Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Truly Madly Montana by Fiona Lowe Blog Tour

Summer in Montana brings heat with a chance of romance in the new Medicine River Romance from the award-winning author of Montana Actually.

Sexy and charming Australian doctor Will Bartlett will do anything to help out a friend, even if it means moving to Bear Paw for the summer. Some small-town hospitality, and the uncomplicated friendship of his co-worker, Millie, is just the ticket to shake off the restlessness that’s been gripping him lately.

Millie Switkowski, RN and medical student, is home for her clinical rotation, and she’s determined to make this summer so much better than last. She’s got a year of medical school under her belt, her diabetes is under control and she’s kicked her crazy crush for Will Bartlett, who only ever treated her as “one of the guys.”

But when Will turns out to be Millie’s supervising physician, without warning the summer gets a whole lot hotter than either of them anticipated. With both of them holding onto thorny secrets, can they walk away with their hearts intact?

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Book 2
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
B&N  ~  Google Play  ~  iTunes  ~  Kobo

He turned his head quickly and the ground tilted again. He swayed, and as he steadied, he spied Josh’s nurse practitioner, Millie, and his fellow groom’s person. What was her surname? Doesn’t matter. She was sitting alone at a table with an empty chair opposite her, and she had her head down looking at something in her hand. He assumed it was her phone. He loved social media as much as the next person, but it bothered him how many people spent their time at social functions live tweeting them rather than talking to the people present. It probably answered the question as to why she was sitting alone. Still, she was his save from the attentions of the hammered and giggly nurses. “Mind if I join you?”

Her head shot up so fast that her kamikaze curls bounced across her eyes, which, although mostly green, had an unusual ring of coppery brown around each iris. She quickly slid the device she was holding into her pocket, and he caught a flash of pink in the glow from the cluster of tea lights on the center of the table. Funny. He’d never have picked Millie for a pink girl. Come to think of it, he’d never thought about her in terms of femininity at all. Millie was just . . . Millie. Unprepossessing. Ordinary, even.

A flash of a memory from last year flared. Not totally ordinary. She’s got a dimple-cute smile.

Only, she wasn’t smiling now. In fact she looked slightly taken aback. “Really? You want to sit?”

The nurses were bearing down on him fast. “Really.”

“Okay, I guess.”

It wasn’t the most welcoming invitation he’d ever received, but he took it anyway. As his bum hit the chair, he heard a loud and collective sigh behind him.

“Doctor Bartlett, you tease,” Cassidy Blund cooed.

“We thought you were coming to talk to us,” said another nurse who Will thought might be called Marissa. Or it could be Larissa—he really didn’t remember nor did he really care, but he’d never let her know that.

He pulled his mouth into a broad smile and turned his face toward the buzzed group. “And I was coming straight over to you until Millie, here, reminded me that we have official secret wedding business to attend to before Katrina and Josh leave.”

Millie made a definite snorting sound.

He ignored her, choosing instead to press on with the nurses and appease them. “Sorry, ladies. Rain check?”

“I guess.” Cassidy squeezed his shoulder. “But only ’cause you’re cute.”

“So very cute.” A woman he’d never met before gave him a dreamy smile.

“We’ll be on the dance floor,” ’Issa instructed firmly. “Come find us.”

They smiled and giggled before wobbling their way back toward the tent, and he turned back to face Millie.

Her previous wide-eyed surprise had morphed into a narrow gaze. “Secret wedding business?”

“Incredibly secret.” He grinned at her, expecting his smile to soften the critical look she was currently spearing through him. He leaned in conspiratorially and dropped his voice to a low burr that had got him places with women in the past. “So secret that if either of us speak of it, weddings as we know it will never be the same again.” He tapped his nose with his finger. “It’s just not worth the risk.”

Instead of laughing, she leaned back slightly, reestablishing the previous space between them. If she’d wanted to smile at what he’d just said, she was doing a great job of hiding it. “Just so you know, Will,” she said matter-of-factly, “the Bear Paw nursing department is known to hold a grudge.”

“No worries. I’ll bring cake and chocolates next time I’m in town.”

She blinked and then shot him an irritated look. “I should turn you in.”

He broadened his smile. “But you won’t. We’re brothers-in-arms.”

Something flickered in her eyes. “How do you figure that?”

“Well, we’re Josh’s groomsmen, or in your case, groom’s person.”

She lifted her chin. “Actually, I’m the best man.”

He laughed. “I don’t think so. I’m the best man.”

She shook her head so hard that her dark auburn curls brushed her creamy cheeks. “I arranged the bachelor party.”

With a jolt of surprise, he realized she was pissed off at him. “And I appreciate that,” he said, starting to regret his decision to avoid the tipsy nurses.

Her spearing look sharpened. “Exactly what did you do apart from arrive at the last moment and look better in a suit than me?”

Ouch. What had he done to make her so snarky? And why the hell was she wearing a suit anyway?

Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

Will is an Aussie ER doctor working in Montana. He is confident, outgoing, intelligent and sexy as h*ll. He can have any girl he wants. Millie is a medical student and nurse who has a huge crush on Will. But Millie doesn't think guys are interested her. She isn't the ideal body shape, is a type 1 diabetic and she is considered just one of the guys.

It takes a little time for these two to come together after Will makes an assumption about Millie and is a little heart breaking for her. Will and Millie challenge each other. This couple work well together and play well together even though things don't initially appear to be serious.

The bonus about this book is that Millie and Will are not the only couple. We get two romances for the price of one.

