Thursday, December 23, 2021

The Highwayman's Letter


About the Book: 

He waylays her carriage and runs off with her property. Can she keep him from stealing her heart as well?

By day, Reginald Sinclair works in the post office, but by night, he is the increasingly infamous Paladin, the gallant highwayman making young women swoon all over Somerset. With a vendetta against the wealthy that spans both past and present, Reggie's escapades allow him to take justice into his own hands while helping his uncle avoid insolvency.

Joanna Carmichael's father has finally chosen her a husband. While she is not thrilled with her father's selection, Joanna understands it as a business arrangement, something which suits her practicality perfectly. Her father hopes her good sense will exercise a beneficial effect upon her younger sister, Frances, who is regrettably prone to romantics. Frances's preoccupation with reports of the Paladin threaten to overshadow Joanna's coolheaded example, but Joanna is determined to show her sister how foolish and unworthy of admiration the outlaw is.

During their encounter, though, the maddening highwayman takes an item of Joanna's—then has the audacity to send her a letter with instructions on how to recover it, beginning a battle of wills that brings Reggie within reach of the people responsible for his family's ruin and forces Joanna to reconsider the desirability of her business arrangement.


My Review: 

The mysterious Paladin was the talk of the town as he not only stole goods, but kisses too! None of this concerns sensible and dependable Joanna Carmichael until one day their paths cross. What ensues makes this a unique and interesting Regency story. The clandestine meetings of the Paladin (Reggie Sinclair) climbing up to Joanna’s bedroom balcony were so romantic, but exciting at the same time, what if they were caught? 

The way that facts about Britain’s postal system were used for the plot was well done. I love historical fiction because it makes the past come to life. Ms. Keyes was able to do just that as we go along with Reggie on his routes.  Seeing the response of the townsfolk when they received a long-awaited letter was heartwarming. 

Sir Leonard Elkins, the obsessed bee enthusiast, was a great side character. His fascination with bees was funny and showed the kindheartedness of Joanna to have encouraged him in his all consuming hobby.  He’d have been doomed to a life of unhappiness without Joanna’s intervention. 

This is the fifth book in the Sons of Somerset, and while it can be read as a stand-alone, the opening cricket scene would not make much sense. Plus, all of the other books are fantastic!  I recommend reading this clean historical romance.

Favorite Quote: 

"Mystery is the essence of romance and adventure."



Tuesday, December 21, 2021

Buried Cold Case Secrets

 


About the Book: 

Recovering her missing memories could be the key to solving a murder.

Searching for her best friend’s remains could help forensic anthropologist Melanie Hutton regain her memories of when they were both kidnapped—unless the killer gets to Melanie first. For her safety, Melanie must rely on Detective Jason Cooper, who still blames her for his sister’s death. Can Jason set the past aside to solve the cold-case murder…and shield Melanie from the same fate?


My Review: 

Melanie Hutton survived a brutal kidnapping and never wanted to return to her hometown where it had happened. She had lost everything, her family, her best friend, and Jason, the young man who she hoped to marry one day. In order to find peace and closure she must go back to see if she can remember the events of those two terrible days.

I appreciated the message of love, forgiveness, and redemption. Even when you go through terrible things, God is there to help you.  Melanie was a courageous young lady who chose to face her fears, didn’t back down from the danger, and honor her friend who died. I was glad to see that justice prevailed and Melanie and Jason were able to move forward in their relationship. Ms. Abrams kept me guessing as to who was the killer with this suspenseful story. 

TW: brutal murder, physical assaults 

I was given a copy of this book by the publisher and author and was not required to write a positive review. All opinions are my own.

Friday, December 17, 2021

Reclaiming Hope




Callie Steele and Kai Brody meet under unexpected circumstances. First, Kai comes to Callie’s rescue by putting an obnoxious main his place. Next, they unexpectedly meet at his parents’ home in regards to a landscaping job. The banter that is exchanged as Callie and Kai get to know each other makes this a fun romantic story. Callie isn’t sure why Kai might be interested in her and so chooses to say things to throw him off.

My favorite character was Kai. He didn’t let popularity ruin his character and valued Callie and her wise counsel. Kai is also terrific for Callie as he helps put the fun into her life and shows her that life can be much more joyful than she imagined.

Callie was just the balance that Kai was lacking. She gave him with the structure and direction he needed. Praying for him and helping him to see his strengths were a great part of who she is and makes her special.

The story was entertaining and it was nice to see characters from other books written for the series. However, it can be read as a standalone. I recommend reading this book if you like contemporary Christian romances.

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

Refining Emma

 


I thoroughly enjoyed listening to this second book in the Candlewoood Trilogy.  It just as good as the first one! This is a beautiful example of loving your neighbor as yourself. Emma's patience is tried as she acquiesces to taking in surly siblings who make life miserable for everyone.  She's a saint to do so, but as she learns their story, she begins to see them for who they really are.

I loved this continuing story as I spent time at the boardinghouse getting to know more about the people who live there. The narrator does an excellent job in portraying the characters, especially Emma and her mother-in-law. If you like Jan Karon or Elizabeth Gaskell, check out this series. 



Tuesday, December 14, 2021

Of Daggers and Deceptioon




Book Description:  

When one of his best friends is abducted, Rasheed immediately gathers a rescue party. Joining forces with the mysterious Cecilia, the group faces pirates, old enemies, and a host of other foes. Rasheed forms a surprising connection with Cecilia, but he soon discovers that nothing is as it seems, especially when they are forced to choose between love and duty.

My Review:  

With vivid descriptions, Ms. Sowards makes this tale set in the 1300’s in Europe come alive. I love historical fiction, but know little about this time period. After reading this book, I feel like I have gained more knowledge and experienced in what it would have been like to have lived then. The well-written plot transported me to a war torn era with danger and suspicion around every corner.    

