Harlequin Spotlight, Meme, New Release, Reviews

#Review of The Christmas Kiss (Back to Bluestone River #2) by Virginia McCullough w/a rafflecopter giveaway! #ChrKissTour @PrismBookTours @VEMcCullough @HarlequinBooks


On Tour with Prism Book Tours

The Christmas Kiss
(Back to Bluestone River #2)
By Virginia McCullough
Contemporary Romance
Paperback & ebook, 384 pages
December 1st 2019 by Harlequin Heartwarming

Will working together

…lead to together forever?

Recently divorced, Parker Davis needs to focus on his new job so he can provide a stable home for his daughter in time for the Christmas holidays. The problem is, he’s frequently at odds with his boss. He and Emma O’Connell approach everything differently. Yet he finds her intriguing, and Bluestone River festivities keep pushing them together—often enough that two people at odds could find themselves evenly matched in love!

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I apologize again for the lateness of the blog post today.  As most know, I’m now working at an elementary school and by the time I get home from school, I’m toast.  Throw in Christmas time and the kids’ excitement while still trying to teach and I’m a zombie.  Do I read to relax when I get home?  You bet.  Do I remember to write the review?  Nope.  I have no shame and I’m not afraid to admit it.

So why the admission?  Because this is my last posted review of 2019 and I’m super excited that it is.  Ms. McCullough knew exactly what I needed to relax, rewind and just forget for a few hours.  This isn’t my first book from Ms. McCullough nor will it be my last.  Unfortunately, I didn’t read the first book in this series but I understood the secondary characters, Mike and Ruby.  However, I have since found out that Emma’s backstory is better explained in that book so, at times, I didn’t quite understand how she came about in the beginning.

Honestly, I didn’t care.  I just liked Emma.  She didn’t come off as self-pitying; instead, I found her endearing, funny and at times, self-effacing.  She mocked herself at times when it came to money and most people wouldn’t do that.  I also liked that she didn’t come off as weak when it came to Parker.  Their banter at times was funny but also poignant.  She was honest with him when she was describing her marriage. There was no real emotion (which I can understand given the circumstances) but she hadn’t given up on love.

Parker was kind of a jerk in the beginning.  But he is made to be that way when it comes to Emma.  He just views her as someone that throws money at things with no real emotional attachment.  Hence, the injured birds.  Oh, that owl.  That poor baby.  Even I prayed for its safe healing.  Those scenes gave Parker a much-needed eye-opener when it came to Emma.  He knew that she was different and could be trusted.

Trust is a huge issue for Parker given his ex-wife.  Not to mention that he is dealing with a college-age daughter that still doesn’t understand why her mother left and is now somewhat begging for them to get back together.  The ending of the book is spot on with Parker and his daughter.  In fact, if you are looking for that big black moment, you really won’t find it here.  Ms. McCullough writes about people that actually communicate with each other and deal with the issues at hand.  Oh…and did I mention that Parker and Emma are older characters?  Harlie LOVES it when authors write about older characters.  Yes, they can still fall in love, deal with older children and exes.  And they aren’t afraid to voice their opinions without the reader wanting to beat them over the head for the stubbornness that comes with younger characters.

Ms. McCullough wrote a book that I desperately needed with only two weeks left in school.  It showed me some things that I would have never thought about, characters that I grew to love and an ending that was beautiful.  Not to mention the birds in it and I learned a lot from Parker when it came to the care that wounded birds need.  I miss the owl already.

Other Books in the Series

A Family for Jason
(Back to Bluestone River #1)
By Virginia McCullough
Contemporary Romance
Paperback & ebook, 384 pages
August 1st 2019 by Harlequin Heartwarming

She’s not home for keeps

Unless he proves first love is forever

Bluestone River is a minefield of memories for Mike Abbot—all involving Ruby Driscoll. Twenty years after scandal divided them, they’re both back in their hometown. Ruby’s visit is strictly temporary. But as she uses her trauma expertise to help his vulnerable son, Mike faces what his heart has always known. Ruby’s still his one and only. This time, can he convince her to stay?

