Review: Everything She Didn’t Say

Everything She Didn't Say

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

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

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

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

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

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

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

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

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

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

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

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

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

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

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

 

Review: Kill Devil by Mike Dellosso

Kill Devil

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

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

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

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

Review: Secret of the Stones by Olivia Swift

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

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

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

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

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

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

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

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

 

Review: The Prize by Geoffrey M. Cooper

The Prize

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Winner of National Indie Excellence Award for medical thrillers.
Silver Medal in Readers’ Favorite International Book Award Contest.

What does it take to win a Nobel Prize? Deceit, fraud, even murder? Set in the competitive world of cutting-edge medical research, The Prize is a science thriller in which jealousy over the discovery of a treatment for Alzheimer’s disease leads to fraud, betrayal and violence.

Pam Weller makes the discovery of a lifetime when she finds a drug with the potential for treating Alzheimer’s. But her success threatens the supremacy of Eric Prescott, a leading figure in Alzheimer’s research. Lusting relentlessly for the Nobel Prize, Prescott fears that Pam’s work will derail his ambitions. He seduces one of Pam’s research fellows and enlists her in a plot to brand Pam a fraud and steal her discovery. Leading Pam into a world where nothing is real, except threats to her career, her freedom and even her life.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

The Prize by Geoffrey M. Cooper is an exciting medical thriller. One that brings the most exciting yet deadly game of all. A woman finds what could change her career only to have another one want to steal it. Even worse, kill her for the chance to win a prize over her discovery. This novel brought to life the sinister dark moments of medical discovery, drugs, and threats from people who should be lifting each other up…

I was deeply engaged. This plot was fast. Held my attention from the beginning to end. It also left me hoping a cure could someday be created or found. Overall, I would highly recommend this suspenseful novel to all readers.

Review: What Ales the Earl by Sally MacKenzie

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

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

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

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

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

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

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

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

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

 

Review: Wedding the Widow by Jenna Jaxon

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

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

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

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

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

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

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

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

Review: The Girl From Spaceship Earth by Patricia Ravasio

The Girl from Spaceship Earth

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

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

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

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

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

Rating: 5-stars

Review: 

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

Guest Post from Author Patricia Ravasio on Inspiration for Her Book

The Inspiration

By Patricia Ravasio

The inspiration for my book The Girl from Spaceship Earth is the wisdom of a genius who has been called the Leonardo da Vinci of the twentieth century.

I was an eleven-year-old freckle-faced kid in 1969 when I first encountered Buckminster Fuller at one of his famous World Game lectures at Southern Illinois University.  Having just watched the Apollo moon landing, my young brain was primed for “Bucky’s” revolutionary ideas about how we could make the world work for everyone without ecological harm, and about how humans could evolve into something better.  At one point, his eyes locked onto mine and he said women like me would save the world. I knew my life was forever changed.

Then, in 1982, as an aspiring journalist, I landed an interview with the iconic genius, now 86 years old. We talked for several hours high atop Chicago on the sky deck of the John Hancock Center. He told me his remarkable life story and imparted his wisdom about what was happening in the world and what we needed to do to assure a better future. He said the oil industry’s derailing of Jimmy Carter’s renewable energy plan was the greatest crime ever committed against humanity, that we were entering a dark age, and that the collusion between our government and our corporations was undermining the planet. Once again he predicted women like me would make the difference, and elicited my promise that I would share his thinking with the world.

As inspired as I was, belief is not action. Much of my book is about my struggle to do something with what I knew. I wrote and submitted an essay about Bucky’s ideas, but with no luck. A year later, he died. Life went on. I fell in love, got married, and had a couple of babies, relegating Bucky’s ideas to my back burner until 9/11/2001, when his voice came roaring back.

Bucky pretty much predicted 9/11 when he said that future wars would not be started by countries, but by rogue groups of individuals seeking revenge for past aggressions. He said America risked failure due to our over-amped nationalism and our global bullying. He warned that pride could be our undoing.

9/11 was a wake up call. I returned to my reading and thinking and became so obsessed with politics and climate change that my husband thought I was losing my grip on reality. I went to therapy for help, but my counselor believed in me, and in the importance of Bucky’s ideas, so I kept going.

I spent time at Stanford digging through Bucky’s archives. This conservative private school, owned in part by fossil fuel interests, had bought Bucky’s archives in 1999, and yet did not offer a single class about the vast accomplishments of the genius whom their own creative guru, Steve Jobs, had many times called the Leonardo da Vinci of the twentieth century.  Nine out of ten of the students I spoke to had never heard of Buckminster Fuller.

Bucky was not only a visionary futurist. He was also a mathematician, architect and designer who had set out to decipher the design principles of nature, in order to help us realign with the natural world so we could avoid environmental collapse.

Obviously, this didn’t happen, and now we are seeing climate change manifest, with historic fires, floods, melting ice, and sea level rise. By now we know Bucky was right about the fossil fuel industry. These oil executives not only understood and accepted the reality of climate change but were secretly preparing for it, all while they dismissed it as a hoax. So it seems pretty likely that Stanford was merely keeping its friends close and its enemies closer when it bought Bucky’s archives and then did nothing to share them with its students.

Over the years, I came to understand just how heavily the odds were stacked against Bucky’s ideas. A few years ago, I was invited to speak at the first Fuller Future Festival in Carbondale, Illinois, where I was confronted by coal industry advocates accusing me of fabricating Bucky’s warnings about fossil fuels. As Bucky had said, people have a hard time believing something when their paycheck depends on their not believing it.

But he also insisted that the future of humanity depended on our individual integrity, so I kept going. He said he worked fifty years in advance. If that was the case, then what he was talking about in the 1960’s and 1970’s would be gaining relevance right about now, which is exactly what is happening.  

People today are rightfully frustrated about the state of the world. It’s understandable why young people blame baby boomers for making such a mess of things. We did. We let things slide for too long. But maybe it’s not too late.

As life on earth becomes more difficult, we become more ready for ideas we once thought outlandish, like Bucky’s quote about how there would be “an emergence through emergency.” I think that emergency is upon us. Increasing political and social strife, combined with frequent climate catastrophes, are waking people up.

Bucky’s eight inspirational ideas for helping humanity through this next step are summed up in the back of my book. There are also recommendations for further reading, because once you get hooked on Bucky’s ideas, there is no turning back. It’s like finding a new engine under the hood of your car.

Review: Hot Winter Nights by Jill Shalvis

Hot Winter Nights by Jill Shalvis

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Who needs mistletoe? 

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

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

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

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

Review: Consumed by J.R. Ward

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

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

Anne Ashburn is a woman consumed…

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

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

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

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

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

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

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

 

Review: Final Roasting Place by Devon Delaney

Final Roasting Place

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Sherry Frazzelle is back to being Sherry Oliveri, her divorce all but final and her new life in full swing. Her part-time job is helping her father with his hooked-rug business, and her full-time passion is competitive cooking. But murder is about to rock their little Connecticut town . . .

Erno Oliveri made sure to be on set for his daughter’s cook-off appearance on Sunny Side Up with Brett and Carmell. Or as it’s now known, Sunny Side Up with Carmell and Brett–since the ambitious young Carmell seems to have the producer and station owner eating out of her hand. But the important news is that Sherry has bested the competition with her Spicy Toasted Chickpea and Almond appetizer and clinched the spatula-shaped trophy. It’s her shining moment–until everything goes dark.

A quick-moving storm has knocked out power to the studio–and when the lights come back up, Carmell is at her desk with a sharp object lodged in her neck. The weapon is an unusual tool, used by craftsmen who make hooked rugs. Has someone taken corporate backstabbing to a new level, and framed Erno in the process? If Sherry’s going to protect her dad and their family name, she has to find out where he was when the lights went out . . .

Includes Recipes from Sherry’s Kitchen!

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

Final Roasting Place by Devon Delaney delivers both mystery and humor. I love the way the characters bristle and fight between each other. Each one takes their opinion seriously. Then, there is the father daughter relationship on the pages. Sherry and her father seem to get along. I find it funny how he kept eating other foods except for his daughter’s own dishes. Despite that, Sherry and her dad were charming characters. Sherry is a smart, quick, and talented sleuth. Her fast thinking and observations help solve the murder case.

News worthy stories are just about to get deadly. It might even get worse for Sherry Frazzelle and her father. A cookout show, containing contestants and delicious meals, starts off okay but ends with a big bang. Jealousy, greed, and a fear of change bring out a murderer. The suspects list grows with each page, just as all evidence points to Sherry’s father, another clue proves someone else is the murderer. But who? A race to investigate and find the real killer keeps Sherry’s hands full.

Final Roasting Place offers a lot of entertainment. Action, intrigue, and a bunch of clues as to who may or may not have committed the crime. The cast is enjoyable to follow along. Reminds me of the Murder She Wrote TV show.

 

Review: The Healing by Linda Byler

The Healing

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

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

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

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

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

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

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

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

Review: The Governess Game by Tessa Dare

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

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

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

The accidental governess…

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

The infamous rake…

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

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

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

 

Review: Vox by Christina Dalcher

Vox

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Set in an America where half the population has been silenced, VOX is the harrowing, unforgettable story of what one woman will do to protect herself and her daughter.

On the day the government decrees that women are no longer allowed more than 100 words daily, Dr. Jean McClellan is in denial–this can’t happen here. Not in America. Not to her.

This is just the beginning.

Soon women can no longer hold jobs. Girls are no longer taught to read or write. Females no longer have a voice. Before, the average person spoke sixteen thousand words a day, but now women only have one hundred to make themselves heard.

But this is not the end. 

For herself, her daughter, and every woman silenced, Jean will reclaim her voice.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Vox by Christina Dalcher is one of the saddest yet most intense novellas I have read. A quick read that kept me interested. Intriguing and dark, this book held my full attention. It started off with a woman and her young daughter are wearing devices. These devices count the number of words they say. Reach over 101 words, and they go through a shock system from the device. It was a hell hole that the women and young girls couldn’t control. A law went into act and they’re forced to being just housewifes. No voice. No opinion. I felt the tears that ran down my cheeks. The pages created a rage unlike anything I have felt. This story is one that must be read. The warning for women, is to never let your voice by controlled. Fight back!

