Review: Running Scared

Running Scared

 

 

 

Synopsis:

#1 New York Times bestselling author Lisa Jackson draws readers into a tension-filled story of suspense, as a woman’s secret past returns with a vengeance . . .

Kate Summers’ teenage son, Jon, has been having nightmares. Someone is chasing him, the footsteps drawing relentlessly nearer. Jon can’t see the man’s face. He only senses that danger is coming–and there’s no way to stop it.

“Never tell anyone he’s not your boy,” was the warning. And Kate hasn’t. Not since the day fifteen years ago when she was offered what she most wanted–a healthy newborn baby. He was hers to keep, provided she moved far away, for good. She’s kept her word, raising Jon in a small Oregon town, lying to him for both their sakes. Despite his gift–or curse–of premonition, Jon hasn’t divined that he was adopted illegally. But now Kate’s long-ago choices are engulfing the life she’s tried to build.

Daegan O’Rourke has come to this remote corner of the Pacific Northwest to find answers only Kate can give. He understands why she’s wary of him, but there’s a far greater threat at hand. Someone is tracking Jon down–ready to kill him and anyone who gets in the way. And convincing Kate to trust him, even once she knows the whole shocking truth, is Daegan’s only hope of keeping them alive . . .

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Running Scared by Lisa Jackson is the perfect romantic suspense novel. I loved the air of mystery surrounding the quick adoption of Jon Summers. A baby boy born with no one wanting him. His real father was supposedly this no good man, yet it turns out even that wasn’t true. Jon Summers is a kid with a special gift that made this an interesting book full of twists and turns. The woman who adopted the Jon lost everyone she cared about…she always wanted a child of her own. Taking the child she left and built them a new life. Only danger was following them. Jon starts to have nightmares and the results are terrifying. The intensity of this read built up with every page.  I was hanging in suspense wondering what would happen next. Then the unexpected would occur and shake up everything I knew…

Lisa Jackson is a talented writer with a gift for creating the best suspense novels I have ever read. The first few pages hooked me instantly. I knew then that I was lost. Overall, I highly recommend this book to all.

 

Review: A Season to Celebrate

A Season to Celebrate

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Make it a merry Christmas with four stories of the special way the holidays warm our hearts…

CHRISTMAS HOMECOMING * Fern Michaels
Former Air Force Pararescueman Kevin Matthews is back home in Texas, working at his family’s Christmas tree farm while deciding his next move. Or maybe he won’t move at all, if sparks keep flying with the town’s new surgeon, Kate Stafford . . .

AN UNEXPECTED GIFT * Kate Pearce
Widower Billy Morgan wishes his grown children still needed him. Good thing his longtime friend, Bella, does. She’s planning her son’s Christmas wedding and Billy is happy to help. Along the way they just might discover their own occasion to celebrate . . .

CHRISTMAS IN BLUE HOLLOW FALLS * Donna Kauffman
Attorney Moira Brogan expects her brother’s Christmas wedding to be a peaceful affair. She doesn’t expect to be cornered by an unwanted lothario, rescued by a gorgeous Aussie chef–or be swept off her feet by said chef. Nursing a broken heart, the last thing she wants is a new romance. But Hudson Walker has other ideas . . .

HOLIDAY HOMERUN * Priscilla Oliveras 
Event planner Julia Louisa Fernandez dreams of a life in Chicago. But her family in Puerto Rico expects her to take over the catering business. Former pro baseball player Ben Thomas knows what that’s like–and when they meet, he might be the one to inspire a winning strategy, just in time for the holidays . . .

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

A Season to Celebrate is a collection of sweet romantic tales that melt the heart. I was deeply engaged in each of the novellas offered in this set. This collection dished out funny yet charming stories. The writers are just some of my favorites and after reading this book, I only loved reading their work even more.

In Christmas Homecoming, I followed a young soldier coming back home after so much time away. His family was so excited to have him back that there was a big hero welcome for him. Put him on spot. It was adorable. I liked his family. Then, while working his family’s tree business he meets a young woman with a daughter. Sparks fly and I kept on hoping…

An Unexpected Gift showed me that no matter how old we are, there’s always a second chance at love. I loved how supportive the main character’s family was just like in the previous tale. Except this time, the man and woman were much older and both were widowed. The grandkids popping in at certain times, had me bawling over with laughter. So much humor, love, and hope were shown here. Patience is also the lesson.

Christmas in Blue Hollow Falls featured a young couple again. Except these two had a much more interesting way of meeting each other. Instant attraction-double check. Sassy heroine-check. Hot stud for a hero-check. An Aussie chef comes to a lawyer’s aid when another man takes it too far in the bar. Only this fight led the Aussie man fighting for his rights with the hot lawyer beside him. The lawyer had her heart broken once and is not sure if she’s ready to let it out there again. But the Aussie chef shows her that life is not meant for hiding away alone.

Holiday Homerun is exactly as it sounds. This sexy hot Christmas tale, brings a stud baseball pro and a Puerto Rican woman together. At first she dismisses the attraction only for him to keep trying. He isn’t ready to let go of what could be the best thing in his life. Everything about her lures him in like a moth to a flame. This irresistible story had my cheeks flushing red from the heat radiating from the pages.

Review: Vendetta

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author Iris Johansen comes a new explosive, compelling thriller.

With his dying breath, Carl Venable, head of the CIA task force on terrorism and Jude Brandon’s final link to terrorist ringleader Max Huber, gives Brandon a mandate: keep his daughter, Rachel, safe at any cost. But Rachel Venable has a shocking, twisted past of her own, one that comes rushing back after her medical clinic in Guyana is attacked by Huber—the same man who murdered her father and kept her imprisoned for months.
Brandon and Catherine Ling, Rachel’s longtime ally and fierce protector, are determined to keep Rachel out of danger, but she knows that it’s impossible to stay hidden when Max Huber wants you dead.

As Rachel and Brandon race against the clock to bring Huber down before he can orchestrate a disaster that will lay waste to half the country, they also fight a growing attraction to each other – an attraction that could prove just as dangerous as Huber himself.

In this gripping, fast-paced novel from #1 New York Times bestselling author Iris Johansen, one thing is clear: everyone has a vendetta, and no one will rest until they get their revenge.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Vendetta by Iris Johansen is an action-packed thrilling journey. However for the main characters it’s just starting. Their intense deadly cat-and-mouse game with a killer is entertaining to follow. Never a dull moment, especially between the protagonists. They are both experts in their fields and sexy as sin. Attraction develops and blossoms as the danger escalates. I was tossed from one high end death scene to another. I could not predict what would occur next. I kept waiting for one or both characters to be killed at times. The suspense was great. A man with a vendetta is out to catch a killer. Only the killer has plans and that involves catching a particular woman. One that is in the current hands of his protection. But her stubbornness and I-can-do-anything attitude only up the flames in this novel. Iris Johansen held my full-attention from the first page. I cannot say that about most novels. Overall, I recommend this book to action, suspense, and romance lovers. This one story had it all.

Review: Is Your Dream Really Worth It?

Is Your Dream Really Worth It?: Discover Your Passion, Purpose, and Plan

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

THIS IS NOT JUST ANOTHER SELF- HELP BOOK! This is an experience, and one that will compel you to finally take action in your life. Let’s face it, it’s not enough to read about personal development hacks, or how to achieve your dreams. You have to take the first step, and Is Your Dream Really Worth It? is the companion you need for your journey! Tony Shavers III has done all the hard work for you by consolidating his knowledge of transformation and action. You’re ultimately the one who gets to decide if your dream is really worth it, but Tony is going to do his best to fight for your dreams on your behalf. It’s his gift to the world, and it’s your turn to receive it.

This book will take you on a path of self-exploration to investigate what you’re passionate about, learn how this passion can be built into your character and everyday life, and finally will help you unlock your infinite potential.

It’s a compelling book of self-realization through an inspired and motivating voice. It’s a work that locates your TRUE identity, reveals it, and then gives you the confidence to take it to where it is needed within your community. Your journey of transformation begins today! You owe it to yourself to stop playing small. The world is waiting for your gifts.

Grab the paperback version for yourself and a friend and go through this workbook together. You’ll have the opportunity to create a Vision Board, a Gratitude Journal, and write a Letter To Yourself following the book… AND MORE! Allow yourself the opportunity to be vulnerable because by the end of this book, I guarantee you, life is going to change for the better. It’s time for you to step into your greatness! I’ll be waiting for you at the end!

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Is Your Dream Really Worth It? by Tony Shavers III is concise, informative, and inspiring. It encourages the readers to take that step to change their lives. Nothing will change if there is not a new direction or step taken. This book helps the reader find their passion, purpose, and plan. I liked that I did not need to read a really thick self-help book to discover the same steps that are in this one. Plus, there are places to question yourself, evaluate what’s going on, and to find what works. I will definitely recommend this guide book to readers everywhere.

 

Review: An Amish Spring

An Amish Spring

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

A Son for Always by Amy Clipston

(Previously published in An Amish Cradle)

Carolyn and Joshua are thrilled to be expecting their first child together. Carolyn was a teenager when she had her son, Benjamin, and she feels solely responsible to secure his future. As Joshua watches Carolyn struggle to accept his support, he knows he must find some way to convince her that she—and Ben—will always be taken care of.

A Love for Irma Rose by Beth Wiseman

(Previously published in An Amish Year)

The year is 1957, and young Irma Rose has a choice to make. Date the man who is “right” for her? Or give Jonas a chance, the wild and reckless suitor who refuses to take no for an answer? Irma Rose steps onto the path she believes God has planned for her, but when she loses her footing, she is forced to rethink her choice.

Where Healing Blooms by Vannetta Chapman

(Previously published in An Amish Garden)

Widow Emma Hochstetter finds her quiet life interrupted when she discovers a runaway teenager in her barn, and then the bishop asks her to provide a haven for a local woman and her two children. Then, her mother-in-law, Mary Ann, reveals one of her garden’s hidden secrets, something very unexpected.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

An Amish Spring is another wonderful collection of inspiring Amish stories. Each tale has its own path of love, faith, and lessons to learn.

In the first journey, I followed a young Amish couple struggling to be happy. The wife felt to blame yet for having her first child out of wedlock. She felt that she owed it to her son to provide for him when he is grown.  Yet what she doesn’t realize is just how much her husband loves her son as the son where his biologically. It was a sweet story.

The second journey, sent me to a very young Amish couple once more. This young couple felt an instant attraction. However, the young Amish girl didn’t think the Amish guy who loved her was the right one. Jonas was a little bit more rough around the edges for an Amish plain man. But it made the story more interesting and real. I couldn’t stop laughing with Jonas around.

Last but not least, the third journey sent me to another Amish couple who needed each other. This time they were older. I felt their connection immediately. Their love and faith was fun to follow. Overall, each of these stories had something to show me. I fell in love with the characters both English and Amish alike.

 

Review: An Amish Winter

An Amish Winter: Home Sweet Home, A Christmas Visitor, When Winter Comes

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Home Sweet Home by Amy Clipston

(Previously published in An Amish Home)

Down on their luck and desperate after being evicted from their small apartment, Chace and Mia O’Conner reluctantly take Chace’s Amish boss up on his offer to rent them the daadi haus located on his property. They are certain they will never feel at home in the rustic cabin without any modern conveniences, and they start to blame each other for their seemingly hopeless situation. But with the help of their new Amish friends, Chace and Mia begin to enjoy their cozy cabin and realize that home really is where the heart is.

A Christmas Visitor by Kelly Irvin

(Previously published in An Amish Christmas Gift)

Frannie Mast knows her parents have good intentions when they send her back to Bee County, Texas, to live with her aunt and her aunt’s new husband Mordecai. After all, Frannie knows nothing can come of a relationship with Rocky, the handsome Englisch farm boy back in Missouri. But all bets are off when Rocky follows Frannie to Texas to plead his case.

When Winter Comes by Barbara Cameron

(Previously published in An Amish Gathering)

It’s been too long since Rebecca put on her skates and flew across the ice. Five years have passed since a winter accident took her twin Lizzie and left Rebecca heartbroken. Ben has waited for her all that time, and at last she’s starting to heal. But has too much time passed for their hearts to reconnect?

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

An Amish Winter is a heartfelt Amish collection of stories. I could not stop reading this book. Each tale grabbed my full attention. I was inspired. Especially, the one couple who were not Amish yet were relying heavily on that community for help. No home, no money, and barely any items of their own, a young couple struggle daily. But it’s their love and faith in each other that helps pull them through. The Amish friends encouraged them in prayer, faith, and love. It was one of the most beautiful parts in this collection. Sweet, entertaining, and emotionally charged, this group of writers, have a way with words. Overall, I highly recommend reading, An Amish Winter.

 

Review: An Amish Homecoming

An Amish Homecoming

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Four brand new Amish stories of coming home.

No Place Like Home  by Amy Clipston

Estranged daughter Eva Dienner has been staying with her in-laws, the Riehls, since her husband was killed in a fire, but now she wants her son to meet his maternal grandparents. Upon her return, Eva finds that the man her parents always intended for her is living in their daadihaus and running the dairy farm for them for free, despite her suspicions of him taking advantage of her family. Eva knows she should put the past behind her, but is she ready to move into the future?

When Love Returns  by Beth Wiseman

Hurricane Harvey forces Sarah Zook to return to the home she fled six years ago when she couldn’t face her stern parents’ reaction to her unplanned pregnancy. Upon her return, Abram King can think of nothing but the pain she caused him—until he meets Sarah’s daughter and realizes that he never really stopped loving Sarah. Sarah and Abram must find a way to face the truth of their past so they can rekindle their first love.

The Courage to Love  by Shelley Shepard Gray

After the death of her Englisch husband, Irene Keim seeks a fresh start by staying with her new friends Mary Ruth and Henry Wengerd in exchange for helping them around the house. But when Mary Ruth and Henry’s son Marcus comes around, he isn’t pleased with the woman they’ve taken in and is determined to push her out. Misunderstandings abound, but both Irene and Marcus learn that people aren’t always what they seem.

What Love Built by Kathleen Fuller

Independent and headstrong, Carolyn is determined to forge ahead with the opening of her bakery, a lifelong dream, in the Birch Creek home she left ten years ago. But she’s in over her head and needs help with the cleaning, shopping, and deliveries. Carpenter Atlee Shetler is visiting Birch Creek to escape the memories of his late wife. He takes a job renovating the new bakery and finds the project—and its owner—to be much more than he bargained for. Both Carolyn and Atlee must face pains of the past if they want to have the bright future God has planned for them.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

An Amish Homecoming is a wonderful collection of four novellas. These Amish stories have captured my heart and soul. Each writer has infused a different lesson to be learned in her story. It was entertaining to follow the characters as the followed their hearts and dreams. Challenges were presented in a way that felt real. I also felt like I was a member of the Amish communities inside this collection. There is plenty of humor, faith, and love to explore here. The writers have brought the lost, the grieving, and the hurt together. It was an awe inspiring journey in each part of this book. Overall, I enjoyed reading An Amish Homecoming and recommend it to all.

 

Review & Excerpt for Freefall: A Divine Comedy

Freefall: A Divine Comedy

 

Excerpt:

Tillie confronts the past

Sibyl Pitt offered her funky cabin at Whistler for the Muskrateers’ reunion. Tillie had visited the ski resort in her early twenties—before it became yuppified; before it was a resort. A tiny village in the cradle of two mountains, it wasn’t named Whistler yet, and the houses were funky. So she expected Sibyl’s place to be rustic and quaint. Made of logs. They would use candles and kerosene lanterns, cook on a wood stove, rough it. She came prepared, her rolled-up sleeping bag and stuffed backpack sitting on the seat beside her. Tillie also brought dried food. A tarot deck. Even a candle or two.

A sign said “Whistler,” and she slowed down, watching for Ridge Road. Tillie’s stomach gurgled, and it wasn’t hunger. Fear, her old friend, was never far away. She was afraid to see these women again. What would they think of her? Tillie’s life had taken a one-hundred-eighty degree turn from theirs. She didn’t have a big house to show off. Or rings. Or a husband. What did she have to show for the last forty years? Most of her installations only existed in videos and photos. Nothing tangible. Nothing real. She was driving a ’67 VW van, held together by faith and a mechanic who loved working on old vehicles. What would she have in common with the others except for their shared histories?

Tillie almost made a U-turn in the middle of the road, but then she recalled the empty apartment in San Francisco. It was still filled with unpleasant memories of Frank, her latest live-in, so she quickly shut that door. She needed a break so she could get her bearings again. Find a new direction.

On the radio, Peter, Paul and Mary were singing “I’m just a poor wayfaring stranger.” Tillie joined in, her voice off-key: “I’m going there to me-et my maker, I’m going there no mo-re to-o roam.”

Folk songs were a welcome break from the hip-hop music that had taken over the airwaves, plaguing her since she left San Francisco. Tillie had tried listening to rap, wanting to be “with it.” But she felt beaten-up by the words and blunt, monotonous rhythms. Though she hated to admit it, she knew she must be getting old when she couldn’t relate to the new generation’s music.

When Tillie pulled into Sibyl’s driveway, her jaw dropped. The cozy, rustic cabin she had imagined, nestled among the pines, turned out to be a bloody three-story mansion, clinging to the side of a mountain. Definitely not what she’d expected. Feeling out of place already in her old van, her home away from home, she parked under some evergreens, between a new SUV and a Chrysler Jeep Liberty.

Glancing at herself in the rearview mirror, Tillie wondered how she would appear to these women, sorry now she’d never invested in a face-lift. Her short spiked hair gave her a startled appearance, like an aging Orphan Annie. She had trouble reconciling how she appeared in the mirror—somewhat of a ruin—with how she felt, not much older than when the Muskrateers lived together in Toronto all those years ago.

Time and reality check. It wasn’t the ’50s. It was almost four o’clock PM on a Friday in August, near the end of the millennium. Reluctantly, Tillie left her van, approached the double front door, and rang the bell.

Sibyl appeared, wearing tight-fitting jeans and a skimpy red top, holding a glass of white wine in one hand, a cigarette in the other. Tiny breasts and not much meat on her bones. More waif-like than how Tillie remembered her. Short brown hair a thatched hut perched on top of Sibyl’s head. Eyelids drooped, and the skin sagged under her eyes. Tillie noticed that one eye still wandered. Sibyl always appeared to be half-gazing at something just to the right.

She wasn’t a pretty sight.

Smoke poured from her lips and nostrils—one long stream of it—and into Tillie’s mouth, making her gag. When Sibyl saw the backpack and sleeping bag, she laughed, which started her hacking. She stood there, partly bent over, coughing and laughing and choking, wine spilling over her hand and onto the floor. She finally straightened up.

“You look like a refugee. You bring a tent, too?”

Tillie smiled, gritting her teeth, practicing restraint. She had to get through the next few days with Sibyl, her hostess. Like her mother, Sibyl had been drawn to Tillie’s men. Believing sisterhood was powerful, Tillie had decided her relationship with women was more important than the men in her life. Still, it even puzzled Tillie at times that she hadn’t severed her bond with her mother or with Sibyl. Over the years, she certainly had reason to. But May was her mother. She couldn’t just dump her. It wasn’t Canadian. And she grudgingly admired Sibyl’s chutzpah. She always did what she damn well pleased, unconcerned about the consequences.

Tillie needed all the friends she could get, especially at her age, so she said, “No, dear, my pig refuses to sleep in a tent. Pink satin sheets. Nothing else.”

Sibyl was smiling, too, lipstick smeared, her lips pulled taut against her teeth, stretched to their limit. Her mouth had always been small, and Tillie remembered that smile. Cocky. Daring. A little angry tilt to it. But Sibyl’s teeth seemed more widely spaced than Tillie remembered, and she hadn’t seen a dental hygienist for a while. Nicotine gave her choppers an antique look.

Review:

Freefall: Divine Comedy by Lily Iona Mackenzie

Review by Betty B.

Tillie is an installation artist who is just about to turn 60.  Her friend Daddy, who just got out of jail, ends up at Tillie’s.  They drive Tillie’s old 60’s VW camper van to Whistler, British Columbia in Canada to have a reunion with two friends.  Tillie packs the van for roughing it.  She remembers the last time she was in Whistler, before it became a big ski resort.

They pull up to their friend Sybil’s house and when they get out of the van they are greeted by their old friend.  Sybil laughs as Tillie unpacks the van and takes out her sleeping bag.  She asks if they brought a tent too.  Her house is a large 5 bedroom.  As we get to know Sybil, we learn that she is a chain smoker and owns a property in Venice.  We are then introduced to Mol, a mother of 3 and housewife who loves the Canadian outdoors.

The four women are referred to as the “Muskrateers.  They decide to meet in Venice to continue their reunion and reconnect at Sybil’s place. Tillie has an ulterior motive in wanting to go to Venice that she doesn’t tell her friends about.  She is hoping to crash the Biennale, an art extravaganza.  While in Venice, Tillie also falls for a lewd priest who is a half-Ethiopian dwarf.

I can see why the subtitle to the book is ‘A Divine Comedy’.  It has so many laugh out loud moments.  At times I was in tears, I laughed so hard.  It also has its serious moments as we learn more about the four women and their lives.  “Freefall’ is hard to put down and kept me up into the wee hours of the morning.  It’s a great book for women, especially and would make a great book club book.

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review: 20 Things We’d Tell Our Twenty-something Selves

20 Things We'd Tell Our Twentysomething Selves

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

How to Make the Most of Your 20s

Despite what many think, your twenties aren’t that dead space between youth and real life. Life is now, and how you spend these years will shape your future for better or worse.

In 20 Things Wed Tell Our Twenty-something Selves, professors Peter and Kelli Worrall help you spend them well. They look back on the good, bad, and miserable to share the best of what they’ve learned, like why you should:

Dig deeper than your doubt
Foster good habits
Take risks
Adjust your expectations
Press into pain
and more

With warm, brilliant storytelling, the Worralls invite you into their life and home. They share about faith, marriage, drawn-out adoptions, dark nights of the soul, and the God who’s in it all. Wise, humble, caring, fun, they’re the kind of mentors everyone wants but few have. And now they’re yours.

20 Things is more than good advice; it’s a book that can change your life. Let the trend of your twenties be sowing wisdom, and who knows what the rest of life will bring?

Includes action steps, discussion questions, and ideas for further reading at the end of each chapter.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

20 Things Wed Tell Our Twenty-something Selves by both Kelli and Peter Worrall, I learned a lot of things I did wish I could tell my twenty-something self. I am in my last year of my twenties. This book held so many things I could have put to use. Knowledge I wish I had incorporated years ago. Like adjusting my expectations…sometimes, I set my expectations too high and either I, myself, or others will fail those expectations. This self-help journey was an eye opener. I can definitely say that I will be referring back to these pages throughout my lifetime. The great thing about it, was that it can be used and applied towards any adult. Our twenty-something selves is the main area in which we all, including myself, wish we knew the things we did, today. Overall, it was well-organized and well-written.

Review: Shelter for the Most High

Shelter of the Most High (Cities of Refuge, #2)

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

The daughter of a pagan high priest, Sofea finds solace from her troubles in the freedom of the ocean. But when marauders attack her village on the island of Sicily, she and her cousin are taken across the sea to the shores of Canaan.

Eitan has lived in Kedesh, a City of Refuge, for the last eleven years, haunted by a tragedy in his childhood and chafing at the boundaries placed on him. He is immediately captivated by Sofea, but revealing his most guarded secret could mean drawing her into the danger of his past.

As threats from outside the walls loom and traitors are uncovered within, Sofea and Eitan are plunged into the midst of a murder plot. Will they break free from the shackles of the past in time to uncover the betrayal and save their lives and the lives of those they love?

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Shelter for the Most High by Connilyn Cossette is an interesting yet inspiring Biblical fiction story. I enjoyed following the characters as they struggled and fought back for what they believe in and love. Themes like family, faith, and love were throughout this book. My favorite characters were Sofea and Eitan. They made for a good couple. Strong characters. They had me rooting for them the whole way through…their struggles felt real. Connilyn Cossette has a way of making her world of fiction come to life. I loved exploring the Christian faith. Overall, this was a must read for all Bible and Christian fiction lovers.

Review: The Math Kids (The Prime-Time Burglars)

The Math Kids: The Prime-Time Burglars

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Jordan and Justin are best friends and the only two kids in their class’s advanced math group. So it isn’t until Stephanie Lewis marches into their classroom that they meet someone who’s as good with numbers as they are. Their shared interest in math quickly draws them together, and the three soon form The Math Kids.

Unfortunately, life as math club kids isn’t always easy. In addition to extra homework, the three friends have two new problems. First, a string of mysterious burglaries has the whole neighbourhood on edge, including their parents. Then, they manage to earn unwanted attention from Robbie, the class bully. Luckily, Jordan, Justin, and Stephanie soon learn that their new club may give them the skills they need to solve both problems.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

The Math Kids: The Prime-Time Burglars by David Cole is a very entertaining story about a group of eight-year-olds who solve crime and math problems along the way. I was completely swept into the tale. Intrigue, mystery, and the troubles that followed kept me reading. This was a fun way to teach math. The kids math club were cool.  They were smart and fun to follow. Nobody likes homework. However, they did just as much work as their homework, if not more. I loved the book’s layout and organized ways. Overall, this is a must read for all.

 

Review: Beautiful Sinner

Beautiful Sinner (Devil's Rock #5)

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Locked in with the town bad boy . . .

Most women would be scared, but Gabriella’s only worried about resisting Cruz Walsh, who’s even hotter than he was back in high school. Cruz was wrongly accused of the high-profile crime for which he was imprisoned; Gabriella’s desperate for the scoop that will get her career off the ground and get her out of Sweet Hill, where everyone still remembers her as “Flabby Gabby.” Being stuck in a supply closet with Cruz is the perfect opportunity to land an interview. What Bri doesn’t count on is Cruz taking “up-close and personal” to a whole new level.

If there’s a silver lining to the hell Cruz went through, it’s that losing his freedom put everything in perspective. Maybe starting over someplace new would be easier, but after years locked up, Cruz values his family—and his true friends—more than ever. So he’s back home, facing the gossip, dodging reporters . . . and face-to-face with Gabriella Rossi. They’ve both changed: Bri wants a story and Cruz just wants her. Another thing he’s learned? Don’t let a good thing slip away.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Beautiful Sinner by Sophie Jordan is hot, sexy, and emotionally charged. The characters had this back and forth tension that only bubbled over as the pages flew by…

A young man is home again. Ready to face everything, including the one woman he has always wanted, Gaberiella. But she only wants his story. Then she wants out of the place they call home. Can he break down all her walls before it’s too late?

Gaberiella is not afraid the man coming back. Nothing scares her more than the way she’s falling for him. Hot body, check. Strong willed, check. Good man,  double check. But she doesn’t want him at all. Or does she?

Sophie Jordan’s novel is irresistible. I could not stop reading this steamy romantic tale. The protagonists have a way of luring me deeper into their world. The scenes were vivid. I felt more like a spectator witnessing it all first hand rather than reading words off a page. Overall, I highly recommend this contemporary romance to all.

Review: The Christmas Heirloom

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

In Kristi Ann Hunter’s “Legacy of Love,” Sarah Gooding never suspected returning a brooch to an elderly woman would lead to a job . . . and introduce her to the woman’s grandson, a man far above her station.

In Karen Witemeyer’s “Gift of the Heart,” widow Ruth Albright uses the family brooch as collateral for a loan from the local banker. But the more she comes to know the man behind the stern businessman, the more she hopes for a second chance at love.

In Sarah Loudin Thomas’s “A Shot at Love,” Fleeta Brady’s rough-and-tumble childhood means she prefers hunting to more feminine activities. She never expected her family’s brooch might be how a fellow hunter turns her attention from competition to romance.

In Becky Wade’s “Because of You,” Maddie Winslow has spent years in love with a man whose heart was already spoken for. When a church Christmas project brings them together and she stumbles upon an old family brooch, might it finally be her turn for love?

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

The Christmas Heirloom is a collection of four fantastic novellas told by some of the best writers in Christian romance. I was in love with this book. Each story captured my full attention. Stealing pieces of my heart as the journeys lured deep into the characters’ lives. Struggles come in all shapes and sizes. This was a heartfelt group of stories. Engaging from the the beginning, each writer hooked me right in…I could not stop reading. These pieces remind me what really is important in life. Things like love, faith, and family. There were times I both laughed and cried so hard. Overall, I recommend The Christmas Heirloom to all readers.

 

Review: The Distant Sound of Thunder

The Sound of Distant Thunder (The Amish of Weaver's Creek #1)

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Katie Stuckey and Jonas Weaver are both romantics. Seventeen-year-old Katie is starry-eyed, in love with the idea of being in love, and does not want to wait to marry Jonas until she is eighteen, despite her parents’ insistence. So much can happen in a year. Twenty-year-old Jonas is taken in by the romance of soldiering, especially in defense of anti-slavery, even though he knows war is at odds with the teachings of the church. When his married brother’s name comes up in the draft list, he volunteers to take his brother’s place. But can the commitment Katie and Jonas have made to each other survive the separation?

From the talented pen of Jan Drexler comes this brand new Amish series set against the backdrop of the Civil War. She puts her characters to the test as they struggle to reconcile their convictions and desires while the national conflict threatens to undermine and engulf their community.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

The Distant Sound of Thunder by Jan Drexler gives an insider’s view to the realities of an Amish lifestyle. The people are forbidden to live like the outsiders. Violence is not their way of life. However, a young Amish man wants to serve in the military. But he has decisions to make. He has a young Amish woman waiting for his hand in marriage and he has to follow the community rules. Despite what his community says, young Jonas enlists in the army in his brother’s place. I was amazed at the young man’s courage and bravery. He steps up to serve his country and at the same time manages a way to follow his faith. Jan Drexler offers a clean Christian read full of emotions. I recommend this book to readers everywhere.

Review: A Secret to Die For

A Secret to Die For

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Psychologist Grace Callahan has no idea that she has a secret–one worth killing for. But when she finds out one of her clients has been murdered, she quickly realizes that the computer security specialist wasn’t simply suffering from paranoia.

Detective Nate Quinn has just been cleared for active duty after a bombing killed eighteen people, including his partner, and left him dealing with PTSD. His first case back on the job involves the murder of Stephen Shaw, and his only lead turns out to be an old friend, Grace Callahan–and her life is in grave danger. Someone believes Shaw gave his psychologist information before he died. Information they are willing to kill for.

With her signature pulse-pounding suspense, Lisa Harris takes readers deep into the heart of fear in this race against the clock.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

A Secret to Die For by Lisa Harris is outstanding romantic suspense novel. I felt the immediate danger from the first page. The risks were already being calculated in my mind. Grace is a strong character. She fights back with determination and every strength she has. A killer is out there hunting her down for a piece of information. Yet Grace has no idea what that information is that’s worth killing her for…then, to add more spice and complications is the lead detective, Nate. He and Grace are old friends. This case, her, and his past add a mixture of risks. Overall, I loved the mystery and unforeseen events that only triggered my interest with every page.

Review: Delayed Justice

Delayed Justice (Hidden Justice #3)

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

She had long given up the desire to be loved. Now she only needed to be heard.

Jaime Nichols went to law school to find the voice she never had as a child, and her determination to protect girls and women in the path of harm drives her in ways both spoken and unspoken. As Jaime, now a criminal defense attorney, prepares to press charges against someone who wronged her long ago, she must face not only her demons but also the unimaginable forces that protect the powerful man who tore her childhood apart.

Chandler Bolton, a retired veteran, is tasked with helping a young victim who must testify in court—and along with his therapy dog, Aslan, he’s up for the task. When he first meets Jaime, all brains, beauty, and brashness, he can’t help but be intrigued. As Chandler works to break through the wall Jaime has built around herself, the two of them discover that they may have more to offer one another than they ever could have guessed—and that together, they may be able to help this endangered child.

This thrilling installment of the Hidden Justice series explores the healing power of resolution and the weight of words given voice. And as Jaime pursues delayed justice of her own, she unearths eternal truths that will change the course of her life.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Delayed Justice by Cara Putman is a crime fiction novel that focuses on women’s voice in the world of justice. The heroine works to defend and protect these women. Yet this woman has a long road ahead of her. She is working on pursuing charges against someone in her past. Jamie will need all the courage and help to move forward. Then there’s Chandler and his dog who are up to the task of helping Jamie. Jamie brings  an unexpected outcome to Chandler’s world. He cannot help but to feel more towards this strong heroine.

Cara Putman crafted a beautiful engaging tale. I could not help but to feel sympathy and love for the protagonists. They had me rooting for them all the way. There were both emotional and physical boundaries that they had to work through…it made for an entertaining yet suspenseful story. Overall, I highly recommend this novel to all readers.

Review: Second-Chance Dogs

Second-Chance Dogs: True Stories of the Dogs We Rescue and the Dogs Who Rescue Us

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Everyone loves an underdog, and nothing gives us warmer feelings than seeing someone get a second chance in life. A problem pup who flourishes under the right kind of training. The struggling veteran who finds unconditional love wiggling around at the end of a leash. The lonely child who finds comfort in the steady breathing of the warm, furry friend at her side. Each of us needs to be rescued from something–and each of us has the capacity to rescue someone, or something, else.

This collection of more than thirty contemporary, true, feel-good stories spotlights the beauty of being rescued–dogs rescued by people, people rescued by dogs, and even dogs who rescue other animals. It’s the perfect companion–well, besides the four-legged, tail-wagging kind–for your morning cup of coffee or an evening curled up on the couch. Contributors include Susy Flory, Dusty Rainbolt, Lauraine Snelling, Melody Carlson, Wanda Dyson, Suzanne Woods Fisher, and many more.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Second-Chance Dogs: True Stories of the Dogs We Rescue and the Dogs Who Rescue Us by Callie Smith Grant is a must read for all animal lovers. The short stories show us the joys of love and kindness. It made me laugh and cry. Definitely, a sweet collection that swept me off my feet and into the lives of the animals mentioned. There’s a bond that forms between the humans and the dogs. I loved reading this. Overall, I recommend it to readers everywhere.

Review: America’s Sweetheart

America's Sweetheart (Real Love, #5)

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Old flames burn bright. When a disgraced starlet returns home to lick her wounds, she discovers that her high school sweetheart is just as tempting as ever.

“No one writes big-hearted bad boys like Jessica Lemmon!”—New York Times bestselling author Lori Foster

Allison: When I left for California, I gave myself a new name and never looked back. Now my carefully crafted good-girl image is getting torn to shreds in the press thanks to my Oscar-winning A-hole of an ex-boyfriend. So I escape to the only safe haven I know and trust—my hometown—to take a breather while I plot my triumphant Hollywood comeback. However, when I arrive at my parents’ house, Jackson Burke answers the door instead. And suddenly the past comes rushing back. . . .

Jackson: First kiss. First time. First love. Yep, Allison Murphy and I shared a lot of firsts back in the day. When she left, she took half my heart with her. Now she’s back in town, and even though I swore I’d keep my distance, her parents hired me to remodel their house, and I’m going to finish the job. But one hot kiss later, suddenly the press is calling us the next big celebrity couple. Sure, I’ll play the part, for Allison’s sake—but I refuse to let her close enough to break my heart all over again. . . .

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

America’s Sweetheart by Jessica Lemmon is an interesting romantic story. In this case, the guy is the one who had his heart broken. Then, his first loves comes back and everything spirals out of control. Such as faking a relationship with her to help keep appearances. But how much of it is actually fake between them? And Jackson fell hard the first time, there is definitely no way, he will be able to follow his own damn rules. Like kissing his ex or falling back in love all over again…

The characters were great. I loved Jackson. He would do anything for anyone especially for the woman who broke his heart. I felt sorry for him. I did not like his ex girlfriend that much. Her personality just did not click with me. However, I was cheering for Jackson that he may actually be getting another chance to have his happily ever after-even if that meant his ex. Overall, it was a sweet, sexy, and entertaining tale.

 

Review: The Nowhere Man

The Nowhere Man (Evan Smoak, #2)

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

IF YOU’VE READ ORPHAN X YOU’LL BE DYING TO READ THIS

He was once called Orphan X. 

As a boy, Evan Smoak was taken from a children’s home, raised and trained as part of a secret government initiative buried so deep that virtually no one knows it exists. But he broke with the programme, choosing instead to vanish off grid and use his formidable skill set to help those unable to protect themselves.

One day, though, Evan’s luck ran out . . .

Ambushed, drugged, and spirited away, Evan wakes up in a locked room with no idea where he is or who has captured him. As he tries to piece together what’s happened, testing his gilded prison and its highly trained guards for weaknesses, he receives a desperate call for help.

With time running out, he will need to out-think, out-manoeuvre, and out-fight an opponent the likes of whom he’s never encountered to have any chance of escape. He’s got to save himself to protect those whose lives depend on him. Or die trying . . .

The Nowhere Man delivers another masterclass in hi-octane thriller writing.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

The Nowhere Man by Gregg Hurwitz is a splendid thriller. Action-packed, deadly, and comes with risks. I was not sure what to expect. But the story exceeded my expectations. I found myself lost within the book. The pages kept turning and before I knew it, I was finished.

Evan Smoak is known as The Nowhere Man. He comes from nowhere. Helps those in desperate need of a hero. The guy does not have family, has military training, and is extremely likable. I enjoyed following Evan as his journey escalated. Risks are taken every day. There’s no promise of anything. Other than, knowing Evan will be there, if needed. Overall, I highly recommend this exciting suspense title to all.

Review: Texas on My Mind

Texas on My Mind (The McCord Brothers, #1)

 

 

 

Synopsis:

The McCord Brothers are the most eligible bachelors in Spring Hill, Texas. But these cowboys are about to get wrangled by the love of some very special women—the kind who can melt hearts and lay it all on the line.

Air force Captain Riley McCord has come home on medical leave to find one heck of a welcome reception. Every unattached woman in Spring Hill, Texas, wants to nurse him back to health. That includes his childhood friend Claire Davidson—the only person who understands how damaged he really feels. In high school, she chose his best friend over him. According to Riley’s rules, that should make her off-limits forever. But when Claire suggests a no-strings fling, he can’t refuse.

Claire always wanted Riley—but she also craved the safety and stability he couldn’t offer. So she chose another path, only to end up crazier about him than ever. She’s even convinced herself that this time she won’t be devastated when he leaves. Yet once Riley realizes the depth of Claire’s feelings—and his own—he’ll have to make the ultimate choice: return to the job he loves or stay home for the woman who’s always lived in his heart.

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

Texas on My Mind by Delores Fossen is a steamy romantic read. Plenty of emotions to make one cry, laugh, and fall in love. The story was entertaining from the beginning. A playboy like cowboy comes back home. Suffering from PTSD, he’s ready to get back into action. But his body just won’t cooperate with him. Then there’s the woman he has loved since they were kids. She still holds a place in his heart that no other will. Surprises are sprung on these pages, making the story pop to life. I loved reading it. Texas on My Mind was hard to stop reading. Characters were believable and charming. Overall, I recommend this cowboy contemporary romance to all.

 

Review: A Place of His Own

Place of His Own

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

When Josiah left Paradise the first time, he didn’t even say good-bye. Now he’s back, ten years later, and he’s changed. Why is he so distant and bitter? Where is the boy who used to be Amanda’s best friend? Amanda is learning that there are things even a capable Amish girl can’t fix. But can she stand there and watch him walk away . . . again?

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

A Place of His Own by Kathleen Fuller is a sad but beautifully written story. I cried a lot throughout this short story. I felt Josiah’s pain, anger, and loss. He lost his mother due to cancer, his father was full of anger and beat him constantly. The father was also a drunk who took Josiah away from the community and girl he loved. Now, as an adult, Josiah returns. Full of bad memories, hurt, and a need to be loved again. He tries pushing away his emotions. But he never expected his crush to turn into the beautiful woman she is. Still stubborn, kind, and full of life, Amanda wants to reach out and soothe Josiah’s pain. She knows only God can help him heal. But she also plays a major role in helping her friend heal and accept faith again. I enjoyed reading this book. Overall, I would highly recommend it to all.

 

Review: When Winter Comes

When Winter Comes: An Amish Gathering Novella

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Follow one year in an Amish community with three heartwarming tales of old friends and new beginnings. “When Winter Comes” is one novella from this collection.

It’s been too long since Rebecca has done what she loves—put on her skates and fly across the ice. Five years have passed since a winter accident took her twin Lizzie and left Rebecca heartbroken. And Ben has waited for her all that time. At last she’s starting to heal. But has too much time passed for their hearts to reconnect?

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

When Winter Comes by Barbara Cameron is a young love that started but never got to fully blossom before tragedy happened. A young woman is stuck in grieving. Reliving the loss of her twin sister. The pain and fear consume her. In the background, a young man, her best friend still carries a torch for her. He knows she is still suffering from that painful day. But he does not want to rush anything. So, he waits. Waiting so long his family tells him he’s crazy. But they see how serious he is and how kind he is in waiting for her to heal. Every time winter comes, the pain engulfs Rebecca. Rebecca tries being the best daughter her parents have. Making up for the daughter they lost, Rebecca holds on to the past. The burden is heavy, yet with a lot of prayer, faith, and encouragement, Rebecca may find the strength after all. Ben and Rebecca have a lot of trials to go through before they can find their peace and happiness. Sometimes patience does pay off in the end. Overall, I found this story sad, funny, and enjoyable. The cast was wonderful to follow. I loved the lessons learned. Forgiveness, faith, and hope will always win.

Review: A Change of Heart

A Change of Heart (An Amish Gathering)

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Follow one year in an Amish community with three heartwarming tales of old friends and new beginnings. “A Change of Heart” is one novella from this collection.

Leah is no good at cooking, cleaning, sewing, gardening—the skills that young women need to make a proper Amish wife. All she wants to do is write stories, but she’s sincerely tired of being a disappointment. Will she ever find someone who accepts her just as she is?

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

A Change of Heart by Beth Wiseman is a heartfelt story. It is full of faith, family, love, and humor. The main characters have a lot to learn yet but they also ended up teaching me a few lessons. Differences can make the community better and not worse. A young Amish woman is a great story writer. Yet it’s not looked upon as a something to achieve. Yet she somehow continues to inspire her readers and spread the love of her faith. I was amazed at the young woman’s strength.

Then, there is the young Amish man who has loved her ever since school days. He never gave up hope. Overcoming his shy ways, he is determined to make her notice him. He starts by making a deal with her. I’ll read your book if you attend events with me. Simple, friendly, and charming…the events and book talk only bring the two closer.

Both blossom into an unknown territory of love and friendship. Sometimes, being a friend can help grow the foundation of a relationship. I loved how clean and entertaining this Amish fiction novel was. I could not stop reading it. Beth Wiseman has once again, cleverly caught my full attention. Overall, I recommend it to all.

 

Review: Under My Skin

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

From New York Times bestselling author and master of suspense Lisa Unger comes an addictive psychological thriller about a woman on the hunt for her husband’s killer 

What if the nightmares are actually memories?

It’s been a year since Poppy’s husband, Jack, was brutally murdered during his morning run through Manhattan’s Riverside Park. In the immediate aftermath, Poppy spiraled into an oblivion of grief, disappearing for several days only to turn up ragged and confused wearing a tight red dress she didn’t recognize. What happened to Poppy during those lost days? And more importantly, what happened to Jack?

The case was never solved, and Poppy has finally begun to move on. But those lost days have never stopped haunting her. Poppy starts having nightmares and blackouts–there are periods of time she can’t remember, and she’s unable to tell the difference between what is real and what she’s imagining. When she begins to sense that someone is following her, Poppy is plunged into a game of cat and mouse, determined to unravel the mystery around her husband’s death. But can she handle the truth about what really happened?

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Under My Skin by Lisa Unger is a dark haunting read. It made my skin crawl. Imagine not remembering what happened to you…and showing up without a memory in a red tight dress. So many questions came to mind. Yet the plot held more questions than  answers. I felt lost within Poppy’s mind and the writer’s words. Confusion took over and the rest just pushed me away. I was peaked enough to want to find the answers. But reading the story just became a giant fog without any light to it. Under My Skin held a promising read, but just didn’t cut it for me.

 

Review: Fashions Fade, Haunted Is Eternal

Fashions Fade, Haunted Is Eternal (A Haunted Vintage Mystery #7)

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

A photo shoot in a graveyard ends in a grave shooting . . .

Cookie Chanel–owner of the chic clothing store It’s Vintage Y’All in Sugar Creek, Georgia–has been hired to dress models for a fashion shoot. The spread will be featured in Fashion and Style magazine’s October issue–so the models are posing in a cemetery. As someone who can see and talk to ghosts, Cookie’s not spooked by the location. But she is surprised when a new ghost appears, decked out in 1920s couture. And she’s shocked when she hears a gunshot. Then a model runs toward her, saying the grumpy photographer has been edited out of the picture – for good. With help from her ghostly pals, Cookie must zoom in on the truth before she’s the next to strike a final pose . . .

Don’t Miss Cookie Chanel’s Shopping Tips

Praise for the Haunted Vintage Mysteries

“Rose Pressey’s books are fun!”–Janet Evanovich

“An appealing protagonist who is as sweet as a Southern accent.”– Library Journal 

Chic and quirky heroine Cookie Chanel and a supporting cast of small-town Southern characters are sure to charm lovers of high fashion and murderous hi-jinks alike.”              —Jennie Bentley

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Fashions Fade, Haunted Is Eternal by Rose Pressey is an exciting ghost mystery. The characters are amusing to follow. I loved how the main protagonist can both see and talk to ghosts. Just when she’s used to having one as a friend, another one appears. And then, shortly after that, a photographer is murdered on the scene. The who done it theme pops up and it is up to Cookie to solve the murder. A fashionista with two helpful ghosts and a paramedic boyfriend, makes for an entertaining tale. I couldn’t help but to love the story and laugh along the way. For fans of Angie Fox and Pamela Kopfler this is a must read! Overall, I highly recommend it. Humor, action, and mystery all in one perfect bundle.

Review: Botched Murder

Botched 4 Murder (Sophie Kimball Mystery, #4)

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Bowled over . . .

Sophie “Phee” Kimball is getting dragged into the drama again at her mom’s Arizona retirement community. A new board member wants to get rid of two golf courses and replace them with eco-friendly parks, and some of the residents are pretty teed off about it. On top of that, her mother’s book club friend Myrna is being pushed out of the bocce league. These seniors are serious about winning, and Myrna’s dragging them down. She’s so bad at bocce, in fact, that when a community mem.ber’s dead body is discovered while Myrna’s practicing for a tournament, she assumes it was one of her own errant balls that killed the woman.

But before Myrna can be tossed off the bocce court and into criminal court, the police find an arrow in the victim’s neck. It looks like this was no accident–and Phee and her investigator boyfriend Marshall will have to team up to bounce a killer into the slammer . . .

Praise for the Sophie Kimball Mysteries

“A thoroughly entertaining series debut, with enjoyable, yet realistic characters and enough plot twists–and dead ends–to appeal from beginning to end.”
Booklist STARRED REVIEW on Booked 4 Murder

“An eclectic cast of entertaining characters that will keep you wondering whodunit!”
–Nicole Leiren, USA Today bestselling author of the Danger Cove Mysteries

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Botched Murder by J.C. Eaton brings readers to a hot community where the seniors care about what happens to their area. A member of their community takes up a position to have their golf courses changed into entertainment centers for younger people. An outrage breaks out. Many are angry over what the woman started. And it’s not too long before she is found dead. Another member feels that she was the reason the other woman died. But as the investigation continues that’s not the case at all.

J.C. Eaton created a story full of energy. A buzzing senior community that works together to save their area. A young woman and her boyfriend are dragged into the center of the case and issue at hand. Phee’s mother won’t let her daughter and boyfriend be in peace. She is always finding a way to get them to help her and her friends. I found plenty of humor on these pages as well as mystery. The characters felt real. I can just see Phee rolling her eyes and groaning everything she spots her mother and the other seniors. Overall, good story and a plot full of action.

Review: Becoming Mrs. Lewis

Becoming Mrs. Lewis

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

In a most improbable friendship, she found love. In a world where women were silenced, she found her voice.

From New York Times bestselling author Patti Callahan comes an exquisite novel of Joy Davidman, the woman C. S. Lewis called “my whole world.” When poet and writer Joy Davidman began writing letters to C. S. Lewis—known as Jack—she was looking for spiritual answers, not love. Love, after all, wasn’t holding together her crumbling marriage. Everything about New Yorker Joy seemed ill-matched for an Oxford don and the beloved writer of Narnia, yet their minds bonded over their letters. Embarking on the adventure of her life, Joy traveled from America to England and back again, facing heartbreak and poverty, discovering friendship and faith, and against all odds, finding a love that even the threat of death couldn’t destroy.

In this masterful exploration of one of the greatest love stories of modern times, we meet a brilliant writer, a fiercely independent mother, and a passionate woman who changed the life of this respected author and inspired books that still enchant us and change us. Joy lived at a time when women weren’t meant to have a voice—and yet her love for Jack gave them both voices they didn’t know they had.

At once a fascinating historical novel and a glimpse into a writer’s life, Becoming Mrs. Lewis is above all a love story—a love of literature and ideas and a love between a husband and wife that, in the end, was not impossible at all.

Rating: 5-stars

Review: 

Becoming Mrs. Lewis by Patti Callahan is a heartwarming tale. I instantly felt the connection between the characters. It was blossoming as the pages turned. I couldn’t rad their journey of friendship fast enough. From friends to lovers, this pair of protagonists have captured my heart and soul.

Patti Callahan expertly laid out the joys and triumphs of the relationship between writers, C.S. Lewis, and Joy Davidman. Many hardships and obstacles got in their way. Yet despite all of them, they kept together and weathered the storms. I felt relief and joy. Both characters had me rooting all the way. Becoming Mrs. Lewis is a tale of an unlikely yet not impossible love match between to adults. Their way of communication snatched each other like a moth to a flame. In the same way, did Patti Callahan sweep me into her plot. So addictive…I was excited. The scenes kept me engaged from beginning to end. Overall, I recommend this novel to all readers.

 

Review: Murder on Cape Cod

Murder on Cap Cod (Cozy Capers Book Group Mystery, #1)

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

A Cape Cod shop owner and her book club must find a crafty killer in this charming new series from the Agatha-nominated author of the Country Store Mystery series.

Summer is busy season for Mackenzie “Mac” Almeida’s bicycle shop, nestled in the quaint, seaside hamlet of Westham, Massachusetts. She’s expecting an influx of tourists at Mac’s Bikes; instead she discovers the body of Jake Lacey. Mac can’t imagine anyone stabbing the down-on-his-luck handyman. However, the authorities seem to think Mac is a strong suspect after she was spotted arguing with Jake just hours before his death. Mac knows she didn’t do it, but she does recognize the weapon—her brother Derrick’s fishing knife.

Mac’s only experience with murder investigations is limited to the cozy mysteries she reads with her local book group, the Cozy Capers. So to clear her name—and maybe her brother’s too—Mac will have to summon help from her Cozy Capers co-investigators and a library’s worth of detectives’ tips and tricks. For a small town, Westham is teeming with possible killers, and this is one mystery where Mac is hoping for anything but a surprise ending…

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

Murder on Cape Cod by Maddie Day is an interesting cozy murder mystery. I love book book clubs and this one had a liking for murder mysteries. What the leading protagonist does not expect is for a murder to happen in her safe small-town area. Yet it does. In fact, she accidentally runs over the dead handyman in the fog. It appears he was stabbed with her brother’s knife. All Mac can think about is how Jake died and why. And more importantly who would murder him…

Maddie Day created a mysterious murder mystery with a lot of humor. I couldn’t help from laughing especially, when Mac’s parrot wants a kiss from her boyfriend. It was a perfect blend of action, humor, and danger. The characters made this story come to life. The chief of police and Mac seem to have a history that makes communicating not so much fun. But it was interesting to follow them. Overall, I highly recommend this novel to all. I cannot wait to read the next mystery in this series.

 

Review: Murder by the Book

Murder by the Book (Beyond the Page Bookstore Mystery, #1)

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Addie Greyborne loved working with rare books at the Boston Public Library—she even got to play detective, tracking down clues about mysterious old volumes. But she didn’t expect her sleuthing skills to come in so handy in a little seaside town . . .

Addie left some painful memories behind in the big city, including the unsolved murder of her fiancé and her father’s fatal car accident. After an unexpected inheritance from a great aunt, she’s moved to a small New England town founded by her ancestors back in colonial times—and living in spacious Greyborne Manor, on a hilltop overlooking the harbor. Best of all, her aunt also left her countless first editions and other treasures—providing an inventory to start her own store.

But there’s trouble from day one, and not just from the grumpy woman who runs the bakery next door. A car nearly runs Addie down. Someone steals a copy of Alice in Wonderland. Then, Addie’s friend Serena, who owns a nearby tea shop, is arrested—for killing another local merchant. The police seem pretty sure they’ve got the story in hand, but Addie’s not going to let them close the book on this case without a fight . .

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Murder by the Book is a fascinating crime cozy. I found the characters to be bold, funny, and clever. The criminals were cunning, but they have not seen anything like the heroine, Addie.

Addie has a big legacy to live up to. Her aunt left her an inheritance and another one that Addie didn’t find until she solved the case. I was left feeling fear and my curiosity peaked as the crimes kept increasing sometimes multiple ones in a day. Yet Addie, never backed away.

With the help of her new friend, Serena, and the police chief, Addie can find the answers. But until she did, it was spooky, deadly, and dangerous. Risks popped up as Addie drove further into the case. What none of them expected was for the one case to solve several old cases. The ending only left me with an appetite to read more by Lauren Elliott. Overall, I recommend this mystery murder to all readers. If you like Agatha Christie, Murder She Wrote, or Angie Fox, this is one you have to pick up!

 

Review: Downright Dead

Downright Dead (A B&B Spirits Mystery #2)

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Holly Davis never imagined having a haunted bed and breakfast would be the secret to her success—or that a secret might leave her B&B DOA . . .

After the syndicated TV show, Inquiring Minds, airs footage of their resident ghost at Holly Grove, a converted antebellum plantation house, it seems like half the state of Louisiana wants to book a room. There’s only one small problem: the ghost of her not-so-dearly-departed ex Burl has . . . departed. For the sake of business, Holly’s willing to keep up the pretense of still being haunted. But after an outspoken debunker challenges the show’s credibility, the TV crew returns to Holly Grove to prove the ghost is real.

Following a disastrous séance, Holly is sure she’ll be exposed as a charlatan. Surprisingly, the debunker suddenly becomes a believer—after he’s pushed off the Widow’s Walk to his death and rises as a ghost. Now his inquiring mind wants to know—who murdered him? When he asks for Holly’s help, she can’t say no. But this time it’s her turn to watch her step, because if the killer gets spooked, the next ghost haunting the B&B may well be its owner . . .

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Downright Dead by Pamela Kopfler is one of the best paranormal cozy mysteries I have read. Its style is similar to Angie Fox’s paranormal 1920’s ghost solving mysteries. There’s plenty of humor, action, and suspects to explore. Just like one of my other favorite sleuthing heroines, the business owner in this novel, is believed to be a suspect. Her slipper was found where the dead man was pushed. But the police still haven’t decided if it is murder or a suicide yet. However, Holly sees the ghost of the newest victim. He was her worst critic and now, even in ghost form he doesn’t want to believe. But if he wants to stay away from hell, they have to work together to solve his murder. Plenty of interesting scenes and funny moments. Overall, I highly recommend this story and the rest of the series to readers everywhere.

 

 

 

 

Review: Steamed Open

Steamed Open (A Maine Clambake Mystery #7)

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

It’s summertime in Busman’s Harbor, Maine, and the clamming is easy—or it was until a mysterious new neighbor blocks access to the beach, cutting off the Snowden Family Clambake’s supply. Julia Snowden is just one of many townspeople angered by Bartholomew Frick’s decision. But which one of them was angry enough to kill?

Beachcombers, lighthouse buffs, and clammers are outraged after Frick puts up a gate in front of his newly inherited mansion. When Julia urges him to reconsider, she’s the last to see him alive—except the person who stabs him in the neck with a clam rake. As she pores through a long list of suspects, Julia meets disgruntled employees, rival heirs, and a pair of tourists determined to visit every lighthouse in America. They all have secrets, and Julia will have to work fast to expose the guilty party—or see this season’s clam harvest dry up for good.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Steamed Open by Barbara Ross is an interesting cozy mystery. One that takes place in Maine. A lot of people require access for their livelihood. And it appears that the heir of a deceased town member is blocking it off. All the citizens are angry. But who would kill out of anger? There are many suspects and the murder is one that I wouldn’t have guessed. I liked that it was not predictable like most murder mysteries are.

Barbara Ross creates a tale that sweeps readers into a family like community in Maine. Everyone knows each other. However, one them is about to become a killer. The question of how well do we really know the people in our area pops into mind. One woman works to solve the case. Her family owned business relies heavily on access to clams. And the events lead to a chill that never leaves. One person is killed and another is spared. Mystery, intrigue, and entertaining characters made Steamed Open a good read. I did not read the previous novels in the series and was able to follow along just fine. Overall, it was well-written.

Review: Pecan Pies and Dead Guys

Pecan Pies and Dead Guys (Southern Ghost Hunter Mysteries, #7)

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Sometimes Verity Long would like to forget that she lives with the ghost of a 1920s gangster. But the reluctant housemates must once again work together when a dead detective blackmails Frankie into helping him solve a Great Gatsby-era cold case. Before she can say “bathtub gin,” Verity is dragged straight into a raging, otherworldly house party. Worse, every guest is hiding something.

Meanwhile, Ellis Wydell, Verity’s living, breathing boyfriend needs Verity’s help with a police case of his own. After a dead body is discovered near the pecan orchard, Verity gives her insights, thinking her job is done. But when mysterious pecan pies start arriving at her house, she wonders who might be thanking her… or stalking her.

Between hard-living ghosts and sugar-laden desserts, Verity has her work cut out for her. But will she uncover the secrets behind the pecan pies and dead guys? Or has she stumbled upon a recipe for disaster?

A warm and witty paranormal cozy mystery!

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

Pecan Pies and Dead Guys by Angie Fox is another brilliant cozy mystery. I was swept back up into Verity Long’s ghost solving mystery series. Joining her, I was again introduced to the 1920’s ghost gangster that makes me laugh so hard. I cannot help from laughing where, Frankie is concerned. Then, there’s Verity’s handsome copy boyfriend who is still at her side despite his mother’s attempts to separate them. And last but not least, is the newest cast member. A new ghost, who is a detective. He still treats Verity like a stupid female human being. But she’s really the mastermind behind solving the crimes of murder. With Frankie’s help, Verity should solve the new murders with an ease. However, one crime scene is missing a ghost. The other is from the past and needs solving quick before it disappears again. Overall, I love the cast of characters. The ghosts add spice and humor. The humans are a mystery and keep things interesting. Angie Fox sure knows how to create a stunning mystery novel.

 

Review: Freedom’s Light

Freedom's Light

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

USA TODAY bestselling author Colleen Coble explores the mystery and the romance of the Revolutionary War.

A young lighthouse keeper must navigate the dangerous waters of revolution and one man’s obsession with her to find safe harbor with the sea captain she loves.

Hannah Thomas believes she’s escaped Galen Wright’s evil intentions by marrying an older lighthouse keeper. Seemingly safe in faraway Massachusetts, her world is upended when John is killed in one of the first battles of the Revolutionary War. Hannah is allowed to continue the difficult task of tending the twin lighthouses in John’s place, though she faces daily disapproval from John’s family. She thinks her loneliness will subside when her younger sister arrives, but she finds Lydia’s obsession with Galen only escalates the dangerous tides swirling around her.

A stormy night brings a shipwrecked sea captain to Hannah’s door, and though he is a Tory, her heart is as traitorous as the dark-eyed captain. Even though she discovers Birch Meredith isn’t the enemy he seemed at first, Hannah isn’t sure their love will ever see the light of freedom.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Freedom’s Light by Colleen Coble is an adventurous historical journey. Many risks are involved. Fighting from one danger, leads to another. Before Hannah realizes so is her heart. Physically and emotionally gripping, Freedom’s Light offers a peek into the revolutionary war and the life of women back then.

I was immediately drawn into the plot. A quickly escalating tale, with danger rising from every side. Safety seems to disappear once Hannah’s husband dies in the war. After that, she is busying trying to manage the lighthouses and her life. But with a creep after her, her sister’s crazy obsession, and her dead husband’s family giving her a hard time, it seems impossible. Then an unexpected stranger shows up, and whatever strength was holding up is coming undone. Despite the trouble and her own fears, Hannah still goes strong. It was difficult not to be impressed. Overall, I enjoyed reading this story.

Review: Death by Chocolate Malted Milkshake

Death by Chocolate Malted Milkshake (A Death by Chocolate Mystery #2)

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

The island fishing village of Eastport, Maine, has plenty of salty local character. It also has a sweet side, thanks to Jacobia “Jake” Tiptree, her best friend Ellie, and their waterfront bake shop, The Chocolate Moose. But when island life is disrupted by the occasional killer, Jake and Ellie put their chocolate treats aside to make sure justice is served.

This summer, Eastport’s favorite lovebirds, kindergarten teacher Sharon Sweetwater and Coast Guard Captain Andy Devine, are getting married. The gala reception is sure to be the fête of the season, especially with a wedding-cake-sized whoopie pie courtesy of The Chocolate Moose. For Jake and Ellie, the custom-ordered confection will finally reel in some much-needed profits. But the celebratory air, and sweet smell of success, are ruined by foul murder.

When Sharon’s bitter ex-boyfriend Toby is poisoned with an arsenic-laced milkshake, Andy is jailed as the prime suspect and the wedding is cancelled, whoopie pie and all. Then Sharon makes a shocking confession—one that sounds like a fishy attempt to get Andy off the hook. Now both the bride and groom are behind bars. And with the fate of The Chocolate Moose at stake, it’s up to Jake and Ellie to catch a poisonous predator before someone else sips their last dessert.

Includes a Recipe!

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Death by Chocolate Malted Milkshake is a fun cozy mystery. Two ladies with bakery think a milkshake of theirs was the murder weapon. Yet as it turns out…it really wasn’t. But they won’t know that until much later. A man nobody liked is killed. Leaving the main characters worried and in a much bigger hole…than they started with. Jake feels like giving up on their business, while Ellie is still hopeful. But with a local murder to solve things quickly escalate out of control.

The characters were realistic. There was no emotional attachment where I felt like cheering for them. I did feel bad about their sinking business. The plot had mystery. It was entertaining. Just not the omg, I have to finish this tonight or else. Sarah Graves brought themes of family, friends, and intrigue to her novel. It had enough to spark an interest of whodunit and why.

 

 

Review: Everything She Didn’t Say

Everything She Didn't Say

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

In 1911, Carrie Strahorn wrote a memoir entitled Fifteen Thousand Miles by Stage, which shared some of the most exciting events of 25 years of traveling and shaping the American West with her husband, Robert Strahorn, a railroad promoter, investor, and writer. That is all fact. Everything She Didn’t Say imagines Carrie nearly ten years later as she decides to write down what was really on her mind during those adventurous nomadic years.

Certain that her husband will not read it, and in fact that it will only be found after her death, Carrie is finally willing to explore the lessons she learned along the way, including the danger a woman faces of losing herself within a relationship with a strong-willed man and the courage it takes to accept her own God-given worth apart from him. Carrie discovers that wealth doesn’t insulate a soul from pain and disappointment, family is essential, pioneering is a challenge, and western landscapes are both demanding and nourishing. Most of all, she discovers that home can be found, even in a rootless life.

With a deft hand, New York Times bestselling author Jane Kirkpatrick draws out the emotions of living–the laughter and pain, the love and loss–to give readers a window not only into the past, but into their own conflicted hearts. Based on a true story.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Everything She Didn’t Say by Jane Kirkpatrick is one of the most engaging historical novels I have read. It’s based on a true woman’s story. A journey out west. That back then, was both dangerous and risky. Yet, Carrie still went with her husband. A strong man trying to make a living for him and his wife. I really liked this couple. However, I felt sympathy towards Carrie constantly. Her husband, Robert, always failed to notice how he fails her. Lack of affection, deeper affection than what he gives is not there. Carrie swore to love him through bad, good, rich and poor. Her strength to move forward was admirable. Jane Kirkpatrick’s writing brought to life this memoir of a story and made it engaging to follow. I wanted to learn all there was to Carrie and her journey. It was a sad read. Overall, I would recommend this to readers everywhere.

Review: Stretched Too Thin by Jessica N. Turner

Stretched Too Thin: How Working Moms Can Lose the Guilt, Work Smarter, and Thrive by [Turner, Jessica N.]

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Working mothers constantly battle the pull to do all the things well. From managing work and home responsibilities to being impacted by a lack of self-care and time for deep friendships, the struggle is real. At the end of each day, many working moms are exhausted and stretched too thin. But this does not have to be the norm.

In her latest practical and inspiring book, Jessica Turner shows the working mom how to

– work and parent guilt-free
– establish clear work boundaries
– set achievable goals
– discover more flexibility
– develop home management solutions
– prioritize self-care
– invest in her marriage
– cultivate deeper friendships
– feel like a good mom, even while working

Full of compassion and encouragement, Stretched Too Thin will empower women with useful insights and tools to thrive as working moms.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Stretched Too Thin by Jessica N. Turner is a great book. It walks mothers through a journey of finding what works. The pages also tell what they can do to help improve their busy schedules so as not to feel overwhelmed. I liked how it had discover, practice, and evaluate sections. Then there were finding, creating, and reflecting sections that were just as reinforcing as the previous sections. In the beginning, there are good questions to reflect upon. This allowed me to think and add to those questions as I dug further into the book. Jessica N. Turner’s Stretched Too Thin guide book for mothers is both encouraging and educational. A must have practical self-help journey for all moms.

Review: White as Silence, Red as Song by Alessandro D’Avenia

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Hailed as Italy’s The Fault in Our Stars, this Italian bestseller is now available for the first time in English.

“I was born on the first day of school, and I grew up and old in just two hundred days . . .”

Sixteen-year-old Leo has a way with words, but he doesn’t know it yet. He spends his time texting, polishing soccer maneuvers, and killing time with Niko and Silvia. Until a new teacher arrives and challenges him to give voice to his dreams.

And so Leo is inspired to win over the red-haired beauty Beatrice. She doesn’t know Leo exists, but he’s convinced that his dream will come true. When Leo lands in the hospital and learns that Beatrice has been admitted too, his mission to be there for her will send him on a thrilling but heartbreaking journey. He wants to help her but doesn’t know how—and his dream of love will force him to grow up fast.

Having already sold over a million copies, Alessandro D’Avenia’s debut novel is considered Italy’s The Fault in Our Stars. Now available in English for the first time, this rich, funny, and heartwarming coming-of-age tale asks us to explore the meaning—and the cost—of friendship, and shows us what happens when suffering bursts into the world of teenagers and renders the world of adults speechless.

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

White as Silence, Red as Song by Alessandro D’Avenia is emotionally just as good as The Fault in Our Stars. I was hooked. The sadness swept me up within its current. Immediately, I felt the love, the pain, and the loss. But there was also hope and happiness to be gained. The characters are young and have a lot to to learn. Especially, Leo. He is hopelessly in love with a girl who ends up with cancer. That cancer eats away at her until, she passes. I was just as anguished as Leo. But I enjoyed watching Leo fall and then slowly rise up, again. He found a new hope. A new direction that involved love. Love is red. Silence is white. The original girl of his heart, teaches him lessons that help Leo move forward in life. His family was supportive. This YA novel was completely sad, engaging, and beautiful. I recommend it to readers everywhere.

 

Review: Kill Devil by Mike Dellosso

Kill Devil

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Jed Patrick is convinced he’s doing all it takes to keep his family safe–new names, new location, new identity. But just when he thinks he finally has his life back, trained men claiming to be CIA agents break in and threaten his wife and daughter, proving once and for all his family will never truly be safe until he eliminates the agency dead set on hunting him down.Not knowing if Karen and Lilly are better off by his side or in hiding, Jed is determined to protect them while finding a way to use the classified information that he possesses to dismantle the Centralia Project. But he soon learns that eliminating Centralia may require compromising his own values. As danger escalates, Jed isn’t sure whether there’s anyone or anything he can trust–including his own senses.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Kill Devil by Mike Dellosso is a fascinating thriller. There was plenty of fast-paced action to keep the pages turning. I liked the main character, Jed a lot. He has tough choices with high risks involved. The plot has many ways it could have ended. I was intrigued and filled with suspense. This writer had my full-attention from the beginning. It reminded me of The Bourne Series with its dark and complicated scenes. There isn’t a moment where I felt bored. I was amazed at this writer’s talent. Overall, I recommend it to all  readers.

Review: Secret of the Stones by Olivia Swift

The Secret of the Stones (Blooms, Bones & Stones, #6)

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Katarina Jones’ sensible exterior and strong practical streak often masks her real feelings.

Ben Carruthers is terrified to ask Kat out but when he buys a piece of land, and enlists Kat’s help with his vision, it gives him the opportunity to spend some time with her.

When Ben has a load of landscaping stones delivered, Kat seemingly has a sixth sense about some of the stones. Will danger draw them together or pull them apart especially when Kat has trouble acknowledging that she has a sixth sense?

Their group of friends from Chestnut Hall join Kat and Ben in the search to solve the mystery of the stones.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

The Secret of the Stones by Olivia Swift is an interesting mystery. A man is getting set to build and his stones have a dark history behind them. Kat senses this and together with their friends they find out the answers. There is a romantic interest happening between Kat and Ben. It was told in a way that excited me but still kept it clean. Kat is by far my favorite character. I loved her personality. It felt like I knew her for years. She has a knack for peaking my curiosity. Just when something is found, there’s more than beats the eyes. I enjoyed the suspense and intrigue. Overall, I would recommend this novel to all readers.

 

Review: What Ales the Earl by Sally MacKenzie

What Ales the Earl (Widow's Brew, #1)

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Scandal does not define the “fallen” ladies of Puddledon Manor’s Benevolent Home. Instead, it’s a recipe for an intoxicating new future as the women combine their talents—to operate their own brewery and alehouse…

When Penelope Barnes arrived at the Home with her young daughter, she discovered a knack for horticulture—and for cultivating the hops needed to produce a superlative pint. She put her scandalous affair with Harry Graham firmly in the past, along with the wrenching pain she felt when he went off to war. After all, she’d always known a farmer’s daughter had no future with an earl’s son. Now she has the pleasant memory of their passion, and she has little Harriet, for whom she would do anything—even marry a boring country vicar.

Harry went off to fight for the Crown, unaware that his delightful interlude with his childhood friend had permanent consequences. Now he’s back in England, catapulted into the title by his brother’s untimely death. He sorely misses his former life of unfettered adventure, so when he has reason to explore Little Puddleton, he jumps at the chance. But what he finds there is something—and someone—he never knew he’d lost, and a once forbidden love whose time has come, if only he can persuade Pen he’s home to stay.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

What Ales the Earl by Sally MacKenzie is an interesting twist for a historical romance tale. I never once heard of a young lady creating and maintaining her own brewery. Yet that’s exactly what happens here. A farmer’s daughter fell in love with an Earl’s son. They had shared one romantic moment together before he left for war. But what he left behind was more than just the woman who consumes his thoughts…a surprise awaits him. Harry’s mother wants her son to marry and settle down asap. But Harry is experiencing seconds thought to that marriage promise. The lady is he supposed to marry, talks nonstop. A beauty that she is…but not very good company.

While Harry struggles with his new responsibilities, Pen struggles with her own problems. Pen still loves Harry. But she knows deep that a tenant like could not marry an Earl. Harry is above her station. Accepting that, Pen tries to move forward. Marriage to the vicarage is her option. However, her daughter dismisses that notion. She wants her father and mother to marry…but can a union from opposites classes happen? Or will that only tear down the world she has fought to build up for her herself and her daughter?

What Ales the Earl is entertaining, fresh, and full of good humor. I loved the intensity of the character’s situations. It made for a fun read.  I got to explore rules of society and rules of the heart. When mixed it created a heedy and complicated mixture. One that was worth reading.

 

Review: Wedding the Widow by Jenna Jaxon

Wedding the Widow (The Widows' Club, #2)

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Widowed by the Battle of Waterloo, the ladies of Lyttlefield Park are reentering London society, where they’ll learn how to live—and love—again…

Of all the widows of Lyttlefield Park, Elizabeth Easton seems least likely to remarry. Though many gentlemen would love to get to know the charming Mrs. Easton better, she is devoted to the memory of her late husband. Which is why she’s so shocked to be overtaken by passion during a harvest festival, succumbing to an unforgettable interlude with the handsome Lord Brack.

After enduring years of war, Jemmy, Lord Brack, plans to defer matrimony in favor of carefree pleasure. But who could resist a lifetime with Elizabeth Easton, a woman as marvelously sensual as she is sweet? Yet despite their mutual desire, she refuses to consider his proposal. With scandal looming, and their families bitterly opposed to the match, Jemmy must find a way to convince Elizabeth to risk her wary heart on him—and turn one infamous night into forever.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Wedding the Widow by Jenna Jaxon is a hot historical romance. From the first page, Jenna Jaxon swept me into the plot. A young widow is not in a rush to remarry. But when she met Jem at an event, he never once left her side. She felt an instant pull towards Jem. He was completely a gentleman and never pushed her to far. Elizabeth’s heart still belongs to her former husband. That loss hasn’t left her yet. Jem understood. I liked how well they treated each other and others around them. There were plenty of sexy scenes. Scenes that made me blush as red as a beet and melt to my toes.

However, Jem and Elizabeth seem to always be in company or in a situation that didn’t allow them as much alone time. I was a tad disappointed there. But I could still feel the lust coming off the pages. Instant heat, attraction, and love at first meeting. Neither one planned to marry but it just happened. There are some obstacles that were different than most. I wasn’t expecting the big obstacle but loved how they all bounded together as a group. Truth, anger, love, and a strong HEA are all found, here. Absolutely one of the best romances, I have read.

Review: Santa’s on His Way by Lisa Jackson, Maisey Yates, Stacy Finz, and Nicole Helm

Santa's on His Way

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Open your heart to the holidays with these stories of unexpected love . . . 
 
A BABY FOR CHRISTMAS * Lisa Jackson
The uneventful Christmas Annie McFarlane expected is suddenly anything but. First, there’s the adorable baby left on the snowy doorstep of her Oregon cabin. Second, there’s the extremely attractive, yet extremely angry man claiming to be the father. Liam O’Shaughnessy may be intimidating, but this is one precious gift Annie isn’t giving up so easily . . .

WHAT THE COWBOY WANTS FOR CHRISTMAS * Maisey Yates
When Meg O’Neill’s longtime boyfriend lets her down, again, on Christmas no less, she braves an Oregon blizzard to get to her best friend Noah’s comforting arms. But this time Noah’s not telling her what she wants to hear—he’s telling her the truth, from his heart. And his words just might be the gift Meg’s been wishing for all along.

SNOWED IN * Stacy Finz
Rachel Johnson has found the perfect spot for her second Tart Me Up bakery in Glory Junction, California. Except she’s in fierce competition with hunky bar owner Boden Farmer. Worse, while the icy rivals await the city’s decision, they end up catering the same Christmas Eve mountaintop wedding—and getting snowed in. But sometimes a loss of electricity generates a different kind of heat . . .

A COWBOY WEDDING FOR CHRISTMAS * Nicole Helm
Big city art teacher Lindsay Tyler isn’t just back home in Colorado for her brother’s wedding at the Barton Christmas Tree Farm and Ranch. She’s back for good. She just hasn’t told anyone yet—including Cal Barton, the ex-boyfriend she left behind. Will it take a Christmas miracle for him to welcome her back with open arms? . . .

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Santa on His Way is a heartfelt collection of four romantic stories. Christmas has that magical feeling…and these characters have captured my heart.

In one story, I found a young, brave, yet broken hearted woman. Her one love, aka boyfriend, has let her down for the last time. She immediately goes to her best friend, Noah. Noah has loved Meg since he was seventeen. Nothing has ever stopped his feelings for her. He pushed them aside every time, because Meg was so wrapped up in the other guy. But now, they have a chance at forever. But will the always there Noah be brave enough to accept Meg as his?

The next story, presented me with two rivals. Each one wanting the old saw mill for a restaurant of sorts. One currently owns the town’s brewery and the other is the town’s baker. Then, they get stuck at a wedding reception during a snowstorm.  The cold has a way of bringing out the truth and romance. Can either one settle aside their anger and accept a partnership in both love and business?

The third tale, was about the youngest sibling of a cowboy family wanting to leave her ever demanding family. Lindsey wanted to find herself. But she never once thought how her leaving town affected the one man she loved and left behind. All those years, and Cal still loved her. His anger makes it hard for either one to move forward. But Lindsey isn’t backing down now. Love is worth fighting for…but only if Cal lets her back inside his heart.

The last story, is a about a woman whose husband divorced her. She went through a lot of miscarriages. It’s Christmas time, and Annie is feeling lonely with her dog. Until a noise brings her to her door where she finds a baby left behind. Puzzled, she finds a note addressed to her. The baby belonged to her sister who, couldn’t raise it. And the father didn’t want it. Then, there’s the other man who comes barging onto her doorstep. Liam thinks the baby is his. Nola set him for for murder and then recanted it. But he’s still a suspect to the police. Only Nola knows the absolute truth of the crimes committed. But it will take everything to trace her down and ask the questions. Liam won’t leave without the newborn baby. However, Annie isn’t sure it’s his and won’t let him take the baby away. Both want the baby. Christmas around the corner, a snowstorm, and a baby in the cabin leave for funny ideas. Romance, marriage, and creating a family…but can the characters find the truth and happiness before they lose everything that matters?

Overall, Santa’s on His Way is an amazing collection. I loved each of these romantic stories. Forgiveness, family, and finding love…are major themes. I highly recommend this contemporary set to all readers.

 

 

Review: The Girl From Spaceship Earth by Patricia Ravasio

The Girl from Spaceship Earth

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

The true story of a life intertwined with the utopian ideas of an American genius.

A mind-blowing two-day interview with iconic futurist Buckminster Fuller in 1982 Chicago leads an overeager advertising copywriter to promise she’ll share his urgent messages with the world. She has no idea what she is getting herself into, scarcely understanding what he is talking about.

When his dire predictions come true on America’s worst day (9/11) she must face up to her commitment, which morphs into a fiery obsession thanks to unsettling discoveries about Bucky’s archives further confirming the truth of his warnings. Her outsized passions threaten her relationships and her sanity as she grapples furiously to bring his ideas back into the world.

This heartrending karmic tell-all memoir is about climbing out of comfort zones to find your own voice and make a difference in the world. It also gives readers a charming introduction to the ideas of a long lost genius you’ve probably never heard of.

Rating: 5-stars

Review: 

The Girl From Spaceship Earth is a true story. One that is rare. A man with things to share with the planet ends up giving only one live interview. The young female journalist, ends up breaking her promise. But when what he predicts comes true, she rushes to tell the world. By then, was it too late? Could life be saved? The story held a sad, heartbreaking, yet dangerous outcome. And still we see evidence of those predictions becoming reality. I was deeply engaged with this book. The pages made it impossible to stop reading. These are things our planet needs to hear. Read it, now!

Review: The Whispered Word by Ellery Adams

The Whispered Word (Secret, Book & Scone Society)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

“In New York Times bestselling author Ellery Adams’ intriguing new Secret, Book, and Scone Society novel, Nora Pennington and her fiction loving friends in small-town Miracle Springs, North Carolina, encounter a young woman desperately in need of a new beginning…”
 
Nora Pennington, owner of Miracle Books, believes that a well-chosen novel can bring healing and hope. But she and the other members of the Secret, Book, and Scone Society know that sometimes, practical help is needed too. Such is the case with the reed-thin girl hiding in the fiction section of Nora’s store, wearing a hospital ID and a patchwork of faded bruises. She calls herself Abilene, and though Nora and her friends offer work, shelter, and a supportive ear, their guest isn’t ready to divulge her secrets. But when a customer is found dead in an assumed suicide, Nora uncovers a connection that points to Abilene as either a
suspect—or another target.

Summer’s end has brought other new arrivals to Miracle Springs too. Entrepreneur Griffin Kingsley opens Virtual Genie, a cyber business that unloads people’s unwanted goods for cash. With the town in an economic slump and folks hurting for money, Virtual Genie and its owner are both instantly popular. A patient listener, Griffin dispenses candy to children and strong coffee to adults, and seems like a bona fide gentleman. But Nora’s not inclined to judge a book by its cover. And when a second death hits town, Nora and her intrepid friends must help the new, greenhorn sheriff discern fact from fiction—and stop a killer intent on bringing another victim’s story to a close . . .

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

The Whispered Word by Ellery Adams sets off on another mystery. One that is deeper and more surprising than the previous one.  Nora owns a bookstore and hosts a book club. They gather together as friends and share their secrets. One new addition has secrets that lead to a case. Getting all the details, will cause for more patience than Nora has ever used. Then, there’s the shocking turn of events that made me gasp. Nora ends up doing something to the sheriff to land herself in a cell. Even Nora was surprised she went through with the act. Humor, suspense, and entertainment follow on these pages. I was thrilled with this new journey. Ellery Adams creates a tale to behold. It has just enough to peak my curiosity and send forth in the thickness of the plot. Bold, secretive, and romantic, I recommend this new cozy to all readers.

 

 

Review: Forever Fudge by Nancy Coco

Forever Fudge

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

“Memorable characters, a charming locale, and a satisfying mystery.”–Barbara Allan

When a film crew comes to Mackinac Island, the last thing fudge shop owner Allie McMurphy expects to find is a murder victim . . .

SHOT ON LOCATION

It’s Labor Day weekend, the official end of tourist season, and the beginning of a whole batch of trouble. First, the island is invaded by a TV crew filming a murder mystery pilot, and handsome Hollywood heartthrob Dirk Benjamin needs Allie’s help to prep for his role as local cop Rex Manning. Then, Allie’s bichonpoo Mal sniffs out a real murder in the alley behind the Historic McMurphy Hotel and Fudge Shop, a man shot in the head–with a note challenging amateur sleuth Allie to catch the culprit. Like it or not, the fudge maker has to square off against a crazy killer–but this time she may have bitten off more than she can chew . . .

Praise for Nancy Coco and the Candy-Coated Mysteries

“It’s probably best not to read this while you’re too hungry, as the assorted fudge recipes may send you right to the kitchen.” 
The Oakland Tribune 

“The characters are fun and well-developed, the setting is quaint and beautiful.”
RT Book Reviews

“I really enjoyed this cozy mystery and look forward to reading more in this series.”
Fresh Fiction

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Forever Fudge by Nancy Coco is has all the mystery, suspense, and humor that readers could want. I love Allie. She is the perfect sleuth. Right now, she’s focusing on her crazy busy schedule deflating. But what happens is a movie production causing her all kinds of trouble. Two murders, a deadly killer playing cat-and-mouse games with her, and two men wanting her affection can keep any woman busy.

Nancy Coco is superb with creating a variety of cast members. Her characters are as different as night and day are. I love the quirky, smart, and strong crew. Allie has become my new all time favorite. Her predicament for finding new murder cases to solve is cute. As with each new case, there is bound to be danger, romance, and a lot of funny moments too. I cannot wait to read the next upcoming novel.

 

Review: Hot Winter Nights by Jill Shalvis

Hot Winter Nights by Jill Shalvis

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Who needs mistletoe? 

Most people wouldn’t think of a bad Santa case as the perfect Christmas gift. Then again, Molly Malone, office manager at Hunt Investigations, isn’t most people, and she could really use a distraction from the fantasies she’s been having since spending the night with her very secret crush, Lucas Knight. Nothing happened, not that Lucas knows that — but Molly just wants to enjoy being a little naughty for once…

Whiskey and pain meds for almost-healed bullet wounds don’t mix. Lucas needs to remember that next time he’s shot on the job, which may be sooner rather than later if Molly’s brother, Joe, finds out about them. Lucas can’t believe he’s drawing a blank on his (supposedly) passionate tryst with Molly, who’s the hottest, smartest, strongest woman he’s ever known. Strong enough to kick his butt if she discovers he’s been assigned to babysit her on her first case. And hot enough to melt his cold heart this Christmas.

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

Hot Winter Nights by Jill Shalvis is an interesting read. A young sexy man takes a drink to be polite even though he shouldn’t…ends up in bed with the woman of his dreams. He cannot remember anything from that night. She leads him to believe they had sex. But won’t indulge just how terrible he was…but when they share a kiss that melts them both, he knows for a fact they never had sex. He wouldn’t forget her, or this. The plot quickly got hotter and more entangled with risks. Each one had something to lose. I enjoyed watching as each character let their guards down, melted with desire, and fell in love with each other. Overall, it is a great story.

Review: Consumed by J.R. Ward

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the popular Black Dagger Brotherhood series comes a brand-new novel about arson investigator, Anne Ashburn, who is consumed by her troubled past, her family’s scorched legacy, and her current case: chasing a deadly killer.

Anne Ashburn is a woman consumed…

By her bitter family legacy, by her scorched career as a firefighter, by her obsession with department bad-boy Danny McGuire, and by a new case that pits her against a fiery killer.

Strong-willed Anne was fearless and loved the thrill of fighting fires, pushing herself to be the best. But when one risky decision at a warehouse fire changes her life forever, Anne must reinvent not only her job, but her whole self.

Shattered and demoralized, Anne finds her new career as an arson investigator a pale substitute for the adrenaline-fueled life she left behind. She doesn’t believe she will ever feel that same all-consuming passion for her job again–until she encounters a string of suspicious fires setting her beloved city ablaze.

Danny McGuire is a premiere fireman, best in the county, but in the midst of a personal meltdown. Danny is taking risks like never before and seems to have a death wish until he teams up with Anne to find the fire starter. But Danny may be more than a distraction, and as Anne narrows in on her target, the arsonist begins to target her.

From the creator of the bestselling Black Dagger Brotherhood, get ready for a new band of brothers. And a firestorm.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Consumed by J.R. Ward is draws me in like a moth to a flame. Irresistible to the flame, I couldn’t stop reading this book. Emotionally gripping, hot, and full of risks, this writer captures my full attention. The plot moved quickly. Attitude, loss, grief, and romance fill these pages. I enjoy watching the two siblings give each other shit. It was funny. They obviously care about each other but show it differently than most. Then, there’s the attraction between two firefighters who have a knack for danger. Just as they go on a scene they end up in a situation neither thought they would be in…the reality comes and shakes their world. Sending it breaking into pieces. Their confidence shatters. But with time and a team that still cares, they might just survive…unless someone they trust tries killing them and succeeds. Overall, this book consumes. It takes me in deep and does not let go.

 

Review: Vampires like It Hot by Lynsay Sands

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

New York Times bestselling author Lynsay Sands brings the heat in this new Argeneau novel, as one woman is rescued by an irresistible immortal

“Vampires…”

When Raffaele Notte pulls a barely dressed disoriented woman from the ocean, the last thing he expects is for her to utter that word. The immortal has come to the island resort to help his cousin, but now, it seems there are rogue vampires dining on unsuspecting tourists. And he soon realizes that not only is Jess a target, she’s also the life mate he’s been waiting for…

Vampires are real. Jess would’ve never believed it until she saw them with her own eyes. She knows she has to get off the island, and her gallant rescuer has offered to help. There’s something about Raffaele that’s unlike any man she has ever met, and his touch sends pleasure through her that is beyond all imagining. But when Jess discovers who he really is, will she risk life as she knows it for a chance of forever by his side?

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Vampires like It Hot by Lynsay Sands is another great adventure. Hot, spicy, and hilarious. The Argeneau vampire family get another fun journey to enjoy. A young woman goes to a foreign tropical island as a wedding retreat with her unlikable cousin. What starts out normal ends up going into a dark and fearful territory.

Jess is and her cousin are lured by pirates. Not just actors dressed up as pirates but vampires needing a blood snack. Jess is overcome by desire that is set from one greasy haired vampire who may be her life mate. But she ends up witnessing a horror scene that leaves her swimming in shark infested waters.  That’s where her other possible vampire life mate finds her. Struggling to swim any further, Raffaele rescues the beautiful human. Only he finds out that she’s running from vampirates and is his life mate. Talk about complex situations and tons of heat. Lynsay Sands delivers an outstanding emotional journey and one packed with action to entertain. I was both laughing and falling in love with the characters, even the greasy haired vampirate with his silly vocabulary.  Overall, I highly recommend this paranormal romance to all.

 

Review: The Healing by Linda Byler

The Healing

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

A hopeful story of unexpected love in the midst of illness, pain, and family conflict

John is the youngest of seven boys and is constantly overshadowed by his big brothers who seem to all be stronger, smarter, and better looking than he is. As a teenager, he knows he’s overweight and is sure he’ll never be popular like his brothers are. But those struggles are nothing compared to the battle he is about to fight. After weeks of feeling exhausted, depressed, and achy, he has no idea what’s wrong with him and begins to wonder if he’ll be miserable for the rest of his life. By the time he is finally diagnosed with Lyme disease, his body is failing and his spirits are nearly at rock bottom.

John’s parents and brothers try to help him, but as weeks turn into months with no real sign of improvement, the illness begins to take its toll on all of them. Minor disagreements turn into angry fights and old hurts surface amidst uncertainty and exhaustion. The Amish family that was once so tightly knit is unraveling before John’s eyes.

When John’s older brother Samuel begins dating Lena Zook—John’s eighth grade teacher—he tries to be happy for them, but it’s hard not to feel jealous. With all his health issues, John figures he’ll be lucky if he makes it through rumschpringe at all; he doesn’t dare hope to date anyone as lovely and smart and fun as Lena is.

Determined not to continue burdening his family, John begins to discover a quiet inner strength, even as his body falters. Recovery seems far off, but he nurtures a glimmer of hope that God has not forgotten him. And is it his imagination, or is Lena starting to spend more time with him than she’s spending with Samuel? Torn between following his heart and the fear of tearing his family apart even more, John’s struggles seem to only get more complicated, even as that glimmer of hope fans into flame.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

The Healing by Linda Byler is a Christian novel that grabbed me in quickly. An Amish family once happy and fine, suffers. The youngest Amish boy is constantly picked on by his brothers. None of them understood what he was going through nor how he felt. I felt so much sympathy for John I wanted to hug him. But seeing as I couldn’t, all I could do was cheer and pray for him. His journey is one filled with sadness, shame, guilt, responsibility, and love. God is good. Themes of faith, family, and love are strong. The mother wanted to give up multiple times, when John was suffering. Yet, her husband never let her fall down from her faith. He kept strong holding her up despite the downfalls. I fell in love with the entire family. It was hard not to…I saw them at their best and their worst. No novel, I have read has quite shown me the realistic sides to an Amish family. No one is perfect. We all suffer. How we handle it is where we might differ. Overall, this novel tested my strength.

Review: The Governess Game by Tessa Dare

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

The second unforgettable novel in USA Today bestselling author Tessa Dare’s Girl Meets Duke series.

He’s been a bad, bad rake—and it takes a governess to teach him a lesson.

The accidental governess…

After her livelihood slips through her fingers, Alexandra Mountbatten takes on an impossible post: transforming a pair of wild orphans into proper young ladies. However, the girls don’t need discipline. They need a loving home. Try telling that to their guardian, Chase Reynaud: duke’s heir in the streets and devil in the sheets. The ladies of London have tried—and failed—to make him settle down. Somehow, Alexandra must reach his heart… without risking her own.

The infamous rake…

Like any self-respecting libertine, Chase lives by one rule: no attachments. When a stubborn little governess tries to reform him, he decides to give her an education—in pleasure. That should prove he can’t be tamed. But Alexandra is more than he bargained for: clever, perceptive, passionate. She refuses to see him as a lost cause. Soon the walls around Chase’s heart are crumbling… and he’s in danger of falling, hard.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Tessa Dare has captured my whole heart and soul with this read. I was swept up by the bad guy rep who cares more than he admits about his two little wards. I was amazed that such a playboy could be so sweet. I felt myself melt into puddles every time! Chase thought his was not responsible enough for the girls. Two family members lost their mother was were moved from place to place. No one wanting them. Until Chase…He takes them in despite their bad behavior. There’s more to their behavior than Chase can see. When a sexy clock worker is taken under his care to be the governess, Chase cannot resist her. Alex met Chase in a bookstore. He obviously doesn’t remember her at all. Despite feeling so invisible, Alex takes care of her charges. Both little girls managed to wrap their ways around Alex’s, Chase’s, and my heart. Trouble, mischief, humor, action, and love are filled in this heart melting book. I could not stop reading, The Governess Game. 

 

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