Tuesday, June 29, 2021

BUTTERFLY COTTAGE by Carrie Fancett Pagels, Reviewed by Paula Shreckhise

Butterfly Cottage in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan is a summer retreat for Dawn, her daughter Tamara and granddaughter Jaycie. Mackinac Island is a magical place to explore and find respite for the summer. Told in alternating voices of the three generations, the story is realistic. The characters are drawn from real life circumstances and they have real life consequences.
Dawn has a solid faith and an enduring relationship with her husband who will soon join her after rehab is finished on his recent surgery. Tamara has a health concern that she is keeping under wraps in order to enjoy being with her family. Jaycie has finished an internship and is contemplating her next career step.
I really enjoyed the development of the characters and the long history of the other inhabitants of the area.
Mackinac is a magical place. I loved all the references. It reminded me of a trip I took there many years ago. There was a touch of whimsy that fit nicely into the story. The book tackled some serious issues but the theme was look to God, listen to Him and rely on Him to see you through.
A wonderful story that I will re-read when I want to re-visit Mackinac Island.
*I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author. I was not required to give a favorable review. All opinions are my own.* I give this 5 stars and a solid faith thread.

BackCover Blurb:
Life-changing journeys begin when three generations of women unexpectedly spend a summer at the family’s Straits of Mackinac cottage. Three generations of women unexpectedly head out to the family’s cottage at the Straits of Mackinac for a small-town Michigan summer together. Jaycie begins an archeology internship on Mackinac Island. Her mother, Tamara, takes a break from teaching kindergarteners. And her grandmother, Dawn, struggles with a decision to sell her successful travel agency and possibly retire. 

Each has her own journey to pursue during this short respite time from “normal” life. One of them has a secret that will change all of their lives. Can she make this one special summer to remember or will all be devastated? Faith for family and friends will be tested, with some finally able to put the past behind them and begin anew. (Set in 2018, pre-Pandemic.)

Available in digital ebook at Amazon, May 2021

Friday, June 25, 2021

THE HEART'S CHARGE by Karen Witemeyer, Reviewed by Paula and Rebecca

Great Cowboy adventure!

Ms. Witemeyer usually highlights heroines in her stories but this series happily zeros in on a brotherhood of heroes.

After encountering a gun toting pregnant lady, Mark and Jonah are questioning what they got themselves into. As half of Hanger’s Horsemen, they are on their way from a job. Honorable men who retired from the Army, the Horsemen take on jobs to help the helpless. Little did they know that Mark would reconnect with old friend Kate and Jonah would have his interest piqued by the intriguing, independent headmistress of a foundling home, Miss Eliza.

Kate and Eliza have a heart for orphans and encounter a band of rail-riding boys. “As much as she appreciated cleanliness, Kate also realized that feral boys were about as fond of bathing as feral cats.”

The witty exchanges and internal dialogue are never lacking as the two couples get to know each other amidst a scary mystery. Kate muses about Mark: “After spending several hours in his company today, her urge to explore had expanded to Lewis and Clark proportions.”

The faith element is strong, showing how the characters live out their Christianity. “Leave tomorrow alone, girl. The Lord is the only one strong enough to carry the future. You will wear yourself out trying.” “Satan uses loneliness to isolate and depress. But God uses it to build compassion.”

This has been a great series. I am anxious to see how the story plays out for Preacher, the remaining Horseman.
*I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House on behalf of the author. I was not required to give a favorable review. All opinions are my own.* I give this 5 stars and a strong faith thread

"There were some things a man just wasn't meant to do, and bringing another man's baby into the world topped the list."

A baby changes everything. When Hanger Horseman Mark Wallace becomes inadvertently tasked with bringing a total stranger's baby girl into the world, he never imagined how far his axis would tilt when he and fellow Horseman Jonah Brooks sought refuge for the little one, whose mother was too overcome with grief to care for her. Knocking on the door of a nearby foundling home, Mark came face to face with the prettiest blue eyes he had ever seen . . . because he had seen them. . . . .on the lovely face of Katherine Palmer, his almost, would-have-been wife.

