Dreaming of Roses Series by Martha Rowe Sconnely

dreaming of roses

Hello my beautiful Romantics!

I hope you enjoyed last weeks interview with Danyelle Ferguson. There is still time to enter the rafflecopter contest that ends Wednesday, April 23rd!

So…I have a slightly different romantic find for you this week.  Normally, if there is a series I like I just review the first book to get you started.  This time around I have to review the whole series because this one doesn’t contain stand alone books.  Dreaming of Roses by Martha Rowe Sconnely is a three book serial where you need to read them in order to understand what’s happening in the story.

In the first story, Almost Perfect, We meet Kelli Patterson and her best friend Brenna.  Brenna is trying to talk Kelli into joining a new christian dating website.  Kelli has had her fill of online dating, (A feeling with which I can totally sympathize!) and tells her NO!

However, she will help Brenna post a profile for herself. While heading back to work Kelli is stuck riding down in a packed elevator by her secret work crush Chase Allen, a super hot IT guru, who so makes Kelli want to rethink her no dating co-workers rule.

Unfortunately, nothing happens on the ride down and Kelli goes back to work daydreaming about what could have happened.  A few days later, Kelli meets Steven Ross who happens to be the only son of her pastor. (How fortuitous!) I’ll save you some guessing. Yes, Steven asks her out and they date for a while but things don’t go exactly to a story book ending for these two.

In book two, Hardly Perfect, Kelli is in Florida due to her Grandmother being ill and needing help at her flower shop while she gets a hip replacement.  While there, a friend of her grandmother talks her into meeting her grandson, Todd, for a date.

Let’s just say a match made in heaven he is not, but he is a funny, quirky person and they part on friendly terms after their coffee date.

(Here comes the plot twist!)

Due to some short staff issues, Kelli ends going in last-minute to help with decorating a wedding.  She has pinned on all the boutonnieres for the groomsmen of the wedding party and has one left. When she asks the groom who it could possibly belongs to, he replies that it possibly should go to the bride’s brother who is giving her away. At that very moment who should enter but the bride, her maids and her brother, Chase Allen! (Be still my beating heart!!!!)

Chase is just as shocked to see Kelli as she is to see him. He also seems more than happy to see her at his sister’s wedding.

In the last book of the serial, More than Perfect, Chase and Kelli end up in a whirlwind courtship. Everything is going along nicely until Chase gets a job offer that will put him in California! They’ve only been dating about a month and Chase doesn’t want a long distance relationship so he asks Kelli to give him a little time to figure things out. (This happens about 2 weeks before Valentines Day! How UN-romantic!!!!)

Kelli agrees to give him some time and space. All the while she is praying that she doesn’t end up with another broken heart.

So…Will Kelli and Chase end up together after all? Did Brenna meet someone wonderful from the dating website?

You’ll have to read the series to find out!!!!

 

Dreaming of Roses: Box Set

Re-Readability Rating:

3 out of 5 stars

Overall this is a nice series. I could see coming back to it every once in a while but there are books I would probably go to before I go this one. Some of the storytelling is a tad repetitive but the story is still sweet and refreshing

Romance Rating:

4 out of 5 Stars

Lots of sweet kisses and embraces between Kelli and her perspective beaus. I will say the ending did go exactly as I thought it would but it was enough to make this romantic sigh at the end.

An Interview with Danyelle Ferguson

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Hello Romantics!
As I told you last week I am the proud participant of a blog tour to celebrate the release of a new book, Sweet Confections by Danyelle Ferguson.
Let me tell you Romantics, I absolutely loved her book!  It has a little of everything. Wit, Suspense, recipes (and I’m so trying some of them), and of course ROMANCE!  I almost read the whole book in one sitting.  Let me tell you I was exhausted the next day at work.
Shhh…don’t tell my boss. 😉
Today, she is stopping by to chat with us and tell us about herself and her wonderful book.
Welcome to the blog Danyelle Ferguson!
Danyelle Ferguson - Color1
Hi, Danyelle! Thanks for stopping by today.  For those of us just getting to know you please tell us about yourself and how you became a writer.

I’m a mom to four rambunctious munchkins, who keep me hoppin’. I’ve been a reading maniac since I was a young kid. I grew up in the middle of nowhere and books were my best friend. I wrote lots of articles for newspapers and magazines, but never thought I’d become an author. So I did the next best thing – became an editor and book reviewer. Part of my job was attending writers conferences, where I gained the confidence to believe that my writing could be more than just articles and fun stories for just me. Lots of work and several years later, here I am, with my first fiction series kicking off!

My all time favorite Author is Jane Austen.  While I know I will never write like her she still inspires me to write and tell my own stories.  Who are some of your literary heroes and how have they inspired you?

