Saturday, December 07, 2019

Above the Fold by Rachel Scott McDaniel

About the Book
After losing the love of her life to a big city journalism job, Elissa Tillman pours herself into the suffragette movement and her secretarial work helping keep her father’s Pittsburgh newspaper afloat.
Cole Parker returns to the steel city with the phantom failures of his past nipping his heels. All he asks of the future is a second chance with the woman he once spurned.
The murder of a millionaire offers the perfect chance for Elissa to prove to her father and the world that she’s a serious journalist. But there’s a catch—she has to compete for the story. Against none other than Cole Parker, the very man who shattered her heart.

My Thoughts
There is something equally wonderful and terrifying about reading the debut novel of someone you consider a friend.
Thankfully (and not surprisingly) this book was all wonderful! I was hooked from the very start and even though life kept taking me away from reading the story stayed with me, calling me back to its pages!
Admittedly I was scared that I would hate Elissa. She was desperate to prove herself as a reporter and was a staunch supporter of women’s rights, two things that often make heroines obnoxious and off-putting to me. But this author handled both aspects extremely well and they didn’t annoy me in this character even once! Elissa did have a little maturing to do but I found myself liking her and rooting for her as she experienced the growth. Cole was a hero you couldn’t help cheering for. He overcame a lot of hurdles, some that were of his own making, and was determined to be a man worthy of the opportunities he was given. I absolutely love his unwavering love of Elissa. He didn’t care what personal cost there were to him as long as she was protected.
I loved seeing them find their way back to each other and the love they’d never given up.
The big story they were chasing provided a captivating mystery throughout the book and the author expertly penned it so that even I was shocked by the ending!
And I can’t write this review without talking about one more “character” the city of Pittsburgh. As someone who’s lived outside of the city her whole life I absolutely loved all the mentions of all the familiar places! She definitely did our beautiful city justice!
All in all I could not believe this was a debut and I’m already anxiously awaiting whatever else this author has in store for us!

Meet the Author
Rachel Scott McDaniel is an award-winning author of historical romance. Winner of the ACFW Genesis Award and the RWA Touched By Love award, Rachel infuses faith and heart into each story. She currently enjoys life in Ohio with her husband and two kids. Rachel can be found online at www.RachelScottMcDaniel.com and on all social media platforms.

I received a complimentary e-copy of this book from the author. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are my own. 

Friday, December 06, 2019

The Dating Charade by Melissa Ferguson

About the Book
Just when you think you’ve met your match . . . the charade begins.
Cassie Everson is an expert at escaping bad first dates. And, after years of meeting, greeting, and running from the men who try to woo her, Cassie is almost ready to retire her hopes for a husband—and children—altogether.
But fate has other plans, and Cassie’s online dating profile catches the eye of firefighter Jett Bentley. In Jett’s memory, Cassie Everson is the unreachable girl-of-legend from their high school days. Nervously, he messages her, setting off a chain of events that forces a reluctant Cassie back into the dating game.
No one is more surprised than Cassie when her first date with Jett is a knockout. But when they both go home and find three children dropped in their laps—each—they independently decide to do the right and mature thing: hide the kids from each other while sorting it all out. What could go wrong?
Melissa Ferguson’s hilarious and warmhearted debut reminds us that love can come in very small packages—and that sometimes our best-laid plans aren’t nearly as rewarding and fun as the surprises that come our way.

