Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Review Tour & Giveaway for Country Roads by Nancy Herkness


Welcome to my stop on Nancy Herkness Virtual Review Tour for Country Roads, presented by Goddess Fish Promotions, from January 21 – March 11, 2014.  Please leave a comment or question for Nancy to let her know you stopped by.  You can enter her tour wide giveaway by filling out the Rafflecopter form below.  You can also follow the rest of Nancy's  tour here, the more stops you visit, the better your odds of winning. My review will post later this morning. 

Country Roads
By Nancy Herkness
A Whisper Horse Novel, Book 2

Publisher: Montlake Romance
Release Date: September 17, 2013
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Length: 375 Pages
ISBN: 9781477807699
ASIN: B00BNERT7E

Buy Links:  Amazon Print
Kindle B&N Print

About the book: 

When sheltered artist Julia Castillo flees her hometown, she has one goal: to prove to her overbearing family she can make it on her own. She knows they only want the best for her, but when they question her artistic vision, it’s time to break free. Julia’s search for independence carries her to the small town of Sanctuary, West Virginia. There, her courage is tested as never before—by her love for a handsome country lawyer, her bond with a dangerous black stallion, and a secret she is desperate to keep…

Paul Taggart abandoned his high-powered legal career to return to Sanctuary, giving up his own dreams to care for his troubled brother. Then Julia Castillo blows into town like a fresh mountain breeze, changing his staid, predictable life forever. Has Paul earned his second chance at happiness? Or does loving Julia mean having the strength to let her go?

Excerpt

Sharon, the owner of Healing Springs Stables, kept up a running commentary as she led them through one barn, out to the paddocks, and back into another barn. The stable hands all greeted Paul by name.

“No wonder you got elected mayor. You know everyone!” Julia said.

“I kissed a lot of babies too.” He gave her hair a teasing little tug that sent shivers of pleasure waltzing down her spine.

She was so caught up in the deliciousness of the sensation that she paid no attention to the black horse with its head thrust over the stall door. A blur of motion made her turn her head, just as the horse bared its teeth and lunged for her arm. Paul’s hand went from her hair to her shoulder in a split second as he clamped her hard against his side and yanked her out of range of the snapping jaws.

“Now who the hell forgot to shut Darkside’s cage?” Sharon exclaimed, dodging the vicious teeth as she shoved the horse’s head back inside the stall and swung a barred half door closed over the opening. “I’m sorry he nearly tore a strip off your hide. He is the orneriest SOB I have ever met.”

Julia stared at the horse through the bars. This was the dark, menacing creature she had been painting over and over again. Excitement shivered through her. “He’s my Night Mare,” she whispered, Sharon kept up a running commentary as she led them through one barn, out to the paddocks, and back into another barn. The stable hands all greeted Paul by name.

“No wonder you got elected mayor. You know everyone!” Julia said.

“I kissed a lot of babies too.” He gave her hair a teasing little tug that sent shivers of pleasure waltzing down her spine.

She was so caught up in the deliciousness of the sensation that she paid no attention to the black horse with its head thrust over the stall door. A blur of motion made her turn her head, just as the horse bared its teeth and lunged for her arm. Paul’s hand went from her hair to her shoulder in a split second as he clamped her hard against his side and yanked her out of range of the snapping jaws.

“Now who the hell forgot to shut Darkside’s cage?” Sharon exclaimed, dodging the vicious teeth as she shoved the horse’s head back inside the stall and swung a barred half door closed over the opening. “I’m sorry he nearly tore a strip off your hide. He is the orneriest SOB I have ever met.”

Julia stared at the horse through the bars. This was the dark, menacing creature she had been painting over and over again. Excitement shivered through her as she tried to make out the black shape in the shadows of his stall. “He’s my Night Mare,” she whispered.

 AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Born and raised in the mountains of West Virginia, Nancy Herkness’s passion for writing romance began the day her grandmother gave her a Georgette Heyer novel. After graduating from Princeton University with honors in English literature and creative writing, she had successful careers in retail, computer programming, and marketing before finally returning to her first love: writing. The author of Take Me Home and three other contemporary romances, Herkness was named one of 2003’s Best Up and Coming Authors in the Affaire de Coeur’s readers’ poll. She is also a winner of the Golden Leaf Award, the Aspen Gold Award, and the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence. She currently resides in New Jersey with her husband and two mismatched dogs.

Links:

Website: www.NancyHerkness.com

Blogs: http://fromthegarret.wordpress.com/  and  http://sistertowns.wordpress.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/nancyherkness

Twitter: @NancyHerkness

A emotionally fragile artist trying to prove she can make it on her own, a high powered attorney struggling to make peace with the choices he’s made and the small town which brings them together all play a key role in Country Roads, a contemporary romance by Nancy Herkness.  Likeable and well developed characters, good dialogue, emotional angst and just the right amount of romance, kept me turning the pages from start to finish.  While the second book in Ms. Herkness’ Whisper Horse series, this book can be enjoyed completely on its own. 

