Saturday, June 19, 2021

THE NATURE OF A LADY by Roseanna M. White, Reviewed by Rebecca Maney PLUS... #GIVEAWAY of paperback

" I always say that there are some born here. Some who visit. Some who leave. Others who stay. . . . . When we stay, it's because the islands know our names . . . "

Did these islands possibly know her name? Lady Elizabeth Sinclair wondered if anyone in her life had truly known her name, the hopes and dreams it represented . . . certainly not her brother, or he would have never insisted that she marry a man whom she hardly knew, much less loved. Surely sneaking away on a summer holiday would only postpone the inevitable, nevertheless, the Isles of Scilly would provide her with hours of uninterrupted enjoyment, for she was a lady who loved exploring nature far more that tittering away her time mingling with polite society. But never in her wildest imagination could Elizabeth have anticipated getting mixed up with the perplexing, albeit dangerous secrets of Isles. Or its handsome vicar.

"I'm just not a man of science, my lady. I'm also a man of faith. The sort who says God created an orderly universe, set rules in motion, . . . but who also believes that a God who made such rules can also break them on rare, very special occasions. . .. . . He can raise the dead."

Oliver Tremayne was a puzzle, to be sure. So knowledgeable about creation, and yet willing to have faith in a God whom he couldn't see. So kind, so genuine, so manly . . . . Elizabeth had never entertained the thought that she might take delight in studying a specimen of the male species. Birds, bugs, and flowering plants usually held her attention; but this man . . . and his friends, and his family (one of whom was missing, the other being missed already), and his faith. And they would need ever bit of all three to find the kind of treasure that others had been willing to kill for.
Enticing, entertaining, and enchanting all describe this considerable volume of pure reading pleasure, with its myriad of interesting characters who serve to evoke a lush, imaginative mirage of an island paradise where everyone knows your name.

"Libby . . . . listened to the night insects as they made their debut. And could swear that when the wind blew again, she could hear the islands whisper, 'Elizabeth'. "
*I received a copy of this book from the author and publisher. The opinions stated above are entirely my own. 4.5 stars
BackCover Copy:
Lady Elizabeth "Libby" Sinclair, with her love of microscopes and nature, isn't favored in society. She flees to the beautiful Isles of Scilly for the summer and stumbles into the dangerous secrets left behind by her holiday cottage's former occupant, also named Elizabeth, who mysteriously vanished. 

Oliver Tremayne--gentleman and clergyman--is determined to discover what happened to his sister, and he's happy to accept the help of the girl now living in what should have been Beth's summer cottage . . . especially when he realizes it's the curious young lady he met briefly two years ago, who shares his love of botany and biology. But the hunt for his sister involves far more than nature walks, and he can't quite believe all the secrets Beth had been keeping from him.

As Libby and Oliver work together, they find ancient legends, pirate wrecks, betrayal, and the most mysterious phenomenon of all: love.
Bethany House Publishing, May 2021
Available in digital ebook, paperback, hardcover and audiobook:

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Friday, June 18, 2021

NO JOURNEY TOO FAR by Carrie Turansky, Reviewed by Winnie Thomas

In No Journey Too Far, Carrie Turansky continues her captivating saga of the McAlister family and their experiences as British Home Children. This story focuses on Garth McAlister and his search for his sister Grace and his sweetheart Emma. After serving in WWI, Garth returns to Canada with his friend Rob to continue his quest to reunite his family. Meanwhile, Grace has found a way to try to reconnect with her birth family, and Emma is trying to regain contact with Garth. I was struck by the difficulty of communicating with others over 100 years ago compared with the relative ease of today.

Turansky has created some memorable, colorful, and engaging characters for this series, and I enjoyed learning more about them and their struggles and triumphs. One of my favorite things about reading historical fiction is learning more about different slices of time and history while I’m enjoying an absorbing story. I didn’t know about the British Home Children before reading this series. Some of them fared quite well, but others were treated horribly. Turansky’s impeccable historical research is obvious in her attention to detail, and I learned much about this time period while reading this book and the preceding one, No Ocean Too Wide.

Filled with history, suspense, romance, and inspiration, this story is a tale of faith, hope, and a longing for family ties and love. I’m looking forward to more from this talented author in the future. 4.5 stars
*I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book. All opinions are my own.

BackCover Blurb:
A family long divided, a mysterious trunk, and a desperate journey across the ocean—all in the name of love. The epic saga of the McAlisters continues in this riveting sequel to No Ocean Too Wide.

In 1909, Grace McAlister set sail for Canada as one of the thousands of British Home Children taken from their families and their homeland. Though she is fortunate enough to be adopted by wealthy parents, the secrets of her past are kept hidden for ten years until someone from her long-buried childhood arrives on her doorstep. With this new connection to her birth family, will she be brave enough to leave her sheltered life in Toronto and uncover the truth?

