Thursday, August 11, 2016

Kisses Between the Lines: An Echo Ridge Anthology

Kisses Between the Lines: An Echo Ridge Anthology
Kindle Edition, 536 pages
Published August 7th 2016 by Peachwood Press
*I received a copy in exchange for an honest review* 
Welcome to Echo Ridge, New York where romance finds its way into the hearts and lives of the people who walk the streets of the close-knit community.
In these five novellas, readers will experience the power a book has to change a life, make dreams come true, and bring two hearts together as the characters work to fill the classic section of the library. Filled with charm, wit, secrets, and hope, each story is a sweet romance with a promise to keep you turning pages into the night. We hope you enjoy this book and the kisses between the lines.
The Kiss Thief by Rachelle J. Christensen
As the head librarian of the Echo Ridge Library, Britta Klein thrives on order and categorization. Unfortunately, the old church-turned-library is in desperate need of a renovation. The Harvest Hurrah fundraiser seems to be the answer, but plans keep going awry. With help from Milo Geissler, accomplished musician, piano tuner, and kiss thief, each catastrophe is narrowly avoided. When Milo goes to great lengths to help Britta find a key classic book, she begins to wonder if there is more to life than books and order. Can she allow this man who speaks the language of music to tune her heart to a new song? 

The Lion, The Witch, & The Library by Lucy McConnell
Jennifer Solomon's birthday wish is for the one thing she's been too shy to go after: Kirke Staples, Echo Ridge’s resident playwright, an avid mountain biker, and her best friend. Friend, as in don’t kiss, don’t covet, and don’t under any circumstances fall in love with the man. But it’s too late—she’s already fallen in love. Hoping for a birthday kiss that will change everything, she arranges an "accidental" meeting with the handsomest man on the library board. Her carefully laid plans are thrown off track when the beautiful Bay Barington sweeps into town and casts a spell over Kirke. In her efforts to win Kirke’s heart, Jennifer is forced to take a look at her inner self and decide what type of woman she wants to be, a lion or witch.

The Last of the Gentlemen by Cami Checketts
Despite the hardships she’s faced, Emma Turner, is determined to make a good life for her three children. Working nights and struggling through life doesn’t leave much time for romance, which is just fine as far as Emma is concerned. But when her son's good-looking lacrosse coach takes an interest in her children, Emma has to fight off the smolder in her stomach and banish her daydreams. This school-girl crush needs to end before she embarrasses her son and herself. If only she could tell that to her heart.

Much Ado About a Kiss by Heather Tullis
Fay’s life is just fine, thank you. Running the cafĂ© she’d practically been raised in: Check. Her artwork in a gallery: Check. Volunteering on the library board: Check. The one thing she doesn’t need right now is a guy in her life—especially her brother’s irritating best friend from high school, so when the two men announce that they are moving home to start a ski and mountain bike shop in town, she isn’t pleased. If only she could completely forget that one kiss she and Austin shared in high school. Why does he have to upset her just-fine world? Not this time. Not if she can help it. But can she?

Pride & Persuasion by Connie E. Sokol
Lindy Marchant has left heartbreak and downtown L.A. to help her cousin kickstart an antique shop in sleepy Echo Ridge. That is, until she's roped into the library fundraiser to become an assistant for Armand D. Beaumont, the French bestselling detective writer. The two have met before, and Lindy hasn't forgotten the disastrous outcome. Now Armand's celebrity quirks threaten to upset her life yet again.

My Review: 4 Stars

I enjoy a good anthology, especially one that has a central theme and characters who make appearances throughout the book. Each of these stories takes place in upstate New York, in the small town of Echo Ridge. I absolutely adore books with a small town feel. I grew up in a very small town and can relate to these types of characters and situations and it brings on the nostalgia. 
This autumn, the head librarian, Britta Klein, is trying to raise much needed money to make renovations to the local library. The stories all revolve around characters who are connected to the library in some way. Each character is given a classic book to find to help complete the library's collection and their quests to find these books plays a big role in the plot and in the romance that is discovered along the way. The titles are creatively done to put the bow on top of each one in a satisfying way. 
I noticed another common thread between most of the stories and that is they all revolve around past hurts, injustices, grudges, or trials. Most of the characters have something in their pasts to cause them to either be clueless about their situations or a little shy at pursuing their romantic dreams. It's interesting to start picking up on so many commonalities between the stories. 
Some of the stories move at a slower, gentler pace than others and give the reader a few frustrating moments of "just get over yourself already!" but they are sure to be a delight to savor on those crisp, autumn nights.
Content:  Each story has mild romantic elements and a couple are mildly religious. Clean!
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