Thursday, January 31, 2019

Review: The White Christmas Inn by Colleen Wright

Publication Date: October 23rd 2018 by Howard Books
Pages: 288
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Audible

About the book:

In this heartwarming, feel-good novel, a snowstorm brings a cast of very different characters together at a sleepy New England inn, just in time for Christmas—and maybe even in time for a Christmas miracle.

A New England inn seems like the picture-perfect place to spend the holidays. But when a snowstorm shuts the roads and keeps them all inside, the guests find themselves worrying that this Christmas may not be exactly what they dreamed of.

Molly just needs to keep her head down and finish her latest book, but her writer’s block is crippling. The arrival of Marcus, a handsome widower with two young girls, is exactly the distraction she doesn't need.
Hannah was hoping for a picturesque winter wedding, but her plans come crashing down when her fiancé calls everything off. She reconnects with her childhood friend, Luke, when he comes to check on his grandmother before the storm.
Jeanne and Tim don't know how they're going to keep the inn open another year—or how to bridge the distance between them in their marriage. With a flurry of unexpected guests, they'll have to work together to fix all the problems that crop up. But will it be enough to rekindle their relationship?
As the characters’ stories intertwine, they start to find hope where they thought it had been lost. With faith, and a little bit of Christmas magic, the inn—and its inhabitants—might just make it through the holidays after all.

My Thoughts:
I know it’s way past Christmas, but I didn’t get a copy until well after the holidays.  The winter setting and beautifully described inn are more the stars than the holiday, so that’s okay!  There are several little stories/romances here, and each one touched my heart!

Molly a popular author of children’s books is having a bit of writer’s block and hopes her stay at the picturesque inn will spark a story.  Nothing works until Marcus and his two little girls, Bailey and Addison show up stranded after the roads close.

When Hannah gets to the inn, she’s stunned to discover her groom has bailed out on her.  Come to find out Trevor is no prize, so this seems to be a blessing in disguise.  While licking her wounds Hannah has the chance to reconnect with a childhood friend and playmate, Luke.  You can see where this is going, right?  Since Luke is an absolute sweetheart, I was thrilled!

Audrey, Hannah’s best friend and matron-of-honor, is thrilled her husband, Jared, was able to wrangle leave to attend Hannah’s wedding since they’re apart so much.  Bad weather puts a wrench in the works, and my heart went out to these lovebirds!

Jeanne and Tim owners of the Evergreen Inn have seen a steady decline in business since a new hotel opened up close by.  They’re sure this will be there last Christmas at their beloved inn, and their hearts are broken.  The situation has put a strain on their marriage, and they wonder how they’ll make it through.  

I loved the sound of the Evergreen Inn. All the wintery details, sights and smells, were vividly described bringing this winter-wonderland to life!  The food sounded to die for as well!  This is a fairly short book given all the romances, but I thought most were well-developed and satisfying. My favorite stories were Hannah’s and Jeanne and Tim’s, but all were delightful and heartwarming! 

Samantha Desz’s narration with quietly pleasant and smooth.  She did a wonderful job with the many voices: male, female and two little girls, and I’d happily listen to her again! 

4 Suns

This is my 6th book in my Audiobook Challenge 2019!

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Review: The Best of Us by Robyn Carr

Publication Date: January 8th 2019 by MIRA
Pages: 336
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

About the book:

In Sullivan’s Crossing, #1 New York Times bestselling author Robyn Carr has created a place where good people, powerful emotions, great humor and a healthy dose of common sense are the key ingredients to a happy life. Sullivan’s Crossing brings out the best in people. It’s a place you’ll want to visit again and again.

Dr. Leigh Culver loves practicing medicine in Timberlake, Colorado. It is a much-needed change of pace from her stressful life in Chicago. The only drawback is she misses her aunt Helen, the woman who raised her. But it’s time that Leigh has her independence, and she hopes the beauty of the Colorado wilderness will entice her aunt to visit often.

Helen Culver is an independent woman who lovingly raised her sister’s orphaned child. Now, with Leigh grown, it’s time for her to live life for herself. The retired teacher has become a successful mystery writer who loves to travel and intends to never experience winter again.

