Thursday, May 31, 2018

REFUGE OF THE HEART by Ruth Logan Herne, Reviewed by Rebecca Maney



"How she went from being a young doctor approaching residency, almost affluent by town standards, to being a commodity, sold to nameless soldiers, night after night."

Shocking!


(I found two different covers!)
Magdalena Serida's life, before receiving a church-sponsored refugee immigration opportunity, had been a nearly unbelievable mixture of pain and pleasure. Being caught in the crossfire of the heinous Russian insurgency into Chechnya, she lost everyone in her family to war, except her young sister. Now living a quiet life, studying to earn an American degree as a registered nurse, Lena works part time in a seniors care facility to support herself and her sibling. It takes a snowy evening, a flat tire, and a handsome stranger, for Lena to begin feeling a mixture of fear, hope, and uncertainty; who could possibly forgive her past, but the Almighty God?

District attorney Mitchell Sanderson is fascinated but the lovely Lena Serida and her precocious little sister, Anna. Coming to their aid, Mitch discovers a side of himself that isn't all about law, order, and political aspirations. As their friendship blossoms, it's obvious that Lena still carries heavy burdens and unnatural fears; she rarely speaks of her past and she is hesitant to take steps towards their future. Are they building a relationship on solid rock or sinking sand; can the pieces be put back together again if their dreams suddenly come crashing down around them?

Not only is this a fascinating story, it's a sober reminder that life is precious and that we, as members of Christ's body, are called to come to the rescue of those beaten and battered by circumstances beyond their control, with a loving and compassionate spirit. 


BACK COVER BLURB:
District attorney Mitchell Sanderson lost his family to tragedy. He became a dogged prosecutor, with an enviable conviction rate. But when faith, conscience and love of a troubled refugee ripple the smooth waters of his existence, can Mitch risk everything for love?

Magdalena Serida fought her way out of a govenment-quelled uprising in Chechnya. The church-sponsored refugee knows the horrors of war first-hand. Now in America with her five-year-old sister, Lena is uncertain who to trust. Her faith has maintained her through the loss of her family, but when Mitch Sanderson shows interest, Lena longs to take a chance. Should she open herself up to this man of law and order, a man who imprisons women like her? Or slip quietly back into the shadowed fringe of anonymity?

Reflecting the world's turbulence and the plight of global refugees, award-winning author Ruth Logan Herne shrinks the vast numbers to the story of one woman... one child... the travesty of war and the grace of peace in this Maggie Award-winning book of faith, hope, love... and freedom. Lena's story won't just grab your heart. It will touch your soul.


Available as digital ebook and paperback:
Buy Refuge of the Heart at Amazon
Buy Refuge of the Heart at Christianbook.com

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

WHERE HOPE BEGINS by Catherine West, reviewed by Karen Klepsteen



I can't possibly do this book justice. It's full of grief, sadness, joy, hope, and even a bit of humor. The story is centered around Savannah Barrington and her journey to find healing after her husband leaves her. As she stays in her parents' house in the Berkshires and gets to know her neighbors, she examines her life over the past twenty-four years. We see the beauty of young love, the joys of marriage starting, the busyness of raising children, and the tragedy that sometimes strikes when we least expect it. We also get to see Savannah learn to heal and navigate her new life in the best way possible.


Savannah's emotions are so real, so relatable, that she is my favorite character in the book. 

Sometimes she copes so well, and other times she just doesn't want to deal with anything. I find that I'm like that at times, but aren't we all? Savannah's faith is tested to its limits, and she has to learn to find the peace that can only come from listening to God's plan for us. His plan for the Barrington family is absolutely beautiful, and I cheered and cried along with them.

Hands down, this is Catherine West's best book yet!

BACK  COVER BLURB:
Sometimes we’re allowed to glimpse the beauty within the brokenness . . .
Savannah Barrington has always found solace at her parents’ lake house in the Berkshires, and it’s the place that she runs to when her husband of over twenty years leaves her. Though her world is shaken, and the future uncertain, she finds hope through an old woman’s wisdom, a little girl’s laughter, and a man who’s willing to risk his own heart to prove to Savannah that she is worthy of love.
But soon Savannah is given a challenge she can’t run away from: Forgiving the unforgivable. Amidst the ancient gardens and musty bookstores of the small town she’s sought refuge in, she must reconcile with the grief that haunts her, the God pursuing her, and the wounds of the past that might be healed after all.
Where Hope Begins is the story of grace in the midst of brokenness, pointing us to the miracles that await when we look beyond our own expectations.

***I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher through NetGalley and was under no obligation to post a review. All opinions in this review are my own.
 
