Review: Perennials by Juile Cantrell

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

When two estranged sisters reunite for their parents’ 50th anniversary, a family tragedy brings unexpected lessons of hope and healing amid the flowers of their mother’s perennial garden.

Eva—known to all as Lovey—grew up in Oxford, MS, surrounded by literary history and her mother’s stunning perennial gardens. But a garden shed fire and the burns suffered by one of her best friends seemed to change everything. Her older sister Bitsy blamed her for the fire—and no one spoke up on her behalf. Bitsy the cheerleader, Bitsy the homecoming queen, Bitsy married to a wealthy investor. And all the while, Lovey blamed for everything that goes wrong.

At eighteen, Lovey turns down a marriage proposal, flees from Oxford and the expectations of attending Ole Miss, and instead goes to Arizona—the farthest thing from the South she can imagine. She becomes a successful advertising executive, a weekend yoga instructor, and seems to have it all together. But she’s alone. And on her 45th birthday, she can’t help but wonder what’s wrong.

When she gets a call from her father—still known to everyone as Chief from his Ole Miss football days—insisting that she come home three weeks early for her parents’ 50th wedding anniversary celebration, she’s at wits end. She’s about to close the biggest contract of her career, the one that will secure her financial goals and set her up for retirement. But his words, “Family First,” hit too close to home. Is there hope for her estranged relationship with Bitsy after all this time?

Eva’s journey home, to the memory garden her father has planned as an anniversary surprise for her mother, becomes one of discovering roots, and truth, and love, and what living perennially in spite of disappointments and tragedy really means. Eva thought she wanted to leave her family and the South far behind . . . but she’s realizing she hasn’t truly been herself the whole time she’s been gone.

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

Perennials by Julie Cantrell is an interesting read. I found it intriguing. I couldn’t imagine having a distant and bitter relationship with my sister. The major theme  in this contemporary women’s fiction piece is forgiveness.

The main protagonist, Eva, has a great life away from her home and family. That past life is one she worked hard to get away from fast. Yet, now, her parents want her back home for their wedding anniversary. There Eva will have to face her past, her fears, and let go of her demons.

Overall, Perennials is a novel about letting go of the past and moving forward. A journey of hope, truth, and healing. Julie Cantrell can write well. Her characters were easy to relate to and follow. Their troubles were realistic. I enjoyed reading this. I recommend it to readers everywhere.

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Review: Someone to Wed







Synopsis:

A very practical marriage makes Alexander Westcott question his heart in the latest Regency romance from the New York Times bestselling author of Someone to Hold.

When Alexander Westcott becomes the new Earl of Riverdale, he inherits a title he never wanted and a failing country estate he can’t afford. But he fully intends to do everything in his power to undo years of neglect and give the people who depend on him a better life. . . . 
A recluse for more than twenty years, Wren Heyden wants one thing out of life: marriage. With her vast fortune, she sets her sights on buying a husband. But when she makes the desperate–and oh-so-dashing–earl a startlingly unexpected proposal, Alex will only agree to a proper courtship, hoping for at least friendship and respect to develop between them. He is totally unprepared for the desire that overwhelms him when Wren finally lifts the veils that hide the secrets of her past. . . . 

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Someone to Wed by Mary Balogh is a must read! I was immediately hooked. The plot line is addictive. Intrigue got me hard. 

The female protagonist is a recluse. By her birth she went through an ordeal most haven’t especially from being within a not so poor household. Yet, Wren suffered greatly. That past is part of her journey in healing. She lets her birthmark define her. Shutting herself away from people and life in general. Her birthmark covers the whole half of her face. A purplish mark that will not go away. Wren feels hideous because of it. She’s at the point now, that she should wed. Wren wants a husband and a family of her own. However, she thinks no one would want her…and she has more than enough money to buy a husband. 

