Tuesday, January 21, 2014

REVIEW & GIVEAWAY: Country Roads by Nancy Herkness

Country Roads
by Nancy Herkness



When sheltered artist Julia Castillo flees her hometown, she has one goal: to prove to her overbearing family she can make it on her own. She knows they only want the best for her, but when they question her artistic vision, it’s time to break free. Julia’s search for independence carries her to the small town of Sanctuary, West Virginia. There, her courage is tested as never before—by her love for a handsome country lawyer, her bond with a dangerous black stallion, and a secret she is desperate to keep…

Paul Taggart abandoned his high-powered legal career to return to Sanctuary, giving up his own dreams to care for his troubled brother. Then Julia Castillo blows into town like a fresh mountain breeze, changing his staid, predictable life forever. Has Paul earned his second chance at happiness? Or does loving Julia mean having the strength to let her go?


Another vehicle whooshed past, then flashed red brake lights and pulled over to the side of the highway well in front of her. Now that she had a potential rescuer, all the warnings about what happened to unprotected women with broken-down cars flashed through her brain. As the black, low-slung car reversed toward her, she wished she hadn’t tossed the wrench; hefting it would have made her look a little threatening. Instead she had to settle for arranging her keys between her fingers so their ends stuck out as she made a fist, another tidbit she’d picked up from television.

The car’s door swung open, and a man in a pale-blue shirt, red tie, and navy slacks emerged, unfolding his long legs as he stepped out onto the gravel.

“A tie seems pretty upstanding,” she muttered, loosening her grip on the keys. “Serial killers probably don’t wear ties on a regular basis.”

She planted her feet wide apart and crossed her arms as the Good Samaritan approached with a fluid, ground-eating stride. She guessed he was in his early thirties, and her artist’s sensibility quivered with the urge to paint the planes and shadows of a face that was too strong for classic handsomeness but far more interesting. He had hair like an ancient Greek portrait: thick, dark waves you wanted to bury your fingers in. As he approached, his silver-gray eyes almost glowed in contrast against his olive skin. He would be a perfect model for one of those half-immortal, half-human offspring the Greek gods were always fathering. What were they called? Demigods.  

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Born and raised in the mountains of West Virginia, Nancy Herkness’s passion for writing romance began the day her grandmother gave her a Georgette Heyer novel. After graduating from Princeton University with honors in English literature and creative writing, she had successful careers in retail, computer programming, and marketing before finally returning to her first love: writing. The author of Take Me Home and three other contemporary romances, Herkness was named one of 2003’s Best Up and Coming Authors in the Affaire de Coeur’s readers’ poll. She is also a winner of the Golden Leaf Award, the Aspen Gold Award, and the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence. She currently resides in New Jersey with her husband and two mismatched dogs.


Website: www.NancyHerkness.com

Blogs: http://fromthegarret.wordpress.com/  and  http://sistertowns.wordpress.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/nancyherkness

Twitter: @NancyHerkness

Buy links: Kindle: http://amzn.to/17FKFFx
  Amazon Print: http://amzn.to/15GulD9

Nancy will be awarding a $25 Amazon GC to two randomly drawn commenters during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Adri's Review:

This is a very sweet story. I loved the whisper horses concept and the love between the characters. 

Paul is that all around good guy who is really unhappy with a lot of what's gone on in his life but hides it from the world. His sense of responsibility and need to care for others (especially his brother and nephew) leaves him with the feeling as if he will never have anything good happen in his life. 

Julia has spent her whole life being sheltered and protected by her family, especially her uncle. Due to some health issues she had a child her uncle thinks she can't handle stress in her life. I liked that she was brave enough to push out from under her family's protection and go after what she wants. She learns that what happened in her childhood doesn't have to dictate the rest of her life. She also understands that it's perfectly alright to expand and grow in the way that she wants.

The cast of characters she meets when she arrives in Sanctuary are so sweet and loving. They embody the meaning of neighborly love and help that could only be found in a small town. They also help both Paul and Julia see that it's okay to be happy in their lives and to choose the path that they want.

Another thing that I like about the story was how it shows (through the use of the whisper horse) that every living thing is capable of changing and improving with the right motivation and love.

This is a very sweet story that I think you will all enjoy...

Happy Reading... Adri.   


  1. This sounds like the perfect relax and just read book. Sweet, thoughtful and w/o the typical angst. Thanks for sharing

  2. Thank you so much for the wonderful, perceptive review! I am so honored to be featured on your blog! If anyone has any questions about COUNTRY ROADS or any other of my books, please feel free to ask! I'll be checking in here on a regular basis to read comments.

  3. Check out my Facebook giveaway on my Author Page if you want even more chances to win goodies from me.

  4. Are there any horse lovers here? COUNTRY ROADS is the second of my Whisper Horse novels. I grew up telling my pony Papoose all my problems, so I came up with the idea of a "whisper horse", a special horse you could tell your troubles to. Although the Whisper Horse novels are all love stories, I hope the added element of the horse is fun for my readers.

  5. Hi Nancy,

    I love your books especially Country Roads. I'm hoping it wins some big awards this year cause it deserves them. Paul Taggert is hard to resist. I love the chemistry between him and Julia. It also is pretty funny to watch his temper simmer when he thinks she's in trouble. I highly recommend reading Country Roads because it is one I couldn't put down and will def read again.

  6. Mia, thank you so much for your wonderful comments on COUNTRY ROADS. I'm delighted you thought Paul was irresistible because I adore him as a hero. I love the internal conflict of a bad-boy-turned-responsible-citizen.

  7. The cover seems quite joyous. Love the flowers. Lovely review thank you.

  8. Mary, thank you so much for your compliments on the cover! I find myself wanting to run through that field of yellow flowers, especially now that we are under a foot of snow here in NJ!

  9. I love country small town romances and I hadn't heard of this story. Thanks for sharing the blurb and review thoughts.

    As to the cover, its is warm and freeing especially since I am bound inside by the winter chill right now. Thanks for the giveaway opportunity.

    1. Sophia Rose, I'm delighted your a fan of small town romance! I love writing about the little town of Sanctuary in the mountains of West Virginia. It's a lot like the town I grew up in, but even better. That's the fun of being a novelist of course: improving things!

      I hear you about the winter chill. It's frigid here!

  10. The cover has a fun, happy free feeling to it!
    Thanks for the chance to win!

    1. Yes, Natasha D, free! That's what I hoped comes across. My heroine, Julia Castillo, has finally broken free of the constraints of her life and she encourages Paul Taggart to do the same. Thank you for picking up on that!

  11. Hi Nancy. I loved Take Me Home and have Country Roads on the top of my to be read pile.

    1. Maria, thank you so much! I'm glad COUNTRY ROADS has made it to the top of your TBR pile. That's an honor, since I'm pretty sure your TBR pile looks like mine: ready to topple over at any minute. ;-)

  12. I loved Take Me Home and can't wait to read Country Roads! Best wishes, Nancy!

    1. Many thanks, RoseAnn! I hope you enjoy COUNTRY ROADS. I like the Whisper Horse in it because he is a gorgeous, but troubled black stallion. He reminds me of the Black Stallion books I read in my youth.