Sunday, February 28, 2021

Red is for Rookie

When a Valentine’s Meet-a Thon that Holly Garden has been assigned to provide security ends in a kidnapping, Holly is determined to find the culprits in order to save her best friend, Matt Murdock. Inquisitive, energetic and driven, Holly has what it takes to make a good detective. She just needs a bit of help from her handsome rival PI, Stryker Black and to be taken seriously by the police and her uncle who runs the detective agency.

With a dark cloud of suspicion and mysterious circumstances of her father’s death, as well as nefarious threats, the story moves along and leaves you wondering what really happened to Mr. Garden. Was he a dirty detective or was he framed for something he discovered as Holly believes. This unsettling question and the love triangle in which Holly finds her heart entwined are left unanswered at the end of the book. These questions have you eagerly anticipating the next book in the Handcuffed in Texas series. Thank you to the author for a complimentary copy of the book. All opinions are my own.

Friday, February 26, 2021

A Wagon Train Weekend

Traveling back in time to the 1850’s for Collette Donaldson and Seth Stone was full of surprises.  While it wouldn’t have been something either of them would have chosen, it is just what they needed to test not only their love and commitment for each other, but their very character. 

Having been raised as a socialite, Collette was not used to doing anything for herself.  Suddenly, she and Seth find themselves in the middle of the prairie in a broken down wagon. Having to join  a wagon train of strangers, and overcome numerous dangers, Collette has to rely on Seth and grow to trust and love him more than she ever had before. This trust helped her to examine her love for him and believe that he was the one for her and wanted the best for her. 

Frightening experiences  and funny predicaments that Collette finds herself in make this story engaging and entertaining. This first book in the Back Inn Time series was an ingenious way to begin and it will be fun to see what other couples will face at this unusual inn. 

Thank you to the author for a complimentary copy of the book. All opinions are my own. 

About the Book

It was just one night at a Victorian B&B. Until they woke up in 1857.

Collette Donaldson never should have taken her boyfriend to her cousin’s wedding. Or introduced him to her parents. After a disastrous weekend, all she wants is to get back home and sort out the mess that had once been their relationship. A heartbreaking fight, a flat tire, and an inconvenient storm force her and Seth to stay the night at a quaint bed and breakfast. But when Collette finds an antique photograph of herself, circumstances quickly shift from weird to unimaginable.

Seth Stone was ready to propose. Now he isn’t sure if he and Collette even have a relationship. People he'd never want to be his in-laws, an irritable girlfriend, and now he has to spend the night in a creepy old Victorian inn. He should have never wondered how things could possibly get worse. When they wake up stranded on a wagon train in 1857, Seth is determined to get home. But the only way to get out of the past is to face the problems stealing their future.

★The Back Inn Time books are standalone Christian time travel romances and can be read in any order. Each book features new characters who travel to different eras throughout history.

Sunday, February 21, 2021

The Thief of Blackfriar's Lane

I thought I had posted this earlier! You will want to add this to your TBR list. 

Weaving through the labyrinth of London’s sewer system, investigating and engaging dangerous and unscrupulous men are just a few of the things that Kit Turner and Jackson Forge find themselves embroiled in as they search for a missing man. This search leads them into a more complex plot of criminal activity than either had imagined.  Fast paced, adventure filled, and crime solving with a romantic element made this book a quick page turner. I truly enjoyed this book and I hope to see more of Kit and Jackson in future stories. 

Thank you to Net Galley and Barbour Publishing for the ebook. I was not required to write a positive review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

About this book: 

Constable Jackson Forge is determined to clean up the crime-ridden streets of Victorian London---the turf of notorious swindler Kit Turner. When a cabby goes missing, Jackson must ask for Kit's help. If he doesn't crack the case, he'll be fired. If she doesn't assist him, he'll arrest her. Can they survive their uneasy alliance? 

Friday, February 19, 2021

Hope Between the Pages

“Any story that begins with a library is bound to be an excellent tale.” is the prophetic opening line of this enchanting, wonderful split time story. Pepper Basham’s seamless weaving of the story of Clara Blackwell who lives in the present, and the beautiful love story of her great-grandmother, Sadie Blackwell immediately captivates you. The settings, the characters, and the plots made me want to stop everything around me to learn more of the story of Sadie and the legacy of her bookshop. 

