Tuesday, March 26, 2024

THE LADY WITH THE DARK HAIR by Erin Bartels, Reviewed by Paula and Rebecca #ReleaseDay

(Dual Time Contemporary and Historical Fiction about Artists and Identity)

"Maybe painting won't fill the empty places inside of me . . . Probably it won't. But surely it can make them more beautiful."

Viviana Torrens has been on the run, having lived a life in two dimensions already, incredibly and quietly existing in a third . . . one that will change the course of her young life forever . . . after the master of the French household where she is serving as a scullery maid, by strange coincidence, teaches her to paint. She's quite good, thus catching the eye of a traveling Gilbraltarian merchant, Francisco Vella, who travels the world acquiring and selling pigments to a wide array of artists. While Vella might be Viviana's ticket to freedom when danger calls, he's certainly not her savior, even though history confuses their story altogether.

"She was ordinary. Utterly ordinary in every way. Just a middle-aged woman taking care of her mentally ill mother. Alone."

Esther Markstrom's life has revolved around maintaining her family's ancestral ties to modestly acclaimed painter Francisco Vella; their small privately owned museum and gallery highlighting Vella's work provides her with a minimal source of income and perpetuates family pride. When Esther's former art history professor's visit raises some interesting questions, curiosity leads her to wonder even more about the identity represented on the canvas of the beautiful family heirloom painting titled, "The Lady with the Dark Hair". What will it require of Esther to seek those answers?

Two women. Centuries apart. Separated by continents. Sharing one goal. To discover their true identities.

A fascinating time-split written by an author who consistently writes unique stories with layers upon layers of starts and stops, her characters merging and diverging upon the page, much like the brushstrokes on the incredible portrait.
•I received a copy of this book from Baker Publishing through Interviews and Reviews. The opinions stated above are entirely my own.

An intriguing story in dual time. 
I especially connected with the present when Esther goes to a flea market and antique shops . It reminds me of attending shows, flea markets and auctions with my mother who was an antique dealer.

The past timeline was rich in descriptions of an artist, his muse and the techniques of painting.

The connector was a painting titled The Lady With the Dark Hair by Francisco Vella. Family tradition says that Vella was an ancestor of Esther Markstrom through her mother who is also an artist. Esther has built her career around the painter by opening a gallery under the Vella-Markstrom names. She has a degree in art and has researched her subject well but still has things to discover as another painting surfaces.

The 1879 period recounts Viviana Torrens, her unique background and how she happened to accompany Vella on a world trip to acquire pigments which he sold to artists. This takes place during the Impressionist movement (one of my favorite artists is Monet) and Mary Cassatt makes an appearance.

This was an utterly fascinating story told in a winsome way.
*I won complimentary copy of this book from Library Thing through Revell and I also acquired a digital copy from NetGalley. I was not required to post a favorable review. All opinions are mine alone.*5 stars and a clean read

BackCover Blurb:
Esther Markstrom and her artist mother have always been proud of their ancestor, painter Francisco Vella. They even run a small museum and gallery dedicated to raising awareness of his scandalously underappreciated work. But when Esther reconnects with her former art history professor, she finds her once-solid family history on shaky ground as questions arise about Vella's greatest work--a portrait entitled The Lady with the Dark Hair.

In 1879, Catalan orphan-turned-fugitive Viviana Torrens has found sanctuary serving in the home of an aging artist in Southern France. It is in his studio that she meets Francisco Vella, a Gibraltarian merchant who sells artists' pigments. When her past catches up to her, she is compelled to pose as Vella's sister and join him on his travels or be deported back to Spain to stand trial. Along the way she will discover that the many parts she has been playing in order to hide her identity have far-reaching implications she never could have foreseen.

This dual-timeline story from award-winning author Erin Bartels takes readers from the sleepy Midwest to the sultry Mediterranean on a relentless search for truth, identity, and the freedom to follow one's dreams.

Revell Publishing, March, 2024
Available in digital ebook, paperback, hardcover, and audiobook:

TRACKING THE TRUTH by Dana Mentink, Reviewed by Kim #ReleaseDay

(Security Hounds Investigations Book 1)

Tracking the Truth is the first in the new Security Hounds series by Dana Mentink. As you may have guessed by the title, there are bloodhounds! Wally is the star of this story. He is the cutest with his pacifier fetish! Lol. He also tends to have a mind of his own, but he kicks in just when we really need him too!

This story starts with some major action that I was totally not expecting! That scene reunites our two main characters, Roman and Emery, who haven’t seen each other since Emery’s sister and father got themselves into a mess. I enjoyed trying to figure out just what happened and who did it in this story. I accused everyone at some point. I was also completely wrong! Lol. I liked how Roman and Emery slowly developed their relationship and how she taught Roman, through example, some things he really needed to learn. The faith message in this story is about unconditional love.

If you enjoy dogs, especially bloodhounds with quirky personalities, and a “keep you guessing” mystery, this is a story you’ll want to pick up!
*I received a complimentary copy of this book. All opinions are my own. 4 stars! 
BackCover Blurb:
To expose a suspect, he needs evidence…

and a K-9’s instincts.

