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review 2017-10-17 08:30
Cardinal Cabin
Cardinal Cabin - Joanne DeMaio

By:  Joanne  DeMaio

ISBN:  B074DZSDFS

Publisher: Joanne Demaio

Publication Date: 9/12/2017

Format: Kindle 

My Rating: 5 Stars  

Blog Tour Host Oct 18  

 

Congrats, the author's 10th Novel! 

 

CARDINAL CABIN A magical nostalgic holiday escape —with an ideal New England snowy rustic storybook setting! Great to catch up with familiar characters from DeMaio's previous books.  Join me Oct 18 Blog Tour Host. 

Bestselling author, Joanne Demaio returns to magical New England following The Beach Inn (summer) and her famous Christmas editions: Wishing on Snowflakes, a holiday collection of two books—Snowflakes and Coffee Cakes and Snow Deer and Cocoa Cheer with her latest holiday getaway to CARDINAL CABIN — another enchanting holiday adventure of unexpected love and humor, surrounded by a magical snowy rustic setting.

"Making the birds even more special, folklore has it that cardinals grant wishes . . . When you see a cardinal, make a wish. But the important part. . . After making the wish, close your eyes, tight. . . If the cardinal is still there when you open your eyes, legend has it your wish will come true."

Frank Lombardo (33) and his sister Gina own Addison Boathouse, the crown jewel of Addison. Serving a dual purpose, the summer months it is the main attraction for outdoor events with kayaks and canoes. 

During the winter months, it is known for its weddings and Christmas party season as a premier waterfront venue at Snowflake Lake. With weeks of decorating the final touches are being completed. The brother-sister team carry out the legacy of their dad's business, turning it over to them to carry on. 

Gina is married with a son and wants her brother to find love. He does not like discussing his single-status with his prying sister. He has purchased the large English Tudor home from his parents and she is bugging him about not decorating it for Christmas. Why bother? What for? 

In addition to this business, he also is a part-time lumberjack at the cabin rentals. 

Gus Haynes, the owner in his seventies, and getting older and with his wife’s passing, needs help with the rustic cabins nestled in the snowy woods among the silver and sugar maples, willows, birch and elm trees. 

From splitting logs to keep the wood burning stoves, snow clearing, and the seasonal chores of the property.

Of course, his sister reminds him he is taking himself "off the market" by working out in the woods for Gus on the weekends. After all, “who do you ever expect to meet out in the woods?” She urges him to be spontaneous. “Find yourself a girl for the holidays.” 

The last thing Frank wants is holidays and weddings. He enjoys escaping in the woods to keep his mind occupied away from match-making and his sister pushing him into a romance. 

Little does Frank know he may stumble upon the girl of his dreams in these same woods.

Penny Hart has never ridden on a snowtorcycle before; however, appears this is the only way around in the woods to her rented cabin, driven by Gus. 

Cardinal Cabin is among the small little charming rustic A-frame cabins and bungalows surrounding a secluded lake. She is here for a two-week stay and no one knows her whereabouts, except for Gus, the driver.

Penny Hart, (33) is single and in marketing with a travel company— Addison’s Suitcase Escapes. She is hiding out for two weeks for a merry mystery. A secret undisclosed destination even to her coworkers. 

She must furnish clues and people will need to guess her location. The winner will receive a getaway to the respective location. She must keep a low profile while here so her secret stays safe during the promotion. 

“Guess Travel Agent’s Holiday Hideaway for a Chance to Win the Getaway.” On Christmas Eve one lucky entrant will be drawn to win an all expense weekend getaway at Hart’s secret New England locale. 

‘Tis the season for adventure and Yuletide surprises, plus an unexpected romance. 

As much as she treasures her own cozy apartment, she is excited when she sees her cabin all decorated for Christmas with even a tree. She has the feeling she has stepped into a woodland fairy tale. 

The true beauty and magic were the many cardinals. . . "Each one looked like pretty red ornaments on the soft, snow-laden pines." 

Then she spots a handsome lumberjack. Just like an old-fashioned movie or a nostalgic wintry postcard. She slips and falls on the ice and her cocoa travel mug and journal goes flying along with her blanket. Guess who spots her and picks her up?

Frank even kisses her before he thinks about what he is doing. Spontaneity? All he knows is that her name is Penny and she fell in the snow. They both are shocked and delighted at the same time. A mystery woman? A mystery man? They are embarrassed but excited. However, both decide they will get back to work and pretend this never happened. But can they? 

