Tag Archives: low steam

Release Blitz: A Box of Wishes by Jackie Keswick

A Box of Wishes | Jackie Keswick

A Words & Wishes Story #1

BANNER

Release Date Paperback: October 20th, 2022

Kindle Unlimited: November 10th, 2022

Cover Artist: Covers by Jo

Heat Rating: 3 flames

Length: 64,000 words / 244 pages

Amazon US | Amazon UK

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COVER

Blurb

You build a house from walls and beams. You make a home with love and dreams.

Does Fate Grant Wishes?

Ryan O’Shaughnessy, owner of the Top o’ the Morning Coffeehouse, is convinced of it. Besides brewing the best coffee in Rothcote and baking delicious pastries and cakes, he helps Fate with her errands, never minding that it’s always someone else’s turn to catch a bit of happiness. Not until he meets a man who takes his breath away.

Detective Sergeant Ben Hobart has made a career of helping others. He never asks help for himself. Not even when a bad breakup leaves him lonely and with only his cat for company. Until he sets foot into Ryan’s coffeehouse to investigate a break-in and finds what’s missing from his life.

Fate may grant wishes, but she doesn’t hand them out for free. Can Ben let go of the past? And will Ryan find the courage to make a wish of his own?

A sexy, slow-burn, mm coffeeshop romance with a touch of magic and a cat.

PROMO 1

Excerpt

When the party thinned out, Ben found Ryan, and they escaped from the cheerful uproar into the dark courtyard where the white tree with its single red bauble glowed and glittered.

Ben poked the bauble with a fingertip and watched it swing back and forth. “The first time I saw this, I wondered if it was a signal.”

“I knew you were a clever man.”

“You mean it is a signal?”

“Of course. It’s our way to say that everyone is welcome, whether you’re like everyone else or one of a kind, whether you’re in a crowd or on your own. That’s what hospitality is all about. We always make room for one more. Or two.”

Ben swallowed past the lump in his throat. He reached for Ryan and smiled when Ryan leaned against him with a deep sigh. “Tired?”

“You said it. I could happily sleep standing here.”

“Recovering from exposure isn’t pleasant. And if you fall asleep right now, you’d miss… this.” He didn’t give Ryan a chance to ask. He wrapped his arm around Ryan’s shoulders, drew him close, and kissed him.

Ryan’s lips were dry, and a little rough, but he leaned into Ben’s hold and kissed him back, sharing the taste of cinnamon and custard, and the elusive flavour of Earl Grey tea.

It was the most perfect end to a perfect day.

Ben hadn’t forgotten that they stood in front of a lit Christmas tree, that anyone who cared to peer out into the courtyard could see them, wrapped around each other.

He didn’t mind.

About the Author

Jackie Keswick head

Jackie Keswick was born behind the Iron Curtain with itchy feet, a bent for rocks and a recurring dream of stepping off a bus in the middle of nowhere to go home. She’s worked in a hospital and as the only girl with 52 men on an oil rig, spent a winter in Moscow and a summer in Iceland and finally settled in the country of her dreams with her dream team: a husband, a cat, a tandem, a hammer and a laptop.

Jackie loves unexpected reunions and second chances, and men who write their own rules. She blogs about English history and food, has a thing for green eyes, and is a great believer in making up soundtracks for everything, including her characters and the cat.

And she still hasn’t found the place where the bus stops.

For questions and comments, not restricted to green eyes, bus stops or recipes for traditional English food, you can find Jackie Keswick in all the usual places

jackie-keswick-logo

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An at times frustrating but ultimately enjoyable slow burn

58870391His Reluctant Cowboy by A.M. Arthur

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

While I ended up enjoying this more than I thought I was going to, I found myself incredibly frustrated at times by events in the narrative.

There’s also a couple of inconsistencies which, while they don’t affect the outcomes of the story, do take away slightly from it (involving what occurred to Michael’s mother which I won’t spoiler).

I loved Michael’s dad Elmer, and was happy to see him be more a focus in the narrative having been a secondary character in book one of this series. He’s a grumpy but kind-hearted man and I was very happy he and Michael managed to resolve their decades old falling out.

Josiah frustrated me immensely and I think a lot of that is simply to do with ALL the traumas the man has had to live though. I know the aim was to draw the reader’s sympathy, but instead it just make him seem pathetic a lot of the time.

That’s a harsh criticism to lay down, I know, and I don’t want to make it sound like I’m victim blaming because I’m not, but there were times when a different direction could have been taken in the narrative and it seemed like the most dramatic and trauma-inducing one was chosen each time to try and make him appear more vulnerable but instead it made him weaker as a character.

Still, he does begin to grow in his own confidence and self-worth once he’s at Elmer’s farm, helping him after his stroke, and I eventually did start rooting for he and Michael to move from friendship into a romance.

However, overall this is an incredibly slow burn romance, which makes sense given Josiah’s background (although again, here there was just so much trauma related events that I became a bit numb to them all in the end) with two characters who do work well as a pairing.

But I found the sexual element of the story was another area where I would have liked to have seen more interactions between them once they did turn their relationship physical, especially given that Michael makes himself vulnerable for Josiah and that whole scene is beautifully done. I wanted more of that.

There’s guest appearances from the guys at Woods Ranch and it was great to catch up with Hugo and Brand again and I’m pretty sure that the author is lining up a redemption arc for the Sheriff which I’m in two minds about whether or not I want to read it, as well as possibly a story for fellow ranch hand Jackson.

I really liked the Clean Slate Ranch series, which this is a spin-off from, but so far neither of the two books in the Woods Ranch series have been as strong for me as they were. However, A.M. Arthur is an author I usually enjoy reading and the Clean Slate books got better as the series progresses, so I’m hoping it will be the same here.

There’s a very strong sense of place, which this author is so good at, and the small town vibe is well presented, there’s good secondary characters and overall the last quarter of the book pulled up my enjoyment significantly and I was very happy with where the relationship is left at the end.

Note the trigger warnings for the book, it includes references to off page sexual assault, homelessness, references to a past street life including sexual exchanges in return for accommodation and a toxic relationship on page, plus an on page violent assault.

#ARC kindly received from the publishers Carina Press via NetGalley in return for an honest and unbiased review

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A wonderful vibe to this gentle romance from Jackie

55968599._SY475_A Box of Wishes by Jackie Keswick

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Jackie Keswick has a wonderful ability to drop a magical quality that feels completely believable in her contemporary romances.

Here it’s more an element of what feels like it could be part of old folklore, a man who sees auras and knows when people need help.

Ryan’s struggled with his gift, his whole extended family of Irish origin each have their own unique character trait that seems to have an otherworldly feel but theirs manifest in simpler ways.

He’s fought accusations of being a freak, been blamed for his uncle divorcing his cheating wife, and he feels physical pain when someone needs his Box of Wishes gift so he’s not in the most receptive of moods when his path crosses that of Ben, the Detective sent to investigate a break in at his coffeeshop.

There’s an interesting secondary plot running alongside the romance which brings its own sense of mystery to and I only really got an idea of where it was going just before the big reveal.

Throw in a fabulous tabby cat who knows his worth and hints that Rhys’ cousin Alistair is in need of his own happiness, and this is a great read for this time of year.

While it’s light on the steam, it doesn’t miss out on the emotional side of the relationship, although there are moments when I wanted to thump them both 😁

This was a read in one sitting book for me and I’m looking forward to reading Alistair’s next.

#ARC kindly received from the author in return for an honest and unbiased review.

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