Posted in Book Review, Christmas Read, Contemporary Fiction, Family Drama, Friendship, Romance

Virgin River Series Robyn Carr #Reviews @RCarrWriter @MillsandBoon #BookReview #NetFlix #Romance #SmallTown #StartingOver #Loss #Grief #Friendship #holidayreads #AVirginRiverChristmas #ShelterMountain #MillsandBoonInsiders

I received a copy of these books from Mills and Boon in return for honest reviews.

Shelter Mountian

Discover Paige and Preacher’s Story…

In love, some people are worth fighting for…

For the second time in a year a woman arrives in the small town of Virgin River trying to escape the past.

John “Preacher” Middleton is about to close the bar when a young woman and her three-year-old son come in out of the wet October night. An ex-marine who has seen his share of pain, Preacher knows a crisis when he sees one and this woman is certainly frightened and in need of help. But Preacher’s instinct to protect is more than an engrained sense of duty, for Paige Lassiter has stirred up emotions in him — emotions that he has never before allowed himself to feel.

When Paige’s ex-husband turns up in Virgin River and secrets are revealed, Preacher knows his own future hangs in the balance. But if there’s one thing the marines has taught him, it’s that some things are worth fighting for…

My Thoughts… 5* #Review

The second book in the Virgin River series is Preacher and Paige’s story. It’s an emotional and heartfelt tale of domestic abuse, courage, and love. The book’s focus is Preacher and Paige, but there are other storylines and familiar characters integrated with the main story bringing the characters and setting to vibrant life.

This story tackles contemporary issues with sensitivity and immerses the reader in the story. If you are a fan of the TV series, get to know the characters and their lives in depth by reading the books. I enjoyed the TV series more, after reading some of the books.

A Virgin River Christmas – Book 4

A Christmas Miracle in Virgin River

Last Christmas Marcie Sullivan said a final goodbye to her husband, Bobby. This Christmas she’s come to Virgin River to find the man who saved his life, and gave her three more years with him. Fellow marine Ian Buchanan dragged Bobby to safety in Fallujah four years ago then disappeared. Since then, Marcie’s letters to Ian have gone unanswered.

When Marcie tracks Ian to the tiny mountain town of Virgin River she finds a man haunted by his past and afraid to look to his future. Not easily scared off Marcie pushes her way into Ian’s reclusive life to see beyond his pain to the man he once was. The man he can be again.

Ian doesn’t know what to make of the determined young woman who forces him to look into the painful past and, what’s worse, the uncertain future. But it is, after all, a season of miracles and maybe, just maybe, it’s time to banish the ghosts and open his heart.

My Thoughts… 4* #Review

This story focuses on Marcie a recent widow and Ian, a marine who despite his bravery gives up on his career and life to become a recluse in the mountains near Virgin River.

There are appearances from Virgin River regulars, but this is a story of healing and love between the two newcomers.

This is a gently paced, emotional and festive story. Marcie and Ian build a relationship that moves from animosity to understanding in a remote mountain setting.

It highlights the effect of war on veterans, a recurrent series theme, and also shows how a caring community helps everyone within it,

This is a heartwarming, romantic story which resonates.

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Family Drama, Friendship, Romance

Return to Virgin River Robyn Carr 5*#Review @RCarrWriter @MillsandBoon #BlogTour #BookReview #NetFlix #Romance #SmallTown #StartingOver #Loss #Grief #Friendship #ReturnToVirginRiver #Author #MillsandBoonInsiders #paperback

Struggling with grief after the death of her mother, successful author Kaylee Sloan needs a distraction, to come to terms with life and meet her looming deadline.

With Christmas approaching, Kaylee rents a cabin in Virgin River. She knows the isolation will help her writing and as she drives north through the mountains she immediately feels inspired. Until she arrives at a building that has just gone up in flames. Devastated, she heads to Jack’s Bar to plan her next steps. The local bar is the heart of the town and once she crosses the threshold, she’s surprised to be embraced by people who are more than willing to help a stranger in need.

