#TwelveDaysOfRomance #BlogTour: Her Hometown Hero by Jacquelin Thomas

For this next entry in the Twelve Days of Romance blog tour series we’re looking at a romance tale that still provides a solidly realistic look at the lives of combat veterans – and specifically, Marines – as they come back from our modern wars broken in more ways than one. For this blog tour, we’re looking at Her Hometown Hero by Jacquelin Thomas.

Solidly Realistic Jarhead Romance. This is a very grounded, very realistic romance novel featuring two 30s ish adults who grew up together before traveling different paths in their 20s, only to wind up back in their hometown. Both backstories are very grounded with the issues they portray (even as the author combines the location name of the Carolina Panthers with the team name of the New England Patriots to create her in-world NFL team 😉 ), and the author treats both tragic backstories with the respect and care they are due. And manages to create a much more realistic romance novel because of it. This one is more for the clean/ sweet crowd, though there are a couple of things here that may have at least some in that crowd “needing the vapors” (including the female lead staying overnight at the male lead’s house – though sleeping in separate bedrooms, in keeping with the “clean” mandate). Excellent story of finding romance even after major loss and tragedy, and very much recommended.

After the jump, an excerpt from the book followed by the “publisher details” – book description, author bio, and social media and buy links.
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#BlogTour: The Memory Bones by B.R. Spangler

For this blog tour, we’re looking at a book that I actually reviewed a month ago, in a weird situation I’ll detail at the end of this post. For this blog tour, we’re looking at The Memory Bones by B.R. Spangler.

Here’s a recap of the Goodreads review:

A Finale. Without going *too* deep into spoiler territory, by the end of this book the long-running mythos surrounding Detective White achieves a resolution – and not only that, but several other character arcs seem to be wrapped up as well. So much so that this book ends feeling like a series finale – until you hit the author note at the back, confirming that the author *is* working on the next book in this series. Which means that this book isn’t so much *series* finale as “season” finale, and I for one can’t wait to see what else the author cooks up from here.

As to this particular tale, yet again Spangler manages to craft a fairly inventive way to murder, and yet again the mystery here is quite wide ranging and explosive – and based on at least one real world situation that I am aware of, that went on at least as long before it was detected. (Though to be clear, I am not aware of any murders happening in the real world variant to preserve the secret… though it is at least theoretically possible.)

But the real stars of this series are White and her team, and here they yet again step up and provide much of what makes this series so great. Yes, Spangler is solid on the mysteries and murders, but it is in this part, in developing the entire cast of characters and their relationships, that Spangler truly excels and indeed (possibly arguably) overcomes the limitations and perceptions of this genre. Very much recommended.

After the jump, the various “publisher details”, including the book description, author bio, and social media and buy links. And the explanation. 😀
Continue reading “#BlogTour: The Memory Bones by B.R. Spangler”

#BookReview: The Memory Bones by B.R. Spangler

A Finale. Without going *too* deep into spoiler territory, by the end of this book the long-running mythos surrounding Detective White achieves a resolution – and not only that, but several other character arcs seem to be wrapped up as well. So much so that this book ends feeling like a series finale – until you hit the author note at the back, confirming that the author *is* working on the next book in this series. Which means that this book isn’t so much *series* finale as “season” finale, and I for one can’t wait to see what else the author cooks up from here.

As to this particular tale, yet again Spangler manages to craft a fairly inventive way to murder, and yet again the mystery here is quite wide ranging and explosive – and based on at least one real world situation that I am aware of, that went on at least as long before it was detected. (Though to be clear, I am not aware of any murders happening in the real world variant to preserve the secret… though it is at least theoretically possible.)

But the real stars of this series are White and her team, and here they yet again step up and provide much of what makes this series so great. Yes, Spangler is solid on the mysteries and murders, but it is in this part, in developing the entire cast of characters and their relationships, that Spangler truly excels and indeed (possibly arguably) overcomes the limitations and perceptions of this genre. Very much recommended.

This review of The Memory Bones by B.R. Spangler was originally written on November 7, 2021.

#BookReview: The Shell Collector by Nancy Naigle

Solid, Maybe Not ‘Real’ For Everyone. This is one of those Hallmarkie type books – from an author who apparently has had a few of her books become Hallmark movies – that goes a bit deep into the whole pro-military, pro-say-your-prayers portrayal of a “small town” that many will love and many others will find doesn’t exactly reflect their own experiences with small towns. But working within that Hallmarkie / conservative Christian / Christian Fiction type niche, this is one that will likely be beloved. And don’t get me wrong, as an overall story it is genuinely solid for *anyone*. It does a great job as it explores some deep issues – including loss of a spouse, second chance romance, unrequited love, and other issues – that many experience well outside of the *exact* target demo for this effort, and thus it opens itself to a much wider audience… as long as you can stomach the not-*quite*-constant rah rah Go Military! type. There is nothing objectively here to hang any star reduction on, as, again, it is a solid story well told. Thus, it is very much recommended.

This review of The Shell Collector by Nancy Naigle was originally written on April 21, 2021.

#BookReview: Country Crush by Christina Benjamin

Commingled Couples. Ah. The brother who fled town and never really looked back. The middle child in this band of brothers… and myself (the oldest) in my own. As with Book 2 (Saltwater Sweethearts), there was a fair amount here that hit a little close to home, and the mother yet again proves wise indeed. But arguably the strongest point about this book is just how effectively it weaves in and out of familiar scenes from one or the other (and often both) of the prior books in the series – yet never feels shoehorned in or contradictory to those scenes. Indeed, the mind effect is more akin to a How I Met Your Mother style “ok, now let me tell you what *this* character was doing at that moment” or even, perhaps, an Avengers: Endgame “time heist” sequence where the current characters revisit scenes in “prior” books (though in this case, set in the real world, in real time rather than in the characters’ past) yet blended perfectly in with the existing scenes. Thus showing Benjamin’s skill as a storyteller (and, perhaps, her editor’s skill in keeping things intact 😉 ). Very much recommended.

This review of Country Crush by Christina Benjamin was originally written on February 15, 2021.