Friday, October 12, 2018

Review / Q&A / Giveaway - The Rancher's Redemption by Melinda Curtis


The Rancher's Redemption
By Melinda Curtis
Return of the Blackwell Brothers
Publisher: Harlequin Heartwarming
Release Date: October 1, 2018
Reviewed by PJ






The last time Ben saw Rachel Thompson was when her best friend left him at the altar. Now Rachel’s suing the Blackwells over river water rights. Rachel’s a triple threat—rancher, fellow attorney and single mom—and Ben’s plan to win in court hits a snag when mutual attraction blooms. If he divulges a long-held secret, will his family forgive him? Will Rachel?






My thoughts:

I'm sure many of us wouldn't mind having a do-over for something in our past. In The Rancher's Redemption, that's exactly what Ben Blackwell gets when he finally returns to Montana: a chance to make right a past decision that benefited his family but has his childhood friend, Rachel Thompson on the verge of losing everything. When Rachel's best friend jilted Ben at the altar to run off with the rich grandfather who had raised Ben and his brothers following their parents' deaths, Ben headed for New York City and a successful legal career, vowing never to return. The only thing that's brought him back is Rachel's lawsuit. Rachel's life hasn't been a bed of roses either. She's battling her lazy drunk of an ex-husband over custody of their little girl and struggling to run her family's ranch while keeping her mother and grandmother from spending them further into debt, all while trying to keep her small law practice from going belly up. But she's smart, she's determined, and she's not going to give up until she beats the Blackwells and wins back the water rights she desperately needs. 

I really enjoyed this story and especially the chemistry and banter between Rachel and Ben. I enjoyed the slow rekindling of their friendship, even though they were on opposing sides of the legal battle, and the unwanted - and unexpected - desire that caught them both off-guard. Rachel is a feisty underdog and I was in her corner from the get-go while Ben took me a bit longer to warm up to. He's become a legal shark during his years in NYC and has layers of honor and vulnerability that have been buried beneath the teachings of his grandfather and the pain of betrayal. He's just beginning to question who he is and what values he embraces when he returns to Montana and I appreciated the author allowing those realizations to play out gradually over the course of the book. Spending time with Rachel and her daughter (he's so adorable with the baby!), as well as with his brothers leads him to reevaluate many things about himself. Redemption is within reach but in order to receive it he'll have to do something that just may cost him everything, including a chance to be with the woman and child he's come to love.  

This is the third book in this series but can be read as a standalone. I didn't feel at all lost or confused by reading this one first though I was intrigued enough about the Blackwell family after reading The Rancher's Redemption to immediately go in search of the first two books in the series. And I am eager to see what happens next! If you enjoy a friends to enemies to lovers trope that plays out amidst feuds, betrayal, and second chances, with plenty of heart at its core, I recommend you give this story a try. 

The other books in the series are: The Rancher's Twins by Carol Ross, The Rancher's Rescue by Cari Lynn Webb, The Rancher's Fake Fiancee by Amy Vastine (11/1/18), and The Rancher's Homecoming by Anna J. Stewart (12/1/18). 


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Q&A with Melinda Curtis


Welcome to The Romance Dish, Melinda!

The Rancher’s Redemption is the third book in the multi-author Return of the Blackwell Brothers series from Harlequin Heartwarming. Is this the first time you’ve participated in a multi-author series? How does it differ from writing the entire series yourself?

I’m a veteran of the multi-author series. I’ve done them for the Harlequin Superromance line, as well as with other indie authors, most notably the long-running Heartwarming Christmas Town series (a clean romance series written by Harlequin Heartwarming authors but independently published). I enjoy creating connected stories with other authors because I get an internal peek into their writing process (I’m a writing craft nerd), and they come up with businesses or family dynamics that I might not have.
I have several of my own series. I’m really good about plotting out a series arc and keeping track of character names. Other authors are really good about creating series bibles. I’m not (perhaps I should have mentioned I LOVE it when another author creates a series bible, town map, and timeline – lol). I also enjoy taking a character from irredeemable in a series to redeemable in their own book. In multiple author series, your character might get borrowed… Okay, let’s just say it: stolen. For example, in The Rancher’s Redemption, I wrote the hero’s fianc√©e Zoe having jilted him, and I gave her some heart and a backstory, although she isn’t the heroine. As we planned the next iteration of Blackwells, one of the authors called “dibs!” Yes, this happens more than you know!

