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review 2016-02-27 00:42
Great read
The Way Home (Harlequin Superromance)(Everlasting Love, #4) - Jean Brashear

The Way Home by Jean Brashear is a well written book.  James and Bella's story is somewhat sad, but hopeful.  Ms Brashear has crafted amazing characters for The Way Home, they made the book a great read.  I enjoyed The Way Home and look forward to reading more from Jean Brashear in the future.  This is a complete book, not a cliff-hanger.

 

I purchased a copy of this book at a library sale.

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text 2015-05-03 22:50
53% — Erm
Her Favorite Rival (Harlequin LP Superromance) - Sarah Mayberry

She has a horrible time with her parents and decides to run off and do something she considers impulsive and reckless. So, she's the same idiot she was at 16? Even though she keeps lamenting her dumbass actions back then.

 

Also, I don't get why they've made anything happening between them so high stakes. They sound more like they're cheating on spouses rather than just work colleagues.

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text 2015-04-08 15:51
Buzzed: Bee Keeping in Romance Novels
Truly - Ruthie Knox
The Tarnished Lady - Sandra Hill
Sweetened with Honey (A Farm Fresh Romance Book 3) - Valerie Comer
The Keeper - Suzanne Woods Fisher
Morning Glory - LaVyrle Spencer
The Accidental Wedding - Anne Gracie
The Beekeeper's Daughter (Harlequin Superromance, #1295) - Janice Carter
The Sweetness of Honey (A Hope Springs Novel) - Alison Kent
Snowflakes & Beeswax - Jess Schira
The Wedding Bees - Sarah-Kate Lynch

I know for some of us all this pollen in the air is torture but what a lovely Spring song  in the humming of bees .

 

I love to learn about professions and hobbies as I read. Beekeeping has always fascinated me. I think when a writer takes the time to layer a book with such details the love story is made better and deeper. 

 

Here are some great Romances featuring Apiculture (Bee Keeping)

 

1. Truly by Ruthie Knox

 

May Fredericks hates New York. Which is fair enough, since New York seems to hate her back. After relocating to Manhattan from the Midwest to be with her long-distance boyfriend, NFL quarterback Thor Einarsson, May receives the world’s worst marriage proposal, stabs the jerk with a shrimp fork, and storms off alone—only to get mugged. Now she’s got no phone, no cash, and no friends. How’s a nice girl supposed to get back to safe, sensible Wisconsin?
 
Frankly, Ben Hausman couldn’t care less. Sure, it’s not every day he meets a genuine, down-to-earth woman like May—especially in a dive in the Village—but he’s recovering from an ugly divorce that cost him his restaurant. He wants to be left alone to start over and become a better man. Then again, playing the white knight to May’s sexy damsel in distress would be an excellent place to start—if only he can give her one very good reason to love New York.

 

2. The Tarnished Lady by Sandra Hill

 

Disgraced!

 

Banished from polite society for bearing a child out of wedlock, Lady Eadyth of Hawks' Lair spends her days hidden under a voluminous veil, tending her bees. But when her son's detested father threatens to reveal the boy's true paternity and seize her beloved lands, Lady Eadyth seeks a husband willing to claim the child as his own.

 

Eirik of Ravenshire is England's most virile bachelor, notorious for loving—and leaving— the most beautiful damsels in the land. Now a mysterious lady is offering him a vow of chaste matrimony in exchange for revenge against his most hated enemy, and Eirik simply cannot refuse. But the lusty knight's plans go awry when he finds himself unable to resist Eadyth's myriad charms . . . and he succumbs to the sweet sting of the tarnished lady's love.

 

3. Sweetened with Honey by Valerie Comer

 

Gabriel Rubachuk returns to Galena Landing, Idaho, once the setting of a charmed life before an accident killed his pregnant wife. Will he embrace hope for a new life or escape once again?

Beekeeper Sierra Riehl has spent three years helping to keep Gabe's health food store afloat while he worked with orphans in Romania. Now he's back, but it looks like he might bolt. Can she hold him still long enough to spark a romance? But Sierra's hope falters when she begins to suspect she can't give Gabe the life he deserves.

