Thursday, September 14, 2017

Crown of Souls by Ronie Kendig

About the Book
Six months after stopping a deadly plague, Cole "Tox" Russell and his team are enjoying a little rest. That peace is short-lived when a sniper shot hits Tox. The enemy is discovered to be one of their own, a rogue Special Forces team operator.
Alec King is perhaps the only person as skilled as Tox, and he's out for justice. Furious with orders that got his men killed, he intends to make those responsible pay. And he insists Tox join him, believing they are the same breed of soldier.

Afraid his old friend is right, Tox battles a growing darkness within himself as he and his team engage in another deadly encounter with antiquity. It appears Alec is cheating--he's using a mysterious artifact, a crown that history has linked to some of the worst slaughters in humanity. Racing to stop Alec before his vengeance is unleashed, Tox must fight the monster without becoming one.

My Thoughts
Oh where to even begin?! Everything Ronie writes is astoundingly amazing and Crown of Souls was no exception! From the opening line you are drawn into the heart-pounding, non-stop action. Even though this book is 480 pages long the pages flew by and made me lose track of time because I was so caught up in the story. I fell in love with Tox, his team, and Haven in the first book of this series and this one just cemented that affection. I admired Tox's determination and focus in everything he did. He had dealt with quite a lot in his life and the fact that he didn't let it defeat him and kept moving was something I don't think I'd be capable of. Haven was exactly what Tox needed. The one who saw through everything to the good man he was and constantly reminded him of that when he couldn't see it for himself. The other members of the team were fantastic too, Ram, Cell, Thor, Maangi, and I loved the new guy (or not so new for us avid Ronie Kendig readers)! Really everything about this book was beyond brilliant, the action that was written so well you felt like you were there, the intricacy of everything surrounding the crown, and the realness of the characters. Honestly can't say enough how much I adored every second of this book!

Meet the Author
Ronie Kendig is an award-winning, bestselling author who grew up an Army brat. She's penned more than a dozen novels, including Conspiracy of Silence, The Quiet Professionals series, and the A Breed Apart series. She and her hunky hero hubby have a fun, crazy life with their children and a retired military working dog in Northern Virginia. Visit her online at www.roniekendig.com.

I received this book free from the publisher in exchange for my review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Top Ten Authors I Discovered My First Year of Blogging

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

My first full year of blogging was 2012 and I read 232 books that year! It was a year of discovery for me. Finding new authors, figuring out exactly what kinds of books I loved, what kinds I liked, and which kinds weren't for me. These ten authors are ones that I first read that year and to this day they are still favorites of mine! I'll also show which book was my first of each author!

Dani Pettrey

Becky Wade

Katie Ganshert

Elizabeth Camden

Jen Turano

Laura Frantz

Jody Hedlund

Denise Hunter

Julie Klassen

Jocelyn Green 

Monday, September 11, 2017

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? #270

Hosted by: The Book Date

Here is what I finished in the last two weeks:
ADORED this book! So SO SO good!!

What I am currently reading:
Loving this one of course!

What I hope to read this week:
Excited for this one!

Hope you have a great reading week, thanks for taking the time to check out mine!
Leave your link below and I'll be sure to stop by!

Monday, August 28, 2017

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? #269

Hosted by: The Book Date

Here is what I finished last week:
Finally finished this book! It was beyond amazing!

What I am currently reading:
Devouring this book! Started it this morning and already almost 200 pages in!

What I hope to read this week:
SO excited for this book!

Hope you have a great reading week, thanks for taking the time to check out mine!
Leave your link below and I'll be sure to stop by!

A Name Unknown by Roseanna M. White

About the Book
Rosemary Gresham has no family beyond the band of former urchins that helped her survive as a girl in the mean streets of London. Grown now, they concentrate on stealing high-value items and have learned how to blend into upper-class society. But when Rosemary must determine whether a certain wealthy gentleman is loyal to Britain or to Germany, she is in for the challenge of a lifetime. How does one steal a family's history, their very name?
Peter Holstein, given his family's German blood, writes his popular series of adventure novels under a pen name. With European politics boiling and his own neighbors suspicious of him, Peter debates whether it might be best to change his name for good. When Rosemary shows up at his door pretending to be a historian and offering to help him trace his family history, his question might be answered.
But as the two work together and Rosemary sees his gracious reaction to his neighbors' scornful attacks, she wonders if her assignment is going down the wrong path. Is it too late to help him prove that he's more than his name?