My Thoughts
I have been desperately searching for a new contemporary romance author to love and I have just found her! You guys. This book was amazing! Everything I wanted it to be and so so so much more!! From the very beginning I was completely hooked and I read the whole thing in one sitting! Everything was expertly crafted, from the characters, to the plot, to the romance, to the humor! Cannot believe that this is a debut-it was that well done!
I loved Jett and Cassie, both of them work in jobs that require sacrifice and they both care passionately about the people they take care of. They both immediately step up and in when it is needed almost without thought to how it will disrupt their lives. They were so perfectly matched for each other and I loved their easy connection and the banter between them!
One of my favorite parts about this book was how much it made me laugh out loud! The humor was brilliantly woven in so naturally and just perfectly timed! There was the antics of the kids, the teasing of the friends, the scheming of little old ladies, and a bunch of other hilarious moments.
The secondary cast of characters were all so entertaining and I loved each of them for their own reasons!
Basically every single part of this book was awesomely fantastic and Melissa Ferguson has launched herself on to my favorite authors list! Cannot wait to see what else she has in store for us!

Meet the Author
Melissa Ferguson is an adjunct professor for Bible and religion at King University. She lives in the charming town of Bristol, Tennessee, with her husband, twin toddlers, and baby girl. She used to have hobbies like running and backpacking the Appalachian Trail outside her door. Now her hobbies include admiring the Appalachian Trail out her minivan window while singing "The Itsy Bitsy Spider" en route to the library.


I received a complimentary copy of this book from NetGalley. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are my own. 

Friday, November 22, 2019

The Perfect Christmas by Bell Renshaw

About the Book
Will the perfect Christmas be enough to convince Beau that a life with Ansley could be equally perfect?
Born and raised in Winter, Montana, Beau Bradley can’t imagine life anywhere else. During the holiday season his coffee shop, Mountain Grounds, is as busy as ever and now that his girlfriend is back in town, things finally seem to be lining up—until he gets a call that could change it all.
Ansley Strauss is back in Winter after a nine-month, art intensive in Canada and she’s ready to celebrate the Christmas season in the tried and true Winter-style. There’s only one problem: her boyfriend lacks Christmas spirit. Her solution? Make this Christmas perfect to remind Beau just how special this time of year is.
Set on a course for ultimate Christmas joy, Ansley and Beau find that life doesn’t always work out the way they hope it will. Beau faces the reality that plans can’t account for everything and sometimes risking it all is the only way. Ansley will have to come to the realization that no matter how perfect things are, it’s the imperfections in life that make it worth living.
It’s another Christmas in Winter, Montana where the coffee is always hot and the mistletoe beckons lovers to share a kiss.

My Thoughts
I have been waiting for this story for what feels like forever and I was so happy to finally get it in my hands!
After meeting Beau and Ansley in the previous book I was quite anxious to see how their story would play out and was so ready to see them get their happily ever after!
Beau was, by his own admission, an idiot for most of the book. Not in the I-hate-this-character way but in the wake-up-and-smell-the-alfalfa way. He was his own worst enemy, letting his crazy need for having everything thing planned out and overthinking almost sabotage his relationship with Ansley. But despite the fact that he needed a good wake up call I still liked his character a lot!
I felt a little bad for Ansley, waiting for Beau to realize what was right in front of him all those years, but I loved that she never stopped loving him through all of it.
They really were a cute couple and I could not wait for them to work through everything and find their way to their happy beginning.
It was a lot of fun to visit Winter again and see some familiar faces! I’m looking forward to coming back again when we get Troy’s story!

Meet the Author
Annabell “Bell” Renshaw has always loved books and the power of a good story. She turned those passions toward writing at an early age, finding solace and adventure in made-up worlds when her mother would read to her as a kid. She’s grown up now, but still finds herself lost in those worlds. She believes in the power of a happy ending and the fact that--no matter what--love will always find a home.
Connect with her on her website: www.bellrenshaw.jimdo.com

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are my own. 

Tuesday, November 05, 2019

Deadly Deceit by Natalie Walters

About the Book
Independent and tenacious journalist Vivian DeMarco is back in Walton, Georgia, for one reason--to do her job and get out. When her boss suddenly dies under suspicious circumstances, Vivian's only hope for finding the truth--and the next big story--is small-town law enforcement's lanky poster boy, Deputy Ryan Frost. But the deeper they dig, the more twisted the truth becomes, and Vivian finds herself fighting for not only answers but also her life. False leads, incriminating emails, and someone called The Watcher force Vivian to confront the secret of her past and decide: How much is she willing to risk for the sake of a headline?