Review: Mutts and Mistletoe by Natalie Cox

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Thirty-one-year-old Charlie isn’t in the mood for Christmas cheer.

Her boyfriend has left her for his personal trainer, her mother has absconded with her latest husband for the holidays, and—adding insult to (literal) injury—her London apartment has just been destroyed by a gas leak. Single, mildly concussed and temporarily homeless, Charlie realizes there’s only one place to go: Cozy Canine Cottages, where she’ll spend the season looking after her cousin Jez’s doggy day care center. And if she’s not exactly a dog person, well, no one has to know…

But her plans for a quiet Christmas in a quaint country village are quickly dashed. Peggy the pregnant beagle and Malcolm the anxious Great Dane seem determined to keep her up all night. A strange man has been casing her cousin’s house. And where is Cal, the unbearably patronizing but disturbingly handsome local vet, when she needs him?

As the days tick down to Christmas, Charlie’s life has never felt so out of control—but with some help from her new four-legged friends, she just might learn a thing or two about living in the moment, embracing the unexpected and opening herself up to love…

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Mutts and Mistletoe by Natalie Cox is an amusing read. Instantly, I was swept in its charm, humor, and quirky settings. Christmas is a magical time. It is also time for moving forward, healing, and falling in love. That is exactly what I discovered here. Young people finding a direction and battling their inner struggles. Struggles of the heart. Attraction flares and their encounters are entertaining. But there’s more than to them than the hot vet and the wild city lady. Risks are taken. Time will only tell if the characters found what their hearts seek.

This novel brought out a bunch of crazy situations. Like a city lady trying to take care of animals for the first time. She loves the fur balls but isn’t really sure what they need nor how to care for them. That’s where she and the vet butt heads constantly. I found those banters enjoyable. The way they are with each other and the animals made me root for them. I kept hoping. Deliciously sweet, hilarious,  and heartfelt, Mutts and Mistletoe is a winner. The character grew and their hearts unfroze.

 

Review: My Kind of Christmas by Janet Dailey

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Returning to Branding Iron, Texas, is Travis Morgan’s last resort, and the abandoned ranch he inherited isn’t much more welcoming than the prison cell where he spent the last three years doing time for a tragic accident. Completely without funds or family, Travis finds celebrating Christmas is the last thing on his mind, but there’s no escaping the holiday spirit in this close-knit little town—not with Branding Iron’s longtime Santa retiring, and sweetly stubborn Mayor Maggie Delaney determined to find a replacement. When her no-nonsense façade slips to reveal the sensual, vulnerable woman beneath it, Travis realizes Maggie just might be as lonely as he is—and that this holiday season, love could be the gift that heals them both.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

My Kind of Christmas by Janet Dailey is one that contains a lot of surprises. I was hooked. The characters have their own background story that affects their present lives. Other characters try to help. But it only gets messier. The troubled characters are so stubborn that it’s funny and frustrating at times. All that misery because of some past hurt feelings. People change. That’s what the father and son must learn now. Otherwise their future is bleak without the forgiveness. It takes another man to help show them what each one would go to, to defend each other. Risks, pride, and love are found on these pages.  The males are tough. But so are their women. Overall, I love a good story that sweeps me into the plot. Funny, entertaining, and sweet, My Kind of Christmas felt so real.

 

Review: Cold Barrel Zero by Matthew Quirk

Cold Barrel Zero (John Hayes, #1)

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

A CODE HIDDEN IN PLAIN SIGHT. A BLACK OPS TEAM THAT WENT TOO FAR.

John Hayes is a Special Operations legend who went rogue on a deep-cover mission and betrayed his own soldiers. Disgraced and on the run, he returns to the United States to get back to his wife and daughter and take revenge on his accusers with a series of devastating attacks.

Only one man can stop him: Thomas Byrne. He once fought alongside Hayes as a combat medic, but he gave up the gun. Now a surgeon, he moves from town to town, trying to forget his past, until he is called upon by a high-ranking government official to help capture the man he once called a friend.

Hayes and Byrne were once as close as brothers, but with the fate of the nation hanging in the balance and nothing as it seems, both men must decide whom to trust–and whom to betray. In a final, explosive battle for justice, they face off along a rifle’s cold barrel.

Cold Barrel Zero brings together the blistering pace of Lee Child, the nonstop action of Brad Thor, and the richly drawn characters and moral stakes of Daniel Silva. An experienced reporter armed with deep behind-the-scenes research into America’s Special Operations Forces, Quirk takes the military thriller to a new level of suspense.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Cold Barrel Zero by Matthew Quirk is a suspenseful thriller. It displays the duty and actions of soldiers who risk their lives for their country. Sometimes, that country betrays them. This plot quickly spiraled from an innocent soldier doing his duty to him being hunted by his nation. Hiding away like a criminal, Hayes, a special ops agent is determined to go after those who betrayed him and his team. This novel has plenty of action, intrigue, and risks to keep me reading. I was entertained. It showed the gruesome reality of what happens that the public isn’t aware of…makes me rethink what really happens to our soldiers.

Review: The Torch Betrayal by Glenn Dyer

The Torch Betrayal (Conor Thorn)

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

A disgraced agent. A missing battle plan. Will he find redemption or damage the Allies beyond repair?

London, 1942. OSS Agent Conor Thorn is desperate for a second chance. After a botched mission in Tangier, Thorn knows failure is not an option. When confidential directives for Operation Torch, the invasion of North Africa, go missing, the agent must recover the plans before the Nazis thwart the crucial mission.

Thorn teams up with MI6 agent Emily Bright to seek out the traitor in their midst. Untangling the web of suspects leads them to Nazi sympathizers, double-crossing Soviet spies, and Vatican clergymen with motives of their own. As their mission grows more and more dangerous, Thorn and Bright have one chance to retrieve the document before it falls into enemy hands, leaving countless Allied troops in danger.

The Torch Betrayal is a high-stakes WWII thriller inspired by true events.

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

The Torch Betrayal by Glenn Dryer is a fascinating thriller. It took me deep into the plot right away. I felt as though I were actually there experiencing it first hand rather than reading about the events. Three-dimensional, intriguing, and dangerous is exactly what I got from this book. Important papers with government information is found missing. A crisis that must be dealt with immediately. So much rides on the intelligence gathered and used during this World War II time period. The danger escalated with every page. I was not sure how or where the pages would lead me except into a race against enemy hands where lives were at stake. Once I was in, I could not stop reading this epic journey.

Review: Jagdlied by Dolly Gray Landon

Jagdlied: a Chamber Novel for Narrator, Musicians, Pantomimists, Dancers & Culinary Artists (color paperback) by [Landon, Dolly Gray]

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

This musically and graphically enriched chamber novel is an over-the-top black and blue comic extravaganza about the conspiratorial undoing of a teenage entitlement princess. The story throbs throughout with an undercurrent of apocalyptic motifs related to the extinction of art, fall of empire, and coming of the Antichrist. It is an epic farce that reads like an erotically supercharged psychological suspense thriller. The narrative takes the reader/audient on a veritable boomerang roller-coaster ride (with multiple inversions) through a reputational strip-and-whiptease of the novel’s malignantly artful (albeit ingenuously doe-eyed) protagonist: a wealthy young heiress and socialite who boasts an exclusive claim to her progenitors’ munificent estate. Her inheritance comprises an immense fortune amassed through shareholder investments in the world’s largest employment recruiter: the multi-national temp agency behemoth known as the Pleasant Peasant Corporation.

The character-driven narrative of Jagdlied explores themes of jilted love, misinterpreted motives, paranoid ideations, bombastic egos, ghoulish envy, smoldering jealousy, unconscionable revenge ploys, extravagant public humiliations, ruthless power games, insatiable greed, pernicious corruption, feigned moral outrage from all sides, and even (Heaven forfend!) coldblooded murder—all the type of stuff pre-calculated to magnetize your run-of-the-thrill-seeking bookworms and bibliophiles.

A rich repository of tongue-in-cheek nonce words, malapropisms, neologisms, archaisms, spoonerisms, slanguage, and whole swaths of unintelligible nonsense, the text of Jagdlied is also replete with irreverently lurid, salacious, and scatologic elements, which serve to set it in motion as a formidable contender for the distinctive cachet of being regarded (by cultivated aesthetes of omnifarious persuasions) as a momentously serious dirty book. It is targeted towards percipient readers and audients in possession of a well-seasoned sick and—dare it be said—cruel batch of funny bones inflected with a gallows-cum-smoking-room bent.

Whilst the plot of this story (grotesquely absurd as it will undoubtedly be esteemed) embraces reflexively cringeworthy sadomasochistic motifs, its author would hesitate to instyle it as porn, yet he would not be wholly disinclined to characterize it as a farcical parody thereof. And whilst at the same time its author is admittedly predisposed to eschew ascribing labels of any kind to this opus (especially seeing as what he has concocted is so rarefied in its formal structure that it cannot be facilely pigeonholed), it may not be altogether off the mark to view it as a form of literary neurotica (if, indeed, there is such a genre) as opposed to the more boilerplate literotica—or what in sex nazi circles is dysphemistically adverted to (in no uncertain squirms) as “filth.”

Whilst the text of Jagdlied may be read in silence as a novel in the traditional sense, it is ultimately written for the purpose of being recited by a skilled elocutionist to the accompaniment of extemporized music by ad hoc variable ensembles in relatively brief, self-contained or—depending on how one looks at it—semi self-contained episodes with the aid of a do-it-yourself improvisation kit provided in its appendix. This “kit” is likenable to a Baroque-style table of ornaments, albeit comprehending specific sets of chance operations for each and every participant involved in renditions of individual fascicles of this work. Aside from entailing a professional narrator and musical extemporizers, the score discretionarily calls for pantomime actors, dancers (hence choreographers), set designers, culinary artists, and even members of the audience itself.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Jagdlied by Dolly Gray Landon is a thriller novel unlike any other. Its words lead you on a journey that give a unique literary style I have not seen before. I was curious and lost within the pages immediately. The plot was complex. Dolly Gray Landon knows how to write in a way that peaks one’s interest and holds it until the end. The language was a bit bigger than my normal reads, yet it was still a good read. Due to the level of content and words, I highly recommend it for adults only. Although, I can see young adults grabbing this book and hiding away to read it. There was a combination of styles poured into this book. They add to the flavor. Reading this book takes time, but it has so much to offer. Overall, this is a rich, fun, and one epic read.

