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Saturday, November 19, 2011

Stock Up Saturday Reviews

Highlander For The Holidays
Highlander Series, Book 8
By Janet Chapman
Publisher: Jove
Release Date: October 25, 2011



I’m a sucker for Christmas stories, any book with Highlander in the title or a cute dog on the cover. Janet Chapman’s Highlander For The Holidays has all three, which makes it irresistible to me. Score!!

Jessie Pringle decides to move to the little town of Pine Creek, Maine to put her the nightmare of the past four years behind her. A vicious attack took the life of her husband and scarred Jessie physically and emotionally, and she wants nothing more than to start fresh, and hopefully escape the flashbacks that continue to plague her. Her one hundred-pound Rottweiler service dog, Toby, is ultra sensitive to her when a flashback is imminent, so he can lead her to a “safe place”. Spending her first night in town with her friend, Merissa, at Pete’s Bar and Grill seems like the perfect way for Jessie to get the lay of the land, see what the locals are like. One local, Ian MacKeage, catches her eye and vice versa. After spending some time with him on the dance floor, Jessie is smitten with the tall, sexy, green-eyed man. But she’s far from sure that any man, even Ian, will be able to accept her scars, both inside and out.

Ian notices Jessie the moment she walks in the door of Pete’s. In fact, the attraction is so immediate, it takes Ian aback, because he can’t remember the last time a woman had that effect on him. Ian is taken with Jessie’s beauty, but he also notices a bit of a wild woman underneath all of that poise, and that is something he wants to uncover. Jessie definitely responds to his kisses, but Ian feels her fear and uncertainty at taking their relationship further. Her scars don’t bother him; he has more than a few of his own. Still they both need to heal their pasts if they are ever to have a future together. But with a little magical help from a kind, but meddlesome hermit----Roger AuClair de Keage, Ian’s Scottish ancestor---and faith in each other, Jessie and Ian are destined for a happily-ever-after, and a very merry Christmas. Here’s some sage advice Roger gives Jessie:


“Healing one’s self is nearly impossible---and far less rewarding---compared to the magic that’s created when two souls combine their strengths and heal together.”


Janet Chapman’s Highlander series is still going strong with this eighth book. Don’t despair if you haven’t read them all; I’ve only read a few myself. It isn’t necessary to read them in order, although I keep telling myself I’m going to glom them all---more yummy Highlander goodness to savor. *g* Ian is one sexy alpha hero, but sensitive in all the right ways. Jessie has been through hell and back, and she is still sassy enough to keep Ian on his toes. Her loyal canine, Toby adds so much fun to the story---if only he could talk! And of course, the mysterious Roger gives this Christmas tale a dash of magic that makes it close to perfect. If you’re looking for a holiday story that will make you laugh, cry, and believe in magic, Highlander For The Holidays is the perfect gift to give yourself.

~ Gannon


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Kiss It Better
by Linda Kage
Publisher: Whispers Publishing
Release Date: August 19, 2011



A PAST TO PLAGUE HIM...When his sister is attacked, memories of his miserable childhood assault Reed Walker and interfere with his perfectly structured life. To add to the chaos, just when dating becomes the last thing on Reed’s mind, Sophia Eschell, the very woman he’s been dreaming about for the past three years, noses her way into his life.


AND A WOMAN TO HEAL HIM...After hooking up with too many troubled men, Sophia is determined to find a normal, average guy sans baggage. She turns her attention to Reed, only to discover he has more issues than anyone. But if he can learn to open up to her, can she honestly reject him or will she kiss it all better?

Reed Walker is the quintessential accountant – clean cut, clothes neatly pressed, and standing a little on the outside of any social circle. While he thoroughly enjoys his occupation, the only important things in his life are his younger sister and his best friend. When Reed receives the call that his sister has been brutally attacked, he feels as if his peaceful life has been shattered. As he helps his sister physically recover and begin the mental healing process, memories of a horrible childhood come back to haunt him. Reaching for any safety line he can find, Reed grabs hold of the rope of friendship (and a little more) offered by coworker Sophia Eschell.

Sophia Eschell has a terrible track record with men. She seems to find the guy with too much baggage and not enough guts to face it. Having always thought Reed Walker was a handsome man, Sophia decides it is time to let Reed know she is interested in him. But just as she begins to drop some pretty significant hints, Reed’s world falls apart and Sophia once again finds herself dealing with a lot of baggage. However, this time Sophia believes the reward at the end will be so worth it.

This story is one that will pull at every string in your heart, but also gift you with a laugh and a smile. My heart ached for Reed as he dealt with his sister’s tragedy and the memories of his own awful ordeal as a child. Watching Sophia coax a smile or a laugh from Reed made me sigh. If you are looking for a great story about overcoming obstacles and finding love, then this one is just for you.


