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About the Book
Hunter Lewis is intrigued by the new woman staying at his friend’s Amish inn. Annie appears to be what she claims, but she’s secretive and won’t open up. He’s been burned by a woman before and can’t tolerate deception. But his interest in Annie is growing, and the attraction seems to be mutual—until something happens that makes Hunter question everything he’d thought was real. Dare he risk his heart, when he’s certain Annie is keeping secrets?
Can their new romance withstand the pressure, or will Ann choose to run again?
Runaway Romance is a contemporary romance by Miralee Ferrell set in an inn near a small Amish town and is the first of a series. This is not the first book I’ve read by Ms. Ferrell and I was pleased to get a chance to read another one. However, I am not sure I will read the next book in this series.
Ann “Annie” Stanway is the main character. At the beginning of the book, she is the girlfriend of a reality show star and appears on the show as well. She’s likable and is blindsided when she discovers her relationship will be ending to improve the show’s ratings. Annie is kind and as a celebrity, is worried about other people finding out where she’s from, so she doesn’t share details about herself when she breaks down near an Amish inn after running away from Los Angeles.
Hunter Lewis is the other main character, and he’s nice. He’s nice to Annie, to Sarah the innkeeper, to Carla the homeless woman, to everyone. And he hates liars as he’s been in relationships before with women who lie and manipulate. His personality is basically reduced to these two characteristics.
And once Hunter stated he could stand liars, I knew exactly what the “misunderstanding” that would hamper Hunter and Annie’s fledgling relationship was going to be. Hunter finds out about Annie’s real identity and doesn’t let her explain why she felt the need to keep it secret. There’s even the “you’re just like all the other liars” argument before he leaves.
This book is predictable in other ways, as well. I knew who was going to reveal Annie’s identity fairly early in the book, and the setup for the next book in the series was painfully obvious. The writing style itself is fine, though the dialogue is stilted. It makes sense for our Amish characters but awkward for the worldly main characters. I was never able to completely immerse myself in the story and would have appreciated more descriptions of the settings.
The book’s message of learning to trust God in our lives is an important one and is handled well. The characters make frequent references to their beliefs and all struggle to live their faith when their own desires clash with what they feel called to do.
The story involving Carla, the homeless woman, is very touching and I’m glad it was included. However, I felt more emotion when her plot was resolved than I did with the main characters throughout the entire book, which I’m sure was not the intent of the author.
I’ve enjoyed previous books by Ms. Ferrell. However, I am disappointed to say that I cannot recommend Runaway Romance due to the lack of emotional connection I felt with the main characters and the predictability of the plot. I want to be surprised, and nothing about this book surprised me.
I give Runaway Romance 2/5 stars.
**I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author through Celebrate Lit. All opinions are my own.**
About the Author
I started writing shortly after I turned 50, and discovered I loved it so much I don’t want to stop. I have 15 novels out & a five book set of horse novels for middle-grade girls. I write both women’s contemporary fiction, historical & contemporary romance, and horse/mystery novels for girls. One of my Western romances, Love Finds You in Sundance, WY, was awarded the Will Rogers Medallion for Western Fiction, three books have been optioned as movies, and several books have been on the ECPA best seller list.
You can find out more about me and my books at www.miraleeferrell.com.
Guest Post from Miralee Ferrell
In the spring of 2015, I received an email from a Hollywood producer, followed by a phone call. Imagine my surprise when she asked if I’d be willing to write a book for them. They were no longer producing the Love Finds You books into movies and were working on a different project for UP TV, a possible three-movie series, and she hoped I might be able to work with them. She explained that she’d optioned Love Finds You in Sundance, Wyoming, two or three years earlier, and loved it. Of the thirty-five or so titles she’d read of the line, that was her favorite. However, UP TV didn’t want to make historical or old west movies, so she’d shelved it for now.
During that time period, I’d gotten my rights returned to all of my LFY books and had retitled them Finding Love in Last Chance, California, Finding Love in Tombstone, Arizona, and Finding Love in Bridal Veil, Oregon. Sundance became Outlaw Angel, and all four are still in print.
Here’s the amazing part. I came very, very close to turning down that contract offer with Summerside for Sundance. I was disappointed in the advance and royalty rate, and shortly after they released it, they sold the line to Guideposts, and that company didn’t continue the line much longer. Understandably, sales waned on their final releases, and I was disappointed with my sales from that final book as my others had done quite well. For a long time, I wished I hadn’t taken that contract and instead held out for one with another company for a three-book series. However, had I done that, I doubt Runaway Romance would ever have been written. It was Sundance that grabbed Chevonne’s attention and caused her to contact me. And the rest, as they say, is history.
