Small Town Perfection: Lake Endwell

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Jill Kemerer‘s Sheffield Siblings series is full of sweet, inspirational romances, that are nestled in the heart of Lake Endwell, a town full of heart and redemption.

When Reed’s in town for a family wedding in Small-Town Bachelor, he expects to be in and out fairly quickly.  But a tornado that decimates the town, postpones the wedding and injures Reed, means he can’t get back to the city as quickly as he’d like.  Maid of honour Claire Sheffield steps in and gives him a place to stay whilst he gets better, and in return he starts helping with the town rebuild.  Only will he be able to leave Claire behind when he returns home?

In Unexpected Family, Tom Sheffield’s world is sent spinning out of control when his ex-wife Stephanie turns up, complete with a four year old child that he’s never met before.  His daughter.  All he wants is for them to rebuild the bridges they burnt, but Stephanie’s keeping an awful lot of secrets…

Her Small-Town Romance sees Jade Emerson arrive in town, ready to set up shop, and possibly have a fresh start.  Her heart’s been frozen from the trauma she experienced for so long, that Bryan Sheffield keeps on coming up against a brick wall.  But Bryan’s been suffering too, and will helping him help thaw Jade’s heart?

Celeste has never had children of her own, but she finds herself raising her baby nephew after an accident in Yuletide Redemption.  She needs to make sure that Parker has a happy life, but that needs money, and so she takes a job caring for injured Sam Sheffield.  Sam’s been avoiding the world but can’t help but be drawn to Celeste; if only he could see that his injury doesn’t mean a thing to her…

Kemerer’s series is one that follows a close-knit family in a town that’s all about community.  The characters face real issues, and their happy ever afters are more than justly earned!

Small Town Perfection: Bonne Terre

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Molly O’Keefe‘s The Notorious O’Neills series is set in the uptight Louisiana small town of Bonne Terre, and follows the scandalous O’Neill family, known for being just every kind of wrong.  Its hard to have that kind of a reputation, especially in small towns where people aren’t always kind.

Life certainly hasn’t been kind for Savannah, as we discover in The Temptation of Savannah O’Neill.  abandoned by her mother, her brothers, and the married jerk who left her pregnant and with her reputation in tatters.  She doesn’t trust anyone, least of all sexy newcomer Matt Woods; but when she gives in to his charms, will she end up with more regrets?

In Tyler O’Neill’s Redemption, savannah’s brother Tyler steps into the limelight – or is that a searchlight when he reconnects with past girlfriend, police chief Juliette?  He broke her heart all those years ago, but now he’s back and his charm could break her heart all over again…

The Scandal and Carter O’Neill‘s sees the final O’Neill sibling fighting to distance himself from his family’s reputation.  But when Zoe Madison claims that he get her pregnant…in public…even though he’s never met her…he needs to do some serious damage control!  So he suggests faking a relationship until it all blows over, only soon he finds himself wishing that it wasn’t fake…

Small Town Perfection: Crossroads Pub

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So technically it’s not the small town in Cara McKenna‘s Her Best Laid Plans that I love, but rather the tiny Crossroads Pub in the middle of nowhere in Ireland.  It’s everything I want from a pub – complete with sexy bartender!

When American Jamie takes a plan, a bus, a taxi and a bicycle to stay in a friends house in the Irish countryside, outside of Cork, she’s expecting gruff farmers and grumpy locals nursing pints.  Instead, she meets Connor and the two of them instantly hit it off.

From there their romance develops, but it’s the fact that she has to return home to Boston that really adds a bittersweet touch to the proceedings.  Never fear, Jamie gets a well-deserved happy ever after (especially after the jerk who dumps her before the novel begins), and I’m always left craving rural Ireland!

Small Town Perfection: Winslow

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Piper Huguley‘s Migrations of the Heart is a heartwrenching series set in during the First World War in a small town in Georgia, following African American heroes and heroines.

The eponymous Ruby in A Virtuous Ruby, is hardworking and outspoken – exactly what a woman shouldn’t be, especially one who’s just had an illegitimate child.  But she simply can’t stand injustice, and that’s what drives her through the prejudice.  All Adam Morson wants, is to take Ruby and her child out of the toxic atmosphere he finds her in, but will she choose to stay to save the heart of her hometown?