To say the Blackwell family is dysfunctional would be an understatement. What would you like readers to understand about these men and Ben in particular?

I love family dynamics, perhaps because my family is large and extended and blended. One thing I’ve learned is you must have the hard conversations to keep the family together. The Blackwell men don’t talk to each other as much as they should, and this led to them drifting apart. In Ben’s case, no one explained to him why they let him stand at the altar and wait for his bride when all his brothers knew Zoe had left earlier—eloping with their grandfather!

What was your favorite scene to write in this book? What was the most difficult?

My favorite scene to write was the kiss in the pasture when Rachel and Ben are out riding. Ben leans from his horse to kiss her—of course, it’s not going to go well! (I love writing scenes where something isn’t insta-magical.)  And then to follow it up when their feet are on the ground with him taking charge and showing her there is chemistry. That was such fun!

How many more books are planned for the series?

We have another set of five books planned in the series. Big E, the family patriarch, has secrets, which are so much fun to uncover and reveal.

Ben and Rachel would probably both like to go back in time and give their younger selves advice. What advice would you give your younger self?

Not to take every life event or rite of passage so seriously. The pressure I put myself under when I was younger kept the zit-cleanser manufacturers in the money. I’m much more laid back now.

Thank you, Melinda! Would you like to ask our readers a question today?

There’s a lot in a name and writers name people, places and animals all the time. I recently realized I’d named babies “Poppy” in two different series.  If you had a big black horse, like the one Ben rides, what would you name it?

Four people who leave a comment before 11:00 PM October 13, will each receive their choice of a digital copy of Marrying the Wedding Crasher (sweet) or Fool for Love (sexy).

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Review - - Crossing Hope




Crossing Hope
By Kimberly Kincaid
Publisher: Kimberly Kincaid Romance
Release Date: October 15, 2018
Reviewed by PJ
 




Marley Rallston would rather be anywhere other than too-small-for-a-map-dot Millhaven, Virginia. But thanks to a heap of debt, what was supposed to be a quick trip to fulfill her mother’s dying wish has turned into an extended stay with the family she never knew she had and the father who never wanted her. To top it off, now she’s being forced to do community service with the town’s biggest bad boy, when all she wants to do is make enough cash to get out of Dodge? Life can’t get much worse. 

The only thing Greyson Whittaker cares about is his family’s farm. He’ll do anything to keep Whittaker Hollow in the black, including live up to his rough, tough reputation by running the place by himself, no matter the cost. Mandatory community service with the daughter of their biggest rival is the last thing he wants or needs. But the more time Greyson and Marley spend together, the hotter their attraction burns, and the more the unlikely pair begins to realize that forbidden fruit just might taste the sweetest…





My thoughts:


I've been eagerly anticipating this story since I turned the final page of book three, Crossing Promises, last March and I'm delighted to say it fulfilled my every expectation. 

Marley Rallston is as prickly as a hedgehog carrying a chip on her shoulder the size of Mt. Rushmore. She's not interested in warm and fuzzy family reunions or letting her newly-discovered brothers and sisters-in-law chip away at the shell around her heart though that's exactly what they continue to do. She's certainly not interested in several weeks of enforced community service with her family's biggest rival, town bad boy Greyson Whittaker, yet that's exactly what's happened. Greyson should have known those unpaid parking tickets would come back to haunt him. He didn't mean to blow them off; he's just so busy running the family farm and dealing with his mean-as-a-rattlesnake father that they slipped his mind. Now he's stuck doing community service at a run-down animal shelter with the little sister of his biggest rivals and at a time when the farm needs all his attention. All he knows about Marley is that she's a Cross. Those gorgeous blue eyes don't lie. All Marley knows about Greyson is his reputation around town and the repeated warnings from her brothers that he's no good. Will Marley and Greyson be the ones to end the feud between their families or will giving in to the attraction pulsing between them blow their tiny town sky high? 




