March 3, 2015

The Road to Hope. Rachael Johns

Book cover
The Road to Hope
Rachael Johns
Published: Harlequin MIRA Australia
Date: 1st March 2015
Format: e-ARC
Pages: 352
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
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Nurse Lauren Simpson is known in Hope Junction for the wrong reasons – and she’s over it. Watching the man she’s always loved marry someone else is the last straw – she decides to get out of Hope. But her resolve is tested when the hot new locum doctor arrives in town.

Doctor Tom Lewis also has skeletons in his closet – including a painful breakup and devastating family news. He’s hit the road with his vintage ute and surfboard, to travel the outback and live in the moment.

When Tom and Lauren meet the attraction is instant, but for Lauren Tom threatens to be just another fling and Tom has his own reasons for hesitating. Everyone else – their friends and patients – can see how perfect they are together, but just what will it take for them to admit this to themselves?
My thoughts banner
The Road to Hope by Rachael Johns takes up Lauren's story, we met her in Jilted where she was the one who didn't get the guy!  She wasn't seen in the best light either.  However this time we are able to grasp a better picture of Lauren - and it's a good one!

I found the first part of the story moved a little slowly but once I hit the halfway mark I was fully engaged and feeling for the characters.  Lauren has decided that it's time to have a change and she is on the verge of handing in her resignation at the hospital where she works.  She wants to make a new start.  She has had a rather loveless past growing up and doesn't have a high self esteem.  Everyone around her seems to have a happy relationship and she is feeling somewhat out of it. Even her relationship with best friend Whitney seems to have changed.

Tom has taken on a locum job, he's great looking and a very good doctor.  He and Frank - Lauren's brother, have been good friends and so Tom makes himself right at home with Lauren. However Tom is running from something, he has a warm loving family, but is on the outer with them at the moment. He has also experienced a relationship turning sour and it's made him somewhat wary and determined that love and a relationship that matters is not for him.

I loved the elderly patients at the hospital, and the way in which Lauren and Tom went beyond the job in being with them and making sure that they were treated as people who had needs and feelings. I also liked the exploration of a disease that robs people of their memory and the effect this has on a family.  When I read a book I always like something more than a romance - I want challenges and issues that might strike anyone to be taken out and looked at.  Whatever the future holds for us, it's today and love that matter. That's the message in this book.  It's a good one.
4 stars

March 2, 2015

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?
Sheila at Book Journey runs It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

Well February finishes and I am one month into retirement!  Retirement - still trying to feel my way into it, I have all these jobs to do, keep thinking I should write a list, but instead I sit and read. I guess I will need to get into things soon. Really they are not jobs for me, I just need to organise them by phoning!  I did go and get booster shots for tetanus, diphtheria and whooping cough.  So that's one thing off that list!

What I read last week:

The Road to Hope book cover
Liked it.

Jubilee's Journey book cover

Another good instalment in the Wyatsville series.

Intensive Care
Interesting debut novel.

Trust No One book cover

Audiobook enjoyed.

Thief With No Shadow book cover

NZ author Emily Gee

What I am reading at present:

Just started listening to Angel Mine by Sherryl Woods

Reading - The Luckiest Lady in London by Sherry Thomas

Up next:

The Last Time I Was Me by Cathy Lamb

Posts from the last week:

One Wish  Robyn Carr    Giveaway for continental U.S. still open

March 1, 2015

Looking Back at February 2015

February banner

Total books read this month: 18

Audio Books Read:
Looking For Me   Beth Hoffman
The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie   Jennifer Ashley Review pending
Trust No One        Jayne Ann Krentz  Review pending

Ebooks Read
The Secrets of Midwives   Sally Hepworth
The Girls of Mischief Bay     Susan Mallery
Snowy River Man      Lizzy Chandler
First Time in Forever    Sarah Morgan
One Wish                       Robyn Carr
Heartbreak Cove            Lily Everett
Portrait in Death             J. D. Robb
Jubilee's Journey            Bette Lee Crosby  Review pending
Intensive Care                Nicki Edwards      Review pending

Paperbacks Read
Welcome to Serenity   Sherryl Woods
Silver Thaw   Catherine Anderson
Raw   Martin Crowe  - non fiction sport - cricket.
A Place Called Harmony  Jodi Thomas
Baltimore Blues    Laura Lippman
Black Hills     Nora Roberts

Top Books for February

Looking For Me   Beth Hoffman
The Girls of Mischief Bay     Susan Mallery
Silver Thaw   Catherine Anderson

Incoming Books.

