Tidings of Joy by Margaret Daley

Tidings of Joy by Margaret Daley
Publisher: Harlequin Love Inspired
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Inspirational, Holiday
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Nymphaea

He came to Sweetwater to repay a debt. Chance Taylor didn’t expect to have feelings for his new landlady, Tanya Bolton. He could see newly widowed Tanya had worked hard to put the pieces of her world back together, caring for her wheelchair-bound daughter and taking a job at the local bank.

Chance’s arrival interrupted Tanya’s routine…and brought unexpected happiness to her life.

But the secret obligation he struggled with meant Chance could lose Tanya—and his chance for a fresh start—forever.

A man with baggage, a woman with different baggage, but a pull that’s undeniable. Oh, and it’s Christmas.

I picked this book up because of the dog on the cover. I won’t lie. I like a good black Labrador book. This one didn’t disappoint. It’s cute and sweet. I liked the characters, and I wanted them to have a happy ending. I also wanted to know if the dog got a happy ending, too. Thankfully, everyone did.

I liked the friendship between Tanya and Chance. They hit it off right away, even when they didn’t realize it. It was cute. It also showed that sometimes the best things are worth waiting for. I liked the side story of Tanya’s daughter coming out of her shell and Chance showing them both they weren’t alone.

If you’re looking for a cute holiday read, then this is the one for you.

Chandelier by Michael Leon

Chandelier by Michael Leon
Publisher: Self-Published
Genre: Science Fiction, Romance
Rated: 4 stars
Review by Rose

CHANDELIER is the genre-bending sci-fi/fantasy-romance novel follow up of Michael Leon’s 2019 fantasy-romance book, PHANTOMS. A century has passed since the fabled Phantom ruled the Garnier Opera House. Technology has advanced, and AI has evolved beyond human knowledge. They reside in a virtual Earth, free from the ravages of an environmentally damaged Earth where humans and post-humans live under AI’s qualified governance. CHANDELIER follows one AI sentient’s journey, Benny, whose loyalty for a famous opera singer, Madame D’Arenberg, sets him on a dangerous course, entangling him in The Phantom of the Opera’s deadly web.

This is a wonderful addition to the Phantom of the Opera pastiche-canon. It’s a sequel to the author’s previous work Phantom (see our review here), but can easily be read as a standalone. However, the reader will do themself a disservice if they don’t read them both. Any reader would definitely get a richer experience that way.

This author has a remarkable knack of drawing the reader into the story. There are many twists and turns and it was quite enjoyable to try to figure out exactly what was going on with Benny and Diva. I love the the way the author twisted the genres to bring us an amazing story.

Immortal Rising by Lynsay Sands

Immortal Rising by Lynsay Sands
Book 34: An Argeneau Novel
Publisher: Avon Books
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Paranormal, Mystery/Suspense/Thriller
Rating: 5 stars
Reviewed by Xeranthemum

The Argeneaus are back! Filled with love, passion, and adventure, New York Times bestselling author Lynsay Sands returns with another sexy romance about everyone’s favorite immortals.

Stephanie McGill was attacked and turned when she was just a teenager. Worse, her abilities are unlike any other immortal. Now 13 years later, with the help of her adopted Argeneau family, Steph has carved out a new – if not lonely – life for herself. Until a new neighbor arrives…

Thorne is also one-of-a-kind. The result of a genetic experiment, he’s not an immortal, but he’s not mortal either. He’s looking for a place to hide, to get some peace and quiet so he can figure things out, and Stephanie’s sanctuary is perfect. In fact, Stephanie is perfect. For the first time, Thorne is free to be himself and he’s falling for her.

But if they’re going to have a future together, they’ll first need to deal with their past…because the mad scientist who created Thorne is now after Stephanie.

I’ve been following this series for years and just when I think it might be running out of steam, Ms. Sands throws her fans a delightful, heart-pounding twist. Anyone who doesn’t know the story about the evil scientist named Dressler, and only bases their opinion on the cover, as delightful as it is, are in for a shock. There are no angels in this novel. There’s definitely evil though, and that’s the villain – the most twisted, immoral and cold scientist who makes Dr. Frankenstein seem like a nice guy. The drama, suspense, narrow escapes and dastardly doings are the plot movers and shakers in the novel, but Immortal Rising is foremost an awesome romance story between a couple that are as mismatched as can be.