When Helen visits Leigh, she is surprised to find her niece still needs her, especially when it comes to sorting out her love life. But the biggest surprise comes when Leigh takes Helen out to Sullivan’s Crossing and Helen finds herself falling for the place and one special person. Helen and Leigh will each have to decide if they can open themselves up to love neither expected to find and seize the opportunity to live their best lives.

My Thoughts:
At thirty-four Dr. Leigh Culver has all but given up on marriage and children, and she’s been okay with that finding fulfillment as a doctor. Leigh didn’t expect to find herself wrapped up in an all-consuming kind of romance with Rob Shandon, the local pub-owner.  No one has revved her up as much and they just can’t get enough of each other!  But it’s more than just the physical, they click mentally, too.  Leigh feels so much it scares her, so she’s determined to be sure before she rushes into anything. 

Rob Shandon lost his wife nine years ago and had to go it alone with two young boys. He’s fine with casual dates here and there, until Leigh.  He’s seen her around but when his oldest boy has a minor accident they collide and connect, and even though he still isn’t keen on anything serious like marriage he’s finding it harder to picture a future that doesn’t include Leigh.  They squeeze in lusty meet-ups whenever they can because they’re so crazy for each other!  Rob thinks he’s fine with keeping things the way they are until an unexpected turn of events has them thinking about more.

Leigh finds herself feeling vulnerable, and worried about the future which has her stalling at making any decision.  Her Aunt Helen (basically her mom) finally had to show her some tough love to shake some sense into Leigh. I didn’t blame Leigh, since I know from personal experience Highlight for spoiler: that hormones can make you crazy! Lol! End of spoiler So I can excuse her thinking.  Plus, she didn’t dilly dally that long.

It always feels like coming home to family and friends I love when I crack open one of Robyn Carr’s books. I was pleased to get more of Sullivan’s Crossing in this installment since Sully finally had his own romance with Leigh’s aunt.  Sullivan’s Crossing sounds like an amazing place if you love hiking and camping or just enjoy the outdoors.  It’s a campground, general store, post office, and more, where The Continental Divide Trail and The Colorado Trail intersect. I love how Leigh’s Aunt Helen, a world traveler and mystery writer, succumbed not only to Sully’s charms, but to the charm and beauty of this magical place! The Best of Us is the fourth installment in the Sullivan’s Crossing series, and it’d work okay as a stand-alone, but you’d get more enjoyment starting from the beginning, which I don’t consider a hardship since I love this series! 

4 Suns

Saturday, January 26, 2019

Sunday Post #15

The Sunday Post is hosted by Kimberly @ Caffeinated reviewer book blog, and is a post to recap my bookish and non-bookish things from the last week.

I'm at home this weekend, yay! The weather has been a lot better, just a little windy but still okay enough to get outside and exercise!  I did 2.7 miles twice, some running and some steep uphills.  Been catching up on chores at home and doing a ton of laundry, so I feel like I've got a lot accomplished.  I even got to watch a movie last night.  I'd like to get a good chunk of reading done tonight. We'll see.

(Click on cover for Goodreads link)

I finally got to the 2nd book in the Monkeewrench series, Live Bait, and I liked it but not as much as the first one. It seemed like it took a long time to get answers, but I still the mystery held my attention, I liked the humor interspersed, and I love the developing relationship between Grace and Leo.  I'm looking forward to listening to the next in the series soon. Beyond Risk started out strong with a lot of action, but fizzled out quickly.  I ended up DNFing it at 35%.  The writing and characters felt one dimensional.  Now or Never was a pleasant surprise! I really enjoyed the hate/love romance and I'd like to go back and read the previous books in the series.

Received/Purchased/Library Lend:
(Click on cover for Goodreads link)

I requested Wild Country a long time ago so I thought I wouldn't get approval.  It finally came through this last week and I'm super excited!  I kept going back and forth on whether to accept the publisher invite for The Escape Room, but I finally decided I'll give it a go. It sounds thrilling. We'll see.  I'm looking forward to the newest First Wives Club installment, Faking Forever since the previous two have been wins for me.  I've heard amazing things about the Murderbot series so I grabbed up the audio when a sale popped up.


Finally got to watch The Bird Box!!  I liked it more than I thought, but I would change one thing about the ending, though. Still, yay!

How was your week?

