Book Recommendation ~ The Cowboy’s Christmas Baby by Carolyne Aarsen

 

the_cowboys_christmas_baby

Book Description:

A Family For Christmas 

No one expected Erin McCauley to arrive in Saddlebank, Montana, with a baby…and no wedding ring. Especially not Dean Moore, who cared for Erin but knew the by-the-book girl would never go for a hard-living cowboy like him. While helping renovate Erin’s new home, Dean realizes he’s still in love with her—and with her beautiful daughter. As far as he’s concerned, past mistakes don’t have to define them—but guilt is holding Erin back from seeing that Dean is offering exactly what she’s longing for. Because if she lets him, he’ll give her the home—and the family—she’s always wanted.

Narelle’s Thoughts: 

A contemporary romance with a handsome cowboy holding an adorable baby on the cover has to be a winner, right? Carolyne shared her thoughts on the cover and book title in an Inspy Romance post here. 

I really enjoyed reading this book. The Cowboy’s Christmas Baby is the third book in the Big Sky Cowboys series. Each book features a McCauley sister.

Erin McCauley was the good girl who had spent most of her life trying to do the right thing. But she has a secret she hasn’t shared with her sisters or her late father. A secret drenched in guilt and shame that has tested her faith and resulted in her becoming a single parent. The story opens with Erin returning to Saddlebank, Montana, to introduce her six week old daughter, Caitlin, to her sisters.

Dean Moore has had a crush on Erin for years. Erin was the unobtainable girl who was too classy to date a rodeo cowboy like him. She rebuffed his advances years ago when she spent her summer holidays staying on her father’s ranch. Her twin sister is set to marry his brother. Dean works in construction and is recovering from a rodeo injury that has left him with a limp and a lot of pain in his leg.

Dean is stunned by Erin’s return to Saddlebank with her baby. He’s charged with renovating her house on the ranch. Sparks fly as they spend time together and form a close friendship. Dean dotes on Caitlin and he doesn’t push Erin to share her story about Caitlin’s father.

Caitlin wants to put down roots in Saddlebank and raise her daughter with family close by. Dean has matured and now has a strong faith. She starts to rely on him and view him as a potential husband and father for Caitlin. But her past mistakes haunt her and threaten her future with Dean.

I loved the emotional depth in the story and how both Erin and Dean had to overcome their fears and face the reality of their life circumstances. We see Erin’s struggles and triumphs as she bonds and loves on her gorgeous baby.

I recommend The Cowboy’s Christmas Baby to readers who enjoy heartwarming Christian romance. It’s a standalone story that features cameo appearances from characters in the Refuge Ranch series that’s also set in Saddlebank. I also loved the unique proposal scene in the Epilogue.

Carolyne has a new release in February from Love Inspired: Courting The Cowboy (Cowboys of Cedar Ridge Book 1)

Read a FREE sample of The Cowboy’s Christmas Baby at Amazon.com

Book Recommendation ~ Her Minnesota Man by Brenda Coulter

Book Description:

A HEARTWARMING CHRISTIAN ROMANCE NOVEL

Tender, funny, and thought-provoking, this novel is one you’ll remember long after you’ve turned the last page.

Rock star Jackson Bell has just given his heart to God. Resolved to abandon his wicked lifestyle and eager for instruction in Christian living, he heads home to Owatonna, Minnesota and the girl-next-door he’s secretly loved for years. Dismayed to find Laney Ryland in the midst of a faith crisis, “Jeb” quickly formulates a plan: He’ll help Laney get her faith back, and then he’ll find her a good Christian man to marry so she can get started on that big family she longs for.

It won’t be easy, watching another man slide a ring onto Laney’s finger. But she deserves only the best, and Jeb means to see that she gets it. Now if only her great-aunts, those pesky 79-year-old matchmaking triplets known as the Three Graces, will just stay out of his way . . . .

Narelle’s Thoughts:

I really enjoyed reading this book. Jeb and Laney were fascinating characters with a complex history that set the stage for a compelling romance. Jeb’s desire to turn his back on his old rock star lifestyle and learn how to live according to his new found faith was both realistic and endearing. Laney was juggling the many responsibilities in her life, and struggling with her faith and her inability to meet ‘Mr. Right.’

