Thursday, September 19, 2019

The Words Between Us by Erin Bartels

About the Book
Robin Windsor has spent much of her life under an assumed name to avoid association with her infamous parents. She thought she'd finally found sanctuary running her used bookstore in quiet River City, Michigan. But when she receives an eerily familiar book in the mail on the morning of her father's scheduled execution, Robin is thrown back to the summer she met Peter Flynt, the perfect boy who ruined everything. Why would Peter be making contact now? And why does she have a sinking feeling that she's about to be exposed all over again?

With evocative prose that recalls the classic novels we love, Erin Bartels pens a story that shows that words--the ones we say, the ones we read, and the ones we write--have more power than we imagine.

My Thoughts
I love trying new authors, hoping to stumble on a new favorite! This book was a complete gamble for me but with a cover like this how could anyone resist?! Seriously this cover is the stuff every book lover dreams about!

Sadly the story inside just wasn’t my cup of tea and I didn’t end up finishing. The writing was well done and had a similar feel of some classics that I’ve read! There was a lot of death talk and it just was a little too far on the dark side for me. That being said I know that this book will be just the book for many readers and if it sounds like it might be up your alley please don’t take my word for it and go check out some other reviews!

Meet the Author
Erin Bartels is the author of We Hope for Better Things and has been a publishing professional for 17 years. A freelance writer and editor, she is a member of Capital City Writers and the Women's Fiction Writers Association and is former features editor of WFWA's Write On! magazine. Her short story "This Elegant Ruin" was a finalist in The Saturday Evening Post 2014 Great American Fiction Contest. She grew up in the Bay City, Michigan, area and has spent much of her life waiting on drawbridges. She lives in Lansing, Michigan, with her husband, Zachary, and their son. Find her online at www.erinbartels.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, September 09, 2019

Finding Lady Enderly by Joanna Davidson Politano

About the Book
Raina Bretton is a rag woman in London's east end when a handsome stranger appears in a dank alley and offers her a glittering smile and a chance for adventure. Rothburne Abbey has a unique position for her, one that will take her away from her hardscrabble life and give her a chance to be a lady. Things she could only dream of might be coming true. But some dreams turn out to be nightmares.
Though Raina has traded squalor for silk and satin, something about the abbey is deeply unsettling. As she wrestles with her true identity, the ruin, decay, and secrets she finds at the heart of the old mansion tear at her confidence and threaten to reveal her for who she really is. Only one man stands between her and the danger that lurks within--and only if he decides to keep her biggest secret hidden.

My Thoughts
Ever since her debut I have been hearing good things about this author. And at the urging of my bookstabestie I requested this one for review and purchased her debut novel. The debut was everything I was told it would be and it made me quite excited to read this one.
Sadly I was a little underwhelmed by this story. It wasn’t that it was bad or anything I just wasn’t in love like I was with Lady Jane Disappears. The author’s beautiful writing style still shone through, and I was again charmed by her way with words. Raina wasn’t my favorite heroine, especially with how she not only allowed herself to be entrapped in this weird situation but also got sucked into the materialistic mindset a bit.
Sully was great, his devotion to Raina and his humble attitude made him a character you could root for. I especially liked their unique way of communicating.
I can honestly say I was surprised with how things ended and the secrets that were revealed, I did not see any of them coming.
All in all this wasn’t a bad read just not a favorite of mine. I will definitely be interested to see what else the author has in store for us!

Meet the Author
Joanna Davidson Politano is the award-winning author of Lady Jayne Disappears and A Rumored Fortune. She freelances for a small nonfiction publisher but spends much of her time spinning tales that capture the colorful, exquisite details in ordinary lives. She is always on the hunt for random acts of kindness, people willing to share their deepest secrets with a stranger, and hidden stashes of sweets. She lives with her husband and their two babies in a house in the woods near Lake Michigan and shares stories that move her at www.jdpstories.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. 

