Tuesday, February 28, 2023

FORGED IN LOVE by Mary Connealy, Reviewed by Rebecca, Paula, and Winnie #ReleaseDay


"We're saying she died."

But not really . . . after barely surviving an horrific stagecoach robbery, Mariah Stover's friends merely considered it prudent to be spread the word around that Mariah had succumbed to her injuries. After all, the incident showed every indication that it was the Dead Eye Gang who jumped the stage and killed everyone else, including Mariah's father and brother. The notorious gang never left witnesses and if they if they happened to find out that Mariah was alive, she would be "marked for death". . . not a mark that anyone would want to carry around.

Mariah, on the other hand, after gaining her wits, is convinced that she can remain in Pine Valley and resume her father's blacksmith business, after all she has no memory of the incident, and therefore cannot possibly identify any of the gang members. Thankfully, her friends still keep their eyes peeled for trouble, including and especially the town's diner owner, Clint Roberts, whose feelings for Mariah far surpass what he has allowed himself to convey.

A woman blacksmith, and an upscale chef . . . an odd couple if there ever was one . . . caught in a series of . . . "accidents"?

Enjoy the author's trademark wit as Mariah and Clint play a game of tug-a-war between forces both known and unknown . . . forging a friendship that is much stronger, and sweeter, than anything an enemy can destroy . . . could it be . . . love?
*I received a copy of this book from Baker Publishing through Interviews and Reviews. The opinions stated above are entirely my own. 3.5 stars
Mary Connealy has a fantastic imagination when it comes to creating colorful, interesting, and engaging characters and plopping them down in perilous and novel situations. She then stirs the pot a little, adding suspense and more danger. She sprinkles in a bit of inspiration to flavor the pot, then proceeds to figure out a way to save the situation and have the hero and heroine come out the other end victorious.

Forged in Love is the first book in Connealy’s newest series, Wyoming Sunrise, set in Pine Valley, Wyoming in 1870. It features Mariah Stover, who is left for dead in a stagecoach ambush in which her father and brother were killed. Trained in her father’s blacksmith job, she takes over the business, but soon realizes someone doesn’t want her alive as a witness. Clint Roberts owns a diner in the town and has had his eye on Mariah for a while. Mariah is plucky, determined, and courageous, and also an advocate for women’s rights. Clint is a handsome, chivalrous hero who does his best to protect her.

Filled with Connealy’s signature wit and humor, plenty of danger, action, and a bit of romance, this book should satisfy those who enjoy clean historical fiction. I highly recommend Mary Connealy’s books.
*I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy from Bethany House Publishing. All opinions are my own.

A new series by Mary Connealy? You can count on me being on board.

I was drawn into this book from the first exciting scene: Mariah is the lone survivor of a stage coach attack, pinned under the conveyance and left for dead. The Dead-eye gang leaves no witnesses, even women. But when they find out she lives, she is in constant danger. That brings out the protective instincts in diner owner, Clint, who has been interested in Mariah since he moved to Pine Valley to homestead. He frantically searches for her when the horses, but not the stagecoach, charge into town.

I like the setting, in the shadow of the mountains, in a community where folks look out for one another. Mariah is one of the few females but has two close friends in Nel and Becky.

Things are turned on end when the gang strikes. Pine Valley is no longer a quiet little town. Mariah is an independent woman blacksmith in one of the first territories to recognize women’s suffrage. But will she be able to to continue if she marries?

Lots of threats and tricky villains to combat. Add in a patient hero, feisty heroine, amusing banter, spiritual growth and you have the perfect old west story. Ms. Connealy is a favorite author who I will turn to again and again.
* I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House on behalf of the author. I was not required to post a favorable review. All opinions are my own. *
5 stars and a solid faith thread

BackCover Blurb:
When sparks begin to fly, can a friendship cast in iron be shaped into something more?

Mariah Stover is left for dead and with no memory when the Deadeye Gang robs the stagecoach she's riding in, killing both her father and brother. As she takes over her father's blacksmith shop and tries to move forward, she soon finds herself in jeopardy and wondering--does someone know she witnessed the robbery and is still alive?

Handsome and polished Clint Roberts escaped to western Wyoming, leaving his painful memories behind. Hoping for a fresh start, he opens a diner where he creates fine dishes, but is met with harsh resistance from the townsfolk, who prefer to stick to their old ways.

Clint and Mariah are drawn together by the trials they face in town, and Clint is determined to protect Mariah at all costs when danger descends upon her home. As threats pursue them from every side, will they survive to build a life forged in love?

Bethany House Publishing, February 28, 2023
Available in digital ebook, paperback, hardcover, and audiobook:


A CRY IN THE DARK by Jessica Patch, Reviewed by Kim #ReleaseDay

Although A Cry in the Dark is a follow up story to Her Darkest Secret by Jessica Patch, it can easily be read as a standalone. A Cry in the Dark, as the title eludes, is a dark, intense, creepy, and more often than not, very disturbing story.

