Tag Archives: Emotional

Review: A Dash of Love by Jill Sanders

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Head back to Pride Oregon to find out what some of your favorite Jill Sanders’ characters are up to.

Sara Jordan has finally been given the chance to run The Golden Oar, a restaurant that’s been in her family for generations. But the sexy know-it-all carpenter that her uncle hired to make some changes, keeps getting in her way. She’ll have to use all her skills just to prove that she’s up to the task.

Parker was hired to bring new life to the old building, but he hadn’t expected sparks to fly from the owner’s niece. As a series of mysterious accidents start to plague the job site, he finds himself working one-on-one with the temptress to avoid losing everything.

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

A Dash of Love by Jill Sanders is a sweet romantic temptation. I found the main characters funny, charming, and three-dimensional. Their lives were lonely, sad, and moving slowly until they met each other. Now, their world has just gotten complicated. A young man who lost his only mother figure is now coming back to make his business thrive. Only, he didn’t expect a beautiful minx to tempt him back into relationships. The young woman is working to prove herself. Working hard, determined, and not ready to settle, she soon find a hot tempting carpenter who sparks her insides.

A Dash of Love has melted my heart. The story was realistic. I can see the characters acting like this in real life. Their banters were fun to follow. I couldn’t stop laughing or falling in love with them. The backstories of both Parker and Sarah made me root for them harder. Jill Sanders captured life at both it’s weakest and strongest points. I loved reading, A Dash of Love. Overall, I would highly recommend it others.

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Review: Set the Night on Fire by Laura Trentham

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Cottonbloom is the perfect place for starting over, finding your way back home–and falling head over heels. . .

Ella Boudreaux has a lot to prove to her family, friends, and foes–and to herself. So when her marriage ends she decides to invest her energy and money into a place that brings back some of Ella’s happiest memories: the Abbott brothers’ garage. Maybe, if she puts her mind to it, she can teach skeptical, stubborn Mack Abbott how to make the business a true success. Which would be a lot easier if the hunky mechanic didn’t make her motor run quite so fast…and hot.

Mack was furious when his brother, Ford, sold his share of the business. He’s in no rush to team up with a wealthy divorcee who shows up to the garage in stilettos–and the longest, sexiest legs he’s seen in forever. But Ella’s grit and determination won’t quit…and soon Mack can see that she’s been down a few rough roads herself. Neither Mack nor Ella can deny the fierce attraction that’s revving up between them. Could it be that true love has been in the backseat all along…and they’ve finally found the key?

Rating: 5-stars

Review: 

Set the Night on Fire by Laura Trentham is an exciting romantic read. I loved the fierce protectiveness that Mack feels towards Ella. At first, he didn’t want her anywhere around him, but getting to know her changed all of that. Her determination sparked a fire inside of Mack. One that he tried to diminish but was helpless in shaking off. His attraction towards the beauty only increased. As other characters from the previous books and new ones came onto the scene it only sparked more of an interest to keep on reading. I ended up finishing the entire read in one sitting. Fast-paced packed with action, hot scenes, and humor to make the pages fly by…I was impressed.

Laura Trentham’s latest novel, wasn’t just a hot romance that I could not put down. It went deeper than that. It displayed the family and marriage abuse that Ella went through in her life. It gave me a glimpse into her loss. Losing a family member is never easy. The car mechanic garage meant and reminded Ella of her older brother. It was sentimental value to her. Plus, the brothers that worked it became like family to her. Despite what hell life brought to Ella, she bounced back. She became stronger and more independent. But she was also able to put some trust into the tough as nails mechanic aka Mack. Mack has his own personal struggles as well. I loved the depth and meaning this book brought. It was more than just a romance. It was life. Overall, I would highly recommend this romantic story to all readers.

Review: House of Belonging by Andrea Thome

House of Belonging (Hesse Creek #3)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis: 

Who can we count on? The family we’re born into, or the one we create for ourselves?

Renowned chef Laina Ming walked away from the culinary spotlight and an unhealthy relationship—one that still haunts her a year later. She’s trying to start fresh in the Rocky Mountains, opening a concept restaurant on the banks of the Roaring Fork River, where she hopes she’ll be able to express her passion for food and bury her heartache.

Horse rancher Logan Matthews moved to Aspen to be near his sister and her husband, grateful for his newfound family. Since a chance meeting with Laina the previous summer, Logan’s been enchanted. But she doesn’t want anything to do with him—which makes her all the more appealing.

Despite Laina’s efforts to protect her heart, Logan has been on her mind, too—and he has a way of turning up in the most unexpected places. Can they learn to trust one another and finally find the sense of belonging they’ve both been searching for?

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

House of Belonging by Andrea Thome is so much more than it appears. I thought it was about a woman or women overcoming an obstacle and moving forward. Yes, it was about that. But it had more depth and emotion than I knew. The journey that each character went through to get to where they ended up was heartfelt. I could not be happier. They were so realistic. I felt as if I lived right beside them for years. Sad, funny, and charming-Andrea Thome hooked me. I couldn’t stop reading. One chapter turned into several and then I was finishing the whole book. Love, new beginnings, and a promising future were shown here. I enjoyed it. Overall, I would recommend this inspirational and heart warming tale to fans of Hallmark, Debbie Macomber, and Susan Mallery.

 

Review: The Winter Lodge by Susan Wiggs

The Winter Lodge (Lakeshore Chronicles #2)

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

On the longest night of the year, Jenny Majesky loses everything in a devastating house fire. But among the ashes she finds an unusual treasure hidden amid her grandfather’s belongings, one that starts her on a search for the truth, and on a path toward a life that she never imagined. The Winter Lodge, a remote cabin owned by her half sister on the shores of Willow Lake, becomes a safe refuge for Jenny, where she and local police chief Rourke McKnight try to sort out the mysteries revealed by the fire. But when a blizzard traps them together, Jenny, accustomed to the safe predictability of running the family bakery, suddenly doesn’t feel so secure. For even as Rourke shelters her from the storm outside, she knows her heart is at risk. Now, following her dreams might mean walking away from her one chance at love.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

The Winter Lodge by Susan Wiggs was a heart felt tale about loss, grief, danger, and love. Moving forward and hope for the future were the other themes. The book was realistic. I could see everything that happened-happening in real life. It was emotional. I felt the characters’ pain and fear. Family is a huge thing. Having no parents and losing the grandparents that were like parents to the female protagonist was sad.

Imagine having loved someone yet someone else got between…that middle person died and all that’s left is an open sore. One that doesn’t diminish…but maybe, with a little hope there could be some healing. The pacing was steady. I never got bored while following the characters. The plot intensified as the bond between the protagonists grew. Their love never died…overall, I loved this story. It was sweet, heart breaking, and utter chaos. But it was so good.

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Review: Highland Devil by Hannah Howell

Highland Devil (Murray Family, #22)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

New York Times bestselling author Hannah Howell returns to medieval Scotland where daring and desire stir the passions of the Murray clan…

When a red-haired woman tries to steal Sir Gybbon Murray’s horse on his journey back to the Murray stronghold, he thanks his lucky stars that his horse is a rude lout—and that the pretty thief is not so injured that she can’t tell her tale. He’s no nursemaid to delicate lasses, but Mora Ogilvy is fleeing her ruthless cousins, fearing for her life. And when she tells him of the home they’ve taken from her and the man they say she murdered, Gybbon cannot let such injustice stand.

Mora’s pride demands she take back her lands, but not by risking the lives of this handsome, wicked knight and his family. Still, she needs to recover from her wounds, and staying close to Gybbon in his brother’s keep is a seductive solution. A few weeks at his side will be a sweet memory for her when she returns to fight her own battles. Except the depth of her cousins’ treachery—and the fierceness of Gybbon’s love—may turn her own heart against her plans.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Highland Devil by Hannah Howell is an interesting tale. One where family is set against its own. An evil cousin is set upon killing everyone to get what he wants. And no one has been able to stop him yet…even his own father won’t stop him. That’s when Mora and her younger brother, Andrew, flew for their lives. Their paths soon cross that of one brave highlander, Gybbon. Gybbon immediately seeks to help Mora and her brother against her evil cousin. But the fear, danger, and passion that sparks between keeps them at ends.

The suspense in this historical novel was intense. I was not sure what would have happened to Mora. Several times, I thought both she and Andrew would die. As for her older brothers…I did not see that unexpected twist happening. Fast-paced and brilliant, Hannah Howell plucked my curiosity and kept it. I would recommend this read. It was deeply engaging and emotionally fun to follow. Brave, funny, and strong men racing to help those in danger made my heart melt every time. Highland Devil is just as it sounded. A highland devil was detailed here. Running and finding out why the highland devil wanted the characters dead was a unique mystery. It appeared to be greed but I am still left with wondering if it was simply just because he was a mad man. Or was he?

Review: Double Blind by Iris and Roy Johansen

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

The #1 New York Times bestselling and Edgar Award winning authors are back with an electrifying new novel that will leave your heart racing.

Kendra Michaels, formerly blind and now a hired gun for law enforcement agencies who relies on her razor-sharp powers of observation, is reluctant to help the FBI with the most recent case they’ve brought to her. But then she hears the details: the body was found just blocks away from Kendra’s condo. The young woman was carrying an envelope with Kendra’s name on it, and inside was an SD card with what appears to be an innocuous video of a wedding reception. The woman died trying to get the video to Kendra, but for what purpose? Before Kendra and the FBI can answer that question, the bride is abducted from her suburban home.

And so the hunt is on for a killer whose nightmarish plan is slowly becoming clear. A plan that involves a powerful law firm and a multi-billion dollar corporation. As the body count rises, Kendra joins forces with private investigator Jessie Mercado and agent-for-hire Adam Lynch to stop the plot as it grows ever closer to its terrifying conclusion.

In Double Blind, Iris and Roy Johansen deliver an emotional, gripping new entry in the bestselling Kendra Michaels series.

Praise for Double Blind:

“Magnetic characters and a twisty, suspenseful plot ensure that readers will eagerly anticipate the next installment.” —Publishers Weekly

“When it comes to delivering amazing tales of edge-of-your-seat suspense, team Johansen and Johansen have proven they are unbeatable! Kendra Michaels is an exceptionally compelling protagonist…Get the snacks ready and keep the lights on, for this book will keep you hanging on until the last word!” RT Book Reviews (5 stars)

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Double Blind by both Iris and Roy Johansen is an exciting thriller. A deadly game that could end up worse if not stopped soon. A serial killer is hired by a company to handle problems for them only that the killer goes off the edge and blackmails them. The killer is then able to get away with a lot more than planned. Murders are now being traced to the company and the company can’t control their hired hired any longer.  FBI is introduced into the case when a dead woman has something for someone they know…that’s when the chase really begins…

Kendra Michaels is the lead female character. She is the one the FBI like to work with because of her ability to notice the smallest details quickly. Kendra cannot handle working on cases like the FBI does, because she hates seeing victims’ families suffer. Death is never easy to handle. But now, a dead woman is found with a USB drive containing damaging evidence for her. Only she never knew the victim. It is only a matter of time before the FBI bring her in on the case. Kendra feels obligated to help since the dead woman tried to reach out to her. Other than that she wants noting to do with the case. But that’s where it starts to get complicated. Her former FBI friend that she is attracted to, handles deadly crime stuff. She feels something more for him but she isn’t allowing herself to fall in love. Adam Lynch wants Kendra Michaels as his woman. However, he knows it will be difficult to get to agree. She likes him just as much as he likes her but she won’t open up. Instead, she pushes away from him. The new case is provides a tug of war in their relationship.