I loved journeying with Jeb and Laney as their unique friendship became something more. The ‘Three Graces’ were adorable and interesting characters who added many moments of humour to the story. I highly recommend this book to those interested in reading a fun and inspiring contemporary romance.

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Book Recommendation ~ Rainbow’s End novella collection

Book Description: 

Join a geocaching adventure in the spectacular Lake of the Ozarks wilderness, with Lyssa, the enthusiastic volunteer who can’t see past her own plans; Madison, a city girl paired with an outdoorsy guy who gets on her very last nerve; Hadley, who doesn’t know enough about guys to realize she’s met a womanizer; and cautious Reagan, who meets an equally cautious guy. Will they find the treasure they’re looking for … or something else entirely?

Back Cover blurb: 

It’s always an interesting group of strangers who show up for the first annual Rainbow’s End geocache hunt, and the spectacular scenery along the bluffs of the Lake of the Ozarks is just one reason…

Topaz Treasure by Valerie Comer

Lyssa, hoping she can get over her fears and point folks to the treasure found in Jesus, is startled to find her former college professor among the group. Will he upset her mission?

Beneath the Surface by Annalisa Daughety

City girl Madison is annoyed that her sister signed her up and then bailed – but now she’s been paired with a complete stranger! Worse, he’s one of those outdoorsy types.

Love’s Prize by Cara C. Putman

Reagan has always played it safe, doing everything by the book. And then she meets her brother’s frat brother, a guy who’s got his life mapped out, too.

Welcome Home, Love by Nicole O’Dell

After winning her life-long battle to get fit, Hadley can’t wait to meet the people who didn’t know her “before”. But Brad is that species of guy she has no experience with: a player.

God only knows if this adventure in the woods will lead to heartache… or love.

Narelle’s Thoughts: I really enjoyed reading this novella collection. Each romance centers around the Rainbow’s End geocache hunt. I learned more about geocaching in each story and I liked the outdoors summer setting. The stories run concurrently and one of the novellas has a suspense element. I recommend this novella collection to those looking for fun romance stories with an outdoors theme.

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Book Recommendation ~ A New Resolution by Rose Dee

Book Description:

Resolution Island is a safe haven for Anika Deumer. A chance to fulfill dreams, find her place in the world, and a new life for her and young son, Kye. But her dreams of a future are shattered when her son’s security is challenged, and the rich and privileged Texan, Nate, sails into the bay. Now Ani must not only fight for her son, but also a growing attraction she has to the one type of man she loathes.

Nate Hollingsworth is on a mission. He needs to fulfill his mother’s last wish and change his life. Dropping anchor in the idyllic Resolution harbour, he didn’t anticipate becoming involved in illegal fishing, a murder or an unexpected attraction to the most exasperating woman he has ever met.

The Australian tropical Island, Resolution, sets the scene again for adventures, dreams and new beginnings. A New Resolution is the final book in the Resolution trilogy, following Back to Resolution and Beyond Resolution.

Narelle’s Thoughts:

I enjoyed reading this book. Anika (Ani) is a fascinating character with an indigenous islander heritage. She lacked parental guidance as a youngster and was rescued by distant relatives, Aunty and Uncle. Starved for love, Ani made a decision that changed the direction of her life.

Nate has lived a life of privilege in Texas and his decisions follow in the pleasure seeking footsteps of his father. His mother’s untimely death sends him on a sailing adventure to far North Queensland.

The first third of the book provides the lead up to Ani and Nate’s first meeting at Resolution, which I would have liked to have seen happen earlier in the story.  The sparks fly when they finally meet and a fun romance develops along with a mystery surrounding the source of the illegal fishing on nearby islands.

Ani and Nate discover their faith during the story and they have both experienced intimate relationships with previous partners. This aspect of their lives is explored in a realistic manner in the story. The level of sensuality is higher than the typical Christian romance and includes a bikini top wardrobe malfunction scene that could potentially offend some readers.

The story portrays the very real challenges facing those who seek to uphold Biblical standards of purity outside of marriage. It doesn’t sugar coat the struggles facing people who are not used to suppressing their lustful desires.

I recommend A New Resolution to those looking for a realistic and edgy contemporary romance set in an Aussie tropical island paradise.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author.

