Pages

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Swept Away by Robyn Carr - Audio version

Swept Away
by Robyn Carr
Audio version
 

Again, Robyn Carr. Fabulous author. I cannot even
imagine where all these characters, names, places &
storylines live in her head.
The heroine is Jennifer Chaise. She grew up with a very
unpredictable mother. Hand to mouth most of the time.
No place or anyone to count on. Jennifer took care of
her mother. As a grown up, she was determined that
she would not live like that ever again.
 

Swept Away is her story. It's how she made her way.
So she would never again be without or hungry or afraid.
Something Jennifer did not count on. The loneliness.
Feeling alone. Having no one else in the world to 
depend on. 
Perhaps most of us take it for granted. Having family,
friends, community, church, school, etc. To be
surrounded by people that we build relationships with.
It's a wonderful love story and you will be cheering
for Jennifer. When the story starts, you will be surprised
at that. But I promise you will.
Make time for this one. And if you are an audible story
fan, you are in luck. The narrator in this story is
Therese Plummer. She is a very popular story teller.
Because she does a great job.
 
This story was originally published as
Runaway Mistress.
I bought my copy of Swept Away from Aubible.com
Review by Lisa Hutson
  


Wednesday, September 21, 2016

The Wedding Party by Robyn Carr

The Wedding Party
by Robyn Carr

This is one of those books that has a number of
storylines all running simultaneously. Whenever I am
reading this kind of story, I usually find myself feeling
like I will never be able to keep it all straight. Every time
a new character, couple, situation, etc is introduced,
I worry that I will lose track of them. I often keep notes
on everyone as I go.
But then, it isn't long before the peoples faces start
forming in my head. The houses, towns, seasons, styles.....
They start coming alive in my head as I read. I no longer
need the notes. And then, all the relationships start making
sense. Slowly coming together.

When I first start these stories, I can't put the book
down because I might forget who that person is or where
they are or what's going on with this one or that one.
But once I begin seeing the connections, I can't put the
book down because I have to find out what happens
next and then next and next.....
Nobody does these stories better than Robyn Carr.
I can't begin to imagine where she gets all  these
 stories, characters, names, places......
The Wedding Party is a wonderful story. I can't even
think of listing the characters and storylines.
But I can assure you, it's a wonderful read.
Not one single perfect character. No one that you
will feel is getting the short end of the stick.
If you enjoy interesting characters and rooting
for love, you will love this one.
I bought my copy of The Wedding Party
from Amazon.
Review by Lisa Hutson



Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Who We Were Before by Leah Mercer

Who We Were Before
by Leah Mercer
 

This is my first time reading Leah Mercer.
While there is plenty of romance in this story,
I don't know if I would call it a romance.
Its really more of a life story. The life of
Zoe and Edward. The life of their relationship.
The life of their family. From the first minute
the two of them meet as she sits knitting
a pair of bright pink socks on a bench til
their return to that bench years later.
On their return, they now have memories
and stories. They each have so much to
learn about the other.
 
 
Even though they have been together for
years. There is so much they don't know
about each other.
Who We Were Before was written in a very
interesting way. Easy to keep up as their
lives unfold. Together.
Give it a try. It is well written. You may find
that you don't want to put it down.
 


I got the copy of Who We Were Before from
Amazon Kindle First Selections.
Review by Lisa Hutson



Saturday, September 10, 2016

Review of AT FAIRFIELD ORCHARD by Emma Cane

At Fairfield Orchard by Emma Cane 


Isn’t the cover of this book gorgeous? It enticed me to request a copy of Emma Cane's new book. I have never read any of the author’s novels…but I am SO happy that I read this one!

At Fairfield Orchard is an enjoyable twist on the opposites attract story set in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Amy Fairfield has returned home to manage the family’s orchard for the next six months with Tyler, her twin brother. She’s quit a promising real estate career and put a bad relationship behind her to focus on her family and their business. Jonathan Gebhart is a professor who is researching Thomas Jefferson for an upcoming book. 

Even though Amy and Jonathan are total opposites; the passion between them sizzles off the pages when they meet. The attraction between this couple drew me into the story d kept me reading! Loved Jonathan and the author does a wonderful job with this hunky, caring, and nerdy hero. Amy and Jonathan become friends and their relationship develops during the course of this superbly paced novel. Both characters are attracted to each other but have work and personal issues to resolve. The conversations between Amy and Jonathan when they opened up to each other are well written and poignant. Both characters talk about their childhood, families and past relationships. Through Amy, the author provides an honest portrayal of alcoholism and its long term effects on family members.

