Wednesday, November 17, 2021

Elinor




The Lost Colony of Roanoke has always held a fascination for me.  In this fictional account Ms. McNear tells an interesting story of what could have happened to the people who settled there.  Using source documents and weaving them throughout the story made this believable and interesting.  


The story centers around Elinor Dare’s experiences, her joys  and struggles as she begins her life in a very different world than that of London.  When the colony is attacked and Elinor is taken prisoner, you see what true mettle she has.  Losing her family, working in a copper mine, and becoming a slave are a few of the things Elinor endured.  She chose to trust God to see her through it all.  Elinor was an embodiment of her name, “light”, as  she shared her faith through her extremely difficult trials with her captor, Sees Far. 


I appreciated Ms. McNear’s end notes on the actual people and events that happened. It was helpful to be able to read about what was true so I can do further research myself. If you are a person who likes Early American history and Christian fiction, this will be a book for you.  Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher of a copy of this book. I was not required to write a positive review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 



About this Book: 


In 1587, Elinor White Dare sailed from England heavy with her first child but full of hopes. Her father, a renowned artist and experienced traveler, has convinced her and her bricklayer husband Ananias to make the journey to the New World. Land, they are promised, more goodly and beautiful than they can ever imagine. But nothing goes as planned from landing at the wrong location, to facing starvation, to the endless wait for help to arrive. And, beyond her comprehension, Elinor finds herself utterly alone. . . .
The colony at Roanoke disappeared into the shadows of history. But, what if one survived to leave a lasting legacy?

Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Deadly Target





Deadly Target is an exciting book with many near tragic incidents happening to the main characters, Erin and Nathan. With multiple attempts on Erin’s life, I was wondering who wants to silence her. As a criminal psychologist and a cold case podcaster it appears that she has kicked a hornet’s nest of bad guys who aren’t going to stop until she is dead. 

Erin’s ex-boyfrined, Nathan, comes back into her life as he takes her into his confidence about a cold case that his father was working on before he was shot. Together they unravel the mysterious events of the past only to find their cases are connected.  The surprising twists of events will keep you guessing all the way to the end of the book. 

If you like romantic suspense stories, then I am sure you will enjoy this second book in the Rocky Mountain Courage Series. It can be read as a standalone. Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for a copy of the book. I was not obligated to write a positive review. Opinions and thoughts expressed in this review are my own.


About the book: 

Criminal psychologist Erin Larson's dreams of a successful career come to a screeching halt when she nearly loses her own life in a boating accident on Puget Sound and then learns that her mother tried to commit suicide. She leaves her job as a criminal psychologist to care for her mother in Montana. At least she is able to produce her podcast, which focuses on solving missing persons cold cases.

Nathan Campbell's father was investigating such a case when he was shot, and now Nathan needs to enlist Erin's help to solve the case. She's good at what she does. The only problem? She's his ex.

As the two dig deeper, it becomes clear that they, too, are being targeted--and that the answers to their questions are buried deep within the past Erin struggles to explain and longs to forget.

The race is on for the truth in this gripping and complex tale of suspense, intrigue, and murder from USA Today bestselling author Elizabeth Goddard.



Monday, November 15, 2021

An Accidental Romance



Rebecca Jennings has had to delay her London Season for two years and now is her long-awaited opportunity to go! It’s too bad that two days prior to leaving she has an accident
  and cannot attend once again.  Ben Fortesque, the Earl of Winton, feels terrible that he was the cause of Rebecca’s accident and puts aside his self-imposed isolation in order to daily visit Rebecca while she recuperates. 

The betrayal that Ben has experienced from his ill-fated marriage leaves him wounded and extremely hesitant to trust another woman. Rebecca’s goodness and kindness shows him that trust and love are possible. Seeing Ben go through the healing process was well done and showed that even though horrible things happened, he became a stronger man. Ben showed his selfless nature as he insists Rebecca go and enjoy her shortened Season. I am glad he did because it brought about circumstances he needed to confront and put behind him. 