~ Buffie


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The Next Always
Inn BoonsBoro—Book 1
By Nora Roberts
Publisher: Berkley
Release Date: November 1, 2011



Beckett Montgomery and his brothers, Owen and Ryder, own Montgomery Family Contractors and have taken on the monumental task of restoring the centuries-old inn located in their beloved hometown to its former glory...and then some. They, along with their mother, intend to make each room state-of-the-art without neglecting the historic significance and ambiance. They view it as a labor of love, as does the rest of the close-knit community. Beckett knows everyone around town, but no one gets him tongue-tied like Clare Brewster.

Clare came back to Boonsboro over five years ago after her husband was killed in Iraq, leaving her with two young sons and another on the way. Coming home gave Clare the time to grieve and the ability to surround her boys and herself with family and friends. It also allowed her to realize her long-time dream of opening a bookstore. She is thrilled that the Montgomery brothers are renovating the inn, which is located across the square from Turn The Page. When Beckett gives her a tour inside the half-finished inn, they share a heated kiss. The encounter leaves her breathless and feeling things she hasn’t felt in a very long time.

The Next Always is the first in Nora Roberts’s new contemporary trilogy based upon the historic Inn BoonsBoro and surrounding shops in Boonsboro, Maryland. The inn is so vital to the story; it’s almost like a character itself. The place had been there for over two centuries... And somehow it was changing everything.

I absolutely adored Beckett Montgomery. He’s compassionate and a total nurturer and I thought it was incredibly sweet how self-conscious he was around Clare at the beginning. I was so glad that Clare wasn’t afraid to fall for him—too many times I read where a hero or heroine’s past holds them back. She sees and appreciates how good Beckett is for her and her boys. And the scenes between Beckett and the boys are priceless! This story has a touch of a paranormal element to it that some might find far-fetched, but I accepted it because of the thread that ran throughout the story. The Next Always is a wonderful start to the Inn BoonsBoro series and I look forward to Owen’s and Ryder’s stories in the near future. I’ve never been to Boonsboro, Maryland, but after reading this story and learning about the town and the inn, I am ready to book a trip!

~Andrea

40 comments:

  1. Gannon, you need to get the rest of Janet's Highlander books. I bought the first one because of the cover (log house in the winter woods) and the back cover blurb about Highlanders. I couldn't wait for the next book to come out. I got the 4th book just before we left for a trip to Maine and the area the stories take place. I read them to my husband on the way up, finishing book 4 while we were there. It was nice being in the region and staying at a resort much like the one they owned. I look forward to her books and know I will enjoy HIGHLANDER FOR THE HOLIDAYS.

    I haven't read a Nora Roberts book yet that I haven't liked. This sounds like it will be a good trilogy. It is certainly off to a good start.

    Thanks for the reviews, Dishes.

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  2. Gannon -
    I love Janet's books but since our local bookstore has closed I haven't had a chance to pick up her new Chrismas book. Since I'm now relying on my Kindle to get books hopefully this is available on Amazon.

    I agree with Pat and pick up more of her books. Her stories set in Maine are not to be missed.

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  3. I have added to my wish list. My Christmas gifts under the tree will all be rectangular in shape. I wonder what they could be??

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  4. Great reviews!

    Gannon, I didn't realize that you hadn't read all of Chapman's Highlander books. I agree with librarypat. They are all "must reads!"

    Andrea, I love the sound of Nora's new series!

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  5. Jeanne, HIGHLANDER FOR THE HOLIDAYS is available for Kindle! :)

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  6. Marybelle said, My Christmas gifts under the tree will all be rectangular in shape. I wonder what they could be??

    Hopefully, mine will all be flat and rectangular. As in, Amazon and Barnes and Noble gift cards! :)

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  7. I do want to read all 3 of these!! Janet Chapman I only discovered her books this past year. Nora is an auto-buy for me. I'm not familiar with Linda Cage. It sounds like a very emotional read.

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  8. What a lovely selection of books. I especially like the title: Kiss it Better. Made me smile. Hope you make someone very happy with winning!

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  9. Never thought I'd see the day where the review for one of my stories would sit between a Janet Chapman and Nora Roberts review. WOW! Thank you so much, Buffie.

    Thanks for all the reviews, actually. You guys make them sound like great books. I didn't know NR had a new series out. But what am I saying. She always has a new series out!!! LOL.

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  10. I have read Janet's from the beginning, we all know how I love Highlanders...LOL I don't have this one but I will.

    I am waiting for NR's to come out in paperback, I just don't have the cash or the room for hardback copies.

    Linda is a new to me author and once again The Romance Dish has started me on another quest for a backlist.

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  11. I do want to read all 3 of these!! Janet Chapman I only discovered her books this past year. Nora is an auto-buy for me. I'm not familiar with Linda Cage. It sounds like a very emotional read.

    Laurie, I envy you only recently discovering Chapman. I'd love to go back and rediscover all of her wonderful stories again!

    Her next book, SPELLBOUND FALLS (February 28, 2012) kicks off a new series but is tied to the Midnight Bay series which is also tied to the Highlander series.

