Thursday, November 19, 2020

Some Bright Someday by Melissa Tagg

About the Book

He’s torn between love and honor... 

Lucas Danby has always regretted the decisions that caused his dishonorable discharge from the military—and he’s never stopped trying to redeem his honor. He's spent the past decade taking on dangerous short-term missions as an elite private soldier—the only part of his life that's ever gone right. But the high-risk work never cures his shame. Now he’s stuck stateside, mentoring a new recruit. Worse, he's sick of lying to the people he cares about most—including the woman he’s secretly loved for years. 

She can’t escape her house of memories... 

Jenessa Belville should be happy. She's the hometown girl everyone loves, after all. But she’s also the last Belville left—and if she had her way, she'd leave the name and all its painful memories behind. Which is exactly what she hopes to do once she sells Belville Park, the massive estate she inherited from her parents. First, though, she needs to restore the property’s once-glorious gardens. But on the same day she puts up the “For Sale” sign, she discovers three children hiding in the caretaker's cottage, thrusting her into the unexpected role of temporary guardian. 

Fighting for their future means healing from the past... 

Struggling to mentor a young man with scars nearly as piercing as his own, Lucas offers to help Jenessa restore the Belville grounds. Though drawn together by a trio of kids who tug on their hearts and the sparks they can’t deny, past secrets and current sorrows threaten to pull them apart. Only the brightest love and hardest sacrifice can turn the house Jenessa never wanted into the home she and Lucas have always longed for. 

My Thoughts

I’m always in a happy giddy place when I finish a Melissa Tagg book and this time was no different! I was so happy my copy came when I had a free weekend and I literally read it in one afternoon! 

I have been intrigued with Lucas since we met him in Keep Holding On and then getting to see more of him and Jenessa in Now and Then and Always had me chomping at the bit for their story, and it more than met my expectations! 

Neither Lucas or Jenessa had had an easy life, countless times of people leaving or not being the support they needed had left both of them with walls and masks they hid behind. 

Lucas was a man who quietly did the right thing time and time again but he let the one blemish from his past define him and keep him from truly sharing himself with the people close to him. Seeing him find healing and learning to open up was awesome to watch and I found myself falling a little more in love with him with each page!

Jenessa didn’t leave a favorable impression when we first met her in Like Never Before but after learning about the circumstances behind her bitterness at first and seeing her find her way out of that I truly loved her character by the time we got to this book. I loved the no nonsense way she collected her friends, barely giving them a say in the matter, and the way she turned a bunch of lonely people into their own makeshift family. 

We all know Lucas has been in love with Jenessa for ages and it was so much fun watching her realize it and realize that she felt the same. Their romance was sweet and natural, a friendship that seamlessly turned into something more!

Adding kids to a story can sometimes be risky and doesn’t always work with a story but they did in this one! I loved that they were authentic (a lot of times kids are written sounding older or younger than they are and as someone who works with kids I absolutely hate that) and I loved seeing them make their way into Jenessa and Lucas’s hearts. 

All of the other Maple Valley characters popping in and out was just the icing on the cake for this book! I love getting to see where everyone’s lives are going since last we saw them! 

In short, I absolutely adored this book and now I’m off to start anxiously awaiting the next one!

Meet the Author

Melissa Tagg is the Christy and Carol Award-winning author of swoony and hope-filled small-town contemporary romances, including the Maple Valley series, the Walker Family series, the Where Love Begins series, and the Enchanted Christmas Collection. She's also a former reporter, current nonprofit marketing strategist, and total Iowa girl. 

Melissa has taught at multiple national writing conferences, as well as workshops and women's retreats. When she's not happily lost in someone else's book or plugging away her own, she can be found spoiling her nieces and nephews, watching old movies, and daydreaming about her next fictional hero. Connect with Melissa at

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. 

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

To Steal A Heart by Jen Turano

About the Book
After a childhood as a street thief, Gabriella Goodhue thought she'd put her past behind her until a fellow resident at her boardinghouse is unjustly accused of theft. In the middle of breaking into a safe that holds the proof to prove her friend's innocence, Gabriella is interrupted by Nicholas Quinn, the man she once considered her best friend--until he abandoned her.
After being taken under the wing of a professor who introduced him into society and named him as heir, Nicholas is living far removed from his childhood life of crime. As a favor to a friend, Nicholas agreed to help clear the name of an innocent woman, never imagining he'd be reunited with the girl he thought lost to him forever.
As Gabriella and Nicholas are thrown together into one intrigue after another, their childhood affection grows into more, but their newfound feelings are tested when truths about their past are revealed and danger follows their every step. 

My Thoughts
This harkened back to the early Jen Turano and I absolutely loved it! I have been a fan of her’s since she debuted but for me the last couple series have been heading a little bit too far down the over the top side of things. They’ve still been fun reads but I wasn’t loving them as much. So I was so excited to start this one and see that it was a lot more like her first books! I loved that Gabriella and Nicholas were both intelligent types and were both pretty straightforward. They didn’t have a lot of blundering about with each other and I loved seeing that their connection stayed strong despite the many years they were separated. They may have just been children when last they saw each other but they had a tight bond and it allowed them to pick right back up (after clearing a few things up) where they’d left off. Their romance wasn’t all that prominent, it was more of a friendship that suddenly realized they wanted more and I actually liked it and thought it worked well for these characters.
There was a large cast of supporting characters that I enjoyed (a certain one annoyed me a little at the start but I got over it) and I liked seeing all the different personalities come together.
The mysteries were fun to follow along with and there were definitely some twists.
This book was everything that caused me to fall in love with Turano’s writing in the first place and I hope she keeps it up!