Welcomed by those in Virgin River, Kaylee starts to see her life in a new light. And as she becomes more involved in the town and the people in it, especially local artist and dog trainer Landry Moore, Kaylee realises she may have found her peace. As Christmas approaches, Kaylee’s dread turns to wonder. Because there’s no better place to mend a broken heart than Virgin River.

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from Mills and Boon in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

Kaylee returns to Virgin River to finish her latest novel and survive Christmas without her mum. An unexpected event forces her to accept the communities help and leads her life, in an unforeseen direction.

The story is relatable with easy to empathise characters in most cases. The animal characters add a heartwarming dimension, and the romance is slow-burning with conflict and a satisfying conclusion. Bereavement and moving on after loss are explored in this story positively and sensitively. Whilst Christmas is not the predominant theme in this book there is a festive twist, as the inhabitants give Kaylee new Christmas memories and show her the true meaning of Christmas.

This is a character-driven story focusing on Kaylee and Landry who both have life-changing emotional journeys to make when they meet. The cast of characters will be familiar to those who follow the series but to new readers, they soon become friends too.

If you enjoy small-town romance with a realistic edge and supportive community, this is a series worth reading.

Read my review of Virgin River

Posted in Book Review, Christmas Read, Contemporary Fiction, Family Drama, Festive Read, Friendship, Parenting and Famlies, Romance

Happily This Christmas Susan Mallery 5*#Review @SusanMallery @MillsandBoon #Romance #MillsandBoonInsiders #Festive #SmallTown #family #friendship #BookReview

It’s the season of love, forgiveness… and tidings of trouble!

Wynn Beauchene is exactly where she wants to be: a successful business owner and single mum. Lately, however, something feels like it’s missing. Even worse is Wynn’s attraction to the gorgeous policeman next door.

With his pregnant daughter coming to stay, Garrick McCabe has one last chance to repair their strained relationship. Except his daughter seems to have turned into the Grinch, and now Garrick needs Wynn’s help to turn this festive fiasco around… before it’s too late.

For Garrick and Wynn, a little chaos is the perfect gift for revealing what—and who—matters most…

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from Mills and Boon via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

I enjoyed this festive small-town romance, which is part of the Happy Inc series. Wynne has admired her neighbour Garrick for a while without taking it further. When he asks for her help making his home welcome for his pregnant and estranged daughter, she has to help, of course.

The romance between Wynn and Garrick is gentle and sweet, almost like first love. Both have emotional damage from early parenthood and mistakes they have to live with, but both are good people who you want to find happiness, preferably together. Their friendships groups are supportive and add to the story’s cosy feel.

Joylyn has issues most relating to her father, she matures, as her baby’s arrival draws closer, and this makes her easy to empathise. The wedding the town is famous for takes place close to Christmas and is a perfect example of community spirit and friendship.

This story is on the cute side, but everyone wants a happy-ever-after at Christmastime.

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Friendship, Romance

The Heart of a Peach Jess B. Moore 5*#Review @authorjessb Fox River Romance #Romance #SmallTown #TheHeartofaPeach #FoxRiverRomance @rararesources #BlogTour #BookReview @rararesources #FridayReads #FridayMotivation

Olivia Hamilton can do no wrong. Or at least that’s what the community of Fox River, North Carolina thinks of the odd but sweet young lady. She’s hiding a past she’d rather forget, engaged to the town’s most eligible bachelor, and longing for someone to see past the mask she wears. Olivia wants to find herself, forgive herself, and fall in love with someone who sees and embraces her flaws. 

Denver MacKenna grew up the fiddle-playing prodigy of not only his hometown of Fox River but of North Carolina and the surrounding states. He plays obsessively and tours as often as possible, escaping a life of loneliness at home. Until he meets a beautiful siren who calls to him and has him making plans to settle down. Denver knows it’s wrong to covet the elusive Olivia, but finds himself inexplicably drawn to the brief glimpses she gives him of her true self.

