Sunday, October 31, 2021

Lost in Darkness


 

Gothic romance novels have certain aspects that I have come to expect- a sense of foreboding, omens, mystery and danger, a tyrannical male, and romance. Ms. Griep wrote a brilliant story with all of these elements included to make it a hard to put down book.


Amelia Balfour is an independent young lady who has broken societal expectations by being a travel writer and escaping her overreaching, domineering father. Her only regret is that she left behind her grotesquely disfigured brother, Colin. She decides to honor her father’s last wish and help Colin through a dangerous and controversial surgery that promises to repair his face and correct his abnormal growth.


Dr. Peckwood was the perfect mad doctor with his ideas about medicine and his questionable practices. I believe he at first wanted to find a way to help his patients, but lost sight of his patients, wanting to prove that he was a brilliant doctor at the expense of those under his care. I found myself fearing for Colin and wanting Amelia and Colin run away from him and his “treatments”. I was hoping that Graham Lambert, Dr. Peckwood's associate, would find the courage to step in and help both Colin and Amelia escape. While he cared for them, he felt powerless to do anything and thus creating a perfect situation for Dr. Peckwood to perform his surgery.


While I was sad for how things turned out for Colin, I was glad to see that Dr. Peckwood got everything he deserved. It was exactly what I was hoping for since his total lack of compassion for his patients (both willing and unwilling) made you wish someone would stop him.


The characters of this story were so well done that I found myself thinking about them well after I finished this book. Lessons from this book were powerful as I was reminded that we are made in the image and likeness of God. Man looks at the outward appearance, but God looks at the heart. Colin was such a sweet spirited young man who saw beyond himself and his terrible condition in order to help others. He was a truly great hero in this story.


I highly recommend this book if you like Gothic novels. My thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for an e-arc of this book. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions are my own.


About the Book: 


Even if there be monsters, there is none so fierce as that which resides in man’s own heart.
Enchanting Regency-Era Gothic Romance Intertwined with Inspiration from Mary Shelley's Frankenstein  
 
Travel writer Amelia Balfour’s dream of touring Egypt is halted when she receives news of a revolutionary new surgery for her grotesquely disfigured brother. This could change everything, and it does. . .in the worst possible way.
 
Surgeon Graham Lambert has suspicions about the doctor he’s gone into practice with, but he can’t stop him from operating on Amelia’s brother. Will he be too late to prevent the man’s death? Or to reveal his true feelings for Amelia before she sails to Cairo?


Order your copy: CLICK HERE


Friday, October 29, 2021

Behind Love's Wall



This dual time story is set on the beautiful island of Mackinac. With the author’s detailed description, I felt like I was seeing the sights of all this small island has to offer. Each story has its own mystery and I liked seeing how Lily’s story from the past connected to that of Willa’s as she tries to uncover the real story that is found hidden in a room she is redecorating. The surprising ending provided a nice way to conclude the story. 

You will  enjoy this story if you like a story that has a beautiful setting, mystery, and romance.  This is a book in the Doors to the Past series and can be read as a stand alone. There are a few people from the author’s other books who make appearances throughout the story. This made it fun that they were included, but it is an added bonus and it isn't necessary for you to have any previous knowledge of these characters. 

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

About the Book: 

The Grand Hotel Slowly Reveals Her Secrets
 
Walk through Doors to the Past via a new series of historical stories of romance and adventure.

Two successful women, a hundred-and-twenty-years apart, build walls to protect their hearts. Modern-day Willa, a successful interior decorator, is chosen to go to Mackinac Island and consult for the Grand Hotel’s possible redesign. During work on a room, she discovers a journal detailing the struggles of a young woman, Lily—which reveals dark secrets. The renowned singer wasn’t who she pretended to be.
 
As Willa reaches out to Lily’s descendant, a charismatic and prominent landscape artist, she lets down her guard. Should she share the journal with him—revealing hidden history—or once again erect a wall as she struggles to redesign both the Grand and her life?

Thursday, October 28, 2021

A Sleigh Ride Kiss



“With a dear grandmother who loved her and a comfortable home, what more could she want or expect from life? Most certainly, she was perfectly satisfied. She repeated her mantra over in her mind. Happy indeed.”  

