Charming the Troublemaker Review & Giveaway

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Engaging. This is just one word that describes Pepper Basham’s latest release Charming the Troublemaker. Oh, I have plenty more adjectives, but this one goes first because from the start, I was engaged by the snappy dialogue, enthralled with the small town setting, and captivated by the dynamic characters. Not forgetting, this story is stamped with true Basham flair which is her unique and mesmerizing prose.

About the Book

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Author: Pepper Basham

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Release Date: November 1, 2017

Troublemaking never looked so good…

When Dr. Alex Murdock is demoted to a university in rural Virginia, the last thing he expects to find is a future. But country charm never looks as good as it does on Rainey Mitchell.

Rainey Mitchell doesn’t need a high-class flirt in her wounded world, but trouble and temptations wafts off the new professor as strong as his sandalwood-scented cologne.

When circumstances thrust them together to save her tutoring clinic, can the troublemaker find the hero inside and encourage the reticent Rainey to open her heart again.

 

Click here to purchase!

My Thoughts

Dr. Alex Murdock surprised me more than any other hero Pepper Basham penned. It’s the honest truth. We get a vague glimpse of him in the first book of the series, A Twist of Faith, but this troublemaker takes center stage in this hilarious, hard-to-put-down story. Layered. That’s been my word for Alex since his first interactions with the heroine, Rainey Mitchell, and her daughter, Sarah. On the surface, he appears arrogant and shallow, but he’s anything but! He’s protective, caring, generous, and just what Rainey’s cautious heart needs. His character unfolds scene by scene in some humorous and other times intriguing ways.

Rainey Mitchell has been endeared to me since her appearance in A Twist of Faith. She’s a single mama, struggling to save her speech therapy facility while trying to maintain a stable life for her young daughter. Her previous marriage had left her self-image bruised and her heart guarded. Serious, responsible Rainey rebuffs any romantic relationship, especially if it involves flirty, super-swoony men. It was so much fun to read as Alex challenges her self-imposed defenses and awakens her heart to life and love. The sparks between these characters ignite the page, creating a fiery and fun romance.

This story is equipped with stellar secondary characters like Ma Mitchell. She’s quick to listen, but doesn’t hold back her opinion which is always flavored with wisdom and love. Couple this with a gripping plot line and you have the makings of a five-star read!

I feel it my duty to add a disclaimer. If by chance you’re out in public while reading this book, you may bust out laughing until tears gather in your eyes, and you may collect puzzled stares from those around you. Don’t ask me how I know this. 😉

In conclusion, Charming the Troublemaker has an incomparable lure which hooks your heart and infuses it with laughter, hope, and a beautiful thing called grace.

*I was provided a complimentary copy. All opinions are my own.

About the Author

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Pepper Basham is an award-winning author who writes novels inspired by her love for history and the Blue Ridge Mountains. Her Penned in Time series has garnered recognition in the Inspys, Grace Awards, and the ACFW Carol Awards. Her contemporary romance novel, A Twist of Faith, received 4-stars from Romantic Times, and most recently, her newest release, The Thorn Healer, received a Top Pick from RT with 4 ½ stars. Her newest contemporary romance, Just the Way You Are, releases in April 2016. You can get to know Pepper on Facebook, or over at her group blog, The Writer’s Alley, or Instagram.

 

Guest Post from Pepper Basham

I have a thing for underdogs.

Misfits.

Lost souls who desperately need to find where they belong.

I can’t help it! Call it a ‘fix-it’ mentality or an awareness that God rescued me and now I want to rescue other people…even fictional characters, but I’m definitely a softy for those characters that people are less likely to root for. Catherine from The Thorn Bearer/Keeper became my first rescue…and I just HAD to find another.

I guess that’s how Charming the Troublemaker came into existence.

Dr. Alex Murdock desperately needed to be rescued.

In a bad way.

If you’ve had a chance to read my first book in the Mitchell’s Crossroads series, A Twist of Faith, you’ll know that Alex doesn’t seem to be made up of much hero material. He’s a flirt, a little arrogant, and…well, kind of like a lost puppy.

As book 1 grew and came to a close, I knew Alex and Rainey’s story would be next…but I immediately ran into a real problem.

Who in the world was Alex Murdock? We really didn’t get to know him very much in book 1. He zoomed in a few times, ruffling feathers and then finally showing off some interesting kindness/compassion in the end, but…he was still a big-time flirt.

So the question emerged: Can a flirt be a hero? 

What is Alex hiding behind that ready smile and sense of humor? Why does he seem so lost?

The answers were surprising!! Just wait.

The Mitchell family draw him right in, as they did with Dee, and his world is forever changed.

And then there’s Rainey. Strong-willed and independent, she is deeply wounded by her ex-husband’s betrayal. Though she gives off all these ‘confident’ vibes, she hides her insecurities behind a tough exterior in a desire to keep people at a distance – well, everyone except her family.

Alex rocks her world with his ready charm.

And she sees beyond the plastic grin to recognize another wounded soul.

Throwing them together into a book has been a hilarious and heart-stirring adventure, I wasn’t prepared to encounter. They’re so much fun!

AND…he’s ADORKABLE!! Seriously!! He is SUCH a dork, but makes me grin. And…he looks like Armie Hammer 😉

Let me just give you a hint to some of my favorite scenes:

Anything with Sarah!

Underoos

All of the scenes in Rainey’s house

And those in Mama Mitchell’s

Okay, I like the WHOLE STORY…and I can’t wait to see what you think too.

