Book Recommendation ~ Sprouts of Love by Valerie Comer (Arcadia Valley Romance 5)

Book Description:

Can love sprout amid a tsunami of vegetables?

Single mom Evelyn Felton takes on another part-time job managing a greenhouse and garden project for Grace Fellowship. Formerly homeless, she’s thrilled to offer truckloads of fresh produce to the Arcadia Valley food bank.

If only Ben Kujak weren’t running Corinna’s Cupboard singlehandedly, he’d be delighted to be on the receiving end. But Evelyn and her dynamo daughter, Maisie, won’t take no for an answer, even if it means restructuring Ben’s charity.

Soon Ben finds himself wishing they’d transform his personal life, too, but can true love sprout when their pasts collide with the present?

Narelle’s Thoughts: 

Have you been reading the Arcadia Valley Romance series? If not, go check out these stories. The prequel novellas for the full length books in the series are available for 99 cents in Romance Grows in Arcadia Valley.

I’m a big fan of series books. I especially love continuity series with interconnected stories and characters who pop up in different stories. It’s like you become reacquainted with old friends when you read a series that’s set in a small community.

Sprouts of Love is Book 1 in Valerie Comer’s Garden Grown Romance series and the fifth release in the Arcadia Valley Romance series.

In the prequel novella, Sow in Love, we meet Evelyn Felton and her adorable ten year old daughter, Maisie. Fast forward to Sprouts of Love, and the living trust we learn about in Joanna and Grady’s romance story is ready for harvest.

Evelyn is a single mother with three jobs. She’s doing her best to earn enough money to pay the rent on her dingy apartment and provide for Maisie. Evelyn has a heart for homeless people because she has been there. Her adult life has been a long financial struggle. She has appreciated the help she received when times were tough, and the life changing assistance from her mentor.

Ben Kujak lost his wife and young daughter in a car wreck. Five years later, he’s investing all his time and energy into running a soup kitchen that’s financed by a trust that is run by his late wife’s family.

Ben initially rejects Evelyn’s offer of free fresh produce for Corinna’s Cupboard. He’s feeding forty people and doesn’t have time to fuss with fresh food preparation. He’s intrigued by Evelyn and attends a Sunday Service at Grace Fellowship where he learns more about Evelyn’s connection to the innovative greenhouse garden project.

A delightful romance develops between Ben and Evelyn, and he can’t help but love Maisie as if she was his own daughter. Evelyn and Ben’s background and family history create a number of obstacles in the story. I empathised with the heartache they had both experienced, and their need to heal and forgive those who had wronged and hurt them.

The issue of homelessness was sensitively addressed in the story. I learned more about the specific issues facing women who find themselves in desperate financial situations.

Ben and Evelyn’s faith was challenged as secrets were revealed. They both had to deal with issues from the past that threatened their future.

I highly recommend Sprouts of Love to readers who are looking for a fun and thought provoking contemporary romance with a garden fresh food theme.

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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.

Read a FREE sample at Amazon.com

Book Recommendation: Secretly Yours (Riverbend Romance Book 1) by Valerie Comer

Secretly Yours

Book Description:

A Christian Romance Novella for Valentine’s Day

Chef Lindsey Solberg agrees to cater the church’s Valentine’s Day fundraising banquet as a favor to her teen sister, but she’s shocked to discover the bad boy from her high school days is now Riverbend’s youth pastor. Seriously? How could he have changed that much? Nick Harrison has prayed for years for an opportunity to make amends. Now Lindsey’s back in Riverbend and won’t give him the time of day. What’s a guy to do except leave a trail of gifts from a secret admirer?

Lindsey’s heart takes a beating when she realizes the boy who was never good enough is now a far better man than she deserves.

Narelle’s Thoughts:

I enjoyed reading Secretly Yours, set in the small fictional town of Riverbend in British Columbia, Canada. Lindsey Solberg hasn’t had an easy life. She returns to Riverbend to help her stepfather care for her stepsister, Madison, following the tragic loss of their mother. Pastor Nick is the reformed bad boy who messed with Lindsey’s heart when they were in high school. Lindsey struggles to believe that he’s a changed man, and she is reluctant to trust him. She’s not looking for romance, and her mother’s relationship history has turned her off the whole concept of marriage.

