Genre: Romance

Destined For Doon Review

22 Mar, 2017 by in fantasy, harper collins Leave a comment

Destined For Doon Review

Destined For Doon

by Carey Corp, Lorie Langdon
Published by BlinkYA on September 2, 2014
Genres: Fantasy, Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 346
Format: Hardcover
Source: Bought
Buy the BookGoodreads
The second book in the popular new Doon YA series that takes on a classic story, Brigadoon, and spins it in a new way to give readers a fresh, modern experience.

In this sequel to Doon, Kenna Reid realizes she made a horrible mistake-choosing to follow her dreams of Broadway instead of staying in the enchanted land of Doon. Worse, she's received proof she and Duncan are meant to be, along with torturous visions of the prince she left behind. So when Duncan shows up and informs Kenna that Doon needs her, she doesn't need to think twice. But even if Kenna can save the enchanted kingdom, her happily ever after may still be in peril.

The Doon novels are a part of Blink, HarperCollins Christian Publishing's new YA imprint that delivers empowering and heartening literature while maintaining a tradition of imaginative and impactful storytelling.

Another high-action adventure, Destined for Doon is an excellent sequel to the first book, Doon, by authors Carey Corp and Lorie Langdon. This book was very fast paced and kept me entertained the entire read. Something I didn’t care for in the book however, was the relationship development between two main protagonists, Mackenna and Duncan. Almost all interactions between them were very strained, and the conflict grew to a point where it was  uncomfortable and at times made for an unpleasant experience. If the authors were trying to convey the pain that comes with a broken relationship, they definitely succeeded. Aside from that, this book was an excellent read. It kept my interest with intrigue and suspense, and lightened the dark fate facing Doon with the bright humor of Kenna and Veronica. I would recommend this book to any girl 14 and up. I wouldn’t really recommend this to boys, as a good portion of the book is romance and may not hold their attention. Suspenseful, enthralling, and filled with the magic of Scotland’s Brig ‘O’ Doon, Destined for Doon will entrance it’s readers.

-Avid Aviary Reader, 15


Southern Charmed Blog Tour and $25 Giveaway

16 Sep, 2016 by in Uncategorized 1 comment

Southern Charmed

by Melanie Jacobson
Published by Covenant on September 1, 2016
Genres: Adult, LDS, Romance
Pages: 232
Format: Paperback
Source: Covenant
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Lila Mae Guidry is a Southern girl through and through. As a fourth-generation Latter-day Saint in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, she's proud of her heritage as both a Southerner and a Saint—and she doesn't take kindly to people who disparage either. Ten years ago, Max Archer was just that kind of jerk. As the mission president's son, Max spent his entire three years mocking the South . . . and teenage Lila. After Max's family moved away, Lila forgot about her sworn enemy. Almost.

When a new job brings a grown-up Max back to Baton Rouge, Lila is less than thrilled with his reappearance, especially since everyone seems intent on throwing her together with this old adversary. Yet fight as she may, Lila soon realizes resistance is futile—their connection is undeniable. Max embodies everything she wants in a man—except perhaps the most important thing her life is rooted in the city she loves, but his dreams are bigger than Baton Rouge. With such mismatched visions of the future, Max and Lila are faced with a life-altering decision: jeopardize their aspirations or risk losing love.


Southern Charmed will take you right into the bayou with its home cooked food, barefoot walks by the dock, Cajun restaurants and society pages. Melanie Jacobson does a wonderful job of pulling the readers into a world where debutantes have been raised to answer “yes ma’am and sir, where family roots run deep. Lila Mae is beginning to get pressure from her mom to get married and raise grandbabies. Already established in a teaching career at a high school with low income teens, Lila lives at home. Her love for Louisiana runs in her veins, as does her desire to take care of her mother, who is recovering from the loss of her husband. Along comes Max, Lila’s childhood crush to mix things up.

There is a side plot with a student Kiana who has a rough home life. She’s got talent, but with a mom on drugs in and out of the home, she lacks the resources to go to college or make a better life for herself. One girl who wants to launch but may not be able to and her teacher who has opportunity to leave, but wants to stay rooted. I absolutely loved the first half of the book, the world building and the banter between Max and Lila. The drag for me was the inner conflict within Lila. It felt a bit drawn out. I saw hints things would work out on their own, but one character was forced to compromise. This book is reminiscent of Melanie’s other works with strong lead women characters, and some non-profit and political undertones. My favorite element of her writing is the clean romance.