After Emery Duncan is abducted and dumped in a lake, private investigator Roman Wolfe and his bloodhound partner rescue her from an icy death. Someone doesn’t want Emery to find out what really happened the night her father confessed to attempted murder. To keep Emery and her baby nephew safe, they must uncover the connection between her father’s confession and the attack…or they’ll be silenced for good.

From Love Inspired Suspense: Courage. Danger. Faith.
Security Hounds Investigations
Book 1: Tracking the Truth

Love Inspired Suspense, March 2024
Available in digital ebook, paperbacks, and audiobook:
Buy TRACKING THE TRUTH at Amazon or Christianbook .com

Monday, March 25, 2024

MEMORY LANE and (new release) ROCKY ROAD by Becky Wade, Reviewed by Rebecca Maney

MEMORY LANE (Sons of Scandal #1) 2023
"God has a soft spot for those of us who feel like we've been thrown on the garage sale pile . . . He's never closer to us than when we've been beaten up, unloved, betrayed."

"The day that Remy Victoria Reed fished a drowning man from the Atlantic Ocean began in the most ordinary way." However, she would have to admit that this particular specimen of the male species was anything but "ordinary", nonetheless he was very beaten, battered, and incoherent after taking an unexpected swim . . . barely surviving what he could not recall. There was no other choice, Remy and her friend Leigh dragged him into Remy's modest cottage on a remote island off the coast of Maine and let him come back to life . . . one day at a time. And named him Jonah.

"Jonah" had quite a life, actually. A very high-profile, famous, extremely wealthy member of an elite family kind of life. While literally stripped down to the clothes on his back and the watch on his wrist, he began to bask in the careful attention shown by the lovely, quirky, always-driving-a-hard-bargain, drinking-store-bought-coffee woodcarver who had not only pulled him out of the ocean but who began filling in the empty spaces around his heart that were easy to miss while always driving in the fast lane. They both knew that his past and present would eventually merge, but when and how?

Now that's a story!
"I've lost my whole world and gained it back again. The most important thing to me out of all of it - everything I've lost and everything I've gained - is you."

. . . with quite an ending!

With its deeply layered characters, traumas, disappointments, lingering questions, complicated family dynamics, minor characters who played major roles, and hopeful moments (because "prioritizing safety and independence over love" wasn't always the right response) . . . yes, please! More, please!
*I purchased this book and was under no obligation to provide a positive review. 4.5 stars


ROCKY ROAD (Sons of Scandal #2) 2024
"To be the object of this particular man's time and focus was a little . . . dazzling."

Despite the fact that "this particular man" who was proposing to "pose" as Gemma Clare's boyfriend was in clear and handsome reality an F. B. I. agent. . . working her into a case against her own cousin . . . who deserved it, by the way . . . but that wasn't the only thing . . . it was who he REALLY was that was a bit dazzling. "Imagine her, Gemma Clare, being in on that secret-ish information. Like Lois Lane knowing Clark Kent was Superman . . ". She was just a simple perfumer, minding her own little business, smelling the world all around her, when Mr. with-nary-a-wrinkle Jude Camden entered her domain. (and wasn't that just the craziest little episode, how embarrassing!)

"Operation Scent-sible . . . the title his superiors had given the investigation into Cedric. His keyboard clicked as he added to his notes about Gemma. Thinking of her reminded him how mortified she'd looked when the bath gel had hit him in the face . . . He'd been breathing in the scent of that gel ever since."

Under no circumstances should Jude Camden be thinking overly much about Gemma Clare. Pure and simple, she was a cooperating witness in an undercover operation. It was not only totally against bureau rules to become personally involved, it could compromise the entire case by adding a layer of emotional attachment that could prove dangerous for everyone involved, including Gemma. Jude was a rule follower. End of story.

"I begged and begged God to get my mom through the stroke. He did, of course. But an unexpected thing happened . . . He graciously carried me . . . He was and is my source of strength. We became pretty close, God and me . . . Does the fact that I am a Christian surprise you?"

One of the finest love-at-first-smell, fake boyfriend tropes that I have ever read!
*I purchased a copy and was under no obligation to provide a positive review.


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!


 FBI Agent Jude Camden handles every aspect of his job with by-the-book professionalism. There's no reason why his latest assignment—which calls for him to pose as the boyfriend of perfumer Gemma Clare—should be any different.

Gemma is different. She's creative, bold, and feisty. And as soon as she meets Jude, she wants to loosen him up, wrinkle his perfect shirts, and test every ounce of his towering self-control.

The FBI has an iron-clad rule against romances between those working together on operations. Jude's never met a rule he didn't respect. But adhering to this one is going to be tough because, as time goes by, he finds Gemma more and more irresistible.

Buckle up! It's going to be a rocky road.

Escape to Maine for this swoon-worthy "fake romance"! Banter, humor, perfume, and a mystery from the past intertwine in this sweet Sons of Scandal love story.


Buy Memory Lane and Rocky Road at Amazon in digital ebook, paperback, or audiobook.



Friday, March 22, 2024

DYSFUNCTION JUNCTION by Robin W. Pearson, Reviewed by Rebecca Maney

"Don't y'all get tired of all this rigamarole about what a terrible mother we had?"

