Tag: Karen Templeton

Review: A Gift for All Season by Karen Templeton

Posted December 3, 2012 by Rowena in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: A Gift for All Season by Karen TempletonReviewer: Rowena
A Gift for All Seasons (Summer Sisters, #2) by Karen Templeton
Series: Summer Sisters #2
Publisher: Harlequin, Harlequin Special Edition
Publication Date: October 16th 2012
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 224
Add It: Goodreads
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Series Rating: four-stars

Hiring Patrick Shaughnessy to landscape her new inn was strictly a business arrangement. Until April Ross got to know the war-scarred single father …and his irrepressible little girl. Patrick made it clear he wasn't looking for romance. Neither was April. But could she make him see that some risks were worth taking?

The lively, widowed blonde might be the most tempting woman Patrick had ever known, but the returning vet knew a happy ending wasn't in the cards. Still, that was before April started working her magic on his daughter …and on him. Maybe this Christmas was a time for new beginnings — if Patrick had the courage to go with the powerful feelings April had awakened in him….

I haven’t read too many books by Karen Templeton and I’m not quite sure why.  The few that I have read, I’ve enjoyed a lot so I really need to get over myself and read more of her stuff.

With the holidays just around the corner, I picked this story up and thought that it would get me into the holiday spirit and I think it has.

This book follows April Ross and Patrick Shaughnessy.  April came into a lot of money is a restoring her grandmother’s big ol’ house and turning it into a B&B.  She’s hired Patrick to help with the landscaping and right from the start, there’s an attraction simmering under the surface for the both of them.  Now, Patrick is scarred from the war and when April first sees him, she sees the side of him that hides the scars.  When she sees the scars, she’s taken aback by them and Patrick sees her reaction to them and swears off of her before they even go there.  But the more time he spends with her, the more he wants to put himself out there again but his insecurities about his new lot in life come to the surface time and time again.

I thought that April was really patient with Patrick.  She spent a lot of time trying to get him to be comfortable with the fact that she was attracted to him, scars and all.  Throw in a little girl who is still hurting from the popping in and out of her life that her mother is doing, things are more than little complicated….but April knows what she wants and she spends the whole of this book trying to make Patrick see that he wants it too.

It would have been so easy for me to become highly annoyed with Patrick and his attitude toward dating, toward April and toward well, everything in his life but Templeton did a great job of making me understand where he’s coming from and why he’s acting the way that he’s acting.  When he finally allows himself to love and be loved by April, I grinned like a crazy person.

This was an enjoyably sweet romance that I’m glad that I read.  I definitely recommend.

Grade: 4 out of 5

This book is available from Harlequin Special Editions. You can buy it here or here in e-format. This book was provided by the publisher for an honest review.


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Lightning Review: Welcome Home, Cowboy by Karen Templeton

Posted January 25, 2012 by Holly in Reviews | 3 Comments

Holly‘s review of Welcome Home, Cowboy by Karen Templeton

He’d never really had a place to call his own…

But the broken-down ranch in front of him was the closest he’d ever come. Now, pregnant widow Emma Manning was struggling to keep it, her children and herself going. She could use a hand. Well, that was all burned-out musician Cash Cochran could spare.

He’d never had a woman to call his own, either…

 That was painfully obvious to Emma as soon as Cash knocked on her door. And though, with her ever-growing brood and her money pit of a ranch, she was the last woman on earth he could ever fall for, he was falling nevertheless. They both were.

But what would happen when they landed?

Karen Templeton became an auto-buy author for me a couple years ago. Since I first read her (Sybil made me do it) I’ve glommed her backlist and picked up every new release she’s put out. Some I enjoy more than others, but I know I’ll always get a good, solid story with her.

Cash Cochran lit out of town at 16 to escape his abusive father and found fortune and fame as a country and western singer. 20 years later he’s back, hoping to deal with some of his demons.