Stephanie is an author and the stories she writes aren’t fiction, but they are so fantastical, everyone thinks they are. Pure genius. The heroine has a talent that is overwhelming – she hears people’s thoughts – everyone’s within a couple of miles of her location. Trying to stay sane with all that bombardment is a challenge which is why she lives out in the boonies. No one knows how bad it is because she keeps the worst of it all to herself. Readers get the full picture, and it makes her character one easy to feel sympathy for. She’s got the cutest pets and her relationship with them is charming and provide joy and happiness when things are tough for her. Stephanie has a sister whom she loves very much but things are not quite as smooth between them as her sister thinks. So much emotional angst eventually has to come out and get purged, which makes for some intense reading. Family dynamics can sometimes be sticky, but they can be hilarious and funny too.

Believe it or not, Thorne’s mom is a hoot. Thorne is the hero and he’s, well, I don’t know if I want to say. I mean, if a reader is delving into this book without having read the others, and I think it can be enjoyed that way, I don’t want to spoil what makes the hero so unique, challenging and thrilling. I looked at the blurb on the back cover, so I can say that Thorne is the result of genetic engineering by that madman, Dr. Dressler. When a reader gets to the part when Thorne and Stephanie discuss the possible DNAs that were used, it’s kind of funny at times but it’s also really, really cool. I can’t imagine the research Ms. Sands had to go through to discover the most obscure and fascinating traits she wanted her hero to have. Blew my mind.

As I mentioned earlier, family is an important factor not just in this book, but in the series as a whole. It’s one of reasons I have been hooked on this series for as long as I have. Once again Ms. Sands torments Lucian by making him talk. It was hysterical! Mr. Taciturn and grumpy actually has some moments that remind me why I like him so much, and why he’s one of the characters I respect the most. Still, it’s great when he’s teased, or when he is forced to come out of his shell. There are other family members that help out Stephanie and Thorne on their way to their happy ever after – no one ever has to go it alone in this story – someone is always there to have their back – if they get there in time. *grin*

Stephanie’s awe and delight in seeing Thorne in all his wonder was a thrilling scene. The descriptions of Thorne, and the heroine’s reactions were often funny, endearing and windows into the progression of the love growing between them. As with all the stories in the series, there comes the time when shared dreams and shared sensation overwhelm the two, proving that they are indeed perfect for each other. And though it’s sexy, it’s funny too, readers who look forward to those scenes won’t be disappointed. As for my opinion, Immortal Rising is heavy on plot, story, action and romance, and not overdone in the bedroom department. It’s just enough to give readers a well-rounded and perfect story.

I could go on and one because this large novel has so much written within its pages to keep a reader on their toes, entertained, thrilled and engaged. In fact, the action starts in the prologue, foreshadowing the confrontation that the heroine and hero eventually have to face. This book was awesome, fast-paced, exciting and all around awesome. I’m extremely happy for Thorne, that he finally gets to be truly happy, and Stephanie finds the peace and freedom she’s wished for, for over a decade. They are absolutely perfect for each other and I’m a happy, satisfied and thrilled reader who enthusiastically recommends this latest Argeneau novel to all Ms. Sands fans and lovers of paranormal romances. I am proud to add Immortal Rising to my keeper shelf.

The Texas Cowboy by Linda Nightingale

The Texas Cowboy by Linda Nightingale
Return to Folly Book 1
Publisher: Magnolia Blossom
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Rating: 3 stars
Reviewed by Mistflower

When Ash Colter was twelve, his mother divorced his cattle baron father and whisked him away to raise in her native England. Sixteen years later, when his father dies, he inherits Marathon Ranch. Running a 1,000-acre spread famous for the best Black Angus cattle in the great state of Texas is the biggest challenge he’s ever faced…until he meets a pert, pretty, and sassy ranch hand who seems to have her own agenda for his ranch. Unfortunately, she makes his spurs go jingle-jangle-jingle like no one else ever has!

Trish Owens is a real cowgirl, a loner, and, though she’d never admit it, a little lonely. When the “English Cowboy” appears on the scene, her entire way of life is threatened, not only her job, but her beloved Quarter horses. She’s sure he plans to import his thoroughbred horses from England. Worst of all is the chemistry sizzling between them. He makes feelings she thought long dead awaken.

Can these two unwilling allies set aside their differences to put Marathon Ranch in the Winner’s Circle…and to fall in love?

