Monday, 31 August 2015


A collection of 5 sweet, heartwarming contemporary romances about forgiveness, second chances, and loving through difficult times. 

Title: Love Comes Home
Author: Kristi Rose
Series: A Collection Of Second Chance Short Stories
Publisher: Vintage Housewife Books
Release Date: 18th August 2015

BLURB from Goodreads
The perfect length books to satisfy your need to read when time is limited. Great for the carpool, waiting in line, running kids to practice, or lounging on the beach.

Book 1: Second Chances
Fourteen years ago Lorelei Parker fell in love with her best friend, Cole Williams, but instead of forever she ended up with a broken heart. Now, if they can put their past behind them, Lorelei and Cole may find a second chance.

Book 2: Once Again
Evie Barker works hard, takes care of her ailing mother, and finds pleasure in her simple life. The memory of a complicated childhood is all that remains of the old days—And good riddance.

Grady Duke blew out of town before the ink on his high school diploma was dry. A six year stint in the Marine Corps gave him a good dose of the real world. Returning home, sixteen years later, Ph.D in hand, the last person he expects to find next door is Evie.

Neither can escape the memory of one reckless summer together nor the wild attraction they still feel. But taking risks is not in Evie’s disposition. Even if Grady is the one man who can offer her the happiness she’s been missing. But he could also break her in an unimaginable way. Regardless, Grady must atone for the past and prove he’s worth a second chance.

Book 3: Reason to Stay
Shea Barker ran away on a greyhound ten years ago. Now a rising Nashville song-writer, determined to make it on her own, she’s set her eyes on everything but her past.

When her momma’s funeral forces her back to her hometown, she has no intention of staying longer than necessary. Until she meets Leo Marshall, the soft spoken journalist who sees her for who she wants to be, and suddenly a future she never expected opens up. Maybe her lyrics aren’t the only place where love is found.

Book 4: He’s the One
Having given up on the dream of a husband but refusing to give up the dream of a baby, Melinda Bane is putting her eggs into the sperm bank basket. When a fire puts her dreams on hold, she turns to her oldest friend Jared to help her through, like he always has.

Jared doesn’t mind running to help his brother’s ex-wife, Melinda, whenever she needs him. But while helping her repair her sunroom and learning of her hopes for a family, Jared has an idea of how he can fix even more than her home.

Book 5: Kiss me Again
Andee’s ten-year marriage has lost its spark. Whether it’s attending couples counseling or a BDSM dungeon, Andee will do whatever it takes to reignite the flame. But when all her measures fail and leave her frustrated, Andee wonders if anything will rekindle the fire she so desperately desires.



Kristi Rose was raised in central Florida on boiled peanuts and iced tea. She’s been lucky enough to travel the world but now, a wife and mother, she's resigned to traveling to the grocery store. No matter where she is, she enjoys watching people and wondering about their story. That’s what Kristi likes to write. Stories about everyday people, the love that brings them together, and their journey getting there. Kristi is a member of RWA.



Title: Love Comes Home
Author: Kristi Rose
Series: A Collection Of Second Chance Short Stories
Publisher: Vintage Housewife Books
Release Date: 18th August 2015

BLURB from Goodreads
The perfect length books to satisfy your need to read when time is limited. Great for the carpool, waiting in line, running kids to practice, or lounging on the beach.

I am looking forward to reading this collection of short stories and am hoping that the community they are set in may be as good as the Snow Valley Novella/Short Story Anthologies I have read. The difference is in this collection all the stories are written by the same author.

I signed up to be part of the "PR by the book" Review Blog Tour for this book. I was given an e-arc of this collection in exchange for my honest review. The cover depicts a field on a summery looking day with the bodies of a couple entwined, with the woman holding a bunch of flowers. There is a light blue colour band across the lower half of the book with the authors name on it. Under the banner there are small individual cover images for each of the stories.
Would the cover make me pick this one up in a bookstore? I do like the cover and find it attractive enough. If I was looking for a contemporary read then I think I'd pick this one up in a bookstore to learn more so I guess the answer is yes!
I think the best way of reviewing this collection is to review it the same way as I do most anthology/collections by going through the book story by story and then sort of do a sum up of the collected works at the end. All the short stories are set in a small area in Florida in a place where everyone knows everyone else's business.

