Monday, August 19, 2019

Review + GIVEAWAY: A Family for Jason by Virginia McCullough

On Tour with Prism Book Tours

A Family for Jason
(Back to Bluestone River #1)
By Virginia McCullough
Contemporary Romance
Paperback & ebook, 384 pages
August 1st 2019 by Harlequin Heartwarming

She’s not home for keeps

Unless he proves first love is forever

Bluestone River is a minefield of memories for Mike Abbot—all involving Ruby Driscoll. Twenty years after scandal divided them, they’re both back in their hometown. Ruby’s visit is strictly temporary. But as she uses her trauma expertise to help his vulnerable son, Mike faces what his heart has always known. Ruby’s still his one and only. This time, can he convince her to stay?

My Thoughts

A Family for Jason, book #1 in Virginia McCullough’s Back to Bluestone River series, is a sweet romance with an appealing setting and characters that are easy to connect with. I enjoyed this fulfilling, heartwarming story and look forward to all that is to come in the series.

She’d gone all over the country believing she was
looking for home and ended up back in this little
town that had nurtured her so well.
– Ruby

A Family for Jason is all about the Bluestone River, a prairie town in central Illinois. The author conveys this setting beautifully – lake, covered bridge, small-town shops, bird sanctuary, nature trails – and intricately weaves these elements into many scenes. Like many small towns, the once vibrant Bluestone River has taken a downturn over the years due to farms being sold, a major company shutting down, etc., and is ripe for a rebirth.

But most importantly, A Family for Jason is a story of friendship and relationships. I love the “back to” in the series title, because that’s the kind of story that quickly draws me in. Mike and Ruby were deeply in love twenty years earlier, until a traumatic accident abruptly ended their relationship. Their breakup wasn’t surprising, considering the circumstances, but some honest communication in the months following would have completely changed their story – and therein lies a timely message for all of us. Ruby and Mike thankfully get a second chance when personal situations bring them back to Bluestone River, and I loved that their journey is gently paced and realistic.

Ruby’s close friend, Emma, is a lovely character that I hope to see more of in this series. While appreciative of Ruby’s skilled help while recovering from back surgery, Emma’s outspoken honesty with Ruby hits home when she points out … “Your memories are like ghosts that follow you around. You can’t run fast enough to get ahead of them.”

And then there’s Mike’s young son, Jason, who effortlessly steals the show – and hearts as well. His inability – more accurately, unwillingness – to talk was Jason’s response to the trauma of not only losing his mother, but also seeing her die in the same fire that left burns on his lower arms. Mike’s patience and love, along with Ruby’s help through her trauma experience, gradually bring about a change in Jason – and that’s what makes this story extra special.

If I had to describe this story in one word, it would be “comeback” – both in the town of Bluestone River and in the lives of Ruby, Mike and Jason. The author laid a beautiful foundation for much more development and I want to spend more time in Bluestone River.


I received a copy of this book through Prism Book Tours. The opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.

About the Author

Born and raised in Chicago, Virginia McCullough has been lucky enough to develop her writing career in many locations, including the coast of Maine, the mountains of North Carolina, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and currently, Northeast Wisconsin. She started her career in nonfiction, first writing articles and then books as a ghostwriter and coauthor. She’s written more than 100 books for physicians, business owners, professional speakers and many others with information to share or a story to tell.

Virginia’s books feature characters who could be your neighbors and friends. They come in all ages and struggle with everyday life issues in small-town environments that almost always include water—oceans, lakes, or rivers. The mother of two grown children, you’ll find Virginia with her nose a book, walking on trails or her neighborhood street, or she may be packing her bag to take off for her next adventure. And she’s always working on another story about hope, healing, and second chances.

Tour Schedule

Tour Giveaway

- 1 winner will receive a $25 Amazon eGift Card and a $25 Etsy eGift Card
- Open internationally for those who are eligible
- Ends August 28, 2019

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  1. Thanks so much for your review of A FAMILY FOR JASON. You captured the essence of all my stories, really, and that's hope, healing, and plenty of second chances!

  2. Happy Friday! I love the cover and synopsis. Thank you for sharing your wonderful review. This sounds like a must read for me. Have a great weekend!