Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Autumn by the Sea


I loved this book! It brought me joy and hope as I read about Sydney’s journey. She was looking for a family of her own, people she could love and who would love her in return. How delightful it was for her, and me as a reader, to see this wish come true.

There were humorous scenarios sprinkled throughout that were perfect to provide just the right amount of lightheartedness. Ms Tagg had two hilarious scenes that made me laughing and saying out loud, “Oh my! Poor man! ”. 

I truly hope this is made into a movie because it is just.that.good! It has a plethora of wonderful elements to it: a well written plot; faith in action; a selfless and giving mother/ grandmother; a charming Scottish hero; beautiful scenery, and love. 

I am looking forward to the next book in the Muir Harbor series. If you enjoy reading books like Jan Karon’s Mitford series, you will be pleased to have found a new series to add to your reading collection. Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for a digital review copy of this book. I was not required to write a positive review. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.

Tuesday, September 21, 2021

A Darker Reality

Elaine Standish is once again involved in MI6 affairs as she attends her American grandparent’s anniversary party. Lila Worth, the beautiful British secret agent is murdered and Eliane must find who killed her since her grandfather has been accused of being the perpetrator. Will she be able to track the killer with no thought to her safety or of the consequences of her discovery?

As Eliane and her fellow agent, James Allenby, uncover more details of possible motives, the story becomes more complex and intriguing. With various conflicting political ideologies, dangerous scientific research, and  secret organizations, the list of suspects grows. Almost everyone that Elaine speaks with urges her to be careful in investigating the case, leading you to be believe that this much more dangerous and far- reaching than what is first suspected. Elaine shows great courage and takes a huge risk to find out the motive  behind Lila’s death. 

Elaine has learned grown quite a bit in being a MI6 agent from when she first began. Sh has learned to hide her emotions, lead people to assume things that were implied, and not hold back when she needs to come up against dangerous people. I hope there will be more books in the series. With an unexpected ending, I was reminded of Agatha Christie’s detectives Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple. I would recommend this book for mystery lovers and historical fiction readers too. 

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for an electronic arc of the book. I was not required to write a review; all opinions expressed are my own.

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

A Christmas Kiss: A Regency Christmas

Oscar Easton is a true gem; he is patient, kind, and selfless. At first, he seems rather overwhelmed in figuring out how he can support himself since he has no trade and no real direction. Meeting Eva was fortuitous and also funny as her mourning ban is rescued by Oscar from a near bath in the ball's punch. 

I can imagine how humiliated Eva must have felt after her disastrous courtship. Not wanting to risk the possibility of that repeating, she decides to write off men altogether. Oscar seems like a safe friend since he is not interested in her, or is he? Their fast growing friendship and feelings for each other made this a great story.

I liked that Oscar is determined to find a means to support himself and takes the wise counsel of other successful businessmen. This isn't something you see all that often in Regency era books and I found that interesting and showed more of Oscar's hard working and caring character. 

This is the second book in the series, and while this can be read as a stand alone, I am going to read the rest of the books in the series. I highly recommend this uplifting Christmas love story.  

About the Book:

Hiding poignant heartbreak behind garish clothing and outlandish fashion, Eva hopes to never marry. Oscar is happy to never propose, but the two of them find a casual friendship growing into a strength of feeling that challenges even the most deeply rooted stubborn intentions or fears.

When her presence is requested at a house party of a distant relative, she does what any outlandish woman who has stopped caring about her reputation would do: She invites Oscar to go with her.

Oscar is ready to live on his own, but he needs the means to do so. When Edward has stretched his last ounce of patience, Oscar decides to spend as much time from home as possible. In that moment, he receives an invitation from his most outlandish and garish friend inviting him to attend a house party.

Tuesday, September 7, 2021

The Matchmaker's Lonely Heart

Being chased by Detective Michael Baker and coerced into helping him with part of his undercover operation was likely not what Amelie Hampton had in mind when she went to see how a client’s date turned out. Matchmaker/ writer for The Marriage Gazette, Amelie can’t help getting personally involved because she loves to see women get their happily ever after. 

The beginning of the book  immediately drew me in and had me engaged the entire time. There were so many things to like about this story: the mystery of the murder and the smugness of the killer; capturing a murderer and seeing justice prevail; the humorous banter between Amelie and Michael, and the suspenseful plot twists. 

I enjoyed reading about this Victorian period  mystery and the descriptive details made me feel like I was right there. The cover was unique and was initially why I went on to read the description. I am so glad I read this well-written and entertaining mystery. I highly recommend this book and hope there are more books to come. 

