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Carved In Wood

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He’s obsessed with his art and with a woman who doesn’t want to love him. Maybe he should be grateful. Without the constant frustration, Joseph McEldowney figures he might never have answered any artistic urge to express his emotions. Now carving life from wood is all that soothes him. Too bad he can’t carve out a place in this world where nothing matters except the heave He’s obsessed with his art and with a woman who doesn’t want to love him. Maybe he should be grateful. Without the constant frustration, Joseph McEldowney figures he might never have answered any artistic urge to express his emotions. Now carving life from wood is all that soothes him. Too bad he can’t carve out a place in this world where nothing matters except the heaven-sent pull he and Jillian Lansing have towards each other. She says he doesn’t fit her long-term plans. If that’s true, why should he torture himself with the short-term pleasure she’s offering? But how can he turn her away when he can’t get her off his mind? Jillian Lansing has been ambitious all her life. Despite helping care for her deceased brother’s children, she kept her own big dreams for a family of her own. Sure, they’ve been put on hold for the last few years, but her life is way more stable now. Her auntie duties are relaxing into something almost normal. Reesa and Shane are doing great with the kids, and now expecting one of their own. Her lifelong best friend’s pregnancy is another wake-up call for her. Despite both of them grieving the loss of their siblings, Reesa managed to find her perfect partner. So where is hers? She’s certainly dated enough trying to find him.


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He’s obsessed with his art and with a woman who doesn’t want to love him. Maybe he should be grateful. Without the constant frustration, Joseph McEldowney figures he might never have answered any artistic urge to express his emotions. Now carving life from wood is all that soothes him. Too bad he can’t carve out a place in this world where nothing matters except the heave He’s obsessed with his art and with a woman who doesn’t want to love him. Maybe he should be grateful. Without the constant frustration, Joseph McEldowney figures he might never have answered any artistic urge to express his emotions. Now carving life from wood is all that soothes him. Too bad he can’t carve out a place in this world where nothing matters except the heaven-sent pull he and Jillian Lansing have towards each other. She says he doesn’t fit her long-term plans. If that’s true, why should he torture himself with the short-term pleasure she’s offering? But how can he turn her away when he can’t get her off his mind? Jillian Lansing has been ambitious all her life. Despite helping care for her deceased brother’s children, she kept her own big dreams for a family of her own. Sure, they’ve been put on hold for the last few years, but her life is way more stable now. Her auntie duties are relaxing into something almost normal. Reesa and Shane are doing great with the kids, and now expecting one of their own. Her lifelong best friend’s pregnancy is another wake-up call for her. Despite both of them grieving the loss of their siblings, Reesa managed to find her perfect partner. So where is hers? She’s certainly dated enough trying to find him.

30 review for Carved In Wood

  1. 5 out of 5

    Gale

    Read the blurb if you want to know what this story is about. I’m going to jump right in as to what I felt and loved about Carved In Wood: I loved Joe (Joseph) McEldowney. He comes across as an honest, hardworking, and thoroughly confused with his life guy with a heart of gold. He loves that he found a woman who really means the world to him…except that he doesn’t “fit” into her life plan. Doesn’t stop him from caring, though! The woman in question is Jillian Lansing and she, too, is thoroughly co Read the blurb if you want to know what this story is about. I’m going to jump right in as to what I felt and loved about Carved In Wood: I loved Joe (Joseph) McEldowney. He comes across as an honest, hardworking, and thoroughly confused with his life guy with a heart of gold. He loves that he found a woman who really means the world to him…except that he doesn’t “fit” into her life plan. Doesn’t stop him from caring, though! The woman in question is Jillian Lansing and she, too, is thoroughly confused with her feelings and place in life. Even though they don’t figure it out until the end of the book, both Joe and Jillian have so very much in common. There were many snarky, fun moments while I read and my heart always belonged to Joe. I had fun reading about all the folks from previous books, although this IS a standalone, and wish that I had such good friends who also enjoy a good dose of snark. Loved this book and recommend!

  2. 5 out of 5

    April

    McDonald delivers on the romance in this friends to lovers romance. Joe and Jillian have their own plans and the chemistry between them is not in hers. The battle they know they will face from their bigoted families may just keep them apart. Well written prose and (unfortunately) true societal issues will keep readers engaged. The well developed and overlapping characters add depth to the story. I highly recommend this book to fans of the contemporary romance genre.

