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Thursday, 25 May 2017

VBT, REVIEW & #GIVEAWAY - Evergreen (The Smokey Blues #3) by Emily Mims


Contemporary Romance



Thirty-year-old musician Leilani Mahuiki is in Tennessee to find Joe Barstow, the birth father whose bone marrow might save her daughter’s life. She finds Bradley, too, Joe’s adopted son. Against all odds, she and Bradley make wonderful music together, she on the ukulele, he on the banjo. And Bradley is everything else she’s ever wanted in a man.

Bradley wants her, too. But is that enough? He needs a family of his own. Having grown up an outsider, he’s always dreamt of something simple and old-fashioned. No entanglements. No complications. Just mom, dad, and the kids. Not something Leilani can ever offer. She already has the very complications and entanglements that he so desperately wants to avoid, and that are not going away any time soon. And yet, as he and Leilani pull out all the stops to save her daughter’s life, he knows Leilani is the only woman for him. The most beautiful music in the world can sometimes happen when disharmony resolves—and a lonely Tennessee winter can become a tropical paradise.

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“I see.” Bradley thought a minute. “It’s a good deal for them and a good deal for Nalani. But is it really all that good a deal for you? What’s this done to your life, Leilani?”

“My child has three parents raising her and I have an incredible support system in George and Kekoa. And they have an incredible support system in me.”

“But what about the possibility of your ever finding love again? What has this cockamamie arrangement done to that?”

Leilani felt herself bristle. “It’s not cockamamie. It’s working well, thank you very much.”
“If it’s working out so damned well, why are you still single? Is it because your boyfriends are put off by the total and complete weirdness of whole thing?”

Leilani looked at Bradley with disdain. “Actually, this is the first time I’ve given a damn what my boyfriend thought of my totally, completely weird life. This is the first time since Bruce died that I’ve really cared about a man.”

“I didn’t realize.”

“You did, too. I told you a while back that I haven’t been serious about anyone since Bruce died. Congratulations. You’re the first one in ten years. The first damn man I’ve cared about since I put Bruce in the ground. You want to know why I didn’t tell you about Kekoa and George? Because even though I tried to warn you that I couldn’t give you the fifties sitcom family of your dreams, I thought way down deep that maybe you could get past that unrealistic dream a little and look at my admittedly unconventional family and visualize yourself a part of it. I thought that maybe, just maybe, you might come to love me enough to loosen the tight parameters you’ve set up in your mind and think outside that box. But that was damned stupid of me, wasn’t it?”

“Yes, it was,” Bradley said with a snap. “You’ve known from the beginning how I feel and what I want in a family. Unrealistic or no, that’s what I’m looking for. As much as I care about you, I’ll never be able to have that with you. You will always have other loyalties, other allegiances. It will never be just me and mine. I understand that now. I just wish you’d told me earlier. Maybe I wouldn’t have fallen for you the way I did. Maybe I wouldn’t hurt so much tonight.”

“Or maybe you wouldn’t hurt so much if your mind was a little broader,” Leilani snapped.

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5 out of 5 (exceptional)

Independent Reviewer for Archaeolibrarian - I Dig Good Books!

This book absolutely blew me away! I needed a really good romance read. One with sweetness, fire, some fight, and some serious love.  I think this book had all those and a good dose of them all too. I appreciated the author's writing and her diving into a deep love story that is anything but traditional. What is traditional love, anyway? 

This book has an incredible cast of characters, male, female, adults and kids. They are all great and all play such an integral part of the story. I really don't think you'd get the full story without them.  Some are bitter, some are loving, and some are full of piss and vinegar.  Either way, they love hard and are fierce protectors. They are a great bunch of characters to read about, from one story to the next. 

If you've followed my reviews at all, you know that it is a really big pet peeve of mine when a story is labeled to be part of a series but is mainly labeled a stand alone, but in reality, the story doesn't fit into that stand alone classification.  Well, this book falls into the idea it's part of a series but is a stand alone. Oh my heavens did this author knock this one out of the park.  The first two stories were not necessary to understand this story or to dive right in.  They truly are stand alone books. Now, I feel I must note that you're going to want to read them all. I haven't read the first two, but if they are anything like book 3, or anything like book 4 sounds to be like, you'll want to read them. I feel like it really was necessary to give credit where credit was due regarding the way that the author chose to write the story. 

