Tuesday, June 06, 2017

A Love So True by Melissa Jagears

About the Book
Evelyn Wisely has a heart for the orphans of Teaville and works at a local mansion that rescues children out of the town's red-light district and gives them a place to live. But her desire to help isn't limited to orphans. The owner of the mansion, Nicholas Lowe, is willing to help her try to get the women working in prostitution out of the district as well--if she can gain the cooperation and support of local businessmen to go against the rest of the community.
David Kingsman has recently arrived in Teaville from Kansas City to help with one of his father's companies in town. While he plans on staying only long enough to prove his business merit to his father, he's shown interest in Evelyn's work and is intrigued enough by her to lend his support to her cause.

They begin with the best of intentions, but soon the complications pile up and Evelyn and David's dreams look more unattainable every day. When the revelation of a long-held secret creates a seemingly insurmountable rift between them, can they trust God still has a good plan for them despite all that is stacked against them?

My Thoughts 
Melissa never fails to deliver a wonderful historical tale that sweeps me away to another time and place. I enjoyed Evelyn's character in the previous book and I was excited to get to know her more. I loved how selflessly she cared for everyone around her, and as someone who has a passion for children I especially loved having a character who shares that calling. She was always putting other's needs above her own and was willing to do whatever asked of her. As for David, he was a hero I couldn't help rooting for. Despite being ridiculously wealthy he never once acted like he was even one iota better than even those society deemed unworthy. He was always trying to find ways to help, even going above and beyond what was asked of him. Honestly David and Evelyn were an amazing couple, she had great ideas and he had the ability and connections to help make her dreams a reality. They complemented each other so well. We were kept guessing until practically the very end what Evelyn's secret was and to be honest I didn't figure it out.
It was great to return to Teaville and catch up with the characters, especially Nicholas and Lydia, and there wasn't a part of this book I didn't love! Lovers of historical fiction should definitely check this series out!

Meet the Author
Much to her introverted self's delight, Melissa Jagears hardly needs to leave her home to be a homeschooling mother and historical romance novelist. She doesn't have to leave her house to be a housekeeper either, but she's doubtful she meets the minimum qualifications to claim to be one in her official bio. Her passion is to help Christian believers mature in their faith and judge rightly. Find her online at www.melissajagears.com, Facebook, Pinterest, and Goodreads.

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, June 05, 2017

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? #265

Hosted by: The Book Date

Here is what I finished last week:
Enjoyed this one!

What I am currently reading:
Really liking this one!

What I hope to read this week:
I haven't quite decided! I'm going to be on vacation the second half of this week and I'm still debating which book(s) I want to take with me.

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!

Saturday, June 03, 2017

With You Always by Jody Hedlund

About the Book
When a financial crisis in 1850s New York leaves three orphaned sisters nearly destitute, the oldest, Elise Neumann, knows she must take action. She's had experience as a seamstress, and the New York Children's Aid Society has established a special service: placing out seamstresses and trade girls. Even though Elise doesn't want to leave her sisters for a job in Illinois, she realizes this may be their last chance.
The son of one of New York City's wealthiest entrepreneurs, Thornton Quincy faces a dilemma. His father is dying, and in order to decide which of his sons will inherit everything, he is requiring them to do two things in six months: build a sustainable town along the Illinois Central Railroad, and get married. Thornton is tired of standing in his twin brother's shadow and is determined to win his father's challenge. He doesn't plan on meeting a feisty young woman on his way west, though.

My Thoughts
I absolutely love this author’s ability to make the more obscure parts of history come alive on the page. Growing up as a Christian and a homeschooler historical fiction was my bread and butter and I recall a decent amount of stories surrounding the orphan trains. But I don’t recall ever reading about the women who were placed out west to work. So the history nerd in me was soaking up all the little historical tidbits. But the fascinating time when the story takes place wasn’t the only thing I loved, every other part of it was equally rich and I was completely lost in the story. After meeting Elise in the novella that preceded this book I had already begun to admire her. Life seemed to have dealt her blow after blow but through it all she stood strong and was determined to do whatever necessary to keep her family together and safe. I can’t even imagine what it would be like to travel so far from your family at the time, when letters were the only form of communication and that could take weeks. But Elise was willing to make the sacrifice for the hope that she could provide a better life for her siblings.
Thornton couldn’t have grown up more different than Elise. He was the son of a wealthy businessman and had never wanted for anything. Though thankfully he hadn’t let that turn him into a completely stuck-up snob. Sure he was oblivious to much of what the poor had to go through but when confronted with his misconceptions he was willing to change. To the outside observer there were a million reasons why Elise and Thornton shouldn’t even speak to each other let alone fall in love but despite their differences they were exactly what each other needed. I loved how Elise constantly challenged Thornton to see things differently and how listened and then went and did something about it, he wasn’t afraid to get his hands dirty.
The challenge issued by Thornton’s father was certainly out of the ordinary and it provided quite the interesting twist to the story.
So yeah, this book was brilliant and wonderful and I hated to put it down! I’m looking forward to the rest of this series!

