Series Review: The Christmas Angel

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In 1750, a master woodcarver poured all his unrequited love, passion, and longing into his masterpiece—a gorgeous Christmas angel for his beloved’s tree. When the man he loved tossed the angel away without a second thought, a miracle happened. The angel was found by another who brought the woodcarver True Love.

Since then, the angel has been passed down, sold, lost and found, but its magic remains. Read the romances inspired by (and perhaps nudged along by) the Christmas Angel through the years. Whether it’s the 1880’s New York (Kim Fielding), the turn-of-the-century (Jordan L. Hawk), post World War II (L.A. Witt), Vietnam-era (N.R. Walker), the 1990’s (Anyta Sunday), 2018 Europe (RJ Scott), the Christmas Angel has a way of landing on the trees of lonely men who need it’s blessing for a very Merry Christmas and forever HEA.

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Review: ‘Darcy’ by R.J. Scott and Meredith Russell

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Published 10th September 2018

Darcy’s newest assignment is to play the role of boyfriend to a wealthy socialite, but never expected the intense attraction to his date’s brother. Falling for Adrian is dangerous and certainly not part of the plan.

Adrian has been as unlucky in love as his sister, but he doesn’t approve of hiring a boyfriend, whatever the reason. Until he meets Darcy. Then he comes to realize that love can happen in the most unexpected of ways.

One week. That is all the two men needed to fall in lust, but will they have a lifetime to fall in love?

This is such a lovely read, very sweet and fluffy. R.J. Scott is becoming one of those auto-buy authors for me, and I’ve never read anything by Meredith Russell before but this has definitely piqued my interest in her work.

Darcy is an absolute dreamboat, not your typical hardened ex-soldier, and his and Adrian’s spark is undeniable. I love a good fake-boyfriends romance and when I first read the title of the series I thought that’s what I was getting, but this isn’t really that kind of book. Darcy may have been hired, but it’s not the person who hired him that he falls for. However, I still enjoyed the whole set up. It was something different, a slight twist on the trope, so I was hardly disappointed.

There was charm and humour and a general lightness to the whole story. A bucketload of family drama, over the top relatives and personality clashes, but nothing too heavy. Tensions were perhaps resolved a little too easily, I was waiting for the moment I was so completely gripped I wouldn’t dare put the book down, but no moment like that ever came. Everything pretty much happens on one level without going too deep.

This is the perfect story to pick up if you’re looking for something light that will make you smile. I may not have been overwhelmed with feelings, but I honestly really enjoyed this book and will no doubt pick however many other instalments end up in this series.

3.5/5 stars

Review: ‘Second Chance Ranch’ by R. J. Scott

41026271Published August 28th 2018

Rob runs to Crooked Tree determined to find a safe place for his nephews. A family for them is the final thing on his list, and then he can vanish completely. Falling for a local paramedic along the way is a disaster in Rob’s otherwise perfect plans.

Paramedic Aaron, the middle of five brothers, would like someone to love. A great believer in fate he is convinced though, that one day he’ll find someone. He just never thought it would be a man in so much pain, or that children would be part of the package.

Rob is ready to leave. Aaron wants him to stay. Their love has an expiry date, and it’s tearing them apart. Can they find a way to save what they have?

It had been a long while since I’d read the first four books in this Montana series, so I really enjoyed my trip down memory lane and catching up with all those couples. This isn’t really a book that holds up as a standalone, with so many surrounding characters from previous instalments and references to big events. Definitely some spoilers in regards to those previous books so I would highly recommend catching up before starting this one.

It took me a minute to remember who Rob was when I first started, the blurb doesn’t exactly give it away, but as soon as I remembered I was instantly so much more into this book. It added a whole new dimension to the story, the kind of dynamic I’d never really seen before. Rob is dangerous, he’s smart and calculating and ruthless. He’s a killer. And he’s dying. And he’s got two kids he has to find a place for. Where could be better than Crooked Tree Ranch?

