Review: An Amish Winter

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

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Home Sweet Home by Amy Clipston

(Previously published in An Amish Home)

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

A Christmas Visitor by Kelly Irvin

(Previously published in An Amish Christmas Gift)

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

When Winter Comes by Barbara Cameron

(Previously published in An Amish Gathering)

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

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

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

 

Review: An Amish Homecoming

An Amish Homecoming

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Four brand new Amish stories of coming home.

No Place Like Home  by Amy Clipston

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

When Love Returns  by Beth Wiseman

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

The Courage to Love  by Shelley Shepard Gray

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

What Love Built by Kathleen Fuller

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

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

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

 

Review: Second-Chance Dogs

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

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

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

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

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

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

Review: America’s Sweetheart

America's Sweetheart (Real Love, #5)

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

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

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

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

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

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

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

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

 

Review: When Winter Comes

When Winter Comes: An Amish Gathering Novella

 

 

 

Synopsis:

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

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

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

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

Review: 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: Tall, Dark Cowboy Christmas by Maisey Yates

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

It’s Christmas in Gold Valley, and this wounded widower is about to get another shot at love…

Grant Dodge didn’t expect to find a woman sleeping in an abandoned cabin on his family ranch. Or to find her so intriguing. Unlike every other woman in town, McKenna Tate doesn’t know Grant’s a widower. There’s no pity in the looks she gives him. McKenna wants him, and Grant has forgotten what it’s like to feel like a man. A no-strings fling for Christmas might be the kind of holiday cheer Grant needs…

With only a suitcase to her name, McKenna came to Gold Valley to confront her birth father. She didn’t plan to work at the Dodge ranch or fall for the gorgeous cowboy who keeps his heart roped off. But there’s no denying the way their broken pieces fit together. Hope brought her to Gold Valley—but will it be the gift that could finally heal Grant, and McKenna’s own wounded heart?

Also includes a bonus Gold Valley novella, Snowed in with the Cowboy!

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Tall, Dark Cowboy Christmas by Maisey Yates is a book that grabbed my whole heart and soul. A young woman is sent off to live in the fosters homes at the age of two. From there, she goes back and forth with no one loving her. She has no family. Just as she leaves the foster system, they give her a birth certificate. One that led her to her birth father. Now, she has the opportunity of a lifetime. Meet her family. But she’s afraid. Then, upon her way there, she sleeps in a broken down cabin where a tall, dark cowboy found her.

Grant Dodge has lost his mother. And then his young wife. She died of cancer. His heart has never been the same. Until he found a young tiny woman sleeping away in a cabin. That’s when his world got turned upside down. Utter chaos, complicated, and hot sex…make Grant feel again. Things he never wanted to feel yet he does. All because of McKenna. A lost woman searching for family.

Maisey Yates created a beautifully written novel about family, hope, and love. Letting go of the past is harder to than others say. Grief, loss, and unexpected love found its way into my heart. I cried. Their loss and pain felt like it was my own. The characters were downright charming. Irresistible banters and plenty of humor to keep my interest. Overall, this sexy contemporary is a must read for all.

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: All We Ever Wanted was Everything by Janelle Brown

All We Ever Wanted Was Everything

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

A smart, comic page-turner about a Silicon Valley family in free fall over the course of one eventful summer.

When Paul Miller’s pharmaceutical company goes public, making his family IPO millionaires, his wife, Janice, is sure this is the windfall she’s been waiting years for — until she learns, via messengered letter, that her husband is divorcing her (for her tennis partner!) and cutting her out of the new fortune.

Meanwhile, four hundred miles south in Los Angeles, the Millers’ older daughter, Margaret, has been dumped by her newly famous actor boyfriend and left in the lurch by an investor who promised to revive her fledgling post-feminist magazine, Snatch. Sliding toward bankruptcy and dogged by creditors, she flees for home where her younger sister Lizzie, 14, is struggling with problems of her own. Formerly chubby, Lizzie has been enjoying her newfound popularity until some bathroom graffiti alerts her to the fact that she’s become the school slut.