Meet the Author
Winner of 2016 Christian Book Award for fiction and Christy Award for historical romance, best-selling author Jody Hedlund writes inspirational historical romances for both youth and adults.
Jody lives in central Michigan with her husband, five busy children, and five spoiled cats. Although Jody prefers to experience daring and dangerous adventures through her characters rather than in real life, she’s learned that a calm existence is simply not meant to be (at least in this phase of her life!).
When she’s not penning another of her page-turning stories, she loves to spend her time reading, especially when it also involves consuming coffee and chocolate.

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, May 29, 2017

What Hope Remembers by Johnnie Alexander

About the Book
When Amy Somers loses her job as a lobbyist, she moves to Misty Willow, well aware that she's crossing bridges she'd burned years before. With all the mistakes she's made and the uncaring things she's done--even to her own family--she can hardly believe that happiness will find her, especially when Gabe Kendall, her first crush and her first kiss, rides back into her life atop a buckskin mare.
A former Marine, Gabe is at loose ends after serving a prison sentence for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. He sees beyond Amy's hard exterior to the girl he once knew and loved, and he longs to see her open her heart. Yet with his vision clouded by shame for his past and fears about the future, he finds it difficult to see the path ahead.

But the memory of that long-ago kiss just may have the power to reignite a romance that brings out the best in both of them.

My Thoughts
This author is one that I forget how amazing their books are until I'm lost within the pages of the next book. But I'm glad that I keep coming back because she has yet to disappoint!
I'll be honest, I didn't like Amy at all in the previous two books. She was cold, calculating, manipulative, and in general not a pleasant person. There are few authors who can redeem a disliked character and thankfully Johnnie is one of them. After a wake-up call regarding her health Amy really begins to reevaluate her life, and not really liking the person she's become, decides to start to make changes. It was nice to get into her head and see the emotions she was experiencing when she did the things she did. While it didn't excuse them it helped to see that her actions came more from a place of hurt than malice. Amy was such a real character. She wasn't just suddenly perfect, the journey from who she was to who she wanted to become was slow and difficult and mistakes were made along the way. But I admired how she never gave up. The author handled the issue of her eating disorder with grace while also showing the very real struggles that those suffering from conditions like Amy's face. My heart broke for all the pain she'd endured in her life and I loved watching her rise from the ashes of it all.
Heath was awesome. As someone who was sentenced for a crime he didn't commit he could have been bitter and angry but instead he saw the way God used that time for good and was determined to make the most of his life. I loved the way he cared for his aunt, and their close relationship was beautiful. I also loved the way he interacted with Amy, being there for her when needed but never pushing her beyond what she was comfortable with. Their relationship blossomed slowly but beautifully and it was a joy to watch it unfold.
It was great to catch up with AJ and Shelby, and Brett and Dani, as well as the kids. I had a wonderful time getting to know this family and I'm sad to see this series end!

Meet the Author
Johnnie Alexander is the award-winning author of Where Treasure Hides and Where She Belongs, as well as an accomplished essayist and poet. Her Misty Willow Series was inspired by a 19th century house she lived in as a teen. Join her at www.johnnie-alexander.com to experience the love of random travel and the joy of treasured moments.

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.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

An Awakened Heart by Jody Hedlund

About the Book
Trying to heal the ache she feels in her empty life, wealthy Christine Pendleton decides to volunteer at Centre Street Chapel. Ministering to one of the most deprived parts of New York City, the chapel aims at making a difference in the lives of the impoverished immigrants flooding the city. After seeing firsthand the hopelessness of the poor women and orphans, Christine is convinced more can be done to help them.
Guy Bedell has been serving at the chapel and pouring his heart out for the people he's grown to care about. When Christine begins to challenge his methods and offers a new vision for reaching out to the community, can he trust that perhaps God has bigger plans in store for him--plans that may include this feisty socialite?

My Thoughts
This was a great prequel novella and got me really excited for this new series. Guy and Christine weren’t your typical historical hero and heroine since they were both a little older. But to be honest I kept forgetting that fact. They both had a passion for helping the lost and the poor though they had slightly differing opinions on how to go about it. I loved how they worked together, blending their ideas to do the best they could for those they were trying to help. They really were the perfect pairing, their individual strengths complementing the other’s weaknesses. We also got to meet the Neumann sisters and I’m excited to get more of their stories!