I enjoyed reading this novel because the author blended Amy and Jonathan’s romance with the historical aspects of the novel. Amy’s grandfather and Jonathan spend time together talking about the farm’s history and Amy’s Grandmother joins the archaeology team as they search on the property. Ms. Caine does a fabulous job comparing Jonathan’s devotion to historical research with Amy’s goal of bringing the orchard into the 21st century while pleasing all of her family members. 
The conclusion of the novel was well written and perfect for this couple. I am happy that the historical research will continue into the second novel and the reader will be able to see if the changes that Amy and her brother made to the family’s business will enable the orchard to prosper. Loved the small town feel of this book, the sense of community, the neighbors, friends and family—and the heartfelt romance between Amy and Jonathan! Looking forward to the next book in this series! 

Reviewed by Susan Gorman 
A copy of the Book was provided by the publisher.

Friday, September 9, 2016

At Fairfield Orchard By Emma Cane


The first in Emma Cane’s sparkling new series, 
set in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains.

AT FAIRFIELD ORCHARD
Fairfield Orchard #1
Emma Cane
Available Now! 
Avon Books



Emma Cane welcomes you to Fairfield Orchard, where new love blooms and romance is always in season.

For Amy Fairfield, the family orchard is more than a business. With its blossom-scented air and rows of trees framed by the majestic Blue Ridge Mountains, it’s her heritage and her future. But right now, it’s also a headache. Putting a painful breakup behind her, Amy has come home to help revitalize Fairfield Orchard. She doesn’t have time for the handsome-distracting-professor who wants to dig into her family’s history for his research.

Jonathan Gebhart knows he needs the Fairfields’ cooperation to make his new book a success. As for Amy-nothing in his years of academia could have prepared him for their sudden and intense attraction. He doesn’t want to complicate her life further, especially since she seems uneasy about him poking around in the past and he knows he’s not the sort of man built for forever. But some sparks can’t help but grow, and Jonathan and Amy may just learn that unexpected love can be the sweetest of all.

BUY NOW
Amazon | B & N | Google | iTunes | Kobo



Emma Cane grew up reading and soon discovered that she liked to write passionate stories of teenagers in space. Her love of “passionate stories” has never gone away, although today she concentrates on the heartwarming characters of Valentine Valley and Fairfield Orchard.


Now that her three children are grown, Emma loves spending time crocheting and singing (although not necessarily at the same time), and hiking and snowshoeing alongside her husband Jim and their rambunctious dog Uma.

Emma also writes USA Today bestselling historical romances under the name Gayle Callen.


a Rafflecopter giveaway


At Fairfield Orchard by Emma Cane

Isn’t the cover of this book gorgeous? It enticed me to request a copy of Emma Cane's new book. I have never read any of the author’s novels…but I am SO happy that I read this one!

At Fairfield Orchard is an enjoyable twist on the opposites attract story set in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Amy Fairfield has returned home to manage the family’s orchard for the next six months with Tyler, her twin brother. She’s quit a promising real estate career and put a bad relationship behind her to focus on her family and their business. Jonathan Gebhart is a professor who is researching Thomas Jefferson for an upcoming book. 

Even though Amy and Jonathan are total opposites; the passion between them sizzles off the pages when they meet. The attraction between this couple drew me into the story d kept me reading! Loved Jonathan and the author does a wonderful job with this hunky, caring, and nerdy hero. Amy and Jonathan become friends and their relationship develops during the course of this superbly paced novel. Both characters are attracted to each other but have work and personal issues to resolve. The conversations between Amy and Jonathan when they opened up to each other are well written and poignant. Both characters talk about their childhood, families and past relationships. Through Amy, the author provides an honest portrayal of alcoholism and its long term effects on family members.

I enjoyed reading this novel because the author blended Amy and Jonathan’s romance with the historical aspects of the novel. Amy’s grandfather and Jonathan spend time together talking about the farm’s history and Amy’s Grandmother joins the archaeology team as they search on the property. Ms. Caine does a fabulous job comparing Jonathan’s devotion to historical research with Amy’s goal of bringing the orchard into the 21st century while pleasing all of her family members. 

The conclusion of the novel was well written and perfect for this couple. I am happy that the historical research will continue into the second novel and the reader will be able to see if the changes that Amy and her brother made to the family’s business will enable the orchard to prosper. Loved the small town feel of this book, the sense of community, the neighbors, friends and family—and the heartfelt romance between Amy and Jonathan! Looking forward to the next book in this series! 

Reviewed by Susan Gorman 
A copy of the Book was provided by the publisher.