The three Miller women retreat behind the walls of their Georgian colonial to wage battle with divorce lawyers, debt collectors, drug-dealing pool boys, mean girls, country club ladies, evangelical neighbors, their own demons, and each other, and in the process they become achingly sympathetic characters we can’t help but root for, even as the world they live in epitomizes everything wrong with the American Dream. Exhilarating, addictive, and superbly accomplished, All We Ever Wanted Was Everything crackles with energy and intelligence and marks the debut of a knowing and very funny novelist, wise beyond her years.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

All We Ever Wanted was Everything by Janelle Brown is a realistic story of how one event during the summer turned a family’s world upside down. Each member has their own struggle. One with divorce from her cheating husband, a daughter with boys, a sister with her career, and one sister who is broke. They all live together trying to make sense of their lives and find themselves. The news media is cruel and depicts the mother as a greedy woman wanting of all her husband’s money. While her husband and father of her children is spot lighted as a decent man full of power. I felt sad for the family of women. Yet despite their troubles they came out stronger and better. Messy, complicated, funny, and engaging, this novel was entertaining to read. I enjoyed meeting the Miller women. It sort of reminded me of The Little Women.

Review: The Christmas Sisters by Sarah Morgan

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

In the snowy Highlands of Scotland, Suzanne McBride is dreaming of the perfect cozy Christmas. Her three adopted daughters are coming home for the holidays and she can’t wait to see them. But tensions are running high…

Workaholic Hannah knows she can’t avoid spending the holidays with her family two years in a row. But it’s not the weight of their expectations that’s panicking her—it’s the life-changing secret she’s hiding. Stay-at-home mom Beth is having a personal crisis. All she wants for Christmas is time to decide if she’s ready to return to work—seeing everyone was supposed to help her stress levels, not increase them! Posy isn’t sure she’s living her best life, but with her parents depending on her, making a change seems risky. But not as risky as falling for gorgeous new neighbor Luke…

As Suzanne’s dreams of the perfect McBride Christmas unravel, she must rely on the magic of the season to bring her daughters together. But will this new togetherness teach the sisters that their close-knit bond is strong enough to withstand anything—including a family Christmas?

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

The Christmas Sisters by Sarah Morgan is a lot different than her previous novels. This one is deeper than the others. It has stories from three sisters each with their own issues. Their issues stem from their parents’ death and from various other things in their lives. They each struggle with what they want to do, what they should do, and what they actually end up doing. I felt sympathy immediately for these women. They are full grown and still coming to terms with their loss. Love, family, and hope were common themes that I found on these pages. It was a bit inspiring to watch them each battle their demons and come to terms with their grief. Heartbreaking but hopeful, Sarah Morgan created a realistic novel. I found myself sounded by her characters and enjoying as they grew emotionally and mentally. Unconditional love was on every page. The sacrifices that the adoptive mom made blew me away. There was so much attached to this story. It wasn’t like most novels. This one gripped a hold of me and didn’t let go…

Review: When the Lights Go Out by Mary Kubica

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

A woman is forced to question her own identity in this riveting and emotionally charged thriller by the blockbuster bestselling author of The Good Girl, Mary Kubica. 

Jessie Sloane is on the path to rebuilding her life after years of caring for her ailing mother. She rents a new apartment and applies for college. But when the college informs her that her social security number has raised a red flag, Jessie discovers a shocking detail that causes her to doubt everything she’s ever known.

Finding herself suddenly at the center of a bizarre mystery, Jessie tumbles down a rabbit hole, which is only exacerbated by grief and a relentless lack of sleep. As days pass and the insomnia worsens, it plays with Jessie’s mind. Her judgment is blurred, her thoughts are hampered by fatigue. Jessie begins to see things until she can no longer tell the difference between what’s real and what she’s only imagined.

Meanwhile, twenty years earlier and two hundred and fifty miles away, another woman’s split-second decision may hold the key to Jessie’s secret past. Has Jessie’s whole life been a lie or have her delusions gotten the best of her?