Overall, this new novel was suspenseful. I was deeply engaged from the start. Both Iris and Roy Johansen have caught my attention with Kendra Michaels. She is a detective for the FBI in a way. The personality was easy to latch onto as well as like. Kendra is a strong independent woman who won’t let anyone or anything bring her down…Adam Lynch is a cocky good looking man who is smart and deadly to mess with. But when it comes to Kendra he makes mistakes and doesn’t know how to approach her. I felt their push/pull relationship. It was intriguing and sad to follow. Double Blind was fast-paced. It kept me guessing the whole way. I highly recommend it to all.

Review: The Forbidden Brother by Joanne Rock

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

One night of passion, mistaken identity… and unmistakable consequences! Jillian Ross craves adventure. And she gets it when her new career as a film scout leads her to the ranch owned by the wealthy Wyoming McNeills. Giving in to temptation with the playboy McNeill causes havoc–since it’s actually his reclusive twin, Cody, she’s fallen for! Now she’s pregnant–and still can’t get enough of her reluctant rancher. Is this adventure just beginning?

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

The Forbidden Brother by Joanne Rock is amazing! I was left begging for more. I want to read every book by this writer. Romance, check. Emotional journey, check. Hot heroes, check. Realistic situations, double check. This tale showed how a family reunites under trouble, stress, and how they can set aside their differences. Themes of responsibility, love, and family are shown throughout the pages. Being the older sibling, the main alpha hero has a lot to live up to, as well as balancing…sometimes, it’s just too much. Struggles of battling a cancer and fighting to regain her confidence, the heroine, is a breath of fresh air. Her determination to live life the fullest was felt. The entire plot was heartfelt.

In this latest novella, I was immediately taken with both main characters. Cody is the oldest heir and the most responsible. Lost his mother while young and fighting to be strong for his family. Family responsibility can be a heavy weight. So, when opportunity arrives in a sassy yet vibrant woman, Jillian, he is all for letting go. Jillian is all for a little flirtation that soon leads to a full seduction. Cody and Jillian’s passion turns into something more…something deeper. Jillian ends up getting a gift that she never thought she would ever get in life. Cody didn’t think he could love someone after being hurt in the past. Yet both seem to find their dreams in each other. The Forbidden Brother by Joanne Rock is full of passion, sparks, and adventure. Overall, I would recommend it to readers everywhere.

Review: The Orphan’s Wish by Melanie Dickerson

 

The Orphan's Wish (Hagenheim, #8)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

From the streets to an orphanage in a faraway kingdom, Aladdin has grown up alone. Until he meets Kirstyn. With a father who is the duke of Hagenheim and a mother who is the patroness of the orphanage where Aladdin lives, Kirstyn is a member of the most powerful family in the land . . . and way out of his league. Despite the difference in their stations, Aladdin quickly becomes Kirstyn’s favorite companion for taking walks in the forest, and their childhood friendship grows along with them.

Through his scrappy skills, intelligence, and hard work, Aladdin earns a position serving in the duke’s house. But he knows it isn’t enough to grant him his one desire: Kirstyn’s hand in marriage. If he hopes to change his station in life and feel worthy of marrying Kirstyn, he must leave Hagenheim to seek his fortune.

But once Aladdin leaves, no one is around to protect Kirstyn, and the greedy men desperate to take advantage of her father’s wealth take notice. Now, more than Aladdin’s background stands in the way of the future he’s worked so hard to obtain. His only hope is to rescue Kirstyn and somehow manage to win her hand as well.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

The Orphan’s Wish by Melanie Dickerson is another form of Aladdin. This one has so much more meaning and depth than the original Aladdin story. Yes, not stealing is the main moral of the story, but it holds more emotional luggage. Themes of friendship, love, and hope are discovered here. Somehow, a weave of Christian influence has been swept into the tale. It created a hopeful plot with characters searching for peace of mind and heart. Some violence is found in the book. Violence such as theft, bullying, and child abuse are mentioned. However, it is so low and almost non-existent.

Aladdin grew up knowing loss, grief, bullying, and theft. He has always felt ashamed of himself. One day, he sees young Kirstyn and they instantly become friends. Their friendship blossoms and as they grew older it turned into something much more. An attraction formed between a wealthy lady and an orphaned abused boy.  Aladdin felt the pressure of not being able to give his lady, Kirstyn what she deserves. So, he raised himself up the ladder and worked hard to provide her with a good home and a happy life. But will it be enough? Together, they help each other and create a happiness that is hard to ignore. I found this novel to be sweet, engaging, and heartfelt.

Review: Dinner with Edward by Isabel Vincent

Dinner with Edward: A Story of an Unexpected Friendship

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

When Isabel meets Edward, both are at a crossroads: he wants to follow his late wife to the grave, and she is ready to give up on love. Thinking she is merely helping Edward’s daughter–who lives far away and has asked her to check in on her nonagenarian dad in New York–Isabel has no idea that the man in the kitchen baking the sublime roast chicken and light-as-air apricot soufflé will end up changing her life.

As Edward and Isabel meet weekly for the glorious dinners that Edward prepares, he shares so much more than his recipes for apple galette or the perfect martini, or even his tips for deboning poultry. Edward is teaching Isabel the luxury of slowing down and taking the time to think through everything she does, to deconstruct her own life, cutting it back to the bone and examining the guts, no matter how messy that proves to be.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Dinner with Edward shows that life can be unappreciated at times. With work and everything else pulling the characters’ attention away…some of life’s greatest moments pass by them. Lost love and never having been loved, are two stories followed here. Life is messy, complex, and uncertain at times. That too, is shown here. Sometimes, a purpose is needed for some to move forward and that is exactly what Edward has found. Isabel is at that crossroads point in her life where she felt like something she wanted is missing. With Edward around, she has gotten to enjoy life more so and forget a little more about not having a love.

Isabel Vincent’s novel, is heartfelt. I got to savor the cooking, friendship, and life’s lessons through the eyes of the characters. Each one had his and her own problems. But when they meet, they ended up changing each others’ life. I loved how each one gave and took from the other in equal amounts. Their blossoming friendship helped heal their wounds. It also gave them a renewed purpose in their lives. Moving forward after losing a love one and feeling old and lonely only to have found a good friend to share life with was sweet. I cried for both characters. Isabel is charming and middle-aged. I was able to relate to her issues easily. Never being loved truly has left her feeling sad. Edward is a fabulous cook, who made me mouth water with his recipes. His way of making sure Isabel is fine, tugged at my heart. They had a way of making me fall in love. Realistic characters, good plot, and emotional journeys inside made this a must read for me. Overall, I recommend Dinner with Edward to all readers.

Review: Built to Last by Julie Ann Walker

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Masterful, mysterious, and completely ruthless, Jamin “Angel” Agassi joined the Black Knights Inc. after a mission-gone-wrong forced him to undergo extensive plastic surgery and change his name. He’s going to bring down the world’s worst crime syndicate, and hopefully keep Sonya Butler, a love from his past, from discovering who he really is…

When a dark-eyed stranger gets caught up in Sonya’s latest mission, she starts to question all her hard-won instincts. Something about Angel tells her he’s more than he seems, and sometimes, when she least expects it, he reminds her of a man she used to know. As the bullets fly, she realizes that in love and war nothing is ever what it seems…

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Julie Ann Walker’s latest novel, Built to Last, is one hell of romantic suspense tale. Inside, I got to follow a strong yet determined man to bring down an evil force. But in doing so he loses his identity and goes undercover. However, he’s not the only one…his former love, Sonya, does the same thing. Thinking she lost him, she went undercover to bring down the bad guys. She still loved Angel. Angel has not forgotten her either and is doing all he can to accomplish his mission, keep his love safe, and get them out of there alive.

I immediately got lost within this world of fiction. Built to Last, is one emotional journey that I won’t ever forget. The characters were so real. Charming, strong, and clever…it was hard not to love them. The book’s title described Sonya’s and Angel’s love perfectly. Despite the danger, the risks, and the final outcome-whatever that will be-their love remained intact. Priceless…a romance that wrapped its way into my heart and pulled me deep into its fast-paced plot. This read had so much action and surprises, I was constantly guessing. Overall, I highly recommend this hot book to readers worldwide.

Review: The Love Letter by Rachel Hauck

The Love Letter

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Wedding Dress comes a story of long-lost love and its redemption in future generations.

Romance has never been actress Chloe Daschle’s forte—in life or on screen. But everyone knows who to call for a convincing death scene . . . and it might be killing her career.

When Chloe is given a peek at the script for an epic love story, she decides to take her destiny into her own hands and request an audition for the lead female role, Esther Kingsley. The compelling tale, inspired by family lore and a one-page letter from the colonial ancestor of scriptwriter Jesse Gates, just might break her out of this career-crippling rut. Jesse would rather write about romance than live through it after his past relationship ended in disaster. But once on-set together, the chemistry between Jesse and his leading lady is hard to deny.

Centuries earlier, in the heart of the Revolutionary War, Hamilton Lightfoot and Esther Longfellow wrote their saga off the silver screen. Esther’s Loyalist father opposes any relationship with Hamilton, but Esther must face her beloved father’s disapproval and the dangers of war in order to convince Hamilton of their future together. Hamilton has loved Esther for years, and on the eve of battle pens the love letter she’s always wanted—something straight from the heart.

Set in stunning upcountry South Carolina, The Love Letter is a beautifully-crafted story of the courage it takes to face down fear and chase after love, even in the darkest of times. And just maybe, all these generations later, love can come home in a way not even Hollywood could imagine.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

The Love Letter by Rachel Hauck is a wonderful engaging story. It takes from the past and brings it to the present…and as for the future, it’s up to the present day couple to figure out their hearts. I love a good romance and a historical tale. Rachel Hauck gave me both of these worlds in this one book of hers.

The whole love letter from the past theme worked. It was fun to follow along the past characters’ lives as well as what was happening to both Jesse and Chloe. This present day couple, had this give and take tension and built up passion that was it for me. I enjoyed their personalities and getting to know them. Their story made me want to care, want to know more about them, and sucked me in heart and soul. Overall, yes, I would recommend this deeply emotional love story to all.

Review: Where Hope Begins by Catherine West

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

In the aftermath of her husband’s act of adultery and abandonment, Savannah must finally face the ghosts that haunt her and discover for herself whether authentic faith, grace, and ultimate healing really do exist.

When her husband of twenty-one years leaves her, Savannah Barrington believes she’s lost almost everything she’s ever loved. With her daughter in college and her son in boarding school, Savannah retreats to her parents’ lake house in the Berkshires, where hope and healing come in the form of an old woman’s wisdom, a little girl’s laughter, a touch of magic, and a handsome man who’s willing to risk his own heart to prove she’s still worth loving.

But when her husband asks to reconcile, Savannah is faced with the hardest challenge of all: Forgiving the unforgivable. Somehow she must find freedom from the chains of their past and move forward, or face an unknown future without him.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Where Hope Begins by Catherine West is one of the most heart wrenching tales ever. I was quickly absorbing this novel and the characters were like real people to me. Their struggles, sadness, hope, and disappointment scratched at my heart. Leaving behind tiny marks. Love is so powerful it can destroy everything the main character believes in or gives her the strength to find her way through it all. It appeared that God left the woman featured in this story. Yet as I dug further, that became less true. Sometimes our paths get distorted and lost along the way. Then, they become clear again. But until we can see clearly, patience and hope is required.

