Monday, February 28, 2022

IN SEARCH OF A PRINCE by Toni Shiloh, Reviewed by Winnie Thomas

Toni Shiloh whisks the reader away to a tropical isle off the coast of western Africa in her fairy-tale-reminiscent adventure In Search of a Prince. Filled with plenty of interesting culture, colorful and engaging characters, and well-researched background, this story intrigued me from the first look at the gorgeous cover. Brielle Adebayo is a courageous, competent, and likeable heroine whose life is thrown into a tailspin when she discovers she’s the heir to a kingdom of an African island. In order to become queen when her ailing grandfather passes away, she must find a suitable prince to marry.

It’s apparent that Shiloh put a lot of thought into the culture, language, and people of her fictional country. I enjoyed the author’s note in the back of the book explaining how she came up with her story. I also enjoyed the spirituality and theme of trusting in God to guide your life. I’m excited to see what this talented author comes up with in the future.
*I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy from Bethany House Publishers. All opinions are my own.



BackCover Blurb:
It seems like a dream come true . . . until it forces her to question everything.

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 a bombshell--Brielle is really a princess in the island kingdom of Ọlọrọ Ilé, off the coast of Africa, and she must immediately assume her royal position, since the health of her grandfather, the king, is failing.

Distraught by all the secrets her mother kept, Brielle is further left spinning when the Ọlọrọ Ilé Royal Council brings up an old edict that states she must marry before her coronation, or the crown will pass to another. Brielle is uncertain if she even wants the throne, and with her world totally shaken, where will she find the courage to take a chance on love and brave the perils a wrong decision may bring?
Bethany House Publishers, February, 2022 
Available in digital ebook, paperback, hardcover, and audiobook:
Buy IN SEARCH OF A PRINCE at Amazon,, Baker Book House  

Sunday, February 27, 2022

WHERE THE LAST ROSE BLOOMS by Ashley Clark, Reviewed by Winnie Thomas

“It’s in the waters, in the wading, that healing comes.”

Filled with vivid descriptions and interesting historical tidbits, Ashley Clark’s third book in her Heirloom Secrets series is a fascinating look into 1860s Charleston, as well as modern-day New Orleans, as she ties up ends in her dual timeline series. The characters are colorful, relatable, and well-drawn. The Civil War era characters seem true to the time, and the contemporary characters were charming. I’m amazed at Clark’s ability in weaving together the different plot lines in a way that works to keep the reader engaged. I must admit that I sometimes have trouble keeping all the characters and plotlines in the right timeline when I read dual timeline books.

I enjoyed the imagery of the flowers in this story, the floriography, and the symbolism of the rose throughout the series. This is a beautiful tale of courage, healing, love, and reconciliation which is sure to touch the hearts of all romance lovers. I recommend this book to those who enjoy engaging split-time stories. Be prepared to want to book a trip to the southern states while you’re reading it!
*I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy from Bethany House Publishers. All opinions are my own. 4.5 stars

BackCover Blurb:
Alice runs a New Orleans flower shop alongside her aunt, but thoughts of her mother, who went missing during Hurricane Katrina, are never far from her mind. After getting off on the wrong foot with a handsome yet irritating man who comes to her shop, Alice soon realizes their worlds overlap--and the answers they both seek can be found in the same place.

In 1861 Charleston, Clara is known to be a rule follower--but the war has changed her. Unbeknownst to her father, who is heavily involved with the Confederacy, she is an abolitionist and is prepared to sacrifice everything for the cause. With assistance from a dashing Union spy, she attempts to help an enslaved woman reunite with her daughter. But things go very wrong when Clara agrees to aid the Northern cause by ferrying secret information about her father's associates.

Faced with the unknown, both women will have to dig deep to let their courage bloom.

Bethany House Publishing, February, 2022
Available in digital ebook, paperback, hardcover, and audiobook:
Buy Where the Last Rose Blooms at Amazon,, and Baker Book House


Saturday, February 26, 2022

THE HEARTBREAKER I ADORE by Haley Zaragoza, Reviewed by Kim

The Heartbreaker I Adore by Haley Zaragoza is book 2 in the When in Waverly series, but it easily reads as a standalone. This story is sweet and full of romance and humor! It also contains some of my favorite tropes! It’s a combination of falling for my brother’s best friend/unrequited love/friends to more all rolled up into one cute story!

I love that the focus is primarily on the romance and humor and that there was no unneeded conflict to get in the way. I also liked how all of the characters, both main and secondary, felt relatable and real.

If you are looking for a quick read that is full of romance and humor and is completely clean, this may be the series for you.
*I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author. All opinions are my own. This is a clean read. 

BackCover Blurb:
Sometimes love is waiting right in front of you.

Hannah Stuart has spent her life loving a man who barely knows she exists. Finally fed up with her situation, she decides it's time to start over somewhere new, but a catastrophe brings her plans to a screeching halt and forces her to endure encounter after encounter with her brother's best friend. AKA: the man of her dreams.

Seth Miller has known Hannah her entire life. She's like the adorable little sister he never had... until she isn't anymore. Seth tells himself (and her over-protective big brother) she's just a friend, but some feelings won't be ignored. Will Seth make Hannah's dreams come true, or is he too late?

February, 2022
Available in digital ebook and paperback

EVER CONSTANT by Tracie Peterson and Kimberley Woodhouse, reviewed by Paula Shreckhise


What a great series this has been to see what life was like in Nome, Alaska in the early 1900s.

