Joyfully Reviewed is thrilled to welcome Author Julia London
and kick off the tour for her upcoming release
Title: Return to Homecoming Ranch (Pine River Trilogy, Book 2)
Author: Julia London
Genre: Women’s fiction
Release date: July 22, 2014
Curly-haired Libby Tyler never stops smiling…until her beloved boyfriend suddenly forces her out of their home and away from his adoring kids. When she learns he dumped her for his flighty ex-wife, Libby’s sadness turns to fury—and she very publicly smashes his truck with a golf club, earning herself a trip to a mental health center for some “rest.”
Handsome, hazel-eyed deputy Sam Winters has been sober for two years. Afraid of backsliding, he lives in the mountains and keeps his distance from people. Yet he never forgot Libby, his former colleague at the sheriff’s office whose charm and cheerfulness always warmed his days.
Now Libby’s back, ignoring the townspeople’s whispers (and her ex’s restraining order) while desperately trying to make Homecoming Ranch a successful event destination. She keeps causing trouble for Sam, but he finds her smile more beautiful than ever…and his touch gives her thrills she’s never felt. Could these two lost souls mend each other’s broken hearts?
Sam Winters has been sober for two years. Sam is the strong silent type keeping to himself trying to protect his sobriety. Before he let alcohol take over his life he was working his way up in the Sheriff’s department. Now he is happy to have his small town job as a deputy. Things are usually nice and quiet letting Sam lead a solitary life on the mountain but one woman is determined to try his patience.
Libby Tyler used to be known as a sweet and giving woman. She was always put together nicely and working for local causes. However, everything changed when she took a golf club to her ex’s truck. Now, Libby’s ex Ryan has a restraining order against her. She is having a lot of trouble staying the required distance from Ryan and his children which brings Deputy Dog, Sam onto her path.
Libby is the most frustrating creature Sam has ever met. While he should agree with the masses that a little more time in the loony bin would do Libby some good Sam can’t stop wanting to help her. Homecoming Ranch heats up as Sam attempts to bring Libby back down to earth and Libby attempts to bring Sam out of his shell once again. Will all be well at Homecoming Ranch or will these two do more harm than good?
Julia London’s Return to Homecoming Ranch marries contemporary, complex characters with dark humor creating a meaningful and memorable romance. This is my first book in the series and it can be read as a stand-alone. When I read the synopsis I thought it was going to be a funny romance but it didn’t take long for me to realize that Return to Homecoming Ranch is a very serious romance.
Sam and Libby are two characters that have been through dark times. Sam is ahead of Libby on the recovery road. He is two years sober while Libby is right in the middle of her trauma. She is in denial at the beginning of the story. Libby doesn’t see what is wrong with the way she is thinking. There were times I wanted to shake her so bad. She was frustrating but I understood her. I wanted to punch her ex, wait…that is not severe enough. I may have thought of many different ways to murder him. Every woman has unfortunately come across a man like him before.
Sam made me melt. This is the type of man I hope to one day marry. He has flaws, he acknowledges them and works to improve himself and help others. He is always going the extra mile for people. There are lots of great scenes between Libby and Sam. At first they are filled with humor and sometimes sadness but things heat up swiftly. I really felt like I was on the outside looking in at a couple falling in love. I was right there with them for every moment of their journey. London’s excellent prose allows the reader to go on an in depth and up close journey with the characters.
London delivers a homerun with Return to Homecoming Ranch’s humor, emotion and characters that leave you wanting more.
Outside, she could hear the voices rise to a crescendo at the opening kick off. She lifted her head, breathed out once more. Dr. Huber was right—deep breathing did help. Libby pitched forward onto her hands and knees, then pushed herself up, down dog style, to standing. She looked at herself in the mirror. There was no sign that she was on the verge of exploding with disappointment and frustration. She sighed, tucked in a stray curl or two, smoothed her top, and with one last deep breath, reached for the bathroom door, unlocking it and pulling it open.
She let out a little squeal of surprise to see Sam standing there, leaning against the wall opposite the door. “What are you doing here?” she demanded.
“Yes. Why?” she asked defensively.
Sam cocked a brow.
“I’m fine,” she said adamantly.
“Okay,” he said, and pushed away from the wall.
“But wait—I need to know something. Do you think I would do something to torpedo Leo’s fundraising just because Gwen is involved?” she blurted, because it suddenly seemed of the utmost importance that Sam not think that, of all people.
“No,” he said firmly. “Don’t let it get to you, Libby. You know how it is out in the world today—people are more cautious than they used to be.”
“So basically, what you’re saying, is all of Pine River is worried that I will be the one to pick up a gun and start firing.”
He smiled sympathetically. “I wouldn’t say all.”
