Tag Archives: Contemporary Romance

Review & Giveaway: Wait for Me by Susan May Warren

WAIT FOR ME

Montana Rescue Series, Book 6

by

Susan May Warren

Genre: Contemporary Romance / Action / Christian

Publisher: Revell

Date of Publication: November 6, 2018

Number of Pages: 336

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Pete Brooks can’t believe he’s waited an entire year for Jess Tagg to return to Montana, only to have her break his heart by getting engaged to her ex-fiancé. Worse, a series of mistakes on the job have cost lives, and Pete isn’t sure he wants to continue to work in Search and Rescue. Maybe if he can just get over Jess, he can figure out how to move forward.

EMT Jess Tagg has returned to Montana to finally give her heart to Pete, but it seems he’s no longer interested. When a terrible fight between them sparks an impulsive decision, she finds herself crashed on the side of a highway along with Esme Shaw. And just when she thinks things couldn’t get any worse, she and Esme are taken captive and into the untamed Montana wilderness—with murderous intent.

Now Pete and the other PEAK Rescue Team members are in a race against time, the elements, and the actions of a vengeful man. Pete will have to use everything he’s learned to find Jess and Esme—and pray that his past mistakes don’t cost him the life of the woman he can’t stop loving.

Praise for the Montana Rescue Series

“Warren’s stalwart characters and engaging story lines make her Montana Rescue series a must-read.”Booklist

“Faith, action, romantic tension, humor, and emotional depth.” Publishers Weekly

“Warren excels at creating flawed characters the reader cares about, as well as building a suspenseful adventure.” Christian Library Journal

 

Baker Book House | Amazon | Christianbook.com

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review

I remembered bits and pieces from a previous Montana Rescue book that I had reviewed a while back, but it bugged me that I couldn’t remember most of the characters in this latest installment. After reading that old review, I realized that most of the characters in Wait for Me were actually peripheral characters in A Matter of Trust.

 

Warren creates these deep, complicated characters that you can’t help but become invested in. And I love that she explores the relationships and inner workings of each person over the course of this series. How many times have I read a book where I wished that the author would take the time to share more about a particular character or let me explore another locale that was lightly brushed upon briefly? Either Warren knew that her readers would want more, or she, too, wasn’t ready to let go of this world that she has created.

 

I didn’t properly articulate this in my review of Book 3, but I am still very impressed with Warren’s knowledge of wilderness survival, medical conditions, and EMT skills. Although if my memory serves me right, I think this book has more injuries in it. From the moment that the tense, emotional atmosphere is shattered by physical violence, the danger advances on our characters like an avalanche. Who really loves whom takes a backseat as lives are at stake.

 

But still I had trouble wrapping my brain around why Jess seemed to be stringing Pete along. Without having read the four other books in the series, I’m hazarding a guess that Warren enjoys writing complicated love shapes. I say shapes because this book and Book 3 both have love squares instead of triangles. Geometry aside, you can see why Jess has trouble choosing which man/life to commit herself to. Warren makes it hard for the reader to choose too. Why must all the men in this book be attractive and have such great attributes? Bad guys aside, of course.

 

Faith and God are handled well in this book. It is when a character has hit rock bottom and can’t give an ounce more that someone else will remind them that there is someone bigger than them that can lift them up and love them no matter what. It didn’t feel forced and I liked that even the person on the receiving end of this message was skeptical. I think that the genuine introduction and reaction of the subject will open up readers who feel skeptical about God as well.

 

I recommend this book to anyone who loves a good, intricate love story and/or suspenseful, survivalist read. Kind of opposite spectrums, huh? But this book really has it all. I look forward to reading more from this author.

Susan May Warren is the USA Today bestselling author of over fifty novels with more than 1 million books sold, including Wild Montana Skies, Rescue Me, A Matter of Trust, Troubled Waters, and Storm Front. Winner of a RITA Award and multiple Christy and Carol Awards, as well as the HOLT Medallion and numerous Readers’ Choice Awards, Susan has written contemporary and historical romances, romantic suspense, thrillers, romantic comedy, and novellas. She makes her home in Minnesota.