Penny has to start with clues. She needs to keep her mind on her work, not a romance with a man she just met. She has to be creative with photos so as not to give too much away. 

In the meantime, readers get to reacquaint themselves with characters from previous books at Whole Latte Life coffee shop and catch up with Wes and Jane and their upcoming wedding, among others.

Frank soon learns Penny’s identity as well as Gus. Gus is a true romantic at heart and his wife loved the Cardinal Cabin. With a little "added help" and creative planning from Gus (he reminds me of Santa), the two lovebirds are pushed towards one another. 

We also catch up with Greg (Wes' brother from a previous book) the doctor, which is not a welcome visit from Frank’s perspective. He always is after the ladies. 

However, pictures are worth a thousand words. Appears there is a spark of romance in the woods. But can the magic of this quaint New England town keep these snowy sweethearts together? Will cardinal wishes come true?

. . . "The magic of travel isn't always about how far you roam. It's about keeping your curiosity and sense of adventure even while close to home. Life can then take you in new and surprising directions." 

 

 



From the hush of the woods, soft and calming, to the sparkling white snow, twinkling lights, and crackling fire, Joanne transports readers to a picturesque setting for her annual holiday edition with vivid imagery, descriptive holiday delights, and lovable characters. 

With a little magic, romance, nostalgia, silver bells, and holiday cheer another heartwarming story! (loved Gus's character)

Being from South Florida, where it is sunny and warm year round, I look forward to my annual trip to wintry New England without the costly travel expense and extensive planning. Just turn down the A/C, close the shutters, grab a throw and a cup of tea or espresso and the author takes you on a magical adventure from the comfort of your own home. 

I am especially fond of rustic, and miss my log cabin in Big Canoe, GA surrounded by deer, trees, lakes, and blankets of snow. This charming story took me back to those fond memories of past Christmases in the mountains.

If you have not read Joanne Demaio books, you are missing a rare treat. I have read all her books and anxiously await the next. I continue to say, her series are prime for the Hallmark Channel! Still looking forward to each of them "coming alive" on the big screen.

JDCMustReadBooks

Source: www.judithdcollinsconsulting.com/single-post/2017/07/04/Cardinal-Cabin
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review 2016-04-16 19:41
A cute Australian gay romance
Rustic Melody - Nic Starr,Book Cover by Design

If only this book had ended the way it started, as a sweet, relaxed and easy romance. Unfortunately, a few things didn't work for me and I ended up gritting my teeth through the resolution. I didn't hate the story, I was just so disappointed, because I expected more based on the lovely beginning.


First of all, less sex would've been nice. An explicit sex scene immediately after another explicit sex scene added nothing to the story and felt more like padding to the word count than plot progression. Or character growth.


Nothing Adam did or decided felt like it was coming from him. First it was that infodump phone call from his sister that made me question the author's ability to move the story forward naturally and then it was Joey's mother planting the thought of taking care of her son. After that I doubted if Adam really loved Joey and I felt like he was being manipulated into a relationship.


There was also the dual hospitalisation. Instead of using the first to force the confrontation between father and son, the author again manipulated Adam into a situation where he would get to vacillate a little longer. And I get indecisiveness: this wasn't that. This was the author hitting points on a plot map instead of letting story evolve naturally through the characters' actions.


But you know, none of this might bother you. There's a chance you'll love reading gratuitous gay sex and two sweet guys finding each other.

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text 2016-04-16 02:35
Rustic Moment (Rustic #3) by Nic Starr
Rustic Moment - Nic Starr,Book Cover By Design

 

“Love comes to those who least expect it, who still believe in love after they have been betrayed and who still love after they've been hurt.” ~ Rashida Rowe

 

Grant, of 'Rustic Moment' by Nic Starr, takes a trip back to see his best friend, Ty. He's had a rough time lately and needs the comfort and support only Ty can offer; Ty doesn't let him down, welcoming him with a huge hug and lots of compassion. While he's there, he meets Dave, a “large—six foot two inches of Aussie country boy, tanned and muscled and a little bit wild.” Grant usually steers clear of large men, but there's no mistaking the attraction between him and Dave.