Whitney Powell has been a steadfast fixture in her family. But after losing her mother and then her grandfather, she is barely holding it together. She is also dealing with the appearance of the father she thought was dead and his other family! The authors give a realistic glimpse of the physical hardships of Nome in 1905 as well as the emotional upheaval that has come upon the Powell family. Whitney wants to appear strong but her resolve and even her faith is on shaky ground which results in bad decisions.

Dr. Peter Cameron is capable and compassionate but he, too, is mourning the loss of family members.Whitney and Peter grow closer as they try to cope with an epidemic in town as well as the outlying native villages. In addition, the family is being undermined by a sneaky villain.

The family supports each other and prays for each situation. “It is in times like these that I have to remind myself over and over that God is in control. He doesn’t need my help. But we need His.”

This is a story of suffering and hardships but also of redemption, forgiveness, and relying on God. Because God is the only one who is Ever Constant.

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House on behalf of the authors. I was not required to give a favorable review. All opinions are my own.* 5 stars and a strong faith thread 

BackCover Blurb:
She's always determined to be the stable, reliable one. But now her commitment may destroy her.

On the surface, Whitney Powell is happy working with her sled dogs and welcoming the new additions to her family through her sisters' marriages and an upcoming birth. But her life is full of complications, including an estranged father, that have her on the edge of losing control. Growing up, she was the strong sister, and she can't give that up now.

When villagers in outlying areas come down with a horrible sickness, Dr. Peter Cameron turns to Whitney and her dogs for help navigating the deep snow, and they become close while ministering to the sick together. Peter has long recognized her finer qualities but is troubled by the emotions and secrets she keeps buried within. He wants to help but wonders if she is more of a risk than his heart can take.

As sickness spreads throughout Nome and another man courts Whitney, she and Peter will discover that sometimes it is only in weakness that you can find strength.

Bethany House Publishing, January, 2022
Available in digital ebook, paperback, hardcover, and audiobook:
Buy Ever Constant at Amazon, Christianbook .com, and Baker Book House


Friday, February 25, 2022

BLADE OF ASH and SHIELD OF SHADOW by C.F.E. Black, Reviewed by Kim


(The Prequel Novella) - SHIELD OF SHADOW
What a great start to the Scepter and Crown series by C.F.E Black. Shield of Shadow is the prequel novella to Blade of Ash. I am so glad I read this story because it really sets you up for Blade of Ash by telling Aly’s story of how she came to be the Master Sorcerer for the King. I was totally sucked into this world and the lives of these characters! I loved Aly and Grey and their relationship. I’m really looking forward to reading Blade of Ash to find out what happens to Aly next!
*I received a complimentary copy of this story from the author. All opinions are my own. Join the author's newsletter at to get this prequel!)

Blade of Ash is the first book in C.F.E. Black’s new series, Scepter and Crown. While I don’t think reading the prequel novella, Shield of Shadow, is absolutely necessary to fully understand this story, I highly recommend doing so because it explains Aly’s past, how she came to be the King’s Sorcerer, Grey is in it (he’s one of my favorite characters and I would LOVE to see him get his own story!) and it’s just a really good novella!
I loved both Aly and Red and how their relationship grew throughout this story. I’m normally not a fan of enemies to more, but this one was so good and it made complete sense to me as to why Red would not be Aly’s biggest fan at first. I can’t say much about the actual
story because I do not want to head into spoiler territory, but I will say I loved the pace, adventure, world, and the action in this story. I also loved the Christian message of good and truth.
I highly recommend this YA fantasy novel that Ms. black has created! I can’t wait for book 2 to see what happens next! Also, the prequel novella is available free right now by subscribing to Ms. Black’s newsletter.
*I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author. I also
Purchased a copy. All opinions are my own. The faith thread is light, but allegorically throughout.

BLADE OF ASH - BackCover Blurb:
A cursed king. A hunted sorceress. Their only hope for survival is each other.
Newly crowned, Red blames one person for his father's murder: the secret sorceress sworn to protect the king.
Alyana Barron, Royal Sorcerer to the throne of Tandera, fears her magic is weakening.
A powerful enemy twisted by dark magic wants them both dead.
When Red is cursed, his life entwines with Aly's in ways neither of them expected. Together, they chase after a cure that will heal the king and restore her magic, but the closer they get to a cure, the nearer they step toward death, for the path to the cure is as dangerous as the curse itself.
Packed full of royal intrigue, legends, and plenty of ballgowns,
Blade of Ash is the first in a new, YA epic fantasy series perfect for fans of Victoria Aveyard, Margaret Rogerson, and Sarah K. L. Wilson. If you like clean enemies-to-lovers romance, female bodyguards, and forced proximity with life-and-death stakes, check out Blade of Ash.

Buy Blade of Ash in digital ebook or hardcover at Amazon


Thursday, February 24, 2022

TRUST ME by Kelly Irvin, Reviewed and Hosted by Paula Shreckhise #BlogTour #Giveaway

Trust Me

by Kelly Irvin

February 7 - March 4, 2022 Virtual Book Tour


Trust Me by Kelly Irvin

When her best friend is murdered the same way her brother was, who can she possibly trust?