My Thoughts
Rarely has a book I adored this much taken me so long to complete! I was insanely busy the whole time I was reading and despite reading every spare chance I had it was still almost two weeks before I finally finished! And it really was EVERY chance! I hated putting this book down and was thinking about it quite a bit during my other activities.
I loved Peter as a hero! He wasn't what typically comes to mind when you hear that word but he completely embodied it. Speaking words isn't always easy for him due to a lifelong stutter but when it comes to writing them he has a God-given gift and he uses it. I almost melted with the letters he wrote to Rosemary, always seeming to have the right words. And all the letters he wrote, to her and others (and there were scads of them) were quietly pointing to God in a completely natural way. Because that was who Peter was, his faith was such a part of him that it just flowed seamlessly pointing everyone in his life to God.
Rosemary had a profession that to be perfectly frank, was criminal, but it was born out of necessity not greed and was all she'd ever known. And she was such a unique, fun character! She was fiery but also deeply cared about those close to her and would do whatever it took to take care of them. I loved watching her soften as she spent time with Peter and read the words in his letters. The Rosemary who came to Kensey Manor was worlds different from the Rosemary in the end.
Peter being a writer made this book the perfect one to read after coming home from CFRR and spending a whole day talking to authors and seeing bits of their process. So many of the things Peter wrestled with as he penned his books were the very things discussed at the retreat and it was cool to see fiction mirror life. Also one of my new favorite quotes came from a letter Peter wrote, "Fiction is truth...in a pretty wrapping."  Honestly it was a book nerds perfect story with the plot being so centered around books and writing. I wanted to jump into the pages and help Rosemary organize the library or talk to Peter about his novels.
And before this turns into a novel of it's own I'll wrap up with these thoughts. There were so many things I didn't figure out until the end, the author did such an amazing job weaving the tale. And lastly this book is by far one of the best I've read and you absolutely must read it! Okay I'm off to go turn into a puddle again as I think about how much I loved this book and, let's be honest, about it's amazing hero!

Meet the Author
Roseanna M. White pens her novels beneath her Betsy Ross flag, with her Jane Austen action figure watching over her. When not writing fiction, she's homeschooling her two children, editing and designing, and pretending her house will clean itself. Roseanna's fiction ranges from biblical fiction to American-set romances to her new British series. She lives with her family in West Virginia. Learn more at www.roseannamwhite.com.

I received this book free from the publisher in exchange for my review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Monday, August 21, 2017

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? #268

Hosted by: The Book Date

Here is what I finished last week:
I have basically not stopped moving for the past two weeks so reading had to take a bit of a back burner. But I did a ton of fabulous things so I'm not too sorry!

What I am currently reading:
Adoring this book! I've had to read it in bursts due to the aforementioned busyness but it is absolutely amazing!

What I hope to read this week:
My next review book! Melissa Tagg has made me very excited to dive in!

Hope you have a great reading week, thanks for taking the time to check out mine!
Leave your link below and I'll be sure to stop by!

Monday, August 07, 2017

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? #267

Hosted by: The Book Date

Here is what I finished last week:
Really enjoyed this one!

What I am currently reading:
Just about to start this! Can't wait!

What I hope to read this week:

Not sure if I'll get to any thing else this week, busyness and the Christian Fiction Readers Retreat this weekend!

Hope you have a great reading week, thanks for taking the time to check out mine!
Leave your link below and I'll be sure to stop by!

Sunday, August 06, 2017

Chasing Secrets by Lynette Eason

About the Book
Elite Guardians bodyguard Haley Callaghan may be in South Carolina, but when a photo leads investigators in West Ireland to open a twenty-five-year-old cold case, her life is suddenly in danger. Haley knows how to take care of herself; after all, she's made a career out of taking care of others. But after an uncomfortably close call, Detective Steven Rothwell takes it upon himself to stay with her--and the young client she has taken under her wing. A protector at heart, he's not about to let Haley fight this battle alone.
In a sweeping plot that takes them into long-buried memories--and the depths of the heart--Haley and Steven will have to solve the mystery of Haley's past while dodging bullets, bombs, and bad guys who just won't quit.