Available in digital ebook, paperback, hardcover and audiobook:

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

RODEO STANDOFF by Susan Sleeman, reviewed by Winnie Thomas



Rodeo Standoff grabbed my attention from the first paragraph with Tessa McCade staring down an angry eighteen-hundred-pound rodeo bull. Her rescuer, Braden Hayes, a former bull rider, teams up with Tessa to find the person who is trying to harm or kill her. Susan Sleeman’s distinctive mix of suspense, intrigue, conflict, romance, and inspiration keeps the story action-packed and kept me guessing and turning pages to see what was going to happen. 




I’m always impressed with the authenticity of Ms. Sleeman’s writing. It’s obvious that she has done much research and has worked hard to ensure that the background information is accurate. I would recommend this book to those who enjoy clean suspense stories.  I rate this book 4 ½  stars rounded to 5.

BACK COVER BLURB:
The rodeo arena is always treacherous.

Now it’s deadly…

It’s no accident Deputy Tessa McKade is trapped with an angry bull ready to trample her to death. She quickly realizes that McKade Law is no longer enough to keep her safe—and it’s her rescuer, Braden Hayes, who stands in as her bodyguard. As they seek to stop a would-be killer, Braden will have to use all his professional skills to guard Tessa’s life.

*I voluntarily reviewed a copy of from the author/publisher. All opinions are my own.
Available as digital ebook and paperback:
 

Saturday, May 26, 2018

DEAD DRIFT by Dani Pettrey, review by Kim



Can I just say, “I love Dani Pettrey!” Her books are awesome and I feel privileged to have gotten to know her better by being part of her Suspense Squad Street Team. RELEASE DATE: JULY 3, 2018




This entire series is incredible! One of my favorite things about it, is that the characters from the first books are part of the story and not just an afterthought in the epilogue. I loved reconnecting with everybody and finally getting to learn more about the mysterious Luke and where he has been and what he has been doing for the last 7 years.

I really liked how Kate was with Luke after his long absence. She could’ve been super snarky or mean - not my favorite- instead, she was understanding while still guarded. Towards the end of the book when...okay that would be a spoiler...but anyway, I totally felt her pain and Declan’s humorous line was great!  

Jenna’s killer storyline literally gave me chills! Especially the hotel room scene, well make that hotel room scenes. Creepy!! The culmination of Jenna’s story brought tears to my eyes. And then Parker actually made me cry! And the end! Wow, I was trying to figure out how to move my eyeballs faster to see what was going to happen next! 5 stars!!!

I have only read this series by Dani. I am looking forward to her first series, Alaskan Courage, which I have heard is great. Oh and I am hoping that maybe Mack will get a book?! 
I received a complimentary copy of this book. All thoughts are my own. 

BACK COVER BLURB: 
Burning debris littering the ground . . . smoke pluming in the acrid air . . . this is just the beginning if he fails.

Seven years ago, operative Luke Gallagher vanished to become part of an elite team set on capturing a deadly terrorist. When Luke returns to face those he left behind, their help becomes his only hope of stopping his target's latest threat of an attack that would shake America to its core.

Private investigator Kate Maxwell never stopped loving or looking for Luke after he disappeared. But she also never imagined he left her or his life by choice. Now he's back, and together they must unravel a twisting thread of secrets, lies, and betrayal, all while on the brink of a biological disaster.

Will they and their love survive, or will Luke and Kate become the terrorist's next mark?


Available as pre-order before July 3. Digital Ebook, paperback or hardcover:
Buy Dead Drift on Amazon 
Buy Dead Drift on Christianbook.com
 
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Friday, May 25, 2018

THE WEAVER'S DAUGHTER by Sarah E. Ladd, Review by Rebecca Maney


"He's back! Henry Stockton's back from the grave!"

Kate Dearborne has already seen the local ghost with her own eyes; the Stockton Mill owner's grandson was apparently never killed in the war, for Henry Stockton has returned to Amberdale to join his family's thriving business, and while unbeknownst to her father, Kate--through no fault of her own--has just become reacquainted with the imposing local figure.



Returning home after serving his country, Henry Stockton mistakenly believes that he is arriving back to the same peaceful community that he left behind; however, nothing could be further from the truth. His grandfather's iron clad business tactics have hardened his approach to profit, stirring wide discontent between the local weavers and those who have chosen to step forward and become employed by Stockton Mill. One man has truly crossed the line; Charles Dearborne, son of a formidable weaver. But it's the beautiful weaver's daughter that strikes the eye of Henry Stockton; in spite of their differences, and it in spite of his business partner's alluring daughter; who makes it quite clear that she wants to become Mrs. Henry Stockton.

As tensions rise and the stakes become higher, will Kate and Henry rise to the occasion, or will they fall back on conventionality and destroy any chance of happiness between them? For, "they were two people fighting the same battle on different sides of the war".

Enjoy Sarah Ladd's melodic style, as she demonstrates her own knowledge of weaving; using the power of words to fabricate a beautiful story. 

*I purchased this book and this is my honest opinion.