Meet the Author
Named one of the funniest voices in inspirational romance by Booklist, Jen Turano is a USA Today bestselling author, known for penning quirky historical romances set in the Gilded Age. Her books have earned Publishers Weekly and Booklist starred reviews, top picks from Romantic Times, and praise from Library Journal. She's been a finalist twice for the RT Reviewers' Choice Awards and had two of her books listed in the top 100 romances of the past decade from Booklist. She and her family live outside of Denver, Colorado. Readers can find her on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, and at

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. 

Then Again, Maybe by Susan L. Tuttle

About the Book
Former beauty queen Belle Thornton knows what it is to think she has it all, only to discover she never valued what was truly important. Raising her daughter and building a thriving thrift shop that helps single mothers like herself has taught Belle what the word beautiful really means. Unfortunately, thanks to her shady landlord, Belle must toss those hard-earned dollars into the money-pit of a rental that houses both her tiny apartment and her business or risk the city closing her doors. When funds dwindle as quickly as her to-do list grows, she is forced to rely on the absolute last rescuer she’d choose: Micah Shaw. Leaving Belle at the altar, pregnant, was the worst choice Micah ever made. He returns home, hoping to reconcile with Belle and their toddler. While balancing his medical residency with caring for his ailing mother, he strives to win Belle’s heart again and ensure her business remains open. Helping with that is the easy part. Chiseling through the rock encompassing Belle's heart is more of a challenge, but one he’s determined to conquer. If only he could get her to realize that a new lease on love may be their best collaboration of all.

My Thoughts
Just when you think an author can’t outdo herself she goes and gives you this masterpiece! I am honestly a bit speechless trying to come up with the words to describe just how much I adored every single second of this book! I literally lost track of time lost in its pages and as I reached the end I was floating on a cloud of giddy joy! I don’t say this lightly but I’m pretty sure this book was perfection.
If you read book one of this series you know that Micah and Belle were not the most lovable people when we first met them. Years of their parents treating them as less than or placing unrealistic expectations on them had really done a number and it came out in words and actions that made me wonder how they could ever be redeemed enough for me to like them. I needn’t have worried though because they were in the hands of a master and wow did she redeem them!
Three years have passed since the events at the end of At First Glance and I loved that there was that gap, because the years had allowed both Micah and Belle to grow and mature and gave authenticity to the fact that they really were different people.
The new and improved Micah seriously gave Jonah a run for his money (and if you don’t understand what I mean by that, see my review of At First Glance and take note of the Jonah crushing). He was everything you could want him to be, from the way he humbly admitted his faults and took full responsibility for his actions, to the way he bent over backward, literally running himself ragged, to be there for Belle and Anna and prove he’d changed, to the way he stood up for himself when the situation demanded it and called things like they were. He reentered Belle and Anna’s lives and refused to back away while also letting Belle have complete control over the pace of everything. He showed her with his every word and action that he was here to stay for Anna and for her if she’d just let him in.
I really loathed Belle a lot in the first book so she had the most work to do in my mind but I loved how between having Anna, getting her relationship with Penny back on the right track, and stepping out from under her mother’s controlling thumb she had softened into a genuinely sweet human being. The way she was determined to not repeat her mother’s mistakes with her own daughter and the way she let Anna be herself was beautiful to watch and I loved how she had turned her whole life into helping others! I also loved how she, like Micah, didn’t hide from or sugarcoat past mistakes but instead owned up to them and determined to be better going forward.
One of the most beautiful things about Tuttle’s writing is the authenticity. The characters feel so real, like people you could meet on the street, and the emotions are so well-written that I honestly find myself feeling them all with the characters, from the laughter and joy , to the pain and heartache I feel like I lived it all right alongside them.
Watching Belle and Micah fight their way not back but forward to a better future was truly beautiful and I was rooting for them every step. Their story was messy and hard but that just made the ending and reconciliation all the sweeter because true love isn’t easy.
I also can’t write this review without mentioning all the secondary characters! I loved catching up with Jonah and Penny, as well as seeing more of Rachel and her son Gavin and meeting Evan (who I think is gonna be someone special)! Plus all of the “Grands” that help out at Belle’s store who were so sweet and funny and gave a good kick in the pants when necessary!
So if all this gushing didn’t make it clear, let me state it again, I FREAKING LOVED THIS BOOK and you need to read it ASAP, no if, ands, or buts about it!

Meet the Author
ACFW Carol Award Finalist, Susan L. Tuttle was born and raised in the Mitten State where she met and married her best friend. A homeschooling mom of three, somewhere along the way she blinked and those three littles aren't so little anymore. Now she balances their young adult years with directing the women's ministry at her church and writing new stories. She fully believes that God is the biggest romancer in the world and that He loves each one of us lavishly even in all our imperfections--a belief tried and tested by her own misses at perfection. Never having met a cookie she didn't like, most days you'll find her enjoying one for a treat between chauffeuring her kiddos around, attempting housework, contemplating exercise, or coaxing her current characters to talk.