Then, there’s Alex. He is beyond good looking but has a heart of gold. He feels something for his recluse neighbor. Her marriage proposal struck him hard. She thought she wasn’t worth marrying. All because of her birthmark. But her cold opinion of herself keeps Alex away from her. But something about her has him rethinking it. There were moments when he got to see her without wearing a veil and where she smiled or laughed. Those few precious moments showed Alex the real woman inside of Wren. Wren just needed to believe in herself…

A marriage of convienece. Alex needs the money and Wren wants a husband. Except Alex won’t marray her unless she can see herself as a person of greater value than what she holds herself as. And they must have affection…

Little do they know it…but affection has been and is being felt on both sides…

Wren’s horrible past comes to light and her journey of healing is due to Alex and his family. Their acceptance of her despite her birthmark, helps Wren get the courage she needs to walk among them without fear. Little by little she learns to be braver and find herself with a life of joy…

Someone to Wed is about facing fears. Overcoming those obstacles that bound the protagonist to her previous life. Good things can happen, if we open ourselves to the chance. Taking risks, trusting, and falling in love are themes throughout this beautiful tale. I couldn’t stop reading it. Overall, I highly recommend Mary Balogh’s historical romance novel to all.

Review: The Promise of a Letter







Synopsis:

A letter brings him back to his Amish family. It will take someone truly extraordinary to make him stay. 

Roman is on the verge of leaving the Amish ways. Feeling confined by the strict rules, he longs to do something more with his life. But when things don’t go as planned, Roman’s prospects outside of the community dwindle. Upon learning that his beloved grandmother has died and left a letter urging him to reconcile with his brother in Birch Creek, Roman decides to return home. But he doesn’t plan to stay for long.

Leanna Chupp has always made her own way in her small community of Birch Creek. Though some may call her unconventional–strange, even–Leanna is happy. Her unique outlook on life has meant she’s never had many suitors pursuing courtship, which Leanna doesn’t mind. She is content being single.

But when Roman and Leanna find themselves working together again, everything changes. Though neither fit squarely within the strictures of the Amish faith, their differences could be the very thing to help them form a deeper connection to their community and to each other. The question remains: will this strengthening bond be enough to make Roman stay for good? 

Rating: 5-stars

Review

The Promise of a Letter by Kathleen Fuller is an exciting adventure. A book with meaning and purpose. Two protagonists feel trapped, lost, and hurt. But with some time, hope, and faith they will be able to heal and move forward with happiness. The title is exactly what the story is about and shows that even the things we want are not what we may need. 

Kathleen Fuller is a writer with a magical wand. I love traveling deep into her books.  The characters are hard to ignore. Their life issues sucked me into their dilemmas and had me rooting for them. The book also contained a great emotional journey. I felt each characters loss, hope, faith, worry, anger, and fear. It was exciting to watch them grow. 

Leanna is a young Amish woman who is nothing like the others in her community. She hated school except for a few subjects like math. Her ability to fix things is amazing. Mechanical knowledge is for men. And here, I got to watch her fulfill that role. Leanna struggled with what others said about her working as a mechanic. But still, she never gave up…and it was thanks to one man who gave her that break. Only…soon, a gossip breaks out, bringing forth doubt and fear. This causes Leanna to lose her job. I felt sorry for her. It was funny to watch her fulfill more duties suited for her gender….like canning tomatoes. Leanna is terrible at the traditional women duties. But as a mechanic, friend, daughter, and as a sister, Leanna does well. 

Roman is a young Amish man. Not wanting to marry just like Leanna. He too, is interested in mechanics and engineering. In fact, he was pursuing a degree in it. But then, tragedy strikes. Causing Roman to travel home once more. He’s not happy about it. The way he left the last time, will cause for hardship between him and his older brother, Daniel. Daniel is all he has left. But Daniel doesn’t want him home nor helping him. However, Daniel is foolish and gets injured. This causes him to feel worse. With his injuries, Roman automatically takes up the challenge to help his brother. A mechanic shop should be easy…only Roman knows he needs help. Leanna

Daniel is the older brother of Roman. He owns his own memchanic shop. Before it was just him and Roman. Until he got married…then, things changed. Roman left never saying goodbye. This hardened Daniel’s heart and made him angry. Struggling with things, Daniel is to stubborn to ask for help. His wife is pregnant and he’s afraid she loose the baby…then, there’s the nasty rumor that has him and his wife upset. He lets go of his only employee. His best employee, Leanna. 

