Posted in Just For Fun Challenge Reviews 2012

Review: Blackberry Summer by RaeAnne Thayne

Blackberry Summer (Hqn)
Hope’s Crossing Series
1st in Series
HQN Books

Set in Hope’s Crossing, Colorado.  Claire Bradford is the owner of a successful bead shop. She is a single mom with two kids living a predictable life.  She has no time for romance. At least that is what she keeps telling herself. So why does her best friend’s younger brother Riley seem so darn sexy and hot? He has returned to be the the new chief of police of this boring little town when he was some big shot on the police force in California. It just doesn’t make sense.

A string of robberies leads to a tragic accident that forces Claire to accept help from her friends, even from Riley McKnight. The accident ends up affecting the whole town. Things get ugly when it is found teenagers are involved in the robberies and it starts to rip the town apart.

A mysterious “Angel of Hope” inspires a small group and then the whole town to plan an event to help bring everyone back together. A bit of romance also starts to blossom making for a very interesting summer.

Dollycas’s Thoughts
I was swept away by many things in this book. The friendships of the people who visit Claire’s shop, the long term relationships of the people of Hope’s Crossing, seeing someone you have known all your life differently after time has passed, and the effect the “Angel of Hope” has on this town.

If I was ever lucky enough to win the lottery or come into a great deal of money I would want to be just like the “Angel of Hope”, helping people anonymously with things they need. The way the angel inspired the people of Hope’s Crossing was really uplifting.

The characters in this story are so engaging and well developed. You want to be part of everything they are doing.

I haven’t read Harlequin in quite awhile because they were started to feel the same story just with different names but that is definitely not the case with this story. This book is about so much more than the romance. Claire needs to break out of a life she has trapped herself in. Riley has so many reasons for coming home and for staying away as long as he did. Claire’s mother has issues that need to be dealt with. Claire’s ex-husband and his new younger, pregnant wife live right in town. Thayne interweaves and blends all their lives together wonderfully along with many other residents of the town of Hope’s Crossing. I love the way she writes and her descriptions of people and places were a delight. I will be reviewing the next book in the series Woodrose Mountain later today.

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

*This book was from my private collection.

Posted in Alphabet Soup - A - Z Reading Challenge E-Book Challenge Reviews 2012

Last Chance Beauty Queen by Hope Ramsay

Last Chance Beauty Queen
Published by Forever
Hachette Book Group
3rd in Series

Hugh Debracy, an English Baron, comes to Last Chance, South Carolina to try to complete a deal that his partner started before he disappeared. He needs to try to convince the owner of Golfing For God to sell him his property so that he can build his textile plant. Seems the land has perfect road and rail access, but the owner is not selling. Enter Caroline “Rocky” Rhodes, former Last Chance Watermelon Queen, aide to U.S. Senator Rupert Warren and daughter of the owner of Golfing For God. The Senator needs this factory built and expects Rocky to make it happen.

Rocky doesn’t come home to Last Chance often and coming home while the Watermelon Festival is going on turns this trip into quite a crazy return.  She is supposed to be working for the Senator, but her friends and family expect her take part in the festival as a former Watermelon Queen, wearing the green and pink dress, riding on a float in the parade and even taking part in a kissing booth.  She really wants to be promoted to the Senator’s Washington Office and none of these shenanigans are going to help her land the job.

Dollycas’s Thoughts
I broke my own rule, this is the third book in this series and I read it without reading the previous two installments and you know what, it didn’t matter. This book can definitely read as a stand alone. This is Rocky’s story. Home At Last Chance is her brother Tulane’s story and Welcome to Last Chance starts off the series with their brother Clay’s story.

This is a wild crazy story full of wild and crazy characters and it was a splendid, fun and a very entertaining read. The Sorrowful Angel added a unique element to the story that at first I was confused by, but in the end it all came together.

Ruby Rhodes, Rocky’s mom runs the local beauty parlor, and you know how hairdresser’s know everyone secrets, that is definitely the case here. She is also the typical mother than can get her kids do anything she asks, even her oldest son, Stone, the local sheriff.

There is also a fourth book in the works, Last Chance Christmas. I plan to read the first two books before that one is released.

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Hope Ramsay was born in New York and grew up on the North Shore of Long Island, but every summer Momma would pack her off under the care of Aunt Annie to go visiting with relatives in the midlands of South Carolina. Her extended family includes its share of colorful aunts and uncles, as well as cousins by the dozens, who provide the fodder for the characters you’ll find in Last Chance, South Carolina. Hope earned a BA in Political Science from the University of Buffalo, and has had various jobs working as a Congressional aide, a lobbyist, a public relations consultant, and a meeting planner. She’s a two-time finalist in the Golden Heart, and is married to a good ol’ Georgia boy who resembles every single one of her heroes. She has two grown children and a couple of demanding lap cats. She lives in Fairfax, Virginia where you can often find her on the back deck, picking on her thirty-five-year-old Martin guitar.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher via NetGalley. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”