Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Autumn By the Sea by Melissa Tagg

About the Book
Get swept away to the seaside in Maine in this captivating romance brimming with mystery ⁣
Abandoned as a toddler, Sydney Rose has spent years wondering who she really is, homesick for a life she’s never lived. When a private investigator crashes into her world, she finds herself heading to a tiny seaside town in Maine to meet a woman named Maggie, who’s searching for the granddaughter she lost decades ago. ⁣
If not for Maggie, Neil MacKean might still be back in Scotland, bereft and alone. Instead, he has a full life in Muir Harbor with an adopted family he loves and a blueberry farm to run. But the farm is struggling and strange occurrences have him concerned. Worse, Maggie’s once again caught up in the past, convinced she’s finally found her long-lost granddaughter. ⁣
Worried for Maggie, Neil is suspicious of the city girl who shows up at the farm. But there’s something about Sydney that tugs on him, drawing out secrets he never meant to share. While Neil grapples with the future of the farm, Sydney wrestles with a past that’s messier than ever. Together, they’re pulled into a mystery complete with a centuries-old legend, unexpected danger . . . and a love as deep and wild as the sea. 

My Thoughts

You probably get tired of me raving about Melissa Tagg novels but I just can’t help it that she delivers an amazing story EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. 

From the very first page I was drawn into Sydney’s story and her journey to finding her place and discovering her history. Neil was a fabulous hero that I definitely have a crush on lol! I mean, who wouldn’t love a flannel wearing Scot who works tirelessly and selflessly to take care of those he loves?

From the very first moment they met (Tagg once again cements her place as Queen of the Meet Cute FYI) the sparks were flying between Sydney and Neil and I adored watching their relationship unfold. They fit together so seamlessly and from light banter to heartfelt conversations their connection was completely genuine and I was rooting for them from the start!

I also instantly fell in love with Maggie and ached for the losses she’d experienced but was awed by her capacity to love deeply the ones God had placed in her life. And of course Neil’s sisters were great, I’m definitely looking forward to their stories, as well as Wilder who was such a charming character!

Trying to unravel the mystery of Sydney’s parentage had me intrigued throughout and I’m definitely still curious about the pieces that didn’t get discovered in this story. 

Basically, I loved this book and absolutely cannot wait for book two!

Meet the Author

Melissa Tagg is the USA Today bestselling, Christy Award-winning author of swoony and hope-filled small-town contemporary romances. 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 melissatagg.com⁣

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 01, 2021

Undercurrent of Secrets by Rachel Scott McDani

About the Book
Two women, a century apart, are bound by a haunting secret aboard a legendary steamboat. ⁣
Walk through Doors to the Past via a new series of historical stories of romance and adventure. ⁣

As wedding coordinator for the 100-year-old steamboat The Belle of Louisville, Devyn Asbury takes pride in seeing others’ dreams come true, even though her engagement had sunk like a diamond ring to the bottom of the Ohio River. When the Belle becomes a finalist in the Timeless Wedding Venue contest, Devyn endeavors to secure the prestigious title with hopes to reclaim some of her professional dreams. What she hadn’t planned on was Chase Jones showing up with a mysterious photo from the 1920s. ⁣
A century earlier, Hattie Louis is as untamable as the rivers that raised her. As the adopted daughter of a steamboat captain, her duties range from the entertainment to cook. When strange incidents occur aboard the boat, Hattie’s determined to discover the truth. Even if that means getting under First Mate Jack Marshall’s handsome skin.⁣

My Thoughts 

Every time Rachel Scott McDaniel sets her fingers to a keyboard she blows me away! I swear with each new book I read I declare it my favorite but honestly they’re all so good I don’t know if I could honestly pick a favorite. But since this is the latest one I’ve read I’m claiming it as my favorite for now! 

I was genuinely impressed with the seamless way she switch from the historical timeline to the contemporary one and I loved them both so equally! I would be sad to leave whichever one I was currently in but all it took was a sentence and I was sucked right back into the second one! The historical may have been my favorite of the two but only by the smallest hair and I think mainly due to the fact that McDaniel shines in the 1920’s world! 

All of the characters were wonderful and their love stories were just sweet perfection. I loved the similarities/parallels between their romances but each was uniquely its own and had me all sorts of swoony.

The boat was like another character in both stories and I loved getting to learn interesting tidbits about it’s history! It’s now on my bucket list of things I want to see!

The mysteries in both timelines had me completely hooked and I loved the way everything played out! There were some things I guessed but they were unveiled brilliantly and still gave that aha moment. And while there was the small mysteries to figure out I loved that the characters and their stories were the main focus and it was just the kind of read that you just settle into and enjoy every second! 

I cannot recommend this book enough, fans of McDaniel’s work will be in love again and newcomers will have a new obsession! 

Meet the Author

Rachel Scott McDaniel is an award-winning author of historical romance. Winner of the ACFW Genesis Award and the RWA Touched By Love award, Rachel infuses faith and heart into each story. She currently enjoys life in Ohio with her husband and two kids. Rachel can be found online at www.RachelScottMcDaniel.com and on all social media platforms.

