Roberts, Alison, Their First Family Christmas

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Roberts, Alison, Their First Family Christmas,  (Richmond, Surrey:  Harlequin (UK) Limited, 2016).

Title:  Their First Family Christmas

Author:  Alison Roberts

Imprint:  Medical

Issues:  Bereavement; Grief; Parenthood

Blurb:

Her Christmas past becomes her Christmas present!

When Dr. Emma Matthews was entrusted with the guardianship of her best friend’s daughter, she promised that every Christmas would be special But this Christmas Eve, Jack Reynolds – her old flame and Lily’s uncle – has walked back into their lives.

Both Emma and Jack still bear the scars of this time last year. But now Jack wants to start again:  being there for his adorable niece, picking up where he and Emma left off, and giving them all the family Christmas they deserve!

Minton, Brenda, The Rancher’s Texas Match

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Minton, Brenda, The Rancher’s Texas Match,  (Richmond, Surrey:  Harlequin (UK) Limited, 2016).

Title:  The Rancher’s Texas Match

Author:  Brenda Minton

Imprint:  Love Inspired

Issues:  Abandonment; Bereavement; Grief; Parenthood

Blurb:

A Rancher’s Mission

As a volunteer at the Lone Star Cowboy League Boys Ranch, Tanner Barstow helps the troubled young residents turn their lives around. When a local rancher dies and leaves his large property to the boys ranch, Tanner finds himself spending a lot of time with Macy Swanson, whose orphaned nephew, Colby, lives at the ranch. Tanner’s attracted to the newcomer, but she doesn’t fit his plans. Macy longs to have Colby come home with her, but the former city girl worries she won’t be the mother he deserves. Can Tanner help her see that the future she and Colby need is right here—with him?

Dear Reader,

I’m so glad to have another opportunity to participate in a continuity.  Lone Star Cowboy League:  Boys Ranch takes you to Haven, Texas, deep in the heart of Texas Hill Country.

The characters in this book quickly became special to me.  There were moments that their journey took me by surprise.  I hope that you’ll love Macy, Tanner and Colby as much as I do and that the lessons they learn about grief, faith and finding peace will touch your heart and life.

I know from experience that there are so many children in placements like the LSCL Boys Ranch.  They’re waiting to go home, waiting to find homes and trying to find peace.  If this book touches your heart, then allow your life to touch the lives of those children in the foster care system.

Brenda Minton

Kendrick, Sharon, Di Sione’s Virgin Mistress

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Kendrick, Sharon, Di Sione’s Virgin Mistress (The Billionaire’s Legacy, Book 5),  (Richmond, Surrey:  Harlequin (UK) Limited, 2016).

Title:  Di Sione’s Virgin Mistress (The Billionaire’s Legacy, Book 5)

Author:  Sharon Kendrick

Imprint:  Presents (Modern)

Issues:  Grief; Self Esteem;

Blurb:

“I have the tiara you want and you have to pay for it.”

Dante Di Sione could forgive the beautiful blonde he kissed in the airport lounge for accidentally taking the suitcase with his grandfather’s precious tiara in it. But then she has the nerve to blackmail him into accompanying her to her sister’s wedding!

So when news of their supposed engagement breaks, Dante takes his revenge and ensures that Willow plays the part of his loving wife-to-be to the full. Only, he has no idea that Willow has faked all that bold confidence…and is a virgin!

Yates, Maisey, The Spaniard’s Pregnant Bride

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Yates, Maisey, The Spaniard’s Pregnant Bride (Heirs Before Vows, Book 1),  (Richmond, Surrey:  Harlequin (UK) Limited, 2016).

Title:  The Spaniard’s Pregnant Bride (Heirs Before Vows, Book 1)

Author:  Maisey Yates

Imprint:  Presents (Modern)

Issues:  Bereavement; Child Abuse; Grief; Guilt; Parenthood; Physical Scarring

Blurb:

“You’ll be mine. You’ll be my wife.”

With her identity concealed, Allegra Valenti enters Italy’s most glorious masquerade ball determined to make happy memories to sustain her through her impending coldly arranged betrothal. But a passionate encounter with a masked stranger has consequences that tear apart her dutiful life.