In A Most Precious Pearl, journalist Asa returns home from the war with an amputated leg, and only one purpose:  to get Mags Bledsoe out of trouble.  But soon he discovers that there’s more to Mags that meets the eye, especially when he begins to uncover the truth about lynchings in the South…

A Treasure of Gold sees Ruby and Mags’ youngest sister, Nettie, head away from the small town of Winslow, to Pittsburgh, to do work for a charity kitchen.  But the big city is very different from the small town that she’s used to – and that definitely includes reprobate Jay Evans.  Jay really doesn’t need any help from a do-gooder, but he needs help with his daughter until his wound heals, and Nettie may well be just what he’s looking for!

Huguley has a gorgeous writing style, and I love the way she weaves her romance naratives with larger societal issues of the time.  Definitely worth a read!

Small Town Perfection: Marietta

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Marietta is the setting for a number of Tule Publishing books, but my favourite series is The Great Wedding Giveaway.  Set in ranching land in Montana, the town seems to see a spate of romances burst up, set around a very interesting Wedding Giveaway!

The prequel to the series, Jane Porter‘s The Tycoon’s Kiss, follows Marietta’s librarian Taylor and its most eligible bachelor Troy, as they’re pushed into attending the Valentine Ball together, and sets the scene for the rest of the series!

Ella’s furious when her father puts an ad in the local saloon, trying to find a husband for her in, What the Bride Wants by Kelly Hunter, and so she retaliates with an ad of her own – for a lover!  only she didn’t expect newcomer Cam to take her ad quite so seriously…

Second Chance Bride by Trish Morey takes place across the Globe in Australia, where Scarlett – dumped by the boyfriend she flew across the world to be with – is trying desperately to get back to Marietta – but will Mitch Bannister be able to persuade her to stay?

Scarlet’s sensible sister Tara discovers that her fiancé’s been cheating on her in Sarah Mayberry‘s  Almost a Bride, and so she decides to go a bit wild!  And on her list is acting on her suppressed feelings for Reid.  But Reid is a wanderer by nature, and Tara’s a Marietta girl through and through…

Emma’s a British nanny that finds herself in the wilds of Montana in The Unexpected Bride by Joanne Walsh, looking for a job.  And Laurent definitely needs help as between his out of control kids and his crazy job, he’s being driven to the very edge!  Will Emma be able to settle so far from home, and with a man who’s scared of letting her in?

In Katherine Garbera‘s The Cowboy’s Reluctant Bride, Risa has escaped to Marietta and restarted her life – trying to leave trauma behind her.  Only she can’t forget Monty, the handsome and protective Marine that she left without an explanation, and when he appears in the small town, she doesn’t know how to explain herself!

Family weddings have always filled Emmy with dread, but in A Game of Brides by Megan Crane, she’s got no choice but to attend her sister’s.  So when she bumps into Griffin and the spark that was always between them flares, she decides to have a little no strings sex.  But is he really completely disentangled from his fiancee?  And is she really so detached herself?

Kathleen O’Brien‘s The Substitute Bride sees Marly return home to Marietta jilted and pregnant.  She’s stuck in tiny apartment with her disapproving mum, and then the bane of her teenage life, Drake appears on the scene…

Cole’s been all about responsibility for as longs he can remember.  So when he upped and got married in Las Vegas last year, it couldn’t have been more out of character,  Only in Last Year’s Bride by Anne McAllister, his wife Nell has appeared in Marietta, complete with romantic reality television program!

Andie can’t quite understand how the entry she made for Marietta’s Wedding Giveaway got entered in Make-Believe Wedding by Sarah Mayberry – it was only wishful thinking!  Only now she and Heath are having to pretend to be engaged to spare her humiliation…

Marietta’s absolutely charming, and I love the idea of the town having a little Wedding Giveaway competition – it’s the sort of thing that would only ever happen in a small town!

Small Town Perfection: Paradise Ranch

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I blame Lizbeth Selvig‘s Seven Brides for Seven Cowboys series for my current fixation with cowboy romances; I’ve never really been sold on them before, but there’s something about Paradise Ranch, its inhabitants and the men who love them that’s converted me!

In The Bride Wore Denim Harper comes home to Paradise Ranch because she has to.  The plan is to get in and then back out, only she doesn’t count on falling for her older sister’s boyfriend.  Cole knows that artistic Harper’s got a life built in the big city, and he’s made his home on the land here in Paradise Ranch, but will that stop them from forging a path together?