There's nothing like cleaning out kennels and playing with puppies to get people to lower their shields and expose their true selves. I love how Kincaid gradually unveils the true character of both Marley and Greyson. Marley is a relatively new character to the series that readers are still getting to know so her evolution in this fourth book seems organic, a natural process of revealing herself as relationships grow. Greyson, on the other hand, has been a thorn in the sides of the Cross brothers throughout the series. I thought I knew exactly who he was. Wow, was I ever wrong. I love how Kincaid slowly unveils his strengths, his vulnerabilities, and the heart of the man hiding beneath the attitude. And I love these two together. They have incredible chemistry, they challenge one another, they heal one another, and I have no doubt they will have an incredible life together. 

I'm so sad to say goodbye to this family but I sure have enjoyed getting to know them throughout this series. Kincaid has brought them to life along with their beautiful Shenandoah Valley farms. Her descriptions are so vivid that were I driving through their area of Virginia one summer Saturday I would fully expect to stumble upon the Cross family farm stand, selling the best produce in the area and manned by the whole family...including their former rival and now brother-in-law, Greyson Whittaker. Happy endings all around for these characters I've come to love. 







Pre-order your copy today!



Kimberly Kincaid writes contemporary romance that splits the difference between sexy and sweet. When she’s not sitting cross-legged in an ancient desk chair known as “The Pleather Bomber”, she can be found practicing obscene amounts of yoga, whipping up anything from enchiladas to √©clairs in her kitchen, or curled up with her nose in a book. Kimberly is a USA Today best-selling author and a 2015 RWA RITA® finalist who lives (and writes!) by the mantra that food is love. Kimberly resides in Virginia with her wildly patient husband and their three daughters.


Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Review - - The Sheriff's Little Matchmaker


The Sheriff's Little Matchmaker
By Carrie Nichols
Publisher: Entangled Bliss
Release Date: October 8, 2018
Reviewed by PJ



When teacher Sasha Honeycutt kisses a handsome cowboy in a bar on a dare, she never expects to see him again. To her surprise, though, he walks through the door of her classroom for a parent-teacher conference. Sheriff Remy Fontenot might be sexy as sin, but Sasha has no interest in falling for another police officer. Rose Creek, Texas is her fresh start after being “that poor widow.” Only, Remy’s precocious daughter has big plans for the two of them…
After their stolen kiss, Remy knows there's a sexy woman hiding under that school marm charm. When fate—aka his seven-year-old—keeps putting her in his path, he decides to take it as a sign. His daughter needs a mom, and the intriguing, beautiful Sasha is perfect for the role. Not to mention their chemistry is off the charts. Unfortunately, he's set his sights on the one woman in town who has no interest in falling for another man with a badge.

My thoughts:

Carrie Nichols launches her Rose Creek,Texas series with The Sheriff's Little Matchmaker, another heartwarming, subtly sexy, and all around fun contemporary romance. I was pulled into this story from the first page and it kept my interest engaged until the end. The three main characters - because Remy's daughter, Evie is a very important character - are all likable, relatable people I'd enjoy knowing in real life although being friends with Remy could cause a few issues. First, there's that whole tall, dark, and muscular vibe he has going. Then there's his charm, his kind heart, his "come to me" smile, and that oh-so-sexy Cajun growl that wraps itself around you every time he opens his mouth. Is it hot in here? It feels hot in here. Seriously, I'd probably be living in a state of perpetual drool. Sasha is a sweetheart (who can more than hold her own against potential Remy poachers) and they're such a great couple that I'd try to control it but still...what can I say? He's just that yummy. 

