Monday, October 26, 2020

Review - - Tall, Duke, and Dangerous

Tall, Duke, and Dangerous
by Megan Frampton
Publisher: Avon
Release Date: October 27, 2020
Reviewed by Santa



He needs a bride…

Nash, the “dangerous” Duke of Malvern, has always bristled against the rules of English society. Hot tempered and fearful of becoming like his brutish late father, he lives a life of too much responsibility and too little joy. And although he’s vowed to never marry, a duke has a duty—and there’s only one way to get himself an heir and a spare. So Nash reluctantly takes a look around at society’s available young ladies to see who might be willing to put up with his one-word answers and frequent glowers.

She longs for love…

After the death of her father and wicked stepmother, Ana Maria goes from virtual servant to lady-in-training, and while society life has its benefits—gorgeous gowns!—its restrictive rules stifle her sprit. And when her independent actions put her in danger, her half-brother insists Nash teach her some self-defense. While most of London’s ladies find Nash intimidating, she only sees a man who needs introducing to all the joys life has to offer. So although officially they are coming together for fighting lessons, unofficially their physical contact begins to blur the line between friendship and begins to grown into something more…


Santa says:


Tall, Duke and Dangerous by Megan Frampton is the second book in her Hazards of Dukes series. This five-star book had me eagerly turning the page. Megan writes an emotionally draining story of two people born into adverse circumstances who forge a revolutionary love story.  

Tall, Duke and Dangerous follows Nash, the Duke of Malvern and a former cinder-sweeping maid of all drudgery, Lady Ana Maria. As a friend to both her brother and cousin, Nash and Ana Maria have known each other since they were children. And their childhoods were far from happy ones. Nash’s father, a monster of a man and father, was both emotionally and physically abusive. Ana Maria, though the legitimate daughter of a duke, grew up in the shadow of a stepmother who kept her in the household as a maid! A real life Cinderella. 

Nash feels protective of her as he would feel for any of his father’s by-blows who he has managed to locate and provide for. However, he finds he feels more deeply for her than anyone else in his life but she’s his best friend’s sister. He is a loner with so many walls built around him. His father isolated him from his family. His violent nature caused Nash’s mother to flee from home when Nash was very young. There was no way he would have been allowed to go with her.  

Following the death of her father and stepmother, Ana Maria finds her new status in life difficult to accept.  She feels neither fish nor fowl as a lady in a household where she was a maid, though the ability to wear gorgeous gowns certainly is a plus. Her flare and joy in colors prompts her to really use that talent - that eye in design. Her cousin Thadeus, the new Duke of Hasford, lets her redecorate one of the parlors. She finds she loves the whole process and wants to build a business to forge her sense of independence. 

Nash controls himself and is brief in both his relationships and in how he communicates with everyone around him. It’s a safeguard which Ana Maria recognizes and accepts as no one else has ever done. Ana Maria is determined to show Nash the joy of living. This exuberance for life lands her into more than one scrape from which Nash rescues her. The truth of the matter is that they rescue one another. 


Saturday, October 24, 2020

Second Chance Winner - - Forever Holiday Giveaway

 



One of the bundles of books from the 

Forever Holiday Giveaway

was not claimed so a new winner has been randomly chosen.

Congratulations to

Trish J

"Wow. What a great bunch of books. I love Christmas stories. I read them year round. They always have heart and all the warm and fuzzy feelings to cheer you up. I love contemporary best, but I like a little suspense too."

Please send your full name and mailing address 

 with Forever Holiday Winner in the subject line  

to:

theromancedish (at) gmail (dot) com

You have until October 26 to respond 

or a new winner will be randomly chosen.



Friday, October 23, 2020

Review - - Any Rogue Will Do

Any Rogue Will Do
by Bethany Bennett
Misfits of Mayfair - Book 1
Publisher: Forever
Release Date: October 13, 2020
Reviewed by PJ
 

For exactly one season, Lady Charlotte Wentworth played the biddable female the ton expected -- and all it got her was society's mockery and derision. Now she's determined to be in charge of her own future. So when an unwanted suitor tries to manipulate her into an engagement, she has a plan. He can't claim to be her fiancé if she's engaged to someone else. Even if it means asking for help from the last man she would ever marry.