The Promise of a Letter is an outstanding read. Kathleen Fuller knows how to nab her readers’ attention immediately. Every page was full of action, suspense, tension, and drama. I loved it. A good clean Christian novel with a bit of romance. Overall, I highly recommend this to all. 

Review: Maybe I Do








Synopsis

She doesn’t believe in fairy tales. He is married to his job. Maybe whiskey is the secret ingredient that will bring them together—and give true love a shot in Nicole McLaughlin’s Maybe I Do?

Wedding photographer Charlotte Linley loves her work—even though she hates weddings. Sure, she still holds a grudge after being left at the altar by her high-school sweetheart. But today Charlotte is just happy to have complete control over her career, which is flourishing. Especially since she joined forces with one of the three gorgeous owners of The Stag, a boutique distillery that has become Kansas City’s hottest wedding venue.

Dean Troyer, bitter after the end of his own marriage, knows that Charlotte is the real deal—beautiful, talented, and successful. He may flirt with her every time she comes to The Stag but Dean is determined to keep his professional distance. . .particularly now that she’s helping him with his own sister’s wedding. The only problem? The more time Dean spends with Charlotte, the deeper their connection grows. Is this a rom-com cliché or could it be that these two jaded souls in the wedding business have finally found their real-life happily ever after?

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Maybe I Do by Nicole McLaughlin is a sexy sweet contemporary read. I was addicted from the first page. Here, the writer has brought together two kind people. Each one has their own fears that they struggle with, as well as their attraction to each other. Dean is forty-one- years-old. He feels old. Yet he stays fit. Packing a six pack and not a single grey hair, he’s every woman’s fantasy. Including, Charlotte’s. Dean was married once, and it didn’t work. Plus, he’s hiding a secret. Then, there’s Charlotte who was almost married. Her fiancée didn’t meet her at the aisle. Now, she works as a photographer photographing weddings mostly. Charlotte also holds a secret of her own. 

Maybe I Do fits in perfectly. Each protagonist finally figures out that maybe they do want a happily forever…but will their fears stop them? Nicole McLaughlin created a beautiful yet emotional journey. I cried, laughed, and fell in love. Two older people falling deeper for one another. Their lust, attraction, and fears have a long way to go. It was easy to relate to the characters. Hopeful, funny, and well-developed. This book felt so real. Truly, a heartfelt romance. Overall, I recommend this to readers everywhere.

Review: Stargazey Point






Synopsis:

Shelley Noble’s Stargazey Point is a beautiful story of love, heartbreak, friendship, and new beginnings.

Devastated by tragedy during her last project, documentarian Abbie Sinclair seeks refuge with three octogenarian siblings, who live in a looming plantation house at the edge of the world.

South Carolina’s Stargazey Point used to be a popular family beach resort, but the beaches have eroded, most of the businesses have closed, and the crowds have gone. It’s the perfect place to hide from the rest of world.

But hiding is harder than she thought it would be. There’s a wise Gullah woman who seems to see into Abbie’s soul, and an intriguing man on a quest to bring Stargazey Point back to life.

Stargazey Point by Shelley Nobel is the perfect beach read any time of year.

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

Stargazey Point by Shelley Noble is a fascinating tale. Full of action, intrigue, and heartfelt moments. It instantly grabbed my heart from the beginning. I laughed, cried, and fell in love. The characters were amazing. Felt so real. It was almost like magic. The plot itself was interesting. Believable. Like stepping into a Hallmark movie. Shelley Noble’s words created a deeper meaning. Family, community, and new beginnings. Every page made me feel as if I were really there with the characters. 