I really liked how practical and plain spoken Emma was. She didn’t mince words, or beat around the bush, she just told it exactly as it was. That was so refreshing.Cash had a lot of issues from his past to deal with, and I like that Templeton took her time with both characters.The kids were adorable. I liked the secondary characters and it was nice to see the other people of Tierra Rosa again.

The twist at the seemed to come out of left field. I understand it was needed to advance the story, but..something about it didn’t sit right with me. Maybe it was the way everyone reacted to it that bothered me?

In the end I found this to be just as well written and engaging as all Templeton’s novels. A recommended read.


This book is available from Silhouette Special Edition. You can buy it here or here in e-format.

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Publisher Spotlight Review: Pride and Pregnancy by Karen Templeton

Posted May 11, 2010 by Holly in Reviews | 1 Comment

Holly‘s review of Pride and Pregnancy (Babies Inc, Book 4) by Karen Templeton

You can take the girl out of the trailer park…

Which Karleen Almquist had surely tried to do. But the thrice-married—and thrice-divorced!—personal shopper had sworn off men, and their inherent complications…aka babies. Until the most gorgeous widower moved in next door—complete with the two most adorable little boys she’d ever seen.

True, Troy Lindquist had been alone a long time, but the ice cream mogul was looking for a real relationship, and his next-door neighbor was clearly not his type. Still, that didn’t stop him from turning to her one night—which resulted in Karleen being pregnant with Troy’s child.

First came the baby carriage. Then came love. And then…marriage?

Karen Templeton has become a favorite go-to author for strong, emotionally compelling contemporary romances. I recently picked up a handful of some of her older SSE’s and this is the first one I grabbed out of the stack.

I enjoyed the unconventional heroine. The first thing the hero thinks when he meets her is “bimbo”. Karleen’s a bleach blonde who loves shiny objects, has fake nails and fake boobs. She’s also fiercely independent, caring and almost brutally honest. She’s attracted to her new next-door-neighbor Troy right off the bat, but after 3 failed marriages she knows better than anyone that attraction fades. Troy’s expression when he meets her says it all – he might think she’s good to look at, but he doesn’t think she’s good to stick with.

Troy’s been raising his twin sons alone for four years, their mother having died shortly after childbirth. He’s responsible, grounded and thinking it might be time to start looking for a wife. He wants someone quiet and uncomplicated, someone he can build a life with. Someone the exact opposite of his drop-dead gorgeous neighbor.

Sometimes first impressions are wrong, however. It isn’t long before Troy realizes there’s more to Karleen than meets the eye. And after spending one incredible night together (or day, as the case may be), that turns out to be a good thing. Because Karleen is pregnant.

Now the two of them have to work together to do what’s best for their baby. At first Troy wants to marry Karleen simply because she’s pregnant with his child. But the more time he spends with her the less it has to do with the baby and the more it has to do with Karleen herself. If only he could convince her…

While I enjoyed many aspects of this, I’m afraid I didn’t feel the emotional connection to the characters I’ve come to expect from Templeton. Karleen and Troy were both well drawn characters, and I loved Troy’s boys and Karleen’s best friend Joanna. But I didn’t feel like I was emotionally invested in their story. Yes, I was entertained. But it was missing the strong pull I generally feel when reading Templeton.

3.75 out of 5

 The series:

Marriage, Interrupted: 0 (Special Edition)Baby Steps (Silhouette Special Edition)The Prodigal Valentine (Silhouette Special Edition)Pride And Pregnancy (Silhouette Special Edition)Baby Steps (Silhouette Special Edition)

This book is available from Silhouette Special Edition. You can buy it here or here in e-format.

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Review: Reining in the Rancher by Karen Templeton.

Posted June 1, 2009 by Rowena in Discussions | 4 Comments

Rowena’s Review of Reining in the Rancher by Karen Templeton.

Hero: Johnny Griego
Heroine: Thea Benedict
Grade: 4 out of 5

“You’re what?”