Brooding Spanish duke Cristian Acosta cannot believe the masked siren he let his guard down for was his best friend’s sister—the pampered heiress he grew up despising. To safeguard the Acosta legacy, Cristian must adorn Allegra with a trinket of his own—a gold wedding band!

WhiteFeather, Sheri, Lost and Found Husband

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WhiteFeather, Sheri, Lost and Found Husband (Family Renewal, Book 2),  (Richmond, Surrey:  Harlequin (UK) Limited, 2013).

Title:  Lost and Found Husband (Family Renewal, Book 2)

Author:  Sheri WhiteFeather

Imprint:  Special Edition

Issues:  Adoption; Bereavement; Grief; Interracial Relationship; Parenthood; POC

Blurb:

For waitress Dana Peterson, it’s now or never. For a year, she’s flirted with her regular diner customer, widower Erik Reeves. Who cares if he’s a little older? He’s yummy! So she takes the plunge and asks him out—on Valentine’s Day, no less. 

Against his better judgment, Erik lets this ray of sunshine into his life. But things quickly spin out of control and now Dana’s pregnant. Erik will do the right thing and marry her. But can he retrieve his heart from the lost and found to give this feisty beauty the love she truly deserves?

Dear Reader,

Have you ever wondered how books are titled?  Who comes up with the name and how it’s decided upon?  Mostly it’s up to the author to make suggestions, then it goes to editorial, where they either chose a title from the list the author submitted or make new suggestions, based on the marketing of the book.

Thinking up titles has always been a challenge for me.  I never seem to have just the right one floating around in my head.  I appreciate that it’s not solely up to me.  Some of my favourite titles were created by editors or marketing executives.

But I have to say, Lost and Found Husband came naturally to me for this book.  I titled the first book in my Family Renewal duet lost and Found Father because the hero in that story had given up his baby daughter for adoption and was being reunited with her eighteen years later.  In this book, the hero (who is that child’s adoptive parent) was once a happy and well-adjusted husband who’d tragically lost his wife.  Now he is in a position to be a husband all over again, to start fresh, to regain the joy that he’d lost, only with someone new.

So…I give you Lost and Found Husband, a book with an emotionally wounded hero and the lovely young woman who helps him find his way back home.

Hugs and Happily Ever after,

Sheri WhiteFeather

Watt, Jeannie, To Court a Cowgirl

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Watt, Jeannie, To Court a Cowgirl (The Brody of Lightning Creek, Book 3),  (Richmond, Surrey:  Harlequin (UK) Limited, 2016).

Title:  To Court a Cowgirl (The Brody of Lightning Creek, Book 3)

Author:  Jeannie Watt

Imprint:  Superromance

Issues:  Bereavement; Divorce; Grief; Heart Attack

Blurb:

Nothing can make her stay—not even Jason

Allie Brody decided long ago to leave the Lightning Creek Ranch in the past. She’s lost too much there to want to call it home again. And coming back to help while her sister’s away won’t change her mind, either. Even if Jason Hudson makes her temporary visit more…palatable. As long as she sticks to short-term with the former pro-football player, what’s the harm in their attraction?

It turns out everything is wrong with it. Helping each other only fogs Allie’s plans for a no-strings fling. Sure, Jason signed up to help Allie rebuild her broken ranch—but he’s determined to repair her heart, too. That’s not on her agenda.

Dear Reader,

When I wrote The Brodys of Lightning Creek miniseries, I saved the eldest sister’s story for last because, unlike her siblings, Allie Brody has no great love for the family ranch.  She lost her father on the Lightning Creek and her marriage imploded there.  She’d have been quite happy to never set foot on the property again, but, of course, she doesn’t get her wish.  I sent her home to make peace with the ranch and face her problems – one of which turns out to be her former high school nemesis, a recently retired professional football player who doesn’t put up with Allie’s prickly ways.

After retiring from professional sports, local football legend Jason Hudson quickly realizes that his athletic career has in no way prepared him for the next phase of his life.  Despite this obstacle, he knows what he wants to do and he’ll find a way to do it – just as soon as his difficult father convalesces from a heart attack and he’s free to leave the Eagle Valley.

Allie and Jason had me going in circles for a time.  They were two of the most stubborn characters I’ve ever created and it wasn’t easy making them realize that their carved-in-stone attitudes and plans were not the best attitudes and plans.  Now that I’m done, I love their story and their happily-ever-after, and I hope you enjoy it, too.