Sunday, September 08, 2019

Evermore by Jody Hedlund

About the Book
An ancient key. A secret treasure. And a princess destined to use them both to fight evil and restore peace.
Raised by a noble family, Lady Adelaide has always known she’s an orphan. Little does she realize she’s one of the lost princesses and the true heir to Mercia’s throne…until a visitor arrives at her family estate, reveals her birthright as queen, and thrusts her into a quest for the throne whether she’s ready or not.
Unable to tolerate King Ethelwulf’s cruelty and lawlessness, Christopher Langley left Mercia years earlier, training a group of rebels in neighboring Norland. When he returns home after his mother’s death, he discovers that not only is Adelaide all grown up, but she’s also the rightful queen of Mercia.
When King Ethelwulf discovers Adelaide’s location, he’ll stop at nothing to capture her and the key she holds to the ancient treasure. Christopher is just as determined to protect Adelaide so she can lead the growing rebellion. When feelings ignite between the two old friends, forces threaten to destroy their love and rip them apart forever.

My Thoughts
This was a great follow-up to the prequel novella! Adelaide was a character you could rally behind, she was definitely queen material. She had a combination of strength and fighting ability with a kind and generous heart. Christopher was a good complement to her, especially since they'd grown-up together so he wasn't cowed by her new found royal status and he wasn't afraid to stand up to her when the situation called for it. Their romance was sweet and I enjoyed watching them reconnect as adults and seeing them reconnect. The other brother, Mitchell, wasn't my favorite character, especially when he got petty. But he wasn't all bad.
Hedlund does a great job of transporting you to her medieval world, without bogging you down with details, and keeping you hooked into the story. Everything moved at a pretty fast pace and kept you turning pages to find out what was gonna happen next. It was definitely written to gear toward the YA market and I know teens will love this story! I enjoyed it even though I'm a few years past my teens!

Meet the Author
Jody Hedlund is the author of over twenty historicals for both adults and teens and is the winner of numerous awards including the Christy, Carol, and Christian Book Award.
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 a complimentary copy of this book from the author. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are my own. 

Always by Jody Hedlund

About the Book
A fierce elite guard. A loyal lady in waiting. They must work together to save three princesses from certain death.
On the verge of dying after giving birth to twins, the queen of Mercia pleads with Lady Felicia to save her infant daughters. With the castle overrun by King Ethelwulf’s invading army, Lady Felicia vows to do whatever she can to take the newborn princesses and their three-year old sister to safety, even though it means sacrificing everything she holds dear, possibly her own life.
Gravely wounded in battle and knowing all is lost to his enemy, the king of Mercia tasks Lance, one of his fiercest elite guards, to protect his family along with keys to an ancient treasure. As Lance makes plans to sneak the princesses out of the capital city, he doesn’t need or want Lady Felicia’s help.
With the dark enemy in pursuit, Lance and Felicia must put aside their differences to outrun King Ethelwulf and prevent him from killing the princesses. In a desperate attempt to hide the young girls, Lance and Felicia agree to a marriage of convenience, a decision that will change their lives—and hearts—forever.

My Thoughts
This little novella got started with a bigger bang than I anticipated and the story just kept moving right till the end! My heart was racing as Lance and Felicia fought to keep the princesses safe from those who chased them! I greatly admired the way they both thought nothing of sacrificing everything to protect the rightful heirs to the throne! I really liked both of their characters and enjoyed seeing their relationship develop.
Hedlund created a great story world and perfectly set up the books that are coming in this series! I definitely recommend reading this first so you can see how everything gets started! I’m looking forward to reading each of the princesses stories and seeing how the story will end!

Meet the Author
Jody Hedlund is the author of over twenty historicals for both adults and teens and is the winner of numerous awards including the Christy, Carol, and Christian Book Award.
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 a complimentary copy of this book from the author. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are my own. 