High-powered surgeon Mia had everything in her life sorted, until it wasn’t.  The Bride Wore Red Boots sees her returning home and clashing heads with ex-soldier Gabe, and working with veterans suffering from PTSD, as well as taking on a challenge of her own with the one child who can melt her heart…

The Bride Wore Starlight sees Joely, who was injured earlier in the series, frustrated with being wheelchair-bound.  She feels sick at the prospect of rolling down the aisle as her sister’s bridesmaid, when Alec swoops in, and practically carries her down.  She can’t believe how interfering he is, until she discovers that he suffered an injury of his own…

They’re gorgeous books, and I cannot wait to read the rest of the series!

Small Town Perfection: Kirrinfief

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Jenny Colgan‘s The Little Shop of Happy Ever After follows Nina to Scotland and to the adorable, close-knit village of Kirrinfief.

After her dream job as a librarian in Birmingham disappears when the library is merged to form part of a sprawling retail complex, she finds herself answering a tiny advert for someone to take over a little bookshop bus in the Scottish highlands.

Firstly, I’d like to point out that if it weren’t for my lack of a driving license (no-one wants me on the road) this would be my perfect job!  I love the idea of being able to get to know everyone so personally, and influencing their reading requests.

But the thing that makes this book so charming, is that it isn’t saccharine sweet.  There’re two romances, each bubbling along quietly, neither turn out quite how you imagine – and the book is all the better for that.  Plus there are gruff Scots.  What more could you want?

Small Town Perfection: Little Duxbury

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Louisa George‘s latest book, The Secret Art of Forgiveness, is a heart-wrenching story, set in the picture-perfect village of Little Duxbury.

Emily’s been living in New York for the last couple of years, but when her step-sisters call and ask her to come home to help with her estranged step-father, she doesn’t really have much of a choice.  The Judge, as she knew him, has dementia and she finds herself looking at her childhood and even her relationship with her late mother in a new light.

But she’s got a fiancé back in New York, and the longer she stays in Little Duxbury, the more she starts wanting to stay.  I love the fact that George doesn’t demonise Brett; he’s a really sweet guy who genuinely loves her, and the decision that she’ll have to make is an incredibly difficult one!

Small Town Perfection: Rock Hollow

Laurent Linn‘s Draw the Line is set in a small town in Texas, where being a nerd, an artist, and gay just brings you far more trouble than it’s worth.

And so Adrian has perfected the art of blending into the background – but when a hate crime rocks his world, suddenly he’s no longer satisfied to hide.  Soon he’s using his artwork to try and make a real difference.

It’s beautifully illustrated, but also heartbreakingly written, and highlights the fact that not all small towns are warm, fuzzy, accepting places!

Small Town Perfection: Jewell Cove

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Donna Alward‘s Jewell Cove series is set in a beautiful small town, filled with history, secrets and the promise of new love…

When Abbey Foster inherits the old Foster mansion in The House on Blackberry Hill from a relative she never met, she couldn’t feel more awkward.  Jewell Cove is definitely not the place for her!  Only when contractor Tom comes to help restore the old building, she can’t quite believe how much the town’s growing on her…

Local doctor Charlie finds an abandoned baby in the town nativity manger in Christmas at Seashell Cottage, and help comes from a most unlikely source.  Ex-SEAL Dave enjoys his nomadic experience, moving from place to place, but will Charlie and the baby make him want to make his home in Jewell Cove?

Treasure on Lilac Lane sees Rick Sullivan honourably discharged from the Marines and back home in Jewell Cove, only no-one quite knows how to react to him, least of all Jess Collins.  They used to be close, and though they’ve been becoming closer since he’s returned, she can’t help feeling that he’s holding something back…

In Summer on Lovers’ Island, when Lizzie’s high-powered medical career comes to an abrupt halt, the only way she can revive it is to help out at her friend’s private practice.  She struggles to adapt to the quieter pace of Jewell Cove until she meets widowed doctor Joshua!

There’s no room at the inn for police officer Todd in Christmas at Evergreen Inn, so anti-holiday Lainey takes him pity on him for the night, but will she soon be filled with Christmas spirit?

Jewell Cove is a real, flawed town, with sweet romances and the chance of a fresh start for all.  Love it!