Millie's good friend Ethan is a sexy nerd and the town's very well loved and respected librarian. He is often the town's entertainment with embarrassing videos of him appearing on YouTube but it is all in good fun. Tara, the town's new Deputy Sheriff mistakenly arrests Ethan and they get off to a rocky start.

Tara is beautiful, cold and very standoffish. She has had a rough past and doesn't let people get close to her. Outgoing and gentle, Ethan is just what Tara needs to help bring her out of her shell.

The two romances in this book are perfectly intertwined and we get a really good overview of Bear Paw. I didn't want to leave. In fact, as soon as I finished Truly Madly Montana I one-clicked the first book in this series which I hadn't read. Truly Madly Montana is a fabulous small town romance. It is full of ups and downs, lots of laughter and smiles, some tears and is ultimately a very uplifting book.

I feel as though I should start my review by explaining that Truly Madly Montana was not on my review list. While the book sounded interesting, the bulk of my to-read list is scheduled 3 months out and I rarely have a chance to add such a lengthy book at the last minute. But as the person who sets up the blog posts, I found myself intrigued by the excerpts for the book and really wanted to see if it was as good as they made it sound. So I queued the review copy up on my Kindle, turned on the text-to-speech function, and crossed my fingers that Truly Madly Montana was the kind of book that lent itself to being read out loud while I worked on setting up other posts. For the most part it was, and when it wasn’t it was because I found my attention being pulled away from working and into the story – great for the author, not so great for the blog posts. ;)

What I really liked about Truly Madly Montana was that Ms. Lowe gave us two love stories in one book. The primary romance is between Will and Millie. As Millie is the first character we meet in the book (and the one whose excerpts snagged my attention most), I connected with her most. I don’t have diabetes so I cannot even imagine what it’s like to live Millie’s life and yet despite being “chained” to her continuous glucose monitor – aka Dex – she maintains a rather upbeat and cheerful outlook on life. This is why I loved how she approached being Josh’s best man and understood her frustration at the wedding reception when the usurper – Dr. Will Bartlett – showed up and assumed he was still the best man because he made it to the wedding. Adding insult to injury is when Will (the guy she was crushing on last summer) assumed she was gay; while that conversation and the interactions that later stemmed from it were not funny from Millie’s point of view, I found them quite laugh worthy. As Will embarks on being friends with Millie because he’s finally found a woman who has similar interests and isn’t trying to hit on him, she is torn between enjoying her time with him and frustrated because she has been relegated to being “just one of the guys” yet again. But sparks fly when Will learns that he was wrong about her sexuality and the scene that follows is emotional, funny, and hot. The best part is that we’re almost halfway through the book before Will and Millie embark on a romantic and sexual relationship, which allowed their friendship to build first. I enjoyed watching their relationship bloom and develop over the summer, which is what made the conversation that preceded Millie’s return to school so heartbreaking. As hard as it was to watch unfold, I was glad to see that Millie didn’t pull any punches with Will and called him out on his cowardice.

Because of how real the characters felt, I found the romance between Millie and Will to be a bit overwhelming at times. This is where the secondary romance comes in handy as it not only helped to keep Millie and Will’s romance from being “too much” for me to read, it also offered quite a bit of comedic relief and a totally different type of emotional depth. To be frank, when Tara first appears in the book I had no idea why the author had gone off on a tangent as there was nothing in the blurb that pointed to the secondary love story. But Ethan’s arrival on scene and his good natured self-deprecation and friendly personality were the perfect complement for the aloof and far too serious Tara. I loved watching their friendship develop and then progress to more just as much as I did Millie and Will’s. Ms. Lowe did a wonderful job of working Tara and Ethan into the story without pulling the focus away from Millie and Will.

I really enjoyed Truly Madly Montana and will be adding the first book in the series, Montana Actually, to my to-be-read list. Not only did I enjoy the author’s style of writing, I also learned something new. Via conversations and Millie’s actions over the course of the book, the author shows just how all-encompassing managing her diabetes is and just how little control she can have over it despite doing everything right and this left me in complete awe of Millie and every person who has to live with diabetes. This was a great read and I absolutely loved the reality check Ms. Lowe gave Will’s character at the end and how it led to the perfect resolution for Will and Millie. I look forward to reading more from the Medicine River series.

This is the second in a series, and I read it as a standalone, but will be going back to read Montana Actually as I enjoyed the community of Bear Paw and would happily read more. I am also wondering which movie title Ms, Lowe will base her next story upon – maybe Pretty Montana?

I am a fan of medically based romances, as there is so much that can resonate with the reader, and the doctor/nurse romance has to be as old as the Hippocratic oath! Millie's constant need to deal with her diabetes was a hard reminder of what some people have to manage on a daily basis. That we got two romances for the price of one was a bonus. It worked well in the storyline, and lightened the tone in places. I felt by the end that I really knew the characters and was sorry to say goodbye.

Perfect summer beach reading – or just as good in the garden or the park!

Also Available in the Medicine River Series

Book 1
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
B&N  ~  Google Play  ~  iTunes  ~  Kobo

Fiona Lowe is a RITA® and R*BY award-winning, multi-published author with Harlequin , Carina Press and, Berkley USA. Whether her books are set in outback Australia or the USA, they feature small towns with big hearts, and warm, likeable characters that make you fall in love. When she's not writing stories, she's a weekend wife, mother of two 'ginger' teenage boys, guardian of 80 rose bushes, slave to a cat and often found collapsed on the couch with wine.

Connect with Fiona

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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Truly Madly Montana (Medicine River #2) by Fiona Lowe to read and review for this tour.


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