Welcome back to Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers.
Today, we're joining a TLC Book Tour already in progress starring the latest addition to author Linda Goodnight's body of works. It's a Contemporary Romance novel that whisks us back to Honey Ridge, Tennessee, for a totally heart entrancing story of both past, present, and the unexpected meeting in between. Ready or not, fair readers, here comes today's book of choice...
Honey Ridge series, Book 3
About the book...
Welcome to Honey Ridge, Tennessee, where Southern hospitality and sweet peach tea beckon, and where long-buried secrets lead to some startling realizations…
Grayson Blake always has a purpose—and never a moment to lose. He’s come home to Honey Ridge to convert a historic gristmill into a restaurant, but his plans crumble like Tennessee clay when the excavation of a skeleton unearths a Civil War mystery…and leads him back to a beautiful and familiar stranger.
Once a ballet dancer, now co-owner of the Peach Orchard Inn, Valery Carter harbors pain as deep as the secrets buried beneath the mill. A bright facade can’t erase her regrets any more than a glass of bourbon can restore what she’s lost. But spending time with Grayson offers Valery a chance to let go of her past and imagine a happier future. And with the discovery of hidden messages in aged sheet music, both their hearts begin to open. Bound by attraction, and compelled to resolve an old crime that links the inn and the mill, Grayson and Valery encounter a song of hurt, truth…and hope.
Wow...I'm getting really bad about updating my "current reading" list, but I'm totally blaming it on the AWESOME-ness that is this book!
I didn't realize until about midway through that I had actually read another work from this author in this series, The Rain Sparrow, but it was clearly evident in the beautifully crafted story that both broke my heart and mended it all at once. She has a way of building the story, both past and present, in such a meticulous way that each is clearly formed in your mind with rich details and history to boot, and yet it never becomes overwhelming. They stay in their own time periods (until the moment is right), allowing you to enjoy not one story but two in equal measure.
From the past, we have voices reaching forward in physical (random marbles left around the house...more significant than you might realize), audible (piano music, anyone?), and spiritual (emotional presences sensed by those in equally measured turmoil for better or worse) ways. We make the unfortunate acquaintance of Edgar (head of the family, and a slave driver both literally and figuratively) and his better half Charlotte (who was more property than wife...blame the times AND the man), the charming Ben (heart of GOLD, that one) and his underestimated sister Constance (much more to that girl than meets the eye), the dapper Johnny (an injured soldier that stayed on for more than healing) and the one who connects them all, Tandy. He sets things into motion whose repercussions will be felt for generations to come...and all from a place of love.
Present day finds us in the arms of the brothers Blake, aka Devlin and Grayson, but this is more so the latter's story than the former. Though as different as night and day, they've got each other's backs as well as their hearts in mind. Hence when former party girl Valery strikes a chord deep within Grayson, natural ribbing occurs but also genuine concern. There are good reasons for both and the amount of time they'll need to spend in her presence certainly escalates those feelings, but they reveal themselves in due time, as do the ghosts that haunt them all. I really felt for Valery as she battled her inner demons brought on by decisions made so long ago that were out of her very young hands. I also felt for our boy Grayson as he fumbled and floundered his way out of his head and into his heart in search of the one thing that could break his workaholic ways. Seeing these two dance around each other was as mesmerizing as the mystery of "Mr. Bones"...or that of Lem Tolley for that matter (whom I was really convinced was someone or something other than what/who he is!).
In the end, it was a beautiful story about the depths of love in all its forms and the lengths to which we will go to protect it. From friendship to family, new loves to lasts, you'll be reminded of why we seek to find this precious gift in the first place and the importance of maintaining it in honesty and earnest to last. Recommended for Contemporary Romance, Women's Fiction, and Historical Fiction readers alike.
About the author...
NY Times and USA Bestseller, Linda Goodnight writes novels to touch the heart as well as to entertain. Her emotional stories of hope have won the RITA, the Carol, the Reviewer’s Choice, and numerous other industry awards. A small town girl, Linda remains close to her roots, making her home in rural Oklahoma. She and husband have a blended family of eight, including two teenagers recently adopted from Ukraine. Many of her books are about family and children and rightly so, as she draws her deeply emotional stories from her surroundings, her great love of family, and from personal experiences as a nurse and teacher.
Special thanks to Lisa at TLC Book Tours and the Harlequin Books for the ecopy for review as well as the chance to bring this tour to you. (THANKS!) For more information on this title, the author, the publisher, THIS TOUR, or those on the horizon, feel free to click through the links provided above. This title just celebrated its BOOK BIRTHDAY this Tuesday (July 25, 2017), via HQN Books, so be on the lookout for it on a bookstore shelf or virtual retailer of your choosing.
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Until next time, remember...if it looks good, READ IT!