Tuesday, March 21, 2023

BOOKS AFLOAT by Delores Topliff, Reviewed by Paula Shreckhise


I love stories that are based in fact and this one was a top-notch rendition. I learned new things about the US in war time.

Annie Mettles is determined to captain a floating library along the Columbia River to deliver books to folks and complete the Governor’s Challenge. After a shaky start, she embarks with pilot, Char Young and mechanic, Ted Vincent. They meet interesting people who crave books. In addition they are on the look out for Japanese boats trying to infiltrate the river from the Pacific. Ted, Anne and Josh, who is away at war, were childhood friends. As they navigate West toward the Pacific, Ted and Anne draw closer as circumstances test their resolve. The author weaves a faith thread throughout, taking us back to a time when people relied more on God and prayed for each other and their neighbor.

One of my favorite characters was Johnny, a wiry, old fella who lives off the grid and shows the boaters all kinds of interesting things.

The story kept me turning pages to find out if Annie completed her challenge, if dangers were around the next bend and how her budding romance with Ted turned out. And look out for peril from the river and unexpected places.

The next book promises more about this interesting time in history. 

*I won a copy of this ebook in January 2022. All opinions are my own.*5 stars and a solid faith thread

BackCover Blurb:

Based upon a historical event—a network of undercover volunteers plot to prevent Japanese saboteurs from invading the Columbia River during World War II.Oklahoma Dust Bowl survivor Anne Mettles creates a floating library to provide books and materials for Columbia River residents. But wartime budgets slash funding, and Washington’s governor can only find money if Anne will conduct secret military surveillance along the river to monitor and report any enemy activity. Anne wants to operate Books Afloat alone but must accept help to pilot the boat. 

Mechanic Ted Vincent insists on being onboard and discovers that unusual boat damages are not accidents, but sabotage. A young man who will do anything to win Anne’s affections and an ambitious reporter writing public interest stories also ride along, complicating matters.Anne and team hazard their lives to save the nation they love and discover newfound courage, giving her and Ted a chance at love—if they can survive. 

Scrivenings Press, January 2023
Available in digital ebook and paperback 

Sunday, March 19, 2023

BETTER TOGETHER by Mandi Blake, Reviewed by Kim #NewRelease

Better Together is the 4th story in the Wolf Creek Ranch series by Mandi Blake. Just like the rest of the books in this series, it can be read as a stand alone, but if you read the whole series, you will get a great feel for the ranch and all the people who live there. This story has so many things I love- marriage of convenience, friends to more, romance, faith, and a bit of unexpected suspense!

Colt and Remi are best friends when tragedy strikes Colt's family leaving his niece and nephew without parents. They decide to get married to more easily gain custody of the kids. While Colt has been in love with Remi for awhile, Remi has completely kept Colt in the friends only zone. It was fun seeing Remi and Colt become a family and watching how Colt slowly breaks down all of Remi's barriers. While Remi sometimes irritated me, I really loved when we found out what happened in her past and how the Lord changed her life.

I always love how Mandi Blake ends her story with not only an epilogue, but a bonus epilogue which gives us a sneak peak at the next story in the series. Because of this bonus epilogue, I'm already looking forward to Brett and Thea's story!

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

BackCover Blurb:

She doesn’t believe in love, but a marriage of convenience with her best friend might change her mind.

Colt has been in love with Remi for years, but she friendzoned him a long time ago. When tragedy strikes, Remi comes up with a plan to help--she'll marry him so he can get custody of his niece and nephew. All the odds are stacked against him, but Remi’s crazy proposal just might work.

Remi wants nothing to do with relationships, but when she sees how determined Colt is to help his niece and nephew, she can't stand by while they're taken from him. Her painful childhood might be locked up in the past, but she has a chance to give these sweet kids the life she always wanted. Marriage doesn’t have to mean risking her heart, right?

Being married to Remi is Colt's dream come true, but the hurts of her past keep her at arm's length. Can he show her that love is the path to healing?Better Together is a sweet friends to more romance and the fourth book in the Wolf Creek Ranch series.

Available in digital ebook and paperback. Buy BETTER TOGETHER at Amazon 

Saturday, March 18, 2023

EXPIRED RETURN by Lisa Phillips, (Last Chance Fire and Rescue #1), Reviewed by Rebecca Maney

"It only took a near-kidnapping to get you to talk to me."

True. Immediately following Pepper Miller's heart-wrenching break-up with Allen Frees, his life had been upended by a terrible on-the-job accident, leaving the once active police officer in a wheelchair. Even in their small town, the two had managed to avoid much contact . . . until . . . Pepper's life takes a dangerous turn. Her sister is nowhere to be found and Pepper's young niece Victory is nearly kidnapped. Whose help does she long for? Allen's.