My Thoughts
I think this may be my favorite of this series! I didn't feel like we got to know Haley very well in the previous books but I was intrigued by her nonetheless. And as she came alive in this book I began to really love her character. At first she appears to be just a tough fighter but she's a bit of a softy when it comes to those she loves and people in need. She is always ready and willing to do anything and everything that needs done. Steven was a great character too, I loved how he jumped in to help without question and the way he seemed to be able to sense what people needed and provided it. Haley and Steven really went well together and even though their relationship was a bit rushed (kind of a trademark with this author) I still liked them as a couple.
The plot of this book was definitely giving me an Anastasia feel and it was kind of a cool twist to the story! I kept thinking I knew who was after Haley but I was totally wrong and the ending was a bit of a shock! Definitely another fast-paced read that was action from beginning to end!

Meet the Author
Award-winning, best-selling author, Lynette Eason writes for Harlequin's Love Inspired Suspense line and for Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group. Her books have hit the CBA and ECPA bestseller lists and have won numerous awards such as the prestigious Carol Award, the Selah, the Daphne, the IRCC award and more. Lynette is married, has two children, and lives in Greenville, SC.

I received this book free from the publisher in exchange for my review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Thursday, August 03, 2017

True to You by Becky Wade

About the Book
After a devastating heartbreak three years ago, genealogist and historical village owner Nora Bradford has decided that burying her nose in her work and her books is far safer than romance in the here and now.
Unlike Nora, former Navy SEAL and Medal of Honor recipient John Lawson is a modern-day man, usually 100 percent focused on the present. But when he's diagnosed with an inherited condition, he's forced to dig into the secrets of his past and his adoption as an infant, enlisting Nora to help him uncover the identity of his birth mother.
The more time they spend together, the more this pair of opposites suspects they just might be a perfect match. However, John's already dating someone and Nora's not sure she's ready to trade her crushes on fictional heroes for the risks of a real relationship. Finding the answers they're seeking will test the limits of their identity, their faith, and their devotion to one another.

My Thoughts
I'm going to start by saying that when all was said and done, I LOVED this book...but we got off to a shaky start. I honestly have never experienced the feelings (or maybe lack there of?) that I had for the first chunk of this book. I couldn't put my finger on my thoughts about the story, it was so weird, I wasn't loving it, I wasn't hating it, and I wasn't meh about it. There was a strange disconnect yet I could barely stand to put it down. About 150 pages in it finally clicked, this book was written in a completely unique yet classic way. It was kind of how I would imagine Jane Austen or the Bronte sisters would write if this was the era they lived in. It had that elegant, almost other-worldly feel but was still very much a contemporary, a perfect marriage of the two styles. I think my brain was trying to fit it in the normal contemporary box when it was crafted to be in a box all of it's own and that's why I struggled at the beginning. But as soon as my brain caught up to this author's brilliance I was completely entranced and I kind of want to go reread the beginning with the right mindset. And now that I've gotten that very long explanation of the craziness of my brain lets dive into all the amazing things that made up this book!
Nora and John were absolutely wonderful characters! I could relate in many ways to Nora, her love of books and history, her quiet nature that came alive in the right settings, and many other ways too. I loved her desire to help people and her love and care for everyone around her. I also liked the way she picked up on things about people and was good at knowing what they needed in the moment.
John was your typical straight-laced soldier but he also had a vulnerable side that he wasn't afraid to show, at least with Nora, that you don't often get from the tough soldier types. I loved it though, you could tangibly feel everything he was feeling.
On paper these two may have not made sense as a couple but they complimented each other in all the right ways, like two puzzle pieces fitting together into a beautiful picture.
All the other characters were great too, Willow and Britt (can't wait for their books), the girls' not-so-cheerful grandma, and the amusing Nikki. I also enjoyed the various texts, emails, conversations, and letters included at the end of each chapter, a nice tie in to the epistolary prequel novella.
I could go on about this book but this review is already starting to resemble a novel so I will end by saying that this book was absolutely amazing, even with my brain's weirdness at the start, and I loved it! There are some unexpected twists I can guarantee you won't see coming!

