Royal Hearts (2018) – A Contemporary Fairy Tale, Western Style

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Royal Hearts (2018) – A Contemporary Fairy Tale, Western Style

Though there have been many through the years, a fan favorite TV romance seems to be the contemporary fairy tales. An idea I suspect is sparked by the real life fairy tale that is the modern British monarchy. Though I’m not a fan of the real thing, I do love a good TV romcom.

Literature is something of a passion for Kelly (Cindy Busby). Regency era novels and more specifically Jane Austen are among her favorites. It’s this passion that makes her the perfect candidate to further her studies – at Oxford! The only problem is, her father, Hank (James Brolin) doesn’t understand his daughter’s dreams. All he needs is the wide-open spaces of their Montana ranch, his dog and he as he tells her, his daughter.



Their lives both change when a stranger informs Hank he's heir to a European estate; an estate that also comes with a title. Reluctantly Hank agrees to travel to the tiny country in order to set its centuries old debate to rest, little realizing the title he’s inherited is quite royal.

Every positive adjective I’ve ever used when reviewing or fangirl-ing over a Hallmark original can be copied and pasted into this review. Royal Hearts is everything I want from a TV story and then some. The sweeping, outdoor and natural scenery is beautiful – no matter the inaccuracy or accuracy of filming locales. Naturally as each one proceeding it has, the castle too is stunning.

The first “royal romance” story I saw from this network was A Princess for Christmas, the film that also started in motion this string of contemporary romances. For those of us who adore these types of stories, it’s this movie we should be most fangirl grateful for. Produced and directed by its on-star co-star, James Brolin, this is easily one of the best from this network. Its only real flaw is the early scene direction. Some of the scenes comes off a little shaky or awkward. Fortunately, it corrects itself quickly.

With its wholesome and honest characters, this story sparkles. They’re characters viewers can relate to. Whether its Hank’s belief in simple and honest living, or Kelly’s desire to chase her dreams, they’re all memorable. Literary aficionados will also appreciate Kelly’s love of Austen and that she holds out for the beauty of times past that were about chivalry. Of course, lest you think otherwise, there is a sweet romance in this story. One thing I loved about it is that the defining moment (aka the kiss) isn’t a “center stage,” applause moment. Also, fun movie trivia, you’ll recognize Cindy Busby from Heartland and also Unleashing Mr. Darcy.

Like any of its peers, this one is endearing and lovely. From its opening moments (sweeping scenes of scenery), I was impressed – and more than a little prepared to fall head over heels for this story about to invade my TV screen. As it progresses these first impresses don’t disappoint. From its bookish heroine holding out for the right-for-her Mr. Darcy, to the elegant (but still relatable) fairy tale story, Royal Hearts is sure to become a 2018 favorite.

(This post does contain affiliate links, which means – at no extra cost to you, I may receive a small commission if you make a purchase through a link. Read the disclosure page for details.) You can buy Royal Hearts on Amazon Video or add it to your DVD collection with the DVD. Or you can preorder Royal Hearts as part of a triple feature DVD with Dater's Handbook and When Sparks Fly both of which star Meghan Markle (and both of which are equally as adorable as Royal Hearts).

Photos: Hallmark Channel / Crown Media Press

Top Ten Tuesday | The Books I *Want* To Re-Read (Like, FORever). But Won’t. Because Toppling TBR

Monday, February 26, 2018

Top Ten Tuesday | The Books I *Want* To Re-Read (Like, FORever). But Won’t. Because Toppling TBR

Hello everyone! I hope you’re week has gotten off to a smashing start. The calendar says it’s Tuesday which can mean only one thing: it’s time for an all-new edition of Top Ten Tuesday. Here’s our subject.

That Artsy Reader Girl February 27: Books I Could Re-Read Forever


(This post does contain affiliate links, which means – at no extra cost to you, I may receive a small commission if you make a purchase through a link. Read the disclosure page for details.)

OK. So, here’s the thing. Of course I have oodles of books I’d like to re-read. Ideally, there are books I could re-read immediately upon their last page (though these are rare). But here’s the other thing. I don’t have time to re-read books. My current-still-unread-books aka TBR keeps me far too busy. No matter how much I wish to re-read nostalgic (or newer) favorites, I simply can’t. Right now.

This doesn’t mean these books don’t have a permanent place on my shelf or that I don’t pull them out and gaze at their loveliness (I promise, I don’t do this on a regular basis). Plus, though I may not crack their pages a second time (never say never), I do enjoy featuring them in different ways; such as lists like today.