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 10, 2020

The Cul-de-Sac War by Melissa Ferguson

About the Book
All’s fair in love and prank wars. 
Bree Leake doesn’t want to be tied down. She’s had more jobs than she can count, and she plans to move as soon as the curtains fall on her less-than-minor stage role at The Barter—the oldest live performance theater in the US. But just when it’s time to move on again, Bree’s parents make her an offer: hold steady for a full year, and they will give her the one thing she’s always wanted—her grandmother’s house. Her dreams are coming true . . . until life at the theater throws her some curve balls. 
And then there’s Chip McBride—her handsome and infuriating next-door neighbor. 
Chip just might be the only person whose stubborn streak can match Bree’s. She would move heaven and earth to have him off her cul-de-sac and out of her life, but according to the bargain she’s struck, she can’t move out of her house and away from the man who’s making her life miserable. So begins Bree’s obsessive new mission: to drive Chip out of the neighborhood—and fast. 
Bree isn’t the only one who’s a tad competitive, and Chip is more than willing to fight fire with fire. But as their pranks escalate, the line between love and hate starts to blur—and their heated rivalry threatens to take a hilarious, heartwarming, and romantic new turn.

My Thoughts
Last year Melissa Ferguson blew my socks off with her debut novel and I instantly fell in love (if you follow me on Instagram you may have heard me rave a time or two). So of course I was anxiously awaiting her second book! I did have the privilege of reading a super advanced version last year but I was so excited to get the finished product!
This story was hilarious and entertaining from start to finish and I just loved it! All the crazy back and forth pranks from Bree and Chip had me laughing out loud more than once-so many creative ways to torment your neighbor! From overly friendly dogs to Christmas trees to craigslist ads it was just so uniquely crazy! It may have been a little over the top at times for some people but I was here for it and enjoyed every moment!
I will say that the romance wasn’t necessarily as prevalent in this book and I actually didn’t mind. Considering that they were both seeing other people in the beginning it would have come off kinda slimy so I appreciated the way that the author kept things purely antagonistic until they suddenly realized there was more and were available.
This book was just as much fun the second time and while the first book may still be my favorite this one has cemented Melissa Ferguson’s spot on my favorites list!

Meet the Author
Melissa Ferguson lives in Tennessee, where she enjoys chasing her children and writing romantic comedies full of humor and heart. Her favorite hobby is taking friends and acquaintances and turning them into characters in her books without their knowledge. She is confident you should read all her novels, starting with this one. Connect with her (and prepare for the possibility of becoming her next character) at: 
Instagram: @melissafergusonauthor
TikTok: @melissafergusonauthor
Facebook: AuthorMelissaFerguson”

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. 

The Red Canary by Rachel Scott McDaniel

About the Book
Music sparks her world, but can love ignite her heart?
In 1928, soot from the local mills and music from speakeasies linger in the Pittsburgh air. When the manager of The Kelly Club is found dead, nightclub singer Vera Pembroke is thrust into peril. As the only witness to the crime, she’s sentenced to hide away in the Allegheny Forest with a stuffy police sergeant as her guardian.
Sergeant Mick Dinelo harbors a burning hatred for Pittsburgh’s underworld after the devastation it left on his life—and heart. He should be out exposing culpable gangsters rather than tending to the impetuous woman who defies his every effort to keep her safe.
Mick and Vera must set aside their differences to solve the murder that someone wants to keep buried beneath the soot of Steel City.

My Thoughts
Nobody writes 1920’s fiction like Rachel Scott McDaniel! From the smoky haze of historic Pittsburgh nightlife to the quiet beauty of the Allegheny National Forest McDaniel truly transports her readers to another time and place! The way she slowly draws you in, painting the story and scene in such vivid detail, is truly a gift. Everything is skillfully placed, giving us all the important information whether we can see it in the moment or not.
The story starts by giving us a glimpse of the life Vera lives, just enough to truly understand where she’s coming from without bogging the reader down with unnecessary information. Then things take off with a bang, gripping the reader with the mystery, danger, and romance!
Vera was a bit of a hard nut to crack. Life hadn’t been kind and people had been even crueler so it was no surprise that she had a tough exterior but underneath it all was a scared little girl who just wanted to be loved. McDaniel did an excellent job of really making you understand Vera and her emotions so while she might’ve been tough to swallow at the start by the end you loved her and were truly rooting for her!
I really liked Mick and the way he stood on the side of justice even while living in a city where falling in with the bad guys was almost too easy. He stood by his convictions and was willing to do whatever necessary to protect innocent people and see good win out. Vera may have seen him as a square at the start but he was just what she needed, someone who wouldn’t kowtow and gave as good as he got. I loved watching them butt heads and then seeing those sparks turn into a fire of a whole different kind! Falling in love kind of snuck up on both of them and it was fun to see the journey!
McDaniel does a fantastic job of giving her readers a little bit of everything, romance, humor, mystery, action, and all while giving off classic movie vibes! Honestly I adore every single word she writes and she always leaves me begging for more!

Meet the Author
Even though Rachel Scott McDaniel won a writing award at the ripe age of eleven, the love of storytelling didn't enter her heart until she became a mother. Now her stories are channeled to an older crowd, but her message of faith and grace remain the same. Winner of the ACFW Genesis Award and the RWA Touched by Love Award, Rachel pens novels brimming with romance and mystery. She embraces her fanatical penchant for classic movies and has never been known to turn down chocolate. Her work is represented by Julie Gwinn from The Seymour Agency. Rachel currently enjoys life in Ohio with her husband and two kids.

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. 

Tuesday, November 03, 2020

Things We Didn't Say by Amy Lynn Green

About the Book
Headstrong Johanna Berglund, a linguistics student at the University of Minnesota, has very definite plans for her future . . . plans that do not include returning to her hometown and the secrets and heartaches she left behind there. But the US Army wants her to work as a translator at a nearby camp for German POWs.
Johanna arrives to find the once-sleepy town exploding with hostility. Most patriotic citizens want nothing to do with German soldiers laboring in their fields, and they're not afraid to criticize those who work at the camp as well. When Johanna describes the trouble to her friend Peter Ito, a language instructor at a school for military intelligence officers, he encourages her to give the town that rejected her a second chance.
As Johanna interacts with the men of the camp and censors their letters home, she begins to see the prisoners in a more sympathetic light. But advocating for better treatment makes her enemies in the community, especially when charismatic German spokesman Stefan Werner begins to show interest in Johanna and her work. The longer Johanna wages her home-front battle, the more the lines between compassion and treason become blurred--and it's no longer clear whom she can trust.

