Friday, December 2, 2022

The Second Christmas

 
GIVEAWAY

PERRY, MARTA
THE SECOND CHRISTMAS

The warmth of the Christmas season and a woman's return home to the charming Amish community of Promise Glen open the door to a second chance at love.

When Leah Stolz picture returning to Promise Glen, she imagined taking everything she'd learned from her aunt's business and starting up a quaint herbal tea chop of her own. What she didn't expect was for Josiah Burkhalter to insist on helping her. Josiah might have been her childhood sweetheart, but they've both changed a lot since then, and Leah's not sure she can trust the man who once broke her heart.

Josiah is determined to make the most of this unexpected second chance. When he hears of Leah's plans to open her own shop, he resolves to help in any way he can -- beginning his gentle campaign to win her back by renovating the small cottage her on her family's farm.

During her time away, Leah looked forward to once again spending the holiday season with her family, especially Second Christmas, December 26, a time for celebrating with extended family and close neighbours like the Burhalters. But as Christmas nears, her feelings for Josiah are strengthened by their time working together, leaving Leah confused. Now it will take all the magic of the season for Leah to confront her fears and reach for the love she deserves.

My Review:

Marty Perry + Christmas = One Big Happy Sigh!

Such a charming story with so many Christmas elements gently woven in. And I say gently because it's not all tinsel and lights and holiday bustle. Much simpler and thoughtful and yet all those special touches create a very Christmasy feel in this holiday Second Chance Romance.

We're back in Promise Glen -- this is the fourth book in the series but reads 'gut' as a standalone. I love the layers the author brings to the story. Some of it is H/h back story, but some involve secondary characters which adds more depth and kept me engaged right to very last page. 

I love Perry's storytelling style -- so much happens but I never feel rushed. The story unfolds in what seems like a leisurely pace but it is actually chock full of drama and angst and humour and so much heart! 

Goal Update: #7 Stay current with a series

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 Second Christmas, leave a comment below or email me at kavluvstoreadATyahooDOTca. If you add an email to your 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 December 3 2022 . Offer open to International Readers.

Thursday, December 1, 2022

Christmas K-9 Unit Heroes

GIVEAWAY

WORTH, LENORA
LEE, KATY
CHRISTMAS K-9 UNIT HEROES

Danger comes to Denver for the holidays...in these thrilling Rocky Mountain K-9 Unit novellas.

With veterinarian Sydney Jones being targeted, K-9 Officer Gavin Walker and his furry partner must stand between her and certain death in Lenora Worth's Hidden Christmas Danger. And the clock is ticking in Silent Night Explosion by Katy Lee -- but can Jodie Chen trust the newest K-9 officer, Victor Abrams, and his dog to find a bomb and keep her alive...despite Victor's shadowed past?

My Review:

Happy/sad to have reached the end of this fantastic continuity series, but I guess, if it had to end this is the perfect way to wrap it up. Two strong novellas from stellar authors deliver intense suspense and toe-curling romance in just the right doses. Oh, and memorable K-9s too, of course!

There's a stalkerish vibe to Lenora Worth's 'Hidden Christmas Danger.' Love that Gavin and Sydney are already friends so the leap into romance is very plausible given the amount of time they spend together as he protects her. You might say that their 'friendship only barrier' slowly crumbles to dust as danger mounts. 

And we get some previous heroes/heroines cameos as well. But the one thing I will mention is that there's a major spoiler for the suspense in book 7, "Explosive Revenge" featuring Tyson and Skylar, so, if you're intending to read that one, skip Worth's novella until after you've read book 7. 

Katy Lee dialled up the angst in 'Silent Night Explosion', both with the suspense and the romance as well the hero's backstory. She had me rooting for misunderstood Victor right from the start. I wanted to shake Jodie for not trusting him but she had her (annoying) reasons so I got it. Love the roll grace brings to this story and the way the whole team rallies around by the end. A truly spectacular mini grand finale for the series. :-)

I enjoyed listening to the audible edtion of this book. Both Vanessa Daniels and Nancy Wu delivered captivating performances. I even fangirled a bit when I recognized Nancy Wu's voice from her narrations of the Timber Creek K-9 Mystery series by Margaret Mizushima!