I have a confession to make. I absolutely love, love, love Jane Austen’s . . . movies. I’ve never actually made it all the way through an Austen novel.  Gasp! Don’t hate me! My hubby has read several Jane Austen books and tells me all the time that I’m missing out on her greatness.

 Asking me to name one or two literary heroes is so unfair. That’s like asking what my favorite chocolate dessert is. There are many authors who saved me through my growing up years – Lurlene McDaniel was a huge influence. Then in my teen years, LaVeryle Spencer, Danielle Steel, and Stephen King. Yeah – there was a little suspense/scare-my-socks off stuff mixed in with my romance addiction. Since getting into the Mommy years, I’ve been in love with romance authors who know how to hit the laughter button – Kristan Higgins, Rachel Gibson, and Carly Phillips.

 Every book I read ignites my imagination and makes me want to write!

While I primarily indulge in romance novels, I like to mix it up with some suspense and a few other genre’s.  What is your favorite genre to write in and why?

You and I could be bosom buddies! I’m a romance junkie and love to add in bits of humor, suspense, and a dose of sass, too. My writing closely matches what I enjoy reading. I’m really just a hearts and butterfly girl disguised as a responsible mother and author.

Now for your wonderful book.  Can you give our readers a little taste of what this book is about?  You know just enough to wet their appetite and send them to the stores drooling. 😉

Combine one sassy baker, one sexy hockey player, and one obsessed stalker. Mix well, then pour into a hot pan. Sprinkle on some romance and enjoy!

 Craving more? Check out the full book blurb!

My favorite character in the story was of course Rachel Marconi, your heroine.  She’s fun, quirky, bakes and has a pretty bad habit of sticking her foot in her mouth.  I think I like her because she and I could so hang out together.  Who is your favorite character in this book and what made them special to you?

First you make me choose my favorite author, now you’re making me choose my favorite child, um, I mean, character. Sheesh! You’re a tough chick! I love my main characters, but there are a couple of side characters that I adore.

 The first is Rachel’s nephew, Stockton. He’s a five-year old boy with autism. My oldest teenage son has autism and a lot of Stockton’s personality and quirks are based on him. So Stockton is near and dear to my heart.  

The other character that I had a fabulous time writing was Graydon’s cousin, Chloe. She is, like, so totally a teenager, and like, you just never know what she’ll say next, or when she’ll even stop talking, cause she’s such a talky-talk-talk chick.

One of the things that makes a book for me is witty banter between characters.  I must say you did an excellent job with that. Tell us about one of your favorite scenes in the book that you think was one of your best witty conversations.

Oh my gosh! Rachel is so funny! What makes her fabulous is how real her inner-thoughts and self-doubts are. Sadly, she just hasn’t acquired that extra layer of protection – thinking before blurting out her thoughts. I’m glad you enjoyed her so much.

 One scene I loved writing was Graydon’s cousin’s wedding reception. Aside from some fun banter between Graydon and Chloe – this is a pivotal moment for hero and heroine. Graydon is thrilled to see Rachel again – but Rachel, not so much. In fact, she’s furious with Graydon and let’s him know it too. For those who haven’t read Sweet Confections yet, think witty comebacks, some smashed cheesecake and a surprising confrontation in the back alley.

I read the preview at the end of the book and I noticed that a secondary character from this story is the main character of the preview.  Does that mean we will be seeing all these wonderful characters in future books?(Please say yes, please say yes!)

Absolutely! The amazing Heather Tullis and I are writing two different book series with crossover characters. Her series is called In the Garden (centered around a community garden in Crystal Creek). Hello Again (the preview you read) is the first book in her series starring Piper and Reece.

 The next heroine up in the Indulgence Row series is Charlee, who I affectionately refer to as the Renovator Chick. We’ll get to see her dive into the house remodels on Indulgence Row – Rachel is one of her first clients. You’ll also meet Peter, her brother’s best friend and one of her co-workers, who has secretly had a crush on Charlee since, well, forever. But dating your best friend’s sister – well, that’s against the guy code . . . until Peter realizes he either needs to man up and go for it or lose Charlee forever.

Personality Question time!  Rachel has some very embarrassing moments when she first meets Graydon, (by the way he is one good-looking man.) What has been one of your most embarrassing foot in mouth moments you can remember?

To be honest, Graydon makes me drool, too. Shh! Don’t tell my hubby. (I’ll be sure not to send him this blog link).