Blog Stops

By The Book, November 14

Just the Write Escape, November 14

Avid Reader Book Reviews, November 15

Reading Is My SuperPower, November 15

Moments Dipped in Ink, November 15

Fiction Aficionado, November 16

autism mom, November 16

Fiction, Faith, and Fun, November 17

Inklings and Notions, November 17

Faithfully Bookish, November 18

Radiant Light, November 18

Reflections From My Bookshelves, November 19

The Power of Words, November 19

Cordially Barbara, November 20

Red Headed Book Lady, November 20

Smiling Book Reviews, November 20

Kat’s Corner Books, November 21

A Greater Yes, November 21

100 Pages per Hour, November 22

Splashes of Joy, November 22

Carpe Diem, November 23

Bookworm Mama, November 23

A Baker’s Perspective, November 24

The Important Things in Life: God, Books, & Chocolate, November 24

Daysong Reflections, November 25

Rachel Scott McDaniel, November 25

Remembrancy, November 26

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 26

Christian Chick’s Thoughts, November 27

Karen Sue Hadley, November 27

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Pepper is giving away a grand prize of a paper copy of A Twist of Faith, a mug from the Blue Ridge Parkway, one driftwood scented candle, one mango scented candle, and a Troublemaker snickers 😉 highly appropriate. Chocolate with a nutty personality :)!!

Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/c1f1

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The Secret Life of Sarah Hollenbeck Review

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Amazingly funny. Those two words rang through my thoughts while reading the debut novel by Bethany Turner. Add a twisty-turny romance amongst the hilarity, and you have The Secret Life of Sarah Hollenbeck.

Here’s the Blurb:

Becoming a Christian is the best and worst thing that has ever happened to Sarah Hollenbeck. Best because, well, that’s obvious. Worst because, up to this point, she’s made her very comfortable living as a well-known, bestselling author of steamy romance novels that would leave the members of her new church blushing. Now Sarah is trying to reconcile her past with the future she’s chosen. She’s still under contract with her publisher and on the hook with her enormous fan base for the kind of book she’s not sure she can write anymore. She’s beginning to think that the church might frown on her tithing on royalties from a “scandalous” book. And the fact that she’s falling in love with her pastor doesn’t make things any easier.

My thoughts:

Before I even opened the book, I was hooked on the premise about a steamy-romance writer who becomes a Christian and sequentially falls in love with a pastor. It screams conflict, and I had to know what happens! Well done, Ms. Turner, by intriguing me to stalk my mailwoman every day to see if she had my book mail.

This story had vivid, true-to-life characters that leapt off the page and into my heart. Sarah was so naïve about Christianity that it was both humorous and eye-opening. Being raised in church, I’ve always been aware and fluent in Christianese—the language and turns of phrase that Christians speak. Seeing Sarah’s viewpoint reminded me to be conscious and sensitive of others around me, especially new Christians. They’re like newborn babes, in a way, needing a more mature Christian to guide them. Which is why I LOVE Piper—Sarah’s best friend who always gives her sound advice. Then we have Ben Delaney, the pastor. And a GIANT thank you to Ms. Turner for going against the general prejudice aimed at men of God and writing Ben as someone who is nice-looking, relevant, and not dorky. It was refreshing.

The story was well-written with an ending that blew me away. And it was funny. Yes, I mentioned that at the beginning, but it needed repeated. Seriously. I was chuckling even at the chapter titles. (Blame It On The Rayne – still makes me giggle. You have to read to understand. 😉 So, I totally recommend this story! But, I must put a disclaimer that this is for more mature audiences since it covers topics that are geared for adults.

Are you hooked??? Then purchase your own copy here!

*I was provided a copy by the publisher. All opinions are my own.

Blind Spot Review

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Having not read the previous stories in the series, I kinda came late to the party with this book. But! I had no trouble following along and was engaged from page one. This was my first experience with Dani Petry’s writing, and I was amazingly impressed with how she crafted this novel.

Here’s the blurb:

FBI agent Declan Grey is in the chase of his life–but isn’t sure exactly what he’s chasing after. Threatened by a terrorist that “the wrath is coming,” Grey fears something horrible is about to be unleashed on American soil. When his investigation leads him to a closed immigrant community, he turns to Tanner Shaw to help him. She’s sought justice for refugees and the hurting around the world, and if there’s anyone who can help him, it’s Tanner.

Tanner Shaw has joined the FBI as a crisis counselor . . . meaning she now has more opportunity to butt heads with Declan. But that tension also includes a spark she can’t deny, and she’s pretty sure Declan feels the same. But before anything can develop between them, they discover evidence of a terror cell–and soon are in a race against the clock to stop the coming “wrath” that could cost thousands their lives

My thoughts:

First off, I don’t usually read romantic suspense. I think I only read one before this. Seriously. Reason being is that I tend to get too enraptured in the story and don’t particularly like feeling anxious and edgy because of tense scenes. So previously I shied away from this genre. But, this story was truly enamoring. It had two plots running simultaneously, and I never got lost. Yes, some parts were intense but the author was kind enough to give me some breathing room with a touch of lightheartedness through the interactions of the characters.

There was no doubt of the chemistry between the main characters. I loved how protective Declan was over Tanner. (Even though she was perfectly capable of handling dangerous situations, it was a tender gesture.) The romance was believable and fast-paced like the entire story. That’s not a bad thing. With this story, it worked.

It was skillfully plotted and kept me guessing as to who the suspects were and when they’d strike. What I thought was ridiculously clever was the ending. No spoilers here, but man, the author left such a cliffhanger that I scoured Amazon to see when the next book is to be released.

*I received this book for the publisher. All opinions are my own.