Jonathan Gebhart got out of his car and breathed in the crisp air of Fairfield Orchard, ripe with the sweet scent of apple blossoms. In the distance, the Blue Ridge Mountains undulated into the disappearing mists of midmorning, their haze the mysterious blue they were named for. But everywhere else he looked, surrounding this oasis of buildings and a barn, the foothills were covered in the pink and white of blossoming trees, following long lines like the teeth on a comb. Had Thomas Jefferson known what would become of the land when he’d sold it almost two hundred years ago? Jonathan intended to prove it wasn’t what other historians said it was.

He’d driven the half hour west from Charlottesville, Virginia, to Fairfield Orchard, rehearsing his most persuasive speech over and over. He wasn’t known as the most outgoing of guys, but he was passionate about history and hoped that would be enough. But strangely, he didn’t see a soul. A huge old barn that looked well over a hundred years old stood open and deserted. It had a lower level made of stone with its own entrance in the back, and the soaring upper level framed in weathered gray boards was stacked with crates and bins for the autumn harvest. A food shack and small store were obviously closed. There were picnic tables and benches, all positioned to take in the beautiful view of central Virginia during the harvest season. But in the spring, the public grounds were deserted.

Past a copse of towering oak and hickory trees was a dirt lane, which he followed around a curve until he saw a big house with white siding, blue shutters, and a wraparound porch around the original building. A two-story addition had been added to the right side. A battered blue pickup truck was parked nearby. He climbed the front steps, but no one answered the door. Jonathan hadn’t called in advance, assuming that a request like his was better handled in person, but that had obviously been a mistake. There must be a business office or warehouse somewhere else on the grounds.

And then in the first row of apple trees next to the house, he saw a ladder disappearing up inside, and a pair of work boots perched on a rung, their owner partially hidden by branches and blossoms and bright green leaves. He’d done his research, knew that the owner was Bruce Fairfield, a Vietnam vet in his sixties.

 “Mr. Fairfield?” Jonathan called as he approached the tree. “Bruce Fairfield?”

Sudden barking startled him, and a dog came up out of the straggly grass growing through a dark loam of what looked like fertilizer around the base of the tree. The medium-sized dog resembled a cross between a German shepherd and a coyote, its pointy ears alert.

 “What’s up, Uma?”

The voice from within the tree was far more feminine than “Bruce” should have. The dog sat down and regarded Jonathan, her spotted tongue visible as she panted, her head cocked to the side.

A woman pushed aside a branch and peered down, wreathed in pink and white blossoms, her sandy brown hair pulled into a ponytail beneath a ragged ball cap with the Virginia Cavaliers logo. She had a delicate face with a pointed chin, and a nose splattered with freckles. She was already tan from working outdoors, with eyes clear and deep blue and narrowed with curiosity. She wore a battered winter vest over a plaid shirt with a t-shirt beneath, and a faded pair of jeans with a tear at the knee. She held clippers in one hand.

“What can I do for you?” she asked, then added apologetically, “We’re still closed for the off-season.”

“I know. I’ve come from Charlottesville to speak with the owner.”

Brightly, she said, “I’m one of them.”

That rearranged his conclusion that she was just an employee.

“Hope you don’t mind if I keep working while we talk,” she added.

He blinked as her face disappeared behind the branch she released. Soon, he could hear occasional snipping, and saw a branch drop to the ground. She seemed like she was examining, more than pruning. He was used to talking to students who tried to hide their texting during a lecture, but he couldn’t force this woman to pay attention to him. At least the dog watched him with expectation.

“My name is Dr. Jonathan Gebhart, and I’m an associate professor of history at the University of Virginia, with a specialty in colonial history, particularly Thomas Jefferson.”

She gave a snort of laughter. “Of course.”

He stiffened. “Of course?”

“Thomas Jefferson founded the university, right?”

Did anyone from the area not know that?

Read more at: Excerpt 1 

Friday, September 2, 2016

Spotlight onThe Rebel Heir by Elizabeth Michels


The Spare Heirs Society Cordially Invites You to Meet Ash Claughbane: The Imposter

Lady Evangeline Green is living a lie. To please her family, she masquerades as the perfect debutante…until she meets the wickedly charming Lord Crosby. With him, there are no rules. She’s finally free to do as she desires—but freedom comes with a price, and Lord Crosby is not what he seems…

Ash is not Lord Crosby. He’s a con artist, a noble Spare Heir living off his silver tongue. When the Greens ruined his family, he swore he’d make them pay, and he never doubted his devotion to revenge…until he met Evangeline. Now, caught in a web of lies, torn between duty and desire, what’s a con to do but deceive all of London and steal the one lady who dared match wits with the devil himself?