After enduring hardship as an indentured British Home Child, Garth McAlister left Canada to serve in World War I. His sweetheart, Emma Lafferty, promised to wait for his return, but after three long years apart, her letters suddenly stopped. When Garth arrives home from the war to unexpected news, he is determined to return to Canada once more on a daunting mission to find the two women he refuses to abandon—his long-lost sister and his mysteriously missing sweetheart.

Multnomah Publishing, June 2021
Available in digital ebook, paperback, hardcover, and audiobook:

Thursday, June 17, 2021

NEVER MISS by Melissa Koslin, Reviewed by Rebecca Maney

"I was in the CIA, Special Activities Center."

Kadance Tolle had been trained to hit targets from long distances since she was old enough to position a rifle. Following years of covert operations as a highly trained black ops sniper, her return to normal life had been plagued by a family who stubbornly refused to give her a choice about anything but following orders. No more. Kadance had finally broken free, only to find herself in the line of fire after she instinctively befriends a total stranger in order to save his life.

Dr. Lyndon Vaile is so brilliant that he can hardly carry on a normal conversation, but when a gorgeous avenging angel literally knocks him out of harm's way, he forms an odd alliance in order to survive. Whoever is seeking Lyndon's knowledge about the Ebola virus is deadly serious, and while neither Kadance or Lyndon consider personal attraction a good idea, it seeps into their psyche without their permission. The larger question being, can it survive; can they survive. Hundreds of lives are depending on their combination of instinct and intelligence to do just that. Never miss.

Reading this book could be likened to drinking several cups of black coffee on an empty stomach, the adrenaline factor is high octane from the very first page until the last. What a unique story line, matched by characters who are as individual as their talents, thus offering readers far more questions than answers until the very end. While a bit foggy on spiritual detail, the power of God's presence in a life is certainly lauded, and encouraged . . . making Lyndon and Kadance's cautious steps toward romance all the sweeter. This is an outstanding debut, leaving suspense fans clamoring for more!

Note: The thought patterns surrounding physical attraction between these two characters are just that; thought patterns, and while their blunt interruptions might raise an eyebrow, they fit the metamorphosis of their characters.
*I received a copy of this book from the publisher. The opinions stated above are entirely my own. 

BackCover Blurb:
Former CIA sniper Kadance Tolle possesses a special set of skills and a rare pedigree. She comes from a family of assassins, and by saving Lyndon Vaile's life she risks being found by them. Despite the danger, Kadance feels compelled to help Lyndon discover who is after him--and his research that seems to prove that the Ebola virus was manmade and is about to be weaponized.

With shadowy figures pursuing them and a Mastermind watching their every move, Kadance and Lyndon must scramble to stop an impending bioattack at the State of the Union address. But their warnings fall on deaf ears, and it becomes increasingly clear that there's no one they can trust--except perhaps each other.

Strap in for a breakneck story that will have you up all night, hurtling toward the last page as the clock ticks and time runs out.

Revell Publishing, May 2021
Available in digital ebook, paperback, hardcover, and audiobook:

Wednesday, June 16, 2021

PLOT TWIST by Bethany Turner, Reviewed by Kim

After I read the dedication at the beginning of Plot Twist by Bethany Turner, I felt this might just be the story to get me out of my reading slump! And I’m happy to say, it did just that!

What really worked for me in Plot Twist was its unique storyline, engaging writing style, and subtle humor. I also enjoyed the references to some of my favorite movies. What didn’t work for me was the plot twist at the end. Without drifting into spoiler territory, I will just say that Olivia wasted too many years of her life for the story to end how it ended. I also think this would’ve worked so much better if it only spanned 5 years instead of the 10 years it did or if Olivia would’ve been 20 at the beginning of the story instead of 30.
All in all, Plot Twist is an engaging humorous story that kept my interest and, thankfully, got me out of my reading slump! 4 stars!
*I received a complimentary copy of this book. All opinions are my own. I would label this a clean read as there was no faith thread. 

BackCover Blurb:
An aspiring screenwriter has a chance encounter with an actor who could be the man of her dreams. Over the next ten years, she’ll write the story . . . but will he end up being the star?

February 4, 2003, promises to be a typical day for Olivia Ross—a greeting card writer whose passion project is a screenplay of her own. But after she and a handsome actor have a magical meet-cute in a coffee shop, they make a spontaneous pact: in ten years, after they’ve found the success they’re just sure they’re going to achieve, they’ll return to the coffeehouse to partner up and make a film together. The only problem? Olivia neglected to get the stranger’s name. But she doesn’t forget his face—or the date.

For the next ten years, every February 4 is marked with coincidences and ironies for Olivia. As men come and go and return to her life, she continues to write, but still wonders about the guy from the coffee shop—the nameless actor she’s almost certain has turned out to be Hamish MacDougal, now a famous A-lister and Hollywood leading man.

But a lot can happen in ten years, and while waiting for the curtain to rise on her fate, the true story of Olivia’s life is being written—and if she’s not careful, she’ll completely miss the real-life romantic comedy playing out right before her eyes.

Thomas Nelson Publishing, June 2021
Available in digital ebook, paperback, and audiobook:

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