|Title: Rescue Me, Maybe
Author: Jackie Bouchard
Links: click image
From bestselling author Jackie Bouchard comes a heartwarming story of loss, love, and finding hope in unexpected places.
If you lost both your husband and your dog within weeks of each other but were more devastated by the loss of the dog, would you tell anyone? Maybe your closest friends…Unfortunately, introvert Jane Bailey hasn’t made many friends in Philadelphia.
So when her aunt and uncle ask her to come to Prescott, Arizona, to help at their B&B, Jane packs up and makes the move. On her way, she finds a scared stray at a rest stop. But Jane can’t bear the thought of ever loving and losing another dog. She’s determined not to let the mutt steal her heart. She’s also determined to have next to no interaction with the B&B’s demanding guests and its annoying (yet handsome) handyman. As the dog works her charm, soon Jane must admit that just as much as she rescued the dog, the dog has rescued her.
What an idea! Jane has just lost her husband and her beloved dog to cancer and she's more upset by the loss of her dog! We move through the grief and guilt of Jane who has to cope with the fact that her marriage was on the verge of ending before her husband was diagnosed with cancer. Jane stayed by his side until the end only to have to rush her beagle Barnum to the vet hospital only to lose him as well.
Jane picks up her life and moves into her Aunt and Uncle's B&B to run things while they are away from heal reasons. Jane is set on making it back to San Diego but soon discovers her love of baking for the B&B, a friendship with Selene and a possible romance with the neighbor.
On her way to the B&B, Jane finds a stray dog and can't bear to leave her behind but is unwilling to have another dog in her life. Her Aunt and Uncle take on the dog and name her Maybelline or Maybe for short. But with Jane's Aunt and Uncle out of town she's forced to care for Maybe who appears to love Jane most of all. The biggest problem comes when Maybe starts limping and the vet's news couldn't be worse.
I'm a sucker for things with dogs and this was no exception. I cried more when Jane talked about the loss of Barnum and I worried incessantly when Maybe's own heath is called into question.
Throughout the story, I loved watching Jane come to terms with her guilt and grief and with the idea that what she wanted isn't what she needed. It was also great to see someone so reluctant to love another dog come around and realize that the loss of one dog doesn't mean there isn't another out there needing love.
I really enjoyed this story.
|Title: Wedding Tiers
Author: Trisha Ashley
Links: click image
The path of true love never runs smooth. But for some, it's one seriously bumpy ride! A heartwarming new romantic comedy from the bestselling author of A WINTER'S TALE. Growing up in the beautiful Lancashire village of Neatslake, Josie Gray and her childhood sweetheart, Ben Richards, always dreamt of living a life of rural bliss. And when Josie inherits her beloved Grandmother's cottage, it seems they might just have got what they wished for. Josie throws herself into her wedding cake business, whilst Ben gains increasing acclaim as an artist. But the tranquil village turns into a hive of activity when Josie's childhood friend, Libby Martin - now a wealthy widow - returns to the village, planning a lavish wedding to rival any celeb bash. The day goes with a bang, and soon Libby and Josie are hard at work at their fledgling wedding business, hiring out Libby's beautiful Elizabethan home for ceremonies, with Josie creating all manner of wonderful cakes. But amidst all this romance, Josie's fairytale relationship with Ben turns into a nightmare, and she quickly becomes Love's number one cynic - until charming wedding photographer Noah Sephton arrives in Neatslake with a very different outlook on love! Can this hopeless romantic persuade pessimistic Josie to give romance another try? Or will it be a case of always the cake maker, never the bride!? A charming, witty and feelgood novel, ideal for fans of Katie Fforde and Harriet Evans.
I'm a big fan of romances but they tend to have the same whirl-wind romance feel to them and yet Ashley tends to lean away from that format. One of the things I like the most is her characters fascination with cooking which always seems intriguing.
In this book Josie is living the simple life in the country baking cakes for weddings and sharing vegetables with her co-op group. Her boyfriend artist is in his studio working while she writes simple living entries for a magazine.
Everything is perfect until she realizes her loyal boyfriend isn't as loyal as she thought. Josie goes through the mourning process and swears off men only to have her best friend insinuate a friend of hers into Josie's life.
I think the best part about the romance is the friendship that grows first and then everything else comes second. I also enjoyed that Josie wouldn't take back her cheating boyfriend despite his begging and pleading with her.
The extras in the story really gave everything a bit more realism and I did love Libby (Josie's best friend) but was applaud at the friends who were once mutual friend of her and her ex.
Overall Ashley has a great style of writing though I can't tell if this is just her style of a more British romance. Being American it is hard to tell but either way I want to continue reading Ashley's books.
|Title: Chocolate Shoes and Wedding Blues
Author: Trisha Ashley
Links: click image
When Tansy Poole inherits a run-down shoe shop tucked away in the village of Sticklepond, ‘Cinderella’s Slippers’ is born – providing the footwear to make any fairytale wedding come true…
Carrying everything a bride would want to walk down the aisle in, Tansy’s shop soon expands to carry shoe-themed wedding favours, bridesmaid gifts and even delicious chocolate shoes. It’s the dream destination for any shoe-lover!
If only everything in her personal life could be as heavenly – but with a fiancé trying to make her fit into a size 8 wedding dress, not to mention the recent discovery of disturbing family revelations, Tansy takes refuge in the shop’s success.
But one man isn’t thrilled by the stream of customers hot-footing it to Cinderella’s Slippers… Actor Ivo Hawksley, resident of the cottage next to the shop, is troubled by a dark secret in his past and has come to Sticklepond to nurse his own broken heart.
However, Ivo realises that he and Tansy have a link in their past and soon, they both find out how secrets shared can make a very strong bond indeed…
Okay I'm loving how Ashley's characters have their own grand ideas about careers. One made wedding cakes and wrote a column for simple living and now Tansy has opened a wedding shoe store called Cinderella's Slippers. I love it. The thing I love the most is that these women are strong and capable. They are running a business or making great careers for themselves. It isn't about waiting for a prince charming.
Tansy is disillusioned by her boyfriends comments for her to lose weight before they marry and had just had news that her window for having children is closing. Justin (the boyfriend) keeps telling her children are two expensive and Josie is really rethinking her relationship. But a shocking secret and her great aunt's failing heath, blows her world apart and Josie decides she need to be away from the city and back to her roots.
There Tansy takes the Bright's Shoes, which has been in the family for generations, and makes it her own.
The arrival of her a famous actor who has ties to Tansy's past, shakes things up and Tansy finds her life and her past coming a bit unraveled.
Again with a similar theme but I liked the running similarities to Cinderella in this one and the touch that our Cinderella sells shoes. I also enjoyed her friend Bella's romance in the same book.
I'm really enjoying Ashley's books and am reading more.