Goal Update: #5 Diversify my reading, #6 Stay current with a series.

GIVEAWAY OPPORTUNITY:

This giveaway is for an ebook or paperback copy -- Winner's Choice.

If you would like a chance to win a copy of  Christmas K-9 unit Heroes, leave a comment below or email me at kavluvstoreadATyahooDOTca. If you add an email to your 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 December 3 2022 . Offer open to International Readers.

Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Targeted

GIVEAWAY

EASON, LYNETTE
BLACKBURN, LYNN H.
WALTERS, NATALIE
TARGETED

Three women. Three men. Three unsuspecting targets.

Get ready for triple the thrills with three heart-stopping stories from your favourite romantic suspense authors!

In On the Run, IT Specialist Daria Nevsky is a highly skilled FBI agent with the ability to hack any computer. She must go on the run to find out who wants her dead -- and Dr. Ryker Donahue refuses to let her do it alone.

In Deadly Objective, physical therapist Emily Dixon and Secret Service Agent Liam Harper are committed to keeping their relationship professional. But when the vice president's son enters the crosshairs of a killer, some lines will have to be crossed in order to keep him safe.

In Caught in the Crosshairs, there is no love lost between former Army PSYOPS officer Ari Blackman and CIA officer Claudia Gallegos after Claudia is implicated in the murder of a Saudi prince. But to prevent a coup that would put America at risk, they'll have to learn to trust each other -- before it's too late. 

My Review:

Three headliner romantic suspense authors join forces to deliver a trifecta of edge-of-your-seat suspense reads with intrepid heroes and heroines who keep things interesting. Because heightened emotions lead to romance and the toe-curl/danger combo kept me turning pages. And rooting for three happily-ever-afters...once justice is served, of course.

Of note: each novella relates to a series but can easily be read as standalones, so no worries if you're not up to date. 'Targeted' provides the perfect opportunity to sample these authors' storytelling styles and get a feel for their series.

Each story involves plenty of action and danger and just the right amount of romance to keep things interesting. These authors excel at pacing and plotting and manage to deliver fully fleshed out characters and well developed plots despite the shorter word count (each novella is about 120 pages.) I can't pick a favourite because each of these heroines and their heroes are completely captivating! 

A perfect collection to pick up during the holidays...or anytime of year, actually.

Book provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications Inc.

Goal Update: #5 Diversify my reading, #6 Stay current with a series

GIVEAWAY OPPORTUNITY:

This giveaway is for a gently read paperback copy.

If you would like a chance to win a copy of  Targeted, leave a comment below or email me at kavluvstoreadATyahooDOTca. If you add an email to your 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 December 3 2022 . Offer open to International Readers.

Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Goodwill for the Gentleman

GOODREADS
RANDOM RETRO READ

KEYES, MARTHA
GOODWILL FOR THE GENTLEMAN

He jilted her sister. She will never forgive him for it. What kind of sparks will fly when they find themselves snowed in together at Christmas?

Emma Caldwell doesn't hate anyone -- except for Hugh Warrilow, the man who jilted her older sister and left like a coward to join the army. Men are clearly not to be trusted, and Emma is determined not to give her heart to one. No, a marriage of convenience is the very thing to suit her.

Hugh Warrilow has been secretly in love with Emma Caldwell for years, so when the time comes to live up to both families' expectations and marry her sister, he can't find it in himself to do it. Disgraced and misunderstood, he joins to fight Napoleon on the Continent, hoping he will forget Emma and be forgotten by everyone he has disappointed.

An injury brings Hugh home -- just in time for Christmas and the snowstorm that leaves him trapped under the same roof as Emma. How will he explain that his unforgivable act was motivated by how desperately he loved her? Her icy reception doesn't leave him the chance, nor does it offer much hope for the season's expectation of peace on earth and goodwill to men.

My Review:

published in 2019

Ah, the enemies to lovers trope, what could be more Christmas-y?! Bwahahaha! 

On the surface, it seems such an outlandish reason to be at odds - a couple who had family expectations to marry broke off the...well, it wasn't even an engagement...the equivalent of a bad break up today, maybe. Nothing for a sister to hold a life long grudge over. But, back in the day things were very different. Reputations could be ruined. Family names slandered. Oy, as much as I like to romanticize the Regency era there are aspects of class and culture that irk me greatly. Like a perfectly swoony gentleman being ostracized for 'jilting' the young lady everyone else expected him to marry. So, that all happened five years ago...