Seeing Rebecca’s transformation from being an immature young lady and somewhat self absorbed to a more mature, caring woman was wonderful to watch. As Ben becomes vulnerable and reveals details of his marriage and death of his wife, Rebecca responds with compassion and understanding.  This endeared her to me and made this a great love story.

I recommend this book for not only the story of love and transformation, but also Rebecca’s loving family. This can be read as a standalone, but it is part of the Jennings Family Series.  I thought the rest of Rebecca's family was intriguing and I look forward to finding out more about them. 

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions and thoughts expressed in this review are my own.


About the Book: 

Rebecca Jennings’s first London Season has been absolutely ruined, and one person alone is responsible: Mr. Ben Fortescue. If her new neighbor hadn’t startled her, she would never have broken her ankle, leaving her bored and frustrated at home in the country while her sister enters the London Season alone. Although, it was rather gallant of him to carry her home . . .

For his part, Ben feels terrible about the role he played in Miss Rebecca Jennings’s accident. In the days that follow their first disastrous meeting, he finds himself inexorably drawn to the surprising young woman—first out of guilt and then out of a stirring affection. But Ben hides a secret: he has not been completely forthright about his identity or about the dark secrets of his past that would make it impossible for romance to blossom with Miss Jennings. Despite his love for her, he knows he must let her go.

With her ankle finally healed but her heart now broken, Rebecca is left with little choice but to throw herself into the Season. With eligible men circling this late addition to the Marriage Mart, it seems that Rebecca will have no shortage of suitors. If only her heart were free to give.

The Stable Master's Son


Phillip Jenkins is a young man who is trying to provide a better life for his family and himself.  With little money, a cast-off estate, and a stableful of excellent horses, Phillip is determined to make a name for himself among the peerage as a breeder. However, he is going to need some help in keeping his name before the Ton in order to sell his fine horses. Miss Elizabeth Carter, a former Society member, knows many of the men who Phillip is trying to conclude important business transactions. It is a matter of timeliness in order to make ends meet and continue with his horse breeding. Phillip meets Elle and befriends her and what at first would have been a means to keep some of the lords interested, becomes more as he and Elle get to know each other. 


Elle was a truly giving person as she tries to help Phillip. She humbles herself and creates a way to talk to one of the lords about his interest in one of Phillip’s horses. Because of the somewhat obvious way that she bumps into him, Lord Larmont interprets this to mean she is interested in him.  As a peer, Lord Larmont uses his title and money to get everything he wants and is determined to marry Elle. He was boorish and demeaning to her, only wanting her to be an asset to him.  He didn’t really care  about her as a person, just what she would do to make him look good. Elle has a life impacting decision to make. Will she choose certain financial security and marry Lord Larmont?


Ms. Strunk wrote a heart-warming story of the working class of Society. I thought the contrast between some of the entitled peerage and those of the working class was well done. It’s unique since we get to see what it might have been like to depend upon the aristocracy for your livelihood. I recommend this book if you like historical novels and/or Regency Romance. This is the second book of the Sons of Somerset series, but can be read as a standalone. 

Monday, November 8, 2021

An Alleged Rogue



My, oh, my! This book was incredible and had so many things I loved about it. The thoroughly captivating cast of characters included these main characters. The devious, cold-hearted fiend (Freddie Payne), the hard-working, indomitable hero (Adam Norton, aka as Lord Dunsbourne), and the caring, spirited and intelligent heroine (Phoebe Hadford) made time fly by as I was totally immersed in learning about them and reading this story.

Adam Norton was so caught up in trying to bring Freddie to justice and save his family’s estate that he forgot about everything else, including his sister, Emily. Thanks to his neighbor, Phoebe, he realizes there are more important things to see to and love. He has unwittingly neglected Emily and allowed malicious rumors to abound. I loved that Phoebe could see beyond gossip and pride to be a true friend to Adam and Emily. She helped Adam with his burgeoning apple orchard and business when no one else would and helped Emily with becoming a part of the local society. Everyone needs a Phoebe in their lives.