Stargazey Point is a small southern spot that readers will love. History, culture, and the people who live there come to life on every page. Until now, I haven’t read any other books by Shelley Noble. I’m very happy to have read this one. A woman who feels depressed from her past is soon sent by a friend to Stargazey Point. There, she stays with her friend’s family. Two older women and an older man. Southern charm is turned up full notch here. Big southern plantation that somehow survived a storm that ruined the once thriving town. Money is almost out for one family. The brother has a kept secret that may come to save them and their home. Abbie comes looking for peace and ends up bringing life into the town and the people she met. It was hard not to like Abbie. She struggled with her own demons. Yet she gave everything she had to help others. Then, there’s Cab. He at first mistrusts her…but after knowing her a bit she soon engages his full attention. Sparks fly. But first fears have to be solved if they they even stand a chance at happiness. Themes like friendship and love are strong. Shelley Noble has done a superb job in creating this masterpiece. Entertaining, emotional, and charming. Overall, I recommend it to others. 

Review: Upon A Spring Breeze 

Synopsis:

After a devastating winter, a spring breeze promises more than new flowers.… It promises a new chance at love.
Bess Weaver, twenty and expecting her first child, is in the kitchen making stew for her beloved mann, Caleb, one minute, and the next she’s burying him after a tragic accident. Facing life as a young widow, Bess finds comfort only in tending the garden at an Englisch-owned bed and breakfast—even as she doubts that new growth could ever come after such a long winter.
Aidan tries to repress his guilt over his best friend Caleb’s death and his long-standing feelings for Bess by working harder than ever. But as he spends time with the young son his friend left behind, he seems to be growing closer to the boy’s beautiful mother as well.
When a close-knit group of widows in her Amish community step in to help Bess find her way back to hope, she begins to wonder if Gott has a future for her after all. Will she ever believe that life can still hold joy and the possibility of love? 

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Upon A Spring Breeze by Kelly Irvin is a Christian tale full of tragedy, loss, and new beginnings. A young woman loses her husband and faces life as a single mother. Beth buries herself into work. Keeping busy. Aidan is facing internal struggles over his friend’s death and the growing attraction towards his friend’s wife. The child seems to be pulling the two adults closer but Aidan and Beth have to overcome their obstacles and fears before love can set in…

Kelly Irvin’s writing is easy to follow. Intriguing, clean, and charming. The charcaters are believable. Their life situations are realistic. I was able to connect with both characters. Loss, grief, love, and faith are themes commonly found on every page. Overall, I recommend Upon A Spring Breeze to all. 

Review: A Gleam of Light

Synopsis

In 1995, at the age of eight, Una Waters survived a terrifying encounter at 30,000 feet aboard Flight 564 from Dallas to Las Vegas. It changed her forever. After 21 years, and a decade away from the Hopi Reservation where she grew up as a child, a surprise plea for help brings Una back, to solve a mystery that threatens their traditional way of life. The U.S. Army’s sudden interest regarding a cave discovery in the Sacred Peaks has triggered alarm, leading to violence. With the help of friends, new and old, Una must confront her painful past, seek proof to qualify the ancient site for protection under law, and stand up to a stiff-necked general, whose agenda is more concerned with retrieving a mysterious power source. 

Rating: 3-stars

Review:

A Gleam of Light holds a promising adventure ahead. The characters’ struggles were realistic. The plot itself held some suspense over me. I was instantly intrigued as to what was going on that was so interesting that the army wanted to find. Then both Jack and Una have fears. Una’s fear is the greatest. Her fear of planes is one that I could definitely relate to. The writers, T.J. & M.L. Wolf both combined multiple words within this one read. The Native Americans and that of the white Americans worlds. Loneliness, survival, and violence break out on the pages. The journey was good. However, I felt someething was missing. The pace seemed to be at a constant steady walk. A cave discovery held the entire interest. I felt that Una got her peace that she was searching for too soon. The ending itself didn’t feel complete. As for characters like Jack, I didn’t really get to connect with him as much as I did with Una. I would have liked to have explored more on him and Colin as well. Other than that, I liked reading A Gleam of Light. 