Below I talk about ten books (a number that isn’t inclusive – these are just a few that fit the topic) I’d love to re-read (in a perfect world), and why they’ve earned that “keeper” spot on overflowing bookshelves. (Because of the subject, you’re likely to see lots of repeats and ahem favored authors below. Forgive the bookworm enthusiasm.)

1: The Lady and the Lionheart by Joanne Bischof | Beautiful in so many ways. Amazon | Goodreads

2: A Broken Kind of Beautiful by Katie Ganshert | Beautiful in so many ways, this novel isn’t afraid to tackle the brokenness of characters, and the results are gorgeous. Amazon | Goodreads

3: Once Upon a Prince by Rachel Hauck | This is one I actually do plan on re-reading in this month. Not only is this a must because I did adore the story (I’m not a “royal” aficionado when it comes to the royal family, but I do love fairy tale romances), but also because – listen up fellow Hallmark lovers, the Hallmark Channel is adapting this one as a film. *squee* How excited am I? Very. Amazon | Goodreads

4: The Breath of Dawn by Kristin Heitzmann | LOVE love love this novel. My memory of it is that it’s perfection. ‘Nuff said. Amazon | Goodreads

5: The Negotiator by Dee Henderson | So much time has passed since I read this novel. That said, I have fond memories of it, and feel like it was the novel that made me fall head over heels for this O'Malley family. A must in any series starter since the burden to bring readers back always falls on book one. Amazon | Goodreads

6: Save the Date by Jenny B. Jones | Yeah. I know I've talked about this one a lot. What can I say, when a girl likes a book, she keeps on talking about it. Amazon | Goodreads

7: Submerged by Dani Pettrey | This is one of the very first books – or perhaps the first one, I ever received from a publisher’s review program. At the time I started reviewing books, I was also in a pattern where I read very little. Because of this, this novel is nostalgic catnip to me, plus it also reminded me how much I love reading – and in this genre particularly. Amazon | Goodreads
  
8: Dear Mr. Knightley by Katherine Reay | This may have been the talented Katherine Reay’s first novel, but it’s a beauty. So much good in this wonderful story. Contrary to its title, it is not a re-telling of Emma (Jane Austen), but is instead its own unique story that uses literary references and moments to strengthen its pages. Amazon | Goodreads
  
9: My Stubborn Heart by Becky Wade | Like Submerged, the same can be said for My Stubborn Heart. This is the second book I was thinking of when I reference “one of the very first books.” This one also falls into that category, and like Dani’s, this one reminded me how much I adore Contemporary Romance, and is really what reignited my love of the genre. To this day, contemporary remains my favorite. Amazon | Goodreads


10: When I Fall in Love by Susan May Warren | I have so much admiration for this story. Yes, it’s a contemporary romance that’s as darling as its cover art suggests, but it also deals with tough issues and doesn’t shy away from a realistic ending (rather than a fairy tale one). Amazon | Goodreads
  
*video publishes Tuesday afternoon; channel linked above
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That’s it for another edition of Top Ten Tuesday. As with each list I create, this one isn’t all inclusive (there are so many more I could feature), but it’s a great line up of amazing stories across various genres.

What books could you forever re-read? Have you read any of these? If so, did you like or dislike them? Comment with all the bookish talk below, and if you leave your Top Ten Tuesday (or blog!) links below, I’d love to swing by and visit. It may take me the week, but I will be by.

Thank you for visiting Finding Wonderland

Cooking with Love (2018) – A Charming Chef and a Confectionery Romance

Cooking with Love (2018) – A Charming Chef and a Confectionery Romance

Though this blog wouldn’t suggest it, like each of their campaigns inspire me to do, eventually I did watch Hallmark Channel’s Countdown to Valentine’s Day originals. Their last premiere, Cooking with Love, is, in this fangirl’s rankings, adorable.

Working as a producer for a reality show for young chefs called Little Gourmet, no one is more hardworking than Kelly (Ali Liebert). Bursting with ideas for the show, and the possibility of a promotion, Kelly loves her work. Things get sticky when their host, Chef Betty is injured, leaving the show scrambling for a new mentor and host. Kelly pitches chef Stephan Harris (Brett Dalton) for the position. Though he’s not the top choice, head execs agree.



Stephan is coming off a bit of bad press. Because of this, his agent convinces the talented chef to take this gig. Reluctantly he does, but with his own ideas on how he should host the show. All contrary to the ideas and expectations Kelly has of his participation.