What Miss Odette Goodson did not realize was that her world was about to change. The chance meeting of Mr. Henry Wardlow sets events into motion that make Odette question whether she would be content to stay in her small village of Cheshire or follow her heart to something bigger. Odette is blessed to have a wise and wonderful grandmother to remind her that love is about forgiveness, about believing the best about someone, and about taking risks. 

This charming Regency romance is one that I would recommend reading.  Do you like strangers to happily ever after tales?  This will be a terrific addition to your collection. I received a complimentary ARC of this digital book and voluntarily chose to review it. All opinions are my own.


About the Book:

A man she disdains and a man she loves. What happens when she finds out they’re the same person?

Odette Goodson lives with her grandmother in the beautiful Cheshire County. This Christmas she wishes for caroling, snow, sleigh rides, plum pudding, and a lit yule log, with friends and neighbors all around. Her matchmaking grandmother wishes for her to marry the Marquis of Wilmington. She’s heard only unflattering things about him. To her grandmother's consternation, Mr. Wardly shows up on a country lane, a man who seems to be everything the Marquis is not.


You can purchase it by clicking HERE

Monday, October 25, 2021

Her Unsuitable Match



What a wonderful story! I give this 5 + stars for a: 

fascinating plot

strong, clever female

wounded, caring soldier

greedy family

slimy suitor

supportive and caring friends

marriage of convenience

Lady  Philippa Gillensford has a domineering and manipulative brother who tries to use her dowry for his own gain. She also has a horrible mother who I wanted to take aside and say, “How can you treat your daughter like that?”  If you have seen the movie, Ever After, she is a cross between her nasty stepmother and her bratty stepsister. 

Finding herself facing a marriage to a total rake and philanderer, Philippa takes matters into her own hands and offers a business proposal of marriage to Lieutenant Myles Cobbett. The man who rescued her from a marriage of entrapment to the philandering snake, Lord Walter Ruthersby. While Myles has a scarred face and surly attitude, Philippa sees who he truly is: an honorable, caring man with integrity. 

I was rooting for  Philippa and Myles from the start. I thought  Philippa was clever in thwarting her older brother and mother. Seeing Myles defend and protect  Philippa showed the type of man he was and his commitment to her. With fabulous protagonists, a well-crafted story, and  wonderful supporting characters, I couldn’t put this book down. I found myself laughing at various events and things said throughout the book.  As soon as I finished it I wanted to read it again! This can be read as a standalone, but seeing friends from the Inglewood series was a wonderful treat.

I received this complimentary digital book and was not required to write a positive review. All opinions are my own.


03.10.22 Review of Audiobook

How can you possibly love a book more when you already think it is wonderful? Listen to it as an audiobook! Hearing the story read aloud and the characters portrayed with a British accent truly made me feel as if I was actually a part of the story. As I listened I could hear Myles's physical and emotional struggles he had after the war. I could visualize him wondering if he would ever be worthy and capable of love. Philippa’s quiet, caring nature, determination, and concern for Myles was evident as she helped him to heal the” fissures of heart and soul”. Philippa’s brother, mother, and thwarted would-be suitor were just as nasty as they were in the book. I found myself getting just a bit too anxious in their treatment of Philippa, even though I already knew what was going to happen. Bravo to Ms. Britton for an excellent, touching story and the narrator bringing this book to life! I will enjoy listening to this again and again. I was given an audiobook and was not required to write a positive review. All opinions are my own.

Friday, October 22, 2021

Jane Austen Investigates: The Burglar Ball




Jane is a homebody who would rather stay at home instead of attending a ball at her former school. But, her sister Cassandra, is invited and so she must go. It’s good for her that in addition to the dance, she meets up with old friends and makes some new ones too. Throw in a theft of a diamond necklace and our clever sleuth, Jane, is thinking things are getting interesting. 

Jane is not your typical young lady and decides to play cricket against the boys’ school and climb trees to find clues. It was delightful to read about her nonconventional ways and her letters to her brother about the case. This is fun”who-did-it” story gives middle school readers enough clues to be able to discover the culprit before Jane tells all. 

I would recommend this to middle school aged children who like mysteries or who enjoy Enola Holmes. While this is a series, it is the first book I have read and can be read as a stand alone. 