BACK COVER BLURB:
 Kate's loyalties bind her to the past. Henry's loyalties compel him to strive for a better future. In a landscape torn between tradition and vision, can two souls find the strength to overcome their preconceptions?Loyalty has been at the heart of the Dearborne family for as long as Kate can remember, but a war is brewing in their small village, one that has the power to rip families asunder --including her own. As misguided actions are brought to light, she learns how deep her father's pride and bitterness run, and she begins to wonder if her loyalty is well-placed.Henry Stockton, heir to the Stockton fortune, returns home from three years at war hoping to find a refuge from his haunting memories. Determined to bury the past, he embraces his grandfather's goals to modernize his family's wool mill, regardless of the grumblings from the local weavers. When tragedy strikes shortly after his arrival, Henry must sort out the truth from suspicion if he is to protect his family's livelihood and legacy.Henry has been warned about the Dearborne family. Kate, too, has been advised to stay far away from the Stocktons, but chance meetings continue to bring her to Henry's side, blurring the jagged lines between loyalty, justice, and truth. Kate ultimately finds herself with the powerful decision that will forever affect her village's future. As unlikely adversaries, Henry and Kate must come together to find a way to create peace for their families, and their village, and their souls - even if it means risking their hearts in the process.

Available in paperback, digital ebook, hardcover and audiobook:
Buy The Weaver's Daughter at Amazon 
Buy The Weaver's Daughter at Christianbook.com 

Thursday, May 24, 2018

STORM FRONT by Susan May Warren, reviewed by Paula Shreckhise


Storm Front by Susan May Warren is #5 in the Montana Rescue series.

Excitement leaps from the pages of this novel! A “Storm Front” is brewing and not just in the weather but between the characters in this compelling story.
With this glimpse into the world of search and rescue, Susie May gives us depth of personalities as the people grapple with realistic issues. This time the group travels to Minnesota for a rescue close to their hearts.

Biblical truths are anchors in the lives of the PEAK team. I especially liked the references to Romans 8:38-39, one of my favorite passages. In the midst of our troubles, nothing can separate us from the love of God. These circumstances that are seemingly impossible, such as cancer, catastrophe and feeling helpless and lost, only serve to draw us closer to God. He is still there all the time- helping us through them!

Ty Remington is trying to get back into the cockpit of the rescue helicopter after an accident that tore up his knee. Brette Arnold is recovering from not only surgery but of the psychological devastation that comes with battling cancer. Brette is flirting with danger by becoming a photographer for a storm chaser. Can their foundation of Faith see them through? Can working together bring them closer?

Even though this story focuses on Ty and Brette, the others on the team make their appearance and some things are resolved in other romantic pair-ups.

There is more in store for the inhabitants of Mercy Falls, Montana. Look for the next installment of the Montana Rescue Series. I know I will!

BACK COVER BLURB:
 A tornado has destroyed a small Minnesota community and among the missing are not only a group of students but PEAK Rescue team leader Chet King. Ty Remington will stop at nothing to rescue his mentor, not even when the girl he loved--and lost--walks back into his life. But Brette needs his help more than he knows, despite her stubborn determination to push him away. And when he gets a second chance, loving her just might cost him more than he can imagine.

A blogger for Vortex Storm Chasers, Brette Arnold didn't expect her adventures to land her in the same place as Ty, the guy who she walked--no, ran--from over a year ago. She had her reasons--good ones. The kind that tell her that falling for him again would only lead to heartache. But Ty isn't the kind of man to give up--not on the missing students, or on her.

Life and love hang in the balance in Susan May Warren's breathless story of holding on to hope during a deadly summer of storms.

*I received this book from the publisher. I was not required to give a favorable review. All opinions are my own.*

BUY Storm Front at Amazon
BUY Storm Front at Christianbook.com

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

MEET BOOK BLOGGER REL from RELZ REVIEWZ



I'm so pleased to host this next guest as she's been at this blogging and reviewing thing for so long, she might be the first 'book blogger' I'd heard about when I started back on the path to publication!  Please welcome Rel Mollet!



Deb asks: So, how long have you been reviewing and how did you decide on the theme for your blog?

Rel answers: I’ve been reviewing books for 14 years and have been book blogging at RelzReviewz.com for 12 years.

D- Yes! I was right. It's been a long time!
What’s the best part of being a reviewer?

R- Connecting readers with books and authors. My best book blogging days are when I receive a comment or message from a reader letting me know they read a book or searched out an author on my recommendation, and they fell in love with the story and the author’s talent.
In addition, I’ve had the privilege of attending the ACFW conference in 2013 and 2016, meeting dear author friends along with many amazing writers I’ve been reading for years.


Authors Dorothy Adamek and Tamara Leigh  with Rel Mollet

D-  (PS I got to meet Dot and she's a doll!)
What’s the most difficult part of the ‘the job’?