If you enjoy small-town, character-driven romance with plenty of humor and heart, give Carrie Nichols a go. She creates characters with layers and stories with satisfying emotional depth while infusing enough humor to keep them light rather than angsty. Remy and Sasha have sexual chemistry that sizzles but actual physical intimacy is off-page so if that's your preference, this is a good book for you. Having said that, however, I enjoy physical, on-page, love scenes and the lack of them in this book didn't hamper my enjoyment of the story or my buy-in of Sasha and Remy's desire for one another one bit. Remy's daughter, Evie is a 7-year-old whirlwind who steals just about every scene she's in. I adored her and the ways she attempts to engineer her dad's love life once she meets her new teacher, Miz (Sasha) Honeycutt. Nichols also introduces readers to an intriguing cast of secondary characters I hope we'll be seeing more of in future books. Remy's brother, Ethan is on my list of hopefuls for a story of his own, along with struggling rancher Annie Metcalf. I'm already looking forward to my next visit!


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Do you enjoy a romance hero with an accent? If you do, what's your favorite? (I swear, every time Remy lapsed into Cajun French or called Sasha "Cher" I just about melted.)



Monday, October 8, 2018

Winner - - Montana Dreams Review







The randomly chosen winner of a

signed copy of Montana Cherries is:

Lil

Congratulations!

Please send your full name and mailing address to:

theromancedish (at) gmail (dot) com


Tour Review - - Mistletoe Miracles


Mistletoe Miracles
By Jodi Thomas
Publisher: HQN
Release Date: September 25, 2018
Reviewed by PJ





A small-town Texas Christmas story, where hearts are lost, love is found, and family always brings you back home.
Griffin Holloway is desperate: the Maverick Ranch has been in his family for generations, but lately, it’s a money pit. He’d sooner marry one of his horses than sell the ranch. Marriage, though, could be a solution. If he can woo a wealthy bride, he might save the ranch—just in time for Christmas.
Jaxon O’Grady likes his solitude just fine, thank you very much. But when a car accident brings the unexpected to his door, he realizes just how much one person can need another.
Crossroads is the perfect place for Jamie Johnson: avoiding nosy questions about why she’s single, she’s happy to keep to her lakeside home. So she’s baffled when she gets the strangest Christmas present of all, in the form of a Mr. Johnson, asleep on her sofa. Who is he, and why does everyone think he’s her husband?
In this uplifting novel, three unlikely couples discover just what Crossroads, Texas, can offer: romance, belonging, and plenty of Christmas spirit.

My thoughts:

Jodi Thomas brings readers plenty of love, romance, laughter, and feel-good holiday spirit in this new contemporary romance novel set within her popular Ransom Canyon world. In the book, Thomas guides three separate couples on their journey to love with stories that seamlessly intertwine throughout. 

I knew right from the start that I was going to love Griffin Holloway. He's hard-working, self-deprecating, a little rough around the edges, cared for his parents before their deaths, raised his younger brothers, and is full of honor and kindness. He's also clueless when it comes to women which is how he ends up throwing himself on the mercy of the town's eccentric spinster sisters to find him a rich bride. Not that he plans to take her money. He wants to borrow against it and pay her back when the ranch is doing well again. He's not a gold digger, after all. He just needs a little help. Sunlan Krown is everything Griffin isn't. She's rich, refined, highly educated, well-traveled, and comes from Texas ranching royalty. But, like Griffin, she needs a convenient spouse without all the pesky emotions. Griffin checks all her boxes. Sunlan checks all of his. But Griffin hadn't counted on how Sunlan would make him feel and nothing could have prepared Sunlan for Griffin, his brothers, and the feeling of family that she's never known. Watching these two people who thought they could keep their convenient marriage free from emotion, desire, and love gradually move from strangers to friends to much, much more was an absolute delight. This is such a feel-good story but also filled with plenty of laughs. Thomas's humor is on point here, especially in the scenes with Griffin's brothers. I adored them all.