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

 

Review: Some Like It Sinful by Robbie Terman

Some Like It Sinful

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Chloe Nelson and professional hockey player Griffin Lange get along like chocolate and pickles. But Chloe needs the famous (and infamously unattached) Griffin to attract people to her struggling bakery, and Griffin needs the curvaceous and fiery Chloe to keep him out of trouble. A fake relationship for the media to focus on seems like the perfect plan.

But when temptation throws them into bed together, a new plan arises. Why not make the most of things? Griffin’s winning every home game, and Chloe’s business has never been better. Both know it’s only physical-and only temporary-so why is it starting to feel like more? And can they drop their defenses long enough to find out if what started out as playing pretend can rise into something sinfully good?

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Some Like It Sinful by Robbie Terman is a sexy heartfelt story. I love stories that swept me off my feet. This one did exactly that plus, more. I lost my heart to the characters. They were irresistible. Their anger banters soon took a quick turn for the hot romantic kind. The lady baker, Chloe, immediately judged this hot shot hockey player. But as he works off his community service in her bakery, there’s more to Griffin than most see or know.

Then, Griffin’s tale alos tugged at my soul. He grew up in a life that embarasses him. He had to work so hard to get where he’s at now. Rich, popular, and center of attention. Griffin is needing to be remembered but wants to be remembered in good ways. His current actions have dragged his hockey team and his loved ones through hell. Time to own up and confess.

Hot, sexy, and funny too. Griffin isn’t looking for a happy forever. But Chloe wants that…and little do they know they needed each other more than words can say. Robbie Terman had me laughing, crying, and rooting all the way. I was so happy to have bought this book! It was perfect! Overall, I recommend it to all contemporary romance lovers.

Amazon currently has the book still on sale for FREE as of 8/8/18: 

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00G8BTRWW/

 

 

Review: One Perfect Kiss by Jaci Burton

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

The New York Times bestselling author of Love Me Again returns to the town of Hope, Oklahoma where school is in session and love rules the playbook.

Josie Barnes has always craved a sense of home. She’s found that in Hope, Oklahoma–she bought a house, has a new job as an English teacher at Hope High, she’s made wonderful friends, and she’s taking in stray animals that no one else wants. Now she’s flirting with fellow teacher and hot high school football coach Zach Powers. But he’s almost too good to be true, and Josie learned long ago not to trust in the too-good-to-be-true, because it has always let her down.

A former pro football player, Zach had to pull back when a career-ending knee injury forced him to rethink his future. Now he’s happy calling plays as Coach. If he could just get Josie Barnes to stop benching his players for their poor grades, life would be perfect. Instead, she drives him crazy as the stern teacher at school and the sexy woman of his dreams outside of the classroom. He knows she’s been hurt in the past, but he wants to be that guy she can trust.

The one thing Josie has never been able to count on is the people closest to her. But Zach intends to show her that what they have between them is a textbook case of love.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

One Perfect Kiss by Jaci Burton is a romantic contemporary romance read. It was simple, fast-paced, and heartfelt. I loved the funny yet fun banters between football coach and English teacher. Both feel an undeniable attraction towards each other. Good looks, intelligence, and a passion for helping others in need made this a sweet story.

Josie is experiencing family issues from her past and present. Her mother is struggling to keep a job and to stay drug free. Her mother is always calling her for help…more like more money for drugs. Yet somehow, Josie finds the courage to not feel bad about giving into her mother’s needs. Then, there’s her stereotyping towards men like Zach. Good looking yet popular men. However, Zach keeps proving to Josie that there’s more depth to him than just his looks.

Overall, I would highly recommend this novel. It had themes of overing coming one’s fears, relationships both romantic and family wise, and friendship. I fell in love with the characters. Their journey was one that melts my heart and makes me swoon.

Review: Airports, Exes, and Other Things I’m Over

Airports, Exes, and Other Things I'm Over

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

A bad storm, two canceled flights, stuck in an airport with a hot stranger and the guy who broke her heart… what could go wrong?

After Sari caught her boyfriend Zev cheating on her, their romantic Florida vacation was ruined. She can’t get back to NYC soon enough. Unfortunately, mother nature may have different plans. A huge storm is brewing in the Northeast, and flights all over the country are getting canceled—including Sari’s. She winds up stuck at the airport for hours. With Zev!

When another stranded passenger (a hot NYU guy) suggests a connecting flight to Boston, Sari jumps at the chance. But when her mom freaks out about her traveling alone, she has no choice—she has to include Zev, and somehow survive being trapped with the guy who broke her heart!

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Airports, Exes, and Other Things I’m Over by Shani Petroff is one YA romance that swept me up quickly. I couldn’t read fast enough. The plot was that juicy…and addictive. The characters felt real. Their dilemmas had me laughing, crying, and left wondering what next.

A young finds her her boyfriend in an unexpected situation. To Sari, it looked like betrayal and felt like it too. Her boyfriend, Zev, tried to explain but Sari wasn’t having any of it. She just wanted to leave immediately and be rid of him. But love, if  real, doesn’t back down nor die. Nor does it give up that easily. Sari will have to find the answers to how to deal with the shocking betrayal and decide where her and Zev’s fate lie.

Shani Petroff had me hooked. This book was a lot of fun. I really like the teenagers that were created. First love, kisses, and the confusion of what to do in those cases led me back to a time when I too, was that young. Overall, I recommend this romantic and heartfelt tale to all readers.

Review: Freshman Year of Life

Freshman Year of Life

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

38 essays from top millennial writers on how they survived their first years out of college—a book conceived and promoted by a groundbreaking crowdsourcing startup.

Freshman Year of Life tells the truth about life after college graduation. But this isn’t your standard step-by-step guide to landing that interview or surviving a long distance breakup with your college sweetheart, though there are stories on both these topics. Freshman Year of Life is a collection of essays from top millennial voices that have been there before, wish they’d known some things they didn’t, but made it through all the same. This is not your mother’s first year out of college book, but a starker more inclusive portrayal of what it’s like to be out of school for people from all walks of life. These are the people recent grads turn to on the Internet to offer poignant witty advice or sly one liners about pop culture and politics, and these are the personal stories their social media followers and fans haven’t heard. This anthology is full of advice, insights, and anecdotes from 38 millennial role models’ lives, the real stories that show just how disillusioning, hilariously embarrassing, and self-revelatory the transition to the adult world can be. Readers will delight in the honest and down to earth tone these authors take when looking back on their first years out of college, and will find it easier to tackle adulthood on their own because of it.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Freshman Year of Life is a collection of essays referring to life after college. It is a refreshing read. One that many young college people and recent graduates should read. There were a lot of circumstances that are easy to relate to and others that held very good advice. The pages are short and that made this entire book a quick read. The situations inside gave me a real perspective on work, home, and love. I especially, loved the essays centered around work related topics. It was like living through through individuals who wrote these essays. I found a lot of value to be held. Overall, I would highly recommend this to all young adults.

 

Review: Dancing with the Sandman by L.T. Garvin

Dancing with the Sandman

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

The Sandman cometh dancing to the beat of rock ‘n’ roll, blasting the turmoil of the Sixties. And where are you? West Texas, of course. Billie Jo Dunstan confronts her past, traveling back to the 1960s through a decade of turbulence and swirling color memories, contemplating life growing up in rural Texas. Tragedy and comedy come alive, preserving the past and a portion of small town life that will survive beyond super highways and the ratcheting progress of time.
***
Garvin’s (And They Came, 2017, etc.) latest novel offers a reflection of one girl’s coming-of-age in small-town Texas in the 1960s. … Garvin is at her best when offering these cheeky nods to the past, never getting bogged down in nostalgia.

A winning narrator enlivens a charming tale of a town facing modernity.–Kirkus Reviews

Rating: 4-stars

Review: 

Dancing with the Sandman by L.T. Garvin is about a rural town losing its history due to the world. The writing was entertaining to follow and easy to get lost within… Places are always changing yet the same people are still there. The writer gives a deeper look into the protagonist’s past and present life. The pages are fill with humor, memories, and life. It was like watching a movie through Billie Jo’s eyes. Her intake on the past and present made it enjoyable. Overall, this was a heartfelt women’s fictional piece that I do recommend to others. It was fun traveling to Texas with Billie Jo Dunstan.

Review: Dagger’s Edge by Lora Leigh

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

#1 bestselling author Lora Leigh is back–with a vengeance–in her latest novel of passion and intrigue, Dagger’s Edge, featuring the men of Brute Force. 

Ivan Resnova wants nothing more than to escape his hard, brutal past. Starting over is not so easy once you’ve been a powerful crime boss but now, instead of being punished for his alleged crimes, Ivan fears that the one woman he can’t forget is in danger of paying the price.

Crimsyn “Syn” Delaney thought the danger she’d faced was over, and that she could resume her life. She never imagined it would return with a vengeance and throw her back into Ivan’s world. But when an attempt is made on her life, she needs Ivan more than ever to keep her safe–even if she is in danger of falling deeply and dangerously in love. . .

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

Dagger’s Edge by Lora Leigh is one hell of a romantic suspense novel. Dark and intense like J.T. Ellison’s books yet hot and steamy like that of Lynsay Sand’s books. I could not tear my eyes away from this read. It was so intense, dark, and sexy. The characters were on edge constantly. Danger hung in the air on every page. One pair also had to battle their raw lust and love for each other until it exploded. Their lives were at risk and the depth to which they went to stay alive was amazing. Lora Leigh did not disappoint. Her words created vivid scenes and plenty of action to keep myself entertained. Overall, I highly recommend this epic romance to all.