R- The time commitment, for sure. Blogging is very time intensive from reading, preparing a review, creating the post, adding links, etc. It is a labour of love for me and I wish I had more time to devote to it.

D- What was the last book you read that you couldn’t put down?

R- I’m halfway through Joanne Bischof’s July release, Sons of Blackbird Mountain. I’m captivated!

D- I'll try not to go all fan girl here, but I had a post Charlie Lionheart hangover for about two weeks after her first book!  Double Sigh.

What keeps you busy or entertained (beyond reading and reviewing!)?

R- My husband and 3 daughters keep me both busy and entertained, no question, along with my work as a Virtual Assistant through my business, Author Support Services.

Rel with Steve and Sherlock
D-What is your fiction favorite…setting? Place and time? Genre’?

R- I read very broadly, but if push comes to shove, romantic suspense is my favourite genre. I’m completely flexible on place, time, and setting, but I have to admit, as an Australian, I’m loving seeing international settings (outside the US) more these days. If you want to venture to Australia in the 1800s, get your hands on Dorothy Adamek’s Carry Me Home. If Europe takes your fancy, Rachel McMillan’s novella, Love in Three Quarter Time, is a must read. You can also visit my beautiful country and the gorgeous New Zealand in Kara Isaac’s Then There Was You. And if you are into globetrotting, travel across a few continents with Ronie Kendig’s Tox Russell and his team in Conspiracy of Silence, Crown of Souls, and the upcoming Thirst of Steel!
That said, as long as connect to the characters and the location and cultural settings are authentic, I’m hooked.
Authors Becky Wade and Kate Breslin with Rel Mollet

D- That's quite a list! And super great word-of-mouth for these authors!
If you had a rainy afternoon alone to watch a movie what would it be?

R- I can’t go past North and South, based on Elizabeth Gaskell’s novel, starring Richard Armitage! And it would have to be an afternoon and an evening as it’s a mini-series rather than a movie.

D- Goodness. If we had a nickel... that series is tops on many a list! Sigh...



And what meal would you have delivered during that latest showing of North and South? I’m paying with my virtual bank account!

R- Mmmm…that’s hard as I’m not a huge fan of take-away food! But nothing beats what we call a Chip Butte 😉 Hot chips (thick cut, not French Fries) from the Fish & Chip shop, brought home placed between two slices of buttered fresh white bread!


image borrowed from BBC America
D-You didn't mention ketchup/catsup, but this is the best I could find!

If you could wiggle your nose and be in your dream career, what would it be? Or are you already living it?

R- I’m living it. After 21 years as a lawyer, I now work full time as a Virtual Assistant to authors in the CBA. I love being able to lift the burden of essential tasks that take away from a writer’s time to do what they do best…writing their stories. I’m privileged to work with talented and passionate storytellers – something I dreamed of doing for ten years before it came to fruition!

D- I dream of  employing one! It's an amazing gift to authors because marketing seems to take up as much time as writing!
What piece of advice would you offer authors who are just starting out?

R- Write, write, write!
Then, if you are heading towards publication, an informative and CURRENT website is a must. Connect and engage authentically on a social media platform of your choice. Don’t be afraid to contact book bloggers (after reading their review policy to be sure your book is a good fit) and ask to be featured.
So, I guess I went with pieces of advice rather than just a piece!

D- That's wonderful!  More is Better and you've got the experience to show for it!
Same for new reviewers—

R- Review, review, review. Share your opinion of the story (not the author) honestly, - what you loved about the setting, characterization, and plot, and what you didn’t - all with sensitivity and grace. Avoid spoilers like the plague!

D- Thanks so much for visiting indulging me! I loved getting to know more about you, and appreciate your visit and your experience!

R- Thanks for having me, Deb – it’s fun to be on the other side of blogging 😊


Rel Mollet with Authors James Rubert and Ronie Kendig

Links
Instagram: RelMollet
Twitter: @Relz















Tuesday, May 22, 2018

HONEYSUCKLE DREAMS by Denise Hunter, Reviewed by Karen Klepsteen


Honeysuckle Dreams reminds me of Denise's earlier books, and that's an entirely good thing. The last couple of books didn't pull me in like they used to, but this one had me hooked right away!


Brady and Hope's modern marriage of convenience seemed realistic and not at all contrived which was very refreshing! Neither of them had the easiest childhood, and both were still working through the scars of their pasts. Because of this, both of them entered their marriage with their eyes wide open but still unsure where everything would lead. Both of them loved Brady's son Sam, and they were willing to do whatever was necessary to give him the happy childhood that he deserved.

As Brady slowly romanced Hope and their relationship became all too real, he had to decide if he was willing to risk opening up to someone else after his first failed marriage. Hope's previous relationship ended more tragically, and she dealt with a lot of anxiety from that. Her inner turmoil caused a lot of the issues in her marriage, but she was still a likable character, and she's very relateable in her inability to face her own issues.

