Tuesday, September 29, 2020

THE COWBOY'S CHRISTMAS BLESSINGS by Jill Kemerer, Reviewed by Trixi Oberembt

“Maybe getting through this Christmas wasn't about avoiding the past, but making peace with it.”

As with all of Jill Kemerer's books I've read, this was a sweet love story and healing journey for her characters. It brought both laughter and tears at times, especially when the author unfolded Judd and Nicole's background stories. Nicole struggles to overcome the loss of her husband and raise her triplet babies alone. She finds the strength of community and a new purpose for her life. Meanwhile Judd opens the cabin at the back of his ranch to the pretty widow and her adorable babes but keeps his heart closed. He fears he's much too old for marriage, much too serious and set in his ways. Hopeless romantics like myself know that love has its own agenda, though don't we? Watching the walls fall down around both Nicole and Judd's heart was wonderful, sweetly perfect, and just in time for Christmas!

Just a side note: I haven't read any of the other books in the Wyoming Sweethearts series but I don't feel like I missed anything. With Love Inspired stories, they can be read by themselves. However, I will be scouring out the other books so I can get to know the rest of the side characters I met in this one!

Kemerer brings so many things into play with “The Cowboy's Christmas Blessings”; faith, love, hope, forgiveness, second chances, healing, the strength of friends and community, and a tender story to stir your heart!
*I received a complimentary digital copy from the author and wasn't obligated to leave a favorable review. All opinions expressed here are my own. *

Backcover Blurb:
The most memorable Christmases are the ones you don’t expect…
Will welcoming them for Christmas
have him wishing for more?

Judd Wilson lives a solitary life…until he learns Nicole Taylor and her infant triplets need somewhere to stay. The cabin on his ranch is the perfect solution, but now his quiet Christmas alone feels a lot more crowded. Recently widowed, Nicole questions her swiftly developing feelings for Judd, even if the older man is wonderful with her babies. Is she ready to take that leap again?

Harlequin Publishing October 2020
Available in digital ebook, paperback and mass market paperback:


Monday, September 28, 2020

ALASKAN CHRISTMAS REDEMPTION by Belle Calhoune, Reviewed by Nicole Cook

A sweet, heartwarming Christmas tale of family, best friends, and hidden secrets. Alaskan Christmas Redemption is the third book in author Belle Calhoune's Home to Owl Creek series, but it can easily be read as a standalone novel.

Small town romances with lifelong best friends are some of my favorite stories to read, and Belle Calhoune has the perfect book to get readers in the holiday spirit. Tragic losses, supportive families, and forgiveness bring this story together for a satisfying conclusion. Readers will wish they could visit Owl Creek, Alaska, stop by the Snowy Owl Diner for a piece of pie, and join in the diner's fabulous Christmas tree trimming party.

Be sure to add Alaskan Christmas Redemption to your holiday reading list!
*I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher and was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are mine.


Some secrets are meant to be shared.
Before he gives his heart…
he’ll have to forgive himself.

Returning to Owl Creek after years away, Braden North’s determined to help his best friend, Piper Miller, save her failing diner. But as they work to revitalize her business, Braden’s convinced he must hide the truth about a tragedy from their past…or risk losing Piper for good. If he can find the courage, might telling her everything make this Christmas a time for healing and forgiveness? 

Harlequin Publishing, October 2020
Available in digital ebook and paperback:


Belle Calhoune is a Publisher’s Weekly Best-Selling author of Heartwarming, inspirational romance. A member of the RWA Honor Roll, Belle is the author of over thirty-five books. A lifelong New Englander, Belle now resides in Connecticut with her husband, two daughters and two very spoiled dogs, a toy poodle named Copper and a black Lab named Beau. Her book, An Alaskan Christmas, is now a television movie, “Love, Alaska” and aired on the UPTV channel.


Sunday, September 27, 2020

NOWHERE, CAROLINA by Tamara Leigh, reviewed by Kim

I am loving this series! I love Tamara Leigh’s stories because of her writing style and her great characters! They are never cookie cutter, they are flawed and so relatable. I also love how Ms. Leigh never does the expected! I was sure I knew how two things would play out in this story, but happily, I was wrong on both accounts.
After reading Leaving Carolina, I was really looking forward to Maggie’s story. She is a single mom with a past she is doing her best to overcome. When Reece, her former high school sweetheart, comes back to town, will he believe she has changed? I loved both Reece and Maggie and I loved how their relationship developed. It wasn’t quick or easy. Devyn, Maggie’s daughter, ended up being a favorite character. She stole the page whenever she was on it and I loved her unique personality.