A decade ago, Delaney Broward discovered her brother’s murdered body at the San Antonio art co-op he founded with friends. Her artist boyfriend, Hunter Nash, went to prison for the murder, despite his not-guilty plea.

This morning, Hunter walks out of prison a free man, having served his sentence.

This afternoon, Delaney finds her best friend dead, murdered in the same fashion as her brother.

Stay out of it or you're next, the killer warns.

Hunter never stopped loving Delaney, though he can’t blame her for not forgiving her. He knows he’ll get his life back one day at a time, one step at a time. But he’s blindsided to realize he’s a murder suspect. Again.

When Hunter shows up on her doorstep asking her to help him find the real killer, Delaney’s head says to run away, yet her heart tells her there’s more to his story than what came out in the trial. An uneasy truce leads to their probe into a dark past that shatters Delaney’s image of her brother. She can’t stop and neither can Hunter—which lands them both in the crosshairs of a murderer growing more desperate by the hour.

In this gripping romantic suspense, Kelly Irvin plumbs the complexity of broken trust in the people we love—and in God—and whether either can be mended.

Book Details:

Genre: Mystery, Suspense
Published by: Thomas Nelson
Publication Date: February 8th 2022
Number of Pages: 384
ISBN: 0785231935 (ISBN13: 9780785231936)
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | | Goodreads

Read an excerpt:


APRIL 22, 2010

The cloying stench of pot told the same old story.

With an irritated sigh Delaney Broward quickened her pace through the warehouse-turned-art-co-op toward her brother’s studio at the far end of the cavernous hall. On his best days Corey had little sense of time. Add a joint to the mix and he lost his sense not only of time but of responsibility. It also explained why he didn’t answer his phone. When he got high and started painting, he wanted no interruptions. His lime-green VW van was parked cattywampus across two spaces in the lot that faced Alamo Street just south of downtown San Antonio. He might be physically present, but his THC-soaked mind had escaped its cell.

Marijuana served as his muse and taskmaster. Or so he’d said.

The soles of her huarache sandals clacking on the concrete floor sounded loud in Delaney’s ears. “Corey? Corey! You were supposed to pick us up at Ellie’s. Come on, dude. She’s waiting.”

No answer.

At this rate Delaney would never get to Night in Old San Antonio, affectionately known to most local folks as NIOSA. Everyone who was anyone knew it was pronounced NI-O-SA, long I and long O, the best party-slash-fundraiser during the mother of all parties where her boyfriend would be waiting for her. “Hey, bro, I’m starving. Let’s go.”

Delaney’s phone rang. She slowed and dug it from the pocket of her stonewashed jeans. Speaking of Ellie. “I’m at the co-op now. He’s here.”

Share as little info as possible.

“He’s stoned again, isn’t he? I’m sick of this.” Ellie’s shrill voice rose even higher. “I swear if he stands me up again— ”

Us. Stands us up.”

“Stood us up again. That will be it. I’m done. I’m done waiting around for him. I’m done playing second fiddle to his self-destructive habits. I’m done with his starving-artist, free-spirit, pothead schtick. The man is a walking stereotype. I’m done with him, period.”

Delaney mouthed the words along with her friend. She knew the lyrics of this lovesick song by heart. The childish rejoinder “It takes one to know one” stuck in her throat. “We’ll be there in twenty. You can tell him yourself.”

Ellie would and then Corey would kiss her until she took it all back. With a final huff Ellie hung up.

The door to his studio— the largest and with the best light because the co-op was Corey’s dream child— stood open. “Seriously, Corey. Think of someone besides yourself once in a while, please.” Delaney strode through the door, ready to ream her brother up one side and down the other. “You are so selfish.”

Delaney halted. At first blush it didn’t make sense. Twisted and smashed canvases littered the floor. Along with paints, brushes, beer bottles, and Thai food take-out cartons.

Wooden easels were broken like toothpicks and scattered on top of the canvases. Someone had splattered red paint over another finished piece— a woman eating a raspa in front of a vendor’s mobile cart, the Alamo in the background.

Delaney’s hands went to her throat. The metallic scent of blood mingled with the odor of human waste gagged her. A fiery shiver started at her toes and raced like a lit fuse to her brain. Her mind took in detail after detail. That way she didn’t have to face the bigger picture staring her in the face. “Please, God, no.”

Even He couldn’t fix this.

She shot forward, stumbled, and fell to her knees. Her legs refused to work. She crawled the remainder of the distance to Corey across a floor marred by still-wet oil paint, beer, and other liquids she couldn’t bear to identify.

He sat with his back against the wall. His long legs clad in paint-splattered jeans sprawled in front of him. His feet were bare. His hands with those thin, expressive fingers lay in his lap. Deep lacerations scored his palms and fingers.

Her throat aching with the effort not to vomit, Delaney forced her gaze to move upward. His T-shirt, once white, now shone scarlet with blood. His blood. Rips in the shirt left his chest exposed, revealing stab wounds— too many to count.

Delaney opened her mouth. Scream. Just scream. Let it out.

No sound emerged.

She crawled alongside her big brother until she could lean her shoulder and head against the wall. “Corey?” she whispered.

His green eyes, fringed by thick, dark lashes that were the envy of every woman he’d ever dated, were open and startled. His skin, always pale and ethereal, had a blue tinge to it.

Delaney drowned in a tsunami of nausea. “Come on, Corey, this isn’t funny. I need you.”