So first up is 
Second Chances- Book 1: A fourteen year old heartbreak is the only thing that stands between a second chance at love and happiness for Cole Williams and Lorelei Parker. 
In this short story we are introduce to Lorelei one of the owners of the diner, "Two Chicks and Bacon." Lorelei is still feeling grouchy after her early morning start baking the quiches for the diner when the other co-owner Andee arrives with more food supplies. The two women have been friends since first grade and continue to have a close friendship as they work together. Andee is married to Buck who also attended the same school as Andee and Lorelei. Lorelei's attention is drawn to a piece in the newspaper saying that Cole Williams is moving back to Florida. Cole and Lorelei used to be very close right up until he left. When Cole call's in the diner later and speaks to Lorelei using the version of her name he always did "Lore" her reaction is to feign surprise and pretend she doesn't recognise him. She even asks him to turn around so she has a view of the back of his head and body. Then remarks Oh yes it is you I recognise the view now, I remember seeing that as you rushed off to college! So to say things are less than amicable is a bit of an understatement. Another thing that bothers Lorelei about Cole moving back to the area is the fact he will be unavoidable when she is at home as well as when she's in the diner. Cole is staying with his mum who lives right next door to Lorelei. Cole tries to apologise and refers to letters he has sent her every year since he left town, as he does so more is revealed about the events surrounding him going off to college. Lorelei openly admits she has never opened any of the letters she received from him nor has any inclination to want to read the letters either.
I loved the characters in this story, especially the quick witted Lorelei, a strong female who will not forgive Cole immediately, she is stubborn and holding on to some incident in their past. Can she leave the past behind? and become friends with Cole again? I
t is revealed they were once much more than "just friends". Living in a small community there is plenty of gossip and eyes watching Cole and Lorelei interact in the diner. Andee and Buck eagerly welcome Cole back and so does much of the community, but Lorelei still feels very bitter towards they guy that featured heavily in her dreams for the future.
There is also an epilogue at the end of the novella/short which I loved as it was like a glimpse into the future to see what happened after the initial story.

Once Again- Book 2: When old flame Grady Duke moves in next door to workaholic Evie Barker, she realizes there's more lacking in her life than down time. 
In this second story we are in the same little community in Lakeland, Florida, this time the spotlight is on Evie Barker and Grady Duke. Evie hadn't had a great childhood but only two people truly knew the full reality of her home life and they were Lorelei and Grady. It was whilst intoxicated that Evie's father crashed his car. Evie's dad was killed out right but Evie's mum was in Evie's opinion "not so lucky". Evie's dad had overshot the driveway and ended up pinning Evie's mother up against the house wall with his car. Evie is another hard working, strong female. Evie has had to be strong as she works in the same nursing hoome her mother is resident in. Evie has a "word of the day" app. The first day we meet Evie her word of the day is "Gamble" something she wouldn't normally do in any part of her life. Evie is having a bad day from her own mum refusing to eat, to a resident falling and a stomach bug that is making it's way around the nursing home, all providing more work and a more stressful situation for Evie. As Evie get's home she notices a large "u haul" (what would be called a removal van in the UK) this could be another possible stressful part of her day, it seem's she is getting new neighbours. Evie is glad to have seen the last of the other neighbours, who were loud, partying students! So Evie is curious to find out about her new neighbour, and instead of waiting to find out she decides she should be more pro-active and search out the new resident, maybe even set out some ground rules for the neighbourhood with them. The new neighbour turns out to be the blue grey flint eyed Grady Duke. Grady Duke is responsible for all of Evie's first's, from first kisses to sex. In Evie's opinion Grady got out of Lakeland at his first opportunity. Grady had joined the marines. Apparently Grady has returned to work locally as his dad is ill and he wants to be closer to him, so he is teaching American History with a focus on the Civil War at Florida Southern College.
The next day begins pretty much the same as any day for Evie, though her new "word of the day" is "kismet". Evie goes to the diner, orders what she always does and relaxes in her precious peaceful moments in the diner before she starts work. Lorelei is quite close to Evie as it was her prescher father and her mum that took Evie under their family wing and helped her through college applications etc. Grady calls into the diner, and when Evies leaves she asks him is he has a "missus" and hints he would be perfect for Evie but then warns him not to hurt Evie. Grady asks about Evie and I loved the fact Andee actually tell's Grady that Evie "needs a fairy godmother not a wolf in sheep's clothing" which is a great analogy as Grady was known as a bit of a player with girlfriends etc. The two old friends Grady and Evie get together to chat about "old times" etc and go over old misunderstandings etc. . . It turns out maybe Grady wasn't as big a player as he made out to be. That perhaps it was all a big front to cover his true feelings and his own insecurities.
Again I loved the main characters of Evie and Grady as well as having a catch up in the "Two Chicks and Bacon" Diner with co-owners Andee and Lorelei.