I’m so glad there is another story in this series. I can’t wait to read Restless in Carolina next!
*I purchased this book. The faith element is light/medium.

BackCover Blurb:

Maggie Pickwick is a lifetime away from her days as head cheerleader and the mistakes she made in high school. Twelve years later, this single mom has traded pompoms for an auctioneer’s gavel, popularity for peace and quiet, and strives to be a good example for her daughter, Devyn. She’s keeping it together just fine, too—until an old flame moves back to her little North Carolina town.

Renowned artist Reece Thorpe wants nothing to do with Maggie—not after what she did in high school—but he might also be Devyn’s father. Driven by her own pride and fear for her daughter’s happiness, Maggie finds herself on a slippery slope of white lies as she attempts to convince Reece that she’s changed. But the truth has a way of making itself known, and now Maggie’s past and present mistakes could ruin her chance at love.

Available in digital ebook and paperback:


Saturday, September 26, 2020

MOUNTAIN LAUREL by Lori Benton, Reviewed by Rebecca Maney

Mountain Laurel by Lori Benton

"I wanted what I wanted, thought I knew what was best, and found a way to make it happen."

Ian Cameron's return to Mountain Laurel causes quite a stir. . . .among his kin, among those his kin own, but ultimately within the deepest recesses of his weary soul. Had he run away again, or had he found home; it seemed a mighty peculiar combination of both, especially after he discovers the one for whom his heart must have been longing for all along; Seona.

Seona's green eyes and fair skin taunted the truth of her heritage behind a curtain of secrecy that most slaves were unwilling to discuss. There was something else that Seona was good at hiding. Since her youngest of days, Seona had cautiously developed her artistic talents, carefully sketching in obscure places when no one else was around. Then along comes the one who had unknowingly been her first subject, recognizing her talent and growing to cherish it, along with her. When Seona's relationship with Ian evolves into something they dare not ignore, the repercussions drive Ian along a path that covers too many trails.

"Mountain Laurel" is not a story, it's a journey; one fraught with the sort of danger and complication that result from one man owning another, where forbidden loves hope for futures that were never meant to be theirs. Then again, are "our failures ever an insurmountable barrier to grace"? Never. "The Father's been waitin' for ye to come home. Spirit's calling. The Son blazed the trail. All ye need to do is walk it". . . . . . welcome into a "new kindred".

Prepare to be spellbound; though you may reluctantly close its cover, this epic tale will beg to remain within your heart and mind for days, even months, to come.
*I purchased this story and had no obligations to provide a positive review. 
Back Cover Blurb:
North Carolina, 1793
Ian Cameron, a Boston cabinetmaker turned frontier trapper, has come to Mountain Laurel hoping to remake himself yet again—into his planter uncle’s heir. No matter how uneasily the role of slave owner rests upon his shoulders. Then he meets Seona—beautiful, artistic, and enslaved to his kin.

Seona has a secret: she’s been drawing for years, ever since that day she picked up a broken slate to sketch a portrait. When Ian catches her at it, he offers her opportunity to let her talent flourish, still secretly, in his cabinetmaking shop. Taking a frightening leap of faith, Seona puts her trust in Ian. A trust that leads to a deeper, more complicated bond.

As fascination with Seona turns to love, Ian can no longer be the man others have wished him to be. Though his own heart might prove just as untrustworthy a guide, he cannot simply walk away from those his kin enslaves. With more lives than his and Seona’s in the balance, the path Ian chooses now will set the course for generations of Camerons to come.

A story of choice and consequence, of bondage and freedom, of faith and family.
Tyndale House Publishing, September 2020
Available in digital, paperback, hardcover and audiobook:

Friday, September 25, 2020

MINUTES TO DIE by Susan Sleeman, Reviewed by Winnie Thomas

Nonstop action, heart-stopping suspense, a dash of romance, and a well-integrated thread of inspiration and faith give this book all the elements of a fantastic romantic suspense read. Susan Sleeman is a master at creating realistic, flawed, but engaging characters and then throwing them into life-and-death situations to see if they can figure out how to come out the other side alive, while catching the bad guys. FBI Agent Kiley Dawson and ICE Agent Evan Bowers are characters with a shared past that didn’t turn out well. When thrown together to help solve the case, they have to learn to trust and work with each other. I enjoyed seeing their relationship evolve as the story progressed.

