Saturday, April 17, 2021

AN UNCOMMON EARL by Sian Ann Bessey, Reviewed by Winnie Thomas

Be prepared to fall in love with the uncommon Earl, Alexander Allerton, in Sian Ann Bessey’s newest historical fiction book. He is a champion for the less fortunate of England, and is a courageous, compassionate, and exceptional hero. Jane Hadford is reserved, observant, lovely, and because of an unfortunate accident, used to being ignored socially. The relationship between these two is dynamic, and I enjoyed seeing it change and grow. 

I quickly became invested in this story. With a richly painted setting and characters that are layered, engaging, and colorful, it was easy to transport myself into the tale. Bessey has quickly become one of my favorite authors for historical fiction. She is a master at meshing actual historical details with a fictional story. I enjoyed learning more about this slice of the history of England while reading it. I’m looking forward to reading more of her books.
*I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy from Covenant Communications. All opinions are my own.

BackCover Blurb:
Alexander Allerton, the Earl of Bloxley’s, greatest desire is to alleviate the suffering of the poor and less fortunate of England. So when his hackney carriage is involved in an accident that results in the death of one of those he is determined to help, he is devastated. Alexander vows to keep the promise he makes to the injured woman as she takes her final breaths: he will not rest until he finds her young son. 

After a crippling accident years ago, Jane Hadford is accustomed to being largely ignored at social events. But being overlooked has allowed her to hone her observational skills—and she quickly perceives that all is not well with the handsome Lord Bloxley. When an unexpected opportunity arises to talk to the earl, he surprises them both by sharing with her his fruitless search for the child. Touched by Lord Bloxley’s story and by his desire to make things right, Jane determines to help him fulfill his promise. What she cannot anticipate, however, is that the quest she has chosen to undertake will bring into her life a small boy who will steal her heart and a gentleman who might well do the same.

Covenant Communications, April 2021

Friday, April 16, 2021

ROOTS OF WOOD AND STONE by Amanda Wen, Reviewed by Paula Shreckhise

Fabulous debut.

I so love novels steeped in the history of the author. This lovely dual-time book is a prime example. Ms. Wen draws on extensive research into her family tree to give us a exceptional story of life, love and lessons learned.

It is a fabulous story of Sloane Kelley who is adopted and feels the loss of her own history. She is a curator at a historical museum in Wichita, Kansas when Garrett Anderson brings in an artifact discovered when he was clearing out his grandmother’s attic. Little did Sloane know how God would use an old satchel to answer her longing heart.

Garrett is a planner but he has forgotten to enter seeking God into his plans for the future. Together, Sloane and Garrett pour through old diaries and find their life answers. There are a lot of surprises along with laughter and tears. This author knows how to write romance and sizzling kisses!

Past and present meld in a fascinating way. And at the root of it all is a lesson both generations of characters learn: we all have worth in God and He can give us more than we deserve or expect.
*A complimentary copy of this book was provided by Kregel through Interviews and Reviews. I was not required to give a favorable review. All opinions are my own.*I give this 5 stars and a strong faith thread. 

BackCover Blurb:
This historic home holds the keys to their destiny . . .and their hearts

Abandoned at birth, her family roots a mystery, historical museum curator Sloane Kelley has dedicated her life to making sure others know theirs. When a donor drops off a dusty old satchel, she doesn't expect much from the common artifact . . .until she finds real treasure inside: a nineteenth-century diary.Now she's on the hunt to find out more.

Garrett Anderson just wanted to clean out his grandmother's historic but tumbledown farmhouse before selling it to fund her medical care. With her advancing Alzheimer's, he can't afford to be sentimental about the family home. But his carefully ordered plan runs up against two formidable obstacles: Sloane, who's fallen in love with both the diaries and the house, and his own heart, which is irresistibly drawn to Sloane.

A century and a half earlier, motherless Annabelle Collins embarks with her aunt and uncle on the adventure of a lifetime: settling the prairies of Sedgwick County, Kansas. The diaries she left behind paint a portrait of life, loss, and love--and a God who faithfully carries her through it all. Paging through the diaries together takes Sloane and Garrett on a journey they never could have planned, which will change them in ways they never imagined.