 
Even though Grant is heartbroken and cynical, he has still not entirely given up on love. Seeing Ty and Mac together only enforces his ache inside wanting a loving relationship. Grant is not expecting to meet someone like Dave. His infectious smile, openness and honesty warm Grant's heart. While there, they become friends, with Grant's interest growing all the time. Grant realizes that they have more in common than he thought. When they go to Dave's house, Grant sees all the work Dave has done by himself. Grant is astounded not only by the quality of workmanship, but with Dave's grasp on innovative design and great sense of style. During the conversation, Grant learns that Dave intends to sell the house and move out of the small town and to Melbourne, where Dave lives. Dave has already got some jobs lined up in the city. As a courtesy, Grant offers Dave a place to stay until he gets settled, not necessarily expecting anything to come of it.

Grant goes back home to pick up the pieces, not only of his business, but of his heart as well. Because of the damage done by his partner and his ex, his business is almost in ruins. When Dave turns up at his door, taking up Grant's offer to stay with him, Grant is happy, but is so emotionally tied up, he can't follow through on his feelings for Dave, even though he does seem perfect for him. Grant has never had anyone to depend upon but himself. Even with Dave there to at least listen, Grant keeps his issues to himself, leaving Dave in the dark. When Grant puts the house up for sale without even mentioning it, Dave is furious. Grant has lied to him and Dave doesn't know if he can forgive him.

This is my favorite of all the ‘Rustic’ stories. Nic did a wonderful job of getting down to the heart of the matter with each character and I was in deep with the emotions. I loved Dave and knew he was exactly what Grant needed to get over his insecurities and believe in himself. I was frustrated, but could identify with Grant's feelings, hearing his father's voice in his head telling him he'd never amount to anything. Although Grant had accomplished so much, it would never be enough to silence that hateful declaration in his head. It's hard to watch someone suffer when the solution is right in front of them, but that's how I felt about Grant. I also knew that even though those around him told him otherwise, until he believed it, nothing would change. If you're a fan of the series, you will appreciate Grant's story. If you are new to the series, you may enjoy this book on its own, but the experience will be much more enjoyable if you start with the first book and read all the way through. Thanks, Nic, for a great read!

 

 

 

Source: www.rainbowbookreviews.com/book-reviews/rustic-moment-rustic-3-by-nic-starr
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review 2016-04-15 13:06
Rustic Moment (Rustic #3) by Nic Starr
Rustic Moment - Nic Starr,Book Cover By Design
Grant is having a hard time with life. His business partner and his boyfriend cheated on him, his business is bearing the brunt of that, and Grant feels like he is floundering under the stress of it all. Enter Dave from Armidale. Laid back, priorities set straight, and the perfect foil for Grant. 
 
Grant comes across as cold and materialistic in places, but that does just make the scenes with Dave seem even more heart-warming! Grant has his past which is about to bite him in the behind, but he doesn't have to face it alone anymore. 
 
I did feel like this book was more about Grant and his weaknesses, rather than an equal partnership with Dave, but I still can't imagine it any other way. This way certainly shows how Dave and Grant balance each other out. 
 
The one thing I will say is that the ending seemed a bit rushed with this book. With the first two, you knew the ending was coming and the epilogue left you with a feeling of satisfaction. With this one, it just seemed to... stop!
 
Even with that though, I still thoroughly enjoyed this book and would have no hesitation in recommending it.
 
* I received this book from Enticing Journey Book Promotions in return for a fair and honest review. *
 
Merissa
Archaeolibrarian - I Dig Good Books!
Source: archaeolibrarianologist.blogspot.de/2016/04/blog-tour-review-giveaway-rustic-moment.html
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review 2016-04-15 09:27
Rustic Memory by Nic Starr
Rustic Memory - Nic Starr,Book Cover By Design
This book starts with Joey and Adam driving off to start their new life, leaving Ty and crew waving at them. Tyler has come full circle and returned home, albeit in tragic circumstances. He throws himself into the pub, trying to leave his painful memories behind him. A blast from the past shows up, wearing the face of Mac, who Ty doesn't recognise. The chemistry between these two is instantaneous and smokin'! However, although Mac wants a relationship, Ty doesn't as he is afraid of losing the one he loves again.
 
This is just as well-written as Rustic Melody, with no editing or grammatical errors that I found. The story line and pacing is smooth, building up to the climax of their story. This is a wonderful addition to the Rustic series. Definitely recommended.
 
* I received this book from Enticing Journey Book Promotions in return for a fair and honest review. *
 
Merissa
Archaeolibrarian - I Dig Good Books!
Source: archaeolibrarianologist.blogspot.de/2016/04/review-by-merissa-rustic-melody-rustic.html
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