Don’t you love it when a villain is so evil you hate them? Well, I detest, abhor, despise Freddie Payne. He was such a scum, stealing from so many people. He gloried in the fact that he swindled innocent, trusting people. His pride and greed became his downfall, and for that I am extremely glad.

The plot was so exciting that I had to put the book down, just to immediately pick it back up so that I could find out what was happening. Throughout the story I fumed, yelled, laughed gleefully, clapped my hands and cheered like I do when I am watching a movie that I love.

I highly recommend this book and think you will love it and want this for your library. It is the first book that I have read in her Georgian Gentlemen. I am definitely going to read the other two books in the series, The Noble Smuggler and An Uncommon Rogue.

Thank you to NetGalley for an electronic advanced reader’s copy of the book. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are my own.

Sunday, November 7, 2021

Carving for Miss Coventry



Marianne Coventry was caught in a world of societal expectations that were put upon her. Her father would not let her attend any of the functions until her sister, Beatrice,  married and that didn’t look like it was going to be any time soon. Marianne had been waiting for five long years for her sister to marry. She should have been attending parties, enjoying herself, talking to neighbors and making friends, but she had to be content to be at home. I think this was especially hard on her because, “Marianne hardly cared whom she mingled with, just so long as she got to speak with someone.” 

Mr. Coventry wanted his daughters to marry a titled gentleman to prove that he was a part of this class.  He had money now from his profitable businesses and would marry his daughters to help his position. Marianne’s thoughts were more about the person. 

“What did it matter if a man was a gentleman or a member of the working class?” 

I loved that she looked beyond a man’s status to see who he was.  Marianne was a loving, forgiving person and was way beyond patient in her duty of staying home. She was forced to be a quiet recluse.  It’s no wonder she takes matters  into her own hands…

Edward Steele had to overcome the unfounded, nearly career-ending rumors concerning his father and his subsequent death. Edward is left a bitter and resentful man, trying to provide for his mother through his beautiful woodcarving skills for the very class of people who caused him such difficulty. Marianne was such a healing balm to his soul as she shared with him her thoughts on forgiveness. “But, each day, I must remind myself to forgive and move on. For if I do not, bitterness and anger will consume me until there is no longer light within.” 

I enjoyed the relationship that developed between Marianne and Edward. I thought they brought out the very best in each other. Marianne helped Edward see that he was a gifted artisan and shouldn't be bound by the past. Edward listened to Marianne, cared about what she thought, and let her be unique herself. Hurray for Marianne when she finally approached Beatrice and had the difficult conversation of what her selfishness had done to her.  This helped Beatrice to see that her unhappiness was affecting Marianne’s life. While I thought she had been terribly self-centered, Beatrice was able to help Marianne make her dreams come true. 

This is the first book in the Sons of Somerset series and was a terrific way to begin it. This can be read as a standalone, but I can’t wait to read the rest of the series if this is an indication of what the other books will be like.

Friday, November 5, 2021

Holding the Fort




Widower Major Daniel Adams needed a governess for his daughters. Louisa Willis needed a job after being let go from her signing gig at the Cat-Eye Saloon. Under false presumptions, Louisa is given the job and what happens after that makes for a clean, funny romance. 

Louisa doesn’t know much about math, but she doesn’t know how to sing and enjoy life. Bringing joy and laughter back into the lives of Daniel and his girls was fun to read. I recommend this book if you enjoy strangers to happy endings. This is the first in The Fort Reno Series and I am looking forward to reading the next one. 


About the Book: 

When dance hall singer Louisa Bell visits Fort Reno to see her brother, she is mistaken for the governess that the harried Major Daniel Adams is waiting for. Between his rowdy troops and his two daughters, he has more responsibility than he can handle alone. Eager for the opportunity, Louisa sets out to show the widower that she is a perfect fit.

Tuesday, November 2, 2021

The Mobster's Daughter



Catharine Salvastano made a terrible discovery when she arrived in America.  Her beloved papa that she had not seen in 17 years was missing, accused of murder, and was a crime boss in Pittsburgh.  She assumes a new identity as Kate Chamberlin to create a new life for herself while trying to find her papa.  Too bad someone else discovers who she is and anonymously threatens her.  As though that wan’t bad enough, Detective Rhett Jennings is hired to protect her, and his life’s mission is to find the man who he thinks killed his father, Hugo Salvastano. 

