SERENGETI SUNRISE), gets her own romance in book 5 (THE TWIN TEST) and even plays a role as the series comes to a close in book 6 (THE MARINE’S RETURN). We also see Haki, a childhood friend of Pippa’s in book 1, and Maddie, a ten-year-old who can’t speak in books 2 (AFTER THE SILENCE), get their hero/heroine stories in EVERY SERENGETI SUNRISE. Mac Walker, a rugged bush-pilot with an Indiana Jones air to him is seen throughout the series and gets his own adventure in THROUGH THE STORM. And we first meet the hero of THE MARINE’S RETURN, Chad Corallis, as a rambunctious, hyperactive and very cute toddler who is clearly destined to follow in his father’s footsteps and become a marine (book 2). He does just that, but his future ends up coming to a dark stop and he’s faced with a challenge he’s convinced he can’t overcome.

But, despite the seemingly impossible romantic obstacles, heart-gripping situations and, even, danger in the books, there’s always the promise of a happily ever after in a Harlequin Heartwarming romance. I hope you enjoy the series and this final story! Be sure to also check out my novella (which is linked to this series), THE SWEETHEART TREE, in the anthology A Heartwarming Thanksgiving.

Although my ‘From Kenya, With Love’ series is coming to a close, I’m embarking on a new series for Harlequin Heartwarming that will take you from rescuing elephants in Africa to saving sea turtles along the Outer Banks of North Carolina. My ‘Turtleback Beach’ series is set in a fictional beach town along the more southern Hatteras Island of the Outer Banks and the first book, ALMOST A BRIDE, which involves a runaway bride and an ex-military hero in the witness protection program, releases June 1, 2019.

Many thanks to all of my readers. I wish everyone a peaceful and happy New Year!

Rula Sinara

Other Books in the Series


About the Author


National and USA Today Bestselling author Rula Sinara lives in rural Virginia with her family and crazy but endearing pets. She loves organic gardening, attracting wildlife to her yard, planting trees, raising backyard chickens and drinking more coffee than she'll ever admit to. Rula's writing has earned her a National Readers Choice Award and HOLT Medallion Award of Merit, among other honors. You can discover more about Rula at her blog A Writer’s Rush, on Twitter, on Facebook as RulaSinaraAuthor or on her website www.RulaSinara.com, where you can also sign up for her newsletter.


Blitz Giveaway


1 WINNER WILL RECEIVE:
- Autographed print copies of the first three books of the ‘From Kenya, With Love’ series – The Promise of Rain (Mills & Boon Duo copy, including The Weather Girl by Amy Vastine), After the Silence and Through the Storm.
- A 15x15 canvas tote bag featuring the cover of Through the Storm.
- A 12x18 Harlequin Heartwarming tote bag
- Bookmarks

Open internationally
Ends January 6, 2019

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Tuesday, January 1, 2019

New Year, New Books: Free & 99 Cent Book Deals & Giveaway!


Start your new year off with a great new book! 
Please support these awesome authors who are also providing a $50 giveaway!!

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Giveaway Details $50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 1/15/19 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com 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. This giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. 





Survey & Giveaway: My Amazon Storefront and Best of 2018!



Happy New Year!!!

I have an Amazon Storefront! This is super exciting for me. I love making lists and now I have "Idea Lists" of my favorite books to recommend! I have a few questions for you guys about how I should organize them, and I'm hosting my first giveaway of 2019 to celebrate!


Amazon Storefront


To enter to win a surprise book from my "Best of 2018" list (winner's choice of print or e-book), visit my Amazon Storefront and then answer the questions below in a comment. You must enter your information in the Giveaway Tools widget and get some extra optional entries!

What do you think about Amazon Idea Lists?

Do you like them organized by year or by genre?

About how many books would you like to see on a list before it gets too long?

What books from my "Best of 2018" list would you like to read?


Thank you for your input!
 



Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Review: Hawaiian Holiday by Michele Paige Holmes


Heidi Reads... Hawaiian Holiday by Michele Paige Holmes

My rating: 4 stars / I really liked it

http://www.amazon.comhttp://www.amazon.comhttp://www.goodreads.com

Synopsis

Ten strangers. Six days in paradise. One unforgettable Christmas.

Hailey Walsh has always loved Christmas, and this year the holiday was supposed to be the most magical of all, spent with her large family and her fiancé in preparation for their wedding just two days after. Then Gage broke their engagement.

Now, instead of playing in the snow with her nieces and nephews, Hailey’s building a playground with children she’s never met before, spending her Christmas with strangers in Hawaii, on a service program she hopes will lift her spirits and help her begin to pick up the broken pieces of her life and heart.

Gage Stevens didn’t want to spend Christmas in Hawaii any more than he wanted to break his engagement, but sometimes fate has a way of slamming a guy against a wall and forcing him to tough decisions— for the good of others, be that his ex-fiancée or his mom. And while he’s certain that no ocean breeze or tropical wonderland can heal what’s wrong, one glimpse at a familiar head of red hair and Gage realizes fate may not be done with him yet.


My Review

I loved the themes in this story! Gratitude, service, friendship, and hope helped Hailey as she struggled through the aftermath of an unexpected breakup. Realizing that others are also enduring trials, ones she considered tougher than what she was experiencing, was the first step in finding things to be thankful for. The wisdom of Micah and Lucy who run the program brought depth and perspective, and my favorite quote was "Alternate endings can be happy too." The Hawaiian setting was fun and provided an escape for the people who are looking to reset, reevaluate, and prepare for a new future. I didn't understand or agree with Gage's choice to not communicate what he's going through with Hailey, although this is what provided the plot. I liked the parts where Hailey is finding healing and peace, and knows that she will be okay whether she gets back together with Gage or not.