Friday, January 25, 2019

Review: Now or Never by Victoria Denault

Publication Date: January 15th 2019 by Forever
Pages: 288
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

About the book:

From the bestselling author of the Hometown Players series comes a sexy romance about a bad boy hockey player who wants a second chance to win the heart of his high school crush.

All Winnie Braddock wants is a quiet place to be alone and time to heal her battered heart. But the refuge she'd hoped for in her family's summer cottage is destroyed when she gets there to find Holden Hendricks literally camped out in the driveway. He made her life hell when they were kids, and despite what he says, it doesn't look like much has changed. She doesn't care if her brother hired Holden to renovate the house this winter; she wants him gone.
You miss 100 percent of the shots you never take. Holden knows that hockey saying all too well. After all, he could have gone pro if he hadn't messed up so much as a kid. But now he's desperate to prove he's changed for the better, especially to Winnie Braddock. As the two work together to fix the cottage piece by piece, they realize that perhaps they can give each other the new beginning they've both been waiting for-if they're just willing to take the shot. 

My Thoughts:
Winnie Braddock has decided to stay at the family cottage in Maine after her father’s funeral. Winnie just can’t shake the crushing grief filling her and she’s not ready to continue life status quo.  Unfortunately, Winnie doesn’t know her brother scheduled a contractor to renovate the cottage, or that it’s guy that made her teenage life hell: Holden Hendricks. He teased her mercilessly and was nothing but anger and trouble.  The last person she wants to see now is Holden, even if he’s one of the hottest men she’s laid eyes on. A hot jerk is still a jerk.

Holden is back home trying to build a future and mend fences with all the people he’s wronged.  The Braddock’s family cottage is a big renovation for Holden and one that will help him launch his new business.  He doesn’t expect the cottage to be occupied, and Winnie is far from pleased to see him.  He was a jerk to her, so he doesn’t blame Winnie for her feelings.  Winnie was always his favorite Braddock girl, not that his behavior gave her any clue, but he’d like to make it clear now.  

As they’re forced to occupy the same space during the renovations, Winnie understands that Holden isn’t the same horrid teen that teased her mercilessly.  Sharing with Holden is about the only thing that’s helped since her dad passed away, and she falls for him a little more each day.  I really loved that Holden didn’t push her to just get over it. He was there for support, but also didn’t let her walk all over him.  Holden wants Winnie, but he wonders if she’ll ever fully trust him even though he’s a changed man.  If she can’t let go of her doubts over his character, they’ll never have a chance for a future together. 

Winnie sniped and snapped at first, so there was a bit of fun back and forth to begin with.  I do love a good hate-to-love romance when the sparks fly!  Watching them overcome the past, see their attraction grow and blossom into deep feelings filled me with the warm and fuzzies.  With all they went through they both deserved to be happy and in love!  This is the first time I’ve picked up anything by Victoria Denault, but it won’t be the last! 

4 Suns

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Review: A Soldier's Return by RaeAnne Thayne

A Soldier's Return (The Women of Brambleberry House #4) by RaeAnne Thayne
Publication Date: January 15th 2019 by Harlequin Special Edition
Pages: 224
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

About the book:

The Women of Brambleberry House are back!

Returning home to Cannon Beach and living in Brambleberry House, a place where good things seemed destined to happen, had brought Melissa Fielding and her young daughter such joy. Perhaps it was no accident when the single mom “bumped” into Eli Sanderson, and discovered the handsome doctor was also back in town. The ex-soldier was still so captivating, but also more guarded. Was now the time to put old ghosts to rest?

My Thoughts:
Dr. Eli Sanderson is back home to help cover his father’s medical practice while elder Dr. Sanderson recovers from surgery. Eli’s been off serving his country, and he’s determined to get back to it after a tragic event fills him with guilt and a sense of obligation.  Working with Melissa Fielding, his high school crush, and now father’s office nurse is a tempting distraction, but since he’s not staying on permanent, he doesn’t want to risk any heartache. 

Melissa Fielding is back in Cannon Beach, her childhood home, with her seven-year-old daughter, Skye. After years following her husband (now ex) while he chased the next great surfing spot she’s determined to put down roots and live a stable life with her daughter.  Her attraction to Eli, Dr. Sanderson’s sexy son, is hard to ignore, especially working together, but she’s done pining after men who aren’t content to stay put and raise a family.  Her daughter needs love and stability, and so does she, but “the Heart wants what it wants” for both Eli and Melissa.  