Her teeth chattered. Hands shaking, she touched his throat. His skin was cold. So cold.

Too late, too late, too late. The words screamed in her head. Stop it. Just stop it. “You can’t be dead. You’re not allowed to die.”

Mom and Dad had died in a car wreck a week past her eighth birthday. Nana and Pops had taken their turns the year Delaney turned eighteen. Everybody she cared about died.

Not Corey. Delaney punched in 9–1–1.

The operator’s assurance that help was on the way did nothing to soothe Delaney. She sat cross-legged and dragged Corey’s shoulders and head into her lap. She had to warm him up. “Tell them to hurry. Tell them my brother needs help.”

“Yes, ma’am. They’re en route.”

“Tell them he’s all I’ve got.”



Real men didn’t cry. Not even during a reunion with a beloved truck.

Swallowing hard, Hunter Nash wrapped his fingers around the keys, concentrating on the feel of the metal pressing into his skin. He cleared his throat. “Thanks, Mom. For keeping it all these years.”

His mom didn’t bother to try to hide her tears. She wiped her plump cheeks on a faded dish towel, offered him a tremulous smile, and bustled down the sidewalk that led from the house on San Antonio’s near west side where Hunter had grown up to the detached two-car garage in the back. It had housed his truck for the past eight years. Almost ten if he counted the two years it took for his case to go to trial. He had no place to go in those years when he’d allegedly been innocent until proven guilty. His friends no longer friends and his job gone, he had no need for transportation.

The door to the garage was padlocked. Mom handed him the key. “My hands are shaking. You’d better do the honors.” She stepped back. “I still can’t believe you’re here.”

“I did my time, Ma.” As a model prisoner he’d earned time off for good behavior. It was easy for a guy to behave when he spent his days and nights scared spitless.

“I know. All those nights I’ve lain in bed worrying about you in that place, whether you were safe, if you were hurt, if you were sick.” Her voice broke. “I can’t believe it’s over.”

“Me neither.”

It wasn’t over. In fact, it was just beginning, but she didn’t need to know that. His determination to prove his innocence would only worry her more. A divorced mother of four, she’d raised her kids on a teacher’s salary and an occasional child support check from the crud-for-brains ex-husband who showed up once every couple of years in an attempt to make nice with his kids. She deserved a break.

The aging manual garage door squeaked and protested when Hunter yanked on the handle. He needed to do some work around here, starting with applying some WD-40. The smell of mold and old motor oil wafted from the dark interior. Hunter slipped inside and waited for his eyes to adjust. A layer of dust covered the 2002 midnight-blue Dodge RAM 1500, but otherwise it remained in the pristine condition in which he’d left it the night he said goodbye and promised he’d be back. “My baby.”

More tears trickling down her face, Mom chuckled softly. “After you finish reintroducing yourself, come back inside. I’m making your favorite chicken-fried steak, mashed potatoes, gravy, pineapple coleslaw, and creamed corn. Your brother and sisters are coming over after work. Shawna’s bringing a carrot cake with cream cheese frosting. Melissa’s contribution is three kinds of ice cream, including rocky road. She said it seemed appropriate. I hope you haven’t lost your sense of humor. And you know Curtis. He’s all about the beer.”

The last thing Hunter wanted to do was celebrate with his sibs. Mel and Shawna had visited faithfully at first, but less as the years rolled by. Curtis never showed, even though Fabian Dominguez State Jail was only a few miles down the road from San Antonio.

Nor did Hunter want to explain why he’d sworn off alcohol. The conditions of his parole included monthly pee tests— no alcohol or drugs, but that part of his life was over anyway. It had been easy to comply in prison, obviously. Whether he could maintain his sobriety in the beer drinking capital of the country remained to be seen. He’d do AA if necessary. “Mom— ”

“No buts. They’re family. They love you. You need to live life, enjoy life, make up for all you’ve missed. You haven’t even met most of your nieces and nephews. Did you know Mel is expecting another baby in August?”

“Yes, I— ”

“Today we celebrate your new job and your new life.”

His bachelor of fine arts with an emphasis in drawing and painting from Southwest School of Art might once have allowed him to teach art in one of the school districts, but not anymore.

It didn’t matter. The prison chaplain had hooked him up with Pastor James. The preacher ran a faith-based community center that served at-risk youth. He’d hired Hunter to teach art to those who’d already had their first brush with the law. He figured Hunter could teach life lessons at the same time he introduced them to art as a way to channel their anger at the hand life had dealt them. Learning what happened when a guy got off track would be the lesson.

Even though Hunter hadn’t gotten off the track. He’d been shoved off it. By an eager-beaver, newbie detective; a green-as-a-Granny-Smith-apple public defender; and an assembly-line justice system.

He would get by in this world that had hung him out to dry. Especially knowing Mom had his back. She had that don’t-mess-with-me teacher look in her burnt-amber eyes. Like her sixth graders, Hunter knew better than to argue. It felt good to know she remained in his corner. When everyone else had hit the ground, scattering in opposite directions, she never budged in her belief that son number two could not be a murderer. She’d brought him up better than that.

“You’re right. Give me a few minutes.”

She patted his chest and stretched on her tiptoes to plant a kiss on his cheek. Her lips were chapped, and the wrinkles had deepened around her mouth and eyes. Her long hair had gone pure white during his years away. “Take your time, sweetheart.”