Thea Benedict had been about to–honest to God—tell her ex loveer Johnny Griego she was pregnant. Until Johnny’s teenage daughter her to it with her big news!

Thea knew that Johnny wasn’t a happily-ever-after kind of guy. And now he had his little girl’s impeding motherhood to think about. So you could have knocked Thea over when the sexy rancher asked her to be his wife! She should have guessed Johnny was the type to do the right thing by her. Except Thea had some crazy notion about marrying for love…

I read this book yesterday (just in the nick of time) for K Mont’s Year of the Category Reading Challenge. I’m glad that I picked this book up because I enjoyed it. It’s been a long time since I’ve read about a rancher or a cowboy that I actually liked. The last couple of books with ranchers and cowboys made me want to punch someone in the eye because the heroines were too stupid to live. I’m happy to say that this book wasn’t anything like those other books that drove me right up the wall.

This book was a short but definitely a sweet one. I thought that this book did a remarkable job of sucking me in and giving me a few hours of entertainment. I thought that both Thea and Johnny were three dimensional characters that leaped right off the pages. They were solid characters that made me glad to have gotten to know them as I read their story. As short as this story was, I never once felt that there wasn’t enough background to carry this story. I thought Karen Templeton did a fantastic job of writing characters that I fell in love with and a story that I could enjoy.

Thea was a fantastic heroine. A heroine that I was rooting to get her happy ending. She was stubborn as a mule but her reasons for being stubborn were reasons that I totally understood and totally respected. I thought that the way that Thea handled things with Johnny before they got married were kind of iffy at first but as her reasons came to light, I felt that they were the right reasons for holding back. I’m glad that she didn’t fall into the cycle that her mother set for her when she was younger and I’m also extremely glad that the beef between Thea and her mother were squared away and dealt with. It was good to see the example that Thea’s mother set for her all these many years later.

Johnny was your typical man. Completely obtuse when it came to the female sex and totally oblivious to every little thing that should have been obvious but wasn’t. He was a man that I totally connected with and a man that I grew to love over the course of this story. I thought he was a great father to Rachel and there was no doubt in my mind that he was going to be a great father to his baby with Thea. His reasons for fighting the love he had for Thea were understandable and I thought Karen Templeton did a great job of fleshing his character out. I’m glad that he was finally able to let go of the past for good and move on with his future, with a clear and open mind..and also a willing heart. The way he loved Thea was cute and I really enjoyed his character.

Overall, the story was great. It was a fast read that was perfect for what I needed right now. A quick jolt to get me out of the semi-reading slump that I seem to have fallen into. This book was very entertaining, cute to fall into and enjoyable throughout. I definitely recommend this to those Harlequin fans out there because there’s a lot of things to recommend this story. The only blip for me was the way the delivery was written out, it was much too fast and much to tidy for me which left a slight shadow on that part of the story since I said out loud, “Yeah right, having a baby outside of the hospital without any drugs is not this tidy or this quick!” but I didn’t let that part of the story get to me because this is a category book and it was a much shorter story so I let that part slide. Aside from that, this book was enjoyable and I would definitely pimp this to people who like short and sweet. This is the book for you.

This book is available from Silhouette. You can buy it here or here in e-format.

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Review: A Mother’s Wish by Karen Templeton

Posted January 26, 2009 by Holly in Reviews | 5 Comments

Winnie Porter just couldn’t forget the child she’d given up for adoption all those years ago…or the wonderful family that had taken him in. Now it was finally time to see her son one last time.

Still reeling from his wife’s untimely death, the last thing Aidan Black needed to deal with was the unwed mother who brought his beloved Robbie into the world. Especially when she was all grown up into a beautiful, vivacious young woman who’d immediately drawn his boy into her spell—not to mention Aidan himself. Would Winnie’s secret shatter Aidan’s family—or make it whole again?