As always, Sleeman’s careful research shines in this book as she inconspicuously educates the reader in crime detection and solving, scene processing, and the various organizations, skills, and technology used to catch the criminals while simultaneously unfolding a riveting tale. This is one of the reasons why she has become one of my favorite, must-read suspense authors. I’m eagerly looking forward to the next book in this series.

*I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy from the author and publisher. All opinions are my own.

 See Trixi and Paula's Reviews!

 BackCover Blurb:
It's the intel every agent fears--terrorists have been smuggled into the country, intent on unleashing the most deadly attack since 9/11. With the threat imminent, FBI Agent Kiley Dawson and ICE Agent Evan Bowers are charged with taking down this terrorist cell. The only problem is Kiley blames Evan for the death of her former partner, and she can barely be in a room with him. But with millions of lives on the line, she has no choice.

If it wasn't for a bad call Evan made, Kiley's former partner would still be alive, and Evan has to live with that guilt for the rest of his life. When he starts falling for her, the agent's death seems an impossible obstacle--but it's also the last thing he needs to think about. As the terrorist plot targets Kiley's family, the two are pushed to the breaking point in a race to save countless lives.

Bethany House Publishers, August, 2020
Available in digital ebook, paperback, hardcover and audiobook:
Buy Minutes to Die at Amazon
Buy Minutes to Die at Christianbook.com



Thursday, September 24, 2020

LAVENDER AND LACE by Tara Grace Ericson, reviewed by Kim #releasesSept28

This series just keeps getting better! In fact, this is my new favorite of the Bloom family stories. I love the movie You’ve Got Mail and Lavender and Lace is a great take on it! I also loved going back to the wonderful setting of the Bloom farm and catching up with the family!

I loved the humor and the banter between Lavender and Emmett. I also enjoyed their online relationship and their use of book quotes when they were chatting. The faith aspect in this story is about being confident in who we are in Christ instead of worrying about how we are perceived online. It is well done, timely, and needed for today’s culture.

This story was a joy to read from start to finish. If you’re looking for a light fun read that’s full of faith and family, this series is for you! I’m looking forward to reading the next Bloom sister story!
*I received a complimentary copy of this book. The faith element is light.

BackCover Blurb:

In their online writer chatroom, they are getting serious.
In the real world; He thinks she’s shallow, and she thinks he’s out of touch.
When their worlds collide, will their hearts survive?

Lavender Bloom is a social marketing expert and influential fashion blogger. Always focused on the perfect image, she shows the world a flawless version of herself, except to her family and her nameless online best friend. Her broody new client certainly doesn’t understand her or why she prefers to hide behind her computer.

Reclusive author Emmett Drake spends his days writing his award-winning fantasy saga and his nights chatting online with the woman of his dreams. When he is forced to hire an image consultant to please his publisher, he despises everything the woman stands for, even if he sees hidden depths beneath her polished façade.

Lavender is determined to help Emmett embrace the power of social media, convinced he has the platform to make a difference. Meanwhile, he is determined to uncover the woman hiding behind the carefully scripted marketing lingo. Their struggle to find authenticity in a world centered on likes, comments, and shares will challenge them both to embrace God’s purpose for their lives – together.

Return to Bloom’s Farm in Lavender and Lace and embrace the joy of family, faith, and true love in this nostalgic modern nod to the romantic classic, You’ve Got Mail.

Silver Fountain Press Sept 2020


Tuesday, September 22, 2020

A PORTRAIT OF LOYALTY by Roseanna M. White, Reviewed by Kim

I hate that this series is over! The Codebreakers is a 3 book series that is connected to the Shadows over England series. All of the stories, six in total, are really good and well worth reading.

I really liked both Lily and Zivon. I liked how their relationship slowly grew throughout this story and how Lily never doubted Zivon. Zivon was so loyal and had such a calm demeanor and I loved how he was willing to do whatever needed to protect Lily. I also really loved Lily’s relationship with her sister Ivy. It was one of my favorite relationships.

This story is so interesting and well written. While I must admit, I sobbed like a baby at one point, it left me completely satisfied at the end. I’m looking forward to whatever Roseanna White writes next!