Here are some really fun quotes at the opening of the story: 

“Any resemblance to persons living or dead in these case notes is entirely intentional. Names of people and places have been changed to protect the wicked- but you know who you are!”

“No one who had ever seen Jane Austen in her infancy would suppose her to be born to solve crimes.”

Thank you to NetGalley and Lion Hudson Ltd. for an electronic copy of this book. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are my own.

Wednesday, October 20, 2021



 


About this Book: 

In the early days of World War II, the Lang family lost everything. Eighty years later, it’s time to take it back.

The Nazis have taken control of Austria, and wealthy widower Leopold Lang faces a difficult decision: join the ranks of the foreign power that has taken over his homeland or flee with his children to safety. Leopold makes his choice—but too late. His family is ripped apart, never to be reunited. But decades later, fate brings together the descendants of this broken dynasty in the place where it all began—Falcon Point.

Anna, Cole, and Tess have never met, each relying on fractured pieces of information to understand their Austrian heritage. But when unforeseen opportunities draw these Lang cousins to Falcon Point, they soon discover they are not alone in their quest to claim the coveted property and the fabled treasure hidden within. Unfortunately, another claimant, one with a much darker heritage, is determined to eliminate the Lang family once and for all.


My Review: (posted previously 10.11.21)
Wow, this is one amazing book! I am not sure how you get four authors to collaboratively write  such a well-crafted story, let alone a split time historical suspense. But, they have done it and written a fabulous book that was hard to put downable. From the opening scene of a man defying a wicked empire, to the present day, the Lang family is the epitome of standing up for truth and seeing that evil does not win. 

The opening scene reminded me of The Sound of Music because the Langs must flee their beloved Austrian home as Leopold chooses not to join Hitler’s regime. As the oldest sibling entrusted with his sisters, Karl must outsmart and outmaneuver a killer to get them to safety and avoid imminent capture. I was caught up in their flight as the children miraculously stayed one step ahead. The children’s exciting, heart wrenching separation and lives after the war was the perfect back story for the present day Lang descendants. 

As each of the four heirs of the Lang estate discover how Falcon Point plays a part in their lives, they once again must stand against the Sauermann family who will stop at nothing to destroy them and keep their family’s legacy. The story is electrifying and brilliantly written as the heirs join together to regain the family’s ancestral home. The events that lead up to the exciting conclusion make this a 5+ 🌟. 

If you like fast-paced, suspenseful novels, this is the book you will want to read. The cousins, their romantic interests, and the story that each of them has to share makes me hopeful this will be a series. I would love to see it made into a movie. 

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

You can enter the Giveaway to have your very own copy of this amazing book. Warning, once you start to read this book, you won't want to stop!


Purchase Links: 

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Here are the other blogs you can visit on the tour: 

Monday, October 18 
https://emilyflynncrc.wixsite.com/readingwithemily 
https://hollysbookcorner.home.blog 
www.myboodaday.com 

 Tuesday, October 19 
http://lisaisabookworm.blogspot.com 
www.booksaresanity.blogspot.com 
Literarytimeout.blogspot.com 

Wednesday, October 20
http://BloomingwithBooks.blogspot.com 
https://booklooksbylisa.blogspot.com 
www.bookconfessionsblog.com 

 Thursday, October 21 
www.booksandsockrock.com 
http://gettingyourreadonaimeebrown.blogspot.com/ 

 Friday, October 22 
https://thereadingmamas.wixsite.com/website 
https://whynotbecauseisaidso.blogspot.com/ 
http://minreadsandreviews.blogspot.com

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Tuesday, October 19, 2021

My America: A Poetry Atlas of the United States

 


This oldie but goodie book has such a rich collection of poems that are about various regions of the United States. The colorful illustrations help capture the sights, sounds, and people of the area that is being highlighted. Not only does it have poems, but there is also information pertaining to each state in the region. This information includes the capital, its nickname, motto, bird, flower, tree, area, and one fact. 

Did you know that my home state of Ohio's motto is. "With God, all things are possible"? If you enjoy poetry, geography, or teach children, this book would be fantastic to have. 