Rehashing their convoluted childhood was exhausting, especially for Frances Mae, the oldest of the three Winters girls, now the mother of four, who "was quite weary of serving as the point of intersection for their two lines; Charlotte and Annabelle always seemed to be headed in opposite, equally dysfunctional, directions". The thing was, after years apart they were back together again, sort of, and the sweet woman who had "mothered" them far more than their biological namesake was asking them to make a decision that would affect their lives going forward, if they could stop arguing long enough to have an honest conversation about it.

Splitting her delivery between "then" and "now", the author takes her readers along on a painful journey through the childhood memories of three young women who had managed to survive their childhood, but who each carried some version of emotional scars, bitter feelings, and perhaps slightly skewed recollections of what had actually happened. How could they love when they had never felt loved? How could they remain in one place when all they had wanted to do was run away? How could God . . . "use all the hardship, all the lack, all the pain . . . for our good".

"He remains our Abba Father even when our earthly fathers and mothers abandon us, die, move away, or plain don't care."

A very thoughtful, inspirational reminder that the journey forward can look totally different from the tangled path we must often leave behind.
*I purchased this book and was under no obligation to provide a positive review. 3.5 stars

BackCover Blurb:
When three women receive an unexpected phone call that leaves them reeling, they have no other choice but to reckon with a lifetime of memories they’ve long tried to bury. Only in facing the past will they find their path forward.

Frances Mae Livingston’s firm grip of her family’s destructive history makes her hold her husband and four children even closer. But she’s losing bits of herself while proving to everybody and her mama that she’s enough. There’s no way she’ll repeat her mama’s mistakes, even if it kills her.

Annabelle McMillan didn’t have trouble kicking the Eastern North Carolina dust off her feet. The tough part was replanting herself in familiar soil. Now she’s blending her old life with her new husband, stepson, and unborn child. And battling old memories of abandonment and new fears of rejection.

Dr. Charlotte Winters has built a career around helping others sort through their emotional baggage. She’s also spent a lifetime refusing to unpack her own. So what if Charlotte doesn’t recall all that her mama did to her and what her daddy didn't do for her? Her only mission is to help others help themselves…until the women from her past and the man in her future undo her well-sewn life.

At the junction of healed and hurting, broken and whole, and past and present, three women wrestle with their inability to forgive and forget in this riveting Southern family drama about sisterhood from award-winning author Robin W. Pearson.

-Southern family saga
-Discussion questions for book groups
-For fans of Black authors like Patricia Raybon, Toni Shiloh, and Brit Bennett

Tyndale House Publishing, February, 2024
Available in digital ebook, paperback, hardcover, and audiobook:



Thursday, March 21, 2024



The Tangled Tale of the Woolgathering Castoffs 
 - Sharon Mondragon

"Father God, we ask you to remember all those who have loved ones who do not remember them. In the embrace of these shawls, may they be strengthened, encouraged, loved and known." Amen.

Rose Harker wonders if her knitting skills might provide a means of developing meaningful friendships a little closer to home. While she loves being a member of her church's Heavenly Hugs Prayer Shawl ministry, perhaps there were those at the Fair Meadows Retirement Community where she lives who might might benefit from the companionship that knitting (and praying, especially praying!) provided.

And so . . . she bravely takes her knitting public, assembling a small group with a common purpose, who soon realize that not only could "The Woolgatherers" (of course they had quite a heated contest to name the group) benefit from their common bond, but through prayer and observation they had the potential to bless the lives of a unique group of visitors who needed "a heavenly hug" more than most, for their beloved family members resided in the memory care unit.

What they discover in the process is rather life-changing! And in one instance, life-saving!

A fabulous continuation of the God "nudges" from the now infamous Prayer Chapel!
*I purchased a copy and was under no obligation to provide a positive review. 4.5 stars


A humorous, heartwarming tale of love, loss, and the power of community

Fair Meadows Retirement Community might as well be a country club for most of the retirees enjoying the pool, golf course, and book clubs. But for the caregivers whose family members reside upstairs in the special Memory Care Unit, vacation is over.

Comforting these caregivers is exactly why the Woolgatherers group has formed. They make prayer shawls to support those affected by the heartbreaking reality of not being recognized by a loved one-people like Sam Talbot, who has been barely existing since his wife moved into Memory Care. He finds that his life has lost all color and meaning without her.

That's something the Woolgatherers can't bear to see. Flirtatious Jenny Alderman, cranky crocheter Edna O'Brian, kind Rose Harker, and the rest of the prayer shawl group weave him into the circle. Sam has no idea how he got tangled up with them, and he's no good at knitting. But when one member talks him into taking up his wife's old crochet hooks, he discovers that this one small gesture might just have the power to heal his life--or even save it.

Full of Sharon Mondragon's characteristic humor and heart, this book wrestles with the loneliness of being the forgotten spouse of a dementia patient, moving past the fear that the spouses often face into the love and compassion that can make all the difference. 
Kregel Publishing, January, 2024
Available in digital ebook, paperback, and library binding

And From Kregel Publishing, 2021, Don't miss...