My Thoughts
My anticipation of this book was on a bit of a roller coaster, first giddy excitement at the thought of a epistolary novel set during WWII, my absolute favorite time period, then fear that it wouldn’t be as good as I hoped especially since it was a debut, then back to excitement because it just HAD to be good! And thankfully it more than exceeded my expectations and I absolutely loved it!
Amy Green provides a unique and fresh new voice in the Christian Fiction world and I was captivated from the very start! It amazed me how she managed to make me fall in love with characters simply through letters. Jo was fiery and spunky and I absolutely loved her no holds barred approach, her unsent letters with her snarky replies were some of my favorites to read. Peter was the perfect quiet hero, the calm and thoughtful way he approached everything was just the balance Jo needed and I loved that she trusted him enough to let him speak into her situations.
The prison camp was such a fascinating setting and I truly admired the way the author, through Jo, spotlighted their humanity even though they were the enemy. Too often we write people off because they’re on the other side without stopping to consider how they are just like us in so many ways.
This story had me on the edge of my seat and made me quite frustrated with the craziness of life that kept interrupting my reading! If you try one new author this year, let it be this one, you won’t be disappointed! I definitely wasn’t and I’m anxiously awaiting what the author has in store for us next!

Meet the Author
Amy Lynn Green is a publicist by day and a freelance writer on nights and weekends. She was the 2014 winner of the Family Fiction short story contest, and her articles have been featured in Crosswalk, Focus on the Family magazines, and other faith-based publications over the past 10 years. This is her first novel. Learn more at

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. 

Thursday, October 29, 2020

Point of Danger by Irene Hannon

About the Book
Radio talk show host Eve Reilly is used to backlash from her pot-stirring on-air commentary and interviews, but now it seems a disgruntled listener is resorting to more than angry words to express their displeasure. When a suspicious package arrives on her doorstep, Eve turns to law enforcement for help.
Police detective Brent Lange can't find any evidence to link the string of unsettling incidents that follows, but he's convinced they're connected. As the harassment grows more menacing, it becomes clear someone wants Eve's voice silenced--permanently. 
But unless he can track down her foe, fast, the gutsy woman who is willing to take risks for what she believes--and who is swiftly winning his heart--may not survive.
Bestselling author and three-time RITA Award winner Irene Hannon is back with a heart-stopping new series that will have you turning pages well into the night.

My Thoughts
I have been an Irene Hannon fan since basically the beginning and I always look forward to her upcoming releases. Sadly though this one missed the mark a bit for me. Overall it was still a decent read, I just had a hard time with some things. A lot of it came down to just out of date terminology, phrasing, and references that didn’t mesh with the characters ages and a lot of over sharing of irrelevant details. And the political bent of everything was a bit much with the current state of things, I get it enough in the real world that I’d prefer not to have it in fiction.
The characters themselves weren’t unlikable but I wanted more from the romance and the “barriers” to them having a relationship didn’t really hold water.
There were also too many points of view and I kept hoping that by the end it would make sense why they were all there but it just didn’t. Honestly the whole “suspense” aspect was a bit all over the place and didn’t grip me at all.
So while this wasn’t my favorite I still think a lot of readers will enjoy it and if the plot sounds interesting to you, you should definitely check it out!

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,

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. 

Thursday, October 22, 2020

If It's Perfect by Summer Dowell

About the Book
One thing I learned this week: DO NOT flirt while at a client’s wedding. (especially with anyone in a tux)

Success-driven Hope Fletcher has some lofty goals for her life. But is it really too much to want a thriving cake design business by age 29? Marry a perfect (emphasis on the perfect) man by age 30? Then have the kids, dog, and house in suburbia by age 34? If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.
Dean. Wonderful, dreamy Dean who loves kids (and will eventually grow to love dogs) steps into Hope's world. He's the exact type of man she's been looking for and she starts falling. Hard. 
But will Hope's perfect image of Dean crumble when she finds out about his past?
A clean, loud-out-loud romantic comedy that's full of sarcasm and swoons!

My Thoughts
This book was as sweet as the cakes the heroine makes and I absolutely loved it! The wit and humor were well-timed and had me grinning throughout and even laughing out loud at times. The romance was light and charming and I loved Hope and Dean together. Hope was definitely a perfectionist but the author wrote it in an endearing way and I could relate to some of her control issues. I enjoyed seeing her learn to let go a bit and realize that no one, not even herself, could live up to her perfect standard. Dean was great and I loved how much of a gentleman he was and how he was such a great blend of sweet and funny!
I also really liked the wedding cake aspect of the story, took me back to my bakery days (though I didn’t make them, just sold them) and it was a fun setting for everything!
All in all an utterly cute read that I highly recommend if you are looking for a light read to put a smile on your face!

Meet the Author
Meet Summer. Your best-reading-buddy-that-you've-never-actually-met who's obsessed with writing romance books. You know, that friend that always has a sarcastic comeback & whose favorite thing is to sit next to you on the couch, not talking, reading our own books? That's Summer.
She's a stay home mom to 6 and has a slight need to escape the laundry and diaper chaos. Summer turned her ability to see the humor in anything into a lineup of books that now inspire readers to chuckle, snicker, and even lol at the embarrassing situations she puts characters in.
Her superpower? Besides writing book dedications that purposely call out her husband, she is really good at giving people an escape from their everyday lives in the form of a story.