Author Natalie Walters welcomes you back to Walton, Georgia, where everyone knows your name--but no one knows your secret.

My Thoughts
I wasn’t sure what to expect with this book since both the heroine and the hero didn’t make the best impression in book one. But my worry was unfounded and the author brilliantly turned them around!
Ryan was a bit of a gangly nerd but in a Captain America-esque move, months of intensive training from the FBI made him a strong gangly nerd. After Living Lies I wasn’t sure he’d be believable hero but he kept his charming personality while adding the capability of coming to the rescue that really made him a hero you could root for!
As for Vivian, she was the typically annoying reporter that only cares about the story in book one so I honestly thought I’d hate her in this one. But after the fallout from the events of LL she really had to reevaluate things and began to realize that there’s more to life than the next big story. Getting into her head and seeing what made her tick also made her so much more likable and I actually enjoyed her character.
It was cool to see both Ryan and Vivian come into their own and find happiness together.
The mystery of figuring out who the Watcher was and trying to stop him was very compelling and I was invested throughout!

Overall this was a sequel that outshone its predecessor and I’m looking forward to watch Natalie Walters has in store for us next!

Meet the Author
Natalie Walters is the author of Living Lies. A military wife of 22 years, she currently resides in Hawaii with her soldier husband and their three kids. She writes full-time and has been published in Proverbs 31 magazine and has blogged for Guideposts online. In addition to balancing life as a military spouse, mom, and writer, she loves connecting on social media, sharing her love of books, cooking, and traveling. Natalie comes from a long line of military and law enforcement veterans and is passionate about supporting them through volunteer work, races, and writing stories that affirm no one is defined by their past. Learn more at www.nataliewalterswriter.com.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are my own. 

She Prays by Debbie Lindell

About the Book
One of the most wonderful things about walking with God is that we can have an intimate and real relationship with him. He wants us to know him so well that we are comfortable talking to him about anything and everything. Yet, there are times when we feel disconnected and insecure. We desire to grow in prayer, but we don't know where to begin, what to say, or how to listen for his voice.

In She Prays, Debbie Lindell invites you on a 31-day journey to experience a confident and conversational relationship with your heavenly Father. She shows you how to replace the pressure to perform in prayer with a faith-filled expectation--trusting that God is delighted with every conversation and every word we whisper to him. Her desire is that your soul will be transformed as your confidence in prayer grows, and that your faith will be strengthened as you see God work through your prayers in ways you never imagined possible.

My Thoughts
This book would be a great tool for those who are new to Christianity and prayer. There was a lot of truth and helpful tips jammed into this small book. Each day's reading is the perfect length to fit into busy schedules and just the right amount of information to be easily digested.
As some who has been a Christian all of her life, nothing in this book was new information or even information told in a new way. But it was extremely well written and I know that it will be very useful and informative for many other people and I know that I will be recommending it.

Meet the Author
Debbie Lindell is the author of She Believes, and she and her husband, John, serve as lead pastors of James River Church in Springfield, Missouri. In 2003, Debbie launched the Designed for Life Women's Conference, which today draws 10,000 women annually from across the nation and around the world. As a dynamic leader and speaker, she has a passion to see women of all ages embrace their unique design, understand their purpose, and connect to one another through life-giving sisterhood. Learn more at DebbieLindell.com.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are my own. 