Ms. McDaniel’s research, attention to detail, and the places places that Kate and Rhett go to throughout the story make you feel as though you are actually in the Roaring 20’s. With plenty of mystery, suspense, rival criminals, and red herrings, I recommend reading this clean romantic story. 

I voluntarily read and reviewed this electronic advanced reader copy. All opinions are my own. 


About the Book: 

If Kate Chamberlin can't reveal her true identity to the world, she must settle for sharing only her talent. Hired as a musician for KDKA radio, Kate plays everything from sponsors’ jingles to complex sonatas. As long as the whispers around the broadcasting room refer to her as “Killjoy Kate” and not “Catarina the crime boss's daughter,” then her life is safe from danger.

Or so she thinks.

When anonymous, violent threats surface, Kate's wary of accepting protection from the handsome private investigator, Detective Jennings. His save-the-world attitude is as charming as his manners, but no one, especially him, can know the gruesome realities of her birth.

The 1924 Pittsburgh underworld is as complicated as it is elusive, and though the dealings of the Salvastanos have dwindled, Rhett Jennings is certain the man responsible for his father's death is still at large. But his personal hunt for justice must be set aside when his day job requires him to investigate threats directed at a young radio broadcaster with enamoring brown eyes and secretive behavior.

When danger surrounds them, will the truth of Kate's past become the key to their survival?


The Dressmaker

 


Marigold Pendleton has always felt that she would remain single.  After experiencing the great loss of her father and guilt for his death and being told by her mother that she was plain, Mary feels she is unworthy of being loved. Little does she know that her own feelings of self-worth are distorted and false, hindering her from seeing what others find are beautiful about her. 

Hadley Stevenson has loved Marigold since the time he was a boy. I admired him for the patience that he had in helping to win Mary’s trust and her heart. He is a kind man who protected Mary, even at great cost to himself. When Mary discovers a dark secret about the father she adored, Hadley shows what it means to truly care for someone more than caring about yourself as he supports her through her difficulties. His faithfulness, loyalty, and selflessness were crucial in helping Mary overcome her past and find happiness. 

As I got to know other characters of Roderick Glen in this second book and saw the joys and sad events of some of the villagers. Ms. Self  does an excellent job in highlighting the predicament and expectations some women dealt with in an arranged marriage and fulfilling the role of producing an heir.  She brings to light the issue of choosing to make the best of a less than ideal relationship and gave me hope that there will be better times ahead for this couple. 

I enjoyed reading the second book in the Ladies of Roderick and I look forward to reading more books in the series. I recommend reading this book if you enjoy historical fiction and wholesome romance. 

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


About the Book:

Marigold Pendleton has always prided herself on her independence. Possessing neither wealth nor great beauty, she has resigned herself to life as a spinster and is determined to look after her own needs. As dressmaker for the village of Roderick Glen, she is known for her loyalty and compassionate nature. Few of the residents would ever guess the truth—that beneath her sweet spirit, Marigold carries the weight of a dreadful secret and a guilty conscience.

Hadley Stevenson is proud of his position as steward of Cheswick Park, though it often means dealing with the constant drama that haunts the Earl of Rockingham and his family wherever they go. He longs for a wife and family of his own, but his childhood friend, Marigold, has no idea he has been in love with her for years. Despite his best efforts, he is unable to break through the barriers that surround her heart.

When a crisis forces Marigold to rely on Hadley more than she ever has before, she struggles to reconcile her growing feelings for him with the knowledge that he is the only one who knows the truth about the tragic event that has defined her life. As the walls between them finally begin to crumble, can she release the pain of the past to embrace the joy of the future that awaits her?

Mortal Queens

  About the Book Book:  Mortal Queens Author:  Victoria McCombs Genre:  YA Fae Fantasy Release Date:  February 6, 2023 They vanish without a...