Katherine Palmer couldn't believe her eyes, even though she wanted to. Mark Wallace . . . whew! . . the grown up version of the boy-turned-man generated enough heat to roast a turkey. What was he doing in Llano County, Texas of all places, with a newborn infant swaddled close to his chest? Evidently the towering, stoic man behind him, with the beast of a horse was doing a little studying of his own . . . taking in every detail of Eliza, her mission partner. Trying to push obvious complications from her mind, Katherine assumes the men will "drop and go". Oh, no. They end up sticking around. And it's a good thing they did, because there are kiddy-snatchers wreaking havoc on the local boxcar children and the community needs their help.

This fun and flirty continuation of the Hanger's Horsemen series quickly changes into a fight for their lives, but not before the winsome duo adds a dollop of heart snatching into their investigation.

Have two battle-worn cavalrymen finally found a place to call home? "With God - all things are possible."

*I received a copy of this book from the publisher. In addition, I purchased a copy. The opinions stated above are entirely my own. 

BackCover Blurb:
Members of Hanger's Horsemen, Mark Wallace and Jonah Brooks arrive in Llano County, Texas, to deliver a steed, never expecting they'd deliver a baby as well. Left with an infant to care for, they head to a nearby foundling home, where Mark encounters the woman he'd nearly married a decade ago.

After failing at love, Katherine Palmer dedicated her life to caring for children, teaming up with Eliza Southerland to start Harmony House. From mixed ancestry, illegitimate, and female, Eliza understands the pain of not fitting society's mold. Yet those are the very attributes that lead her to minister to outcast children. The taciturn Jonah intrigues her with his courage and kindness, but there are secrets behind his eyes--ghosts from wars past and others still being waged.

However, when a handful of urchin children from the area go missing, a pair of Horsemen are exactly what the women need. Working together to find the children, will these two couples find love as well?

Bethany House Publishers, June, 2021
Available in digital ebook, paperback, hardcover and audiobook:

Thursday, June 24, 2021

TO FIND HER PLACE by Susan Anne Mason, Reviewed by Winnie Thomas and Paula Shreckhise

Susan Anne Mason has once again crafted a fascinating story in her new book, To Find Her Place. Set in Toronto in 1943, it features Jane Linder and Garrett Wilder, who are vying for the position of director at the Children’s Aid Society. Garrett is a wonderful, caring hero who is trying to find a new career after a war injury leaves him unable to do much to help his parents with their farm. Jane is capable, compassionate, and is the acting directress at the society, while Garrett has been hired to look into the operations there and investigate suspected misuse of funds. As they work there together, they become friendly and their relationship grows.

Mason is superb at creating engaging and realistic characters and settings. A wonderful cast of secondary characters adds color and additional emotional depth to the story. I enjoyed the appearances of some of the characters from the previous book in the Redemption’s Light series, A Haven for Her Heart. While they are parts of a series, each book can easily stand on its own.

With plenty of suspense, a dash of romance, and faith elements that are seamlessly woven into the tale, this book is a captivating look at an interesting part of Canada’s history. I would recommend it to those who enjoy inspirational historical romance fiction.
*I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy from Bethany House. All opinions are my own.

Ms. Mason has taken characters in turmoil and given them a story of hope.

Jane is trying her best to make a home for her ailing mother and excel in her job helping children find a home. It is difficult in Toronto during wartime with the shortages in food, gas and qualified people willing to foster needy children. The author shows the compassion Jane has for a special little boy, Martin, who is very hard to place.

Garrett, a war veteran who is still recovering from an injury, is hired to audit the agency for efficiency and a discrepancy in the books.

Both Jane and Garrett have secrets they are keeping. They find they are vying for the same position as permanent director of the agency. As they grow fonder of each other, they have mixed feelings about competing for the job. Garrett: *He could not allow his growing respect for the woman to interfere with his plans to secure his future.*

Circumstances arise that will test their faith and their mettle. And they learn a lesson in forgiveness, trust and reliance on God.