Who can turn their back on a man wounded in body and spirit who goes off to an isolated cabin in the woods to lick his wounds? Or a wounded pup who slowly brings him back to life? Not this reader! Jaxon O'Grady is one of the good guys but a tragedy has him questioning everything about himself and his life choices. Mallory Mayweather is a woman running for her life, desperate to escape the abusive boyfriend who beat her within an inch of her life. Mallory's dog trusts the man who nursed him back to health. Can Mallory trust him as well? If anyone deserves a happy ending it's these two. Thomas uses a gentle hand with Mallory and Jaxon, two characters both struggling to recover from pain and trauma in their lives. I appreciated the fact that she took her time with their relationship as there was individual healing that needed to occur before a happy ending could be possible. And I also appreciated how the ex-boyfriend was dealt with!

Captain Wyatt Johnson yearns for a home and family, two things he's been unable to find during his military career. Crossroads teacher, Jamie Johnson took care of that little detail in her own life by creating a fictitious husband to ward off the advances of creeps like one of the male teachers at her school. On leave and exhausted from his most recent mission, Wyatt falls asleep and wrecks his car near Crossroads. The helpful sheriff who finds him staggering down the road notices his name tag, figures he's Jamie's husband come home to surprise her, and takes him to her house where he tucks him into bed. You can imagine the surprise when Jamie comes home from a school trip to discover her "husband" has come home! Now the whole town is overflowing with happiness for the reunited couple. They're strangers sharing a home but if they come clean the whole town will know Jamie has been lying to them. Maybe there's another solution. After all, Wyatt is only on leave for a few weeks. They could pretend to be husband and wife, couldn't they? Who would know? 

"Stranded with a stranger" is another of my favorite tropes and Jamie and Wyatt's story is so much fun. I loved watching the two of them gradually become acquainted, then attracted, then emotionally attached as the dreams they've each secretly hoped for slowly begin to be realized. But their "marriage" has a time limit as Wyatt must return to his dangerous, top-secret life, leaving Jamie behind. Or, will a mistletoe miracle turn a pretend husband into a real one?

I enthusiastically recommend Mistletoe Miracles for a hopeful, heartwarming reading experience, not only at Christmas but any time of the year. And don't worry if you haven't read any of the previous books in Thomas's Ransom Canyon series. The stories in this book stand on their own. 


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Jodi Thomas’ TLC Book Tours TOUR STOPS:
Monday, September 24th: Books & Spoons
Tuesday, September 25th: Stranded in Chaos
Wednesday, September 26th: @_ebl_inc_
Thursday, September 27th: omg.kacie.reads and @omg.kacie.reads
Monday, October 1st: Moonlight Rendezvous
Tuesday, October 2nd: Thoughts on This ‘n That
Wednesday, October 3rd: A Night’s Dream of Books
Thursday, October 4th: @remarkablylisa
Monday, October 8th: The Romance Dish
Tuesday, October 9th: What is That Book About – excerpt
Thursday, October 11th: Written Love Reviews
Monday, October 15th: Cheryl’s Book Nook – review and excerpt
Wednesday, October 17th: A Holland Reads – excerpt
Monday, October 22nd: Evermore Books
Wednesday, October 24th: From the TBR Pile
Thursday, October 25th: Books & Bindings
Friday, October 26th: Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers



Sunday, October 7, 2018

Coming Attractions










The Jodi Thomas Mistletoe Miracles blog tour stops at the Dish on Monday, October 8 with my review of this small-town, Christmas romance featuring three couples. Mistletoe Miracles is the newest addition to Thomas's contemporary Ransom Canyon series. 