The Texas Cowboy’s synopsis successfully piqued my interest. The story quickly captivated my curiosity as the narrative progressed smoothly with a steady stride. The characters were well developed, relatable and most were likable. The plot was creative, imaginable with some unexpected twists. This is book one in the Return to Folly series which can be read as a standalone.

The hero, Ash Colter, had an interesting upbringing that is mentioned in the synopsis. His history could have given him some adult baggage, but it didn’t. He was handsome, smart and confident. Ash was generous, caring and possessed a positive mind set.

Trish Owen, the heroine, was the perfect match for Ash. They both loved horses, the ranch and had the same long-term goals to make the ranch thrive in the future. Their relationship was entertaining, and their chemistry was sensual.

There was one character, Deanne, who added tense conflict in the story. The synopsis states that when Ash was twelve, his mother divorced his father. Ash’s dad remarried a woman named Deanne. Ash states “There’d always been, would always be, bad blood between them.” (Them as in Ash and Deanne). It’s my opinion that this conflict was resolved too easily considering the animosity between them. I wonder if there is a plan for Deanne to appear later in the series. If there ever is, her character left me feeling uncharitable and disinterested so I don’t think I’d read that one.

Overall, I enjoyed reading The Texas Cowboy. The romance between Ash and Trish was well worth my time. I enjoyed the setting where their love story evolved. Together, there is no doubt that they will make the ranch flourish.

* How to Fake it in Hollywood by Ava Wilder

* How to Fake it in Hollywood by Ava Wilder
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group – Ballantine
Genre: Contemporary, Women’s Fiction, Romance
Rating: 5 stars
Reviewed by Larkspur

Grey Brooks is on a mission to keep her career afloat now that the end of her long-running teen TV show has her (unsuccessfully) pounding the pavement again. With a life-changing role on the line, she’s finally desperate enough to agree to her publicist’s scheme: fake a love affair with a disgraced Hollywood heartthrob who needs the publicity, but for very different reasons.

Ethan Atkins just wants to be left alone. Between his high-profile divorce, struggles with drinking, and grief over the death of his longtime creative partner and best friend, Ethan has slowly let himself fade into the background. But if he ever wants to produce the last movie he and his partner wrote together, Ethan needs to clean up his reputation and step back into the spotlight. A gossip-inducing affair with a gorgeous actress might be just the ticket, even if it’s the last thing he wants to do.

Though their juicy public relationship is less than perfect behind the scenes, it doesn’t take long before Grey and Ethan’s sizzling chemistry starts to feel like more than just an act. But after decades in a ruthless industry that requires bulletproof emotional armor to survive, are they too used to faking it to open themselves up to the real thing?

If you like Hollywood romance, don’t miss this one. This is Ava Wilder’s debut novel, and I was really impressed. I loved everything about this story and I devoured it from the first page. I have to admit, Hollywood stories are my weakness, so that is what drew me to this story. From the first page, I was transported into Ethan and Grey’s world and I fell in love with the story and the characters.

Ava Wilder takes the reader on an emotional journey through the ups and downs of trying to have a relationship in Hollywood. Ethan and Grey are two actors who need a career boost and agree to a fake relationship. Ethan was a huge star but has become a recluse in recent years and Grey was a child star and now wants to be taken seriously.

Ethan and Grey have tons of chemistry. Although they try to ignore the feelings they have for each other, until they can’t anymore. They have an easy banter and there is a lot of sexual tension between them. They are perfect together and they help each other become stronger and better.

Ethan has demons and he is just existing. He is a tortured emotional mess and he doesn’t know how to deal with his feelings. He has lost his direction in life. He feels hopeless and helpless, until Grey comes into his life. Grey is a breath of fresh air in Ethan’s reclusive life. She isn’t afraid to tell Ethan what is on her mind and I think that is what Ethan likes about her the most. That is, besides his crazy attraction to her. Grey slowly turns Ethan’s world bright again and I loved reading about it.

This is a fantastic book and it has all the elements I love. The characters are easy to connect with, it has great pacing, the story immediately captured my attention, I couldn’t put it down and I never wanted it to end. I can’t wait to find out what Ava Wilder will write next. I will be first in line to read it. Perfection.