Ethan, Viscount Amesbury, made a lot of mistakes, but the one he regrets the most is ruining Lady Charlotte's reputation. Going along with her charade is the least he can do to clean the slate and perhaps earn her forgiveness. Pretending to be in love with the woman he's never forgotten is easy. What isn't easy is convincing her to give him a second chance.

PJ's Thoughts:

Filled with sparkling banter, heart-tugging emotion, sizzling passion, action-packed danger, and swoony romance, this book is an absolute delight. Bethany Bennett hooked me from the first page and kept me glued to the story until the very end. I liked these characters. I cheered for them, laughed with them, feared for them, and wept over them. Bennett brought them to life on the pages, imbuing them with realistic flaws...and feelings. I loved how Ethan and Lottie evolved from enemies to friends to a fake engagement to, finally, a happily ever after. And Bennett does not make that journey easy!

I really enjoyed the people Lottie and Ethan had become during the years between their "scandal" and their unexpected reunion, at the start of the book. They had each matured, discovered their strengths,  who they wanted to be and what was important in their lives. They were at a place in their lives where they could meet as equals. Their chemistry flared bright (balcony scene - just saying) but I also appreciated the friendship that developed between them. And I loved their genuine kindness to others. They were each a person I'd love to call my friend. 

I enjoyed the friendship between Ethan and Cal, a character who leaped from the page. I can't wait to find out more about him in his book, West End Earl, scheduled for release in June 2021. I also enjoyed Lottie's relationship with both her maid and her godmother, two characters who played significant roles in this story.

The villain of the book is one nasty piece of work and I have to admit, I derived a great deal of enjoyment and satisfaction from the conclusion of his storyline. In fact, I may have cackled with glee.

Any Rogue Will Do may be Bethany Bennett's debut but it shines with the glittering polish of a seasoned author. I predict Ms. Bennett will be dazzling readers for many years to come. 



Thursday, October 22, 2020

Last Chance Winners - - Forever Holiday Giveaway

 



Last Chance!

Please contact me at 

 theromancedish@gmail.com 

before the deadline when new winners will be chosen. 


We have winners! 

Thank you to all of you who visited the blog over the weekend and entered our fabulous Forever Holiday Romance Giveaway. I hope you will all give one - or more - of the featured authors a try. And come back to visit again soon!


The randomly chosen winners of a bundle of 

ALL the titles featured in the post are:

Kaitlyn Seelen

"I haven’t read any of these yet, but I love Debbie Mason and Annie Rains! I always enjoy a good anthology but I love contemporary romance stories. I’m so excited to begin my Christmas reading!"

and

Suzanne B

"Love holiday stories. Have not read any of these authors. Seeing it's snowing outside the mood is here!"


Congratulations to our winners!

Please send your full name and mailing address 

(with Forever Winner in the subject line) to:

theromancedish@gmail.com

no later than October 22, 2020.

If I do not hear from you by that date, I will choose a new winner.


Tour Review & Giveaway - - Autumn Skies

Autumn Skies
by Denise Hunter
A Bluebell Inn Romance -  Book 3
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Release Date: October 20, 2020
Reviewed by PJ
 


When a mysterious man turns up at Grace’s family-run inn, it’s instant attraction. But she’s already got a lot on her plate: running the Bluebell Inn, getting Blue Ridge Outfitters off the ground, and coping with a childhood event she’d thought was long past.

A gunshot wound has resurrected the past for secret service agent Wyatt Jennings, and a mandatory leave of absence lands him in Bluebell, North Carolina. There he must try and come to grips with the crisis that altered his life forever.

Grace needs experience for her new outfitters business, so when Wyatt needs a mountain guide, she’s more than happy to step up to the plate. As their journey progresses, Grace soon has an elusive Wyatt opening up, and Wyatt is unwittingly drawn to Grace’s fresh outlook and sense of humor.

There’s no doubt the two have formed a special bond, but will Wyatt’s secrets bring Grace’s world crashing down? Or will those secrets end up healing them both?