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

When the Lights Go Out by Mary Kubica is a very depressing yet intense novel. Inside, I followed a young woman’s journey through nightmares. She has been in the hospital at her mom’s side and won’t sleep until her mom gets better or passes away. The doctor tried to tell Jessie to get some sleep, but she won’t listen. I felt her pain and her tiredness. Her confusion and pain about finding her father and her mom’s cancer was horrifying. Jessie could not tell apart reality from nightmare. I could not tell the difference until the ending…that’s when all became clear. Grief, loss, and secrets are explored in this novel. I cried a lot when I read this story. Jessie did want her mom to die from cancer. She kept hoping she would get better. Then, there was the fact that Jessie never knew her own father. Mary Kubica never revealed that secret. But the man that should have been her father became one to her while her mom was passing away from her cancer. The death was slow…and when the last moment came, it sped by quickly. My heart broke. Overall, this was intriguing, dark, and heartbreaking.

 

Review: Red Velvet Crush by Christina Meredith

Red Velvet Crush

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Rock music, a broken family, challenging sisters, and the crush of first love—Red Velvet Crush has everything you need in a summer read. For fans of Nick & Norah’s Infinite PlaylistEleanor & Park, and This Song Will Save Your Life.

Teddy Lee’s mother ran off when she was in second grade. And ever since, Teddy Lee, the often-overshadowed middle kid, has tried to keep her family together. But her older brother Winston usually keeps himself busy with smoking, drinking, and girls, and who knows what else. Her younger sister Billie is occupied with her shoplifting habit and boys . . . and who knows what else. So when Teddy Lee finally takes the songs she’s always written and forms a band, maybe it’ll bring everyone closer together, maybe it’ll be her time to shine. Unless Billie steals the spotlight—and the boy—just like she always does. Christina Meredith explores the complicated relationship of sisters—both the unconditional love and the unavoidable resentments—in a novel full of music, urgency, the first blushes of love, and the undeniable excitement of hitting the road.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Red Velvet Crush by Christina Meredith is a deep story of two sisters. One of them is always being overshadowed by the other one. Teddy Lee just wants her family to be a family again. So, she comes up with an idea and let it roll. But it isn’t too long before her sister, Billie once again takes over…and things go down hill from there. I liked Teddy. She seemed likable and wanting what’s good for others. Her family is in this broken weird phrase. One that cannot be shaken. Her father loves her and her sister. He raised them when the mother left and still sends stuff to Billie despite what she does. Christina Meredith realistically displayed a dysfunctional family, teenagers, and dreams. I found it all interesting.

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: Maybe for You by Nicole McLaughlin

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

She’s never had a no-strings fling. He’s never had anything else. But maybe this time will be an exception?

After a year of mourning her fiancé, Alexis Parker has worked hard to rediscover what she wants out of life. Fresh out of the military and back stateside, her brother offers her a marketing job at the Stag Distillery. Ready for a new challenge, Alexis agrees to accompany her new co-worker Jake Cooperon a Stag cross-country promotional tour. He may have an infamous playboy reputation, but Alexis is surprised to find out that there is more to him than meets the eye. And she likes what she sees. . .

Jake promised Alexis’s brother that he’d be an absolute gentleman. Of course, that was before he and Alexis hit the road, and they both agree that what Alexis’s big brother doesn’t know won’t hurt him. The plan: to keep their fling confined to the RV, and everything will go back to normal once they head home. Things progress in ways neither of them could have imagined, and Jake realizes that he and Alexis make a perfect mix. Can he convince her that he’s ready to shake things up and give true love a shot?

Rating: 5-stars

Review: 

Maybe for You by Nicole McLaughlin is both sad and a happy journey. A young woman loses her parents, and then her fiance. Alex feels like she can never love anyone for fear of losing them. Yet she is falling in love with her best friend, Jake. Jake is known for not having relationships. But with Alex, it feels right. Being with her, Jake feels happy. He now has to prove to her that they’re made for each other. Happiness can exist once more. But the journey will be totally chaos.