Working medical emergencies together that seem to pop-up afterhours gives Eli a glimpse into doctoring in a small town and makes him fall for Melissa even harder.  Melissa’s admiration and respect for Eli only grows seeing him in action, and she hopes that Eli will change his mind not only to stay for her, but for all the good he could do for the town. 

Both Eli and Melissa were tender-hearted, relatable characters, trying to do the right thing.  Eli was so sweet caring for his father and for Melissa and her daughter, Skye, and I knew he’d be an excellent family man if he’d only allow himself the “luxury” of staying home. He had to figure out that not all good has to be done while in service or in another country.  Melissa was also a sweetheart, and a selfless mother trying to provide her daughter the stability she had growing up.  

Eli and Melissa had a sweet, slow-burn kind of romance since they were all about putting the breaks on things, but there were a few moments of heated passion!  RaeAnne Thayne excels at writing sweet, low-drama romances with a great cast of secondary characters, and a strong family vibe.  I loved the setting of Cannon Beach, Oregon as I just visited this past September (I included a couple of pics).  It’s a beautiful, quaint coastal town with gorgeous green forests that spill out onto the sea, and I think Ms. Thayne brought it to life through her vivid descriptions!

4 Suns

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Spotlight & Giveaway: Beyond Risk by Connie Mann

I just started Beyond Risk by Connie Mann and it's really good! Lots of action and thrills! I'll have my review up next week, but today I have an excerpt and giveaway to share courtesy of Sourcebooks Casablanca.  So read on and don't forget to scroll down to the bottom to fill out the rafflecopter for a chance to win a copy of Beyond Risk!  

Publication Date: January 29th 2019 by Sourcebooks Casablanca
Pages: 416
Purchase Links: Amazon | B&N | iBooks | Indiebound | Walmart

About the book:

"Heart-pounding excitement...left me sitting on the edge of my seat."—#1 New York Times bestselling author DEBBIE MACOMBER for Angel Falls
The river runs wild
Former Fish & Wildlife Officer Charlotte "Charlee" Tanner still carries the guilt of a tragic drowning accident that occurred on her watch. She hoped moving back home to the wilds of central Florida would provide a safe haven-until she learns the death was no accident, and she's the intended target.
But no wilder than their passion
Tough and decisive, Lieutenant Hunter Boudreau loves his new job as a law enforcement officer with the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission. Charlee is his best friend, so when she comes under fire, he's not letting her out of his sight until the killer is caught. But Charlee won't sit by and let anyone else die for her.
As danger closes in and Charlee and Hunter's attraction threatens to consume them, Charlee has to decide if she can trust Hunter. And to save Charlee, Hunter will have to trust her, too.


While Hunter checked outside, Charlee popped the second batch of cupcakes in the oven, his words echoing in her mind. Her heart ached for him over the loss of his brother. She would have wrapped him in her arms and told him how sorry she was if she thought he’d allow it.

She, better than most, understood the kind of guilt that gnawed at your heart, the sense of failure when things went wrong that never really went away. She also knew responsibility and the need to protect those you cared about. In that way, she and Hunter were exactly the same.

She shook out her fingers to get the blood flowing after clenching the wooden spoon so tightly. She knew every bit of the frustration churning inside him. But even though she knew things were different with Hunter, he still sounded just like her brothers. Or Rick. She wouldn’t tolerate a man telling her what to do “for her own protection.”

She snorted. Please. Capable woman here. Former cop. No pats on the head or macho swagger, thank you very much.

Hadn’t she followed her instincts and done what needed doing today? It had been exactly the right thing—no matter what he thought—and had shored up her battered confidence.

She allowed herself a little smile at that, then let out a breath. Enough. She had far more important things to think about than her muddled feelings for her maddening, altogether tempting best friend.

A bowl of chocolate fudge frosting sat on the table, and she was using her pastry tube to decorate the first batch of cupcakes when Hunter strode back in, his face void of all expression. She glanced up and went back to what she was doing. She didn’t have time to decipher what he was thinking. She didn’t care, either. At least that’s what she told herself.

He walked up behind her, and she could smell his woodsy scent and the heat that emanated from him. “Look, cher, I know you don’t like it, but I’m trying to protect you—”

He didn’t get any further than that. Without conscious thought, Charlee whirled around and shot half the tube of chocolate frosting right in his face, then calmly went back to her cupcakes. “Spare me the macho crap, Lieutenant. I don’t want to hear it.”