You will want to visit the South after reading this book just to sample the food!

About the AuthorMelanie Jacobson

Melanie Bennett Jacobson is an avid reader, amateur cook, and champion shopper. She lives in Southern California with her husband and children and a series of doomed houseplants, and is currently pursuing a Masters degree in writing for children and young adults.

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The Bloodbound by Erin Lindsey ~ Review

05 Dec, 2014 by in ace, bloodbound, erin lindsey, fantasy romance, penguin group Leave a comment

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

The Bloodbound by Erin Lindsey ~ Review

The Bloodbound

by Erin Lindsey
on September 30, 2014
Genres: Adult, Fantasy, Romance
Pages: 368
Format: Paperback
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Of all those in the King of Alden’s retinue, the bloodbinders are the most prized. The magic they wield can forge invaluable weapons, ones that make soldiers like Lady Alix Black unerringly lethal. However, the bloodbinders’ powers can do so much more—and so much worse…

A cunning and impetuous scout, Alix only wishes to serve quietly on the edges of the action. But when the king is betrayed by his own brother and left to die at the hands of attacking Oridian forces, she winds up single-handedly saving her sovereign.

Suddenly, she is head of the king’s personal guard, an honor made all the more dubious by the king’s exile from his own court. Surrounded by enemies, Alix must help him reclaim his crown, all the while attempting to repel the relentless tide of invaders led by the Priest, most feared of Oridia’s lords.

But while Alix’s king commands her duty, both he and a fellow scout lay claim to her heart. And when the time comes, she may need to choose between the two men who need her most…

The Bloodbound by Erin Lindsey starts off right in the thick of the battlefield. There’s no slow buildup, it’s head first into a battle between brothers where Alix Black becomes a surprise heroine. She’s of noble birth but has taken up her sword as a part of the guard. She’s red haired, fiery and headstrong. And, she wins the hearts of two men. Yes, there is a love triangle which is resolved at the end of the book. I loved Erin Lindsey’s writing which combines magic, treason, action and romance. The characters are skillfully crafted–many of them won my heart and made an impression. There is a bold protagonist and bonds of both family & loyalty. Some of the battle and romance scenes were a bit too much for me personally. My overall impression of the book was that I liked the authors style and prose. Well written with a swoon worthy king Erik who is endearingly human yet strong.

Content: Adult. There is sex, some swearing including the “F” word and war related violence. about_ the_author

erin lindseyErin Lindsey is on a quest to write the perfect summer vacation novel, with just the right blend of action, heartbreak, and triumph. THE BLOODBOUND is her first effort. She lives and works in Bujumbura, Burundi, with her husband and a pair of half-domesticated cats.
She also writes fantasy mysteries as E.L. Tettensor.

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Review: Destined for Doon by Carey Corp and Lorie Langdon

13 Oct, 2014 by in blinkYA, book review, carey crop, christian, doon, lorie langdon 1 comment

I received this book for free from BookSparksPR in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Destined for Doon by Carey Corp and Lorie Langdon

Destined for Doon

Series: Doon #2
Published by BlinkYA on September 2nd 2014
Genres: Romance, Time Travel, Young Adult
Pages: 368
Format: Hardcover
Source: BookSparksPR
Buy the BookGoodreads
In this sequel to Doon, Mackenna Reid realizes she made a horrible mistake in choosing to follow her dreams of Broadway instead of staying in the enchanted land of Doon. To make everything worse, she's received her Calling—proof she and Duncan are each other's one true love—and it's pure torment, especially when visions of the very alluring Scottish prince appear right before she goes on stage. So when Duncan tells her an ancient curse threatens to overtake Doon and the new queen and Kenna’s best friend, Veronica, needs her to return, Kenna doesn't have to think twice. With darkness closing in on all sides, Kenna and Vee must battle a world of nightmares in order to protect the kingdom. But it will take the ultimate test of courage for Kenna to salvage her happily ever after.

The Doon series is one of my all-time favorites. First of all, if you haven’t read book one,  a reimagining of Brigadoon, I would suggest picking it up before diving into book 2. There is a lot of back story you will need, plus it rocks! This second installment, Destined for Doon, is told from both Makenna and Vee’s viewpoint. Kenna is back in the modern world working as a theater intern whe Duncan MacCrae shows up on the scene, as handsome and brooding as ever. There’s trouble a foot back in the kingdom–poisoned petunias, a zombie fungus and evil threatening the borders. Kenna is summoned by her best friend Vee to look for a solution.