Hunter gritted his teeth. After years of looking over his shoulder, bobbing and weaving around hard-core convicts who’d as soon shank a guy in the shower as look at him, he didn’t know how to cope with nice. With sweet. With love tempered with wisdom and a hard life.

“One day at a time.” That’s what the prison chaplain had told him. “Get through the next minute, the next hour, the next day.” That’s how he did eight years at Dominguez. This couldn’t be any harder. He opened the truck’s door and slid into the driver’s seat. The faint odor of pine air freshener greeted him. And citrus.

More likely that was his imagination. Delaney’s perfume simply could not linger that long. Move on. She has. She did. To her credit Delaney held on as long as she could— until the guilty verdict. Then she was forced to move on. She couldn’t be blamed for that.

Hunter picked up the sketch pad on the passenger seat. In those days he kept one everywhere. Just in case. The first page. The second. The third. All drawings of Delaney. Sweet Laney eating a slice of watermelon at a Fourth of July celebration. Laney rocking Hunter’s newborn nephew in a hickory rocker on the front porch. Laney in a bathing suit sitting on the dock at Medina Lake. Laney with her soulful eyes, long sandy-brown hair, and air of sad vulnerability worn like a pair of old jeans that fit perfectly. That too-big nose, wide mouth, and pointed chin. Corey might have been the angelic beauty— totally unfair— but Delaney’s face had character. She had a face Hunter never ceased to want to draw and paint.

And kiss.

He turned the pages slowly, allowing the memories to have their way with him. Meeting at a party Corey had thrown when Delaney was a senior in high school. Their first date, ribs and smoked chicken with heart-stopping creamed corn, potato salad, coleslaw, and jalapeños at Rudy’s Country Store and Bar-B-Q followed by dancing at Leon Springs Dance Hall.

She had danced with the abandon of a small child. As if she didn’t care who watched. Her face glowed with perspiration. Her green eyes sparkled with happiness. His two left feet couldn’t keep up, but she didn’t mind. She twirled her peasant skirt as she flew around him, her hands in the air, her curves beckoning.

Hunter closed his eyes. Her softness enveloped him. Her sweetness surrounded him.

He needed to see her again. He needed to talk to her. Somehow he had to prove to her that she was wrong about him. Whatever it took. He laid the sketchbook aside. “Come on, dude, let’s take a ride.”

He stuck the key in the ignition and turned it.

Nothing. Not even a tick-tick-tick. He tried a second time. Nada. “I’m an idiot.” He patted the steering wheel. “Not your fault, man.”

The truck hadn’t been driven in years. The battery was dead. He might be able to jump it, but more likely he’d need a new one. Batteries cost money.

One thing at a time. He’d waited this long.

Hunter slid from the truck and eased the door closed. “I’ll be back when I get my act together.”

In the kitchen Hunter found his mom peeling potatoes. She pointed the peeler at him. “You can’t imagine how good it feels to have you home.”

“You can’t imagine how good it feels to be here.” He landed a kiss on her soft hair. She smelled of Pond’s cold cream. The same old comforting scent. Life had changed but not her. “I’m gonna take a walk. I need to blow the prison stink off.”

“Enjoy. They redid the walking trail at the lake and installed new outdoor fitness equipment.” She waved the paring knife in the air. “But don’t stay too long. You have company coming.”

“Yes, ma’am.” He pantomimed a mock salute and headed for the front door.

One thing at a time. One step at a time. That’s how he’d get his life back.


Excerpt from Trust Me by Kelly Irvin. Copyright 2022 by Kelly Irvin. Reproduced with permission from Thomas Nelson. All rights reserved.


This book started out with not one, but two brutal murders set ten years apart. What struck me was that both bodies were discovered by Delaney Broward. What an absolutely shocking thing for someone to go through. With her best friend, Ellie, murdered, her unlikely partner in trying to solve the crime is Hunter Nash, the convicted killer of her brother ten years before. Hunter is freshly out of prison but wants to prove that he did not kill Ellie or Corey. Hunter is a changed man, an avowed Christian while Delaney has been questioning her faith since Corey died.

The plot is a good one with twists and turns that had me contemplating who the real killer could be. A nice touch was a Christian cop who strove to find the real culprit and not just assume things. The circumstances made everything come to a head with a final, exciting scene. Hunter and Delaney are on track again both in their faith and their romance. "Why did she still turn to God when the chips were down?. Because no one else was omnipotent, omnipresent and omniscient."

This is the first book that I have read by Kelly Irvin and I will definitely be looking up the back list of this thrilling author.
*I received a complimentary ARC copy of this book from Thomas Nelson through Partners In Crime Tours. I was not required to give a positive review. All opinions are my own.*.4 stars and a solid faith thread

Author Bio:

Kelly Irvin

Kelly Irvin is a bestselling, award-winning author of over twenty novels and stories. A retired public relations professional, Kelly lives with her husband, Tim, in San Antonio. They have two children, three grandchildren, and two ornery cats.

Visit her online at:
BookBub - @KellyIrvin
Instagram - @kelly_irvin
Twitter - @Kelly_TrustMe
Facebook - @Kelly.Irvin.Author



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Wednesday, February 23, 2022

SLASHED CANVAS by Liz Tolsma, Reviewed by Paula Shreckhise

This is a wonderful historical with a not-your-usual-fairytale princess. Katarina is a Russian princess who had to flee to France after her beloved husband was killed in the Revolution. She had her twin girls only after she fled Russia to settle in an apartment in Paris. She sits daily in the Louvre, staring at a painting that has special significance.