Review: A Defense of Honor by Kristi Ann Hunter

A Defense of Honor (Haven Manor, #1)

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

When Katherine “Kit” FitzGilbert turned her back on London society more than a decade ago, she determined never to set foot in a ballroom again. But when business takes her to London and she’s forced to run for her life, she stumbles upon not only a glamorous ballroom but also Graham, Lord Wharton. What should have been a chance encounter becomes much more as Graham embarks on a search for his friend’s missing sister and is convinced Kit knows more about the girl than she’s telling.

After meeting Graham, Kit finds herself wishing things could have been different for the first time in her life, but what she wants can’t matter. Long ago, she dedicated herself to helping women escape the same scorn that drove her from London and to raising the innocent children caught in the crossfire. But as much as she desperately wishes to tell Graham everything, the risk of revealing the truth may come at too high a price for those she loves.

Rating: 4-stars

Review: 

A Defense of Honor by Kristi Ann Hunter is a sweet heartfelt tale. A historical novel using a Christian theme. Inside, illegitimate children were being protected by a young woman. The same young woman whose father abandoned her and treats her with disgust. Yet hope remains in sight, and with the help of a new friend, Kit can help the children find a family.  There was also another theme of not judging a book by its cover. A young man, Graham, lived in the rich lifestyle. However, he was nothing like what Kit expected from a man such as himself. Graham displayed nothing but kindness, generosity, and love for the children and Kit. I loved the characters. They made reading this book enjoyable. It was hard not to cheer for Graham and Kit. The illegitimate children also touched my heart. Entertaining, charming, and engaging, this book is a must read for all. I recommend it to all Christian and historical readers.

Author Interview with Andrea Thome

House of Belonging by Andrea Thome

ULM: When did you first begin your writing career? 

AT: My mom was a published poet, and when she passed away a few years ago, I really started to feel that time was of the essence.  I knew that if I was going to embark on this second career of mine, I’d better get started. So I started writing my first book Walland in January of 2016, published it later that year, and never looked back.  My daughter tells her friends that I’m like Alexander Hamilton; “writing like I’m running out of time.”

 

ULM: What inspired you to the Hesse Creek Series? 

 

AT: I’m inspired by lots of things, but I think my two biggest inspirations are travel and music.  If I’ve visited a place that I feel connected to, you can bet it will end up in one of my stories.  Case in point: I spent five weeks in Southern California last summer, and loved a particular seaside community there so much, I decided to write that one of my characters had grown up there.  Music is a huge motivator for me too. It happens often that a lyric will hit me just the right way, sometimes while I’m driving, and I’m sent scrambling for my pen and paper to jot down the birth of a new plot line.

ULM: How has your career in broadcast journalism helped you with creative writing?

 

AT: I was a broadcast journalist for years, covering both sports and news, and it was a very interesting profession.  I wrote most of my own scripts in the newsroom and out in the field, and the tight deadlines pushed me to become a stronger writer very early on in my career.  That said, I absolutely prefer fiction writing. It’s much more fun to tell these kinds of stories, with the goal of making people feel good at the end of it all.  I’m not a fan of cliffhangers or depressing endings, because I spent so much time covering that stuff as a member of the media. I’m a big fan of a “happily-ever-after.”  There aren’t enough of them in the real world.

ULM: Describe the feeling when you became an award-winning author.

 

AT: I couldn’t believe it when I heard that my first novel Walland had won the National Indie Excellence Award for Romance.  It was surreal, but also a real validation of my work that was completely unexpected but not unwelcome.  My second book Seeds of Intention went on to win multiple awards, including a Ben Franklin Award and another NIEA award for Chick Lit.  I’ve got my fingers and toes crossed for House of Belonging.  The third and final book in the Hesse Creek Series is a book that I’m so proud of.

 

ULM: How did you chose the Rocky Mountains as the backdrop to your last novel, House of Belonging?

 

AT: I personally feel most alive when I’m in the woods, hiking near a river or stream.  I really didn’t have any idea that my second book Seeds of Intention would take me to the Rockies when I started writing it, but as it often happens, the characters and their story made that decision for me.  House of Belonging picks up a year after Seeds ends, and it afforded me the luxury of really spending some literary time exploring Aspen, which is one of my favorite towns on earth. I simply go where the stories and characters lead me.

 

ULM: What was it like creating both Logan Matthews and Laina Ming? 

 

AT: In Laina Ming, I tried to create the kind of friend with personality traits that I value the most; Laina is strong, independent and funny.  She was a dream to write. Logan was a character that carried over from Seeds of Intention.  I didn’t see him coming, and when he showed up near the end of Seeds, I knew his story had to be mined a little more deeply, and I immediately knew there would be some intense chemistry between he and Laina.

ULM: Using only three words, how would you describe your style of story telling.

 

AT: Sexy, Classy, Inspiring

 

ULM: How did it feel when you finished writing the last novel, House of Belonging, for the Hesse Creek Series?

 

AT: Finishing that last chapter of House of Belonging was very emotional for me.  I was thrilled with how it all came together in the end, but sad to say goodbye to these characters who had grown to feel like members of my own family.  That said, I’m ready to move on to create something new. I hope my readers will stay on board.

 

ULM: Where can readers find both you and your work online?

 

Readers can find me all over social media, (links below,) and I also have a personal website with lots more information.

http://www.andreathome.com

http://www.facebook.com/andreathomeauthor

http://www.twitter.com/andreathome

http://www.instagram.com/andreathomeauthor

ULM: What other works are you planning to complete, if any?

 

AT: I’m working on the first book in a brand-new series about three brothers, which will primarily be set in the Pacific Northwest.  (At least that’s the plan for now…who knows where my imagination will take me?)

 

ULM: What is your advice to aspiring writers?

 

AT: Be prepared to invest time and a lot of effort.  It might take you a few books to get some traction, unless you’re a leprechaun or you’re in the right place at the right time.  Keep doing it because you love to write. Soak up every moment of the joy that it brings you. Because the writing is the easy part.  There is so much more to building a career as an author.

You should make it your business to learn how to be social media savvy, and be prepared to post interesting and thoughtful things across all platforms daily.  Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, Instagram, Pinterest. And don’t forget about managing a website!

 

Authors should also find an excellent literary publicist to help guide the way, if budgets allow.  I’ve been so lucky to have the best people helping to show me the way.

 

It doesn’t hurt to invest in some fun book-related swag to send out to the incredibly generous bloggers and media that go out of their way to help spread the word about you and your work. Book-loving people are generous.  They want to help you. Make sure to thank them at every opportunity.

 

And be sure to hit the gym.  You’ll be carrying boxes of books in and out of events, particularly if you’re an indie author.  My arms have never looked better. ☺

Review: Happy Endings by Joe Cosentino

Happy Endings (Cozzi Cove, #5)

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

It’s summertime, the perfect season for another trip to Cozzi Cove: the magical place where nothing is what it seems, and romance is always in the sea air.

Welcome back to hunky Cal Cozzi’s seven guest bungalows on the New Jersey Shore. This summer Cal is visited by Kevin Donovan, a handsome man from his past who makes Cal a tempting offer to buy Cozzi Cove and provide financial security to Cal and Michael’s baby. Cal’s Wall Street sister, Taylor, has hopped aboard Kevin’s green wagon. However, Cal’s husband, Michael, and Taylor’s wife, Carla, sense something much deeper in Kevin’s offer than meets the roving eye. Cal’s exhibitionist new houseboy, Carlos, is smitten with Cal’s sweet-faced nanny, Alfred, who carries a shocking secret in his magic Mormon underwear. Middle-aged Matchmaker Gilead has matched guests Marine Master Sergeant Matt Pummel and much younger businessman Keone Paoa to the chagrin of cute young lawyer Luis Lui. As skeletons come out of their closets, the bears and cubs search for their true honey. Woodsy guest Nyx Oberon meets a sexy werewolf at the cove and they share a howling moonlit night. Nyx believes his newfound lover could be part of a much larger plan that would change his life and the world forever.

Will Cal, his family, and his guests have happy endings? It’s Cozzi Cove after all.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Happy Endings by Joe Cosentino is the must have summer vacation spot. Once more, I was lured back into Cal’s family at Cozzi Cove. Here, some of my favorite characters were around and new ones introduced. The variety of characters is amazing. I don’t know how Joe Cosentino does it, but it works out perfectly every time. This tale was full of action, raw emotions, and a bit of mystery. The pages heat up and the intensity was stunning. Jealousy, secrets, fear, and lust…are found here. But there was also a lot of charm, laughs, and heart tugging moments…I wasn’t sure how it would turn out only to find that my heart was captured.

Happy Endings is about family, love, and friendships that last a long time. The depth of emotion that Joe Cosentino sparks from his characters was the best part. I loved it all. Funny, charming, and well-written, this is one hot summer read for all.

 

Review: The Fall of a Sparrow by Dan Scannell

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Found in Paris, an old, long neglected book that purports to be the journal of one Henry Howard turns Michael Devon’s world upside down.

Within its tattered pages, Michael finds a rich tableau of mid-sixteenth century life, experienced with all of the wonder and sense of adventure of a teen-aged boy at the brink of manhood. A story of improbable love, loyalty, friendship, and courage emerges, set in the tumultuous events of the France of Catherine de Medici and Nostradamus.

Woven within this narrative is the story of an emerging poetic sensibility, coupled with an uncanny ability to bring to life a richly imaginative world. Howard provides a subtle sprinkling of linguistic tropes that suggests, in its early stages, the rich language of Shakespeare.

The Fall of a Sparrow is a book about language, the beauty of its texture, the force of its eloquence, and the music of its cadences.