This warm, beautifully written split-time novel will resonate with readers looking for stories that reveal the beauty of God's plan for our lives, and how our actions ripple for generations.

Kregel Publications, February 2021
Available in digital ebook and paperback:

Thursday, April 15, 2021

THE PURPLE NIGHTGOWN by A.D. Lawrence, Reviewed by Rebecca Maney

"She couldn't stay in this death trap another night."

Except that Stella Burke was trapped . . . having checked into the Wilderness Heights Health Spa of her own volition and against the advice of her long time friend Henry Clayton. Suffering chronic migraines, Stella sought out the expertise of Dr. Linda Hazzard, having read great things about her methodology for curing various ailments. But once under the doctor's daily regime, Stella is still suffering headaches and has numerous body aches to match. However, her own experiences paled in comparison to the other creepy, malevolent goings-on under the supervision of the famed Dr. Hazzard. If only Henry would come to her rescue . . . or would he? They had parted on very shaky terms.

Thankfully, Stella took hope in God's Word, remembering the words of the psalmist when he wrote, "When I consider the heavens, the work of they fingers, the moon and stars, which thou hast ordained, what is man that thou are mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?" She was not alone.
Be prepared to wish that this story was indeed fiction, for the truth of the matter is that Dr. Linda Hazzard was a wolf in sheep's clothing, prowling through the pocketbooks of the rich in order to fuel her own cruel psychosis. Did she get away with it? Apparently she did. Bravo to the author for tackling such a diabolical set of circumstances.
*I purchased a copy and was under no obligation to provide a positive review.
BackCover Blurb
Step into True Colors -- a series of Historical Stories of Romance and True American Crime

Marvel at true but forgotten history when patients check into Linda Hazzard’s Washington state spa in 1912 and soon become victim of her twisted greed.

Heiress Stella Burke is plagued by insincere suitors and nonstop headaches. Exhausting all other medical aides for her migraines, Stella reads Fasting for the Cure of Disease by Linda Hazzard and determines to go to the spa the author runs. Stella’s chauffer and long-time friend, Henry Clayton, is reluctant to leave her at the spa. Something doesn’t feel right to him, still Stella submits herself into Linda Hazzard’s care. Stella soon learns the spa has a dark side and Linda a mean streak. But when Stella has had enough, all ways to leave are suddenly blocked. Will Stella become a walking skeleton like many of the other patients or succumb to a worse fate?

Barbour Publishing, March 2021
Available in digital ebook, and paperback:

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

PRESENT DANGER by Elizabeth Goddard, Reviewed by Kim

Present Danger is the first book in Elizabeth Goddard’s new series. It’s also a second chance romance which is one of my favorite types of romances.

I liked both of the main characters in this story and I thought the storyline, which dealt with artifact trafficking, was different, which is always good. While I liked this story well enough, I didn’t really connect with the main characters and their romance felt a little more like a friendship to me. I also felt like the ending was just a bit too much to be realistic.
I did enjoy getting to catch up with characters from the previous series. If you enjoy second chance romances, this just might be the book for you.
*I received a complimentary copy of this book. The Faith thread was light. 

BackCover Blurb:
Hidden crimes. Open threats. Long-buried secrets.
They'll be fighting for the truth--and their lives.

Former FBI Special Agent Jack Tanner is working as a detective in Montana when he comes across a body in the national forest during a search and rescue mission. He's committed to finding the killer, even if it means working alongside his old flame, US Forest Service Special Agent Terra Connors.

When Terra discovers that the murder victim had ties to a powerful and dangerous trafficker of archaeological artifacts, the investigation takes a deadly turn--one that hits too close to home. As Terra fears she lacks the courage to face what comes next, Jack is more determined than ever to protect her. But he's failed her before.

If he fails this time, it will cost them far more than just their hearts.

Revell Publishing, April 6, 2021
Available in digital ebook, paperback and hardcover:

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