 The most horrifying moment I have had was at the first Storymakers Midwest Writers Conference I organized. Award-winning YA author, Lisa Mangum, was our dinner keynote, and I had the privilege of introducing her. I had read my notes several times and was totally prepped, so I left my notes at the table. But when I stood at the podium in front of everyone – my mind totally blanked! I stammered and even had to ask her (still sitting in the audience) what the awards were she won for her books. Holy mackerel! It was humiliating. Thankfully, Lisa was very, very nice about it. Note to all your blog readers – never, ever leave your notes behind!

Danyelle, I just want to thank you again for coming by and chatting with us. Before you leave, Do you have any advice for our aspiring writers who may be visiting?

The one thing that pushed me to continue my writing career has been attending writers conferences. And network while you’re there! You’ll discover lots of writers in gobs of genres – and even a few who will stick with you for years and years as you cheer each other on to success.

Thank you so very much for interviewing me & reviewing my new book, Shineka! You are fabulous!

 ~~~~

According to Rachel Marconi chocolate heals all wounds. That and throwing darts at pictures of her ex-boyfriend. Burned by yet another bad relationship, Rachel decides to reprioritize her life, putting her dream to compete on a Food Network Challenge on the top of her list and dating at the bottom crossed out in red sharpie. But what’s a girl to do when a certain sexy guy keeps asking her out?
Cue in Graydon Green, a former pro hockey player turned restaurant owner. After a lot of persistent and humorous teasing, he finally convinces Rachel to commit to a date. Just when things begin to warm up, threatening notes directed at Rachel arrive. When her bakery is vandalized, Graydon’s protective streak goes on red alert. Is it her obsessive ex-boyfriend stalking her? Or maybe a challenger trying to sabotage the competition?

Either way, Rachel is definitely going to need more chocolate – perhaps drizzled over ice cream and devil’s food cake.

Amazon Paperback: Sweet Confections (Indulgence Row) (Volume 1)

Amazon Ebook: Sweet Confections (Indulgence Row)

Goodreads Link

Also available on Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and iBookstore.

Re-readability Rating:

3.5 out of 5 stars

Great read! Enjoyed it immensely and will be happy to read this story again anytime. 🙂

Romance Rating:

So rates a 5 out of 5 stars!

Great kissing scenes, wonderful banter between characters, and a cute pr…(oops almost gave away the ending!)  Ha! well you’ll like the ending anyway just trust me. 😉

Who wants a free

book!?!

Danyelle is giving a free copy of her newest book and you can enter  by using the Rafflecopter below!

Also, for all of Danyelle’s new fans you can stalk, follow her at her

Blog: Queen of the Clan

Facebook: Danyelle’s Author Page

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Twitter: Danyelle’s Twitter

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Love Unfeigned by Nadine Keels

Love Unfeigned

Hello Dear Romantics!

So I have two things to tell you about this week. One is a fabulous novella that I will get to in just a minute the other is an announcement!

Next week yours truly will be a blog tour for a newly released clean romance by Danyelle Ferguson called Sweet Confections.  There will be an interview and a giveaway by Ms. Ferguson and it promises to be tons of fun. So make sure to tune in next week.

Now for this weeks exceptionally great find.  In actuality this novella found me. (Love it when great reads come to me. Makes life a little easier.)

Love Unfeigned by Nadine Keels is the story of Lorraine and James and follows them through their growing up years of second / third grade to high school. Their ups and downs and what seems like the disintegration of their relationship.

When the story opens up the two of them are adults and have a chance meeting where James saves Lorraine from almost getting hit by a car as she is about to cross the street. (How galant!)

From there the story takes us into how the two first met back in grade school. Lorraine was a second grade wiz kid when it came to wall ball.  The kids in her grade weren’t enough of a challenge for her so she decided to take on older kids.

So one day during recess she and her best friend Sara go over to the Third graders to find some fresh challengers.  She runs into her older brother Earl and his best friend James. Lorraine is instantly attracted to James because of his braces and from then on in her mind he is known to her as “Braces Boy”.

As the two grow up it is obvious that James is attracted to Lorraine, aka “Itty-Bitty”, and all of a sudden their little world comes to a crashing halt when James’s parents get a divorce and he is no longer able to spend as much time with Earl and Lorraine.

There is a plot twist though that I never saw coming and I’m not gonna ruin it by telling you but I will say that it explains a lot of Lorraine’s reactions after they reunite as adults.

Will Lorraine and James be able to get over their differences?  Will James be lost to Lorraine forever?  What is that plot twist?

Ha! I guess you’ll have to read the book to find out!

Love Unfeigned

Re-readability Rating:

3 out of 5 stars

I can definitely see re-reading this again. It’s an easy read and a very beautiful and poignant story.

Romance Rating:

4 out of 5 stars

Only two or three kissing scenes. Nothing that is really toe curling but so much emotion behind the story and you can feel what these two characters feel for each other.