January 13, 2018 03:34 PM Posted by juliannadouglas
I only had one five-star read in December. It was an older romance and something of a hidden gem of the genre. It was my first Amish romance, but it isn’t your typical Amish romance. It contains some mild sensuality, mild language, and mature themes such as infidelity and domestic abuse, which may bother some readers of this usually squeaky clean sub-genre. Obviously none of that offended me, because it ended up being a great read that I highly recommend to anyone who wouldn’t be.
Jacob had been best friends with Rachel since childhood, and by their teen years, he’d fallen in love with her. But when he was at his most vulnerable point, following the death of his mother, his brother, Simon, made claims that Rachel was in love with Simon and had agreed to marry him. Devastated, Jacob renounced his Amish heritage and went out into the “English” world. He tried a few different things, but nothing seemed to be a good fit. Then he chanced to discover that a brief affair with an “English” woman had resulted in twins whose mother had died in childbirth. Jacob wants to be a good father to his children, but the only way he knows to raise them is the Amish way, so he humbles himself and returns to his former community even though he knows it will be torturous to see Rachel with his brother every day. Knowing his little ones need a mother figure in their lives, he asks Rachel to look after them. Then Jacob discovers that Simon has been abusing her for their entire marriage and takes steps to prevent his brother from ever hurting her again. He also offers his comfort to Rachel which leads to an unintended night of passion and unexpected consequences. Jacob is a total sweetheart, a kind, gentle beta hero who I completely fell in love with. He’s a good son, an incredible father, and a tender lover to Rachel. I loved his support for her efforts to publish a newspaper and most of all for his protectiveness toward her. When their affair comes out, he also tries to take full responsibility for what happened and is ready to sacrifice everything to make sure that Rachel and his kids have the future they deserve. I loved Jacob to pieces and he definitely became one of my favorite romance heroes of 2017.
Tags: Annette Blair
December 20, 2017 01:27 PM Posted by juliannadouglas
For the month of November, I had only one five-star read. It was actually a re-read of an old favorite from an author I’ve long admired. In fact, when I started reading regularly again ten years ago after a long absence from it, this author was the first one I picked up and this book was among some of the first of hers that I read. Despite being a tad bit frustrated with the heroine, the hero was yummy and the story was an intense, angsty, romantic one that gave me all kinds of feels, just the way I like them. Not to mention, I basically got two romances for the price of one, which made it even better. This is definitely a book that I could read again and again.
Tags: Lisa Kleypas
November 17, 2017 03:46 PM Posted by juliannadouglas
October was a near-perfect reading month for me. All but one of the five books and one novella I read last month rated five stars for me, which is virtually unheard of. I don’t know if I’ve ever come that close to having a clean sweep month before. While it was great for my reader morale, it, of course, made it rather difficult to decide which book to highlight as my Book of the Month. I finally settled on a book that is the final full-length story in a long-running historical romance series that I’ve loved from the start. In fact, I’m a little sad to see the series winding down after such a long run, but it’s been a great one. Not to mention, although there are a couple more novellas forthcoming, this book was a wonderful wrap-up to the main part of the series, sending it out on a high note, so I can’t really complain.
Tags: Elizabeth Hoyt
October 13, 2017 03:47 PM Posted by juliannadouglas
I only had one five-star romance read during the month of September, but it was an awesome one that I’m very pleased to recommend. It was a re-read by a long-time favorite author of mine, and the final book of a trilogy. In fact, it was this series that made me a fan. All three books ended up being five-star keepers, but this one was my favorite of the bunch. It totally blew me away with how romantic, passionate, beautiful, and just plain amazing it was, and I could probably read it over and over and never get tired of it.
