Mills & Boon, Reading, Romance, Small Town Perfection

Small Town Perfection: Larkville

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The Larkville Legacy follows the aftershocks of a letter that affects the ranching Calhoun family in Larkville, and New York high society family, the Pattersons…

In The Cowboy Comes Home by Patricia Thayer, Jess Calhoun’s been avoiding men in Stetson’s since her young son’s father left them, but when Johnny Jameson swaggers into town, she can’t help but notice him!  Their attraction is fiery and soon Johnny starts wondering whether he could put down roots in the quiet town of Larkville, of all places…

When ex-ballerina Eleanor Patterson discovers that her family history is a lie, she heads to Larkville for answers in Nikki Logan‘s Slow Dance with the Sheriff.  But she’s not exactly country material and ends up getting rescued from a herd of cattle by handsome Sheriff Jed Jackson…

In Marion Lennox‘s Taming the Brooding Cattleman, Alexandra Patterson heads to the Australian outback to work with stallions on a ranch.  Only rancher Jack Connor’s in for the shock of his life when the man he thought he hired, Alexander, turns out to be Alexanda!

Holt Calhoun hasn’t said anything other than “no” since his marriage ended.  But in The Rancher’s Unexpected Family by Myrna Mackenzie, that’s put to the test when he’s faced with pregnant Kathryn Ellis, who’s determined to get him to save the local clinic…

After years of hiding in the shadows, Megan Calhoun finally reaches Hollywood in His Larkville Cinderella by Melissa McClone.  Her role as costume designer brings her together with A-list actor Adam Noble, and soon their chemistry threatens to deconstruct the facade he shows to the world…

In Lucy Gordon‘s The Secret That Changed Everything, a devastating family secret sends Charlotte Paterson to Italy, fed up of being in the shadow of her prettier, more popular sisters!  But when she seeks solace in the arms of widower Lucio Constello, their one night of passion has more consequences than they could possibly have imagined.

Soraya Lane‘s The Soldier’s Sweetheart sees Special Forces soldier Nate Calhoun return to Larkville, accompanied by traumatic memories and bourbon.  It’s only his childhood sweetheart, Sarah Anderson, who can see the pain beyond his gruff exterior…  Will racing horses and relaxing together on the ranch bring old emotions back to life?

When Matt Patterson, businessman extraordinaire, finds himself guardian to baby Bella in The Billionaire’s Baby SOS by Susan Meier, he needs help – and fast!  Social worker Claire Kincaid agrees to help out, but soon Matt finds himself drawn towards their fake little family…

Even though not all of the books in the series are set in Larkville, the impact of the letter and secret on the two families resonates through every book.  Utterly charming.

Reading, Romance, Small Town Perfection

Small Town Perfection: Mercy

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Joss Wood‘s Men of Mercy series centres around Caswallawn Security, a business set up by best friends Kai, Sawyer and Axl, named for their fallen friend Max.

When Kai discovers that partners want to make Mercy, Virginia their business headquarters in Inescapable, he doesn’t understand why.  It’s a crazy, quaint, meddling town and its the antithesis of everything he knows and understands.

Still, all work and no play isn’t good for anyone, and when he sets eyes on feisty local baker Flick, the two of them are instantly drawn together.  It’s just fun, as he’s not going to be around long, and the two of them are fine with that.  Only, when an emergency means that Kai’s going to be in town for longer than he thought, they just can’t keep their hands off each other!

In Undaunted, Axl is faced with a conundrum.  Regan, the little sister of his fallen SEAL teammate and best friend Max, is working for Caswallawn Security, and he can’t cope with it.  He’s constantly torn between his promise to Max to look after her, and the desire that spikes every time he’s near her.

When a dangerous stalker threatens the client that she’s working with, Regan knows that she can deal with it – even if Axl keeps on hovering around, implying that she can’t.  But when she eventually gives in to the passion between them, she struggles to keep the control that she’s held onto all her life…

It’s a delightful series, and I simply can’t wait to read the next book, and follow Sawyer’s romance!

Reading, Romance, Small Town Perfection

Small Town Perfection: Redemption

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Nicola Marsh‘s Redemption series follows characters who need just that:  redemption.  There’s something about small towns that allow us to fully believe in the possibility of a fresh start, and Marsh’s series captures this perfectly.

In Saving Sara, Sara Hardy needs to start again, completely on her own.  After the death of her daughter, her marriage fell apart, and when she inherits a cottage in Redemption, it seems the perfect way to get away.  But when her neighbour’s nephew, Jake, arrives with a nephew of his own in tow after his sister ends up in rehab, Sara withdraws even more.  It’s far too painful to spend time with children.  It’s a story of healing, of heartbreak, and of hope.

Jake’s sister, Rose, is starting over again in Rescuing Rose.  She’s back in Redemption after time in rehab, reunited with her son.  But not everyone’s pleased to see her return, and her reputation has most definitely preceded her.  So it’s all the more surprising when she finds herself drawn to Caden, the preacher’s son from her childhood.  Rose is the last person his friends and family want him to spend time with, but yet there’s something about her that he’s drawn to…

These books are beautiful.  Sometimes you need to read something that’s uplifting and hopeful, and if so?  These are the books you should be reading.