Once again, Asa and his team are on the search to find a serial killer before more women are murdered by the person they’ve dubbed the Blind Eye Killer, and trust me, the name is fitting in a way I would never have expected. This story was well paced and had several twists that totally surprised me. I was glad that Violet was finally able to get some much needed answers to the many questions she had about her conception and birth. The setting of this story was perfectly creepy and perfectly fitting.
This story was, in my opinion, darker and more disturbing than Her Darkest Secret. I wasn’t quite prepared for that, but it is well written, well placed, and definitely keeps you guessing until the very end!
*I received a complimentary copy of this book. All opinions are my own. The faith thread is light. 4 stars. 

BackCover Blurb:
Deep in the Kentucky hills, three women have been found brutalized and murdered.
But the folks in Night Holler have their own ways and their own laws.
And they’re not talking…

Led to an isolated Appalachian Mountain town by a trail of disturbing murders, FBI special agent Violet Rainwater’s determined to catch a serial killer with a twisted agenda. With locals refusing to reveal their secrets, Violet’s only ally is Detective John Orlando. But even John has an ulterior motive—he’s convinced this case is connected to his wife’s murder.

As they dig deeper, Violet uncovers a link to her own unresolved past. For years she’s worked the cold case of her mother’s abduction, which had led to her birth. The need to look into the eyes of the sinful man who fathered her consumes Violet. Until she can, she’ll never have peace. Because she’s terrified she might be exactly like him.

In this chilling novel, when the present collides with Violet’s mysterious past and John’s tragic loss, they must unravel the warped, sinuous connections before the killer strikes again. But solving the case might not be nearly as terrifying as the possibility that Violet’s finally found her roots

Love Inspired Trade, February, 2023
Available in digital ebook, paperback, or audiobook
Buy A CRY IN THE DARK at Amazon, or Christianbook .com


Sunday, February 26, 2023

THE CAIRO CURSE by Pepper Basham, Reviewed by Winnie Thomas

Freddie and Grace Mysteries #2

It was such fun to read more adventures of Frederick and Grace as they go on a belated honeymoon to Italy with a detour to Egypt. Pepper Basham has created some colorful, engaging characters for this series, and I loved seeing it continue. It’s a good thing Grace has been learning a lot from her mystery reading, since some mysterious and deadly things start taking place among the tombs and artifacts. Basham’s signature wit and humor shine through, even as the body counts rise and unfortunate accidents happen.

“There was no man Frederick trusted more. But for some reason, the idea of Blake and Grace together followed by the sound of gunfire did not bode well. For anyone.”

“Yes, God had given him much more than he deserved, and sometimes, he wondered if God had given him more than he could manage.”

Filled with action, adventure, suspense, and humor, this tale is a delightful addition to the series. While this book could possibly stand alone, it’s much more enjoyable if you read The Mistletoe Countess first to get more of the backstory, and a better feel for the characters. I’m looking forward to more Freddie and Grace stories in the future.
*I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy from Barbour Publishing. All opinions are my own.
4.5 stars 
BackCover Blurb:

Clue meets Indiana Jones with a fiction-loving twist only Grace Percy can provide.

Newlyweds Lord and Lady Astley have already experienced their fair-share of suspense, but when a honeymoon trip takes a detour to the mystical land of Egypt, not even Grace with her fiction-loving mind is prepared for the dangers in store. From an assortment of untrustworthy adventure-seekers to a newly discovered tomb with a murderous secret, Frederick and Grace must lean on each other to navigate their dangerous surroundings. As the suspects mount in an antiquities’ heist of ancient proportions, will Frederick and Grace’s attempts to solve the mystery lead to another death among the sands?

The Cairo Curse is a delightful sequel to The Mistletoe Countess by Pepper Basham in the Freddie and Grace Mystery series.

Barbour Publishing, February, 2023
Available in digital ebook, paperback, and audiobook:
Buy THE CAIRO CURSE at Amazon, Christianbook .com, or Baker Book House



Saturday, February 25, 2023

MEMORY LANE by Becky Wade, Reviewed by Nicole Cook


Memory Lane is a fantastic start to Becky Wade's new Sons of Scandal series. Becky Wade is a longtime favorite author of many readers in the inspirational contemporary romance genre. She continues her trademark romance, with fun banter, and a handsome hero who readers will fall in love with. Amnesia, an unsolved mystery, and a famous family who cannot escape the scandals that have followed them over the years...this novel is sure to be a hit with readers!