Best wishes,

Jeannie Watt

Quinn, Tara Taylor, Somebody’s Baby

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Quinn, Tara Taylor, Somebody’s Baby (Shelter Valley Stories, Book 9),  (Richmond, Surrey:  Harlequin (UK) Limited, 2005).

Title:  Somebody’s Baby (Shelter Valley Stories, Book 9)

Author:  Tara Taylor Quinn

Imprint:  Superromance

Issues:  Bereavement; Grief; Parenthood

Blurb:

Discovering she has a twin in Arizona, Caroline Prater leaves her hometown, her family and her farm and drives west She’ll try to connect with her sister Phyllis, and she’ll seek out John Strickland, the father of her baby—if only to let him know. John, like Caroline, is widowed.

Arriving in Shelter Valley it’s not long before Caroline becomes part of the town’s life. And while she’s waiting for the right moment to approach Phyllis, her relationship with John is growing deeper—but that’s just for the baby’s sake. Or is it?

Dear Reader,

Whether you’ve been to Shelter Valley before or find yourself here for a first visit – welcome!  It’s never too late to join us in this town – a home away from home for many readers around the world.  Shelter Valley has become a place of refuge, of hope and happiness, of new beginnings, of strength through adversity, of life.

If you’re here for the first time, don’t worry.  So is Caroline Prater.  Join this intelligent but uneducated farm girl as she comes to town with a big heart…and some shocking secrets.  You’ll travel with her from her home in Kentucky, find a boardinghouse, meet the residents of Caroline’s new town.  And if you’ve been here before, I think you’ll enjoy seeing the world of Shelter Valley through her eyes.  You’ll meet old friends and find out what they’re up to, how they’ve fared since you saw them last.  Pretty much everyone you’ve met in Shelter Valley appears in Somebody’s Baby.

Don’t let me give you the impression that this is going to be a lighthearted romp through town.  It’s not.  Caroline and John and the rest of the Shelter Valley residents are living life – real life – with its ups and downs, its fears and hardships.  They ask questions of themselves and each other, the same questions we all ask.  Hard questions that don’t always have answers.  Certainly not easy answers…

So come to Shelter Valley!  We’re waiting.  With refuge and hope, the promise of happiness, the possibility of new beginnings and – most of all – with the belief that love truly is the greatest thing of all.

Tara Taylor Quinn

I love to hear from my readers.  You can reach me at P.O. Box 13584, Mesa, Arizona 85216 or through my website at www.tarataylorquinn.com.

Nelson, Rhonda, The Player

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Nelson, Rhonda, The Player (Men Out of Uniform, Book 1),  (Richmond, Surrey:  Harlequin (UK) Limited, 2006).

Title:  The Player (Men Out of Uniform, Book 1)

Author:  Rhonda Nelson

Imprint:  Blaze

Issues:  Bereavement; Grief; Guilt; PTSD;

Blurb:

There’s nothing like a man in uniform…or out of it!

Especially when he’s as hot as former Ranger Jamie Flanagan. After their last assignment went horribly wrong, he and his buddies needed to get out of the military for good. There was only one catch – that he and his pals promise their commanding officer one favour. Any favour.

Now tall, dark and sexy Jamie is a top security specialist…and the ultimate ladies’ man. So he’s more than a little surprised when he learns the colonel has set him up to protect his grand-daughter. Who would trust a player like Jamie with a gorgeous woman like Audrey? Then he learns his “mission” is to seduce her away from another man…

Dear Reader,

Welcome to my Men Out of Uniform trilogy!  There’s something inherently sexy about the cut of Dress Blues, something casually attractive about a set of BDU’s.  There’s honour and courage and the idea of a greater good in every stitch, and those qualities are found in the men who wear them, as well.  But if there’s anything sexier than a guy in uniform, it’s a guy out of one, and that’s what this series is all about.

Jamie Flanagan, Brian Payne and Guy McCann are heroes to die for.  They’re die-hard bachelors.  They’re bad boys.  They’re Southern gentlemen.  They’re former US Army Rangers.  The only way they could be any better would be if they were dipped in chocolate….and since these are Mills & Boon Blaze stories, that’s always a distinct possibility.  I hope you enjoy The Player, and be sure to check out The Specialist coming in October and The Maverick, which will be on sale in November.  I’ve paired these guys with heroines who are strong enough to tangle with them, but soft enough to smooth out the rough edges.  The result is a series of books that have been fun to write, and rewarding as well.

