25 December 2019

The Dating Charade | Book Review + Excerpt


ABOUT THE BOOK


Cassie Everson is an expert at escaping bad first dates. And, after years of meeting, greeting, and running from the men who try to woo her, Cassie is almost ready to retire her hopes for a husband—and children—altogether.

But fate has other plans, and Cassie’s online dating profile catches the eye of firefighter Jett Bentley. In Jett’s memory, Cassie Everson is the unreachable girl-of-legend from their high school days. Nervously, he messages her, setting off a chain of events that forces a reluctant Cassie back into the dating game.

No one is more surprised than Cassie when her first date with Jett is a knockout. But when they both go home and find three children dropped in their laps—each—they independently decide to do the right and mature thing: hide the kids from each other while sorting it all out. What could go wrong?

Melissa Ferguson’s hilarious and warmhearted debut reminds us that love can come in very small packages—and that sometimes our best-laid plans aren’t nearly as rewarding and fun as the surprises that come our way.

Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Release Date: December 3, 2019


Storing Up Trouble | Waiting on Wednesday

Hosted weekly by Breaking the Spine 
to spotlight eagerly-anticipated upcoming releases.
(Similarly, Can't-Wait Wednesday is hosted by Wishful Endings.)

Happy Wednesday!

And merry Christmas!

I never miss one of Jen Turano's books, so of course, I'm eager for the story of this American Heiress.

24 December 2019

The Wedding Dress Christmas | Book Review, Guest Post + Giveaway


ABOUT THE BOOK


December comes to quaint Hearts Bend, Tennessee, with a blanket of white and the glitter of Christmas lights.

For JoJo Castle there is no place like home. Her onetime love of adventure ended when her life in the big city came crashing down. Now that she’s home, she never wants to leave again.

Country music sensation Buck Mathews has charmed the world with his smile and his music. However, news of his mother’s illness brought him home to Hearts Bend for the holiday season.

Working with her cousin Haley in The Wedding Shop, JoJo has no aspirations of love. But when her high school crush returns to town, her buried feelings surface.

Busy with his career, Buck hasn’t had time for family and friends, much less love. Seeing JoJo in The Wedding Shop reminds him there are things more important than his career.

But JoJo and Buck have opposing life goals, and there’s no middle ground. Can love, especially the kind that touches hearts at Christmas, overcome her fears and his quest for greatness?

With the help of a very special wedding dress, there just might a Christmas miracle.

Publisher: Hauck House
Release Date: October 22, 2019


OTHER BOOKS IN THE SERIES


22 December 2019

Brooke St. James | Excerpt + Giveaway | Sweet Romance for Christmas


ABOUT THE BOOK


I was completely exhausted when I first laid eyes on him. I had been traveling, and for the last twenty-four hours, sleep had evaded me. I knew I looked terrible, and I was relatively sure I didn't smell so great, either. It was not the most ideal moment to make a first impression. On a normal day, I wouldn't be so torn up about it, but today was different. This was the day I met Taylor.

He was a gentleman in every way. I was instantly taken aback by his vintage look and charm. It was almost like he had stepped out of the past. I would only be in Boston for two days before traveling again, and I was determined to get a second chance at a first impression.

Publisher: Blue House Press
Release Date: August 14, 2018


OTHER BOOKS IN THE SERIES


21 December 2019

Melissa McClone | Excerpt + Giveaway | Sweet Romance for Christmas


ABOUT THE BOOKS


Meet the members of Oregon Mountain Search and Rescue and watch them fall in love in Hood Hamlet with a little help from Christmas magic.

In His Christmas Wish, Jake Porter is burdened by guilt, believing he could have saved two friends during a climbing accident and kept Carly Bishop from the heart-wrenching loss of her fianc√© and brother. When she arrives in town for the holidays, Jake wants to make amends so they can both move forward with their lives. As he helps Carly experience the magic of Christmas, will he also be able to open her heart to…love?