The Unlikely Yarn of the Dragon Lady 
- Sharon Mondragon

"Made with love and prayer by the Heavenly Hugs Prayer Shawl Ministry . . . You are not alone."

Such a comforting sentiment, tagged onto each beautifully designed prayer shawl. The four women of the Hope of Glory Community Church congregation who were faithful members of the ministry enjoyed a certain rhythm and routine as they met each week in the church's Prayer Chapel to knit and of course . . . pray. Unbeknownst to them on one fateful November morning, their local rector was poised to push his proverbial birds out of the nest and into the community while the chapel received a fresh coat of paint . . . meanwhile the regional bishop was considering whether or not Hope of Glory was even alive enough to survive.

When the foursome decides (one most begrudgingly) to move their ministry to a local shopping mall, they cause quite a surprising stir among shoppers and store employees alike. Soon simple prayer requests, written on napkins, form a pile each week on the table in the alcove where they gather to knit. Remarkably some of those requests materialize into persons, and the adventure that follows is nothing short of . . . an answer to prayer.

Prayer is a curious thing, does it change the petitioner or the receiver . . . or both?! This delightful story with its unique, colorful characters demonstrates so many things about the way a church is meant to operate largely outside of its walls, for it seems that Pete McIlhaney's "Father Knows Best" t-shirt was right all along.

* I purchased a copy and was under no obligation to provide a positive review. 4.5 stars

of The Unlikely Yarn of the Dragon Lady

BackCover Blurb of The Unlikely Yarn of the Dragon Lady:

A knitting group’s change of scenery changes lives in unexpected ways

Margaret, Rose, Jane, and Fran had a good thing going: meet every week in the quiet of their peaceful chapel and knit prayer shawls. No muss, just ministry. That is, until their pastor boots them out of the church in his last-ditch effort to revive the dwindling congregation.

Uptight Margaret isn’t having it. Knitting prayer shawls where people can watch is the most ridiculous idea she’s ever heard of, and she’s heard plenty. Prayer belongs in the church, not out among the heathen masses. How are they supposed to knit holiness into these shawls if they’re constantly distracted by the public? But with no choice, the others embrace the challenge. They pack their knitting bags and drag Margaret—grumbling the whole way—to the mall with them. She can’t wait to prove them all wrong when it fails miserably, and show the pastor that she always knows best.

Without the familiar mold the group has been stuck in, their own losses, pain, and struggles rise to the surface. And the people and situations they encounter every time they try to sit quietly and knit are taking them a lot further out of their comfort zone than they ever imagined. Can they find the courage to tackle the increasing number of knotty issues they learn about in the community--or will the tangle be too much to unravel?

Sharon J. Mondragon’s debut is warm and delightful, full of real laughter, grief, and personality. It beautifully illustrates the power of women across generations to reach people for Christ.


Kregel Publishing, 2021 Available in digital ebook, paperback, library binding, and audiobook  at Amazon, Christianbook .com, or Baker Book House


Wednesday, March 20, 2024

NEVER FALL AGAIN by Lynn Blackburn, Reviewed by Kim #NewRelease

I absolutely loved everything about this story! It has something for everyone! There’s romance, great banter, close family relationships, a mystery that will keep you guessing, and the most perfect small town feel! Lynn Blackburn has outdone herself! I think this may be my favorite story of hers.

I loved both Landry and Cal! They are so perfect for each other. I loved their chemistry and how their relationship developed. Actually, I really loved all the characters in this story and their banter with each other. And, don’t even get me started on the setting! I want to move to Gossamer Falls and go to the harvest festival! I also loved Cal’s family and want to be included in their group texts! Lol.
Never Fall Again is the first story in the Gossamer Falls series by Lynn Blackburn. After reading this story, I am so looking forward to the rest of the stories in this series!
*I bought and received a complimentary copy of this book. All opinions are my own. The faith thread is light. 5 stars! Highly recommend! 

BackCover Blurb:
Landry Hutton has spent three years rebuilding her life behind the secure gates of The Haven, an exclusive resort on the outskirts of Gossamer Falls, North Carolina. After serving as the artist-in-residence, Landry is finally ready to settle in permanently to give her daughter, Eliza, a safe home in which to grow up.

Former Marine Callum Shaw always knew he would someday join his family's construction business in Gossamer Falls. He longs for a family of his own but has almost given up on that ever happening. The beautiful artist who has hired him to build her new house is funny, gifted, and everything Cal could ever want in a partner, but he vows to keep his distance. He's loved--and lost--someone like her before.

When Landry's pottery is destroyed in a suspicious fire, it becomes clear that Landry and Eliza are in grave danger--but from whom? Cal will have to risk his heart again if he has any hope of protecting them. 

Revell Publishing, March, 2024
Available in digital ebook, paperback, hardcover, and audiobook:


IF THE BOOT FITS by Karen Witemeyer, Reviewed by Winnie Thomas #NewRelease

Texas Ever After #2
(A Christian Historical Western Romance 
Fairy Tale Retelling of Cinderella)

“. . .but memories of Asher’s staunch defense and tender care had her pulse skipping more beats than a one-handed drummer.”