Lindsey agrees to be the chef for the church youth group’s Valentine fundraising dinner, and she’s drawn into an easygoing friendship with Nick.  I have a soft spot for reformed bad boy heroes, and Nick didn’t disappoint me. Nick regrets his actions in high school and comes up with his secret admirer plan to win Lindsey’s heart. His faith is strong and he gently encourages Lindsey to explore her own lukewarm faith.

Secretly Yours is the first book in Valerie Comer’s Riverbend Romance novella series, followed by Pinky Promise. A sweet Valentine’s Day read, I recommend Secretly Yours to readers who enjoy fun and lighthearted contemporary Christian romance novellas.

Click here to read my book recommendation for Sweet Serenade (Riverbend Romance Book 3)


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Book Recommendation: Sweet Serenade and Orphaned Hearts in SPLASH!

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Sweet Serenade by Valerie Comer, author of the Farm Fresh Romance series

Sweet Serenade

Book Description: Canadian river guide and canoe builder Reed Daniels stands by as his lifelong friends pair off. After all, he’s waited this long for the right woman… what’s a little longer? But when newcomer Carly shows up at the gang’s bonfire, he’s mesmerized. Could she be the answer to his prayers?

Water-sport enthusiast Carly Thorbergsen is starting over in Riverbend. Hired as a canoeing and hiking guide, she’s ready to focus on work and leave the personal stuff behind. That is until the competition, Reed Daniels, offers her a ride in his cedar-strip canoe. No resisting that!

But no matter how much they have in common, Carly can’t erase her past, and Reed is bound to discover the truth. When a date finds Carly and Reed running rapids on the outside of the canoe, they come face to face with the real reasons their new relationship might capsize.

Narelle’s thoughts: Sweet Serenade is a fun contemporary Christian romance set in a small fictitious Canadian town. Carly’s cousin warns her about getting involved with Reed, who is the handsome, single guy in their church group. Carly can’t help being drawn to Reed, despite the added complication of being employed by Reed’s competitor.

Carly is struggling with guilt from her past and she’s adjusting to life in a small town community. I loved Reed’s integrity and his desire to live out his faith in all areas of his life. The minor characters added a realism to the story that I really liked. The river scenery is gorgeous and I want to go canoeing in a small town just like Riverbend!

Read an interview with Valerie here.

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Orphaned Hearts by Marion Ueckermann, author of the Heart of Africa series

Orphaned Hearts

Book Description: When his wife dies in childbirth, Zambian conservationist Simon Hartley pours his life into raising his daughter and his orphan elephants. He has no time—or desire—to fall in love again. Or so he thinks.

Wanting to escape English society and postpone an arranged marriage, Lady Abigail Chadwick heads to Africa for a year to teach the children of the Good Shepherd Orphanage. Upon her arrival she is left stranded at Livingstone airport… until a reluctant Simon comes to her rescue.

Now only fears born of his loss—and secrets of the life she’s tried to leave behind—can stonewall their romance, budding in the heart of Africa.

Narelle’s thoughts: Orphaned Hearts is a heartfelt contemporary Christian romance set in exotic Zambia on the banks of the Zambezi River. Despite her father’s disapproval, Abigail travels from England to Africa and teaches in an orphanage. She leaves behind an ex-fiance and her luxurious life as Lady Abigail. Simon is a devoted father to Chloe and spends his time caring for orphaned elephants. He is intrigued by the fiesty and beautiful Abigail when she first arrives in Zambia.

A sweet romance develops between Simon and Abigail, and I loved how Chloe bonds with Abigail. Simon is challenged to let go of his grief and rediscover his faith during the story. Abigail has secrets that threaten to destroy her idyllic new life in the small African village. The orphaned elephants are just adorable, and an elephant ride during an African safari is on my travel bucket list!

Read an interview with Marion here.

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His Perfect Catch by Narelle Atkins, author of the Snowgum Creek series

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Book Description: Sydney girl Mia Radcliffe borrows her cousin’s beach house in Sapphire Bay, Australia, to escape the scandal surrounding her ex-fiancé. Her new neighbor is her secret crush from years ago… and she’s still captivated by the handsome builder who was a youth group leader at her church.