Nicole McLaughlin’s book made me cry and laugh. The characters just have a way of pulling my heart into their life story. They swept me up into their beautiful chaos. Love, fear, and new beginnings…that’s what this book explored. Plans can be difficult. One path closes but another one opens. Alex is a strong yet determined woman to show that she can move forward. Losing a loved one is never easy; however, she held her own. Jake was the good man. Always being there for her, Jake made me swoon from page one. He is this irresistible man that every woman dreams about…overall, I highly recommend this romantic tale to all readers.

 

Review: Blythe of the Gates by Leah Erickson

blythe-cover-hirez.jpg

 

 

 

 

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

Blythe of the Gates by Leah Erickson is a deep emotional story that pulled me in from the start. The main characters went through a life of hell before they got to where they were. A young baby boy left in blood at a nunnery, was then working on a farm where he was abused, and then left as an orphan. He soon worked in a carnival where he meet an older man. One that had magic. The magic drew him in unlike anything else. It held promise of a better, happier life. Yet, the things we want in life are not always what we need. The boy becomes the magician. He meets our lady protagonist. From there, she has lived in fear of her husband. A sadness swept over me  like an ice-cube going down my back. It was depressing. She ended up living a rich lifestyle but was abused by the magician. Her happiness sapped out of her. Until, Sean…a man as ordinary as her. He makes her happy but not perfectly happy. Things spiral out of control and our lady find herself in one chaotic mess after another.

Blythe of the Gates featured themes such as marriage, abuse, and moving forward. Luna and her husband were both lost souls looking for happiness. After reading this novel, I am still not sure if Luna will ever find it. Her husband managed to  find a temporary form of happiness but it still never gave him the full satisfaction that he desired. This story was epic. The pages were dark, engaging, and mysterious…I enjoyed reading it. Overall, I recommend this book to fans of Unfortunate Events. It has the same resemblance but better.

 

 

Review: Second Chance at Two Love Lane by Kieran Kramer

Second Chance At Two Love Lane

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

From USA Today bestselling author Kieran Kramer, comes Second Chance at Two Love Lane, a fast-paced tale about the intoxicating effects of fame and what happens when a past romance is rekindled behind the silver screen.

Sometimes love is waiting in the second act…

In her professional career, Ella Mancini plays matchmaker at Two Love Lane but, in her personal life, she takes the stage at the Dock Street Theatre. Now she has a chance at a new role in a Hollywood movie that happens to be filming in Charleston—one that features a big-name actress, Samantha Drake. Long ago, Ella passed up a major audition while awaiting a marriage proposal. Not only didn’t she get the role; she never got the ring, either. Instead, her boyfriend Hank went on to become a huge film star…leaving her, and all her dreams, behind.

But now Hank’s back in Charleston, cast as the male lead in the same movie Ella’s in. In spite of the dramatic tension off-screen, he and Ella try to stay cool onset. But when their old feelings start to heat up—at the same time leading-lady Samantha tries to play cupid—all bets are off. How can Hank convince Ella, after all this time, that she’s the one he really wants to be with in real life—and that some happy, rom-com endings really can come true?

 

“Readers who enjoy works by Nora Roberts and Luanne Rice will want to give Kramer a try.”—Library Journal

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Second Chance at Two Love Lane by Kieran Kramer is a sweet heartfelt story of second chances. New beginnings await a young pair. Their future lies in their hands. I loved the father-daughter bond. It was engaging…and brought me a little closer to the main protagonist. I felt her passion for theater, as well as her love for her father. Ella is a woman who leaves people liking her. Her personality if warm. Determined and ready, Ella leaves to tackle a college career. She will be the first to get a degree in her family. I felt the happiness bloom inside of her. A young guy catches her attention early and it is from there that they have a connection. Love on the horizon…or is it? They proved they have the heat and attraction, but they need more if there is to be a future together. Overall, I loved the fiery banters and chemistry that was displayed on every page. Tugging at me heart, I will never forget this story.