Website * Goodreads * Facebook * Twitter

 

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GRAND PRIZE: All 6 Books in the Montana Rescue Series

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November 12-21, 2018

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CHECK OUT THE OTHER GREAT BLOGS ON THE TOUR:
11/12/18
BONUS Review
11/12/18
Notable Quotable
11/13/18
Review
11/14/18
Author Interview
11/15/18
Review
11/16/18
Playlist
11/17/18
Review
11/18/18
Excerpt
11/19/18
Review
11/20/18
Series Spotlight
11/21/18
Review
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Review & Giveaway: The Theory of Happily Ever After by Kristin Billerbeck

THE THEORY OF
HAPPILY EVER AFTER
by
KRISTIN BILLERBECK
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Revell
Date of Publication: May 1, 2018
Number of Pages: 288
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According to Dr. Maggie Maguire, happiness is serious—serious science, that is. But science can’t always account for life’s anomalies, like why her fiancé dumped her for a silk-scarf acrobat and how the breakup sent Maggie spiraling into an extended ice cream–fueled chick flick binge.
Concerned that she might never pull herself out of this nosedive, Maggie’s friends book her as a speaker on a “New Year, New You” cruise in the Gulf of Mexico. Maggie wonders if she’s qualified to teach others about happiness when she can’t muster up any for herself. But when a handsome stranger on board insists that smart women can’t ever be happy, Maggie sets out to prove him wrong. Along the way she may discover that happiness has far less to do with the head than with the heart.
Filled with unforgettable characters, snappy dialogue, and touching romance, The Theory of Happily Ever After shows that the search for happiness may be futile—because sometimes happiness is already out there searching for you.

PRAISE FOR THE THEORY OF HAPPILY EVER AFTER: 

“. . .the sweet will-they-or-won’t-they of Sam and Maggie’s courtship will please readers. . .”
                        —Publishers Weekly
“Billerbeck returns with a light Christian chick-lit novel just in time for the summer beach-read season, taking on stereotypes of femininity, intellect, and worth within an exciting cruise-ship setting with plenty of sunshine and gelato.”
                        —Booklist
“Billerbeck’s latest is full of memorable characters and witty dialogue. . . .The overall story reminds the reader that sometimes happiness will find you, no matter what you may do to avoid it.”
RT Book Reviews  Four Star Review
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review

Right away I could tell that I would have trouble putting this book down. So I approached reading it the way any other rational person would: I cleared my day of all commitments so that I could read without any interruptions. To be completely honest, there were interruptions despite my best intentions. I would guffaw at something, my husband would look at me questioningly, and then I had no choice but to read some choice lines aloud to him.

One of my favorite lines that I spent 5 minutes flipping through the book to find, so you have no choice but to read it: “There’s little doubt that Jake’s soaring, Lycra-wearing Tinkerbell sprinkled pixie dust in her wake and left him feeling as if he too could fly, while a scientific downer like me spread nothing but Spock-like facts and despair — covering a room with a dark, dingy feeling similar to volcanic ash.” [pp. 37-38]. So many references and imagery in one funny sentence! And the book is chock full of gems like this. Many quick, one-liners, but even some fun paragraph-long inner (and outer) dialogue full of quirks. I found myself hoping to find a friend as witty as the author one day.

I was a little surprised that this book wasn’t tagged as Christian (although Booklist did identify it as light Christian chick-lit) because there are definite references here and there that a Bible studier would catch. When faith and Christianity are discussed head on, it makes a little more sense that the story lacks the typical debauchery and maybe even a little premarital activity that you would expect to occur on a cruise ship full of singles, especially in a romance novel.

The way that Billerbeck pokes fun at her heroine’s obsession with the Hallmark channel and storybook romances makes this surprisingly chaste read anything but boring. As much as Maggie tries to paint herself as this dry, data driven nerd with librarian fashion sense (I sort of resent that!), you get a sense that she suffers from some sort of body and soul dysmorphia. Despite being flanked by two gorgeous and confident friends, she manages to take her pick of the only two charming and good-looking men on the ship. Oh, if only that were really the case in real life. Am I right, ladies?

You know me, I don’t ruin books for y’all. The after taste of this one sort of reminded of a Bridget Jones’s Diary – probably because the main character is self deprecating, yet is caught in a great love triangle, and has colorful friends. Also, even though everyone is from California or Texas, a few of the characters seem to have a slip of nationality and use words like “bin” and … ugh, I knew I should have made a list.

Either way, this is the perfect beach read. But to be honest, I can see myself cozying up with a cup of hot tea as well. It’s a feel good book whose chapter intros even include mantras from Maggie’s fictional book, The Science of Bliss. I will leave you with this particular quote that feels like equal parts Namaste, fortune cookie wisdom, and just plain common sense: “Savor the good times in life. Studies tell us people who savor happy experiences in life are more likely to be optimistic about their past outcomes and their future.” [p. 150].