This story was so interesting that it had me searching for information on Katarina and the painting. What a pleasant surprise to find both were the result of the active imagination of the author. Ms. Tolsma makes her characters and setting seem so authentic. I sat right there with Katarina and gazed at that painting. You could feel her despair and longing for her lost love and home country.

Georges, a neighbor who has lost his leg in the war, befriends Katarina. He is a perfect but flawed hero. He shows compassion to her and lends his godly wisdom. Together, they go through scary times. During a catastrophe, Katarina regains the faith that she has buried because of her grief.

A refreshing tale based on The Lost Princess.
*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.*4 stars and an underpinning faith thread 

BackCover Blurb:

Held prisoner by all she’s lost, Katarina’s about to lose all she has.

Princess Katarina Volstova barely escaped the Russian revolution, arriving in Paris just before the birth of her twin daughters. With her heart still captive in her homeland, she haunts the Louvre each day, spending hours gazing at one painting, lost in her pain.

Not the man he once was before the Great War, Georges Velvey hides himself away doing janitorial service in the Louvre and watching the beautiful woman whose pain seems riveted on one painting.

When Katarina returns home to find her daughters and their nanny missing, the loss opens her eyes to all she has to lose now.

Frantic to find her girls, her distress causes Georges to offer his assistance. Together they put together clues to a puzzle they must complete before the kidnapper ensures Katarina and her daughters are never reunited.Slashed Canvas offers a retelling of The Lost Princess that mingles self-centered grief, spoiled little girls, and proof that nothing will stop a mother from saving her children.

Celebrate Lit Publishing, February, 2022
Available in digital ebook and paperback at Amazon
Note: Slashed Canvas is part of the Ever After Mysteries from Celebrate Lit Publishing.



Tuesday, February 22, 2022

DEATH VALLEY DOUBLE CROSS by Dana Mentink, Reviewed by Kim. #ReleaseDay

Death Valley Double Cross is a perfect example of why Dana Mentink is one of my favorite authors. Her stories always grab me from the first page and keep me completely immersed until the very last word. I’ve been looking forward to Austin’s story for awhile and it did not disappoint!

This second chance romantic suspense had everything I was looking for! The action is perfectly paced - not too much to make it unrealistic, but not too little either. I loved how all of Austin’s family stuck by him when Pilar came back into his life after she dumped him at the alter, and how they slowly warmed up to her and forgave her for what she did to Austin. I also loved the theme of second chances, forgiveness and grace. Excellent story! 

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

BackCover Blurb:
A killer seeking revenge

will stop at nothing to get it…

Pilar Jefferson is shocked to learn that her supposedly deceased father is alive and has been in prison—and now his ruthless former partner is after her. Fleeing on her wedding day was the best way to protect her loved ones. But now with her mother held for ransom and her ex-fiancé, Austin Duke, stumbling back into her life, can she keep everyone safe—and escape an assassin?

From Love Inspired Suspense: Courage. Danger. Faith.

Desert Justice

Book 1: Framed in Death Valley
Book 2: Missing in the Desert
Book 3: Death Valley Double Cross
Book 4: Death Valley Hideout
Love Inspired, February 22, 2022
Available in digital ebook, paperback, and mass market paperback at Amazon, Christianbook .com

Monday, February 21, 2022

SAFE HOUSE EXPOSED by Darlene L. Turner, Reviewed by Kim #NewRelease

Safe House Exposed by Darlene Turner had me turning the pages as fast as fast as I could read them. This story was chock full of action, I mean there was literally no time for me to catch my breath, and the twists and turns kept me completely glued to the pages. Several times during this story, I thought for sure I knew who the villain was, but boy, was I wrong!

I also enjoyed Mason and Emma’s backstory. It was interesting and complicated and had me rooting for them to come to terms with the past and start working on their future. I loved the faith thread in this story and the message that God’s timing is always perfect. It may not be our timing, but it is perfect timing none the less!

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author. All opinions are my own. The faith thread is medium. 

BackCover Blurb:
Witness protection should have kept them safe.

Instead, it left them completely exposed…

Canadian border patrol officer Emma James has only one concern after putting a crime boss behind bars: keeping her daughter safe. But witness protection has a leak, and Emma's enemies know exactly where to find her. Now on the run with no safe haven, trusting her estranged former brother-in-law, police constable Mason James, to shield them is her only hope…

Harlequin Love Inspired Suspense, February, 2022

Available in digital ebook and paperback at Amazon and Christianbook .com

Sunday, February 20, 2022

THE CHASE by Lisa Harrris, Reviewed by Kim

The Chase continues the US Marshals series with partners Jonas and Madison on another case together. This time they are chasing down bank robbers. Even though this is the second book in this series, it can easily be read as a standalone. Since there is a thread that continues from book 1 and Jonas and Madison’s relationship also starts in book one, it will add to your enjoyment of this story if you do read The Escape first. 

I am really enjoying this series. The pacing and action are well done. The secondary mystery thread, that continued from book one, is really good and I can’t wait to find out how that turns out. I am also enjoying the deepening relationship between Jonas and Madison. There was one scene in the book that I felt was pretty unrealistic and didn’t really add to the story, but other than that, I really am enjoying this series and I am looking forward to reading The Catch! 