Reading, Romance, Small Town Perfection

Small Town Perfection: Cape Cod

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Lisa Marie Perry’s Meant to Be Mine is a story of returning home, and facing the preconceptions people have of you.

When Sofia Mercer’s aunt dies, she has no choice but to return to Cape Cod – the town that turned against her when she was a teenager.  She may have been ill then, but she’s more than strong enough to face them now.  Only the old memories she’d pushed aside, and the gossip that she faces on her return, impress upon her how quickly she needs to just pay her respects and then leave once more.

But her aunt has left her a quirky little boutique, and she bumps into Burke Wolf, an old friend, and sparks fly!  The two of them were best friends and a shoulder to cry on for each other back then, and all of a sudden she’s strangely drawn towards staying…

I think what really resonated with me, was the fact that Sofia’s heart condition has really impacted on the way she lives her life now – and the way in which it colours her memories of the past.  It can’t possibly be easy to have issues like this when growing up, but

 

Reading, Romance, Small Town Perfection

Small Town Perfection: Ballymuir

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Dorien Kelly‘s Ballymuir series is set in an idyllic Irish village where everyone knows everyone else’s business, and where scandal and secrets are a part of everyday life!

Kylie O’Shea teaches at the Gaelic school in Ballymuir.  She’s almost saintly in her reputation and her approach to life, even if she does reject every local suitor, to the point where the villagers keep on warning her about fulfilling The Last Bride in Ballymuir legend!  But when stranger Michael Kilbride comes to the village, Kylie can’t quite help but be captivated by his passions, even if it means that secrets will be exposed…

In The Boldest Man in Ballymuir, American chef Jenna Fahey is the only one who’s not taken in by businessman Devlin Gilvane’s charm.  He’s sniffing around Muir House, the place she’s currently leasing and has worked hard to turn into a renowned restaurant.  Dev needs the building in order to make that big promotion, but it’s the one thing that’s kept Jenna from thinking about her past…  But when the two of them clash, will the sparks be just from fury…?

The Brightest Flame in Ballymuir sees artist Vi Kilbride prepare to sell her late grandmother’s cottage, surrounded by the memories of the summers she spent foreign up there.  And more than a few of those memories involve Liam Rafferty, the boy who broke her heart.  She’s shocked to discover that he’s back in town, and looking for the legendary Rafferty’s Gold – allegedly hidden by one of Vi’s ancestors after her heart was broken by a Rafferty- especially when her grandmother’s journals hold a key to its whereabouts…

I love the fact that this series is both sweet and passionate, and that the inward-looking community of Ballymuir is so protective of its own people.

Reading, Romance, Small Town Perfection

Small Town Perfection: Rescue Bay

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Shirley Jump‘s Sweetheart Sisters series focuses on a trio of well-meaning grannies (the Sweetheart Sisters of the series’ title), who can’t help meddling in the love lives of those who live in Rescue Bay…

In The Sweetheart Bargain, Olivia comes to Rescue Bay to save and run the dog shelter that she’s inherited.  But she leaves behind her a bad marriage and a terrible job, and it’ll take her a long time to recover.   Or will it?  Because the Sisters have their hearts set on fixing her up with wounded helicopter pilot Luke, and Olivia’s found herself inextricably drawn to him…

Mike doesn’t really know what he’s doing with kids.  But when his ex dumps their two children on his doorstep in The Sweetheart Rules, he’s going to have to learn – and quick!  He remembers Rescue Bay as the perfect place for children to grow up and so returns with the kids in tow.  But once in town, he keeps on bumping into the one one-night stand that he can’t forget – Diana…

The Sweetheart Secret sees Daisy back in town – to Cole’s surprise.  They were married but he hasn’t seen her in years, so when he discovers that they’re technically still married – and that she wants a divorce – he wants to know if there’s anything he can do to change her mind!

I think what I love about this series – the romance narratives aside – are the three Sweetheart Sisters.  There’s nothing quite like meddling elderly ladies to make me laugh; especially when their hearts are in the right place.

#WeNeedDiverseBooks, Reading, Romance, Small Town Perfection

Small Town Perfection: Rome

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Georgia Peaches and Other Forbidden Fruit, by Jaye Robin Brown, is set in Rome, Georgia, a small conservative town, and follows Joanna Gordon.

Jo’s been out and proud for years, but when her radio evangelist father remarries and they move from Atlanta to Rome, he asks her to do one thing:  to lie low for the rest of her senior year.  Hiding who she really is, is the last thing that Jo wants to do, but she agrees.

The rest of the novel follows her as she starts a new school and continues with life…only a complication arises when she meets Mary Carlson.  Mary’s stunning and tempting and seems to be interested in Jo too…

What I really loved about this book, is the way in which it approaches the difficulties of navigating your sexuality, when your own faith can be used against you.  It’s not preachy at all – which is important for me – but instead posits Jo as a modern, rebellious and gay woman, who just happens to be religious.