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About the Author

Born and raised in Chicago, Virginia McCullough has been lucky enough to develop her writing career in many locations, including the coast of Maine, the mountains of North Carolina, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and currently, Northeast Wisconsin. She started her career in nonfiction, first writing articles and then books as a ghostwriter and coauthor. She’s written more than 100 books for physicians, business owners, professional speakers and many others with information to share or a story to tell.

Virginia’s books feature characters who could be your neighbors and friends. They come in all ages and struggle with everyday life issues in small-town environments that almost always include water—oceans, lakes, or rivers. The mother of two grown children, you’ll find Virginia with her nose a book, walking on trails or her neighborhood street, or she may be packing her bag to take off for her next adventure. And she’s always working on another story about hope, healing, and second chances.

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Tour Schedule

Tour Giveaway

– 1 winner will receive a $25 Amazon eGift Card and a $25 Etsy eGift Card
– Open internationally for those who are eligible
– Ends December 18, 2019

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Category Thursday, Excerpt, Giveaways, Meme, New Release, Reviews

#Review of Christmas With You by Nan Reinhardt w/a rafflecopter giveaway! #contemporaryromance @NanReinhardt

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Nan Reinhardt will be awarding a set of six handmade wine charms and a $10 Starbucks gift card (US ONLY) to 5 randomly drawn winners via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

She’s loved him all her life… but will he be there when she needs him the most?

Disheartened and adrift after being written out of a hit TV show, actor Aidan Flaherty returns to his family’s historic winery, where he’s invested some of the fortune he’s made. As the holidays approach, Aidan becomes intrigued with the old showboat that’s dry-docked just east of town… and even more intrigued with the daughter of his former mentor, who now owns it. He decides to buy the boat and restore it to its former glory.

Single mom Holly Santos is back in River’s Edge after her divorce and she is over men in general and actors in particular. If she could only get rid of her father’s old showboat, a source of fascination for her son, Mateo. She never expects her old crush to walk into her tea shop or the fireworks that happen every time they’re in the same room. Can Aidan convince her that he is determined to restore their shared heritage on the showboat and that he’s home to stay?

Read an Excerpt

A knock on his car window jerked him back to the Mickey D’s parking lot and he turned to see a young woman peering in. “Hey?” She tapped on the glass again. “Hey? Aren’t you that cop? The one on TV? Pete At-Atwater?”

Aidan came within a second of simply shaking his head since she didn’t even have the name of his character right, but another girl came up behind the blonde, a huge smile on her face. “It’s him!” She gripped the blonde’s arm. “It’s Pete Atwood from LA Detectives!” Elbowing her way to the window of the little MG, she stooped down. “We love you, Pete!”

Pinning on his celebrity smile, the one that showed off his dimples and made hearts race all over America and Canada, Aidan rolled down the window. “Good morning, ladies.”

They clutched each other and giggled, jiggling with excitement. “Can we get a picture with you?” the blond one asked while the other one bit her lip and sighed.

“Sure.” Aidan opened the car door and got out, surreptitiously scanning the parking lot as he did so. Most of the cars were in the drive-thru and the people in line weren’t paying attention to the activity in the corner of the parking lot, where he’d deliberately parked to avoid being recognized. How had these two figured out who he was?

Oh, crap, the California license plates on Pete’s distinctive MG! A dead giveaway and it’s no secret that the actor who plays Pete Atwood is from a small river town in southern Indiana.

At least ten pictures and a couple of autographs later, he was back in the car while the two girls scurried off. Aidan watched out of the corner of his eye as they high-fived each other before getting into an older compact car. No doubt they were both on their phones letting friends know that Pete Atwood was haunting the parking lot of the McDonald’s on the highway, so heaving a huge breath, he buckled up and turned the key in the ignition.

Guys this book.  I read it like two weeks ago and it is still in my heart.  I’m really enjoying the books that Tule Publishing has been putting out over the years.  I know that I will be getting a warm-hearted, feel-good book with characters that will wiggle their way into my heart and not let go.  Ms. Reinhardt doesn’t disappoint with her story featuring Aidan and Holly.  I will admit that I didn’t read Sean or Connor’s books but you don’t have to.  Each book is completely stand-alone.  Unfortunately, my wallet took a hit later.