Meet the Author
Becky Wade is a native of California who attended Baylor University, met and married a Texan, and moved to Dallas. She published historical romances for the general market, took time off to raise her children, then felt God nudging her to pursue contemporary Christian fiction. Becky is the Carol Award-, INSPY Award-, and International Reader's Choice Award-winning author of the Porter Family Novels. Learn more at www.beckywade.com

I received this book free from the publisher in exchange for my review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Tuesday, August 01, 2017

His Steadfast Love by Julie Lessman

About the Book
She’s bent on fun.
He’s bent on faith.
Till true love bridges the gap.
Cat O’Bryen is the prodigal daughter unhappy with God. First, the father with whom she reconciled dies of cancer and now her twin sister and best friend marries, leaving Cat at home with a newlywed mother, her new husband, and a little brother. But when Cat moves in with a roommate of questionable morals, her family is worried, certain she’s on a path that could damage her faith forever.
Reluctant to get involved with a woman like the one who destroyed his life, ex-Navy SEAL Pastor Chase Griffin steers clear of the attraction he feels for Cat O’Bryen. Until her family begs him to take her under his wing, hoping he can draw her back into the fold. But when the draw she has on him proves too strong to resist, he must rely on the strength of God to offer a friendship as steady and strong as the God whose love is wooing her home.

My Thoughts
I have so many emotions and feelings going through me right now after finishing this book that I don't know where to begin or even if I can put them into words!
By now most people know of my love for anything Julie Lessman writes (I even loved her writing how-to book and I'm not even remotely a writer) so it's pretty much a given that I will be deliriously happy and gushing non-stop when I read one of her novels. So brace yourself!
I think this may be my favorite of this series! Cat and Chase have been coming since book one and I just knew their relationship was going to make an epic story. Of course I wasn't wrong about that! I literally hated putting this book down and was always trying to squeeze in reading time even if I could only read a few pages. I was completely and totally lost in the story, feeling every emotion as if it were my own, and often breathless as I turned page after page to find out more.
And now I have to talk about Chase Griffin because I just can't hold back anymore, HE WAS AMAZING! I greatly admired his fierce, strong, and close relationship with God and the way that every aspect in his life was funneled through that without him ever seeming like a holier than thou know it all. He was an everyday guy who was just completely on fire for God. And as if that wasn't attractive enough (along with his extremely good looks) he was also humble and selfless, always taking care of everyone he met. And the way he was with Cat was enough to melt anyone into a puddle. Always being there for her when she needed it, encouraging her but calling her out when necessary, and constantly showing her God's love with his actions as well as his words. He stepped up time and again even when it was painful for him. Gah! Can you tell I liked this guy a lot?!
As for Cat, my heart broke for her. I can't imagine going through life feeling like you weren't good enough in the eyes of the people you loved, constantly feeling compared and found lacking. And then to feel abandoned over and over, it was no surprise that she turned from God and even her family to a degree. Honestly I want to cry over the pain she must have felt. She had so many things to work through and I loved seeing Chase make his way through her walls to help her find healing in the arms of God.
Chase and Cat were made for each other, as anyone with eyes could see, but they had a hard road to walk before they could be together and while some steps were painful every part of it had its purpose to weave together their beautiful relationship.
I of course loved catching up with all the couples from the other books, Tess and Ben, Jack and Lacey, Shannon and Sam, and watching them all interact as a family.
I think one of my favorite things about this book was the way God's love was woven into every page. And this book drew me closer to God in a way that no work of fiction has before. It hit something inside me and I several times stopped reading because I just felt a burning desire to spend time with God in those moments. It was truly amazing.
Well I could go on for days but I think you get the idea that I adored every second of this book and if you haven't read a Julie Lessman novel yet then you need to get yourself one and dive in! Then come talk to me about it because there are few things I like more than discussing my favorite books!

Meet the Author
Julie Lessman is an award-winning author whose tagline of “Passion With a Purpose” not only underscores her intense passion for God and romance, but her staunch advocacy for sexual purity before marriage as well. A lover of all things Irish, she enjoys reading what she writes -- close-knit Irish family sagas as well as both historical and contemporary religious and inspirational romance for the sweet and Christian markets.
Author of The Daughters of Boston, Winds of Change, and Heart of San Francisco series with Revell Publishing, Julie was named American Christian Fiction Writers 2009 Debut Author of the Year and has garnered 17 Romance Writers of America and other awards. She has also written a self-help workbook for writers entitled Romance-ology 101: Writing Romantic Tension for the Sweet and Inspirational Markets.
You can contact Julie and read excerpts from her books at www.julielessman.com, or through Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, or Pinterest, as well as sign up for her newsletter. Check out Julie’s group blog, The Seekers, Writers Digest 2013, 2014, and 2015 “Best 101 Websites for Writers,” and Julie’s own personal blog, Journal Jots, voted blog of the month in the Readers’ Choice poll of Book Fun Magazine.

I received an ebook copy of this book free from the author in exchange for my review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.