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, July 06, 2021

The Chase by Lisa Harris

About the Book
US Marshal Madison James may not be sure who shot her three months ago, but she does know one thing--it's time to get back out into the field. When her partner, Jonas Quinn, receives a message that a federal warrant just came in on a man connected to a string of bank robberies, Madison jumps at the chance to get back to work. What she and Jonas find is a bank robbery in progress that's gone wrong--and things are about to get worse. ⁣
For these bank robbers, it's never been just about the money. It's about taking risks and adrenaline rushes, and getting caught is not part of the game. When the suspects escape, Madison and Jonas must hunt them down and bring them to justice before someone else--someone close to them--gets hurt . . . or worse. ⁣
From Seattle to the San Juan Islands, bestselling author Lisa Harris takes you on a nonstop chase where feelings are complicated and failure isn't an option.

My Thoughts
Romantic suspense has long been a favorite genre of mine but lately they’ve all been missing the mark for me, until this series. The author’s last few stand-alones haven’t been my favorite and so when The Escape released I decided not to read it. But my friend did and swore it was really good and worth a read, it took a little while but with book two coming out I figured I’d try out the first one, and I loved it! It had everything I like in a romantic suspense book and when it ended on a bit of a cliffhanger I was so happy I had already requested The Chase!⁣
I think this one was even better! I started it late on a Friday evening and only managed to put it down because I was exhausted! I picked it up the next morning and basically finished it in one sitting! The action was legitimately non-stop but not in a contrived way. I was completely sucked in and turning pages as fast as I could as everything played out! Their hunt for the bank robbers led them all over and had me anxiously following along.⁣
Since the series is all about the same people we already had the groundwork laid for knowing the characters which allowed the reader to just fully slip into the story. And since a few months had passed since the last book there was a deeper connection between Madison and Jonas that isn’t easy to find in the genre. They were building a close friendship that was starting to shift to more so there wasn’t a lot of lovey-dovey romance which I actually didn’t mind because it was a genuine connection they were building.⁣
I honestly have no complaints about this book! The gripping plot, great characters, and overarching mystery of Madison’s husband’s death all have me completely captivated and counting down the days till book three releases!

Meet the Author
Lisa Harris is a  USA Today bestselling author, a Christy Award winner, and the winner of the Best Inspirational Suspense Novel from  Romantic Times for her novels  Blood Covenant and  Vendetta. The author of more than forty books, including  The Escape, The Chase,  The Traitor's Pawn, Vanishing Point,  A Secret to Die For, and  Deadly Intentions, as well as The Nikki Boyd Files and the Southern Crimes series, Harris and her family have spent over 17 years living as missionaries in southern Africa. She is currently stateside in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Learn more at www.lisaharriswrites.com.

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, April 21, 2021

That Fine Line by Cindy Steel

About the Book
All I wanted was a quiet summer on my family’s ranch in Idaho…I didn’t think that was too much to ask. With my fiancé in California, I was back home for three months to plan my wedding. I had colors to pick, cows to milk, and a wedding dress to squeeze into. Which was why I didn’t need anybody messing with me. Especially not the guy who had dedicated his whole life to making mine a joke. The guy who filled my high school locker with frogs and my hot car with cans of tuna. I mean…I always got him back. But not this summer. Things were different now. I was engaged. I had grown up. I would NOT fall victim to Cade’s pranks, teasing, or his manly charms. If only my dad hadn’t hired the moron to cowboy for him this summer. Now my childhood enemy is living on our ranch and seems to think we have a score to settle. And all bets are off.

My Thoughts
I randomly stumbled upon this author last December thanks to bookstagram, she had a Christmas novella releasing and I was devouring all the Christmas stories I could get my hands on so I immediately got it. It was a short little story but I absolutely loved every second and it ended up being one of my favorite reads for the season. So when I saw the chance to be on the ARC team for this book I jumped on it without even stopping to read the description! When I did finally look at what it was about I was slightly nervous because I’ve discovered that I’m very picky about my enemies to more stories, especially the ones that involve pranks. Thankfully any worry was for naught and I absolutely loved this story! The pranks were the perfect lighthearted kind that had me laughing out loud. And the characters animosity towards each other was entertaining and not based in any major drama so that kept it fun. I was also a little hesitant about the fact that the heroine was engaged to someone else at the start, because that can be tricky to handle, but the author did it exceptionally well! There was banter and fun but no lines were crossed while she was still in the other relationship, which I really appreciated.
Cade was absolutely fantastic! The way he pranked, teased, and flirted with Kelsey was hilarious, but he also knew when to draw a line and he could be exceptionally caring when he wanted to be. I also really loved that he called Kelsey, Red, I am a total sucker for a good nickname so this was definitely a point in his favor!
Kelsey was a bit of an enigma, which could be blamed on the fact that she had a foot in two worlds and was trying to discover who she was and where she belonged. At times I wanted to make her realize the truth faster but she had to make the journey herself and even if her choices frustrated me at times I could understand what drove her to make them. She gave as good as she got with the pranks and by participating she got to loosen up and settle in to the person she was becoming/finding again.
Cade and Kelsey’s relationship was so fun from start to finish and it played out with just the right timing. And even though they weren’t together to later in the book and they didn’t cross any lines beforehand you could definitely see the groundwork being laid that allowed it to grow quickly when given the chance!
So yeah, I may have like this book just a lot! Can’t wait to see what else this author has in store for us and I know I’ll be reading whatever it is!