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


Monday, December 24, 2018

Review: Falling for Lucy by Heather B. Moore


Heidi Reads... Falling for Lucy by Heather B. Moore

My rating: 4 stars / I really liked it

http://www.amazon.comhttp://www.amazon.comhttp://www.goodreads.com

Synopsis

The perfect relationship sometimes means letting things get a little messy.

Lucy Morley’s older sister is perfect, and her younger brother is nearly there, too. Yet Lucy can’t even hold down a job, let alone stick with something like college. She drops out and floats from job to job. After yet another disastrous firing, she lands an interview at a bookstore—her dream job—and it doesn’t hurt that her new boss, Adam Parks, is pretty much her dream man. But if Lucy is good at one thing, it’s guarding her personal life and more importantly her heart. Adam has other plans in mind, though, and they include finding a way into Lucy’s heart.


My Review

This author is one of my favorites for clean contemporary romance. I can always count on her to strike a balance with humor, emotion, and romantic chemistry- without getting too dark or too fluffy. I liked Lucy and her enthusiasm, even though she feels inferior to her siblings. She has a healthy self-acceptance and seems to be searching for her role and purpose. She finally finds a good fit working at cozy bookshop, and I enjoyed the sense of family there (even when it was at times dysfunctional, courtesy of Adam's sister). Adam is a decent guy, and I appreciated that his attraction to Lucy never crossed the creepy boss line, but remained appropriate while friendly. A super cute story that ended too quickly for me!

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

FALLING SERIES:

Falling for Sydney
Falling for Maria
Falling for June

Falling for Lucy

Saturday, December 22, 2018

Review: Until We Kissed by Heather B. Moore


Heidi Reads... Until We Kissed by Heather B. Moore

My rating: 5 stars / It was amazing

http://www.amazon.comhttp://www.amazon.comhttp://www.goodreads.com

Synopsis

Livvy knows Dr. Slade McKinney is the perfect man for her, but when she keeps running into Mason, Livvy discovers fate has a different plan.

USA Today bestselling author Heather B. Moore welcomes you to Pine Valley!


Pine Valley librarian Livvy Harmon has big dreams, which include marrying Dr. Slade McKinney. Trouble is, he’s only kissed her once in their four months of dating, and it wasn’t all that great. But Livvy isn’t ready to give up yet on hooking such an amazing man, even though Slade seems to have time for everyone but her.

When Livvy keeps running into writer Mason Rowe, who seems to be camping out in her library to finish his book under strict orders from his agent, Livvy at first keeps him at arm’s length. But the more their friendship grows, the more she finds that her dream relationship with her doctor boyfriend isn’t so dreamy after all.


My Review

Another fabulous book in the Pine Valley series! Each time a book comes out it's my new favorite ;) This one has a librarian and author... with the best first kiss scene I've read in a while! I loved the character-driven plot, the dynamics of the relationship between Livvy and Mason, the humor and emotion. I do have one argument- I don't think Dr. Slade was ever Livvy's "boyfriend". They were casually dating. He was in no way behaving the way a real boyfriend does. (They would go two weeks without talking or seeing each other!) So I don't think she was cheating on him when she began a relationship with Mason. Which is why I didn't have those icky "eww, she's cheating" feelings. ANYWAY.... Mason is such a contrast to the preoccupied doctor that Livvy can't help but fall in love with him, even though he doesn't fit the future she has planned out for herself. This is a fun story with emotion, humor, and great romantic chemistry!

(The books in the Pine Valley series are only loosely connected and can be read in any order)

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


Review: Seeing Miss Heartstone by Nichole Van


Heidi Reads... Seeing Miss Heartstone by Nichole Van

My rating: 4 stars / I really liked it

http://www.amazon.comhttp://www.amazon.comhttp://www.goodreads.com

Synopsis

Miss Belle Heartstone—heiress and savvy businesswoman—needs a husband. Immediately. As in, yesterday would not have been soon enough. Her mother’s attempts at matchmaking have been disastrous. So Belle decides to solve the problem her way—survey the market and purchase the best groom available.

Colin Radcliffe, Marquess of Blake—debt-ridden and penniless—needs a large infusion of cash. Desperately. Preferably cash that does not come with a wife attached. It is no surprise, then, when he receives Miss Heartstone’s brazen proposal—her cash, his title, their marriage—that he politely declines.

But before he leaves her, Blake suggests something truly radical: Maybe before finding a husband, Belle should find herself.
 

His simple words send them both on an unexpected journey, spanning continents and years, entwining their lives in ways neither could have foreseen. Can two lonely souls move past societal expectations and forge a unique life together?

Please note: The basic storyline of Seeing Miss Heartstone was originally published as a novella titled, An Invisible Heiress, in the Spring in Hyde Park anthology. This current novel is a greatly expanded version of that plot, adding over 200 pages of text and creating a more robust, well-developed story.


My Review

I enjoyed the characters in this Regency story because of how they sought to expand their horizons and were courageous enough to make changes to achieve their goals. Belle and Colin challenge each other in the best ways, complementing each others strengths and forming a strong business and friendship. I liked that they helped those less fortunate, especially veterans of the Napoleonic wars and their families. I felt bad for Colin that he was kept in the dark for so long, but understood why. There is plenty of angst as Belle and Colin both struggle with how to reveal/expose the secret identity of LHF. The storytelling is enhanced with letters between the two over the years, and I can't imagine waiting six months for replies! I liked the story when it was a novella, and even better as a novel with more themes explored and a deepening of the thoughts and emotions of Belle and Colin. A sweet romance with ups and downs between two people who are perfect for each other- if only they can manage to forgive and trust. 

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