Blogging With Carol, November 28
Reflections from my bookshelves, November 28
Janices book review, November 29
Books, Books, and More Books., November 29
Books n baubles, November 30
Blossoms and Blessings, November 30
Have A Wonderful Day, December 1
Inklings and notions, December 1
Christian Chick’s Thoughts, December 2
Texas Book-aholic, December 2
History, Mystery & Faith, December 3
Bigreadersite, December 4
The Power of Words, December 4
Kat’s Corner Books, December 5
Reading Is My SuperPower, December 5 (Interview)
Baker Kella, December 6
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, December 6
Splashes of Joy, December 7
Karen Sue Hadley, December 7
Quiet Quilter, December 8
Red Headed Book Lady, December 9
Just the Write Escape, December 9
Cafinated Reads, December 10
Remembrancy, December 11
Carpe Diem, December 11
In honor of her tour, Miralee is giving away a grand prize of a Kindle Fire! Click the link below to enter! Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/c31a
Click here to purchase your copy.
About the Book
Traci and Marc may be the perfect match, but they don’t know it yet. With God’s guidance and the help of Gina’s matchmaking skills honed by her career as a bestselling romance novelist, there is hope for a happily ever after for these two broken hearts.
A Second Chance by Alexis Goring, the first work I’ve read by this author, presents an interesting premise and is a quick read.
Traci, the main character, is given a letter from her mother detailing the requirements for Traci to get her inheritance from him: she must be married and her mother must approve of Traci’s spouse. I’ve read this “must get married to get inheritance” in historical novels, but never in a contemporary. And though Traci worries about what to do as she is currently drowning in bills from her called off wedding, she seems to accept this condition without any problem. She’s likable.
Marc, the other main character, does not trust women because his exes keep lying to him. Marc was likable enough, though he falls into the “overprotective and I will hurt anyone who hurts you because you’re mine” trope when he meets Traci’s ex-fiancé and I HATE that in my romance characters.
The big misunderstanding” is based on Marc finding the letter about the inheritance by looking inside an envelope on the table—which Traci left out because she planned to tell him about the conditions to her inheritance—and assuming she’s dating him to get married to gain the money. He’s also mad because she lied to him about it, which is the only part of the conversation that I can stand. Marc never apologizes for the invasion of privacy and Traci acts as if the entire mess of the disintegrating relationship is her fault. I was so livid about the invasion of privacy and the non-apology that I almost put the book down.
The characters are also seriously old-fashioned, with Traci’s passiveness and Marc’s overprotective jealousy disguised as caring for her. Traci spends most of the book waiting for Marc to make the first move, even though he takes weeks to contact her after their first meeting and doesn’t contact her quickly after their dates, either. There was also a case of “insta-love” as these characters are convinced they are in love with each other after one date and so are both of their friends. I did appreciate that both Traci and Marc have friends and families outside of the relationship, which does not always happen in romance novels.
These characters needed to seriously talk with each other. At one point, they try a long-distance romance and I couldn't believe it. If they couldn’t even make it work in person, how would long-distance work? It’s much harder and requires much more communication, which neither of these characters do well.
There is a lot of telling rather than showing, and much of the romance seems to happen off-screen. Part of the quickness of the romance is due to the length of the book, and I was expecting the romance would feel rushed. However, it also feels incomplete. We’re told the characters love each other, but with both stubbornly refusing to discuss problems and not trusting the other, it was hard to see it.
I give A Second Chance 2/5 stars. The characters are overdramatic and uncommunicative, the plot feels contrived, and the entire romance feels rushed and incomplete and as a result I cannot recommend this book.
**I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author through CelebrateLit. All opinions are my own.**
About the Author
Guest Post from Alexis Goring
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
~Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)
God has good plans for every single person living here on Earth. It’s important to remember to trust Him because no matter how bleak a situation looks, hope is always on the horizon when God’s in the picture…and the good news is that no matter what God is always in the picture.
I thought that it would be a good idea to explore the theme of Jeremiah 29:11 through a fictional story about characters who are in need of a second chance in life and love. So I create Traci and Marc and wrote their story, A Second Chance.
Traci and Marc are entry-level journalists therefore they struggle with the industry’s tough system of paying your dues and they know the conflicts firsthand about struggling to pay your bills because of that system.
But it’s not just the bills that weigh heavily on their hearts. Traci and Marc are facing battles that are unique to their individual life stories but common to people in the real world.