Wednesday, October 10, I'll turn the Dish spotlight on Crossing Hope by Kimberly Kincaid. The fourth book in her Cross family series is a page-turner, featuring a grown-up secret baby and a sizzling romance that threatens a long-standing family feud (think Hatfields vs McCoys). 








Swing by on Monday, October 15 to read an excerpt from Wait Until Dark by Kat Martin, the upcoming novella that kicks off her new Maximum Security romantic suspense series. 








Wednesday, October 24, I'll be featuring an excerpt from Janna MacGregor's The Good, The Bad, and the Duke. You won't want to miss this hero redemption romance that releases November 27. 






On Monday, October 29, I'll be reviewing Love in Catalina Cove by Brenda Jackson as part of the book's TLC tour. This is the first book in Jackson's new series and already has me eagerly anticipating book two which is scheduled for a March 2019 release. 







We'll wrap up the month on Halloween, Wednesday, October 31 with the TLC tour of Julia London's newest, Seduced by a Scot. No tricks with this one, just one very delicious treat! 

Friday, October 5, 2018

Winners - - My Computer Has a Boo Boo







The two random winners of a package of books are:

Robin

and

Karen H

Congratulations!

Please send your full name and mailing address to:

theromancedish (at) gmail (dot) com


Thursday, October 4, 2018

Review - - Montana Dreams


Montana Dreams
By Kim Law
The Wildes of Birch Bay - Book 4
Publisher: Montlake Romance
Release Date: September 25, 2018
Reviewed by PJ
 



When Jaden Wilde’s girlfriend turns down his marriage proposal just months before he receives his master’s in counseling, he’s convinced that it’s cold feet. Until he learns that her no came at the advice of a new age “dream reader.” But Arsula’s hardly the woo-woo hippie his scholarly mind imagined. She’s charming, smart, and uncannily perceptive. And before long, he’s drawn to her—despite his ongoing skepticism for how her practice works.
Arsula’s intuitions led her to Birch Bay not to guide Jaden’s girlfriend—but to guide him to his best life possible. As the odd one out in an unsupportive family, Arsula can relate to the struggle to find one’s path, and she wants to see Jaden with the woman of his dreams. Although she’s cautious of being the rebound girl, what she’s starting to feel for him is too real to ignore.
When Jaden’s own volatile family issues come to a head and his doubts are made resoundingly clear, Arsula worries she’s misread the signs. Maybe they’re all wrong for each other. Maybe he should be with his ex. She’s supported him, but if he can’t believe in her, how will they ever find out if they’re truly meant to be?

My thoughts:

I fell in love with the Wildes in book one, Montana Cherries, and those feelings have grown stronger with each subsequent book that Law has published. If I looked up "dysfunctional families" in a romance dictionary, the Wildes would undoubtedly be prominently featured and with good reason. Growing up under the manipulative influence of a mother with narcissistic personality disorder and a father who escaped into work in their family cherry orchard both before and after their mother's death, you'd expect these siblings to have a few issues. They've come a long way since book one but, as readers will learn with Jaden, there are still some obstacles left to overcome on the road to happiness.

While there's plenty of emotion in Montana Dreams, there's also great banter and a fair amount of humor. There are still serious issues being tackled but Law injects enough realistic humor into the story to keep it from becoming too angsty or dark. Tears were shed in the reading but there were more than a few laugh-out-loud moments too. I love that Arsula doesn't take any crap from Jaden. He's the baby of the family, pretty arrogant (a bit self-righteous, perhaps?) in his beliefs, and needs someone who will call him on his behavior when warranted. His growth over the course of the book is significant and satisfying but not without a few heart-wrenching roadblocks along the way. As for Arsula, I adored her, cheering her on the whole way. I want to be her friend, I want her to read my dreams, and I hope we see more of her in future books.  

The path to a happy ending wasn't easy for these two but I was happy with the resolution of their relationship issues - I love a good grovel - and am confident that Jaden and Arsula have what it takes to celebrate the good times, work through the bad times, and travel life's road together. 