The silence went on for several beats, and Charlee had a moment to wonder if she’d gone too far. But then she heard him start to laugh. She looked up through her lashes and saw him tip his head back and laugh like she’d never heard him laugh, with his whole body.

She tried to keep from smiling, but finally gave up and joined in.

She was so distracted by the pull his laughter stirred in her belly that she yelped in surprise when a big glob of frosting landed on her nose. Followed immediately by another blob on her right check. And then her left. She tried to fight back with her pastry tube, but his assault was relentless, swiping frosting off his own face and transferring it to hers.

“Two can play this game, cher, and I’m betting I’ll win,” he warned, adding another layer to her chin.

“Oh yeah?” She went on the offensive, and they went back and forth, smearing frosting on each other.

Laughing and breathless, Charlee took a step back, stunned at the playfulness from such a serious man. She opened her mouth, trying to decide what to say, when his eyes met hers. Their laughter stilled as they studied each other. Behind the frosting and the laughter still dancing in his eyes, Charlee saw something more. Attraction, certainly. But something that went much deeper, that reached beyond friendship and caring and connected them in ways she was almost afraid to examine too closely.


Charlee read the clear invitation in his eyes, and suddenly, her arms were around his neck, his wrapped around her back, and his hard mouth came down on hers. But where she expected aggression, he gave her featherlight kisses and licked the frosting from her lips, a smile on his own.

A shiver shot straight to her core, and she clutched his shoulders as he pulled her flush against him. The bands of muscle under her hands tightened, and she could feel the effect she had on him, but his arms didn’t feel like a cage, the way Rick’s had. No, Hunter was different. Danger clung to him like a second skin, but it was never directed at her. He growled low in his throat as he nuzzled her neck, and Charlee shivered, burrowing closer.

She shifted, giving him access to her neck, and ran her hands over his shoulders, down his arms, loving the way his hard grip made her feel safe even as his roaming hands and woodsy scent tempted her, invited her to move closer, to explore the fire that erupted whenever their skin touched.

When he nudged her lips open, she opened her mouth, welcomed his tongue in to dance with hers, hearts pounding, the kiss sparking and bursting to life until all Charlee felt was heat—his,
hers, theirs. Being in his arms was like nothing she’d ever experienced before.

It felt…right.

Connect with Connie Mann:

Saturday, January 19, 2019

Sunday Post #14

The Sunday Post is hosted by Kimberly @ Caffeinated reviewer book blog, and is a post to recap my bookish and non-bookish things from the last week.

So it poured rain the entire week here making my commute even more fun than usual. Lol! At least I have audio books, right? My flight up to Northern California was delayed because of that as well, but I passed the time reading on my Kindle, so it was all good.    Anyhow, it's cleared up, and it's a beautiful, mostly sunny day here. Below is the sunrise with some pretty fog/clouds blanketing the valley.

(click on cover for Goodreads link)

I read *listened* to The Mistake after loving The Deal. It was good, but I didn't like it as much as The Deal. I picked up an audio copy of The Liar's Girl at the library after reading Blodeuedd's @Book Girl of Mur-Y-Castell wonderful review.  It was pretty addictive and the narrators were really good!  Watcher in the Woods is book #4 in the Rockton series and it was amazing! I'll have my review up closer to the release date.  How to Seduce a Bad Boy was a total flop. The whole thing felt very juvenile and it was an adult book.  The author "liked" my one star review on Goodreads.  That's kind of awkward, right?

Received/Purchased/Library Lend:

I was thrilled to get a copy of The Bride Test and will probably read it super early just because I'm so excited for Khai's story! I downloaded Now or Never after reading  Carol's Random Life in Book's  fab review.  I just started it and I'm enjoying it so far. I got a copy of Distress Signals is Catherine Ryan Howard's debut and I wanted more of her reading The Liar's Girl. Plus, serial killer on a cruise ship sounds a little terrifying!


Not very much, just two episodes of Modern Family which never fails to make me laugh!

So how was your week?

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Review: The Winter Sister by Megan Collins

Publication Date: February 5th 2019 by Touchstone
Pages: 336
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

About the book:

n this spellbinding and suspenseful debut, a young woman haunted by the past returns home to care for her ailing mother and begins to dig deeper into her sister’s unsolved murder.