Meet the Author
Cindy Steel was raised on a dairy farm in Idaho. She grew up singing country songs at the top of her lungs and learning to solve all of life’s problems while milking cows and driving tractors—rewriting happy endings every time. She married a cute Idaho boy and is the proud mother of two wild and sweet twin boys. Which means she is also now a collector of bugs, sticks, rocks, and slobbery kisses. She loves making breakfast, baking, photography, reading a good book, and staying up way past her bedtime to craft stories that will hopefully make you smile.
Follow her for updates and new release information at www.cindysteel.com and at Instagram: @authorcindysteel

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, April 14, 2021

The Audacious Miss Eliza by Laura Rollins

About the Book
As it turns out, a London Season is the worst place to find love.⁣
Eliza Mulgrave never expected to make her bows to society. Yet here she is, dancing at Almacks and riding through Hyde Park. It would be perfectly delightful if it weren’t for the whispers and scornful glances. She certainly never sought to quit her place in society as a tradesman’s daughter. At least then she had known who she was and how to act; now, she’s completely lost.⁣
Adam Lambert has been raised to be a viscount and though the time has come sooner than expected he is confident stepping into this new life. Until he meets his Father’s best kept secret—a little girl. And now she’s Adam’s responsibility. Surely someone ought to have told him about her before now.⁣
After stumbling through an initial meeting, Adam and Eliza both find in the other what they most need this Season—a sincere friend. But society is not often willing to grant two people room to learn for themselves who to be, or who to love.⁣
As the first stand-alone novel in a new series by author Laura Rollins, The Audacious Miss Eliza begins the Daughters of Courage series. This charming story is a light-hearted, clean and wholesome romance set in the Regency era.

My Thoughts

This was a new to me author and I took a bit of a gamble agreeing to review it without knowing much about it. 

This story is all the things I’ve come to expect from these lighthearted regency reads, good clean romance without much drama.

The characters were likable, Eliza was selfless and kind and Adam was the a definite gentleman with a good heart. Both of them were navigating unexpected changes to their circumstances and they complimented each other well. 

There was a bit of an amateur feel to the writing at times but overall it was a cute and quick read that entertained me.

Meet the Author

Laura Rollins has always loved a heart-melting happily ever after. It didn’t matter if the story took place in Regency England, or in a cobbler’s shop, if there was a sweet romance, she would read it.⁣

Life has given her many of her own adventures. Currently she lives in the Rocky Mountains with her best-friend, who is also her husband, and their four beautiful children. She still loves to read books and more books; her favorite types of music are classical, Broadway, and country; she loves hiking in the mountains near her home; and she’s been known to debate with her oldest son about whether Infinity is better categorized as a number or an idea.

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, April 06, 2021

All That Really Matters by Nicole Deese

About the Book
Molly McKenzie's bright personality and on-trend fashion and beauty advice have earned her an impressive social media following, as well as a shiny monthly paycheck. When her manager-turned-boyfriend tells her of an upcoming audition to host a makeover show for America's underprivileged youth, all her dreams finally seem to be coming true. There's just one catch: she has little experience interacting with people in need.
To gain an edge on her competitors, she applies to volunteer at a transitional program for aged-out foster kids during summer, only the program's director, Silas Whittaker, doesn't find her as charming as her followers do. But since forfeiting a goal has never been her style, Molly's only option is to accept the terms Silas lays out and submit to his rules--even the most ridiculous ones pertaining to social media.  
Soon as the residents of the home become more than a means to pad her career resume, and Silas becomes more than an obstacle on her path to fame, her once-narrow focus expands to include the deep needs of those she's serving... and perhaps the ones she's neglected inside herself as well. It took years to build her platform, but only one summer to discover what really matters most.

