About The Holly and the Ivy

the holly and the ivy

Spend the holidays with four of your favorite historical romance authors, whose stories of Yuletide romance will brighten the season with humor, hope, and the promise of true love.

The Holly and the Ivy by Sarah M. Eden

As nursemaid to the eight-year-old Duke of Kielder, Robbie will spend her holidays with her young charge as a guest of Lord and Lady Jonquil. While the couple makes the child’s holiday magical, the handsome gardener works his own magic on Nurse Robbie’s heart.

Hiding Christmas by Esther Hatch

Celebrating Christmas in Scotland will only invite persecution. But that never stopped Kirstine’s English grandmother. When they are almost caught, Kirstine is forced to beg for the help of the one man she cannot abide.

A Twist of Christmas by Dana LeCheminant

A Christmas house party offers two members of the ton an irresistible opportunity: a weekend of anonymity. But their charade comes with unexpected romantic consequences.

A Season to Love by Anneka R. Walker

Alice Hunt is searching for a Christmas miracle: a husband of her choosing. With the threat of an arranged marriage looming, she looks to an unlikely matchmaker for help.

My review

I’ve read and loved so many of these Christmas collections. This one might be my very favorite of them so far. I loved each and every one of the stories.

The Holly and the Ivy by Sarah M Eden is the first story in the book. I loved this one! It was really great to see Adam, the Duke of Kielder as a child. He’s one of my all time favorite characters. It really helps to understand him. I loved his nurse, Robbie. She’s such a sweetheart. And one of the few people to care about him. This one had Christmas magic, even though it’s not set during Christmas time.

Next is Hiding Christmas by Esther Hatch. This one made me laugh! I loved her characters so much. Kirstine has such a strong personality. And the way she hated Isaac without knowing him was comical. So when she had to ask him for help to get the Christmas bread to England by pretending they were married. Oh so good!

Then we have A Twist of Christmas by Dana LeCheminant. I loved this one too! We have two brothers. One a duke, one a mister. They switch places when going to a house party. But little do they know that a Lady and her companion would do the same. I didn’t want this one to end!

Last up is A Season to Love by Anneka R. Walker. I was dying reading the first chapter. Alice prays in the church and she gets a response! But it was not quite what she expected. I loved the way her heart opened as the story goes along.

I wish each and every one of these were full length novels. You’ve got to read them!

I was sent an e-copy of The Holly and the Ivy as a gift from the publisher. All opinions are my own.

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About To Capture His Heart

To Capture His Heart

Seaside, England, 1886

Eva Caldwell is an accomplished and well-known photographer who often works with the local constabulary to assist in documenting crime scenes, which means she also often works alongside the handsome and charming detective, Nathan Winston. She appreciates his intellect and how he treats her like an equal, but Eva’s heart is still healing from a past relationship, so, for now, she decides to keep her feelings for Nathan a secret.

One evening, Nathan arrives on her doorstep asking for a personal favor. Would Eva be available to photograph his mother’s legendary, week-long dinner party and matchmaking event? The catch is that Eva would also have to pretend they are courting in order for Nathan to avoid the many single women seeking his attention.

Though wary of the charade, Eva agrees. Spending a week with the two things she loves most–her detective and her camera–sounds simple enough. And if she wants to imagine that Nathan’s pretend courtship of her is real, well, what’s the harm in that?

But when a criminal from Nathan’s past threatens revenge on the detective, Nathan must be extra vigilant to keep his mother and the rest of the partygoers safe. He confides in Eva, and as the two work together to solve the mystery and apprehend the criminal, they find that they might capture more than they expected–each other’s heart.

My review

You really can’t go wrong with any of the Proper Romance books. And Nancy Campbell Allen is one of my favorite authors of those. I’ve loved each and every one of her books. This one was no exception.

I love Eva. She is such a great female character. I love that she has a profession, she’s a photographer. And she has Sammy, an orphan boy, help her. That part was adorable. Eva is just amazing. I love how she stays calm under pressure. And when catty young women say rude things. But she says what she needs to when she needs to as well.