“I’m teasing you.”
“Yeah,” she said. “You should look into stand-up comedy.”
“Maybe I will,” he said, and moved forward. Only inches separated them now. “Are you ready to come watch some football?”
Libby sighed, and before she knew what she was doing, she dropped her forehead to Sam’s shoulder. “I don’t think I can.”
“Sure you can,” he murmured.
They stood awkwardly a moment—Libby leaning into Sam, her face in his shirt, her arms at her side. Sam standing stiff and still. But then Libby felt him lift one hand. He put it on the small of her back.
“Don’t cry,” he said.
She snorted. “I’m not crying. I’m too mad to cry.”
Another hand came up and landed on her back. He gave her a strange, but friendly little pat, as if he didn’t know what to do with her precisely.
Libby lifted her head. In that close hallway, Sam’s eyes looked dark. “Sam—”
“No,” he said quickly, cutting her off. “I meant what I said, Libby. No more hand-holding.”
“I know. I heard you the first five times you said it.” His eyes were the color of turbulent, churning seas.
“Great,” he said as his gaze drifted to her mouth. “Then you understand that your problem is not mine.”
“Good!” she said, studying his bottom lip, full and wet. A shiver of memory raced down her spine. “You’re too bossy, anyway.”
“God, don’t talk anymore,” he said, and lowered his head, his mouth hungrily finding hers.
Please tell us a bit about your latest release.
Return to Homecoming Ranch is the second book in my Homecoming Ranch series, set in fictional Pine River, Colorado. It’s about three sisters who never knew each other existed until their deadbeat father died and left them a rundown property.
In this, we meet Libby, a woman who’s returning from a bit of a nervous breakdown after the man she assumed she’d marry cheated on her while Libby was raising his children and making a home for them. The blindsiding news that she was out was the last straw in a series of disappointments Libby had suffered, and it’s the straw that break the camel’s back. Enter Sam, a local deputy who had been on the fast track to sheriff until the bottle got the better of him. He works hard to maintain his sobriety by keeping a respectable distance between himself and life. He doesn’t want any drama. But that’s something that is increasingly hard to keep at bay when he decides he must help Libby.
They are two wounded souls trying not to be drawn into the whirlwind or emotion that surrounds them. We’re not really sure if they will be able to hold tight and become the anchor they both need?
Are you attending any conventions in 2014? If so, what are the top three reasons as to why you like/choose them?
I attended #RT14 and I’m also attending RWA 2014. RT is a great opportunity to meet and visit with fans. They really remind me that I don’t live in a vacuum. My job is a solitary one, so it’s nice to be reminded at an event like RT that people out there read and enjoy my work. RWA on the other hand is generally more about the business side of the industry. I meet with my publishers and agent, and talk about industry trends. I talk a lot of shop with other authors, too. It’s the time of year to get caught up with the world of publishing. And, of course, there is the RITA ceremony and awards which I am looking forward to.
What is your favorite romance genre and what author makes you absolutely swoon?
Historical romance will always be my favorite. I like so many other authors it’s hard to single one out! But I adored Connie Brockway before I was ever published and still do.
What is your dream vacation spot?
Mountains. My family has a place in Taos, New Mexico, and it’s still my favorite place to get away.
What do you think has been the most important moment or event of your life so far? And why do you feel that way?
Don’t call me a wimp, but I can’t name one. There have been so many events that have shaped my life and lead me down different paths, starting with the decision to go away to college one thousand years ago.
Is there anything else you would like our readers to know?
Just how much I appreciate them and their love of the romance genre. And how much I appreciate bloggers like you, who help get the word out about great books and authors. Please keep reading!
Boxers or Brief: boxer briefs
Manscape or Not: can go either way
Lights On or Lights Off: can go either way
Summer or Winter: winter
Peanuts or Chocolate: Chocolate
Batman or Superman: batman
The Voice or American Idol: sick of both!
Christmas or Birthday: birthday
Heels or Flats: flats
Talk or Text: text
Action Movie or Comedy: comedy
Facebook or Twitter: Facebook. It takes too much time to figure out how to say everything I want to say in 140 characters or less.
Ms. London is giving away a Tiffany & Co. Pendant, a beautiful bracelet & More! You don’t want to miss your chance to win these outstanding prizes!
Julia London is the New York Times and USA Today best selling author of more than a two dozen romantic fiction novels. She is the author of the popular Secrets of Hadley Green historical romance series, as well as the new Cabot Sisters historical series. She is also the author of several contemporary romances, including Homecoming Ranch and Return to Homecoming Ranch.
Julia is the recipient of the RT Bookclub Award for Best Historical Romance and a four time finalist for the prestigious RITA award for excellence in romantic fiction.