  3. 4 out of 5

    JigsawGirl

    I have been waiting for this book forever, basically since the first time Joe and Jillian met when Shane and Rissa got together in Captured in Ink. I was glad to see Donna McDonald address the interracial aspect of this book, along with the associated racism and bigotry. I could also appreciate that Jillian and Joe were able to put their parents issues and beliefs to the side. Often in romance novels, especially BWWM, the writer doesn't firmly assert that the woman is black. She is carmel colored I have been waiting for this book forever, basically since the first time Joe and Jillian met when Shane and Rissa got together in Captured in Ink. I was glad to see Donna McDonald address the interracial aspect of this book, along with the associated racism and bigotry. I could also appreciate that Jillian and Joe were able to put their parents issues and beliefs to the side. Often in romance novels, especially BWWM, the writer doesn't firmly assert that the woman is black. She is carmel colored or honey colored with curly hair. That could be anyone. Without a doubt, it is affirmed that Jillian is African-American. I couldn't blame Joe for behaving like he did at the beginning, self preservation and all. I also understood Jillian's hesitation. But, when they started to come together, it was a sweet as any other "Larson" pairing. I also enjoyed the addition of Joe's carving. Joe may not be a Larson by birth, but this serves to attach him even more to the Larson family of artists. Joe and Jillian were sweet together, had good chemistry, and were sexy. Even their sarcasm had some heat behind it. At some point, I was just hoping Jillian could let go of her "plan" and get it together. We also get a chance to revisit some of the characters from previous books and get an update. If nothing else, this should make you want to go back and read the previous books, just to get the other couple's backstories. A 4.5 star book I read from cover to cover in one sitting. I'm not sure where this writer can go next with this series, but I hope it's not the end of AOL. I voluntarily read and reviewed the Advanced Reader Copy.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Paula

    Carved In Wood (Art of Love Book 6) by Donna McDonald is a contemporary romance that is much more serious than her Perfect Date Series. Not having read the rest of the series which was written several years ago, I was a bit taken back by the serious tone at the beginning of the book. That is not to say that I dislike it at all. In fact, I enjoyed it immensely. It even has humor, just not the tongue-in-cheek that I had come to see as Ms. McDonald’s trademark. This story of Joe and Jillian clearly Carved In Wood (Art of Love Book 6) by Donna McDonald is a contemporary romance that is much more serious than her Perfect Date Series. Not having read the rest of the series which was written several years ago, I was a bit taken back by the serious tone at the beginning of the book. That is not to say that I dislike it at all. In fact, I enjoyed it immensely. It even has humor, just not the tongue-in-cheek that I had come to see as Ms. McDonald’s trademark. This story of Joe and Jillian clearly shows her broad storytelling skills so that she should not be pegged into any specific type. In more ways than one, their attraction seems doomed. Their goals in life seemed to be opposite at first but as the story progressed it was evident that they fit together better than Jillian believed. The artistic element was interesting especially with the somewhat twists that it took. Carved in Wood is an excellent example of the versatility of Ms. McDonald’s writing ability; paranormal, science fiction, humorous or serious contemporary romance, she can write it all well. Even though, I have not yet read the first five books of this series, I had no problems jumping in here. It reads well as a stand-alone with a beautiful conclusion. The publisher/author gave me a complimentary ARC of the book which I voluntarily chose to read and reviewed. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Alisa

    I love this series. I was so excited to get another installation. This one deals with the themes of bigotry, both about race and profession/social status. The heroine has to finally come to grips with the baggage her parents have loaded on her shoulders through their parenting. Our hero grew up with the Larson men and is color blind and hopelessly in love. All this takes place as a new artist finds their passion and blooms. (You guessed it, a wood carver.) We get to see some old friends from pre I love this series. I was so excited to get another installation. This one deals with the themes of bigotry, both about race and profession/social status. The heroine has to finally come to grips with the baggage her parents have loaded on her shoulders through their parenting. Our hero grew up with the Larson men and is color blind and hopelessly in love. All this takes place as a new artist finds their passion and blooms. (You guessed it, a wood carver.) We get to see some old friends from previous installments, which is great fun. And there are babies! What more could you want? Steam? Well that is here as well. It's a delicious read. I appreciate how Donna weaves social issues into her novels and shows us how we are sometimes influenced without our knowledge or consent by those we are close to. It's sometimes hard to come to grips with the faults of those we have been raised to respect unconditionally. It takes insight and bravery to break away from a support system, even when it's dysfunctional. Keep up the great work, Donna! You educate and entertain so well. There is nothing "preachy" here.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Tiffany