Description: 

In My America, Lee Bennett Hopkins weaves together fifty poems -- grouped by geographic region -- to create a remarkable portrait of the United States. Here is America in all its stunning variety, from the dramatic seacoast of the Northeast and the rippling cornfields of the Plains States to the shimmering deserts of the Southwest and the majestic redwood forests of the Pacific Coast. But here, too, are the ties that bind this nation together -- the hopes and dreams of those who live in our cities and towns and on farms.

The voices of beloved poets like Langston Hughes, Carl Sandburg, Nikki Giovanni, and Lilian Moore blend with new voices to sing not just of landmarks like the Mississippi River, the Grand Canyon, and the Everglades, but of daily life across the land. Complementing these personal, moving visions of America are maps of the regions and fascinating facts for each state.

Stephen Alcorn's brilliant, textured artwork makes this book a feast for the eyes as well as for the imagination. Impressive for its breadth, depth, and beauty, My America is a volume readers will savor as they read it time and time again. It is fitting homage to our wide ranging, ever-changing land.


 

Monday, October 11, 2021

Heirs of Falcon Point



Wow, this is one amazing book! I am not sure how you get four authors to collaboratively write  such a well-crafted story, let alone a split time historical suspense. But, they have done it and written a fabulous book that was hard to put downable. From the opening scene of a man defying a wicked empire, to the present day, the Lang family is the epitome of standing up for truth and seeing that evil does not win. 

The opening scene reminded me of The Sound of Music because the Langs must flee their beloved Austrian home as Leopold chooses not to join Hitler’s regime. As the oldest sibling entrusted with his sisters, Karl must outsmart and outmaneuver a killer to get them to safety and avoid imminent capture. I was caught up in their flight as the children miraculously stayed one step ahead. The children’s exciting, heart-wrenching separation and lives after the war was the perfect back story for the present day Lang descendants. 

As each of the four heirs of the Lang estate discover how Falcon Point plays a part in their lives, they once again must stand against the Sauermann family who will stop at nothing to destroy them and keep their family’s legacy. The story is electrifying and brilliantly written as the heirs join together to regain the family’s ancestral home. The events that lead up to the exciting conclusion make this a 5/5 star book. 

If you like fast-paced, suspenseful novels, this is the book you will want to read. The cousins, their romantic interests, and the story that each of them has to share makes me hopeful this will be a series. I would love to see it made into a movie. 

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

Did you find all of the keys in my picture? 

The Billionaire's Secret: A Christian Romance




Ryan and Zara are both struggling with life-altering circumstances and find themselves at a remote retreat center for people and caretakers with chronic diseases. One is there by choice, the other by force. 

Ryan was such a humble, down-to-earth guy, it was hard to believe he was so wealthy.  I couldn’t wait to see how his happily ever after was going to work out for him. The saying, “Money makes the man.” could not have been less true for Ryan. His faith and caring about others were what made him a wonderful man and the ideal fit for Zara. 

Zara’s mistrust of men and romantic relationships was well founded since she seemed to find men who didn’t respect or truly care for her. Her mother’s concern and bucket list item for Zara finding “the right guy” was touching and humorous. I am not sure I would have wanted to tell a guy what it was, but Zara’s transparency in sharing this with Ryan was refreshing and added to the story. Things get complicated when the past intrudes and Zara has to make a decision about her future. I was happy to see that she found she was not the same young lady she was before she met Ryan.

I recommend reading this inspirational Christian romance. It deals with some difficult  life issues and gives encouragement and hope. I received a complimentary copy of this book. All opinions expressed are mine alone.

Saturday, October 9, 2021

Copper for the Countess




I had high expectations for this second book in the Hearts of Arizona series and I am happy to say that it far exceeded what I was anticipating. “Frosty” was such a tenderhearted man, not only for two unexpected children who were now in his care, but also for Lady Evelyn Lyon and her daughter, Madeline. This marriage of convenience ended up becoming much more than that as Frosty breaks down the walls Evelyn had built around her heart through his patience and loving kindness. 

I have to hand it to Evelyn for all that she went through as she put aside her fears and wants and showed what a wonderful mother she was. She crossed an ocean and embraced a new life in order to provide for her Madeline and give help and attention those in need. She had great courage in the face of adversity that I greatly admired. 