After reading Karen Templeton‘s Guys and Daughters series, I fell in love with her writing. She does an amazing job of writing real characters that face real issues. A Mother’s Wish is another hit.

Although Winnie gave her son up for adoption when she was 18, she never forgot him or stopped loving him. Now, 9 years later, after her grandmother’s death, Winnie finds herself in desperate need of seeing him. Making sure he’s ok, well loved and well cared for. She has no intention of speaking to him or alerting him to her presence, but she just has to know.

But things have a way of going in the direction we least expect, and Winnie is shocked to realize she’s actually staying in a cabin owned by her son’s adoptive parents. She’s even more shocked when she realizes Aidan, her son’s adoptive father, is now a widow. One she’s in danger of losing her heart to, despite his churlish behavior.

Winnie was definitely a strong woman. Though she’d faced adversity more often than not in her life, she still managed to retain her sense of humor and an optimistic attitude. She tried to find the good in every situation and dealt with her emotions straight on. She also said what she thought and didn’t allow herself to wallow in self-pity.

Watching her get to know her son was heartbreaking. She and Aidan agreed to keep it a secret until the time was right to tell him, and watching her try to hold herself back – while not really being able to – really tugged at my emotions.

Too often kids aren’t portrayed in a believable way in novels – especially when it comes to emotional issues. I think KT managed to write Robbie beautifully, however. His actions and reactions – from dealing with the death of his mother to falling in love with Winnie to finding out she was his birth mother – were exactly as I imagine those of a 9-year-old would be. His sadness and angst over losing his mother to cancer and his fear and worry for his father were real and believable. His anger over finding out Winnie and Aidan had kept a secret from him was also every believable and so much better than an easy acceptance would have been.

Aidan was also a wonderfully drawn character. Moody and brooding, his natural compassion and sympathy really rounded him out and made him into a three dimensional man. I wanted to be angry for him, for turning his back on his son and allowing things to slide so far out of control, but his absolute bafflement over how to fix things – and his genuine want and caring – saved him for me. At times I wanted to smack him upside the head and scream WAKE UP STUPID.

(…) Then suddenly he turned to Winnie and said, “D’you ride?”
“Do you ride? Horses,” he added irritably, like she was hopelessly slow. And if he hadn’t looked so frustrated – although about what, she couldn’t begin to imagine – and if she hadn’t become used to his brusqueness, she might have taken offense. But it would’ve been like taking offense at a frightened dog’s growl.
“It’s been awhile, but yeah -“
“What else?”
“Good. I’ve got horses boarding at a ranch near here, they need to be ridden. We’ll take the boys with us so Flo and Tess won’t have to worry about them. Day after tomorrow,” he added as an afterthought, the stomped out of the kitchen through a sea of discarded plastic bags.

But generally Winnie came along and did it before I had a chance to get good and mad at him.

She found him on the deck, glowering at the beginnings of the sunset.
“Back where I come from,” she said, making him turn around, “it’s the custom to ask a woman if she’d like to do something. Like go riding, for instance. So.” She crossed her arms. “Care to try this again?”
Aidan looked back out toward the setting sun. “I’m thinking about going horseback riding on Saturday. Wouldya be interested in goin’ along?”
“I’d love to,” she said, then turned smartly on her heel and walked away.

Their banter and sexual tension came across well, but it was really the emotional connection the three of them shared that really made this novel. I really liked the secondary characters that made up the small town of Tierra Rosa and I’m glad to see the next book in the series, Reining in the Rancher, is about characters we met during the course of this story.

There were definitely flaws, the major one being the rather cheesy epilogue, but I was able to look past them.

Karen Templeton is an absolute must read. A Mother’s Wish is a powerful tale of love and longing – and the things a woman will do for the love of her child. Excellent book, highly recommend.

4 out of 5

Book CoverBook Cover

This book is available from Silhouette Special Edition. You can buy it here or here in e-format.

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