I appreciate that Denise didn't shy away from showing how anxiety and PTSD can manifest itself at the most unexpected times. It's a very real issue that many people deal with every day, and the subject is given the weight and respect that it deserved.

As is the case with a lot of romance novels, Brady's and Hope's differences could've been handled with one honest conversation, but then we wouldn't have all of the wonderful tension and drama that led up to such a sweet ending! It was definitely worth the wait, and the conclusion is very satisfying. I, for one, appreciate a good epilogue too!

I highly recommend Honeysuckle Dreams for both those that already love Denise and those who are just discovering her beautiful stories!

BACK COVER BLURB:
After Brady Collins’ ex-wife dies, he receives devastating news—his nine-month-old son Sam isn’t his son at all. And Sam’s wealthy maternal grandparents want custody of the child. Brady knows he’s in for the fight of his life. But regardless of what any blood test says, Sam is his son, and Brady will go to any lengths to keep him.

Brady’s attorney tips him off that one major life change would virtually assure him of winning guardianship of baby Sam at the final hearing: an impending marriage. And his friend Hope is willing to step in as the loving and devoted fiance.

Local radio celebrity Hope Daniels has been driven by a solitary goal her entire life, and after a happy accident she’s finally offered her dream job. But if the truth comes out about her arrangement with Brady, she may miss the chance of a lifetime and stand in the way of a dear friend’s dreams.

As Brady and Hope make sacrifices to help each other in their times of need, they risk uncovering a truth neither of them expects to find.

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from Thomas Nelson through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

BUY Honeysuckle Dreams at Amazon 
BUY Honeysuckle Dreams at Christianbook.com
 

Monday, May 21, 2018

Did You Watch the Royal Wedding?

Royal Wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Tea Towel (Flags Design)
It's on the dish towels! Available from Amazon

Susanne here, with my teacup full of Earl Grey, ready to dish about Saturday's royal wedding between Prince Harry and Meghan Markle at St. George's Chapel.
I love paper dolls! Amazon

Back in 1981, I woke up at 2 am to watch Lady Diana Spencer marry Prince Charles. I've never forgotten the experience of me and my mom, bleary-eyed and donned in our nightgowns, watching TV in the middle of the night. I was young and thought the entire thing magical.

Naturally, I watched Prince Andrew marry Fergie, too, but we had a VCR by then and we recorded it (no getting up in the middle of the night that time). When Will married Kate a few years ago, we set the DVR and recorded that, too.

Now that it's Harry's turn, I thought I might stay up a little for the early coverage (starting at 1 am my time). Or getting up early to watch the wedding live--around 4 am my time zone--but since I had a commitment out of town that day and I'd be driving, I knew I'd need my sleep.
Having withdrawals already? Maybe coloring will help. Amazon
I set the ol' DVR and went to bed.

It's a bummer not to have watched the wedding live, and to have participated in the fellowship of live-tweeting etc, but I am at an age where sleep wins out every time.

I woke up and looked on my phone right away to see what The Dress looked like and read some initial first impressions.


What about you? Did you get up early to watch?

What did you think of The Wedding Dress?

Did you feel sorry for Meghan with all of the family drama surrounding her big day (like her father staging photos for the paparazzi)?

Which hat/fascinator was your favorite?

Anything else strike you?


Dish in the comments!

***
Royal watcher Susanne Dietze's novel My Heart Belongs in Ruby City, Idaho, is a Selah Finalist. www.susannedietze.com. 

Sunday, May 20, 2018

NIGHTSHADE by Ronie Kendig, Review by Kim


Ronie Kendig is incredible! She is consistently amazing! And she created Tox! Best. Hero. Ever.  



A couple of warnings for Nightshade. Do not start reading it 25 minutes before you have to start getting ready for church. You will talk yourself into the belief that you really don’t need all that time to get ready when you really do. Don’t read before bed unless you don’t mind hardly any sleep or struggling to put your contacts in the next morning. Finally, don’t start when waiting in the car for your daughter who will be out in 2 minutes. You might ask her to read to you on the drive to school! 

I loved Nightshade! The action starts at the beginning and just keeps going. I really liked the whole concept of a team of discarded heroes working covertly together. I loved ‘meeting’ the other team members and can’t wait to read the other stories in the series. 

I also really liked both Max and Sydney, even though there was a time or two or three (I’m talking to you Sydney!) I wanted to pull them aside and have a quick chat with them. The growth in Max throughout the book was great to read and believable. I also loved the ending especially the last line! I can’t wait to start book two! Just awesome! 

Back Cover Blurb:
They've championed freedom, survived the cruelties of war, and now these same heroes return home. . .wounded and discarded. Former Navy SEAL Max Jacobs is fighting a new war a war for his family. Suffering from PTSD, Max is unable to control his anger and alienates himself from his wife, who files a protective order against him. Their lives are about to collide when Sydney Jacobs hunts down the source of a human interest story at her local newspaper. Will she uncover Nightshade, the elite team Max is covertly working with, and bring danger both to Max and herself?