Then there’s Nathan. He is an interesting character. He works as a detective. But he doesn’t have to work at all. He’s always looking out for Eva and Sammy when they need him the most. I loved his sisters too! Hopefully they get happily ever afters sometime as well.

This book kept me wanting more. The reader doesn’t know anymore than the characters do who they are looking for. It’s almost like Clue in a book form. And the characters have to figure it out before time runs out. You really need to read it!

I was sent a copy of To Capture His Heart as a gift from the publisher. All opinions are my own.

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About It’s Chemical

It's Chemical

Ginger and Ty don’t work. They tried it before, and they crashed and burned. But now they’re dealing with powers far stronger than either of them: How can you fight the chemistry?

Ginger Rogers (yes, she knows) has spent the last five years bricking up her wounded heart. She’s found her place teaching chemistry at Chamberlain Academy, nurturing her plants, and writing online book reviews. Even opening up to let in a new friend has taken her way beyond her comfort zone, and she’s living with a pretty constant vulnerability hangover. And just when she’s feeling comfortable letting people back into her life, in walks Tyson Perry Miller. And, well, you know who he is.

Ty, one of TV’s hottest actors under thirty, award-winning heartthrob, and brainy PhD in chemistry, also happens to be Ginger’s ex. And for reasons of accidental embezzlement (please don’t ask, because he can’t talk about it without his lawyer present), he’s been sent to do a stint as a celebrity sub. Is that even a thing? Well, apparently it is at Chamberlain. He knew it would be a tough gig. But he didn’t count on coming face to face with Ginger. Or the way seeing her would make him feel.

They can’t just fall back into the same relationship they used to have. It didn’t take. They both got hurt. Badly. They would do better to simply walk away. But nobody managed to tell that to their hearts. Primal forces are at work here. It’s not just attraction. It’s Chemical.

My review

I love it when a second book comes out as quickly as this one did. It wasn’t that long ago that I read Look Again and hoped for another book in that world soon. You are definitely going to want to read Ginger’s story. It really has it all.

Ginger is minding her own business at Chamberlain Academy when all of a sudden her ex shows up. And he’s there to teach. For. The. Whole. Semester. It takes a bit for the reader to find out exactly what happened between Ty and Ginger before. And at that point, I wasn’t sure I wanted these two to get back together.

But there really is just something about Ty. I loved the way he was with the boys in his dorm. He got put in charge of them and he really just ran with it. Ty was able to put up with their practical jokes, redirect their attention from hacking things, and then there’s the cat! You’re going to have to read that part. That part may be my favorite part of the whole book. The author did such a great job with it!

I really loved everything about this one. There are so many funny moments. And there are moments that will surprise you. It really just has it all!

I was sent an e-copy of It’s Chemical as a gift from the author. All opinions are my own.

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About A Lady’s Heart of Gold

a lady's heart of gold

When a determined English newspaper woman arrives in the Arizona desert, she expects to find the lawless and the illiterate. Instead, she meets a well-spoken and handsome cowboy who’s ready to prove to her there’s more to the Territory than cattle and cacti.

English newspaper reporter Molly McKinney is determined to make a name for herself by writing about the wilds of the American West. After convincing her editor to take a chance on her idea, Molly travels to the United States looking for tales that will transport and inspire her readers. When she meets a quiet cowboy in the middle of Arizona Territory, she can sense that his story might be the most important of all—if only he’ll open up enough to tell it.

Eduardo “Ed” Byrd has worked at the KB Ranch for five years, making an honest living and trying to ignore his past. He’s one-quarter Cherokee, three-quarters Mexican-American, and entirely his own person. Light-hearted and hard-working, Ed keeps to himself and reserves his dreams for the privacy of his notebooks. When one meeting with the tenacious English woman rattles his mind and heart, Ed can’t help but wonder if he’s been playing things safe for too long.

A reporter’s natural curiosity spurs Molly to make her way to the ranch where Ed works, and she’s determined to find out what the cowboy is hiding beneath his gentle smiles. There’s more to Ed than he lets on, and when Molly starts to unravel his past, he realizes their story might only have a happy ending if he’s willing to risk more than just his heart.