I love to hear from my readers, so be sure to pop by my website – www.readrhondanelson.com.  I blog frequently about the bizarre happenings that make up everyday life.  Sample headings include “The Day My Dog Ate a Glue Stick” and “How I Felled a Possum with a Can of Fruit Cocktail.” (See?  I told you it was bizarre.)

Happy reading!

Rhonda Nelson

Marinelli, Carol, The Baby of Their Dreams

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Marinelli, Carol, The Baby of Their Dreams,  (Richmond, Surrey:  Harlequin (UK) Limited, 2015).

Title:  The Baby of Their Dreams

Author:  Carol Marinelli

Imprint:  Medical

Issues:  Bereavement; Grief; Parenthood

Blurb:

Barcelona, baby…bride? 

Seven years ago ER doctor Cat Hayes was left heartbroken after losing her baby boy. Now she’s focused on her career. But when she meets gorgeous Dr. Dominic Edwards at a Spanish conference, resisting his scorching touch isn’t easy… Cat returns home sun-kissed and accidentally pregnant! 

Widower Dom never thought he’d ever find love again—let alone a family! As the promise of their miracle baby begins to heal both their hearts, Dom knows he can’t let Cat slip through his fingers. All it takes is one down-on-one-knee question…

Dear Reader,

Some stories write themselves.  Not all.  Often I’m tearing my hair out.  But I wasn’t with Cat and Dominic.  I actually had a plan with this story…my hero and heroine simply refused to stick to it.

I kept reminding them that I was the writer, but they refused to listen and I actually couldn’t type fast enough some days to keep up with them.  I simply loved them both, and I wanted to get to their happy-ever-after so that I could see for myself how they worked things out.

I hope you enjoy meeting them as much as I did.

Happy reading!

Carol

Lohmann, Jennifer, Love on Her Terms

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Lohmann, Jennifer, Love on Her Terms,  (Richmond, Surrey:  Harlequin (UK) Limited, 2016).

Title:  Love on Her Terms

Author:  Jennifer Lohmann

Imprint:  Superromance

Issues:  Bereavement; Depression; Grief; HIV; Suicide

Blurb:

If only attraction always led to happily ever after…

Mina Clements wants to grab life with both hands. With a fixer-upper and a fresh start in Montana, the graphic novelist is ready to do just that. Plus, having handsome handyman Levi Pardo next door could be a bonus… But even though sparks sizzle when Levi helps with her renovations, the widower’s in no hurry to fall in love again. Still, he’s much more than the neighbour who looks good swinging a hammer. He’s a man she wants to trust with her biggest secret—one that can either bring them closer or wreck the new beginning they both need.

Dear Reader,

Love in Her Terms is one of those books that was born from many places yet somehow came together perfectly.  There’s no question this book is influenced by the many times I’ve watched the 1966 movie A Man and a Woman (my mom’s favorite).  And for years I’d wanted to write about a young woman who moves in next door to a cranky widower.  She brings new sparkle to his life, but she has a chronic illness, and my hero’s not sure he can handle it.  Of course, the heroine’s illness kept alluding me.  Then while ruminating on a different novel where the heroine has HIV, a friend asked on Twitter if there were any heterosexual romances where one character has HIV.  I knew then that I had to put the two idea together!  Sometimes – okay, often – authors need a friendly push.

My heroine, Mina, is also a graphic novelist so I can’t resist recommending Scott McCloud’s Understanding Comics:  The Invisible Art.  It’s a wonderful exploration of the art form whether you’ve read comics and graphic novels or are new to the format entirely.  Some of his theories make my jaw drop in awe.  And seriously, if you do pick up the book and want to talk about it-shoot me an email!  And for a real-life love story similar to Love on Her Terms, read Blue Pills:  A Positive Love Story by Frederik Peeters.  It’s Peeter’s graphic novel memoir about falling in love with an HIV-positive woman, who also has an HIV-positive son.  As a librarian and book lover, suggesting books is one of my favorite pastimes, and hese are two good ones!

Love on Her Terms was a powerful book for me to write and I hope it’s just as powerful for you to read.

Enjoy,

Jennifer