Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Kings Falling by Ronie Kendig

About the Book
Leif Metcalfe and his team, dubbed Reaper, need to recover the stolen, ancient Book of the Wars if they hope to stop the Armageddon Coalition and their pursuit of global economic control. But their attention has been diverted by a prophecy in the book that foretells of formidable guardians who will decimate the enemies of ArC. While Iskra Todorova uses her connections in the covert underworld to hunt down the Book of the Wars, Leif and Reaper attempt to neutralize these agents but quickly find themselves outmaneuvered and outgunned.
The more Reaper tries to stop the guardians, the more failure becomes a familiar, antagonistic foe. Friendships are fractured, and the team battles to hold it together long enough to defeat ArC. But as this millennia-old conspiracy creeps closer and closer to home, the implications could tear Leif and the team apart.

My Thoughts
I have been a Ronie Kendig fan since her debut novel released and I have read every one of her military fiction books that have graced our shelves ever since! That being said this book didn’t quite hit the mark for the high expectations I have of her books. It still had all the things we’ve come to expect from a Kendig novel, high-paced action, buckets of intrigue and mystery, and intense characters with so much story to reveal.
Since this book is a continuation of book one we were already introduced to everyone but there was still so much more to learn about them all. Leif is still battling the demons of his past that he can’t identify and Iskra is figuring out what her life looks like now. The team provided a plethora of other characters with their own unique personalities. Several of them were given their own POV at various times throughout the book, and while it was good to get to know the team better it felt like a bit too much at times to have so many different viewpoints.
The team spends this book continuing to hunt for the Book of Wars and to stop those connected to it. Their chase around the globe provided lots of different locales as well as a lot of action scenes which are Kendig’s trademark. I will say at times it was hard to determine the reasoning behind some of their actions and there seemed to be some plot holes that left me questioning some things. Also, the overuse of certain phrases bugged me a bit, but that was probably something only my detail oriented self noticed.
It was good to get some more of the puzzle pieces in place for the overarching story and with how this book ended I am very interested to see how the third book wraps things up!

Meet the Author
Ronie Kendig is the bestselling, award-winning author of over 20 novels. She grew up an army brat, and now she and her hunky hero are adventuring on the East Coast outside of New York City with their grown children, a retired military working dog, VVolt N629, and Benning the Stealth Golden. Ronie's degree in psychology has helped her pen novels with intense, raw characters. Visit Ronie online at www.roniekendig.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. 

Silent Shadows by Natalie Walters

About the Book
Pecca Gallegos moved to the tiny town of Walton, Georgia, to protect her son and escape the dangerous lifestyle that once defined her. When a series of strange circumstances evolve into threats, Pecca finds herself confiding in an unlikely ally--her stubborn patient.
Army veteran Colton Crawford is desperate to recover from the undiagnosed disorder that is ruining his life, and his instincts are on high alert when threats against his nurse and her son force him to take action. But Colton's involvement only ramps up the danger when he uncovers a family secret revealing that whoever is after Pecca is closer--and more deadly--than they realized.
With this suspenseful new story, Natalie Walters welcomes you once more to Walton, Georgia, where everyone knows your name--but no one knows your secret.

My Thoughts
While this author got of to a bit of a rocky start for me, I believe she is coming into her own and each book has been better than the last, with this one being my favorite for sure!
Pecca was a kind, and sometimes feisty character and the way she cared for others was beautiful to watch. I also really liked her son, Maceo. Often kids can be hard to get write in books but Walters did it exceptionally and I admired how he fought to overcome his handicap.
Colton was such a wonderfully broken hero and I loved watching him discover his new purpose after being sidelined by his movement disorder. The protective care he had over Pecca and the way he championed Maceo endeared him to me even more!
The romance was sweet and I loved watching as it slowly built into a beautiful relationship!
It was fun seeing how Charlie and Lane (from book one) had fared since their story and the guys from D-wing were a hoot for sure!
The mystery angle was very expertly woven into the story and while I did guess some of the ending there were still twists that surprised me!
All in all this was a wonderful book and a great way to end the series! I’m looking forward to what this author has in store for us next!