Living next door to Mia wasn’t part of Pete McCall’s plan when he started renovating his beach house. The blonde beauty inspires thoughts of settling down, despite her high maintenance ways and big-city dreams.

Love kindles during their time together and Mia’s heart is set on returning to Sydney with Pete. When new opportunities arise, Pete and Mia must decide if their love is for keeps.

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Grab a tall glass of lemonade or iced tea and dip your toes into a cool pool of water on a hot summer’s day while you enjoy the never-before-released Christian romance novellas in SPLASH!

NINE Refreshing Romances Filled with Faith!

Available from Amazon Kindle for 99 cents

http://www.amazon.com/Splash-Refreshing-Romances-Filled-Faith-ebook/dp/B00X4UEK0E/

Splash reviews blog hop

Click here to view the list of SPLASH! review posts.

SPLASH! Interview with Valerie Comer, author of Sweet Serenade

Sweet Serenade

Book Description:

Canadian river guide and canoe builder Reed Daniels stands by as his lifelong friends pair off. After all, he’s waited this long for the right woman… what’s a little longer? But when newcomer Carly shows up at the gang’s bonfire, he’s mesmerized. Could she be the answer to his prayers?


Water-sport enthusiast Carly Thorbergsen is starting over in Riverbend. Hired as a canoeing and hiking guide, she’s ready to focus on work and leave the personal stuff behind. That is until the competition, Reed Daniels, offers her a ride in his cedar-strip canoe. No resisting that!


But no matter how much they have in common, Carly can’t erase her past, and Reed is bound to discover the truth. When a date finds Carly and Reed running rapids on the outside of the canoe, they come face to face with the real reasons their new relationship might capsize.

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Narelle: Welcome, Valerie. Can you please tell us more about the setting for Sweet Serenade.

Valerie: Sweet Serenade is set in Riverbend, British Columbia, Canada, near where I live. At least, it would be nearby if it were a real place! Instead, I took the best features of various communities in this region and combined them into the quaint little town you wish you were from, where seasons are celebrated, and love is in the air.

Narelle: I’d love to visit Canada one day. How does your novella fit with the SPLASH! water theme?

Valerie: The town of Riverbend is on the banks of the Sandon River, but that wasn’t enough to meet the water theme for the Splash! collection. Both of my main characters are avid canoeists and enjoy the outdoors, so quite a few scenes are set on or beside rivers and lakes. Also in the river when they capsize the canoe. Carly and Reed definitely made a splash that day.

My husband and I have enjoyed many hours in our canoe, including a nine-day trip on the Bowron Lakes Canoe Circuit in Canada a number of years ago. Several of our experiences found their way into Sweet Serenade!

Narelle: It’s years since I’ve been canoeing, and I do remember capsizing more than once. Thankfully the water was warm! Is your novella connected to a series?

Valerie: Yes, Sweet Serenade is the third novella in my Riverbend series. Each is a standalone, so readers don’t need to worry about getting lost entering via the third story. My goal is to show the seasons in the community of Riverbend. Secretly Yours is a winter/Valentine’s tale. Pinky Promise takes place in spring, and Sweet Serenade is the summer story. Two more, for autumn and Christmas, will round out this novella series later in 2015.

Narelle: A seasonal novella collection is a fun theme. Valerie, thanks for visiting today and sharing more about Sweet Serenade with our blog readers.

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Valerie Comer’s life on a small farm in western Canada provides the seed for stories of contemporary inspirational romance. Like many of her characters, Valerie and her family grow much of their own food and are active in the local foods movement as well as their creation-care-centric church. She only hopes her creations enjoy their happily ever afters as much as she does hers, shared with her husband, adult kids, and adorable granddaughters.

http://valeriecomer.com

http://facebook.com/valeriecomer.author

http://twitter.com/valeriecomer

http://pinterest.com/valeriecomer

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NINE Refreshing Romances Filled with Faith!

Releasing June 23 and available for pre-order on Amazon Kindle for 99 cents.

Book Recommendation: Wild Mint Tea by Valerie Comer

Wild Mint Tea

Back cover blurb:

She’s rooted deep. He flies free.