*I received a complimentary copy of this book. All opinions are my own. The faith element is medium/light. 

BackCover Blurb:
Zivon Marin was one of Russia's top cryptographers until the October Revolution tore apart his world. Forced to flee to England after speaking out against Lenin, Zivon is driven by a growing anger and determined to offer his services to the Brits. But never far from his mind is his brother, whom Zivon fears died in the train crash that separated them.

Lily Blackwell sees the world best through the lens of a camera and possesses unsurpassed skill when it comes to retouching and re-creating photographs. With her father's connections in propaganda, she's recruited to the intelligence division, even though her mother would disapprove if she ever found out.

After Captain Blackwell invites Zivon to dinner one evening, a friendship blooms between him and Lily that soon takes over their hearts. But both have secrets they're unwilling to share, and neither is entirely sure they can trust the other. When Zivon's loyalties are called into question, proving him honest is about more than one couple's future dreams--it becomes a matter of ending the war

Bethany House Publishers, Sept. 2020
Available in digital ebook, paperback, hardcover and audiobook:



Sunday, September 20, 2020

CHASING DREAMS by Deborah Raney, Reviewed by Paula Shreckhise

What if your long-time dreams were not what God had in store for you? Would your hopes and dreams crumble or would you change your perspective? This is what Joanna Chandler deals with in Chasing Dreams.

Phee, Jo and Britt Chandler have purchased land with cabins on it with the dream to turn them into an Airbnb. Jo has ended a relationship and is focused on her job in a law firm and the joint venture with her sisters. She meets Lucas Blaine as the DJ for her sister’s wedding. She is interested in him but takes a step back when she realizes that he has custody of a twelve year old boy. Are all her dreams about to shatter?

I like the way Ms. Raney portrays family. They have their ups and downs but faith and love are what holds them together. She deals frankly with feelings and obstacles when her characters are confronted with grief and sticky relationship situations. It was nice to see the growth in both Jo and Luke as they navigate getting to know one another. You can tell Ms. Raney draws on her own family relationships in the interaction of the sisters. According to her Facebook page Ms. Raney finds treasures in local shops and garage sales. This is mirrored by the sisters as they shop to furnish the cabins. The scene of deciding what games to play is relatable and brings back memories of our own family gatherings.

Ms. Raney shows us what is really crucial in relationships. The foundation of faith is all important. Prayer is essential and forgiveness should be forthcoming.
I enjoyed this book for its realism and the lessons it taught.
*I won this book from the author in an Easter Multi Author giveaway. I was not required to give a favorable review. All opinions are my own.* I give this 5 stars. Solid faith thread. 

BackCover Blurb:
Joanna Chandler always dreamed of becoming an attorney. But when she left law school to help care for her dying mother, stepping away from her single-minded pursuit gave her space to reconsider. The only question is, if not law, what should she do with her life?

To keep her mind off an uncertain future, Joanna helps her older sister, Phylicia, throw an amazing outdoor wedding on the charming Missouri property the three Chandler sisters own together. That's when she realizes wedding planning could be a thriving business of its own. And Lukas Blaine, the handsome wedding DJ, opens her mind to the possibility of love on the horizon.

But there's more to Luke than meets the eye. The young boy he's been mentoring has lost his mother and become Luke's ward. Mateo is sullen and angry and needs constant attention. How can Luke possibly find the time to start a new relationship or saddle someone else with a wounded child? He may have to let go of the woman of his dreams--and crush her dreams at the same time.

Kregel Publications, Oct 2019
Available in digital ebook, library binding and paperback:
Buy Chasing Dreams at Amazon
Buy Chasing Dreams at Christianbook.com

Saturday, September 19, 2020

THE CHRISTMAS SWAP by Melody Carlson, Reviewed by Trixi Oberembt

"All Emma Daley wants this holiday season is a white Christmas."

Every year I anticipate Melody Carlson's Christmas books! And every year I'm not disappointed because that's exactly what she writes best.

I really enjoyed picturing a snow-covered cabin all decked out for the holidays, warm and inviting. I could see myself sitting in front of the fire, sipping on hot cocoa and gazing at the snowy mountain peaks out the vast windows. That would be a dream Christmas in my book! For the most part, I loved this story. Carlson knows how to paint those vivid setting pictures in a reader's mind, brings her characters to life, and sets you right in the middle of the pages. It's one of my favorite things about the author. Last year, I binge-read almost all of her Christmas books for this very reason, I just could not get enough! 