Reason to Stay- Book 3: Rising songwriter Shea Barker is driven toward one thing- her career. Until she meets sports writer Leo Marshall and discovers that maybe her lyrics aren’t the only place where love is found. 
So in this story we are concentrating on Shea Barker, Evies younger sister and a male resident of Lakeland called Leo Marshall. Sadly Evie's mother has passed on and it is the day of her funeral. Shea the younger sister of Evie is back in town for the funeral. Shea feel's out of place yet back at home all at the same time. She feels like everyone is watching her and gossiping about how she was such a wayward teen and how she left home to chase a dream career in Nashville as a country singer. It's at the funeral Shea notices what she describes as an Indiana Jones type. The Indiana Jones male smiles and nods at her, then later at the wake in Evie's home actually speaks to her. Unfortunately for Leo he opens his mouth and ends up literally putting both feet into it by offering her a sneaky slug/nip of alcohol from his hidden flask. Shea is shocked and soon makes Leo regret his words. Even though he realises is faux pas offering drink to an alcoholics daughter and apologises he leaves the wake shortly afterwards. Shea hasn't told anyone about the large, life changing decision she has to make. She hasn't made it as a singer but has been offered work as a song writer. In fact a song she has written keeps being played on the radio, but Shea is saddened when Evie expresses a dislike for it. 
This story was a more poignant and deeper plot, which I enjoyed and felt totally captured by. It was different than the previous ones as they were about female residents of Lakeland with returning males. In this one it is the female character returning "home" to try and make amends and Shea tries to come to terms with her past and perhaps gain some peace and a different future for herself. The short story also has an epilogue which I loved as we sort of revisited Shea and Leo further down their life roads. As well as catching up with older favourite characters from the previous stories like Evie and Grady.

He’s the One- Book 4: Melinda Bane is putting her eggs into the sperm bank basket. When a house fire puts her dreams on hold, her oldest friend Jared Calhoun just might have a solution.
The central character in this story is Melinda Bane, a twice divorced women, not getting any younger whose "biological clock" seems to be screaming at her to sort out having a family before its too late. In Lakeland she is classed as a bit of a maneater just because she has been married and is now divorced. It's always the same in such places as Lakeland, if a woman is married and divorced she is a man eater, if a man does the same it is socially more acceptable. There's been a fire at Melinda's home, her lovely sunroom at the back of her home has burnt down. the fire brigade are there with her. One of the firemen being an old school friend she has known since kindergarten is trying to comfort Melinda as best he can. Melinda is trying to see a brighter side of everything thinking "When life gives you poop, use it for compost".  Suddenlt Jared Calhoun arrives on the scene with tarps to cover the blackened gaping hole that is the back of her once beautiful home. I think the fact that Melinda asked Jared if he is an "ambulance chaser" is comical but really fits her character well! Jared is Lance's brother. Melinda was married to Lance many years ago when they had both just finished high school, so Jared classes Melinda "as family". It's a feeling Melinda both loves and hates in fairly equal measure. Jared is very protective of Melinda and has always "held a candle" for her, as the saying goes in Yorkshire!