And, everyone has mostly moved on. The jilted lady is over her heartbreak and has found new love. Her sister, however, is guarding her intense grudge and vows to never forgive or forget what that blackguard Hugh did to her sweet sister...

Until the unexpected happens. Snowed in at Christmas! Eeeep!!! I do so love a good stranded scenario in a romance, and oh, my do sparks fly in this one. All on Emma's side though. Hugh is the epitome of a wronged hero who makes a noble effort to make amends. Only Emma's having none of it and it looks like it's going to be a very uncomfortable holiday at the Warrilow estate until they form an uneasy truce for the duration of the storm. :-)

I loved Hugh right from the start but it took longer to warm up to Emma. On the one hand, I admired her intense loyalty to her sister BUT she carried it too far and for much too long. I enjoyed watching her attitude slowly thaw allowing her to  see Hugh in a new light. She starts to question the integrity of her unforgiving nature and that leads to...well, you'll have to read this festive novella to find out.

I appreciated all the yuletide details and the lighter, playful moments that brighten the darker aspects of the story. Keyes packed a lot in this little novella and it made for a riveting read.

Well, listen, actually, because I enjoyed Marianne Robinson's narration of this second book in the multi-authored Belles of Christmas series.

Goal Update: #1 Read more indie authors, #4 Read more new-to-me authors, #7 Start new-to-me series


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  Goodwill for the Gentleman, leave a comment below or email me at kavluvstoreadATyahooDOTca. If you add an email to your 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 December 3 2022 . Offer open to International Readers.

Monday, November 28, 2022

The Bookshop of Secrets

GIVEAWAY

RUSHMEYER, MOLLIE
THE BOOKSHOP OF SECRETS

A collection of lost books holds the clues to her family's legacy -- and her future.

Hope Sparrow has mastered the art of outrunning her tragic past, learning never to stay anywhere too long and never to allow anyone control over her life again. Coming to Wanishin Falls in search of her family's history already feels too risky. But somewhere in the towering stacks of this dusty old bookshop are the books that hold Hope's last ties to her late mother -- and to a rumoured family treasure that could help her start over.

Only, the bookshop is in shambles, and the elderly owner is in the beginning stages of dementia and can't remember where the books lie. To find the last links to the loved ones she's lost, Hope must stay and accept help from the townsfolk to locate the treasured volumes. Each secret she uncovers brings her closer to understanding where she came from. But the longer she stays in the quaint town, the more people find their way into the cracks in her heart. And letting them in may be the greatest risk of all...

My Review:

Oh my heart! It's still feeling bruised and a might tickery now that I've come to the heartrending conclusion of 'The Bookshop of Secrets'. I really didn't know what to expect going into this read but Mollie Rushmeyer did not disappoint with her...gasp...debut novel!

This book gave me all the feels -- the way the author digs deep into her characters' emotions is phenomenal. Especially when it comes to Hope. Such a complex character with a heartbreaking past. Her wariness, the need to find comfort in isolation, and the tumultuous emotions that pour forth when she starts to make connections with an eclectic group of good people. Septuagenarian Mags sums it up best:

"Trust. Faith. It's a difficult thing when we have our eyes on the waves instead of the One who commands them. We can get so lost in the depths of our circumstances, we forget to look up."

That's Hope, lost in her circumstances -- a new Christian who can't quite forgive God for her past. Her faith journey is so achingly beautiful -- I wept in places. And the people who surround her with acceptance and unconditional love...phew, a powerful example of what it means to be the hands and feet of Jesus.

Here's another quote, because I can't resist, this time wisdom shared by a very perceptive octogenarian, Ethel. (One thing I love about this story is the diverse friendships that span generations.)

"We might think we're too damaged to come to Him. That we're forgotten, cast aside. But He can make something beautiful out of the broken places of our lives. Even the most desperate places inside up just need light in order to heal and grow."