Holly and Aiden had my heart from the start.  What got me with Aiden is that even though he was a very popular actor, he really didn’t take himself seriously.  He is kind to fans but realizes that maybe getting fired is a Godsend.  Regrouping with his brothers and then seeing the old riverboat, an idea comes to life.  Too bad he has to deal with the owner’s daughter, Holly.  While she tries to be unimpressed with Aiden back in town, deep down she’s 14 again.  I hear you sister.  Seeing Aiden brings back some unpleasant family issues that Holly has with her mother and now-deceased father.  Mateo, Holly’s son is great, too.  Just on the cusp of teenhood, he is looking for that male figure in his life and Aiden seems to fill the void.  Holly and Mateo haven’t had it easy over the years.  I won’t spoil for you but it explains a lot about Holly and her reluctance to even be friends with Aiden again.

I would be remiss not to talk about the riverboat itself.  It is a character that is crucial to Holly and Aiden’s romance.  It brings up some deep resentment from Holly and I can see why.  On the flip side, it makes Aiden very happy and shows where he got his love of acting in the first place.  Naturally, Mateo is drawn to the boat, Aiden and acting which Holly doesn’t deal well at all.  But that’s what sets this book apart from the others that I have read lately.  It’s the boat.  It is the centerpiece to the story, the romance and how Aiden and Holly as individuals.  In my opinion, Holly had the most to grow.  She has more to lose but she also needed to let go of some severe pent-up feelings in regards to her dad and the boat.

Ms. Reinhardt has written a book that is realistic, funny at times, puts a smile on your face and makes you realize that not every family is perfect; no matter what they seem on the surface.  I can’t wait for Brendan’s book.  In just one book, I have found a family to love, cherish and revisit again and again.

About the Author:

Nan Reinhardt is a USA Today bestselling author of romantic fiction for women in their prime. Yeah, women still fall in love and have sex, even after 45! Imagine! She is a wife, a mom, a mother-in-law, and a grandmother. Nan has been a copyeditor and proofreader for over 25 years, and currently works on romantic fiction titles for a variety of clients, including Avon Books, St. Martin’s Press, Kensington Books, and Entangled Publishing, as well as for many indie authors.

Although she loves her life as an editor, writing is Nan’s first and most enduring passion. Her latest series, Four Irish Brothers Winery, includes A Small Town Christmas, Meant to Be, and the newly released, Christmas with You, all from Tule Publishing. Nan is busy at work on Book 4 of the series, as well as brewing a cozy mystery idea.

Visit Nan’s website at www.nanreinhardt.com, where you’ll find links to all her books as well as blogs about writing, being a Baby Boomer, and aging gracefully…mostly. Nan also blogs every sixth Wednesday at Word Wranglers, sharing the spotlight with five other romance authors and is a frequent contributor the RWA Contemporary Romance blog, and she contributes to the Romance University blog where she writes as Editor Nan.

Word Wranglers: http://www.wordwranglers.blogspot.com/
RWA Contemporary Romance blog: http://contemporaryromance.org/2018/03/awesome/
Romance University blog: http://romanceuniversity.org/ru-contributors/

Website: http://www.nanreinhardt.com/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5758438.Nan_Reinhardt
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authornanreinhardt
Twitter: https://twitter.com/NanReinhardt
Instagam: https://www.instagram.com/nanreinhardt/

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Nan-Reinhardt/e/B007OYDC6O?ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_5&qid=1570744315&sr=8-5

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07YNZQCWX/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i0

A Small Town Christmas: https://www.amazon.com/Small-Christmas-Irish-Brothers-Winery-ebook/dp/B07HBZPKDH/

Meant to Be: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07S7FW8BR/

Christmas With You: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07YNZQCWX/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i7

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Excerpt, Giveaways, Harlequin Spotlight, Meme, New Release, Reviews

Excerpt and #Review of Home for Christmas (Shores of Indian Lake #12) by Catherine Lanigan w/a rafflecopter giveaway! #HCTour @HarlequinBooks @Cathlanigan


On Tour with Prism Book Tours

Home for Christmas
(Shores of Indian Lake #12)
By Catherine Lanigan
Contemporary Romance
Paperback & ebook, 384 Pages
November 1st 2019 by Harlequin Heartwarming

Can a magical Christmas under glass…

…bring them back together for good?

