Contemporary Romance Book Review: Refining Josie

About the Book

Title: Refining Josie 

Series: Independence Islands 

Author: Carolyn Miller 

Genre: Christian Contemporary Romance 

Publisher: Celebrate Lit Publishing 

Release Date: December 6, 2022

Click her to purchase a copy of this book. 

Publisher's Book Description

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.”


My Review

Set primarily off the coast of Georgia on a small Atlantic islandRefining Josie: Breakers Head, by Carolyn Miller, is a wonderfully touching story! As the final book in the multi-author Independence Islands series, this thoughtful novel is a contemporary love story featuring a cast of memorable characters, a meaningful plot, and relevant themes such as family, forgiveness, faith, and second chances. Refining Josie is a moving story full of authentic emotion, redemption, and renewed hope. 


Refining Josie features a plot that moves along effortlessly as it reveals plenty of drama and character growth. The characters are authentically vulnerable as they struggle with loss, hurt, insecurities, and difficult decisions. Though a painful past threatens to complicate their present, the main characters persevere as they pursue healing and wholeness. Ultimately, they turn to their faith for direction, purpose, and restoration. As they endeavor to open their hearts to new beginnings and unexpected possibilities, the story becomes quite satisfying.  

As a truly gifted writer, Ms. Miller always creates stories that are genuine, worthy, and special. Refining Josie is not only entertaining, but it is also inspiring and uplifting. Well-written and compelling, it easily held my attention from start to finish, and I am happy to recommend it.   

*I was given a copy of this book by the publisher/author and CelebrateLit. A review was not required. The review I have written is voluntary and contains opinions that are entirely my own.

About the Author: Carolyn Miller

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.

Click here to visit Carolyn Miller's website. 

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! 




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.

Click here to enter the giveaway! 

Blog Stops


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