Savannah lost her husband of twenty years due to common issues that most couples face. Loss, grief, and broken marriages. But what they had before their loss and grief was love for each other. And faith in God. However, that all came crashing down when they suffered and lost their way. Savannah lost her faith when her husband broke her heart. Not knowing what to do or where to go, she stumbled like a lost soul in a desert storm. Then, hope came in the form of Brock and his daughter. Together they help Savannah heal and find the strength and peace in her life once more. Overall, I loved this story. It felt realistic and was engaging from the beginning. It was easy to relate and connect with all the characters. In the end, I recommend this stunning emotional journey to all readers.

Review: Love and Ruin by Paula Mclain

Love and Ruin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

The bestselling author of The Paris Wife returns to the subject of Ernest Hemingway in a novel about his passionate, stormy marriage to Martha Gellhorn—a fiercely independent, ambitious young woman who would become one of the greatest war correspondents of the twentieth century

In 1937, twenty-eight-year-old Martha travels alone to Madrid to report on the atrocities of the Spanish Civil War and becomes drawn to the stories of ordinary people caught in devastating conflict. She also finds herself unexpectedly—and uncontrollably—falling in love with Hemingway, a man already on his way to becoming a legend. In the shadow of the impending Second World War, and set against the tumultuous backdrops of Madrid, Finland, China, Key West, and especially Cuba, where Martha and Ernest make their home, their relationship and professional careers ignite. But when Ernest publishes the biggest literary success of his career, For Whom the Bell Tolls, they are no longer equals, and Martha must make a choice: surrender to the confining demands of being a famous man’s wife or risk losing Ernest by forging a path as her own woman and writer. It is a dilemma that will force her to break his heart, and her own.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Love and Ruin by Paula Mclain is the saddest yet heartfelt story of two people. Ernest Hemingway and Martha Gellhorn were so in love with each other yet so broken. Both placed their careers over their relationship. Every time they got back together and fell apart again, it broke another piece of what was left of their hearts. I felt the love they felt when together. But the two were too stubborn too fierce to fit perfectly together. Like two jagged puzzle pieces that fit but won’t work due to chipped edges. The title fit this book in every way. Their love was ruined from the beginning. It tore them further apart then bringing them closer. Career obsessed and workaholics neither one wanted to sacrifice their work for their love. Truly, a sad story all around…overall, I recommend this literary novel to all readers. It was entertaining to follow.

Review: Arms of Mercy by Ruth Reid

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

He lost her once to a rash decision.

He will not lose her again.

On the eve of a new year, Catherine Glick is expecting her bu of five years to propose. Instead, the unexpected arrival of an old boyfriend, Elijah, sends her life spiraling out of control. When a rash decision damages her current relationship, Catherine leaves for Florida to work in her cousin’s bakery—anything to flee the source of her shame.

Elijah Graber knows he hurt Catherine when he left their Amish district six years ago. He’s determined to explain his actions, even if it means following her to Florida. Perhaps their two-day bus trip together will provide enough time for him to make his case and win her back.

Just when Elijah is starting to tear down the walls Catherine has built, their bus skids on an icy road—and amid the mayhem and tragedy that follow, Catherine disappears. Elijah’s friends urge him to prepare for the worst, but Elijah holds on to his hope in God and refuses to give up his search for Catherine. With supernatural nudging from the most unexpected places, Elijah sets out to find the love he once lost—no matter the cost.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Arms of Mercy by Ruth Reid is an emotional journey. It tugged at my heart strings all the way. Two young Amish people fell in love but things didn’t go as planned. Hurt and embarrassed, one of them runs away from their current life. Only this time, the other one isn’t going to give up…

Catherine loved Elijah until he hurt her emotionally. She has then moved on with her life. Currently romantically involved with another Amish man, Catherine has been waiting for love. What she doesn’t realize is that her heart was still with Elijah. Then, embarrassed by what happens to her next, she flees. Unexpectedly, Elijah meets her and from there the story grows complicated, heartbreaking, and sweet.

Elijah broke his love’s heart. Hoping to make mends…he finds that his love never ended for her. Just being with Catherine makes him happy. Things are going well, until tragedy strikes them both. Loss, grief, and forgiveness are major themes of this novel. I was so engaged in both characters’ lives I felt like I was there with them. They made me hope and cheer for them both. The ending was wonderful. I wasn’t disappointed with this read. Overall, I highly recommend it to all Christian readers.

Review: Evokations by Hawkins

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:
EVOKATIONS is a spiritual awakening, a term I’ve coined to implement the meditative healing of America’s very soul.
The thoughts and emotions conjured EVOKE figurative pillars of esoteric collaboration where semantics, style, and purpose adjoin feelings within the principal scope one calls the promise of TODAY.
Therefore, one can internalize, as free will demonstrates, that Humans, Nubians, plus Oceanic and Stellar Beings alike, shall literarily grasp at the ideological straws of peace and compassion for the mind, through the self, and ultimately counteract the various negativities which LIE within current earthly cerebral and logistical illusion. 

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Evokations by Hawkins is an easy read. It’s a beautiful collection of prose on various subjects that intermingle with each other. Themes such as peace, compassion, free will and many others. Humanity shines through each piece. This collection of poetry is different than what I normally read but it only takes minutes to go through the book. A calmness reigns as I went through it. There’s a religious theme that centralizes everything written here. I thought it was well-done. Overall, Evokations is an entertaining book that I recommend to all.

Review: Before and Again by Barbara Delinsky

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

From Barbara Delinsky, the New York Times bestselling author of Blueprints and Sweet Salt Air, a brand-new novel about a woman in hiding finding the courage to face the world again.

Mackenzie Cooper took her eyes off the road for just a moment but the resulting collision was enough to rob her not only of her beloved daughter but ultimately of her marriage, family, and friends—and thanks to the nonstop media coverage, even her privacy. Now she lives in Vermont under the name Maggie Reid, in a small house with her cats and dog. She’s thankful for the new friends she’s made—though she can’t risk telling them too much. And she takes satisfaction in working as a makeup artist at the luxurious local spa, helping clients hide the visible outward signs of their weariness, illnesses, and injuries. Covering up scars is a skill she has mastered.

Her only goal is to stay under the radar and make it through her remaining probation. But she isn’t the only one in this peaceful town with secrets. When a friend’s teenage son is thrust into the national spotlight, accused of hacking a powerful man’s Twitter account, Maggie is torn between pulling away and protecting herself—or stepping into the glare to be at their side. As the stunning truth behind their case is slowly revealed, Maggie’s own carefully constructed story begins to unravel as well. She knows all too well that what we need from each other in this difficult world is comfort. But to provide it, sometimes we need to travel far outside our comfort zones.

From a multimillion-selling master of women’s fiction, Before and Again is a story of the relationships we find ourselves in—mothers and daughters, spouses and siblings, true companions and fair-weather friends—and what kind of sacrifices we are or aren’t willing to make to sustain them through good times and bad.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Before and Again by Barbara Delinsky is a fast paced plot. The story is about a family’s life that gets turned upside down when they loose their only daughter. A five-year-old girl, dead on impact of another car hitting them. The mother was driving the car. Since then, life has beennothing but hell for the parents. A divorce, separation, guilt, shame, and grief immediately consumed me. I felt an instant sympathy for the family, especially the mother. It was intense. Sad, horrifying, and just one big emotionally charged journey. What started out as a sad and dark road, soon proved to hold some hope and light for this couple. I loved how realistic and how I was shown what was happening.

The situations were not easy but I could easily see all of this happening in real life. It’s difficult to lose a loved one, especially one that was so young and in the mother’s care at the time…the physical and emotional trauma would be hard. Yet Barbara Delinsky showed that there is always a light at the end of the long dark tunnel. We may lose ourselves but not all is lost. There is hope for a future…overall, I would recommend this to readers everywhere.

 

Review: Send Down the Rain by Charles Martin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Allie’s second husband is killed tragically when his 18-wheeler crashes into the rocks near their home in Cape San Blas–the tanker was full of fuel and the explosion could be seen on overhead satellites. She’d already lost the beloved waterfront restaurant her parents started and now losing her husband, no matter how unfulfilling their marriage was, might just push her over the edge.

Joseph’s time in Vietnam left him with scars that never seemed to heal. No matter how he’s tried to love or what he’s tried to do since then, he can’t pull himself out of the wreckage of his former life. His trust and security shaken, he isolates himself in a cabin. But every morning, he faithfully pours two cups of coffee, drinking his while he sits with the second, and then pouring out the full cup.

It’s no small coincidence that Joseph found a mother and her two young children lost in the woods near his cabin. Or that when he helps them return to family in Florida, he’s near enough to see that explosion. Near enough to know it’s close to home. Near enough to know that his childhood sweetheart needs him.

The years have built so much distance between them, but it’s the secrets that may be their final undoing. Send Down the Rain reminds us of the beauty of truth . . . and the power of love to wash away the past.

Rating:  5-stars

Review:

Send Down the Rain by Charles Martin is another brilliant tale. I love this writer’s work. His characters are three-dimensional and their situations are written in a way that made me feel like I was there. This romance saga brings forth action, danger, and secrets. A man comes back from danger only to relive it back home. His long held love is placed in a deadly situation and it’s up to him to help save her.

Allie is a mother of two kids when she loses her husband. Loss, grief, and danger will only add to her troubling heart and situation. Then, comes a former friend, one who can help her. Only there are roadblocks that both she and Joseph need to get through, if they want to find happiness. Right now, survival is important.

Joseph is struggling with his own demons when he finds a woman in trouble. This woman happens to be someone he really cares about, and he won’t be letting her go. But there are things he has to figure out first. The more time he spends with her, the more he wants to keep her with him.

Charles Martin is a talented writer. I was hooked. His latest piece was just as great as his previous books. Amazing characters, emotional attachments, and a suspenseful plot is what I got and liked. Overall, I would highly recommend Send Down the Rain to all readers.

 

Review: The Woman Behind the Waterfall by Lenoroa Meriel

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Heartbreak and transformation in the beauty of a Ukrainian village

For seven-year old Angela, happiness is exploring the lush countryside around her home in western Ukraine. Her wild imagination takes her into birds and flowers, and into the waters of the river.

All that changes when, one morning, she sees her mother crying. As she tries to find out why, she is drawn on an extraordinary journey into the secrets of her family, and her mother’s fateful choices.

Can Angela lead her mother back to happiness before her innocence is destroyed by the shadows of a dark past?

Beautiful, poetic and richly sensory, this is a tale that will haunt and lift its readers.

“A strange and beautiful novel” – Esther Freud, author of Mr Mac and Me, Hideous Kinky, Peeless Flats

“Readers looking for a classic tale of love and loss will be rewarded with an intoxicating world” – Kirkus Reviews

Rating: 3.5-stars

Review:

The Woman Behind the Waterfall by Leonora Meriel is a deep emotional tale. One that reads like poetry. It was a bit too slow and stretched out for my tastes when it comes to the pacing. However, the story presented was interesting. Reading this novel, made me sad. It felt like everything was crashing down around the mother and daughter. The mother made some wrong choices and feels regret. Her daughter is a ray of sunshine and innocence. Their love for each other is all they have. This book was different than what I usually read. Not exactly what I expected but unique. Overall, those looking for an emotional yet strong theme on family may love reading this.