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 20, 2020

The Love Note Joanna Davidson Politano

About the Book
Focused on a career in medicine and not on romance, Willa Duvall is thrown slightly off course during the summer of 1865 when she discovers a never-opened love letter in a crack of her old writing desk. Compelled to find the passionate soul who penned it and the person who never received it, she takes a job as a nurse at the seaside estate of Crestwicke Manor.
Everyone at Crestwicke has feelings--mostly negative ones--about the man who wrote the letter, but he seems to have disappeared. With plenty of enticing clues but few answers, Willa's search becomes even more complicated when she misplaces the letter and it passes from person to person in the house, each finding a thrilling or disheartening message in its words. 
Laced with mysteries large and small, this romantic Victorian-era tale of love lost, love deferred, and love found is sure to delight.

My Thoughts
With an intriguing premise and a beautiful cover this book is sure to capture the attention of readers! The idea of trying to find the author and intended recipient of a lost love letter definitely held promise and made me really interested in seeing how the story played out. To say that it played out in unexpected ways would definitely be an understatement, there were constant surprises along the way. To be honest though I felt like the story would have benefited more from having less of the side stories/“mysteries”, none of them really drew me in and there were some discrepancies that took me out of the narrative. I think the story would have been more cohesive with less focus on those aspects.
Willa was also not the most likable of characters, her high view of herself and kind of selfish tendencies made it hard for me to really engage with this story. Gabe was sweet and I wish his character would have been fleshed out a little more and gotten some more page time.
Overall this just wasn’t the story for me but I know readers are loving it and I can definitely see how it will hit home with other people! If this sounds like your kind of book I encourage you to check out other reviews and not just take my personal opinion.

Meet the Author
Joanna Davidson Politano is the award-winning author of Lady Jayne Disappears, A Rumored Fortune, and Finding Lady Enderly. When she's not homeschooling her small children, she 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 children in a house in the woods near Lake Michigan and shares stories that move her at

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 13, 2020

The Kissing Tree Novella Collection

About the Book

In this Texas-sized romance novella collection, courting couples, decades apart, leave a permanent mark of their love by carving their initials into the same oak's bark.   

Regina Jennings - "Broken Limbs, Mended Hearts"
When a young man from her past returns and upends their small town with a new invention, schoolteacher Bella Eden is reminded of the heartbreak she suffered years ago under the old oak tree. When her job is put on the line, can she trust the man who disrupted her life to help her fight for a brighter future? 

Karen Witemeyer - "Inn for a Surprise"
Determined to keep love alive for others, Phoebe Woodward builds an inn that caters to couples. When her father sends a property manager to help make it a success, she finds her whimsical vision thwarted by his stodgy practicality. Finding the right blend of romance and reality is a challenge, and her spinster heart may be in for a surprise.  

Amanda Dykes - "From Roots to Sky"
WWII airman Luke Hampstead found comfort in letters from the sister of a lost compatriot. When he visits Texas to thank her, he discovers her constructing a project with surprising ties to his letters . . . and that she herself is even more surprising. While a promising opportunity awaits him elsewhere, will what they've shared be enough to give their future flight?

My Thoughts

Broken Limbs, Mended Fences

This was a really cute story. I liked Adam and the way he fell in love with Bella back when they were school kids and set off to make himself worthy of her and return to win her heart. I appreciated the way he worked hard and truly wanted to make people’s lives better. 

I felt bad for Bella with the loss of her dreams but I really admired the way she accepted her new path and determined to be the best she could at it. 

The two of them were really sweet together and I liked watching Bella realize how Adam had always felt and start to feel the same way herself. 

Inn for a Surprise

This story was everything sweet and charming! I loved the characters and the way that they were complete opposites but took the time to consider the other’s point of view rather than insisting their way was right. They so perfectly complimented each other, Barnabas grounding Phoebe and bringing some practicality to her dreams, while never discrediting them. And Phoebe showing Barnabas the benefits of adding a little whimsy and romantic notions to your life. I also really loved the way Barnabas described things in his mind and the various nicknames he came up with for the Kissing Tree! Basically this story was just the perfect little historical romance novella!

From Roots to Sky

In typical Amanda Dykes fashion, this story was lyrically beautiful! It’s WWII, so I was in love before I even started and when we met Luke and Hannah I was a complete goner! I loved the way they had the connection of their letters but watching them fall in love in person was the absolute sweetest. They were opposites in a lot of ways but similar in some as well. Luke was more reserved while Hannah was a bit of a tornado (as Luke described her at their first meeting) but they went together perfectly and I loved their story!


This story of second chance love was utterly captivating! I loved both Griffin and Abby and seeing them work through what had torn them apart in order to find their way back to each other was beautiful. Their shared grief was palpable and reading it during a time of my own grief allowed me to feel it even more deeply. They also both had a deep love and respect for nature and their passion for it shown through.

This was just a story about the love between the two characters but also their connection to Abby’s father who had passed away and the impact he’d had on them and the land.

Final Thoughts

I think this is officially my favorite novella collection! Every single story was wonderful and that almost never happens! Usually I have at least one that I’m just not a fan of at all so to love all four was a huge feat! Also the fact that these four authors made me care about a fictional inanimate tree is a testament to their skill! I definitely think you should pick this collection up-you won’t be sorry!

