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Wednesday, March 19, 2014

The Cottage on Juniper Ridge by Sheila Roberts (Book Review / Contest Giveaway)

In association with Goddess Fish Promotions, Jersey Girl Book Reviews is pleased to host the virtual book tour event for The Cottage on Juniper Ridge by Author Sheila Roberts!

Book Review

The Cottage on Juniper Ridge by Sheila Roberts
Book 4: Life In Icicle Falls Series
Publisher: Harlequin MIRA
Publication Date: February 25, 2014
Format: Paperback - 384 pages / Kindle - 490 KB / Nook - 379 KB
ISBN: 0778314545
Genre: Contemporary Romance

BUY THE BOOK: The Cottage on Juniper Ridge 

BUY THE SERIES: Life In Icicle Falls 
Book 0.5: Summer in a Small Town: Welcome to Icicle Falls / Treasure Beach
Book 1: Better Than Chocolate
Book 2: Merry Ex-Mas
Book 3: What She Wants
Book 4: The Cottage on Juniper Ridge
Book 5: The Tea Shop on Lavender Lane (Expected Publication: June 24, 2014)
Book 6: The Lodge on Holly Road (Expected Publication: October 28, 2014)

Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the author / publisher via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review and participation in a virtual book tour event hosted by Goddess Fish Promotions.

Book Description:

Can a book change your life? Yes, when it's Simplicity, Muriel Sterling's guide to plain living. In fact, it inspires Jen Heath to leave her stressful, overcommitted life in Seattle and move to Icicle Falls, where she rents a lovely little cottage on Juniper Ridge. And where she can enjoy simple pleasures—like joining the local book club—and complicated ones, like falling in love with her sexy landlord, Garrett Armstrong.

Her sister Toni is ready for a change, too. She has a teenage daughter who's constantly texting her friends, a husband who's more involved with his computer than he is with her, and a son who's consumed by video games. Toni wants her family to grow closer—to return to a simpler way of life.

Other women in town, like Stacy Thomas, are also inspired to unload their excess stuff and some of the extra responsibilities they've taken on.

But as they all discover, sometimes life simply happens. It doesn't always happen simply!

Book Excerpt:

Sometimes we get so used to the status quo that we forget we can change it. Muriel Sterling, author of Simplicity

Jen Heath hurried along the downtown Seattle sidewalk, hunching her coat against a freezing rain, her holiday to-do list dogging her every step, breathing down her neck. Trees along the street twinkled with white lights and store windows boasted displays of Santas, presents, and happy elves. A steel drum band had set up in the Westlake Mall and was playing Jingle Bells. Bah, humbug, she thought grumpily as she strode past them.

Anyone peering inside her head would think she hated the holidays. She didn’t. She loved them. She just didn’t love being so darned busy.

How had she gotten stuck in charge of planning the office Christmas party? Oh, yeah, Patty Unger, her supervisor, had volunteered her. Thanks, Patty. Not that Jen minded planning a party. But having to plan one this year wasn’t fun. It was just one more thing to add to a very long to-do list.

In addition to her full time job, she sold Soft Glow Candles on the party plan – all so she could whittle down what she owed on her credit cards, keep up her car payments, and make the mortgage on her First Hill condo that she could barely afford.

The car she’d needed, but the condo? What had she been thinking when she bought it? Oh, yeah. She hadn’t been thinking. She’d taken one look at the granite countertops, the hardwood floors, and the view of the Seattle skyline out the window and condo lust had come over her like a fever. By the time the fever broke she was a homeowner. (Thanks to the bank and her parents.) And her charge cards were maxed out. (Because, of course, she had to furnish the new condo.) Now she was a stressed homeowner.

Who was never home. She had three candle parties booked this week and two more on the weekend. The following weekend she had another candle party on Saturday, and then on Sunday a cookie exchange at her sister’s followed by the church choir concert. Oh, she would be home later that evening, right along with the eighteen other people she’d invited to her place for the post-concert party. (This was the symptom of yet another fever - - new owner pride. She’d been dying to show off the condo, and hosting a party had seemed like the perfect way.) The day before she’d gone to see the gingerbread house display at the Sheraton Hotel with her mother, her sister, and her niece Jordan. She’d been pooped, but when she tried to wiggle out of going Toni had reminded her that this was a tradition and, anyway, she needed to spend time with her family. Guilt, it was the gift that kept giving. After that she’d visited her grandma, who was complaining that she’d almost forgotten what her granddaughter looked like. It seemed everyone in her family was giving guilt for Christmas this year.

Tonight she absolutely had to do laundry. But what she really wanted was to flop on the couch and watch It’s a Wonderful Life. None of her friends understood what she saw in that old movie but she’d been watching it with her family every year at Christmas since she was a kid. Well, except for the last couple of years. Between having her marriage fall apart and getting a divorce she’d been too busy for a wonderful life.

Those days were over now. No more fights about money. No more fights about how she mismanaged her time or how impetuous and irresponsible she was. No more fights about, well, you name it.

When they’d first married Serge had loved her spontaneity, her joie de vivre. After a year he developed a vision problem and saw only her flaws. They fought about everything from money to the amount of time she spent with her friends. “I don’t know what we’re doing together,” Serge had finally stormed one night, throwing up his hands.

Neither did she. So Serge had moved out and moved on. She’d run into him at The Last Supper Club six months after the divorce was final when she was trying to enjoy a night out with the girls. He’d been with a skinny tattoo queen with maroon hair and ear gauges. And he’d complained about how impulsive Jen was?