Review: Laird of the Black Isle by Paula Quinn

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

This Highlander will risk everything to find his daughter…

Lachlan MacKenzie has nothing left to lose since his wife and daughter were killed. But when a shadowy figure reveals his little girl might still be alive, Lachlan will do whatever it takes to find her—even abduct a lass from the MacGregor clan for an exchange. Being caught would mean certain death. But the laird of the Black Isle won’t let anything—or anyone—interfere with his mission…not even his beautiful, stubborn captive.

Even his heart

All Mailie MacGregor wants is to return home to her family. And the Highland beast who captured her can go to the devil. Her plan: to thwart him at any cost and win her freedom. But she never expected to be so drawn to the fierce warrior and the desire in his eyes.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Laird of the Black Isle by Paula Quinn is a romance that pulled at my heart stings. A warrior who lost his family while away from home, lives in isolation. Until a messenger comes, bearing news that his boss has word of his daughter’s life. Lachlan diminished the news but his heart couldn’t ignore the possiblity that his daughter may still be alive. All he has to do, is kidnap a MacGregor clan woman and give her to a monster. Yet, even that plan has flaws…

Lachlan is a tough man who has had to endure many demons. While on a journey, his wife and Home were burned to the ground. His daughter was thought to be dead as well. Lachlan distanced himself from others but his heart of gold never stopped him. He helped feed his clan and still did whatever he could for them. No matter the distance he put between him and his clan, Lachlan still earned respect from everyone. A grizzly bear with a good heart. A heavy heart full of woe. Until her kidnapped her…a woman who got under his skin and into his heart…

Mailie MacGregor is a strong woman from a fierce warrior clan. They hover around her like guards all day and night. When they all least expect it, a stranger kidnaps her. Taking her away from everyone only to soon hand her over to the very man she fears. But Mailie is more potent than either she nor Lachlan deem she is. Her presence causes chaos for the fearless warrior. She ends up defeating the walls he has built to protect himself. Mailie is his light…in his dark world. But then, there’s her heart falling to him when she would hate him…

Laird of the Black Isle is funny, charming, and full of action. Themes of family, faith, and second chances are seen here. The pages enchanted me from the beginning. Two heroes who have tugged and pulled at my heart. Until, I have fallen in love with their story. Danger, intrigue, and happy endings are inside this novel. Overall, I highly recommend this Highland romance to all.

Review: The Next Best Thing by Kristan Higgins

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Lucy Lang isn’t looking for fireworks…

She’s looking for a nice, decent man. Someone who’ll mow the lawn, flip chicken on the barbeque, teach their future children to play soccer. But most important… someone who won’t inspire the slightest stirring in her heart…or anywhere else. A young widow, Lucy can’t risk that kind of loss again. But sharing her life with a cat named Fat Mikey and the Black Widows at the family bakery isn’t enough either. So it’s goodbye to Ethan, her hot but entirely inappropriate “friend with privileges” and hello to a man she can marry.

Too bad Ethan Mirabelli isn’t going anywhere. As far as he’s concerned, what she needs might be right under her nose. But can he convince her that the next best thing can really be forever?

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

The Next Best Thing by Kristan Higgins is a sweet yet steady contemporary romance. I enjoyed the themes of friendship, family, and forgiving. Other themes were widowhood, death, and grief. I cannot imagine loosing a loved one or how I would be able to move forward from that kind of loss. But with family and friends, anything is possible. But the character has to be willing to let down her guard and accept fate.

Lucy Lang has always wanted marriage and kids. But she lost her husband not too long after they married. That left Lucy alone, miserable, and widowed. She felt like widowhood is a curse in her family. Every woman older than her has lost their husbands. Widowhoodseems to be their curse. Except most of them were able to have kids before they lost their loved ones. Unlike alucy who has nothing but memories to hold of her late husband. It’s been years and she still cannot let go. Until Lucy’s younger sister gives birth to a baby. Holding the baby made Lucy want more in life.

Her plan is to find someone to love her and give her what she wants in a partner. But she does not want to fall in love with the man.

There’s nothing more fun than watching a perfect plan go to pieces.

Ethan is the younger brother of Lucy’s late husband. Ethan and Lucy got along well, in fact, too well. Until the moment Lucy held her sister’s baby, their perfect no strings attached relationship ends. Lucy tells Ethan that they cannot have sex anymore because she wants to find a husband. Ethan has loved Lucy for a long time. Lucy has never realized that nor does she until it’s almost too late…

Cutting off their relationship and trying to be just friends is tough. Ethan starts to treat Lucy like a regular everyday chic. Lucy feels like Ethan has dumped her…but it was her who dumped him. When he starts hanging around women, the jealousy breaks out.

Lucy loves Ethan but thinks he isn’t perfect for her.

Ethan has been therefor Lucy every time and always.

When Lucy starts to date men, things get funny. Some men are just not that great of a match. Both Ethan and Lucy have jealous issues and are starting to realize what they had…or could have if they open up to each other.

The Next Best Thing is funny, sad, and real. Some parts made me laugh so hard while other moments I cried my eyes out. There was always this strong push and pull between Lucy and Ethan. I could not get enough of them and their craziness. Lucy gets into so much trouble that Ethan has to come save her butt every time. He was the closet thing to a perfect knight in shinning armor. Cheesy, feel good, and romantic…this novel almost reminded me of The Big Fat Greek Wedding movie. Overall, I recommend this contemporary romance to all.

 

 

Review: Trumpets of Jericho by J. Michael Dolan

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

The Trumpets of Jericho is the first book, and only novel, devoted in its entirety to one of the more remarkable if lesser-known stories of the Holocaust–the defiant 1944 Jewish armed revolt at the Nazi death camp Auschwitz– and the just as inspiring account of the four young female conspirators arrested and savagely tortured by the Gestapo during the investigation that followed.

As one of the architects of the rebellion, the 22-year-old Roza Robota, arguably the greatest Jewish heroine to come out of the Holocaust yet little remembered today, is brought to vivid and long-overdue life. Meet her and the rest of the heroes, and villains, in this epochal saga that will both thrill and horrify you at the heights and depths our unpredictable kind is capable of reaching.

In Trumpets, the historian, J. Michael Dolan has produced a work that he believes will stir you as deeply as its subject has him. In conjunction with bringing this epic tale to light, he explores, among other themes, religion and the existence of God, the psychology of genocide, friendship and romantic love, sexual and other pathologies, the nature of good and evil, right and wrong.

Above all, he shows how the most monstrous crime ever committed was in the end no match for the indomitability, the grandeur of the human spirit.

“As moving as Schindler’s List, horrific as Son of Saul, heroic as The Grey Zone… an adventure of a book destined itself for Hollywood.” –Raja-Rao Literary Endowment

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

Trumpets of Jericho by J. Michael Dolan is a fascinating account of World War II. The darkest time period in history. I am a huge fan on anything that shows me what it was like during that time era. The horrors of what people went through was an emotional journey unlike any other. I loved how historian, J. Michael Dolan, used both fictional and real characters for his book. It was easy to follow along. Loss, grief, and death followed every page. The plot was engaging. It portrayed a realistic telling of those events in 1944. I greatly appreciated how much history and research the writer did. It was like being teleported back in time. A  time full of dangerous, deadly, and intense situations. Danger existed everywhere back then.

Trumpets of Jericho, is a must read  for all. It is both an educational and entertaining story. S much history to relive and remember. Plus, there are some heroic figures I do not remember studying in school and have learned by reading this novel. One such heroine, was Roza Roberta.   I was able to connect with her immediately. She fought against the wrongs of this horror from the Holocaust. She was a strong character that I really liked. The story took me straight back to Auschwitz, known as the death camp. I cried reading this…It was well-told. I can see this historical novel being a bestselling movie one day. I would so watch it! There are multiple themes associated with the crimes committed during this era. It was interesting to read. Overall, I recommend this powerful story, Trumpets of Jericho, to all readers.

 

 

Review: The Boy at the Door by Alex Dahl

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

This riveting psychological suspense debut by Alex Dahl asks the question, “how far would you go to hold on to what you have?”

Cecilia Wilborg has it all–a loving husband, two beautiful daughters, and a gorgeous home in an affluent Norwegian suburb. And she works hard to keep it all together. Too hard…

There is no room for mistakes in her life. Even taking home a little boy whose parents forgot to pick him up at the pool can put a crimp in Cecilia’s carefully planned schedule. Especially when she arrives at the address she was given
and finds an empty, abandoned house…

There’s nothing for Cecilia to do but to take the boy home with her, never realizing that soon his quiet presence and knowing eyes will trigger unwelcome memories from her past–and unravel her meticulously crafted life…

Rating: 3.5-stars

Review:

The Boy at the Door by Alex Dahl is a psychological mystery more so than a thriller. Yes, it’s dark. But it has more psychological issues than frightening tones. I found this novel to be more filled with suspense. Every page kept me guessing. I couldn’t figure it out…and I am still left guessing what really happened. Two women have their lives completely tangled and brought upside down…their families have gone through secrets, lies, and deceptions. Cecilia is a tightly controlled woman who breaks apart when her perfect life breaks apart. Who knew picking up a child, would be the start to a hellish nightmare. I did not feel any fear with this tale. It swept me up deeper into the inner turmoils of each woman. Annika is a woman whose life was the darkest and most intense. She was like a shadow lurking on every page. Their stories are so sad. I felt their pain as if it were my own. The emotional journey was well-done.

Review: Pelican Point by Irene Hannon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

A crumbling lighthouse is not part of the inheritance Army doctor Ben Garrison expects to claim when he journeys to Hope Harbor. Fresh out of the service, he wants only to unload the tower of bricks, decompress from years of treating battlefield trauma, and prepare to launch his civilian career.

Hope Harbor Herald editor Marci Weber has other ideas. She may not be a Hope Harbor native, but the small Oregon seaside town has become home–and she’s determined to save the Pelican Point landmark.

Sparks fly as the two go head to head over the fate of the lighthouse. But when they start to cooperate, a different kind of fire ignites. And as they work together, might Hope Harbor heal the hearts of these two romance-wary souls?

Bestselling author Irene Hannon invites readers back to their favorite town for a story that will light a beacon of hope within their hearts.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Pelican Point by Irene Hannon is a nice clean read. It is a story of one grandson who loss his grandfather and inherits a lighthouse that nobody wants, ncluding him. Then, there is the cat he tried to save only to get scratched up, the police called on him, and a determined female reporter wanting a story from him. Ben Garrison is an easy character to like and connect with…his emotional journey sucked me into the story. Sad, entertaining, and hopeful, this novel was good. I felt everything Ben did.  It was like I was there personally watching it all unfold. Overall, I recommend this sweet heartfelt tale to all readers.

Review: Louisiana Catch by Sweta Vikram

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

A grieving daughter and abuse survivor must summon the courage to run a feminist conference, trust a man she meets over the Internet, and escape a catfishing stalker to find her power.
Ahana, a wealthy thirty-three-year-old New Delhi woman, flees the pain of her mother’s death, and her dark past, by accepting a huge project in New Orleans, where she’ll coordinate an annual conference to raise awareness of violence against women. Her half-Indian, half-Irish colleague and public relations guru, Rohan Brady, who helps Ahana develop her online presence, offends her prim sensibilities with his raunchy humor. She is convinced that he’s a womanizer.