If you like western romance stories and strong protagonists who have grit, you will love Copper for the Countess. This can be read as a standalone, but the first book, Silver Dollar Duke, is so good that you will want to read it too. 

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

Wednesday, October 6, 2021

Silver Dollar Duke



I can see why the western frontier of the American west would have been so appealing to Evan Rounsevell as he learned about the adventures and opportunities you could experience. The weaving of the silver dollar into Evan’s wish to travel to America was a stroke of genius with Ms. Britton’s story. 


Evan showed his fortitude and determination to overcome the odds of a greenhorn striking out to be a ranch hand in Arizona. Getting his hands dirty and working hard won the admiration of not only the owner of KB Ranch, but also that of his daughter, Daniella, and me. I was rooting for Evan as he began falling in love with the ranch life and all it had to offer, including Daniella. 


This book is the first in the Hearts of Arizona and the next book is one I look forward to reading. If you like stories of the Old West with a beautiful love story, I highly recommend reading it. 


About this Book:


The last thing Dannie needs is a Victorian gentleman on her ranch, playing cowboy while she’s trying to save her family’s livelihood. Will high stakes and high emotions lead to heartbreak?

Evan Rounsevell, second son to the Marquess of Rothwell, is running as far from his family and responsibilities as he can. His fascination with cowboys takes him from English shores to the Arizona desert, but the days of showdowns are over, and Tombstone, Arizona, is a respectable town. With no funds left, and no desire to call on his affluent family for rescue, Evan seeks a position as a cowboy at a ranch on its last leg.

Daniella Bolton’s fiancĂ© left when the drought of 1893 crippled the KB ranch, but that’s just fine by her. She doesn’t need a man to help her save her family’s land. Especially not an Englishman who looks down on her style of living, like Evan does. She loves her life on the ranch, and no outsider could ever understand what it means to be loyal to the land and her family’s way of life.

Being a cowboy is harder than Evan thought, but as he works to earn his place on the ranch, his heart opens up to the beauty of the desert… as well as that of Dannie Bolton. Watching Evan fight for the ranch she loves makes Dannie realize that not all men are afraid of hard work and troubled times, and loving Evan might be just the salve her wounded heart needs. But when Evan’s family summons him home right when Dannie needs him most, the feelings of betrayal from her former fiancĂ©’s flight return tenfold.

Does Evan dare risk his tenuous relationship with Dannie to fulfil his family responsibilities? Or will leaving Arizona be the worst mistake of his life?

Back Inn Time: A Castle for Christmas

 


Avery Stuart has been diagnosed with a fatal disease, but as Providence would have it, she finds herself a guest at the mysterious Back Inn Time.  One minute she is in the tower room at the B & B and the next she awakens, disoriented and outside a castle in the Middle Ages. Not realizing that she has traveled through time, Avery pretends that she is a princess based upon the ornate clothing she finds herself dressed in and the scads of diamond jewelry that accompanies her costume. I would have thought I was a princess too!  

Avery quickly agrees to a marriage with Baron Robert de Northwood, thinking she is dreaming. Some adjusting to each other and the circumstances they find themselves in, Avery and Robert have some funny conversations.

“So, is there a library?”

 “This is not a monastery, Lady Avery.” 

Couldn’t send me to a castle with a floor -to-ceiling library, huh? No dancing candlesticks  and clocks, either. Seemed like she’d only gotten the beast part in The Beauty and the Beast knockoff. 

The repeated theme of the Bed and Breakfast Back Inn Time from previous books in this series is creative and keeps you guessing what will be in store for the next person who comes to visit. Mrs, Easley, the innkeeper is an enigma. I thought at first she was an angel, but after reading the book, I am not so sure. I hope there will be another one to answer that question. 

With strangers to happily ever after, suspense, second chances, faith and humor all in this book, you are sure to love it. While this is a part of a series, it can be read as a standalone. 

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


About the Book

A crown meant for a princess. A medieval castle. And a one-way ticket to an unforgettable romance.



A life changing diagnosis sends Avery Stuart on a last-chance Christmas road trip. The cheery bed-and-breakfast offers a festive way to spend the holidays alone. But when she finds her name listed on an ancient family tree next to an English baron, her trip suddenly takes a startling turn—no fairy godmother included. She might have gotten the Cinderella dress, but her prince is more beast than charming.