I enjoyed learning about our Canadian neighbors and what similar things they experienced during WWII. I look forward to the third book in this series.
*I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House on behalf of the author. I was not required to give a favorable review. All opinions are my own.*
I give this 4.5 stars and a strong faith thread.

BackCover Blurb:
In the midst of WWII, Jane Linder pours all her energy and dreams for a family into her career at the Toronto Children's Aid Society. As acting directress, Jane hopes for a permanent appointment so she can continue making a difference in the lives of troubled children. But if anyone were to find out she is divorced, everything would change.

Garrett Wilder has been hired to overhaul operations at the Children's Aid Society. He hopes to impress the board members with his findings and earn the vacant director's position. A war injury ended his dream of taking over his parents' farm, but with the security of the director's job, he'd be able to contribute financially and help save the family business.

Despite their competing interests, feelings begin to blossom between them. But then Jane's ex-husband returns from overseas with an unexpected proposition that could fulfill her deepest desires. Suddenly at a crossroads, can Jane discern the path to true happiness?
Available in digital ebook, paperback, hardcover and audiobook:
Bethany House Publishing, June, 2021

Wednesday, June 23, 2021

UNDER THE MAGNOLIAS by T. I. Lowe, Reviewed by Rebecca Maney

It won't take you long to realize that Austin Foster could prove to be a diamond-in-the-rough kind of character, that while digging her out from under the heavy layers of her beginnings might take a fair amount of time and patience, the end result could be stunning. And she doesn't disappoint.
Tasked with virtually raising her six siblings after the traumatic death of her mother, Austin must also carefully side step the moods swings of a grieving father. Working on their family farm together during the best and worst of times only deepens her sense of futility . . . what if this was all that she would ever know, especially when the highly sought after Vance Cumberland, son of one of the most esteemed members of their community, continually offers Austin the gift of unconditional attention. But then again, Dave Foster, also the pastor of a most curious little chapel, could burst forth with impassioned, brilliant sermons . . . leading his little flock by example; one of genuine kindness for the brokenhearted, the misunderstood and the less fortunate.

But the bright and sunny days were always a foreshadowing of the dark and stormy days that were sure to follow. "The tobacco season, Pa, each of us Fosters . . . everything was rapidly unraveling. We'd not only reached our limit, but we'd all picked up some of Pa's symptoms and made each of them our own." Running didn't work. Hiding didn't work. What would it take to find hope "under the magnolias" once again?

"Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labor. For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow, but woe to the one that is alone when he falleth . . . . " Ecclesiastes 4: 9,10

An authentic story, brimming with an eternal testament to the miracle of "healing ever after". 
* I purchased a copy and was under no obligation to provide a positive review.
BackCover Blurb: 

This night not only marked the end to the drought, but also the end to the long-held secret we’d kept hidden under the magnolias.

Magnolia, South Carolina, 1980
Austin Foster is barely a teenager when her mama dies giving birth to twins, leaving her to pick up the pieces while holding her six siblings together and doing her best to stop her daddy from retreating into his personal darkness.

Scratching out a living on the family’s tobacco farm is as tough as it gets. When a few random acts of kindness help to ease the Fosters’ hardships, Austin finds herself relying upon some of Magnolia’s most colorful citizens for friendship and more. But it’s next to impossible to hide the truth about the goings-on at Nolia Farms, and Austin’s desperate attempts to save face all but break her.

Just when it seems she might have something more waiting for her—with the son of a wealthy local family who she’s crushed on for years—her father makes a choice that will crack wide-open the family’s secrets and lead to a public reckoning. There are consequences for loving a boy like Vance Cumberland, but there is also freedom in the truth.

T. I. Lowe’s gritty yet tender and uplifting tale reminds us that a great story can break your heart . . . then heal it in the best possible way.
Tyndale Publishing, May 2021
Available in digital ebook, paperback, hardcover, and audiobook:
(Watch for this on Rebecca's Favorites list for 2021!)