When the reader meets Traci, they see that she is bitter and cynical because she was left at the altar. Her fiancé ran off with her Maid of Honor and left Traci with a mile-high stack of bills to pay for their wedding that never happened. So when Traci’s Mom shows up on her doorstep with an inheritance letter that stipulates Traci must be married before receiving her inheritance from her late grandfather, Traci is closer to destroying the letter and being a bachelorette for life than she is about husband hunting.
When the reader meets Marc, they see that he is smitten with Traci at first sight. But they soon learn that he has trust issues because of his previous romantic relationships with women who would dump him because he was “too nice.” However, his niceness is of invaluable help to his newly widowed sister Gina who is struggling to raise her children in the wake of her firefighter husband’s death. Naturally, Marc wants to help his sister. So he volunteers to babysit her kids and take them out of the house so that she can meet her book deadlines. Gina is a bestselling romance novelist.
All of these main characters go on their own faith journey with God. Some resist His love at first (like Traci), some draw back because of broken trust (like Marc) and some heal slowly from pain (like Gina) but they all realize how much they need God in their life.
Faith elements are a woven lightly throughout this story but also go deep as the characters work toward wholeness and restoration.
If anything, this is a story about how the Creator of the Universe (God) loves humankind and desires to restore broken hearts, homes and lives.
I hope that you will enjoy reading this book!
God bless your heart.
Alexis A. Goring
Author of A Second Chance
May 4: A Baker’s Perspective
May 5: Inklings and notions
May 6: Blossoms and Blessings
May 7: Moments Dipped in Ink
May 8: Books. Books. And More Books.
May 8: Captive Dreams Window
May 8: Daysong Reflections
May 9: Christian Bookaholic
May 9: A Greater Yes
May 10: Quiet Quilter
May 11: Remembrancy
May 11: Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations
May 12: Chas Ray’s Book Nerd Corner
May 13: Reading Is My SuperPower
May 13: Through the Open Window
May 14: Carpe Diem
May 15: Neverending Stories
May 16: my site/autism mom
May 17: Avid Reader Book Reviews
To celebrate her tour, Alexis is giving away four eBook copies of her book – A Second Chance!
Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/b54b
Click here to purchase your copy!
About the Book
When Permilia overhears a threat against the estimable Mr. Rutherford, she’s determined to find and warn the man. Disgruntled at a first meeting that goes quite poorly and results in Asher not believing her, she decides to take matters into her own hands, never realizing she’ll end up at risk as well.
As Asher and Permilia are forced to work together and spend time away from the spotlight of society, perhaps there’s more going on behind the scenes than they ever could have anticipated. . . .
I rarely read books set during the Gilded Age, so I was excited to try Behind the Scenes, the new release by Jen Turano. The back cover sounded like something I would enjoy and Ms. Turano is an author I have never read before.
And I am disappointed that I did not enjoy this book, though some parts of it worked for me.
The romance is very low-key but enjoyable. You can see the characters beginning to respect and like each other and it is believable when they fall in love. I can see this couple making it after the end of the book and I don’t always see the couple that way at the end of a romance!
The characters are done well, as both Permilia and Asher are fully realized and have believable positive traits and flaws. Asher is a little more relatable to me because I understand his desire to change after the realization he had become someone he didn’t want to be. Permilia is a little too outlandish for me. Every time she would commit a societal faux pas or insert her way into the action in a way that was often unsafe and over the top, I became embarrassed for her!
The back cover makes it seem like the mystery of who is trying to kill Asher is a big part of the book, but it feels as if that plot thread goes away in the later portion of the book until the reveal. The mystery was convoluted though I was genuinely surprised by who was trying to kill Asher. I’m rarely surprised by a book’s outcome so that was nice!
The characters’ faith felt like an afterthought and I would’ve appreciated more of it. There are a few scenes where the characters talk about learning God’s plan for their life but I just didn’t feel as if the characters truly lived their faith.
The book itself felt light and frothy (even with a murder plot) and I enjoy my stories a little darker and more serious, so I did not enjoy the tone of the book. I’m not sure I would read any of Ms. Turano’s work in the future, simply because of the style.
I give this book 2/5 stars. The characters are nice, the setting is unusual and imagined well, but I just can’t recommend it as I do not appreciate this specific type of humor and found Ms. Turano’s writing extremely wordy—the ball where Permilia finds out about the murder plot takes over half the book! People who enjoy light and frothy romances and do not have an issue with over the top humor and extremely talkative characters will enjoy this book more than I did.
**I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author through CelebrateLit. All opinions are my own.**
About the Author
Interview with Jen Turano
What is the funniest thing that has ever happened to you personally?