Meet the Authors

Karen Witemeyer is a winner of the multiple Carol Awards and has been a finalist for the RITA Award and National Readers' Choice Award. She lives in Abilene, Texas. Visit her at 

Regina Jennings is the acclaimed author of The Fort Reno Series and winner of the National Readers' Choice Award. She lives with her family outside Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Visit her at 

Amanda Dykes is the author of Whose Waves These Are, a Booklist Top Ten Debut Romance of 2019 and acclaimed by Publishers Weekly as an "impressive debut."  Visit her at 

Nicole Deese is a Carol Award winner and a RITA Awards and INSPY Awards finalist. She lives in small-town Idaho. Visit her at

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 06, 2020

Jocelyn by Sarah Monzon

About the Book
WWSOD—What would Scarlett O’Hara do? Anything to survive, that’s what. But instead of a man-eating Southern belle in hoop skirts and big hats, my version of existence looks an awful lot like a financial conglomerate employee staring blankly at budget analysis spreadsheets. Either way, the motto has served me well most my life. Until now, that is. The corporate retreat location has just been announced, and this city girl is headed to a dude ranch in the country. How will Scarlett help me survive that? No, this time I’ll turn to the sage advice of preteen YouTubers and their ponies to keep me from making a fool of myself. But who’s going to help me navigate the kind yet reticent cowboy in the black Stetson—the cattle ranch owner who’s slowly claiming corners of my heart?

My Thoughts

This was an enjoyable fun little read full of all the quirkiness that I’m realizing is going to be the norm for this series.

I wasn’t sure what to make of Jocelyn at first, kinda thought she might annoy me a bit (and she did have her moments) but overall she was a fun heroine and it was entertaining watching her try to understand ranch life.

Malachi was very quiet so he took a bit to get to know but he was a sweet guy and I admired his hard work in keeping the ranch going. 

The two of them weren’t typically the type you’d match up, but once again the old opposites attract came in to play! My favorite part of their romance was the texts once they were not in the same location anymore-those had some of the best lines.

All in all it was cute rom-com that I had finished in less than a day and I definitely recommend it for people looking for a sweet clean read!

Meet the Author
A Carol award finalist and Selah award winner, Sarah Monzon is a stay-at-home mom who makes up imaginary friends to have adult conversations with (otherwise known as writing novels). As a navy chaplain's wife, she resides wherever the military happens to station her family and enjoys exploring the beauty of the world around her.

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. 

The Price of Valor by Susan May Warren

About the Book
Former Navy SEAL Hamilton Jones thought that the love of his life was dead. But when a girl claiming to be his daughter shows up with a dire message from his wife, Ham knows he will stop at nothing to find her and bring her home.
Kidnapped by rebels while serving as an interpreter in Ukraine, Signe Kincaid has spent the past decade secreting out valuable information about Russian assets in the US to her CIA handler. Fearing for her daughter after being discovered as an operative, Signe sends her to Ham for safekeeping. She's ready to give her life for her country, and she can hardly expect Ham to rescue her after breaking his heart over and over.
When Ham discovers the reason Signe has kept her distance, he must choose between love for his wife and love for the nation he has vowed to protect. Will he save the many? Or the few?
USA Today bestselling author Susan May Warren takes you on a global search and rescue mission where the stakes are higher than ever in this final installment of her popular series. 

My Thoughts
I always lose track of the exact number of Susan May Warren books I’ve read but I’ve read every single one of her fiction books and always eagerly await her next release. This one I was especially anxious for because I have been intrigued by Ham since he first appeared in the Montana Marshalls series. I really love his character, the way he truly lives out his faith never letting the trails he’s gone through break his trust in God was absolutely inspiring. He loves fiercely and will literally move heaven and earth for the people he cares about. So many times I questioned the way he kept forgiving and extending grace and trust but it was actually a beautiful picture of the way God is with us.
Signe took me awhile to warm up to I’m not going to lie. She was forever doing the exact opposite of what I wanted her to do and I wanted to scream at her sometimes. But as you really got to see the way all the things she’d endured had affected every part of her and really done a number on her mind it allowed you to understand more and to empathize with why she was the way she was. At her core though she just wanted what was best for those she loved even if she was going about it the wrong way. And Ham’s persistent pursuit of her and constant pointing her to Jesus was just what she needed to break through the lies and I loved watching that unfold.
We also got some more of Jenny and Orion’s story that had some surprising moment for sure! And all of the other characters from this series and the Montana Marshall’s that were involved in the story were fun to catch up with!
I was hooked in watching everything unfold, from the crazy natural disasters to the intrigue of the spy world! And I loved that we finally got some closure on the storyline that has carried over between the two series.
Fans of Susan May Warren will definitely enjoy this installment and if Signe drives you nuts at the start know you aren’t alone and you’ll feel differently by the end!

Meet the Author

Susan May Warren is the USA Today bestselling author of more than 65 novels with more than 1 million books sold, including The Way of the Brave and The Heart of a Hero, as well as the Montana Rescue series. Winner of a RITA Award and multiple Christy and Carol Awards, as well as the HOLT Medallion and numerous Readers' Choice Awards, Susan makes her home in Minnesota. Find her online at, on Facebook @SusanMayWarrenFiction, and on Twitter @susanmaywarren.

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. 

Thursday, October 01, 2020

The Red Ribbon by Pepper Basham

 About the Book

An Appalachian Feud Blows Up in 1912  

Step into True Colors -- a new series of Historical Stories of Romance and American Crime 

In Carroll County, a corn shucking is the social event of the season, until a mischievous kiss leads to one of the biggest tragedies in Virginia history. Ava Burcham isn’t your typical Blue Ridge Mountain girl. She has a bad habit of courtin’ trouble, and her curiosity has opened a rift in the middle of a feud between politicians and would-be outlaws, the Allen family. Ava’s tenacious desire to find a story worth reporting may land her and her best friend, Jeremiah Sutphin, into more trouble than either of them planned. The end result? The Hillsville Courthouse Massacre of 1912. 