When Julia Castillo ran away from her home to Sanctuary, West Virginia, her plan was simple; locate the woman who introduced her first paintings to the world and get her opinion on her new work.  Desperate to prove her overprotective family wrong, Julia takes her first step towards independence.  She never planned on falling in love with a stranger, or on meeting the “horse” who’d been haunting her dreams for years.  She’ll have to make a choice between the life she’s been living and the new life that becomes possible. 

An attorney with a dream, Paul Taggart is struggling as he adjusts to life he’s chosen in Sanctuary, West Virginia.  Talented and used to a higher profile, Paul’s agreement to stay in town and become his “brother’s keeper” is beginning to wear him down.  Only he can’t abandon his brother, or his nephew, and he feels as if he’s at the end of his rope.  Stopping to help a stranger on the side of the road will finally give him a chance to everything he needs. 

Ms. Herkness does a wonderful job developing Julia’s character; shy, socially awkward and unused to making her own decisions, Julia desperately needs to discover who she really is.  As the story, and the romance develops, Julia realizes she’s stronger than both she and her family have given her credit for and that her talent as an artist can only grow when she declares her independence. She’s like a young flower in the spring that blossoms in the summer sun.

Ms. Herkness also does a good job developing Paul’s character; a little bitter and angry at the start, Paul desperately needs to come to grips with the choices he’s made in his life.  Especially the choice he made to make sure his brother and nephew have a chance to develop the father and son relationship every young man needs.  Paul also has to learn about the difference between what his mind tells him he wants and what his heart and soul really need.

Will Julia and Paul’s temporary attraction and relationship give them both what they desperately need?  And will Julia’s “Night Mares” showcase her truly amazing talent?  You’ll have to read Country Roads to find out.  Ms. Herkness was a new author for me and I can’t wait to read more of her work (yes…that’s my wallet you hear in the background…lol).

My Rating: 5 out of 5 Crowns

 

FTC Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book as a part of a book tour in exchange for a fair and honest review.




21 comments:

  1. I would say It gives the feeling of youth and spring and happiness

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    1. Stacey, those are lovely evocations! Thank you so much for seeing those in the cover!

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  2. When I read the name 'Country Roads' it made me think of the John Denver song by the same name! The picture on the cover makes me think of freedom and happiness!

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    1. Collenga, you are right on target! The Whisper Horse series takes its titles from the John Denver song because they are set in West Virginia. Book 1 = TAKE ME HOME. Book 2 = COUNTRY ROADS. Book 3 = THE PLACE I BELONG (coming June 10th). I grew up in the mountains so that is kind of my theme song. Thanks for your comment!

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  3. Really am going to love this book. I loved the excerpt.

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    1. Thanks so much, MomJane! Let me know what you think when you finish it. I love hearing from readers!

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  4. The cover made me feel so happy to be alive and loving every minute of it!

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    1. Theresa, that's a beautiful way to feel about a cover! And that's how my heroine Julia feels once she breaks away from her overprotective family. Well done!

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  5. The cover evocates liberty, hapiness, openness to life.

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    1. Yes, Ramon! I especially love the "openness to life"! Julia has been closed away from life for so long that she can't wait to experience everything. Perfect!

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    1. Rita, you're welcome! I'm glad you enjoyed it!

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  7. The cover evokes happiness, freedom, beauty and my favorite season. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. Traveler, is your favorite season summer? Or spring? Just wondering! I can never quite tell if those yellow flowers on the cover are early or late bloomers. :-) I guess I feel it is spring because my heroine Julia is opening up to the new found sunlight, in a way. She's been sheltered for so long that she blossoms in the freedom (as you mentioned!) of her escape from her family.

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  8. Maria, thank you so much for hosting me here on your blog! I'm really looking forward to reading your review!

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  9. For all your blog readers, I'll be checking back in all day. Let me know if you have any questions about the Whisper Horse series. The third book, THE PLACE I BELONG, comes out June 10th. I love the cover which you can take a look at on my website: www.NancyHerkness.com. You can also sign up for New Book Alerts there, a newsletter I send out only when I have some significant book news to announce. It always includes a subscriber contest too!

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  10. Maria, thanks for that fabulous review! I'm truly honored to receive 5 crowns, but even more delighted by your insight into the characters in COUNTRY ROADS! Wow! So glad you enjoyed it!

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  11. Thanks for sharing the great review and the giveaway. Sounds like a great book and I have added it to my TBR. evamillien at gmail dot com

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    1. Eva, I'm delighted to hear that you are intrigued by COUNTRY ROADS. Maria's review was terrific; she captured the characters brilliantly. Let me know what you think when you read it!

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  12. Great review. Looking at the cover makes me think there is something uplifting about the story inside.

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    1. Elisa-Maria, I feel it's uplifting: my heroine finds the courage to live her own life and believe in herself. She also finds love! I'm glad the cover gives you that feeling.

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