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Like a Winter Snow by Lindsay Harrel

About the Book
In this standalone holiday novella, return to the charming Cornish village readers fell in love with in The Secrets of Paper and Ink.
Women’s counselor Joy Beckman has always been a friend and helper to all. That’s why she’s given up everything to be with her parents as her mother suffers through Alzheimer’s. Joy may not have a thriving career or a love life at the moment, but she’s doing what she does best—taking care of others. And even though it’s difficult, she knows it’s where she is supposed to be.
But life throws a curveball when she has to leave her parents temporarily to travel to Cornwall, England, for the Christmas-time wedding of her best friend. While there, Joy helps Sophia tackle her last-minute to-do list, and in the process, finally meets a man who turns her head—and her heart. The only problem? He lives in snowy London, and her life is with her parents back in sunny Florida.
She tries to resist Oliver Lincoln’s charms, but it’s harder than it should be. With her heart torn in two, Joy is forced to choose between a life she knows she’s meant for and the one she didn’t see coming.

My Thoughts
This novella was absolutely charming and sweet and everything I wanted it to be! I loved travelling back to the enchanting town of Port Willis. It captured my heart in The Secrets of  Paper and Ink and I was delighted to have the chance to visit again. I was also really happy that Joy got her story! Both she and Oliver were really great characters and while their romance was a bit of a whirlwind it was the absolute sweetest. Their spark was there from the very first time they met and just grew from there. Sometimes these quick novella romances come across inauthentic but that wasn't the case here, I honestly felt their connection and absolutely loved them together. It was also really fun to catch up with Sophia and William, and Ginny and Stephen, so great to see how their lives were turning out. Basically my only complaint about this story was that it was too short and I wanted more!

Meet the Author
Lindsay Harrel is a lifelong book nerd with a B.A. in journalism and M.A. in English. She lives in Arizona with her young family and two golden retrievers in serious need of training. Lindsay has held a variety of jobs, including curriculum editor for two universities, medical and business writer, and copywriter for a digital marketing agency. Now she juggles stay-at-home mommyhood with working freelance jobs, teaching college English courses online, and—of course—writing novels.
When she actually has time to do other things, she loves to sing, read, and sip passion iced teas from Starbucks. She loves to watch God work in ordinary lives to create something extraordinary, and she writes to bring hope to those who may have lost it along the way. Connect with her at www.LindsayHarrel.com and any other place she hangs out online, including Facebook and Twitter.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are my own. 

Tuesday, October 08, 2019

Dark Ambitions by Irene Hannon

About the Book
Former Army Night Stalker Rick Jordan usually has his camp for foster children to himself during the winter months. But someone has visited recently--leaving a trail of blood. One of the two clues left behind tips Rick off to the identity of his visitor, who soon turns up dead. The police deem it an accident, but Rick isn't convinced. With the help of private investigator Heather Shields, he sets out to decipher the remaining clue. Except someone doesn't want them to succeed--and will stop at nothing to keep them from finding the truth.

With her trademark psychological suspense ratcheting up the tension on every page, bestselling and award-winning author Irene Hannon takes you on a search for a cold-blooded killer with an ambitious goal and deadly intent.

My Thoughts
I have been an Irene Hannon fan since her debut novel came out and after loving Rick in the previous two books of this series I was excited to get his story! While this one didn't end up being my favorite of Hannon's it was still an enjoyable read! Unlike this author's previous books that seem to start with high action and not let up, this one was more of a slow burn. But when the action did start up, things moved at lightning speed and you were never quite sure just what would happen next. Reader's are kept on their toes with multiple POVs that make it hard to tell just who the bad guy is, though I will say I did guess right!
Rick and Heather had an instant attraction to each other that only intensified as the story progressed. I would have preferred a little more depth to their relationship, instead of all the focus on the physical (and Rick's descriptions of Heather's outfits were just way too detailed for any straight man) but I did like them as a couple and was happy that Rick found someone.
I loved the fact that this story took place in connection with the PI firm from the Private Justice series! It was fun to not only catch up with the characters from the previous books in this series but also with the Phoenix guys! It's so fun when author's connect their series.
I'm sad to see this series end but I cannot wait for whatever else this author has for us!