PJ's Thoughts:


Denise Hunter saved the best for last in this heart-tugging, inspirational series about three siblings whose lives are forever changed with the sudden, and unexpected, deaths of their parents. Grace has been my favorite since first meeting her as a high school student in book one, Lake Season. From the beginning, she's seemed older than her years, determined in her focus, and dedicated to the future she envisions. In Autumn Skies, we discover the events in her past that have helped form the person she is and the unexpected connection with a mysterious guest that just may determine the course of her future.


Hunter delves into some heart-wrenching issues in this book, giving the story a more serious foundation while also balancing it with Grace's upbeat, adventurous spirit. I enjoyed the attraction between Grace and Wyatt, the low-key flirting, and the slow-growing relationship that developed between them. My heart ached for Wyatt as his difficult history - and current quest - were revealed and my admiration for Grace grew stronger as her connection came to light. These two had both suffered unimaginable emotional trauma. I appreciated the care that Hunter took to delve into their pasts and guide them toward the future and eventual healing. I loved them together and was in their corner cheering them on the entire way.


Once again, the realistic dynamic among the Bennett siblings shines bright and I was happy to see all three of them, and their partners, at the center of this book. The conclusion to the series was exactly what I had hoped and even though I know this is a product of Denise Hunter's imagination, I'm still convinced a short drive into the mountains would bring me to the doorstep of the Bluebell Inn and some of my favorite fictional characters. 