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

This is a lovely gentle romance set in a small town. The romance is sweet, but Olivia is living with controlling parents. She is living half a life until her singing draws Denver to her like a siren’s song.

Olivia’s character development is satisfying, as her slow burn romance with Denver progresses. There is an inevitable conflict with her parents and the man they want her to marry, but finally, her true self emerges independent and strong.

Jess B. Moore

Jess B. Moore is a writer of love stories. When she’s not writing, she’s busy mothering her accomplished and headstrong children, reading obscene numbers of books, and knitting scarves she’ll likely never finish.  

Jess lives in small town North Carolina with her bluegrass obsessed family. She takes too many pictures of her cats, thinking the Internet loves them as much as she does. She is a firm believer of swapping stories over coffee or wine, and that there should always be dark chocolate involved.  

The Fox River Romance novels combine her interests in family, music, and small towns into thoughtful tales of growing up and falling in love. These books can be read as stand-alone, or as a series starting with The Guilt of a Sparrow. 

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Posted in Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Family Drama, Friendship, Romance

The Lilac House Barbara Josselsohn 4*#Review @barbarajoss @bookouture #LakeSummers #SecondChances #SmallTown #Romance #Secrets #BookReview #uplit #TheLilacHouse

Can one summer house bring two broken hearts together?Summer escapes to Lilac House have always been a source of comfort for Anna Harris. Though things will never be the same since her husband’s death, she knows that it is there, nestled in Lake Summers in the heart of the Adirondack Mountains, that she and her children Zac and Evie can begin to build a new life.

The house is just as beautiful as Anna remembers, and caught up in the rhythm of small town life, helping her Aunt Hope run the little shop on Main Street, Anna begins to feel a sense of herself she hasn’t felt in years. Then she meets Aidan. Handsome, strong and quiet, he also knows what’s it’s like to lose someone. In each other they recognise something they’ve both been missing and they feel a spark.

But Aidan’s past holds a different set of complications. He’s hiding a secret about why he came to Lake Summers. And just as the Lilac House finally starts to feel like home, Anna learns something devastating about Greg’s death that makes her question everything…

The summer might have brought Anna and Aidan together, but can Anna finally let go of the past now she really has the chance for a new beginning?A beautiful story about moving on and finding yourself, The Lilac House will restore your faith in love and teach you that it’s never too late the find the person who will change your life.

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from Bookouture via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

The return to The Lilac House brings mixed feelings for Anna and her two children. Grieving from the loss of Greg, husband and father they approach the summer at Lake Summer with trepidation. Hope awaits Anna’s return with joy and guilt she has a secret and hopes Anna will understand. Aidan has secrets too but meeting Anna makes him realise there is more to his life than he thought.

This story is an emotional journey for the three main characters in the small mountain town. The characters are easy to empathise. Their stories are poignant, but their interactions give them the chance of a positive future.

The exploration of grief is insightful, and the absorbing story is an uplifting read.

Posted in Book Review, Family Drama, Romance

Summer At Lake Haven RaeAnne Thayne 5*#Review @MillsandBoon @raeannethayne #HavenPoint #Romance #Family #Relationships #SecondChances #SummerAtLakeHaven #MillsandBoonInsiders #BookReview

Sometimes what you don’t want, might be exactly what you need

Aspiring fashion designer, Samantha Fremont, has put her love life on hold to focus on herself. She certainly doesn’t need a complication, like her new neighbour, turning out to be a sexy, brooding English Professor. He might be dreamy but he’s also rude. But keeping her distance proves difficult when his two children wind themselves into Sam’s heart. Combined with a litter of cute puppies Sam might just have found what she was looking for…

