Sunday, November 19, 2017

Review (+ Tour GIVEAWAY): Charming the Troublemaker

About the Book

Title: Charming the Troublemaker  
Author: Pepper Basham  
Genre: Contemporary Romance  
Release Date: November 1, 2017

Troublemaking never looked so good… 

When Dr. Alex Murdock is demoted to a university in rural Virginia, the last thing he expects to find is a future. But country charm never looks as good as it does on Rainey Mitchell. 

Rainey Mitchell doesn’t need a high-class flirt in her wounded world, but trouble and temptations wafts off the new professor as strong as his sandalwood-scented cologne. 

When circumstances thrust them together to save her tutoring clinic, can the troublemaker find the hero inside and encourage the reticent Rainey to open her heart again.

Click here to purchase!

My Thoughts

Yes, it’s entirely possible to fall in love with a fictional family, and that’s how I feel about the Mitchells. I am so glad that A Twist of Faith now has a sequel because this family just begs for more stories and time spent together, especially with Mama Mitchell. Here’s hoping for many more to come!

Pepper Basham is an excellent writer who knows how to spin an entertaining, moving story – and she has become one of my favorites. Charming the Troublemaker is filled with wit, charm, romantic chemistry, and even a little suspense – all beautifully wrapped up in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Appalachia.

Although I live in the Atlanta suburbs, my heritage is the mountains of North Georgia, so I found the Appalachian setting especially appealing. Mama Mitchell feels like someone I’ve known all my life, and I believe she might have a little of my grandmother in her. Rainey and the whole Mitchell clan are so very appealing and real.

The attraction between Rainey and Alex is easily felt, yet to categorize this as a simple romance doesn’t come close to doing it justice. There’s a lot of complexity in these characters beneath the surface – and their past creates some rocky moments in their relationship. Take Rainey’s ex-husband, Gray, for instance … “If Granny’s saying about ‘pretty is as pretty does’ was true, Gray’s insides resembled what the cows left behind.” It’s easy to understand how the ultimate betrayal colored future relationships for Rainey.

Alex goes on my favorite leading men list, and his relationship with Rainey’s daughter, Sarah, is one of my favorite parts. Sarah simply steals the show – and this reader’s heart as well. I loved how the author incorporated such a wide variety of scenes and emotions: unbelievably funny scenes (watch for Underoos and you’ll know what I mean) … tension-filled scenes … and incredibly poignant scenes, like when Alex went to church and was challenged by a message about grace, as well as the Mitchell family singing.

There’s no other way to say it … I simply adored Rainey and Alex. Rainey with her determination to save the speech-language pathology center, and her reluctantly changing attitudes toward Alex. I loved the gradual peeling back of layers that exposed a good-hearted, caring and protective man of depth.

And then there’s the spiritual element. I admire Pepper Basham for creating a story where people not only live out their faith daily, but they talk about it. Faith is essential to their very being. Alex questions his relationship with God – Why would he think God would listen to some superficial failure from a broken family and a damaged present? – and through Alex’s struggles, we see the God who accepts us exactly as we are – sins, failings, shortcomings and all.

Mama Mitchell is a class act and I want to take her words to heart …

“A wise heart is brave enough to offer kindness, smart enough
to bypass jerks, and faithful enough to believe in possibilities.”

Highly recommended.

I was provided a copy of this book through Celebrate Lit. The opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.

About the Author

Pepper Basham is an award-winning author who writes novels inspired by her love for history and the Blue Ridge Mountains. Her Penned in Time series has garnered recognition in the Inspys, Grace Awards, and the ACFW Carol Awards. Her contemporary romance novel, A Twist of Faith, received 4-stars from Romantic Times, and most recently, her newest release, The Thorn Healer, received a Top Pick from RT with 4 ½ stars. Her newest contemporary romance, Just the Way You Are, releases in April 2016. 

You can get to know Pepper on Facebook, or over at her group blog, The Writer’s Alley, or Instagram.

Guest Post from Pepper Basham

I have a thing for underdogs. 


Lots souls who desperately need to find where they belong. 

I can’t help it! Call it a ‘fix-it’ mentality or an awareness that God rescued me and now I want to rescue other people…even fictional characters, but I’m definitely a softy for those characters that people are less likely to root for. Catherine from The Thorn Bearer/Keeper became my first rescue…and I just HAD to find another. 