The Last Mile by Kat Martin

The Last Mile by Kat Martin
Publisher: Kensington
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Mystery/Suspense/Thriller
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Cholla

When Abigail Holland awakes to the sound of a nighttime intruder in her rambling Denver Victorian, she knows exactly what the black shrouded figure is after—the map she recently inherited from her grandfather. Whoever he is, the man who grapples with her, then escapes, is willing to kill for the location of a treasure King Farrell hunted for more than ten years. The Devil’s Gold has claimed hundreds of lives, and it was her grandfather’s obsession.

With a killer pursuing her and her own family not to be trusted, Abby decides to take up the search herself. But she’ll need help to do it, and there’s no one better than renowned explorer and treasure hunter Gage Logan. Despite the instant chemistry between them, Gage is reluctant. Innocent people have been hurt on his watch before. But when Abby shows him a genuine gold ingot she found with the map, his curiosity is piqued. Before long they’re heading into the flash floods and brutal winds of the Superstition Mountains, straight into a passionate entanglement—and the dark heart of danger.

What happens when the daughter of a treasure hunter is left clues to her own possible treasure? She hunts for it, of course! But not without help. Before Abby can discover whether the map her grandfather, the great King Farrell, leads to anything, she needs to find the right person to lead the expedition. Enter Gage Logan. And let the adventure begin!

Abby Holland is a strong, intelligent, and determined woman. Dead set on finding the treasure her grandfather knows exists, she sets out to find it, help or not. I can’t lie, I loved the way she put Gage in line from the very first conversation. She was not going to let him push her out or keep her ‘safe’ even when she really was in danger. Granted, she could have exercised a bit more caution a couple of times, but I also understand why she didn’t. There was a need to prove herself, not just to Gage or her grandfather, but to herself as well.

Gage Logan is an adventure seeker of the highest order. There is no quest too risky, too dangerous for him and his crew. While he was a bit of a womanizer in his former life, once he meets Abby, that all changes. It’s rather endearing how one woman can do that to a guy sometimes. He is fiercely protective and always ready to put himself between her and danger, making him great boyfriend material.

This is the second installment in Kat Martin’s Blood Ties series. It has a lot in common with its predecessor – action, alpha male hero, gorgeous heroine, steamy romance – but it also ups the ante where the action is concerned. While I enjoyed the hunt for the killer in the first book, the treasure hunt featured in this blew that out of the water. Makes me excited to see what the next book – and the next brother, Edge – will bring.

*Unforgiven by Rebecca Zanetti

*Unforgiven by Rebecca Zanetti
Publisher: Kensington books, Lyrical Press
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery/Suspense/Thriller, Romance
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Larkspur

Run: Gemma Falls never expected to use her game theory expertise to outrun a killer. But for years, that skill is all that kept her one step ahead of a deadly stalker. When Gemma gets the chance to teach at D.C. University, she hopes she and her young daughter have found a safe harbor. The only flaw is the arrogant philosophy professor who’s always underfoot giving unwanted advice—in his sexy British accent . . .

Hide:Jethro Hanson has blood on his hands. He’s working within ivy-covered university halls now, but he knows that his work with the Deep Ops team and the deadly acts he once committed for the sake of Queen and country place him beyond forgiveness—until he meets Gemma . . .

Seek: Soon, the passion between them stuns them both. But when Jethro discovers a threat is fast overtaking her, he must choose between the redemption he seeks—and releasing the ever-present killer inside . . .

Unforgiven is about two people running from a past they would rather forget. This is a wonderfully written, intriguing story that kept me spellbound. It has suspense, intrigue and romance all rolled up together. It also has light and funny moments while the two main characters, Jethro and Gemma, deal with death, a serial killer and falling in love with each other.

Gemma is running for her life when she meets Jethro. Jethro is a college professor with secrets of his own and a past he wants to hide. Jethro and Gemma are both good people who unfortunately, have had bad things happen to them. They meet when both their pasts come back to haunt them.

Jethro and Gemma felt real and genuine, I easily connected with them, and I loved all of their interactions. They both have tons of baggage and they meet at the perfect time to help each other. This story is about good versus evil and I kept hoping good would win.

I was really invested in this story and found myself quickly turning the pages to find out what would happen next. The story goes back and forth through time as we learn about Jethro and Gemma’s past and how and why they their lives have been turned upside down.

I loved all the characters in this engaging story as they fight evil together.

