❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️ – 5 hearts
Grace Railton had a crush on Mica Barzonni ever since they shared a kiss as teenagers, but she didn’t get the sense that the attraction was mutual. Twelve years later when Grace’s aunt Louise has back surgery and Grace leaves her home in Paris to come help out at The Louise House, her aunt’s ice-cream shop in Indian Lake, Indiana, Mica and Grace get reacquainted. He’s still unimaginably handsome with his black hair and Mediterranean blue eyes. The only difference is that he’s lost the use of his left arm and shoulder after an injury he suffered while trying to repair his mother’s car. The two become caught up in emotions, but their cozy reunion is short lived. Grace returns to her career in Paris and Mica doesn’t hear a word from her until fifteen months later when she is back in Indian Lake, about to present Mica Barzonni with the shock of his life—their six month old son, Jules.
My concept of Mica Barzonni
After this shocking revelation, is Grace serious about wanting Mica to take care of Jules for a few months while she goes back to Paris to nurture her current career opportunities? Mica isn’t happy about this proposition, and he makes his thoughts on that clearly known. There’s no doubt he still has feelings for Grace, which he doesn’t make known, but their goals are so dissimilar. Mica’s a farm boy interested in farm equipment and machinery. Grace is a fashion designer who grew up in pursuit of the next beauty pageant. Mica has always downplayed Grace’s ambitions, considering them foolish. In his mind they could never be compared to the hard work and dedication that’s needed to run a farm. But after observing her at work one day, in her element, he’s forced to admit that there’s a lot more to the fashion world than he’d realized. Might he have misjudged her? His feelings of anger and betrayal are being replaced by admiration and love. But Mica’s reluctance to express his feelings might cause him to lose Grace forever. And he may be running out of time since it seems there’s an interested Frenchman on Grace’s heels ready to snatch her up.
I have to admit that I wasn’t crazy about Grace when I started reading this book. She was a difficult character to assess initially. I felt like her work ambition was eclipsing her role as mother to little Jules. But as the book progressed she redeemed herself. I saw how much she loved her baby and how conflicted she was. I recognized that Mica was unsure of himself, mostly because of his accident and the perceived limitations it imposed. Also, he’d been a loner and a brooder for most of his life and it was difficult for him to be vulnerable with anyone, including Grace. The two of them drove me nuts at times, suppressing their feelings for each other, but I grew to love them. The scenes with Mica and Jules were so utterly heartwarming that it made me feel, momentarily, like I wanted to have a little baby around again. Well…a grandbaby maybe, LOL.
I LOVED this book. It touched me. And Catherine Lanigan’s worldliness with regard to subject matter—fashion and machinery in this case, gave me insight which I appreciated since I love learning new things when I read. Her knowledge, wisdom, and/or research shines through in her books and gives them a depth that I find particularly enjoyable. Definitely recommended for lovers of sweet romance.
Thank you for reading. Have a great day!!
Rebecca Day’s job is in jeopardy. She works in the public school system as a school psychologist for at-risk teenagers, but it’s unlikely that her tenure will be approved since faculty and parents are not thrilled about her low-key disciplinary methods. Determined to prove her worth and retain her position, Rebecca proposes a retreat to Tupper Lake in the Adirondacks with the school’s troubled adolescents, initiating a pilot program that she feels will help them with their behavioral issues. For one of the troubled students she counsels, Connor Walsh, this program’s success is particularly important because if he doesn’t make significant progress he will be expelled from school. Aiden Walsh, his older brother and guardian, is too busy working long hours at the family business to give Connor the attention he needs. Rebecca observes Aiden’s distracted presence at meetings pertaining to his brother’s future and pegs him an uninterested workaholic. Aiden thinks Rebecca’s methods are overly lax and ridiculous. The two don’t hit it off very well, especially when Rebecca makes Aiden aware that he’s required to accompany Connor on their Adirondack adventure. Things start out rough, but time away from their everyday lives reveals unique circumstances and positive qualities that neither realized the other possessed. But can Aiden make his brother the priority when his heart is being pulled in another direction?
If you can imagine 20 troubled teenagers in the wilderness, and the verbal exchanges that take place amongst today’s youth, then you can get a pretty good picture of what’s taking place here. There’s irritability, competitiveness and quarreling. But in time the kids learn to interact together and they begin to see the value of teamwork and that life can still be worthwhile without their smartphones. I liked how the teens personalities are portrayed through their dialogue. You get a good sense of each character. The descriptions of the setting are great, and Karen Rock is definitely skilled in writing convincing romantic scenes that are suitable for a Heartwarming book.
I enjoyed this book. It had a down-to-earth feel that I think many would appreciate. I did.
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️💫 4.5 stars
Sarah Hillman’s no-kill animal shelter, Paws for Love, is in dire need of funding. Desperate for help, she reaches out to Will Barnes, a former H.S. classmate, and owner of Barnes Financial. Trouble is, Sarah was formerly the little rich, snarky, mean-girl who taunted her classmates, including Will, and “Beanpole Barnes” doesn’t feel much compassion for daddy’s little rich girl when she approaches him for assistance—at least initially. Sarah verbally taunted Will’s sister, Jen, too. And Jen and her two friends are the source for the funds needed to keep Paws for Love running. But Sarah seems to have changed, there’s no denying that, and Will’s attitude towards her begins to soften. Could it be that the shift in financial status since Bobby Hillman skipped town, leaving his shady luxury auto business behind and his daughter broke, has humbled her? Only time will tell, but meanwhile Paws for Love is a worthy cause and Will feels an obligation to seek aid for the foundering shelter. Sarah may be slowly winning his heart, too. Can Sarah be trusted, or is she putting on an act to get what she wants?
