Five Stars, Heather B. Moore, Low Language, Low Romance, Moderate Religion, Moderate Violence

Empowerment

Last night I had the privilege of being in the same room as some pretty incredible women. I felt slightly intimidated most of the night, but came away from the evening feeling empowered. Women have the potential to do such good in the world.

I’m all about girl power, however I wouldn’t necessarily call myself a feminist. At least not in the way it’s used across social platforms today. My ability to do good and be good, does not in anyway diminish my husbands ability to do and be good, and it doesn’t mean I need him any less. One of the women on the panel last night said, when you allow yourself to shine, you make those around you shine brighter.

H.B. Moore was able to do exactly that with her character Deborah in the historical fiction Deborah: Prophetess of God.

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Deborah, a young Israelite woman, lives a quiet and isolated life with her father and brothers. As a shepherdess in the hills near her home, she knows well the perils of her work. But when faced with incredible danger, she witnesses a series of remarkable events that preserve her life. The hand of the Lord is apparent, and it is clear that hers will be no ordinary life.

Years later, Deborah is a faithful wife and mother when she learns that the Third Judge of Israel has died–and she has been called to take his place. It is a tumultuous time in history, and soon, Deborah–prophetess, judge, and military leader–faces a seemingly insurmountable task: alongside the commander of the Israelite army, Deborah must lead ten thousand soldiers in their final campaign against their Canaanite oppressors with only her faith in God to guide her.”

Heather Moore has taken a rather short story in the book of Judges and created a beautiful character and an empowering story.

Heather creates in Deborah a fascinating balance. Deborah is humble yet strong. She’s obedient, but strong willed.

The story it self is also a beautiful balance between women empowerment, family support, religious dedication and sweet romance.

I especially appreciated how she dealt with the relationship between Deborah and the men in her life. In spite of  her prestigious calling, Deborah was respectful, loving and empowering to her father, her brothers, her husband and the military commander Barak. This added not only historical accuracy, but depth to Deborah and the other characters.

The romance, the family and the connections all build a world that connects you to the heart of what the people may have been experiencing and the type of person Deborah may have been in order to lead her people to freedom.

Just a note: The author does a fantastic job of keeping this book non-denominational. Though it is a religious book, it isn’t geared to any one faith. It is a work of fiction so keep that in mind, but would be pertinent and enjoyable for anyone of any faith with a connection to this time in history.

or two: Deborah led her people into war, so though I wouldn’t label this book as violent,  it does have battles and moments of violent oppression.

 

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Five Stars, Four Stars, Heather B. Moore, Low Language, Low Religion, Low Romance, Low Violence, Nichole Van, Timeless Romance Anthologies

Learn to Fly

For some unlucky reason I keep picking up books that  I’ve read before, not realizing until the second or third page that I’ve already read it. I understand the purpose of re-releasing a book that was part of an anthology, or needs a new cover. Same book, different title or cover can make a difference in sales for an author. As a reader it can be a little disappointing to get all excited about a new book only to find out it’s not a new book.

On the other hand, I LOVE it when I find a novella or short story that I enjoyed has been rewritten as a full length novel. I love seeing new details and getting in deeper with characters I came to love the first time around.

I found that to be true in both Seeing Miss Heartstone by Nichole Van. Which was originally published as “An Invisible Heiress”, in the Spring in Hyde Park (Timeless Regency Collection Book 3).  As well as Let’s Begin Again by Heather B. Moore. Which was originally published as “Every Occasion” in the Valentine’s Day Collection (A Timeless Romance Anthology Book 19).

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Miss Belle Heartstone—heiress and savvy businesswoman—needs a husband. Immediately. As in, yesterday would not have been soon enough. Her mother’s attempts at matchmaking have been disastrous. So Belle decides to solve the problem her way—survey the market and purchase the best groom available. 

Colin Radcliffe, Marquess of Blake—debt-ridden and penniless—needs a large infusion of cash. Desperately. Preferably cash that does not come with a wife attached. It is no surprise, then, when he receives Miss Heartstone’s brazen proposal—her cash, his title, their marriage—that he politely declines. 

But before he leaves her, Blake suggests something truly radical: Maybe before finding a husband, Belle should find herself. 
His simple words send them both on an unexpected journey, spanning continents and years, entwining their lives in ways neither could have foreseen. Can two lonely souls move past societal expectations and forge a unique life together?