Is new love sweet enough to overcome the pain of the past and the uncertainty of the future?

 

4. The Keeper  by Suzanne Woods Fisher

 

Life on Windmill Farm hasn't been the same since Julia Lapp's father has had trouble with his heart. But that doesn't stop Julia from hoping for a bright future. She has planned on marrying Paul Fisher since she was a girl. Now twenty-one, she looks forward to their wedding with giddy anticipation. But when Paul tells her he wants to postpone the wedding--again--she is determined to change his mind. She knows who is to blame for Paul's sudden reluctance to wed: the Bee Man.

Roman Troyer, the Bee Man, travels through the Amish communities of Ohio and Pennsylvania with his hives full of bees, renting them out to farmers in need of pollinators. A mysterious man who relishes his nomadic life, Roman especially enjoys bringing his bees to Stoney Ridge each year. But with Julia seriously at odds with him, Windmill Farm is looking decidedly less appealing.

Can Julia secure the future she's always dreamed of? Or does God have something else in mind?

 

5. Morning Glory by LaVyrle Spencer

 

On the eve of World War II, two people are brought together by fate and discover an unexpected passion.


Tall, dark and handsome Will Parker has served time for the killing of a Texas prostitute, but keeps losing jobs as his reputation becomes known. In the small town of Whitney, Ga., at the beginning of WW II, he answers the advertisement of a pregnant widow and mother of two, the abused and reclusive Eleanor Dinsmore, who is looking for a husband. Soon in love with ostensibly plain, bedraggled Ellie, Parker dotes on her two boys, and works to support the family. Fittingly for this sort of bucolic idyll, Will and Ellie, despite their rudimentary educations, love books and develop a special friendship with wise old Miss Beasley, the local librarian. Alas, brazen and rapacious Lula Peak, the town floozie, sets her sights on Will, waylaying him in the library; meantimes, Lula is blackmailing her lover, the cowardly Harley Overmire, who is no friend of Will. The clearly drawn characters fulfill their imperatives including Will, who becomes a war hero and all is neatly and pleasingly resolved.

 

6. The Accidental Wedding by Anne Gracie

 

When Nash Renfrew wakes in the bed of lovely Maddy Woodford, he thinks he's dreaming. Then he learns of his accident and the loss of his memory. But when it returns, Nash has no desire to leave Maddy's side and continues pretending he has amnesia. With each passing day, Nash's attraction to Maddy grows. But he's a diplomat and she's just a country girl. How can he even entertain thoughts of seducing her?

 

7. The Beekeeper's Daughter by Janice Carter

 

Just as every bee returns to its hive…

 

She came home to help her dad. But Annie Collins never expected to run the family business on her own. Nor could she have guessed that the daughter she gave up at birth would seek her out.

 

Will Jennings never expected to find Ambrosia Apiary—a place that felt like home before he'd ever laid eyes on it—or to face the tragedy that made him quit firefighting.

Sometimes, though, the sweetest things happen when you least expect them….

 

8. The Sweetness of Honey by Alison Kent

 

Dark-haired beauty Indiana Keller buys a property in Hope Springs, Texas, for three reasons: to expand her vegetable business, to harvest and sell delicious honey from the property’s established bee colony, and to reunite with her estranged siblings. But her older brother Tennessee keeps his distance, even after Indiana hires his construction crew to fix up her cottage. It’s almost as if he shares her guilt over the disappearance of Dakota, their missing brother…

 

While Indiana tries to reconnect with Ten and find Dakota, two local men begin vying for her heart. Handsome, laid-back Will Bowman has a checkered past, but now he’s determined to get what he wants out of life…and he wants Indiana. Meanwhile, refined Oliver Gatlin can’t fight his own attraction to Indiana, especially since his brother also fell victim to tragic circumstances. Amid the raw natural beauty of Hope Springs, can Indiana’s heart finally heal enough to love?