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

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

Monday, March 30, 2020

Before I Called You Mine by Nicole Deese

About the Book
Lauren Bailey may be a romantic at heart, but after a decade of matchmaking schemes gone wrong, there's only one match she's committed to now--the one that will make her a mother. Lauren is a dedicated first-grade teacher in Idaho, and her love for children has led her to the path of international adoption. To satisfy her adoption agency's requirements, she gladly agreed to remain single for the foreseeable future; however, just as her long wait comes to an end, Lauren is blindsided by a complication she never saw coming: Joshua Avery.
Joshua may be a substitute teacher by day, but Lauren finds his passion for creating educational technology as fascinating as his antics in the classroom. Though she does her best to downplay the undeniable connection between them, his relentless pursuit of her heart puts her commitment to stay unattached to the test and causes her once-firm conviction to waver.
With an impossible decision looming, Lauren might very well find herself choosing between the two deepest desires of her heart . . . even if saying yes to one means letting go of the other.

My Thoughts
This book was everything. Brace yourselves because this will probably be a long rambling gushy review and I make no apologies about that!
I finally read my first Nicole Deese book a little over a year ago and fell in love. I promptly got my hands on all of her other books and basically binge read them loving each and every one. But this one tops them all I think, her best work yet! The author’s heart shined through every page and gifted us such an authentically real story that captured my heart from start to finish! I could feel every emotion, every battle to make the right choice, every hard moment, and every happy one. It was all so real and several times I had to set the book down just to catch my breath because I was feeling everything with the characters.
I understood Lauren and her motivations so well and I was right there with her as she wrestled with the hard decisions, not knowing what was good and what was best. I loved her heart for children, a heart that I share, and the selfless way she gave of herself day in and day out to make a difference in the lives of children. Her courage to take the hard steps God was calling her to was inspiring and I loved how she trusted Him.
And now, Joshua Avery. It’s a miracle I made it this far without mentioning him because let’s be honest he is one of the most amazing heroes I’ve ever met in the fiction world. I may or may not have contemplated figuring out a way to make him a real person so I could have him all to myself-lol! But I will have to content myself with just reading about him in the fictional world. From the moment he showed up on the page doing a dinosaur impression for his students I think I fell in love and then he just kept being amazing over and over again! From the way he was with kids, to the gentle way he befriended Lauren never pushing beyond the boundaries she set but always being there, to his interactions with his family, to his adorable obsession with dinosaurs. It all came together in an endearingly wonderful hero and he is definitely book boyfriend material! His name was even perfect and completely matched his personality!
I loved the easy way Joshua and Lauren connected. From their very first meeting you could see the spark and their friendship that blossomed to more was just perfectly sweet!
I also really liked the spotlight on adoption in this book, especially knowing it came from the author’s own experience. Every part of the journey was authentically written from the hard to the good to the in between!
Basically this book was an impeccable work of art that I won’t soon forget and can confidently recommend to everyone! It’s going to be on my favorites list and you need to get yourself a copy so that it can be on yours too!

Meet the Author
Nicole Deese is a Carol Award winner and a RITA and INSPY Award finalist. When she's not working on her next contemporary romance, she can usually be found reading one by a window overlooking the inspiring beauty of the Pacific Northwest. She lives in small-town Idaho with her happily-ever-after hubby, two rambunctious sons, and princess daughter with the heart of a warrior. Find her online at www.nicoledeese.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, March 23, 2020