Kristin Billerbeck is the author of more than thirty novels, including What a Girl Wants and the Ashley Stockingdale and Spa Girls series. She is a fourth-generation Californian who loves her state and the writing fodder it provides.
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August 22-31, 2018
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8/22/18
Excerpt, Part 1
8/22/18
BONUS Post
8/23/18
Excerpt, Part 2
8/24/18
Review
8/25/18
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Review & Giveaway: A Matter of Trust by Susan May Warren

A MATTER OF TRUST
Montana Rescue Series, Book 3
by
SUSAN MAY WARREN
  Genre: Contemporary Romance / Action / Christian
Publisher: Revell
Date of Publication: July 4, 2017
Number of Pages: 336
 SCROLL DOWN FOR GIVEAWAY!

Champion backcountry snowboarder Gage Watson was at the top of his game when one of his fans crashed and died—a death blamed on Gage. After being sued for negligence and stripped of his sponsorships, Gage had no choice but to leave the limelight behind and search for a new life.
Although Gage is now working as a ski patrol in Montana’s rugged mountains, as well as serving on the PEAK Rescue team, he still can’t find peace—or forget the woman who betrayed him.
As a former attorney and one of the youngest senators in the country, Ella Blair is used to being in the public eye. But she does have one secret that has remained hidden—a secret that could have saved Gage his career. Wracked with regret, she’ll do almost anything to atone for her betrayal of him.
When Ella’s brother goes missing on one of Glacier National Park’s most dangerous peaks, the last thing Gage wants is to let Ella join the search. Not only will he have to find her reckless brother, but he’ll have to keep her safe as well. But Ella is undeterred, and suddenly Gage finds himself in a high-stakes adventure on a mountain with a woman who could cost him everything—again. In a world of dangerous heights, devastating injuries, and blinding snowstorms, Gage and Ella must put aside the past and learn to trust each other if they hope to survive.

Praise for the Montana Rescue Series
“Exciting rescues and an old mystery offer a thrilling, roller-coaster plotline and plenty of drama to keep the pages turning.” 
—Bookpage on Wild Montana Skies

“A fast-moving, high-stakes romantic adventure set against the backdrop of Glacier National Park, which will leave longtime fans and new readers alike anticipating the next book in the series.” 
—Publishers Weekly on Rescue Me
PURCHASE LINKS:
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300b2-review
From the moment some kid in a T-rex costume snowboarded on the mountain, I knew I was in for an interesting read. Gage Watson is a guy who takes safety seriously and has to catch the kid and kick him out. What makes this situation even more interesting is that Gage used to be the world’s most celebrated freerider. When he sees people attempt dumb stunts, it is likely because they watched videos of him doing them back in the day. It was three years ago that he tried to talk a young man out of doing a dangerous carve down the mountain and failed. When the guy died, Gage was blamed and his whole life caved in.
After finding some peace as a ski patrolman for the PEAK rescue team, coming face to face with the young woman who stole his heart and later ruined his career, was the last thing anyone saw coming. But it turns out that she’s on a rescue mission of her own. Ella Blair follows her brother, Ollie, to the mountain when she learns of his plan to copy Gage’s most famous and extremely dangerous route. She knows it’s a long shot but pleads with Gage to rescue her brother and to let her go with him.
With emotions running high and the journey so perilous, old secrets soon start pouring out. The question of whether one person can really, truly forgive another for so much pain and suffering is presented among multiple plot lines. One person’s faith in God sparks belief in another. People are able to let go of the past in exchange for a brighter and happier future.
This book is really three stories in one. The main storyline is how Ella and Gage meet again, and the truth about what really happened three years ago. Another storyline follows two young women involved in a sort of love square. And the third storyline that leads into the next book in the series is about an unsolved murder of a young woman. It might sounds like a lot, but the sub-storylines break up what could have just been another gooey love story.
This was a great, suspenseful read. I plan to read the prior books in the series and look forward to reading the upcoming ones.

Susan May Warren is the USA Today, ECPA, and CBA bestselling author of over fifty novels, including Wild Montana Skies with more than one million books sold. Winner of a RITA Award and multiple Christy and Carol Awards, as well as the HOLT and numerous Readers’ Choice Awards, Susan has written contemporary and historical romances, romantic suspense, thrillers, romantic comedy, and novellas. 

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CHECK OUT THE OTHER GREAT BLOGS ON THE TOUR:
7/6
Character Interview 1
7/7
Excerpt
7/8
Review
7/9
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7/10
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7/11
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7/13
Review
7/14
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7/15
Review
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Between Hurt and Healing by Jackie Melvin

BETWEEN HURT AND HEALING
by 
Jackie Melvin

Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Tate Publishing
Date of Publication: February 2, 2016
# of pages: 424
Scroll down for Giveaway!
 