 

Review: The Winter Lodge by Susan Wiggs

The Winter Lodge (Lakeshore Chronicles #2)

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

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

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

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

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

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Review: Where Hope Begins by Catherine West

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

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

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

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

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

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

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

Review: The Women in the Castle by Jessica Shattuck

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER  •  FEATURING AN EXCLUSIVE NEW CHAPTER

GoodReads Choice Awards Semifinalist 

“Moving . . . a plot that surprises and devastates.”—New York Times Book Review

“A masterful epic.”—People magazine

“Mesmerizing . . . The Women in the Castle stands tall among the literature that reveals new truths about one of history’s most tragic eras.”—USA Today

Three women, haunted by the past and the secrets they hold

Set at the end of World War II, in a crumbling Bavarian castle that once played host to all of German high society, a powerful and propulsive story of three widows whose lives and fates become intertwined—an affecting, shocking, and ultimately redemptive novel from the author of the New York Times Notable Book The Hazards of Good Breeding.

Amid the ashes of Nazi Germany’s defeat, Marianne von Lingenfels returns to the once-grand castle of her husband’s ancestors, an imposing stone fortress now fallen into ruin following years of war. The widow of a resister murdered in the failed July 20, 1944, plot to assassinate Adolf Hitler, Marianne plans to uphold the promise she made to her husband’s brave conspirators: to find and protect their wives, her fellow resistance widows.

First Marianne rescues six-year-old Martin, the son of her dearest childhood friend, from a Nazi reeducation home. Together, they make their way across the smoldering wreckage of their homeland to Berlin, where Martin’s mother, the beautiful and naive Benita, has fallen into the hands of occupying Red Army soldiers. Then she locates Ania, another resister’s wife, and her two boys, now refugees languishing in one of the many camps that house the millions displaced by the war.

As Marianne assembles this makeshift family from the ruins of her husband’s resistance movement, she is certain their shared pain and circumstances will hold them together. But she quickly discovers that the black-and-white, highly principled world of her privileged past has become infinitely more complicated, filled with secrets and dark passions that threaten to tear them apart. Eventually, all three women must come to terms with the choices that have defined their lives before, during, and after the war—each with their own unique share of challenges.

Written with the devastating emotional power of The Nightingale, Sarah’s Key, and The Light Between Oceans, Jessica Shattuck’s evocative and utterly enthralling novel offers a fresh perspective on one of the most tumultuous periods in history. Combining piercing social insight and vivid historical atmosphere, The Women in the Castle is a dramatic yet nuanced portrait of war and its repercussions that explores what it means to survive, love, and, ultimately, to forgive in the wake of unimaginable hardship.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

The Women in the Castle by Jessica Shattuck is an outstanding tale. One that brings me back to the past during the start of WWII. The lives that were lost, held captive, and tortured during this time brings back an unforgettable sadness. Families torn apart and gone…with only their memories living on…

I am a huge historical buff especially for WWII. Hitler is by far one of the worst devils ever presented to this world. How it went on for so long…still bugs me. The lives of the characters is amazing. The Holocaust and the German support of Hitler are explored on these pages.

Three women who are strong, determined, and battling their future head on…I instantly was taken with each of them. Their stories were so real. It was like I was living through each one of them. Brilliant story telling on Jessica Shattuck’s part. Her book carries a lot of history as well as entertainment. Themes of survival, hope, and love are found in this novel. I highly recommend it to all readers.

Review: Love and Ruin by Paula Mclain

Love and Ruin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

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

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

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

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

Review: Before and Again by Barbara Delinsky

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

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

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

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

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

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

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

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

 

Review: Only With You by Nicole McLaughlin

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

The men in Nicole McLaughlin’s Man Enough series are tough Alphas devoted to serving their country and the women who love them.

National Guardsman Aiden King has been attracted to Hannah Walters for a while, but he never made a move because of her close relationship with his best friend. But when circumstances change, Aiden is surprised when his friend gives his blessing. Problem is, there’s a reason he’s still alone after all these years, and as much as he wants her, that secret keeps him from acting on his desires.

Hannah has finally decided to wait for the kind of love you read about in books and see in movies. After her failed engagement, Aiden’s unassuming support has become a touchstone for Hannah. It soon becomes apparent that he may be exactly the kind of man she’s been looking for. But the closer they become, the more he keeps her at arm’s length.