 

9. Snowflakes & Beeswax by Jess Schira

 

Madelyn Wickham is a shy farmer’s daughter who wants to be left alone to tend to her bees and make candles so elegant they captured Queen Charlotte’s attention. For years, she and her father had a good system. Madelyn made the candles the queen requested for the Christmas celebration she hosted at the Queen’s Lodge, and Madelyn’s father handled the men the queen sent to fetch the merchandise.

Her father’s death changes everything. The idea of dealing with the queen’s men terrifies her, people have always made her feel uncomfortable, but she has no choice. It takes all of her courage, but she manages to walk up to them and start a conversation. Moments later they find the candles she’s prepared for the Queen’s celebration have been destroyed.

Oliver Hamilton has always had a knack for seeing the bright side of every situation. He understands the seriousness of the situation, but doesn’t see any reason for despair. He sees the situation as a chance to spend time with a woman who’s always intrigued him, but who he’s only ever seen from a distance. He has no idea he’s stepping into the middle of a tense sibling rivalry, and a bitter fight custody fight over the small farm, a battle Madelyn can’t handle by herself.

As Christmas Day draws close, Madelyn’s panic gives way to a softer, sweeter emotion. Instead of running away from Oliver, she wonders if there’s any possibility of ever being able to put her fear aside completely so they can explore the future together.

Snowflakes & Beeswax is a Georgian romance that is set in 1800, just before Queen Charlotte's famous Christmas Ball. It's a sweet romance that combines rural romance with historical romance.

 

10. The Wedding Bees by Sarah-Kate Lynch

 

Sugar Wallace did not believe in love at first sight, but her bees did. . . .

 

Every spring Sugar Wallace coaxes her sleepy honeybee queen—presently the sixth in a long line of Queen Elizabeths—out of the hive and lets her crawl around a treasured old map. Wherever the queen stops is their next destination, and this year it's New York City.

Sugar sets up her honeybees on the balcony of an East Village walk-up and then––as she's done everywhere since leaving South Carolina––she gets to know her neighbors. She is, after all, a former debutante who believes that manners make the world a better place even if they seem currently lacking in the big city.

 

Plus, she has a knack for helping people. There's Ruby with her scrapbook of wedding announcements; single mom Lola; reclusive chef Nate; and George, a courtly ex-doorman. They may not know what to make of her bees and her politeness, but they can't deny the magic in her honey.

 

And then there's Theo, a delightfully kind Scotsman who crosses Sugar's path as soon as she gets into town and is quickly besotted. But love is not on the menu for Sugar. She likes the strong independent woman she's become since leaving the South and there's nothing a charmer like Theo can do to change her mind . . . only her bees can do that.

 

Did I miss your favorite beekeeper? Let me know! Vote for the best of the best on my Goodreads list: Buzzed: Bee Keeping in Romance Novels.

 

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text 2015-02-24 15:11
Canvas: Painters in Contemporary Romance
Wild Man Creek - Robyn Carr
The Cinderella Deal - Jennifer Crusie
Flirting with Disaster - Victoria Dahl
Collide - Megan Hart
Sweet Mercy (Harlequin SuperRomance #1339) - Jean Brashear
If You Stay - Courtney Cole
In Your Eyes - Laura Moore
Mr. Family - Margot Early
Counterfeits - Kris Bock
Seducing Cinderella - Gina L. Maxwell

Oh those sexy artists...

 

Here are some wonderful Painter Heroes and Heroines in Romance Novels. My lists are never in any particular order. 

 

 

1. Seducing Cinderella by Gina L. Maxwell

 

Mixed martial arts fighter Reid Andrews's chance to reclaim his title as light heavyweight champ is shattered when he's injured only months before the rematch. To make sure he's healed in time, his trainer sends him to recuperate under a professional's care--Reid's best friend's little sister, all grown up.

Disorganized and bookish Lucie Miller needs some professional help of her own. She'd do anything to catch the eye of a doctor she's crushed on for years, so when Reid offers seduction lessons in exchange for 24/7 conditioning for the biggest fight of his career, Lucie jumps at the chance.

Soon Reid finds himself in the fight of his life...winning Lucie's heart before she gives it to someone else.