Amusing things happen to me all the time, but I think my favorite was back in college when I was a lifeguard. You see, there’s a lifeguard code – You will be cool at all times, especially when you’re sitting in a lifeguard chair, twirling your whistle exactly so, and, you know…looking cool. So, there I was, in my black lifeguard bathing suit – swinging my whistle. It was an unusually hot day, so I’d angled my umbrella exactly right as I watched the diving-board section. Now, I know this might come as a surprise, but being a lifeguard at the neighborhood pool isn’t exactly thrilling. It’s rare that anything exciting happens, and that particular day was no exception…until a large gust of wind came out of nowhere and the umbrella took it upon itself to close – right over me. And because it was now really gusty, the umbrella then lifted up, taking me with it right off the chair and into the depths of the deep end of the pool. From all accounts, it was quite the sight. First, there I was, swinging my whistle and looking groovy. Then all you could see were my legs flailing about as the umbrella covered the rest of me, and then…I was plummeting toward the pool, hit the water with the umbrella over me, and promptly sank. Obviously I managed to get out of the umbrella, but in the process, part of my bathing suit came off, and…well, that’s a story for another day.
What is your favorite book from your childhood?
“Andrew Henry’s Meadow.” It was actually my little brother’s book, gotten from one of those book of the month clubs, but I loved it. I recently found a copy on an e-site and ordered it, and it’s just as delightful today as it was back in my childhood.
Who does the cooking and cleaning in your house when you are on a deadline?
I don’t actually cook much even when I’m not on deadline, so that’s not really an issue. Al and I do a lot of salads or throw some chicken on the grill. We also have a lot of grocery stores that have wonderful deli and gourmet foods, so we get a lot of things there. As for cleaning, I’m one of those neurotic people who can’t work without everything being in place, so I do a lot of tidying up before I go to bed. And, because I do some of my best thinking when I clean, I’ve been known to abandon my writing when I get stuck and pick up a mop or cleaning rag, which means my house is rarely a disaster since I need to get unstuck a lot.
Where is your favorite place to write?
I do the majority of my writing in my office, although I will occasionally take a pad of paper and a pen outside to handwrite when I get bored of my office or it’s a really nice day and I don’t feel like being trapped inside. It’s not that my office is my favorite place to write, it’s more that my writing is my job and I’m more focused on that writing when I approach it as such.
What is your favorite part of the writing process?
I really like when characters and new story ideas begin to fester. That normally happens when I’m in the midst of another series. By the time I’m done with whatever series I’m working on, the next series is pretty firmly set in my mind, which means I can jump right in as I wait for edits on recently completed work. My absolute favorite part of writing, though, is when I turn in the very final edit on a book and don’t see it again until it comes out in print. Although, I must admit, I’ve never, not once, read one of my books after it has gone to print. Seems rather pointless since I do always know how the book is going to end.
Why did you choose the timeframe or setting this book is written in?
I’ve been wanting to set a book during Alva Vanderbilt’s famous costume ball of March, 1883, for years. Since I decided to slowly travel through the Gilded Age, I just reached 1883 on my plot timeline, so knew I was finally going to get to throw some characters into the very midst of Alva’s ball. It was a blast to write, loved going back to all my books on this particular ball and seeing the pictures, and only wish the Vanderbilt house at 660 Fifth Avenue was still standing so I could visit it in person to visualize the splendors located inside a little more clearly.
What inspires you?
I think like most writers, I simply get inspired by the world around me. I love to people watch, and I love to imagine all sorts of outlandish scenarios as I do that watching. I also get inspired by reading the headlines of the daily papers, and by the research books I read. I also love to look through old photographs of the Gilded Age, and became intrigued with Alva Vanderbilt’s ball when I saw a picture of a young lady, Miss Kate Strong, with a stuffed cat on her head and wearing a choker necklace with the name Puss engraved on it. That was all it took for me to investigate the Vanderbilt ball further, delighted to discover it truly was a ball that only comes along every blue moon.
April 27: Reading Is My SuperPower
April 27: The Scribbler
April 27: Genesis 5020
April 27: These Splendid Sentences
April 28: Back Porch Reads
April 28: Smiling Book Reviews
April 28: Fiction, Faith, and Fun
April 28: Just the Write Escape
April 29: Bookworm Mama
April 29: Book Reviews From an Avid Reader
April 29: Books. Books. AND More Books.