I immediately fell for Jethro and his British accent. This story has wonderfully written dialogue and I especially enjoyed all the bantering between Jethro and his friends. I enjoyed every minute of this enthralling, emotionally intense, edge of your seat story.

Divine Vintage by Sandra L. Young

Divine Vintage by Sandra L. Young
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Genre: Mystery/Suspense/Thriller, Paranormal, Romance, Contemporary, Historical
Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe

Tess Burton is always up for an adventure. She’s risked her inheritance to open Divine Vintage, a clothing boutique. While modeling an elegant gown from an Edwardian era trousseau, her mind is opened to a century-old murder. Visions–seen through the eyes of the murdered bride–dispute local lore that claims the bridegroom committed the crime. Trey Dunmore doesn’t share Tess’ enthusiasm for mind-blowing visions, yet the appeal to clear his family’s tainted legacy compels him to join her in exploring the past. Aided by the dead woman’s clothing and diary, Tess and Trey discover that pursuing love in 1913 was just as thorny as modern day. As the list of murder suspects grows, the couple fears past emotions are influencing, and may ultimately derail, their own blossoming intimacy.

It’s never too late to make amends.

The lush descriptions of modern and historical Michigan City, Indiana made me feel like I was truly there. Some of the best scenes were the ones that described the buildings that existed in both eras, how they were furnished, and who lived in them. Those moments were vividly written and filled with fascinating details about what people did and did not value in a home or business in the early 1910s as well as the early 2010s. It was fun for me as a reader to compare and contrast them. Some things never change, but other social expectations about the places we live and work in most definitely have!

I would have preferred to see a bit more time spent on the character development, especially when it came to Tess and Trey. Their histories and the way their personalities interacted with each other were some of the most integral pieces to understanding their connection to the past. While I can’t go into a lot of detail about this without sharing spoilers, I would have gone with a full five-star rating if this had been developed more thoroughly. The basic gist of it was all there. It simply needed to be expanded upon.

One of the things I liked the most about this novel was how well all of the storylines flowed together. Ms. Young did an excellent job of weaving the paranormal, mystery, dramatic, and romantic elements of the plot into scenes that pushed all of them forward seamlessly. I often have a quiet preference for a particular subplot when so many genres are mixed together, but in this case, I genuinely enjoyed all of them equally. Each one was necessary for the entire story to be told, and it was delightful to see how much effort the author put into making sure that everything was tied together neatly.

Divine Vintage was a sweetly sentimental read.

Wild About Denali by Sara Blackard

Wild About Denali by Sara Blackard
Wild Hearts of Alaska Book 1
Publisher: Self-Published
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Xeranthemum

Falling for the single mom? Nope. Not gonna happen, no matter how gorgeous and kindhearted she is. The potential for heartache is too high.

I should know. My mum proved that dating a single parent leaves one open for soul-crushing bachelorhood. Which is why I was determined to keep things friendly with Denali Wilde once I learned that the beautiful police dog trainer came with a kid. Why add the possibility of angst and suffering to my already stressful move to Alaska and opening an animal rescue center?

Too bad I didn’t keep my wits when it came to her son. The problem? The kid is amazing, into rescuing animals just like I am. Fair dinkum, the kid needs a mate about as badly as I do.

I’ve done a lot of crazy things in life. I mean, my TV series on Nature Channel wasn’t called Getting Wild with Wilder for its placid landscapes and tranquil animals. Yet, getting close to Denali and her son proves I have more than a few roos loose in the top paddock. Not only has my admiration for Denali increased with her insane dedication to her son, but he’s buried himself so far in my heart, I’ll never escape.

My determination to keep things friendly with Denali? Yeah, not as easy as I thought it would be. The thing is I’m wild about Denali. I just don’t think she feels the same for me.

Wild About Denali is a laugh-out-loud, heart-melting romcom with a single-mom, an Aussie reality TV star, and kisses that will curl your toes while keeping it clean.

This romance was a pleasant surprise. I took a chance on a new author and I’m glad I did. Wild About Denali is charming, heartwarming, adorable, romantic and fun. What I enjoyed about the writing was the author’s creative phrases, descriptions and idioms, some of which are either downright genius or flat out funny, but all of them contribute to the appeal of the characters found within the story.