When I write a review, I also try to be honest, and so this was what I didn't like. I didn't like Gillian, Emma's best friend for fourteen years. I didn't like Mrs. Landers, who had not one single positive thing to say. Gillian was manipulative, scheming, and treated everyone poorly. I found her to be annoying and grating, and don't know how Emma remained friends, let alone best friends with her. The only decent members of the family were Mr. Landers and Grant, the brother—who I eventually came to like at the end. The family arguments left me feeling tense and upset, which ruined the enjoyment of the story. However, I did like the developing relationship between Emma and West and wished the author would have expounded more on that. They had real potential to be a solid couple, so I was looking forward to watching them. The ending was abrupt, so a reader must imagine a happy ending for these two.

This story didn't live up to Carlson's reputation as a writer in my opinion, it certainly wasn’t her best yet. I was surprised because she is one of my must-read authors when it comes to yearly Christmas books. The beginning was better than the ending and I was really disappointed! It also lacked a light faith theme which she usually includes. So for me, this wasn't my cup of tea. However, I will continue to read her future books in spite of not liking this one.

*This book was provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group/Revell through Interviews & Reviews. A favorable review was not required and all opinions expressed here are mine alone.*

BackCover Blurb:
All Emma Daley wants this holiday season is a white Christmas. But the young teacher and struggling musician sure can't find that in sunny Arizona. Luckily, there's someone living in a perfect mountain home in the Colorado Rockies looking to make a vacation trade this year.

Tyler Prescott is an in-demand songwriter and talented musician who put his own singing career on hold to write songs for celebrity acts to perform. When his mother convinces him to do a vacation trade for Christmas, he never imagined one of the houseguests would be so sweet--or so strikingly pretty. Naturally, he decides to stick around, and, to get better acquainted, he poses as the house's caretaker. But when Emma's friend Gillian discovers his true identity and sets her sights on him, things
get . . . messy.

Fan favorite Melody Carlson is back with another delightful Christmas tale to warm your heart on those cold winter evenings.

Revell Publishing, Sept. 2020
Available in digital ebook, and hardcover:


Friday, September 18, 2020

COURTING CALAMITY Reviewed by Rebecca Maney

"Arresting stowaways isn't my job." - Lady and the Tramp by Jennifer Uhlarik

How could it have gotten so complicated? Take eight orphaned children on a train, find her brother's property, and live happily ever after . . . or . . . . survive a train wreck, meet a handsome Wells Fargo Detective, get kidnapped, and survive to tell the story. Which would Mattie Welling choose?

" . . . . there was no reason he should be soaking wet and shivering. He jumped up and turned around. There stood the reason. And she was stunning. " - The Secondhand Bride of Polecat Creek by Kathleen Y'Barbo

What an introduction! Or, it was actually a chilly re-introduction to the man that Lizzie Cooper had figured would marry her sister. She had planned on it, as a matter of fact. But the best laid plans . . . Abigail was gone and Lizzie was left gaping at her not-going-to-be brother-in-law. So, that left both of them in a doozy of a conundrum.

"I have prayed God would spare me until I could ask you to marry Sofia and care for her once I am gone." - The Bride of Basswood Hill by Gabrielle Meyer

What an impossible request . . . or was it? Charles Alexander's beloved mentor was dying, and his beautiful granddaughter needed the protection of a husband. Was it possible that God had ordained this strange, but seemingly wonderful introduction? If so, Sofia was going to need help navigating her way into one of the most recognized industry names in the country. Can Charles convince her to not only take his name, but to claim his heart?

"What's love like?" . . . . "It's not like in the dime novels. . . . all sighs and roses and moonlit walks. It's hard and scary, because life is. But it's real. And when it's real, you know you've found someone to journey battles beside, not matter where that journey takes you." - Echoes of the Heart by Amanda Barratt

Who knew that a simple conversation between sisters would one day mean so much? Against all odds, Meggie and Aileen O'Connor have traveled to America in search of a better life. And they may have found it, having secured employment in a large New York shirtwaist factory. Working long hours with limited breaks and unfair payment policies, they get caught up the formation of unions. Along the way, Aileen meets a handsome, kind, charming young man; Lorenzo Faveros, whose admiration will be tested through the fires of adversity.