Books Purchased:
Blackpeak Vines     Holly Ford (NZ author)
Heavenly Hirani's School of Laughing Yoga  Sarah-Kate Lynch (NZ author)
The Wreck  by Marie Force
And I Love Her  by Marie Force
The Arrangement  by Mary Balogh
The Passion of Patrick MacNeill by Virginia Kantra
Portrait in Death  J. D. Robb
The Dysfunctional Test   Kelly Moran

Library Books: 
Baltimore Blues Laura Lippman

Books from NetGalley
One True Heart   -   Jodi Thomas   (invitation)  TBP  April
Blueprints  - Barbara Delinsky   TBP June
Heartbreak Cove  - Lily Everett

Accepted to review
Insecure   Ainslie Paton
The Settling Earth  Rebecca Burns.

Audio Books Purchased with Audible Credits.
The Martian   Andy Weir
Written in Red  Anne Bishop
One Tiny Lie    K. A. Tucker

Going off Script   Giuliana Rancic  (out in April) I'm a big fan.

FitReaders Check In.

FitReaders button
#FitReaders is hosted by The Geeky Blogger and That's What I'm Talking About.

I had a good week to end of the month of February and managed to meet my step goals for the month. (52500) I went slightly over Best day was Friday with 11700 steps and a great swim to finish off - best swim of the year!

While walking I have been listening to Trust No One by Jayne Ann Krentz, great company! Finishing it off as the month finishes, now to choose my next one.

So March ready to go!

February 28, 2015

Bookish Resolutions 2015 February Update

Bookish Goals:

Limit spending on books by checking at the library first for a book.  Track my spending on books and see what I do spend over a year - this does not include Audible credits or book gift vouchers received.

I did  check at the library but ran into a couple of tattered, grimy copies of books I wasn't prepared to read!  

Blackpeak Vines     Holly Ford (NZ author)  NZ$30 - Paperback.
Heavenly Hirani's School of Laughing Yoga  Sarah-Kate Lynch (NZ author) NZ$30 - Paperback
Bought books above with $50 gift voucher so cost me $10 all up!
The Wreck  by Marie Force  US $0.77c  ebook.
And I Love Her  by Marie Force NZ $9.86 paperback - pre order for next in Green Mountain series.
The Arrangement  by Mary Balogh  U. S. $5.95 ebook
The Passion of Patrick MacNeill by Virginia Kantra  - free
Portrait in Death  J. D. Robb   U.S. $7.55 - ebook
The Dysfunctional Test   Kelly Moran  U.S. $4.40 - ebook

Total spent:  in NZ dollars - $44.60 plus 3 extra credits at Audible - NZ$46.76
                   = $91.36
How quickly book spending adds up!

Complete all the reading challenges I have signed up to for 2015.
Still on target for reading challenges for 2015.  Didn't get quite as involved as I would have liked in the Coyer Challenge but did complete the books I aimed for.

Ensure I post all book reviews to Amazon and Goodreads as well as on my blog.
Now very on track since I set up my spreadsheet.

Visit and comment on ten different reading blogs per week in 2015. (Does not include meme commenting)
I set up a spreadsheet for this to check up on myself so that I have actual proof I am meeting my goal.  I count ten and then don't worry about counting for the rest of the week.

My Not So Bookish Goal
Try a new meal recipe at least once a fortnight.  ( I am such a boring cook!)

Failed abysmally - I am just so not into food. Oh well, maybe in March.

Heartbreak Cove. Lily Everett.

Hearbreak Cover book cover
Heartbreak Cove
Lily Everett
Published: St Martin's Press
Date: 3rd March 2015
Format: e-ARC
Pages: 320
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
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Sheriff Andie Shepard may be new to Sanctuary Island, but, like everyone else who comes here, she’s already fallen under its healing spell. Andie is determined to leave her mistakes behind her and make this scenic haven her home. But she just might have to change her plans—as well as open her heart—when an unexpected visitor shows up on her doorstep…

Caitlin is the ten-year-old niece Andie never knew she had. Silent, wary, and shy as can be, Caitlin only responds to the horses that run wild across the island. Andie has no idea how to deal with Caitlin—until Sam Brennan enters the picture. A tall, handsome loner who rehabilitates abused horses, Sam is able to help Caitlin break out of her shell. But that’s not all: He finds a way to touch something deep in Andie’s heart, opening her up to the healing power of love. Together, these three lost souls must face the darkness in their past to build a brighter future. Because here, on Sanctuary Island, anything is possible…
My thoughts banner
Heartbreak Cove is #3 in Lily Everett's Sanctuary Island series.  It is another small town, contemporary romance, with enough points of difference to help it stand out from the myriad of books that follow this format.  I quickly became engaged and thoroughly enjoyed it.

Andi Shepard is the local sheriff, once a city cop, but now doing her policing in a place she loves. Just when things are going along nicely for Andi some surprises come her way that turn her world upside down.  Caitlin arrives, insecure and untrusting of women especially.  Andi will have her work cut out to gain her trust.  Then Sam arrives back on the island and starts Andi off in a journey of self discovery and reformulating of what she believes.  As well as that the local rich man Dabney Leeds is about to shake up Andi's hold on the sheriff badge.  I really liked how Andi adapted to all these challenges and in spite of her family background comes through for herself, Caitlin and Sam.