    I have read this author's The Perfect Date series, but this book is actually the first one I've read in the Art of Love series. Although technically this could be a standalone, I would recommend reading the series in order. Some characters/couples from previous books played big parts in this story while others were mentioned. I did have a little difficulty keeping them all straight. My enjoyment of the story was not diminished because of it; I just wish I would have read them in order. Jillian an I have read this author's The Perfect Date series, but this book is actually the first one I've read in the Art of Love series. Although technically this could be a standalone, I would recommend reading the series in order. Some characters/couples from previous books played big parts in this story while others were mentioned. I did have a little difficulty keeping them all straight. My enjoyment of the story was not diminished because of it; I just wish I would have read them in order. Jillian and Joe were the perfect couple. He could see it, but she had a harder time seeing the reality of a relationship between them. We do find out why, as does Jillian, later in the book. I loved Joe. He was such a great guy and so wonderful with Jillian. Will Jillian allow herself the love of a good man? Will Joe finally get the woman of his dreams? You'll have to check this one out to find out. *I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book. This is my honest review.*

  7. 4 out of 5

    Rosemary Hughes

    Again we meet the friend's of the Larson clan, this time we are looking at a long-term denial of a possible relationship, hinted between Joseph, Shane's carpenter mate and Jillian, Reesa's best friend, who we first encountered both in book 3, "Captured in Ink". Due to ethnic differences, that her brother's relationship with his wife Alice, which hadn't wained, even after the couples death, and had shown the bigotry of her parents, Jillian had deliberately tried to date only men of specific skin t Again we meet the friend's of the Larson clan, this time we are looking at a long-term denial of a possible relationship, hinted between Joseph, Shane's carpenter mate and Jillian, Reesa's best friend, who we first encountered both in book 3, "Captured in Ink". Due to ethnic differences, that her brother's relationship with his wife Alice, which hadn't wained, even after the couples death, and had shown the bigotry of her parents, Jillian had deliberately tried to date only men of specific skin tones. However, a heart craves for what heart wants, and it appeared a Celtic descendant was the one she sought refuge in the arms of, when things got tough. I hate to give away a great storyline, and there's plenty of hidden secrets in this episode.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Cheryl

    What a great book! I started reading Carved In Wood and had a hard time putting it down! You start reading and a lot of characters from past books come up and you “catch up” with them. Joe is of Irish decent and a carpenter struggling with his artistic side. He has fallen in love with Jillian and decides to show her his love by doing African carvings. Jillian has been raised by pushy parents who only want her dating rich African American men and Jillian is given a rude awakening when she finds o What a great book! I started reading Carved In Wood and had a hard time putting it down! You start reading and a lot of characters from past books come up and you “catch up” with them. Joe is of Irish decent and a carpenter struggling with his artistic side. He has fallen in love with Jillian and decides to show her his love by doing African carvings. Jillian has been raised by pushy parents who only want her dating rich African American men and Jillian is given a rude awakening when she finds out the truth about their relationship one not built of love. Love is important to Jillian! It is great to watch the love develop between Joe and Jillian.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Sylvia

    I love this family. I hated to read the last page! I just wanted MORE. Donna McDonald has the ability to lure you in with each character and tie a big bow at the end. But it only makes you hungry for more I always enjoy reading books by Donna McDonald and this one is no exception. The interaction between the characters is intoxicating. I would love more description on some of the love scenes (wink wink) but it's a good story and opens your eyes to alot that you would never consider. Good book. I love this family. I hated to read the last page! I just wanted MORE. Donna McDonald has the ability to lure you in with each character and tie a big bow at the end. But it only makes you hungry for more I always enjoy reading books by Donna McDonald and this one is no exception. The interaction between the characters is intoxicating. I would love more description on some of the love scenes (wink wink) but it's a good story and opens your eyes to alot that you would never consider. Good book.