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Vow of Justice by Lynette Eason

About the Book
FBI Special Agent Lincoln St. John is living his own personal nightmare. When the woman he loves, Allison Radcliffe, is killed, he devotes his life to tracking down the killers and making them pay for their crimes. He expected it to be a challenge. What he never expected was to find Allison very much alive shortly after her "murder." As his anger and hurt mix with relief, Linc isn't sure how he's supposed to feel. One thing he does know for sure: he and Allison will have to work together to stop a killer before she dies a second time--this time for good.
Bestselling and award-winning author Lynette Eason closes out her Blue Justice series with a story that will have you tearing through the pages to get to the stunning conclusion.

My Thoughts
I’m going to go ahead and say it. This series is Eason’s best work to date! I’ve loved every single one of the St. John siblings’ stories and I’m kind of sad to see them end, but when it ends on such a high note I can’t be sad for too long!
I loved both Linc and Allie and definitely liked them as a couple. They had started a bit of a relationship before this story began so it removed that rushed romance feeling that is sometimes present in romantic suspense-which was a major plus in my book!
I also loved the pacing of the plot, there was just the right of action and twists to keep the reader hooked, without crossing into the far-fetched side of things. I personally hated putting the book down, and while I guessed some things there were still a few surprises for me!
All of the side characters were well written, I especially liked Daria, and kind of wish we could get a story about her in the future! I also loved getting to see more of the St. John family!
This book was a very satisfying conclusion to a fantastic series and I’m excited to see what the author has in store for us next!

Meet the Author
Lynette Eason is the bestselling author of Oath of Honor, Called to Protect, and Code of Valor, as well as the Women of Justice, Deadly Reunions, Hidden Identity, and Elite Guardians series. She is the winner of three ACFW Carol Awards, the Selah Award, and the Inspirational Reader's Choice Award, among others. She is a graduate of the University of South Carolina and has a master's degree in education from Converse College. Eason lives in South Carolina with her husband and two children. Learn more at www.lynetteeason.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, August 21, 2019

Bout of Books 26: Day 2 Update


Day Two Update

Books I Read Today: 
When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon (341 pages)
Meet Me There by Judy Corry (77 pages)
Since You've Been Gone by Morgan Matson (449 pages)
Where We Began by Judy Corry (11 pages)

Books I Finished Today: 
When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon
Meet Me There by Judy Corry
Since You've Been Gone by Morgan Matson

Pages Read Today: 878

Total Books Finished: 5

Total Pages Read: 1,362

My Thoughts on Day Two:
Today went much better than yesterday! I still feel like I'm reading at a slower pace than I normally do but at least I'm still getting reading in and today had a pretty great page count!

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Bout of Books 26: Day One Update


Day One Update

Books I Read Today: 
Lady Jayne Disappears by Joanna Davidson Politano (176 pages)
Field Notes on Love by Jennifer E. Smith (271 pages)
When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon (37 pages)

Books I Finished Today: 
Lady Jayne Disappears by Joanna Davidson Politano
Field Notes on Love by Jennifer E. Smith

Pages Read Today: 484

Total Books Finished: 2

Total Pages Read: 484

My Thoughts on Day One:
A slower start than I was hoping for especially since I had the day off of work but I had a life situation causing me stress and I had a lot of trouble focusing. But all in all not a bad start. I finished one book that I started last week, read another in it's entirety, and started yet another.

Monday, August 19, 2019

Bout of Books 26: Sign-Up


The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda Shofner and Kelly Rubidoux Apple. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, August 19th and runs through Sunday, August 25th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are challenges, Twitter chats, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 26 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. - From the Bout of Books team

I almost forgot to sign-up, but better late than never! Excited to get some great reading in this week!

Sunday, August 11, 2019

Deadly Intentions by Lisa Harris

About the Book
Research scientist Caitlyn Lindsey is convinced that someone is taking out her team one by one. First, a friend and research partner was killed in a home invasion. Three months ago, her boss died in a suspicious car accident. Four days ago, another partner supposedly committed suicide. And now Caitlyn herself has miraculously survived a hit-and-run. Afraid for her life with nowhere to turn, she reaches out to one of the victim's husbands, Detective Josh Solomon.
Though initially skeptical about Caitlyn's theory, Josh soon realizes that the attack that took his wife's life was anything but random. Now the two of them must discover the truth about who is after Caitlyn's team--and what their end game is--before it's too late.
In this nail-biting thriller, award-winning author Lisa Harris will have you believing that there's no such thing as random.