  ‘Allow me to make amends,” he added. The corner of his mouth quirked up, the promise of a smile hidden beneath the surface.

"Unavoidably detained,” she repeated as she balled her fits at her sides. “For a year.” 

"A year. That does sound rather damning, doesn’t it?” He made a face of dismay. “My lady, has anyone ever told you how candlelight reflects in your eyes like the stars on a cloudless night?” 

"Yes. As a matter of fact, you told me just that---last year.”







Elizabeth Michels grew up on a Christmas tree farm in rural South Carolina. After tip-toeing her way through school with her focus on ballet steps and her nose in a book, she met a boy and followed him a thousand miles away from home to Kansas City, Missouri, before settling down in North Carolina. Website | TwitterFacebook


Hi, everyone! Let’s play a game! Since deception is a key ingredient in THE REBEL HEIR, the second book in the Spare Heirs series, I thought it would be fun to play two truths and a lie. Do you know how this game works?

Ash Claughbane is here to tell you three things about himself and one of them is a lie…Yes, just one. *gives Ash the side eye to keep him honest for a few minutes* Can you guess which fact isn’t true about Ash? Good Luck!

 1. I’m from the Isle of Man. There was a time when my family had an estate, a vast home overlooking the sea, servants, gardens... There was a time when my mother and father were alive and that home was intact. There was a time when my three older brothers calling me by my given name of Ashley was my largest problem—there was an unfortunate rhyme that accompanied it, that I won’t repeat here. But that was before Lord Rightworth took everything from us, and I vowed to get it all back. I may be from the Isle of Man, but I haven’t been back there since.

2. I’ve been traveling by carriage with my driver, Stapleton, for company for seven years. I move from town to town, never staying long enough to unpack my trunks. My business has thrived, and rightfully so. I am quite skilled at it. You see, I sell people what they desire, anything they desire. Everyone wants something and it just so happens, I have that something bottled and in my carriage.

I made my way through all of Wales where my brothers were less likely to find me, then I began moving through southern England. That was when he found me, not my eldest brother, the new duke, thankfully, but Fallon St. James. He invited me to join a secret club of title-less gentlemen in London called The Spare Heir Society.

I’m not one to join anything at all. I have no need of any sort of brotherhood having abandoned my own brothers long ago. I told St. James as much and yet he gave me his calling card. Stranger still, I kept it. Now I’m in London, with a room in St. James’ peculiar home and headquarters. My clothing remains in my trunk, but I’m here, newest member of The Spare Heirs Society.

3. My name is Lord Crosby, purveyor of hope for the future. I’m a forward thinking gentleman, a visionary some might say. In a year or two, you’ll remember we met. You’ll remember that I told you that your farming techniques and way of life were a thing of the past. My steam machines will be in every home. Small enough to be accessible to every family, and big enough to make the way all of society lives a little easier. Imagine the possibilities for the good people of England and beyond. The world is changing and the future of our world is steam.

You’ll remember I told you of this. On that day years from now, wouldn’t you like to say you were wise? Wouldn’t you like to say you invested in Crosby Steam Works?