Meanwhile, she seeks relief from her pain in an online support group, where she makes a good friend: the mercurial Jay Dubois, who is also grieving the loss of his mother. Louisiana Catch is an emotionally immersive novel about identity, shame, and who we project ourselves to be in the world. It’s a book about Ahana’s unreliable instincts and her ongoing battle to determine whom to place her trust in as she, Rohan, and Jay shed layers of their identities.

Louisiana Catch is a triumph. In Ahana, Sweta Vikram has created an unforgettable character, strong, wise, and deeply human, who’ll inspire a new generation struggling to come to terms with their identity in a world of blurring identities.” –KARAN BAJAJ, New York Times bestselling author, The Yoga of Max’s Discontent

“In Louisiana Catch, Sweta Vikram brings life to the complex human rights issue of violence against women. Through one woman’s journey to make sense of her past and ultimately heal, Vikram shows us that yoga can reconnect us to ourselves, and that by empowering others, we transform our own lives.” –ZOE LEPAGE, Founder, Exhale to Inhale

Louisiana Catch perfectly captures what it means to be human in a digital world, where support groups meet online, love interests flirt on Twitter, and people get confused with personas. Equal parts tender and playful, moving and hopeful, Vikram’s prose connects us with timeless truths about grief and redemption in a satisfyingly modern way.” –STEPHANIE PATERIK, Managing Editor, Adweek

Learn more at http://www.SwetaVikram.com
From Modern History Press, http://www.ModernHistoryPress.com

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Louisiana Catch by Sweta Vikram is like a drug. It pulls you into its depth and hooks you inside of its journey. This was one epic path that the writer lead me on…I was intrigued. A woman, Ahana, finds herself in one of the most complicated and dangerous situations a woman should never be found in, yet Ahana does. She lost her mother and she soon becomes a victim to her husband’s brutal sexual torment.

Rape is ongoing issue women worldwide still face. This issue should be solved yet so many fall victim. Some never survive that form of destruction, both physically and emotionally. I found myself crying for Ahana. Her losses are so great and many. People she should be able to trust turn out to be the worst. I felt the fear, the risks, and the danger as the plot carries me from beginning to end. Ahana is a strong female protagonist. She may loose her way occasionally but eventually finds it. No one is perfect. Life is messy.

Sweta Vikram captures my attention with the devasting events and the suspense of what will come from it. I felt sympathy and a connection instantly to Ahana. I really liked her. Her colleague, Rohan, is another great character. He was there helping her. Or trying to help her when she was in a bad situation. From the beginning to end of her journey, Rohan supports Ahana. Ahana at times made me want to shake her, for her carelessness but she has grown into a wonderful woman at the end of her journey. This is one unforgettable character that will forever live in the minds of readers like me and countless others. There are so many things that drag readers into Ayana’s sad yet powerful story. Overall, I would recommend this novel to all women including those who have been abused. It shows that even though the world is a dark place, there too, is a light that will eventually shine bright.

Review: In the Eye of the Storm/Catering to the CEO by Samantha Chase

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Dealing with your boss is never easy…falling in love with him is even harder.

In the Eye of the Storm
Holly Abrams can’t believe her demanding…and unbelievably sexy…boss, Stephen Ballinger, called her to pick him up at 2 A.M. in the middle of a tropical storm. To make matters worse, the storm is too dangerous for her to make the trek home. Forced to stay at his place to wait it out, their relationship quickly turns passionate…but will it last past the thunder and lightning?

Catering to the CEO
Millionaire CEO Adam Lawrence knows how to get what he wants–in business and in the bedroom. So when caterer Cassie Jacobs dares to best him on a deal, Adam vows revenge. But when they get life-changing news that could bind them together for years to come, Adam may have no choice but to change his ways…and open his heart.

What People Are Saying About Samantha Chase:

“A sweet romance: classic, thoughtful, and as lyrical as the stars.” –Kirkus for A Sky Full of Stars
“So much more than just a romance.” –Night Owl Reviews for Always My Girl
“A classic love story…a delight for readers.” –RT Book Reviews for This Is Our Song

 

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

This duo book, was fantastic! Samantha Chase incorporated her magic touch once more in both In the Eye of the Storm & Catering to the CEO. These novellas were engaging from the first page and onward. I couldn’t stop reading them. The characters made me believe that love is still in existence. Sometimes, it comes in a surprise or takes a long waiting period, but it’s so worth the wait. These two stories were worth waiting for…the characters are easy to connect with and easy to love. Both the males and females made me laugh hard. Their struggles were real. Stubborn yet determined these duo set of characters were perfect. I loved how Mother Nature had a slight role in bringing together one couple in – In the Eye of the Storm. The male character was so obtuse at times, I wanted to smack him and say, open your eyes and your eyes! Overall, there was action, romance, and life issues to follow in these books. Samantha Chase you are a genius in the contemporary romance fiction…I loved these! I highly recommend them to readers everywhere.

Review: The Sun Does Shine by Anthony Ray Hinton

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

A powerful, revealing story of hope, love, justice, and the power of reading by a man who spent thirty years on death row for a crime he didn’t commit.

In 1985, Anthony Ray Hinton was arrested and charged with two counts of capital murder in Alabama. Stunned, confused, and only twenty-nine years old, Hinton knew that it was a case of mistaken identity and believed that the truth would prove his innocence and ultimately set him free.

But with no money and a different system of justice for a poor black man in the South, Hinton was sentenced to death by electrocution. He spent his first three years on Death Row at Holman State Prison in agonizing silence—full of despair and anger toward all those who had sent an innocent man to his death. But as Hinton realized and accepted his fate, he resolved not only to survive, but find a way to live on Death Row. For the next twenty-seven years he was a beacon—transforming not only his own spirit, but those of his fellow inmates, fifty-four of whom were executed mere feet from his cell. With the help of civil rights attorney and bestselling author of Just Mercy, Bryan Stevenson, Hinton won his release in 2015.

With a foreword by Stevenson, The Sun Does Shine is an extraordinary testament to the power of hope sustained through the darkest times. Destined to be a classic memoir of wrongful imprisonment and freedom won, Hinton’s memoir tells his dramatic thirty-year journey and shows how you can take away a man’s freedom, but you can’t take away his imagination, humor, or joy.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

The Sun Does Shine by Anthony Ray Hinton is an informative nonfiction read. It is a memoir of one man’s experience and suffering of the injustice of our justice system. Political issues and racial issues were used to put innocent black men into jail. Some never got out of there. Very few ever regained their life back from the mistakes of the justice system. The messages in this book were strong and the author’s viewpoint can easily persuade others why. Having suffered under this injustice himself, he is speaking out about it. So much time was stolen from innocent men, like Anthony Ray Hinton. Overall, this memoir was powerful and should be read by all readers regardless of racial background.

Review: Hurricane Season by Lauren K. Denton

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Betsy and Ty Franklin, owners of Franklin Dairy Farm in southern Alabama, have decided to put life’s disappointments behind them. At least in theory. Ty manages their herd of dairy cows, while Betsy busies herself with the farm’s day-to-day operations and tries to forget the longing for motherhood set deep in her heart. But when Betsy’s free-spirited younger sister Jenna drops her young daughters off at the farm to attend a two-week art retreat in Florida, Betsy’s carefully constructed wall of self-protection begins to crumble.

As those two weeks stretch much farther into the hot Alabama summer, Betsy and Ty learn to navigate the new additions in their world and revel in a home that’s suddenly filled with the sound of laughter and life. Meanwhile, record heat promises to usher in the most active hurricane season in decades.

Four hundred miles away, Jenna is fighting her own battles. She’d once been free to travel and pursue a career in photography, but all that changed with the appearance of two pink lines on a plastic stick and a boyfriend who hit the road. At Halcyon art retreat, she finally has the time and energy to focus on her photography. As the summer continues, she wonders how her rediscovered passion can fit in with the life she’s made back home with her two children.

When Hurricane Ingrid aims her steady eye at the Alabama coast, Jenna must make a decision that could affect both her and her children’s futures, and Betsy and Ty find themselves protecting their beloved farm as well as their own hearts.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Hurricane Season by Lauren K. Denton is a fascinating women’s fiction piece. Here, are two sisters with different lives. One wants children the other feels pulled down by her children. As one sister and her husband deal with two girls in their home, a season of storms brews ahead. This season of storms is both a physical and emotional journey. Both sister are experiencing storms in their personal lives as well as the physical ones threatening their lives. I found interesting. The story was realistic and heartfelt. I felt sorry for the sister and her husband who were trying to have children. The characters and their struggles tugged at my heartstrings. Overall, I recommend this beautiful engaging tale to all readers.

Cover Release: The Maybrook Trilogy by Nicole Strycharz

 

 

 

 

 

 

~*~The Maybrook Trilogy ~*~
by Nicole Strycharz, Author of The Divorce

Come to a place where love grows the apples. 🍎 🍎 🍎

From the gilded late-Victorian Age to the sweeping elegance of the Edwardian era, Maybrook is a town hidden away in Pennsylvania where each book brings you new mysteries and nostalgic romances.

~A Lieutenant, in pursuit of a predator who’s next victim might be the woman he loves.

~A young woman torn from her first sweetheart and made to be an open-minded suffragette, returns.

~An attorney works to free an innocent while harboring dark family secrets.

~A young show girl crosses the Atlantic on the ill-fated Titanic but from the wreckage finds a place to call home.

** Each book is better read in sequence but the prequel can be enjoyed in any order.**

Join the party in the link below to stay up to date with the re-release of The Maybrook Trilogy, April 10th!!!!

There will be an enormous box set giveaway of paperbacks and a takeover party full of bestselling authors giving away prizes!

https://www.facebook.com/events/598243780524677/?ti=icl

You can also follow Nicole, here:
https://www.facebook.com/nicolestrycharz/

Review: Reclaiming Shilo Snow

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Trapped on the ice-planet of Delon, gamer girl Sofi and Ambassador Miguel have discovered that nothing is what it seems, including their friends. On a quest to rescue her brother, Shilo, a boy everyone believes is dead, they must now escape and warn Earth of Delon’s designs on humanity. Except the more they unearth of the planet and Sofi’s past, the more they feel themselves unraveling, as each new revelation has Sofi questioning the very existence of reality.

Meanwhile, back on Earth, Sofi’s mom, Inola, is battling a different kind of unraveling: a political one that could cost lives, positions, and a barely-rebuilt society, should they discover the deal made with the Delonese.

But there’s a secret deeper than all that. One locked away inside Sofi and ticking away with the beginnings, endings, and answers to everything. Including how to save humanity.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Reclaiming Shilo Snow by Mary Weber is an exciting adventure. Once more readers are led by Sofi Snow in search of her brother. A brother everyone presumed to be dead. But not Sofi Snow. Together she and Miguel search her memories for clues to find him. Humanity is besting destroyed and it’s up to them to keep it safe.

I found myself completely engaged with this YA sci-fi fantasy novel. I was easily hooked. Sofi Snow is a likable character. Her caring personality and determination make her a strong protagonist. I loved how she would go to such ends to find her brother and save the world. Mary Weber created a stunning tale with an unforgettable emotional journey. I enjoyed every page of this suspenseful world. Overall, I recommend it to readers everywhere.

Review: Glam Squad & Groomsmen by Samantha Chase

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Dressing up as a bride once a week is all fun and games until you come face to face with your ex.

Penny Blake loves her job with Enchanted Bridal. She gets to model wedding gowns and help brides plan for their big day. And yet…she’s wanting a little more. Besides wishing for her own happily ever after, she has big dreams of making her own contribution to the business in the form of her own glam squad. Her bosses all think it’s a great idea, but right now she’s needed in other ways – like helping out with the groomsmen.