How can you grow to love a mean-girl character? A former bully? In Heart’s Refuge, Cheryl Harper makes you do it. This story stole my heart. The sweet shelter animals, the main character’s transformation and the community support were all reasons why I enjoyed Heart’s Refuge so much. This book is part of a series, and I suspect that a few loose ends will be tied up in the next book. Even so, I loved it and would definitely recommend this sweet, heartwarming story.
Until next time….
Divorce attorney, Melanie Harper, is a sad soul. She lost her family in a tragic accident and now she’s all alone, living in her three-story townhouse in Washington, DC. She lives to work. The only family she has left is her 65 yr. old aunt Phoebe who operates The Coffee Bean, aka “The Bean,” with co-owner, Jackson Daughtry, and lives happily down in the valley of a little town called Sweet Gum. Phoebe continually invites her niece to come visit, but she’s always too busy. Until now. Melanie decides to visit, but she intends to convince her aunt to come back and live with her in DC. Jackson, paramedic and handsome, young, silent partner to The Bean, is not happy about this new development. Phoebe has been like a mother to him, especially after his mom, Phoebe’s best friend since childhood and original co-owner of The Coffee Bean, died only one year after his father. And though he feels frustrated by her plans to take Phoebe away, he can’t help but notice how attractive she is. But women are off limits for Jackson. He has some major trust issues since his wife abandoned their family—he and his young daughter, Rebecca. Life being unpredictable, Jackson and Melanie wind up working together. Will this turn out for the best, or will a sudden appearance from his ex-wife derail any hopes of them finding love.
Second Chance Romance is a very sweet account of how two emotionally scarred individuals learn to trust and to have faith in love again after suffering loss. I chuckled at the main characters’ verbal sparring when they first became acquainted with each other. Jackson’s young daughter, Rebecca, is a prominent figure in the book and she is adorable.
I enjoyed this quick, light romance book. If you’re looking for a little sweet escape from more emotionally draining reads, you’ll find solace in Second Chance Romance.
First Comes Marriage by Sophia Sasson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
💚💚💚💚💚 Sophia Sasson’s Heartwarming debut, First Comes Marriage, is a winner!!
Dr. Meera Malhotra’s upcoming marriage to childhood friend Raj Sharma has already been arranged. Raj is Meera’s best friend and shares her goals, culture and financial status. By all accounts it seems like a perfect match. Then why is Meera trying to escape her family in London under the guise of completing her medical rotation in the States? In truth she wants to get away from all of the prearranged plans for her life for just a month so she can breathe and taste a bit of freedom. While a brief respite from her stifling life is anticipated, meeting Jake Taylor, the rugged, handsome green-eyed cowboy who makes her heart leap, is not. Meera loves Raj, but this feeling she has when she’s in Jake’s company is different. In fact, Jake’s whole world is different. She’s a vegetarian and he’s a cattle rancher. She was born in India and he’s American. Her family is loaded and he’s struggling to keep his ranch afloat. Meanwhile, Raj is so much better suited to her. They’re both doctors, they’re of the same culture and they’ve known each other for 20 years. Everyone expects the two of them to marry. The pressure is on. Will Meera return to London, marry Raj and live the life she was destined for? Or can Jake convince her that theirs is the love that she was meant to have?
First Comes Marriage was such an entertaining and enjoyable read. I loved the characters, both primary and secondary, and I’m always thrilled when my reading experience gives me a glimpse into other cultures. Sophia Sasson crafted a story that kept my interest and heightened it as I proceeded reading. By the time I was 3/4 of the way through the book I was flipping pages so fast that before I knew it I had finished. I highly recommend this book to those who love sweet romance with a bit of family drama and lovable, small-town community characters that will make you spit out your beverage from unexpected laughter.
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Harper’s Wish by Cerella Sechrist
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
💚💚💚💚 Harper Worth is an esteemed food critic. Well, she was an esteemed food critic, until she went a little too far and insulted the wrong restaurant, that of her boss’s goddaughter, and he wasn’t the least bit amused by her harsh words. Her praiseworthy “Worth It” column virtually extinguished overnight by capricious followers, Harper finds herself looking for a new job. She stumbles upon a restaurant, the Rusty Anchor, which appears to live up to its name judging by the exterior of the place. But desperate for work she interviews with the owner and lo and behold he was one of the victims of her disparaging critiques, which cost him his upscale restaurant, Eire. Now he’s relegated to running the Rusty Anchor, his deceased father’s legacy. Connor Callahan can’t believe who’s sitting in front of him. The woman who ruined him, and now she wants a job in his restaurant? Upon discerning her identity Connor shows her the door at first, but then reconsiders. Work for the restaurant she would, and harder than any work in a restaurant she’d ever done before. But when she proves stellar at her duties, and the other workers praise her industriousness, Connor takes pity on her and feels somewhat guilty for putting her through the ringer. Who is this woman who excels at everything and seems to have a heart after all? Connor is soon won over by the attractive woman who is turning out to be a real asset to his restaurant, but when he learns of her future plans, will he still trust the Harper that he thought had changed?
I enjoyed this book. I liked the restaurant setting and learning about the ins and outs of maintaining a restaurant establishment. As is common in Cerella Sechrist’s books, there is great food being prepared or savored, another bonus that readers can appreciate. The relationship between Connor and his daughter was heartwarming, and I Iiked how it highlighted the tenderness and affection of a father for his young daughter. I was also in anticipation of how the two main characters would achieve their happily ever after since the stakes were quite high. All in all, Harper’s Wish was a delightful, wholesome romance that is sure to be enjoyed by lovers of sweet romance.
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