Everything about this telefilm is Hallmark gold. From its opening to that final scene, the story is wonderful. Helping it be so is Ali Liebert again promoted to the role of leading lady. Her girl-next-door charms and relatable on-screen personality makes it impossible not to root for her heroine. Then there’s Brett Dalton who many of us are sure to recognize from TV (ABC’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.), just not on this network. Making his debut here, Brett’s character is equally as likeable. Adding one last layer of entertainment are the young actors playing the “gourmet” contestants. They’re adorable, and a reminder of how to be good competitors.
“…I could say goodbye to New York. But I don’t think I could say goodbye to you.”
Deliciously charming, Cooking with Love is another winning romantic-comedy. The romance is a slow simmer that’s golden. Everything about the scenes between Kelly and Stephan is dripping with old-fashioned sweetness, but still chemistry fueled. Plus, the ending, simplistic though it is, is perfect for this story. (Bonus! It also opts for privacy rather than the whole let’s-share-a-kiss-as-everyone-awkwardly-stares-at-us moment.) For me, Cooking with Love is the favorite of this years ‘Valentine’s Day’ promotion. A story that will leave you with a smile, which it’s sure to accomplish with little effort.

Photos: Hallmark Channel / Crown Media Press

Book #Giveaway | Be Transported to the Seas of the Caribbean

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Hello and HAPPY February, readers and friends. In correlation with my (Friday) Bookstagram tour participation, there's an additional bit of excitement for our featured novel. Bringing you another new giveaway thanks to the kindness of Bethany House and TLC Tours.

List | 10 Romantic (and Swoon-y!) Film and TV Scenes on the Ice

(This post does contain affiliate links. Read the disclosure page for details.) 

Up for grabs is Lisa T. Bergren's hot off the press novel, Keturah. A story about heiress sister's who must find a way to make it on their own in a time when woman had few options. 

SYNOPSIS: In 1772 England, Lady Keturah Banning Tomlinson and her sisters find themselves the heiresses of their father's estates and know they have one option: Go to the West Indies to save what is left of their heritage.

Although it flies against all the conventions for women of the time, they're determined to make their own way in the world. But once they arrive in the Caribbean, proper gender roles are the least of their concerns. On the infamous island of Nevis, the sisters discover the legacy of the legendary sugar barons has vastly declined--and that's just the start of 
what their eyes are opened to in this unfamiliar world. 

Keturah never intends to put herself at the mercy of a man again, but every man on the island seems to be trying to win her hand and, with it, the ownership of her plantation. She could desperately use an ally, but even an unexpected reunion with a childhood friend leaves her questioning his motives. 

Set on keeping her family together and saving her father's once-great plantation, can Keturah ever surrender her stubbornness and guarded heart to God and find the healing and love awaiting her? - Goodreads

- Keturah by Lisa T. Bergren ¦ Amazon | Goodreads

This giveaway will run through March 2nd.
_____________________________________
And now let's get those annoying rules and regulation details out of the way. 

The book will be a paperback prize, and is open to US READERSunless otherwise noted.
Anyone who leaves a comment under "anonymous," please leave the same name you enter into the widget in your comment (I ask this in consideration of fairness to everyone else, I want to be able to be sure everyone who used the Rafflecopter correctly has a fair chance at winning against those who abuse it - there have been a few people I could not verify). 
+ The winner is chosen randomly (via Rafflecopter); failure to complete the "tasks" does result in disqualification 
+ The winner(s) will be contacted via the Rafflecopter email address within 1-3 days of the giveaway's close
+ Winner(s) will have 48 hours to respond to the email notification (you'll be contacted at the email address in the Rafflecopter form) before another winner is randomly chosen.

To be entered in the giveaway, just enter as much or as little as you like into the Rafflecopter widget, which you'll find down below. The giveaway ends February 28. Happy Rafflecopter-ing!

*Or you must have a parent's permission to provide a mailing address

SHARABLES ⇢


#GIVEAWAY Enter for a chance to win the new #HistoricalFiction novel, KETURAH http://bit.ly/2F0YlqA #BookNerd #Bookworm via @RissiJC 

Book #Giveaway | Enter for a chance to win #ChristianFiction novel, KETURAH http://bit.ly/2F0YlqA #NewRelease #Bookworm #Books #MustRead @RissiJC

a Rafflecopter giveaway

#Bookstagram Challenge | March 2018 Challenge!!

Hello happy readers and fellow bookworm friends. Popping in today to share about yet another bookstagram-y challenge. Without further ago, here's the third "Wishful Wonder" challenge of 2018.


If you have ideas for this challenge or suggestions, please let me know in the comments or on Instagram - or if you'd ever like to be a co-host. I'm open to new possibilities.

Pressed for time? Not sure a bookstagram challenge is for you? Below I give a spiel hoping to convince you otherwise.