April 29: Karen Sue Hadley
April 30: Lighthouse Academy
April 30: Radiant Light
April 30: Bigreadersite
April 30: Lane Hill House
May 1: Faithfully Bookish
May 1: Counting Pinecones
May 1: Blogging With Carol
May 1: Moments Dipped in Ink
May 2: inklings and notions
May 2: Blossoms and Blessings
May 2: Book Bites, Bee Stings, and Butterfly Kisses
May 2: Neverending Stories
May 3: For The Love of Books
May 3: Singing Librarian Books
May 3: Book by Book
May 3: Pause for Tales
May 4: A Baker’s Perspective
May 4: Chas Ray’s Book Nerd Corner
May 4: cherylbbookblog
May 4: Rachel Scott McDaniel
May 5: With a Joyful Noise
May 5: Baker Kella
May 5: A Reader’s Brain
May 5: Southern Gal Loves to Read
May 6: A Greater Yes
May 6: Christian Bookaholic
May 6: Connie’s History Classroom
May 6: Splashes of Joy
May 6: Just Commonly
May 7: A Simple Life, really?!
May 7: D’S QUILTS & BOOKS
May 7: Daysong Reflections
May 7: The Power of Words
May 8: Ashley’s Bookshelf
May 8: Eat, Read,Teach, Blog
May 8: Giveaway Lady
May 8: Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations
May 9: Bibliophile Reviews
May 9: History, Mystery & Faith
May 9: I Hope You Dance
May 9: Simpleharvestreads
May 10: His Grace is Sufficient
May 10: History, Hope, Laughter & Happily-ever-after
May 10: Raining Butterfly Kisses
May 10: Reader’s Cozy Corner
To celebrate her tour, Jen is giving away a $25 Barnes and Noble Gift Card and the four books: After a Fashion, In Good Company, Playing the Part, Behind the Scenes!! Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries!
About the Book
Ryan thinks he may have finally found a solution to his impossible situation, but he needs Jenny's help. While her loyalty to her country compels her to agree, she was too badly hurt to fall for Ryan again despite his determination to win her back. When an unknown threat from Ryan's past puts everything at risk--including his life--can they overcome the seemingly insurmountable odds stacked against them in time?
I have never read any of Ms. Camden’s previous books. And based on reading To the Farthest Shores, I am not sure I will attempt another one.
I wanted to love this book. It’s written well (Ms. Camden has a lovely prose style), full of excellent details and research, and the characters had both attributes and flaws. In the end, though, I just couldn’t relate to the characters or connect with them in any way, and so the book fell flat for me.
The setting, just after the Spanish-American War in the early 1900s, is one rarely seen in historical romance, and featured Jenny Bennett, a nurse heroine from a rough upbringing, and Lieutenant Ryan Gallagher, whose service to his country includes dangerous and secret missions.
I liked Jenny well enough, though only at some parts in the story. Though she’s “respectable” at the beginning of the story as a hard-working nurse, her backstory as a child growing up in rough conditions made it seem as if the respectableness was a veneer. I didn’t truly believe she changed as much as Jenny thought she did, and she had issues that I did not feel were resolved satisfactorily.
Ryan is calm. Seriously, he’s so calm I wanted to shake him to make sure he was still alive. And because he is also fairly unobservant (which I found hard to believe as he’s done undercover work in the past), it makes him appear dumber than he is. He’s a perfectly capable character, especially when he’s talking about oysters, but other than that there wasn’t much emotion from him.
I also think it suffered that the majority of the story was told from Jenny’s point of view. Because she was so untrusting I kept wanting to yell at her that she needed to listen to what the other characters were telling her. Ryan was trying to protect her and so he avoided telling her things about his past, which made her lack of trust worse. Lack of communication is a big issue for me in romance and these two hardly talk about anything deep or important.
I know at that time in history, promises to be married were rarely broken and considered nearly as sacred as marriage itself, but I did not interpret Ryan being with, marrying Akira, and having a child with her as “infidelity” and each time Jenny referred to it as such I was thrown a little out of the story. It was definitely a part of what they needed to discuss and work through, but I do not believe I would classify it as such because they weren’t married or even together when those events happened.
I loved the descriptions of oyster farming and the story itself was excellently researched. Unfortunately, my inability to connect or relate to the characters, along with the lack of communication between them, means this is a story that I cannot recommend for romance fans. Lovers of oysters and pearls will enjoy the details Ms. Camden provides. I give it 2/5 stars for the lovely prose, excellent historical detail, the beautifully detailed setting, and the unusual timeframe.
**I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House, the publisher. All opinions are my own.**
About the Author
Writer/Editor. Voracious Book Reader. World Traveler. Veteran.