Read a FREE sample at Amazon.com

Book Recommendation ~ No Substitute by Susan Diane Johnson


Book Description:

First loves never last . . . except when they do. When Amy Welsh returns to Goose Bay as a substitute teacher, she has no intention of seeing Quentin Macmillan, the man who once left her waiting in the rain clutching her suitcase and dreaming of becoming his wife. Seventeen years later, his teenage daughter shows up in Amy’s class with plans to reunite her widowed father with the woman he has always loved. When the assignment is forgiveness and healing, will this young teacher pass the test?

Narelle’s Thoughts:

I’m delighted to share my dear friend, Suzie Johnson’s, debut novel with you. Suzie is also one of my critique partners and she writes under the names Susan Diane Johnson and Suzie Johnson.

I really enjoyed reading No Substitute, a fun and light hearted reunion romance between childhood sweethearts Amy and Quentin. Amy returns to Goose Bay, hoping to get past her teenage infatuation with Quentin once and for all. She never knew the real reason why their teen romance ended and Quentin married someone else so soon after she left town. Quentin’s teenage daughter is in Amy’s class, and she sets in motion a plan to push her father and Amy together.

Amy and Quentin are fascinating characters who deal with situations that challenge their faith. Amy grows in her faith as she rediscovers Goose Bay and her love for Quentin. He is a lovable hero who is doing his best to raise his teen daughter on his own. We see Quentin’s faith in action and his willingness to forgive in difficult and challenging situations. A very cute duck named Rufus also features in the story, set in Washington State. I highly recommend this book to those looking for an entertaining and inspiring Christian romance with a forgiveness theme.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author.

Read a FREE sample at Amazon.com

Book Recommendation ~ The Covering by Dana Pratola

Book Description:

What do a woman of faith and a heathen biker have in common? The devil, of course.

Tessa is moved to intercede for a man she’s never met. When they do meet, she’s stunned. Gunnar is gorgeous, charismatic, and driven. He’s also hostile, self-destructive, and an unbeliever…and she’s drawn to him like no other. The temptation she feels is as dangerous as it is alluring. She wants to stay away, but God has other plans. He reveals the devil’s intent to destroy Gunnar, and commissions Tessa to keep him covered in prayer. Can she rely on God to keep her from falling…in love, and into temptation? Or will the devil claim them both?

Narelle’s Thoughts:

I read the back cover blurb and I wasn’t sure if I would like this book. But, after the reading the first chapter I was hooked. There is an underlying spiritual warfare theme but the main focus of the story is on the fascinating relationship between Tessa and Gunnar.

It has the ‘good girl/bad boy’ romance dynamic and the way the characters are drawn together is not sugar coated and could be considered edgy for an inspirational romance. The attraction between Tessa and Gunnar is not hidden or downplayed and contains a level of realism that may not be to the taste of more conservative Christian fiction readers. I recommend this book to those looking for an exciting and different inspirational romance that explores faith issues.

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Book Recommendation ~ A Simple Mistake by Andrea Grigg

Book Description:

When teenage sweethearts Nick and Lainey meet again after more than a decade, so much has changed. Nick is now a famous celebrity and Lainey is the girl he left behind. As a member of a highly successful band and with an emerging acting career, Nick can have any girl he wants. Now he wants Lainey back. Despite Nick’s promise to keep in touch when he left to seek fame and fortune, Lainey never heard from him. Now that time has passed, she has moved on from what she felt. Or has she? After discovering what kept them apart for so long, they tentatively rekindle their past romance. The feelings are just as strong as before but can Lainey accept Nick’s lack of faith? And can their new relationship survive Lainey’s secret? An Australian romance about faith and trust by debut author Andrea Grigg.

Narelle’s Thoughts:

I really enjoyed reading this fun romance set in Sydney and Gold Coast, Australia. Lainey is an ordinary girl thrown into an extraordinary situation when she reconnects with Nick at a wedding. Nick is a hero to die for and, despite having his pick of gorgeous women, he wants Lainey.

Lainey struggles with her strong feelings for Nick and the knowledge that they would be unequally yoked if they married. We journey with Lainey and Nick as they face a number of obstacles and a big secret from the past. I recommend this book to those looking for a contemporary romance that deals with real issues facing young Christian women today.

Read a FREE sample at Amazon.com