Monday, June 21, 2021

LANTERN BEACH PARTY! (Lantern Beach Blackout- The New Recruits) by Christy Barritt, Reviews by Rebecca Maney

You're invited to a party at Lantern Beach! Rebecca Maney shares her reviews of Christy Barritt's four book series, Lantern Beach Blackout: The New Recruits

"The town's newest waitress needed their help. But would she accept it?

Olivia Rollins thought that moving to the small town of Lantern Beach would give her the fresh, new start that she so desperately needed. She enjoyed her waitressing job at The Crazy Chefette and had even found a no-frills rental where she could live in relative peace. Unfortunately, it only took a solitary walk to the dumpster one evening to realize that "He'd found her".

Axel Hendrix was often misunderstood by the ladies. His harmless flirtation was just a way to pass the time, but when he saw the lovely Crazy Chefette waitress on the ground with a near-hulk ready to strike, his persona changed quickly into an ex-Navy SEAL. A member of the elite private security team, Black Out, Axel knew trouble when he saw it and Olivia Rollins was in trouble.

This fun romantic suspense utilizes the art of deception perfectly, as Axel and Olivia pretend to be in love and and then end up trying not to be . . . . or, something like that. . . in the meantime, they go undercover to try and stop a very real group of human traffickers. This author is obviously at home on Lantern Beach.

"I'm Beckett Jones, and I work for a private security agency called Blackout. Your father hired us to find you."

Minutes later . . . "they were buried in the rubble in the middle of nowhere. . .. . how would they ever get out?"

Psychologist Samantha Reynolds had been kidnapped, locked in the turret of a crumbling castle in the mountains of Georgia, and by all appearances left to die. Following her harrowing rescue by a member of the Blackout team, she returned with them to their Lantern Beach, North Carolina headquarters so that the team could provide her with around-the-clock security they could sort out the details. And the details . . . . . . were proving to be very messy.

Having bonded with her "knight in shining armor" Beckett Jones, Sami begins to feel the pull of attraction. But Beckett is the opposite of everything she has pre-determined to look for in a serious relationship, especially when it appears that Beckett keeps his feelings very close to his chest; it would never work. . . . but a kiss is a powerful thing.

Can Sami break through Beckett's no-smile shield? Will Beckett allow himself the pleasure of discovering there's someone who was meant for him? Not to mention the matter of understanding all the twisted clues that followed them to the island, putting Sami in mortal danger all over again.

A very creative episode of Lantern Beach Blackout!

"How had such an ordinary night ended up like this?"

Delivering cupcakes. She was just there to deliver cupcakes. "I think there's a misunderstanding here", Peyton Ellison quips to the hooded man standing next to the entrance of a dark warehouse building on the sketchy side of town. But never in her wildest dreams, make those nightmares, had she imagined being caught in the middle of a gun fight, only to be rescued by a dark knight with a mesmerizing British accent.

Rocco Foster had acted on pure instinct. His former experience as a Navy SEAL had honed that ability well, but now he had a frightened female pinned underneath him on the pavement to deal with, one that smelled suspiciously like . . . . . a bakery? What was a beautiful woman holding a box full of confections doing in the middle of their mission? Obviously, some very dangerous people had now seen her face, putting in grave danger based on the near ambush. Either that, or she was a very convincing decoy sent to confuse his elite Blackout security team away from their original plans.

What a fun start to this Lantern Beach sub-series; two opposites attracting under the most curious of circumstances forming a recipe for danger or delicious; which would it be?

"One day, she was going to have quite the story to tell. If she lived long enough to tell it."

"Pain ripped through his side. He'd been hit."

Former Navy SEAL Gabe Michaels was lucky to be alive after being struck by a hit-and-run driver while jogging along a narrow Lantern Beach road. Transported to the local medical clinic, he found himself face-to-face with the new lady doc in town, Autumn Spenser, whom he'd admired from afar. But it didn't take long for Gabe, a Blackout security operative to ascertain that Autumn was in a bit of trouble herself; thankfully Gabe was in the right place at the right time to avert a second crisis. If only that had been the end of the story.