Available in paperback and hardcover:
Buy Nightshade at Amazon

Saturday, May 19, 2018

THE ORIENT EXPRESS (Timeless VIctorian Collection) by Elizabeth Johns, Annette Lyon and Nancy Campbell Allen, Reviewed by Paula Shreckhise



Three delightful novellas about detectives traveling on the famous Orient Express.



#1 To Break a Betrothal by Elizabeth Johns
A nice jaunt into a Regency set on the plush train.
Kate has lived in India most of her life. Her father has died so she travels back to England on the Orient Express. She is an heiress now, so she decides to go incognito on her journey to reunite with her betrothed. It is a long arranged marriage to a man she only met once as a child.

Enter Stephen who is in the service of the Queen. He is also traveling under an assumed name, Mr. Brown. Stephen is on the train, trying to complete one last duty before finishing his Army commission and stepping into the role of Lord Darlington.

Kate is reluctant to go through with the arranged marriage and is bent on breaking the betrothal.
In his undercover operation, Stephen is looking for a lady spy. Is Kate in his sights as a possible suspect or does he have other aspirations? Find out in this well written, lovely, novella.

#2 Detective Grace Meets Her Match by Annette Lyon

Two strangers meet on the Orient Express. One is a novelist with the pen name Eldrick Stiles, traveling under his real name Marshall Bailey. The other is a detective also traveling under an assumed name. But there is a twist! The detective is Grace Thompson.
This novella describes Grace and Marshall getting to know one another. There is lots of trepidation on both parts but an undeniable attraction.
What interested me was Marshall’s thoughts. It seems Annette is speaking from experience about the real life of an author— the part the public doesn’t see. All the insecurities and the mundane tasks. I like seeing the “ real stuff”. It makes the characters likeable and genuine.
I was fascinated by Grace and her initial distrust of men. She looks for possible scoundrels in order to protect other women from their wiles. She is always looking for a man as upstanding and compassionate as her grandfather.

#3 Married on the Orient Express by Nancy Campbell Allen
A bogus marriage involving a Scotland Yard detective and a young American lady trying to save her brother make for a merry mystery aboard the Orient Express. Who do detective Vincent Brady and Miss Emily Grant trust on their way to Constantinople to rescue her brother who is being held for ransom? Will they reach him before it’s too late? Will their pretend marriage turn into something more? Another great novella. It really held my interest.

*I received this ebook from Kathy at I Am A Reader for review, though I was under no obligation to review or give a positive review. All opinions are my own.*
————————————————————

BACK COVER BLURB:
From the publisher of the USA TODAY bestselling Timeless Romance Anthology series, comes our new Victorian Romance collection: THE ORIENT EXPRESS.

With three brand new Victorian Romance novellas by Elizabeth Johns, Annette Lyon, and Nancy Campbell Allen.

TO BREAK A BETROTHAL by Elizabeth Johns:
Recently orphaned heiress Kate Worthington must travel to England from her home in India to break an outdated betrothal contract. Surely the lure of money will tempt Lord Darlington to release her! A gentleman befriends her whilst she is aboard the luxurious Orient Express, and the attraction she feels firms her resolve to break the betrothal. What she does not count on is Lord Darlington’s hidden depths. She has so much to lose, least of which is her heart.

DETECTIVE GRACE MEETS HER MATCH by Annette Lyon:
Even private investigator Grace Thomas needs a vacation, yet she can’t exactly turn off her detective skills at a whim. Boarding the Orient Express might be a vacation for some, but Grace finds that her senses are on high alert. She prides herself in being one step ahead of any flirtatious gentlemen, and fellow passenger Marshall Bailey is no exception. When Grace discovers that Marshall is traveling under another name, she learns that her first impressions aren’t always correct, and that she’s mistakenly allowed him to play havoc on her heart. Marshall will just have to convince Grace to give him a second chance.

MARRIED ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS by Nancy Campbell Allen:
Detective Vincent Brady must recover a priceless statue before it falls into the wrong hands. The only problem is that the American woman who’s carrying it for her brother has no idea the value. Vincent catches up with Emily Grant, but convincing her that he’s not out to harm her or her brother is harder than Vincent expected. Finally, Emily agrees to travel with Vincent on the Orient Express, and they plot how to rescue her brother while keeping themselves out of harm’s way. Vincent soon discovers that out of all the hardships he’s overcome in his lifetime to rise to his current detective status, convincing Emily to take a chance on him even harder.