My Thoughts
Well, I’m officially, once again obsessed with a Nicole Deese novel. I will admit I was nervous about this one, because it was honestly one of my top five most-anticipated reads for 2021, and because a lot of books I’ve been excited for have been missing the mark lately. But this one didn’t just meet my excessively high expectations, it exceeded them beyond my greatest hopes! I was dopey grinning my way through the whole book, wanting to just ignore the world and devour it any chance I got.
Let’s start with the characters, because lets be honest they can make or break a book. Molly was so much more than I thought she would be based on the synopsis. Yes, she was a girly girl who loved make-up and fashion but she had such a genuine caring heart and I ached for the way she felt like she didn’t fit into her family and the loneliness she experienced despite her social media fame. I absolutely loved seeing her discover the ways her gifts and talents could be used to help others and finding the connections she’d been seeking long before she even realized she needed them. She had such a bubbly magnetic personality and was one of those people you couldn’t help loving.
Now for Silas Whittaker (can we take a moment to once again appreciate this author’s hero naming magic ability?) I loved him so stinkin much! He was more on the serious side, especially when compared to Molly, but not to the extent of being a fuddy-duddy. His job required a level head and he was the perfect man for the job but he had a sense of humor that snuck up on you and made me laugh out loud several times! The way he saw potential in people before they even saw it themselves was incredible and the compassion he had was unmatched. He took his hard childhood and turned it into an amazing way of helping others. He was everything I could want in a hero!
And the two of them were absolutely perfect together! From their rocky first meeting, to working together, to friendship, to the beautiful more than friends, every step played out in perfect timing and I loved watching their relationship unfold. Their strengths and weaknesses complimented each other balancing out to make them a pretty unstoppable team that I was behind 100%!
I also loved getting to know the residents at the manor with their unique stories, the author really made you feel their pain and be totally rooting for them to overcome! Glo was such a hoot with her wisdom and wit and I also loved Molly’s brother Miles and her assistant, Val. The entire cast of characters was so well done!
In addition to the characters, I was so impressed with the way Deese handled the plot. She tackled the issue of teens who’ve aged out of the foster system with such skill and really gave an authentic view of the troubles they face. And I absolutely loved the way that every time I thought things were about to go down a certain way, a way that I didn’t want them to, she somehow flipped the script and turned the whole situation around to a way that had me cheering for the characters. Grace was given instead of judgement, listening instead of jumping to conclusions, and admitting fault instead of laying out excuses. I wish more books handled things this way because I’m here for it!
So, if you made it this far in my ramblings I will end by saying that this book was amazing from start to finish, it’s going on my favorites list, and you absolutely need to go read it!

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 Christian romance novel, 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. 

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Prince of Spies by Elizabeth Camden

About the Book
Luke Delacroix has the reputation of a charming man-about-town in Gilded Age Washington, DC. In reality, he is secretly carrying out an ambitious agenda in Congress. His current mission is to thwart the reelection of Congressman Clyde Magruder, his only real enemy in the world.
But trouble begins when Luke meets Marianne Magruder, the congressman's only daughter, whose job as a government photographer gives her unprecedented access to sites throughout the city. Luke is captivated by Marianne's quick wit and alluring charm, leading them both into a dangerous gamble to reconcile their feelings for each other with Luke's driving passion for vital reforms in Congress.
Can their newfound love survive a political firestorm, or will three generations of family rivalry drive them apart forever?

My Thoughts
I have been absolutely loving this series and I think as a whole it just might be my favorite work of Camden’s to date!
I love the way the stories are intricately connected telling a story as a whole while also being three individually complete works. And the way that this is reflected in the covers is definitely one of the coolest things ever!
I have loved Luke since the moment we first met him and I have been anxiously awaiting his story! He was as charming as ever but we also got to see his maturity and his drive for justice that had developed over the years. He was a bit reckless at times but it often served him well and the world needs people who aren’t afraid to jump in and get their hands dirty in the name of justice!
I had a love/hate relationship with Marianne. I appreciated the way she saw and captured the world through her camera lens and she had a genuinely kind heart that just wanted the best for everyone. But her naïveté and blind loyalty when it came to her family got a little bit frustrating at times, especially since her family was awful and did nothing to earn it. Also (and this is going to be super vague to avoid spoilers) when she had the chance to speak up and come clean about something and she didn’t even though she knew someone was suffering unjustly for what she’d done, I lost a lot of respect for her.
Overall though I did enjoy the romance between the two of them and they were really cute together!
One of Camden’s greatest strengths as an author is the way she weaves history into the very fabric of her stories, and this book was no different! The surprisingly captivating journey to see that there were regulations in place for what was put into food that was being sold was honestly something I’d never thought of before this series but now I know so much about it! And the parts about the changes they were making to the landscape of our nation’s capital that we see today were extremely interesting to me!
I enjoyed the way the story played out and watching them fight for justice while also learning that it doesn’t always come how you imagine it and that there is room for grace as well. There was a bit at the end that seemed a little off the rails, connected but I didn’t fully understand why the author went the direction she did-it kind of felt like that moment in old musicals where a random song and dance routine is thrown in that just makes you scratch your head. But in the end I thoroughly had a delightful time reading this book and I was definitely sucked into the plot! I’m looking forward to whatever the author has in store for us next!

Meet the Author
Elizabeth Camden is best known for her historical novels set in Gilded Age America featuring clever heroines and richly layered story lines. Before she was a writer, she was an academic librarian at some of the largest and smallest libraries in America, but her favorite is the continually growing library in her own home. Her novels have won the RITA and Christy Awards and have appeared on the CBA bestsellers list. She lives in Orlando, Florida, with her husband, who graciously tolerates her intimidating stockpile of books. Learn more at www.elizabethcamden.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. 