In Her Christmas Secret, Sean Hughes asks snowboarder Zoe Flynn to pose as his girlfriend at Thanksgiving dinner, which will take the pressure off him from his meddling family, who enjoy matchmaking. But when an injury occurs, the two are forced to continue their one-night ruse until the line between make-believe and reality blurs. Zoe, however, has a secret…a big one. Is their new relationship strong enough to withstand the truth?

In Her Christmas Kiss, Leanne Thomas works hard to be “one of the boys” at the fire station and on the mountain. After she rescues gorgeous, rookie firefighter Christian Welton, he glimpses a softer, more vulnerable side to her tough-as-nails personality and he’s intrigued. A surprise kiss under the mistletoe sparks a three-alarm fire, but something is holding her back. Will Christian’s kisses break through Leanne’s tough exterior and melt her heart? 

In His Christmas Family, Bill Paulson invites two wayward travelers into his home. Something about Grace Wilcox, a widow, and her young son touches Bill’s heart, so he decides to give them a special Christmas. When attraction flares between Grace and Bill, she won’t gamble her heart on a hero and Bill doesn’t consider himself husband material. Can a little Christmas magic show them love and a family are worth the risks?


OTHER BOOKS IN THE SERIES


Christmas Angels | Book Review + Giveaway

JustRead Publicity Tours

ABOUT THE BOOK


Growing up, Liz Westmoreland dreamed of taking over her grandparents’ inn located in the small mountain town of Antler Creek only for it to be sold before she ever got the chance. While browsing the internet, she stumbles upon a listing for what looks to be the picturesque inn and it’s set to go to auction. Liz places a bid, and by a miracle, wins the auction. But when she gets there, she finds the property in significant disrepair.

When Matt Hardy narrowly lost the inn and property that butted his land, he just hoped it wasn’t another city slicker coming to make matters worse after the previous owners gutted the place for an art gallery. But the minute he recognized the sweet, freckle-faced girl from his childhood and heard her plans to reopen the inn, he jumps at the chance to help his childhood crush restore a place where he made so many fond memories.

While working on repairs, Liz and Matt discover her grandmother’s collection of angels in one of the cabins. When the angels start mysteriously showing up all over the inn, she begins to look at them as reassurance—that restoring the inn is what she’s meant to do. But when an accident leaves Liz feeling like she made a mistake, will Matt—and the residents of Antler Creek—be able to show Liz that she’s found a home? And possibly true love as well?

Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Release Date: October 15, 2019


20 December 2019

D.E. Malone | Excerpt + Giveaway | Sweet Romance for Christmas


ABOUT THE BOOK


Stealing Her Heart Was Not In His Job Description.

Romance is the last thing on Carmen Navarro’s mind. Up to her neck in student debt, she needs a teaching job, and she needs one fast. As if that wasn’t stressful enough, she’s also overseeing her parents’ renovation project—which would be easier if the carpenter on the job had a little more work ethic and a lot less swagger. She has no time for his flirty banter and affable charm. So why can’t she get him out of her head?

Matt Stetman is a catch. Everyone in Hendricks knows he’d give the shirt off his back to help a friend in need. He’s been told a time or two that he’s pretty delightful to be around too. But for some reason, the enigmatic Carmen seems immune to his charms.

Just as Matt begins to make headway—with the project and with Carmen—a secret from his past threatens to ruin everything. Can Carmen find the courage to trust Matt and take a shot at love? Or is the foundation of their relationship now broken beyond repair?

Release Date: October 3, 2019


OTHER BOOKS IN THE SERIES


A Rancher to Trust | Book Review + Giveaway

JustRead Publicity Tours

ABOUT THE BOOK


Searching for forgiveness…and a future.

Suddenly a husband…and a father?

This bachelor is ready to claim his instant family.

After learning his ex-wife isn’t so ex after all, rebel turned rancher Dan Whitlock is determined to prove he’s a changed man…but Bailey Quinn is just as set on finally ending their marriage. When tragedy makes Dan the guardian of little orphaned twins, he and Bailey are drawn back together. But can she forgive the past and open her heart to the family she’s always wanted?