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

The Fall of a Sparrow by Dan Scannell is an interesting take on Shakespeare literature. I was swept back into the 1500’s and enjoying the time period. A young man named Henry Howard has grown up through a troubling time. He writes a lot of work that resembles that of Shakespeare. It comes back to the present moment where one of the characters suggests that somebody else wrote what Shakespeare created. I got to travel back and forth between present and past in discovering the character’s suggestion. I love Shakespeare’s work. This story created a vivid yet entertaining tale that I just could not stop reading. Any fan of literature would love reading this book just as much as I have. The writing was so easy to get swept up into and lost within…

Review: Amish Celebrations by Beth Wiseman

Amish Celebrations: Four Novellas

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

The Gift of Sisters 

Hannah and Rachel are fraternal twins approaching their sixteenth birthday—a time when they will be allowed to spread their wings and enjoy their rumschpringe. The sisters couldn’t be more different: Hannah is outgoing and beautiful, while Rachel is shy and withdrawn. And when newcomer Abraham Stoltzfus arrives in Lancaster County, both women fall head over heels for him, each fighting for his affections in their own ways and driving the sisters to turn on each other. Who will Abraham choose? And will Hannah and Rachel reunite after a devastating heartbreak?

A New Beginning 

Rebecca and Noah are in love and about to be baptized. But when Noah decides to enjoy one last night of his rumschpringe a few weeks before the ceremony, he does something that causes Rebecca to reconsider his proposal. As Rebecca and Noah navigate the turn in their relationship, Rebecca must learn to forgive Noah or abandon her dreams of marrying him. If Noah won’t forgive himself in time for the baptism, his guilt could cause him to run from his love for Rebecca and leave his community behind.

A Perfect Plan  (previously published in An Amish Wedding)

Priscilla King has been planning to marry Chester Lapp since she was sixteen years old, and when Chester pops the question on Priscilla’s nineteenth birthday, wedding plans begin immediately. But everything begins to fall apart as Chester works to build a house for his new bride, only to have one disaster after another occur. Can true love take this couple through the challenges that threaten their union, or will they begin to doubt that they are on the right path, the one God has chosen for them?

A Christmas Miracle 

Mary is twenty-seven years old and already has five young children. Married to her husband at age eighteen, she wasn’t quite prepared for motherhood, and exhaustion and frustration are sending her into a downhill spiral as the holidays approach. Too proud and ashamed to ask for help, Mary’s situation begins to take a toll on her marriage. But when an elderly man in a red suit and his sidekick elf befriend Mary, showering her with wisdom and advice, she must choose to accept help, learn to cope with her situation, and ultimately find the true meaning of Christmas.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Amish Celebrations by Beth Wiseman is a heartfelt collection of four inspirational stories. Each one with it’s own unique message. However, all four shared common themes such as family, faith, love, and friendship. The characters were both Amish and non-Amish. I loved how these tales showed that both groups can be friends despite their differences in faith. Beth Wiseman displayed the real accuracy of Amish living. From the rules to living out their faith, I was brought into each character’s life. I laughed, cried, and cheered for them. This set was an emotional journey that I highly recommend to all.

 

Review: The Heiress He’s Been Waiting For by Kaitlyn O’Riley

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

In Victorian London, the Hamilton sisters are known for their bookshops—and for finding their happily ever afters on their own terms. Now, much to their chagrin, their offspring are following in their unconventional footsteps—in life and in love…

Raised in New York, shipping heiress Sara Fleming was ready to elope—until her disapproving parents tricked her onto a boat heading to England. Her only consolation is getting to see her beloved aunts and cousins. Even the start of London’s Season—and a strikingly handsome earl—can’t make her forget the man she left behind.

Considered one of London’s most eligible bachelors, Christopher Townsend, the Earl of Bridgeton, is not what he seems. Having inherited his father’s crushing debt, he must choose a wealthy bride to save his family’s estate. Though rumored to be penniless and committed to another, Sara takes his breath away—and makes him question what he truly needs to be free of the past. But he’ll have to win the headstrong beauty’s heart one kiss at a time.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

The Heiress He’s Been Waiting For by Kaitlyn O’Riley is an interesting spin to the England society. A young lady in New York has fallen for the charms of a no good thief. Yet she has no idea of his schemes nor his evil plans for her. However, her parents have heard the rumors. They tricked their daughter into a boat trip to London. Once there, they will visit their family.

That is where the beauty heiress meets the charming Duke. Only he’s dirt poor and trying to protect his sisters and mother from ruin. Marrying a rich lady would help provide for his family. Little does he know that the American lady he’s falling for is richer than first rumored.

Sara feels that instant attraction and pull to the Duke. But in her mind she still has eyes for her American beau. Only time, will tell if the American lady and London Duke will find their happily ever after.

Overall, I highly recommend this funny, action-packed, and romantic tale to all. It made me laugh and fall in love with the strong yet determined young couple. Their banters and moments of passion made my heart melt.

Review: The Duke With the Dragon Tattoo by Kerrigan Byrne

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

The bravest of heroes. The brashest of rebels. The boldest of lovers. These are the men who risk their hearts and their souls—for the passionate women who dare to love them…

He is known only as The Rook. A man with no name, no past, no memories. He awakens in a mass grave, a magnificent dragon tattoo on his muscled forearm the sole clue to his mysterious origins. His only hope for survival—and salvation—lies in the deep, fiery eyes of the beautiful stranger who finds him. Who nurses him back to health. And who calms the restless demons in his soul…

A LEGENDARY LOVE

Lorelai will never forget the night she rescued the broken dark angel in the woods, a devilishly handsome man who haunts her dreams to this day. Crippled as a child, she devoted herself to healing the poor tortured man. And when he left, he took a piece of her heart with him. Now, after all these years, The Rook has returned. Like a phantom, he sweeps back into her life and avenges those who wronged her. But can she trust a man who’s been branded a rebel, a thief, and a killer? And can she trust herself to resist him when he takes her in his arms?

“Byrne is a force in the genre.”—RT Book Reviews

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

The Duke with the Dragon Tattoo by Kerrigan Byrne is a fun filled historical adventure. A young man goes after a bad man. This leads him to life in prison and where he meets his friends. A group of other men in jail for lesser crimes banding together like brothers. Ash ends up being beaten to death due to switching a cell with a friend. That friend still lives thanks to Ash for that day. Ash is then found by a young woman. She nurses him back to health. They become best of friends…and their attraction grows. Ash has to keep reminding himself to wait…that his friend is too young for where his heart and thoughts take him. Her deceitful older brother ends up taking Ash to a life of misery and hell. Ash fights his way through it all by thinking of his lady friend. Until one day he does find her again…only to find she’s about to marry an old man. Ash’s anger gets the best of him. He kidnaps her and her lady friend. Taking them both to his ship. Ash forces her to marry him. Only his plans keep falling apart…Ash will have to fight again to save his lady. But he must also find a way to gain back her trust. Only then, can he have her heart…

This novel was funny, heartbreaking, and romantic. The intensity of the attraction from both Ash and his lady is engaging to follow. It’s full of sweet and innocence. Two injured and bullied people coming together to form a long lasting relationship. Only it gets taken from them, and as the years grow, they lose each other. The characters were believable. I loved them. Ash had so much hell to go through, I was surprised he lived as long as he did. Overall, I would highly recommend this pirate historical romance to all.

 

Review: The Secret Book & Scone Society by Ellery Adams

The Secret, Book & Scone Society by [Adams, Ellery]

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

From New York Times bestselling author Ellery Adams comes the first in an intriguing new series set within a quirky small-town club where the key to happiness, friendship—or solving a murder—can all be found within the pages of the right book . . .

Miracle Springs, North Carolina, is a place of healing. Strangers flock here hoping the natural hot springs, five-star cuisine, and renowned spa can cure their ills. If none of that works, they often find their way to Miracle Books, where, over a fresh-baked “comfort” scone from the Gingerbread House bakery, they exchange their stories with owner Nora Pennington in return for a carefully chosen book. That’s Nora’s special talent—prescribing the perfect novel to ease a person’s deepest pain and lighten their heaviest burden.

When a visiting businessman reaches out to Nora for guidance, she knows exactly which novels will help. But before he can keep their appointment at Miracle Books, he’s found dead on the train tracks.

Stunned, Nora forms the Secret, Book, and Scone Society, a group of damaged souls yearning to gain trust and earn redemption by helping others. To join the society, members must divulge their darkest secret—the terrible truth that brought each of them to Miracle Springs in the first place.

Determined to uncover the truth behind the businessman’s demise, the women meet in Nora’s cramped and cozy bookstore to share stories and trade support. And as they untangle a web of corruption, they also discover their own courage, purpose, and a sisterhood that will carry them through every challenge—proving it’s never too late to turn the page and start over . . .

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

The Book & Scone Society by Ellery Adams is a fun and interesting murder mystery. The characters were charming. I loved Nora. She is the lady to go to for a book recommendation. Her personality made her perfect for this novel. I also enjoyed her group members. The ladies were all supportive of each other. Nora was supposed to meet a man only for him to turn up dead. That’s when Nora took lead into investigating the murder. She ended up placing herself into grave danger and took high risks. Then, there was Jed. I really liked him. I want to read more about him and Nora. They scenes made me blush and sigh with content. Overall, Ellery Adams sure knew how to charm me into loving her new book. I would recommend this to all to fans of Agatha Frost and Angie Fox.

 

Review: The Exact Nature of Our Wrongs by Janet Peery

The Exact Nature of Our Wrongs

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Janet Peery’s first novel, The River Beyond the World, was a National Book Award finalist in 1996. Acclaimed for her gorgeous writing and clear-eyed gaze into the hearts of people, Peery now returns with her second novel, The Exact Nature of Our Wrongs.

On a summer evening in the blue-collar town of Amicus, Kansas, the Campbell family gathers for a birthday dinner for their ailing patriarch, town judge Abel Campbell, prepared and hosted by their still-hale mother Hattie. But when Billy, the youngest sibling—with a history of addiction, grand ideas, and misdemeanors—passes out in his devil’s food cake, the family takes up the unfinished business of Billy’s sobriety.

Billy’s misadventures have too long consumed their lives, in particular Hattie’s, who has enabled his transgressions while trying to save him from Abel’s disappointment. As the older children—Doro, Jesse, ClairBell, and Gideon—contend with their own failures, they compete for the approval of the elderly parents they adore, but can’t quite forgive.