Thank you to NetGalley for an advanced digital copy of this book. I was not required to write a positive review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Friday, September 3, 2021

The Preacher's Unexpected Bride


Hannah Fairchild must live with the consequences of her amoral and unscrupulous uncle's vicious attack on her as she awaits the birth of her child. Life would be so much less complicated if Preacher Luke Johnson had decided to find land elsewhere. Instead, Luke purchases land adjacent to her sister’s homestead where she is staying. The attraction and need to protect Hannah that Luke has almost from the beginning is touching, but how does he let her know he cares for her?

I loved the matchmaking neighbor who can see that Hannah needs Luke just as much as he needs her. Luke’s faith, patience, and his belief in Hannah helps her to see that she is worthy of love and happiness. 

I enjoyed reading this book, and while it is the second book in the series, it can be read as a standalone. I did not read the first book and while certain events were referred to, I was able to easily follow the story. I recommend this book if you like Westerns, prairie life, or pioneering. 

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

Thursday, September 2, 2021

To Marry an Earl

Kate Cartwright is skeptical of marriage.  She has a terribly cruel, unloving, and domineering father who sees Kate as nothing more than an unwanted financial burden. This traumatic experience, coupled with the unexplained, abrupt ending of a relationship in years past with her best friend and secret crush, James Fenwick, leave Kate disbelieving that love can be hers. 

Mr.Cartwright unashamedly sees Kate as a way to pay off his debts and makes a lucrative deal for her to marry Lord Bowcott, a man who recently inherited his title. Little does Kate know that this mysterious lord is her James. So begins the story of their rocky courtship as Kate has to learn that she is worth loving and that there are wonderful and kind men like James who can be trusted. 

My favorite character is James Fenwick because he shows Kate what it means to be treasured, protected, and cherished. He is not without faults, but I felt that made him an even stronger, lovable man. He realizes that keeping well intended secrets only hurt his relationship and he needs to change if he wants to win Kate’s heart. Kate couldn’t have been paired with a better man to help her heal her broken heart.

While threats to both of them was scary for the couple, it actually brought Kate and James together. I am really happy they overcame this frightening obstacle and chose to let it bring them together instead of tear them apart. I was smiling as the villain’s plans backfired and love won.

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for a digital review copy. I was not expected to write a positive review. All opinions are my own. 

Wednesday, September 1, 2021

Undercurrent of Secrets

After reading this split time book, I wanted to rush down to the Ohio River and see if the Belle of Louisville might be docked there. This dual timeline book weaves two interesting stories in with the history of the boat and the area. It was a fun read as I recognized several of the towns from the excellent descriptions in the book.

The curiosity of Devyn and Chase uncovering clues of a photograph was unique and clever in moving the events throughout the story from the present to the 1920’s. I thought each story was well done and loved the surprising conclusion. I enjoyed the way the lives of Hattie and Jack intertwined with Devyn and Chase.

One quote that I especially liked about faith and love was, “I had to say goodbye to all I knew. Up to then, my entire life was spent between the banks of rivers. The first step was the hardest, but the most important. I ventured past, and in losing sight of the shores, I caught a glimpse of truth. Of what love is. Love is bold. It takes a good deal of courage and a trusting heart.”

Thank you to NetGalley and Barbour Publishing for this ebook in the Doors to the Past series. I was not required to write a positive review and all opinions expressed are my own.

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.

The Mistletoe Countess

Pepper Basham’s story of a fiction-loving heroine and her remarkable husband was a wonderfully fun and exciting read. The combination of mystery, murder, mayhem and romance made this a hard book to put down. I eagerly read this well written and exciting story and was so sad when it ended. 

Gracelynn Ferguson joyously embraces life and is the consternation of her proper socialite mother. Grace envisions herself leading an adventurous life, solving crimes like her fictional hero, Sherlock Holmes. Marrying a man is not in her near future unless she can find someone who is her equal. Her outspoken and enthusiastic nature is contagious and her drivenness to find answers made me feel like I was right alongside her. The funny and daring exploits she finds herself in had me whooping with laughter as she tries to foil a villainous plan. 

Lord Frederick Percy had reluctantly resigned himself to his mother’s expectations and settling down with a demure lady while running his family’s estate. What a fortuitous and unexpected turn of events for Frederick when he finds himself married to Gracelynn instead of her well-groomed, quiet sister. He was much more suited for Grace, and she for him, as they brought out the very best in each other.

I am really hoping this is just the beginning of a new series of books with Gracelynn and Frederick as they are an unstoppable dynamic duo in thwarting evil schemes. I highly recommend this book for lovers of romantic adventure, humor, as well as mysteries. 

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for an electronic advanced reader copy of this amazing book. I was not required to write this review; all opinions expressed are my own. 

The Letter

  Book:  The Letter Author:  Edwina Kiernan Genre:  Christian Historical Romance Release date:  November 1, 2022 She wants a new life. He’s ...