If you enjoy Christian romance with humor, heart, and realistic, engaging characters into whose lives you'll become completely immersed, give Denise Hunter's Bluebell Inn trilogy a try. Though each book can be read on its own, I highly recommend reading them in order: Lake Season, Carolina Breeze, and Autumn Skies


~~~~~~~~~~~


Do you read inspirational romance?


Do you enjoy books with plenty of chemistry but no sex on the page?


Have you read any of Denise Hunter's novels? Do you have a favorite?


One randomly chosen person who posts a comment before 11:00 PM, October 23, 2020 will receive a copy of Autumn Skies.


*Must be 18

*U.S. only






Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Review - - Her Night With the Duke

Her Night With the Duke
by Diana Quincy
Publisher: Avon
Release Date: September 29, 2020
Reviewed by PJ
 


Desire knows no reason...

When Lady Delilah Chambers finds herself stranded at a country inn on a rain-swept evening, she’s forced to fend off a group of ruffians with the help of a handsome gentleman. Irresistibly drawn to each other, Leela and the stranger spend one reckless night in each others’ arms—and then go their separate ways. But the very next day Leela receives the shock of her life when she meets the duke who is set on wedding her beloved stepdaughter.

When it finds two destined hearts...

One night isn’t enough with a woman as fierce, fiery, and brilliant as Leela. Elliot Townsend, Duke of Huntington, cannot believe his good fortune when their chance encounter leads to an unforgettable evening of passion. Yet Hunt’s luck runs out when he is introduced to his prospective mother-in-law. Dowagers aren’t supposed to look like this... 

Leela and Hunt are determined to keep each other at arm’s length, which should be easy enough for two intelligent adults with reputations to uphold. The problem is all logic is lost when it comes to a passion that refuses to be ignored.


PJ's Thoughts:


What a breath of fresh air this novel is! With vividly depicted characters, emotional depth, fiery passion, and enough twists to keep me guessing until the very end, Quincy has penned a novel that captured my interest and kept me involved from start to finish. 


Leela is a treasure. She is the heart of this book and one of my favorite romance heroines this year. I love her strength, her intelligence, and her hard-won independence. I love her adventurous spirit, her confidence in her value, and her refusal to accept less than she is worth. I especially enjoy how Leela embraces the heritage of her Arab mother that was denied her while growing up. This is an "own voices" novel with Quincy exploring the history, culture, and cuisine of the heritage she shares with her heroine. 


I also love how Leela embraces the passion between Hunt and herself during their agreed upon night together, but places a higher value on the bond of love and trust she shares with her stepdaughter, Tori, once she discovers Tori is to become Hunt's betrothed.  


Hunt is stunned by the passion he shares with Leela but bound to her stepdaughter by his honor, even though he barely knows the girl, as well as his determination to outrun his family's reckless reputation. His heart knows what it wants but his head, and stuffy English bias, disagree, especially after certain facts come to light. He has quite a growth arc in front of him if he has any hope of being worthy of Leela's love.


There are several colorful secondary characters who enrich the story but my favorite is Tori. What a surprise she is! Her relationship with Leela is not that of a typical fictional stepmother-stepdaughter. Instead of an adversarial relationship, these two share deep love, deep liking, and mutual respect. I love how they support one another, no matter what. It's not hard to see from whom Tori gained her unexpected independence and strength of character. I enjoyed her journey almost as much as I did Leela's. 


 


Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Winners - - Holiday Romance Giveaway

 



We have winners! 

Thank you to all of you who visited the blog over the weekend and entered our fabulous Forever Holiday Romance Giveaway. I hope you will all give one - or more - of the featured authors a try. And come back to visit again soon!


The randomly chosen winners of a bundle of 

ALL the titles featured in the post are:

Kaitlyn Seelen

"I haven’t read any of these yet, but I love Debbie Mason and Annie Rains! I always enjoy a good anthology but I love contemporary romance stories. I’m so excited to begin my Christmas reading!"

and

Suzanne B

"Love holiday stories. Have not read any of these authors. Seeing it's snowing outside the mood is here!"


Congratulations to our winners!

Please send your full name and mailing address 

(with Forever Winner in the subject line) to:

theromancedish@gmail.com

no later than October 22, 2020.

If I do not hear from you by that date, I will choose a new winner.



Winner - - Susan Sands Q&A and Giveaway

 



The randomly chosen winner of a signed copy of

Christmas, Alabama by Susan Sands is:

Deb

Congratulations!

Please send your full name and mailing address to:

theromancedish (at) gmail (dot) com




Review - - Bella Cigna

 

Bella Cigna
by Wendi Dass
Foreign Endearments - Book 1