Four enjoyable, engaging, and inspiring novellas!
3.5 stars *I purchased this collection and was under no obligation to provide a review.

BackCover Blurb:

Heroes Needed for Four Damsels in Distress

Despite determination to be strong and independent, four women of bygone days are in need of a hero.

Lady and the Tramps by Jennifer Uhlarik
California, 1874
When outlaws steal a deed from Mattie Welling, her dreams for her eight orphan charges from New York City are dashed. Can Wells Fargo detective Jake Hickens be trusted to pick up the pieces?

The Secondhand Bride of Polecat Creek by Kathleen Y’Barbo
Texas, 1890
When Zeke Wyatt returns home to Polecat Creek intent on making good on his promise to marry his childhood sweetheart, he finds she’s run off in his absence, leaving her kid sister to care for her aging parents and the mercantile. Can Zeke finally settle down, or will he leave another sister with a broken heart?

The Bride of Basswood Hill by Gabrielle Meyer
Minnesota, 1900
When wealthy lumber baron, Charles Alexander, unexpectedly finds himself married to an Italian immigrant, Sofia Bellini, he must do all he can to protect her from the society she’s ill-prepared to navigate. But when he falls in love with his pretty bride, he will have to make a difficult choice: will he go through with the annulment they had planned?

Echoes of the Heart by Amanda Barratt
New York City, 1909
Irish immigrant Aileen O’Connor is willing to work to make a life in America. But even the land of opportunity is paved with hardship, as she discovers firsthand the injustices faced by factory workers. When she meets Lorenzo Favero at the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, her heart is stirred by the kindness he shows her. When tragedy engulfs the city, will their newfound love survive the flames?

Barbour Publishing
Available in digital ebook and paperback:



Thursday, September 17, 2020

A LIFE ONCE DREAMED by Rachel Fordham, Reviewed by Winnie Thomas

With a cast of engaging, well-crafted characters and tender messages of forgiveness and the worth of a soul, Rachel Fordham takes us from Buffalo, New York to Penance, South Dakota Territory in 1880 for a wonderful story of second chances. Agnes Pratt is an independent, spunky, compassionate heroine and a well-respected schoolteacher in the small town of Penance. James Harris is a doctor with a wealthy, privileged background who comes to Penance to find his childhood sweetheart, Agnes. Together, they find what the most important things in life are.

Lots of plot twists and turns kept me engrossed in this lovely tale, although there were a couple of times that I wanted to bonk some of the characters’ heads together. All in all, it’s a sweet story with an uplifting and thought-provoking message. I’ve enjoyed all of Fordham’s historical novels, and I’m looking forward to more of her books in the future.
*I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy from the author/Revell. All opinions are my own.

See Paula and Trixi's Reviews!

 Back Cover Blurb:
Six years ago, a shocking secret sent Agnes Pratt running in search of a new start. She found it in Penance, a rugged town of miners and lumberjacks in the Dakota Territory, where she became Miss Aggie, respected schoolteacher and confirmed old maid. But the past has a way of catching up with people.

When childhood friend and former sweetheart James Harris accepts a position as the town doctor, Aggie's pleasantly predictable days suddenly become anything but. James wants to know why Agnes left behind the life they had dreamed of creating for themselves--but he is the one person who can never know.

In the shadows of the Black Hills, can a healing light be shed on the past? Or will the secret Agnes can't seem to outrun destroy her chance at happiness?

Fan-favorite Rachel Fordham brings to life the dusty streets of an 1880s frontier town in this story that affirms where you come from matters far less than where you're going.

Revell Publishing, August 2020

Available in digital ebook, paperback, hardcover and audiobook:
Buy A Life Once Dreamed at Amazon
Buy A Life Once Dreamed at Christia


Wednesday, September 16, 2020

OTHERWISE ENGAGED by Joanna Barker, Reviewed by Kim

This is my first Joanna Barker story and I can definitely say, it will not be my last. I absolutely loved this story! There’s really nothing I could complain about! The main characters were wonderful, the secondary characters were well developed, and the plot was just different enough to make it fresh and new.

I loved both Rebecca and Nicholas. I normally do not like love triangles, but this one was done so well that it didn’t bother me at all! I loved how Nicholas and Rebecca’s relationship slowly developed, how they became good friends first, and their flirty banter was so much fun! And don’t getting me started on the romance! Perfection!