Sixteen years ago, Sylvie’s sister Persephone never came home. Out too late with the boyfriend she was forbidden to see, Persephone was missing for three days before her body was found—and years later, her murder remains unsolved.

In the present day, Sylvie returns home to care for her estranged mother, Annie, as she undergoes treatment for cancer. Prone to unexplained “Dark Days” even before Persephone’s death, Annie’s once-close bond with Sylvie dissolved in the weeks after their loss, making for an uncomfortable reunion all these years later. Worse, Persephone’s former boyfriend, Ben, is now a nurse at the cancer center where Annie is being treated. Sylvie’s always believed Ben was responsible for the murder—but she carries her own guilt about that night, guilt that traps her in the past while the world goes on around her.

As she navigates the complicated relationship with her mother, Sylvie begins to uncover the secrets that fill their house—and what really happened the night Persephone died. As it turns out, the truth really will set you free, once you can bear to look at it.

The Winter Sister is a mesmerizing portrayal of the complex bond between sisters, between mothers and daughters alike, and forces us to ask ourselves—how well do we really know the people we love most?

My Thoughts:
The Winter Sister wasn’t something I planned on reading straight through, or even so long before it released (I read this back in November) but after downloading I was in the mood for a mystery and I thought I’d open it up and read a few pages.  I ended up reading straight through until 2am to finish.  I was pulled into Sylvie’s story, the mystery of her sister’s murder, and I had to find out what happened then and how it would all turn out in the present.

Sixteen years ago, eighteen-year-old Persephone snuck out the window to meet her boyfriend, never came home and was found dead three days later, and fourteen-year-old Sylvie’s world is turned upside-down. Their mother becomes a shell of her former self, retreating into her bedroom and staying drunk more than she’s sober.  The mother Sylvie used to have, one that snuggled and loved, disappeared and stopped caring. 

Meanwhile, the murder of her sister goes unsolved even though Sylvie is sure Persephone’s boyfriend, Ben, is guilty.  But not all is as it seems here, both Sylvie and her mother have secrets and guilt, casting a dark shadow over their lives. 

Sixteen years later Sylvie must come back home to care for her ailing mother, and the anger and resentment she feels a palpable thing brewing between them. Even worse is running into Ben, Persephone’s old boyfriend who now works as a nurse at the clinic her mother must visit twice a week.  But meeting Ben, Sylvie discovers a few things about her sister’s murder she didn’t know, bringing up more questions.  She discovers she wasn’t the only one to keep secrets all these years, her mother has secrets of her own, and now Sylvie’s determined to find answers.  Their dynamic was compelling and another interesting mystery to unravel. 

I was glued to the pages to see how this all turned out, fascinated by the intense relationships, between Sylvie and her mother, Sylvie and Persephone and finally between Sylvie and Ben.  I’m glad I took a chance on Megan Collins’ debut because The Winter Sister was fantastic!

5 Suns

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Spotlight & Giveaway: The Magnolia Inn by Carolyn Brown

I love Carolyn Brown's romances! I usually laugh, cry and have a great time, so I'm thrilled to share details of her newest The Magnolia Inn.  I plan on reading it soon!  Montlake Romance has also generously provided a giveaway: A Digital Copy of The Magnolia Inn along with a $25 Amazon Giftcard so be sure and scroll down to the bottom to fill out the rafflecopter for a chance to win! 

Publication Date: January 15th 2019 by Montlake Romance
Pages: 292
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

About the book:

Inheriting the Magnolia Inn, a Victorian home nestled in the East Texas pines, is a fantasy come true for Jolene Broussard. After living with the guilt of failing to rescue her self-destructive mother, Jolene knows her aunt and uncle’s B&B is the perfect jump start for a new life and a comforting place to call home. There’s just one hitch: stubborn and moody carpenter Tucker Malone. He’s got a half interest in the Magnolia Inn, and he’s planting his dusty cowboy boots squarely in the middle of her dream.
Ever since his wife’s death, Tucker’s own guilt and demons have left him as guarded as Jolene. The last thing he expects is for his new partner to stir something inside him he thought was gone forever. And as wary as Jolene is, she may have found a kindred spirit—someone she can help, and someone she can hold on to.
Restoring the Magnolia Inn is the first step toward restoring their hearts. Will they be able to let go of the past and trust each other to do it together?
Dotty Welcomes Readers to The Magnolia Inn

Good morning to all y’all. Thank you for inviting me to your site today to tell you a little about The Magnolia Inn. I’m so excited about this book. The characters became like family to me as I was writing it. Today, I have Dotty with me. She’s one of the four ladies—Sugar, Dotty, Lucy and Flossie—who’ve been fast friends since their youth. I’m going to turn this microphone over to Dotty now, and leave the rest of the post to her.

