One Christmas In Winter (2017)

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51fbnadhf-L.jpgAbout the Book

BookOne Christmas in Winter

Series: Winter, Montana #1

Author: Bell Renshaw

Publisher: Pine Mountain Publishing

Genre: Contemporary Christian Fiction

Reba Farwell is finally getting a chance to live out her dreams. Sent to Winter, Montana to direct filming for a crucial, on-location shoot, she knows the next two weeks will make or break her career. And she could definitely use a break. As if that isn’t enough, she’s got a secret that none of her crew knows. All she’s asking for is two weeks of small town, Christmas beauty and a little bit of on-camera sizzle.

Five years ago, Hoyt Bradley’s heart and future shattered in one fell swoop that landed him back in Winter. Thankfully, making lemonade—or his father’s famous lemon meringue pie— out of lemons is what he does best. Running Bentley’s Diner has filled the gaps left in the wake of his heartbreak, even if it hasn’t healed him completely. Not wanting to relive memories of his rocky start in the film industry, Hoyt does his best to steer clear of the dreaded film crew, but Winter has a way of bringing people together.

After one fateful delivery and a score of icy bad luck, Reba finds herself in a bind and at the mercy of what Winter can offer. Will she pull the film together in time to salvage her name as a director? Or will the sparks flying off-camera create more of a distraction than she knows how to handle?

Come visit Winter, Montana in this Christmas Novella where the Christmas lights are always on and the snow falls most frequently when loved ones share a kiss.

Click HERE to purchase your copy!

My Thoughts

One Christmas in Winter by Bell Renshaw is a wonderful Christmas novella. It delivers on all fronts. There is a sweet and caring, considerate, and handsome leading man. There is a super-stressed, type-A, heart-of-gold, beautiful leading lady the reader roots for the whole read. There is swoony chemistry that builds perfectly and believably. And, there is engaging conflict that kept this reader voraciously turning pages because I just had to get to the happily ever after! There is even an excellent reminder subtly weaved throughout the narrative to be careful about the dreams we are chasing. Some dreams are selfish and self-focused. We rush into these dreams carelessly because we want them, and then we are shocked when they blow up in our faces. But our real dreams — the ones God desires for us to achieve — take time, patience, introspection. and prayer before they can be fully realized. What a punch to pack in only 152 pages! One Christmas in Winter is a perfect holiday story to escape into this holiday season that I just cannot recommend enough.

I purchased an eBook copy of this book from Amazon.com on December 10, 2018, in order to review. In no way has this influenced my review. The opinions expressed in this review are my own.

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Delicate Balance (2019)

44785327Delicate Balance: A Romance (2019) by Brooke St. James is the first book in her The Blair Brothers series. This book comes in eBook form, and is 190 pages in length. With a full-time job and a busy six-year old at home, this book took me less than 24 hours to devour! I purchased a copy of this novel from Amazon on April 3, 2019 to review. In no way has this influenced my opinion of the story. All opinions expressed in this review are my own. I give Delicate Balance 4.5 STARS. This book is a Contemporary Clean Romance.

About the Book

I knew the Blair brothers. It was impossible to grow up in Astoria and not be familiar with them. 

There were four boys in the Blair family, and all of them had that certain something. They were smart, athletic, funny, and gorgeous. If I was forced to pick my favorite, it would have to be Henry. He was the wild one of the bunch—a rock star. Literally. He left Astoria years ago to chase and realize his dreams in Seattle. I still saw his younger brothers quite a bit, but it had been years since I’d seen Henry. 

That all changed one night when the Blair family came into the restaurant where I worked and sat at my table. Henry just so happened to be with them. I always imagined that he might be the man of my dreams, but after that night, I knew it.

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My plan last night was not to devour a novel in one sitting. But that is exactly what happened. Delicate Balance is ideal for when you want something super sweet, highly engaging, and fast-paced. It’s the perfect story to escape into, and I loved every page!

