20 December 2014

Courted by Trouble Release Day!

 Stephanie Knight’s life wasn’t easy. Even brought up in Hyacinth, discipline had not been a part of her family growing up. After her mother’s death, she made many mistakes and after the worst, ended up almost homeless. Thanks to her best friend’s father, she had a safe place to live while she tried to get her life together. Fear of people’s reactions kept her away from Hyacinth, but when her best friends found her again, she could no longer deny her desire to truly live.

Christopher Triton moved to town and turned her life upside down. With the support of her friends, Steph slowly got her self-esteem back. When Christopher declared his intention to court her, she couldn’t imagine anything more wonderful. But things were never smooth sailing for Stephanie. Thankfully, with a strong man at her side, she was able to weather the tough spots. His discipline allowed her to let go of all past guilt and grasp onto her positive future. His love helped her feel as though she could do anything. Which meant the world when her strange past came to call
This series has become one of my favorites so far this year, and I can’t seem to get enough of the world that Ms. Cariad has created.  I think that it is a great balance between friendship and romance – there is the right amount of each one that will keep you interested and turning the pages.

This book is a lot different than the others in the series because it deals with a lot of different issues that aren’t that common in reads these days.  I do have to say that I thought Stephanie’s character shown a large amount of strength to handle everything that she was dealing with/had dealt with in her life.  There were a lot of twists and turns that happened in the story that did keep me on my toes, but that was also part of the problem that I had with it, it was too confusing at times.  I had to re-read certain parts to completely understand what was going on.

Another thing that I didn’t really like that Ms. Cariad did was when Stephanie ended up finding out the big “secret” (and no I won’t spoil that for you!) I think that she could have added more to that part of the story.  It seemed like it was just skimmed over too much for me personally.

Despite that though, I will be sure to read further into this series because I can’t seem to get enough!
About the series "In Hyacinth" by Bree Cariad:

Hyacinth, Washington is all about old-fashioned values. In Hyacinth words like trust, honor, and kindness aren't just buzzwords. Hyacinth is a community built on tradition and trust, where men are the head of the home and women are encouraged to follow their lead.

Each story in the series is of a young woman (18-20) and her struggle to figure out who she is in this little town while at the same time going through Hyacinth's old-fashioned courting system. On their way to meet, get to know, and finally marry their princes, these heroines grow in ways they and their town never expected.
As Dora still lived in the same house she had always lived in, finding her was easy. Stephanie and Cami made plans to meet up for coffee and Stephanie, after pacing back and forth in front of Dora’s house, finally got up the nerve to walk up to the door and knock. Dora was their quiet friend and she felt horrible that both of them had disappeared on her. Stephanie hoped she had found others to hang around with.
The door opened and there she stood, Dora Jane Lexington with her shoulder-length brown hair, wide eyes, and a shocked expression on her face. “Stephanie? Stephie!” she shrieked, jumping forward and hugging Stephanie so tight she almost couldn’t breathe. “Oh, I’ve been worried. How are you? Are you okay? Back in town to stay?” she asked, rattling off questions almost as fast as Cami could.
“Hey, Dora,” Stephanie said when she released her. “Got time for a horrible friend?”
A small smile crossed Dora’s face and she nodded. “Come in and we can talk.”
They walked into the living room and Stephanie stopped. “Wanna go for a coffee?” she asked knowing she needed to get Dora to the Lava Lamp where Cami would join them.
“Uh, sure?” At first Dora looked confused and then she smiled again. “Let me get dressed and I’ll be ready.” She ran upstairs and a few minutes later came back down in jeans and a sweater. “I like what you’ve done with your hair,” she said as they stepped outside the door. “It’s bouncy.”
Stephanie laughed softly as they walked down the street. “This was Cami’s idea. I told her I wanted a change and she came up with green highlights.”
“How’s she doing? I hear she got engaged.”
“Lots of things have happened in the last year,” Stephanie said quietly. “For all of us. I was sorry to hear about your dad.”
Dora nodded, her normal reaction to anything highly emotional. Her friend rarely gave emotion away, but she had several tells that as if the last year hadn’t happened, Stephanie could recall clearly. And she saw each and every one of them in the woman next to her. Dora was hurting. “Thanks. Mom and I are getting by.”
“Are you?” Stephanie asked gently, not wanting to dredge up anything bad, but at the time needing Dora to know she could turn to her if needed. “We’ve all got some stuff going on, but at least we’ve got each other, right?” She wrapped her arm around Dora’s and pulled her into the Lava Lamp which was crowded on a Saturday morning. “Oh, a table’s opening up. Grab it while I get our coffees.”
Dora quickly made her way over and captured the table while she ordered their drinks. “One peppermint mocha, one cinnamon latte, and one black coffee. All tall.” After paying, she waited the few minutes for their drinks to be ready and thought about how to bring their friend out of what was obviously a bad time for her. Stephanie knew she had needed to disappear, but that didn’t stop her guilt. Dora had never been anything but supportive and loving of her. She would find a way to make this right.
“Who else is coming?” Dora asked as she removed the drinks from the tray, handing Dora her mocha while putting the latte in front of herself.
“There you are!” Cami’s happy voice made Stephanie smile as Dora startled in surprise and then joy. In her normal exuberance, Cami tackle-hugged their friend, almost knocking her over. As she pulled back, she sat down and said, “Kathy would’ve come but every scent makes her ill right now.” She inhaled the coffee in front of her and took a large drink, humming in enjoyment.
“How did you come to enjoy black coffee?” Dora asked, watching her. “You used to think it was gross.”
Cami smiled. “Jerod loves it this way. I’ve learned to adapt.”
“So,” Dora said after a couple uncomfortable moments, “it’s been awhile.”
Wincing, Cami nodded. “Yes, it has. Sorry about that. I was involved in my own mess and kind of ignored what else was going on.”
“Me too,” Stephanie said. “I’ve been living in Hins Creek.”
“So close?” Dora said in surprise. “I’ve been worried about you both.”
Stephanie felt like kicking herself. How could she have felt that she was the only one hurting? She felt so selfish.
“So what are you two up to?” Dora asked, her tone clearing which for her meant that in that moment she had forgiven them for forgetting her. Stephanie shook her head, thinking that Dora had to be the sweetest and kindest woman alive. She wondered if Cami and she deserved her friendship. “I mean, I know you’re getting married, Cami. Congratulations, by the way. But what else?”
Bree enjoys good books with great characters. While she may be an adult, her favorite memories are from her teenage years reading inspirational romance with girls just like her and strong heroes. That's one of the reasons she's written In Hyacinth, a series of Courting Romances.

Courting Romance - where contemporary romance meets traditional values.


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