There were many quotes throughout the book that I had to underline so that I could return to them for further consideration. Here are two of my favorites. 

“Read a story, live a story.”

“Perfect books are difficult to find.” His eyes narrowed slightly. “It takes a special sort to uncover them.”

I wholeheartedly recommend this book. It is the second one in the Doors to the Past series with three different authors in which you can visit landmarks that are “full of mystery, intrigue, faith, and romance.” (quote from the series description)

My thanks to Net Galley for a complimentary copy of this ebook. I was not required to write a positive review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Release Date: 04.01.21

About the Book: 

Clara Blackwell helps her mother manage a struggling one-hundred-year old family bookshop in Asheville, North Carolina, but the discovery of a forgotten letter opens a mystery of a long-lost romance and undiscovered inheritance which could save its future. Forced to step outside of her predictable world, Clara embarks on an adventure with only the name Oliver as a hint of the man’s identity in her great-great-grandmother’s letter. From the nearby grand estate of the Vanderbilts, to a hamlet in Derbyshire, England, Clara seeks to uncover truth about family and love that may lead to her own unexpected romance.

Thursday, February 18, 2021

A Tapestry of Light

The story of Ottilie Russell, a young lady of a mixed race marriage, was told with such rich descriptions of life in India that I truly felt like I was truly there with her. The two extremely different worlds of the ruling British class and the Indian people was something that Ottilie struggled with since she was both British and Indian. She must discover that she is a special young lady, worthy of love, who must forgive those who have treated her and her family shamefully in order to find peace and a sense of belonging. 

While Ottilie wanted to reject her British ancestry and the painful circumstances she would have to endure when she moves there, this is what brought healing, happiness, and redemption. I thought it was a brilliant way of depicting both cultures converging in her life. 

One part of the story that I found intriguing was that while Ottlilie  lived in India, she earns a living for her family by painstakingly embroidering beautiful, intricate designs for the wealthy British ladies of society by using iridescent beetle’s wings. Ms. Duffy’s skillful use of Ottilie’s embroidery in having it play such a vital role in the transformation that takes place in her life is well done. Additionally, the cover of the book was creative and added richness to the story by incorporating a delicate beetle wing design as the framework for Ottilie.

My thanks to Net Galley for a complimentary copy of this ebook. I was not required to write a positive review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Three Whistles Around the Bend

The story of Amelia McCrary and Clem Henry was Providential from the start. Having met under difficult circumstances when they were very young, they find themselves bound by sadness and facing trying times. Because of this bond and their faith, they quickly renew their friendship and discover they have deeper feelings than just that of friends.  

I enjoyed this sweet romance and the wisdom and care shown to Amelia and her cousin in helping them overcome their grief. Here are a few of my favorite quotes and sage pieces of advice.

“Grief is one thing, but self-pity is another. You are allowed to grieve.”

“I don’t understand why some die in what seems untimely ways, but I do know those remaining have purpose.”

“… focus on life instead of death.”

Thank you to the author for a copy of the book. I was not required to write a positive review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 

About the Book: 

In the autumn of 1878, the South prays for a frost to end the yellow fever epidemic. The railroads continue to expand, extinguishing the former glory of the steamboat era. Clem Henry and Amelia McCrary meet on a train.

Amelia and her cousin are refugees, running from the yellow fever. Clem is a special sketch artist and writer for the newspapers. There’s something familiar about each of them, but they can’t grasp where they might have met. When unexpected circumstances take them to the small community of Resolution, their focus changes to their surroundings. There’s something unusual about the community. This detour could forever change their lives.

Will they find life in the midst of death?

Will they find love amid the fear?

Will God send them something unexpected?

Monday, February 15, 2021

The Vanishing at Loxby Manor

With plenty of red herrings, unreliable, suspicious people sharing cryptic tales, I was left wondering what was really happening and who to believe. Masterfully told, The Vanishing at Loxby Manor includes spine tingling Gothic elements of old buildings falling into disrepair, women in distress, bumps in the night, omens, and an ominous mystery. Combining all of these things with a romantic element was just what was needed to make this a five star book for me.  