I'm a stickler about reading series books in order. For a deeper understanding of the secondary cast of characters, the emotional issues they have overcome, and the events that have brought the Wildes to the place where Jaden's story begins, I encourage readers to start with book one and read the series in order or, at the least, read Montana Cherries first. Having said that, however, if you don't mind jumping into the middle of a series, Law has provided enough backstory (without an info dump) about the Wildes that you should be able to enjoy Montana Dreams on its own without feeling lost. But then go back and read the others because they really should not be missed. 

The Wildes of Birch Bay books published so far, in order, are: Montana Cherries, Montana Rescue, Montana Mornings, and Montana Dreams


Are you reading the Wildes of Birch Bay series?

Do you enjoy a blend of angst and humor in books or do you prefer one or the other?

Have you ever visited a dream reader? Would you?

I picked up a signed copy of Montana Cherries at a book signing earlier this year. One person who leaves a comment before 11:00 PM, October 5 will receive the signed, trade-sized book. (U.S. addresses only)










Wednesday, October 3, 2018

My Computer Has a Boo-Boo




Hi All! So, last Thursday night while I was typing a message to one of my favorite authors telling her all the reasons why I LOVE her new extended length novella, my computer suddenly crashed. Let me tell you, seeing that blue screen of (possible) death is NOT a good feeling! Friday morning, I carted my beloved laptop off to the Geek Squad then spent the next several days holding my breath...and wondering what to do in a laptop-less world. It's amazing - and kind of scary - how attached we become to our electronics, isn't it?

My computer is now home (yay!) and I'm feeling considerably less stressed. I'll be spending today bringing it back up to speed (lost all my passwords and a few apps but, thankfully, all files and photos are intact) and working on some reviews.

While I was offline I did more work on cleaning out my office. You all know what that means, right? More books to give away! So, here goes. That novella I was reading last week? It's Malcolm & Isabel (Pennyroyal Today), a present-day story that was begun in the epilogue of The Legend of Lyon Redmond, the fabulous, final book in Julie Anne Long's historical Pennyroyal Green series. As soon as I read that epilogue three years ago, I emailed the author and begged her to write a full story for Isabel and Malcolm. She had brought them to vivid life in just a few pages and I couldn't wait to read more. I had to wait a while but, oh, that wait was so worth it! I adored these characters, fell in love with Pennyroyal of the present just as much as I had the Pennyroyal Green of the past and was beyond delighted to meet descendants of the characters I had come to know and love in Long's historical romance series. I'm now begging her for more present-day stories for the (very intriguing) secondary characters you'll meet in Malcolm & Isabel. The novella (which at 145 pages is longer than the typical novella) will be released October 15 and is currently available for pre-order. I've already read it three times. Yes, I really did love it that much.  

For a chance to win one of two packages of books (U.S. addresses only), tell me:

Have you read Julie Anne Long's Pennyroyal Green series?

If you did, which book was your favorite?

What favorite historical romance series would you like to see brought into present-day stories?



Their story began in the Epilogue of THE LEGEND OF LYON REDMOND...

In Pennyroyal Green, the past is very much alive...but the present has a power—and a magic—all its own.

Isabel Redmond never anticipated that the echoes of a legendary love will reverberate through her own life. Or that answers she's long sought might be between the pages of Olivia Eversea's diary.

Until she goes in search of her roots...and meets her tall, dark destiny under a famous pair of entwined trees.

One look into Isabel's heart-stopping blue eyes and town doctor Malcolm Coburn knows 1) getting involved will be risky; and 2) their chemistry will be scorching. But as they retrace Olivia and Lyon's footsteps in Pennyroyal Green, a tender, fiery intimacy emerges...and old wounds are laid bare. Will two people who guard their hearts as fiercely as their freedom repeat the mistakes of a pair of long-ago lovers...or will they let love alter the course of their lives?