Monday, November 27, 2023

Claiming the Cowgirl is a sweet Christmastime Novella


Author Jody Hedlund wraps up her Colorado Cowgirl series with her novella Claiming the Cowgirl part of the Christmas Bells and Wedding Vows: A Marriage of Convenience Anthology

Readers meet Serena Taylor towards in the end of Captivated by the Cowgirl when she’s hired to help Felicity run the Courtney Boardinghouse. She is a widow with a young son and she’s on the run from her former father-in-law who is determined to prove she’s an unfit parent. Her solution: to marry again and give her son a father.

Eligible bachelor Weston Oakley is in no hurry to give his heart away having been burned by love before. Suggesting a marriage of convenience will benefit them both. Serena will gain a father for her son, and he gets his meddlesome family off his back who were convinced he’d never find someone to marry. It’s a win-win. However, both Serena and Weston get more than they bargained for.

Ms. Hedlund crafted such a sweet and heart-melting romance in Claiming the Cowgirl. You find yourself rooting for both Weston and Serena. I admired Serena's selfless attitude when Weston told her she could buy whatever she wanted she thought of others before herself. In turn, I like that Weston sees and appreciates this quality in Serena. 

Both Weston and Serena model generosity and putting others needs about theirs. These qualities had you rooting for them as a couple. I liked that Serena doesn't see Weston's wealth as she can have anything she wants. Instead she's thinking about how to bless the people in his employ. This quality made her someone to admire.  

At the risk of sounding cliché the romance is what kept me in the story. Neither Weston or Serena had truly experienced love and you find yourself rooting for this kind-hearted couple to realize they are in love with each other. 

Claiming the Cowgirl delights readers with this tender romance and perfectly wraps up Ms. Hedlund's Colorado Cowgirls series with a bow. 

~~Christmas Bells and Wedding Vows was provided to me by the author herself and the publisher in return for my honest review. I received a complimentary copy of the book.  I was not required to write a positive review. All viewpoints expressed are my own. ~

Monday, November 13, 2023

To Spark a Match is a Fiery and Fun Read

Once again historical author Jen Turano brings her hallmark humor and sarcasm to the Gilded Age in her gorgeous new book To Spark a Match. (This might be my favorite book cover by this author only because of Adelaide's exquisite emerald green dress.)  

Miss Adelaide Duveen has spent five unsuccessful seasons on the marriage market and has resigned herself to the belief that she’s destined to remain a spinster…forever. Not one to remain down at this dismal eventuality, she consoles herself at least she’ll be able to devote more time to her hobbies: books and her menagerie of cats. 

When Adelaide unintentionally interrupts former undercover agent Gidden Abbott involved in covert activity at a dinner party, she is drawn into Gideon’s world of danger and intrigue closely resembling the spy novels she reads.

Her well-timed diversion to save Gideon’s investigation causes society to threaten to banish her. Guilt-ridden Gideon enlists the help of a friend to re-frame how the elite view Adelaide. It was a sort of My Fair Lady meets the Gilded Age. Refining her and not changing her so much that she was unrecognizable, but polishing her manners, clothing, and the way she presents herself. Capitalizing on her hobbies (reading and collecting cats) to make her appear to be fascinating to the upper class.

Through this process of change, Adelaide has many wardrobe mishaps that had me laughing out loud and in my opinion were some of the funniest parts of the book. Her wardrobe blunders made her a more relatable heroine and it makes you fall in love with her character even more! 

From the moment Adelaide and Gideon meet their chemistry and teasing exchange leap off the page leaving you wanting more and wondering when the next Gideon/Adelaide verbal sparring match will be. I like that their relationship started off as friendship and naturally progressed to romance. 

Will the spark of love ignite between Gideon and Adelaide before it’s too late or be quenched by danger?

At the risk of sounding cliché or like a broken record, what draws me into Ms. Turano’s books is her sharp banter not only between the hero and heroine, but all the characters.  The world she creates with her clever use of quick-witted, engaging dialogue makes you want to dive in headfirst and inhabit her world hoping some of their wit will rub off on you.

To Spark a Match is like A Match in the Making with the humor that readers have come to expect from Ms. Turano, but what sets it apart is the mystery element. This aspect to the story added seriousness and substance which I think it needed.

Grab a cozy blanket, your favorite drink and treat yourself to the perfect riotous fall read with To Spark a Match

~~To Spark a Match was provided to me by the author herself and the publisher in return for my honest review. I received a complimentary copy of the book.  I was not required to write a positive review. All viewpoints expressed are my own. ~