Ian is actually Lord Ian Summerhill, grateful for the chance to spend the summer away from his responsibilities in England, studying the unique habitat around Lake Haven. When Ian meets Sam he is determined to keep a distance but soon he is drawn to her charm and the fact that his children adore her. But he is only in Lake Haven for the summer, then he must return to England. But sometimes one summer can change everything…

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from Mills and Boon via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

Against a lakeside setting, a heartwarming romance begins. Ian and Samantha are both recovering from loss. They’re not looking for love but when it finds them can they make it work? Complex characters and a lovely setting make this an enjoyable gentle romance. There are numerous barriers to a happy ever, but the uplifting ending is worth the angst.

This is a lovely Summer romance for lovers of happy endings.

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Family Drama, Friendship, Romance

Virgin River Robyn Carr 4*#Review @RCarrWriter @MillsandBoon #BlogTour #BookReview #NetFlix #Romance #SmallTown #StartingOver #Loss #Grief #Friendship #Nursing #MillsandBoonInsiders #paperback


Sometimes all you need is a fresh start

When the recently widowed Melinda Monroe sees an advert for a midwife in the remote town of Virgin River, she decides this is the perfect place to escape her heartache and to revitalise the nursing career she loves.

However, her hopes are dashed within an hour of arriving: the cabin is uninhabitable, the roads are treacherous and the local doctor wants nothing to do with her. But when a tiny baby is abandoned on a front porch, Mel must decide whether to stay and help or cut her losses and leave.

Helped by local barman, and former marine, Jack Sheridan Mel must face her past and finds that there may be a future in Virgin River after all.

Amazon UK

#BlogTour

I received a copy of this book from Mills and Boon in return for an honest review.

#back cover #VirginRiver

My Thoughts…

Virgin River begins with a familiar and popular trope in the romance genre, of grieving widow, starting over in a small town, away from everything she knew before. Bereaved Melinda, takes up a midwife and nurse practitioner post in a remote rural small town Virgin River. She is promised cosy accommodation, a thriving medical practice in need of her skills and a lovely town to live in.

What she finds is less than ideal. Layered on top of her perilous emotional state, she feels like getting back in her car and heading back to the city, even if the memories there are too painful to live with.

An emotional event makes her stay in the short term because she’s not a quitter, but a consummate professional and big-hearted woman. Little by little the town and its inhabitants draw her in and she begins to enjoy the generosity, caring spirit of a small town, even if it is accompanied by gossip and mostly well-meant interference.

This idyllic story, which captures the small town ethos, has authentic, relatable characters, who you long to know more about. They are why it is an engaging read. There are many other books in this series, so it is likely your favourite will get their own story told, in a later book.

The romance is gentle and sensitive taking account of Melinda’s loss. Although it reflects conservative values to women, this is in keeping with the culture and setting. Contemporary issues are explored too, again viewed from a small town point of view, which is interesting and realistic.

There is a successful TV series based on the Virgin River books, and the quality of the characters and charm of the contemporary story shows why this is the case.

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Family Drama, Friendship, Romance

The Memories We Hide Jodi Gibson 4* #Review @JFGibsonWriter #LoveBooksTours #Memories #FamilyDrama #Relationships #Grief #Secrets #Friendships #BlogTour #BookReview

#TheMemoriesWeHide

Can you trust your memories?

Laura Murphy thought she could, but that was before she returned home.

When 27-year-old Laura returns to her home town ten years after the tragic death of her then-boyfriend, Ryan Taylor, she isn’t prepared for the nostalgia and memories that resurface. After discovering a newspaper clipping alluding to the fact that there may have been more to Ryan’s death than first thought, Laura is compelled to find out what happened that fateful night. 

Reconnecting with childhood friend Tom Gordon, she begins to unravel the blurred lines of truth and memory. But Tom holds a secret of his own. Not only is he facing losing his family farm, but what he knows could destroy any chance of a future with Laura.