Books in the Timeless Victorian Collections:
SUMMER HOLIDAY
A GRAND TOUR
THE ORIENT EXPRESS

Books in the Timeless Regency Collections:
AUTUMN MASQUERADE
A MIDWINTER BALL
SPRING IN HYDE PARK
SUMMER HOUSE PARTY
A COUNTRY CHRISTMAS
A SEASON IN LONDON
FALLING FOR A DUKE
A NIGHT IN GROSVENOR SQUARE
ROAD TO GRETNA GREEN


BUY The Orient Express at Amazon.com

Thursday, May 17, 2018

FINDING EVERGREEN by Jennifer Rodewald, reviewed by Kim




Jennifer Rodewald is fast becoming one of my favorite authors. She is incredibly talented and her range is impressive. I have loved every book of hers that I have read from her youth dystopian trilogy, to her humorous novellas, to the emotionally charged Finding Evergreen. 




Honestly, Brandi was not a very likeable character and Ethan was a bit immature for me. They had a lot of issues to overcome to make their marriage a success.  But, through Jen’s incredible storytelling, she makes you want to keep reading all the while hoping that these two can work everything out. 

This book also made me really think and had me asking myself many questions. When we argue, do we only see things from our point of view or do we put ourselves into the other person’s shoes? Are we maybe too defensive because of our past history and mistakes? Are we treating others as we want to be treated and, more importantly, how God wants us to treat others? Are we patient, loving, and kind even while upset with someone? 

My favorite line from this book, “If you are called a child of God, You. Are. Blessed” is one we all need to remember especially during low periods in our lives.  What a powerful read! 

5 stars!

*I was given a copy of this book by the author with no obligation to review. All thoughts are my own. 


Back cover Blurb:

He thought he’d found the thrill of his life; she, the romance she hadn’t dared to hope for. Falling in love had been easy. Being married? Totally different story.

Married within a year of meeting, Ethan and Brandi add a foster daughter to their newly established family. Their story is enchanting—inspiring. Except when the fairytale fails. The stresses of unmet expectations and wounds from their pasts knife into their marriage, severing what they believed would be forever.

Hope for a broken marriage. Healing for their wounded spirits. It would take both to find evergreen. Are they brave enough to try?


Available in digital ebook and paperback. BUY Finding Evergreen at Amazon

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

STORM FRONT by Susan May Warren, review by Rebecca Maney


"He's loyal to the bone, the kind of friend who shows up without a word of complaint."

Ty Remington. Brette Arnold can scarcely believe her eyes; their paths have crossed again. And of course the first words out of his mouth were, "Oh, my gosh, Brette, what happened to you?" Disease has a way of changing a person, from the inside and outside, in her case. That's the reason she fled Ty's comforting presence the first time, he made her feel things that were terrifying, because hope had a way of pulling a disappearing act when it came to her not-so-ordinary life.



"Something was desperately, horribly wrong with Brette Arnold." In spite of her undeniable beauty, she was hollow, gaunt, reserved; a shell of her former self. All those nudges of the Spirit to pray for Brette over the past year make terrible sense to Ty now. But here they are, in the aftermath of a terrible weather event, and people need to be rescued; now Ty wonders if Brette is one of them. Can his heart withstand it?

Within the very eye of the storm, Susan May Warren has hollowed out a lovely story of unconditional love; first glimpsed through the eyes of human imperfection, where dark clouds of fear and uncertainty constantly hover, daring faith to brave an appearance. But "perfect love casts out all fear", allowing God to show up big and the lyrics to happily-ever-afters to be re-written, in this adventure-ridden addition to Warren's "Montana Rescue" series.

BACK COVER BLURB:
 A tornado has destroyed a small Minnesota community and among the missing are not only a group of students but PEAK Rescue team leader Chet King. Ty Remington will stop at nothing to rescue his mentor, not even when the girl he loved--and lost--walks back into his life. But Brette needs his help more than he knows, despite her stubborn determination to push him away. And when he gets a second chance, loving her just might cost him more than he can imagine.

A blogger for Vortex Storm Chasers, Brette Arnold didn't expect her adventures to land her in the same place as Ty, the guy who she walked--no, ran--from over a year ago. She had her reasons--good ones. The kind that tell her that falling for him again would only lead to heartache. But Ty isn't the kind of man to give up--not on the missing students, or on her.

Life and love hang in the balance in Susan May Warren's breathless story of holding on to hope during a deadly summer of storms.


*I received a copy of this book from the author and publisher, with no obligation to review. The opinions stated are entirely my own.

Available in digital ebook and paperback:
BUY Storm Front on Amazon
BUY Storm Front on Christianbook.com

Sunday, May 13, 2018

THINGS I NEVER TOLD YOU, by Beth K. Vogt, reviewed by Trixi Oberembt

 
An emotionally told tale of family relationships and sister bonds that withstand the passage of time & tragedy. I don’t read a lot of women’s fiction and this being my first one by Beth Vogt, I wasn’t sure what to expect. But definitely not this…in a good way!! Funny, poignant, emotional, redemptive, characters to bond to, secrets shared, and a story that will stick to you long after the last page is turned. You’ll definitely be left wanting more! 