This is the third novel in the Hearts of Arizona series. Each story is set in Arizona Territory and features a Victorian hero or heroine, with a mild heat level.

My review

I have never read a book quite like this one before. It’s actually the third in a series. And I’m going to have to go back and read the first two. But the good news is that this one stands on it’s own so well. And it left me wanting to read more.

I loved Molly. She is definitely a plucky young woman. The first chapter finds her in England, asking a newspaper editor for a job. One most commonly considered men’s work during this time period. But that doesn’t stop her. And she isn’t stopped from coming to the American West to write her articles either. I loved that about her!

And in the American West, she meets Ed Byrd. I loved the way the author did his character! Ed is unconcerned with what others think of him. He’s had to learn to be, just with his heritage. He was half Native American and half Mexican. And during this time period, he would have been considered almost a non-person to a lot of people. But I loved how he didn’t let that bother him. And the author did a great job showing how things would have been for him. Some stuff from history is hard. And this is one of those things. But the author treated it very well.

These two together just worked. I loved how Ed was kind of able to reign Molly in. But Molly was able to get Ed to kind of fly a little bit where his stories were concerned. And that was a beautiful thing.

I really didn’t want this one to end! Luckily, I can still go back and read the first to. So it doesn’t completely have to end, at least not just yet.

I was sent an e-copy of A Lady’s Heart of Gold as a gift from the author. All opinions are my own.

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About The Connecting Door

the connecting door

Norman has spent years building an enviable stable that is known and respected throughout England. In fact, everything in his life is exactly how he would like it to be … except for his marriage. Twenty-nine years, five children and demanding responsibilities have led Norman and Martha to live separate lives.

When Norman realizes how little time they have together, he tries to change things only to find that the desire for closeness is not enough to make lasting change. Through the course of his attempts he realizes how little he has invested in the relationship that matters most and how much he has to give if he can make the time to show his interest.

My review

This is such a cute novella. I love reading novellas because they are easy to finish in an afternoon. And I especially love them when they are as intriguing as this one.

I loved the way that the author had the whole point of view be through Norman’s eyes. That’s not something you usually see. But it really worked with this one. I loved how Norman noticed things about his life and relationship with his wife that weren’t the same as they used to be. And he went about trying to fix them.

But Norman found out, eventually, that his wife had noticed long ago that things weren’t the same. And that left Norman needing to fix some things about himself. I really loved that he was willing to listen and try.

This is such a cute second chance novella. It’s a pleasant afternoon’s reading.

I was sent an e-copy of The Connecting Door as a gift from the author. All opinions are my own.

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About In the Shadow of a Queen

in the shadow of a queen

Based on the True Story of the Free-Spirited Daughter of Queen Victoria.
Princess Louise’s life is upended after her father’s untimely death. Captive to the queen’s overwhelming mourning, Louise is forbidden to leave her mother’s tight circle of control and is eventually relegated to the position of personal secretary to her mother―the same position each of her sisters held until they were married.

Already an accomplished painter, Louise risks the queen’s wrath by exploring the art of sculpting, an activity viewed as unbefitting a woman. When Louise involves herself in the day’s political matters, including championing the career of a female doctor and communicating with suffragettes, the queen lays down the law to stop her and devotes her full energy to finding an acceptable match for her defiant daughter.

Louise is considered the most beautiful and talented daughter of Queen Victoria, but finding a match for the princess is no easy feat. Protocols are broken, and Louise exerts her own will as she tries to find an open-minded husband who will support her free spirit.

In the Shadow of a Queen is the story of a battle of wills between two women: a daughter determined to forge her own life beyond the shadow of her mother, and a queen resolved to keep the Crown’s reputation unsullied no matter the cost.

My review

This is the perfect time for a book like this. With Queen Elizabeth just having died, I, along with most everyone else, am fascinated by all things royal. And this book is such a fabulous read. I loved every bit of it.