Once again there are plenty of modern culture– music and movie references, as well as the snarky voice that is Kenna. The romance element is toned down quite a bit as the four main characters are working through their own personal issues while trying to learn how to work together. But there is also tension, suspense and realistic angst. I truly loved Duncan in Destined for Doon. He is suffering and quiet, but at times his fun sense of humor peeks through the clouds.

This is a series that brings midieval Scotland with kilts and swords right into your reading room. There are Christian elements which strengthen the characters. Themes are forgiveness, self-doubt, healing and trust.

As handsome and talented as this group of young adults are, they learn they simply can’t do it alone. I personally am thrilled this is a four book series, because I always end wanting more! Major cliffhanger ending this time around with foreshadowing to set things up. Go grab Doon and then Destined for Doon!

Content: moderate sexual tension and kissing scenes, drinking, moderate violence with a beheading. Clean language.

Dive into the world of Doon with a Playlist * Pinterest Board and photos of the kingdom

About the Authors

careyCarey Corp wrote her first book, a brilliant retelling of Star Wars, at the prodigious age of seven. Since then, her love affair of reinvention has continued to run amuck. Writing both literary fiction and stories for young adults, she begins each morning consuming copious amounts of coffee while weaving stories that capture her exhaustive imagination. She harbors a voracious passion (in no consistent order) for mohawks, Italy, musical theater, chocolate, and Jane Austen. Her debut novel for teens, The Halo Chronicles: The Guardian, earned her national recognition as 2010 Golden Heart finalist for best young adult fiction. Coming August 20, 2013: Doon (book 1 of the DOON series), a young adult novel loosely based on the concept of the musical Brigadoon, used with permission from the Alan Jay Lerner Estate & the Frederick Loewe Foundation, and co-written with Lorie Langdon.

Find Carey Online: Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook, GoodReads


lorieA few years ago, Lorie Langdon left her thriving corporate career with a Fortune 500 company to satisfy the voices in her head. Now as a full-time author and stay-at-home mom, she spends her summers editing poolside while dodging automatic water-gun fire, and the rest of the year tucked into her cozy office, Havanese puppy by her side, working to translate her effusive imagination into the written word. Her co-written four-book series, DOON, a YA reimagining of the Scottish legend of Brigadoon, will release beginning in August 2013 from Zondervan/Harper Collins.

Find Lorie Online: Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook, GoodReads


For Elise by Sarah M Eden~Blog Tour

18 Sep, 2014 by in blog tour, book review, covenant, sarah m eden 7 comments

I received this book for free from Covenant in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

For Elise by Sarah M Eden~Blog Tour

For Elise

by Sarah M Eden
Published by Covenant on September 1, 2014
Genres: Adult, Regency, Romance
Pages: 272
Format: Paperback
Source: Covenant
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In the sprawling gardens of their neighboring estates, childhood friends Miles and Elise spent countless pleasant days together in the spirited adventures of youth. They were inseparable—until Elise vanished without a trace. Miles searched, but Elise could not—or would not—be found . . . After years spent laboring on the family plantation in the West Indies, Miles Linwood is shocked by the unexpected news: he has inherited his distant cousin’s estate and the title of Marquess of Grenton. Miles’s return to England is tarnished by only one thing—he is still haunted by Elise’s mysterious disappearance. So when he glimpses a woman with a startling resemblance to his lost friend, he’s shaken to the core. This is no mere shadow of the past: it is truly Elise. But his dear friend has changed—to the point that he questions whether it is really her, though he knows it is. Accustomed to rescuing Elise from childhood escapades, Miles takes her and those in her care back to his estate, even as he struggles to understand her fear and mistrust. As their friendship and feelings slowly blossom again, the shocking truth of their separated years is revealed, and Miles realizes more than ever that he must protect Elise. She slipped away once, and he cannot lose her again.

Regency Romance is one of my favorite genres, and Sarah M. Eden is a great go to Regency author. In her latest, For Elise, Miles Linwood, a marquess, is traveling the country when he happens upon his long lost childhood friend. Elise, now called Ella is a very young widow with small child, living a life of poverty. The two were the best of friends growing up until a murder tore their lives and inherited estates apart. Ella is guarded and seems burdened with so many emotions bottled up, that when Miles steps in to offer her a new life, she’s not sure she can open up again and let him in. Eden addresses deafness, prejudice of social classes and trust between friends. There’s plenty of suspense as mysterious handwritten notes start showing up as a threat to Elise. The murderer is lurking nearby Tafford Estate where Miles now lives.