+ If you’re pressed for time to participate in daily challenges, first and foremost, while we love it when you do, there’s no bookstagram rule that says you must post every day. (Not that you needed my permission to say this, but I thought I'd put this out there.)
+ If you think you can’t participate because of it being “too much work,” try taking a handful or several days’ worth of photos for an hour. (This is generally what I try to do, which is nice and I often find I have a little “stock pile” of Instagram photos as a result.)  
+ If you're looking to meet other Bookstagrammers (people in the book community on Instagram) and bloggers, or to build your "brand" in the book community, joining a challenge is an excellent way to do this.They say, Instagram is where it's at. 
+ If you don’t think our #WishfulWonder challenge looks like a good fit for you, there are TONS of challenges on Instagram. A brief #Bookstagram or some variation of a #BookChallenge hashtag search will show this. 
+ Best of all, the best thing about these challenge (well, aside from the people. And the books.) is the creative outlet. You develop your OWN style of photos, which is what makes everyone's account so unique! I've seen simplistic (in terms of prop use, etc.) photos that are stunning and I've seen more elaborate shots that compliment the book and suit the style of the bookstagrammer. Plus, if you're like me, and you love creative outlets, this is an excellent way to do this. 
+ Still not convinced? Go ahead and follow our #WishfulWonder tag on Instagram or Twitter to be inspired!

\\\\\ You're invited to join March 2018's #WishfulWonder Challenge.


Hopefully everything is self explanatory, but if you have any questions about the prompts, just ask.

We’d love to see your pictures, so be sure to tag us with the usual, #WishfulWonder hashtag. Also, feel free to share this.

As we do every month, we extend our thanks to everyone who has joined our challenges. We're having so much fun browsing our tag, and appreciate your creativity and time. (If we haven't clicked that heart on your photos and/or commented, it's not because we won't, it's simply due to time restraints - summer always seems busy. BUT please know I enjoy browsing your photos, and sooner or later I will find them with that #WishfulWonder or for specific March #WishfulWonderMarch18 tag.)

We'd also LOVE your feedback on favorite prompts. Drop a comment down below. ♥
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Happy day, Book Nerdigans. Join us in our fun, bookish endeavors - we look forward to chatting with you.
Thank you for visiting Finding Wonderland

List | 10 Romantic (and Swoon-y!) Film and TV Scenes on the Ice

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Hello, readers, fangirls and fellow bloggers. Much as some of us may wish it away, it is still winter. Technically, it holds on until March 20th when Spring is scheduled to make its triumphant return. As the grip of winter continues to hold on, the 2018 Olympics are also occupying our TV screens. (As an aside, I'm so proud of the Team USA athletes! There have been disappointments, but there have been so many impressive highs that, in my opinion, are diminished when the critics say our medal count is low.) 

LIST | 10 Romantic Film and TV Scenes in the Snowfall


(This post does contain affiliate links, which means – at no extra cost to you, I may receive a small commission if you make a purchase through a link. Read the disclosure page for details.)

Because of the season, and the four-year world stage sporting event, I decided to put together this little list of Memorable and Romantic scenes (on the ice). Plus, let's face it, I really put this together because who doesn't love a good romantic moment? *raises hand* Since we looked at romantic moments in the snow a while back (on Silver Petticoat), this list screamed it too needed its due. So here we are.

You can rent or buy (depending on the film) the following films digitally on Amazon Video. 

The Cutting Edge on Amazon Video (currently free with Prime) or DVD | The Cutting Edge 2: Going for the Gold on Amazon Video | The Cutting Edge 3: Chasing the Dream on Amazon Video | The Cutting Edge: Fire & Ice on Amazon Video  | Falling for Christmas on Amazon Video | Ice Castles on Amazon Video or DVD | Ice Princess on Amazon Video or DVD | Serendipity on Amazon Video or DVD

You can read the list in its entirety on Silver Petticoat Review (snipped and link below). Tell me, what are some of your favorite figure skating films or romantic moments on the ice? Let's chat about them.


Looming just around the corner are the 2018 Winter Olympics. In celebration of that and our love of all things romance, today we’re heading to the rink and taking a look at some romantic scenes on the ice!