With knowing humor and sure-handed storytelling, Janet Peery reveals a family at its best and worst, with old wounds and new, its fractures and feuds, and yet its unbreakable bonds.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

The Exact Nature of Our Wrongs by Janet Peery is a story of family. Families are the center of the community. This one displayed how a family struggled yet still supported and loved one another. It was heart felt, emotional, and entertaining. The funny part was that the mother seemed to head the family even though she feared how her husband would react to their son’s behavior. Grief, mischief, and and unconditional love are shown here. It was amazing to follow them all. The characters gave this book a three-dimensional touch. It felt like I knew the family for years. Overall, I recommend this dramatic yet beautiful story to all.

Review: I’m Not Missing by Carrie Fountain

I'm Not Missing

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

When Miranda Black’s mother abandoned her, she took everything—the sun, moon, and stars—and Miranda found shelter in her friendship with Syd, who wore her own motherlessness like a badge of honor: Our mothers abandoned us. We won’t go begging for scraps.

When Syd runs away suddenly and inexplicably in the middle of their senior year, Miranda is abandoned once again, left to untangle the questions of why Syd left, where she is—and if she’s even a friend worth saving. Her only clue is Syd’s discarded pink leopard print cell phone and a single text contained there from the mysterious HIM. Along the way, forced to step out from Syd’s enormous shadow, Miranda finds herself stumbling into first love with Nick Allison of all people and learning what it means to be truly seen, to be finally not missing in her own life.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

I’m Not Missing by Carrie Fountain is a heartfelt YA novel. I followed a young Latina girl as she went through abandonment from her mom and her so-called best friend, Sydney. The girls relationship felt more one-sided. Miranda was more of a friend to Sydney than Sydney was to her. I was glad that Miranda didn’t have such a toxic friend in her life. It was sad but in a good way. Miranda is a protagonist that was easy to love. She’s bright, kind, and energetic. Her life seemed empty until she fell in love with a guy. Nick is a top boy scout and is headed to Harvard. Miranda is headed to Brown. Their colleges are pretty close…and it’s up to them to see where their stars lay.

Carrie Fountain had me falling in love with her characters. A young girl trying to step out into the light after being hidden away by a friend. Sydney was rude, obnoxious, and overbearing. She kept her friend in the dark, literally. The two girls had one connection other than that, they were complete opposites. I cried, laughed, and cheered as Miranda found herself. She totally blossomed by the ending. Overall, this novel was spectacular.

Review: Every Day Above Ground by Glen Erik Hamilton

Every Day Above Ground (Van Shaw #3)

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

A favor for a dying ex-con turns into a violent battle against a mysterious enemy for Van Shaw in this emotionally powerful and gritty thriller from the award-winning author of Past Crimes and Hard Cold Winter

It sounds like a thief’s dream to Van Shaw: A terminally-ill ex-con tells him of an easy fortune in gold, abandoned and nearly forgotten after its original owner died in prison. For the dying man, the money is a legacy to ensure his pre-teen daughter’s future. For Van, the gold is cash he desperately needs to rebuild his destroyed family home.

The grandson of a career criminal who taught him all the tricks of his trade, Van suspects that nothing is ever that easy. Sure enough, the safe holding the fortune is a trap—set by a mysterious player armed with tremendous resources and a lifetime of hatred. Now, Shaw’s partner is in the clutches of the hunters, and the former Army Ranger may be their next prey. But when the ex-con’s innocent daughter is threatened too, Van’s own hard childhood means he can’t let her come to harm.

To discover who has them in the cross-hairs, Shaw must seek out the hunters’ real prey. His quest leads him from an underground bare-knuckle fighting ring, which may be fronting a darker purpose, to a massive pop-culture convention, where Van and his allies, Hollis and Corcoran, play a dangerous game with foes on every side. It also introduces Van to a brash and beautiful aspiring journalist who poses a whole different kind of personal risk.

For years, Van Shaw has tried to live every day above ground, on the right side of the law, even though crime is his gift . . . and in his blood. If he survives the coming storm, he’ll have to decide what he wants—and whether he can live as an outlaw without sacrificing his honor.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Every Day Above Ground by Glen Erik Hamilton is a great crime fiction novel. I instantly liked the main protagonist. Van Shaw is trying to live by the law but present circumstances are making that difficult. He could lose everything he’s trying to build. Then, out of nowhere, an offer too good to be true happens. From there, I was sucked into the troubled mess that Van got himself into…

Plenty of action, suspense, and intrigue are supplied. The plot was enjoyable. I found myself wondering how Van Shaw was going to make it. A criminal who turns into a good guy only to be propelled back into hell is exactly what this book contained. I was rooting for this criminal. Normally, I like the good guys and Van was sort of a good guy. He  wanted to do good. Overall, I recommend this crime/mystery to all readers.

Review: The Atomic City Girls by Janet Beard

The Atomic City Girls

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

In the bestselling tradition of Hidden Figures and The Wives of Los Alamos, comes a riveting novel of the everyday women who worked on the Manhattan Project during World War II

“What you see here, what you hear here, what you do here, let it stay here.”

In November 1944, eighteen-year-old June Walker boards an unmarked bus, destined for a city that doesn’t officially exist. Oak Ridge, Tennessee has sprung up in a matter of months—a town of trailers and segregated houses, 24-hour cafeterias, and constant security checks. There, June joins hundreds of other young girls operating massive machines whose purpose is never explained. They know they are helping to win the war, but must ask no questions and reveal nothing to outsiders.

The girls spend their evenings socializing and flirting with soldiers, scientists, and workmen at dances and movies, bowling alleys and canteens. June longs to know more about their top-secret assignment and begins an affair with Sam Cantor, the young Jewish physicist from New York who oversees the lab where she works and understands the end goal only too well, while her beautiful roommate Cici is on her own mission: to find a wealthy husband and escape her sharecropper roots. Across town, African-American construction worker Joe Brewer knows nothing of the government’s plans, only that his new job pays enough to make it worth leaving his family behind, at least for now. But a breach in security will intertwine his fate with June’s search for answers.

When the bombing of Hiroshima brings the truth about Oak Ridge into devastating focus, June must confront her ideals about loyalty, patriotism, and war itself.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

The Atomic City Girls by Janet Beard gave a realistic yet deep look into women and their roles during war especially, in 1944. The story told how two women who have goals go about obtaining them. But not all ends up well. June wanted to learn more about their missions and is successful. Her friend Cici wanted a husband and she had for a time but then lost even that. One got what she wanted while the other sort of lost out on hers. But even when Cici’s life ended up a disaster she somehow holds herself up and keeps moving forward. I liked that about her. Then, there was the African American mistreatment that was explored. I felt as though I was transported back in time. The poor group suffered greatly at the hands of the white people. It hurt to watch as Joe lived in fear. He worked to protect his family and keep them safe. I felt overjoyed to see how Joe and his family survive through the tough times in their world. It made this book so much more than just a work of fiction. It combined history and strong themes to make an entertaining yet emotional story. All three main characters were brave, bold, and good people. It showed how they moved forward despite what life brought them. They made lemonade out of lemons. Overall, it was a good read.

Review: Sister of Mine by Laurie Petrou

Sister of Mine

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

A debut novel of domestic suspense in the vein of Liane Moriarty, Shari Lapena and Claire Douglas about two sisters bound together by a murder

Penny and Hattie have always only had each other—their father left long ago and their mother died in a sudden tragic accident. Penny has always watched out for Hattie, even when she felt usurped by her younger, more vivacious sibling. When Penny’s marriage turns sour and her once-charming husband becomes controlling and abusive, who does she turn to for help but Hattie? An unguarded cigarette, helped along by a few conveniently lit matches and some sleeping pills, creates a deadly fire that frees Penny from an unimaginable life, but not without a cost. The weight of their secret binds the two sisters together, for better or worse. When a new man enters their lives, the twists deepen and the secrets compound. Meanwhile, incidents of arson begin to break out locally and the detective who investigated the death of Penny’s husband develops renewed interest in the case, threatening to unravel all their secrets.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Sister of Mine by Laurie Petrou is a haunting yet intense journey. Two sisters who are close end up with a deadly secret. One that can shatter their bond forever or keep it closer. The story consumed me. The emotional bond between Hattie and Penny made me cry. Penny suffered so much only to fall further away from everything. It felt terrible knowing that disaster was hanging over them constantly. Fear of their secret breaking out…then, to end up having their lives separated and utterly destroyed. It broke my heart to know how it ended for Penny. I had hoped for so much more for her. Penny was weak in the beginning yet became a strong woman in the end. Her life felt like it was over before it could even blossom. There’s nothing greater than two sisters who bond together…Overall, this mystery was good. I recommend it to others who love a dark and gripping story.

 

Review: The Hunger by Alma Katsu

The Hunger

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Evil is invisible, and it is everywhere.

Tamsen Donner must be a witch. That is the only way to explain the series of misfortunes that have plagued the wagon train known as the Donner Party. Depleted rations, bitter quarrels, and the mysterious death of a little boy have driven the pioneers to the brink of madness. They cannot escape the feeling that someone–or something–is stalking them. Whether it was a curse from the beautiful Tamsen, the choice to follow a disastrous experimental route West, or just plain bad luck–the 90 men, women, and children of the Donner Party are at the brink of one of the deadliest and most disastrous western adventures in American history.

While the ill-fated group struggles to survive in the treacherous mountain conditions–searing heat that turns the sand into bubbling stew; snows that freeze the oxen where they stand–evil begins to grow around them, and within them. As members of the party begin to disappear, they must ask themselves “What if there is something waiting in the mountains? Something disturbing and diseased…and very hungry?”

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

The Hunger by Alma Katsu is an interesting yet dark journey. A moment in history known as the Donner Party has been relived and retold here. Survival is key. Each member of that doomed party went through hell. Back then, traveling was difficult if not impossible. Timing was not on the Donner Party’s side. Their hardships soon led to chaos, mistrust, and death. Alma Katsu made this historical fiction come alive with a suspenseful voice. A sadness clung to every page. The intensity of the plot grew and it was hard to let go of the book. I felt sorry for the characters and enjoyed following them on this trail. The plot was steady but packed with the right amount of details and action to keep the pages turned. Overall, I would recommend it to those looking for a scary yet entertaining tale.