This is a story that will have a spot on my keeper shelf and one that I will read again! Excellent story!

*I received a complimentary copy of this book. Clean read. 

Back Cover Blurb:

Constantly stifled by the rules of Society, spirited Rebecca Rowley enjoys finding ways to quietly—or not so quietly—rebel. But riding bareback and avoiding nosy neighbors are nothing compared to the thrilling secret she is keeping from her family.

When Rebecca’s quick thinking saves the life of a young girl, she unwittingly attracts the attention of the child’s dashing brother, Lieutenant Nicholas Avery. As that attention turns flirtatious, Rebecca is forced to tell him the truth: she is secretly engaged—to the one man her family would never approve of. Fortunately, Lieutenant Avery is a navy man with no wish to marry, or so they both assume as they enter into a friendship. Rebecca hopes to change her family’s mind about her betrothed, but the more she comes to know the handsome lieutenant, the more she wonders if she promised her hand too hastily.

After all her carefully laid plans are shattered during a family crisis, Rebecca must force her heart to decide. Should she stay true to the promise she made or fight for the future she’s only just begun to imagine?

Covenant Communications Oct. 2020
Available in digital ebook, paperback and audiobook:



Tuesday, September 15, 2020

ALMOST A BRIDE by Jody Hedlund, Reviewed by Paula and Winnie #ReleaseDay Sep 15

I really liked this whole series of The Bride Ships by Jody Hedlund. It was interesting to imagine these ladies lives and why they chose to become brides to men in Canada. You can’t beat Ms. Hedlund for historical Christian Fiction. I wanted to like this last story, Almost a Bride, but I did not warm up to Kate. To me she was shallow and wishy washy in her faith. I know she was supposed to have deep seated fears but she just seemed immature. 
I also did not care for the level of passion portrayed. The author was showing that people struggle with ardor but I was not comfortable with this aspect.
I liked many things about this story, among them was the growth of the characters and the strong faith thread that was shown. 
Quote from Kate to Zeke: 'We live in a sinful, broken world. Bad things happen to us and to those we love. But through it all, we cannot give up hope, because ultimately, someday, we will get our happy ending- If not in this life, then in the next.'
Ms. Hedlund populates her story with interesting characters. I especially liked cook/butler Mr. Peabody and his calculations loving grandson, Wendell. Companion to Kate, Becca was a real heart winner, too. The scenes in the mine were some of the best. They revealed the true feelings of Zeke and Kate as they were forced to evaluate the things they had held on to from childhood.
I would still recommend this whole series. Ms. Hedlund is an excellent writer and has expanded my horizons about ladies who would go on such adventures.
* I received a complimentary copy of this ebook from the author. I was not required to give a favorable review. All opinions are my own.*give this 4 stars, a strong faith thread

Jody Hedlund has brought to life a colorful slice of history in her series, The Bride Ships. Her masterful, realistic, and colorful characters and richly painted settings, along with poignant and imaginative stories, have captured my imagination and kept me entertained. I thoroughly enjoyed Kate Millington and Zeke Hart’s story of love and redemption, although I wanted to bump their heads together a couple of times.

This series is obviously well-researched, and the characters have been such fun to meet. I’ve enjoyed seeing previous characters pop up in later books. This is a standalone book, but the series is so fantastic you should do yourself a favor and read all of the books.
*I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary book from the author. All opinions are my own.
BackCover Blurb:
Always close, but never a bride.

Longing to find true love, Kate Millington arrives in British Columbia on a bride ship. With countless men waiting to snag a bride, Kate has no trouble getting engaged. It’s staying engaged that’s the problem. After traveling to the remote mining town of Williamsville to marry her newest fiancé, she finds herself single again.

As the prosperous owner of a gold mine, Zeke Hart has everything he’s ever wanted except for a wife. At Kate’s arrival, he takes it upon himself to protect his childhood friend from the men clamoring to court her. The more he renews her friendship, the more he wants to win her for himself. But as much as Kate admires Zeke, she’s resolved not to marry someone who doesn’t share her faith.

When Zeke begins receiving anonymous threats, he unwittingly puts them both in grave danger. In the midst of peril, the past rises up to haunt them both, and Zeke realizes the fight for Kate’s affection may be his biggest challenge yet.