If the Boot Fits is the second in Karen Witemeyer’s Texas Ever After series, and it’s filled with her signature wit, humor, and inspiration. The hero and heroine are delightful and engaging, and the villain is dastardly and despicable. I loved Samantha Dearing and her spunkiness and independence, and Asher’s willingness to fight for right and protect those he loves. I enjoyed seeing their relationship grow and change as they got to know each other. The many twists and turns kept me guessing and turning pages to the end.

This tale is full of action, suspense, inspiration, and wit, with enough romance to satisfy the fussiest of readers. It illustrates perfectly why this talented author is one of my favorites. 

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

See Paula's Review

BackCover Blurb:
One fateful night will change their destinies forever. . . .

Convinced that his stepmother and half brothers have been wrongfully evicted by cattle king Eli Dearing, Asher Ellis uses the cover of an extravagant ball to break into the Three Cedars' ranch house to search for proof. On the verge of discovery, he flees, but a boy's cry compels him to make a daring rescue.

Spunky and independent Samantha Dearing balks when she learns the ball her father is hosting is nothing more than a matrimonial ambush. Taking a break from unwanted suitors, Samantha spots a thief fleeing her home. When the stranger ends up saving her brother's life, she hides the only clue to his identity left behind--his boot--and resolves to find him herself.

When Samantha encounters the older brother of a student she tutors, all thoughts of the bootless mystery man vanish. Asher values family above wealth, a rare trait that opens her heart. Afraid she will discover his past misconduct, Asher tries to keep his distance, but when a series of suspicious accidents befall her, he vows to protect her, even though saving her life could mean losing her love.

Bethany House Publishing, March, 2024
Available in digital ebook, paperback, hardcover, and audiobook:


Tuesday, March 19, 2024

A NOBLE SCHEME by Roseanna M. White, Reviewed by Winnie and Paula #ReleaseDay

(The Imposters Book #2): 
(An English Historical Romance with Mystery and Glamor)

Roseanna M. White is a talented author with a vivid, creative imagination, and I thoroughly love The Imposters team she has dreamed up. A Noble Scheme is the second in the series, and it’s best to read them in order to get all the backstory and fully appreciate the characters.

“She had learned too well that anger, rage, bitterness, and hatred didn’t ever fill you. They emptied you. Emptied you of life and goodness and the ability to love. And that emptiness left no room for anything else, even the sweet memories.”

This is a beautiful story of redemption, forgiveness, and hope. It’s the tale of Gemma Parks and Graham Wharton, once the closest of friends but now estranged. I loved these characters and their struggles and growth as they are thrown together to help solve the case of a missing boy. The author is a pro at dreaming up fascinating and engaging characters and plopping them in intriguing situations with plenty of twists and turns.

This story is filled with suspense, inspiration, romance, and both laughter and tears. The gorgeous cover was enough to make me want to read it, and having read the first book in the series, A Beautiful Disguise, whetted my appetite for more about The Imposters. I’m looking forward to the next book in the series.

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

Big questions and doubts haunt Gemma Parks and Graham Wharton since tragedy struck a year ago. What worse time to dredge up sorrow than at Christmastime. We finally see what has kept two of The Imposters at odds. A new case has them going incognito again to catch a kidnapper. The son of an influential but unscrupulous businessman is held for ransom and the team must use their expertise to find Horace before it is too late.

It was fun to see the team dress up to go undercover but Gemma hides her feelings just as sure as she dons a costume for her role and does all she can to avoid Graham. Their personal soul searching has them re-evaluating the role God plays in their lives and they learn to trust Him I liked Graham and his analytical architect brain.

The case was a complex one that was hard to figure out. The story was a bit more somber than the last book but equally as intriguing, absorbing, full of danger, forgiveness and second chances. I look forward to book three and the next case for The Imposters.
*I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House on behalf of the author and a NetGalley copy. I was not required to post a favorable review. All opinions are mine alone.*5 stars and a solid faith thread

BackCover Blurb:
In the opulent and perilous world of high society's most elite--and most dangerous--families, two investigators must set aside their broken hearts to uncover the truth.

Gemma Parks is known to the London elite as G. M. Parker, a columnist renowned for her commentary on the cream of society. Behind the scenes, she uses her talents to aid the Imposters in their investigations by gathering intel at events and providing alibis for the firm's members through her columns. Yet her clandestine work would be more exhilarating if it weren't for the constant presence of the gentleman who broke her heart.

Graham Wharton has never had eyes for anyone but Gemma, and she left his heart in tatters when she walked away from him. When the Imposters take on a new job to recover a kidnapped boy mistaken for his aristocratic cousin, Graham is determined to use the time with Gemma to not only restore the missing boy, but to also win back the only woman he's ever loved. As they trace the clues laid out before them, Graham and Gemma must devise a noble scheme to save the boy's life and heal their hearts.

