Everyone and anyone who has ever met me knows that I love to read. I read while waiting to pick up the kids, I read to reduce stress. I may or may not have been caught reading a book at yesterday’s playdate (Sorry about that Karen. I had a lovely time!). My kids have picked up the reading bug, my 4 year old has discovered the library catalog and attempts to talk me into visiting every two days in his quest for more Batman books. My 7 year old would like us to hand her the mortgage money and let her loose at Barnes and Nobles…and then give up on forcing her to sleep. And the 7 year old is why I am writing this review. Romances are a great escape for a busy, stressed out week. It’s happy, good triumphs over evil, perseverance and hard work really does win out in the end. The problem is that I have a curious little girl who suddenly wants to know what it is that Mommy is so amused by. (Facebook has suffered. I have had to hide some of my friends and family from my feed. I still love you all and it really and truly is not personal. I just don’t have the energy to have that conversation right now.) And this is what is so great about the Love Inspired series by Harlequin. They are intended to be inspirational romances centered around a very loose Christian faith based tradition without graphic sex or violence. What this means is that I don’t have to panic about my daughter reading over my shoulder. This stage of my life won’t last forever, but I figure for the next 6-8 years I’m going to have to self edit exactly what I leave just laying around the house.
Now, the added advantage is, of course, what I mentioned last month when I reviewed one of their Love Inspired Suspense series. When you take away the steamy sex scenes and the gratuitous violence the author is generally forced to work a lot harder to get your attention. Without the added mystery element religion does play a little larger role in some of these romances which might be an issue for some readers, but it’s still kept very general to appeal to as many backgrounds as possible. This month’s offerings feature authors with a broad range of styles so there is a little bit of everything.
Missy Tippens offers an extremely strong female character in ‘The Doctor’s Second Chance‘. I enjoyed how throughout the book she never really compromised who she was. Even when doing the right thing meant huge personal losses on her part she never hesitated in her decision.
Jean C. Gordon offers a challenge for both characters to overcome in “Winning the Teacher’s Heart”. Both the hero and the heroine are facing challenges from outside forces and the question is can they take the time to see that working together will win them through. While once in a while I wanted to yell at them to sit down and just talk to each other, the fact that I was that engaged in the story speaks for itself!
Patricia Johns features how overlooked a ‘hero’s’ pain can be in “A Firefighter’s Promise”. I love how she chooses to step away from the traditional frantic ‘desperation’ romances typically take. Her characters don’t fall headlong in love at first sight and take their time to get to where they are going. I loved that Rachel’s focus the entire time was on her son.
Brenda Minton in “The Rancher Takes a Bride” takes a look at how age changes who we are and that sometimes second chances are truly called for. I think that she broaches a difficult topic with grace and makes a good point that sometimes who we are when we are young is not the same person down the road.
Lorraine Beatty also takes a look at the power of forgiveness in “Bachelor to the Rescue”. But her characters are much more emotional than many of the other novels. Beatty’s book will take you on a ride from start to end.
Felicia Mason in “The Single Dad Finds a Wife” looks at some of the hard hitting truths of being a single parent. I know that many of the other books had the same theme, but I read this while my husband was out of town on a business trip and had to pull my daughter out of school early when my son needed to make an emergency trip. What can I say? She struck a nerve!
All 6 were amusing reads. There was nothing offensive in them so they are a great option to give to friends or family who like to keep it clean. Or if like me you have young, curious children who want to know what you are doing. I can save the more steamy stuff for after bedtime. They are still light romances so don’t expect Faulkner. But I think they are a good bang for the buck.
The Love Inspired Product line is a series of 6 books that are released every month & and only have a self-life of one month. The books featured here are on sale April 21-May 28 and are great Mother’s Day gift for those looking for something a little outside the box this year. You can order them here and check out everything else they have to offer! I noticed they had a few free online reads that I might go back and check out at another time!
More about this Month’s 6 pack:
Winning the Teacher’s Heart by Jean C Gordon
A Hometown Reunion
Single mom Becca Norton is surprised to discover her high school crush Jared Donnelly is back in town. The motocross champion hasn’t been home in years, but the former bad boy is as gorgeous as she remembers. And his kindness toward her kids melts her heart. But when she learns his true purpose in town is to build a motocross school on land near her home, she has to put on the brakes. Her children’s welfare is her priority, and her former in-laws have made it clear they don’t approve of Jared or his plans. Soon Becca may have to choose between her heart…and her home.
Bachelor to the Rescue by Lorraine Beatty
Building a Romance
Young widow Lainie Hollings will do anything to protect her daughters—even if it means accepting help from Shaw McKinney. Though she blames Shaw for her husband’s death, he’s the only one she can turn to when a robbery forces her to take shelter in his home. Soon she’s surprised by the handsome contractor. He’s kind, charming and determined to protect her and her girls. Being with Lainie makes Shaw want to give up his bachelor life and become a family man. But he’ll need to win over the pretty librarian and prove to her he’s the right man for her future.
The Doctor’s Second Chance by Missy Tippens
The Bachelor’s Baby
Jake West’s troubled cousin leaves him with a most unusual parting gift—her newborn baby girl! And now the small-town contractor is forced to seek help from the very woman he resents—the new big-city pediatrician who practically stole his uncle’s practice, Violet Crenshaw. Violet knows she shouldn’t be consorting with the enemy. But she can’t resist the adorable baby and her handsome new caretaker. Violet traded her chance at motherhood for her career years ago. But raising a family with Jake could be everything she’s ever wanted.
The Rancher Takes a Bride by Brenda Minton
His Secret Daughter
Duke Martin is a father! The former army medic is stunned when old love Oregon Jeffries tells him the news. Given his troubled past, the hardworking rancher and diner owner understands why Oregon kept his daughter a secret for twelve years. But now Duke desperately wants to make up for lost time. As he sets out to be a true father to Lilly, he soon realizes his feelings for Oregon are growing stronger. When Oregon’s health falters, he’s ready to care for her and prove that he’s worthy of her love. Could this be Duke’s second chance with the woman he never should have let get away?
A Firefighter’s Promise by Patricia Johns
A Hero for Her Son
When the baby he rescued seven years ago returns—with his widowed adoptive mom—Deputy Fire Chief Matt Bailey can’t turn them away. Desperate to escape the reminders of his failure in the line of duty, Matt is close to leaving town. But one look at Rachel Carter and her son, Christopher, has him second-guessing his plans. Rachel is a mom in need of a hero for her son. But as much as she wants the two to bond, she’s determined to keep her distance from Matt. After losing her husband on the job, she promised never to love another fireman. Yet somehow she finds herself drawn to the one man she should avoid.
The Single Dad Finds a Wife by Felicia Mason
The Doctor’s New Family
Doctor Spring Darling has everything she needs. A wonderful family and a busy job helping the children of Cedar Springs, North Carolina. She’s given up on adding love to that mix. Until the moment David Camden and his adorable son appear in her exam room. Spring assumes David is another down-on-his-luck single parent at the free clinic—but looks can be deceiving. Because David has a job—he’s the architect proposing a new development in the middle of Spring’s land! When the truth is revealed, can Spring find a way to keep both her home and the blessing of new love?
Download this printable coupon and save $1.00 off any Love Inspired Book! (Expires August 31.)
Enter to win your own set of Love Inspired books!
Download this printable coupon and save $1.00 off any Love Inspired Book! (Expires August 31.)
**Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.
Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller / FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”