I loved the way the author started every chapter with a bit of a letter, or a little excerpt from someone’s journal, or a poem. Reading those at the start of every chapter was really intriguing to me. Each little blurb went with the events of the chapter and really just brought everything together.

I loved Princess Louise! The way the author wrote her character, she really jumped off the pages of this book. This is a fictionalized account. But it just felt real to me.

I loved everything about this book! Especially the way the author made history come alive for me as a reader. I can’t wait to read more books like this!

I was sent a copy of In the Shadow of a Queen as a gift from the publisher. All opinions are my own.

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Just Add Romance

No commitment? He can do that. A fling? She can do that.

There’s no harm in adding a little romance.

(Author interrupting here: Hi friends, this book used be titled Loving Her Fling from the Hidden Hollows series. I received the publishing rights back, so Just Add Romance is the same book with a new title, new cover, and new series name. Hope you enjoy! xoxo –Heather)

Everly Kane’s life might be on a Plan B track, but she’s perfectly content with her job, her nights out at the movies, and putting her past behind her. She certainly doesn’t need to be reminded over and over that her sister is, well, engaged to Everly’s ex. Spending time with the visiting architect in town is the distraction that she needs.

Austin Hayes is the architect hired to redesign Everly’s beloved theater. As a widower with a young daughter, the last thing he wants is to juggle another relationship. Thankfully, Austin is only in Everly Falls for a few weeks. What could be better than having a fling with a guy who has no power to break her heart?

My review

I really enjoyed this book. It’s a quick, easy read. And I loved the small town feel.

Everly is such a great character. I loved the way she was a rock of normalcy in the waves of crazy her mom and sister kept putting off. She’s the kind of girl who wants to have her own space, takes in a stray cat. And goes to the movie by herself and sits in the very center of the theater.

That’s where she meets Austin. Austin has had a rough go. He’s a widowed single dad. Just trying to be the best dad he can be. I really liked that about Austin. His daughter was his whole world. And everything he did, he did for her.

When these two come together…I want to say it was magic. But they had a lot of things to go through first. And things to learn as well. But I loved watching their journey. This is such a cute story!

I was sent a copy of Just Add Romance as a gift from the author. All opinions are my own.

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About Landin’ in Trouble

landin in trouble

One woman is about to ruin everything.

They call me Landon-In-Trouble for a reason. I think it has something to do with my dimples and
ability to charm my way out of anything. And if causing a little trouble grabs the attention of a beautiful woman, even better.
The spotlight and I are old friends and perfect partners.

That is, until Brynn Foster dances her way into my life and my heart. She’s stunning and
everything I never knew I wanted—grounded, down-to-earth, good with kids. She has this ability
to see right through my usual crap to the dark secrets beneath. But that’s just the problem–although my charm may have won her over once, it won’t be enough to keep her. She already gave up a career in the spotlight. There’s no way she’s going to compete with my need to still be in it, whether I have dimples or not.

So it’s time for an impossible choice: the life I always craved or the woman who’s unexpectedly
stolen my heart.

Landin’ in Trouble is a sweet and sizzling closed-door romcom that will have you laughing out
loud. It also includes the sensitive topic of disordered eating. Please be aware should this be a triggering subject for you.

My review

I love these books set in Creekville! The characters there, especially Gran, are some of my favorite characters ever. I loved that we get to see both the now and the then chapters in this book. It really helped to understand Landon and Brynn’s relationship. And how they got where they are.

Both Landon and Brynn have done some growing and changing. But neither is really sure of the other. And that makes things between them a little awkward at first. I loved the way Brynn is pretending to be engaged, on Izzy’s advice. But Landon knows and she doesn’t know he knows. This whole beginning bit made me laugh.

This is a rom-com. But it deals with some serious things. Brynn’s disordered eating is a huge one. I love how the reader can tell she was trying to get over it. But…it’s one of those things that just seems to get stuck in your mind. It’s hard to get over that kind of thing.

This book was one of those books. It made me laugh. I worried over the characters in different spots. And I just loved the ending. I’ll be thinking about this one for a while.

I was sent an e-copy of Landin’ in Trouble as a gift from the author. All opinions are my own.