When I read a mystery, I love to be able to see if I can solve it with the clues that have been given. Ms.Wilson gave just enough breadcrumbs to lead me down a path, only to have me stop and retrace my (mental) steps time and again. I was thoroughly engaged in the story and was delighted to have solved it, even if it was just right before all was revealed. If you like Gothic mysteries, I highly recommend reading this. 

Thank you to NetGalley for an eARC. I was not required to write a positive review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 

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. 

Sunday, February 14, 2021

Suitors for the Proper Miss

 The dilemma that Lucy Standish faces of doing the “proper thing” by marrying a nobleman conflicts with that of her heart and creates an interesting and charming story. Lucy's fear of the past makes her set a personal standard that she felt she needed to do to rescue her family. Trying to reconcile her sense of duty to marry wealth instead of love added to the tension and conflict that troubled Lucy. At times I thought she was going to marry the dull duke (boo!). I kept wishing that she would listen to her heart and Conor O’Sullivan, the stable hand, who was trying so valiantly to win her hand (yay). Conor gets extra suitor points for being patient and wanting the best for Lucy.

I have read other books in the Lords for the Sisters of Sussex series and was delighted to continue further. I felt that I was part of the circle of  Lucy’s friends as I got to know her and her delightful family better. Lucy’s sweet and generous nature makes you realize why her sisters care deeply for her. You can read this as a stand alone, but I would highly recommend that you read the other books as well tolerant more about this wonderful family.

My thanks to the author for a complimentary copy of this ARC. I was not required to write a positive review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

A Small Voice

Piper McCormick built a wall around her heart and for a good reason. Tackling a difficult subject, Anne Greene tastefully and thoughtfully wrote a story that has given me a new perspective of surviving a terrible ordeal. Jake Connors is the perfect match, just the man who Piper needed in her life to help her heal. Piper was a courageous young woman who came to realize that God can take bad things and use them for good. The romance and suspense in the story made this a quick read. 

Thank you to the author for a copy of the book. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions and thoughts are my own.

Sunday, February 7, 2021

The Purple Nightgown

A.D. Lawrence’s fictionalized story of a true crime at a “health spa” was fantastic. The writing was excellent in bringing about some tense moments. I found my heart racing along with Stella's flight through the forest.  I wanted to close my eyes, hoping she could escape from this awful place, hoping someone would help her. But, having your eyes closed doesn’t work when you are reading! 

The pacing, the characterization of the diabolical, crazed Dr. Linda Hazzard, and the events that take place at the spa make this a goosebumps kind of read. The romantic element was just right. It was not too much to take away from the story and it added to the mood throughout the story. If you enjoy suspense with a dash of romance, I recommend you read this debut novel by A.D. Lawrence’s in the True Colors series by Barbour. 

Thank you to NetGalley for an eARC. I was not required to write a positive review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

* The release date is March 1, 2021, but you can preorder now. 

About the book: 

Step into True Colors -- a series of Historical Stories of Romance and True American Crime
Marvel at true but forgotten history when patients check into Linda Hazzard’s Washington state spa in 1912 and soon become victim of her twisted greed.
Heiress Stella Burke is plagued by insincere suitors and nonstop headaches. Exhausting all other medical aides for her migraines, Stella reads Fasting for the Cure of Disease by Linda Hazzard and determines to go to the spa the author runs. Stella’s chauffer and long-time friend, Henry Clayton, is reluctant to leave her at the spa. Something doesn’t feel right to him, still Stella submits herself into Linda Hazzard’s care. Stella soon learns the spa has a dark side and Linda a mean streak. But when Stella has had enough, all ways to leave are suddenly blocked. Will Stella become a walking skeleton like many of the other patients or succumb to a worse fate?

Rocky Mountain Journey

About the Book Book:  Rocky Mountain Journey (Sisters of the Rockies: Book 3) Author:  Misty M. Beller Genre:  Christian Historical Romance ...