Many years ago, Rasheed risked and lost everything he had in order to honor and protect a young lady’s reputation. His actions changed the course of his life and proved that he was an honorable man.  I enjoyed seeing Rasheed learn to trust and deepen his relationships with family and friends, both old and new. 

Political conflicts, uncertainty, mystery, and love were all there in this book.  If you enjoy Middle Ages stories, you will enjoy reading this second book of the Duchy of Athens series. 

I was given this book to review by NetGalley, the publisher, and author. I was not required to write a positive review; all opinions are my own.

About the Author:  


 A. L. Sowards is the author of multiple historical fiction novels, with settings spanning the globe from the fourteenth to twentieth centuries. Her stories have earned a Whitney Award, several Whitney Finalists positions, and a Readers’ Favorite Gold Medal. She enjoys hiking and swimming, usually manages to keep up with the laundry, and loves it when someone else cooks dinner. She currently lives in the beautiful state of Alaska with her husband, three children, and an ever-growing library. 

Find the Book: 

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Monday, December 13, 2021

An Agreeable Alliance

 


Living in the shadow of her beautiful, effervescent cousin, Alicia, was the kind of life that Miss Rebecca Turner came to expect. She didn’t begrudge Alicia until one day when she meets the handsome and kind Dr. Jared Cooper. He is completely taken by Alicia and asks Rebecca to be the courier of his messages in exchange for seeing her sick mother as his patient. Rebecca finds herself in a quandary as Alicia turns up her fickle nose and refuses to write Jared. If she doesn’t respond, Rebecca’s mother will not get the care she needs from Dr. Cooper. And so begins the correspondence between “Alicia” (who is really Rebecca) and Jared.

I love the wallflower who gets a happy ending and Ms. Stockton wrote a story that does this so well. Jared begins to realize he may have been wrong about the  “angel” he thought Alicia was and the real gem, Rebecca, is hiding behind her continuously smudged glasses. Including this as part of the story showed the loving and caring nature of Jared as he cleans Rebecca’s glasses for her quite often. 

Rebecca was sweet and selfless as she put the needs of her mother before hers. She takes care of her mother and concedes to Alicia’s whims. Rebecca would be the kind of young lady that you would want for a relative or friend. 

I highly recommend this clean and heartwarming story in the Sons of Somerset series. While you can read it as a standalone, the opening scene of the cricket match is all the richer since it shows a different perspective than that of the other three books. 

Friday, December 10, 2021

Crosshairs


Diaries from the past and their long rumored secrets are at the center of this mystery in the latest Natchez Trace Park Rangers. Ranger Ainsley Beaumont, based in Tennessee, is sent back to her hometown to investigate the murder of a teenage girl. Unexpected events occur as her Aunt Cora is assaulted and the historical family diaries are discovered to be missing. Former FBI agent Lincoln Steele, now Interpretive Natchez Trace Ranger, is enlisted to help Ainsley as her life is threatened by an escaped prison convict. 

The past relationship between Ainsley and Linc is revisited as they each discover that their feelings are still very much there and they must trust each other if there is any hope of a future for them. I liked both Ainsley and Linc and thought they were terrific.  I was rooting for them all the time to work things out between themselves.  Ainsley had to learn to trust again and I was glad to see her be able to do that. Linc had to deal with guilt and PTSD and it was great to see him move forward. 

There were several surprises in the story which made for an interesting plot.  I also thought the discussions about faith that were interspersed throughout were apropos and tastefully presented.  I would recommend this book if you are a fan of romantic suspense and mystery.

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for a copy of the book. All opinions expressed are my own. 

Thursday, December 9, 2021

The Lieutenant's Bargain



Hattie Walker is one independent young lady, and Lieutenant Jack Hennessey’s secret love since he was a child. Never in his wildest dreams did he think that she would become his wife since he is so far from home. Hattie escapes a murderous stagecoach robber and is found by the Arapaho, who she thinks are going to kill her. Jack is a liaison between the fort and the Arapaho people and has a fairly good command of the language, but not necessarily the culture as he and Hattie realize too late that they were married in a tribal ceremony. I really enjoyed watching Hattie and Lieutenant Jack as they renew their friendship and find love as they navigate married life at Ft. Reno.

With killers, ghosts, uneasiness between the military and the Arapaho, there is never a dull moment in this historical romance. I enjoyed reading this book and would recommend it to you if you like any of these genres: westerns, romance, historical fiction, Christian stories and/or mysteries.

Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Meet Me in the Margins



Book editor by day and aspiring author at night, Savannah Cole is trying to get her own contemporary romance novel published by a different firm since hers would never publish a book like that. The fun begins as Savannah brings her forbidden manuscript to work, only to trip and have pages of it flying everywhere!   Could it be any worse than it happening right in front of her new and  imposing boss, William Pennington? The comical situations Savannah finds herself in and her developing attachment to the mysterious Will made this such an enjoyable read. 

I liked that the story had more to it than just a romantic plot. Will was vulnerable and truthful, sharing his past with Savannah and she in turn felt the freedom to do the same. Savannah grows in her confidence and knowing who she is in spite of her family’s expectations and her misperception of thinking she must be perfect.

I wholeheartedly recommend this book. The funny comments left in the margins of Savannah's manuscript were fabulous.  Sometimes you can say things on paper that you can't say in person.  This is a delightful, funny and clean read and gets a five star rating from me. I look forward to reading more of Ms. Ferguson’s books. 

I received a complimentary copy of this book from NetGalley and the publisher. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.


Release Date: 02.15.22

The Letter

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