 

2. Counterfeits by Kris Bock

 

Painter Jenny Kinley has spent the last decade struggling in the New York art world. Her grandmother’s sudden death brings her home to New Mexico, but inheriting the children’s art camp her grandmother ran is more of a burden than a gift. How can she give up her lifelong dreams of showing her work in galleries and museums?

Rob Caruso, the camp cook and all-around handyman, would be happy to run the camp with Jenny. Dare he even dream of that, when his past holds dark secrets that he can never share? When Jenny’s father reappears after a decade-long absence, only Rob knows where he’s been and what danger he’s brought with him.

Jenny and Rob face midnight break-ins and make desperate escapes, but the biggest danger may come from the secrets that don’t want to stay buried. In the end, they must decide whether their dreams will bring them together or force them apart.

 

3.  Mr. Family by Margot Early

 

Kal Johnson is a still-grieving widower with a young child. He can't imagine marrying again—not for love, anyway. But it's becoming increasingly clear that his daughter needs someone besides him. A mother. Kal's solution is to place an ad in a local magazine.

 

Wanted: Woman to enter celibate marriage and be stepmother to four-year-old girl. Send child-rearing philosophies to Mr. Family….

 

Erika Blade is a woman who's afraid of love. And sex. She answers the ad, figuring she's probably the only person in the whole world to whom a "celibate marriage" would appeal. After all, she does want children but she doesn't want to acquire them in the usual way. As it turns out, Kal likes her letter—and soon discovers that he likes her. More than likes. He's attracted to her. The one thing that wasn't supposed to happen.

 

4. In Your Eyes by Laura Moore

 

A gifted artist, Genevieve Monaghan expresses the wonder and beauty of life on canvas. When millionaire philanthropist Alex Miller asks her to create a painting for the new children’s wing of a major Boston hospital, she finds his high-handed ways exasperating and his stunning good looks distracting—but she cannot resist his proposal. She embraces the project, willing to suffer Alex’s presence for the sake of her art. Yet soon Gen finds herself falling for Alex and his virile charm.

At the pinnacle of wealth and power, Alex Miller stands alone. Women flock to him, drawn by his standing and immense sex appeal. Nothing touches his heart—until he meets Gen. A natural beauty, she is a breath of fresh air in his life and has no interest in his riches or glamour. Although they couldn’t be more different, the growing attraction between them is palpable, sizzling with intensity. Even as they fight to deny their feelings, Alex and Gen are losing themselves to the one thing more awe-inspiring than beauty: love.

 

5. If You Stay by Courtney Cole

 

24-year old Pax Tate is an asshole.

Seriously.

He's a tattooed, rock-hard bad-boy with a bad attitude to match.
But he's got his reasons.

His mother died when Pax was seven, leaving a hole in his heart filled with guilt although he doesn't understand why. What he does know is that he and his dad are left alone and with more issues than they can count.

As Pax grew up, he tried to be the kid his father always wanted; the perfect golden boy, but it didn't work. His dad couldn't overcome his grief long enough to notice and Pax couldn't keep up the impossible perfect façade.
So he slipped far, far from it.

Now, he uses drugs and women to cope with the ugliness, the black void that he doesn't want to deal with. If he pretends that the emptiness isn't there, then it isn't, right?
Wrong.

And it's never more apparent than when he meets Mila.

Sweet, beautiful Mila Hill is the fresh air to his hardened frown, the beauty to his ugly heart. He doesn't know how to not hurt her, but he quickly realizes that he'd better figure it out because he needs her to breathe.

When memories of his mother's death resurface from where he's repressed them for so long, Mila is there to catch him when the guilt starts making sense. Mila is the one...the one who can save him from his broken troubled heart; from his issues, from the emptiness.

But only if he can stop being an asshole long enough to allow it.

He knows that. And he's working on it.

But is that enough to make her stay?

 

6. Sweet Mercy by Jean Brashear

 

Honey Creek Cottage is the house of Jezebel Hart's dreams -- and the place of Gamble Smith's nightmares. The place he built with his own hands, every stick and brick a testament to his love for the family he lost. The place now in disrepair, its gardens tangled with loss and neglect, much like Gamble's heart. He can't bear to live in it. Yet he isn't ready to let go. Not even to the vivacious Jezebel, who has put her volatile past behind her and wants to plant roots. A woman whose sex-goddess looks, Gamble discovers, can't match her strength and compassion. They come together out of mutual need, but find mutual healing. Except...she's hiding something that could shatter their fragile bond.