A light faith thread is woven throughout the storyline. The reason for my 4 star rating rather than my typical 5 stars for many of Becky Wade's books is due to the heroine Remy. Much like Finley (from her last novel Turn to Me), Remy is a bit too quirky for my taste, which made it difficult for me to relate to her. The Bradford Sisters will probably always be my favorite series of Becky Wade's, but I look forward to getting to know this unique cast of characters as well. The hero, Jeremiah Camden, and the rest of his "scandalous" family have found their place in my heart. I cannot wait for Jeremiah's FBI brother Jude to get his own story in book 2 of the Sons of Scandal series.

*I received a complimentary copy of this novel from the author and was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are mine.

BackCover Blurb:
After surviving a trauma several years back, Remy Reed relocated to a cottage on one of Maine’s most remote islands. She’s arranged her life just the way she wants it, spending her time working on her wood sculptures and soaking in the beauty of nature. It’s quiet and solitary—until the day she spots something bobbing in the ocean.

Her binoculars reveal the “something” to be a man, and he’s struggling to keep his head above water. She races out to save him and brings him into her home. He’s injured, which doesn’t detract from his handsomeness nor make him any easier to bear. He acts like a duke who’s misplaced his dukedom . . . expensive tastes, lazy charm, bossy ideas.

Remy would love nothing more than to return him to his people, but he has no recollection of his life prior to the moment she rescued him. Though she’s not interested in relationships other than the safe ones she’s already established, she begins to realize that he’s coming to depend on her.

Who is he? What happened that landed him in the Atlantic Ocean? And why is she drawn to him more and more as time goes by?

There’s no way to discover those answers except to walk beside him down memory lane.

Travel to the rocky coast of Maine for "opposites attract" banter, witty humor, a fascinating mystery, and destiny-changing love. This sweet contemporary romance kicks off Becky Wade's new Sons of Scandal series!

February, 2023. Available in digital ebook or paperback at Amazon


Friday, February 24, 2023

THE WEIGHT OF AIR by Kimberly Duffy, Reviewed by Rebecca Maney

"Why you think it is so much more important for me to learn to work alone than for you to learn to work with others is beyond me."

Circus performer Mabel MacGinnis had struggled with stage fright her entire life. Having performed alongside her father for years, the two of them provided a perfect match for their adoring fans, but following his death . . . fear threatened to strangle her. Sensing her need for change, a fellow performer and family friend Jake Cunningham offered to accompany Mabel from Europe to New York, Mabel was determined to locate her elusive mother whom she had been led to believe was dead.

Along the way, for propriety's sake Mabel's relationship with Jake underwent change. Complicated, but necessary. Upon recognizing the famed aerialist Isabella Moreau as the woman she is seeking, Mable thinks her problems might be solved, her future secured, her questions answered . . . instead . . .the exact opposite is her new reality. The two women, and the men that love them, fight fear in the face of love, and weakness in the face of strength. Thankfully, it is light that prevails.
Unbelievable, really. This story defies all explanations, descriptions, expectations; its scope is certainly much bigger than one review can encapsulate. Expertly using the spotlight of performance, the author gently, but firmly probes the shadows of darkness, which so many experience, but ashamedly feel the need to shroud. Thank the Lord above, "darkness flees in light, and it's worth flipping the switch".

"Love isn't something you deserve. It's something you're offered."
*I received a copy of this book from the author and publisher. I also purchased a copy. The opinions stated above are entirely my own.


BackCover Blurb:
Two women--bound by blood, torn apart by circumstance--find together that true strength comes in many forms.

In 1911, Mabel MacGinnis is Europe's strongest woman and has performed beside her father in the Manzo Brothers Circus her entire life. When he dies unexpectedly, she loses everything she's ever known and sets off in the company of acrobat Jake Cunningham in hope of finding the mother she thought was dead.

Isabella Moreau, America's most feted aerialist, has given everything to the circus. But age and injury now threaten her security, and Isabella, stalked by old fears, makes a choice that risks everything. Then her daughter Mabel appears alongside the man who never wanted to see Isabella again, and she is forced to face the truth of where, and in what, she derives her worth.

As Mabel and Isabella's lives become entangled beneath the glittering lights and flying trapeze of Madison Square Garden, their resiliency and resolve are tested as they learn the truth of what it means to be strong.

Bethany House Publishers, February 7, 2023
Available in digital ebook, paperback, hardcover, and audiobook:



THE MAID OF BALLYMACOOL by Jennifer Deibel, Reviewed by Trixi and Paula #newRelease

“Child, there’s more to yer story than ye could ever know. And there’s things the good Laird has for ye to do that no one else can." ~pg 153

I’m a fairly new reader to Jennifer Deibels’ books, but I think every time I read her latest novel, I fall more in love with her writing! She just has this way with words that connect me to her characters, the scenery, and draw me in completely. I really feel as if I am watching everything happen from the sidelines…it’s pure bliss! She engages every one of my senses and makes her world on the pages seem like my world.