Longing for Lily by Tara Grace Ericson

About the Book
A rift twelve years in the making, and a second chance to do it right.
Lily Bloom is confident, capable, and better off alone. She experienced true love once, and she thinks she’ll never find it again. Instead, she throws her energy into building her event business at Storybook Barn, helping others take the dive into happily ever after.
Josh Elliot is the life of the party, with a successful photography business and wonderful friends. But there is something missing. He never had a doubt about the woman God made for him, but he failed her twelve years ago. Forever isn’t in the cards for them, but since she started hosting weddings at Bloom’s Farm, he is tortured with the unobtainable love of his life nearly every weekend.
Lily’s wedding venue and Josh’s photography business bring their worlds colliding once again, bringing old wounds to the surface and forcing the question: is what happened twelve years ago going to keep them apart forever? Or can God rescue the pieces of the love they once shared?

Longing for Lily is Book 4 in the popular Bloom Sisters Series. Each book can be read as a stand-alone, but this family will have you coming back for more!

My Thoughts
Josh has intrigued me since I first met him in Hawthorne’s novella and I was so happy that he was getting his own story!
And he was a great hero, he’d made mistakes in the past but had found forgiveness and was striving to be a better man. His heart never wavered from his love of Lily but he also listened to the Lord’s leading on when to pursue her and when to wait.
Lily was a bit of a tough one for me, she definitely was the prickly stubborn sort and had some massive walls up. I could understand how her past choices shaped who she was and caused her to pull away but I also got annoyed with the way she made assumptions about how people would react and made decisions for them.
It all worked out in the end though and Josh displayed some Christ-like love as her kept showing up for Lily even when she was pushing him away.
It was also fun to catch up with the other Bloom family members and their relationships! Looking forward to Rose’s story next!

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

Tuesday, February 02, 2021

When Twilight Breaks by Sarah Sundin

About the Book
Munich, 1938. Evelyn Brand is an American foreign correspondent as determined to prove her worth in a male-dominated profession as she is to expose the growing tyranny in Nazi Germany. To do so, she must walk a thin line. If she offends the government, she could be expelled from the country--or worse. If she fails to truthfully report on major stories, she'll never be able to give a voice to the oppressed--and wake up the folks back home.
In another part of the city, American graduate student Peter Lang is working on his PhD in German. Disillusioned with the chaos in the world due to the Great Depression, he is impressed with the prosperity and order of German society. But when the brutality of the regime hits close, he discovers a far better way to use his contacts within the Nazi party--to feed information to the shrewd reporter he can't get off his mind.
This electric standalone novel from fan-favorite Sarah Sundin puts you right at the intersection of pulse-pounding suspense and heart-stopping romance.

My Thoughts
Sarah Sundin is the absolute queen on WWII era fiction and I will forever be one of her biggest fans!
I was admittedly a little bit disappointed when I heard that this book was a stand-alone and while the plot sounded a little bit different than Sundin’s normal fare I was still intrigued. And honestly, this book blew me away! One of the things that most impressed me was the way that the author took a lot of elements I don’t love in books and somehow perfectly balanced them so that I loved how every piece fit together.
I was poised to not love Evelyn’s character because typically female reporters trying to prove themselves in a “man’s world” always rub me the wrong way in fiction. But, while she was definitely a bold, no-nonsense type, she also had a soft side and she was rational about things to the point that I was fully on her side instead of rolling my eyes and wanting her to calm down. She was fiercely independent out of necessity but I loved seeing her walls come down and watching her learn that it’s okay to lean on someone else’s strength sometimes.
Peter was also a wild card. Starting off as he did with his thoughts on how things were going in Germany I wasn’t sure he’d get to hero status, but boy did he prove me wrong! We don’t often think about how Nazi Germany came to be the awful place it was with no one standing up against it. But the truth of the matter is that while countries like America were struggling in the 1930’s Germany was thriving and on the surface you can see how it would look appealing. Especially for someone in Peter’s shoes who had watched his father die because of a mob incited by their poverty. So while I didn’t agree with his stance, Sundin painted a clear picture of how he arrived there that didn’t make him an awful person. Though I was very happy when he started to see the truth of the dark side of a controlled country. His journey from admiration, to disbelief, to outrage, to fighting back was awesome to watch and I’m not gonna lie, I was legitimately proud of this fictional character! I also loved the way he not only accepted Evelyn’s, as she called them, sharp points, but admired her for them and loved the way they made her who she was. It was beautiful to watch her blossom under his unwavering appreciation for every part of her. Their romance was pretty much the sweetest and I was melting when they finally admitted their feelings!
Another amazing part of this book was the suspense level! I was on the edge of my seat and tense with worry more in this book than any suspense I’ve read in recent years! Both Evelyn and Peter were taking enormous risks over and over again and each time I swear my heart was going to pound out of my chest! I actually had to set the book down several times to take a breath before I could continue!
So if this excessively long review hasn’t convinced you already, let me just say it plainly, I absolutely adored this book and lovers of WWII fiction or just exceptional historicals absolutely need to read this book! You won’t be sorry!

Meet the Author
Sarah Sundin is the bestselling author of several popular WWII series, including Sunrise at Normandy, Waves of Freedom, Wings of the Nightingale, and Wings of Glory. Her novels have received starred reviews from Booklist, Library Journal, and Publishers Weekly. The Sky Above Us received the Carol Award, her bestselling The Sea Before Us received the FHL Reader's Choice Award, and both Through Waters Deep and When Tides Turn were named on Booklist's "101 Best Romance Novels of the Last 10 Years." Sarah lives in Northern California. Visit www.sarahsundin.com for more information.