Now serving as a liaison between the Fire Department and City Hall, Allen's connections within the law enforcement community have remained strong. He wants to help Pepper, but she is a risk in more ways than one. Having never fully understood her reasons for ending their relationship, it's obvious that she is in something over her head, maybe time hasn't expired for them after all.

High energy and action filled, this romantic suspense also takes the time to explore second chances, and that process was my favorite part of the story.

*I bought this book and was under no obligation to provide a positive review. 3.5 stars

BackCover Blurb:
Pepper stood up. “How dare you.” She could spit fire at him right now. She’d loved and supported Victory since the day she was born. “You know nothing about me.”

“What’s this?”

Pepper whirled around at that voice. Heart. Breaking. She loved that gruff, commanding voice more than anything else in the world.

He wore a look a lot like Aiden’s. Blank, which she knew—or hoped—had to do with protecting his heart because he still cared for her. Except he probably hated her.

Donaldson sat back in his chair. “Allen.”

Former police officer Allen Frees had both hands on the wheels of his chair. He wore a fire department uniform of slacks and a white shirt. Emblems. A badge. His life of service hadn’t ended when he landed in that chair after a building blew up over his head.

As far as she’d been able to tell, it barely slowed him down.
She’ll give everything to protect her family.
He always knew she was the one.

Veterinary tech Pepper Miller lives a quiet life in Last Chance County. She’s watching her niece until her sister shows up…if she ever does. When Victory’s father demands he take over her care, Pepper knows something has gone wrong. With a new drug in town, and her sister embroiled in a dangerous bargain, it’s up to Pepper to protect the people she loves.

Even if it costs every secret she’s ever kept.

Fire Department liaison Allen Frees lives with the injuries he sustained as a police officer in a raid gone wrong. He’s put his life back together but getting the truck crew and engine squad to succeed might be his toughest assignment yet. When Victory is nearly kidnapped at a community event, Allen steps in to help Pepper keep her niece safe. The one thing he couldn’t fix was the love he lost, but he isn’t going to let Pepper walk away this time.

No matter what walls he has to break down.

Last Chance County returns in this blazing new series from Sunrise Publishing.

Sunrise Publishing, January 31, 2023
Available in digital ebook, paperback, and audiobook
Buy EXPIRED RETURN at Amazonor Christianbook .com


Friday, March 17, 2023

BENEATH HIS SILENCE by Hannah Linder, Reviewed by Paula Shreckhise

This story was reminiscent of Jane Eyre with its eerie setting and mysterious widower who is hiding something in his huge manor house.

Ella has assumed a false name in order to find out how her sister died. Is Henry Sedgewick really a murderer? She takes a position as governess to five-year-old Peter, her sister’s child, and grows ever fonder of the boy and his father. She is very outspoken and determined yet has mixed feelings as she delves into the mystery.

Ms. Linder gives vivid descriptions of the estate, the parties and makes the characters come alive with realistic concerns and problems. The faith struggles are real and lessons are learned in forgiveness. She adds danger to the mix to make a story that was hard to put down. I am looking forward to the next book by this author.

*I purchased this ebook from Amazon. All opinions are my own.5 stars and an interwoven faith thread


BackCover Blurb:
Will Seeking Justice Lead to Her Own Demise?

A Gothic-Style Regency Romance from a Promising Young Author

Second daughter of a baron—and a little on the mischievous side—Ella Pemberton is no governess. But the pretense is a necessity if she ever wishes to get inside of Wyckhorn Manor and attain the truth. Exposing the man who killed her sister is all that matters.

Lord Sedgewick knows there’s blood on his hands. Lies have been conceived, then more lies, but the price of truth would be too great. All he has left now is his son—and his hatred. Yet as the charming governess invades his home, his safe cocoon of bitterness begins to tear away.

Could Ella, despite the lingering questions of his guilt, fall in love with such a man? Or is she falling prey to him—just as her dead sister?

Barbour Publishing, November 1,2022
Available in digital ebook, paperback, and audiobook:


Thursday, March 16, 2023

CONFESSIONS TO A STRANGER (Harbored in Crow’s Nest Book 1) by Danielle Grandinetti, Reviewed by Paula Shreckhise

This story swept me away with its quaint town on Lake Michigan. The characters had depth and were relatable. I could feel the tension and fearfulness that Adeleigh had as she tried to run and hide from danger and heartbreak. David was a well-crafted hero, taking care of his grandma and siblings and smart enough to see people for who they really were.

