Tag Archives: contemporary romance fiction

Top 10 Tuesday — Fall TBR

20 Sep

I can’t wait until it is Fall here in the sunny South. High temperatures are still in the mid-80s where I live, but we have had a hint of cool-ish air in the mornings. Not enough to declare it is sweater weather, but it’s promising. 😉 I have a lot of great books on my TBR list spanning a number of genres. There should be something on my list to pique everyone’s interest!

For more Fall TBR Lists, head to That Artsy Reader Girl.

Fall TBR List

Concrete Evidence by DiAnn Mills

Crossfire by Lynette Eason

Dangerous Beauty by Melissa Koslin

Deception by Patricia Bradley

The Lady’s Mine by Francine Rivers

A Night to Remember by Danny and Wanda Pelfrey

The Premonition at Withers Farm by Jaime Jo Wright

A Stranger’s Game by Colleen Coble

Turn to Me by Becky Wade

Where The Blue Sky Begins by Katie Powner

Top 10 Tuesday — Geographical Titles

13 Sep

Happy Tuesday! Surprise, surprise! I am actually sticking to the topic today. It was fun looking back at the books I’ve read to find titles (and covers!) that could be found on a map, albeit a fictional one. 😉 Many genres are represented. I hope you find a book to love!

For more geographical titles, check out That Artsy Reader Girl.

Top 10 Geographical Titles

Blackberry Beach by Irene Hannon

Bookshop by The Sea by Denise Hunter

Bride of A Distant Isle by Sandra Byrd

The Deadly Shallows by Dani Pettrey

The House at The End of The Moor by Michelle Griep

A Light on A Hill by Connilyn Cossette

On The Cliffs of Foxglove Manor by Jaime Jo Wright

A Silver Willow by The Shore by Kelli Stuart

Under The Bayou Moon by Valerie Fraser Luesse

Wonderland Creek by Lynn Austin

The Forever Farmhouse Blog Blitz!!

8 Sep

The Forever Farmhouse JustRead Takeover + Review Blitz

Welcome to the Takeover + Review Blitz for The Forever Farmhouse by Lee Tobin McClain, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

ABOUT THE BOOK

The Forever Farmhouse

Title: The Forever Farmhouse
Series: Hometown Brothers #1
Author: Lee Tobin McClain
Publisher: HQN Books
Release Date: September 6, 2022
Genre: Sweet Contemporary Romance

A Chesapeake island homecoming—and a life-changing discovery

When Ryan Hastings first came to Teaberry Island, he was a troubled teen on his last chance. He’s returning as a renowned scientist, checking in on his widowed foster mother. But one thing hasn’t changed—Ryan’s feelings for the girl next door whom he loved…and left. Mellie Anderson has a son now, and a good life that Ryan believes he’s still too damaged to share. But he knows he can help young Alfie, who’s getting picked on at his new school.

Mellie is grateful her gifted son is getting extra support, and torn about where it’s coming from. Ryan has no idea he’s Alfie’s father. No matter how valid her reasons were, could Ryan ever understand why she didn’t tell him? But in this close-knit community, friendship and forgiveness are always near at hand, and forever love might be waiting just next door.

EXCERPT

He spoke in that radio announcer voice of his that was surely some part of why he’d risen so rapidly in the scientific ranks. What student, what professional audience, wouldn’t sit rapt, listening to him talk, even if it were about algae? 

PURCHASE LINKS: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Indiebound | BookBub

ALSO AVAILABLE

Cottage at the Beach Reunion at the Shore Christmas at the Coast Home to the Harbor first kiss at christmas Forever on the Bay


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Lee Tobin McClain

Lee Tobin McClain is the New York Times bestselling author of more than thirty novels. A professor-turned-writer, she finds inspiration in her beautiful and brilliant daughter, her goofy goldendoodle, and her aptly named cat, Trouble.

Connect with Lee by visiting leetobinmcclain.com to follow her on social media or subscribe to email newsletter updates.


TOUR GIVEAWAY

(1) winner will receive a print copy of The Forever Farmhouse, a cute tabletop farmhouse decor piece, and a $25 Amazon gift card!