Meet the Author
Winner of 2016 Christian Book Award for fiction and Christy Award for historical romance, best-selling author Jody Hedlund writes inspirational historical romances for both youth and adults.
Jody lives in central Michigan with her husband, five busy children, and five spoiled cats. Although Jody prefers to experience daring and dangerous adventures through her characters rather than in real life, she’s learned that a calm existence is simply not meant to be (at least in this phase of her life!).
When she’s not penning another of her page-turning stories, she loves to spend her time reading, especially when it also involves consuming coffee and chocolate.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Top Ten Books With Summer-y Covers

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







Monday, May 22, 2017

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? #264

Hosted by: The Book Date

Here is what I finished last week:
It was a novella kind of week! I loved both of Susan's especially I'll Be There with all it's characters from so many series! I loved two of the stories in Right Where We Belong but the third was pretty awful.

What I am currently reading:
Enjoying both of these!

What I hope to read this week:
Not sure what I'll read next but with my schedule I don't think I'll read more than the two I'm in the middle of.

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!

Friday, May 19, 2017

At Your Request by Jen Turano

About the Book
After her father lost the family's fortune, Wilhelmina was cast out of the fashionable set and banished to the wallflower section. Taking a position as a social secretary to help support her family, she's mostly come to terms with her new status. But when her old friend Edgar returns to New York society for the first time since she rejected his marriage proposal, she's newly ashamed at how far she's fallen--and how hastily she dismissed him years ago. Her strategy is to avoid a face-to-face encounter at all costs, but he seems to have other plans. Will Edgar take advantage of their now reversed positions and make her regret her refusal, or is there still hope for a friendship between them--or something more?

At Your Request is an e-only novella that gives an exciting introduction to Jen Turano's new Gilded Age historical romance series, Apart From the Crowd! Includes an extended excerpt of the first full-length novel in the series, Behind the Scenes.

My Thoughts
As is typically the case with this author, this little novella brought a smile to my face. Wilhelmina and Edgar had a lot of history with each other and it provided a solid background to this quick little love story. I really liked both of their characters and it was fun to watch them get reacquainted and realize their feelings for each other that had been there all along.

It was nice to get a glimpse at the characters that will be center stage in the full length novels of this series. I’m excited to see what crazy adventures they will all get into!

Meet the Author
Jen Turano is a USA Today Bestselling author, known for her quirky characters and amusing story lines. Her novel, After a Fashion, was a Reviewer's Choice finalist with RT, as well as being named a top ten romance of 2015 from Booklist. Her book, A Most Peculiar Circumstance, was chosen as a top ten romance by Booklist in 2013, and Booklist has called her "One of the funniest voices in the inspirational genre." When she’s not writing, Jen spends her time outside of Denver, CO. She can be found on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/jenturanoauthor/ or visit her on the web at www.jenturano.com. She is represented by the Natasha Kern Literary Agency.

Friday Memes 5/19

Book Blogger Hop

The Question:
What do you do with books you no longer want? Do you donate them? Do you take them to a half-price bookstore? Does a friend or family member benefit?

My Answer:
If I have extra copies of a book I like then I typically pass them onto one of my sisters. But if I'm just getting rid of books I usually just donate them to Salvation Army.


Hosted by: Rose City Reader

"Please join me every Friday to share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading, along with your initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires. Please remember to include the title of the book and the author's name."

No sooner had Lily O'Neal plunged her hands into the sticky bread dough than the doorbell rang. Why did it always work that way?
A Langhorne Romance by Deborah Raney
from Right Where We Belong novella collection

My Thoughts
I can totally relate! It's always the second that you get into something that someone needs something.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Top Ten Fictional Moms

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

BOOKS

#1. Marcy O'Conner from The O'Conner Family Saga by Julie Lessman

#2. Ingrid Christiansen from The Christian Series by Susan May Warren

#3. Tess O'Bryen from Isle of Hope Series by Julie Lessman

#4. Adri Betarrini from The River of Time Series by Lisa T. Bergren


#5. Belle (Tanner) Harden from The Husband Tree by Mary Connealy

#6. Caitlyn McClare from The Heart of San Francisco Series by Julie Lessman

TV SHOWS

#7. Lorelai Gilmore from Gilmore Girls

#8. Angie Rizzoli from Rizzoli & Isles

#9. Rebecca Pearson from This is Us

#10. Martha Rodgers from Castle

Monday, May 15, 2017

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? #263 & Bout of Books 19: Wrap-Up

Hosted by: The Book Date

Bout of Books

Here is what I finished last week:
I am so happy with how much reading I got in this week! It's been a long while since I read this much in this amount of time. Granted almost all of them were novellas or not quite full-length novels but I'm still happy with it! A total of 1,296 pages! And every single one of them was amazing!

