Monday, July 27, 2020

Poppy's Proposal by Tara Grace Ericson

About the Book
She vowed he would never hurt her again.
He hides his pain behind a campaign smile.
Harrison Coulter is in the spotlight. Rumored to be the next candidate for governor, there is just one problem – the people won’t elect the most eligible bachelor to the state’s highest office. He needs a wife, but he isn’t looking for love. There is one woman from his past though…
Poppy Bloom has roots as deep as the produce she grows on Bloom’s Farm. When her livelihood is threatened and she finds herself helpless to make a difference, Poppy agrees to a proposal she never saw coming.

Old feelings blossom into something new, but their individual goals clash with the promises made to each other. How will God use this marriage that was strategized instead of starry-eyed to open them both to the power of love?

My Thoughts
Every installment of this series makes me fall even more in love. Contemporary romance is my favorite genre and Tara Grace Ericson perfectly encapsulates everything I love about it. Like the previous two books in this series, Poppy’s Proposal was a light read that I thoroughly enjoyed. But even though it was light there was still heart to the story that kept it from falling into the fluff category.
I liked both Poppy and Harrison and enjoyed seeing them reconnect and fall in love. I am always a sucker for a marriage of convenience story though modern day ones can be a little tricky. But Ericson handled it well giving it an authenticity and not making it feel contrived. The romance was a little bit more of a slow burn but the fact that they had been friends for years previously allowed for them to skip a lot of the get to know you stuff. And even if it started a little slow there was definitely still chemistry and anyone could see that they were falling in love.
I really fun aspect of this series is how the books overlap some with events and I think the author has done a great job of keeping the scenes that appear more than once from feeling stale and giving the reader a different perspective on something they have already read, while also giving enough information so that if you haven’t read the previous books you aren’t lost!

All in all a charming addition to the series and I am already looking forward to Lavender’s 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. 

Friday, July 17, 2020

Set the Stars Alight by Amanda Dykes

About the Book
Lucy Clairmont's family treasured the magic of the past, and her childhood fascination with stories of the high seas led her to become a marine archaeologist. But when tragedy strikes, it's Dashel, an American forensic astronomer, and his knowledge of the stars that may help her unearth the truth behind the puzzle she's discovered in her family home.
Two hundred years earlier, the seeds of love are sown between a boy and a girl who spend their days playing in a secret sea cave, while the privileged young son of the estate looks on, wishing to join. As the children grow and war leads to unthinkable heartbreak, a story of love, betrayal, sacrifice, and redemption unfolds, held secret by the passage of time.
As Lucy and Dash journey to a mysterious old estate on the East Sussex coast, their search leads them to a community of souls and a long-hidden tale that may hold the answers--and the healing--they so desperately seek.

My Thoughts
To say I was blown away by Amanda Dykes’ first novel would have been an understatement. So it was with eager anticipation that I awaited the release of this book, knowing that I was in for another captivating read. Dykes writes with such beautifully crafted words, drawing the reader in and keeping them entranced till they lose all track of time or life around them. She makes you want to read every word as quick as possible but also want to slow down and savor the way each sentence is composed. She honestly steals my breath at times because I am so intrinsically lost in the story that I forget to even do basic things like breathing. And the way she weaves the past and present together with both the historical and modern day stories is truly a work of art. Each story was so beautifully engaging that anytime I had to switch to the other I felt brief disappointment, only to then become lost in that timeline.
Dash was my favorite kind of hero. Yes there’s something to be said for the strong, take charge, macho types, but if I have my pick I’m always more drawn to the quiet, gentle, slightly nerdy ones. And Dash certainly fit that bill. I was simply in love with his humble unassuming self and the way he quietly loved Lucy. The sharing of stories, the message he sent on that oh so important day, finding her when she needed him but didn’t even know it, and just supporting and encouraging her in his gentle way.
Lucy was easy to love as well, my heart broke for her as she faced the losses in her life but I loved seeing her find hope again and again.
Watching Dash and Lucy’s story unfold was so sweet, two souls that were meant for each other-which was evident from their very first meeting as children.
I loved Frederick too. His journey was anything but easy and I ached for the boy who felt alone. But I admired him so much and the way he found beauty in the ashes. And especially the way he truly lived out John 15:13 “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” I also adored the way Dykes made parallels between Frederick’s story and the gospel story. It was so beautifully woven into his life in a way that was both subtle and glaringly obvious and I don’t know how both of those things are possible simultaneously I just know that they were, like you couldn’t miss it but it also wasn’t beating you over the head. Everything about this story quietly pointed to Christ and his love for us and it was, for lack of a better word, beautiful.
I know this review is long but honestly it barely scratches the surface of my thoughts and love for this stunning story! Amanda Dykes has done it again and I can’t encourage you enough to do yourself a favor and get your hands on this one as soon as possible!