This is definitely Hope's story, but it's also the story of a town locked down by a false prejudice and the lives that negatively affects. These people need Hope as much as she needs them and I love the way the story builds to such a spectacular conclusion. Moved me to tears...again! Because:

"She'd never thought helping others could start stitching up the gashes in her own heart."

Goal Update: #3 Read more debut authors, #5 Diversify my reading,

GIVEAWAY OPPORTUNITY:

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

If you would like a chance to win a copy of  The Bookshop of Secrets, leave a comment below or email me at kavluvstoreadATyahooDOTca. If you add an email to your 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 December 3 2022 . Offer open to International Readers.

Sunday, November 27, 2022

Ginger & Brad's House

GIVEAWAY
RANDOM RETRO READ

UECKERMANN, MARION
GINGER & BRAD'S HOUSE

While Ginger Murphy completes her music studies, childhood sweetheart and neighbour, Brad O'Sullivan betrays her with the new girl next door. Heartbroken, Ginger escapes as far away as she can go -- to Australia -- for five long years. During this time, Brad's shotgun marriage fails. Besides his little boy, Jamie, one other thing in his life has turned out sweet and successful -- his pastry business.

When her mother's diagnosed with heart failure, Ginger has no choice but to return to the green grass of Ireland. As a sought-after wedding flautist, she quickly establishes herself on home soil. Although she loves her profession, she fears she'll never be more than the entertainment at these joyous occasions. And that she's doomed to bump into the wedding cake chef she tries to avoid. Brad broke her heart once. She won't give him a chance to do it again.

A gingerbread house contest at church to raise funds for the homeless has Ginger competing with Brad. Both are determined to win -- Ginger the contest, Brad her heart. But when a dear old saint challenges that the Good Book says the first shall be last, and the last first, Ginger has to decide whether to back down from contending with Brad and embrace the true meaning of Christmas -- peace on earth, good will to all men. Even the Irishman she'd love to hate.

My Review:

Fun and festive with just the right amount of angst to keep me in a mild snit because Ginger is holding a grudge and on the verge of bitterness. Yes, Brad broke her heart in the worst possible way but it's been five years and she's involved friends and family in the estrangement. She even moved to Australia to get as far away from Brad as she possibly could! But she's back in Ireland now (eeeppp -- squealing over the Irish setting) and her unforgiving heart is about to be stretched and pummelled until all the broken pieces are fitted back together again. 

This novella packs a real emotional wallop as it explores the vital role faith and forgiveness play in our lives. Plus -- it's a second chance love story filled to brimming with Christmas-y goodness. Along with one very determined (and swoony) hero who wants to set things right at long last. Makes for a very compelling read!

Goal Update: #1 Read more indie authors, #5 Diversify my reading

GIVEAWAY OPPORTUNITY:

This giveaway is for a paperback copy.

If you would like a chance to win a copy of  Ginger & Brad's House, leave a comment below or email me at kavluvstoreadATyahooDOTca. If you add an email to your 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 December 3 2022 . Offer open to International Readers.

Saturday, November 26, 2022

November Giveaway -- Week Four

 

WON BY RUBYNREBA

WON BY ABIGAIL HARRIS

WON BY PERRIANNE

WON BY KAY GARRETT

WON BY SARAH POOL

WON BY CINDY

You know the drill: winners will be contacted if they left their email address in a comment, 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.

LOOKING AHEAD TO NEXT WEEK'S GIVEAWAYS:

***IMPORTANT -- PLEASE NOTE GIVEAWAY EDITIONS 
AS THEY VARY***

Please read the giveaway options written in red noted under "Giveaway Opportunity" in each blog post as formats will vary.

Paperback or ebook -- winner can choose either format

Paperback -- I have a new physical book on hand to give away

Gently Read Paperback -- It's the actual book I read to review

ebook -- that's the only format option available, often because it's an indie book where a paperback copy is either unavailable or exorbitantly priced. Or when a physical edition is out of print.

SUNDAY
33304503. sy475

MONDAY
The Bookshop of Secrets

TUESDAY
Goodwill for the Gentleman (Belles of Christmas, #2)

WEDNESDAY
Targeted: Three Romantic Suspense Novellas

THURSDAY
Christmas K-9 Unit Heroes (Rocky Mountain K-9 Unit)

FRIDAY
Snowbound Amish Christmas