Review: Thanksgiving Eve 




Synopsis:

Ray Seymour receives frightening news from his doctor on Christmas Eve. He goes home, feeling sad and angry, to confront the tense atmosphere of his home. His wife, eight-year-old daughter, and fifteen-year-old son remain separate, not cohering into a family. Ray resolves to make things better in whatever time he has left. Unfortunately, his time has run out. Ray dies that evening.

Ray returns to life to find he’s been given time to try to reconcile his family. He sets out to make them love him so much they’ll feel terrible when he’s gone.
Ray still has to deal with his next-door neighbor, who knows about his time-travelling, his sarcastic sister, hostile ex-wife, and childish daughter. There’s too much to fix and not enough time. And what about that homeless man near the mall who keeps turning up?

Rating: 5 stars

Review:

Thanksgiving Eve by Jay Brandon is an emotional journey that will hook readers instantly. The main character’s journey starts out as sad and unavoidable at first…the tension and emotions escalating after that. Then, slowly, the main character takes a deeper look at his surroundings. This causes him to really see and think about his life, especially his family. At, first the attitude towards his doctor is one of anger and confusion then by the ending it changes completely. I loved watching the transformation in Ray Seymour unfold. His character growth was stunning. I wanted to hug the man. He’s one that readers will love and relate to…as well as find him as an inspiration. The stroy shows us what we can do, and that it’s never too late to start helping others. By helping and understanding others around us, life comes to a more peaceful mind than before…

Jay Brandon has a way of luring readers, like myself, into his book. I couldn’t put it down after reading the first page. From there I was thrust into his world of fiction. I felt the wave of emotions hit me as they hit the main character, Ray Seymour. Thanksgiving Eve, is not just a read for the holidays but one that readers can read on any day. Heart melting, realistic, and awe inspiring. Overall, I highly recommend this to readers worldwide. 

Review: The Harvested

The Harvested (The Permutation Archives Book 1) by [Sowder, Kindra]

 

Synopsis:

There are only a few things Mila is afraid of. Most are pretty common fears, but there is one that sets her apart from those around her. The fear of a secret. With one drop of blood, her secret of a power beyond anything anyone had ever seen before is unleashed, landing her in a place where she is a prisoner. And an experiment. And there are only a few that know their dictator’s ultimate goal. Some are willing to save her, others want to exploit her for their own dark and sinister intentions, and it is up to her to stop them before it’s too late.

Rating: 5 stars

Review: 

Harvested by Kindra Sowder is by far her greatest work to date. This urban fantasy sucks readers in fast. The action is thrilling…I felt fear and wasn’t sure what to expect. All I knew was that something bad was about to happen to the main character. Then, just when I thought maybe the fear would subside, the worst happened. Just like the main character, Mila, feared would happen. Sooner or later she knew they would come for her. Because of what she can do. Sleep wouldn’t come knowing that at any moment they were coming for her. Not knowing when nor how adds to the suspense of this spectacular read. I found myself lured deep into this dark world. The unknown keeping me on the edge of my seat…

A girl is soon taken into a facility where experiments and all are done. Mila is soon taken as a hostage and kept on like a lab rat. She has a power that they want from her…the question of who will survive or win this war is something I highly recommend readers to read on their own. Kindra Sowder has a power that is raw and magnetic. Readers will forever be trapped inside of her fantasy world and hanging onto every one of her words. I was deeply satisfied with this brilliantly well-written masterpiece. The desire, no, the need to read her next book, is so strong that it’s incredible. Kindra Sowder can wrap her readers around her finger and keep them hostage in her books. Absolutely, loved this new adventure.  Can’t wait for the next novel. Overall, I highly recommend this page turner to all. Harvested is definitely a must read for all.