Kiss me Again- Book 5: Andee Swift's ten year marriage has lost its spark and, whether it’s costume play or couples therapy, she’ll do whatever it takes to reignite the flame.
The central characters in this the final short story of this collection are Andee, Co owner of "Two Chicks and Bacon" and her husband and high school sweetheart Buck. Andee is somewhat afraid that her marriage has become stale and that maybe Buck could be looking for a new "honey". Buck does seem to be a bit distant but it is not what Andee is thinking. Things come to a head when Buck returns home from "work" drunk, his dad has yet again fired him but instead of coming home, Buck went to the pub to drown his "sorrows". Andee thinks that him being fired is the nonsense it usually is but this time Buck has decided he will not bow down to his father and apologise for what ever imaginary thing he has done wrong to get his job back .For some time Buck has been thinking of starting his own business venture. The couple end up bottling up their emotions and just plodding on. Andee goes to work and when Buck arrives at the "Two chicks and Bacon" and goes into the kitchen to speak to Andee, sadly their initial disagreement soon gets out of hand and the whole diner can hear them airing their differences and disagreement. Lorelei takes charge of the situation and orders them to go to her preacher fathers Marriage counselling classes that he is holding this weekend. 
Buck is not keen on attending the sessions but knows they need to do something as they cannot continue of the bickering phase they seem stuck in now. 
Lorelei's father welcomes them to the church and says they are just in time for the introductions. They look around the room and see there are three other couple and them. The first couple are Fred and Milly Brown, they are returning for their annual "marriage tune up" session. They've been married twenty years and say that the sessions with the Reverend has saved their marriage. Next up is Tyler and Tiffany, they are taking the classes as a pre-marriage thing to make sure they really know each other and are making the right decision in going ahead with their marriage. The final couple is Lisa and Kevin Norman, a couple that Buck and Andee were at high school with. Lisa says that she is married to a jackass, then quickly apologies for saying the word jackass in church.  As Lisa finishes speaking Buck quickly whispers for andee to introduce them, he doesn't feel confident in speaking yet. Andee introduces herself and Buck saying they have been together since high school, and that her friend and business partner Lorelei insisted they attend the classes with the Reverend. The Reverend responds with laughter and is quite jovial, asking about their fight in the diner and if it is a normal regular occurrence for them.
To begin the counselling session the Reverend leads them all in a prayer before handing out sheets of paper with a list of questions on it. The exercise is for them to answer the list of eight questions with eight photographs. 
The questions to be answered with photographs are:
1. Where did you go on your first date?
2. Where did you go on your last date?
3. What's one thing your spouse loves more than anything?
4. What's one thing you love more than anything?
5. Where was the last place you shared a laugh?
6. What is your spouse's goal?
7. What is their dream?
8. What is your dream?
Everyone takes the sheets ans wander off. Andee wonders if her and Buck's relationship is more like that of roomates than lovers. As they look at the questions memories begin to come back to them, things they had long forgotten about. Some memories warm her heart and make her smile. Then Andee tries to think when things began to go wrong. . . maybe it was her obsession with them buying a holiday home. Soon it's time to to show the photos they have and explain them to the group. The first couple to deliver their answers are Fred and Milly. Then the Reverend asks Buck and Andee to go next and take turns to reveal the answers. As they deliver their answers they begin to really talk to each other and also they truly listen to each other too.
There is also an Epilogue to this story that gives us an update of Buck and Andee, and reveals how their plans for business and their relationship have gone. Did the marriage counselling work? Did they stay together and build a stronger marriage or did they part ways?
I totally loved this short story too. By the time I had gotten to this last short story I was wondering if I was going to get any insight into Andee and Buck as they were mentioned in the other short stories. I totally adored them both as characters, one minute you wanted to shake each of them and perhaps "knock their heads together" and then the next minute you wanted to smile and enjoy them both reminiscing about their high school dates. 
This collection of short stories take you through a whole range of emotions and a whole extensive range of relationship centred problems and issues.
So did I enjoy this collection of short stories? I totally adored it. I immersed myself in the setting of the short stories and enjoyed every word of every short story.
Would I recommend this collection of short stories? Definitely! I would recommend these short stories they are ideal to read with a cup of tea, or perhaps on a bus journey to work. I read and loved the Snow Valley anthologies and think readers that love those would love the writing style of Kristi Rose too.
Would I want to read more about the characters featured in these stories? I would love to! In fact I have already purchased The Girl He Knows by Kristi Rose which the author has told me actually features a character called Melinda who also featured in the fourth story in this collection. So I am very interested to read more!
Would I want to read more titles by this author? Yes, as I have said above I have already purchased The Girl He Knows by Kristi Rose and am hoping to read it soon. I have been told by a super reliable source (the Author) that the character of Melinda features in it and she was one of my favourite characters from the whole collection.

Fantastic individual tales, within a great collection of short stories. I also love the setting of these short tales set in a community where everyone has grown up together and everyone knows everyone else's business too. The characters are very well written and realistic which makes you care about them and their families. I truly never thought I could possibly find another setting as magical as the one in the "Snow Valley Anthologies" but the setting of the short tales in this collection really is as good! I also adore the characters of these short stories, all have strong female leads within them. The "glue" that sticks all the short stories together is the diner "Two Chicks & Bacon" and it's co-owners Andee & Lorelei. I'd totally love some more of these characters, please!


Grand Prize 
One signed ebook or paperback, inspirational sign 
(see image), and $25 gift card of choice (US or FPO/APO address only).
1st Prize
 One digitally signed LOVE COMES HOME ebook, $15 gift card of choice  (international).

2nd Prize
One digitally signed LOVE COMES HOME ebook, and $10 gift card of choice (international)


  1. You favorite person:-). Reading your summaries of the story made me fall back in love with the characters. When you spend so much time with them they sometimes get on your nerves (shhh, don't tell them). But not after reading what you posted above, I just want to write more about them. I am SO glad that you liked them. I hope you like The Girl He Knows (you might find Paisley a tad whiny but she gets better). Stay in touch with me. The second book for that series is in the final stages and I'd be happy to gift it to you once it's done. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you, for taking the time to read the stories and for hosting me on my tour. <3

    1. You are welcome, I loved the story collection! ~ Jeanz

  2. Thank for hosting Jeanz! I'm so happy you loved these characters!

  3. This is a new author for myself! Thanks for the intro! Looking forward to reading her books:)

    1. I highly recommend them Angie D. I really loved all the characters! ~Jeanz