One by one, members and associates of Gabe's former SEAL team were dying under mysterious circumstances. The remaining veterans were experiencing a plethora of unusual ailments. Could Dr. Spenser find the answers they so desperately needed or was she somehow connected to the problem, and didn't even realize it? There was an ever larger question looming in front of Gabe . . would he be capable of protecting her when, not if, things turned dangerous, for she was quickly becoming very near and dear to his heart.

"You don't have to prove yourself to me," she had said. Kinder words were never spoken.

There's so much to love about this story!

*Rebecca purchased all four of these stories and was under no obligation to provide a positive review.

BUY: The Lantern Beach Blackout -The New Recruits Series is available in digital ebook and paperback at Amazon

Christy Barritt's multiple series span the mystery genre from funny rom-com to serious romantic suspense.
Here are other series set at Lantern Beach, NC:

(Don't miss her multiple other series, like the Squeaky Clean Mystery Series, and The Worst Detective Ever, and Christy's many books for Love Inspired Suspense)

About Christy Barritt 

USA Today has called Christy Barritt's books "scary, funny, passionate, and quirky."

A Publishers Weekly best-seller, Christy writes both mystery and romantic suspense novels that are clean with underlying messages of faith. Her books have sold almost two million copies, and one is currently being developed as a movie.

Christy's books have won the Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Suspense and Mystery, have been twice nominated for the Romantic Times Reviewers Choice Award, and have finaled for both a Carol Award and Foreword Magazine's Book of the Year.

She's married to her prince charming, a man who thinks she's hilarious--but only when she's not trying to be. Christy's a self-proclaimed klutz, an avid music lover who's known for spontaneously bursting into song, and a road trip aficionado.

Christy currently splits her time between the Virginia suburbs and Hatteras Island, North Carolina. She loves spending time with her husband, her two sons, and her four dogs.

For more information, visit her website: www.christybarritt.com.

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:

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

THE SILVER SHADOW by Liz Tolsma, Reviewed by Rebecca Maney

"I WILL GET YOU. . . That was it. Four small words. Four small, powerful words."

A rather ominous four words. They should scare most women to death. But Denver newspaper reporter Polly Blythe didn't scare easily, or maybe she did . . . but she was still determined that the "silver shadow", the man who had been slinking around the city at night, attacking innocent women at will, had to be stopped; even if it meant being part of the process. And she knew exactly who could help her. Detective Edwin Timmer. Polly was determined to make a name for herself, to prove to her father and her editor that she could write stories of substance, and this case had practically "hit her over the head".

"Has anyone ever told you that you are the most hardheaded woman?"

Polly Blythe was going to be the death of him; Edwin had been unsuccessful in his efforts to convince the pretty little reporter to leave crime solving in the hands of the police . . . but then again, he could hardly blame her. Even in his own estimation the chief was not putting enough importance on the continual random muggings on the streets of Denver. However, when the case looms very close and personal, Edwin and Polly realize that some things are just out of their hands.

Such a fascinating story! Not only the fictional version, but the historical one as well. Readers will feel the urgency and the angst to catch this disillusioned killer, not only to make the streets of Denver much safer, but to clear the way for Polly and Edwin to live outside the shadows for the rest of their days.
*I purchased a copy and was under no obligation to provide a positive review.  3.5 stars

BackCover Blurb:
Fiction Based on Strange, But True, History

True, riveting stories of American criminal activity are explored through a unique stories of historical romantic suspense. Collect them all and be inspired by the hope that always finds its way even in the darkest of times.

Denver of 1900 is still a dangerous place to be following the silver crash of 1893. And of out of the dark comes a shadow intent on harming women. Ambitious young Denver newspaper reporter Polly Blythe is searching for the big story that’s going to launch her career. On Friday evening, August 24, 1900, she gets her break when two women are cracked over the head within a two-minute walk of each other. But policeman Edwin Timmer thwarts Polly’s ideas of a serial criminal. . .until the shadowy figure strikes again. Will the reporter and the policeman team up to find the culprit before he strikes too close for comfort?

Barbour Fiction, May 2021
Available in digital ebook, and paperback.