When Aiden suggests a road trip to take Hannah’s mind off her troubles, the two of them go on a journey neither one expected. She just hopes that the final destination is them together for good.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Only With You by Nicole McLaughlin is full on intensity. Hot and sweet, as well as the sad and frustrated kind of intense situations. The characters are mature but have their own personal journey to go through before they figure out things. Hannah believes she is incapable of loving someone and Aiden is scared of letting in Hannah.

Hannah soon starts to crush on Aiden. The more time she spends with the sexy hunk, the more she likes making him laugh and talking to him. Plus, he’s definitely easy on the eyes. But can she love him the way he deserves to be loved?

Aiden has a lot of inner struggles happening. He really likes Hannah. He wants her in more than just friends kind of way. But sometimes she makes him feel like all they could ever be is just friends. Aiden also has secrets that make him both the most frustrating and most intriguing man ever. He has a heart of gold. Plus, he’s a brilliant cook.

Overall, Only With You, made me laugh and cry. It was both a sad and happy tale. I kept rooting for each character. Sexy, sweet, and engaging is the kind of book Nicole McLaughlin created. I enjoyed reading it. In the end, I recommend this contemporary novel to all readers.

Review: The Next Best Thing by Kristan Higgins

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Lucy Lang isn’t looking for fireworks…

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

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

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ethan has been therefor Lucy every time and always.

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

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

 

 

Review: Trumpets of Jericho by J. Michael Dolan

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

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

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

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

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

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

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

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

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

 

 

Review: The Boy at the Door by Alex Dahl

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

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

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

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

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

Rating: 3.5-stars

Review:

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

Review: Becoming the Talbot Sisters by Rachel Linden

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Twin sisters Waverly and Charlie Talbot have drifted far apart as they pursue opposite dreams of stardom and service to the poor. On an astonishing journey across Central Europe, they must come together to face their fears, find their courage and fight for what they love.

Celebrity chef Waverly Ross has built a successful career with her home-entertaining show Simply Perfect. Yet she and her husband, Andrew, have never been able to realize the true desire of Waverly’s heart: to become a mother. Meanwhile Waverly’s twin sister, Charlie Talbot, buries her bitter disappointment and shattered idealism beneath a life spent serving others as an international aid worked in Budapest, Hungary.

When the beloved aunt who raised them passes away, Waverly and Charlie come together in their grief after living years on separate continents. Struck by a fierce desire to bridge the distance between them, Charlie offers Waverly and her husband the selfless gift of surrogacy.

But soon the sisters find they are each in danger of losing their jobs, seemingly putting their dreams on hold once again. When Waverly shows up unannounced in Budapest with a plan to rescue Simply Perfect, the sisters embark on an adventure across Central Europe that could save them both from occupational hazards. Though the twins haven’t had to rely on each other since childhood, an unforeseen dangerous turn in their journey across Europe forces them to stand together to save their careers, the baby, and each other.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Becoming the Talbot Sisters by Rachel Linden is an awe inspiring tale of the bond between two sisters. Being an older sister, I can relate to these sisters. My baby sister has moved away to pursue her dreams, and I felt like we drifted apart. But we still love each other and are there when we need each other. The same can be shown in this book with the Talbot sisters. Their aunt passes away and that starts their reunion in becoming closer. From there their journeys become messy, complicated, and scary. But they now, have each other in their lives again and from there they learn and help each other. I loved the protrayal of the sister bonding moments, the emotional rollercoaster each one took, and the sacrifices they made. It was a steady piece of fiction. The plot was heartfelt and realistic. Overall, I recommend it to readers.

Review: Pelican Point by Irene Hannon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

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

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

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

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

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

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

Review: Louisiana Catch by Sweta Vikram

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

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

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

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

Review: How Not to Let Go by Emily Foster

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

From the author of How Not to Fall comes an electrifying, powerful new story about love, trust, and emotional surrender.

Once upon a time, med student Annie Coffey set out to have a purely physical fling with Charles Douglas, a gorgeous British doctor in her lab. It didn’t quite work out that way. Instead, secrets—and desires—were bared, hearts were broken, and Annie knew she had to leave this complicated, compelling man who remains convinced he can never give her what she needs.