The book was full of mystery, danger and an intriguing premise that we sometimes confide in near strangers when that is easier and less intimidating than telling our secrets to those we hold dear.

The author effortlessly pulls together facts about fishing and small towns and put me right in the middle of the action, all the while giving a solid spiritual message with characters who live out their faith.

An absorbing story by a talented author. I look forward to her next book with anticipation.

*I received a complimentary copy of this ebook from 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:

She’s lost her future. He’s sacrificed his. Now they have a chance to reclaim it—together.

Wisconsin, 1930—While fleeing for her life, Adaleigh Sirland’s rescue of a child introduces her to a family who provides her safe harbor. When her identity comes under threat of exposure, she must choose between running once more or helping the man who teaches her to hope again.

First mate David Martins is intrigued by the mysterious woman taken in by his grandmother, but she wrestles with a troubled past. When his estranged father is arrested for murder, can David put aside his own struggles in time to discern which secret threatens Adaleigh before it kills them both?

Welcome to Crow’s Nest, where danger and romance meet at the water’s edge. 

Hearth Spot Press, March 14, 2023 

Wednesday, March 15, 2023

COURAGE IN THE SHADOWS (Coventry Saga #9) By Robin Patchen, Reviewed by Rebecca Maney

"That voice. Her kidnapper."

It was her worst nightmare, hearing that voice again. Formerly a model, now part owner in a private protection agency, bodyguard Summer Lake is determined to deliver justice for all those who suffered through that horrifying experience all those years ago. But she won't be doing it alone, her partner Grant Wright insists on sticking close. How close? Close, close.

"Ridiculous woman. Gorgeous, ridiculous woman. Apparently, she still had no idea how he felt about her."

After Summer's life is threatened once again, she and Grant go on the offensive, spending a lot of unexpected time together investigating the case, giving Summer a rare opportunity . . . to grow her faith ("God wasn't a consolation prize. He was the only prize worth living for.") and to accept the fact that loving someone else didn't necessarily exude weakness, but strength . . . for, "her fears were based on the false belief that depending on others would only lead to abandonment and disappointment".

A really sweet love story in the midst of what turned out to be a nearly impossible situation. In case you didn't know, international thugs play to win.

*I purchased this book and was under no obligation to provide a positive review.

BackCover Blurb:
When she crosses paths with a killer from her past, can she survive long enough to step into her future?

Ever since she and thirteen other models were kidnapped years before, Summer Lake has fought to ensure that she can protect herself. But when her job as a bodyguard brings her into contact with a man she believes masterminded her kidnapping, her first urge is to run, terrified of being taken again. Instead, she follows the stranger, determined to bring him to justice.

Bodyguard Grant Wright fell in love with Summer the instant he saw her, a fierce protector standing in front of the other endangered young women he'd come to rescue. Years later, Summer still sees him as barely more than a coworker. Grant bides his time, sticking close in an effort to keep her safe and hoping she'll eventually open her heart to him. When her life is threatened, he's not about to allow her to fight her enemies alone. He'll stay by her side whether she wants him or not.

But Summer and Grant have an enemy whose global smuggling organization is so powerful, so pervasive, that it'll be a miracle if either of them emerges from this battle alive.

Available in digital ebook or paperback at Amazon

Tuesday, March 14, 2023

THE METROPOLITAN AFFAIR by Jocelyn Green, Reviewed by Paula Shreckhise #ReleaseDay

This book was fantastic. It brought back memories of visiting the Field Museum in Chicago. One of my favorite exhibits was Egyptian artifacts.

The story was informative and spellbinding from the first glimpse of the Metropolitan Museum to the dramatic conclusion.

Ms. Green made me care about Lauren, her grief surrounding her mother and the complicated relationship with her father.

The details of uncovering forgeries were so interesting. “If you become an expert on the real thing, you will know the counterfeit when you see it.” This goes for antiquities and also for reading people and their motives.

When Detective Joe Caravello enlists the help of longtime friend, Lauren, they quickly renew their friendship. It is significant that they met at the Museum as children and many places there hold fond memories.

The story is filled with unique characters, some based on real people. The author has given Joe a warm, loving family that Lauren found missing in her own life. She tried to please her father but was chasing after a false love. Then she realized the true love God had for her.

A riveting book from a remarkable storyteller.

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House Reviewers program. I was not required to post a favorable review. All opinions are my own.* 5 stars and a solid faith thread.

BackCover Blurb:
Bestselling author Jocelyn Green sweeps you away in a dazzling novel of secrets, betrayal, and romance within one of New York City's most esteemed museums.

