Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Goddess Fish Promotions: "Healing Notes" by Maggie Jaimeson Book Review

Forgiving yourself is the first step, but helping others forgive may be just too hard.

Rachel Cullen grew up in Scotland with a fiddle in her hand from the age of four. She couldn't imagine life as anything but a musician. When her husband brought her to America she was immediately embraced by the Celtic and Bluegrass communities. But after her divorce, Rachel's life is a mess.

A year of trying to prove to herself that she's woman enough for any man, and then a vicious rape while on tour with the band, leaves Rachel reeling. When she meets Noel Kershaw, an English teacher who is poetry in motion, she is definitely attracted. But he has a young child and he's suffering from his own divorce. The last thing Rachel needs in life is more baggage.

First, Rachel must reconcile who she is, what she wants, and how to get there. Maybe then she'll know how to be a part of the family she's always wanted.


As she reached for the handle, the door opened and a little girl rushed out, maybe six or seven years old, with beautiful long blond hair caught up in a blue denim bow.  She ran to a light blue sedan next to Rachel’s and giggled as she skipped through puddles circling the car. Rachel couldn’t help but smile at the child’s carefree innocence.

After three circles, the girl stopped at the back end of the car, cocked her head and waved two fingers at her. “Hi.”

“Um, hi.” Rachel raised her hand and waved back. “Did you forget somebody? Your mommy maybe?”

“Claire, I told you to stay close.”

At the sound of the tenor voice beside her, Rachel started.  A man three to four inches taller than her had stepped out. In one hand he held several colorful ribbons attached to a bright pink, heart-shaped helium balloon that read Happy Birthday. He looked toward the car where the child was still giggling.

The little girl raced back. Skidding to a stop in front of Rachel, they bumped and Rachel teetered slightly toward the wall.

“Careful there.” A weathered hand reached toward her and wrapped around her elbow. His touch was softer than she expected, but her knees still locked, ready to spring if she needed to move fast. He held her up with one hand. Deep brown eyes, emphasized by his full head of short, wavy blonde hair, looked at her then turned toward the girl.”

“Apologize, Claire. You almost knocked her over.”

“I’m sorry.” A small hand lifted to touch her other arm.

“That’s okay. Really.  I should have been paying more attention.” Rachel smiled and pointed to the balloon. “Latha breith.”

“Excuse me?”

“Oh, I…” She had lapsed into Gaelic.  Something she hadn’t done in public since Kavan left her almost three years ago. “I said ‘Happy Birthday.’” 

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I am so very pleased that I had the opportunity to read this book.  I was drawn into the story from the first page, and I assure you there was never a dull moment. And, of course, since it was about a music group (that I absolutely must look up!)and took place in the Mt. Hood area (I'm a Washingtonian!), I couldn't have been happier! Rachel was a wonderfully flawed character that was an outstanding reminder that rape is NEVER a woman's fault, no matter what.

From the beginning, I loved Noel and Claire, and I was distrustful of Clarissa--no matter what she said.  My heart cried for Kat, and the twists and turns continued to keep me guessing.  Do you want raw emotion, romance, and heartbreak?  You will find this and more in this exceptionally well-crafted tale.  I was glad that the author was able to inject appropriate humor into the story.  I often get tired of authors writing about serious topics and adding no humor in them to break the tension.   I am so glad this author doesn't fall into that pattern!

As much as I love this book, I will caution you about a few things.  First of all, this book does deal with rape, and some of the scenes/descriptions are intense.  None of this offended me due to the nature of the book.  Secondly, there is some profanity.  Most of it is not too bad, but it is there (and especially in the second half of the book, I grew tired of that).  And finally, there are some intense bedroom scenes.  In addition to the rape situations, there are a couple detailed bedroom scenes.  I didn't find myself highly offended during these.  They were detailed without making me feel "dirty," but there were there.  This is not a sweet, clean romance, but let me tell you that the romance is hot!  While the Rachel's morals do not mirror my own, I was pleased to see some positive changes, but I'll let you read about that yourself.

I did not read the first book in the series, but now I wish I had--and maybe I will do just that!  I definitely want to read the third book when it comes out.  And i can highly recommend this book to any woman who loves a good romance and would like to read a book about healing and the issue of rape, this would be an ideal book!

I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.  I was not financially compensated, and all opinions are 100 percent mine.

Maggie Jaimeson writes romantic women’s fiction and romantic suspense with a near future twist. She describes herself as a wife, a step-mother, a sister, a daughter, a teacher and an IT administrator. By day she is “geek girl” – helping colleges to keep up with 21st century technology and provide distance learning options for students in rural areas. By night Maggie turns her thoughts to worlds she can control – worlds where bad guys get their comeuppance, women triumph over tragedy, and love can conquer all.

HEALING NOTES is the second book in the Sweetwater Canyon Series of four books.  The final two books will be available in 2013.

Twitter: @maggiejaimeson

Maggie will award one autographed cover flat to a randomly drawn commenter at each blog stop. In addition, she will award a $25 gift card to either Amazon or Barnes and Noble (winner's choice) as a grand prize to one randomly selected commenter on this tour, and a $25 gift certificate to either Amazon or Barnes and Noble (winner's choice) to a randomly drawn host. You must leave an email address to be entered into any of the drawings.  Follow the entire tour here.


  1. Ruth, Thank you so much for taking the time to read and review this book. I also appreciate how much care you take to let your readers know where they may have difficulty with the book. I can tell you that I had difficulty writing it and making decisions of what to include or not include that were true to the character. I am happy that you were able to get past some of those objectionable parts and get to the meaning of the story.

    I will say that this series of books was purposely designed to explore the difficulties of portraying sex so easily in romance novels. I've had many readers write to me about their own experiences and how the ease with which romance characters fall into bed bothers them.

    I suspect you will like the next book, HEARTSTRINGS, because there will be no sex. Sarah is a devoted Christian with a strong belief in waiting until marriage (not popular in this day and age). Thus her character will struggle with maintaining her beliefs in spite of pressure from many directions. She will also struggle with a decision on whether to stay with the band or not.

    Thanks again for your recommendation of HEALING NOTES.

  2. Great post..I've put Healing Notes on my TBR!!

  3. I do appreciate your honest review thank you. I'm going to enjoy HEALING NOTES.


  4. The drawing for the $25 Gift Card was done this weekend. The winner is Mary Preston, lucky commenter #18. She has been notified of her win.

    For the autographed cover flat giveaway, I've decided to give one to any one who commented and wishes to receive it. Because the cover flat must be snail mailed to you, you will need to send me an email to maggie@maggiejaimeson.com letting me know the following:

    1. Your mailing address.
    2. If you want the autographed flat endorsed to you. If so, what name should I use?

    I am willing to mail the cover flat to you, no matter where you live in the world. I appreciate all my readers. Thank you for taking the time to follow my review tour and for taking a look at Healing Notes.


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