I guess that’s how Charming the Troublemaker came into existence. 

Dr. Alex Murdock desperately needed to be rescued. 

In a bad way. 

If you’ve had a chance to read my first book in the Mitchell’s Crossroads series, A Twist of Faith, you’ll know that Alex doesn’t seem to be made up of much hero material. He’s a flirt, a little arrogant, and…well, kind of like a lost puppy. 

As book 1 grew and came to a close, I knew Alex and Rainey’s story would be next…but I immediately ran into a real problem. 

Who in the world was Alex Murdock? We really didn’t get to know him very much in book 1. He zoomed in a few times, ruffling feathers and then finally showing off some interesting kindness/compassion in the end, but…he was still a big-time flirt. 

So the question emerged: Can a flirt be a hero? 

What is Alex hiding behind that ready smile and sense of humor? Why does he seem so lost? 

The answers were surprising!! Just wait. 

The Mitchell family draw him right in, as they did with Dee, and his world is forever changed. 

And then there’s Rainey. Strong-willed and independent, she is deeply wounded by her ex-husband’s betrayal. Though she gives off all these ‘confident’ vibes, she hides her insecurities behind a tough exterior in a desire to keep people at a distance – well, everyone except her family. 

Alex rocks her world with his ready charm. 

And she sees beyond the plastic grin to recognize another wounded soul. 

Throwing them together into a book has been a hilarious and heart-stirring adventure, I wasn’t prepared to encounter. They’re so much fun! 

AND…he’s ADORKABLE!! Seriously!! He is SUCH a dork, but makes me grin. And…he looks like Armie Hammer 😉 

Let me just give you a hint to some of my favorite scenes: 

Anything with Sarah! 


All of the scenes in Rainey’s house 

And those in Mama Mitchell’s 

Okay, I like the WHOLE STORY…and I can’t wait to see what you think too.

Blog Stops

By The Book, November 14
Just the Write Escape, November 14
Moments Dipped in Ink, November 15
Fiction Aficionado, November 16
autism mom, November 16
Inklings and Notions, November 17
Faithfully Bookish, November 18
Radiant Light, November 18
The Power of Words, November 19
Cordially Barbara, November 20
Red Headed Book Lady, November 20
Smiling Book Reviews, November 20
Kat’s Corner Books, November 21
A Greater Yes, November 21
100 Pages per Hour, November 22
Splashes of Joy, November 22
Carpe Diem, November 23
Bookworm Mama, November 23
Daysong Reflections, November 25
Rachel Scott McDaniel, November 25
Remembrancy, November 26
Karen Sue Hadley, November 27


Please help spread the word by clicking on this link and sharing my Facebook post, then leave a comment here. Thank you!

To celebrate her tour, Pepper is giving away a grand prize of a paper copy of A Twist of Faith, a mug from the Blue Ridge Parkway, one driftwood scented candle, one mango scented candle, and a Troublemaker snickers 😉 highly appropriate. Chocolate with a nutty personality :)!!

Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries!


  1. Pepper's book sounds like a wonderful read. Thank you for sharing! mauback55 at gmail dot com

  2. HAHA!! Kathy, thank you for this! I'll have to stop back by later today to get the verdict ;-)

    1. The verdict is in, Pepper! I loved it. Please keep these Appalachian stories coming.

  3. "Charming the Troublemaker" sounds like a great read. Really enjoyed the description of the book.

  4. I enjoy Pepper's books! jarning67(at)hotmail(dot)com

  5. As soon as I finished reading A Twist of Faith, I knew there just had to be another book to continue the story of the Mitchell family. I'm really looking forward to reading Charming the Troublemaker.

  6. This is such a GOOD book! I loved it!

  7. Hope to read this book it sounds real good Happy Thanksgiving!

  8. Isn't Alex such a fun hero? He surprised me because he doesn't fit the mold.

  9. Charming the Troublemaker seems like a delightful book, which I'd love to read!

  10. I would love to read this book, thanks for the great giveaway! lclee59(at)centurylink(dot)net

  11. What a fun review! It definitely makes me want to read the book. Do I need to read the first one, though?

  12. I love Pepper's books! Thanks for the giveaway!