I absolutely adored this story when I read it the first time in Spring in Hyde Park. Nichole Van’s characters are always well written and fascinating to read; either in a novella or a novel. Seeing in more depth the transformation Belle takes just made me love her character even more.

This was also true with my favorite detail added to the longer novel. I loved getting to see more of Blake’s response to Belle’s identity. His response was not only true to character, but written so emotionally well that I felt his conflict for myself.

I was pulled in instantly the first time around, but not can’t imagine not having the beautiful details that were added to the full length novel. It’s a new favorite and fully deserving of the recent Whitney Award Finalist announcement.

Let's Begin Again (Pine Valley Book 7) by [Moore, Heather B.]

When Maurie Ledbetter moves back to her hometown to open her dream shop, she calls a local construction crew for help. Former teenage crush Grant Shelton shows up on her front porch, answering the call for the construction job. Seeing Grant again brings back Maurie’s memories of her troubled childhood, and she doesn’t know if spending time around Grant is the best way to move on. But when she discovers Grant has gone through difficulties of his own, Maurie realizes that he might be the key to her own healing.

I was excited about a new Pine Valley novel, and like I said, a little disappointed when I found out I’ve already read it. I remembered liking the story in the timeless anthology so I kept reading and I’m glad I did.

The story of Maurie and Grant was even better fleshed out. Heather Moore did a great job of balancing the drama of their past with the sweetness of their current relationship. The pain of they’d both experienced was written honestly and up front which gave a great depth to the overall story.

Novella’s are awesome to give you a little taste of the story, but nothing beats the story depth and character development you can get from a full length novel. Part of me wants to write the authors of some of my favorite novella’s and say, please do more with this, I love it!

3 1/2 Stars, Heather B. Moore, Jen Geigle Johnson, Sarah M. Eden, Timeless Romance Anthologies

Tradition!

I love the holiday season, the music, the decorations, the traditions. I love creating new traditions in my littles and watching the season come alive in their eyes. Books have always been a part of our traditions and I love a good holiday story to get me in the Christmas spirit.

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ALWAYS KISS AT CHRISTMAS by Regina Scott
Mary Rose has one goal for her mother’s annual Christmas Eve party: convince her childhood friend Julian Mayes to marry her. She has always admired Julian. Surely one moment under the kissing bough will convince him they were meant to be together. Newly hired by a prestigious London law firm, Julian is ready to shake the dust of the countryside off his polished boots. But he’s always had a soft spot for Mary. As the danger to her future becomes clear, will one kiss be enough to prove to him how far he will go to protect her?

The Plot was cute and the characters were endearing but there was something lacking in the natural flow of the story.

A YULETIDE MATCH by Sarah M. Eden
Famed matchmaker to the ton, Adelaide Northrup cannot imagine a more perfect way to spend Christmas than answering the desperate call of Mr. Porter Bartrum: widower, young father, dunderhead. The young gentleman’s first marriage was an arranged one and he hasn’t the first idea how to find a wife on his own. His dear friend, Chloe Munson, has watched his attempts with amusement and finds this latest approach, the clandestine hiring of a matchmaker, his most entertaining yet. If Adelaide plays her cards right, and she always does, she might very well manage to secure two happy endings.

I mentioned on Social Media how excited I was to hear more from Mrs. Northrop and she did not disappoint. Using Mrs. Northrop to guide the two characters to a realization of their feelings worked so well and made the story nothing short of adorable.

THE FORBIDDEN DUKE by Jen Geigle Johnson
They weren’t supposed to meet, but now that they have, nothing will ever be the same. The Duke of Salsbury blames her family. Lady Catherine blames his. Will an age-old dispute between the Salsburys and Asters rip apart any hope they have to be together? In this game of secrets and lies, can their love for each other conquer even the most tightly held family prejudices?

This nod to Romeo and Julie, but with a sweet ending had my favorite meet cute of the anthology. The author did a beautiful job with the romance balancing their attraction with the struggles in their background they needed to over come.

MISTLETOE AT WILLOWSMEADE by Annette Lyon
On Christmas Eve, Eleanor Hadfield, who works as governess at her childhood home of Willowsmeade, is stunned to learn that the love of her youth, Julian Phillips, is coming back after a decade’s absence. Once the gardener’s son, he has elevated his station to navy captain. Making a match with a mere governess would lower his position, if he were to still love her as he did as a young man, which is unlikely. Unable to bear the idea of noble Julian keeping an old promise out of obligation or pity, Eleanor decides to leave the only place that has ever been a home.

