Thursday, August 5, 2021

The Cowgirl's Sacrifice

GIVEAWAY

RADCLIFFE, TINA
THE COWGIRL'S SACRIFICE

This cowgirl has wandered back home...will she choose her past or her future?

Needing time to heal after a rodeo injury, Kate Rainbolt heads to her family ranch to accept the foreman job her brothers offered her months ago. But the position's already been filled by her ex-boyfriend, Jess McNally, and the only open job reports to him. With Jess as her temporary boss -- and turning into something more -- might he finally convince Kate to put down roots?

A Hearts of Oklahoma Story

My Review:

Sigh. I want to be adopted into the Rainbolt clan. I am so sad this series has come to an end so I'm kinda in a bibliophile funk now that everything seems to be sorted on the ranch. It seems to me there aren't enough Rainbolt siblings to satisfy my insatiable desire for more fun and mayhem. And toe curls. :-) My only consolation is that the author is sure to conjure up more heroes and heroines that I'm bound to love in future books...even if they won't be Rainbolts. :-(

So, though this is a fond farewell, it's an easy enough one for new to the Hearts of Oklahoma series readers to slip into. Once you've had an introduction to Kate and her brothers (fan girling squeal) however, you'll definitely want to read the first three books as well.

Love that Kate is the adventuring rodeo cowgirl -- nice twist as that's usually the hero's claim to fame. And that she's restless and antsy and unsettled about whether she's capable of staying put in one place. Again, that's usually the brooding hero's role. And while, Kate isn't quite brooding, she's definitely sassy and opinionated and often grumpy. Especially where Jess is considered. :-) 

He's a hero who captured my heart from that emotionally fraught reunion 'cause Kate was the girl who got away and he's not over that ten years later. Awkward doesn't begin to describe this homecoming. Especially since Jess is ensconced in the foreman job Kate thought would be hers at the family ranch! Cue the romantic tension and don a pair of oven mitts to avoid scorching your finger tips as you turn pages cause things heat up between this wrangling duo. 

Radcliffe adds in layers of depth and interest through a bevy of secondary characters who share the page with Kate and Jess. Especially loved the sibling interactions as Kate makes her stand amidst three over protective big brothers. And, of course, what would a visit to the ranch be without some sage advice, delivered in cowboy twang from old timer Willard? And newbie rescue cat Bella who comes with a "horse trailer full of attitude." They all conspire to make this grand finale the grandest of all!

GIVEAWAY OPPORTUNITY:

Woohoo -- Trixi has offered to add another paperback copy to this giveaway so that makes two winner's for The Cowgirl's Sacrifice

If you would like a chance to win a copy of The Cowgirl's Sacrifice, leave a comment below or email me at kavluvstoread AT yahoo DOT ca. If you add your email to a comment, remember to use AT AND DOT instead of @ and . in order to protect yourself from spammers. If you enter the draw via email, please add the title to the subject line so it's easy to spot your entry. Draw will be held and winner announced on Saturday August 7 2021. Offer open to International Readers. Good luck!

Wednesday, August 4, 2021

Raspberries and Vinegar

GIVEAWAY
RANDOM RETRO READ DAY!

COMER, VALERIE
RASPBERRIES AND VINEGAR

WINNER: The Word Award for Best Contemporary Romance of 2013

Sweet like Raspberries. Tart like Vinegar.

Josephine Shaw; comples, yet singleminded. A tiny woman with big ideas and, some would say, a mouth to match. But what does she really know about sustainable living as it relates to the real world? After all, she and her two friends are new to farming.

Zachary Nemesek is back only until his dad recovers enough to work his own land again. When Zach discovers three helpless females have taken up residence at the old farm next door, he expects trouble. But a mouse invasion proves Jo has everything under control. Is there anything she can't handle? And surely there's something sweet beneath all that tart.

Raspberries and Vinegar is the first novel in the Farm Fresh Romance series which sees a group of young women purchase an old farm in northern Idaho together with the purpose of growing their own food and proving to those around them that they can make a difference. It is a story of living sustainably on the land focusing on real, local food from a Christian point-of-view. It doesn't pad the issues nor preach about them, but allows the characters the freedom to grapple with environmentalism as believers.

My Review:

published in 2013

Reviewers note: One of my reading goals for 2021 was to read more indie published authors. It used to be that the majority of these books were available only in kindle and since I don't read ebooks I just stopped taking notice of indie new release announcements. But I've recently discovered many indie authors have books on audible (yay!) and reasonably priced paperbacks that are also easily accessible for non US readers (double yay!) Between those two options I've been able to expand my indie reading (triple yay!) 