Below we take a look at ten such moments from across the years and genres in cinema – both the big and small screen. As can be said with each list I share, this one isn’t inclusive. There are plenty I missed. (Including a slew of films from the ’30s and ’40s starring Sonja Henie – none of which I’ve seen.) That said, these ten are sweet and romantic, all especially fitting for whatever film or TV show they’re from. This is part of the beauty or swoon-factor of these scenes. They may not match up to our favorite literary moments, but they do suit their characters and the stories they unfold in. Continue Reading on Silver Petticoat Review →

List | 10 Romantic Film and TV Scenes in the Snowfall

Today, I'm talking all about the romantic moments that have happened with the pristine backdrop of a little think known as snowfall. Though I know I missed some scenes or standout moments, those that are included on this list are pretty darn special - or I think so.

LIST | 10 Romantic (and Swoon-y!) Film and TV Scenes on the Ice


Though there's one film on this list I haven't seen (doesn't take away from the sweetness of the scene) and there's a television show I haven't kept up with, these moments and scenes are nonetheless fitting the list topic. Gorgeous snowfall sets the tone and stage, and instead of being "messy," in these instances, it only adds to the allure of the already swoony scene.
...you didn't exactly ask me out... but you did say you loved me... so I'm thinking I've got a date. If you'll have me. - The Holiday
Whether a contemporary romantic-comedy that warms the heart or a story that invites us into eras long since past, the list is full of unforgettable moments. From reunions (that make us sigh with pleasure and perhaps shout, finally!) to long-awaited declarations, hopefully there's a little something for everyone. Read on to discover what these are!


There are key components that must work together to create the perfect “romantic moment” or scene in a story. One of them is, of course, a good speech or words from the heart. Then there has to be a couple in the said scene that the audience cares about. These two things are the only vital musts to engage an audience. But beyond this, a touch of magic never hurts! Like romantic moments in the snow.

One addition to making these romantic moments in the snow enchanting is a blanket of snowfall as their background. Perhaps our sense of wonderment doesn’t quite reach that of Lorelai Gilmore’s, still, it’s magic. It’s kind of like a moment straight from a fairy tale without the story actually having to be a fairy tale. Continue reading on Silver Petticoat Review →

Tell me, which of these are among your favorite moments? What cinematic "snowfall scenes" do you like best? Let's chat about them. The comments are now yours. 

You can rent or buy (depending on the film) the following films digitally on Amazon Video. (This post does contain affiliate links, which means – at no extra cost to you, I may receive a small commission if you make a purchase through a link. Read the disclosure page for details.)

Beauty and the Beast on Amazon Video or DVD | Christmas in Connecticut on Amazon Video | Crown for Christmas on Amazon Video or DVD | Downton Abbey, Season One on Amazon Video or DVD | The Holiday on Amazon Video or DVD 

Top Ten Tuesday | The Books I Once Thought I *Really* Wanted to Read…!!?!

Monday, February 19, 2018

Top Ten Tuesday | The Books I Once Thought I *Really* Wanted to Read… But Have Now Changed My Mind (Or in the Words of Violet Crawley, “I’m a woman …I can be as contrary as I choose.”)

Hey readers and fellow bookworms. It’s Tuesday. This means, we here at Finding Wonderland again join the popular weekly meme that is Top Ten Tuesday.

That Artsy Reader Girl February 20: Books I’ve Decided I’m No Longer Interested in Reading – That Artsy Reader Girl


(This post does contain affiliate links, which means – at no extra cost to you, I may receive a small commission if you make a purchase through a link. Read the disclosure page for details.)

As the years go by, one of the things that changes is us, as individuals. Hopefully, always for the better, having learned from past mistakes. One of the things that changes within the bigger picture are our tastes whether this be in style, music, or as is the topic for today, books!

This is where we’re at today: talking about the books we thought we really wanted to read, but now don’t think we do. For some of these books, it’s no reflection on them, the story or the talent behind the pages. Sometimes it’s simply because we “grew” out of them or maybe, as is so often the case with me, it’s because we don’t have the time. For example, some of these titles are books I read the first novel in the series, but as it was so long ago, I’ve forgotten the first book. Ergo, I don’t feel that same “tug” to complete the series.

Let’s take a look at some of the books that fall into this field for this reader.

1: Lightning by Bonnie Calhoun | Ah, Thunder! Book one in this series, I don’t remember specifics about the novel with exception to the fact that I did seem to enjoy it. It’s been so long however, at this point, I don’t see myself revisiting this world. Amazon | Goodreads

2: Atlantia by Ally Condie | This is one I think I was really excited about reading once upon a time. Especially so since I don’t read many “mermaid” or ocean-esque stories. That said, I just don’t think I “feel” that same interest in it as once I did. Have you read Atlantia? Amazon | Goodreads