On the verge of seeing his people starve, Sir Robert de Northwood must seek a bride with a hefty dowry in order to salvage what war has wrought. The night he must choose his wife, a strange foreign princess arrives at Northwood Castle dressed in enough jewels to feed his barony for a year—and she’s entirely alone. Sir Robert is intrigued by the fascinating woman and offers his protection by way of a sensible marriage arrangement that will benefit them both. But when the mysterious Princess Avery of Gardena claims to be from the future, how much will he risk losing in order to keep her close?


Tuesday, October 5, 2021

A Deep Divide

 


This interesting historical book of a missing heiress was well written, giving a message of hope for all of us.  The Harvey Girls that Emma Grace Edwards was a part of and the grand hotel of El Tovar were described in such detail that I felt as though I was there. The Grand Canyon never seemed so real as when reading this book. 


I enjoyed the journey that Emma Grace experienced as she came to know that she could trust God and others to let go of the past. It was a touching moment when she realized she could be free and recognizes that she can’t let fear keep her from allowing her to live. I loved when she said, “I want to have a future…if I want to have friends and a family—real friends and love…— I’ve got to tell the truth.” I was happy to see that she could put aside the things that would hinder her from realizing her dreams and she had Ray, Ruth, and others who would love, help, and support her.


Ray was a unique man because wealth did not matter to him after he encountered Christ. He set his sights on ways that he could use the money that he had been blessed with to help others. He didn’t see people as any different than himself. “This was why Ray disliked society and all its rules of classes and such. Why couldn’t people simply be people? All equal?” 


I was delighted to be caught off-guard when Emma learns the truth of what actually happened to her father. The twist in the plot of the story made it all the more interesting.


This is the first book in the Secrets of the Canyon. If you like westerns, romance, suspense, and some mystery, you will enjoy this book.  I received a free copy of the book from Bethany House and NetGalley. All opinions expressed are my own. 

Monday, October 4, 2021

Charming Artemis


This was a fantabulous book and if I could give it more than 5 stars I would! I enjoyed it from the first word to the very last sentence. I was completely engaged with the story of a forced marriage between Artemis Lancaster and Charles Jonquil who were sworn enemies. How was this ever going to work with the past hurts each of them suffered in their lives?


There were so many wonderful and inspiring themes in this story, but the overarching one that spoke to me was that of unconditional love. The commitment and belief Lucas Jonquil had in his wife, children, and those who were in need was precious. He showed by example that love is the key to unlocking the heart of the wounded and lonely. I feel encouraged to leave a legacy like the one he was able to establish with his family.


Charlie was too young to remember his father when he passed away, but he heard the stories of his selfless love that his mother, brothers, and Lucas's dearest friends sharing with him. With his father’s example, Charlie had to put aside his hurts, his petty behavior, and choose to love Artemis. The ways that he showed her he cared and wanted to build a life with her were beautiful. How couldn’t she help but fall in love with him? 


It isn’t very often that a novel is this impactful and leaves a lasting impression, but Charming Artemis has definitely done this to me. I highly recommend this final book in the Jonquil Brothers series as well as the Lancaster Family. This can be read as a stand alone, but why would you just want to read one of them when you can learn all about Artemis’s and Charlie’s siblings? Thank you to Ms. Eden for writing such an amazing and endearing story. 


I received a free digital copy of this book from the publisher.  All opinions expressed are my own. 

Sunday, October 3, 2021

Royal Secrets

 


Julia Adams was the best her agency had to offer in helping Prince Bodi Magnum revitalize the economy of Magna, his beautiful hidden island kingdom. She has some fabulous ideas, using the Renaissance events that are already a part of the kingdom during their “market day” to bring the elite rich to this hidden gem. Little does she realize that there is great opposition to “outsiders” and native islander, Samson Cohen, will stop at nothing to get her to leave. 


Prince Bodi is everything the people of Magna need: kind and thoughtful, intelligent, and extremely caring. As Julia sees these wonderful qualities in Bodi and is drawn to him, it is easy to see why she would want to stay on the island. But, with animosity to outsiders it is difficult to see how things could ever work out for her and Prince Brodi. I am glad Julia found the courage she didn’t know she possessed to fight for her prince charming.