  10. 5 out of 5

    lovestoread

    Ohhhh, Joe has it bad! Jillian however has her own list for the perfect man. They have been skirting the issue for so long, and I am glad they got their story. Talking about issues, man does Jillian's family have them. Bigotry and racism comes in all forms and it is well covered in this book. Donna's managed to bring out some serious issues and also resolves them beautifully. And babies!!! They are popping up all over the place. A wonderful review of the Larson family and how they love, live and g Ohhhh, Joe has it bad! Jillian however has her own list for the perfect man. They have been skirting the issue for so long, and I am glad they got their story. Talking about issues, man does Jillian's family have them. Bigotry and racism comes in all forms and it is well covered in this book. Donna's managed to bring out some serious issues and also resolves them beautifully. And babies!!! They are popping up all over the place. A wonderful review of the Larson family and how they love, live and grow.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Margery Baker

    It’s finally their story Jillian and Joe have been in most if not all of the books in this series. Although racism rears its ugly head in this story, it does not affect their relationship although it deeply affects Jillian. When Joe’s hobby of carving suddenly becomes more than that, his life is turned upside down. Will this give Jillian the confidence to recognize what their relationship really is? Another wonderful addition to this terrific series!!!!! I voluntarily reviewed an Advanced Reader Co It’s finally their story Jillian and Joe have been in most if not all of the books in this series. Although racism rears its ugly head in this story, it does not affect their relationship although it deeply affects Jillian. When Joe’s hobby of carving suddenly becomes more than that, his life is turned upside down. Will this give Jillian the confidence to recognize what their relationship really is? Another wonderful addition to this terrific series!!!!! I voluntarily reviewed an Advanced Reader Copy of this book.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Michelle Eriksen

    Once again Donna McDonald has created a love story that will make you fall in love with it's characters. Joe and Jillian's story will not only touch your heart but make you really think and analyze their situation and your reaction to things around you. I love this story so much!! It has bee a while since he last Art of Love Book but I loved visiting the characters once again. It makes me want to go back and read this series from the beginning. Once again Donna McDonald has created a love story that will make you fall in love with it's characters. Joe and Jillian's story will not only touch your heart but make you really think and analyze their situation and your reaction to things around you. I love this story so much!! It has bee a while since he last Art of Love Book but I loved visiting the characters once again. It makes me want to go back and read this series from the beginning.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Khenta

    FINALLY Joe and Jillian get their HEA! The only thing I would argue is that someone who is not of African descent (but Irish) nor has ever been to Africa, does not create African Art. That's grossly mislabeled IMO and misleading. It may be inspired by African themes, but it is not genuine African Art and shouldn't be marketed as such. FINALLY Joe and Jillian get their HEA! The only thing I would argue is that someone who is not of African descent (but Irish) nor has ever been to Africa, does not create African Art. That's grossly mislabeled IMO and misleading. It may be inspired by African themes, but it is not genuine African Art and shouldn't be marketed as such.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Mary

    Another great book in this series Joe and Jillian’s story was definitely not what I was expecting. I love what made Joe discover his artistic side. Jillian had a lot of personal growth and change take place in her life. I really enjoyed this book and highly recommend this series to anyone who loves romance.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Chase

    Definitely worth the wait I have been a loyal fan of this series from day 1 and i waited quite awhile for this one.But it was absolutely worth the wait.The depth of passion in the characters in Carved in wood is just as strong as the rest of this series.You truly love them as old friends.

  16. 5 out of 5

    kim campbell

    Fab read Waited a long time for this book and it was worth the wait. Would highly if your a fan of this author you won't be disappointed. Fab read Waited a long time for this book and it was worth the wait. Would highly if your a fan of this author you won't be disappointed.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Karen

    Loved this addition to the series.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Angie

    A wonderful wrap up to one of my favorite series! Can Jillian finally see past all the negative effects of her upbringing and embrace a future she never imagined? What does Joe have behind the locked door in his apartment? Read this charming tale and meet a few Larsons along the way!

  19. 5 out of 5

    linet akoth

  20. 5 out of 5

    Irene Beattie-Donegan

  21. 4 out of 5

    postcrdprincess

  22. 4 out of 5

    Vix Clarke

  23. 5 out of 5

    Antonia

  24. 5 out of 5

    Anne-Marie Cassidy

  25. 5 out of 5

    Ev

  26. 5 out of 5

    Linus

  27. 4 out of 5

    Edna Williams

  28. 5 out of 5

    Stinger

  29. 5 out of 5

    Tea DeLuca

  30. 5 out of 5

    Reginald Reed

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