She’d wanted to hit him and his new woman, too. Instead, she’d buried herself in the crowd and danced until both her feet and her heart were numb. Good riddance, she’d told herself, but later that night she’d cried herself to sleep.

Now it had been a year since the big D and she was so over him and so moving on.

Now she was in charge of her own destiny, her own life, and that was fine with her.

Except so far this new life wasn’t exactly playing out as she’d envisioned it would. When a girl barely had time to wash her bra she was in trouble. When was she supposed to squeeze in things like dating? And if she didn’t even have time to date, well, what was that going to do to her sex life?

She scowled. Many of her friends were now having babies and she’d love to have one of her own. She sure didn’t see a bassinette on her horizon though. At thirty-two were her eggs giving up all hope of ever meeting a sperm?

Well, girls, I don’t know what to tell you. You’re just going to have to hang in there because right now I don’t have time to find a new man. Now, there was a depressing thought.

My Book Review:

Welcome back to picturesque Icicle Falls, Washington! In the fourth installment of the Life in Icicle Falls series, author Sheila Roberts provides her readers with a fun twist to the townspeople's stories with a theme that we can all relate to: simplifying one's life.

The Cottage on Juniper Ridge is told in the third person narrative that alternates between a group of women who belong to a book club, who have decided to start the new year reading resident town author Muriel Sterling's book Simplicity, a guide to a simpler and plain way of living.

In true Sheila Roberts fashion, the reader is transported back to the picturesque Bavarian style small mountain town of Icicle Falls, Washington, which is nestled in the Cascade Mountains, where they catch up with all the familiar townspeople from the previous books in the series, as well as meeting new lovable characters.

This series is simply delightful, the storyline picks up where the last book left off, it flows seamlessly and is so entertaining that you can't help but become captivated and invested in the lives that inhabit Icicle Falls. I really enjoyed that each chapter starts with a tidbit on simplifying life from Muriel Sterling's guidebook Simplicity, which then leads into the stories of how each of the ladies in the book club are inspired to make changes in their lives based on the helpful information from the guidebook. The reader easily gets drawn into this story about friendship, support, and finding balance and simplicity in one's life. Through the laughter, smile, and tears, you'll find yourself cheering on these lovely ladies as they each overcome obstacles and strive to find joy in their lives. The author's thoughtful message about discovering what's important in life and shedding what isn't, and learning to enjoy a full and simple life is one that will make you ponder what changes you can make in your own life.

With a wonderful cast of characters who are realistic and lovable, humorous dialogues and interactions, and a richly detailed description of the town of Icicle Falls, The Cottage on Juniper Ridge is a lighthearted romance story full of love, laughter, friendship, and living a good life, that will leave you wanting to return to Icicle Falls for another enjoyable visit. I love, love, love this series!

The Cottage on Juniper Ridge is the fourth book in the Life in Icicle Falls series.


About The Author

Sheila Roberts is married and has three children. She lives on a lake in the Pacific Northwest. Her novels have appeared in Readers Digest Condensed books and have been published in several languages. Her holiday perennial, On Strike for Christmas, was made into a movie for the Lifetime Movie Network and her her novel The Nine Lives of Christmas has been optioned for film. When she’s not writing songs, hanging out with her girlfriends or trying to beat her husband at tennis, she can be found writing about those things dear to women’s hearts: family, friends, and chocolate.


Virtual Book Tour Contest Giveaway

Win A $25 B&N Gift Card 


An eBook of The Cottage on Juniper Ridge

Author Sheila Roberts will be awarding a $25 B&N gift card and an eCopy of The Cottage on Juniper Ridge to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour. 

Follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. 

The tour dates can be found here:

Virtual Book Tour Schedule

Tour Schedule:

March 3: Writers and Authors
March 4: Andi's Book Reviews
March 5: Rose and Beps Blog
March 6: Stories of Romance - promo
March 7: Laurie's Thoughts and Reviews - Promo
March 10: Unabridged Andra's
March 11: Lisa Haselton's Reviews and Interviews
March 12: Book Reviews by Dee
March 12: It's Raining Books
March 13: Hope. Dreams. Life... Love
March 14: Long and Short Reviews
March 17: Black Velvet Seductions Readers Blog
March 18: Rachel Brimble Romance
March 19: Jersey Girl Book Reviews
March 20: Untamed Spirit
March 20: Reviews by Molly
March 21: My Devotional Thoughts - review
March 24: Christine Young author
March 25: Teena in Toronto - review only
March 26: Cynthia Gail - Promo
March 27: Reading Reality
March 28: Reviews by Crystal - Review


  1. Lovely review; I don't know how I missed that this book was part of a series. Icicle Falls sounds like an enchanting little town that I'm going to have to visit very soon. Thanks for sharing.

    ilookfamous at yahoo dot com

    1. Hi Elise-Maria! Thank you for visiting my blog. This is a wonderful series, I hope you get a chance to read the books. :)

  2. What a great review, I can't wait to read it.


  3. Thank you for the opportunity to host the virtual book tour event. I love reading Sheila's books, and this series is simply the best :)

  4. Hi Rita! Thank you for stopping by my blog and posting your kind comment, I appreciate it. You're going to love this book, the whole series is wonderful. :)

  5. Sorry Sheila! Missed this one yesterday! Glad I caught it cause that is an excellent review!

    andralynn7 AT gmail DOT com

    1. Hi Andra Lyn! Thank you for visiting my blog and posting your kind comment, I appreciate it. :)

  6. I enjoyed this book :)

    1. Hi Teena! I really enjoyed reading all of the books in this series. :)