For years her explorer father promised Dr. Lauren Westlake she'd accompany him on one of his Egyptian expeditions. But as the empty promises mounted, Lauren determined to earn her own way. Now the assistant curator of Egyptology for the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Lauren receives two unexpected invitations.

The first is her repentant father's offer to finally bring her to Egypt as his colleague on a new expedition. The second is a chance to enter the world of New York's wealthiest patrons who have been victims of art fraud.

With Egyptomania sweeping the city after the discovery of King Tut's tomb, Detective Joe Caravello is on the hunt for a notorious forger preying on the open wallets of New York's high society. Dr. Westlake is just the expert he needs to help him track the criminal. Together they search for the truth, and the closer Lauren and Joe get to discovering the forger's identity, the more entangled they become in a web of deception and crime.

Bethany House Publishers, March 14, 2023 
Available in digital ebook, paperback, and audiobook:


BEYOND WOUNDED HEARTS by Cynthia Roemer, Reviewed by Paula Shreckhise #ReleaseDay

A heartfelt story telling of Adelaide, who is injured during the fall of Richmond in the closing days of the Civil War. Luke, a Union soldier, saves her and looks after her, though his attentions are not welcome. Addie is bitter toward God and the Union troops who she considers usurpers. She has a long road to healing, recovery and forgiveness.
This is a layered story with spiritual lessons to learn. God is faithful and even uses perceived enemies for our benefit. And His will prevails in the end. God can change the stoniest heart back to Him and make a family when Addie has lost everything.

I like the way Ms. Roemer wove real people and events into the story. She also gave warmth to the characters of Luke, his mother and his sister. She told a story with a rich heritage behind it to help us see that God was with His people on both sides of the conflict.
This was a great companion book to Beyond These War Torn Lands, Drew and Caroline’s story. I look forward to more from this author.

* I received a complimentary e-copy of this book from 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:
They were North and South ~ Faithful and Faithless

After suffering disabling burns during the fall of Richmond, Adelaide Hanover awakens in a hospital alone and destitute, escalating her already stanch hatred for Yankees. When the Union soldier who freed her from the rubble begins paying her visits, she wants nothing to do with him … or his faith. Yet, his persistent kindness penetrates her resolve and forges a much-needed friendship. But after a dangerous man threatens Addie, she flees Richmond, intent on solving the mystery to her aunt’s dying wish before he does.

Haunted by a tragic failure in his past, Corporal Luke Gallagher takes Adelaide’s plight on as his own. Though his strong beliefs collide with his growing feelings for her, he offers his family’s home as a place to convalesce. Adelaide’s initial rejection, followed by her sudden willingness to accept his benevolence, hints there’s more to the decision than a mere change of heart. When trouble follows her, endangering her safety, as well as his family’s, Luke must lay his life and his convictions on the line to save them. 

Scrivenings Press, March 14, 2023
Available in digital ebook, and paperback 

A WALTZ WITH TRAITORS by A. L. Sowards, Reviewed by Winnie Thomas #ReleaseDay

“We just wanted to go home. The rest was forced on us.”

Set mainly in Russia in 1918 amidst the Revolution and the ending of WWI, this fascinating book details little known historical events involving the Czechoslovak Legion and their fight to get home and have a land of their own. With obvious impeccable research and rich historical detail, author A. L. Sowards has penned a riveting story of history and romance. Colorful, carefully-drawn characters pulled me right into this tale and kept me intrigued to the end. Nadia is a Russian aristocrat who narrowly escapes with her life as her family is killed by the Bolsheviks. She is rescued by Filip and his friends from the Czechoslovak Legion who are struggling to get across Russia and make their way home. Nadia and Filip enter into a sham marriage in order to protect her.

“Maybe all the darkness makes it easier to recognize the light.”

“God is always there, even when it’s too dark to see Him.”

With plenty of suspense, action, history, and a dollop of romance, this book is a good example of why I love historical fiction. I get to learn about historical events while enjoying a great story. The maps and glossary were very helpful in understanding what was going on and where the events took place, while the author’s notes in the back added interesting information. This is a well-written book which has earned a place on my keeper shelf. I’ll be looking forward to more from this author in the future.
*I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy from Covenant Communications through Interviews & Reviews. All opinions are my own.

BackCover Blurb:
Czech soldier Filip Sedlák never wanted to fight for the Austro-Hungarian Empire. So at the first opportunity, he defected to the Russians. Now he and others like him have formed the Czechoslovak Legion. Their goal: leave the chaos of Russia, sail to France, and help the Allies defeat the Central Powers, thereby toppling a hated empire and winning an independent Czechoslovakia.