I enjoyed the gorgeous island, the characters of both worlds, and the  suspense created by the conflict of new ideas and changes that may come to Prince Bodi’s kingdom. If you are looking for a clean romance and a chance to escape to paradise, Royal Secrets is the book for you. 


I received a digital copy of the book from the publisher. All opinions expressed are my own.

Friday, October 1, 2021

The Librarian's Journey

 



Traveling through rough terrain, encountering all types of people: friendly, lonely, courageous, and even some unscrupulous, these women librarians’ stories show how extraordinary they were.  Each novella was unique in showing strong, wonderful women who saw a need and were bold enough to meet it. They combined their love for books and people and risked their own safety to help those they served. 

The relational elements that each story told of the people the librarians befriended were well developed. I also enjoyed seeing their love stories unfold.  After reading these interesting novellas I thought it would have been an amazing job and ministry for those rural librarians who served during the Great Depression.

The story that I liked the most was Book Lady of the Bayou. Lily Bee helps bring the reclusive widower Lamar Davis back to life, much like the story of the Velveteen Rabbit that Lily Bee lends to his daughter, Evie.  This is a sweet, tender love story that gives the gift of hope where it was desperately needed.  

I enjoyed the collection of novellas.  I recommend reading this if you like wholesome and uplifting Christian stories similar to Christy by Catherine Marshall. Thank you to NetGalley and Barbour Publishing for an advanced reader’s copy; a positive review was not required.


More About the Book: 


A brave fight for literacy during the Great DepressionFour women set out on horseback to bring the library to remote communities

Part of FDR’s New Deal was the Works Progress Administration, which funded the Pack Horse Library Initiative. Ride along with four book-loving women who bravely fight for literacy in remote communities during the Great Depression by carrying library books via horseback. Will their efforts be rewarded by finding love in the process?

Love’s Turning Page by Cynthia Hickey
1936, Ozark Mountains
Grace Billings jumped at the chance to be a traveling librarian, but she didn’t anticipate the long days of work, the intense poverty, or the handsome new schoolteacher whose love for the mountain people surpasses even her own.

In This Moment by Patty Smith Hall
1936, Pine Mountain, Georgia
Forced out of her nursing job due to budget cuts, Ruth Sims applies for a position with the Pack Horse Library incentive, only to discover she must go to the one place she swore never to return. The children instantly steal her heart with their thirst for books, and she’s happy in her post until she meets their teacher, Will Munroe—the man who broke her heart. 

Book Lady of the Bayou by Marilyn Turk
1936, Mississippi
Forced out of her comfort zone, Lily Bee Davis travels by mule or boat taking books to remote areas. When she meets little Evie and her reclusive father at dilapidated plantation house, she is drawn by their losses and longs to draw them out into life again. 

The Lawman and the Librarian by Kathleen Y’Barbo
1936, Kentucky
Lottie Trent connects with a backwoods bully’s wife by secretly carrying messages for her in exchange for books. FBI agent Clayton Turnbow is on the trail of a criminal gang and discovers the packhorse librarian maybe a key member.

Cross-Country Christmas



Cross- Country Christmas by Laurie Lewis

Crashing a Tesla into a snowbank in the middle of nowhere drew me into the story as I have had similar thoughts of hoping that never happens to me when I drive through the sparsely populated areas of The Great Plains. It was Providential that Reece Brockbank’s cattle discovered CC Cippolini and she was able to be rescued. Reece was a modern day knight as he helped CC in her time of need, took her in, and cared for her. 

As horrible as wrecking a brand new car and running from a broken relationship are, fantastic things are in store for CC as she learns to trust Reece. The circumstances and experiences that make both of them share and be vulnerable to each other create a great love story. Taking chances is never easy, but as Reece and CC discover, it is well worth it when it comes to finding that special someone to help you realize you are loved and treasured. 


If you like contemporary romances with a western setting, then you will enjoy reading this book. I found it uplifting and great for reading covered up with a blanket and a steaming cup of hot cocoa. This is the first book in the Silver Buckle Brides series, but can be read as a standalone. 


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

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