 

7. Collide by Megan Hart

 

A childhood accident left Emmaline vulnerable to disturbing fugue states that last minutes but feel like an eternity. The blackouts are unsettling but manageable…until she meets Johnny Dellasandro.

 

The painter gained fame in the '70s for his debauched lifestyle and raunchy art films. His naked body achieved cult status, especially in Emm's mind—she's obsessed with the man, who's grown even sexier with age. Today he shuns the spotlight and Emm…until she falls into a fugue on his doorstep.

 

In that moment she's transported back thirty years, crashing a party at Johnny's place. The night is a blur of flesh and heat that lingers long after she's woken to the present.

It happens again and again, each time-slip a mind-blowing orgy, and soon Emm can't stop, though every episode leaves her weaker. She's scared by what's happening, but she's even more terrified of losing this portal to the Johnny she wants so badly. The one who wants her and takes her—every chance he gets.

 

8. Flirting with Disaster by Victoria Dahl

 

Artist Isabelle West has good reasons for preferring a solitary life. Tucked away in a cabin in the woods, she has everything she needs…except a red-hot love life. That is, until a hard-bodied US marshal threatens to unearth secrets she's spent years protecting. But giving in to the sparks flying between them can only lead to one thing…disaster. 

Tom Duncan lives by the letter of the law. But no one has tempted him—or confused him—more than free-spirited Isabelle, who arouses his suspicion and his desire. As their connection grows, and their nights get hotter, they find their wild attraction might shake everything he stands for—and expose everything she has to hide.

 

9. The Cinderella Deal  by Jennifer Crusie

 

Daisy Flattery is a free spirit with a soft spot for strays and a weakness for a good story. Why else would she agree to the outrageous charade offered by her buttoned-down workaholic neighbor, Linc Blaise? The history professor needs a makeshift fiancée to secure his dream job, and Daisy needs a short-term gig to support her painting career. And so the Cinderella Deal is born: Daisy will transform herself into Linc’s prim-and-proper fiancée, and at the stroke of midnight they will part ways, no glass slippers attached. But something funny happens on their way to make-believe bliss, as a fake engagement unexpectedly spirals into an actual wedding. Now, with Linc and Daisy married and under one roof, what started as a game begins to feel real—and the people who seem so wrong for each other realize they may truly be just right.

 

10.  Wild Man Creek by Robyn Carr

 

Colin Riordan came to Virgin River to recuperate from a horrific helicopter crash, the scars of which he bears inside and out. His family is wonderfully supportive, but it's his art that truly soothes his troubled soul.

Stung personally and professionally by an ill-advised affair, PR guru Jillian Matlock has rented an old Victorian with a promising garden in Virgin River. She's looking forward to cultivating something other than a corporate brand.

Both are looking to simplify, not complicate, their lives, but when Jillian finds Colin at his easel in her yard, there's an instant connection. And in Virgin River, sometimes love is the simplest choice of all….

 

To vote for the best of the best and get more recs, visit my Goodreads list: Canvas: Painters in Contemporary Romance.

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review 2015-02-05 03:09
Starting with June - Emilie Rose (HS #1963 - Dec 2014)
Starting with June (Harlequin Superromance) - Emilie Rose

Series: Quincey North Carolina (Book 3)

Resisting June may be his toughest job

 

Investigating small-town police corruption has never been on former Marine Sam Rivers's radar. Still, taking this assignment gives him the opportunity to figure out what's next after his medical discharge. The task should be a straightforward one. That is, until he meets Deputy June Jones. Almost instantly the warm, sexy woman occupies his thoughts. For a man who craves solitude, suddenly he can't get enough of her.

 

He also can't forget his reason for being in Quincey, North Carolina. As his investigation progresses, it threatens his secret relationship with June. But can he turn his back on all the love and hope she offers?

