A Baby for Christmas (Sweet Home Montana Book 2) by Joan Kilby

A Baby for Christmas (Sweet Home Montana Book 2) by Joan Kilby

When Mia Tempesta goes into labour during a snowstorm on Christmas Eve, she stumbles into Will Jackson’s cherry packing shed. As a war widow, she’s lost everything–her husband, her home, and her job. But when Will, a caring stranger, delivers her beautiful baby boy into her arms, she has hope for a brighter future.

After being betrayed and dumped by his long-time girlfriend, Will’s dreading the holidays, but when he helps deliver Mia’s son on Christmas morning, he gains a renewed purpose in life. The beautiful Mia and her child tug on his protective heart strings and he finds himself longing to help. They fight their growing attraction–Will’s on the rebound and Mia is still grieving. Will their reckless passion end in heartbreak?

Can two damaged hearts find healing and happiness? One Christmas baby might just be the miracle they need to love again.

A Baby for Christmas (Sweet Home Montana Book 2) by Joan Kilby

Funny to think I’d enjoy a book so much when it starts with childbirth (I am NOT a baby person), but Joan Kilby is – as I already knew – a very talented author, and I knew in advance this would be good.

A Baby for Christmas starts over the night of Christmas Eve/Christmas morning with a heroine going into labour after being in a car crash. There’s only one person in sight, and he is our hero, who ends up with no choice but to deliver the baby.

Now… this could have been an odd read for me. However, the author found the perfect balance of seriousness and humour that made the opening scenes a great read.

From there, our hero feels he is connected to this mother and her baby, despite her half-hearted attempts to brush him off. What she doesn’t admit at first is that her (dead) husband was a gambler and a cheater, and this isn’t about getting over him, but finding her feet again.

I don’t always love the “ex is a bastard” trope, but it seemed really well done here.

Also well done was the hero’s ex. When she first came onto the page I was worried she’d be a misogynistic cliché, but instead the author made her into a real human being. This is literally the only time I can think of that “posh, pretty blonde” wasn’t a sexist stereotype. I appreciated that so much.

In fact, there’s another similar character, and she isn’t negatively stereotyped either. Way to go, romance genre!

One other thing I liked: the casually “ethnic” heroine. As someone who grew up in a so-called “ethnic” community, seeing it represented as just a normal part of life instead of some comedy show was special for me.

Yes, this book is a Christmas book, but Christmas is only part of it. I thought the author put in just enough of snow and fairy lights for the season, but had so much more in there, too.

Apparently this is the second in a series; it’s a complete book on its own.

I really enjoyed this one. I loved how “modern” it was. So many of my issues with contemporary romance were turned around here.

A good choice for a Christmas read.

 

Review copy provided by the author.

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The Week: 2nd – 8th October

Floriade in Canberra over the weekend.

Canberra Australia Blue Sky Sunshine Sunny Afternoon Sonya Heaney Spring 2nd October 2017 Pink Flower Garden Nature

Monday sunshine for Labour Day in Canberra.

Well. What an awful week in the news.

The rest of the world looks on in horror at America’s out-of-control gun problem, and shakes their heads in bewilderment at why nobody will do anything about it.

My review of Montana Bride by Christmas (Montana Cowboys #4) by Linda Ford

My review of Christmas Amnesia (Callahan Confidential #3) by Laura Scott

Mills and Boon Woos New Readers

The Overwhelming Gender Bias in “New York Times Book Reviews

Trump and Romance Book Sales

 

Trump and Romance Book Sales

A great article from a few days ago:

Welcome to the Romance Resistance

Sales of romance books are soaring, and the article points out something we knew already: women are the biggest producers and consumers of books.

‘We have not seen a significant decrease in sales. In fact we have seen more readers turning to romance than ever before, especially those who are new to the genre. Interest in politically minded heroes and heroines is on the rise and we expect to see an entire wave of books featuring characters who are fighting back and resisting in their communities. Ultimately, we feel that in this time when so many people feel downtrodden and personally attacked by this president, romance, the literature of hope and happiness, is more important than ever — and our sales back that up.’

It was feared that a Trump presidency was going to kill non-political book sales (I didn’t know this, but then I’m not American).

‘People often speak poorly about romance for being an ‘escapist’ genre,” she added. “But what is so terrible about escaping from a world that has suddenly turned upside down, where a new horror happens every day? Taking time to recharge your batteries is essential if you mean to go on fighting against injustices, and romance can provide that.’