My Thoughts
Well you definitely can’t call this a slow-paced book! From the very beginning until the very end there was always something going on! This book was like a full season of an action show condensed into 300 pages. There were murders, cover ups, frame jobs, secrets, lies, fugitives, bio-terrorism, and even more (that I can’t mention because of spoilers)! Things never slowed down for even a chapter and you couldn’t tell who you could and couldn’t trust! I was convinced for so long about someone being dirty only to find that I was completely off base! You really had no idea how everything would play out!
The end did get a little chaotic for me and some parts felt slightly unbelievable. Especially the romance which started playing out at a good pace but then there was a moment where it abruptly kinda went zero to sixty and it didn’t feel very natural.
But that aside I did enjoy the characters and I was certainly not bored! Every page had a new twist and it had me finishing this book just hours after starting!

Meet the Author
Lisa Harris is a bestselling author, a Christy Award winner, and the winner of the Best Inspirational Suspense Novel from Romantic Times for her novels Blood Covenant and Vendetta. The author of more than thirty books, including The Nikki Boyd Files and the Southern Crimes series, as well as Vanishing Point and A Secret to Die For, Harris and her family have spent almost fifteen years living as missionaries in southern Africa. Learn more at www.lisaharriswrites.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. 

Friday, August 09, 2019

Midnight on the River Grey by Abigail Wilson

About the Book
She knew the house was keeping secrets. If only the darkness would speak . . .
After her elder brother’s mysterious death, Rebecca Hunter vows to expose the man she believes responsible: Mr. Lewis Browning—known by the locals as the Midnight Devil and by Rebecca as her new guardian.
Summoned to his reclusive country estate to await her London season, Rebecca plans her own secret investigation among the darkened corridors of the mysterious Greybourne Hall. Yet Lewis Browning is not as she once imagined, and his motivation is horribly unclear. Recurrent nightmares and Rebecca’s restless feelings are further complicated by the shadow of her mother’s prior descent into madness and wondering if she, too, will follow the same heartbreaking path.
Even as midnight rides, strange injuries, and further murders lead back to Mr. Browning, Rebecca can’t ignore the subtle turn of her heart. Has she developed feelings for the man she swore to see hanged? And moreover, can she trust him with her uncertain future?

My Thoughts
I’m not going to lie, this book was slow going for me at first and it took me until the second half to get hooked. But get hooked I did and once I got sucked in I didn’t want to put the book down. The slowness at the beginning was in no way due to a lack of quality in the writing, I think the story was just building and setting up for the intriguing second half. Also this type of book isn’t normally my cup of tea but after enjoying this author’s debut I just had to check this one out as well!
I thought the characters were all well written and enjoyed watching them develop as the story progressed. I did occasionally question Rebecca’s actions but it didn’t make her an unlikable heroine. Lewis was a good hero and I felt that their relationship played out in a believable manner.
There was a lot going on in this book and we were kept guessing right along with Rebecca as she tried to piece together what was happening! I will say that I never saw the end coming! I also enjoyed the mention of someone from her previous book!
All in all this was a great read that I think all regency lovers will enjoy!

Meet the Author
Abigail Wilson combines her passion for Regency England with intrigue and adventure to pen historical mysteries with a heart. A Registered Nurse, chai tea addict, and mother of two crazy kids, Abigail fills her spare time hiking the National Parks, attending her daughter’s gymnastic meets, and curling up with a great book. In 2017, Abigail won WisRWA’s Fab Five contest and in 2016, ACFW’s First Impressions contest as well as placing as a 2017 finalist in the Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery/Suspense. She is a cum laude graduate of the University of Texas at Austin and currently lives in Dripping Springs, Texas, with her husband and 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.