With the fall of the tsar, Nadia Linskaya’s life is in ruins. Her family is dead, her lands are confiscated, and her aristocratic world is gone forever. But Nadia is determined to elude the Bolshevik agent who destroyed her family and find a way to survive in this changed world.

When Nadia takes refuge with the Czechoslovak Legion, the last thing she expects is an ally. But when Filip proposes a sham marriage to ensure her safe passage across Siberia, she takes it. Neither Filip nor Nadia expect real love, not when the legion has to take over the longest railroad in the world—and then hold it against Bolshevik counterattacks, partisan sabotage, allied intrigue, and a set of brutal Siberian winters. At risk is the future of Czechoslovakia, the fate of Russia—and their hearts. 

Covenant Communications, March 14, 2023
Available in digital ebook, paperback, and audiobook:

Monday, March 13, 2023

THE MAID OF BALLYMACOOL by Jennifer Deibel, Reviewed by Rebecca Maney

"Child, there's more to your story than ye could ever know."

More to her story? If you were to ask Brianna, her story was rather short and simple. Orphaned as an infant, dropped off in a basket at Maureen Magee's front door, assigned the role of a house servant at the Ballymacool House and Boarding School for Girls as soon as she was old enough to contribute to the needs of the household, Brianna worked nearly night and day handling endless tasks with little time to dawdle. And yet . . . was there an "and yet"?

Michael Wray, a local gentleman, arrives at Ballymacool to aid in the oversight of his young cousin, whose unladylike behavior has caused quite a stir among her fellow students. On the other hand, his encounters with the lovely housemaid are surprisingly refreshing, Brianna has a certain charm about her, coupled with a hint of something else . . . familiarity? It's obvious how terribly Mistress Magee is treating the young woman, but for what reason? Michael has many questions for which there seem to be very few answers.
This politely predictable story has a certain allure about it that even its "cinderella" setting cannot deny is appealing. The author has written in just enough intrigue (for who doesn't love a good secret) to keep the reader tip-toeing around the pages, eagerly awaiting the next clue. As it turns out, that "more to the story" could be a fairy tale all its own.

"Just remember, tis no secret that's known to three."
*I received a copy of this book from the publisher and also purchased a copy. The opinions stated above are entirely my own.

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


Saturday, March 11, 2023

DOUBLE THE LIES (An Annalee Spain Mystery #2) by Patricia Raybon, Reviewed by Rebecca Maney

"In their crazy town, what kind of messy, stupid anger had left a young, barnstorming pilot dead on his kitchen floor?"

And dead he was. Jeffrey Mann had made the wrong person mad, and it wasn't his wife; private detective Annalee Spain (an aspiring amateur, but she was learning) had witnessed a terse conversation between the two at the Warren Branch of the Denver Public Library, seen the husband hurry off, and then proceeded to befriend his distraught wife by offering a handkerchief and a listening ear as she accompanied Rebecca Mann home. Having inadvertently left evidence at the crime scene (that handkerchief!) (oh Jack, she was so sorry!) Annalee was involved whether she wanted to be or not, especially when the threatening note she received the next morning proved that someone (in addition to local authorities) knew she had been at the Mann residence.

Annalee Spain had just been handed her next case. Primarily, it was a matter of self preservation. (the police wanted to pin this on her, not going to happen! . . . please, God?) And protecting those she loved the most. (that nasty note!)
A movie with buttered popcorn couldn't be any more entertaining than this round-about series of convoluted events. Every twist and turn is a display cabinet full of lies upon lies until the truth finally dares to stare Annalee in the face, and just as she imagined, it wasn't pretty.

A handsome young preacher (named Jack) once said, "It's so easy, lying. Maybe that's why God hates it". (and you will never believe where he was and what he was doing when he said it; hint, hint, he wasn't preaching)

One of the best mysteries I have read in a long time! 
*I purchased this book and was under no obligation to provide a positive review. 
BackCover Blurb:
In the second installment of Patricia Raybon’s critically acclaimed mystery series, amateur detective Annalee Spain races the clock to solve the murder of a handsome young pilot before she is framed for the crime—and before his dashing twin falls head over heels for her, tempting her promised heart.

On a cold spring night in 1924, Annalee Spain offers her new fancy lace handkerchief—a gift from her pastor boyfriend Jack Blake—to a young woman crying in a Denver public library. But later that night, when police find the handkerchief next to the body of the young woman’s murdered husband, Annalee becomes the number one suspect, and her panic doubles when she learns that Jack has gone missing.