Widowed dad Adam Masterson still doesn’t understand why Joy Boston left Indian Lake and broke his heart all those years ago. Now she’s returned to sell her grandfather’s beloved poinsettia greenhouse—and Joy and Adam’s connection is as strong as ever. But Joy has a life in New York. And Adam has only until Christmas to convince Joy that she belongs in Indian Lake—with him.

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EXCERPT

Adam pulled up to the bank. He put the truck in Park and turned to her. “What are you asking me?”

“Have you got an ulterior motive, Adam Masterson? Because if you do, it’s time to lay your cards on the table.”

“Initially, I wanted to show you that Indian Lake wasn’t the hall of horrors you thought it was. That the people here were wonderful and loving and that maybe you could come to need them.”

“I’m seeing that…” She paused. “You said ‘initially.’”

“The more I’m with you, I have to admit, maybe my motives have changed.” He unbuckled his seat belt and leaned forward to put his hand on the back of her nape.

When his lips met hers, she had every intention of pushing him away, venting more anger at him, but she didn’t. This wasn’t a kiss born of fond memories or a teenage crush; this was passion and eagerness. This was a kiss of now and his need for her in this moment. His fingers slid up into her hair, cupping her head, capturing her. He slanted his mouth over hers and deepened the kiss. He breathed her in as a faint moan hummed in his throat. Joy was lost like she’d never been, not even when they were kids. Back then, his kisses had been tender and playful. But this was desire and possession.

As she responded to Adam’s kiss, holding him fast, she wondered if every decision she’d ever made in her life was a mistake.

ADAM BROKE FROM the kiss, reconsidered and kissed Joy again. Then he held her face in his hands, realizing she’d never taken her hands from him.

“I’m not gonna say I’m sorry. I’ve been wanting to do that since the day you came back here.”

“You kissed me before.”

“Not like this.”

“No. Not like this,” she replied in a low voice. “Adam…”

“Don’t say it. Not right now. I don’t want to think about New York or your other life. This is just us.”

“But it’s not,” she whispered and dropped her hands.

He let his hands fall to her shoulders, still reluctant to let her go.

“I don’t want to do anything that would make you distrust me or make you uncomfortable, and the fact that, apparently, empirically I’ve done both…” He sighed heavily. “I won’t let it happen again.”

“That a promise?”

“No. Yes.” He laughed and fell back against his seat. He closed his eyes and leaned his head against the headrest. “You don’t know what you’ve done to me.”

“I wouldn’t exactly say that,” she replied. “As of two minutes ago, I have a much clearer picture.”

He slid his eyes to her. “You kissed me back.”

She hung her head and looked up at him with recalcitrant eyes. “I did.”

He lifted his hand and tapped the steering wheel with his forefinger. “So, would I be out of line to ascertain that you might be feeling the same thing I’m feeling?”

She leaned against the door.

Trying to move away from him?

“Adam, I have to be honest. I don’t know what I feel. I’ve gone from shock over Grandpa’s death, to grief, which is almost choking me, to wondering why everyone here is so nice to me, to remembering you and me when we were in high school, discovering you have a son, whom I can tell you I love already.”

“You do?” Adam was a bit surprised. Not that people didn’t love Titus. He was a special kid. But Joy didn’t have much exposure to children, not even a younger sibling.

And yet she protected and watched over her flowers. He’d caught her in the greenhouses talking to the plants, singing to them as if they could hear her and respond. Perhaps she had more motherly nurturing instincts than he gave her credit for.

“What’s not to love, Adam? He’s amazing. And so like you.”

If she loved his son, did that mean she loved him again? He didn’t want to hear her answer.

His world had been upended. If he were honest with himself, he’d needed her to reopen the greenhouses so that he could test his geothermal design for Hal Slade, his investor.

But even that wasn’t the reason he’d cajoled her into this move.

If she’d left town, he would have paid to have the glass panes replaced anyway. He would have finished the system, turned it on without anyone’s knowledge, read his results and sent them to the investor.

No, Adam was more underhanded than that.

He wanted Joy.