Bethany House Publishing, March 15, 2024
Available in digital ebook, paperback, hardcover, and audiobook:


Saturday, March 16, 2024

NEVER FALL AGAIN by Lynn H. Blackburn, Reviewed and Tour hosted by Paula Shreckhise #PartnersInCrimeTour


Never Fall Again

by Lynn H Blackburn

March 4-29, 2024 Virtual Book Tour


Never Fall Again by Lynn H Blackburn

Landry Hutton has spent three years rebuilding her life behind the secure gates of The Haven, an exclusive resort on the outskirts of Gossamer Falls, North Carolina. As the artist-in-residence, and with her pottery prized by The Haven's guests, Landry is finally ready to settle in permanently. She wants to give her daughter, Eliza, a safe home to grow up in and hires former Marine Callum Shaw to handle the construction.

Cal grew up in Gossamer Falls and always knew he would someday join his family's business. He longs for a family of his own but has almost given up on that ever happening. Landry is funny, gifted, and everything Cal could ever want in a partner, but he vows to keep his distance. Landry has a daughter and a past. Cal has been down that road before and barely survived when the woman he loved left, taking her two sons with her. He can't bear to lose like that again.

Before construction on the house can begin, Landry's pottery is destroyed in a suspicious fire. It soon becomes clear that Landry and Eliza are in grave danger--but because of whom? But, after losing one relationship, he is hesitant to try again.

Praise for Never Fall Again:

"What a fabulous story with characters who will live in your head--and heart--long after the last word."
~ Lynette Eason, award-winning, bestselling author of the Lake City Heroes series

"Lynn Blackburn's voice is unrivaled! A must-read."
~ Elizabeth Goddard, bestselling author of Cold Light of Day

"This book had it all--a delicious romance, obsession, found family, redemption and reconciliation, edge-of-your-seat suspense, and the kind of ending we all root for!"
~ Susan May Warren, USA Today bestselling and RITA Award-winning author

Book Details:

Genre: Romantic Suspense
Published by: Revell
Publication Date: March 12, 2024
Number of Pages: 352
ISBN: 9780800745363 (ISBN10: 0800745361)
Series: Gossamer Falls, Book 1
Book Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | BookShop.org | Goodreads | Baker Book House

Read an excerpt:

They passed several offices before they reached an open door.

“Maisy. Stay.” That same deep voice from the intercom floated to the hallway.

“Oooh! A dog!” Eliza dashed into the room.

Her little sprite was fast and already halfway across the office before Landry realized what was happening. “Eliza, wait!” Fortunately, she stopped at Landry’s words.

“I know, Mommy. Never touch a dog without permission. I just want to see.”

Eliza turned her big brown eyes toward the man who had come around his desk and knelt beside a dog now quivering with excitement.

The man—Callum Shaw, she assumed—met her daughter’s eyes and said, “Your mom’s right. You can’t ever rush at a dog, even dogs as gentle as this big baby. But if it’s okay with your mom . . .”

His eyes, which were as blue as the Carolina sky, now met hers. There was humor and gentleness. And shadows. Something dark flitted across his gaze. But then he blinked and it was gone.

Landry nodded her permission, and he turned all his attention back to her daughter. “This is Maisy. She’s a golden retriever. She’s three years old. She loves long walks in the woods, sunbathing, peanut butter, and belly rubs.” He demonstrated the belly rub. Maisy melted under his touch, and Eliza crept closer. “You can pet her. Maisy doesn’t bite my friends.”

Eliza dropped to her knees beside Callum and held out her hand toward Maisy’s nose.

Maisy took a quick sniff and rewarded Eliza’s good behavior with a lick. Callum stayed where he was until it was clear to everyone that Eliza and Maisy were set, then he rose to his feet and extended a hand. “Ms. Hutton.”

“Landry. Please.”

“Landry. A pleasure.”

Landry kept the contact brief. “Sorry, my hands are rough.” She turned them palms up. “Hazards of the job.”

Why had she said that? What did it matter if her hands were a bit on the crispy side? She didn’t have to prove anything to this man. Embarrassment crept across her and burst through her pores, heating her neck and face, and now she had no idea what to do with her hands. Should she put them down? Tuck them behind her back?

Callum glanced at her hands and turned his own up. “Same here.” He heaved a dramatic sigh. “It’s to my eternal despair that I’ll never land that hand modeling contract I’ve always hoped for.”

His easy humor made it automatic to tease him back. “Well, there’s always ditch digging.”

“Good point. If this construction gig doesn’t work out, I’ll have something to fall back on.” Callum turned his attention to Eliza. “And I gather your name is Eliza?”

She giggled with the abandon unique to happy children. “That’s right, but sometimes Mommy calls me Liza or ZaZa, but never Lizzy because that’s too close to Landry, and it gets confusing.”

Landry tried to keep a straight face as Eliza parroted what she’d heard Landry say too many times to count.

“It’s a pleasure, Ms. Eliza.” Callum pressed a hand to his chest. “I’m Cal Shaw. I’ll answer to Callum, but not LumLum because”— he dropped his voice to a stage whisper—“that’s just not dignified.”

Eliza’s laughter filled the room. Bronwyn hadn’t been wrong about Cal Shaw. He was very good with children. Even now, he kept his attention on Eliza. “Are you good here with Maisy while your mom and I talk?”

“Yes, sir.”