With just days to solve the murder before the city’s Klan-run police frame her for the crime, Annalee finds herself hunting for clues in the Colorado mountain town of Estes Park. She questions the victim’s wife and her uncle, a wealthy Denver banker, at their mountain lodge, desperate for leads. Instead, she finds a household full of suspects and even more burning questions. Who keeps threatening her, why can’t she find Jack, and will a dangerous flirtation be her undoing? Her answers plumb the depths of the human heart, including her own, exploring long-buried secrets, family lies, even city politics—all of which could cost the young detective her fledgling love . . . and perhaps even her life. 
Tyndale House Publishing, February, 2023
Available in digital ebook, hardcover, paperback, and audiobook:

Friday, March 10, 2023

AUTHENTICALLY IZZY by Pepper Basham, Reviewed by Trixi Oberembt

"It is delightful when your imaginations come true, isn’t it?” -Anne of Green Gables.

How in the world does Pepper do it? How does she make me fall head over heels in love with her writing when I'm already in love with her writing?? Oh my word, this book is just all that! Another one to add to my top favorite reads of 2023.

I just can't even form words good enough to describe this story. It's as if the pages absorbed me completely, making the world of make believe into a world that was so real and vivid. Izzy is the sister of my heart; she's one that I immediately wanted to hug and hang out with at the local coffee shop (if she even wanted to leave her house or books, that is!). She's the kind of person I wanted to draw out of her shell because there's so much personality just waiting to be discovered. Oh! Her back-story is heart-wrenching and explains why she's so closed off. My heart bled for all she's been through! I love her character growth the most; it's as if her real self was bursting at the seams to be made known. She just needed the right person to bring it out. Definitely my favorite character.

Brodie...our near perfect hero of this story. He's an avid book nerd like Izzy; he's the kind of hero I picture in my mind. Basham made him real to me; he's quirky without being dorky (make sense?), has a killer accent to make any woman swoon, and is an all around good guy. He is just the right kind of guy for Izzy. I love him for how he draws Izzy out of her shell and makes her see her worth and the potential she's hidden within her. Yeah, I admit I hate "perfect" heroes in stories, but Basham made him SO much more; he readily admits his failures and mistakes and makes no excuse for them. And to me, that makes him all the more human--flaws and all. I'd hug him if he was real! He and Izzy are magical together.

Izzy's cousin Josie (Josephine as she wishes to be called) was an irritant....loving, yes, but one I wanted to smack more times than not...lol! I felt she held Izzy back on so many levels, yet at the same time, was the voice of reason and caution. I'm not sure how to feel about her really, but she did grow on me a bit by the end.

I also love the humor, wit and hilarious banter between characters. Basham is one of those kind of writers that induce belly laughs and guffaws galore! I love everything (even irritating Josie) about this book. Basham needs to write more Rom-com in my opinion because she's so, so good at it. Throw in faith and you got yourself a doozy of a story! Highly (and I DO mean highly) recommend this to anyone who loves books as much as I do!




BackCover Blurb:

Dear Reader, My name is Isabelle Louisa Edgewood—Izzy, for short. I live by blue-tinted mountains, where I find contentment in fresh air and books. Oh, and coffee and tea, of course. And occasionally in being accosted by the love of my family. (You’ll understand my verb choice in the phrase later.) I dream of opening my own bookstore, but my life, particularly my romantic history, has not been the stuff of fairy tales. Which is probably why my pregnant, misled, matchmaking cousin—who, really, is more like my sister—signed me up for an online dating community.

The trouble is . . . it worked. I’ve met my book-quoting Mr. Right, and our correspondence has been almost too good to be true. But Brodie lives across an ocean. And just the other day, a perfectly nice author and professor named Eli came into the library where I work and asked me out for a coffee. I feel a rom-com movie with a foreboding disaster nipping at my heels.

But I’ve played it safe for a long time. Maybe it’s time for me to be as brave as my favorite literary heroines. Maybe it’s time to take the adventures from the page to real life. Wish me luck.



  • Witty, hilarious, and heartwarming contemporary romance about book lovers
  • A sweet, kisses-only romance
  • An epistolary novel written mostly in emails and texts
  • Stand-alone novel
Thomas Nelson Publishing, November 15, 2022
Available in digital ebook, paperback, library binding, and audiobook:



Thursday, March 9, 2023

SOLID AS STEELE by Susan Sleeman, Reviewed by Rebecca Maney

" . . . he looked like he'd traveled a distance on foot, reached her porch, and dropped. . .  Was he dead? . . .  Her coffee was only starting to brew. How could a girl think after only four hours of sleep and no java?"

And this was how Mackenzie Steele's vacation was going to begin? With an injured man passed out on the porch of her rental, deep in the middle of nowhere Oregon? Apparently so. Stranger still, when said man does rouse, he cannot remember anything that happened to him (his injuries were many) or even who he is. Not a great combination.