Review: The Amish Christmas Letters

The Amish Christmas Letters

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

With Christmas around the corner, it’s time for Amish families to include holiday greetings in their circle letters, each writer adding to a growing collection as it travels on to the next. In this delightful trio of stories, three cousins scattered across the country share their blessings—and reveal news of romantic surprises . . .

To win a friendly annual competition, matchmaker Marybeth Martin must bring one more couple together by Christmas. Her only prospect is a man more interested in a nanny than a wife—until his little girl shows him the light. . . . Struggling farmer’s daughter Katie Mae Kauffman discovers that she and a local widower and father of four can harvest more crops—and profits—together than separately. But she’ll have to put pride aside to make room for unexpected love. . . . Corralling an unruly brood of seven is not babysitter Carolyn Yutzy’s first choice for celebrating the season—but the sparks between her and their unsentimental yet irresistible uncle may be a gift neither was counting on . . .

Now, one by one, each resourceful young woman will have a holiday to remember—and to write home about . . .

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

The Amish Christmas Letters is a heartfelt Amish anthology that swept me off my feet. I loved the characters.

Marybeth is a single Amish woman trying to win a bet from her cousin. The loser has to house their mean relative. Only this bet ends up leaving Marybeth falling deep in love with the man she’s helping. As she works as a nanny, Marybeth gets to know the man she’s setting up…maybe, she will end up winning the Christmas met in more ways than expected. The man she’s trying to set up with a date, is strongly against marriage. But spending more time with Marybeth, the idea of marriage starts to look better. Then, there’s her cousin Katie.

Katie is a young unmarried Amish woman. Her father had a stroke and that left everything up to Katie to do. Doing women’s work in the house and keeping up with the farm, proves to be more than Katie can handle. Her Bishop notices it and sets a plan in motion. Little does Katie, her father, and the man with his kids know, but all of them will end up helping each other. At first, their resist the help and each other. But with a little more time, they each start to see the other one in a new light. From sassy and strong willed to becoming more than friends, these two were fun to follow.

Last, there was Carolyn. She was blindsided into babysitting for seven unruly kids. This one touched my heart even more so. The kids were misbehaving constantly, yet as soon as the parents entered into the scene, it was easy to see why. The children wanted their parents’ attention. Neither parent was giving their kids any attention. Their mother ignored their bad behavior. Their father refused to believe his kids were being bad. Both parents were to blame. At first, the children’s uncle thought it was Carolyn’s fault.  Thinking she was a bad babysitter, the uncle tried to get her fired. But he was wrong. Carolyn gave the kids more attention and love than their own parents. Soon or later, the parents would have to do something…In the meantime, Carolyn and their uncle keep bonding over the mishaps. Maybe, they will get their Christmas gift after all.

Overall, these three stories were sweet. I couldn’t stop reading them. The plots were fast. Plenty of action, intrigue, and romance to keep me interested. Themes such as faith, family, and love were shown. Obedience and respect were other lessons in this Amish journey. I recommend this collection to all readers.

 

Review: A Simple Christmas by Charlotte Hubbard

A Simple Christmas (Simple Gifts #3)

 

 

 

 

Synopsis: 

“Hubbard writes Amish stories with style and grace.”
–RT Book Reviews 

The rustic beauty of a country Christmas fills the Simple Gifts crafts shop, while the Amish residents of Willow Ridge pull together in uncertain times–and in the face of an unexpected homecoming. 

Nora Hooley’s shop is abuzz with preparations for the holiday open house, and Rosalyn Riehl is handcrafting wreaths from evergreen boughs, pinecones, and other natural materials. The work is a welcome diversion for the only unmarried daughter of Cornelius Riehl: her gruff dat has been receiving envelopes marked Past Due, leaving dutiful Rosalyn to manage the household’s inexplicably shrinking budget. Then another distraction swaggers into Simple Gifts–blue-jeaned and leather-jacketed, with a reputation that precedes him.

Marcus Hooley hightailed it to Willow Ridge on a wing and a prayer–not that he’s the praying type. He rejected his Amish roots long ago. But behind the bad-boy attitude is a gifted horse trainer who’s counting on some
bent-but-not-broken family ties to throw him a lifeline. He can’t erase his past, but a sparking attraction with strong, spirited Rosalyn holds the promise of a second chance . . . and of shedding light on shadowy secrets to build a bright tomorrow.

Praise for A Simple Vow

“Charlotte Hubbard has a way of writing that draws you into the story from beginning to end.”
–Romance Junkies

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

A Simple Christmas by Charlotte Hubbard is a sweet Amish tale. There is plenty of trouble, intrigue, and emotion to keep the pages turning. A person runs from his  life only to head straight into another mess. Only this one leads his heart  into a bright future. But until he figures out his path, a lot of mischief and sadness follow him everywhere. Another young person, is dealing issues with her father. A secret that is eating up the family and soon tears them apart. Meeting each other, leads them to hope…and maybe, happiness. Charlotte Hubbard brings a warm heartfelt story to life. Her characters are open and inviting. It is easy to get lost within their journey. Themes such as forgiveness, family, and faith is inserted into this book. I am in love with the novel. Perfect, clean, and inspiring…to read. Overall, I recommend to all Christian readers. This Amish tale is must read.

 

Review: Formula of Deception by Carrie Stuart Parks

Formula of Deception

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

“I love Carrie Stuart Parks’s skill in writing characters with hysterical humor, unwitting courage and page-turning mystery. I hope my readers won’t abandon me completely when they learn about her!” —Terri Blackstock, USA TODAY bestselling author of If I Run, If I’m Found, and If I Live

An artist hiding from an escaped killer uncovers one of World War II’s most dangerous secrets—a secret that desperate men will do anything to keep hidden.

After the murder of her twin sister, Murphy Anderson changed her name and appearance and moved to Kodiak, Alaska, to avoid the press and publicity. But when local authorities discover she’s an artist and request her help in drawing a dying man’s memories, she unintentionally ends up in the limelight again—and back in the killer’s crosshairs.

The deathbed confessions of an Alaskan hunter have Murphy drawing the five bodies he discovered on remote Ruuwaq Island ten years ago. But what investigators find has them mystified. Evidence suggests that the bodies were deliberately destroyed, and what they uncover in an abandoned Quonset hut from World War II only brings more questions.

As one by one the investigators who were at the hut die, Murphy knows there is something much darker at stake. What happened on this island during the war? And who is willing to kill to keep its secrets buried?

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

Formula of Deception by Carrie Stuart Parks is definitely for fans of Heather Graham, J.T. Ellison, and Brenda Novak. Carrie Stuart Parks brings a lot of excitement and danger in this thrilling read. A crime investigation leads back to a historical secret that somebody is  willing to kill to keep buried. Yet, investigators are getting closer and their death hangs into the air. As new and old victims pile up, the intensity of the situation rises. This dark Alaskan murder mystery, kept giving me chills.

Inside Formula of Deception, I got to meet a twin of a dead woman. The twin, Murphy Anderson, goes into hiding. Staying away from a murderer, is the plan. However, Murphy is soon drawn out of hiding and back into danger. Murphy has a talent that is needed for an investigation. This now, puts her at high risk. The murderer is still killing people to keep the historical secret hidden. It’s only a matter of time, before everything escalates out of control. Overall, this one was phenomenal.

 

Review: Among the Red Stars by Gwen C. Katz

Among the Red Stars

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

World War Two has shattered Valka’s homeland of Russia, and Valka is determined to help the effort. She knows her skills as a pilot rival the best of the men, so when an all-female aviation group forms, Valka is the first to sign up.

Flying has always meant freedom and exhilaration for Valka, but dropping bombs on German soldiers from a fragile canvas biplane is no joyride. The war is taking its toll on everyone, including the boy Valka grew up with, who is fighting for his life on the front lines.

As the war intensifies and those around her fall, Valka must decide how much she is willing to risk to defend the skies she once called home.

Inspired by the true story of the airwomen the Nazis called Night Witches, Gwen C. Katz weaves a tale of strength and sacrifice, learning to fight for yourself, and the perils of a world at war.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Among the Red Stars by Gwen C. Katz is a heart breaking tale. One of war, loss, and grief. But with that also comes hope, love, and strength. A young woman bravely goes into the air force knowing the risks. Her male friend is also fighting on the front lines. Danger, nightmares, and risks await them both. Their friendship never fades even as the war breaks out all around them. Hope keeps them both going.

Females are being allowed to fight in the war as pilots. Valka is one of them. She defies all the stereotypes that go against women during that time. Valka is brave, smart, and a good woman. I like her. Her personality makes this sad journey more enjoyable. I easily got lost within the pages. The relationship between both Valka and her male friend, Pasha, is heartfelt. Missing opportunities before the war, now have the chance to happen. But only if they both make it out alive. Overall, I would highly recommend this historical/women’s fiction novel to all.

 

Review: Sore Today, Strong Tomorrow

 

 

 

Synopsis:

A little progress each day adds up to BIG results!

We make it easy to track your progress with our beautifully created Fitness Planner for women. This planner is made with YOU in mind. We have included: The Plan Ahead Weekly Schedule to highlight your current stats in line with your goals for the week. Notes page to give you plenty of room to journal, add notes about progress or track info. Weekly Meal Plan Chart to track every meal, snack & water intake – with plenty of room to write all the details! Strength Training Exercise Chart to record specific exercises, cardio & cool-down. Monthly Work Out Tracker to see your overview and consistency on a monthly basis. Monthly Habits Chart & Tracker which is a unique area to write down the habits you want to establish in your everyday life and track your commitment to them.

 

If you are looking to be your BEST self, stop here and order this fitness planner. While you’re at it, get one for your sister, best friend or even Mom! Keeping track of your goals has never been easier!

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Sore Today, Strong Tomorrow is a great fitness journal. It has an easy way of tracking how much water you drink daily, as well as your fitness goals. The pages are well-organized. I can easily keep track of what exercises I want to do and which ones I completed. This journal allowed me to post my positive and negative thoughts as I worked out each day/week/month. I would recommend it to others.