Local-foods chef Claire Halford envisions turning Green Acres Farm into an event destination. Weddings prove trickier than she imagined when the first one comes with a ruggedly handsome brother-of-the-bride, who has everything but a fixed address. Oh, and faith in God.

Noel Kenzie loves the freedom his reforestation company affords him. Why worry about deep stuff like God and commitment when he’s in his prime? Except there’s a woman who might make it worth giving up his wings…and digging in some roots. If he dares.

Wild Mint Tea is the second novel in the Farm Fresh Romance series which sees three young women purchase an old farm in northern Idaho together with the purpose of growing their own food and proving to those around them that they can make a difference. It is a story of living sustainably on the land and focusing on real, local food from a Christian point-of-view. It doesn’t pad the issues nor preach about them, but allows the characters the freedom to grapple with environmentalism as believers.

Narelle: I really enjoyed reading Wild Mint Tea. Claire and her friends, Sierra and Jo, are working hard to create their dream of sustainable living on their farm. Claire dislikes her job at a restaurant in town and applies for a high paying short term cook position with Noel’s reforestation company. Sparks fly when Claire and Noel meet at the job interview.

Despite Claire’s excellent credentials, including her previous chef position at a top Seattle restaurant, Noel overlooks Claire for the job. Feeling bad when he calls her to break the news, he learns she’s building a wedding business at the farm and recommends the venue to his sister.

Noel and Claire are thrown together when his sister plans her wedding at Green Acres Farm, which happens to be located near his short term work camp in the mountains. Claire can’t imagine life away from Green Acres. Noel loves travelling and exploring the world. I was impressed to learn he has ridden horses in the Snowy Mountains in Australia. But, despite his attraction and growing feelings for Claire, he can’t see himself settling down in one place.

I loved the authenticity of the characters and I understood why they held certain beliefs and ideas. I enjoyed reading Raspberries and Vinegar (Jo and Zach’s story) which provided helpful background for this story. The stories can be read as stand alone novels. Personally, I prefer to read series books in order because I can gain extra insights into the characters from the previous books.

Noel has ignored his childhood upbringing in the church for years, and he is challenged by Claire’s strong faith. Claire struggles with her attraction to a man who isn’t walking close with the Lord. The story is fun, engaging, and deals with real issues in a contemporary setting. I highly recommend Wild Mint Tea to readers who are looking for an exciting and inspiring contemporary romance.

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Book Recommendation: Raspberries and Vinegar by Valerie Comer

Raspberries and Vinegar

Back Cover blurb:

Breaking ground with the Farm Fresh Romance series, in RASPBERRIES AND VINEGAR Josephine Shaw and her two friends renovate a dilapidated farm with their sights set on more than just their own property. However, transforming the town with their sustainable lifestyle and focus on local foods is met with more resistance than they expected, especially by neighbor Zachary Nemesek. Jo needs to learn that a little sweet makes the tart more tasty.

Narelle: I really enjoyed reading Raspberries and Vinegar. Jo and Zach are fascinating characters who are drawn to each other despite having different life philosophies. Jo and her friends, Claire and Sierra, are intent on ‘practicing what they preach’ by creating a sustainable living farm. Their beliefs regarding sustainable living and decreasing their carbon footprint have a Biblical foundation. The girls are prepared to make sacrifices, including temporarily living in a rundown caravan with an ongoing mice problem, to fulfill their dream of creating a sustainable farm. They also strive to engage the local community in learning about how they can live in a more sustainable way.

Zach enjoys the culture and convenience of city living. He grew up on the farm next door to Jo and the girls, and is he is only back in town  temporarily to help his mother while his father recovers from a serious illness. At the start of the story Zach can’t understand why Jo and her friends are determined to create a new life on the farm.    

Sparks fly whenever Jo and Zach are together, and an adorable pup called Domino creates a lot of mischief in the story. Raspberries and Vinegar is a fun romance that addresses important issues without being preachy. The story is contemporary and touches on issues that are relevant to twenty-somethings in today’s society. Both Jo and Zach experience character growth during the story and the plot twists kept me turning the page to find out what happens next. I highly recommend this book to those looking for an exciting and inspiring contemporary romance.

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