By now, yall are probably sick of me singing the praises of the Heartwarming line by Harlequin.  Too bad because Ms. Lanigan has proven time again how much I love this line and especially Ms. Lanigan.  What is there not to love about Indian Shores?  You have the town resident, Ms. Beabots that drips in Chanel and seems to be the town matchmaker, to all of the other characters that have had their stories told, Joy and Adam were a welcome addition.  This is a second chance romance that had a bit of sadness about it.  No worries though.  The sadness is not overwrought in the book.  You already know that Adam is a widower raising his son Titus and Joy is back to sell your grandfather’s greenhouse.  It’s just that there is something else that broke them up earlier that was even more troubling.

I won’t go into detail about that little nugget but I was boiling mad just like Joy was once the details of it came out when she came back to town.  I don’t care if the town has residents that have money and influence over a town.  People die and when you know that something can be done to prevent it you take action.  Not cover it up or say that it can’t be done.  Old bitty…yes, I said that.  I don’t speak ill of the old.  Grrr…anyway, watching Adam and Joy work together to get the greenhouses ready for sale, it takes on a life of its own.  Their friends (characters from the other books in the series) take over and you see the joy that it brings not only to them but to Joy.  She realizes that she has to let go of the past and realize to have a future with anyone, is to face the truth and to see that she was the one that was wrong in the past.

Adam is a sweetheart.  Raising a tornado of a son, Titus, I can see why he was careful with him but he also needed to see that someone could love Titus for who he was and that person was Joy.  Losing his wife was hard enough but he was a bit overprotective when it came to Titus.  Adam knew all along that Joy still had feelings for him but he just had to prove to her that she didn’t need New York, that her life in Indian Shores could be just as fulfilling.  Especially with him.

Yall, this book had all the feels.  I got caught up with all my friends from the other books and it warmed my heart to see them come together for Joy and Adam.  Sometimes it does take a village and it was evident here.  LOL!  Oh my goodness, seeing Jules talk in French!!!!!  I just wanted to hug that baby.  (His Baby Dilemma is the book)  Plus, I loved the interaction between Mica and Adam.  You have to understand that Adam is a borderline genius in physics, engineering and went to college with Mica.  I loved that connection in the book.  Plus, knowing that Joy and most of the women in the book were childhood friends.  They never judged Joy for running when she did.  All they wanted to was for Joy to understand that life in Indian Shores can be fulfilling, too.

If looking for a feel-good second chance romance with the backdrop of poinsettias, this is for you.  Adam and Joy are ranking up there as one of my favorite couples in Indian Shores.  Mica and Grace, you have competition.  Thank you, Ms. Lanigan, for this book.  It is what I needed for the start of the holiday season.  Plus, Jules…oh my…

Other Books in the Series

About the Author

Catherine Lanigan is the international bestselling and award-winning author of over forty-five published titles in both fiction and non-fiction, including the novelizations of Romancing the Stone and The Jewel of the Nile. Ms. Lanigan’s novels have been translated into over twenty-four languages. Lanigan was tasked by the NotMYkid foundation to pen a collection of compelling and informative true stories of teen addicts. Ms. Lanigan’s SHORES OF INDIAN LAKE series for HARLEQUIN HEARTWARMING includes LOVE SHADOWS, HEART’S DESIRE , A FINE YEAR FOR LOVE, KATIA’S PROMISE, FEAR OF FALLING, SOPHIE’S PATH, PROTECTING THE SINGLE MOM, FAMILY OF HIS OWN, HIS BABY DILEMMA, RESCUED BY THE FIREFIGHTER and HERS TO PROTECT (2019).

Ms. Lanigan is a frequent speaker at literary functions and book conventions as well as inspiring audiences with her real stories of angelic intervention from her Angel Tales series of books. She is an outspoken advocate for domestic violence and abuse and was honored by The National Domestic Violence Hotline in Washington, D.C. She has been a guest on numerous radio programs including “Coast to Coast” and on television interview and talk show programs as well as blogs, podcasts and online radio interview programs. She writes a monthly blog for Heartwarmingauthors.blogspot.com.

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Tour Schedule

Tour Giveaway

– One winner will receive a $100 Amazon eGift Card (open internationally)
– Two winners will each receive a signed copy of Home for Christmas with a bookmark (US only)
– Ends November 27, 2019

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