Meet the Author
Amanda Dykes is a drinker of tea, dweller of redemption, and spinner of hope-filled tales who spends most days chasing wonder and words with her family. She's a former English teacher and the author of Whose Waves These Are, a Booklist 2019 Top Ten Romance debut, as well as three novellas. Find her online 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. 

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Heart of a Princess by Hannah Currie

About the Book
To the watching world, Princess Alina has it all—maids to serve her, a kingdom to revere her, a prince to marry her, and a wardrobe filled with enough frills, flounces, and shades of pink to rival a flower shop. But behind the smiles and designer clothes, Alina has a secret. She’s barely holding it together.
After a moment of panic almost ends in tragedy, Alina is sent to a refuge far from the palace to recuperate. Her family claims it’s for her own good but—faced with cows, knife-beaked ducks, and far too many of her own insecurities—Alina is pretty sure it will kill her first. And Joha Samson, infuriating man that he is, will laugh as it does.

Only there’s more to Joha than she realizes, and more to herself too. When the time comes to make a stand, will she find the courage?

My Thoughts
I was pleasantly surprised by Hannah Currie’s debut last year and so I was eagerly awaiting this sequel! And it was another enjoyable read that further cemented Currie as an author to watch.
Alina, I will admit, was a bit hard to love but I kind of knew she would be based on her actions in book one. Part of it you could pass of as simply the product of her upbringing, it’s hard to not be spoiled when you are a literal princess. But beyond just being used to a fancy lifestyle she really was extremely self-centered and, when she wasn’t putting on her public persona, wasn’t very nice to people. Thankfully she matured as the book went on though it did happen a little later than I would have liked and a bit too abruptly. Currie did a good job though of showing the why behind what she said or did which made it easier to put up with when in other books it may have sent me running. I liked seeing her discover who she was beyond just her title and learn to love and let herself be loved.
Joha was really great and I liked how he didn’t put up with Alina’s crap and called her out on it! But he also was gentle and caring and was supportive when she needed it. I did feel like his opinion of her shifted a bit out of nowhere but I wanted them to end up together so I didn’t mind overly. I liked them as a couple, they balanced each other out well. The sparks were there from the beginning, first as they butted heads then as they fell in love.
It was also fun to catch up with all the characters we’d met in book one and see how their lives were going.

All in all a solid follow-up and I’m looking forward to what else the author has in store for us!

Meet the Author
Aussie author, Hannah Currie, loves God, family, people (in small numbers, let’s not go crazy here!) and writing. A book nerd from birth, she knows firsthand the difference a good book can make in a person’s life. Even, and especially, fiction. Her dream as a writer is to make people laugh, cry and maybe even swoon a little but mostly to remind them that no matter how dark life may get at times, because of God, there is always hope.
She and her husband live with their three adorable kids in sunny Queensland, where it really is beautiful one day and perfect the next. Except, maybe, during heatwaves. They’re not so fun.
Her debut YA novel, a princess-themed story titled Heart of a Royal, is being published by WhiteSpark Publishing in October 2019.

She loves to connect with readers. Come 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. 

Sunday, July 12, 2020

Love's Silver Bullet by Julie Lessman

About the Book
She’s targeting his love.
He’s aiming to steer clear.
Till true love picks them off in a bull’s-eye of the heart
Eighteen-year-old Sheridan Donovan has been in love with Jake Sullivan since the age of four, when she used to tag after him and her big brothers on the Silver Lining Ranch. From little on, Jake has been her hero, convincing her brothers to play school and wedding with her whenever she’d begged and cried. From horsey rides and tickle fests to his sweet willingness to be her pretend groom, Jake’s gentleness and affection had nurtured two dreams in Sheridan’s heart—becoming both a teacher and Mrs. Jake Sullivan. Preferably not in that order.

At the age of thirty, Jake figures he pretty much has everything he needs at the moment. A good job as the Assistant Foreman for Silver Lining Ranch, great friends in Blaze and Dash Donovan, and a true mentor in their uncle and owner of the ranch, Finn McShane, the man who’d given him a family to replace the one he lost. But when Finn’s niece, Sheridan—Blaze’s and Dash’s little sister to whom Jake became a big brother as well—turns eighteen, Jake discovers there’s one more thing he needs: distance and lots of it. From pinafores and bows at age six to overalls and dirt till age fifteen, the grown-up Sheridan looks nothing like the little girl who’d once been his constant shadow, now transformed into a young woman who races his heart. Painfully aware that Sheridan is determined to win his love, Jake is equally determined to keep a promise to her uncle, a promise that not only shoots a hole in his well-ordered life, but in his heart as well.