I found Raspberries and Vinegar on audible in a three book set from the Farm Fresh series which had me in an uber excited tizzy. Alas, the title isn't available in paperback in Canada at all (and the author is Canadian!) and the Book Depository price is ridiculously inflated so the winner of this giveaway will receive an ebook copy of the Farm Fresh series Books 1-3. See the Giveaway note after the review for more details.

I howled my way through this story! Serious banshee cackles of mirth. Over mice (snort) and Jo's over-the-top intensity and the crazy dialogues she has with Zach that leave him totally befuddled. Or angry. Or both. What a hoot! 

But fair warning: Jo's passion for living green might rub some readers the wrong way. She has a tendency to see only one point of view on the subject and that's hers. Ah, yes, I remember those twenty-something days when I embraced a cause with just as much fervor...though hopefully I wasn't as blunt as Jo. :-) I was certainly as passionate though. And about the same things. I'm still a strong believer in family run farms and organic produce (where financially feasible) and taking care of this beautiful world God has blessed us with. So, I got along fine with Jo, though I did wince at her take-charge, it's-my-way-or-the-highway attitude at times. She learns from her mistakes, though, and softens some by the end of the story.

And Zach! A veterinarian hero! Be still my critter-lovin' heart! A man who thinks he has his future figured out...until he doesn't. And then Jo shows up to muddy the waters more. Love the character growth in both hero and heroine and the way Comer weaves a solid faith thread throughout. 

Raspberries and Vinegar (super clever title, by the way and I adore clever title tie-ins) sets the stage for future books in the series really well. We're introduced to future heroines (Jo's friends and partners) and an intriguing church and town community that I'm anxious to visit again. Yay, I have Butterflies and Breezes lined up on audible and ready to go!

Oh -- and you know how I mentioned humour is a big part of this story? Well, that doesn't mean there isn't drama and plenty of angst. In fact, there were a few emotional sucker-punch moments that left me reeling. Gasp out loud, scream 'nooooooooo!' scenes. I'm still experiencing aftershocks. Did the author really do that????? And that??? And...whimper...that? Why, yes, she did, after lulling me into a false sense of security with those rom/com elements. Sigh. I didn't see any of that coming.

I'm definitely a Valerie Comer fan now! And equally thrilled with her choice of narrator, Becky Doughty. Love the audible edition soooo much and am happily preparing to listen to more in the series.

GIVEAWAY OPPORTUNITY:

This giveaway is for an ebook copy of a book set for the Farm Fresh series which includes, Raspberries and Vinegar, Butterflies on Breezes and Memories of Mist. So, yay, three book win! 

If you would like a chance to win a copy of the first three books in the Farm Fresh series, leave a comment below or email me at kavluvstoread AT yahoo DOT ca. If you add your email to a comment, remember to use AT AND DOT instead of @ and . in order to protect yourself from spammers. If you enter the draw via email, please add the title to the subject line so it's easy to spot your entry. Draw will be held and winner announced on Saturday August 7 2021. Offer open to International Readers. Good luck!

Tuesday, August 3, 2021

Cold Case Manhunt

GIVEAWAY

NIGHT, JENNA
COLD CASE MANHUNT

Until she solves her husband's murder, she'll stay a target...

Nothing will stop Cassie Wheeler, bounty hunter and owner of Rock Solid Bonds, from tracking down her husband's killer when new information surfaces -- not even being hunted herself. Her employee Leon Bragg vows to have her back, sticking beside her as they follow increasingly dangerous leads. Because someone wants this five-year-old case to stay cold. Someone who'll kill again to keep secrets hidden...

A Rock Solid Bounty Hunter Romance

My Review:

I continue to be a huge fan of this series. The bounty hunting angle is so interesting -- and unique to my suspense reading. Love the way Night gives us insights into this occupation. Lots of intriguing tidbits of the day-in-the-life variety in between the crazy intense action scenes. 

Speaking of which, what a cunning, diabolical mind the author has! Poor Cassie doesn't get a break from relentless attacks and endless pursuit. I was on the edge of my seat from the nail-biting opening scene right to the breath-taking conclusion. And I do so appreciate the creativity (and spine-chilling detail) in the suspense. So exciting!