*I received a complimentary copy of this book. All opinions are my own. The faith thread is very light. This is more of a clean read.

See Rebecca's Review

 BackCover Blurb:
US Marshal Madison James may not be sure who shot her three months ago, but she does know one thing--it's time to get back out into the field. When her partner, Jonas Quinn, receives a message that a federal warrant just came in on a man connected to a string of bank robberies, Madison jumps at the chance to get back to work. What she and Jonas find is a bank robbery in progress that's gone wrong--and things are about to get worse.

For these bank robbers, it's never been just about the money. It's about taking risks and adrenaline rushes, and getting caught is not part of the game. When the suspects escape, Madison and Jonas must hunt them down and bring them to justice before someone else--someone close to them--gets hurt . . . or worse.

From Seattle to the San Juan Islands, bestselling author Lisa Harris takes you on a nonstop chase where feelings are complicated and failure isn't an option.

Revell, July 6, 2021
Available in digital ebook, paperback, hardcover, and audiobook:
Buy The Chase at Amazon
Buy The Chase at
Buy The Chase at Baker Book House

See Inkwell Reviews (here) for THE ESCAPE and (here)


Saturday, February 19, 2022

UNTIL LEAVES FALL IN PARIS by Sarah Sundin, Review by Winnie Thomas

Set in Paris during the German occupation in 1940, Sarah Sundin’s newest book, Until Leaves Fall in Paris, is a heart-wrenching, poignant tale of courage, intrigue, adventure, and love. Sundin is a master at creating riveting historical fiction with colorful, realistic, and engaging characters. She’s also a master at plopping them down in dangerous, suspenseful situations and then skillfully bringing them out the other side while turning the reader’s heart upside down in the process.

Lucie Girard is a plucky, courageous, talented dancer who takes over Green Leaf Books when her friends, the Jewish owners, flee Germany. When an opportunity presents itself to aid the resistance, she takes it, although it puts her in great danger. Paul Aubrey, an American widower with a small daughter, owns an automobile factory and is gathering information against the Germans, even while he’s selling them trucks. I enjoyed the interaction between Paul and Lucie and seeing their relationship change and grow, even though doubts and mistrust plague them both.

Sundin’s vast knowledge of World War II events and settings and her impeccable research add a compelling quality to her stories as they come to life through her beautiful writing. Filled with historical detail, intrigue, suspense, and a dash of romance, this tale is one you don’t want to miss.
*I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy from Revell through Interviews and Reviews. All opinions are my own.


BackCover Blurb:
 As the Nazis march toward Paris in 1940, American ballerina Lucie Girard buys her favorite English-language bookstore to allow the Jewish owners to escape. Lucie struggles to run Green Leaf Books due to oppressive German laws and harsh conditions, but she finds a way to aid the resistance by passing secret messages between the pages of her books.

Widower Paul Aubrey wants nothing more than to return to the States with his little girl, but the US Army convinces him to keep his factory running and obtain military information from his German customers. As the war rages on, Paul offers his own resistance by sabotaging his product and hiding British airmen in his factory. After they meet in the bookstore, Paul and Lucie are drawn to each other, but she rejects him when she discovers he sells to the Germans. And for Paul to win her trust would mean betraying his mission.

Master of WWII-era fiction Sarah Sundin invites you onto the streets of occupied Paris to discover whether love or duty will prevail.
Revell Publishing, February 1, 2022
Available in digital ebook, paperback, hardcover, and audiobook:
Buy UNTIL LEAVES FALL IN PARIS at Amazon,, and Baker Book House

Friday, February 18, 2022

A STRANGER'S GAME by Colleen Coble, Reviewed by Rebecca Maney

"Real life is worth the risk."

Slipping into one of her father's high end hotels under an alias, Victoria Bergstrom presumes her mission . . . to find out the truth about her best friend's death. Not for a minute did Torie believe that Lisbeth had committed suicide, even though the evidence seemed to point in that direction. When she meets the man who discovered the body along a Jekyll Island, Georgia beach, Joe Abbott, Torie is inclined to view Joe as an ally, possibly even a friend. But life has taught Torie to be wary, to guard her emotions, to rely on no one but herself, except that after multiple threats to her safety and security on the island, Torie is growing weary of facing evil intentions on her own.

"God judged it better to bring good out of evil than to suffer no evil to exist." - St. Augustine
This is an interesting story with the predictable sorts of twists and turns that keep the reader on his or her toes, but that's just it . . . in this case, predictable felt a bit bereft of depth. On the flip side, who doesn't love a good dose of suspense, when the "who-done-its" keep skillfully out of sight, or do they? It's a "stranger's game"!
*I purchased a copy and was under no obligation to provide a positive review. 

BackCover Blurb:
This gripping new novel from USA TODAY bestselling romantic suspense author Colleen Coble will leave you on the edge of your seat until the very last page.

A wealthy hotel heiress.

Even though Torie Bergstrom hasn’t been back to Georgia since she was ten, she’s happy to arrange a job for her best friend at one of the family properties on Jekyll Island.

A suspicious death.

But when Torie learns that her best friend has drowned, she knows it is more than a tragic accident: Lisbeth was terrified of water and wouldn’t have gone swimming by choice.

