#BlogTour: Beach House Summer by Sarah Morgan

For this blog tour, we’re looking at a book that is a solid introduction to this author’s ability to showcase her chosen settings so beautifully. For this blog tour, we’re looking at Beach House Summer by Sarah Morgan.

Interestingly, NOT A Beach Read. For my own tastes, “beach reads” are light and breezy that don’t really have much (if any) drama. Maybe action, yes, but no dusty room kind of stuff. Which actually makes this tale *not* a beach read, as there is quite a bit of drama and a few dusty rooms to be had in this tale.

But don’t get me wrong, it really is a strong tale and beautifully set in a small beach town in California, and the story itself is excellently told. If you haven’t read this author before, this is actually a great tale to introduce yourself to her with, as it shows her ability to both pull heartstrings and capture the beauty and charm of wherever she chooses to place her tale. 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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#BookReview: What Remains True by Nancy Naigle

Seemingly Destined For The Small Screen Via Hallmark or Up. Up front: For those that have issues with anything at all that mentions Christians/ Christian values/ actions (blessings before meals, childhood prayers before bed, attending church, etc)… you may as well skip this one and spare the author a negative review due to your own hangups. Similarly, those ultra-conservatives who think even a peck on the cheek kiss is scandalous… there’s going to be things in this one you don’t like too, though I think you’ll find this book more palatable than those staunchly opposed to all things Christian.

For everyone who finds themselves somewhere in between those two extremes… this is a standard Hallmark type tale in book form. And thus, your enjoyment here will largely depend on how much you like those types of tales. The particulars of this one are ranching and rodeo, unexpected/ unknown parenthood / single parent, and escape from corporate life – but let’s face it, for those that enjoy these types of tales, those particulars are largely irrelevant. 😀

One of the more interesting things here, and a wrinkle that is genuinely rare in these types of tales, is the presence and even emphasis on barn quilts – which is just the thing needed to separate it from the pack just enough to say “go read it for the barn quilts” or “go read the barn quilt story”. Very much recommended.

This review of What Remains True by Nancy Naigle was originally written on May 1, 2022.

#BlogTour: The Wrong Victim by Allison Brennan

For this blog tour, we’re looking at a solid new entrant deep in a series and this new entrant happens to be set in the tranquil and beautiful San Juan Islands of Washington State. For this blog tour, we’re looking at The Wrong Victim by Allison Brennan.

Solid Mystery Deep In Series. While this is only book 3 in the series, as heavily as the first two are referenced it actually feels much deeper in. So up front, my recommendation is actually to go back to the beginning of this series and start there, if you haven’t already. But once you get here… this is a solid mystery with a lot going on both within the mystery and town it is placed in – this band of FBI cops travels the country, and this particular mystery is set in Washington’s San Juan Islands, familiar to many from Discovery Channel’s long running Island Life show (which I watched – for months, over meals – on Discovery+, for those that may have missed it and want to get a feel for the real islands here). Both the islanders and the FBI team prove interesting characters, but the series depth *really* shows through in the interactions between the FBI team. The choice to almost go Disaster Movie-esque and show the victims of the murder first was actually quite bold and refreshing, and overall this book simply worked so much better than Brennan’s previous effort I reviewed, The Sorority Murder – which worked well enough for what it was and had some unique things going for it, this was simply a better executed story here to my own mind. Overall a great story, and perfect for any fans of long running police procedurals. 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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Featured New Release Of The Week: Only A Country Doctor Can Save This City Rose by Sophia Quinn

This week we’re looking at a solid third entrant into what will hopefully be a seven book series that breathes new possibility that this could well happen. This week we’re looking at Only A Country Doctor Can Save This City Rose by Sophia Quinn.

Here’s what I said on Goodreads:

Solid Entry That Breathes New Life Into Series. Coming out of Book 2 of this series (Gucci Girls Don’t Date Cowboys), we knew we were coming directly into Rose’s tale (though it is a bit spoilery to note *how* we knew). What was less clear at that time was just how the series would continue beyond that, as we had now dealt with the two primary sisters from the beginning of the series and had a semi-obvious plant for a male lead for a third book, but not too much obvious beyond that. With this entry, we get a solid romance that can stand mostly on its own (though seriously, read Books 1 (Pretend To Be My Cowboy) and 2 first) – but we also get a solid sense of how this series can continue at least through the next main subset of the O’Sullivan Sisters, with one obvious tale coming out of this one and at least a couple of possibilities for the male lead in the book beyond that one, dealing with the final sister of this subset (supposedly, I have no inside information here :D). As this tale is indicative of the generally strong, Hallmarkie type small town romance genre that this series very much plays into, this is a very good thing that we’re apparently going to get at least two more books into it, and this reader in particular is still hoping that we eventually get all seven. Very much recommended.

