Happy Boxing Day Celebrations. Boxing day holiday is here. List out the items for the day after Christmas to give out by its history and fun traditions.
Stephens is known for the complicated characters she writes. Well Nils and Sierra are as complicated as they come. It was hard to wrap my head around this train wreck of the heart. These former step-siblings have a lot of reasons to be bitter and even more hurt and anger to work out. He's the rebel hockey star with a chip on his shoulder and a wild streak in his heart. She's a dreamer with a lost soul and a broken heart. Dirty Swedish Player is a chaotic story of broken hearts, shattered dreams and second chances. Sierra and Nils are at their best when exposing us to their worst. The thrill is in seeing just how unpredictable this duo can be.
Naomi Stephens’ debut novel, “Shadow Among Sheaves”, is every bit as poetic and brooding as its title. This is certainly an author whose work I will be following! Expecting a gentle love story and perhaps some sappy sentimentality, I was utterly surprised to discover quite the opposite. I am familiar with the poignant Biblical story of Naomi, Ruth, and Boaz and think of it as a stirring example of loyalty and love. However, I have never really considered it more deeply—until now. Stephens taps into one of the main reasons that I love Biblical fiction and retellings: it causes me to explore beneath the surface of the story and to consider the characters in depth and in the context of their historical and social situations. “Shadow Among Sheaves” does just that, focusing on the sacrifice and hardship facing two widows now seemingly alone in the world.
From the start, this historical retelling made me uncomfortable, and that’s a good thing! It pushed me out of my comfort zone and into unfamiliar territory, which enabled me to learn new information about England in the 1860s and to empathize with a new character set. The somber tone of the novel never felt too oppressive, as Stephens interjects some relief just when it is most needed without detracting from the gravity of the tale. Culture and religion collide in the aftermath of the Great Indian Rebellion of 1857, and Rena Hawley is caught in the middle. Following an impromptu marriage to a British soldier in her native India, her husband’s and father-in-law’s unexpected deaths cast shadows on Rena’s future, even as she determines to follow her mother-in-law, Nell, to England. There her identity is further obfuscated by prejudice and xenophobia: “In India, she was her father’s daughter, beloved and shrouded; here she was bruised, a worthless girl with foreign eyes whose only wealth was in the abundance of her own grief.”
This eye-opening allegory paints a sobering portrait of life as a foreigner and a destitute widow. Rena is a fascinating character because of her complexity. She is confused by English customs, and I appreciated how Stephens presented the Indian way of life with respect, despite how barbaric some aspects of it sound to our modern sensibilities. This paved the way for a better understanding of the difficulties Rena faces in trying to reconcile her old life with the new one she has chosen. Furthermore, Rena is not depicted as a moral paragon. She struggles and clings to the past, rejecting the faith of both her mother-in-law and former husband, which ultimately makes her journey all the sweeter. The same can be said of Lord Barric. His gruff exterior also serves as a shield against pain and grief, and the impact of his initial encounter with Rena creates a ripple effect that influences both of their reputations and their futures. Impressive secondary characters add to the moving panoply. For anyone on their own journey out of darkness, or who enjoys a though-provoking historical romance and redemption story, “Shadow Among Sheaves” is a must read.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and CelebrateLit and was under no obligation to post a review.
Time to hit the sin bin: Butt Ending by R.C. Stephens is LIVE!!
GRAB IT NOW:
Or read it #FREE in KindleUnlimited!!!
Sloane has been on her share of dates. She just can’t seem to find the right guy to pop her virgin cherry. Sloane’s mother, a well-known sex guru, believes she’s suffering from a hostile vagina.
Poor Sloane is beginning to believe her mother’s professional diagnosis is true. Except for one small detail...
She’s been pining for her best friend’s brother, Oli, for the past decade.
Sloane’s heart is set on the unattainable, sexy-as-sin hockey player. She would give up on her Oli fantasy if it weren’t for those constant heated glares and that one passionate kiss that set her world on fire confirming her hostile vagina is right. Oli is the man for the job.
Problem is, Oli seems to have no intention of settling down and has clearly placed Sloane in the friend zone.
When crisis strikes, Oli and Sloane end up trapped in a car, driving to Canada with a sweet puppy and a whole lot of chemistry. But when Oli realizes she’s a virgin, he wants to run to the farthest hills to get away from her.
Sometimes happily-ever-after isn’t that easy...
Butt Ending is a laugh-out-loud friends-to-lovers story. Get ready for foodgasms, dirty talk, and one heck of a sexy alpha-male hockey player.
About R.C. Stephens:
As far back as R.C. Stephens can remember she was a sucker for a good romance. Of course there had to be a prince charming even if he ultimately was a dark knight and there had to be a happy ending.
She watched the movie Dirty Dancing way too many times growing up and Jean Claude Van Damme movies too. Go figure!
After years of saying she would write a book one day, she finally put pen to paper and carved out the plot line for what would eventually become the best selling Twisted Series. Now R.C. is just finishing up her tenth book and can’t seem to stop the stories running through her mind. Visit R.C. on her Facebook page to find out what’s new in her life and what releases she has coming up.
Find R.C. Stephens Online!
Is this the end of the line or the start of forever? Stephens is high on my list of go to authors when it comes to sports romance. Butt Ending takes a fresh look at love and a realistic, empathetic look at life. Sloane and Oli are hot enough to melt ice. Love has been a long time coming for this duo. From past tragedies to current heartache and foolish pride, this couple has endured a lifetime of upsets in their long-standing long-standing friendship. Can they break free of the past and set their sights on finding happiness? Stephens scores gold with Butt Ending.