As is fellow bounty hunter Leon Bragg. Love the twist in the romance, with Cassie being Leon's employer and therefore reluctant to become involved with him for ethical reasons. But that doesn't mean she can't appreciate his friendship. "In a world gone awry, where so many things were not okay, Leon -- who'd had her back more times than she could count -- often made her feel like things could be okay." (p 8) Watching Cassie slowly open up to the idea of loving again was a pleasure. Especially when she finally decides Leon is her man (grinning over one scene in particular.)

Another thrilling addition to the Rock Solid Bounty Hunters series. Oh -- and no worries if you haven't read the first two books, this one can be read as a standalone.

GIVEAWAY OPPORTUNITY:

Woohoo -- the author has offered to give away three copies of her book and I'll throw in another one so that's FOUR winners for this giveaway.

If you would like a chance to win a copy of one of the Cold Case Manhunt, leave a comment below or email me at kavluvstoread AT yahoo DOT ca. If you add your email to a comment, remember to use AT AND DOT instead of @ and . in order to protect yourself from spammers. If you enter the draw via email, please add the title to the subject line so it's easy to spot your entry. Draw will be held and winner announced on Saturday August 7 2021. Offer open to International Readers. Good luck!

Monday, August 2, 2021

Carol Awards - Romance

GIVEAWAY

 First off -- what exactly are the Carol Awards?

They are awards given out by American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) in recognition of outstanding Christian fiction in the previous calendar year. So these 2021 finalists are books published in 2020. You might have read them already, you might not. I'll include links to reviews of the books I've read, but I have a lot of catching up to do so there will be gaps.

How does this giveaway work?

You select which of the Carol Award finalists 2021 -- Romance Category you would like to receive if your name is drawn. Mention the title in your comment (or an email if you're entering that way) and if you win, that's the book that will be sent to you. Easy Peasy. Here are the three finalists:

Woohoo!!!! I've read all three books in this category! 

Love and a Little White Lie
by Tammy L. Gray, Bethany House (Baker) Publishing, Editor: Raela Schoenherr

January Sanders grew up believing karma was more reliable than an imaginary higher power, but after suffering the worst heartbreak in 29 years, she's open to just about anything, including taking a temporary position at her aunt's church. Keeping her lack of faith a secret, January is determined to use her photographic memory to help Grace Community's overworked staff, all while scraping herself off rock bottom.

What she doesn't  count on is meeting the church's handsome and charming guitarist, who not only is a strong believer, but has also dedicated his life to Christian music. It's a match set for disaster, and yet January has no ability to stay away, even if it means pretending to have faith in a God she doesn't believe in.

Only this time, keeping secrets isn't as easy as she thought it would be. Especially when she's constantly running into her aunt's landscape architect, who seems to know everything about her past and present sins and makes no apologies about pushing her to deal with feelings she'd rather keep buried.

Torn between two worlds incapable of coexisting, can January find the healing that's eluded her or will her resistance to the truth ruin any chance of happiness?


Starfish Pier
by Irene Hannon, Revell, a Division of Baker Publishing Group, Editors: Jennifer Leep and Kristin Kornoelje

A year ago, ex-Delta Force operator Steven Roark left the rigors of combat behind to run fishing charters in Hope Harbor, decompress, and talk some sense into his kid brother. Business is good -- but making peace with his past is more challenging than he expected.

First-grade teacher Holly Miller leads a quiet, low-profile existence -- until she's recruited to advocate for a cause that's dear to her heart. When she solicits Steven's assistance, sparks fly -- especially after they find themselves on opposite sides of an issue that disrupts their placid seaside community.

As these two seemingly incompatible souls search for common ground, might they discover a deeper connection -- and find that love can banish darkness and light the way to a future filled with promise?

Bestselling and award-winning author Irene Hannon invites you back to Hope Harbor -- where hearts heal...and love blooms.


Carolina Breeze
by Denise Hunter, Harper Collins Christian Publishing, Editors: Kimberly Carlton and I.B. Norton

A jilted bride. A struggling innkeeper. And a romantic mountain getaway that changes everything.

Rising Hollywood star Mia Emerson is looking for a safe place to land in the wake of a public breakup and scandal, and she finds it in the lake town of Bluebell, North Carolina -- the location of her canceled honeymoon. She wants nothing more than to hide and wait for the tabloids to die down.