Another interesting thing to note was the first-person point of view style – each chapter took turns looking at things from the hero’s, Drew, and Denali, the heroine’s, perspective. It was interesting seeing things from each of their sides because a reader can only interpret from one side at a time. The author had to be very careful in keeping it in the first-person for every switch, and I think she pulled it off nicely. I didn’t notice any hiccups.

There are a lot of family dynamics in this novel. Not just Denali and her sisters and cousins, but Drew’s mom plays a role as well as Vic, Drew’s almost-dad. Well, he has a biological dad too, but we don’t talk about that guy.

Speaking of another guy, there’s Nathan, Denali’s son’s father. It’s not what you think, so don’t be shy about reading the story – there are no custody battles or injury to Sawyer’s mental wellbeing. He’s well loved, adored, cared for and is smart as a whip. In fact, he is quite mature for an 11-yr old, which is showcased in the scene with the bear, and the falcon. Sawyer has a special way he feeds his animal charges and he uses a blender to do it. When I read the history behind the use of the blender, I chuckled, but later on in the story the author used it to good effect to the point it had me laughing out loud and grinning ear to ear. The author has a quirky and fun sense of humor.

I also greatly appreciated the fact that this romance story focuses on Drew and Denali’s growing relationship. There are trust issues, childhood traumas/decisions that affect the present, choices based on responsibilities and not whims, and fear of the unknown. It sounds like a lot of heavy brain power but the author weaves those real, lifelike challenges effortlessly in the course of showing how Drew and Denali are falling in love with each other. The love between both their side’s family members is very clear and strong, and with that closeness comes some well-intentioned meddling and ice cream therapy.

This novel is mostly sweet with a hint of sensual. The kisses are steamy, the eye contact seductive, and the scenes that cause heart-palpitations leave them breathless. And yet, Drew has hard-won mastery over his craving for all things Denali and when nature puts them in danger, Drew’s first instinct is to protect, even to the point of sacrifice. His commitment is that strong, which of course, leaves him open to jealousy. Yeah, the green-eyed monster rears its head and causes an effective plot conflict. But this is a romance story, so a reader can rest assured that the happy ever after wrap up is satisfying and joyful and even includes a couple of lighthearted snickers and giggles caused by a … oh I can’t tell you. That would be a spoiler. I don’t want to ruin your fun.

Wild About Denali has a lot of other details I could have written about – like Drew has a dreamy Australian accent and has a unique turn of phrase, and there are cute animals and that it takes place in Alaska and … well you get the picture. There is a LOT to enjoy and like in this book, and I enthusiastically give this story a double thumbs-up.

*With Love from Rose Bend by Naima Simone

*With Love from Rose Bend by Naima Simone
Publisher: Harlequin Romance
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Larkspur

He came to Rose Bend to hide. But she’ll help him find everything he’s been missing.

Leontyne Dennison is on a love hiatus. And that’s just fine, because perfectionist Leo is hyperfocused on the success of her family’s Berkshires inn. Volunteering for Rose Bend’s annual spring festival is certain to boost business—and provide the perfect distraction from men—until Leo comes face-to-face with Owen Stafford, the hottest one-night stand of her life.

A retired professional football player, Owen came to Rose Bend to escape after a devastating car accident ended his career. Enter the woman he hasn’t forgotten in the year since their sizzling night together. When Owen’s parents arrive, threatening his low profile, Leo helps keep the peace by pretending to be Owen’s girlfriend. Rose Bend was never part of Owen’s long game, but Leo’s increasingly convincing TLC is starting to give Owen every reason to stay.

Bonus novella!

Rose Bend’s resident bad boy has no business lusting after Korrie Noel, the pastor’s daughter. But Israel Ford can’t help it, even if he’s still bruised from a bitter divorce. When straitlaced Korrie asks him to teach her how to have fun, he’s more than willing. From zip-lining to motorcycle rides, Korrie’s learning to take risks… Will Israel convince her to take the biggest risk of all?

Can love heal? Leo (short for Leontyne) and Owen both have baggage they are dealing with when they meet again in Rose Bend. They are both hiding from their personal pain and they are vulnerable and hesitant about relationships.

When Leo and Owen meet again they help each other deal with their issues as they slowly fall in love. I thought they were perfect for each other and I loved reading their story. I could feel the connection they shared and I enjoyed all of their encounters. I think Rose Bend is the perfect place for both of them to find their happily ever after. I enjoyed reading this heartfelt, small town, second chance story.