Monday, August 8, 2022

THE ONE WHO GOT AWAY by Tara Grace Ericson, Reviewed by Kim

I really enjoyed everything about The One Who Got Away by Tara Ericson. I loved the town of Minden and I’m looking forward to reading more stories set in this quaint place. This story was the perfect sweet romance with great banter, wonderful characters, nicely placed humor, and a natural faith thread.

The One That Got Away
is a friends to more and fake relationship story- two of my favorites! I also really liked getting both Bryce and Kristal’s perspectives. I felt that I really knew each character by the end of the story. I’m also really intrigued by the teasers for the next story. I’m already feeling sorry for Jake!

I highly recommend this story if you’re looking for a fun, light, sweet Christian romance! 5 stars!
*I received a complimentary copy of this story. All opinions are my own. The faith thread is light. 

BackCover Blurb:
The relationship is fake. But the sparks are real.
Can these best friends rekindle a second chance at first love? Or will they both end up burned?

Right here at the Minden Fire Department is exactly where I belong. But when I became Captain Storm, apparently it meant I needed a wife. Or at least, that’s what my mom’s friends think.

When Krystal comes back to town, I don’t know what to think. She was my best friend in high school. The truth is I loved her–as much as any eighteen-year-old kid could have. I think she loved me, too.

But she left, anyway.

I really do understand why. She had dreams to chase in Hollywood. How could I deny her that?

She’s here now, though. For eight weeks. And she’s taking over the fire department charity auction while her mom recovers from her fall, which means working with me.

I know we’re just friends. She’s going back to LA after the auction, but maybe her presence could get my mom’s friends off my back for a minute. We’ll just let people assume there is more to our friendship… No harm, no foul. I really could use the break from my personal matchmakers’ attention.

And I won’t say no to a little extra time with Krystal. I’m probably torturing myself. Friends is all we’ll ever be. Even a fake relationship can’t change the fact that she was The One Who Got Away.

Visit Second Chance Fire Station and discover the small town stories of faith, friendships, and forever happy endings that Tara Grace Ericson is known for.
 
Silver Fountain Press, July, 2022
Buy THE ONE WHO GOT AWAY at Amazon, available in digital ebook or paperback

Sunday, August 7, 2022

LOVE AND THE DREAM COME TRUE by Tammy L. Gray, Reviewed by Winnie Thomas


From heart-breaking to heart-warming and everywhere in between, Tammy L. Gray took me on a journey of redemption, forgiveness, healing, and hope with her third book in her State of Grace series. With realistically-flawed and emotionally-layered, but engaging, characters, and a captivating, creative storyline, Gray shows once again why she is one of my favorite contemporary romance authors.

I’ve looked forward to Cameron’s story throughout the series, and it definitely was worth the wait. As his musical career takes a nosedive, he comes home for his sister’s wedding, hoping to recharge and recapture his musical gift. When he reconnects with Lexie Walters, things begin to look up for him, but, of course, he has to go through some turmoil first. I loved these characters, along with Lexie’s daughter Morgan and a host of other characters, many of which were showcased in the first two books of the series.

“The only person you can control, Lexie, is you. Don’t spend your life as a grumbling spectator in someone else’s story.”

“My heart knows to pray. To seek guidance and help when all feels so jumbled. But my head can’t seem to allow it”

With powerful inspirational messages seamlessly incorporated in the storyline, this tale is uplifting and beautiful and will definitely be a favorite read for this year. It has earned its spot on my keeper shelf.
*I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy from Bethany House Publishers. All opinions are my own.

SEE KIM'S REVIEW

 BackCover Blurb:
The Anticipated Series Finale to the 2021 Carol Award-Winning Novel,
Love and a Little White Lie

Their faith will face its toughest test yet.

Four years after getting the biggest break of his life, Cameron Lee's music career has taken a nosedive, leaving him two options: become a sellout or give up on his lifelong dream. He reluctantly returns home for his sister's wedding, hoping to avoid his past and find his love for music again.

Single mom Lexie Walters has suffered her fair share of tragedies and setbacks, but she has finally scraped together the money to achieve her dream of going into business with her cousin as an interior designer. When Lexie's life is at an all-time high, she runs into her teenage crush, Cameron Lee.