Cal grabbed a legal pad and pen from his desk and took the chair opposite the one he directed Landry to sit in. From their seats, they could both see Eliza and Maisy.

She waited for him to start the conversation, but maybe she was supposed to go first?

“She’s a beau—”


They both stopped talking, and his smile seemed genuine as he nodded to her. “Please. Go ahead.”

“I was going to say your dog is beautiful.” She willed her body to stop flushing scarlet, but it refused to cooperate. She didn’t have to see herself to know that her face, neck, chest, and even her feet were on fire. This was why she did best behind the walls of The Haven. She could interact with the patrons there with minimal difficulty. But put her out in public, and she became a tongue-tied, socially inept disaster.

Cal’s grin held mischief, and he leaned toward her. “If all goes as planned, she’ll be pregnant soon. I bet Eliza would love a puppy for Christmas.” His voice was cajoling and teasing, but at least he had the good sense to keep it too low for Eliza to hear.

He winked in a way that was friendly and not flirtatious, and Landry understood why Bronwyn liked him so much. He leaned back and in a normal voice said, “I gathered from your conversation with Carla that you’re going to build nearby.”

“Yes. I have three acres on the edge of Pierce land.” She watched him carefully as she spoke and was unsurprised when his grip tightened on the pen at her words.

“How long have you lived in Gossamer Falls?”

“Long enough to know the Pierce and Quinn families don’t get along.”


Excerpt from Never Fall Again by Lynn H Blackburn. Copyright 2024 by Lynn H Blackburn. Reproduced with permission from Lynn H Blackburn. All rights reserved.


What a wonderful setting is Gossamer Falls, North Carolina. It is a small town with interwoven families, beautiful scenery and an exclusive resort. I loved the Quinn family and the dynamics of brothers Cal, Conner and Chad Shaw. They are owners of a construction company and the interactions with cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents, where everyone in the small town is so connected could be confusing, but it was so much fun!

Landry Hutton is a potter and art teacher at The Haven resort and is hiding from her past with her 5 year old daughter, Eliza. When a fire and vandalism disrupt her life, ex Marine Cal Shaw steps in and his whole family, including his dog, Maisey, are there to comfort Landry. I like the way Cal is drawn to Landry and wants to protect her. His interaction with Eliza shows he is good Dad material.

This story was very suspenseful and also very romantic. I did not want to put the book down! I look forward to the next book in the series because there are hints at several matchups in the making.
* A complimentary copy of this book was provided by Revell through PICT tours, Interviews and Reviews and Netgalley. I was not required to post a positive review. All opinions are mine alone.* 5 stars and a strong faith thread

Author Bio:

Lynn H Blackburn

Lynn H. Blackburn is the award-winning author of Unknown Threat, Malicious Intent, and Under Fire, as well as the Dive Team Investigations series. She loves writing swoon-worthy Southern suspense because her childhood fantasy was to become a spy, but her grown-up reality is that she's a huge chicken and would have been caught on her first mission. She prefers to live vicariously through her characters by putting them into terrifying situations while she sits at home in her pajamas. She lives in Simpsonville, South Carolina, with her true love, Brian, and their three children.

Catch Up With Our Author:
BookBub - @LynnHBlackburn
Instagram - @lynnhblackburn
Twitter/X - @LynnHBlackburn
Facebook - @LynnHBlackburn



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Thursday, March 14, 2024

ONE LAST SHOT by Susan May Warren, Reviewed by Kim

(Alaska Air One Rescue Book 1)
One Last Shot just may be my favorite Susan May Warren book to date! I enjoyed this story from start to finish. The romance, action, mystery, and faith message were all so well done.

I really enjoyed everything about this story! The romance between Oaken and Boo was perfect! I loved their chemistry. The action had me holding my breath and turning the pages as fast as I could. I enjoyed the mystery and was totally surprised at who the villain was. The faith thread was prominent throughout and felt natural to the story.

This story is full of action, romance and faith that will keep you turning the pages long into the night. You don’t want to miss it. The blurb about book two, One Last Chance, has me hooked already. I can’t wait till it’s out!
*I received a complimentary copy of this story. All opinions are my own. The faith thread is prominent throughout. 5 stars! 

BackCover Blurb:
When country music star Oaken Fox joins survivalist Mike Grizz's new adventure show in the Alaskan wilderness, he just wants to boost his fan base. But when tragedy strikes, and Air One Rescue must save them, Oaken just wants to quit. Too bad his producer has other plans—signing him on with Air One Rescue as a recruit and making a reality show...

EMT Boo Kingston did not join Air One Rescue to train a celebrity. But she's a rookie to the team, so yes, she'll train Oaken and keep him alive and not for a minute pay attention to his charm...

And then five women go missing from a resort during a bachelorette weekend gone south. Now, Air One and the rescue team will have to use all their skills--and manpower, including Oaken--to find them before a blizzard settles in. But can they work together before tragedy strikes?

Alaska Air One Rescue
Book 1: One Last Shot
Book 2: One Last Chance
Book 3: One Last Promise
Book 4: One Last Stand 

March, 2024 Available in digital ebook, hardcover, and paperback.