Calling in an experienced tracker, Mackenzie and the man who seems to think his name may be Owen, form a team of three to begin re-tracing Owen's trail to her front door. Unfortunately, they locate disturbing evidence proving something terrible had taken place, more than likely shocking Owen's psyche to the core. Now all they have to do is to put the pieces of the puzzle back together again. Much easier said than done.
Wonderful plotting! This story is a tangled web of theories and suppositions that place Mackenzie and Owen in a wicked bulls-eye of criminal activity. They hesitate for many reasons to acknowledge their growing personal attraction, (don't give up on them, though) especially as Owen struggles with all the "whys" of his life, allowing Mackenzie's deep faith to steady them both while passing along some proverbial advice.

"When I'm troubled about something I try to remember the problem isn't forever. That things will change . . . Maybe not get better but change. . . I say to myself that I'm upset for now. Adding the 'for now' . . . helps me remember it's temporary. . . Maybe instead of asking God why, ask Him to help you accept and deal with the problem." 
*I purchased this book and was under no obligation to provide a positive review.3.5 stars
Backcover Blurb:

He lost his memory…
Mackenzie Steele has been instrumental in keeping Steele Guardians afloat, working long hours for months. Nearing burnout, her family encourages her to take a vacation, and she reluctantly agrees. She needs solitude and quiet, and a vacation rental home in the Oregon desert is just the ticket. But she’s no sooner unpacked her bags when a man lands on her doorstep. A man who can’t remember his identity or why he’s there. All they know is that the name Owen seems familiar to him.

But will finding it bring a killer to her doorstep.
Mackenzie shouldn’t trust this man, but something about his earnestness draws her to him, and she agrees to help him determine his identity. When her rental home is bombarded with bullets, she knows she’s accepted a task that could turn deadly, and she should walk away. But by this time, her deepening connection with the stranger keeps her firmly rooted at his side, and she can only pray that she won’t regret her potentially life-altering decision.

Edge of Your Seat Books, February 2023
Available in digital ebook, paperback, and audiobook:

Tuesday, March 7, 2023

CODE NAME EDELWEISS by Stephanie Landsem, Reviewed by Paula Shreckhise #ReleaseDay

A fascinating story based on real events, this is a thought provoking look into what was going on in Los Angeles in 1933. It was a peek into the motives and manipulations of the infiltration of National Socialism that played on the sympathies and proud heritage of German Americans.

Ms. Landsem proficiently crafts Leisl and Wilhelm who seek what is right and end up being spies working to take down factions that are set on ridding the country of Jews. They are complex characters who have to play a dangerous game. They question their actions at times but are reminded that: *Silence is oppressive in itself* and *If not me, who? If not now, when?*

Not only are there tense moments and perilous situations, there are family concerns and soul searching about being a true friend. Throughout the story is a blossoming romance and learning the true character of those close to them and that actions have consequences sometimes to those they hold dear.

There is an underlying faith thread and the characters grapple with spiritual questions and grow into a more solid faith.
*I won this book from Library Thing. I was not required to post a favorable review. All opinions are my own.*5 stars and an underlying faith thread

BackCover Blurb:
“What I am looking for—what I desperately need, Mrs. Weiss—is a spy.”

Adolf Hitler is still a distant rumble on the horizon, but a Jewish spymaster and his courageous spies uncover a storm of Nazi terror in their own backyard.

In the summer of 1933, a man named Adolf Hitler is the new and powerful anti-Semitic chancellor of Germany. But in Los Angeles, no-nonsense secretary Liesl Weiss has concerns much closer to home. The Great Depression is tightening its grip and Liesl is the sole supporter of two children, an opinionated mother, and a troubled brother.

Leon Lewis is a Jewish lawyer who has watched Adolf Hitler’s rise to power—and the increase in anti-Semitism in America—with growing alarm. He believes Nazi agents are working to seize control of Hollywood, the greatest propaganda machine the world has ever known. The trouble is, authorities scoff at his dire warnings.

When Liesl loses her job at MGM, her only choice is to work with Leon Lewis and the mysterious Agent Thirteen to spy on her friends and neighbors in her German American community. What Leon Lewis and his spies find is more chilling—and more dangerous—than any of them suspected.

Code Name Edelweiss is based on a true story, unknown until recent years: How a lone Jewish lawyer and a handful of amateur spies discovered and foiled Adolf Hitler’s plan to take over Hollywood.