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Release Date: September 30, 2020
Reviewed by Santa


Bella Cigna by Wendi Dass is a four star debut novel.
 

After losing everything, Sarah Flynn decides to take her friend’s advice and ventures to an entirely different continent to find herself, a bit of adventure and, in the end, love, or should we say amore. 

Let me rephrase that. She doesn’t lose everything as much as it is taken out of her very hands. After two year of trying to conceive through many different procedures, she gets a call from a fertility clinic willing to work with her and her husband. This is their chance! She quit her job as a teacher to work for a federal agency in order to make more money so they could afford all those procedures! She excitedly runs home to tell her husband Phillip - who advised they take a three month break from it all - only to find him packing up his things and heading out the door to another woman! Needless to say, she is heartbroken and retreats to her mother’s home. 

Her friend, Meredith, encourages her to take a leap of faith and go abroad to teach for a year, to take some chances and open herself up to adventure. Why not! That is how Sarah arrives to teach nine year olds English at La Scuola della Santa Teresa. She is met by Anna, a fellow teacher, who takes her under her wing and gets her to spread her own.  

Sarah also meets Eduardo, the father of one of her students. Sarah finds it difficult to believe someone like him could be interested in her. But he sees her as beautiful both inside and out even if she does not quite believe him. After all, her husband had seen her as less than perfect but Eduardo sees her as a bella cigna - a beautiful swan. To him, she is perfetta - perfect. This is Sarah’s journey across an ocean to find and love herself - and Eduardo. 

I highly recommend this debut novel to women’s fiction and romance readers everywhere!


Monday, October 19, 2020

Q&A and Giveaway with Susan Sands

 
Noel, Alabama
An Alabama Christmas Romance
by Susan Sands
Publisher: Tule Publishing
Release Date: October 19, 2020 
 


She’s finally come home, but will she choose to stay?


After twelve years spent building her career in Los Angeles, Bailey Boone returns home to Ministry, Alabama, weeks before Christmas with a large cast and crew. She’s desperate for a miracle to save her company’s big budget holiday film that just lost its winter wonderland location. Bailey may have bolted from Ministry before the ink on her diploma dried, but her hometown definitely knows how to throw an unforgettable southern Christmas. Except she forgot about the ghosts of Christmas past she left behind—especially her first love, Seth.

Sheriff Seth McKay never forgot the girl he let go so many years ago. They were soulmates, but he knew Bailey needed more than Ministry could offer. Now she’s back and more stunning and confident than ever. Despite the years, their connection and chemistry still burn bright. Can Seth find his own Christmas miracle and convince Bailey to write her story in Ministry...with him?

Welcome, Susan! Congratulations on the release of your newest Alabama novel. What should readers expect from Noel, Alabama?

Hi PJ! Thanks so much for having me on The Romance Dish today! First, readers can expect a clean read. This one is a little different from the others in that there is no kissing (until the end), no cussing, and no sexy time. This was by design. BUT, in some ways, it challenged me to compensate by upping my skills so you wouldn’t miss a thing! Bailey and Seth’s story is rich in setting, emotion, and all the fun of small town Alabama! Oh, and the movies!

This is such a feel-good, second-chance story. Second-chance romances are among my favorites to read. What draws you to this trope as an author?

I think we all have a whisper of fantasy in our bones. Not in reality, but fantasy. It’s so delicious to think, “what if…” Second chance romances are all about the way things might have been.

I really enjoyed the behind-the-scenes look at turning Ministry into a movie location. It felt very authentic. What kind of research did you do for those scenes? Have you visited a movie set?

I have a friend from college who works as a producer in Hollywood. He was invaluable with information about how all the things worked (who would be on set and how it all might look) on my “set” in this book. Remember the producer, Brad? Well, the real producer Brad read my book and sent corrections when I went rogue.  Also, Steel Magnolias was filmed in my college town when I was a senior. We got to watch all the glamour and fun of the sets and stars and how it all works.

This is your fifth book set in Ministry. Will there be more? Will Alexis find her happily ever after?

I don’t have the answer to this question yet! LOL!! But I loved Alexis and writing her story would be a pleasure!

The food in this book had my tummy begging to be fed. From the pizza to the chili to the fudge to the pot roast, I was on drool overload. Do you have a favorite comfort food or holiday treat recipe to share with us?

There is always a lot of food in my books. I love to cook. I’m happy to share an easy favorite:

This is a tried and true family favorite, and you can use lower fat cheese and ground beef to decrease the calorie and fat content should you desire.