I read For Elise in one day, start to finish. With returning characters from her previous novels and a dreamy landscape, once again Ms. Eden had me fully engaged. I recommend all of her books!

Content: clean, some kissing & tension, moderate violence, rape (but not described.)




About the Authorsarah_M_eden

Sarah M. Eden is the author of multiple historical romances, including Whitney Award finalists Seeking PersephoneCourting Miss Lancaster, and AML’s “2013 Novel of the year” Longing for Home. Combining her obsession with history and affinity for tender love stories, Sarah loves crafting witty characters and heartfelt romances. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in research and happily spends hours perusing the reference shelves of her local library. Sarah has twice served as the Master of Ceremonies for the LDStorymakers Writers Conference and acted as the Writer in Residence at the Northwest Writers Retreat. Sarah is represented by Pam van Hylckama Vlieg at D4EO Literary Agency.


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Willow Springs by Carolyn Steele Blog Tour and Review

20 Aug, 2014 by in adult, blog tour, carolyn steele, sweetwater books, western, willow springs 1 comment

I received this book for free from Cedar Fort in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Willow Springs by Carolyn Steele Blog Tour and Review

Willow Springs

by Carolyn Steele
Published by Sweetwater on August 12, 2014
Genres: Adult, Romance, Western
Pages: 240
Format: eARC
Source: Cedar Fort
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Crissa Engleson, an immigrant from Sweden, fled Boston hoping to start a new life, unknown and unencumbered, in the West. The quiet Pony Express town of Willow Springs in the Utah desert seemed the perfect spot until the intrigue of her past and rivalries of the town’s leading families envelope her. She falls in love with an Express rider, Drake Adams, but their courtship is thwarted by blackmail and treachery. Crissa must decide which is stronger: her desire for Drake, her own safety, or her love for the two young children left in her charge.

Willow Springs is written for anyone who enjoys Westerns, History, Romance or Intrigue. Men and women alike have expressed great interest in this story.

Willow Springs blog tour
Where to begin? Wow, this a whirlwind of a book! So much plot packed into a small amount of time. Lots of drama, twists and turns. Carolyn Steele’s Willow Springs reminded me a lot of Carla Kelly’s romance novels, also by the same publisher. If you a re fan of the Wild, (and I mean, WILD) West, or books set in the 1800’s, you will like this one. Crissa is a Swedish immigrant who leaves her homeland bound for America. Once arrived, her life is about as complicated and cursed as they come. Luckily she has some great people to take care of her when sinister plots unfold.

There are definitely darker elements to Willow Springs such as rape, prostitution, murder and violence. For my taste, it was a bit TMI in some parts. I’m not sure I would categorize it as completely clean. Though sex is not described in detail, it is a prevalent theme of the story.

I always enjoy historical elements in romance. And the main hero Drake was wonderful. The cover–gorgeous! There were a few editing issues, but since we received an e arc, I’m hoping those are fixed in the final copy. Lots of action, some fun references to the early Mormon church and an intriguing enough read that I finished in one day.

Not a bad debut! Thanks so much to the author for her kindness and to Cedar Fort for having us as a part of the blog tour.


About the Author 1386622

Born and raised in Utah, Carolyn Steele was introduced to western novels at a very young age by her grandfather, the son of a gold miner. She has been writing technical and marketing communications for most of her adult life. Her nonfiction articles have appeared in numerous national magazines. She earned her undergraduate degree in Communications from the University of Utah. Married and living in Salt Lake City, Utah, Carolyn loves researching obscure history then weaving it into stories. She also enjoys family dinners with her children and grandchildren, photography, travel, golf, reading, and all forms of needlework.


Book Review: A Promise at Bluebell Hill by Emma Cane

26 Feb, 2014 by in adult, avon, HarperCollins, Romance 2 comments

I received this book for free from HarperCollins in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review: A Promise at Bluebell Hill by Emma Cane

A Promise at Bluebell Hill

by Emma Cane
Series: Valentine Valley #4
Published by Avon, HarperCollins on February 25th, 2014
Genres: Adult, Romance
Pages: 384
Format: Paperback
Source: HarperCollins
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Welcome to Valentine Valley, where romance blooms and love captivates even the most guarded of hearts . . .