Will Laura have the strength to confront her memories? Or will Tom’s secret be the key to unlocking the truth?

Dealing with the complexities of friendships, love, depression and the consequences of secrets and split-second decisions, The Memories We Hide is a compelling story exploring how memories can’t always be trusted but how they can set you free. 

AmazonUK

#TheMemoriesWeHide

I received a copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

This story wasn’t what I expected, which was a woman returning to her hometown to lay some painful memories to rest, and reconnect with old friends.

Laura returns to her small hometown to nurse her mother in her last days. She hasn’t returned home, since the tragic death of her teenage boyfriend, but now she has no choice. Inundated with unwanted memories, and uncovering a mystery, as she sorts through her mother’s things. She must find out the truth, or be running to nowhere for the rest of her life.

What follows is a deepening mystery and a journey of self-realisation and acceptance that is both poignant and uplifting. The pacing is slow, and the story is deep, you spend a lot of time in Laura’s head. Which at times is an exhausting place, as she tries to make sense of what she uncovers.

The supporting cast of characters all have a part to play in the past tragedy and its present resolution. The interactions are relatable and real, and even though everyone has secrets, you empathise.

The small town claustrophobic connection is well done in this story, everyone knows everything, and yet there are still secrets. Laura begins to heal as she accepts she has been running not living, since that fateful night. The ending is powerful and realistic and showcases the careless, narcissistic, naivety of youth beautifully.

Not the easy read I expected, but worthwhile and thought-provoking.

#JodiGibson

Jodi Gibson is an Australian women’s fiction author of both contemporary dramas and light-hearted romantic comedy. She lives on a mini-farm with her husband, daughters, two golden retrievers, one horse, eight chickens and a cat who rules over them all.

Jodi has been making up stories in one way or another since she was young. However, it wasn’t until recent years and after wearing many career hats, that the desire to get the stories out of her head and onto the page, won her over. In 2019, she realised her dream releasing her debut contemporary drama novel, The Memories We Hide.

When she’s not writing, you’ll find Jodi with her nose in a book, or in the kitchen baking and dreaming of her next travelling adventure. Twitter  


Posted in Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Friendship, Romance

Bedazzled Dreamer Deborah King 3*#Review @dkingnovels @rararesources #Romance #SmallTownRomance #dreams #inspiration #InspirationInCologne #BookReview #BlogTour #booksgosocial

She’s about to launch her dream business. The last thing she needs is a distracting housemate and his son…

Shelby is excited to open a shop with her best friend. But with Janna just-married and moved out, she worries their hopes of starting a boutique will never come true. And things get more complicated when her old distrust of men is put to the test by her handsome new roommate and his little boy…

With Oktoberfest decorations forgotten and replaced by Christmas cheer, she slowly allows Shane and the child a space in her heart. But she doesn’t trust her second chance at romance or the success of her boutique when surprising news threatens her newly minted courage.

Can Shelby find the strength to let her ambitions flourish, along with her new passion?

Bedazzled Dreamer is the second touching book in the Inspiration In Cologne women’s fiction series. If you like heartwarming stories, cosy small towns, and festive holiday experiences, then you’ll love Deborah King’s romantic women’s fiction tale.

Amazon UK Amazon

I received a copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

The second book in the ‘Inspiration in Cologne’ series. I haven’t read the first book, but this reads well as a standalone. This is for fans of small-town romance. Shelby, the main focus of this story and her friend Janna, want to overcome past hurts and dream of opening their own boutique in the town. Janna has found love, but Shelby is very much single, still wary and lacking in trust because of past emotional damage.

Alone again when Janna leaves to move in with her husband, Shelby retreats into her introverted state, until Janna foists a new roommate on her. He is attractive and comes with a charming son. The connection is instant, but can she make this particular dream come true?
A gentle story of sweet romance, following your dreams and finding the courage to make them a reality.

