Monday, November 27, 2017

"Charming the Troublemaker" by Pepper Basham

Earlier this year, I read Pepper Basham's much-acclaimed A Twist of Faith. While I enjoyed it, I didn't love it like so many others did. Still, I liked it enough to want to come back for the sequel, Charming the Troublemaker ... a book that I ended up loving!

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.

Release Date: November 1, 2017
Genre: Contemporary Romance

I'll be the first to admit that I thought making Dr. Alex Murdock the hero of a story would be a bad plan. A serial flirt, he came across as arrogant and unlikable in A Twist of Faith. But Basham found a way to redeem him here 🙂. In fact, he's become one of my recent favorites—I loved his depth of character, his kindness, and, yes, his flirting skills!

When I read A Twist of Faith, my biggest issue was the missionary dating aspect of the story (you can see more of my thoughts here). That's not a problem in Charming the Troublemaker, as Alex's conversion comes fairly quickly in the novel, well before he begins a relationship with Rainey. As the novel progresses, both Alex and Rainey come to realize who they are in Christ.

For whatever reason, the romance didn't really land with me, and I can't put my finger on why, as I liked both Alex and Rainey, and I wanted them to be together. Still, the book had enough other things that I loved that the lack of sizzle in the romance didn't detract too much. (Also, I'm in the minority here, as most reviews specifically mention the sizzling romance. So there's that!)

Charming the Troublemaker features witty banter, an adorable child, sweet romance, and gripping suspense, and it definitely made me into a Pepper Basham fan. Now if she would just write Trigg and Emma Mitchell's stories, I'd be a happy camper! 4-1/2 stars.

Buy the book.
Read my reviews of Basham's A Twist of Faith (3-1/2 stars) and Just the Way You Are (4 stars).
Follow the blog tour:
By The Book, November 14
Just the Write Escape, November 14
Avid Reader Book Reviews, November 15
Reading Is My SuperPower, November 15
Moments Dipped in Ink, November 15
Fiction Aficionado, November 16
autism mom, November 16
Fiction, Faith, and Fun, November 17
Inklings and Notions, November 17
Faithfully Bookish, November 18
Radiant Light, November 18
Reflections From My Bookshelves, November 19
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
A Baker’s Perspective, November 24
The Important Things in Life: God, Books, & Chocolate, November 24
Daysong Reflections, November 25
Rachel Scott McDaniel, November 25
Remembrancy, November 26
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 26
Christian Chick’s Thoughts, November 27
Karen Sue Hadley, November 27

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!

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, released 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.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free through Celebrate Lit. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."


  1. THANKS so much, Becky!! I'm so glad I was able to redeem Alex in this. He surprised me. I wasn't expecting his turn-around to be so much fun :-)

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Pepper! I'm looking forward to whatever comes next :-)

    2. I'm looking forward to writing whatever comes next ;-) 2018 is going to be BUSY!!!

  2. Thank you so much for the review. I enjoy the guest post from Pepper Basham as well.

  3. Wonderful review, Becky! I love Pepper's books! I'm excited to meet the Mitchell clan.

    1. Thanks Caryl! I'm sure you'll love the Mitchells :-)

  4. Thank you for your review of Charming the Troublemaker Becky! And for participating in the blog tour, blessings!

    1. Thanks, Trixi! And thanks for stopping by :-)

  5. Glad you enjoyed this one, Becky!! SO many of my blogger friends love Pepper's books. Someday I should start reading some of them. :)

    1. You should, Rissi! But I get the "so little time, so many books" thing, too :-)


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