As for the characters, Brianna’s plight is much like women in this time period who have to eke out a living as a housemaid, cook or nanny. In this case, she’s been living at Ballymacool girl’s boarding school all her life in the care of her guardian Mistress Magee after her parents’ death when she was but a few months old. Magee is a cruel taskmaster, never satisfied with her work and takes no guff. Brianna’s only friend is an old woman who lives in a small cabin in the woods and treats her like her own daughter. What a delight Finnuala is, she doles out sage advice and reminders of who God is and how He sees the world!

Ah yes, our hero Michael, sent to Ballymacool to keep an eye on his fourteen year old cousin who’s a handful! Well, I already liked him from the very first sentence we met him….why? Because he’s a book lover like myself:

“Few things stirred Michael’s heart and refreshed his spirit like an inspiring read." ~pg. 13

He quickly sees Brianna’s plight and forges a friendship (all those romantic sparks too!) with her. He’s the epitome of a perfect gentleman, he fights for those less fortunate and has a heart bigger than Ireland! These two are great together and I enjoyed how the author told their story.

The most important thing for me, is the refreshing faith thread. This reminds me (and all who read it), that our identity isn’t within ourselves, but in Christ. That we were made for more in this world and we matter more than we could ever know because of Him. Finnuala puts it so well (let it sink into your own heart):

“Brianna Kelly, don’t let anyone tell ya that who ya are doesn’t matter. Everything ya do, shows His glory to the world. At least it can, if ye’ll let it. You are a daughter of the King, and it’s high time ya treat yourself as such.” “How would I do that?” Visions of fancy robes and demanding breakfast in bed flitted across her mind’s eye. That would never do. “By followin’ His example. He washed the feet o’ others, He befriended the unfriendable, and He never lost sight o’ the purpose laid afore Him by the Father. Our Father.”~ pg. 153

Faith, a feel-good old-fashioned romance, friendships formed and an unburied mysterious object, all form an exceptionally written story for lovers of these kinds of novels!
*I received a complimentary copy from Revell and was under no obligation to write a favorable review. All opinions expressed here are my own. *

Welcome back to county Donegal, Ireland. This time Ms. Deible has set her story in a boarding school in an old family manor of Ballymacool.

I really got wrapped up in this story of an orphaned Brianna. She is a virtual slave to Mistress Magee who is a cruel taskmaster. Brianna has no idea why Magee is so antagonist toward her, but she tries to do her chores to the best of her ability. Maureen Magee’s attitude stems from long held secrets.

Michael Wray has come to the boarding school to supervise his cousin Adeline, who cannot seem to keep out of trouble. As Michael observes the goings on at Ballymacool, he gets to know Brianna and tries to ease her burdens. This hero is a kind and steadying force.

Ms. Deible paints a slice of life in 1935 Ireland and peoples her story with strong characters. One of the most interesting is Finnuola, a seemingly crazy old lady who lives in the woods. But she is crafty and wiser than she lets on. “Child, there is more to yer story than ye could ever know. And there are things the good Laird has for ye to do that no one else can do. Everything ye do, shows His glory to the world.”

Secrets are revealed, lessons are learned and faith is strengthened.

Be sure to read this beautiful story steeped in history.
* I received a complimentary copy of this book from Revell on behalf of the author. I was not required to post a favorable review. All opinions are my own.*
5 stars and a strong faith thread 

BackCover Blurb:

Brianna Kelly was abandoned at Ballymacool House and Boarding School as an infant. She has worked there since she was a wee girl and will likely die there. Despite a sense that she was made for something more, Brianna feels powerless to change her situation, so she consoles herself by exploring the Ballymacool grounds, looking for hidden treasures to add to the secret trove beneath the floorboards of her room.

When Michael Wray, the son of local gentry, is sent to Ballymacool to deal with his unruly cousin, he finds himself drawn to Brianna, immediately and inescapably. There is something about her that feels so . . . familiar. When Brianna finds a piece of silver in the woods, she commits to learning its origins, with the help of Michael. What they discover may change everything.

Fan favorite Jennifer Deibel invites you back to the Emerald Isle in the 1930s for this fresh take on the Cinderella story, complete with a tantalizing mystery, a budding romance, and a chance at redemption.

Revell Publishing, February 21, 2023 
Available in digital ebook, hardcover, and audiobook


Wednesday, February 22, 2023

COLD LIGHT OF DAY by Elizabeth Goddard. #Partners In Crime Tour with Review by Paula Shreckhise

Cold Light of Day

by Elizabeth Goddard

February 20 - March 17, 2023 Virtual Book Tour


Cold Light of Day by Elizabeth Goddard

Police Chief Autumn Long is fighting to keep her job in the quiet Alaska town of Shadow Gap when an unexpected string of criminal activity leaves her with a wounded officer, unexplained murders, and even an attack on her own father. Despite her mistrust of outsiders, she turns to Grier Brenner, a newcomer who seems to have the skills and training Autumn needs to face this threat to her community.