Aiden is my kind of heroine. She is quiet, demure, and a bit of an introvert. The idea of doing new things sounds exciting to her, but she isn’t going to really do those new things. Instead, she is going to be a productive human in her society, and then go home to her dog every night to binge-watch Netflix or read a good book. If you added a husband and child to the picture, this would literally be my life. What I enjoyed so much about Aiden’s journey in this novel is that she finds someone who gets her to come out of her shell. Aiden’s problem is that she doesn’t see herself the way others do. She’s a really amazing woman, but she just can see it until Henry enters the picture and blows her preconceived notions about herself out of the water. I very much enjoyed seeing Aiden come into her own vis a vis Henry’s support. Every woman needs a Henry in her life who is able to help her realize just how awesome she truly is.

What I really loved best about this story is how well St. James captures new love. The passion, the emotions, the inability to really say what you want or mean because you just don’t know each other’s cues yet. It was a fun trip down memory lane for me. I couldn’t help but think on the first few months of my relationship with my husband. That need to impress, but the fear of failure. Wanting so badly to be his one and only, but not wanting to be presumptuous. Looking back on it, new love is rough. I am so glad I am where I am with my husband today! I really feel St. James did a great job capturing the emotions of first love with Aiden and Henry. It really was so much fun to read their story and remember my own.

Delicate Balance is the first novel that I’ve enjoyed by Brooke St. James, but it most definitely will not be my last. This book is so much fun! The characters are well written, the plot is highly engaging, and I very much enjoyed my trip down memory lane. If you are in the mood for a super sweet romance then I highly recommend Delicate Balance.

Let’s Begin Again (2019)

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Let’s Begin Again (2019) by Heather B. Moore is the seventh book in her Pine Valley series. This book comes in all forms including eBook, and is 230 pages in length. With a full-time job and a busy six-year old at home, this book took me two days to read. I received a copy of this novel in eBook form from Mirror Press Publishing via Kathy at Clean Wholesome RomanceI Am a Reader. In no way has this influenced my opinion of the story. All opinions expressed in this review are my own. I give Let’s Begin AgainSTARS. This book is a Contemporary Clean Romance.

About the Book

Maurie’s dreams are finally coming true, but when Grant Shelton shows up at her doorstep, she discovers that she’s left love out of the equation.

USA Today bestselling author Heather B. Moore welcomes you to Pine Valley!

When Maurie Ledbetter moves back to her hometown to open her dream shop, she calls a local construction crew for help. Former teenage crush Grant Shelton shows up on her front porch, answering the call for the construction job. Seeing Grant again brings back Maurie’s memories of her troubled childhood, and she doesn’t know if spending time around Grant is the best way to move on. But when she discovers Grant has gone through difficulties of his own, Maurie realizes that he might be the key to her own healing.

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My Thoughts

Let’s Begin Again is a sweetly satisfying contemporary romance filled with endearing characters and a plot that keeps the reader happily turning pages well past bedtime. This is a light and easy read that could be completed in a sitting or two, and will definitely leave the reader smiling.

Maurie and Grant, the main characters of Let’s Begin Again, have known each other since childhood; and both, unknown to each other at the time, had really big crushes on one another. Something really awful happens to Maurie when she is 17 and she is forced to leave Pine Valley. Ten years later, Maurie moves back to Pine Valley in order to expand her business. When Maurie and Grant see each other for the first time, it is immediately apparent feelings are still there. Man, do sparks fly!!! I very much enjoyed watching Maurie and Grant’s relationship rekindle and grow into something mature and real. I definitely rooted for them the entire time.