What I am currently reading:
Loving this one, of course! Last of the Susan May Warren books I need to catch up one before I can say I've read all of her fiction books!

What I hope to read this week:
Not sure what is up next at the moment but I'm hoping to keep up this reading streak!

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!

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Bout of Books 19: Days 4-6 Update

Bout of Books

So happy with all the reading I've been able to get in this week! One of the books kept me up past midnight because I just couldn't put it down!

Books I Finished: 
With You Always by Jody Hedlund (184 pages)
Playing With Fire by Susan May Warren (235 pages)
Burnin' For You by Susan May Warren (219 pages)
Oh, the Weather Outside is Frightful by Susan May Warren (178 pages)
Pages Read: 816
Total Books Finished: 7
Total Pages Read: 1,296

Friday, May 12, 2017

Friday Memes 5/12

Book Blogger Hop

The Question:
If you read a book you ended up hating, would you stay away from future books by that author, or would you give them a second chance?

My Answer:
It depends on several factors. If I absolutely couldn't stand it (especially if my issues were with the writing itself) I probably would steer away from any of the authors other books. But if I just kinda didn't like it and other people recommended the author I may be inclined to give them a second chance.


Hosted by: Rose City Reader

"Please join me every Friday to share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading, along with your initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires. Please remember to include the title of the book and the author's name."

"If they started running now, they just might make the lake before the fire consumed them. At least that's what Reuben Marshall's gut said when the wind shifted and rustled the seared hairs on the back of his neck, strained and tight from three days of cutting line through a strand of black spruce as thick as night.
Burnin' for You by Susan May Warren

My Thoughts
Sucks you right in!

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Bout of Books 19: Days 1-3 Update

Bout of Books

I've been remiss in posting updates this week but thankfully I have been actually able to get some reading in!

Books I Read: 
An Awakened Heart by Jody Hedlund (63 pages)
At Your Request by Jen Turano (75 pages)
Titanis by Ronie Kendig (158 pages)
With You Always by Jody Hedlund (184 pages)
Books I Finished: 
An Awakened Heart by Jody Hedlund
At Your Request by Jen Turano
Titanis by Ronie Kendig
Pages Read: 480
Total Books Finished: 3
Total Pages Read: 480

Tuesday, May 09, 2017

Top Ten Things I'd Like to See More in Books

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

#1. Set in Pittsburgh-I live just outside of Pittsburgh and I absolutely love when books are set here

#2. Military Characters-I have a deep respect and appreciation for our military and it's very cool to have characters based on the brave men and women who sacrifice for our country

#3. Humor-Anyone who knows me knows I love to laugh so if a book can make me laugh out loud it's a win for me!

#4. Charming Small Towns-There is something so fun about a fictional small town, the quirkier the better!

#5. Set in the 50's-My second favorite time period that I don't feel is written about enough.

#6. Characters who are nannies-I am a nanny and it's always fun to have a character with the same career as you.

#7. Set in WWI-While WWII is my favorite time-period I do feel like it's been getting enough attention in books lately while very few books that I've read take place during WWI.

#8. Unique periods of history-Nothing in particular, just things that aren't often written about in novels.

#9. A multi-generational series-I've long had this idea in my head of a series about several generations of one family possibly with members in each of the different major wars.

#10. Epistolary style of writing-I recently read Becky Wade's epistolary style novella Then Comes You and I think it would be fun to read more of those types of books!

Monday, May 08, 2017

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? #262

Hosted by: The Book Date

Here is what I finished last week:
A really fun read!

What I am currently reading:
Enjoying this intro into Jody's new series!

What I hope to read this week:
It's Read-A-Thon week but since all my books are still in boxes I'm getting to chip away at some of my kindle books!

Tuesday, May 02, 2017

Top Ten Covers I Would Hang on My Wall

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

 #1

#2

#3

#4

#5

#6

#7

#8

#9

#10

Monday, May 01, 2017

Bout of Books 19 Sign-Up

Bout of Books

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda Shofner and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, May 8th and runs through Sunday, May 14th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 19 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. - From the Bout of Books team

I need to catch up on some reading and I'm hoping this will help once again!

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? #261

Hosted by: The Book Date

Here is what I finished in the last two weeks:
Really enjoyed this one!

What I am currently reading:
A fun read for sure!

What I hope to read this week:
Not really sure what is next on the docket but I probably won't get much reading done since I'm still working on getting my new apartment set up in between work and babysitting jobs.

Blog Posts
It's Monday! What Are You Reading?
Top Ten
Waiting on Wednesday #
Friday Memes

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!