Soon after her arrival at the Bluebell Inn, Mia meets Levi Bennett, who runs the inn along with his two younger sisters. Drawn to one another from the start, Mia trusts Levi to keep her location from the press, and Levi confides in Mia about the financial state of the inn -- a secret he's been keeping from his sisters.

When Mia and Levi discover an old journal that hints at a rare diamond necklace hidden in the inn, they set off on a treasure hunt to find the long-lost heirloom. What they don't expect to surface are feelings they thought were safely walked away. Mia and Levi must decide if falling in love again is too big a risk -- or if it will uncover a treasure of its own instead.


GIVEAWAY OPPORTUNITY:

This giveaway is for a paperback or ebook copy -- winner's choice -- of whichever finalist novel you pick

If you would like a chance to win a copy of one of the 2021 Carol Award Romance finalists, leave a comment below or email me at kavluvstoread AT yahoo DOT ca. If you add your email to a comment, remember to use AT AND DOT instead of @ and . in order to protect yourself from spammers. If you enter the draw via email, please add the title to the subject line so it's easy to spot your entry. Draw will be held and winner announced on Saturday August 7 2021. Offer open to International Readers. Good luck!

Sunday, August 1, 2021

Love's Dwelling

GIVEAWAY

IRVIN, KELLY
LOVE'S DWELLING

Cassie Yoder loves her job as housekeeper for elderly couple Job and Dinah Keim. Their only children, a son and daughter, left the Haven, Kansas district and their faith more that twenty years earlier with no contact. Cassie feels for the Keims because her own parents' infertility struggles left her an only child in a community where big families are a blessing.

When Child Protective Services shows up on the Keims' doorstep with their five grandchildren, their quiet lives -- and Cassie's -- are turned upside down. Mason, the oldest grandson at twenty-two, believes his siblings should be his responsibility and struggles with giving the Keims authority.

Moving in with Keims, Cassie jumps in with both feet and is happy for the challenge of caring for these English-raised children.

Mason and Cassie strike up an uneasy alliance that turns into friendship, and then something more, but neither dares to admit it. Can an English man and an Amish woman find common ground and a home together?

My Review:

"Gott didn't say it would be easy. Only that He would be with us during hard times. Don't you feel Him moving here today?"

Wowzers -- Love's Dwelling is all about God moving in the lives of both Amish and Englisch characters and I was riveted! Can't tell you when I've enjoyed an Amish novel more. I was actually reading it in snippets during breaks in the Olympics coverage so imagine my surprise when I finally looked up from the book to discover I'd missed both the gymnastics and swimming competitions. Like I was totally unaware the two events I tuned in to watch had come and gone without me even noticing! So, yes, riveted, enthralled, captivated...obsessed. :-)

While Irvin writes from only two points of view -- Cassie's and Mason's -- she still manages to convey all the emotions and reactions of multiple secondary characters. The far reaching effects the children's arrival has on so many people made this book unputdownable. It's a ripple effect of emotional turmoil and challenging changes that reach beyond their cloistered community.

Cassie's at the heart of it all -- devoted to the Keims, it doesn't take much to fall for their kinnskinner. There's such joy and zest in the way she embraces the challenge of integrating five confused, grieving Englisch children into plain living. That she's inexplicably drawn to the their older half brother is definitely a problem. 

Mason is shell-shocked. He's spent most of his life on the outside looking in. He's done his best to shelter his siblings from a broken home and parental neglect. And he doesn't think twice about taking on the responsibility of raising them after the untimely death of their mother. But he's also a product of the same environment and he doesn't have a clue about what a functioning family looks like. But, oh, how he tries! He tugged at every one of my heart strings and then tied them up in knots!

Mason's journey, both personal and spiritual, touched me the most. There are layers upon layers upon layers to this guy and his backstory and I hung on every word. Felt every emotion. Hoped as fervently as Cassie that he would find a way to come in from the fringes and fully experience life and family and faith the way God intended him to. Sniffle. This one left me a tad teary-eyed and infinitely hopeful.

GIVEAWAY OPPORTUNITY:

This giveaway is for a paperback or ebook copy -- winner's choice 

If you would like a chance to win a copy of Love's Dwelling, leave a comment below or email me at kavluvstoread AT yahoo DOT ca. If you add your email to a comment, remember to use AT AND DOT instead of @ and . in order to protect yourself from spammers. If you enter the draw via email, please add the title to the subject line so it's easy to spot your entry. Draw will be held and winner announced on Saturday August 7 2021. Offer open to International Readers. Good luck!