Grant, is a divorced father. His ex-wife is a handful and will often play Grant by using their son, Trent, as a bargaining chip. Grant is reintroduced to Maurie and quickly realizes that a real relationship built on mutual respect and love is possible. Knowing full well the baggage each one carries, Grant and Maurie become an item. It may be an odd thing to say, but I appreciate the way this story shows a divorced parent trying to navigate a demanding ex, a young child, and a burgeoning romance. I found this aspect of the story to be very well written, quite realistic, and a reminder of my own family. It is often illustrated that blended families don’t work out so well, but that has not been my experience. In my personal experience, the family that was created the day my mom and step-father married is, to this day, the healthier, happier, and more loving family, and this is the case with Grant, Maurie, and Trent. I liked seeing my experience with my blended family reflected in this fictional world. It made this story a little more endearing.

Let’s Begin Again is a sweet addition to the Pine Valley series. One I highly recommend! If you are looking for a sweet, clean romance that’s fast-paced, highly engaging, and a bit steamy then this is the book for you.

Chasing Someday (2018)

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Chasing Someday (2018) by Crystal Walton is the fourth book in her Home in You series. This book comes in all forms including eBook, and is 336 pages in length. With a full-time job and a busy six-year old, this book took me three days to read. I purchased a copy of this book from Amazon on October 7, 2018 to read and review. In no way has this influenced my opinion of the story. All opinions expressed in this review are my own. I give Chasing Someday 4.5 STARS. This book is a Contemporary Clean Romance.

About the Book

A country boy looking to win his best friend’s heart. A waitress afraid of giving hers away. And one crazy, impromptu dating plan that’s about to change everything.

Ex-model Livy Hensley has exactly three talents: making coffee, landing herself in the most awkward moments known to man, and failing miserably at relationships. But when the sweetest southern boy on the planet offers to be your dating coach, who could say no? Between struggling to open a café and trying to atone for a consequence of her past, Livy can use all the help she can get. Besides, what could possibly go wrong on a few practice dates with your best friend?

Chase Thompson’s no stranger to hard work. If that’s what it takes to prove to Livy they should be together, then he’s all in. He can handle pretending he’s not hopelessly in love with her. Sort of. Almost.
Okay, nowhere close. But with a conflicting solution to his family’s greatest trial on the line, the stakes of keeping his dating coach plan from backfiring have never been higher.

Up against the countdown of choices, Chase and Livy must find the courage to risk what they fear most for the someday they’ve always hoped for.

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My Thoughts

The best part of this novel is Chase Thompson. He is such a good man. He’s exceptionally loyal to his family, and bends over backwards to take care of his mother and sick father. He has a really good relationship with his sister, Quinn, good-natured ribbing and all. I also love how Chase sees the best in people. He sees their potential even when they don’t see it themselves. I love how his faith in others is seemingly boundless. What a wonderful friend Chase would be! Which leads me to Livy. Chase is SUCH a good best friend to Livy, and he treats her as a man should treat a woman — like she is precious. Chase worries about Livy’s safety, emotional well-being, and heart. He truly wants only the best for her. While I appreciated all of these aspects to Chase’s personality, my most favorite thing about Chase is that once he realizes an error he’s made, he does whatever he can to fix his mistake. He is not opposed to being shown how he’s made a mistake. It’s refreshing to see a male character who can handle constructive criticism with grace instead of stubborn blindness. I really love Chase. He alone is reason enough to read this sweet novel.

I also appreciate the lesson on faith that Chasing Someday discusses. In a world where society is so ever-changing and inconstant, where faith is viewed as hardly anything anymore, it’s lovely to read a novel that shows faith so positively. To have faith in ourselves, our family, our futures, and God’s grace is pivotal. It’s good and healthy to be strong in who we are, our morals and values, and Who we believe in. We must trust the path that God puts us on. If God places us somewhere surrounded by a particular group of people, or puts us in the path of certain opportunities, we must have faith He’ll see us through. The discussion of faith in this novel reminded me of Jeremiah 29:11: “I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” God has faith in us to accomplish His good plans, we need to have faith in ourselves, too!

Chasing Someday by Crystal Walton is a highly engaging story that captured my interest straight away. With captivating characters who stole my heart immediately, and very timely messages, Chasing Someday is definitely a novel worth reading. If you are in the mood for a well-written, sweet Contemporary Romance then this is the book for you!