Wednesday, March 13, 2024

EMBERS IN THE LONDON SKY by Sarah Sundin, Reviewed by Rebecca Maney

"All Aleida had to remember her son was a suitcase full of tiny clothes. And Oli."

As if life couldn't get any harder for Aleida van der Zee Martens while fleeing the Netherlands to escape the German invasion . . . it does. Awakening to discover that her cruel husband had torn their three year old son from her arms and thrust him into the hands of strangers, Aleida suddenly became a widow. Struggling onward to London where she has family close by, Aleida secures a position that will allow her to search for Theo while she helps to promote the evacuation of children out to the countryside. One of the many unexpected blessings comes in the form of a handsome, winsome, resourceful, and extremely kind BBC radio correspondent, Hugh Collingwood.

Hugh Collingwood is on a quest of his own making . . . to prove to his family that being a war correspondent is a calling worthy of the highly respectable Collingwood name. He has gained quite a reputation with his live action reporting, but not everyone wants the kind of censor-free information that Hugh strives to deliver, nor does everyone in London take kindly to the steady flow of refugees into the city. As Hugh and Aleida deepen their companionship, danger and unfortunate disappointment follow along closely. Will there ever be more . . . will they ever be three?
Carefully scripted scenes draw back the curtain on what it would have been like to survive the incessant bombings in London during the German Blitz, the courage it would have taken to report the news fairly and truthfully, the heartache born by the many parents who were separated from their children, and the treachery that undoubtedly pervaded the minds and attitudes of many due to misplaced alliances. And yet rising above it all . . .
" . . . love defeats hatred . . . light conquers darkness . . . life triumphs over death. Love glows in the midst of the flames, and new life - new life stirs amongst the embers."

Another fabulous historical romance by this author  . . . which like Oli, readers will always remember. 

*I purchased this book and was under no obligation to provide a positive review. 4.5 stars

BackCover Blurb:
As the German army invades the Netherlands in 1940, Aleida van der Zee Martens escapes to London to wait out the Occupation. Separated from her three-year-old son, Theo, in the process, the young widow desperately searches for her little boy even as she works for an agency responsible for evacuating children to the countryside.

When German bombs set London ablaze, BBC radio correspondent Hugh Collingwood reports on the Blitz, eager to boost morale while walking the fine line between truth and censorship. But the Germans are not the only ones Londoners have to fear as a series of murders flame up amid the ashes.

The deaths hit close to home for Hugh, and Aleida needs his help to locate her missing son. As they work together, they grow closer and closer, both to each other and the answers they seek. But with bombs falling and continued killings, they may be running out of time. 

Revell Publishing, February, 2024
Available in digital ebook, paperback,hardcover, and audiobook:
Buy EMBERS IN THE LONDON SKY at Amazon, Christianbook .com, or Baker Book House

Tuesday, March 12, 2024

IF THE BOOT FITS by Karen Witemeyer, Reviewed by Paula Shreckhise #ReleaseDay

Texas Ever After #2
(A Christian Historical Western Romance 
Fairy Tale Retelling of Cinderella)

A cute reverse Cinderella story occurs when Asher Ellis loses a boot on Dearing property.

With plenty of excitement and a hero who has everything going for him except wealth, this story captured my interest.
Samantha Dearing is headstrong, opinionated and jumps to conclusions where her father is concerned. But she is determined and is willing to directly confront him.

When danger strikes, Asher comes to the rescue on more than one occasion. He shows his faith by his caring and compassion, asking for forgiveness and taking responsibility for his actions. It is clear that Samantha is a Christian, using scripture to take comfort, admonish and build herself up. She acts out her faith in her good works that could be seen as meddling. A valuable lesson she learns is that God gives her freedom to make choices as long as they do not violate things clearly defined in scripture, such as where to live, who to marry or a vocation.

The words flow effortlessly and tell a rousing story with much valid spiritual wisdom.

I cannot wait for the next installment of Texas Everafter Series.
*I received a complimentary book from Bethany House on behalf of the author. I was not required to post a favorable review. All opinions are mine alone.* 5 stars and a strong faith thread

BackCover Blurb:
One fateful night will change their destinies forever. . . .

Convinced that his stepmother and half brothers have been wrongfully evicted by cattle king Eli Dearing, Asher Ellis uses the cover of an extravagant ball to break into the Three Cedars' ranch house to search for proof. On the verge of discovery, he flees, but a boy's cry compels him to make a daring rescue.

Spunky and independent Samantha Dearing balks when she learns the ball her father is hosting is nothing more than a matrimonial ambush. Taking a break from unwanted suitors, Samantha spots a thief fleeing her home. When the stranger ends up saving her brother's life, she hides the only clue to his identity left behind--his boot--and resolves to find him herself.

When Samantha encounters the older brother of a student she tutors, all thoughts of the bootless mystery man vanish. Asher values family above wealth, a rare trait that opens her heart. Afraid she will discover his past misconduct, Asher tries to keep his distance, but when a series of suspicious accidents befall her, he vows to protect her, even though saving her life could mean losing her love.

Bethany House Publishing, March, 2024
Available in digital ebook, paperback, hardcover, and audiobook:

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