Was there any greater form of torture than having to help your sister plan her wedding?

That’s what Spencer Buchanan is facing and although he goes into it with a bit of an attitude, running into the girl who got away – three times! – suddenly made this whole wedding planning thing a lot more bearable. Moving back home was never part of his plan, but once Spencer sees Penny again, all bets are off. And having her help him with his fittings on his tux turn into his favorite pastime ever!

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Glam Squad & Groomsmen by Samantha Chase is an exciting and addictive tale. I loved how to young people who has always loved each other have found a way to each other again. It was heartfelt, funny, and charming. The man was sexy as hell and one I would love to keep. Spencer is the man that make women dream of happily ever afters. Penny is the leading female protagonist and she’s awesome, too. Her personality is fun to watch. Going from running away to forcing to reckon with her past love, she has grown a lot in this book.  Marriage, weddings, and second chances are the themes of this journey. I loved every moment of it. Hot, emotional, and and sweet just the way I like my romance stories. Overall, I recommend this book to readers everywhere.

Review: After Anna by Lisa Scottoline

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Nobody cuts deeper than family…

Dr. Noah Alderman, a widower and single father, has remarried a wonderful woman, Maggie Ippolitti, and for the first time in a long time, he and his young son are happy. Despite her longing for the daughter she hasn’t seen since she was a baby, Maggie is happy too, and she’s even more overjoyed when she unexpectedly gets another chance to be a mother to the child she thought she’d lost forever, her only daughter Anna.

Maggie and Noah know that having Anna around will change their lives, but they would never have guessed that everything would go wrong, and so quickly. Anna turns out to be a gorgeous seventeen-year-old who balks at living under their rules, though Maggie, ecstatic to have her daughter back, ignores the red flags that hint at the trouble brewing in a once-perfect marriage and home.

Events take a heartbreaking turn when Anna is murdered and Noah is accused and tried for the heinous crime. Maggie must face not only the devastation of losing her daughter, but the realization that Anna’s murder may have been at the hands of a husband she loves. In the wake of this tragedy, new information drives Maggie to search for the truth, leading her to discover something darker than she could have ever imagined.

Riveting and disquieting, After Anna is a groundbreaking domestic thriller, as well as a novel of emotional justice and legal intrigue. And New York Times bestselling author Lisa Scottoline will keep readers on their toes until the final shocking page.

 

 

Praise for Lisa Scottoline:

“Scottoline keeps the pace relentless as she drops a looming threat into the heart of an idyllic suburban community, causing readers to hold their breath in anticipation.” —Booklist on One Perfect Lie

“Readers can be assured that the author nails the high school milieu, from athletic rivalries to sexting…they’re in for one thrilling ride.” —Kirkus on One Perfect Lie

“Entertaining…This fast-paced read culminates in a daring chase that would play well on the big screen.” —Publishers Weekly

 

 

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

After Anna by Lisa Scottoline is an intense thriller. A deadly journey where people have died and other may still die. A father wrongly accused of murdering his wife’s daughter. He never killed anyone and the dead girl isn’t who they originally thought she was. This family was torn apart and ruined. Only to be bounded together again once more. However, getting back together, will depend on timing. If they’re too late the husband dies and so does the real daughter. But if timed right, they may just end of saving both. The FBI are involved after a therapist finds out that the young girl isn’t the one matching in the newspaper. This whole time, the innocent have been trapped and tortured. I was filled with intrigue. This book kept me guessing. I was afraid of what the outcome would be. Lisa Scottoline has once again, written a title worthy of reading. Dramatic, frightening, and emotional…After Anna is a journey of survival and hope in a world of darkness. Overall, I recommend it to readers everywhere.

 

Review: Entwined Hearts-The Sunset of Alzheimer’s Disease and More of Life’s Realities

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

As author JJ Janice reflects on her surprise connection with a mother-daughter duo, she finds herself, an outsider, overwhelmed by mysteries regarding the short time it took for her to become a new member in this tight-knit family with a complicated past. How did she get here? What forces are at work? Why was she chosen to be a witness?

Using her diary as guide, she sifts through layers of her imagination and shares her story in Entwined Hearts. It chronicles the ascent of forgiveness by and for three women who perhaps least expect it–all in two short years. Through the stories of Anita, who suffers from Alzheimer’s; Lynn, Anita’s daughter who struggles with bi-polar disorder; and Janice, a friend to both, it investigates how relationships change and endure through challenges.

Though this memoir touches on the difficult topics of Alzheimer’s, bipolar disorder, stress, drugs, incarceration, and alcoholism, it also looks at the world with kind generosity and love–a love that connected three unlikely women.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Entwined Hearts: The Sunest of Alzheimer’s Disease and More of Life’s Realities by JJ Janice is a great read. It covers a lot of topics such as alcoholism, Alzheimer’s, and bipolar disorders. This book took a piece of my heart. My own grandmother is suffering from Alzheimer’s. It has gone from forgetting something to having to repeat things many times during the day to her. It is emotionally hard because we have to remember to be patient with her. The book discussed the stages of Alzheimer’s, the path of the Alzheimer’s person fading from who they were into someone that one wouldn’t recognize. This road is painful for all who are involved. Overall, this nonfiction book was encouraging to read. I cried because a I know there are no cures for Alzheimer’s. It’s one of the most unpreventable diseases. I still carry hope that one day there will be a cure. I recommend this book to all readers.

Review: The Flower Girl Murder

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Daisy Burns was a likable, devoted wife and mother who spent her spare time volunteering at school events. Everyone loved Daisy. So why would someone shoot her three times and dump her body behind a Planned Parenthood chapter in North Carolina?

With no witnesses and few leads, Raleigh detective Marc Allen turns to the press for help—specifically, veteran news anchor Lancaster Heart. Heart agrees to broadcast the police department’s plea for information in his nightly newscasts.

Elderly viewer and longtime social worker Blanche Avery is positive she recognizes the photograph on the television as an older version of her friend Daisy— the young, heavily pregnant girl she met years before who made the decision to give her child up for adoption.

When Tanner Goochly Jr.—a member of a notorious crime family—becomes the victim of another point-blank shooting, Allen races to discover the connection between the murders. Could it be that Daisy was somehow involved with an illegal enterprise, or was she hiding something else, another secret to be discovered?

The body count is rising, and the suspect pool is widening. As Allen’s investigation reaches a fever pitch, he realizes that a mother’s choice could have killer consequences.

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

The Flower Girl Murder by Keith Hirshland is another crime investigation. A murder that goes unsolved until a clue pops up…from there I was hooked. Not everything is what it appeared to be. A young woman who appears to be a decent woman is found dead. No clues as to why or who did it. Then, another body is found and the detective is racing to find out why and how they’re connected. Two murder victims with an apparent opposite lifestyle are now dead. The race to find the killer is exciting. Crime, secrets, and lies keep the detective, Marc Allen busy. But then someone remembers something…and from there all hell breaks loose. There was a lot of action, intrigue, and suspense to keep me entertained. The who done it kept echoing in my mind…guessing happened a lot. Keith Hirshland is a talented writer. He made it impossible to stop reading his book. The detective is a determined fellow who gives his all into solving his investigations. I really liked this character. Overall, this was a great read. I recommend it to all.

Review: Lies in the Wind

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Merriam Press Wind Fiction Series

In the fifth installment of the misadventures of Megan Docket, Megan becomes embroiled in the investigation of a double murder. As she solves the crimes, she deals with her love life and protects an autistic boy from the killers. The previous four volumes in the Wind series are Voices in the Wind, Alone in the Wind, Cries in the Wind, and Fire in the Wind.

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

Lies in the Wind by Judy Bruce is the fifth novel in the Wind Series. A journey of full of murder, lies, and mystery. This book brings up topics like love, family, and autism in ways that grab a hold of my heart and never let go. Megan is the main protagonist who investigates and solves the murder investigation inside this book. Megan is a character that engages readers fully. I loved her personality. She has a big heart and felt so real. I could easily be friends with her in a heartbeat. Her and her love, Jay are a great couple to follow. This plot has many surprises, twists, and turns. I enjoyed each and every one of them. The emotional part of the journey was intense. I fell in love and cried. Judy Bruce definitely knows how to deliver a world in which readers, like myself, can get lost within…overall, I highly recommend her novel to all.

Review: The Scent of Rain

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Rose Madsen will do anything to keep from being married off to one of the men in her Fundamentalist Mormon (FLDS) community, even endure the continued beatings and abuse of her mother. But when her mentally handicapped baby sister is forced to strangle the bird she loves at the behest of the Prophet, Rose frees the bird and runs away.

Adan Reyes will do anything to escape the abusive foster care system in Phoenix, even leaving his good friends and successful high school athletic career behind him. Ill-prepared for surviving the desert, Adan hits the road only to suffer heat stroke. Found by a local handyman, he catches a glimpse of a mysterious girl–Rose–running through town, and follows her into the mountains where they are both tracked and discovered by the men of the FLDS community.

With their fates now intertwined, can Rose and Adan escape the systems locking them into lives of abuse? Will Rose be forced to marry the Prophet, a man her father’s age, and be one of dozens of wives, perpetually pregnant, with no hope for an education? Will Adan be returned to the foster home where bullying and cruelty are common? Is everyone they meet determined to keep them right where they belong or are some adults worthy of their trust?

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

The Scent of Rain by Anne Montgomery is an intriguing novel about Mormons and their cults. Young girls are expected to marry older men with dozens of wives. This is sexual abuse and outrageous. Inside this story is about one young woman with dreams of her own who escapes that life and runs for it. Animal cruelty is also found here, as well. I felt outraged. It was both sad, frustrating and frightening to read. This kind of stuff still happens, today. The writer has done her research into these topics that are covered in her novel. It is both an eye opener and a nightmare. The plot itself was engaging. I was hooked on following Rose, the main protagonist and her new found friend, Adian. Together, they both are running away from their lives. Escaping from things they should not have to worry about but do. Overall, this book was a good read. I recommend it to readers everywhere.

Review: As Bright as Heaven

As Bright as Heaven

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

From the acclaimed author of Secrets of a Charmed Life and A Bridge Across the Ocean comes a new novel set in Philadelphia during the Spanish flu epidemic of 1918, which tells the story of a family reborn through loss and love.

In 1918, Philadelphia was a city teeming with promise. Even as its young men went off to fight in the Great War, there were opportunities for a fresh start on its cobblestone streets. Into this bustling town, came Pauline Bright and her husband, filled with hope that they could now give their three daughters–Evelyn, Maggie, and Willa–a chance at a better life.

But just months after they arrive, the Spanish Flu reaches the shores of America. As the pandemic claims more than twelve thousand victims in their adopted city, they find their lives left with a world that looks nothing like the one they knew. But even as they lose loved ones, they take in a baby orphaned by the disease who becomes their single source of hope. Amidst the tragedy and challenges, they learn what they cannot live without–and what they are willing to do about it.

As Bright as Heaven is the compelling story of a mother and her daughters who find themselves in a harsh world, not of their making, which will either crush their resolve to survive or purify it.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

As Bright as Heaven by Susan Meissner is a wonderful journey. Packed full of emotions, action, and risks…I was hooked. A family that survives the war but barely gets through the flu war. Losing a mother is difficult. The husband and children were great to follow. I felt their pain as though it were my own. Susan Meissner wrote a story that is sad, heartfelt, and engaging.  An emotional journey that I will never forget. Overall, I recommend this

Review: Black Fatherhood: Trials & Tribulations, Testimony & Triumph

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Fatherhood is one of the most challenging jobs in the world, and it becomes even tougher when one must combat harmful stereotypes.