My Thoughts
I’m always giddy happy when I finish a Julie Lessman novel and this time was no different! Nobody writes romance like her and I love it!
I had so much fun diving back into the lives of all the people who call the Silver Linings Ranch home! And I was especially excited to get Jake and Sheridan’s story! I absolutely loved Jake’s character in the last book and I knew Sheridan was going to have her work cut out for her to convince him to give up his vow to never marry!
Sheridan started out a little naive and flighty but I loved watching as she grew and matured throughout the book and especially how she learned to trust God with her life instead of trying to control it herself.
Jake was just as awesome as I remembered, an honorable man who was honest, hardworking, loyal, and loving. His interactions with everyone were colored by him wanting to the very best for those he loved. From his interactions with the orphan boys, to his respect for Finn, to his friendship with Blaze and Dash that was more like brothers, to the way he tried to do what he thought was best for Sheridan despite the pain it caused him. His every action was for the good of those he cared for and I couldn’t help admiring him.
Jake and Sheridan’s relationship sure had its ups and downs but I loved every second whether it was toe-curling kisses, or frustration that they didn’t see eye to eye! Lessman always makes you feel every emotion while reading her books and it’s one of my favorite things about her writing! There are tears, laughter, and most importantly, happy giddy sighs!
And I can’t write this review without talking about the spiritual element! Julie Lessman has a knack for infusing every part of her story with a biblical message that always resonates with me. And it doesn’t come off in a preachy way but is natural to the story. Few authors enhance my spiritual walk like Lessman does and I’m always grateful for it!
So yes, I of course loved this book and I’m already anxiously awaiting the next book (I have opinions on who I want it to be about)! If you haven’t read the first two books in this series I recommend you do before starting this one because there is a lot of carry over-it will be well worth your time!

Meet the Author
Julie Lessman is an award-winning author whose tagline of “Passion With a Purpose” underscores her intense passion for both God and romance. A lover of all things Irish, she enjoys writing close-knit Irish family sagas that evolve into 3-D love stories: the hero, the heroine, and the God that brings them together.
Author of The Daughters of Boston, Winds of Change, Heart of San Francisco, Isle of Hope, and Silver Lining Ranch series, Julie was American Christian Fiction Writers 2009 Debut Author of the Year and has garnered over 21 Romance Writers of America and other awards. Voted #1 Romance Author in Family Fiction magazine’s 2012 and 2011 Readers Choice Awards, Julie’s novels also made Family Fiction magazine’s Best of 2015, Best of 2014, and “Essential Christian Romance Authors” 2017-20, as well as Booklist’s 2010 Top 10 Inspirational Fiction and Borders Best Fiction. Her independent novel A Light in the Window was an International Digital Awards winner, a 2013 Readers' Crown Award winner, and a 2013 Book Buyers Best Award winner.

Julie has also written a self-help workbook for writers entitled Romance-ology 101: Writing Romantic Tension for the Sweet and Inspirational Markets. Contact Julie through her website and read excerpts from each of her books at

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

Tuesday, July 07, 2020

The Heart of a Hero by Susan May Warren

About the Book
Jake Silver may not be able to put the memories of his time as a sniper and Navy SEAL behind him, but at least he can put his skills to use as a part of the Jones Inc. rescue team. Saving the life of pediatric heart surgeon Dr. Aria Sinclair on Denali helped too. Now he can't get her out of his head, and when he hears she is in the path of a hurricane down in Key West he can't help but jump on a plane to rescue her.
Aria has dedicated her life to helping children born with defective hearts. After all, she was one of those children. Now driven to succeed, she lives a lonely, stressful life. One she would have lost on Denali if it hadn't been for Jake. Jake is exciting and handsome, but he's also dangerous, and she's already lost one person she loves. She can't bear it again.
It's not until she finds herself trapped in the middle of a category 4 hurricane that she can admit she needs Jake desperately. With their very survival in the balance, can they hope for a second chance at life . . . and love?

My Thoughts
Another Susan May Warren hit! After meeting Jake and Aria in book one of this series I was intrigued to see how their story would play out!
I loved the way the author had most of the story take place in one location while constantly having things happening that had me on the edge of my seat! Just when you thought things might be getting under control, a new wrench would get thrown into everything!
I enjoyed seeing Jake and Aria’s relationship grow from where they had left things in Alaska, though Aria’s constant hot then cold way of handling things got a tad frustrating at times! In the end though it was good to see them work things out and find their way back to each other.
I liked the little bits of Ham’s story that we got-I love his character-and after that ending I am chomping at the bit for his book! It was also super fun to see Chet Stryker pop up, as well as the mention of Luke Dekker-finally bringing in the Missions of Mercy series! Also the brief mention of Will Masterson from my favorite Team Hope book made me smile! Love having all these series connect!