3: Windwitch and Bloodwitch by Susan Dennard | Despite the fact that I feel like I enjoyed Truthwich at the time I read it, I just don’t think I’ll pick up its sequels. The strong female friendship is a nice part of the story, but as I’m again trying to hone in on the books/genres I prefer (because a. TIME and b. reading should be about enjoyment – and it’s not fun if you have to “push” through a book), these might end up on the list of books I don’t end up making time for. Windwitch: Amazon | GoodreadsBloodwitch (due 2019): Goodreads

4: Fair Play by Deanne Gist | I read the first book (through Litfuse) in this duo and remember really liking it. But, nowadays, despite it being on my “to-read” Goodreads shelf, it no longer seems like a “me read.” Plus I'm so odd when it comes to favorite historical books. Amazon | Goodreads

5: Miss Mayhem by Rachel Hawkins | After reading Rebel Belle, which is fun, I had every intention to read this follow up. But time passed, new books snagged my attention, and I’ve not returned to these books. To be honest, I don’t see this changing. Should I re-think this? Amazon | Goodreads

6: Crimson Bound and Cruel Beauty by Rosamond Hodge | Initially, Cruel Beauty’s plot and cover art hooked the reader in me before I knew anything else. But after reading ‘Bright Smoke,’ which wasn’t a “me book,” I have to admit, these novels no longer hold the same appeal. 

Crimson Bound: Amazon | GoodreadsCruel Beauty: Amazon | Goodreads

7: Dark Road Home and Tide and Tempest by Elizabeth Ludwig | I adored the first book in this series No Safe Harbor, but for some reason I haven’t returned to the world via its sequel or book three. 

Dark Road Home: Amazon | GoodreadsTide and Tempest: Amazon | Goodreads

8: The Glittering Court by Richelle Mead | After reading Soundless, the only I’ve read from Mead, I think I was curious to pick up ‘Glittering,’ plus it doesn’t hurt to eye that gorgeous cover art. At this point though, I don’t have much motivation to read this one. Amazon | Goodreads

9: Before She Ignites by Jodi Meadows | Though this is one of the few (on this list) that I don’t own a copy of, it was one I was super interested in at its publication. At this point, I just don’t see myself picking it up. Primarily because I don’t really see myself as much of a fantasy genre reader; a genre that I do like in in films. Amazon | Goodreads

10: Carve the Mark by Veronica Roth | I know, I totally featured this one on a list a couple of weeks ago, but it also fits perfectly with today’s question. Because of this, I simply had to feature it. Amazon | Goodreads

*video publishes Tuesday afternoon; channel linked above
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This brings another edition of the Top Ten bookish meme to its close.

Your turn: tell me about the books on your list that have sat (patiently) on your shelf for months, years or beyond. I look forward to chatting all the bookish thoughts and things with you – down below, and in a return visit to your Top Ten Tuesday posts.  

Thank you for visiting Finding Wonderland

As Easy as Riding a Bike by Bell Renshaw – Small Town Sweethearts Reunite in New Novella Series

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Novella Review: As Easy as Riding a Bike by Bell Renshaw – Small Town Sweethearts Reunite in New Novella Series


(This post does contain affiliate links; if you buy anything through these links, I'll receive a small percentage of the sale. Read the disclosure page for details.) 
                            
ABOUT the BOOK
Author: Bell Renshaw
Publisher: Pine Mountain Publishing (Indie)
Publication Date: 2018
Series: Justin Harbor, Novella 1
Genre: Fiction; Contemporary Novella
Source: Kindle purchase / author street team – thank you, Bell
FIND the BOOK ELSEWHERE:
FIND the REVIEW ELSEWHERE:
Amazon | Blogger | Goodreads | Wordpress
Rating: 5 out of 5
  
Happiness has found Emma Holland. She’s finally working towards her dream as a small business owner in her small town, and then he returns.

Connor Pearson is famous for his photography, a career that has required he travel the world. Now he’s returned to Justin Harbor searching for the lens that will show him his future. Little does he expect the feelings Emma will again stir in him…

The second of author Bell Renshaw’s stories I’ve read (and only the second she’s released), As Easy as Riding a Bike steps away from the Christmas cheer of One Christmas in Winter into a new small town atmosphere. Step inside Justin Harbor, and you’ll meet charming and quirky characters who waste no time in working their way into our hearts.

In this small town, readers will feel as if they’ve stepped into their favorite Hallmark Channel small town. It’s sweet and as previously stated, the residents are sure to make an impression. Supported by lovely characters (who make it fun to try and pick out who’s story is coming – pretty sure I can guess which lady will next find her happily ever after), Emma and Connor flourish as characters.  Their sweet (and all too few) scenes together are pinned together with nothing more than feelings of mutual atraction, and the weight of their past. The story is one that, though completely charming as is, will also appeal to those who don’t like stories with copious kissing.