In his work, Khalid Akil White actively challenges the negative stereotype of the “Black Father.” White is both a father himself and a professor of African American studies. With these dual qualifications, he is the perfect candidate to combine personal stories with cultural context. White holds the image of the “irresponsible Black man” up to the light and fully engages with it. His work is a tender, moving argument against the stereotype of the absentee Father.

The men interviewed are certainly not absent. Instead, they have used the stereotype as a way to structure their own stories about the challenges of Fatherhood. Dr. Steven Millner discusses his drive to continue his family’s legacy of cohesiveness while Eric Jay Handy recalls an encounter with his own father and its impact on his parenting style. Dr. Sydney Sukuta compares cultural expectations of Fatherhood in Zimbabwe to those of America. Jamal Bey challenges traditional gender roles as a stay-at-home dad. These men and others deepen the social discourse surrounding Black Fatherhood and regale readers with stories of both struggle and triumph.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Black Fatherhood by Khalid Akil White is a fascinating piece of literature. I have always been curious on co-parenting and what it was like for single black fathers. These pages covered both topics well. It gave a deep inside view to outsiders like me on these fathers journey of parenthood. Parenthood is composed of both the ups and downs when raising children. Being single makes that harder. Being a single father is harder yet.  Each father represented a new set of emotions and struggles.  I was captivated.  For fathers everywhere, this is a must read.  It shows what happens and how fathers can still stay on top. Overall, I enjoyed reading this book.

Review: Sit, Stay, Love

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

These dogs aren’t the only ones in need of rescue

For devoted no-kill shelter worker Kelsey Sutton, rehabbing a group of rescue dogs is a welcome challenge. Working with a sexy ex-military dog handler who needs some TLC himself? That’s a different story.

Kurt Crawford keeps his heart locked away from everyone. Well, everyone except the dogs who need his help…and always have his back. But as Kurt gets to know the compassionate, beautiful woman he’s been assigned to work with, he can’t help but feel a little puppy love…

Rescue Me Series:
A New Leash on Love (Book 1)

Sit, Stay, Love (Book 2)

What People Are Saying About A New Leash on Love:

“A warm cuddly tale full of dogs, cats, kids, and genuinely likable adults…” —Publishers’Weekly STARRED REVIEW

“Sexy and fun…an irresistible match…” —RT Book Reviews, 4.5 stars, TOP PICK

“A ragtag cast of supporting characters, human and otherwise, shines…” —ForeWord, 5 Stars

“Pet lovers will adore all the animals introduced in Burns’sweet romance.” —Booklist

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Sit, Stay, Love by Debbie Burns is the kind of novel that pulled me deeper into its story. I felt the emotions from the characters as well as the ones coming from the furry creatures. A tough cat who fights an ex marine for a pillow space to sleep, a homeless dog that broke down the wall the marine built around his heart, and a cute female human who has wormed her way into his soul…has left me feeling emotional. An animal shelter takes on dogs that are not fit to be in a regular shelter and houses them into a big mansion with enough space. The building is old and dark. But once the dogs start to arrive, a sense of purpose and action take over the empty fear. A retired marine with inner battles yet to be fought some how finds healing and peace training the dogs. An animal shelter woman loves the animals that come to the new shelter. Helping them find love and new homes will be hard. But in the end it is worth all the struggles.

This novel was not just about the dogs needing a rescues but their rescuers needing one too. It was sweet, heartfelt, and engaging. I cried, laughed, and fell in love. Sit, Stay, Love by Debbie Burns is a must read. I recommend it to all animal lovers, contemporary fiction lovers, and to all romance lovers. It captured my whole heart.

Review: A Bicycle Made for Two

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

The first in the new LOVE IN THE DALES romantic comedy series, set in a beautiful Yorkshire village.

Chock-full of colourful characters, bawdy wit and a bit of love and passion for good measure.

In a lost corner of the Yorkshire Dales, Lana Donati runs a medieval theme tourist trap restaurant with her brother. As a distraction to help them get over losing the father they loved dearly, and as a tribute to his passion for the beautiful area they live in, Lana hatches a plan to boost business for everyone by having the Grand Départ route pass through their village.

But this entails getting the small community to work together to convince the decision-makers that their beloved village is Tour material. Not an easy task when the people involved include Lana’s shy, unlucky-in-love brother Tom, the man-eating WI chair Yolanda, bickering spouses Gerry and Sue, arrogant celebrity Harper Brady, and Lana’s (attractive) arch-nemesis, former pro-cyclist turned bike shop owner, Stewart McLean, whose offbeat ideas might just cost them everything.

From the author of The Honey Trap and Meet Me at the Lighthouse, this is a rural romance for lovers of Fiona Gibson, Sue Moorcroft and Penny Parkes’ Larkford series.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

A Bicycle Made for Two by Mary Jayne Baker is an emotional story. It is both sweet and sad. Some humor is planted within this romantic journey. The path of pain, loss, grief, and healing are told here. Family, second chances, and love are the other major themes featured in this novel. Lana is a strong female protagonist. Her dad is is constant pain due to terminal cancer. Her and her brother Tom, end up losing their father. While working the family business, Lana meets Stew. A cousin of a jerk. Their romance has its ups and downs like a real life relationship. I was not sure what the final outcome of their relationship would be. Mary Jayne Baker kept me entertained. I loved her plot. It was steady, heartfelt, and realistic. Overall, I recommend this women’s fiction tale to all readers.

Review: Man of My Dreams

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

She wants to make him pay. But will it cost her everything she’s ever wanted? After spending over a decade in the Air Force, Staff Sergeant Elena Garcia is more than ready to ditch her uniform for some girlie clothes and high heels. Starting over in a quaint town in Washington, her dream of becoming a romance writer is finally within her reach. But when a rival from her past comes barreling back, Elena will stop at nothing to make Captain Daniel Grant pay for making her life a living Hell seven years ago. With destiny on her side, Elena plans her ultimate vendetta. Feeling fate has answered his prayers, Daniel is ready to show the sexy and feisty staff sergeant what kind of man he can truly be and finally make up for his past mistakes. But can Elena let go of the past to find a future with the one man that she vowed to destroy?

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

Man of My Dreams by Stephanie Aviles is an entertaining romantic story. I loved the main characters. They were strong and charming. Their personalities made it easy to connect with them. Both characters were amusing to follow. One is attracted but is fully set to make a man pay for his mistakes. The other is attracted but wanting to make up for his past mistakes. It seems like their plans just got messy, complicated, and hotter. Romance, women’s issues, and second chances are discussed in this novel. I enjoyed the electoral charge that came from the characters. This book was more character driven. Their actions made me enjoy reading their dilemmas. Fate is partially cruel and partially not. Man of My Dreams is full of heat, emotions, and action. Overall, I recommend this fascinating romance to all.

Review: The Heart Between Us

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Megan Jacobs always wished for a different heart. Her entire childhood was spent in and out of hospitals, sitting on the sidelines while her twin sister Crystal played all the sports, got all the guys, and had all the fun. But even a heart transplant three years ago wasn’t enough to propel Megan’s life forward. She’s still working as a library aide in her small Minnesota hometown and living with her parents, dreaming of the adventure she plans to take “once she’s well enough.” Meanwhile, her sister is a successful architect with a handsome husband and the perfect life—or so Megan thinks.

When her heart donor’s parents give Megan their teenage daughter’s journal—complete with an unfulfilled bucket list—Megan connects with the girl she meets between the pages and is inspired to venture out and check off each item. Caleb—a friend from her years in and out of the hospital—reenters her life and pushes her to find the courage to take the leap and begin her journey. She’s thrown for a loop when Crystal offers to join her for reasons of her own, but she welcomes the company and the opportunity to mend their tenuous relationship.

As Megan and Crystal check items off the bucket list, Megan fights the fears that have been instilled in her after a lifetime of illness. She must choose between safety and adventure and learn to embrace the heart she’s been given so that she can finally share it with the people she loves most.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

The Heart Between Us by Lindsay Harrel is the most heartbreaking/heartfelt story I have read. I was instantly taken into one sister’s journey. A path full of hospitals and illness. Suffering from a weak heart, Megan has always envied her sister of being able to live her life to the fullest. I was caught up in the sadness and the anger. There was also healing and love at the end of this book. I was completely engaged from the beginning. Two sisters finally settle their troubles and find new beginnings without the dead weight of their emotional baggage. Lindsay Harrel is a talented writer. Once I started reading,  I did not stop until I reached the end. Overall, I recommend this contemporary novel to all readers. Beware, you may need a box of tissues while reading it.

 

Review: The Perfect Hope (book 3)

Synopsis:

#1 New York Times bestselling author Nora Roberts introduces you to the Montgomery brothers – Beckett, Ryder, and Owen – as they bring an intimate bed-and-breakfast to life in their hometown.

Ryder is the hardest Montgomery brother to figure out – with a tough-as-nails outside and possibly nothing too soft underneath. He’s surly and unsociable, but when he straps on a toolbelt, no woman can resist his sexy swagger. Except, apparently, Hope Beaumont, the innkeeper of his own Inn BoonsBoro…

As the former manager of a D.C. hotel, Hope is used to excitement and glamour, but that doesn’t mean she can’t appreciate the joys of small-town living. She’s where she wants to be – except for in her love life. Her only interaction with the opposite sex has been sparring with the infuriating Ryder, who always seems to get under her skin. Still, no one can deny the electricity that crackles between them…a spark that ignited with a New Year’s Eve kiss.

While the inn is running smoothly, thanks to Hope’s experience and unerring instincts, her big-city past is about to make an unwelcome – and embarrassing – appearance. Seeing Hope vulnerable stirs up Ryder’s emotions and makes him realize that while Hope may not be perfect, she just might be perfect for him…

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Hot, sexy, and sweet!

The Perfect Hope by Nora Roberts was exactly that. It felt so real and believable. The deeper I got into the story, the more I wanted to keep reading it. The beginning and middle sort of felt slow/steady that I didn’t realize how fast the ending got u till I was done. The characters are out of this world charming. I love them all. Feisty, unpredictable, and entertaining to follow. Ryder and his woman were my favorite couple featured in this whole series. Overall, I recommend this sexy romance to all.

Review: The Next Always (book 1)

Synopsis:

The historic hotel in Boonsboro has endured war and peace, changing hands, even rumored hauntings. Now it’s getting a major facelift from the Montgomery brothers and their eccentric mother. Beckett is the architect of the family, and his social life consists mostly of talking shop over pizza and beer. But there’s another project he’s got his eye on: the girl he’s been waiting to kiss since he was fifteen.

After losing her husband and returning to her hometown, Clare Brewster soon settles into her life as the mother of three young sons while running the town’s bookstore. Busy, with little time for romance, Clare is drawn across the street by Beckett’s transformation of the old inn, wanting to take a closer look . . . at the building and the man behind it.

With the grand opening inching closer, Beckett’s happy to give Clare a private tour – one room at a time. It’s no first date, but these stolen moments are the beginning of something new – and open the door to the extraordinary adventure of what comes next . . .