Publisher: Love Inspired
Release Date: December 17, 2019


19 December 2019

Sally Johnson | Excerpt + Giveaway | Sweet Romance for Christmas


ABOUT THE BOOK


Aspiring writer Alivia bombs her Regency novel pitch to hotshot acquisitions editor Will Wright and the result is mutual loathing. But when another publisher wants Alivia’s not-yet-written book in 8 weeks, Alivia panics. Luckily, online book doctor Dear Mr. Darcy is there to help.

Will Wright has big opinions and an even bigger ego. When he’s fired from the publishing house he once lorded over, he scrapes by using his Regency knowledge freelancing as Dear Mr. Darcy.

As they unwittingly work together on Alivia’s book, they begin bonding. Two unknowing enemies are about to become more than friends.

Publisher: Pink Bloom Publishing
Release Date: July 12, 2019


A Child's Gift | Book Review

ABOUT THE BOOK


Will an abandoned child bring them together?

Or tear them apart?

Cowboy Jericho Johnson lives a good life working on the Rebel family’s Texas ranch. All he’s missing is a wonderful woman like Anamarie Wiznowski. But Rico’s troubled past and Ana’s disapproving family conspire against them. When Rico is named guardian to a four-year-old boy, he asks Ana for help. And suddenly, he’s falling faster than Christmas snow…for Ana, sweet little Dusty and life as a family man!

Publisher: Harlequin Heartwarming
Release Date: December 3, 2019


OTHER BOOKS IN THE SERIES


18 December 2019

Rachel John | Excerpt + Giveaway | Sweet Romance for Christmas


ABOUT THE BOOK


Bidding at a bachelor auction is just asking for trouble...

Cara Marconi promised to bid at her town’s charity bachelor auction, but never with any intention to win. So, when she accidentally bids too high and wins her best friend’s brother, she’s a little freaked out. Mostly because of that one time they kissed and never spoke of it again.

Justin Riggs was expecting to chaperone an old lady around town, not worry about hurting Cara when he leaves after Christmas. Of course, that’s not exactly how their conversation goes after the auction. He may have called her out on her crush on him … and added some other accusations that will live to haunt him forever. Now, Cara never wants to talk to him again, and he’s realizing too late that he’d like a lot more than her forgiveness.

Cara’s stuck. By winning a date with Justin, she’s also won the marketing headache that goes with it. As much as she’d like to Photoshop their heads together and call it good, the town expects to see them out together having fun. So, Cara has a plan. She'll friendzone the heck out of him, hide her heart where he can’t reach it, and conquer this crush by the time he leaves town.

Curl up with this sweet and sassy Christmas tale about mistaken motives and secrets revealed.

Release Date: November 4, 2019


OTHER BOOKS IN THE SERIES


Meet Me on Love Lane | Book Review + Giveaway

ABOUT THE BOOK


From the USA TODAY bestselling author of On the Corner of Love and Hate comes a romantic comedy about a woman who grudgingly returns home to small-town Pennsylvania, only to find herself falling in love—not only with the town, but with two of its citizens. 

Charlotte Bishop is out of options in New York City. Fired, broke, and blacklisted by her former boss, she’s forced to return to her hometown of Hope Lake, PA to lick her wounds. Although she’s expecting to find a miserable place with nothing to do, she is pleasantly surprised to discover it is bustling and thriving.

She’s only supposed to be in Hope Lake temporarily until she can earn enough money to move back to New York. She’s not supposed to reconnect with her childhood friends or her beloved grandmother. She’s not supposed to find her dream job running the local florist shop. And she’s definitely not supposed to fall for not one but two of Hope Lake’s golden boys: one the beloved high school English teacher, the other the charming town doctor.

With a heart torn between two men and two cities, what’s a girl to do?

A perfect blend of humor and heart, Meet Me on Love Lane is the second in a new series from USA TODAY bestselling author Nina Bocci that is sure to charm fans of Josie Silver and Sally Thorne.