The Forever Farmhouse JustRead Giveaway

Be sure to check out each stop on the tour for more chances to win. Full tour schedule linked below. Giveaway began at midnight September 6, 2022 and lasts through 11:59 PM EST on September 13, 2022. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. US only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.

ENTER GIVEAWAY HERE


Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!

JustRead Publicity Tours

First Line Friday — Courting Mr. Emerson

2 Sep

Happy Friday! The book I am sharing today appeared on my shelf a while back. I’m not even sure how it ended up in my house! LOL! But Melody Carlson has been a favorite of mine for a long time, so I am happy about it despite its mysterious origins. 😉 Courting Mr. Emerson is a contemporary romance that I am betting I will love. Now I just need to find time to read it! Have you read it? Let me know what you thought. And if, like me, you haven’t read it yet, it’s available for FREE from Kindle Unlimited.

And now the first line:

George Emerson didn’t need anybody.

When the fun-loving and spontaneous artist Willow West meets buttoned-up, retired English teacher George Emerson, it’s not exactly love at first sight. Though she does find the obsessive-compulsive man intriguing. Making it her mission to get him to loosen up and embrace life, she embarks on what seems like a lost cause–and finds herself falling for him in the process.

A confirmed bachelor, George vacillates between irritation and attraction whenever Willow is around–which to him seems like all too often. He’s not interested in expanding his horizons or making new friends; it just hurts too much when you lose them.

But as the summer progresses, George feels his defenses crumbling. The question is, will his change of heart be too late for Willow?

With her signature heart and touches of humor, fan favorite Melody Carlson pens a story of two delightfully eccentric characters who get a second chance at life and love.

Book Review: Bookshop by The Sea

31 Aug

Bookshop by The Sea is a great choice for a summer-y read. It has romance, endearing characters, and a quaint seaside town. If you are looking for a quick read with plenty of sparks, then this contemporary romance by Denise Hunter is for you. Recommended.

Sophie Lawson should be enjoying her sister’s wedding day. But nothing could have prepared her to see the best man again.

After her mother became bedridden and her father bailed on the family, Sophie found herself serving as a second mother to her twin brother, Seth, and younger sister, Jenna. Sophie supported her siblings through their college years, putting aside her own dream of opening a bookshop in Piper’s Cove—the quaint North Carolina beach town they frequented as children.

Now it’s finally time for Sophie to follow her own pursuits. Seth has a new job, and Jenna is set to marry her college beau in Piper’s Cove. But the destination wedding reunites Sophie with best man Aiden Maddox, her high school sweetheart who left her without a backward glance.

When an advancing hurricane strands Aiden in Piper’s Cove after the wedding, he finds the hotels booked to capacity and has to ask Sophie to put him up until the storm passes. As the two ride out the weather, old feelings rise to the surface. The delay also leaves Sophie with mere days to get her bookshop up and running. Can she trust Aiden to stick around? And will he find the courage to risk his heart?

Denise Hunter is the internationally published bestselling author of more than forty novels, three of which have been adapted into Hallmark movies. She has appeared on the The 700 Club and been featured in Southern Living and Woman’s World.

Denise writes heartwarming, small-town love stories, peopled with layered characters who have real-life issues. Her readers enjoy the vicarious thrill of falling in love and the promise of a happily-ever-after sigh as they savor the final pages of her books. 

In 1996, inspired by the death of her grandfather, Denise began her first book, writing while her children napped. Two years later it was published, and she’s been writing ever since. Her husband says he inspires all her romantic stories, but Denise insists a good imagination helps too!

When Denise isn’t orchestrating love lives on the written page, she enjoys traveling, drinking chai lattes, hiking, and playing drums. Denise makes her home in Indiana where she and her husband raised three boys and are currently enjoying an empty nest and two beautiful granddaughters. 

You can learn more about Denise through her website http://www.DeniseHunterBooks.com or by visiting her FaceBook page at https://www.facebook.com/authordenisehunter.

