Thursday, September 15, 2016

Thursday's Thoughts

I love surprises and this was one of the best.  I was invited to a Facebook party for Harlequin Heartwarming new release books and much to my surprise I won a couple of books from Catherine Lanigan.  Essentially this was a new author to me and I looked forward to receiving my package.  

The first book, Fear of Falling, which is the 5th book in the Shore of Indian Lake series.  

Fear of Falling (Shores of Indian Lake)

Her best bet is to stay away
Was Olivia hearing this right? The one man in Indian Lake she'd found truly intriguing since, well, forever—the hopelessly handsome heir to the region's most successful farming operation, Rafe Barzonni—was involved in horse racing? That made him, and her sudden attraction, downright dangerous. He wasn't just out of her league. He was a gambler. Like her father. With the shame of her father's racetrack betting addiction still haunting her, Olivia can't be part of that world. Rafe's world. She can't trust him, or his magnetism. But there's something deep in his incredible blue eyes that keeps drawing her closer…

Published March 1st 2016
 by Harlequin  

My Thoughts:

When I saw the cover I was immediately drawn to it.  
The young couple gracing the cover gave a hint of their story.  It was sweet and yes, heartwarming.  
Rafe Barzonni has a connection with his father's prize Thoroughbred, Rowan, but more than that he knows in his heart this horse's talent and spirit he was a winner.  Angelo Barzonni was a well respected business man.  He had grown up on the streets of Sicily and immigrated to Indian Lake where he built a mini-dynasty from his wife and four sons.  His greatest dream was to own a Kentucky Derby winner and it looked like Rowan would be just that.  Of course his untimely death brought Rafe a grief he had never experienced before.  He had one goal in mind and that was to ready Rowan and pursue the derby dream.  
Olivia Melton works for her mother at Indian Lake Deli and with her catering business, but she would love to work in photography.  Just to be able to capture the essence of something on film that would stand the test of time was what really drew her.  
I loved both of these characters.  Rafe was easy to love.  I'm a Kentucky girl so his love of horses really drew me to him.  Olivia is a sweet girl in search of a dream, but is she ready to give up what she has to pursue her dream.  This story has elements of mystery, life choices and romance.  I was easily draw in to the story and stayed entertained until the end.  I found myself cheering not only for Rafe and Olivia, but also Rowan.  
This is a book I would recommend to anyone who loves a clean story with elements of love, grief and life choices.  

Available for Purchase:

The second book was the 6th book in the series, Sophie's Path. 

Sophie's Path (Shores of Indian Lake) 

Her choice. His consequences.

Nurse Sophie Mattuchi has seen a lot of angry patients in the ER, but no one's ever rattled her like Jack Carter. He has no right to blame her for his friend's death. Sophie did everything she could. Didn't she? Yet his accusations sting, and that sets off all kinds of internal alarms. She's never cared this much about any man's opinion of her. But Jack is different. He stirs up feelings. Strong feelings. Guilt. Anger. Attraction. Curiosity. Sympathy. Sophie's definitely not interested in Jack, but even if she was, he'd never forgive her for the decision she made that night in the hospital. Would he?

 Published July 1st 2016
 by Harlequin Heartwarming

My Thoughts:

I loved this book!
Sophie was a character after my own heart.  
She is a nurse who primarily works with heart patients, but she also picks up shifts in the ER.  
I was a nurse in the ICU for years and then moved to the ER, so I got her dedication to her patients.  Plus, I know what it's like to make a triage decision in a split second.
This is a very touching story and will immediately draw the reader in.  It evoked a lot of emotions for me.  I might have shed a tear or two and smiled many times while reading it.
The characters are complex and kept me turning the pages.  Sophie is a character that's easy to love.  She has recently gone through a lot of changes in her life.  She is striving to be a better person today than she was yesterday.  This is something we should always strive for.  Jack is experiencing survivor's guilt and has let it cloud his judgement.  His character is easy to love and have empathy for.  
This is a book I would recommend to anyone who loves a good, clean story.  This book is part of a series, but to me it was a stand alone story.  As with any series I do recommend reading the other books in the series to get the full extent of the series. Catherine Lanigan is a new author for me and I will definitely be reading more of her books. 

Available for Purchase:


Meet the Author:

Catherine Lanigan's Profile PhotoCatherine Lanigan is the bestselling author of nearly forty published titles in both fiction and non-fiction, including the novelizations of Romancing the Stone and The Jewel of the Nile, as well as over half a dozen anthologies, including "Chicken Soup for the Soul: Living your Dream", "Chicken Soup for the Writer's Soul", "Chocolate for a Woman's Heart", and "Chocolate for a Woman's Spirit". Ms. Lanigan's novels have been translated into over a dozen languages including German, French, Italian, Spanish, Russian, Portuguese, Chinese, and Japanese. Ms. Lanigan's novels are also available on audio-cassette, CD and in E-books on and Barnes and Several of her titles have been chosen for The Literary Guild and Doubleday Book Clubs. Her Vietnam war-based novel, The Christmas Star, won the Gold Medal Award Top Pick from Romantic Times Magazine and has also won Book of the Year Romance Gold Award from ForeWord Magazine as well as Book of the Year Romance from Reader's Preference.  

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