Publisher: Gallery Books
Release Date: December 10, 2019


OTHER BOOKS IN THE SERIES


An Amish Christmas Bakery | Book Review + Excerpt


ABOUT THE BOOK


From bestselling authors in the Amish genre come four delicious novellas perfect for celebrating love, joy, and the holiday season.

Cookies and Cheer by Amy Clipston: As Christmas draws near, Alyssa Byler dreams of a window display for the bakery where she works. When she decides to design and build a sugar cookie nativity scene, all she needs is the right cookie cuttersand handsome blacksmith Kyle Smoker is the one she asks for help. Using Kyle’s handmade cutters, Alyssa creates a striking display that brings more tourists to the bakery than she can handle.

And when shoppers request handmade cookie cutters of their own, Kyle finds himself overwhelmed by the demand. As Christmas approaches, Alyssa realizes she’s been too caught up in work to focus on the true meaning of Christmasand too distracted to explore the feelings she has for Kyle. Together, they put aside the holiday rush and spend their time celebrating the season that has brought them together.

Loaves of Love by Beth Wiseman: As the only girl in a family of eight, Katie Swartzentruber has been left in charge of her family’s bakery while her mother recuperates from surgery. At first, Katie doesn’t think tending to the bakery alone will be difficult. She’s worked alongside her mother for years. But Christmas is coming, and with the holiday comes a flood of patrons, both regulars and tourists. When Katie becomes overwhelmed with the orders she is receiving, she is tempted to move her Old Order family into the modern world by purchasing propane ovens to help with the workload. She finds help from an unexpected sourcechildhood friend Henry Hershberger, who has harbored a secret crush on Katie for years. He’s been afraid to tell her how he feels, but he’s sure that this Christmas is his moment. As the demands of the bakery only get more intense, both Katie and Henry have to decide what really matters... and find the courage within themselves to go after it.

Melting Hearts by Kathleen Fuller: Mattie Shetler is an expert baker, so when her aunt Carolyn begs for help during the busy Christmas rush, Mattie eagerly packs her bags and heads to Birch Creek. What she doesn’t know is that her uncle has also asked for help with the bakery’s new expansion, and he’s asked none other than Peter Kaufman, Mattie’s sworn enemy. As the two work side by side, though, Mattie discovers not all is as it seems. With Christmas just around the corner, Mattie and Peter open their hearts for the greatest gifts of the season: forgiveness and maybe even love.

Cakes and Kisses by Kelly Irvin: Martha Ropp works hard at her family’s bakery, making cakes and pies in preparation not only for Christmas but the many community weddings, including her sister’s. To help during this busy season, Martha’s mother hires Ambrose Hershberger to make deliveries. Martha remembers Ambrose as a gentle giant from her school days, but soon discovers that still waters run deep. The more they work together, the more they want to spend time together outside of the bakery, but both Martha and Ambrose are too timid to make the first move. That’s when the town matchmakers step in.

Publisher: Zondervan
Release Date: October 1, 2019


To Have and to Hoax | Waiting on Wednesday

Hosted weekly by Breaking the Spine 
to spotlight eagerly-anticipated upcoming releases.
(Similarly, Can't-Wait Wednesday is hosted by Wishful Endings.)

Happy Wednesday!

I am always down for a rom-com, so this book sounds too good to resist.

17 December 2019

Maria Hoagland | Excerpt + Giveaway | Sweet Romance for Christmas


ABOUT THE BOOK


♥♥ The one behind the camera could be his best match yet. ♥♥

All professional soccer player Camden Sharpe wants for Christmas is to get home to Cobble Creek, Wyoming, for snow and family time. But when a brawl video surfaces online, Cam is forced to stay in Texas to clean up the public relations mess if he ever wants to get off the fans’ Naughty List. His manager-imposed community service lands Camden in a Santa suit surrounded by little kids with long lists of demands, but his attention is on his pretty elf assistant. He’s sure he’s seen her somewhere before, and he’s not convinced it was all that good.