His heart beat beneath Evangeline’s hand.
“Ash, this is dangerous— whatever is happening here…”
“I know.” He grinned the wicked grin of a swindler about to steal the prize. “Say that you enjoy it as much as I do, Evie. Admit that you like breaking your rules with me.”
“They aren’t my rules,” she said.
“Then why follow them?”
She swallowed and looked up at him. “I make poor decisions on my own.”
“I disagree,” he said, still holding her close. He toyed with the hair that fell over her shoulder.
“I haven’t thrown you from my bedchamber. I’m certain that’s a poor decision.”
“That’s a matter of opinion,” he said with a grin. “What’s your opinion? What do you want, Evie?”
You, her heart screamed, but her mouth refused to form the word. Her gaze dropped back from the depths of his eyes to his lips. He was so close, and yet he only touched her hair and held her hand to his chest. It would be so easy to rise to her toes and show him what she wanted. And yet it wasn’t easy at all.
 “You think I haven’t noticed that you’ve been staring at my mouth since I arrived?”
“I have not…” She began to disagree, but it would have been a lie and he knew it.
“Say that you want me to kiss you, Evie.”
“I would never…” she began, but fell silent.
“Tell me you want me. Say the words and I’ll kiss you.”
Evangeline’s lips parted, but she said nothing.
“Say, ‘I want your lips on mine, Ash.’ That’s all you have to do. I could show you so many things, Evie. Do you want me to? Say the words.”
Her breathing came out harsh as her heart pounded in her chest. How was he making her so unsettled simply with words?
“I could bring you so much pleasure, Evie. Do you want me to touch you? To truly touch you? If you asked me, I would fit your breasts into the palms of my hands just like this.” His hand hung in the air over her breast, close enough that she could feel the heat of his skin through her night rail. “Then I would lower my mouth to take your nipple between my teeth, tugging at your polished exterior until the real Evie pulled me closer. I would take your breast into my mouth and with my tongue…” He sighed, dropping his hand away from her. “But you have to tell me you want it.”
“Ash,” she whispered, already missing the heat of him close to her skin.
“There’s a world out there that you could experience. All you have to do is stop hiding and tell me what you want.”
It wasn’t that simple, was it? She opened her mouth, unsure how to speak of her own desires. She never talked that way, not like Ash was able to do. But the truth was, she did want him to kiss her. She wanted everything about this man. That was also the trouble. She couldn’t be trusted to speak— not just now. “I…”
He grinned and brushed a strand of hair from her face, placing a kiss on the top of her head as he did. “You’re almost there. Just a few more words. Perhaps you need more encouragement.”
“No.” She took two steps backward until her heels bumped the wall. “I- I’m quite…”
“Evie, has anyone ever spoken to you this way?” He took slow steps to close the gap between them.
“No,” she breathed.
“Do you like it when I do?” He grinned down at her as if he could hear all the thoughts she was too afraid to voice aloud. “I think you do. Do you want me to continue?”
“Do I have to say that as well?” she asked.
“No. I’ve learned in my line of work that it’s sometimes necessary to give someone a taste of what they want before they’ll pay the price.”
“Is that what you’re doing to me? Is this a taste of what’s to come?” Heaven help her, she hoped it was.
“Only if you want it. That’s my price.” He shifted her hair from her shoulder as he spoke, letting it fall down her back.
“That seems…” Whispers of his touch brushed down the side of her neck as he moved her hair. She worked not to lean into his palm and feel the full force of his hand on her skin. “…reasonable.”
“I thought so as well.” He shifted even closer to her, leaning his arm on the wall above her head and surrounding her without the benefit of his embrace to steady her. “If you tell me you want me to kiss you, I’ll kiss you here.” He spoke the words against the sensitive skin beneath her ear before moving down her neck, not touching her, but close enough that she could feel the warmth of his lips.
She splayed her hands on the wall behind her to keep from tipping sideways. He wasn’t even touching her, and still she struggled to breathe.

“I would kiss my way down your neck to just here where I can see your pulse beating rather fast. Is it beating fast because you want me to kiss you, Evie?” he asked against her skin. “You know my terms. Say the words. This is only the beginning…”


a Rafflecopter giveaway


Do opposites attract? Do sparks fly? Oh yes, they do! 

The Rebel Heir is a delightful opposites attract story! Elizabeth Michels infuses witty dialogue and humor in her second novel in the Spare Heir series. Lady Evangeline Green follows society’s rules. Her mother’s goal for the coming season is to marry Evie to an Earl or a Duke. Evie must be very careful in her dress, speech and friendships. Ashley Claughbane (or is it Ash Crosby ??) is a handsome, smooth talking con artist. He has traveled to London and joined The Spare Heirs club with a goal of destroying the man who financially ruined his father. 

Ash meets Evie and plans to use her to swindle her father and his wealthy friends. He has created the perfect con—a steam machine-with the help of St. James and the members of his club. The author’s gift for subtle banter shines when Evie and Ash discuss risk and reward prior to Ash’s meeting with her Father. Was their conversation about investment strategy? Or romance? 

Evie reminded me of a china doll. She made a mistake as a child and her Mother has not let her forget her misstep. Lady Rightworth has transformed her daughter into a perfect bride for any Earl or Duke. Evie endures lessons, wears gloves and dresses that are too small to placate her demanding mother. Ash senses that there is a person underneath Evie’s fa├žade. He challenged Evie to think outside society’s rules. The author creates a fascinating hero in Ash. His goal was to play out his steam con, collect the money from his unsuspecting investors and disappear. He makes a point of courting Evie all the while knowing he would break her heart when he skipped town. It was fabulous to see this couple change and determine what was important to them. 

The Rebel Heir is a fast paced novel filled with passion, witty dialogue and suspense. The author has done a fabulous job with the main and secondary characters; she smoothly incorporate the multi-faceted characters of Roselyn, Isabelle and Victoria as well as Lord Ayton and Brice into the storyline. The conclusion of the novel was perfect and the epilogue was extremely well done! 


Reviewed by Susan Gorman 
ARC provided by Sourcebooks.