Anyone looking for a charming, easy and simple read to enjoy over the weekend won’t regret picking up As Easy as Riding a Bike. It’s darling, and the image of the cover reflects exactly the kind of warm, cozy feels you’ll experience through the story. This truly is a story easy to fall head over heels in love with. ♥

Synopsis: Emma Holland is almost finished with the renovation of The Brown Bear Lodge nestled just off the Pacific Coast 101 Highway in picturesque Justin Harbor, Oregon. Being a business owner in a small town isn’t easy, but Emma’s got more than enough determination—not to mention an excellent eye for interior design. There’s only one problem. One of her first guests of the season is someone she hoped she’d never see again. 

As a famous landscape photographer, Connor Pearson has traveled far and wide following his dreams at the cost of losing his first love. Now, back in Justin Harbor, Connor is looking for more than just a place to stay. He’s looking for himself. 

As Emma and Connor rediscover their lost friendship and seek to find common ground in the present, Connor feels the tug of his small town roots. Is it possible that a man who’s traveled the world could find his home where his dreams began? Can Emma come to terms with the fact that self-reliance isn’t all it’s cracked up to be? Will their bonds from the past weather the storms of the present? 

As Easy as Riding a Bike will introduce you to the salty air and calming waters of Justin Harbor, the first novella in a series featuring small town women business owners. – Goodreads

Coming Next from Bell Renshaw: As Easy as Cherry Pie, arrives on Kindle shelves May 2018

Sincere thanks to the author for providing an e-copy of this book; all opinions are my own.

Kindle Book Giveaway Party!!

Hello and happy mid-February book worms and friends. Today I'm coming to you with a new giveaway. This one is a little Kindle giveaway featuring two novellas. 


NOVELLA REVIEW | As Easy as Riding a Bike by Bell Renshaw – Small Town Sweethearts Reunite in New Novella Series


(This post does contain affiliate links. Read the disclosure page for details.) 

Up for grabs is are two just released (aka adorable and lovely) Kindle novellas. You can enter one or both of the giveaways. 

- Love in Three Quarter Time by Rachel McMillan: Amazon | Goodreads 
- As Easy as Riding a Bike by Bell Renshaw: Amazon | Goodreads

The giveaway will run through the end of February, the 22nd.
_____________________________________
And now let's get those annoying rules and regulation details out of the way. 

The book will be a Kindle prize, and is open to ALL READERSunless otherwise noted (US readers might have a paperback option when applicable). By entering you are agreeing to accept a Kindle version of the book.
Anyone who leaves a comment under "anonymous," please leave the same name you enter into the widget in your comment (I ask this in consideration of fairness to everyone else, I want to be able to be sure everyone who used the Rafflecopter correctly has a fair chance at winning against those who abuse it - there have been a few people I could not verify). 
+ The winner is chosen randomly (via Rafflecopter); failure to complete the "tasks" does result in disqualification 
+ The winner(s) will be contacted via the Rafflecopter email address within 1-3 days of the giveaway's close
+ Winner(s) will have 48 hours to respond to the email notification (you'll be contacted at the email address in the Rafflecopter form) before another winner is randomly chosen.

To be entered in the giveaway, just enter as much or as little as you like into the Rafflecopter widget, which you'll find down below. The giveaway ends February 22. Happy Rafflecopter-ing!

*Or you must have a parent's permission to provide a mailing address

SHARABLES | #GIVEAWAY Enter for a chance to win a #Kindle romance novella! http://bit.ly/2Euoi2e #BookNerd #Bookworm via @RissiJC 

Book #Giveaway | Enter for a chance to win a #romance novella http://bit.ly/2Euoi2e #NewRelease #Bookworm #Books #MustRead #IndieBooksBeSeen @RissiJC

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Love in Three Quarter Time by Rachel McMillan - A Waltz Through Vienna

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Book Review: Love in Three Quarter Time by Rachel McMillan - A Waltz Through Vienna



(This post does contain affiliate links; if you buy anything through these links, I'll receive a small percentage of the sale. Read the disclosure page for details.) 