Grier is in Alaska for the same reason so many others are--to disappear--when Chief Long enlists his help. He emerges from the shadows and proves his mettle, but his presence in her life could be a deadly trap for them both. If his secret is exposed, all will be lost. And he's not sure even Autumn could save him.

As the stakes rise and the dangers increase, Autumn and Grier must rely on each other to extinguish the deadly threats.

Praise for Cold Light of Day:


DiAnn Mills, author of Concrete Evidence

"An exhilarating, page-turning race to the finish!"

Carrie Stuart Parks, bestselling author of Relative Silence

"Gripping and hard-hitting."

James R. Hannibal, award-winning author of Elysium Tide

"Elizabeth Goddard has created a novel that immerses the reader in small-town Alaska. From the first page, it's a race to stay alive and solve a number of ever-spiraling mysteries. I highly recommend this novel."

Cara Putman, award-winning author of Flight Risk and Lethal Intent

"A simmering romantic suspense with an explosive ending. Once more Goddard proves she is a master storyteller and deserving of her place as one of the best Christian romantic suspense authors of our time."

Mary Alford, author of Among the Innocent

Book Details:

Genre: Romantic Suspense
Published by: Revell
Publication Date: February 2023
Number of Pages: 336
ISBN: 9780800742041 (ISBN10: 0800742044)
Series: Missing in Alaska, 1
Book Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | BookShop.org | Goodreads | Baker Book House


Author Bio:

Elizabeth Goddard

Elizabeth Goddard is the USA Today bestselling and award-winning author of more than 50 novels, including Cold Light of Day and the Rocky Mountain Courage and Uncommon Justice series. Her books have sold nearly 1.5 million copies. She is a Carol Award and Reader's Choice Award winner and a Daphne du Maurier Award finalist. When she's not writing, she loves spending time with her family, traveling to find inspiration for her next book, and serving with her husband in ministry. For more information about her books, visit her website at www.ElizabethGoddard.com.

Catch Up With Elizabeth Goddard:
BookBub - @ElizabethGoddard
Instagram - @elizabethgoddardauthor
Twitter - @bethgoddard
Facebook - @ElizabethGoddardAuthor

“People went missing all over the world, but Alaska set records when it came to missing people...However , some people went missing by choice, and others were forced into hiding to survive.”

Grier Brenner is a newcomer to Shadow Gap and is keeping a low profile. But he cannot help coming to the rescue. “Grier had never been good at following the rules, even when those rules were the ones he had personally set in stone.”

Autumn Long is the sheriff fighting for her job against the city council. When multiple crimes are committed in this sleepy town, they cause more questions than answers.

Ms. Goddard brings us a determined heroine and a hero with a background he will not divulge. She releases clues, slowly, tantalizingly, to keep your interest. Romance is sizzling beneath the surface, too. The action accelerates at breakneck speed and comes to a surprising conclusion. With twists and turns in abundance, this is one of the most interesting and best suspense stories I have read.
*I received complimentary copies of this book from Revell through Library Thing and PICT tours on behalf of the author.* I was not required to post a favorable review. All opinions are my own.*Beyond 5 star. Solid faith thread

Tour Participants:

Visit these other great hosts on this tour for more great reviews, interviews, guest posts, and giveaway entries!


This is a giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Tours for Elizabeth Goddard. See the widget for entry terms and conditions. Void where prohibited.


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Tuesday, February 21, 2023

ALASKAN AVALANCHE ESCAPE by Darlene L. Turner, Reviewed by Kim

I know when I read a Darlene L. Turner story I am in for an action packed story where nobody is safe from peril, I'll have a hard time figuring out who the villain is, and there will be a good faith thread throughout. Alaskan Avalanche Escape is no different.

The action in this story starts on page one and really never lets up until the mystery is solved. And even though I accused most everyone of being the villain, I was totally wrong and totally surprised at the end. While I enjoyed the storyline, the writing style, and the very unexpected ending, I did not really care for Jayla and the way she treated Bryson. This really took me out of the story. While the reason for her behavior was explained, I felt like it was just too weak of a reason, especially in light of her past. These things made it hard to believe in their HEA.

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


BackCover Blurb:

Sabotage in the mountains…

Can this K-9 sniff out the truth?

After surviving a sudden avalanche, mountain survival expert Jayla Hoyt and her search-and-rescue K-9 discover that it was no accident—someone deliberately triggered the mountain explosion. To uncover the culprit, she’ll have to partner with Alaska park ranger Bryson Clarke, a man she doesn’t trust. But when the investigators become targets, can they capture the criminal mastermind…before they’re buried alive?

