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 A lot of it came down to just out of date terminology, phrasing, and references that didn’t mesh with the characters ages and a lot of over sharing of irrelevant details.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, www.irenehannon.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. 

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 www.jdpstories.com.

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

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!


Heartwood

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 www.karenwitemeyer.com. 


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 www.reginajennings.com. 


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 www.amandadykes.com. 


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


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 www.susanmaywarren.com, 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, Fa├žade. 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, www.pepperdbasham.com, 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.