    We met the hero of SPELLBOUND FALLS, Maximilian (Mac) Oceanus in DRAGON WARRIOR (Jan 2011) and got to know him much better in MYSTICAL WARRIOR (June 2011). I can't wait to meet the woman who finally tames Mac!

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  12. Hi Linda! Welcome to the Romance Dish! I think Buffie's review has made us all want to run out and buy your book!

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  13. I have read Janet's from the beginning, we all know how I love Highlanders...LOL I don't have this one but I will.


    Dianna, like you, I started at the beginning and have enjoyed the journey with every book that's she subsequently published.

    HIGHLANDER FOR THE HOLIDAYS is another keeper!

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  14. Connie said, I especially like the title: Kiss it Better. Made me smile.

    Me too! :)

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  15. librarypat said: I haven't read a Nora Roberts book yet that I haven't liked.

    Me either! But then, I've only read five of hers. ;-)

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  16. Hi, Linda! Thanks for stopping by. Buffie and I have similar taste, so I'm sure to love your book!

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  17. Dianna said: I am waiting for NR's to come out in paperback, I just don't have the cash or the room for hardback copies.

    Actually, this one is a trade paperback, but I completely understand, Dianna, since they're almost as expensive. I'm eager for the Bride Quartet to come out in mm paperback so I can buy all four.

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  18. I love Janet Chapman, read Highlander for the Holidaysr and then went back and reread from the beginning. I am now retracing Kenzie's story! They are a treat.

    Connie S

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  19. I absolutely loved The Next Always, but I hardly need to tell you that Andrea. ;) Your review nailed it. I was one of those who had a teeny problem with the paranormal element, but by the end, I was in. I can't wait for The Last Boyfriend and The Perfect Hope! :)

    I also definitely want to read Kiss it Better. Sounds great!

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  20. Librarypat, I know I need to read all of the Highlander series. I have loved the ones I have already read, so I have no doubt the others will become favorites, too.

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  21. Jeanne, enjoy Janet's latest. It's a delight!

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  22. Marybelle, books and gift cards for book stores are some of the best gifts to get. :-)

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  23. PJ, I will definitely read the rest of the books as soon as I can. Every month just confirms that I need that time on that desert island!

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  24. Laurie G, I have been a Nora fan for many years.

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  25. Linda, I'm looking forward to reading your book. Sounds wonderful!

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  26. Dianna, my fellow Highlander lover, you're going to love this one!!

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  27. Andrea, I can't wait to read The Next Always. You know what a huge Nora fan I am. ;-)

    I think a trip to Boonesboro sounds divine. *g*

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  28. Lisa said: I can't wait for The Last Boyfriend and The Perfect Hope! :)

    Me, too, Lisa! I really enjoying "talking" with you about this book. We'll have to do it again. ;-)

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  29. Gannon, I seriously want to go!

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  30. I have not read Janet's books before but will have to check out this series!

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  31. Thanks for another set of greatreviews, Dishes. I've read The Next Always and as usual am hooked on Nora's characters. I not only loved the romance but also the dynamics among the three brothers and their relationship with their mother. Highlander for the Holidays sets among my TBR books, and I made a note to check out Kiss It Better. I'm another who loves that title.

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  32. Janga said: I not only loved the romance but also the dynamics among the three brothers and their relationship with their mother.

    I couldn't agree more, Janga. I'm thinking Nora used her own personal experience with that. ;-)

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  33. Since you say I dont' need to read them in order I am going to get this one at BN maybe tonight since there is a coupon for 20% off plus my 10% (sorry do not pay full price for a book ever!) And then I will backtrack and read the others. I started the Nora Roberts on my nook and it just didnt' catch my attention yet but only on page 10 so I am hoping of course got some other books that demanded my attention so that could have been why...


    Donna

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  34. Sorry for my late comment ... the hubby and I have been out all day doing some holiday shopping.

    Never thought I'd see the day where the review for one of my stories would sit between a Janet Chapman and Nora Roberts review. WOW! Thank you so much, Buffie.

    Linda, thanks for taking the time to stop by! I really enjoyed your book :-)

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  35. From the reviews, I need to check out the other two books. Actually, I have HIGHLANDER FOR THE HOLIDAYS in my TBR pile and thinking it may be the perfect Thanksgiving weekend read.

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  36. janet's book sound great ;)

    it's been so long i did not read nora's book again ;(

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  37. Thank you all for the Stock Up selections! And I can hardly beleive that somehow Janet Chapmen went below my radar; I'll have to fix this very soon.
    @deerdoe69 I'm with you on the book coupons! Janet Chapman seems like a good place to start with my collection, and since B&N is wooing former Borders costumers I have a 40% coupon as well as the 20%er!

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  38. All of these books look great! I love Highlanders. And I loved Nora Roberts Bride Quartet series so I'm betting I'll also love this new series. It's just hard to wait for them all to come out.

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