Meet the Author
Irene Hannon is the best-selling author of more than 35 novels. Her books have been honored with the coveted RITA Award from Romance Writers of America, the HOLT Medallion, the Reviewer's Choice Award from Romantic Times BOOKreviews magazine and the Daphne du Maurier Award for mystery/suspense. Irene and her husband make their home in Missouri, USA. Irene invites you to visit her at her website, www.irenehannon.com

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are my own. 

Monday, October 07, 2019

A Distance Too Grand by Regina Scott

About the Book
Meg Pero has been assisting her photographer father since she was big enough to carry his equipment, so when he dies she is determined to take over his profession--starting with fulfilling the contract he signed to serve on an Army survey of the North Rim of the Grand Canyon in 1871. What she doesn't realize is that the leader of the expedition is none other than the man she once refused to marry.
Captain Ben Coleridge would like nothing more than to leave without the woman who broke his heart, but he refuses to wait even one more day to get started. This survey is a screen for another, more personal mission, one he cannot share with any member of his team.

As dangers arise from all sides, including within the survey party, Meg and Ben must work together to stay alive, fulfill their duties, and, just maybe, rekindle a love that neither had completely left behind.

My Thoughts
I had never read anything by this author before but I'd heard good things about her Love Inspired titles so I decided to give her first full length novel a shot. The premise was intriguing and I loved the setting of the Grand Canyon, a place I've always wanted to visit. Unfortunately this book wasn't quite what I was hoping it would be and I was left wanting a little more. Overall it wasn't bad, things just moved at a slow pace and honestly I was kinda bored. There were hints of a mystery and I kept wanted that angle to burst on the scene a little more but everything was kept pretty low key. Ben was a pretty good guy, but Meg was rather annoying and reckless with always wanting to get "the shot". This book had a similar feel to Karen Witemeyer and Regina Jennings but was just missing a little something. I think a lot of the things I had trouble with stem from the fact that the author is transitioning from shorter novels to longer ones and maybe had a little trouble filling the story out. It was a quick read though and overall it was a decent story. I'm sure there will be many people who will thoroughly enjoy this book, it just wasn't for me. If the premise interests you please go check out some other reviews and don't just take my word for it!

Meet the Author
Regina Scott is the author of more than 40 works of warm, witty historical romance. Her writing has won praise from Booklist and Library Journal, and she was twice awarded the prestigious RT Books Reviews best book of the year in her category. A devotee of history, she has learned to fence, driven four-in-hand, and sailed on a tall ship, all in the name of research. She and her husband of 30 years live south of Tacoma, Washington, on the way to Mt. Rainier.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are my own. 

Sunday, October 06, 2019

One Final Breath by Lynn H. Blackburn

About the Book
When investigator Gabriel Chavez had his cover blown by an aggressive reporter, the silver lining was being able to rejoin the dive team. The downside? Dive team captain Anissa Bell--a woman who both fascinates and frustrates him.
Anissa grew up as a missionary kid on the Micronesian island of Yap and always planned to return after college. But she remained stateside, determined to solve the case that haunts her--the murder of her best friend and the disappearance of a three-year-old child.
When Anissa's fractured past collides with Gabe's investigation into the tragic shooting death of a teenage boy in Lake Porter, they'll have to put their complicated history with each other aside in order to uncover the identity of a killer. What they'll discover is that revenge has no statute of limitations.

Award-winning author Lynn H. Blackburn closes out her nail-biting Dive Team Investigations series with a story that will have you wondering how long you can hold your breath.