LOVE INSPIRED, February, 2023

Available in digital ebook, paperback, or audiobook:


A MATCH IN THE MAKING by Jen Turano, Reviewed by Paula Shreckhise #ReleaseDay

Gwendolyn is trying to find a match for Walter Townsend, which may be difficult since he has three unruly children. With all the pushing and shoving, black eyes and jabbing elbows, it may prove challenging, and that is the behavior of the *ladies* seeking to catch the eye of the widower!

Ms. Turano always has me laughing at the civilized way the upper crust has of speaking when they are really insulting each other. Her stories have the most unusual heroines with quirky occupations and a lot of them are hiding their wealth. Although Gwendolyn is not looking for a love match-or any match- that is what she aspires to, her parents being an example. She speaks her mind, which many times gets her in trouble. But she has much to recommend her, including being able to corral five year old twins and an old-before-his-time nine year old boy. She certainly has met her match!

Delightfully witty from the first page, it was a joy to see Gwendolyn in action. A terrific start to a new series.
*I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House on behalf of the author. I was not required to post a favorable review. All opinions are my own.*5 stars and a World Christian View

BackCover Blurb:

Miss Gwendolyn Brinley accepted a temporary paid companion position for the Newport summer season, believing it would be a lark to spend the summer in America's most exclusive town. She suddenly finds her summer turning anything but amusing when her employer expects her to take over responsibilities as an assistant matchmaker. Tasked with the daunting prospect of attaining advantageous matches for her clients, Gwendolyn soon finds herself in the employ of Mr. Walter Townsend, the catch of the Season, but a gentleman Gwendolyn finds beyond irritating.

Walter Townsend is reluctantly in search of a wife for the sake of his unruly motherless children who cannot keep a governess for long. What he wasn't expecting was Miss Brinley, an amateur matchmaker who turns his quest for a new wife into a complete and utter debacle. Constantly besieged by society ladies on a mission to win his affection, Walter must find a way to overcome their inundating attention--and his unexpected attraction toward Gwendolyn.

The more time they spend together throughout the Newport Season, the harder it is for Gwendolyn to find Walter a wife when she realizes his perfect match might be . . . her.

Bethany House Publishing, February, 2023
Available in digital ebook, paperback, hardcover, and audiobook:


Monday, February 20, 2023

WITHIN THESE WALLS OF SORROW by Amanda Barratt, Reviewed by Rebecca Maney


"Beyond the window, out of sight, the shots continue. No one counts them. They come one after the other, one after the other. Numberless. . . "

"There are no miracles. But perhaps in doing what we can there is the hope of one. Even when there seems to be none."

"There is evil and there is good and there is the space between. We are given free will to choose where we stand.

"There are two kinds of pain. The first is physical, measurable. The second is so deep, so great one feels no pain at all. The body cannot register it, the mind cannot comprehend it."

"God, where are you?"

Obviously this novel can stand on its own merits, unequivocally, without review. Perhaps more importantly is our response, for by reading it we grant honor and respect to those who lived it, altogether being handed a challenge to emulate those who did indeed, unknowingly at the time, participate in a miracle; a family pharmacy was allowed to remain open in the middle of a Krakow ghetto in German occupied Poland. The men and women who bravely refused to live in the "between" did make a difference, however small, to relieve and in some cases prevent, the atrocities of war.
As the author so eloquently writes in her end notes, "One might be tempted to wonder what significance the actions of Pankiewicz and his colleagues held when set against the magnitude of such a tragedy. . .but every act affirming common humanity, every risk to preserve a life, every moment in which decency and compassion were extended to an individual mattered. Not on a vast scale, perhaps, but on a human scale."

"It is all of us who choose not to stand in the space between . . . We are the legacy."

"Only the forgotten can truly understand what it is to be remembered."

*I received a copy of this book from the author and publisher. The opinions stated above are entirely my own. 

BackCover Blurb:

Zosia Lewandowska knows the brutal realities of war all too well. Within weeks of Germany's invasion of her Polish homeland, she lost the man she loves. As ghetto walls rise and the occupiers tighten their grip on the city of Krakow, Zosia joins pharmacist Tadeusz Pankiewicz and his staff in the heart of the Krakow ghetto as they risk their lives to aid the Jewish people trapped by Nazi oppression.

Hania Silverman's carefree girlhood is shattered as her family is forced into the ghetto. Struggling to survive in a world hemmed in by walls and rife with cruelty and despair, she encounters Zosia, her former neighbor, at the pharmacy. As deportation winnow the ghetto's population and snatch those she holds dear, Hania's natural resiliency is exhausted by reality.

Zodia and Hania's lives intertwine as they face the griefs and fears thrust upon them by war, until one day, they are forced to make a desperate choice . . . one that will inexorably bind them together, even as they are torn apart.

Amanda Barratt's meticulous research and lush, award-winning writing shine once again in this moving look at a group of unsung heroes who fought for hope and humanity in the most harrowing of times. 