Ma Ma Louis’s Casserole

(This is not a diet food)

Buy:

1 pkg. Egg noodles or other pasta

1lb. to 1 1/2 lbs. lean ground beef

Small block Velveeta or Mexican Velveeta

1 can Ro*tel

1 Tbsp. flour

1-2 cubes chicken or beef bouillon (whatever kind of concentrate you prefer)

Tony Chachere's seasoning to taste (or use onion powder, garlic powder, salt, black pepper and dash red pepper.

1/2-1 tsp. Garlic (fresh, minced or powdered)

2 cups sharp cheddar

1 large yellow onion

Prepare:

Boil pasta according to package instructions, drain and set aside.

Brown the meat, add onion, bullion, seasonings, and garlic. Cook until onions are wilted.

Add Ro*tel and Velveeta in small cubes.

Cook on low heat until cheese is melted.

Spray a deep casserole dish with non-stick spray and layer noodles, meat mixture and shredded cheddar until gone. Top with any remaining cheddar.

Baked in 375 degree oven for 15-20 minutes.

Enjoy casserole season!

Susan

 

Where can readers interact with you online?

Facebook

Twitter

Bookbub

Instagram

Goodreads


Let’s play a quick round of complete this sentence.

My favorite Christmas tradition is…Making and decorating cut-out Christmas cookies with my daughter…and whomever else will help!

A holiday sweet I’d eat a whole pan of is…fudge

The book I’m most eager to read is…Kimberly Belle’s Stranger in the Lake (loaded on my Kindle now)

The throwback movie I can’t resist watching again and again is…The Family Stone and The Grinch

The characteristic a hero must have to win my heart is…a great smile and an honest heart

 

Thank you for visiting with us today, Susan. Would you like to add anything else or ask our readers a question?

This was so much fun, PJ!

I love hearing about readers’ family holiday traditions or favorite holiday treats! I would love to give away a signed copy of my holiday novel, Christmas, Alabama to a commenter! (US)


Friday, October 16, 2020

Forever Publishing Holiday Romances & Giveaway Extravaganza




Do you feel the spirit? I do. The spirit of holiday romance! This year feels like it's lasted about 48 months already and we still have two more months to go. I'm more than ready for hot chocolate, holiday music, twinkling lights, and the humor, heart, and charm of a holiday happily-ever-after. Fortunately, the folks at Forever (part of Grand Central Publishing) have a bundle of new books ready to bring you all of that and more. Let's take a look!


The Buchanan sisters all share special childhood memories of their Aunt Sassy's beloved Juniper Inn. There, they frolicked in the snow, baked sugar cookies, and celebrated the town's annual Christmas extravaganza. They haven't been back to Colorado in nearly fifteen years, but when their aunt invites them for one last Christmas, they can't say no...  
With her ex-husband whisking her children away for the holiday, Dahlia decides it's time to do something for herself. Juniper Springs is just as beautiful as she remembers, but it's also full of surprises -- including the town's handsome doctor, who makes her feel like herself again for the first time in years.
To the outside world, baker Magnolia has the ideal marriage. Only the pain and sorrow of infertility have strained her relationship with her husband, perhaps beyond repair. But a holiday miracle is about to change her life.
After a whirlwind romance, youngest sister Rose is about to be married, but as the wedding draws near, she's unsettled by her fiancé's expectations that she become a society wife. Spending Christmas with her family could be a necessary reality check -- or the beginning of a brand-new happily ever after.
Thanks to the strength of their sisterhood, some mistletoe, and the love of their Aunt Sassy, the Buchanan sisters will discover what it is they truly want this Christmas.

PJ says... This women's fiction novel about three sisters, each at an emotional crossroads in her life, is garnering rave reviews from readers. I bought it the other day and am looking forward to meeting the Buchanan family. I enjoy stories that explore the bonds among sisters and Richardson can always be counted on the deliver an emotional read.

 

Can the magic of mistletoe bring together two busy single parents?

Mallory Maitland knows all too well what it's like to feel abandoned, which is why she's sworn never to give up on her two stepsons -- her late husband's children. But when the teens land in hot water, she's got a whole new problem: how to resist the caring and incredibly hot Chief of Police Gabriel Buchanan. All Mallory wants is to give the boys a magical holiday. She doesn't need the distraction of wondering what it would be like to kiss Gabriel under the mistletoe.

After his wife died, Gabriel left his job as an adrenaline-chasing New York City homicide detective to focus on raising his three sons. But back in Highland Falls, he doesn't have to go looking for trouble. It finds him -- in the form of a beautiful neighbor and her troublemaking stepchildren. With Gabriel's mother-in-law looking for any excuse to gain custody of his sons, Gabriel can't risk getting involved with Mallory, even though she's the only woman capable of making this Christmas -- and all the rest to come -- his best ever.