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

The Next Always by Nora Roberts is a sweet heartfelt story. Her characters feel real. Beckett is remodeling an older building into a hotel. He’s very attracted to a single mother of three boys, Clare. Clare is just as attracted to Beckett. Hope, new beginnings, and second chances at a happily ever after are major themes of this book. It is entertaining. It engages me further into the characters’ lives. Overall, I would recommend this romantic book to all.

Review: The Man He Never Was

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

“Rubart will leave readers inspired . . .” –Publishers Weekly STARRED review for The Long Journey to Jake Palmer

What if You Woke up One Morning and the Darkest Parts of Yourself Were Gone?

Toren Daniels vanished eight months back, and his wife and kids have moved on–with more than a little relief. Toren was a good man but carried a raging temper that often exploded without warning. So when he shows up on their doorstep out of the blue, they’re shocked to see him alive. But more shocked to see he’s changed. Radically.

His anger is gone. He’s oddly patient. Kind. Fun. The man he always wanted to be. Toren has no clue where he’s been but knows he’s been utterly transformed. He focuses on three things: Finding out where he’s been. Finding out how it happened. And winning back his family.

But then shards of his old self start to rise from deep inside–like the man kicked out of the NFL for his fury–and Toren must face the supreme battle of his life.

In this fresh take on the classic Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, James L. Rubart explores the war between the good and evil within each of us–and one man’s only chance to overcome the greatest divide of the soul.

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

The Man He Never Was by James L. Rubart is an interesting twist to the classic, Dr. Jekyll andMr. Hyde. Except in this case, the bad part of the main protagonist disappears completely. Like it was never there. Tore Daniels has had an awful temper. He has a wonderful family but sometimes his temper could be really bad…Toren goes missing. His family believes he’s dead until he suddenly pops up at the doorstep of their house. That’s where it gets really weird. Where was he, how did he go missing, and what happened to him while he was gone? These questions kept playing over and over again. His wife tries to push his buttons to see his temper fly but somehow Toren seems to hold it in way better than he ever did. His wife wonders who is this man…I found that a bit funny. The mystery is solved and it was a sweet ending. I loved these characters. There is a lot of inspirational messages on marriage, love, hope, and faith included in this book. Overall, I enjoyed it and recommend it to all.

Review: The Cabin Sessions

Synopsis:

The Cabin Sessions is a confronting, hard-hitting, dark psychological thriller told with acid wit. Themes of abuse are explored through minds distorted by fear and corrupted by hatred and delusion; this is a tale in which redemption is gained in unexpected ways.

It’s Christmas Eve when hapless musician Adam Banks stands on the bridge over the river that cleaves the isolated village of Burton. A storm is rolling into the narrow mountain pass. He thinks of turning back. Instead, he resolves to fulfil his obligation to perform the guest spot at The Cabin Sessions. He should be looking forward to it, but fear stirs when he opens the door on the Cabin’s incense-choked air.

Philip Stone is already there, brooding. He observes with a ruthless eye the regulars, from sleazy barmaid Hannah Fisher, to old crone Cynthia Morgan.

Meanwhile, Philip’s sister, Eva, prepares to take a bath. It¿s a ritual – she’s a breath holder. At twenty-eight, Eva has returned to Burton to finish the business of her past, as memories begin to surface concerning one fateful day by the river and the innocence of her beloved brother…

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

The Cabin Sessions by Isobel Blackthorn is a dark edgy read. There’s an a lot hatred, anger, and fear represented in this thriller/mystery. The tale is built upon the motions of the characters. Their emotions cause for reactions that may cause them more problems. The internal war inside of the characters felt like a heavy dark blanket that simply would not lift away. The plot was interesting. It kept me wondering how it would explode and when. There were a few grammatical errors that made some lines confusing, other than that it was easy to read. Complex, intriguing, and a bit sinister…yet entertaining. The cast of characters was different from my usual reading kind but they added more to this book. Overall, it was good read.

Review: Knowing There is More

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

I believe we have extraordinary stories inside of us. Stories that perhaps we have never told to anyone because they are difficult for us to accept as true. Often they tell of an intervention where someone or something appears in our lives unexpectedly and challenges our commonly held beliefs. No longer are we 100% confident we operate solely with our five senses to maneuver through life. There is something more trying to wake us up.

Consider the possibility there is a divine knowing available to us, and all that is required on our part is being open to its presence.

These 22 stories, though unique in their settings, speak to this presence of knowing there is more. A knowing that brought one woman to trust again … a knowing that guided a woman to protect her children from those who appeared loving and safe … a knowing to take a class that later saved a life.

It is my belief that the more attention we give to this knowing energy around us, the more we will feel the abundance of life and be less likely to think, “Is this all there is?”

So let’s tell our stories to all who will listen-our storytelling will inspire others to bring forth experiences deep within them. Sharing our stories can warm our hearts, bring excitement to the moment, and enlarge the connectedness we all have to one another.

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

Knowing There is More by Carol Hibbert is an inspirational collection of stories that make me believe there is something more. My grandmother told me a similar story yet I could not tell if she was serious. After reading these tales, I am left wondering.  Hoping that there is indeed more. I found these to be deep, thought provoking, and healing. It brings a sense of peace and calm to others like me. Truly, a heartfelt collection. There is more than what we can fanthom at times.  It is not until we experience it, that we believe. Overall, I recommend this stunning set with emotional journeys to all readers.

 

Review: Ghost Shadow (book 1)

Synopsis:

There are those who walk among us who are no longer alive, but not yet crossed over. They seek retribution…vengeance…to warn. Among the living, few intuit their presence.

Katie O’Hara is one who can.

As she’s drawn deeper and deeper into a gruesome years-old murder, whispered warnings from a spectral friend become more and more insistent. But Katie must uncover the truth: could David Beckett really be guilty of his fiancée’s murder?

Worse – the body count’s rising on the Island of Bones, and the dead seem to be reenacting some macabre tableaux from history. The danger is increasing by the moment – especially as Katie finds herself irresistibly drawn to David, who may be responsible for more than just one killing….

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Ghost Shadow by Heather Graham is a novel that pulls in the reader. Liked it did with me. I was so hooked that I ended up speeding through the pages. When I got to the end, I was beyond satisfied. The characters are intriguing. A combination of old family history and an old revenge seem to come back and taunt the living. Somebody wants the a certain family line to perish. All because their family member hung for a crime. A crime that was actually committed by the hung member. Yet for some reason the family member believes that he/she is the curse out to get revenge. With the help of a ghost and the ghosts of the victims presented, the protagonist may just survive this deadly game of cat and mouse. Love, murder, and mayhem are found everywhere. I loved reading this and cannot wait to read the next novel. Overall, I highly recommend Ghost Shadow to all readers.

Review: The Sea Before Us

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

In 1944, American naval officer Lt. Wyatt Paxton arrives in London to prepare for the Allied invasion of France. He works closely with Dorothy Fairfax, a “Wren” in the Women’s Royal Naval Service. Dorothy pieces together reconnaissance photographs with thousands of holiday snapshots of France–including those of her own family’s summer home–in order to create accurate maps of Normandy. Maps that Wyatt will turn into naval bombardment plans.

As the two spend concentrated time together in the pressure cooker of war, their deepening friendship threatens to turn to love. Dorothy must resist its pull. Her bereaved father depends on her, and her heart already belongs to another man. Wyatt too has much to lose. The closer he gets to Dorothy, the more he fears his efforts to win the war will destroy everything she has ever loved.

The tense days leading up to the monumental D-Day landing blaze to life under Sarah Sundin’s practiced pen with this powerful new series.

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

The Sea Before Us by Sarah Sundin takes me back to the rush of World War II. Dorthy is a beautiful yet smart woman. Her work helps the war effort in more ways than most imagine. She meets Wyatt. A soldier missing his family. Together, Dorothy and Wyatt find hope and courage to get through the rough times ahead. What they never thought would happen is the love they find for each other. Somehow, each character gives the other one exactly what they needed. Themes of friendship, love, hope and new beginnings can be felt throughout this engaging read. I couldn’t stop reading it. Both characters risks their hearts and lives to help win the war. Sarah Sundin created memorable characters in a time period that still haunts many of us, today. Heartfelt and intriguing, I highly recommend this historical romance to all.

Review: A Passionate Hope

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Hannah and her husband, Elkanah, share a deep and abiding love, for each other, for their God, and for his tabernacle at Shiloh. Greatly disturbed by the corruption of the priests, they long for restoration and pray for a deliverer. But nothing changes as the years pass. Years that also reveal Hannah to be barren.

Pressured by his family to take another wife, Elkanah marries Peninnah, who quickly begins to bear children. Disgraced and taunted by her husband’s new wife, Hannah turns again to prayers that seem doomed to go unanswered. Do her devotion and kindness in the face of Peninnah’s cruelty count for nothing? Why does God remain silent and indifferent to her pleas?

Travel back to the dusty streets of Shiloh with an expert guide as Jill Eileen Smith brings to life a beloved story of hope, patience, and deliverance that shows that even the most broken of relationships can be restored.

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

A Passionate Hope by Jill Eileen Smith is a wonderful Jewish tale of love, hope, faith, and forgiveness. During this time period, the struggles were harder. Especially, when their coveted ark disappears. Yet they still remain hopeful and obedient to God. I liked how Hannah turns to prayer when life brings her curveballs. She is strong, independent, and faithful. She is an inspiration to all women. Jill Eileen Smith’s historical fiction is well-written. It engages me to follow Hannah as her life dramatically changes for good to problematic to good again. Her love of her husband and God are strong. Hannah felt sad, angry, and hurt when her husband married another women. I wanted to hug her immediately. Her pain is real. It is easy to connect with her on many levels. The title is exactly what this book is about…and I recommend this read to others.

Review: Phoebe’s Light

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Phoebe Starbuck has always adjusted her sails and rudder to the whims of her father. Now, for the first time, she’s doing what she wants to do: marrying Captain Phineas Foulger and sailing far away from Nantucket. As she leaves on her grand adventure, her father gives her two gifts, both of which Phoebe sees little need for. The first is an old sheepskin journal from Great Mary, her highly revered great-grandmother. The other is a “minder” on the whaling ship in the form of cooper Matthew Mitchell, a man whom she loathes.

Soon Phoebe discovers that life at sea is no easier than life on land. Lonely, seasick, and disillusioned, she turns the pages of Great Mary’s journal and finds herself drawn into the life of this noble woman. To Phoebe’s shock, her great-grandmother has left a secret behind that carries repercussions for everyone aboard the ship, especially her husband the captain and her shadow the cooper. This story within a story catapults Phoebe into seeing her life in an entirely new way–just in time.

In this brand-new series, bestselling author Suzanne Woods Fisher brings her signature twists and turns to bear on a fascinating new faith community: the Quakers of colonial-era Nantucket Island.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Phoebe’s Light by Suzanne Woods Fisher is an enlightening Quaker journey. I love historical novels that take me back in time and hold me captive. The main cast of characters were interesting. They felt three-dimensional. The Quaker language and cultural is captured on every page. Phoebe wanting a different life than the one she has on land leaves for a life at sea. Until she leaves home, Phoebe does not realize just how much being on land means to her. Marrying the sea captain brings a whole new adventure to her life. Quipped with a journal from her great-grandmother, Phoebe learns a lot. Phoebe is wanting an adventure. That is exactly what she gets. Matthew is another main character that was easy to like. He’s a good man. Phoebe’s Light is inspiring in many ways especially, to women. Secrets, murder, and an emotional rollercoaster ride…all inside this intriguing story. Overall, I enjoyed reading this book.