Monday, June 14, 2021

POWER PLAY by Rachel Dylan, Reviewed by Paula Shreckhise

Viv Steele is an attorney for the State Department. It is NOT a cover for a CIA operative. But somebody thinks it is!

While attending a diplomatic dinner, two diplomats suddenly collapse. Viv is put on a task force with Jacob Cruz, security for the diplomatic corps. They don’t hit it off right away but they soon learn to trust each other. They are pitted against formidable foes and things ratchet up the closer they get to the truth. The romance is there but light and with a promise of more to come for Jacob and Viv.

Written with expertise on the inner workings of Washington D. C. agencies, this is a top notch, suspenseful novel. While not overdone, the faith thread is underlying. The protagonists are principled and Christians. “There is no doubt in my mind. The God I worship is bigger than any of this.”
A great conclusion to the Capital Intrigue series.

*A complimentary copy of this book was provided by Bethany House on behalf of the author. I was not required to post a favorable review. All opinions are my own.*4.5 stars and an underlying faith thread


BackCover Blurb:
Trapped in a dangerous game, can she counter the enemy's deadly power play?

When Vivian Steele, an attorney at the State Department, witnesses two ambassadors collapse as if poisoned at a diplomatic dinner in Washington, DC, she is recruited to be a member of a joint FBI task force assigned to investigate. But she soon finds her by-the-book ways clashing with a special agent in the Diplomatic Security Service, Jacob Cruz. A former Navy SEAL and in charge of the event's security, Jacob takes the attack personally and is driven to act quickly, unhampered by rules and regulations.

As Viv starts to work her diplomatic sources, her past as a State Department lawyer comes back to haunt her, and secrets held tightly by the government thrust her into a web of danger. Afraid, she turns to the one man bent on protecting others. But can she accept Jacob's reckless ways as exactly what she needs to stay alive and to discover the truth behind the attacks? 

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

Friday, June 11, 2021

RESISTING ROSE by Tara Grace Ericson, Reviewed by Kim

Resisting Rose is everything I’ve come to expect from a Tara Grace Ericson story. This is a sweet friends to more romance, which is one of my favorite tropes. While this is book 6 of The Bloom Sisters Series, it easily reads as a standalone.

I loved Rose and Tate’s friendship and their unexpected first kiss. I also liked the growth of their relationship. Tate’s personal growth and his relationship with the Bloom family really added to this story. I did struggle a bit with Rose and how she assumed things rather than taking the time to clarify them. A little communication would’ve gone a long way!

I really enjoyed catching up with all of the couples from the previous stories in this series and I’m really curious to see what Andi’s story is going to be!
*I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author. All opinions are my own. The faith thread was medium. 

BackCover Blurb:
Working with your best friend is great.
Falling in love with her is definitely not.

Rose Bloom has never wanted anything more than to take over the family farm and care for the animals she loves. The goats make better company than men in her experience, anyway. She’s determined prove to her father that despite being the youngest, she’s the best person for the job.

Tate Russell left Montana desperate to buck his own family’s expectations. Landing on Bloom’s Farm four years ago was a stroke of pure luck. He knows more about animals than farming, but he’s learned to love it. Plus, Rose lets him exercise the horses whenever he needed time to think. If only so much of his thinking wasn’t about her.

They want totally different things out of life, but their friendship grows stronger every day. As friendship slowly evolves into something more, they both struggle to maintain the status quo. When Tate’s past comes calling and Rose's ambitions are on the line, will their relationship survive?

Resisting Rose is Book 6 in the Bloom Sisters Series. This small town, family saga is full of heartwarming themes, swoony-worthy kisses, and sweet happy endings.

1. Hoping for Hawthorne
2. A Date for Daisy
3. Poppy's Proposal
4. Lavender and Lace
5. Longing for Lily
6. Resisting Rose

Resisting Rose is available in digital ebook and paperback at Amazon.

Wednesday, June 9, 2021

HOURS TO KILL by Susan Sleeman, Reviewed by Rebecca Maney

"The screen went dark. Black. Black as the night, and so did all of Addy's hopes for rescue."