My Impressions:

For fans of contemporary romance, Bookshop by The Sea by Denise Hunter checks all the right boxes. Charming characters with a second chance at love is always a favorite trope. But this book isn’t just fluff. There are deep themes of fear of abandonment and finding worth in others’ opinions. More than a hurricane and a bookstore opening cause Sophie and Aiden to second-guess a new relationship. I have to say I found Sophie infuriating at first. She finally has a chance to realize her own hopes and ambitions following her mother’s death. She has sacrificed and put her life on hold for far too long. But she falls into old patterns with her family, and her life doesn’t really seem her own. And while Aiden has baggage of his own, he plays a crucial role in helping Sophie recognize her need for boundaries. The sizzling chemistry between the two is great for romance readers, but their growth as individuals was heartwarming as well. My book club read this book for our August selection. The beach setting and the bookshop appealed to our bookish, ready for vacay hearts. 😉 A quick read, Bookshop by The Sea was just what I needed!

Recommended.

Audience: adults.

(I purchased the Kindle version of this book. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

If You Liked . . . Bookshop By The Sea

31 Aug

My book club enjoyed the contemporary romance, Bookshop by The Sea, by Denise Hunter. In the words of one of our members, “it is a sweet book that should be made into a Hallmark movie”. 🙂 Our discussion was fun too. The questions included with the novel got us talking. Overall, it was a hit! If you liked it too, I have a couple of recommendations for you.

Bookshop Setting

The Printed Letter Bookshop by Katherine Reay (currently $1.99 on Kindle!)

One of Madeline Cullen’s happiest childhood memories is of working with her Aunt Maddie in the quaint and cozy Printed Letter Bookshop. But by the time Madeline inherits the shop nearly twenty years later, family troubles and her own bitter losses have hardened Madeline’s heart toward her once-treasured aunt—and the now struggling bookshop left in her care.

While Madeline intends to sell the shop as quickly as possible, the Printed Letter’s two employees have other ideas. Reeling from a recent divorce, Janet finds sanctuary within the books and the decadent window displays she creates. Claire, though quieter than her outspoken colleague, feels equally drawn to the daily rhythms of the shop and has found a renewed sense of purpose within its walls.

When Madeline’s professional life falls apart, and a handsome gardener upends her life, she questions her plans and her future. Has she been too quick to dismiss her aunt’s beloved shop? And even if she has, the women’s best efforts to save it may be too little, too late.

Dreams for The Future

Hometown Girl by Courtney Walsh (Free with Kindle Unlimited)

Beth Whitaker isn’t supposed to be a small-town girl. She’s always dreamed of leaving Willow Grove, Illinois, for the big city, but she feels trapped, struggling to make up for a mistake that’s haunted her for years. Just when Beth is finally ready to break free, her sister impulsively buys a beloved but run-down farm on the outskirts of town, and she begs Beth to help with the restoration. Reluctantly, Beth agrees to help – and puts her own dreams on hold once again. 

Drew Barlow hasn’t been back to Fairwind Farm since he was a boy, and he’s spent all these years trying to outrun the pain of a past he thought he buried long ago. When he learns that the owner has passed away, his heart knows it’s finally time to do the right thing. Returning to Willow Grove, Drew revisits the old farm, where he attempts to piece together his memories and the puzzle of the crime he witnessed so long ago. 

Both on a journey to find peace, Beth and Drew are surprised when they begin to experience a restoration of their own. But when long-buried secrets break through the soil and the truth unfurls, will it threaten their budding relationship – and the very future of the farm?

Second Chance at Love

A Heart Adrift by Laura Frantz

It is 1755, and the threat of war with France looms over colonial York, Virginia. Chocolatier Esmée Shaw is fighting her own battle of the heart. Having reached her twenty-eighth birthday, she is reconciled to life alone after a decade-old failed love affair from which she’s never quite recovered. But she longs to find something worthwhile to do with her life.

Captain Henri Lennox has returned to port after a lengthy absence, intent on completing the lighthouse in the dangerous Chesapeake Bay, a dream he once shared with Esmée. But when the colonial government asks him to lead a secret naval expedition against the French, his future is plunged into uncertainty.

Will a war and a cache of regrets keep them apart, or can their shared vision and dedication to the colonial cause heal the wounds of the past? Bestselling and award-winning author Laura Frantz whisks you away to a time fraught with peril–on the sea and in the heart–in this redemptive, romantic story.

