Review: Dances of the Heart by Andrea Downing

Happy Friday!  This Friday I am starting your weekend off with an awesome book, Dances of the Heart by Andrea Downing.  This is a modern-day cowboy romance.  When City meets Country can they find a middle and allow love to bloom.  It’s a great romance that will get your heart fluttering just in time for the weekend.  For my full review keep reading after the book blurb.  Have a great weekend and happy reading!

24824180Book Blurb:

Successful, workaholic author Carrie Bennett lives through her writing, but can’t succeed at writing a man into her life. Furthermore, her equally successful but cynical daughter, Paige, proves inconsolable after the death of her fiancé.

Hard-drinking rancher Ray Ryder can find humor in just about anything—except the loss of his oldest son. His younger son, Jake, recently returned from Iraq, now keeps a secret that could shatter his deceased brother’s good name.

On one sultry night in Texas, relationships blossom when the four meet, starting a series of events that move from the dancehalls of Hill Country to the beach parties of East Hampton, and from the penthouses of New York to the backstreets of a Mexican border town. But the hurts of the past are hard to leave behind, especially when old adversaries threaten the fragile ties that bind family to family…and lover to lover.

Review:

Carrie and her daughter are travelling to a ranch to research her mother’s upcoming book.  On their drive they come across a recently returned soldier in the rain walking along the highway.  Carrie convinces her daughter to pull over and pick up this lonely rain-soaked soldier.  What they don’t realize it this one action will change their lives and their hearts forever.  Carrie soon meets the soldier, Jake’s, dad and sparks soon fly even if it is reluctant.  But, it isn’t only Carrie and Jake’s dad that have sparks.  Jake and Carrie’s daughter, Paige, find themselves in a reluctant love affair even if love isn’t on the menu.  But, with four very different people with four very different lives can they find a way to open their hearts to love or will they lose their last chance at love.

From page one I feel into this book.  I couldn’t put it down until I was at the end.  Even then I wanted more.  I adored Carrie and Ray’s love affair.  It was wonderful to see a novel that shows love can develop at any age and can and will find a way when a heart is open.  I did have hopes with Paige and Jake.  I think this was the only part I was a bit disappointed with.  There was no clarity as to what would happen to them.  Throughout the book the two couples had paralleled stories, but when it came to the end we don’t really know what or if anything happens with Paige and Jake. I hope this means there will be a follow-up story.  It really seemed like there was more to their story whether they ended up together or not.  Overall, this was another great book by Andrea Downing.  I truly can’t wait for another.

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Coffee and a Review with Lawless Love by Andrea Downing

coffee-and-kahlua-pots-de-creme-4Sorry this is so late today, but here it is for you late night coffee drinkers.  I’m gonna start your week off with a novella by Andrea Downing.  Lawless Love is a nice little western romance.  Definitely a nice start to your week.  For my full review keep reading after the book blurb.  Have a great week everyone.  Oh and don’t forget my giveaway I still have going on til Sunday.

18172090Book Blurb:

Lacey Everhart has carved out a tough existence in the wilds of 1880s Wyoming, working hard to build a secure life for herself and her younger brother, Luke. She will stop at nothing to protect what’s hers and keep them safe. Even if it means keeping a secret that could destroy their lives.

Marshal Dylan J. Kane is a man who considers everything as black and white, right or wrong. He’s never seen life any other way until he sets eyes on Lacey. Suddenly the straight and narrow that he’s followed has a few twists and turns. Loving Lacey offers the home life for which he hankers…but can he really love a woman who seems to be plain lawless?

Review:

Lacey has worked very hard to provide a life in the west for her and her brother.  When Marshal Dylan Kane waltzes into her life investigating a possible homicide and horse thievery Lacey is thrown for a loop.  Dylan finds he can’t help himself when it comes to Lacey.  Everything he has ever known is black and white, but when it comes to her there is so much gray.  Dylan must make some hard decisions when his case and Lacey’s life collide and she and her brother are suspects.  Will Dylan follow the black and white of the law or the gray of his heart?