Lost in the emotional turmoil of failure, Cameron is immediately drawn to Lexie and her infectious smile and optimistic spirit. Moreover, he adores her mouthy, no-holds-barred daughter. But fantasies only last so long, and soon Lexie and Cameron must face the real world, the one fraught with heartbreak, disappointment, and questions that sometimes can only be answered by a leap of faith.

 
Bethany House Publishing, August 2, 2022
Available in digital ebook, paperback, hardcover, and audiobook:
Buy LOVE AND THE DREAM COME TRUE at Amazon, Christianbook .com, or Baker Book House

Saturday, August 6, 2022

LAURA'S SHADOW by Allison Pittman, Reviewed by Paula Shreckhise

 

Ms. Pittman cleverly chose characters from a Laura Ingalls Wilder book to base this story on. She gave a different perspective on the story and life in S. Dakota in 1891. What I was uncomfortable with was the depiction of loose morals by more than one character and I thought the bedroom scene could have stopped a little shorter. That said, those circumstances were the basis for the rest of the story.

I enjoyed the modern timeline with the use of humor between the generations of women. Trixie, with her cat, House, who came with her apartment, was a breath of fresh air. The comic strip that she wrote was cute and reminiscent of Laura Ingalls. Modern day hero Ron: “was unmissable, a burly, giant of a man who looked like he would be a safe bet in an ax-throwing competition and a nightmare in a bar fight but was actually a kind and gentle spirit stretched over six feet and encased in 250 pounds.” He was perfect for Trixie.

The author has a way with descriptive prose: “I opened my eyes to a violet sky, the color that comes when there is not a trace of sunlight left but darkness has not yet settled its blanket.”

This was not my favorite book by this author but I am enjoying this series of Doors to the Past.
* I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour as part of their Review Crew. I was not required to give a favorable review. All opinions are my own.” 

BackCover Blurb:
Family Secrets Spill One Conversation at a Time

Visit historic American landmarks through the Doors to the Past series. History and today collide in stories full of mystery, intrigue, faith, and romance.

De Smet, South Dakota—1890
Young women growing up in DeSmet live by two rules: don’t go out in a snowstorm and don’t give your heart to Cap Garland. Young Mariah Patterson only managed to obey one. Orphaned and having devoted her youth to scrapping out a life with her brother Charles, Mariah finds herself with no interesting suitors or means of support. Throwing caution to the wind, she seizes an opportunity to lay her feelings at Cap’s feet, even though she knows Cap sees the world through the torch he carries for Laura Ingalls. Mariah is certain her love for Cap will be strong enough to break both bonds, and she’s willing to risk everything to prove it.

De Smet, South Dakota—1974
Trixie Gowan is the fourth generation of living Gowan women residing in the sprawling farmhouse on the outskirts of De Smet. Well, former resident. She’s recently moved to Minneapolis, where she writes ads for a neighborhood paper edited by Ron Tumble. She might live and work in the city, but her co-workers still call her Prairie Girl. Thus the inspiration for her comic strip—“Lost Laura”—in which a bespectacled girl in a calico dress tries to make her way in the city. The name is a quiet rebellion having grown up in a household where she’d been forbidden to mention the name, Laura Ingalls. But when her great-grandmother Mariah’s declining health brings Trixie home for a visit, two things might just keep her there: the bedside manner of Dr. Campbell Carter and the family secret that seems to be spilling from GG’s lips one conversation at a time.

Don’t miss other great books in the
Doors to the Past series:
The Lady in Residence by Allison Pittman
Hope Between the Pages by Pepper Basham
Bridge of Gold by Kimberley Woodhouse
Undercurrent of Secrets by Rachel Scott McDaniel
Behind Love's Wall by Carrie Fancett Pagels
High-Wire Heartbreak by Anna Schmidt
Love's Fortress by Jennifer Uhlarik
A Promise Engraved by Liz Tolsma
Laura's Shadow by Allison Pittman
Passages of Hope by Terri Haynes
In Spotlight and Shadow by Rachel Scott McDaniel
The Keys to Gramercy Park by Candice Sue Patterson

Barbour Publishing, August, 2022
Available in digital ebook, paperback, and audiobook:
Buy LAURA'S SHADOW at Amazon, Christianbook .com, or  Baker Book House

 




Friday, August 5, 2022

DECEPTION by Patricia Bradley, Reviewed by Paula Shreckhise


“To hold on to unforgiveness is like a cancer to your soul.”

Patricia Bradley has penned another outstanding offering in her Natchez Trace Park Rangers series.