PJ says...As I said in my review (click here to read), I adored this book. There's so much emotional depth. I wanted to wrap my arms around the characters and hug them tight, especially six-year-old Teddy. Along with the emotion that accompanies some serious issues, Mason also laces this story with a heartwarming, lighthearted touch. She's an author who transitions seamlessly from heart-wrenching to hilarious while immersing readers in the lives of her vividly and realistically depicted characters. I cried, sighed, and laughed out loud as I accompanied these characters on their journey to a holiday happily-ever-after. Christmas on Reindeer Road is one of my favorite books of 2020.



The holidays are served up with some spice in this small-town romance featuring a woman who must maintain a secret identity and the man who begins falling for her.

This Christmas, all Mayor Kevin Hadley wants is to give his five-year-old son whatever his heart desires. Only Tad has fallen head over holly for his pretty, sweet-as-sugarplum teacher. When attraction sparks between Kevin and Mary Margaret, the single dad thinks she may be the answer to his and his son's dreams. But after Mary Margaret reluctantly turns him down, Kevin decides it's time to embark on a new campaign -- one for Mary Margaret's heart.
Mary Margaret Sneed usually spends her holiday baking and caroling with her students. Yet this year, she's swapped shortbread and sleigh bells for a second job to pay off her late husband's debts. Mary Margaret would love to go tree trimming with Kevin and his son, but she won't risk his political future with her controversial side gig. Only the town's meddling matchmakers have determined there's nothing a little mistletoe can't fix . . . and if the Widows Club has their way, Mary Margaret and Kevin may just get the best Christmas gift of all this year.
*Includes a bonus novella by Hope Ramsay.

PJ says...I'm really enjoying this new series from Melinda Curtis. It seems like everyone in town has an opinion about the newest couple in the sights of the matchmaking Widows Club. Kevin and Mary Margaret are both stepping outside their comfort zones this holiday season due to events not of their making and there are more than a few unexpected obstacles on their journey to love. Filled with humor, wit, meddling matchmakers, and an unlikely pair who not only discover love but also themselves, A Very Merry Match is another entertaining installment in Curtis' Sunshine Valley series. 



The Perfect Christmas
 by Carolyn Brown
 Rugged cowboy Landon Griffin can't help being smitten by single mom Dixie Boudreaux and her baby girl. To help win their hearts, he wants to give them both the perfect holiday at Longhorn Ranch -- baking cookies, trimming the tree, building snowmen, and the whole works. But when nothing seems to go right, he might need a Christmas miracle to help him out of the mess.
Joy to the World by Hope Ramsay Retired music teacher Brenda McMillan has lost her holiday spirit, but reluctantly agrees to fill in for the director of the Magnolia Harbor Christmas Chorale -- even though Dr. James Killough, the town's biggest Christmas enthusiast, is the group's accompanist. Will he have enough Christmas magic to mend her broken heart?
Home for the Holidays by Rochelle Alers Pastry chef Iris Nelson is looking forward to spending Christmas on Cavanaugh Island with her best friend's family. But she wasn't expecting to celebrate with their very handsome visitor on leave from Afghanistan. Is their attraction just the glow of the season or a gift to enjoy forever?
A Christmas Cowboy at Heart by A.J. Pine For Deputy Sheriff Daniela Garcia, no hometown tradition makes her happier than the Meadow Valley Holiday Light Parade. This year she's planning for the sheriff's office to have the most dazzling lights. But when the new mayor -- and certified grinch -- threatens to cancel the event, Dani will have to show him the true meaning of Christmas.

PJ says...I enjoy anthologies all year but especially during the winter holiday season. As busy I get, I love that I can grab an anthology and have a selection of quick novellas to fill the time while waiting in line, between baking batches of cookies, or curled up in bed when I can't quite fall asleep yet. I haven't read A Little Country Christmas yet but with stories by four authors who I always enjoy, it will be hitting my Kindle soon. 

 

A delightful holiday romance about a small-town single dad and an animal rescue owner as they try to find forever homes for a dozen lovable pups before Christmas.

Pine Hollow has everything Ally Gilmore could wish for in a holiday break: gently falling snow in a charming small town and time with her family. Then she learns some Grinch has pulled the funding for her family's rescue shelter, and now she has only four weeks to find new homes for a dozen dogs! But when she confronts her Scroogey councilman nemesis, Ally finds he's far more reasonable -- and handsome -- than she ever expected.
As the guardian of his dog-obsessed ten-year-old niece, Ben West doesn't have time to build a cuddly reputation. But he does feel guilty about the shelter closing. So he proposes a truce with Ally, agreeing to help her adopt out the pups. As the two spend more time together, the town's gossip is spreading faster than Santa's sleigh on Christmas Eve. And soon Ben is hoping he can convince Ally that Pine Hollow is her home for the holidays. . . and the whole year through.