Top 10 Tuesday — Back to School

30 Aug

Don’t know much about history, don’t know much about biology . . . ? Well, I’ve got some books for you! This week’s TTT is Back to School Freebie. I love Sam Cooke‘s song, What A Wonderful World This Would Be and always think about it when I hear back to school. My list today features books that fit the lyrics of this old school song (see what I did there? 😉 ). There are 6 subjects listed in the lyrics, and I have come up with 2 books each. An even dozen of great books! Who cares if some of the books loosely fit the category — it’s all in fun! I hope you enjoy my list.

For more fun back to school lists, check out That Artsy Reader Girl.

Top “Back To School” Books

History

The Kitchen Front by Jennifer Ryan (WWII, could also count as Home Ec 😉 )

To Love A Viking by Heather Day Gilbert and Jen Cudmore (Dark Ages Europe)

Biology

Healing Skye by Janet W. Ferguson (marine biology)

Sunrise by Susan May Warren (bear tracking in Alaska)

Science

Fatal Code by Natalie Walters (nuclear physics)

The Engineer’s Wife by Tracy Enerson Wood (bridge building)

French

The Librarian of Saint-Malo by Mario Escobar (WWII France)

Until Leaves Fall in Paris by Sarah Sundin (WWII France)

Geography

Every Word Unsaid by Kimberly Duffy (globe-trotting journalist)

The Heart Between Us by Lindsay Harrel (a bucket list trip)

Mathematics

Enchantress of Numbers by Jennifer Chiaverini (early computing machine)

The Number of Love by Roseanna M. White (WWI code breaking)

Top 10 Tuesday — Ruining Book Titles With A Word

9 Aug

Happy Tuesday. Authors, agents, editors, and marketing departments all search for that perfect book title. The one that will call to readers. And here I am ruining perfectly good titles with a change of a letter or a word. Sorry, not sorry. 😉 Today, TTT bloggers were called on to present hilarious titles. I have a more perverse take on the topic. I’d love to know of other titles that can be ruined!

For more book hilarity, check out That Artsy Reader Girl.

Top Book Titles Ruined with A Well-Replaced Letter or Word

Boots of Wood And Stone by Amanda Wen

Uncomfortable shoes in the past and present.

Deadly Swallows by Dani Pettrey

Terrorist-trained birds!

Fatal Cod by Natalie Walters

The fish was a bit off.

Healing Fly by Janet Ferguson

Can a biologist find love while saving the endangered fly?

Quaker Oats Summer by Lisa Samson

It’s heart healthy!

Refuse at Pine Lake by Rose Chandler Johnson

Finding a place to belong at the dump.

Sea Glass Cottage Cheese by Irene Hannon

Can they rekindle love over a diet meal?

Shadows of Swanford Tabby by Julie Klassen

Is that a cat following me?

The Sweat Life by Suzanne Woods Fisher

It’s summer after all.

Until Sleeves Fall in Paris by Sarah Sundin

Well-dressed resistance in France.

Audiobook Review — Healing Skye

3 Aug

Those of you who are fans of Janet W. Ferguson‘s Coastal Hearts series are going to love Skye Youngblood’s story in Healing Skye. Okay, even if you haven’t read any of Janet’s books, if you like contemporary romance with more substance than fluff, you will want to get this book. Wonderful coastal setting, hurting but hopeful characters, and a message of redemption all make this book a recommended read!

People can’t be trusted.

Animals always made more sense than humans did to marine biologist Skye Youngblood. After her mother’s tragic death, she left Alabama and never looked back. These days, she pours her heart into protecting nature’s sea creatures. When she returns to Dauphin Island, Alabama, for a temporary manatee migration study, her dark past is much too close. She can’t let her guard down. But how can she keep her heart hidden when a kind man with a genuine smile makes her want a fresh start?

Charter fishing pays the bills for widower Pete Thompson and his little girl, but like his father, a pastor, Pete can’t help but fish for men. Only, after growing up under constant scrutiny as a preacher’s kid, Pete’s ways are a bit more unconventional. And the bulk of his life revolves around raising his precious daughter.

When he witnesses the car wreck of a new marine biologist on the island, it doesn’t take a genius to see that more than just her physical pain needs tending. Pete feels called to help Skye find true healing, but he’s navigating dangerous waters. And he’s not at all sure he’ll walk away unscathed.