I really liked this novella.  I think it was a very complete story for a novella.  The character development and story came full circle.  I really felt fulfilled with this story when it was finished.  I totally fell for Dylan and loved Lacey’s spunk.  Their was also an emotional level I wasn’t expecting with this story.  I think you will be surprised when you read this book.  It is definitely a novella you feel is a novel.  I can’t wait for Andrea Downing’s next western romance!

 

Fresh Face Friday: Loveland by Andrea Downing

TGIF Everyone!  Today I am featuring a wonderful historical romance, Loveland by Andrea Downing.  The story is wonderful between a Lady from England’s royalty and a lowly cattle rustler.  It’s quite lovely and very real for a historical.  It has some romanticizing of the Old West but for the most part it is fairly realistic.  Make sure to keep reading for the rest of my review.  I hope everyone has a great weekend and if you’re not planning on doing anything pick up a good book!

Book Blurb: 15761634

When Lady Alexandra Calthorpe returns to the Loveland, Colorado, ranch owned by her father, the Duke, she has little idea of how the experience will alter her future. Headstrong and willful, Alex tries to overcome a disastrous marriage in England and be free of the strictures of Victorian society –and become independent of men. That is, until Jesse Makepeace saunters back into her life…Hot-tempered and hot-blooded cowpuncher Jesse Makepeace can’t seem to accept that the child he once knew is now the ravishing yet determined woman before him. Fighting rustlers proves a whole lot easier than fighting Alex when he’s got to keep more than his temper under control.
Arguments abound as Alex pursues her career as an artist and Jesse faces the prejudice of the English social order.
The question is, will Loveland live up to its name?

Review:

We first meet Lady Alexander Calthorpe as she is being dragged out of the ranch she loves and forced to go back to England to her father.  She has lived on the ranch for 4 years and loves the life, the people and the surroundings.  So, it’s no surprise when she returns five years later a full-grown woman.  She is ready to be independent.  All she wants to do is paint and ride on the ranch.  She gets her wish but she also gets more.  When Alex realizes Jesse Makepeace is still on the ranch and as handsome as ever this puts a small kink in her plans.  Alex and Jesse have been friends since she lived on the ranch before.  The biggest change is that she is no longer a little girl and Jesse is shocked at the beautiful young woman she has become.  Through trials and tribulations Jesse and Alex find themselves falling in love.  Unfortunately, there are many outside forces that want to see them separated.  Can Jesse and Alex fight for the love they both deserve or will the world win and kill the flame that burns between them.

This was a wonderfully romantic book.  I loved the scenery, the characters and the story.  It almost felt like a western Pride and Prejudice.  I adored Alex’s spunk.  She really came into her own as a character.  Her story develops beautifully and with that allows for her and Jesse’s love to grow.  I enjoyed that it wasn’t a quick romance.  You could feel the love grow.  It felt much more realistic that way.  Jesse was also a great character.  Any woman would fall in love with this cow puncher.  But, it’s not just that he’s hot he is much more.  The depth to his character shows and makes an impact.  Overall, I have to say the biggest character was the backdrop of Colorado during this time.  Andrea Downing’s description are wonderful and really want to make you go and see the Colorado that Alex sees.  All in all this is a great romantic read.  Every character has a purpose as does every word.  I would recommend this for anyone looking for a good western romance.  I know I’ll be looking for Andrea Downing’s next book!

Author Bio:

6446229Andrea Downing has spent most of her life in the UK where she received an M.A. from the University of Keele in Staffordshire.  She married and raised a beautiful daughter,  and  stayed on to teach and write, living in the Derbyshire Peak District, the English Lake District and the Chiltern Hills before finally moving into London. During this time, family vacations were often on guest ranches in the American West, where she and her daughter have clocked up some 17 ranches to date. In addition, she has traveled widely throughout Europe, South America, and Africa, living briefly in Nigeria. In 2008 she returned to the city of her birth, NYC, but frequently exchanges the canyons of city streets for the wide open spaces of the West.  Her love of horses, ranches, rodeo and just about anything else western is reflected in her writing.  Loveland, a western historical romance published by The Wild Rose Press, is her first book.  She is a member of Romance Writers of America and Women Writing the West.

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