 

Fantastic book, with characters that have realistic emotions, dreams and lives. Sam was a sniper in the Marines until a career ending injury forces him out. He's determined to overcome the injury and get back in, but in the meantime a friend has asked for his help. Roth (A Better Man) is now the police chief in a small North Carolina town. He recently discovered that one of his deputies was a dirty cop, and is worried that there may be others. He wants Sam to come work for him, undercover, and check out the other officers. Sam plans to get in, do the mission and get out as quickly as he can.

 

I ached for Sam. All he has wanted was to follow in his dad's footsteps as a career Marine. Now he's lost, has no idea what he can do outside of the Corps, and is feeling pretty useless. Working for Roth will give him time to see if his vision problems will heal. Sam is also a loner. He has a family that loves him, but he grew up avoiding making attachments. Frequent moves made making friends difficult, and seeing his mom worry about his dad made him reluctant to form any relationships with a woman. He hasn't told his family about his injury, not wanting them fussing over him. He hasn't even told them he's out of the Marines.

 

On his first day in town he meets June, his neighbor. Being a good Southern girl, she has a welcome basket for him, and tries to be nice. He mistakes it for something else entirely and is quite rude in rejecting her "advances", only to discover a couple days later that she is a fellow deputy. That discovery doesn't sit well with either of them, especially when Roth assigns her to be Sam's trainer. I have to say that that first day together was pretty fun to read. Sam is uptight, by the book, and very intense. June, having grown up in Quincey, knows everyone and has her own style of dealing with miscreants. Sam is a very private kind of guy and June's determination to introduce him to everyone, and their interest in getting to know all about him, drives him nuts. Add in their completely different approaches to two kids egging cars, and their time together was pretty explosive. I did enjoy his conversation with Roth about the effectiveness of her methods.

 

June had always wanted to be a cop. She moved away from Quincey to do her training in Raleigh, but came home after falling in love with a man who turned out to be married. Bitterly ashamed, and then reviled by her overly righteous preacher father, June has been doing her best to prove to him that she deserves his love. As the middle child in her family, she has also been the peacemaker and negotiator, a talent that has come in handy in her job. Dealing with Sam is something else entirely and when a shooting competition gets heated, so does their blood and attraction spirals almost out of control.

 

Assigned to work together on a car theft case, Sam and June find themselves fighting a losing battle against their attraction. As coworkers, they can't be involved. Sam makes it clear that he doesn't do any kind of commitment, and June is afraid of what would happen if her father found out. But they agree to a no strings, secret relationship, keeping emotion out of it. Of course, that doesn't ever work, and June soon finds herself head over heels for Sam. She'd like nothing more than to show him that he has so much to offer if he would just allow himself to care. Sam also finds himself feeling things for June he's never felt for anyone before, but he still sees himself as useless and no good for her.

 

I loved the way that June tried to show Sam that he was more than a washed up sniper. She introduced him to people that could help him if he would allow it, and if he could lose his tunnel vision about his abilities. I loved her straight talk, and the way she echoed what others had told him. Her growing feelings for him make her discovery of his true reason for being in Quincey that much harder for her to take, and she is hurt and angry and devastated by what she sees as his betrayal.

 

Sam's own feelings go through so many changes he is left reeling. June has become more important to him than he is comfortable with. He has to decide what to do about his future before he can even think about being more to her. He also has to take a hard look at what she told him about the importance of family and face up to that as well. As he runs from Quincey and his demons, he does do one thing that I absolutely loved - he goes to see June's father, and what he says was fantastic. I loved seeing Sam get himself together, and his "go big" moment at the end was sweet indeed.

 

One of the greatest things about this book was the real look at the problems the military members face when they leave the service, especially those who planned to make it their career. Civilian life is far different and the transition can be very difficult. This was portrayed extremely well.

 

My only complaint with the book was my never ending one with the editors/publishers at Harlequin. They refuse to accept that Marine, Marines, Marine Corps, and Corps are ALWAYS capitalized, and it is disrespectful not to do so. As Ms. Rose has a very close connection to the Marine Corps, I know the fault was not hers.

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