Janet W. Ferguson is a Christy Award finalist and the FHL Readers Choice Award winning author of realistic inspirational fiction. An avid reader, she loved books so much she found a job as a librarian. Then she turned that love of story into writing faith-filled novels with characters who feel like best friends. You’ll laugh and cry as the quirky heroes and heroines chase their happily ever after.

Janet and her husband live in Mississippi where they say y’all a lot, and she forces him to visit the beach as often as possible. They have two grown children, one really smart dog, and a cat that allows them to share the space.

My Impressions:

Summers often call for contemporary romance reads. If the book has a beach-y vibe, all the better. Healing Skye, a standalone novel in Janet W. Ferguson’s Coastal Hearts series, fits the bill. It is set on Dauphin Island and features Skye, a manatee researcher on temporary assignment. Her introduction to the area doesn’t start so well and causes her to depend on people to get her bearings. Skye has serious trust issues, which as you discover her past, you don’t blame her! She is constantly thrown together with Pete, who is the widowed dad of a young girl. His faith is an anchor for him, and he spends his time fishing for, well, fish (he’s a charter boat captain) and for men. I really liked these two characters, along with the secondary characters that facilitate the story. As I said, trust is hard-won with Skye, and I kept rooting for Pete to get past her defenses. I also liked that Pete, and Skye’s “mother” Miss Lydia hear God’s voice and act on it. Their example goes a long way in prompting Skye to listen for His voice. The romance is sweet, but the spiritual message is this book’s strength. A tie-in to Star Rising was an added bonus. Specific to the audiobook — the narrator did an excellent job. The pacing was perfect.

If you are looking for a contemporary romance to tuck into the pool bag, Healing Skye is an excellent choice. Real and relatable characters, tough issues, and a strong spiritual message make this a novel with depth and heart.

Recommended.

Audience: Adults.

(Thanks to the author for a complimentary copy of the audiobook. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

Book Club Pick — Bookshop by The Sea

1 Aug

This month’s book club selection is Bookshop by The Sea by Denise Hunter. A good choice for an end of summer read, this romance novel features a beach setting with a storm looming on the horizon. Is that an actual hurricane or the tumultuous relationship between the main characters? 😉 If you have read this book, we’d love to know what you thought of it.

Sophie Lawson should be enjoying her sister’s wedding day. But nothing could have prepared her to see the best man again.

After her mother became bedridden and her father bailed on the family, Sophie found herself serving as a second mother to her twin brother, Seth, and younger sister, Jenna. Sophie supported her siblings through their college years, putting aside her own dream of opening a bookshop in Piper’s Cove—the quaint North Carolina beach town they frequented as children.

Now it’s finally time for Sophie to follow her own pursuits. Seth has a new job, and Jenna is set to marry her college beau in Piper’s Cove. But the destination wedding reunites Sophie with best man Aiden Maddox, her high school sweetheart who left her without a backward glance.

When an advancing hurricane strands Aiden in Piper’s Cove after the wedding, he finds the hotels booked to capacity and has to ask Sophie to put him up until the storm passes. As the two ride out the weather, old feelings rise to the surface. The delay also leaves Sophie with mere days to get her bookshop up and running. Can she trust Aiden to stick around? And will he find the courage to risk his heart?

Denise Hunter is the internationally published bestselling author of more than forty novels, three of which have been adapted into Hallmark movies. She has appeared on the The 700 Club and been featured in Southern Living and Woman’s World.

Denise writes heartwarming, small-town love stories, peopled with layered characters who have real-life issues. Her readers enjoy the vicarious thrill of falling in love and the promise of a happily-ever-after sigh as they savor the final pages of her books. 

In 1996, inspired by the death of her grandfather, Denise began her first book, writing while her children napped. Two years later it was published, and she’s been writing ever since. Her husband says he inspires all her romantic stories, but Denise insists a good imagination helps too!

When Denise isn’t orchestrating love lives on the written page, she enjoys traveling, drinking chai lattes, hiking, and playing drums. Denise makes her home in Indiana where she and her husband raised three boys and are currently enjoying an empty nest and two beautiful granddaughters. 

You can learn more about Denise through her website http://www.DeniseHunterBooks.com or by visiting her FaceBook page at https://www.facebook.com/authordenisehunter.