 
BACK COVER BLURB:
It’s been ten years since Payton Thatcher’s twin sister died in an accident, leaving the entire family to cope in whatever ways they could. No longer half of a pair, Payton reinvents herself as a partner in a successful party-planning business and is doing just fine—as long as she manages to hold her memories and her family at arm’s length.

But with her middle sister Jillian’s engagement, Payton’s party-planning skills are called into action. Which means working alongside her opinionated oldest sister, Johanna, who always seems ready for a fight. They can only hope that a wedding might be just the occasion to heal the resentment and jealousy that divides them . . . until a frightening diagnosis threatens Jillian’s plans and her future. As old wounds are reopened and the family faces the possibility of another tragedy, the Thatchers must decide if they will pull together or be driven further apart.

*I received a complimentary copy and was under no obligation to leave a favorable review. *


Available in digital ebook and paperback:
BUY Things I  Never Told You at Amazon
BUY Things I  Never Told You at Christianbook.com

Saturday, May 12, 2018

BACKCOUNTRY BRIDES Collection. Recommendation by Rebecca Maney

 

"When I look at ye, Jenny White, I see . . . the kind of woman bred to life on a frontier. The kind who not only survives, but thrives . . . . . who stood her ground before savages, or fed her family through the winter. Or got this wounded lout on a horse, fished a bullet out of his leg, and cured him with herbs." - Across Three Autumns, Denise Weimer




It was a harsh world in the mid-to-late 1700's, especially for women. All up and down the East coast and beyond, remnants of wars and conflict battled for attention; killing men, women, children, and friends in its bloody wake. With the skill and grace that you would expect from this group of authors, a story emerges. A story filled with determination, bravery and courage; hard work, severe loss, new beginnings. It's the story of our country, with a focus on eight women who were determined to make freedom their home; accepting the risk of losing their hearts in the process.

"The woman had called it, 'the price of love'. " - A Heart So Tender, Debra E. Marvin

I purchased a print copy of this book and received a digital copy from Net Galley. The opinions stated above are entirely my own.

Available in ebook, or paperback:
BUY The Backcountry Brides at Amazon 
BUY The Backcountry Brides at Christianbook.com 

Travel into Colonial America where eight women seek love, but they each know a future husband requires the necessary skills to survive in the backcountry. Living in areas exposed to nature’s ferocity, prone to Indian attack, and cut off from regular supplies, can hearts overcome the dangers to find lasting love?

Shenandoah Hearts by Carrie Fancett Pagels
1754 - Great Wagon Road, into the Shenandoah Valley (Virginia)
As the French-Indian War commences, Magda Sehler wonders if Jacob Owens lost his mind to have abandoned his Philadelphia business and moved to the Shenandoah Valley. Or has he lost his heart?

Heart of Nantahala by Jennifer Hudson Taylor
1757 - (North Carolina)
Joseph Gregory plans to buy a lumber mill, but Mabel Walker becomes a formidable opponent. When she’s forced to make a painful decision, she must choose between survival and love.

Her Redcoat by Pegg Thomas
1763 - Fort Michilimackinac (Michigan) during Pontiac’s Rebellion
Laurette Pettigrew grew up in the northern frontier. Henry Bedlow arrived against his will. Their chance meeting changes everything. Will a deadly clash of cultures keep them from finding happiness?

A Heart So Tender by Debra E. Marvin
1764 – (New York)
As thousands of Native warriors converge on Fort Niagara, jaded British Lieutenant Archibald Walsh and idealistic schoolmistress Susannah Kimball learn the greatest risk lies in guarding their hearts.

A Worthy Groom by Angela K. Couch
1771 - Sapling Grove settlement on the Holston River (Tennessee)
The Cowden temper has been Marcus’s lifelong bane. A trait Lorinda Cowden curses. Now, winning the heart of his bride hinges on fighting a war without raising a fist.

Across Three Autumns by Denise Weimer
1778-1780 – (Georgia)
Fighting Loyalists and Indians, Jenny White settles for strength over love . . .until Scottish scout Caylan McIntosh leads her family on a harrowing exodus out of Georgia’s Revolutionary “Hornet’s Nest.”

The Counterfeit Tory by Shannon McNear
1781 – (South Carolina)
Tasked with infiltrating an infamous Tory gang, Jed Wheeler has no wish to endanger the leader’s cousin, Lizzy Cunningham. He risks not only his life. . .but his heart.

Love’s Undoing by Gabrielle Meyer
1792 - Fur Post on the Upper Mississippi River (Minnesota)
When Englishman Henry Kingsley meets Abi McCrea, the daughter of a Scottish fur trader and Indian mother, will their worlds keep them apart, or have they finally found somewhere they truly belong?



The Backcountry Brides authors are hosting a Rafflecopter with multiple giveaways. Consider participating! 




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