 

Introverted Denise Staukhill just wanted a quiet life.  She never dreamed she would find a man like Darren Olsen to share it with.  An unexpected tragedy ends their fairy-tale romance, and Denise once again finds herself alone and devastated.

 

 

Years later, the handsome head football coach from the local high school and Darren’s best friend, Eric Ortellio, tries desperately to help her find peace.  As their relationship starts to grow, the manipulative Coach Nick Nelson, trying to protect his secretive past, steps in to ruin both of them.

 

 

Will Denise and Eric’s friendship sustain the lies and manipulation that the evil Nelson has weaved?  Can Denise find the strength to let go of Darren and hold on to Eric, or will her faithfulness to Darren keep Eric out of her life forever?

 

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or purchase from:

 

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 Denise talking to her twelve-year-old daughter Cissy, about her own mother:

 

 

“She loved color in her drawings, bright colors: greens, reds, blues, yellows. All her pictures were happy. She told me when I was your age to take whatever makes you sad and color it in. I guess she just meant that colors are happy and sad is black and white.”

 

 

Cissy’s response:

 

“Maybe that’s what Grandma meant when she said, “color it in.” Celebrations are colorful like birthday balloons and wedding cakes. Funerals are black, and hospitals are white. Funerals are always sad and hospitals can be sad sometimes too. So if you find what makes you sad and color it in, you can be happy.”

 

Review
Watching the courtship of Denise and Darren unfold makes you forget for a while that Darren is going to die. You get so wrapped up in the great little details of the blossoming relationship and the makeup of each character, you forget that this book is about hurting and healing (yeah, I just went there). You get the feeling that Eric will be the new love interest, but he’s still married. But don’t worry, he doesn’t stay that way. There is nothing that Denise and Eric can do that will make you dislike them. And that is how you know that the evil Nick will not prevail.
I could not put this book down. As despicable as the crimes/scandals Nick sets up for our protagonists, they are all very realistic. And Melvin does an excellent job of showing how the terrible events affect everyone, including the children. Her depiction of the sisters, in particular, I felt were very realistic. Melvin must know some preteen and college-bound girls in real life. My only nitpick about the characters are that the sister names are too similar (Cissy and Cassidy). Kind of a no-no in publishing in my opinion. Every once in a while I had to pause and look back to make sure I was thinking about the correct sister.
I know this is out of left field but it just occurred to me. Eric keeps assuring Denise that he doesn’t expect her to forget about Darren, and that he understands that she will always love her deceased husband. But they don’t discuss Eric’s ex-wife at all. No discussion about the possibility that Eric might have any lingering feelings or that the ex would have issues with the relationship. I don’t know why but that kind of strikes me as odd.
The storyline about no-cutting in school athletics was interesting to me, and I liked Melvin’s use of it throughout the book. It’s not what the book was about at all, but the issue with this touchy subject was the catalyst for all the drama. Having a son about to start sports soon, I personally dislike the everyone is a winner mentality. That trophy he will get at the end of the soccer season? I will probably donate it to Goodwill. But I digress.
Growing up with Texas sports (specifically football), I don’t doubt that there are some shady things going down in the name of having an outstanding sports program and winning. Melvin’s novel manages to be suspenseful and heartwarming at the same time.

 

Jackie Melvin is a hopeless introvert: hasn’t seen the inside of a movie theater in a decade.  She is despairingly sappy: will cry at commercials, songs and memories.  She is a disheartened housekeeper: good before the kids, great with the kids, now the laundry room doubles as the master closet.  An unexceptional athlete, the weather matters!  A wanna be nutritionist, if only chocolate had nutritional value.   A mediocre musician: been playing the same songs for thirty years.  A happy wife, she married up.  A reluctant empty- nester, miss those kids so much.  And she is a writer: the author of a series of children’s books, and Between Hurt and Healing is her first novel.

 

She currently lives in Lubbock, Texas with her husband, her dog, and her cat, and spends as much time as possible visiting those kids.

  
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GIVEAWAY! One winner gets signed copies 
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all of Jackie’s Bartholomew Bear Series

 

February 22-MARCH 3, 2016
 

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=dp_byline_sr_book_1?ie=UTF8&text=Jackie+Melvin&search-alias=books&field-author=Jackie+Melvin&sort=relevancerank
 
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2/22   Missus Gonzo  – Review
2/23   All for the Love of the Word – Author Interview
2/24   The Crazy Booksellers – Promo
2/25   The Page Unbound  — Review
2/26   Hall Ways Blog – Author Interview
2/27   Books and Broomsticks – Guest Post           
2/29   My Book Fix Blog – Promo
3/1     A Novel Reality  — Author Interview
3/2     The Librarian Talks  — Promo

 

   
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