PJ says...Anybody who knows me half a minute knows I can't resist a dog of any type, real or fictional. Twelve adorable pups looking for homes by Christmas? Count me in! This one is waiting for me on my Kindle. 
 


A beautiful story about 
the magic of childhood Christmas memories, the strength of family and falling in love when you least expect it.

Carrie Blake loves her job as a nanny but, while her friends are settling down, all of Carrie’s spare time is spent with other people’s families. Though it breaks her heart, her New Year’s resolution is to embark on a new career and fix her love life.
As Carrie starts her last job, she’s sure she’ll be going out on a high – the house is amazing, the kids are adorable, and she’s in charge of decorating the tree!
The only problem could be her boss… Single dad Adam Fletcher might be both handsome and successful, but he’s always working. Doesn’t he realise he’s missing out on precious moments with his son and daughter?
As Adam’s family arrive for Christmas, including his sensitive sister, Sharon, and his fun-loving, elderly Grandpa, Walter, Carrie realises that she might just have found the perfect allies in her quest to persuade Adam to loosen up. There’s still time for Carrie to make this the best Christmas ever… After all, Christmas is the time for miracles, isn’t it? Let the festivities begin!

PJ says...Doesn't this one sound lovely? I haven't read Jenny Hale yet but A Christmas to Remember seems like the perfect place to begin. 



Tis the season for love


For single father Granger Fields, Christmas is his busiest and most profitable time of the year. But when a fire devastates the Merry Mountain Tree Farm, he fears the season won't be holly or jolly unless he can convince free spirit Joy Benson to care for his two rambunctious daughters. Yet while Granger wants to focus on saving his business, Joy seems determined to shake up his family's Christmas with her festive ideas and merry making.

Joy is counting down the days until she can open her own art gallery. Babysitting Abby and Willow will help her reach her goal, and when inspiration strikes, Joy convinces Granger that her craft classes can bring even more holiday cheer to the farm. As crowds return and Joy's creative side flourishes, life with Granger and his girls begins to feel like home. But with Christmas coming nearer, can Joy convince Granger to open his heart again? Or will their newfound happiness be as fleeting as the newly fallen snow?

PJ says...I love Annie Rains' Sweetwater Springs. When I pick up a new book in this series I'm confident I'll be treated to a well-written story, set within a vibrant and supportive community, with likable characters, realistic challenges, emotional depth, and plenty of humor and heart. As with the earlier books, I was thoroughly charmed by Season of Joy. Don't let the fact that this is the 6th book in a series scare you off. It stands perfectly fine on its own. 

 

Past relationships and close quarters stir up old emotions, making Christmas the perfect time for a magical connection in this heartwarming second chance Amish romance.

Elsie Miller has witnessed -- and experienced -- Levi Wyse's forgetfulness too many times to count. But even after they broke things off, Elsie never forgot the handsome Amish toymaker or her love for him. So when Levi's sister asks her to help keep him organized for the busy Christmas season, Elsie agrees. But she didn't expect working alongside Levi to reignite those old feelings.

Secretly, Levi's heart will always belong to Elsie. But she deserves a better man, one who isn't so absentminded . . . or responsible for a terrible tragedy. Now, she's at his workshop every day and as Christmas draws near, his reasons for staying away become harder and harder to remember. Will the spirit of Christmas heal past hurts and give Elsie and Levi the greatest gift of all: a future together?

PJ says...I haven't read this book but it's receiving lovely reviews on Goodreads (it releases 10/27). If you enjoy emotional Christian romance set within an Amish community, you might want to give this one a try. 

~~~~~~~~~~~

Didn't I tell you this was a bundle to get excited about?  

Have you read any of the above books (or authors) yet? 

Do you begin your holiday romance reading when the books are released or do you save them for December?

What are your favorite types of holiday romances? Contemporary? Historical? Suspense? Christian? Women's Fiction? Anthology? All of the above? 😉

Where do you most enjoy reading holiday romances? I love to curl up with a holiday romance, cozy blanket, a mug of hot chocolate (laced with Kahlua), and twinkling Christmas tree lights. There's not much better after a long day of cookie baking, gift wrapping, and Christmas card writing. 

In the spirit of the season, Forever has generously offered today's incredible giveaway. Thank you, Forever! Follow them on social media @ReadForeverPub and @GrandCentralPub. 

Two randomly chosen people who post a comment before 11:00 PM (Eastern), October 19 will each receive a bundle of all eight titles featured in today's post.

*Must be 18
*Open to U.S. and Canadian addresses