Walking away is one thing. Staying away is another. Annie and Charles reunite at a London conference, rekindling a friendship they struggle to protect from their intense physical connection. Little by little, Annie gets a glimpse into Charles’s dark past and his wealthy, dysfunctional family. Soon, she’s discovering what it means to have someone claim her, body and soul. And she’s learning that once in a lifetime you find a love that can make you do anything…except let go.

Rating: 3-stars

Review:

How Not to Let Go by Emily Foster is by far not the best novel I have read. It has the strong emotional attachment. Yay! But the characters…what in the world s going on? They find they are attracted as hel, to each other but one of them cannot accept the fact that love is indeed a thing. This male character believes he will lose the best thing that has happened to him and that being is the main character, Annie. Annie and Charles mostly have this weird as hell sex relationship. It feels like a tug and pull situation. Okay, have sex but afterwards go away from me kind of feeling. This situation keeps happening repeatedly throughout the book. I was confused as I haven’t read the first novel in this series. However, based on what I have read, I am happy I did not read the first novel. While I would love to give this book 4-stars for the sad yet intense emotional ride, I just can’t. The story was more a bad sex scene where the man manipulated his female girlfriend in both physical and emotional ways. For those reasons, I cannot connect to either character or feel for them. The entire time, I keep asking why is she interested in him, move forward, lady! The characters felt like two losers who were stuck on some form of attachment to each other and ended up bearing all abuse and emotions that they caused each other. It was just insane. A mad house, actually. I believe the author could have written a better book. It could have been epic. Yet, it was just intense, insane, and fluff. Overall, I would not recommend this book to anyone.

 

Review: The Crooked Staircase

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

“I could be dead tomorrow. Or something worse than dead.”

Jane Hawk knows she may be living on borrowed time. But as long as she’s breathing, she’ll never cease her one-woman war against the terrifying conspiracy that threatens the freedom–and free will–of millions. Battling the strange epidemic of murder-suicides that claimed Jane’s husband, and is escalating across the country, has made the rogue FBI agent a wanted fugitive, relentlessly hunted not only by the government but by the secret cabal behind the plot. Deploying every resource their malign nexus of power and technology commands, Jane’s enemies are determined to see her dead . . . or make her wish she was.

Jane’s ruthless pursuers can’t stop her from drawing a bead on her prey: a cunning man with connections in high places, a twisted soul of unspeakable depths with an army of professional killers on call. Propelled by her righteous fury and implacable insistence on justice, Jane will make her way from southern California to the snow-swept slopes of Lake Tahoe to confront head-on the lethal forces arrayed against her. But nothing can prepare her for the chilling truth that awaits when she descends the crooked staircase to the dark and dreadful place where her long nightmare was born.

Rating: 3.5-stars

Review:

The Crooked Staircase by Dean Koontz is by far the darkest thriller I’ve read in awhile. That’s a good thing…however, there was not a ray of sunshine in this book. I felt like any hope for the main protagonist and her son were none to slim. There should have been a feeling of a fifty-fifty chance that Hope was possible for them. The bad guys were looming over them like giants. It felt as though they had already lost way before I got too deep into the plot.

The protagonist, Jane, has potential as being well-liked. I liked her personality and determination to win even if there was not any chance of coming out alive. She made me want to believe that there was a rainbow at the end…yet, I got more danger than I bargained for instead. Dark, intense, and deadly…just one wrong move and it felt that the whole book could have ended a lot sooner than it did.

The suspense was great. Dean Koontz definitely knew how to wield power of intrigue and fear into his readers. I was frightened enough that I wouldn’t want to read this novel twice. But it was good. Those who are always searching for that darker, more powerful thriller…this is it!

Review: Hurricane Season by Lauren K. Denton

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

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

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

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

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

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

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

Review: The High Tide Club by Mary Kay Andrews

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Weekenders comes a delightful new novel about new love, old secrets, and the kind of friendship that transcends generations.

When ninety-nine-year-old heiress Josephine Bettendorf Warrick summons attorney Brooke Trappnell to her 20,000 acre barrier island home, