Wednesday, March 30, 2022

Bargaining for the Barrister Blog Tour

 

About the Book: 

Louisa Cox is tired of fortune hunters pursuing her dowry. So when Lady Kellen offers to help her find an eligible suitor, Louisa eagerly accepts and makes a list of what she wants in a husband. The man selected is barrister Paul Sheldon. He may be a complete stranger, but he has one thing in his favor: he is unaware of her fortune. What Louisa did not anticipate was his curious behavior—or being so attracted to him.

When Paul catches wind of the matchmaking organization his mother and her friends are establishing, he pities the fellow who will be caught in their scheme—until he realizes he is to be their first victim. Horrified, Paul determines to thwart his mother’s plans by whatever means necessary. After meeting his intended, however, his increasing desire to be near her threatens to disrupt his convictions. Louisa is everything he could want in a wife, and when an unexpected adventure sets in motion the very plan he had determined to halt, he almost wishes his mother’s plot could succeed. But Paul harbors a secret and a past that make it impossible for him to give Louisa the life she deserves.



My Review: 


Mama knows best when it comes to her children. Paul Sheldon’s mom is determined for him to meet his perfect match with a little help from her and her friends!


The meet cute between Louisa and Paul was so funny that I had to laugh into my elbow so as not to wake up the household. I wanted to burst out laughing so I reread it later for the belly laugh I was so deprived of the first time. πŸ€£  Here are Paul’s thoughts afterwards, “And why was she smiling at him? He had practically mauled her. Realization dawned, and he momentarily squeezed his eyes shut. She was smiling because she thought him an idiot.”


I loved how strong and determined Louisa was about finding and choosing a husband herself. With each obstacle she faced, the loss of her parents, focusing on the good, and not letting rejection stop her, my opinion of her just kept growing. Her impulsivity made her all the more lovable.


Dear, dear, Paul. He had such a rough childhood that I could see why he was driven to prove himself and to not easily trust. I just wanted to hug him and tell him I was sorry. His mama really did know Louisa was best in loving him and helping him to heal.


With so many wonderful members of the Rebel society that Paul is a member of, the following books in this series are going to be sooo fun to read. I don’t know if I can wait. Can I read the next one now, pleeeze?


I was given an advanced reader copy of the book from the publisher through NetGalley. All opinions are my own; I was not required to write a positive review. 


Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐/5


You can win a copy of this fabulous book yourself by entering the Giveaway.  

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Thursday, March 24, 2022

The Last Gasp




Book: The Last Gasp

Author: Chautona Havig

Narrator: Christa DelSorbo

Genre: Christian Historical Mystery, Fairytale

Release date: December, 2021

At the pinnacle of his Hollywood career, Garrison Prince’s reign ends tonight.

As plain old Gary Prinz, he can pursue his Bible education, buy a bungalow in Pasadena, acquire a few chickens, and marry the girl of his dreams. He just never imagined trading the silver screen for a pulpit would wreak such havoc.

A cigarillo girl, Lucinda Ashton spends her days with her boyfriend, Gary, and her evenings selling candy and “gaspers” to the Hollywood elite at the Taj Mahal Theater.

However, when gunshots ring out just as intermission begins, Lucinda finds herself smack-dab in the middle of a brouhaha that leaves three dead, and no one has a clue why.

All the police know is that the evidence points to Lucinda as the killer and Gary as the intended target.

Four new friends, one young orphan, and a potluck of clues that don’t seem to fit anywhere leave the police baffled, Lucinda in fear for her freedom, and Gary ready to trade in his acting shoes for gumshoes if it’ll save his “Cinda.”

The first book in the Ever After Mysteries combining beloved fairy tales and mysteries, The Last Gasp. This Cinderella retelling blends a murder with enough crime and story clues to keep you on the edge of your seat.

Click here to get your copy!

My Review: 
Listening to the audiobook of The Last Gasp immediately transported me into the 1920’s with the glamour of the theater and movie stars. Lucinda was a cigarillo girl who sold ladies and gaspers to the theater goers. She is a hard working young lady who ironically, doesn’t follow the movies or the drama surrounding the actors. Ironically she falls in love and plans on marrying, Gary Prince, a legendary actor of the silver screen.

The clever use of the title and the retelling of Cinderella was masterfully written. Lucinda is framed for the murders of some actresses because her lost shoe was found at the murder scene. Enough clues were provided that I was able to solve the mystery and the motive which made me feel quite clever. πŸ˜€
I recommend listening to the story. The characterization, pacing, and vocal quality of the narrator swept me into the story. The message of putting your trust in God and having faith to help you through difficulties was well done. This is the first book in the Ever After Mysteries, so look for more books to follow.
I received the audiobook through Celebrate Lit and was not required to write a positive review. All opinions are my own.

About the Author

Using story to connect readers with the Master Storyteller

Chautona Havig lives in an oxymoron, escapes into imaginary worlds that look startlingly similar to ours, and writes the stories that emerge. An irrepressible optimist, Chautona sees everything through a kaleidoscope of It’s a Wonderful Life sprinkled with fairy tales. Find her at chautona.com and say howdy—if you can remember how to spell her name.

About the Narrator

Speaking Life into Story 

Queen of the one-eyebrow quirk, Christa DelSorbo auditioned for the role of Tarzan’s mom and has the photos to prove she ended up as the only cast member in a literal cast. These days, they keep her stuck in a box with a ball on a stick and only feed her when she reads another chapter of another fabulous book. She loves every minute. Or so they tell her. *eyebrow slowly raises *

To learn more about Christa:  https://youtu.be/pyl5b7jYJnM

Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, March 16

For Him and My Family, March 17

Book Butterfly in Dreamland, March 17

Inklings and notions, March 18

Locks, Hooks and Books, March 19

Texas Book-aholic, March 20

Connie’s History Classroom, March 21

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, March 22

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, March 23

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, March 24

Book Looks by Lisa, March 24

Just Your Average reviews, March 25

Sodbuster Living, March 26

Books I’ve Read, March 26

Vicarious Living, March 27

Rachael’s Inkwell, March 28

Vicky Sluiter, March 29


To celebrate her tour, Christa is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card and a copy of the book in the winner’s preferred format!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

Enter the Giveaway



Wednesday, March 23, 2022

An Undaunted Matchmaker




About the Book: 
Not everything that glitters is gold in California gold rush country. Eve Molloy passionately imports six young ladies from the San Francisco Hibernia Orphanage to Eureka, California, to meet the loves of their lives. But Eve refuses to prospect that gold mine herself. Eve is determined to return to the orphanage and bring six more young ladies waiting their turn to match with a husband.

Problem is, Eve travelled to the gold rush boomtown expecting to link up with her uncle who financed her trip. But robbers murder Eve’s uncle, which leaves her penniless and stranded in the woman-hungry town.

Rafe Riley, a wealthy mortician, fights to overcome the galaxy of males desiring to marry Eve. But the independent Irish matchmaker has no desire to lose her freedom and hates the mortuary business. She prefers working a gold mining claim.

Does the Ultimate Matchmaker have a different plan for Eve?


My Review: 

This novella was a sweet love story about Rafe Riley’s persistence in winning Eve Molly’s heart. His protectiveness, resoluteness, and providing food for her while she is trying to pan for gold showed how much he loved Eve. She just had to realize that herself! 

 Eve’s determination to help young women make a better life for themselves makes you want her to succeed. Matchmaking was more than just money, it was Eve’s ministry and what she felt passionately called to do. 

 I enjoyed reading this novel with a Christian message. If you like clean western romances, you will enjoy reading this story. I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book. The opinion is my own.

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐/5

Tuesday, March 22, 2022

Driving Force



About the Book: 

He's the last client she wants to protect...

Elite Guardians bodyguard/former sniper Christina Sherman has protected uncooperative clients before-but this time, well her client is bossy, headstrong and occasionally eats off the floor. Yes, he's a highly trained military working dog, but certainly her skills could be put to better use, right?

Not according to former Special Forces Air Commando Grey Parker. He needs her help to protect his dog while he undergoes an experimental surgery that could restore his ability to walk. He just needs someone to keep his canine partner safe. Most of all, Grey wants back on his feet so he can track down a deranged scientist known as The Scavenger who unleashed a nerve agent that left Grey sidelined in a wheelchair.

When an attempt is made on Grey's life, and dead bodies begin piling up-with evidence the same toxin is responsible-suddenly Christina is tasked with keeping both dog and soldier alive...and with them, the secrets that could stop a terrorist attack.

But this time, even Christina might be in over her head.

Dive into the exciting ignition to the Elite Guardians Collection.


My Review: 

Wow! This is one action-packed story from cover to cover.  The writing team of Ms. Eason and Ms. Angelo have written an exciting story with Russian enemies, biological weapons, and danger at every turn. The story line made you feel like you were actually along with Christina Sherman and Grey Parker.  I was caught up with them and didn’t want to stop reading. 

Having a dog be the “person” that Christina as part of the Elite Guardians had to protect was a unique idea; I loved it! It was interesting to see that the highly trained military dog Boss is what really brought Christina and Grey together.  I came to see he was a very special dog both in active duty and in Grey’s life.


Trying to figure out who the villain was behind the attacks and murders was  intriguing and something I enjoy reading.  It gave me great satisfaction when I was able to identify The Scavenger. However, I was not able to solve what his motives were and when it all came to light at the end of the story it made perfect sense. 


If you have read the Elite Guardian series you will recognize some of the people since they are part of the team. However, you can read this as a standalone since the story doesn’t go into great detail about the other stories.  I highly recommend this Christian suspense story. The faith aspect was that which I felt encouraged and was woven throughout the story in a meaningful way. 


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


Rating: πŸ• πŸ• πŸ• πŸ• πŸ•  // 5

Tuesday, March 15, 2022

Counterfeit Love




About the Book: 

Can this undercover agent save the woman he loves--or is her heart as counterfeit as the money he's been sent to track down?

After all that Grandfather has sacrificed to raise her, Theresa Plane owes it to him to save the family name--and that means clearing their debt with creditors before she marries Edward Greystone. But when one of the creditors' threats leads her to stumble across a midnight meeting, she discovers that the money he owes isn't all Grandfather was hiding. And the secrets he kept have now trapped Theresa in a life-threatening fight for her home--and the truth.

After months of undercover work, Secret Service operative Broderick Cosgrove is finally about to uncover the identity of the leader of a notorious counterfeiting ring. That moment of triumph turns to horror, however, when he finds undeniable proof that his former fiancΓ© is connected. Can he really believe the woman he loved is a willing participant? Protecting Theresa and proving her innocence may destroy his career--but that's better than failing her twice in one lifetime.

They must form a partnership, tentative though it is. But there's no question they're both still keeping secrets--and that lack of trust, along with the dangerous criminals out for their blood, threatens their hearts, their faith, and their very survival.

To read an excerpt of Counterfeit Love click here.


My Review:

Ms. Caudill’s debut novel is action packed with several subplots that you just want to keep reading. The details that are given to the places throughout Cincinnati were so well done. I felt that I was right with Broderick and Theresa when they were caught up in the investigation, tracking down and destroying the counterfeit ring. I particularly liked the old Spring Grove Cemetery and the secrets it held.

Broderick Cosgrove was my favorite character. He wasn’t perfect, but he sought to live by the words of Psalm 82 that say,“Defend the poor and fatherless: do justice to the afflicted and the needy.” Protecting Theresa from murderous villains, no matter the cost to him, showed the type of man he truly was. The broken relationship between he and his brother, Nathaniel, is one that I hope will be in a future book.

I love a good mystery and trying to solve it before it is revealed gives me a sense of satisfaction. I was happy to find out I was right and to see the criminals pay for their crimes. Having the addition of a clean romance in the story was even better. This terrific story of justice, forgiveness, love, and redemption is one that I would recommend you to read. This is the first book in The Hidden Hearts of the Gilded Age series and can be read as a standalone. 

Rating: πŸ’°πŸ’°πŸ’°πŸ’° //5

I received a free copy from the publisher/author through I Read with Audra and NetGalley. The opinions above are my own and not influenced in any way.

Side note: When photographing the book cover, I liked how there is the contrast of light and dark, showing the choice between choosing what is right (light) or choosing evil (darkness) in our lives. 


About the Author:

Crystal Caudill is the author of "dangerously good historical romance," with her work garnering awards from Romance Writers of America and ACFW.

She is a stay-at-home mom and caregiver, and when she isn’t writing, Caudill can be found playing board games with her family, drinking hot tea, or reading other great books at her home outside Cincinnati, Ohio.

Learn more at crystalcaudill.com. You can also find her on Facebook and Instagram.


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Monday, March 14, 2022

Promise Kept


About the Book: 

Lying on her job application wasn’t the best way to kick off her fresh start in a small town, but Heather Smith is out of options. She desperately needs the job, or she will soon be without a place to live. Even so, Heather truly likes Elizabeth Harland, the old woman who hired her as her caregiver, and is eager to work hard and prove she’s right for the task.

Now, if she could just figure out why a local farmer keeps casting suspicious glares her way...

Sure, Grayson McCade has his hands full with his farm. That doesn’t change the fact that he considers the residents of Harland Creek family, and he takes time to look out for them all. The second he learns a newcomer has been hired to care for Elizabeth, he worries the kind-hearted old woman is being scammed.

Acting on what he believes to be the best of intentions, he sets out to uncover the truth about Heather’s past. Will the secrets revealed tarnish Heather’s new start before it even begins? Or will Grayson help make Harland Creek the home her heart longs for?
 


My Review:

Heather Smith was looking for a new beginning and was lead to the small southern town of Harland Creek through a newspaper advertisement. It was providential that she became the caretaker for elderly Elizabeth Harland as she recuperates from surgery. Right away we see the wisdom of Elizabeth and her kindness toward Heather as she recognizes that she needs a home, a job, and someone to care about her. 

The setting of a flower farm was so unique and gave me a sense of peace as I can imagine walking through fields of bright hues and fragrance. Heather began to take on more duties at the farm and works with the handsome Grayson McCade, who is the farmer next door. I loved seeing Elizabeth doing some matchmaking as she contrives opportunities for the couple to spend time alone doing things for the farm. She saw that both would be good for each other and love could be theirs if they could trust each other and open their hearts.


I listened to the audiobook version and the time flew as the story unfolded. E.L. Beckett's performance added richness to the story as she portrayed each of the the characters. The pacing was perfect and tone matched that of the story that gave depth to the story. 


This is book one in the Harland Creek series and can be read as a standalone, but there are several other townspeople who I found endearing.  I am looking forward to reading about them and returning to Harland Creek. Promise kept reminded me of authors like Jan Karon and Philip Gulley. I recommend reading this uplifting, clean romance of second chances. Once you read this book you will want to read the next one right away. 


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


Rating: ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ //5




Wednesday, March 9, 2022

Beyond the Tides


My Review: 

What do you get when you have enemies vying for the same fishing company?  A great story called Beyond the Tides where sparks fly and competition is fierce.  I loved this enemies to more story as both Meg and Oliver drop their guards and share their regrets, guilt, unforgiveness, and fears with each other. How they grow in trust was what made this a wonderful story. 

Seeing how Oliver was so thoughtful in helping Meg deal with her emotions of her chronically ill mom had me pulling for him! I would hope each of us had someone like him to lean on during difficult times.

One of my favorite quotes to ponder and apply is this…

“That’s the thing about forgiveness— it’s a renewable resource.The act of giving it fills you up to give it again. The more you practice forgiveness, the more you have to give.”

I definitely recommend reading this book! This is the first in the Prince Edward Island Shores and I anticipate it will be a fun series to continue reading. 

Rating: πŸ¦ž 🦞 🦞 🦞 /5

About the Book: 
When Meg Whitaker's father decides to sell the family's lobster fishing business to her high school nemesis, she sets out to prove she should take it over instead. Though she's never had any interest in running the small fleet--or even getting on a boat due to her persistent seasickness--she can't stand to see Oliver Ross in charge. Not when he ruined her dreams for a science scholarship and an Ivy League education ten years ago.

Oliver isn't proud of what he did back then. Angry and broken by his father walking out on his family, he lashed out at Meg--an innocent bystander. But owning a respected fishing fleet on Prince Edward Island is the opportunity of a lifetime, as well as a way to provide for his mother, and he's not about to walk away just because Meg wants him to.

Meg's father has the perfect solution: Oliver and Meg will work the business together, and at the end of the season, he'll decide who gets it. Along the way, they may discover that their stories are more similar than they thought . . . and their dreams aren't what they expected.


Monday, March 7, 2022

Love, Faith, and Tender Kisses

My Review: 

 This collection of novellas has a variety of stories for every reader.  Each story has an interesting, terrific plot with a beautiful love story.  I enjoyed that I was able to read new to me authors all in one book set and get a taste of their writing style.  There are several authors whose books I would like to read after having enjoyed this book.  Some authors address some difficult topics, but done in a tasteful, sensitive way and pointing to the Lord as the help the characters need. The faith element in each story was well done, inspiring, and uplifting. 

I recommend reading this if you like clean romance and great stories with interesting plots that are encouraging. I was given an electronic copy of the book. A positive review was not required; all opinions are my own. 


Book Description: 

Boy meets girl. Man meets woman. Sparks fly. All good love stories start here and usually face a myriad of challenges before the young couple find that together they are better. This set of Contemporary Christian romance stories come from writers across both sides of the pond and Downunder, proving that romance is not only a sweet thing, it’s global. Here’s a set of stories to inspire, encourage faith, and meet all the warm-fuzzy expectations.

Wednesday, March 2, 2022

Enchanting the Heiress

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

MY REVIEW: 

This book! I really enjoyed the opposites attract story of Jonas and Harriet. I saw so much of Harriet in areas of my life that I felt I was being challenged to grow right along with her.

There were a great number of truths in this book that the last couple of chapters have something marked on nearly every page. The theme of letting go of people and letting God work it out was just what I needed to hear.

Jonas is not your typical “sweep you off your feet” kind of man. His practical, dependable, protective nature and honesty were just what Harriet needed in her life. Speaking the truth in love is not always easy, but seeing Harriet and Jonas work through their difficulties was encouraging and brought hope. One takeaway that I had was, “Don’t give up!”

This is the last book Hearts on the Heath series and I highly recommend you read all three! There are wonderful characters who you will love and reread their stories for years to come.

I was given an advanced reader copy by the publisher. I wasn’t required to write a positive review.

PUBLISHER DESCRIPTION: 

Harriet Hancock likes to make the lives of those around her better whether they like it or not. So, she is surprised when her friend Sophia Whitworth has ideas of her own on how to make Harriet happier--by throwing her together with Sophia’s brother, stable hand Jonas Fitzroy. When Harriet discovers his natural way with words, she hatches a plan that would benefit them both. Holding a grudge against Harriet for her meddling in Sophia’s life, it is only because of his sister that Jonas agrees to approach Harriet about a possible artistic project. What he doesn’t expect is for her to request his help writing a book. As they work together, they start to see each other in a different light, but when the truth of Harriet’s schemes is revealed, she’ll find her good intentions for once have gone too far.

Tuesday, March 1, 2022

The Spark of Love



Book Description: 

When a spurned suitor threatens her, heiress Alexandra Tarkington flees New York for Mesquite Springs in the Texas Hill Country, where her father is building a hotel. But the happy reunion she envisions is not to be as her father insists she return to New York. Instead, Alexandra carves out a niche for herself in town, teaching schoolchildren to paint and enjoying the company of Gabe Seymour, a delightful man she met on the stagecoach.

But all is not as it seems. Two men, each with his own agenda, have followed her to Mesquite Springs. And Gabe is an investigator, searching for proof that her father is a swindler. When a series of apparent accidents threaten her life, Alexandra and Gabe will have to work together to discover the truth. And perhaps along the way they will discover that the sparks of attraction they've felt from the beginning are more than sparks—they're love.

Bestselling author Amanda Cabot invites you back to 1850s Texas for this exciting and heartwarming tale of treachery, love, and learning to trust.


My Review:  

Heiress Alexandra Tarkington is one plucky woman as she flees New York to escape a greedy, unscrupulous suitor to find her absentee father in Texas.  Alexandra doesn’t really know who to trust in the new town of Mesquite Springs.  Are the men she meets and who want to court her genuinely interested in her, her money, or something else? 

Gabe Seymour was driven to find Calvin Tarkington to avenge his father’s death and the loss of his family’s money. What he was surprised to find out was Alexandra, Calvin’s daughter, was nothing like her father.  She was generous and caring to all she met. She gave of herself and her time, even volunteer teaching art classes to the students. The growth seen in Alexandra’s confidence and trust were part of the story that I really enjoyed. 


Calvin Tarkington’s secretive nature, ruthless men, and the “accidents” that keep happening to Alexandra give this story elements of mystery and danger. This is the third book in the Mesquite Springs series, but can be read as a stand alone. I didn’t read the other two books and was able to easily read it without prior knowledge. I recommend reading it if you like clean romance, westerns, Christian fiction, or mysteries. 


I received a reader copy of this book from Revell through NetGalley.  I was not required to write a positive review; all opinions are my own. 



A Mark of Grace

  About the Book Book:  A Mark of Grace Author:  Kimberley Woodhouse Genre:  Historical Fiction Release date:  January 3, 2023 When everythi...