Tags: Lisa Kleypas
September 16, 2017 06:36 PM Posted by juliannadouglas
I had two five-star reads during the month of August, but only one of them was a romance. Since I write romance, I always favor those over non-romance titles when there’s more than one five-star book to choose from for my Book of the Month. It’s the final volume of a relatively new trilogy from one of my favorite authors, who coincidentally was also featured last month (yup, she really is that good.:-)). This trilogy is a family saga that’s reminiscent of the old nighttime soaps from the 1980s, which the author admits inspired her writing of it. During my teen years, I was a big fan of those sudsers, so I’ve been entranced by the series since the first book was released two years ago. Now it’s complete, and while it almost seems too soon to let go, it was a great ending that warmed my heart.
Tags: J. R. Ward
August 18, 2017 03:44 PM Posted by juliannadouglas
July was another good reading month for me. I read five novels, one novella, and two short stories, all of which rated the 3.5 stars or better needed to qualify to be recommended by me. However, only two of them got a perfect five-star rating from me and only one was a romance, so that’s the one I’ll be highlighting this month as my Book of the Month pick. It’s a slightly older contemporary romance by a long-time favorite author who IMHO is phenomenal at her craft and has been from the start. It’s the story of a hero who’s injured in both body and spirit and the one woman he’s been in love with from afar for years but thought he could never have.
July 15, 2017 03:21 PM Posted by juliannadouglas
June was a good reading month for me. I read five books and all of them received ratings of 4-5 stars from me. However, I’ve run into an unusual dilemma that I’ve never encountered before in that my favorite book for the month is an oldie but a goodie that is no longer readily available. I’m happy to have had the opportunity to read it and pass along a recommendation for it. But unfortunately, since it’s an older book, it isn’t available in ebook at this time, and the paperback version is also out of print with no new or nice used copies available for anything resembling a reasonable price. So for this month’s Book of the Month giveaway, I’m going to go ahead and highlight the book, so that my readers will know about it and perhaps be able to find a copy at the library or get lucky enough to find one elsewhere. But instead of giving away the book itself, I’m going to give away a $10 Amazon gift card. And I’m sure no one will truly be disappointed with that.:-)
Tags: Rosanne Bittner
June 16, 2017 07:02 PM Posted by juliannadouglas
May was an OK reading month for me. I had a couple of duds, but most of what I read was still good. However, I didn’t have any five-star romance reads, and since I only give away what I feel is the best of the best, I don’t have a romance to offer this month. My favorite five-star read from May was a non-fiction book centering around animal rescue. Since my Loving Hearts series also has an animal rescue theme, I thought it fully appropriate to name it my latest book of the month, and if you’re an animal lover like me, you may enjoy it just as much as I did.
May 20, 2017 02:58 PM Posted by juliannadouglas
My April Book of the Month choice follows right on the heels of March’s Book of the Month. It was another re-read for me, and the second in the series. While April was a very good reading month for me, with the majority of the books I read rating 4.5-5 stars and nothing less than 4 stars, this particular book was the biggest stand-out for me, because it was nearly perfect in every way. I think I ended up enjoying it just a teensy bit better than last month’s BOM, because of the stronger focus on the romance. The incredibly steamy love scenes were an added plus, too. It’s the story of a heroine who sets out looking for revenge against the man she believes was the cause of her beloved brother’s death, but unexpectedly finds love with that same man instead. The hero has been burying himself in his work to drown out the pain of losing his first wife and child, while waiting to remarry until just the right woman comes along, and he may have finally found the woman of his dreams in our intrepid heroine. It all made for a great story that I loved.
Tags: Lisa Kleypas
April 15, 2017 03:32 PM Posted by juliannadouglas
My favorite read from the month of March was actually a re-read for me. I first read it about ten years ago, when I was coming off a book drought that had lasted at least that long. When I became a mom in 1995, reading somehow got put on the back burner. I guess having a cranky, demanding infant, who turned into a cranky, demanding toddler, and then baby #2 three years later will do that to you.:-) In any case, reading fell off my radar for quite a while, but during that time, I remember looking longingly at my stuffed bookshelves. In 2007, I became determined to get back to reading, and I did. My latest book of the month pick was the first book I chose from those packed bookshelves and the first I had read by this author. It made me fall in love with her work and immediately run out to get the other two books in the series.
Tags: Lisa Kleypas