My Thoughts

This was my first foray into this True Colors series and honestly I only read it because I’m a Pepper Basham fan for life! It was definitely different than her normal books but her writing style still shone through and she got some of those famous kisses in! 

I thought it was interesting how the crime in this story took place in the author’s home town so it was a story and area she was very familiar with and that came through in the writing.

Jeremiah was such a great hero and I loved the way he was hardworking and kind and the quiet way he loved Ava.

Ava was a bit too reckless with her safety at times but she had a desire to see justice and truth prevail. 

The two of them made a sweet couple and I liked watching their friendship finally turn into more!

All in all it was an enjoyable read and I’m sure fans of this series will love this installment!

Meet the Author

Pepper Basham is an award-winning author who writes romance peppered with grace and humor with a southern Appalachian flair. Her books have garnered recognition in the Grace Awards, Inpsys, and the ACFW Carol Awards, with The Thorn Healer selected as a 2018 finalist in the RT awards. Both her contemporary and historical romance novels consistently receive high ratings from Romantic Times, with Just the Way You Are as a Top Pick. Most recently she's introduced readers to Bath, UK through her novellas, Second Impressions and Jane by the Book, and taken readers into the exciting world of WW2 espionage in her novella, Façade. The second novel in The Pleasant Gap series, When You Look at Me, arrives in October and her contribution to Barbour's wonderful My Heart Belongs series hits the shelves in January 2019 with My Heart Belongs in the Blue Ridge. Her books are seasoned with her Appalachian heritage and love for family. She currently resides in the lovely mountains of Asheville, NC where she is the mom of five great kids, a speech-pathologist to about fifty more, and a lover of chocolate, jazz, hats, and Jesus.

You can get to know Pepper on her website,, on Facebook, Instagram, or over at her group blog, The Writer's Alley.

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. 

Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Miss Trailerhood by Carina Taylor


About the Book

She disappeared from our lives without a word. I never expected to run into her at a Quik Mart in between jobs. What’s a guy to do when he finds his first crush? Follow her home, of course, and remind her of all the things she’s missing.I didn’t know that holding onto Riley would involve living in a trailer park. Or keeping it a secret from my sister— her best friend.Riley is completely at home with lawn-mower racing, beer-guzzling exhibitionists. She doesn’t think I can handle it.Well, I’m going to show Miss Trailerhood that I’m here to stay—no matter what trailer-park mayhem she puts me through. Love is patient, love is kind, love means buying a single wide.

My Thoughts

I will fully admit that I am a little picky with my rom-coms. I love the genre but can be hard to find those ones that successfully balance the humor without going over the top into the realm of unbelievability. When I stumbled upon Carina Taylor’s books I immediately fell in love and binged them all, which then left me desperately waiting for this book to come out! Mr. H.O.A. (book one in this series) was one of my absolute favs of hers and I was so excited to get to know Riley and figure out what had happened! 

I loved both Nate and Riley and together they were so much fun! The fact that they’d grown up together and had so much history gave depth to their romance and I loved watching them get together! I really valued Nate’s dedication to winning Riley over and his refusal to just leave her. I understood Riley’s fears, especially when you considered her past and all the pain she’d endured. I loved how Nate didn’t dismiss or belittle her fears but loved her through them-it was the absolute sweetest!

The characters in the trailer park were definitely entertaining but I loved that she didn’t just make them all obnoxiously eccentric-they had their unique personalities and there were definitely some oddballs but they were realistic. 

In short this was a wonderful follow-up to the last book and I’m already anxiously awaiting what she has in store for us next!

Meet the Author

Carina Taylor writes zany romantic comedies to make you ugly laugh. 

When she's not writing, you can find Carina chasing after three little boys, ignoring her laundry pile, pretending to work out, drinking large amounts of coffee, and dreaming up the next story.

You can follow her on Facebook and Instagram: @carinataylorauthor

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. 

Monday, September 28, 2020

Lavender and Lace by Tara Grace Ericson

About the Book

In their online writer chatroom, they are getting serious.
In the real world; He thinks she’s shallow, and she thinks he’s out of touch.
When their worlds collide, will their hearts survive?

Lavender Bloom is a social marketing expert and influential fashion blogger. Always focused on the perfect image, she shows the world a flawless version of herself, except to her family and her nameless online best friend. Her broody new client certainly doesn’t understand her or why she prefers to hide behind her computer.

Reclusive author Emmett Drake spends his days writing his award-winning fantasy saga and his nights chatting online with the woman of his dreams. When he is forced to hire an image consultant to please his publisher, he despises everything the woman stands for, even if he sees hidden depths beneath her polished façade.

Lavender is determined to help Emmett embrace the power of social media, convinced he has the platform to make a difference. Meanwhile, he is determined to uncover the woman hiding behind the carefully scripted marketing lingo. Their struggle to find authenticity in a world centered on likes, comments, and shares will challenge them both to embrace God’s purpose for their lives – together.

Return to Bloom’s Farm in Lavender and Lace and embrace the joy of family, faith, and true love in this nostalgic modern nod to the romantic classic, You’ve Got Mail.

My Thoughts

This just might be my favorite of this Bloom Sisters series! Like it’s predecessors it was cute and sweet and everything you could want from a light contemporary romance. I related to Lavender more than I have the other heroines so far, with her quiet nature and fear of expressing her deeper thoughts for the world to see. I liked seeing her find her confidence and taking the step of faith to trust God with her words.