Details and descriptions were perfect. In fact, after I finished the story, I sent my husband a text message and told him he needed to take me to Hawaii without our kids. The descriptions are just absolutely beautiful. They make you feel like you're sitting in the sand watching the waves. They really provided me some comfort. 

This is a pretty emotional book. The characters are flawed to the core, they aren't perfect, they have skeletons, and they have worked to be where they are. They have broken relationships and families. I think they are just like me and you. There is no such thing as a "perfect by the book family" but there is such a thing as your own perfect loving family.  What makes something perfect to you might not be perfect to me. This alone makes this story worth reading. It's anything but cookie cutter but is absolutely beautiful. 

I hope I've made you want to read this story. It's such a great read and has such astounding characters. I definitely applaud the author for the work she put into this story. Absolutely marvelous job! 

* A copy of this book was provided to me with no requirements for a review. I voluntarily read this book, and my comments here are my honest opinion. *

Follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found HERE

Emily Mims will be awarding a $10 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


What do you do when you’re not writing?  
I play four musical instruments well and am learning to play several more.  I play the ukulele in two musical groups and just got back from a ukulele cruise to Mexico.
Do you have a day job as well?  
I’m retired now but I spent 39 years as a public school teacher.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?  
Writing books and playing even more musical instruments.


How did you choose the genre you write in?  
The genre chose me!  I write romances because that’s what I love to read.
Do you ever experience writer’s block?  
Only when I’m writing the plot.  Once the plot is written, the rest comes easily.
Can you tell us about your challenges in getting your first book published?  
Way back in the early eighties, most of the heroines were very young and virginal.  So I wrote young and virginal and sent it to Candlelight Ecstasy.  They wrote back that they weren’t doing young and virginal any more!  So I wrote them the kind of heroine they were looking for and they bought the second book.  (That virgin never sold!)
Can you tell us about your upcoming book?  
‘Indigo’ is the sequel to ‘Evergreen’.  It’s Timberlynn Barstow’s story.
Is anything in your book based on real life experiences or purely all imagination?  
I play the ukulele and have spent a lot of time in Appalachia and some in Hawaii also.
What was your favourite chapter (or part) to write and why?  
I love doing scenes where my characters are in conflict, the black moment scenes, and the resolution scenes.
Are there certain characters you would like to go back to, or is there a theme or idea you’d love to work with?  
At some point I will revisit the Texas Hill Country characters and tell Wade Baxter and Benny Keller’s stories.
Do you have any advice to give to aspiring writers?  
Don’t listen to the naysayers!  Sit down and write your book.
What has been the toughest criticism you’ve been given as an author?  
My heroines are unkind or unlovable.
What has been the best compliment?  
A lady told me that she gave my book to her daughter because ‘that’s the way sex is supposed to be with the man you love’.
What sort of writing environment do you create? I.e. music or not? Pen and paper or laptop/PC?  
Quiet corner in bedroom, no music, sunshine coming in the window, PC except if I’m working at the lake house, in which case I use a laptop

Author of thirty romance novels, Emily Mims combined her writing career with a career in public education until leaving the classroom to write full time.  The mother of two sons and grandmother of six, she and her husband Charles live in central Texas but frequently visit grandchildren in eastern Tennessee and Georgia.  She plays the piano, organ, dulcimer, and ukulele and belongs to two performing bands.  She says, “I love to write romances because I believe in them.  Romance happened to me and it can happen to any woman-if she’ll just let it.”


Tour Organised by: Goddess Fish Promotions


  1. Congrats on the tour and thanks for the chance to win :)

  2. Thank you so much for having me today.! I appreciate the lovely review-it made my week! Readers, do you have any more questions for me?
    Best, Emily

  3. Thanks for sharing the excerpt & your review!

  4. What books are you looking to read in 2017? Thanks for the giveaway. I hope that I win. Bernie W BWallace1980(at)hotmail(d0t)com