#BookReview: Summer Nights With A Cowboy by Caitlin Crews

His Father’s Son. (And yes, that particular phrase happens in this book.) This was a solid ending to this trilogy, featuring the oldest son of the family – and the one to turn his back on the family ranch, yet still be there when needed. There is a lot going on here, both within the romance and with Zach finding out that he doesn’t actually know everything he thinks he knows, and while the romance was a fairly standard/ fairly comedic “cold stoic meets fiery lady who can’t help but be awkward in his presence” type, the emotions playing out here with Zach and his parents – and in particular his father, late – are easily the show stealers of the tale. Yes, for those who have read this series starting with Book 1 (or even 2, as I did), we finally find out exactly why Zach left. And, ultimately, we get a long view conclusion of a happily ever after. Truly a book that works well on all fronts and accomplishes everything it needed to both within its own tale and within the series. Very much recommended.

This review of Summer Nights With A Cowboy by Caitlin Crews was originally written on March 21, 2022.

#BlogTour: Killing Time by Brenna Ehrlich

For this blog tour, we’re looking at a workable yet promising debut featuring a pair of murders in a small college town separated by several years. For this blog tour, we’re looking at Killing Time by Brenna Ehrlich.

Here’s what I had to say on Goodreads:

Compelling Mystery. Could Have Used A Bit Better Editing. This is one of those debuts where the author clearly shows quite a bit of promise – even if trying to wrap in as many tropes as remotely plausible within the story – yet could clearly still use some polish. The mystery (ies!) is actually quite compelling, and the reader finds themselves *wanting* to know who the murderer (s!) is. That noted, using third person to tell the stories of both timelines makes them a bit harder to distinguish – particularly without any kind of time reference at the beginning of the chapters. Very much recommended.

After the jump, an excerpt from Chapter 2 of the book followed by the “publisher details” – book description, author bio, and social media and buy links.
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#BookReview: The Thimble Shoppe by Elizabeth Bromke

Generations Of Finding Oneself. In this semi-dual timeline book, we get a pair (well, more two and a half) of stories about finding yourself and refusing to settle. Through diary entries that mysteriously get texted to our female lead, we see how her grandmother struggled as a newly married wife and then later sporadically throughout her years. Meanwhile, said female lead is coming to some realizations herself… while our male lead is having a reckoning with his father and finding himself at the same time he finds himself reconnecting with our female lead. Truly a great interwoven family tale, one where the leads from Book 1 in the series – The Country Cottage – play fairly significant roles. So read that one first, but even then – both of these books are short enough that by the time you’ve read the two combined, you’ve read what is still a shortish more “normal” length novel. Thus, both are great for those times when you just need a quick escape or something that you can easily read say at a soccer game or waiting on a layover or some such. Very much recommended.

This review of The Thimble Shoppe by Elizabeth Bromke was originally written on March 5, 2022.

#BookReview: Gucci Girls Don’t Date Cowboys

Solid Single Dad Meets City Girl Romance. This is the second book in the new O’Sullivan Sisters Series, and as such contains at least minor spoilers from the book before (that are obvious due to it being a romance book, nothing really more than that). And yet, while it does contain the overall series mythos to a certain degree… it doesn’t really do much to advance it other than a surprising moment at the end to rather blatantly set up the next book. Ultimately this one is mostly concerned with telling a standalone (though set in a common world) romance… and that absolutely works here. It has enough length so that growth doesn’t appear sudden, even as it mentions months passing by in single sentences to show time progressing that way as well. In the end, a satisfying romance that does just enough to continue the series. Very much recommended.

This review of Gucci Girls Don’t Date Cowboys by Sophia Quinn was originally written on February 14, 2022.

#BookReview: The Country Cottage by Elizabeth Bromke

Dark Side Of The Reno. This is a modern day romance with old school flair, featuring concepts of social media “influencer” (God how I hate that term, particularly when applied to myself), DIY craze (and the multitudes of shows and networks that capitalize on it), cryptocurrency… and an old bed and breakfast that suddenly gets handed down to an unsuspecting nephew. As with Emily Bleeker’s What It Seems, this does a really good job of showing the darker/ more realistic side of certain aspects of social media and television… but it *is* still a romance, and a shortish one to boot. So there is quite a bit of story in these 130 or so pages. And Bromke does it all so very well. And then, because this *is* a series starter… there is a “dun dun dun!” moment in the closing words that will have you waiting with bated breath for Book 2! Very much recommended.

This review of The Country Cottage by Elizabeth Bromke was originally written on February 2, 2022.

#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. 😀
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