Friday, November 9, 2012

Book Review Tour - Healing Notes by Maggie Jaimeson

Welcome to my stop on Maggie Jaimieson's Book Review Tour for Healing Notes.  Please make sure you leave a comment or question below as 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, You must leave an email address to be entered into any of the drawings. You can follow her tour here, the more often you comment, the better your odds of winning. 


Healing Notes 
by Maggie Jaimeson
Sweet Canyon, Book 2
Windtree Press
Release Date: July 26, 2012
ISBN: 978-0-983594-32-1
Length: 362
Contemporary Romance


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.


After she hung up, Rachel stared out at the river behind the house. She had goose bumps along her arms. She could listen to his voice for a long, long time. Why did this man intrigue her so much? Was it just because he didn’t seem interested? Yes, that must be it. He was safe. He had a kid and he wasn’t interested. That meant they wouldn’t get involved.

All conversation stopped as she entered the room and the women looked at her in anticipation. She had the urge to say nothing just to be difficult.

“Soooooo, who’s Noel?” Kat took the receiver from her. “I liked his voice. Sounded real sexy.”

Rachel took a deep breath and pasted a nonchalant smile on her face. “Remember the little girl at the last concert who wanted my autograph? Noel is her father.”

“I see.” Theresa drew out the word as an invitation for more.

“It’s not what you think. It turns out the little girl wants fiddle lessons. Since she saw us play, she’s gotten it in her mind that she wants to learn. He had no idea who to call, so he thought he’d call the main number for the band to find me. He didn’t even think I gave lessons, just that I could make a recommendation.”

“Uh huh,” Michele said, a note of disbelief in her voice.

“But he is cute, right?” Kat insisted. “And you are interested, and something could be going on, right?”


“Ah, come on, Rachel. How can you not be interested in that voice?”

“It’s just fiddle lessons for the little girl. The girl is sweet. I’m happy to work with her. As for the father, nothing is going to happen. Believe me.”


AUTHOR Bio and Links:

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


My Review:  

Like the notes in a symphony, Maggie Jaimeson's Healing Notes draws the reader in and never lets go.  With well developed characters,  good dialogue and a well paced plot, Ms. Jaimeson tackles broken hearts, broken spirits and violence against women in a way which is as gripping as it is empowering.  While the subject of violence against women isn't easy to discuss, in or out of fiction, it's a relevant topic which is often overlooked in the world of romance.  Kudos to Ms. Jamieson for tackling a difficult subject.

A year after a violent attack, violinist Rachel Cullen, is struggling to survive everyday life.  Determined to move past what she's lost, Rachel finds herself looking forward to reconnecting with the members of her band, Sweet Canyon, and going on tour.  Falling in love with a sweet little girl, and her gorgeous father, at their first concert wasn't a part of her plan.  While she's attracted to the idea of a family, Rachel doesn't know if she will ever be able to deal with sex in a relationship.  Or if there's any man on earth who would be willing to deal with her emotional baggage.  Ms. Jaimeson did a wonderful job with Rachel's character; musically talented, Rachel is emotionally fragile, angry and hurt over what she's lost in the last year.  With help from a counselor, she's managed to survive but wants more.  As the story progresses we get to see Rachel regain parts of who she was, while at the same time realizing her desires have changed.

Now a single father, Noel Kershaw is raising Claire, his young daughter, and teaching at the local high school.  When he and Claire meet Rachel at a local concert, he's attracted to her but senses her emotional fragility and sees her as a woman with too much baggage.  Determined to be smarter the second time around, Noel wasn't counting on his daughter's decision to learn how to play violin or on his daughter's growing attachment to a stranger.  Ms. Jaimeson lets us see into Noel's past and his current fears - it's totally understandable why he wants to protect Claire after everything they've already gone through.  While he's fair, he's also being very careful about what he lets into their lives.  Allowing Rachel into their lives might be more than he can handle, even on temporary terms.

The scenes with Rachel and Noel are well written and their chemistry is obvious from the start.  While the scenes with them together, it's their emotional frailty which really drew me in.  They both hurt so much and needed each other but their fear and past pain almost kept them apart.  The scenes with them and Claire are sweet and just reinforced the fact they belonged together as a family.