ABOUT the BOOK
Publisher: Indie Published
Publication Date: 2018
Genre: Fiction; Contemporary Novella
Source: Author provided – thank you, Rachel
FIND the BOOK ELSEWHERE:
FIND the REVIEW ELSEWHERE:
Amazon | Blogger | Goodreads | Wordpress
Rating: ★★★★
Full of culture, coffee (of course!) and a romantic hero straight from one of Rachel’s favorite literary crushes, this novella will sweep you into its slow and charmingly simple waltz.
Synopsis | Evelyn Watt is madly in love with Rudy Moser. He’s model perfect – and as icing on the cake, he’s the proud owner of a sexy accent. Never mind she doesn’t know Rudy well. Never mind that she soon discovers the complicated part an ex-girlfriend has in his past. To Evelyn, Rudy is still perfect. Things begin to line up when, in the aftermath of the loss of her job, Rudy hires her to help him appraise and catalog heirlooms for auction… all of which will happen in Vienna!

Naturally, Evelyn says yes, and with the promise of a Valentine's Day Opera Ball, for the first time in a long time, Evelyn has the promise of romance in her future. But on the other side of the world, all is not as rosy as it first appeared, and instead of her handsome cultured would-be boyfriend, Evelyn spends more time with the coffee table mate...

Novellas don’t always work to the advantage of a story because they’re so compressed and compact. That said, one thing they suffer no shortage of is their ability to entertain and charm. Love in Three Quarter Time is no different. It’s an easy read that takes little to no time (even for a turtle reader such as myself) to zip through.

Because of the novella length, the romance isn’t as explored as full-length novels, but that’s not to say, the characters aren’t. Although as a qualifier, this really only applies to the character of Evelyn who’s our heroine and the “voice” of the story. Her character is searching but well rounded. On the surface, this is about finding that illusive romance, but deeper still is the ideal that she’s in need of finding herself and what it means to be happy in your life in the here and now. It’s a journey about living in the moment, and experiencing life’s richness.

Anyone who follows along with Rachel’s social media adventures will recognize so much of the author in this novella. This is the quintessential Rachel McMillan story. From the Boston shout-out to the wanderlust (aka travel experiences), and the heroine’s wit, the markers are all present and accounted for. Full of culture, coffee (of course!) and a romantic hero straight from one of Rachel’s favorite literary crushes (an educated man, complete with gray temples), this novella will sweep you into its slow and charmingly simple waltz. ♥

Synopsis: A romantic waltz through a city filled with music, passion and coffee. 

Evelyn Watt fell in love with Austrian marketing director Rudy Moser the moment he stepped into their Boston firm. With his ice blue eyes and chocolate-melting accent, he is as refined as she imagines his home country to be. When Evelyn finds herself unexpectedly unemployed right before Christmas, she is left with an unknown future until Rudy steps in with a job appraising, assessing and cataloging heirlooms, lending her American vernacular to the translated descriptions to give each item international appeal. Evelyn will live in Vienna for the months leading up to a grand auction at a party held in conjunction with the Opera Ball—on Valentine’s Day. 

Vienna is a magical blend of waltzing, antiques, and bottomless cups of Einspanner coffee at the Café Mozart. When a secret from Rudy's family's past blows in with the winter chill, Evelyn is forced to confront how well she knows the object of her affection. Her café tablemate, the gruff and enigmatic Klaus Bauner might be the only person who holds the key to Rudy’s past. But could that key also unlock her future? In the days leading up to the Opera Ball, Evelyn finds herself in the middle of the greatest romance of her life…as long as she doesn’t trip over her two left feet. - Goodreads

Coming Next from Rachel McMillan: If Hamish DeLuca spent less time with his nose in a history book or studying for the bar exam, he might finally have the courage to ask a girl to dance at the Palais Royale. But despite his romantic nature, Hamish has always been shy and lacking the confidence of his friend and cousin, Luca Valari, who has invited Hamish to join him in Boston for the summer. Luca has just purchased a new dance club, The Flamingo, and could use Hamish’s math and accounting skills to keep the books alongside Luca’s “right hand man” Reggie Van Buren.

Regina “Reggie” Van Buren, daughter of a wealthy pastor and heir to a New Haven fortune, is determined to make a life as the self-sufficient city girl she sees in her favorite Jean Arthur and Katharine Hepburn pictures. After a humiliating tea party, Reggie bids goodbye to fine china and the man her parents expect her to marry and escapes to Boston. Finding an easy secretarial job with the suave Luca Valari and a room at Miss Clara’s Boarding house in the North End, Reggie soon adapts to a world beyond servants and ironed linens. Her romantic prospects alight, too, when she sets eyes on Luca’s cousin Hamish.

When a corpse is discovered at The Flamingo, Hamish and Reggie trade ledgers and book-keeping for sleuthing skills. But the truth comes at a high price for Hamish who discovers a dark side to his beloved cousin and is forced to choose between loyalty and his conscience. – Goodreads


Sincere thanks to the author for providing an e-copy of this book; all opinions are my own

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