In this second chance love story it was easy to connect with the emotions of the two characters and the author’s slow build from both points of view until they finally were brave enough to express their feelings created a good tension and satisfying ending.

FOLLOW THE RIVER HOME by Krista Lynne Jensen
With her beloved home entailed away to a wealthy cousin, spirited Arabelle Hyatt has resigned herself to marry the arrogant man, if only to save her family from destitution. But before an understanding is reached, a childhood friend returns from war, wounded in more ways than one. With Christmas coming—what may be their last at Hybrigge—holiday traditions are celebrated, memories are revisited, and Arabelle learns what lies in a man’s words is not always what lies in his heart.

I liked the way the author set up the characters for this story, but they seemed to get a little lost in the plot. There was a little too much going on. It would’ve worked great in a flushed out novel but made the short story feel disconcerting.

THE NEW EARL by Heather B. Moore
Celia Thompson knows she can’t live with the new earl who’s come to take her brother’s place. Before she can pack her belongings and reconcile herself to a fate of living as a spinster in her aunt’s home, the new earl arrives. Yet, Aaron, now Lord Banfield, is not the pompous, arrogant man she’d imagined. In fact, he’s quite . . . interesting and handsome. Celia decides to help the man acclimate to his new role. But the longer she stays on at Banfield, the more she realizes the new earl might be the answer she’s been looking for.

I really like the set up of Heather Moore’s  story and the banter back and forth between the two characters. The clandestine meetings and the way they came to respect each other made for a good romance, but for some reason the ending left me feeling a little underwhelmed.

One of my favorite things about reading Holiday themed books from the Regency era is the traditions. I loved learning how they celebrated and the little things they did to make the holiday special. It was obvious all these authors did their research bringing something new and interesting to my holiday tradition repertoire.

 

4 1/2 stars, Donna Hatch, Heather B. Moore, Low Language, Low Romance, Low Violence, Timeless Romance Anthologies

I Bet You Can’t

I’ve been counting down the days until this week for the past month, school is back in session! Perfect time for a new release.Wedding Wagers (Timeless Regency Collection Book 11) by [Hatch, Donna, Moore, Heather B., Holmes, Michele Paige]

The Timeless Anthologies always bring together a group of fantastic authors and this time was no exception. Wedding Wagers has stories by Donna Hatch, Heather B. Moore and Michele Paige Holmes. They are all authors that I have enjoyed in the past, and I loved what they did in the collection.

A WAGER FOR LOVE by Donna Hatch:
For once, Phillip would like to be seen as more than the younger brother of a duke. When he unexpectedly meets the one girl in all London who doesn’t give two figs for his rank in society, she won’t give him the time of day. Determined to gain her attention, he accidentally tips over her boat and dumps her into a river. Not the best way to convince a lady of worth that he is a gentleman of promise. Frustrated, Phillip makes a rash wager with a friend: he vows he’ll not only gain her forgiveness, but her hand in marriage by the end of the Season. The stakes are high in this romantic Regency romp!

THE FINAL WAGER by Heather B. Moore:
When Victor Roland, Earl of Locken, enters into a game of twenty-one with Lord Southill, the stakes get quickly out of control. Before Victor knows it, Southill is betting the dowry of his sister. While completely illegal, Victor is mostly insulted, so he does what any gentleman of the ton should do. He punches Southill out. Problem is, Southill is in so much debt that he’d been kicked out of his townhouse earlier that day. So Victor is forced to deliver Southill at his estate outside of London . . . only to meet Southill’s sister, Lady Juliet, a woman who Victor now wishes he’d bet on.

AN IMPROBABLE WAGER by Michele Paige Holmes:
Sherborne Alexander Rowley III has come home to marry his neighbor—and solve his financial problems in one fell swoop. Love doesn’t figure into the equation, only the need to save his family’s estate. The reserved Miss Emily Montgomery seems willing enough, leaving the only possible obstacle to Sherborne’s success his childhood friend, Eli Linfield, and the wager they made long ago that Eli would be the one to marry Emily. When the timely birth of a colt, Emily’s mischievous sister Sophia, and Emily herself all conspire to ruin Sherborne’s plans, one night of mayhem unravels far more than their betrothal. Emily is not as demure as he believed, nor is Eli what he has pretended these many years. Yet the future for all may yet be bright. Sherborne might even wager on it.

This was such a fun topic. The wagers were respectable without being ridiculous and all three relationships were well developed, which can be difficult in a novella.