Madison has so many questions plaguing her when she goes back to Natchez to work on a cyber crime investigation. Things go from bad to worse when she gets stopped for speeding along the Trace by childhood friend Clayton, a fellow Park Service Ranger. When they are paired to look into a recent shooting, things get decidedly more complicated. The excitement does not let up as this layered story unfolds. And just when all seems be resolved, another twist comes into play.

Although flawed, Clayton is a charming hero, but he knows Christ can help him overcome his difficulties. He gives solid support to his friends and family. Madison is a bit shaky in her faith, for she has been through a lot in her life and keeps getting thrown surprises. She gains strength from her grandfather and friendship from his godly housekeeper. And they both learn that forgiveness can be healing.

If you are looking for an intricate plot, lots of thrills and a pinch of romance, try this book on for size.

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from Revell on behalf of the author. I was not required to give a favorable review. All opinions are my own.*5 stars and a strong faith thread 
 
BackCover Blurb:
After being forced to kill an FBI agent gone rogue in self-defense while working in the violent crimes unit for the Investigative Services Branch, ranger Madison Thorn is comfortable with her move to the fraud and cyber division. At least numbers don't lie. So she's less than thrilled when a white-collar crime investigation in Natchez, Mississippi, turns violent. She could also do without being forced to work with former-childhood-enemy-turned-infuriatingly-handsome park ranger Clayton Bradshaw.

When a woman who looks just like Madison is attacked on the same night Madison's grandfather is shot, it becomes clear that there is something much bigger going on here and that Madison herself is in danger. Madison and Clayton will have to work together--and suppress their growing feelings for one another--if they are to discover the truth before it's too late.

USA Today bestselling and award-winning author Patricia Bradley closes out her popular Natchez Trace Park Rangers series with this complex story of family secrets, mixed motives, and learning to trust.

Revell Publishing, August 2, 2022
Available in digital ebook, Paperback,  hardcover or audiobook:
 

ON BUR OAK RIDGE by Jenny Knipfer, (Sheltering Trees Book #3) Reviewed by Paula Shreckhise

Ms. Knipfer draws a hurting heroine in Molly and shows that she can overcome in spite of what life throws at her. Molly finds comfort in the friendship of Mable, Linc and Samuel. This is a story of flawed human beings and the choices, good and bad, that they are faced with.

Underlying their whole lives is a faith that they rely on to answer difficult questions and help in impossible situations.

This one was a bit darker than previous books by this author. She handled some touchy topics and depicted real spiritual struggles.
* 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 a strong faith thread

BackCover Blurb:
A HISTORICAL NOVEL OF FINDING HEALING AND A SECOND CHANCE AT LOVE

In the early 1900s, quiet and reserved Molly Lund finds refuge from her past at the Nelsons’ farm in Minnesota. In an attempt to turn a new page in her life, Molly works at making peace with her losses and coming to terms with the disfiguring burns on her face.

Samuel Woodson, the Nelsons’ hired hand, carries his own cares. Split from his family and bearing a burden of misplaced guilt for an act that haunts him, Samuel–seeing past Molly’s scars–draws her out of her self-protective shell.

Molly and Samuel form a friendship, but just as their hearts lead them deeper, an unexpected guest comes calling, demanding what’s his.

Will Molly and Samuel find a way to be together or will they be separated, due to impediments beyond their control? Can they trust in God’s plan and travel a path that heals the hurts of the past?

Readers of historical fiction, Christian historical fiction, and Christian historical romance will delight in this beautifully wrought story of the healing power of love.

July 2022

 



Thursday, August 4, 2022

SABOTAGED MISSION by Tina Radcliffe, Reviewed by Kim


I love Tina Radcliffe’s Love Inspired romances. She always writes with heart, humor, and faith. I am always drawn into her stories from the first page and usually end up reading them in a sitting or two. Sabotaged Mission is her first Love Inspired Suspense and I must admit I was equally parts excited and nervous going into it. Would her suspense story be as good as her romances? Let me just say, I shouldn’t have wasted a second being nervous!

This story started with a bang and never let up! I loved everything about it, starting with Gabe. What a great character. I loved his sense of humor! Humor in a romantic suspense, if done well, is one of my favorite things and the humor in this story is perfect! Mac was a little harder for me to like, but after all she had been through, the walls she had built up and her independent nature made sense. The faith in the story was prominent and felt natural. Finally, I really loved Ben, Gabe’s brother, and I am really hoping we get his story soon!