The secondary characters, from the members of Sweet Canyon, to Noel's family, help add color and emotional depth.  I really enjoyed Kat, the youngest member of Sweet Canyon, who's first sexual experience is nothing like what she expected.  It was great to see Rachel help her along, as she'd been helped.  My favorite secondary character is of course Claire, Noel's daughter, who's smart, talented and a fantastic judge of character.  She rapidly falls in love with Rachel and recognizes she's the missing part their family needs.

Will Rachel and Noel be able to get beyond the hurt and betrayal which has taken place in their lives?  Will Sweet Canyon continue be able to survive all the changes the future is going to bring with their success?  You'll have to read Healing Notes to find out.  I can't wait to see whose story Ms. Jaimeson will write next.

My Rating:  5 out of 5 Stars 

FTC Disclosure:  I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.


Please make sure you leave a comment or question below as 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, You must leave an email address to be entered into any of the drawings. You can follow her tour here, the more often you comment, the better your odds of winning. 


  1. A beautifully written review thank you. So pleased you enjoyed HEALING NOTES.


  2. Thank you for your excellent review. Makes me want to run out today and buy this book! Which I'll probably do soon!

    Question for Maggie: What was the most romantic thing one of your characters said or did?

  3. Chaildren can be so resilient and open! It's a gift. I love the description of Claire in your review. ometimes, having a child in a romance can be a distraction if it's not well written. It sounds like Maggie has done it right!

    Maggie...Are you musical? Do you play an instrument?
    catherinelee100 at gmail dot com

  4. Thank you for the wonderful review, I enjoyed it.


  5. I had the pleasure of reading another of Maggie's books last year, Expendable. It ended up being one of my favorite reads for the year. This one sounds just as amazing and I can't wait ti read it!

  6. Maria, Wow! Thank you. I have to say reading this review made me tear up. I am soooo glad you liked the book.
    Mary, Karen, Catherine and Ingeborg, thank you for taking the time to stop by and read the review. I really appreciate your ongoing support as I do this tour.

    Karen, in answer to your question about the most romantic thing. There is something most romantic in each book, I think. In Healing Notes, the most romantic is the ongoing poem that Noel writes for Rachel. Even when their relationship is not working out, you can tell that he really understands what is going on inside her. That poem, and the times he chooses to share it with her as he adds new stanzas is an important part of reinforcing their love for each other.

    Catherine, I did play classical violin for many years (began in 4th grade and played through college in small symphonies or quartets). Later in life I tried to learn fiddle because my husband has frequently played guitar in bluegrass, celtic, and blues pick up bands. (He's now in a classic rock cover band) I found it really hard to transition from my dependence on reading music to the freeform feeling of fiddle one needs to do it justice. Today, I regret I didn't keep with it. I may take it up again in retirement. Right now, my every waking hour, when not consulting, is spent on writing and things surrounding writing (like this blog tour).

    Alyssa, I remember you on that Expendable tour! I'm so glad that ended up being one of your favorite reads. That is another book that deals with difficult issues, but with a suspense element added. Thank you for stopping by!

  7. Beautifully written, Maria! And as I read and reviewed the book recently, I'm totally in agreement :)

    Maggie, I'm always one for picking up a book with a musical theme. I have plenty of my own to write, too. There's just something about magical about music, and putting it together in a romance story only adds to the magic!

  8. Blue grass music and romance sounds interesting. Nice review.

  9. I loved your review of this book, I think it looks fascinating, Carin mawmom at gmail dot com

  10. Wow--this sounds like an incredibly rich story! Thanks for the review, and for the intro to this new-to-me author!

    f dot chen at comcast dot net

  11. This sounds like it would be a great pick me up story for a rainy day :).

    dmr8888 at yahoo dot com

  12. 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 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.

    Also, congratulations go to Maria, the host of this blog. She has also won a $25 gift card from a random drawing of all blog hosts in this tour. Please contact me Maria, so I can make arrangements to get the gift card to you.