Meet the Author
Susan May Warren is the USA Today bestselling author of over 65 novels with more than 1 million books sold, including The Way of the Brave and 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. 

Under Scottish Stars by Carla Laureano

About the Book
Recently widowed Serena MacDonald Stewart focuses on her children to the exclusion of her career, her art, and her sanity. When her brothers ask her to oversee the family guest house on the Isle of Skye, it’s a chance to dust off her long-ignored business skills and make a new start. But her hopes for a smooth transition are dashed when the hotel manager, Malcolm Blake, turns out to be irritating, condescending . . . and incredibly attractive.
Malcolm Blake gave up everything―his home, his girlfriend, and his career―to return to Skye and raise his late sister’s teenage daughter. With few job opportunities available on the island, he signs on as the manager of the MacDonald family hotel, which he’s soon running successfully without interference from the owners. That is, until Serena shows up, challenging his authority and his conviction that there’s nothing missing from his new life on Skye.

Before long, Serena and Malcolm have to admit the spark between them is more than mere irritation. But as single parents, there’s more on the line than their own hearts. Will their commitment to family be the thing that draws them together or the only thing that could keep them apart?

My Thoughts
After adoring book one of this series and not being a fan of book two I went into this one with a little trepidation not knowing which side it would land on. In the end it kinda fell somewhere between the two but I did enjoy it overall!
Serena took me a little bit to warm up to. I had liked her in the previous books but she was a little harsh and judgmental with Malcom and that rubbed me wrong. She came to her senses though and got more likable as the book went on.
Malcom was great and I really admired the way he stepped up to the plate with his niece, never once complaining about how it had interrupted his life. I liked the ways he flirted with Serena getting her a little off balance (though there were a couple comments he made that gave me a little pause they didn’t go to far).
The two of them made a cute couple and I enjoyed watching them fall in love.
I also appreciated the way all the kids were written, especially Kylee, Malcom’s teenage niece. Given her circumstances it would have been easy for her to be the sullen moody type but instead she had a good head on her shoulders and was kind, respectful, and helpful.
It was fun to see how the other MacDonald siblings’ lives were progressing and catch up with them a bit. And of course being back on Skye was a treat!

If you were a fan of the first two books the wait is finally over and I think you’ll enjoy this one!

Meet the Author
Carla Laureano is the RITA® Award-winning author of contemporary inspirational romance and Celtic fantasy (as C.E. Laureano). A graduate of Pepperdine University, she worked as a sales and marketing executive for nearly a decade before leaving corporate life behind to write fiction full-time. She currently lives in Denver with her husband and two sons, where she writes during the day and cooks things at night.
Connect with Carla online at her website ( or on any of these social media platforms:

Thursday, July 02, 2020

Molly by Sarah Monzon

About the Book
If there’s one thing you should know about me, it’s that I absolutely refuse to tell a lie no matter the consequences. So don’t ask me a direct question unless you’re prepared for a direct answer—that’s something my SoCal sewing girlfriends have learned the hard way.But who would have thought my honesty policy would get me fired from my job at the preschool? Or that a desperate—and not to mention devastatingly handsome—single father of one of my (now-former) students would hire me that same day as a nanny for his daughter?I’m an education professional. How hard can taking care of a four-year-old and her over-stressed, over-worked father be?

My Thoughts
This was a charming and cute story! I was smiling at the opening line and many times throughout!
Molly was fun, if a little quirky, and I loved her! I am a nanny myself so when she got her new job I could relate to a lot of her circumstances (though I have a couple more charges than she did)! Her refusal to tell a lie was admirable even if it did get her into sticky situations with kids! It gave me a good laugh though!
Ben was sweet and I loved how hard he worked to be there for Chloe despite his demanding job. He had been dealt a hard blow, losing his wife and having to care for a newborn while working to become a doctor but I admired the way he did his best and didn’t shirk away from any of the hard.
The two of them were cute together and I enjoyed watching their romance play out! Chloe was also fun and authentically written-as someone who works with kids I hate when they are portrayed incorrectly but I loved how real she was!

My only complaint with this book was the random political soapbox that got thrown in that came out of left field and didn’t make any sense with the story. But it wasn’t enough to detract me from enjoying the book and overall loving the story! I’m looking forward to the next books in this cute series!

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