Saturday, July 31, 2021

July Giveaway -- Week Five

 

WON BY CONNIE LEE

WON BY KIM HANSEN

WON BY BECKY

WON BY RUBYNREBA

WON BY CC

WON BY ELIZABETH LITTON


You know the drill: winners will be contacted if they left their email address in the comments, otherwise it's up to the winner to contact me at kavluvstoreadATyahooDOTca. (Please note it's ca as in Canada not com)

From time to time a winner and I do not connect so I have a one month time frame on giveaway wins. If I haven't been able to reach you within 30 days of your win, it will be forfeited. This has happened a few times now so, please, DON'T BE SHY -- CONTACT ME IF YOU DIDN'T LEAVE AN EMAIL OR IF I HAVEN'T BEEN SUCCESSFUL IN REACHING YOU!

Books will be ordered within a week of receiving your mailing address (or email address for ebooks) and I'll email you to confirm your book is on its way. Give it a full month before inquiring on the status of an order to allow for processing and shipping times.

REMINDER: If you've been following my blog through email updates, you need to re-subscribe (blogger stopped it's subscription service so I had to switch to another.) Just fill in your email address in the white box in the upper right hand corner of the blog and click on subscribe. 

LOOKING AHEAD TO NEXT WEEK'S GIVEAWAYS:

SUNDAY

MONDAY
2021 Carol Award Finalists'
Romance Category
(woohoo -- I've read them all!)

TUESDAY

WEDNESDAY

THURSDAY

FRIDAY

Friday, July 30, 2021

The Price of Dreams

GIVEAWAY

SHILOH, TONI
THE PRICE OF DREAMS

Ballet has always been my life, but one terrible moment may have destroyed everything I've worked so hard for -- especially my title of Octavia Ricci, principal ballerina. I thought for sure my physical therapist, Dr. Noah Wright, could help me obtain my dream once more, but he wants more than I'm prepared to give.

I've seen firsthand the trials of interracial relationships. I'm a product of one myself and promised I'd never put my hopefully-someday kids through that drama. Everyone keeps telling me to let go of other people's expectations, but I'm just not sure I can. Besides, if my dreams of returning to ballet are futile, what hope is there in seeking unconditional love?

My Review:

I'm happy/sad after reading this book. Happy because I love Shiloh's Faith & Fortune series and sad because this the last book. Sniffle. 

I'm actually surprised at how hard I fell for the series -- which isn't me dissing the author, honest! It's because I'm not into glam anything ever. A spa day sounds like torture to me and I'm too busy reading to social media stalk the rich and famous. Though....come to think of it...if some of my favourite fictional heroes or heroines had an instagram account or posted regularly on tiktok I could defintely get into the social media frenzy! But, I digress. Back to this review.

Octavia and her friends are rich and famous but also real and vulnerable and very much down to earth as in 'I'm not going to let a jaunt to Italy in a private jet go to my head.' :-) The fact that Octavia lives out her faith in a perfectly imperfect kinda way also helped to soothe my trepidation. If this is what 'billionaire' romance is all about, I could get on board with it.

So, we have Octavia -- famous principal ballerina and currently out with a horrific injury, with no guarantees that dancing will ever be in her future again. And Noah, physical therapist extraordinaire who brings a personal drive and compassion to every patient he works with. 

Only in Octavia's case there's passion too. Oh la la, the romantical tension between these two is divinely delicious. All edgy and complicated with Octavia determined to make it more so and Noah in hot pursuit. Thud! Seriously, clear the fainting couch and grab your smelling salts before you start reading.

Love the camaraderie between Octavia and Holiday and Tori. Though this is Octavia's story, their special friendship is definitely at it's heart. Loved the girl chats and texts. Theirs is the kind of enduring bond that will last a lifetime. No worries if you're not familiar with the series, The Price of Dreams reads fine as a standalone, but once you've met this trio I'm betting you won't be able to resist catching up with Holiday and Tori in the previous books. 

GIVEAWAY OPPORTUNITY:

This giveaway is for a paperback or ebook copy -- winner's choice 

If you would like a chance to win a copy of The Price of Dreams, leave a comment below or email me at kavluvstoread AT yahoo DOT ca. If you add your email to a comment, remember to use AT AND DOT instead of @ and . in order to protect yourself from spammers. If you enter the draw via email, please add the title to the subject line so it's easy to spot your entry. Draw will be held and winner announced on Saturday July 31 2021. Offer open to International Readers. Good luck!