My Thoughts
Lynn H. Blackburn has done it again! When I read her debut novel I knew that she had something special and would be one to watch. And boy was I right! She just keeps getting better and I think this was probably my favorite of the series! Gabe and Anissa’s story had been a long time coming and it was everything I was hoping it would be and so much more!
I really could relate to Anissa, the way her brain worked was very similar to how mine does so it was easy for me to connect with her. I loved her in the previous books but it was even better when you got inside her head and really got to know her.
I loved Gabe a whole lot. On one hand we didn’t get a lot of his story but it wasn’t relevant to what was going on and the author gave us enough to still get to see a little of what had shaped the man he was today. His sense of humor had me laughing out loud several times but he also knew when to be serious and honestly had me melting at times. Together Anissa and Gabe just made sense. Everyone could see it. They not only complimented each other’s personalities but also were so in tune with each other in a way that made them a perfect team.
I was totally hooked into the mystery and suspense aspect of this book. At first things seemed a little random but as the story progressed all of the pieces made sense and I was totally invested and seeing how things would work out.
I loved getting to catch up with the rest of the dive team crew. Their group dynamic was more like family than coworkers and I loved all of their banter and the way they were always there for each other! Also Mr. Cook was awesome with his words of wisdom and his uncle-like affection.
In short this was an amazing book and I recommend it and the rest of the series to all romantic suspense lovers!

Meet the Author
Lynn H. Blackburn is the author of Beneath the Surface, In Too Deep, Hidden Legacy, and Covert Justice. Winner of the 2016 Selah Award for Mystery and Suspense, and the 2016 Carol Award for Short Novel, Blackburn believes in the power of stories, especially those that remind us that true love exists, a gift from the Truest Love. She's passionate about CrossFit, coffee, and chocolate (don't make her choose) and experimenting with recipes that feed both body and soul. She lives in Simpsonville, South Carolina, with her true love, Brian, and their three children.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are my own. 

Saturday, October 05, 2019

The Lieutenant's Bargain by Regina Jennings

About the Book
Hattie Walker dreams of becoming a painter, while her parents want her to settle down. As a compromise, they give her two months to head to Denver and place her works in an exhibition or give up the dream forever. Her journey is derailed when a gunman attacks her stagecoach, leaving her to be rescued by a group of Arapaho . . . but she's too terrified to recognize them as friendly.
Confirmed bachelor Lieutenant Jack Hennessey has long worked with the tribe and is tasked with trying to convince them that the mission school at Fort Reno can help their children. When a message arrives about a recovered survivor, Jack heads out to take her home--and plead his case once more.
He's stunned to run into Hattie Walker, the girl who shattered his heart--but quickly realizes he has a chance to impress her. When his plan gets tangled through translation, Jack and Hattie end up in a mess that puts her dreams in peril--and tests Jack's resolve to remain single.

My Thoughts
I have been excited for this story since the moment I found out it was going to be about Jack! I loved him in the first book and couldn’t wait for his story! I loved him even more in this story. He was adorably nerdy while being a strong soldier, he was all business about important things but had an entertaining sense of humor, and he had a strong devotion. I loved how sacrificial he was through all the crazy circumstances, even though he would have to leave his whole life he cared more about the effects on the people he loved. He could have gotten upset on more than one occasion but he always chose to look at things from the other people’s perspective.
Hattie honestly annoyed me a bit at the beginning but I enjoyed seeing her character grow. She was an only child who had always gotten what she wanted and while she wasn’t a snob her upbringing definitely showed. Life at Fort Reno gave her a new perspective and she started to see life differently. It also made her see Jack as the man he’d become instead of just her know-it-all former classmate. She took a bit to come around but I loved seeing her slowly fall in love with who Jack was not for what he could or couldn’t give her.
It was fun to see the characters from the previous stories and get to spend more time at the fort! I also enjoyed learning details about the history of that time.

This was a great read and while it does take place around Christmas I’m sure it would be enjoyable anytime of the year!

Meet the Author
Regina Jennings is a graduate of Oklahoma Baptist University with a degree in English and a history minor. She is the author of numerous novels, including For the Record, A Most Inconvenient Marriage, Sixty Acres and a Bride, and Caught in the Middle, and contributed a novella to A Match Made in Texas. She now lives outside Oklahoma City with her husband and four children and can be found online at www.reginajennings.com.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are my own.