Hello, folks, I’m Dotty Beauchamp—half Texan, half Louisianan and all sass. I own the Tipsy Gater bar that sets right on the Big Cypress Bayou near Jefferson, Texas. When my good friend, Sugar, told me that she was going to give half of The Magnolia Inn, the bed and breakfast that her family had owned for generations, to her niece, Jolene, I thought she was bat crap crazy. When she said that her husband, Jasper, was giving the other half to his wimpy nephew, Reuben—well, I figured Reuben would sell his half the minute the ink dried on the papers. 

I was right! The little weasel sold out his part of the inn to Tucker Malone. We—that would be Lucy and Flossie and me since Sugar was already off in that big ass RV touring the United States—had heard that he was a tortured soul. And dear hearts, we damn sure believed the rumor. He was the best of the best when it came to carpentry work, and from what we heard he only hit the bottle on weekends, but still we didn’t want our precious Jolene in living in that inn with him. 

I really didn’t want to hire Jolene when she came to the bar looking for work, but I needed help and she sure enough needed a job. I figured I’d take some flack for it from Sugar, Lucy and Flossie, and I did—believe me I did. But Jolene and I both lived through it. 

When we met Tucker for the first time, we were sure that the rumors had been right. His wife had died in an automobile accident a few years back. She’d gone to our church so we all knew her very well, and we’d met Tucker a few times when he showed up at church with her. When she died, he turned to the bottle and lost his important job on the police force over in Dallas. It was rumored that he came to our part of the world to be near her grave site. Poor man, he wore the guilt like a heavy shroud and just couldn’t seem to get past it.

But I’m digressing. When we met him we found out that he was also a Prince Charming. He didn’t have a white horse or a white cowboy hat, or a crown, but he was so sweet and kind, and he had such a sweet nature, that pretty soon, we fell in love with him as much as—well, she didn’t know it then, being as how she had plenty of baggage of her own—but as much as Jolene could it they’d could get past all the obstacles life kept throwing at them.

I see that my time is up. So let me thank you again for inviting me sit a spell and visit with all y’all. And if you’re ever in Jefferson, Texas, come on down to the Tipsy Gater and I’ll give you a free drink if you tell me that you’ve read The Magnolia Inn.

Author Biography

Carolyn Brown is a New York TimesUSA TodayPublishers Weekly, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author and a RITA finalist with more than ninety published books, which include women’s fiction and historical, contemporary, and cowboys-and-country-music romance. She and her husband live in the small town of Davis, Oklahoma, where everyone knows everyone else and knows what they’re doing and when. And they read the local newspaper on Wednesday to see who got caught. They have three grown children and enough grandchildren to keep them young. Visit Carolyn at

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Monday, January 14, 2019

Top Ten Tuesday: New-to-Me Authors I Read in 2018

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Artsy Reader where each week they post a new top ten list and ask fellow bookish folk to share their lists on that topic.

This week we feature ten New-to-Me Authors I Read in 2018.  I loved every one of these books, and would love to read more by the authors! All books listed here got 4 stars or above, except for one. I wasn't a fan of Not That I Could Tell, but who knows I may give the author another try in the future.

(Click on cover for Goodreads link:)

The Wall of Winnipeg and Me-Mariana Zapata
The Kiss Quotient-Helen Hoang
Monkeewrench-P.J. Tracy
The Winter Sister-Megan Collins

A Curious Beginning-Deanna Raybourn
Lennon Reborn-Scarlett Cole
Unsub-Meg Gardiner

Jar of Hearts-Jennifer Hillier
Chasing Shadows-Catherine Bybee
Not That I Could Tell-Jessica Strawser

How about you? Did you get to try a few new authors in 2018?