Hoping for Hawthorne by Tara Grace Ericson

About the Book
His sister's friend.
Her childhood crush.
All grown up.
Hawthorne Bloom is living for the moment, until a beautiful stranger with intriguingly familiar eyes gives him a tongue lashing he'll never forget. When she shows up again at a family event, Hawthorne finds himself trying to dig a way out of a hole he didn't realize he was in.
When Avery Chase returns to Indiana, the last thing she expects is to run into her childhood crush, let alone to realize in the years since she left, he's turned into a complete jerk. Hoping for a man to change is a mistake she's made once before and is determined not to make again.
Then again, it's hard to resist when your childhood crush finally notices you.
A sweet and clean, stand-alone Christian romance novella that will have you falling in love with the Bloom Family. Hoping for Hawthorne is the launch prequel for the upcoming Bloom Sisters Series, rapid releasing in Summer 2020.

My Thoughts
When I was asked to read this book I had no idea what I was getting into since I’d never heard of the author but as a sucker for contemporary romance I decided to give it a chance, and I’m glad I did! After a tiny bit of an unsure start I found myself lost in the story and thoroughly enjoying it! Hawthorne wasn’t all that admirable at the start but I loved watching him find his way back to the right path and the man God wanted him to be! Avery was spunky and I enjoyed her character and the way she didn’t back down from a challenge. The two of them were really cute together and even though this was a short novella you could really feel the romance-and that first kiss deserves all the heart eyes! The author packed a lot into this novella, introducing us to a whole cast of characters without bogging the reader down or causing confusion and also creating an authentic relationship! I really enjoyed the whole Bloom family and I’m looking forward to their stories! Also, Hawthorne’s friend Josh was a favorite of mine and I’m really hoping he ends up with a Bloom sister!

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, March 03, 2020

The Runaway Bride by Jody Hedlund

About the Book
Wealthy Arabella Lawrence flees to British Columbia on a bride ship still wearing the scars of past mistakes. One of the few single women in the boomtown, she immediately has suitors, but she is determined not to find herself trapped again by a poor choice.
Vying for her hand are two very different men. Lieutenant Richard Drummond is a gentleman in the Navy and is held in high esteem. Peter Kelly is the town's baker and has worked hard to build a thriving business. He and Drummond not only compete for Arabella's affections, but clash over their views of how the natives should be treated in the midst of a smallpox outbreak.
As Arabella begins to overcome her fears, she discovers someone in dire need--a starving girl abandoned by her tribe. Intent on helping the girl, Arabella leans on Peter's advice and guidance. Will she have the wisdom to make the right decision or will seeking what's right cost both her and Peter everything?

My Thoughts
I have been a Jody Hedlund fan since almost the beginning of her writing career and I have to say this series is fast becoming a favorite of mine! After loving A Reluctant Bride and getting to meet Arabella in that book I was more than I little excited to dive into this one! So much so that I finished it less than ten hours after starting despite having work and volunteer obligations-I literally read it every spare second I had! This is one of those books that is just a pure joy to read from start to finish and it was everything I was hoping it would be!
I really liked Arabella and it was good to finally find out what had happened in her past. While to an outsider it would seem like she lived a charmed life, the way she was controlled and the things she had done to her broke my heart. I loved watching her blossom as she finally had space to discover who she really was and actually dream about a life she could find joy in. Despite her upscale upbringing she had a tender heart and was willing to try and do things that many could, and did, consider below her station.
And Pete, gosh I loved Pete! From the moment he showed up on the page I knew he was going to be a hero to root for! His self-assured charming ways endeared him to me immediately, especially since he also had such a kind, generous, and selfless heart! His confidence as he pursued Arabella had me smiling so much as I read and while I understood the reasons she felt she couldn’t have a relationship with him I couldn’t wait for her to realize how wrong she was! The two of them together were just so perfectly sweet and natural and everything each other needed! Pete was also a man of integrity, which I loved. He never made any secret about the mistakes he had made in the past and his determination to never make them again. And he never stooped to the lieutenant’s level of underhanded ways in the battle to win Arabella’s love.
Basically this book was absolutely wonderful and I couldn’t have loved it more!

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 publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are my own.