Emmett was pretty great too, I’m always a sucker for the quieter heroes and he definitely fit the bill. But his quietness hid a strength that had helped him overcome his childhood pain and make a place for himself in the world. His past also kept him grounded and gave him a heart for others that I admired. 

Lavender and Emmett were really cute together, once they got past the bit of a bumpy start, and I loved watching their romance play out! The similarities to You’ve Got Mail were fun, even though I’m not personally a fan of the movie. All in all another great installment in this series and I’m excited for the next book!

Meet the Author
Tara Grace Ericson lives in Missouri with her husband and two sons. She studied engineering and worked as an engineer for many years before embracing her creative side to become a full-time author. Her first book, Falling on Main Street, was written mostly from airport waiting areas and bleak hotel rooms as she traveled in her position as a sales engineer. She loves cooking, crocheting, and reading books by the dozen. Her writing partner is usually her black lab - Ruby - and a good cup of coffee or tea. Tara unashamedly watches Hallmark movies all winter long, even though they are predictable and cheesy. She loves a good “happily ever after” with an engaging love story. That’s why Tara focuses on writing clean contemporary romance, with an emphasis on Christian faith and living. She wants to encourage her readers with stories of men and women who live out their faith in tough situations.

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. 

Tuesday, September 08, 2020

A Portrait of Loyalty by Roseanna M. White

About the Book
Zivon Marin was one of Russia's top cryptographers until the October Revolution tore apart his world. Forced to flee to England after speaking out against Lenin, Zivon is driven by a growing anger and determined to offer his services to the Brits. But never far from his mind is his brother, whom Zivon fears died in the train crash that separated them.
Lily Blackwell sees the world best through the lens of a camera and possesses unsurpassed skill when it comes to retouching and re-creating photographs. With her father's connections in propaganda, she's recruited to the intelligence division, even though her mother would disapprove if she ever found out.
After Captain Blackwell invites Zivon to dinner one evening, a friendship blooms between him and Lily that soon takes over their hearts. But both have secrets they're unwilling to share, and neither is entirely sure they can trust the other. When Zivon's loyalties are called into question, proving him honest is about more than one couple's future dreams--it becomes a matter of ending the war.

My Thoughts
Roseanna M. White never fails to wow me and of course this book was no exception! I was completely fascinated with the glimpses we got of Lily and Zivon in the previous book and I was elated when I found out they would be the hero and heroine of this book!
I loved the way Lily looked at the world, finding pockets of beauty in every ordinary moment. Her skill at capturing that beauty was amazing and I was also impressed by all the ways she helped the Admiralty. She had such a caring heart which was evident in how fiercely she loved her family and the way she served at the hospital.
Zivon was definitely a mystery from the moment we met him but I loved seeing the layers peel back and getting to know the amazing hero beneath. His loyalty and determination were some of his most admirable qualities as well as the way he was able to keep moving forward and fighting for right despite having all that he cherished ripped away from him. The way his brain was always working steps ahead was truly fascinating and I loved seeing it in action.
Together Zivon and Lily were just absolutely perfect. Their romance started a little slowly but it unfolded beautifully at just the right pace and I loved it. The way Lily pulled Zivon out of his solitary existence and the way Zivon saw Lily’s heart above all else. They had my heart melting and I couldn’t stop reading.
The villains of this book were both easy and hard to hate and I applaud the way the author wrote them. I absolutely detested their actions but she also showed us their humanity.
I adored getting glimpses of all of our favorite characters from this series and the previous two (especially Barclay) though I’m refusing to accept that this is the end of this story world despite what the author has said. In all seriousness though this book was amazing and the perfect cap on this Codebreakers series! These three series will forever be some of my absolute favorites and I’m so thankful for them!

Meet the Author

Roseanna M. White is a bestselling, Christy Award-nominated author who has long claimed that words are the air she breathes. When not writing fiction, she's homeschooling her two kids, editing, designing book covers, and pretending her house will clean itself. You can learn more about her and her stories at

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, August 29, 2020

Acceptable Risk by Lynette Eason

About the Book
Sarah Denning is a military journalist with the Army in the Middle East when her convoy is attacked and she's taken hostage. When former Army Ranger Gavin Black is asked by his old unit commander--Sarah's imposing father--to plan an extremely risky rescue, he reluctantly agrees and successfully executes it.
Back in the US, Sarah is livid when she's discharged on a false psychiatric evaluation and vows to return to the Army. Until she learns of her brother's suicide. Unable to believe her brother would do such a thing, she puts her plans on hold and enlists Gavin to help her discover the truth. What they uncover may be the biggest story of Sarah's career--if she can survive long enough to write it.
Strap in for another breakneck nail-biter from bestselling romantic suspense author Lynette Eason that will have you up turning pages long into the night.

My Thoughts
Get ready for another non-stop action-packed read from Lynette Eason.
This book starts with a bang and the punches just keep coming till the very end! Literally at every turn something crazy was happening or being discovered and it made the pages turn quite quickly.
The characters were both likable (besides Sarah’s issues with her dad that made her come across as irrational at times) and they made a good couple. I liked that they’d had a bit of a backstory before the book started so their relationship had some ground to stand on outside of the adrenaline fueled days that they had in the story.
The case was unique and interesting and I was definitely curious as to how it was all being pulled off, which kept me hooked till the end!
All an all a good read that is sure to have readers on the edge of their seats!

Meet the Author
Lynette Eason is the bestselling author of Collateral Damage and Protecting Tanner Hollow, as well as the Blue Justice, 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

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.