 

Christmas Amnesia (Callahan Confidential #3) by Laura Scott

Christmas Amnesia (Callahan Confidential #3) by Laura Scott

Assaulted a week before a high-profile drug trafficking trial, assistant district attorney Madison Callahan narrowly escapes death…but suffers amnesia. Now, when she can’t recall the identity of her attacker, everyone is suspect—except the handsome policeman who saved her. Officer Noah Sinclair will do anything to bring the mob-connected drug trafficker to justice, including providing personal protection to Madison—the sister of the partner he nearly got killed. But helping her regain her memory may end their unlikely alliance because once she remembers him, Noah might be the last man she’ll want to rely on. As the trial looms and with the assailant dead set on ensuring that Madison doesn’t survive to see Christmas, it’ll take everything Noah’s got to keep Madison alive.

Christmas Amnesia (Callahan Confidential #3) by Laura Scott

With such a crazy title and such a pretty cover, how could I resist?!

Harlequin’s Love Inspired Suspense line puts out short, fast-paced romantic suspense books with no sex and a little bit of praying every now and again. They make for good, quick reads, and the Christian aspect is negligible, so I cope.

Christmas Amnesia – of course – deals with “Romance Novel Amnesia”, which bears little resemblance to the real condition but makes for a good plot. It’s not a trope many authors are using anymore, but I’ll put up with it in a category romance.

The pace is fast and the action constant, which is something I really appreciate about these books, and also something that sometimes gets lost in longer romantic suspense reads.

I also liked that the heroine was smart and had a well-established career. There are a lot of pregnant damsels in these books, and this was a nice change.

A solid, quick read with plenty of tropes category romance readers favour.

 

Review copy provided by NetGalley.

Montana Bride by Christmas (Montana Cowboys #4) by Linda Ford

Montana Bride by Christmas (Montana Cowboys #4) by Linda Ford

When preacher Hugh Arness advertises for a marriage of convenience, the single father’s not expecting Annie Marshall to apply. She’s too vivacious–and far too pretty. Yet Annie connects with his withdrawn young son, Evan, and he agrees to a trial period–which her grandfather will chaperone–until Christmas. By then he’ll have found a candidate who doesn’t make him long for more than he feels worthy of…

Security and her own home…Annie wants both, without the heartache love brings. Soon she’s earning little Evan’s trust, eager to show his papa that their partnership can work. She knows that Hugh needs tenderness, too. And maybe this Christmas could mark the end of their practical arrangement…and the start of a true union and real family.

Montana Bride by Christmas (Montana Cowboys #4) by Linda Ford

This was a sweet little story, set in Montana in 1890. These Love Inspired Historical (Christian romance) books almost always come with children at the centre, but the boy in this one stood out from the crowd because of his unusual challenges.

There’s rather a lot of religion in Montana Bride by Christmas – that might either appeal or turn you off it. Seeing as the hero is a pastor it’s to be expected, but at the same time he’s not a particularly preachy guy. I just skipped some of the praying and got on with the rest.

I liked the Montana setting, especially with a Christmas theme. Most of the books in this line seem to be set in other, more southern US states.

Overall, this was an easy read with likeable characters. Even though it’s Christmas-themed I didn’t find it overwhelming. Linda Ford is a solid writer.

 

Review copy provided by NetGalley.

Mills & Boon woos new readers

Historical_Romance_Front-Back-PaperbackMills & Boon woos new readers

This article has been doing the rounds of the romance community social media since late last week, but in case you haven’t seen it yet:

Mills & Boon woos new readers

Mills & Boon has revealed a “huge” relaunch lined up for January, the first facelift for the brand in a decade. The rebrand features a sleeker logo and revamped covers, refreshed point-of-sale material, a beefed-up book club and the brand’s first engagement with the blogging community. There will also be a raft of commercial partnerships and retail promotions for the romance imprint which will go live on 1st January.

The Week: 25th September – 1st October

Blue Sky Sunny Afternoon Canberra Australia Sonya Heaney Eucalyptus Trees Garden Gum Trees Nature Hot Sonya Heaney 27th September 2017Sunny, warm Canberra on Wednesday – the national news said it was raining here (they always say that)!

Another week, another struggle to get my reading up to date! I have about forty review books I’m behind on. Hmm…

Coming Up for Mary Balogh

My review of A Talent for Temptation (Sinful Suitors #4.5) by Sabrina Jeffries

My review of The Reunion by Sara Portman

Harlequin’s Free Reads

The Latest Romance Genre Insult