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About Secrets of the Looking Glass

secrets of the looking glass

After returning from Wonderland, Celia and Tyrus journey to the Looking-Glass World to reclaim their mirror images and stop a war between two powerful queens.

When a dark creature called the Bandersnatch steals Lewis Carroll’s lost diaries, Celia and Tyrus try to get it back but are tricked into passing through a magic mirror into the Looking-Glass World, a place where everything—themselves included—are divided in two, like identical twins. Celia’s astute logic and Tyrus’s exceptional imagination now belong to their mirror images, Lia and Ty, who are generals in the Red Queen’s Army, which is at war against the White Kingdom.

Left without their greatest problem-solving skills, Celia and Tyrus must rely on each other more than ever as they play a massive game of chess to try to catch their mirror images, who always seem to be one step ahead of them. Along the way, they engage in a rhyming battle with Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum, seek advice from Humpty and Dumpty, and learn how to believe in the impossible from the White Queen, who remembers the future as if it were the past.

As the final battle draws near, Celia and Tyrus form an uneasy alliance with Lia and Ty in order to find the legendary vorpal sword—the only weapon powerful enough to stop the war. If they fail, not only will two kingdoms be destroyed, but Celia and Tyrus might never regain their stolen talents and be trapped in the Looking-Glass World forever.

My review

I love it when you can find a series that you can read with your children and enjoy as much as they do. This is one of those! The characters are fantastic. And the setting pulls the reader in. I loved this one so much!

It seems to me that you’d want to read the first one, The Lost Wonderland Diaries first. You may not understand the characters or what had happened previously without reading it. And it’s a fantastic story as well!

Celia and Tyrus are the heroes of this story. I loved these two. The way they support each other in the dog eat dog world of school is so great. Tyrus even going out of his way to learn about Celia’s favorite game and hobby of playing chess.

I loved the way these two learn a lot about themselves in this book. They each thought they were one thing. And when that one thing was taken away, they were lost for a minute. But as they went along, they discover that they are more than what they thought they were. And that is a priceless lesson any of us can learn.

This is a great book for middle grade readers. And I personally can’t wait for the next installment, at least I hope there will be another installment.

I was sent a copy of Secrets of the Looking Glass as a gift from the publisher. All opinions are my own.

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About Healing Hazel

Healing Hazel

Hazel Thornton has one great ambition: to help the sick and wounded as a nurse. But that dream can never become a reality. After a devastating childhood trauma, she has spent her life battling fits of panic that make it impossible to finish her studies. Everything changes, however, when a trip to Spain takes a perilous turn that derails her plans to visit her father for Christmas and immediately plunges her into the dangers of a brutal war.

With single-minded focus, she springs into action to help her fellow travelers. To ensure their continued care, she begins work at a Spanish hospital alongside Dr. Jim Jackson, a man whose only emotion seems to be wariness of his new assistant. Armed with gifts of support from each of her dearest friends, a group that dubs themselves the Blue Orchid Society, Hazel embarks on a journey of hope and healing to battle the demons of her past with the help of the doctor who has captured her heart.

My review

I’m loving each and every one of these Blue Orchid Society novels. If I’m going to pick a favorite right now, it’s going to be Hazel. I loved her story so much!

Hazel is a young woman who has been training to be a nurse. Something that I really loved about Hazel was the way she thought that she wasn’t strong. I think in a way she thought that she was broken. Because Hazel suffers from severe anxiety. But as Hazel goes on this journey, she learns that she isn’t broken. Is she perfect, no way! But are any of us? Hazel learns that she is strong, even with her anxiety, and that was beautiful.

I really liked Jim as well. Jim deals with a lot of things, due to his background. And that makes it hard for him to let people in. But he lets Hazel in without even thinking about it. I loved watching these two characters as they lived and worked together. There were a lot of misunderstandings between the two of them. But they were there for each other when it really counted.

I loved the ending of this one so much! You’re going to have to read it to see just why. This book is so great! I loved every bit of it.

I was sent a copy of Healing Hazel as a gift from the author. All opinions are my own.

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