Extremely dire straits. After Homeland Security Agent Addison Leigh is brutally attacked and suffers a severe head injury, she loses a considerable amount of her memory; both about the firearms smuggling ring that she was investigating and the devastating separation from her husband. She had called U. S. Deputy Marshall Mack Jordan shortly before her accident, but she can't remember why and he had not been able to take the call. That doesn't prevent Mack from dropping everything and flying across the country to be by her side.

Suffering from post traumatic stress after his years in the military, Mack Jordan had forced himself to leave his beloved wife after unknowingly trying to harm her during a nighttime flashback. It doesn't seem possible that she can't remember him. Assigned the lead role in investigating the case that Addy had become involved in, Mack pulls in his current team to assist. They had mere hours before highly dangerous weapons were scheduled to be smuggled across the Mexican border and into the United States. On the other hand, was that enough time to win back his wife's trust and affections? Mack could only pray that it was.

What a story! The sweetness of forgotten love provided such a romantic interlude in the midst of a high stakes investigative thriller.

"For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, and love, and self-discipline."
*I purchased the book, and was under no obligation to provide a positive review.

 See Winnie's Review and Paula's Review!

BackCover Blurb:
Just as Homeland Security Agent Addison Leigh reaches the pinnacle of her cyber investigation into a firearms smuggling ring, she's attacked and left for dead. Her estranged husband, ICE Agent Mack Jordan, is notified that she's at the hospital in a coma. He may have let his past military trauma ruin their short marriage, but she never gave up on their relationship, and he remains her next of kin.

Mack rushes to her bedside, where he promises to hunt down the man who attacked her. Mack failed her once when he bailed on their marriage, and he's not about to let her down again. But when she wakes up in the hospital, she remembers neither the attack nor ever being married to Mack. And when a second attempt to take her life is made, it's clear something very sinister is going on, and Mack and Addison are in for the ride of their lives.

Bethany House Publishing, March 2021
Available in digital ebook, paperback, hardcover and audiobook:
Buy Hours to Kill at Amazon
Buy Hours to Kill at Christianbook.com
Buy Hours to Kill at Baker Book House


Tuesday, June 8, 2021

COVER REVEAL!! ... IN SEARCH OF A PRINCE by Toni Shiloh, hosted by Nicole Cook

In Search of a Prince is on preorder at Baker Book House (https://bakerbookhouse.com/products/381267)

In Search of a Prince by Toni Shiloh-- Cover Reveal!

Brielle Adebayo is fully content teaching at a New York City public school and taking annual summer vacations with her mother to Martha’s Vineyard. But everything changes when her mom drops the mother of all bombshells—Brielle is a princess in the kingdom of Oloro Ilé, Africa, and she must immediately assume her royal position, since the health of her grandfather, King Tiwa Jimoh Adebayo, is failing.

Distraught by her mother’s betrayal, Brielle is further left spinning when the Oloro Ilé Royal Council brings up an old edict that states she must marry before assuming the throne or the crown will be passed to another. Uncertain who to choose from the council’s list of bachelors, she struggles with the decision along with the weight of her new role in a new country. With her world totally shaken, she must take a chance on love and brave the perils a wrong decision may bring.


Stunning, isn't it?

CONGRATULATIONS TONI! We expect great success with this novel and look forward to its February, 2022 release!

Toni Shiloh is a wife, mom, and multi-published Christian contemporary romance author. She writes to bring God glory and to learn more about His goodness. Her novels, Grace Restored, was a 2019 Holt Medallion finalist, Risking Love a 2020 Selah Award finalist, and The Truth About Fame a 2021 Holt Medallion finalist.

A member of the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and of the Virginia Chapter, Toni seeks to encourage authors in the writing industry. She loves connecting with readers and authors alike via social media. You can learn more about her writing at http://tonishiloh.com or go to https://tonishiloh.com/in-search-of-a-prince/ for more info, and...

Facebook: www.facebook.com/authortonishiloh
Blogs: www.inspyromance.com ; http://diversitybetweenthepages.wordpress.com

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