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. 

A Dance in Donegal by Jennifer Deibel

About the Book
All of her life, Irish-American Moira Doherty has relished her mother's descriptions of Ireland. When her mother dies unexpectedly in the summer of 1920, Moira decides to fulfill her mother's wish that she become the teacher in Ballymann, her home village in Donegal, Ireland.
After an arduous voyage, Moira arrives to a new home and a new job in an ancient country. Though a few locals offer a warm welcome, others are distanced by superstition and suspicion. Rumors about Moira's mother are unspoken in her presence but threaten to derail everything she's journeyed to Ballymann to do. Moira must rely on the kindness of a handful of friends--and the strength of Sean, an unsettlingly handsome thatcher who keeps popping up unannounced--as she seeks to navigate a life she'd never dreamed of . . . but perhaps was meant to live.
Jennifer Deibel's debut novel delights the senses, bringing to life the sights, sounds, smells, and language of a lush country and a colorful people. Historical romance fans will embrace her with open arms.

My Thoughts
In a time where most of us aren’t traveling we need all the books set around the world to let us live vicariously! I have always been fascinated by Ireland and I was excited to step into a book that took me there in my mind. The descriptions were vivid and abundant and those who can’t paint pictures in their minds from what they’re reading will have no trouble transporting themselves to Donegal. I personally struggled with there being a little too much description and not enough dialogue but that may be just me.
The characters were sweet but I don’t know if classifying this as a romance is completely accurate, yes the couple ends up in a relationship but there wasn’t a whole lot of actual romance along the way which my romance loving self was really wanting more of.
Also, as a heads up for people that struggle with a different dialect in its written form this book was chock full of Gaelic words and words written the way that Irish folk pronounce them.
Overall this wasn’t exactly what I was expecting but those who like descriptive sweeping tales are sure to find a new author to enjoy!

Meet the Author
Jennifer Deibel is a middle school teacher whose work has appeared on (in)courage, on The Better Mom, in Missions Mosaic magazine, and others. With firsthand immersive experience abroad, Jennifer writes stories that help redefine home through the lens of culture, history, and family. After nearly a decade of living in Ireland and Austria, she now lives in Arizona with her husband and their three children. You can find her online at www.jenniferdeibel.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, February 01, 2021

All Because of You by Lindsay Harrel

About the Book
Madison’s plans have fallen to ashes.
Because here she is, back in Walker Beach taking over her late aunt’s hardware store . . .
. . . and falling for the gorgeous bad boy from high school.
You know—the same jerk who made Madison’s high school days a living nightmare. The one who, somehow, doesn’t remember her.
But if the sparks flying between them are any indication, this time he will.
For the first time in his life, Evan is on the straight and narrow. He’s up for a promotion and helping Walker Beach recover from an economic downturn.
But doing the right thing for the town might mean putting the woman he loves out of business.
Yep. Evan’s in trouble—in more ways than one.
And though Trouble used to be his middle name, this time there’s no easy escape.
You’ll love this enemies-to-lovers sweet romance, because everyone enjoys stories about redemption and second chances.
This is Book 2 in the Walker Beach Romance Series, a clean and sweet collection about people finding love in a small town. Books can stand alone but are best read in order.

My Thoughts
Those who have been enjoying the Walker Beach series will enjoy this return to the close-knit small town. We got to meet Evan in the last book and this is his chance to find his happily ever after with the last person he expected. It was a bumpy road but they found their way to each other in the end.
If you’re looking for a Hallmark-esque lighthearted read check out this book and it’s predecessors!

Meet the Author
Lindsay Harrel is a lifelong book nerd who lives in Arizona with her young family and two golden retrievers in serious need of training. She's held a variety of writing and editing jobs over the years, and now juggles stay-at-home mommyhood with writing novels. When she's not writing or chasing after her children, Lindsay enjoys making a fool of herself at Zumba, curling up with anything by Jane Austen, and savoring sour candy one piece at a time. Connect with her at www.LindsayHarrel.com

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

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Tidewater Bride by Laura Frantz

About the Book
Selah Hopewell seems to be the only woman in the Virginia colony who has no wish to wed. True, there are too many men and far too few women in James Towne. But Selah already has her hands full assisting her father in the family's shop. And now she is in charge of an incoming ship of tobacco brides who must be looked after as they sort through their many suitors.
Xander Renick is perhaps the most eligible tobacco lord in the settlement. His lands are vast, his crops are prized, and his position as a mediator between the colonists and the powerful Powhatan nation surrounding them makes him indispensable. But Xander is already wedded to his business and still grieves the loss of his wife, daughter of the Powhatan chief.
Can two fiercely independent people find happiness and fulfillment on their own? Or will they discover that what they've been missing in life has been right in front of them all along?
Bestselling and award-winning author Laura Frantz takes you to the salty shores of seventeenth-century Virginia in this exploration of pride, honor, and the restorative power of true love.