Deborah King is a spirited woman who was inspired to pursue her dreams due to her mother’s death from early-onset Alzheimer’s disease. She has the unique ability to read people and tackle life’s hardships.

Deborah is a distinctive new voice in women’s fiction. After raising two children, working with a not-for-profit wildlife rescue organization, and reading too many books to count, she retired from her personal training and weight management business to follow her dream of writing.

Deborah is extremely grateful for having the opportunity to work with many different people sharing and teaching what inspires her, which you will catch glimpses of in her books.

She lives in Missouri with her supportive husband, two cats, who believe they’re dogs, her mini fitness store, and her eclectic collection of books.

For all the latest information, excerpts from her upcoming books, general fun, or to chat, join her at Facebook – Deborah King The Inside Scoop: Launch Team.

 She loves to hear from her fans. To follow her social media links, reviews of women’s fiction books, blog, and to sign up for monthly updates, visit her at deborahkingbooks.com Facebook Twitter Pinterest GoodReads

Giveaway to Win a Paperback copy of Bedazzled Dreamer by Deborah King
(Open to US Only)

Click to enter Giveaway

*Terms and Conditions –USA entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will be passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for the fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

Posted in Book Review, Family Drama, Friendship, Romance, Travel

A Summer to Remember Victoria Cooke 4* #Review #Romance #StartingOver #Friendship #loss #grief #Boston #NewEngland #FamilyDrama @HQDigitalUK @rararesources #PublicationDay @VictoriaCooke10

#ASummerToRemember

Sam lives by the mantra that it is better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.  

After the tragic loss of her husband, Sam built a new life around friends, her cat Coco and a career she loves. Fending off frequent set-ups and well-meaning advice to ‘move on’, Sam is resolutely happy being single.

But when Sam gets seconded to her firm’s Boston office for the summer, it is more than her career that is in for a shake-up. A spur of the moment decision to visit the idyllic beaches of Cape Cod could end up changing her life forever.

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book fro,, HQ Digital via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

Starting with a family tragedy, you immediately feel empathy with the woman suffering a cataclysmic loss. Fast forward to 2018 and we meet Sam, whose point of view this story is told from, and a widow after that terrible night in 2010. She is existing rather than living, with one good friend, who even though she understands still keep putting eligible men in her path. Happy, if you can call it that,with her demanding career and her cat coco, you really want her to find true happiness again.

After many failures, she gains the opportunity to further her career, with a job in Boston, for three months, she decides to go, and it is the beginning of a new chapter in her life. The secondment does not go to plan and in need of some R&R, she takes a ferry trip to Cape Cod, whose small town charm melts her heart and leaves her open to friendship at least.

The setting is lovely, New England always brings charm and character, to a romantic story, as is the case here. The romance with Ethan, someone who is also hurting, is conflict ridden and gentle. It is believable, because the passion is low key and both are wary of laying their hearts open to hurt. The friendship with Barney and Harry is also noteworthy, it shows Sam what true friendship can be. The pacing is good and the cast of characters and emotion in the story realistic.

Angst, emotion and romance are beautifully intertwined in this gentle second chance love story, unfolding in a lovely coastal setting.

Victoria Cooke grew up in the city of Manchester before crossing the Pennines in pursuit of a career in education. She now lives in Huddersfield with her husband and two young daughters and when she’s not at home writing by the fire with a cup of coffee in hand, she loves working out in the gym and travelling. Victoria was first published at the tender age of eight by her classroom teacher who saw potential in a six-page story about an invisible man. Since then she’s always had a passion for reading and writing, undertaking several writers’ courses before completing her first novel, ‘The Secret to Falling in Love,’ in 2016.

Her third novel, Who Needs Men Anyway? became a digital bestseller in 2018.

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Giveaway to Win A Summer to Remember by Victoria Cooke and Chocolates
(UK Only)

Click to Enter Giveaway

*Terms and Conditions –UK entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfillment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for dispatch or delivery of the prize.