I’ve always loved Crooked Tree, it’s one of those fictional places you wish were real so you could visit. The people, the horses, the scenery, the way it brings people together. It feels like family, feels like home. Rob and Aaron weren’t the kind of people I’d have expected to fit there, especially not together, but that’s the magic of Crooked Tree. Everybody belongs there.

Aaron has a big ol’ heart, and Rob’s not sure he’s got one left at all. There’s an immediate spark between the two, but it’s born more out of dislike than anything else. There’s lust there, but they clash in a way that shouldn’t work but really does. I’m still not entirely sure how that lust transformed into something deeper, it almost seemed to come out of nowhere for me. It didn’t feel the most organic, the sparring turned to caring a bit too quickly with nothing in between. I believed it once they got there though, and I suppose that’s what counts.

There was a fair amount of angst in this one, troubled pasts and haunting experiences, stress and trauma, darkness and mortality. Hardly sunshine and roses. But it’s what the story needed to be, gritty and raw but with that sense of hope that Crooked Tree always brings. I really enjoyed it and it’s a series I know I’ll read again.

4/5 stars

Buy links: Amazon US | Amazon UK

Review: ‘Daniel’ by R. J. Scott

Published June 20th 2018
210 pages

Daniel worked hard at college, using coping strategies to shut himself off from any situation that might hurt. But, persistent nightmares and fears for his future drive him to revisit the past. Now Legacy might be the only place to give him a chance at peace.

After the tragic loss of his parents, Corey is head of the family now, and the welfare of his three younger sisters are what matters the most. Corey is desperate to find Daniel, tell him the truth and somehow convince him to keep secrets. Even if this leads to heartbreak. 

When the world crumbles around Corey, and Daniel is running scared, Legacy ranch is their only hope.

I read the whole Legacy Ranch trilogy in the lead up to this release, but I have yet to read R.J. Scott’s Texas series. It’s been on my TBR list for so long! And although the extra details on characters and events from that series may have given this trilogy a little more depth for me, it certainly stands alone quite comfortably as a series.

The subject matter of this book and its predecessors is a delicate one, definitely one to avoid if you’re triggered by talk of rape and abuse, but R.J. Scott handles everything with such care. It’s very much painful to read at times, every character has a journey to go on, but the rewards will warm you to your core.

What struck me the most about this book, and this series as a whole, is how the romance almost takes a back seat. The most important element of the story is how the man at the centre of it manages to move past their awful history and grow to open up and trust and love. It’s a powerful tale of healing, and the romance these characters find is a demonstration of that. R.J. Scott gives these men a really lovely depth, and unique as they are, the bond between them all is tightly woven.

Daniel’s history is perhaps the most painful of them all. Picked up on the street and forced into a world of disgusting abuse at only 14 years old, and having to live with the vivid memory of that torture years after it ended, he’s a young man in a bad place. He may be at college and trying to make a life for himself, but he’s alone and trapped in the terror of the past, being held back by its power. And when Corey first enters his life, he only makes things more difficult. Both of these men are dealing with trauma, Corey is battling devastating grief, and it takes a lot of time for them to begin to find comfort in each other. But when they do, the gentle passion between them is really quite special.

It follows the pattern of the previous two books, the prospect of love helping Daniel to heal and find a sense of peace. He’s able to put what happened to him to bed, and allow himself to find and accept the joy he deserves. A real heart-wrenching and heart-warming story, and a wonderful end to the series. I think everyone could do with a visit to Legacy Ranch.

4/5 stars

My Week in Holiday Romances! (#4)

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This is going up a little later than I’d have liked it to, I finished the last of these books almost a week ago, but Christmas got busy and my laptop was abandoned for a few days. But here we are! This will be the last of my holiday romance reviews this year, but what a season it’s been. I hope you’ve enjoyed it as much as I have. These three books were a wonderful way to end it, and if you’re still looking for festive reads to finish off your year, there’s a couple in here I’d definitely recommend.

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