Special Guest: Elyse Douglas Author of The Lost Mata Hari Ring

Image result for elyse douglas author

You Are a Real Character

by Elyse Douglas

A young teacher at a small town high school—married, in her 20’s, with aspirations to become a television journalist—was accused of murdering her husband.

In the weeks before her arrest, she appeared on television several times, making emotional pleas, asking anyone with knowledge of the murder to please come forward to assist the police in locating the person who had killed her dear, kind husband.

This is a true story that took place on the East Coast a few decades ago.  The killer turned out to be a 15-year-old boy from the school where the teacher taught, who said he was her lover.  He testified that she helped plan the murder, so it would look like a burglary.

Of course, everyone in the community was stunned.  Many said, “It was so out of character.  She was so nice and good.  How could she have killed her husband?”

My uncle Ted was not a big man, but he always bought shirts that were much too large for him.  He usually wore old baggy jeans and a cotton shirt that covered him like a gown.  If the wind blew brisk, the shirt would puff out like a balloon.

Whenever anyone asked him why he wore those big shirts, he’d say, “Small, medium, large, extra-large… all the same price.  I get more value for my money.”  He wore a medium, but an extra-large had more fabric, so instead of buying a medium, he’d buy the extra-large.

My Aunt May would say, with weary resignation, “Ole Ted Boy is a character, ain’t he?”

Cussing Helen and soft-spoken Wayne were the parents of a best friend.  Helen was a contractor and Wayne a caterer.  She built houses and he built wedding cakes.  People would often say, “Shouldn’t it be the other way around?” Meaning shouldn’t Helen be the caterer and Wayne the contractor?

Helen would say, “I can’t build a damn cake and he can’t build a friggin’ doghouse, and that’s okay with us.”

These characters had been happily married for over twenty years.

One writer said, “In every novel I’ve written, I began with a character, and allowed the drama to emerge out of human nature and relationships.”

As a young girl, I recall being fascinated by people: how they dressed; how they talked, their choice of words; their beliefs and opinions.  I soon discovered that everyone—without exception—was a character, and I would write down aspects of their character in a notebook.

From a young age, I observed that people often say one thing but do another; that guilt can ruin an entire lifetime; that laughter often masks great pain.  I would ask myself, why?

Invariably, in my own life, I’ve learned that what people say about someone else usually says more about them than the other person.  I’ve learned that what people think will make them happy doesn’t, especially, if it’s obtained too easily.  Instead, they get disenchanted and feel the frantic need to chase after the next happiness.  (This can be a great driving force for an entire novel.)  I’ve observed that true happiness mostly comes from sacrifice, tenderness, patience, and a good sense of humor.

When I began writing novels, I learned that I could drop any flawed, colorful character into nearly any plot and the story would sail off and hold the reader’s interest.

So, I usually begin my stories with a character who is struggling with fate, a painful secret, or a buried fear.  In our latest novel, The Lost Mata Hari Ring, a Time Travel Novel, the protagonist is plagued by nightmares from a past life, which she learns are a consequence of painful events and bad choices that left her estranged from her daughter.  After our protagonist time travels and meets the love of her life, she must then face herself as she was in the past and reconcile with her daughter, so that she can move on with her life in the present.

I love writing about romantic discovery and relationships, where characters meet that special someone who attracts and challenges them.  Over the course of the story, it is the relationship that helps to change and expand the protagonist from a tiny bud into a glorious rose.  The once frightened, flawed character finally grows up and blossoms.  She doesn’t just find herself, but she is free to create a new and authentic life.

As the great playwright George Bernard Shaw said, “Life isn’t about finding yourself.  Life is about creating yourself.

A quote that I have never forgotten was one I first read in junior high school:

Character is destiny.

—Heraclitus

 

 

 

The Lost Mata Hari Ring: A Time Travel Novel by [Douglas, Elyse]

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Up-and-coming actress, Trace Rutland, has had nightmares about a tragic past ever since she was a little girl. She struggles with her everyday life, finally seeking help from a hypnotherapist.

While under hypnosis, she inadvertently experiences a tragic past life in Paris, in 1916, during the First World War.

Later, while visiting a wealthy man’s private Mata Hari collection, Trace is drawn to a glittering ring, once worn by the convicted spy. Trace is enthralled. When she’s alone, she slips the ring on and is swiftly hurled into the past. There, she must face herself as she was in the past, while struggling to change the course of her destiny.

When she meets the handsome Edward Kenyon Bishop, a World War I British flying ace, she falls in love. She is swept away into a journey of suspicion and treachery, and must fight for her life.

Can she survive the past? Can she return to the present? Can true love endure for all time?

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

The Lost Mata Hari Ring is so much like The Time Traveler’s Wife. The plot is full of mystery, intrigue, and a bit of romance. There is plenty of action to follow. I was never bored. I am hooked. It captures my interest from the first chapter. Time travel that allows a young woman to find her past and move past her nightmares. This journey in time, gives Trace a new beginning and a sense of peace. I easily was swept into the story as I followed Trace reconnecting with her past life and accepting her present one. Trace is a strong character that was likable. I can connect with her without difficulty. Overall, I recommend this novel to all readers.

Enter to Win a Copy of The Lost Mata Hari Ring

To enter into the free giveaway: participants must be from the US; like this post; comment on this post, and share on social media. Tell your friends to enter! Contest ends Sunday, July 22, 2018 at 11 PM Central Time. 

 

Review: Her Perfect Affair by Priscilla Oliveras

Her Perfect Affair (Matched to Perfection #2)

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

A ZEBRA SHOUT FRESH NEW ROMANCE

The Fernandez sisters have always had big dreams, and the talent and drive to pursue them. And in this sunny, spicy new series, each one will discover that success is that much sweeter when love follows . . .

Rosa Fernandez doesn’t act on impulse–she’s the responsible one, planning her career with precision, finally landing a job as the librarian at conservative Queen of Peace Academy, confining her strongest emotions to her secret poetry journal. But she’s been harboring a secret crush on dreamy Jeremy Taylor, and after one dance with him at her sister’s wedding, Rosa longs to let loose for the first time. She deserves some fun, after all. So what if she doesn’t have a shot with Jeremy, not with his wealthy pedigree and high profile lifestyle. But one dance leads to one kiss, and soon Rosa is head-over-heels . . .

The adopted son of a prominent Chicago lawyer, Jeremy has a lot to live up to–especially with his birth father in prison–the perfect example of a bad example. With a big promotion and a move to Japan in the works, Jeremy is worlds away from settling down. But sweet, steady Rosa is a temptation he doesn’t want to deny himself, at least for now. Yet when their simple fling turns complicated, everything they’ve both worked for is threatened–except the red-hot intimacy they’ve found together. Can forever really grow from just-for-now?

Praise for Priscilla Oliveras’ His Perfect Partner

“Moving familial relationships and splashes of Puerto Rican culture round out this splendid contemporary.”
–Publishers Weekly, STARRED REVIEW

“Oliveras takes all the right steps in this sweet romance . . . Packed with emotion, humor, and memorable characters.”
–Booklist, STARRED REVIEW

“Well written and full of fun, welcoming characters. Readers will laugh and cry and be uplifted.” 
–RT Book Reviews, 4 Stars

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Her Perfect Affair by Priscilla Oliveras delivered on heat, sassy heroines, and a romantic story. A young Puerto Rican woman is determined to stay the good girl. She works hard and does not allow herself to play just as hard. Until her sister’s wedding, Rosa Fernandez finds herself wishing about a romance with a particular man. Little does she know, but fate has granted her a wish come true. It seems like the perfect story. But in reality Rosa gets a taste of it for a bit. A tease of what could be. The young man has a lot of pressure with family and his career. Rosa won’t let him into her life, until he mends his family tension and decides where he wants to be with his career. But until he does, neither one is happy.

Priscilla Oliveras writes well. The only thing that stops me from rating the book higher was due to the characters. The main protagonists kept pushing the off button. Rosa pushes Jeremy away countless times during the novel. Even her sisters said, she’s crazy. While her fear of tying down Jeremy made some sense, it still didn’t feel right. She never worked to keep him close to her. It was like, okay, Jeremy, it’s all up to you. Whatever Jeremy chooses that would have been how the story ended. Rosa shows no sign of fighting for Jeremy. Jeremy not once really fought to persuade Rosa that he really wanted to be at her side more than nay thing. It just felt flat in this area. Otherwise, the rest was perfect.

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.

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: Judy Moody (Mood Martian) by Megan McDonald

Mood Martian (Judy Moody #12)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

It’s Backwards Day, so Judy Moody double-dares herself to become Queen of the Good Mood for one whole week. Can she do it?

Will the real Judy Moody please stand up? In honor of Backwards Day, Judy Moody decides to turn that frown upside down, make lemonade out of lemons, and be nice to stinky little brothers. In fact, Judy becomes a NOT moody, cool-as-a-cucumber neat freak for one whole entire day. But when her combed hair, matching outfits, and good moods hang around for days after, her friends begin to worry. Could this smiley Judy be an impostor?

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Judy Moody: Mood Martian by Megan McDonald is the best novel yet. In this tale, I got to watch Judy Moody show a different side to herself than her usual self. In fact, her family started to think she wasn’t really Judy…at all. The change was pleasant and welcoming.

Judy Moody is a young girl who has a wild imagination and a good heart. She wants to be good, but her plans always went wrong. There was always a big oops, somewhere if not everywhere she went.

I was surprised by how much Judy changed and grew up. Her personality is still creative as ever. I laughed a lot. Her and Stink will always be my favorite two characters in this series.

Judy Moody: Mood Martian is about Judy trying not to be her usual Moody self. Readers familiar with the series all know how moody Judy Moody can get at times. Her ways of accomplishing not being moody was interesting! I definitely recommend this book story to all. Judy did make a lot of boo boos as usual, but she somehow ended up at the top. I liked the themes and the new adventure presented. The illustrations were great. They went well with each chapter. Overall, I highly recommend this book to readers everywhere.

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