From the moment Secret Service agent Travis Beaumont strides into the town and through the door of Monica Shaw's flower shop, she feels a sizzle of attraction. After years of putting everyone else's needs first, Monica is ready to grab hold of life. If she can just persuade the ultimate protector to let his own walls down for once . . .

The President's son is getting married in Valentine Valley, and Travis should be avoiding all distractions . . . not fantasizing about a forthright, sexy-as-hell florist. Especially when she's keeping secrets that could jeopardize his assignment. But just this once, Travis is tempted to put down the rulebook and follow his heart—right to Monica's door.

Roses are red, violets are blue, and in Valentine Valley, love will always find you.

This is the first book I’ve read in the Valentine Valley series, but it is actually #4 in sequence. A Promise at Bluebell Hill can be read as a standalone, but ultimately I think readers will enjoy getting to know the back story behind this small town group of activists, shop owners and close friends.

I loved:

The small town setting. Valentine Valley, Colorado has a homey feel. Its a timeless community where everyone knows each other.

The loyalty between the characters and the depth of relationships between family and friends. This is a feel good about women book.

That the two main characters were willing to settle down and commit to one another, putting high push careers and political differences aside. They recognized the importance of marriage and family.

The scenic backdrop of bluebell fields and mountains. It’s a romantic place we would all want to visit.

The exploration and resolution of marital problems between Monica’s parents. There is a good plot arc as we see empty nesters work out how to enjoy each other without being directly involved in each others hobbies.

The trade market price. A paperback for $5.

I Struggled With:

The heavy and descriptive romance scenes. I admit, I typically do not read adult romance unless it leaves details to the imagination. This one was a little too fast moving and TMI for me. It’s definitely an adult romance, not for children or teens.

The push at political agenda and correctness. It felt forced to have an activist group against big development and preservation of fossils, flag burning protests, a female President of the US all rolled into one small town novel.

Overall, for me as a reader, the good outweighed the bad and I would read the rest of the series. But it would mean skipping right over the pages with detailed love scenes. I prefer a clean read with tension instead of having it all spelled out.

I loved the writing and the well developed characters and I am glad to have found out such a place as Valentine Valley really exists! You can learn more on the author’s site. Thanks so much to HarperCollins for a fun Valentine’s read!


About the AuthorEmma Cane

Emma Cane was born in Erie, a small Pennsylvania town on beautiful Lake Erie, where the sunsets are some of the best in the world. Though Emma enjoyed figure skating and skiing (good sports in the northeast), she brought a book everywhere she went, usually science fiction and fantasy. Yes, Emma was a Trekkie. Early in her teen years, she decided maybe she could be a writer, and wrote passionate stories of teenagers in space, first by hand until her fingers cramped, and then on her dad’s manual typewriter, which she still can’t bear to give away. In high school she discovered historical romances, starting with Kathleen Woodiwiss’s Shanna, and Emma never looked back. The first romance she ever tried to write was a historical Western, but now she’s changed to the 21st century, where cowboys can ride pickup trucks as well as horses. Emma fell in love with small-town, heartwarming stories, and created the fictional town Valentine Valley, a small ranching community in the Colorado Rockies, where she sets her novels. A Town Called Valentine was the first in her new series. A Promise at Bluebell Hill is the fourth book, and there’ve also been two novellas.

Emma always wanted a career. She determined she wouldn’t be good at the family business, funeral directing, mainly because a funeral director is a social creature, out in society, joining lots of committees and being involved in the community. She likes to pick and choose her committees (she’s served in almost every capacity in her local writers’ group) She especially enjoys being at home in the evenings, her face buried in a book. When she went to college, Emma figured it might be difficult to earn a living writing, so she tried many different jobs. After majoring in aerospace engineering and taking all her electives in English, she realized writing was her future. While she learned her craft and raised her children, she worked several jobs, from fitness training to programming computer-controlled machines. She joined her local chapter of Romance Writers of America, found her best friends, and with their help, sold her manuscript to Avon Books. At last, writing has become her full-time career.

Now that her three children are grown, Emma loves spending time crocheting and singing (although not necessarily at the same time), and hiking and snowshoeing alongside her husband Jim and two rambunctious dogs Apollo and Uma.

Emma also writes as USA Today Bestselling historical romance author Gayle Callen.

Find out more at HarperCollins * Author’s website