A fight for the truth.

Torie goes to the hotel under an alias, desperate to find answers. When she meets Joe Abbott and his daughter rescuing baby turtles, she finds a tentative ally.

The more Torie and Joe dig, the more elusive the truth seems. One thing is clear: someone will risk anything—even more murder—to keep their secrets buried.

Thomas Nelson Publishing, January, 2022
Available in digital ebook, paperback, hardcover, and audiobook at:


Thursday, February 17, 2022

THE MOZART CODE by Rachel McMillan, Reviewed by Paula Shreckhise #ComingSoon

Epic novel. This is one to savor and experience Vienna and Prague vicariously. I love spy stories. This one is stunning and cerebral.

Set in Prague and Vienna post WWII, this novel was all about the cold war and espionage. It is easy to see why Ms. McMillan loves these beautiful cities from her vivid descriptions of them. I have always loved spy stories and this author does spy to a T. Set partially in Vienna, the city of spies, this story drew me in with its complex plot and exemplary characters. A marriage of convenience between old English gentry was crafted with a poignant romance.

Sophie is a capable, strong heroine but is vulnerable where Simon is concerned. Simon is an exceptional agent and is still working for England in the aftermath of war. The old friends support each other but they both have secrets, one of which is their growing fondness for one another. A key point in this intriguing story is Mozart, his history and his music. It is wonderfully tied together. Sophie adores his music so much that it plays in her head and her fingers execute the pieces of music seemingly of their own volition.

A memorable story for fans of Historical Fiction with tie-ins to espionage and beautiful Prague and Vienna.
* I received a complimentary ecopy of this book from the author. I was not required to give a favorable review. All opinions are my own.*5 stars and a faint faith thread

BackCover Blurb:
No matter how you might try to hide in a war to escape your past, it is always close at hand.

Lady Sophia Huntington Villiers is no stranger to intrigue, as her work with Alan Turing’s Bombe Machines at Bletchley Park during the war attests. Now, as part of Simon Barre’s covert team in post-war Vienna, she uses her inimitable charm and code name Starling to infiltrate the world of relics: uncovering vital information that could tilt the stakes of the mounting Cold War. When several influential men charge her with finding the death mask of Mozart, Sophie wonders if there is more than the composer’s legacy at stake and finds herself drawn to potential answers in Prague.

Simon Barrington, the illegitimate heir of one of Sussex’s oldest estates, used the previous war to hide his insecurities about his past. Now, he uses his high breeding to gain access to all four allied quarters of the ruined city in an attempt to slow the fall of the Iron Curtain. He has been in love with Sophie Villiers since the moment he met her, and a marriage of convenience to save Simon’s estate has always kept her close. Until now, when Sophie’s mysterious client in Prague forces him to wonder if her allegiance to him - and their cause - is in question. Torn between his loyalty to his cause and his heart, Simon seeks answers about Sophie only to learn that everything he thought he knew about his involvement in both wars is based on a lie.

Thomas Nelson Publishing, March 15, 2022
(Preorder) Available in digital ebook, paperback, and audiobook:
Buy The Mozart Code at Amazon, Christianbook .com, and Baker Book House

LUMBERJACKS and LADIES (Barbour Novella Collection), Reviewed by Paula Shreckhise

by Jennifer Lamont Leo, Naomi Musch, 

Candice Sue Patterson, and Pegg Thomas

All That Glitters: based on a true story, this is a stranger than fiction tale of a gold scam of major proportions. Great little romance of hardworking Wini and lumber company owner, Jess who try to get to the bottom of a hoax.

Winter Roses: A school teacher who doesn’t want to marry a lumberjack and a temporary lumberjack who wants to open a horse farm. Can God change their opinion and their hearts?

Not For Love: a widow who wants to marry to save her farm... not for love. Can they trust each other and forge a friendship and something more?

Undercover Logger
: Carrie mourns her husband but cannot manage the lumber business. Why, after a year is the business in jeopardy? Michael is sent by his banker father to Idaho to learn the ropes. Can he surreptitiously find out why Carry is losing money? Will they find a way to grow together?

A fun and faith filled quartet of the lumber industry in the 1800s. Something for everyone!
*I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing. I was not required to give a favorable review. All opinions are my own.* 4 stars and a solid faith thread 

BackCover Blurb:
Lumberjacks and Ladies Work Together to Build America
Struggling to remain independent in the 1800s, four women reluctantly open up to help from lumberjacks—and love.

All That Glitters by Candice Sue Patterson
Winifred finds herself running the family lobstering business when her father and brothers join the California gold rush. Will she stubbornly reject help from a local lumberjack?

Winter Roses by Pegg Thomas
Elizabeth cooks for a logging crew, determined to escape that life for something better, until reoccurring gifts capture her attention. Will she follow her dreams—or her heart?

Not for Love by Naomi Musch
Widowed, Maggie seeks a husband—in name only—from the logging camps, but the man who answers her letter is a surprise. Can she open her heart to love again?

Undercover Logger by Jennifer Lamont Leo
Carrie will not sell her timberland and allows the banker’s nephew to sign onto her logging crew to ferret out the reason she is losing money at an alarming rate. Will truth be revealed to her forlorn heart?
Barbour Publishing, February, 2022
Available in digital ebook, paperback, and Audiobook at Amazon, Christianbook .com, and Baker Book House 

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