Available in digital ebook, paperback, and audiobook:
Buy Almost a Bride at Amazon
Buy Almost a Bride at Christianbook.com

Monday, September 14, 2020

RELATIVE SILENCE by Carrie Stuart Parks, Reviewed by Rebecca Maney

 " . . . the perfect home on the perfect island for the perfect family."

That's how Piper Boone's life began; it's not at all how it ended. Everything changed one fateful afternoon when the loss of what was most precious to her became a painful reminder of what she never could regain. Returning to Curlew Island, South Carolina became a way to survive her loss of employment, a failed marriage, and the many, many painful memories.

Except that now, " A man's weight across (her) body crushed (her) to the sidewalk. . . . . . Don't move". . . . . . . then, "Like the eye of a hurricane, silence". What were the chances that a pleasant lunch date with a friend would involve an active shooter, a hero, and more questions than answers. As Piper and Tucker Landry (the man who took a bullet for her) begin to unravel the supposed curse surrounding the powerful and prestigious Boone family, it isn't surprising how shocked they become with the outcome.

"You are my angel, my soul-mate, my friend. I'll be right with you till the end. And when you fear the stormy gale, I'll keep you safely on the trail."

What a thriller! Impossible to figure out; this story all but begs you to sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride! *I purchased a copy and was under no obligation to provide a positive review.

BackCover Blurb
A powerful family with dark secrets.
After personal tragedy, Piper Boone retreats to her childhood home—a secluded mansion for the wealthy Boone family, who are practically American royalty. When catastrophe strikes, her family is put in the spotlight, and the line between victim and suspect gets blurred.
A forensic artist with his own haunting past.
Tucker Landry is drawn to Piper in the midst of the trauma, but the connections being made to her family might prove to be their undoing. With a hurricane beating down on the private island, there isn’t much time to find answers.
The truth will determine whether she lives or dies.
Thomas Nelson Publishing July 2020
Available in digital ebook, paperback, hardcover and audiobook:
Buy Relative Silence at Amazon
Buy Relative Silence at Christianbook.com

Saturday, September 12, 2020

FORGET ME NOT (The Gents Book #1) by Sarah M. Eden, Reviewed by Winnie Thomas

“You are building a new life; don’t forget to live it.”

With plenty of wit and delightful charm, Sarah M. Eden’s long-awaited story of Julia Cummings and Lucas Jonquil begins a new Eden series, The Gents. After meeting The Gents, I can say that I’m eager for the rest of their stories. Forget Me Not started off a bit slow for me, and I wasn’t sure I was going to like the main characters, especially Lucas. There were several parts of the story where I wanted to cuff him on the side of the head. However, luckily, they both grew on me as they tried to navigate their family-arranged marriage. The addition of Lucas’s friends, The Gents, is pure Eden genius, as they added so much levity and fun to the tale. I loved their different personalities and getting to know a bit about their backgrounds. I can see why Lucas enjoyed traveling with them and being with them.

Although there are many twists and turns and misunderstandings, the tale wraps up nicely with some very sigh-worthy moments and a satisfying end. I was delighted to see a few of the characters from previous stories pop up in this book. I’ve read most of the Jonquil brothers’ stories, since I’m a huge Sarah M. Eden fan. You can’t go wrong with any of her books. Forget Me Not is bound for my keeper shelf.
*I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy from the author and Covenant Communications. All opinions are my own.

BackCover Blurb
Nottinghamshire, 1785 

Julia Cummings has long been acquainted with loss-her mother, her brother, her sister, her friend, all gone too soon.  But the loss that pushed her grief to the limit as a young girl was that of her best friend, Lucas Jonquil, who abandoned her without looking back.  Now, eight years later, Lucas has returned to Lampton Park, and Julia has steeled herself-she will never forgive the man who broke her heart.

After losing too many of his friends and family to early deaths, Lucas vowed to live life to the fullest.  And after traversing the world, he has returned from his adventures to find his family and home as he left them-except for Julia.  The little girl he left behind has blossomed into a captivating lady, a lady who makes it clear she despises him.  With little hope of reconciliation, the former friends are blindsided when their parents make a shocking announcement.  Lucas and Julia have been betrothed without their knowledge and are to marry immediately.  Now Lucas must rely on the help of his closest friends to win the heart of a lady who loathes him-a lady he’s coming to love more deeply every day.

Available in digital ebook, paperback and AudioCD:

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