Until We Kissed (2018)

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Until We Kissed (2018) by Heather B. Moore is the sixth book in her Pine Valley series. This book comes in all forms including eBook, and is 210 pages in length. With a full-time job and a busy six-year old, this book took me two days to read. I received a copy of this novel in eBook form from Mirror Press Publishing via Kathy at Clean Wholesome Romance/ I Am a Reader. In no way has this influenced my opinion of the story. All opinions expressed in this review are my own. I give Until We Kissed 5+++++ STARS. This book is a Contemporary Clean Romance.

About the Book

Livvy knows Dr. Slade McKinney is the perfect man for her, but when she keeps running into Mason, Livvy discovers fate has a different plan.

USA Today bestselling author Heather B. Moore welcomes you to Pine Valley!

Pine Valley librarian Livvy Harmon has big dreams, which include marrying Dr. Slade McKinney. Trouble is, he’s only kissed her once in their four months of dating, and it wasn’t all that great. But Livvy isn’t ready to give up yet on hooking such an amazing man, even though Slade seems to have time for everyone but her.

When Livvy keeps running into writer Mason Rowe, who seems to be camping out in her library to finish his book under strict orders from his agent, Livvy at first keeps him at arm’s length. But the more their friendship grows, the more she finds that her dream relationship with her doctor boyfriend isn’t so dreamy after all.

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My Thoughts

Oh. My. Word!!! Until We Kissed is a FANTASTIC romance. I loved every single minute of this story, and I’m debating whether or not to re-read it again right now (fiddlesticks, you heavy review schedule!!!). I have loved every book in the Pine Valley series, and with each latest installment I keep thinking it is my new favorite, but I can tell you with confidence that Until We Kissed is the best book in this series (so far … LOL!). Heather Moore knocked this romance out of the park!

My favorite aspect to this novel is how happy it made me. I definitely ended this book with a big smile on my face. To me, Until We Kissed checks off all the boxes for the perfect clean contemporary romance. There are hilarious moments where I laughed out loud. There are moments I stressed quite a bit for the main characters. And, there are moments where my heart swooned and I got a little weak in the knees — the kisses in this book are THE BEST!!! Until We Kissed also follows one of my most favorite story lines: boy and girl meet, girl insults boy, boy keeps showing up but girl already has a boyfriend. I love this story line because I know with every fiber of my reader-being that the boy and girl are each other’s “The One,” and they need to be together. But how will they get to their happily ever after?! Until We Kissed does a wonderful job of keeping the reader turning pages just to see how Livvy and Mason’s story ends. I adore when a book keeps me turning pages well into the night way past bedtime!

I’ve said it before several times — my favorite hero is the man who pays attention to details. I don’t think there is anything sexier on earth than a man who sees and acknowledges what’s truly important to a woman and then acts accordingly. Mason is a hero who sees and acts. He is a prolific and best-selling author, which means details are his thing. Because details are his thing, he tends to be a little bit of a worrywart when it comes the the people and issues he cares about. Mason’s worrisome nature is quite endearing and made me love his character all the more. I love when a guy does things like worry about the girl he cares about being cold or hungry or bored. I love when the guy then tries to fix things for that girl — by bringing an extra jacket just in case or purchasing a bag of yummy muffins for her just because. The other aspect to Mason’s character that I love so much is his acceptance of Livvy, flaws and all. Livvy is intelligent, independent, and beautiful, but she is also a little bossy, stubborn, and sort of stuck in fantasy land. But to Mason, Livvy is exactly the woman for him. He loves her in spite of her flaws because the flaws are part of what makes Livvy “the one” for him. I love when a man accepts the woman just as she is.

Until We Kissed is the perfect clean-read romance novel to escape into this holiday season. It’s well-written, the characters are endearing and sweet, and the kisses left me breathless. I highly, highly recommend this book. I know that if you are a fan of good clean-read romances, then you will totally love Until We Kissed.