Tina Radcliffe has written one of my favorite LIS books to date. I am so hoping for many more suspense stories from her!
*I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author. All opinions are my own. The faith thread is medium. 5 stars! 
 
BackCover Blurb:
Framed and on the run…

With nowhere left to hide

When a failed mission leaves CIA operative MacKenzie “Mac” Sharp injured and her partner presumed dead, going off-grid is the only way to survive. But her old flame, CIA officer Gabe Denton, has tracked her down and led a well-connected enemy right to her door. Now with someone trying to frame and kill her, working with Gabe is the only way to clear her name…and stay alive.

From Love Inspired Suspense: Courage. Danger. Faith.
Available in digital ebook or paperback:
Buy SABOTAGED MISSION at Amazonor Christianbook .com
 
 

Wednesday, August 3, 2022

BY WAY OF THE MOONLIGHT by Elizabeth Musser, Reviewed by Paula Shreckhise


Such a rich story of equestrian competitions and equine therapy dreams. Ms. Musser draws on her childhood memories of her love of horses and weaves in a fascinating time in history when the east coast of the US was threatened during WWII. The author masterfully combines the 1930s and 40s with present day to teach us about family and legacy, hopes and dreams, obsession and disappointment, and grit and determination.

This lovely story had me in tears at times-both happy and sad. I have loved history for a long time and my heart goes out to those who preserve old things especially family houses. I would have loved to visit Barbara Dale Butler’s estate. Even though it is fictional, I could see it! I loved how Ms Musser brought the WWII home front battles to life with such vividness. The story of Dale and Tommy was so touching. Equally interesting was the present day timeline and the search for treasure. When you weren’t sure if the treasure was something real or something to be learned. “Life is a paradox, Allie. When you learn to embrace it all, let it mix together like molasses in oats, well, the sweet fragrance comes out. Even when life stinks.”

Since the present time was 2020, Covid 19 did play a part in the story. However, the author used the virus as a plot device to bring people together, rather than as a scary situation.

This was an excellent story of family, faith, and fortitude. Not to be missed.
*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.* 5 stars and a solid faith thread.

BackCover Blurb:
Two courageous young women, tied together by blood and shared passion, will risk everything to save what they love most.

For as long as she can remember, Allie Massey, a gifted physical therapist, has dreamed of making her grandparents' ten-acre estate into a trauma recovery center using equine therapy--a dream her grandmother, Nana Dale, embraced wholeheartedly. But when her grandmother's will is read, Allie is shocked to learn the property has been sold to a developer.

Decades earlier, headstrong Dale Butler's driving passion is to bring home the prized filly her family lost to the Great Depression, but with World War II looming, she's called upon in ways she never could have imagined. And while her world expands to include new friends and new love, tragedy strikes close to home one fateful night during the Battle of the Atlantic, changing her life forever.

As Nana Dale's past comes to light in Allie's search for answers, Dale's courage and persistence may be just what Allie needs to carry on her grandmother's legacy and keep her own dreams alive.
 
Bethany House Publishing, August 2, 2022
Available in digital ebook, paperback, hardcover, and audiobook:
Buy BY WAY OF THE MOONLIGHT at Amazon, Christianbook .com, or Baker Book House

Tuesday, August 2, 2022

CROSSFIRE by Lynette Eason, Reviewed by Paula and Kim

PAULA'S REVIEW:
Intense drama as hostage negotiator Julianna comes up against her past and she is not the only one in danger. The author paints a realistic picture of what a negotiator goes through. Julie is proud of her record of no hostages lost ... until one criminal makes it personal.

This story will have you turning page after page in anticipation and giving you whiplash with unexpected twists and turns. And just when you think it is over- Wham! Another twist!

Ms. Eason comes up with the best characters, so noble and capable and vulnerable, too.

Hero Clay Fox, former Army Ranger, is a role model to teens at a high school. It was interesting to see him organize an event to expose teens to various law enforcement careers.

The faith element is consistent throughout with Julie and friends established as Christians, while some characters are portrayed as struggling in their faith.

I like the way Julie and Clay connect, as well as the friendship that grows between their sisters. They each have their group of caring friends and colleagues. This injects some humor into an otherwise fierce situation.