Sam arrives on the island with a highly strung horse that needs to be rescued from its abusive owner. Queenie takes up residence at Jo's stables and Caitlin falls in love with her, even though the two are no way ready for each other.  Later added into this mix is another local horse that badly needs Sam's help and attention.  Sam too has a really sad, tough background and he doesn't want this to anyway harm Andi or Caitlin.  What he doesn't figure on is the love they have for him or the sense of pride and community on this island.  Here they value horses, there are a group of wild horses protected on this island, so Sam's work is rated.

Along with all this runs a smaller story of Taylor and Matt.  Previously these two were found illegally hanging out in Heartbreak Cove - part of the wild horse sanctuary.  They had been dealt with by Andi and Taylor especially has changed her wild teenage ways.  She has some skills on computer, and is best friends with Matt who has a girlfriend.  But Taylor wants more.

My prediction of what would happen to the horses turned out to be correct.  I found the ending satisfying, in a slightly Disney or Hallmark movie way.  I did have questions about the way one of the townspeople turned at the end.  Slightly all too cosy an ending. However I love a happy ending for everyone so I am not too upset by it.

I will most certainly be looking forward to Home For Christmas later in the year - which tells the story of Caitlin's Dad.  I am sure we'll see him before too much longer on Sanctuary Island.
4 stars

February 26, 2015

One Wish. Robyn Carr. Review and Giveaway.

One Wish book cover
One Wish
Robyn Carr
Published: Harlequin MIRA
Date: 24th February 2015
Format: eARC
Pages: 384
Genre: Contemporary romance
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Add to Goodreads
Grace Dillon was a champion figure skater until she moved to Thunder Point to escape the ruthless world of fame and competition. And though she's proud of the quiet, self-sufficient life she's created running a successful flower shop, she knows something is missing. Her life could use a little excitement.

In a community where there are few eligible singles, high school teacher Troy Headly appoints himself Grace's fun coach. When he suggests a little companionship with no strings attached, Grace is eager to take him up on his offer, and the two enjoy…getting to know each other.

But things get complicated when Grace's past catches up with her, and she knows that's not what Troy signed up for. Faced with losing her, Troy realizes Grace is more than just a friend with benefits. He's determined to help her fight for the life she always wished for but never believed she could have—and maybe they can find real love along the way.
My thoughts banner
One Wish by Robyn Carr is #7 in her Thunder Point series, and hopefully there will be a good number more.  Robyn Carr is a highly skilled writer, and One Wish is a perfect example of how she spins a tale, with characters that I love and care about, issues that are real, and a plot that twists and turns and ultimately works out in the end.

One Wish is mainly about Grace and Troy.  In the previous book Troy lost out in love, but now it is his turn to find the woman that is perfect for him, so long as he can work out what his self worth is and what he has to give to Grace that has real value.  At first take it looks like they are perfectly suited.  Troy is all about fun - his aim is to bring fun into Grace's life and enjoy the outdoor pursuits with her that he loves to engage in.  However Troy does not know everything about Grace and when he learns all there is to know will it make a difference?

Grace might now be the owner of a successful business in Thunder Point but she has rearranged her name a little and likes to live out of the limelight.  She has experienced the tough life of being a top competitor in a sport she loves but left.  Although when the going is tough for her - then instead of falling in a heap - Grace shows her steely strength.  Her father has died, and her mother - well that's an interesting point.  Grace's mother pushed her and lived her life through Grace's success.  Now Grace wants little to do with her.

What I love about these books is that we are given little insights into the ongoing lives of others in the town of Thunder Point who are like old friends.   There is a little cameo of Rawley - loved that! Ray Ann the town realtor has a slightly larger and more satisfying role and we also have introduced her 'niece' Ginger who is dealing with a very heartbreaking issue - but there is nobody more suited to the task than Ray Ann to help her a little.  We even receive a visit from a couple down from Virgin River - no not Jack!  To top it all off there is a wedding thrown in and the population of Thunder Point looks ready to explode!

While I'd recommend the complete series, each book could be read on its own.

One Wish is a romance plus, it is more than a simple contemporary romance, it has depth to it, real issues that real people could face.  There is a side serving of women's fiction thrown in.  For me, my favorite kind of read.
4.5 stars
Thunder Point
The Wanderer      #1
The Newcomer    #2
The Hero              #3
The Chance          #4       
The Promise         #5
Can be Purchased                   
Amazon        B&N       iBooks        Indie Bound       Book Depository

 Little Bird Publicity is kindly offering the chance  to win a copy of One Wish by Robyn Carr to U. S. continental readers.  Just fill out the form below.

Connect with Robyn Carr

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