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Saturday, January 14, 2023

About the Book

Book: Refining Josie

Author: Carolyn Miller

Genre: Christian Contemporary Romance

Release date: December 6, 2022

What’ll it take for the prodigal daughter to share her deepest secrets… and her heart?

Josephine Green returns to the islands in an attempt to reconcile with her family, but with a cloud over the family business, and little in the way of gardening skills, Josie’s painful past and flaky ways prove less than endearing for Greener Gardens’ hardworking crew.

Stuck without any other options, Josie is forced to accept her sister’s offer of a job that takes her to Breakers Head where she encounters Aussie teacher, Lachlan Jones.

A long-lost relative might’ve brought Lachie to a tiny music recording studio on the Independence Islands, but it’s also brought questions about how to care for someone he barely knows, especially considering he’s the last family she has. Questions regarding his future soon pale when he encounters the vibrant-haired Josie, whose sass and attitude takes some getting used to.

Neither imagined more until they began to bond over music and environmental causes. Both discover that first impressions need not be lasting ones.

But with the future of Gardens Gardens looking shaky, and Josie’s faith and self-worth just as tenuous, can deepening a friendship into something more ever work? And what happens when Lachlan’s work means he has to return to Australia after Christmas? What’ll it take for two hearts to heal and make a future possible?

This Breakers Head novel is Carolyn Miller’s final book in the Independence Islands Series featuring five islands, six authors, and a boatload of happily-ever-afters.

The Independence Islands Series: beach reads aren’t just for summer anymore.


Click here to get your copy!


About the Author

Carolyn Miller lives in the beautiful Southern Highlands of New South Wales, Australia, with her husband and four children. Together with her husband she has pastored a church for ten years, and worked as a public high school English and Learning and Support teacher. She loves reading, music, films, gardens, art, travel and international food, and really enjoy creating worlds where flawed people can grow in faith, hope and love.
A longtime lover 
of romance, especially that of Jane Austen and Georgette Heyer’s Regency era, Carolyn holds a BA in English Literature, and loves drawing readers into fictional worlds that show the truth of God’s grace in our lives.

Her novels include The Elusive Miss Ellison, The Captivating Lady Charlotte, The Dishonorable Miss DeLancey, Winning Miss Winthrop, Miss Serena’s Secret, The Making of Mrs. Hale, A Hero for Miss Hatherleigh, and Underestimating Miss Cecilia, all available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, Koorong, etc


More from Carolyn

Wow! Well, here we are celebrating the release of Refining Josie, my final book and THE final book in the Independence Islands series. It’s been a journey, hasn’t it? Six authors, five islands, and a boatload of happily-ever-afters.

As a long-time lover of gardens, plants, flowers and trees, it’s been so fun showcasing various parts of what life could be like as someone working in the gardening industry on these islands. I’m married to a horticulturalist, who once upon a time worked at Lyme Park, which was showcased in the 1995 production of Pride and Prejudice. He has also worked at Kew Gardens in England, and it was fun to use some of his experience in these books. (You can see some of my pics on Instagram and on my website)

For Refining Josie I was glad to finally round out some of the family challenges Samantha Green and her family’s ‘Greener Gardens’ business have had to deal with along the way, and to give Josie Green her own voice. This is a story about a prodigal daughter, and some of the ‘why’ behind the behavior, factors I think readers will relate and respond to well.

As an Aussie, I was also happy to include an Aussie hero, someone with some challenges of his own, so I hope you enjoy getting a tiny taste of a Hugh Jackman-esque hero.

Come visit the Independence Islands once more, and enjoy Refining Josie, a story of heart, hope, humor and a dash of Christmas romance.

Happy reading!



This book has been one of my favorites because the author takes us deep into a character’s past and unwraps it slowly. At first I didn’t like Josie because her attitude was so bad. She wasn’t pleasant to be around and had this woe is me attitude going. I wanted to know what had made her so bitter and angry and was anxious to see where her story would take us. 

Her father’s death has taken a toll on her and she thinks she isn’t love and is a big disappointment to her family and friends. This just broke my heart because somewhere deep in her past she must  have been hurt by someone. She has turned away from God and wants nothing to do with being a Christian. It’s funny how God always puts people in our path when we need it the most. Josie will soon find herself facing some hard truths.

Now let’s talk about the handsome Australian man known as Lachlan. His accent would melt my heart and I can see why he did catch Josie’s eye even though she would deny it. He has come to the islands to help a very sweet person out. Lachlan and Josie don’t quite hit it off with their  first encounter with each other. I think it can be said that Josie was rude and abrupt and probably took Lachlan by surprise. This opens the door for the author to explore how to get these two together and maybe in the  midst of everything Josie will find a friend. 

I did like their banter but I especially loved how Lachlan was always so kind to Josie and starts to win her trust. There is a very emotional part of the story that for me was the turning point for Josie. She opens up to Lachlan one evening as the tears flowed. I was shocked at what she had been through and knew exactly why she had such a hardened heart. With Lachlan’s help Josie learns  how to forgive a person who had kept her captive emotionally so long. Releasing her pain and being able to forgive is a big breakthrough for her. 

There is more going on in the story with the business her father started but readers will discover that as they read this book.  I liked how Josie finally feels confident enough to share her dreams with family and friends. Lachlan also needs to decide if he will return home or stay on the islands. I loved this story and appreciate how the author shares a character who turned away  from God but slowly sees that God has always loved her. What did Lachlan receive as a gift from someone at the end? Does Josie find her dream job? Do Lachlan and Josie decide to have a relationship with each other?

I received a copy of this book from Celebrate Lit. The review is my own opinion.

Blog Stops

lakesidelivingsite, January 13

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, January 14

Blossoms and Blessings, January 14

Texas Book-aholic, January 15

deb’s Book Review, January 16

Sylvan Musings, January 16

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, January 17

Aryn the Libraryan, January 18

Daysong Reflections, January 18

Locks, Hooks and Books, January 19

Blogging With Carol, January 20

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, January 20

She Lives To Read, January 21

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, January 22

For Him and My Family, January 22

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, January 23

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, January 24

Lis Loves Reading, January 25

Simple Harvest Reads, January 26 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Holly’s Book Corner, January 26


To celebrate her tour, Carolyn is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card and a copy of the book!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.


  1. Thank you for sharing the review. Sounds like a good book.

  2. This sounds good! I liked the first few books in the series, but haven't yet read the later ones.

  3. This sounds like a terrific read.

  4. Oh, so glad you enjoyed Deana! Thanks for sharing your lovely review! ❤️

  5. I will enjoy Josie's story as it shows the power of God's love and redemption.

  6. Amazing book. I recommend it to everyone.

  7. Thank you for sharing your review of Refining Josie, this sounds like a wonderful story and I am looking forward to reading it myself