I have been a long time fan of Lynette Eason and this book solidifies my assessment. She writes non-stop exciting, well written and well researched suspense.
* A complimentary copy of this book was provided by Revell through Interviews and Reviews. I also won a copy from Library Thing. I was not required to give a favorable review. All opinions are my own.*
5 stars and a strong faith thread

KIM'S REVIEW:
Crossfire is book 2 in the Extreme Measures series by Lynette Eason. Even though it’s the second story in this series, it can easily be read as a stand-alone.

I really enjoyed Crossfire. It kept my interest the whole time. I felt like it was perfectly paced. There was enough action to make it interesting, but not so much that it was unbelievable. I spent most of the story trying to figure out who the bad guy was. I love when a story keeps me guessing until the very end! The romance took more of a backseat than I normally like, but since Julianna and Clay had just met, and I’m not a huge fan of insta love, it was more believable to me.

I’m really looking forward to book 3 in this series. There are also teaser chapters at the end of Crossfire that have me more than ready for Targeted, a novella collection, that contains Daria’s story!
*I received a complimentary copy of this book. All opinions are my own. The faith thread is light.

BackCover Blurb:
FBI special agent Julianna Jameson is a top-notch negotiator who has never lost a hostage. Surely she can manage to take care of her much younger sister, Dottie, who showed up unannounced to live with Julianna while she finished her senior year of high school.

A former sniper with the 75th Ranger Regiment, Clay Fox left the army after a tragic incident that he can't get past. Now he's working as a high school resource officer until he can figure out what to do with the rest of his life.

Their paths cross when Julianna is called in to negotiate a courtroom hostage situation involving Clay's sister. Impressed and a bit intimidated by the calm, capable woman with the dark hair and blue eyes, Clay invites her to speak at his school. Dottie's school.


But as the anniversary of a school shooting from Julianna's past approaches, it becomes clear that her perfect record is about to be tested and that Dottie is at risk. If Julianna and Clay can't figure out who's behind the attacks, more innocent people will die--and Dottie is next in line.

This intense story of revenge and redemption from bestselling author and master of suspense Lynette Eason will have you up all night as you race toward the explosive finish.
 

Revell Publishing, August 2, 2022
Available in digital ebook, paperback, hardcover, and audiobook:




 

LOVE AND THE DREAM COME TRUE by Tammy L. Gray, Reviewed by Kim

Love and the Dream Come True is the third, and sadly, final story in the State of Grace series by Tammy Gray. While this could be read as a standalone, if you read books one and two, Love and a Little White Lie and Love and the Silver Lining first, you will really get to know Cameron and see him grow and mature.

I have been looking forward to his story since I finished book one, where he has a prominent role. Also, Cameron was Lexie’s teenage crush, which was a fun addition to this story! Lexie was perfect for Cameron with her positive outlook on life- which Cameron desperately needed. I also loved her daughter Morgan and her relationship with both Lexie and Cameron. I was completely happy how relationships that had been struggling were mended.

After reading Cameron and Lexie’s story, I really wanted Mason’s story! I was sad to see that this series is over though. I will definitely be looking up Ms. Gray’s backlist!

*I received a complimentary copy of this book. All opinions are my own. The faith thread is light. 4.5 stars. 

 

BackCover Blurb:
The Anticipated Series Finale to the 2021 Carol Award-Winning Novel,
Love and a Little White Lie

Their faith will face its toughest test yet.

Four years after getting the biggest break of his life, Cameron Lee's music career has taken a nosedive, leaving him two options: become a sellout or give up on his lifelong dream. He reluctantly returns home for his sister's wedding, hoping to avoid his past and find his love for music again.

Single mom Lexie Walters has suffered her fair share of tragedies and setbacks, but she has finally scraped together the money to achieve her dream of going into business with her cousin as an interior designer. When Lexie's life is at an all-time high, she runs into her teenage crush, Cameron Lee.

Lost in the emotional turmoil of failure, Cameron is immediately drawn to Lexie and her infectious smile and optimistic spirit. Moreover, he adores her mouthy, no-holds-barred daughter. But fantasies only last so long, and soon Lexie and Cameron must face the real world, the one fraught with heartbreak, disappointment, and questions that sometimes can only be answered by a leap of faith.
 
Bethany House Publishing, August 2, 2022
Available in digital ebook, paperback, hardcover, and audiobook:
Buy LOVE AND THE DREAM COME TRUE at Amazon, Christianbook .com, or Baker Book House
 

 

 

 

 

 

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