My Thoughts
Fiction that takes place in the colonies prior to the Revolutionary war isn’t always my thing but Laura Frantz writes this time period so well that I can’t help checking out each new release.
Honestly I liked the fact that this book was lacking a lot of the typical frontier disasters one normally finds rampant in this time period, no disease outbreaks (this was especially nice to find absent considering the current state of the world), no constant attacks from the natives, and they weren’t struggling to make do. Instead James Towne was a thriving area and I enjoyed the look at how life was then. I always appreciate how much research Frantz does to create a richly historically accurate background for her characters!
The characters themselves were great too, I admired both Xander and Selah’s strong work ethic and the care they had for others. Their romance was definitely a slow burning one but I actually didn’t mind and it fit their situation well. And it wasn’t so slow that you couldn’t see the obvious connection growing. The secondary characters enhanced the story and were all well written.
This was another expertly delivered novel from Frantz and I know fans of her work will love this one as well!

Meet the Author
Laura Frantz is a Christy Award winner and the ECPA bestselling author of eleven novels, including An Uncommon Woman, The Frontiersman's Daughter, Courting Morrow Little, The Colonel's Lady, The Lacemaker, and A Bound Heart. She is a proud mom to an American soldier and a career firefighter. When not at home in Kentucky, she and her husband live in Washington State. Learn more at www.laurafrantz.net.

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, January 26, 2021

The Vanishing at Loxby Manor by Abigail Wilson

About the Book
A story of second chances and secrets, this mysterious Regency romance will transport you to 19th-century England as one young lady reunites with her childhood love to find his missing sister. 

Her friend is missing.
After five years abroad, Charity Halliwell finally returns to Loxby Manor, the home of dear friends—and her lost love. No longer a young girl, she is now haunted by a painful secret and the demise of her dreams. Instead of the healing and happiness she hopes to find, she encounters a darkness lurking in the shadows of the once-familiar house. When her friend, Seline, disappears the very night of her arrival, Charity is determined to uncover the truth. 

Her only hope is the man who broke her heart.
Branded a coward, Piers Cavanaugh has lived the last five years as an outcast far from his family home. When his sister presumably elopes with a stable hand, Piers joins forces with an unlikely partner—the one woman he thought he’d never see again. Together they launch an investigation that leads to strange nightly meetings in the ruins of an old abbey and disturbing whispers of a secret organization. The more they learn, the more desperate the situation becomes. 

The house seems determined to keep its secrets.
As they struggle to piece together the clues, Charity and Piers also endeavor to rebuild their friendship. One cryptic letter changed everything between them. To find happiness they will have to overcome the grief and shame keeping them apart. But first they must discover why Seline vanished and confront the growing fear that she may never return. 

Settle in, because once you start The Vanishing at Loxby Manor, you won’t be able to put it down. 

My Thoughts
Once again Abigail Wilson has sucked me into a genre that is not my normal forte! I will admit that at that start I wasn’t wholly drawn into the story or connecting with the characters but that all changed and I was completely captivated.
The suspense and mystery were definitely my favorite part about this book! So many pieces were in play and I was constantly changing my opinion of what I thought happened! The suspense was done so well and I felt like I was on the edge of my seat at times.
I liked Piers a lot, he had such a strong character and truly cared more about others than himself. Charity was great as well, I felt for her with what had happened in her past and I was glad to see her find healing from it. Their romance was sweet and a bit subtle but the fact that it was building on a foundation that was laid years ago kept me from minding!
This book was wonderful and I highly recommend it! And take it from someone who rarely reads this kind of book-Abigail Wilson is one to step outside your comfort zone for!

Meet the Author
Abigail Wilson combines her passion for Regency England with intrigue and adventure to pen historical mysteries with a heart. A registered nurse, chai tea addict, and mother of two crazy kids, Abigail fills her spare time hiking the national parks, attending her daughter’s diving meets, and curling up with a great book. Abigail was a 2020 HOLT Medallion Merit Finalist, a 2017 Fab Five contest winner, and a Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence Finalist. She is a cum laude graduate of the University of Texas at Austin and currently lives in Dripping Springs, Texas, with her husband and children. Connect with Abigail at acwilsonbooks.com; Instagram: @acwilsonbooks; Facebook: @ACWilsonbooks; Twitter: @acwilsonbooks.

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, January 05, 2021

A Cowboy for Keeps by Jody Hedlund

About the Book
Greta Nilsson's trip west to save her ailing little sister, Astrid, could not have gone more wrong. First, bandits hold up her stagecoach, stealing all her money. Then, upon arriving in Fairplay, Colorado, she learns the man she was betrothed to as a mail-order bride has died. Homeless, penniless, and jobless, Greta and her sister are worse off than when they started.
Wyatt McQuaid is struggling to get his new ranch up and running and is in town to purchase cattle when the mayor proposes the most unlikely of bargains. He'll invest in a herd of cattle for Wyatt's ranch if Wyatt agrees to help the town become more respectable by marrying and starting a family. And the mayor, who has promised to try to help Greta, has just the candidate in mind for Wyatt to marry.