Talia Thomas hopes Santa doesn’t recognize her. A lot of things in her life have changed since they butted heads a while back—including the trajectory of her career—and he has no idea he was the one who changed everything. Once a network reporter, Talia now runs MyHeartChannel Talia’s Truth Cam, but views are falling, advertisers are disappearing, and Talia’s excitement for her stories has frozen over. She’s tired of depressing news and shattered hearts, but it’s her job to tell the truth.

As Talia and Cam set out on a mission to convince the other the see the good in the world around them, they soon discover that only looking for the good sometimes means missing the truth that was right in front of them. Can Camden and Talia ever trust each other enough to move on from the mistakes of their past?

♥♥ If you love Hallmark channel Christmas movies, this full-length sweet romance novel will brighten your day any time of year! Always clean and wholesome, Maria Hoagland's books can be read as standalone, but often have character cameos from other books. Don't miss any of her uplifting collections of hears, homes, and happily ever afters! ♥♥

Publisher: Red Leaves Press
Release Date: October 28, 2019


The Camera Never Lies | Book Review + Excerpt


ABOUT THE BOOK


David Rawlings, author of The Baggage Handler, returns with another probing story: what would you do if your secrets were revealed to those around you?

Daniel Whiteley is a successful couples counselor who regularly puts families back together, helping them face up to the things in life they hide. But his own marriage is falling apart.

His wife, Kelly, knows Daniel is hiding something from her, but she doesn’t dare probe for fear her own secrets will be revealed.

When his grandfather dies, Daniel inherits an old SLR camera from a time when cameras pointed away from the person taking the photograph. On the camera is an inscription: “Use this camera wisely and remember, regardless of the picture you think you took, the camera never lies.”

When Daniel first uses his new camera he finds someone has already filled the roll of film. Annoyed, he processes the film and finds photos of a secret that he’s been hiding from his wife and daughter.

He has no idea who took them.

Now every time he uses the camera, the photographs reveal another secret about himself the he is desperate to keep-as well as those of his wife, which he is desperate to uncover.

Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Release Date: December 3, 2019


Books on My Winter TBR | Top Ten Tuesday

Hosted weekly by That Artsy Reader Girl.

Happy Tuesday!

It's nearly winter (though it sure feels like it already), and I am ready for a new season of reading.

16 December 2019

Aspen Hadley | Excerpt + Giveaway | Sweet Romance for Christmas


ABOUT THE BOOK


On the surface, Rachel Stevens's life looks perfect.

One great job, two awesome roommates, and a supportive family. But when her roommate Hannah announces her engagement, Rachel sees eternal singleness and innumerable cats in her future. When the bride-to-be issues a challenge--go on six blind dates and before the "I do's" --Rachel isn't convinced her imagined future is that bad in comparison. The dates are predictably horrible and the situation further complicated by the return of James, Rachel's first, long-lost love. James says he is over her . . . but is Rachel over him?

Publisher: Sweetwater Books
Release Date: July 9, 2019


A Season to Dance | Book Review, Guest Post + Giveaway


ABOUT THE BOOK


Ana Brassfield has her path to the stage of the Metropolitan Opera House all figured out until her first love, renowned German dancer Claus Gert, returns to Georgia to win her back. Despite a promising start towards her ballet career and pending marriage to landscape architect, Peter Engberg, Ana wonders if her dreams of dancing at the Met are as impossible as her previous romantic relationship with Claus.

Then, an on-stage kiss between Ana and Claus changes everything.

Convinced the kiss is more than a one-time mistake, Peter breaks off their engagement. With an old dog crippled by arthritis and dreams deferred but not left behind, Ana moves to Germany to be with Claus. But the ghost of his late wife, Ana’s own feelings for Peter, and the pressure of earning a spot in a large ballet company are a high price for a shot at success. Ana seems on the verge of having everything she ever dreamed of, but will it be enough?

Publisher: May 9, 2017
Release Date: Bling! Romance


It's Monday! What Are You Reading? #79

Hosted weekly by The Book Date.

Happy Monday!

Another fun week of (Christmas) reading. Now that I'm home for the holidays (and cramming for finals), I probably won't read as much—but I can try, ha.