Kregel Publishing, January, 2023
Available in digital ebook and paperback:
Buy WITHIN THESE WALLS OF SORROW at Amazon, Christianbook .com, or Baker Book House







Saturday, February 18, 2023

THE BOOKSHOP OF SECRETS by Mollie Rushmeyer, Reviewed by Rebecca Maney

Hope Sparrow. "Ironically, her chosen name seemed a winged creature after all. One she could never seem to catch."

Just a name. Not her real name, for that person's life had been riddled with a plethora of tragic circumstances; Hope certainly didn't want anyone in Wanishin Falls to discover those, prompting Hope to simply introduce herself as a daughter coming back to her mother's hometown looking for several rare books that had been intended as part of an inheritance. Instead, as she walks through the door of the Dusty Jackets Bookshop, Hope comes face-to-face with Ulysses Barrick, whose early stage dementia has erased a lot of his memory and left him confused about what he has left . . . or not . . . he says some things that make Hope wonder.

Instead of a quick trip in and out of the little town, Hope finds herself lingering; her love for fine literature making her a perfect fit as a much needed assistant in the bookshop, for at least two months anyway while she continues her search for the illusive books. Ironically, Mags and Ulysses Barrick have a grandson, Ronan, who has a tragic past of his own. Ronan's curiosity about Hope's role in his grandparents' life transforms into an eagerness to help her, but he also makes Hope long for something she never thought possible; a future and a "hope".

This debut novel has a pleasantness about it that softens the edges of what reality has dealt its characters. The small town feel is a good fit for the deep seeded suspicions and long-standing quarrels among its members, not to mention the secrets . . . so, so many secrets. There is a solid foundation of spiritual truth underneath chapter after chapter of disappointment and heartache, for "God was the master potter. He was making something new. In her.", and what faith doesn't accomplish, love does.

Readers have a lot to look forward to!
*I purchased a copy and was under no obligation to provide a positive review.

BackCover Blurb:
A collection of lost books holds the clues to her family's legacy…and her future.

Hope Sparrow has mastered the art of outrunning her tragic past, learning never to stay anywhere too long and never to allow anyone control over her life again. Coming to Wanishin Falls in search of her family's history already feels too risky. But somewhere in the towering stacks of this dusty old bookshop are the books that hold Hope's last ties to her late mother—and to a rumored family treasure that could help her start over.

Only, the bookshop is in shambles, and the elderly owner is in the beginning stages of dementia and can’t remember where the books lie. To find the last links to the loved ones she's lost, Hope must stay and accept help from the townsfolk to locate the treasured volumes. Each secret she uncovers brings her closer to understanding where she came from. But the longer she stays in the quaint town, the more people find their way into the cracks in her heart. And letting them in may be the greatest risk of all…

 Love Inspired, October, 2022
Available in digital ebook, library binding, and audiobook:

Thursday, February 16, 2023

HEARTS OF STEEL by Elizabeth Camden, Reviewed by Rebecca Maney

" . . . I'll stand beside you the whole way."

Determined never to be poor again, ice cream company owner Maggie Molinaro works hard and saves every penny, which means that when a wealthy customer stiffs her ninety-five dollars, she arrives at his lavish mansion to demand payment. Receiving a chilly reception, Maggie holds her ground while happening upon an handsome stranger who presses the man to do the right thing. It's the beginning of a entertaining, albeit tumultuous relationship between the "Sweet Miss Maggie of Gadsen Street" and steel magnate Liam Blackstone.

Liam Blackstone always stood up for the underdog, always; so when his nemesis Charles Morse tried to ignore the lovely young woman with the unpaid ice cream bill (from his own wedding reception, of all things), Liam gained some much needed ammunition to bring the man down a notch; or two or three. In all reality, it was Morse who was trying to ruin Liam's reputation, which would justify Liam's removal from U. S. Steel's board of directors. If Liam could just prove how corrupt Morse really was, he might just be able to prove himself to his family, once and for all. Clearly, Morse was out to play hardball, and Maggie was just one of many who would suffer.

Brace yourself for quite an entertaining story; two scrappy, stubborn, hard-working, I'll-do-it-myself, let-me-help-you . . . become a team . . . losing their hearts, their heads, and nearly their health over coming out on top. In the end, doing the right thing was always the right thing to do.

"She'd found the business partner of a lifetime, and a man who would stand beside her through any storm. Their life wouldn't always be smooth sailing, but . . . together with God's love and a little hard work, the adventure ahead would be a good one."

*I received a copy of this book from the author and publisher. I also purchased a copy. The opinions stated above are entirely my own. 3.5 stars



BackCover Blurb:
His steel empire has catapulted him to the top of the world, but loving her could cost him everything.

Maggie Molinaro survived a hardscrabble childhood in the downtrodden streets of Manhattan to become a successful businesswoman. After a decade of sacrifice, she now owns a celebrated ice cream company. But when she offends a corrupt banker, she unwittingly sets off a series of calamities that threaten to destroy her life's work.