The chemistry of the lovers and the excitement of the wages made all three stories engaging and highly entertaining, I love it when great authors collaborate together to yield something I will read over again.  –N.C.

 

Four Stars, Heather B. Moore, Low Language, Low Violence, Moderate Romance

It’s a Quiet Village

Heather B. Moore has a new series, about the small town of Pine Valley. Worth The Risk is the first novel in the series.

“When Alicia moves back to Pine Valley to help her mom through a serious addiction, the last person she wants to see is her teenage crush, Jeff Finch, who destroyed their friendship in one single disastrous night. Alicia is determined to not let anything about Jeff affect her, especially since she hasn’t seen him in ten years. All she knows is that he’s living a successful and charmed life, and she is more than happy to keep anything between them in the past. But when he shows up with a date at the restaurant where she works, Alicia realizes she’s still not over her feelings, and Jeff is definitely looking at her in a way he never has before.” 

Where I Belong (Pine Valley Book 2) by [Moore, Heather B.]

The second book, Where I belong,  was just released yesterday.

“Jane Morris makes a living cleaning the houses of the wealthy residents of Pine Valley, and she tries hard not to judge their extravagant lifestyles. But when one of her clients goes through a devastating breakup with his fiancé, Jane finds herself in the middle of his emotional mess. She wants to help him, but Cameron Vance is a man she could easily lose her heart to. Yet, Jane agrees to be his date to the charity event of the year, organized by Cameron’s mother. But the magical night shows Jane that if she’s a Cinderella, then Cameron is definitely a candidate for Prince Charming.”

Both these stories are quick, sweet romances. Although they’re a quick read, they have all that a sweet romance should. The characters are flawed, but relatable. The romances’ are built on more than just chemistry, but a mutual connection of the heart. The romance in  “Where I Belong” seems a little fast, but the way Heather writes it you have no doubt the couple have found love. And they have just the right amount of struggle and reconciliation.

I appreciated that Heather gave her character’s dimension in dealing not just with their significant other, but with their extended family as well. Writers are able to show the  reader the true nature of a character when they interact with their family or those they love who are struggling either physically or emotionally and Heather handles both beautifully.

The setting of Pine Valley was created with such affection and detail that you can’t help but want to be apart of it. I’m excited to hear more stories about the people in this quaint little town.

3 1/2 Stars, Heather B. Moore, Low Language, Low Violence, Moderate Romance

12 Days of Clean Romance Day 9 (December 13th) – Heather B. Moore

 

The Falling Series

Contemporary Romance Novellas from USA Today bestselling author Heather B. Moore

 

Falling for Sydney

Sydney has been the perfect friend, the perfect daughter, and Rian checks off on her perfect fiancé list. But when Sydney notices a strange truck parked in her fiancé’s parking spot, she’s in for the surprise of her life. Not only is Rian not who she thought he was, but his brother Jake is about to turn her life upside down.

 

 

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Falling for Maria

At twenty-six, Maria is holding out for the perfect man to share the rest of her life with. Josh seems to be that man, but after months of dating, their relationship is at a stand-still. Maria plans to nudge Josh forward, but when the company she works for is bought out, her new boss Walker seems determined to change Maria’s idea of the perfect man.

 

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Falling for June

Once a year, June Dawson goes on vacation with her best friends from high school. When she arrives in Maui, she realizes she’s the odd-woman out. With Sydney engaged, and Maria nearly so, June wonders if anyone will ever fall for her. Then June meets Lance, their gorgeous next door bungalow neighbor at the Maui resort, and she’s definitely charmed. But after her recent breakup, June refuses to fall for gorgeous, or charming, again.

 

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Author Heather B. Moore

Heather B. Moore is a USA Today bestselling author of more than a dozen historical novels and thrillers, written under pen name H.B. Moore. She writes women’s fiction, romance and inspirational non-fiction under Heather B. Moore. This can all be confusing, so her kids just call her Mom. Heather attended Cairo American College in Egypt, the Anglican School of Jerusalem in Israel, and earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Brigham Young University in Utah. Heather is represented by Jane Dystel of Dystel, Goderich, and Bourret.

 

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Also by Heather B. Moore

***Heather Moore is in a lot of the Timeless Romance Anthologies that I love, she is able to write a short story with enough content and character development that you’re not left confused or wondering where the rest of the story is. The cute Novella’s “Picture Perfect” is one of my favorites, such a sweet romance.

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