My Thoughts
I’m always excited when an author I like starts a new series and the fact that this was a marriage of convenience (my favorite trope) had me anxiously awaiting its arrival.
Wyatt was great and I loved the way he let Greta set the pace of things and was a true gentleman about it. I also admired the way that he didn’t bat an eye over the fact that her little sister came with her and took time to form a relationship with her.
Greta had a caring heart which was evident in the deep love she had for her half-sister and the lengths she was willing to go to give her a better chance at life.
I will admit though that for most of the book I wanted to smack Wyatt and Greta’s heads together and hope that knocked some sense into them. It was like they both were constantly waiting for the proverbial other shoe to drop and making assumptions about the other one even when they were clearly saying the opposite. They both had people in the past who hadn’t treated them well and said things that they were letting affect their lives years later. In the end I was happy they worked things out but man they could have had such a richer relationship if they weren’t always looking to give the other person an out. There were still some great moments between them though and those were my favorite parts! Astrid, the little sister, was hard to handle for sure and drove me crazy with the way she acted and the fact that she basically ran unchecked.
Overall this was an interesting start to the series and I’m definitely looking forward to the next books!

Meet the Author
Jody Hedlund is the author of over 20 novels and is the winner of numerous awards including the Christy Award, Carol Award, and Christian Book Award. She received a bachelor's degree from Taylor University and a master's from the University of Wisconsin, both in social work. Jody lives in central Michigan with her husband, busy family, and five spoiled cats. She loves hearing from readers on Facebook and on her blog. Learn more at www.jodyhedlund.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. 

Dreams of Savannah by Roseanna M. White

 About the Book
Cordelia Owens can weave a hopeful dream around anything and is well used to winning the hearts of everyone in Savannah with her whimsy. Even when she receives word that her sweetheart has been lost during a raid on a Yankee vessel, she clings to hope and comes up with many a romantic tale of his eventual homecoming to reassure his mother and sister.
But Phineas Dunn finds nothing redemptive in the first horrors of war. Struggling for months to make it home alive, he returns to Savannah injured and cynical, and all too sure that he is not the hero Cordelia seems determined to make him. Matters of black and white don't seem so simple anymore to Phin, and despite her best efforts, Delia's smiles can't erase all the complications in his life. And when Fort Pulaski falls and the future wavers, they both must decide where the dreams of a new America will take them, and if they will go together.

My Thoughts
First of all this cover is absolutely stunning and definitely needs a moment of appreciation.
And now on to the actual review. Coming off of the high from the last three connected series that Roseanna White has written that I’ve absolutely adored I was a little hesitant about this book. Especially since we were switching time periods and continents, and I just wasn’t ready to leave the characters we’ve come to love. But growing up I was fascinated with the Civil War so I was intrigued at what this story would deliver. White’s skill as an author definitely shone through and there was no denying the quality of the writing but for me this story wasn’t a favorite. The author definitely gave an honest look at how things were in the south and the viewpoints that many southerners held, but it was also hard to get behind a hero and heroine that believes as they did. They did have changes of heart as the book progressed but I wanted to see a little more of the process to that point rather than the sudden shift that seemed to occur. And selfishly I really wanted more romance from this book, the couple were barely in the same country let alone the same room for almost all of the book and my romance loving self was a little disappointed by that.
I did overall appreciate the author’s writing talent and the way she gave a true glimpse into what things were like in the south during this tumultuous time.

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 www.roseannamwhite.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, January 04, 2021

All of You, Always by Lindsay Harrel

About the Book
Going undercover is Bella’s only hope.
Her mission?
Convince Ben to sell his inn, and she’ll get the information needed to locate the family she’s never known.
Should be simple, right? After all, he’s behind on his mortgage, and a recent earthquake has rocked the town—and his finances. His beachfront property is ripe for the picking.
But the big-city executive didn’t count on him being so stubborn. So rooted in family and tradition and everything that small-town America stands for.
She also didn’t count on him being so attractive and wounded and … good.
And Bella has to wonder if the ends really justify the means.
But more than that—can love survive a lie?
You’ll adore this sweet small-town romance, because everyone enjoys a story of love, redemption, and finding a place to belong.

My Thoughts
When this author, whose books I have enjoyed immensely, announced that she was writing a series of shorter length contemporary romances I was all on board! This was definitely a completely different fare than her other novels, giving a Hallmark type light and breezy feel instead (I mean the city girl came to shut down his inn and ends up helping save it, if that doesn’t scream Hallmark nothing does).
I loved the small town feel of everything and the way they were all in each other’s business all the time definitely showed how close knit they were!
Some of the motivations of the characters didn’t hold up and there were some moments that had me scratching my head but if you’re looking for a quick small town Hallmark type read this might be the story for you!

Meet the Author
Lindsay Harrel is a lifelong book nerd who lives in Arizona with her young family and two golden retrievers in serious need of training. She's held a variety of writing and editing jobs over the years, and now juggles stay-at-home mommyhood with writing novels. When she's not writing or chasing after her children, Lindsay enjoys making a fool of herself at Zumba, curling up with anything by Jane Austen, and savoring sour candy one piece at a time. Connect with her at www.LindsayHarrel.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.