Tyndale House Publishing, March7, 2023
Available in digital ebook, paperback, hardcover, and audiobook:


UNDER FIRE by Lynn Blackburn, Reviewed by Paula Shreckhise #ReleaseDay

Another quick and absorbing book by Lynn Blackburn. I am always anxious to see what the agents/friends are up to.

After a job change for Zane as security for the President, he is back in Raleigh as part of an advance team because the President will be visiting old school pals at a nearby estate.

Although Zane has kept in close touch with his buddies, it is Tessa he longs to see in person. Tessa is heading up the detail to coordinate everything for the visit, including checking viable threats and vetting the people on the guest list.
The story showcases what is involved with the process and is not short on other perils that pop up to split the concentration of the team of agents. Tessa and Zane are trying to keep their relationship in the friend zone due to some background issues in each of their lives. But that is not working too well as the danger escalates.

I appreciate the bonds created by the team and how they look out for each other, especially how they pray for God’s guidance and protection. The teasing and good natured meddling makes them seem like a big family.

The ending hints at new cases to come in a new setting. I can hardly wait.
*A complimentary copy of this book was provided by Revell through Interviews and Reviews and Revell Reads. I was not required to post a favorable review. All opinions are my own.*5 stars and a strong faith thread 

BackCover Blurb:
USSS Special Agent Zane Thacker has landed his dream assignment protecting the president of the United States. When the president plans a fundraiser at the exclusive estate of a political supporter in Raleigh, Zane is thrilled to be working again with Special Agent Tessa Reed, his best friend--and the woman he desperately wishes could be more.

Though Tessa almost lost everything, she battled her demons and came out on the other side healthy and healed. But when her role as the liaison between the Raleigh office and the president's protective detail wrenches her past back into the present, her greatest failure threatens to come to light.

Zane refuses to let Tessa go through this alone. But can he stand by the woman he loves and protect the president from a mounting threat at the same time?

Sparks fly as award-winning romantic suspense writer Lynn H. Blackburn closes out her Defend and Protect series with this explosive tale of secrets kept, lies exposed, and relationships restored.
Revell Publishing, March 7, 2023
Available in digital and paperback

Saturday, March 4, 2023

FALLING FOR THE COWGIRL by Jody Hedlund, Reviewed by Rebecca Maney

Colorado Cowboys #4
See Reviews for Colorado Cowboys #5 The Last Chance Cowboy

"Jericho might like town, where he won't be tempted to butt into other people's business."

"Actually I like butting into other people's business, especially when they're involved in deception."

Well now . . . it's game on! Jericho Bliss and Ivy McQuaid have a history of conversational sparring, sometimes friendly, sometimes . . . not. Little did Jericho know he had broken Ivy's young heart when he left Colorado years prior and Ivy has no inkling why he has suddenly re-appeared, but it had not taken the big, handsome, stubborn cowboy very long to see through her disguise. He had to keep her secret! He just had to!

Jericho Bliss took a risk coming back to South Park, Colorado. His friends have no clue that he is on official business as an undercover Pinkerton agent, hunting a dangerous war criminal whose trail led him to this very spot. Ivy had always been a handful, but as a full grown gorgeous woman, she spelled danger (in all caps) to his assignment. He will not compromise her safety; plus, those brothers of hers would kill him if he did.

"The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord .. . Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the Lord upholdeth him with his hand."
What a romantic, borderline passionate, western this turned out to be! Ivy and Jericho might have taken the rockiest road possible towards happily -ever-after, (it sure was an entertaining one) but who would have thought that Jericho's roping skills would be just what he needed?!

*I purchased a copy and was under no obligation to provide a positive review. 3.5 stars

BackCover Blurb:

Years ago, he shattered her heart. Now she must trust him with her life.

As the only girl in her family, and with four older brothers, Ivy McQuaid can rope and ride with the roughest of ranchers. She's ready to have what she's always longed for--a home of her own. She's set her heart on a parcel of land south of Fairplay and is saving for it with her winnings from the cowhand competitions she sneaks into--but her dream is put in jeopardy when the man she once loved reappears in her life.

After two years away, Jericho Bliss is back in South Park as an undercover Pinkerton agent searching for a war criminal. He has no intention of involving a woman in the dangerous life he leads, but one look at Ivy is all it takes for him to question the path he's set out for himself.

Even though Jericho tries to resist his longtime attraction to the beautiful and vivacious Ivy, he finds himself falling hard and fast for her. In the process, his worst fear comes true--he puts her smack-dab in the middle of danger. With Ivy's life in the balance, will Jericho give her up once again, or will he find a way back to her, this time forever?

Bethany House Publishing, October, 2022
Available in digital ebook, paperback, hardcover, and audiobook:


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