Liam Blackstone is a charismatic steel magnate committed to overhauling factory conditions for the steelworkers of America. Standing in his way is the same villain determined to ruin Maggie. What begins as a practical alliance to defeat a common enemy soon evolves into a romance between two wounded people determined to beat the odds.

A spiraling circle of treachery grows increasingly dangerous as Liam and Maggie risk their lives and fortunes for the good of the city. It will require all their wit and ingenuity to protect everything--and everyone--they hold dear.

Bethany House Publishing, January 2023
Available in digital ebook, paperback, hardcover, and audiobook:


THE SOUND OF LIGHT by Sarah Sundin, Reviewed by Winnie Thomas

“I think light sounds like silence. The silence of someone concealing his nobility and sacrificing everything so he can quietly do great deeds.”

Set in Denmark against the backdrop of WWII, The Sound of Light is another masterpiece by talented author Sarah Sundin. Rich in historical detail and filled with colorful, courageous characters, it’s the story of men and women of the Danish Resistance who risk their lives to help others. Baron Henrik Ahlefeldt hides his identity to take messages for the Resistance in his rowboat across to Sweden. American physicist Else Jensen is living in Denmark and doing research. Sundin made these characters come alive on the page, and I enjoyed seeing their relationship grow and change.

“Sometimes silence takes much courage. . . Sometimes silence is nothing but cowardice.”

Filled with suspense, danger, and romance, this story was a treat to read. Themes of redemption, forgiveness, and courage add depth to it. I enjoyed reading the author’s notes which gave a little added history about the Danish resistance efforts. With the help of the pronunciation guide and glossary in the back of the book, which was a fun and useful addition, I even learned a little Danish. I recommend this book to those who enjoy well-researched and beautifully-written historical fiction. 

*I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy from Revell. All opinions are my own.4.5 stars 


BackCover Blurb:

When the Germans march into Denmark, Baron Henrik Ahlefeldt exchanges his nobility for anonymity, assuming a new identity so he can secretly row messages for the Danish Resistance across the waters to Sweden.

American physicist Dr. Else Jensen refuses to leave Copenhagen and abandon her research--her life's dream. While printing resistance newspapers, she hears stories of the movement's legendary
--the merman--and wonders if the mysterious and silent shipyard worker living in the same boardinghouse has something to hide.

When the Occupation cracks down on the Danes, these two passionate people will discover if there is more power in speech . . . or in silence. Bestselling author of more than a dozen WWII novels, Sarah Sundin offers pens another story of ordinary people responding to extraordinary circumstances with faith, fortitude, and hope for a brighter future.
Revell Publishing, February 7, 2023
Available in digital ebook, paperback, hardcover, and audiobook:



Tuesday, February 14, 2023

THE LAST CHANCE COWBOY by Jody Hedlund, Reviewed by Paula Shreckhise #ReleaseDay

It has been a wild ride through the lives of the McQuaids and the Colorado Cowboys series.

Take one reformed bad boy, a baby he did not know about and a compassionate midwife and Dylan is determined to do the right thing: Marry Catherine, whom he thinks is the girl he left in Chicago. Catherine accepts because she is running from false accusations.

Dylan is repentant and wants to follow the will of God. As sheriff, he has a wise and godly deputy, Stu: “When we do what is right, then we can trust the good Lord for the outcome.”

Catherine is an experienced but young midwife and proves herself worthy in this marriage of convenience story. But love naturally follows as does danger. Cue the McQuaid brothers to help with villains and cattle rustlers.

“When a McQuaid man loves a woman, there is no going back. It’s fast, furious, and forever.”

Ms. Hedlund has penned an exciting and adventurous tale with relatable characters and moral lessons in a winsome story.

A fitting conclusion to a fantastic series.
*I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House on behalf of the author. I was not required to post a favorable review. All opinions are my own.*4 stars and a solid faith thread

BackCover Blurb:
With danger drawing ever closer, their only hope of saving their futures lies in each other.

As a midwife, Catherine Remington is successful in bringing new life into the world, but she's failed one too many times in finding true love. When she's accused of a murder she didn't commit, she's forced to flee to Colorado to honor a patient's dying wish by delivering a newborn infant to his father.

The repentant prodigal Dylan McQuaid is finally back in Fairplay. As sheriff, he's doing his best to prove to the town he's a changed man and worthy of their trust. When a woman shows up with an infant son he didn't know he had, Dylan is left with only complicated choices on what to do next.

Having grown attached to Dylan's son, Catherine doesn't want to part ways with the infant, but what she doesn't bargain for is how easily she'll fall for the charming sheriff, or how quickly the past will catch up with her and put their love and lives in danger.

Bethany House Publishing, February, 2023
Available in digital ebook, paperback, hardcover, and audiobook:


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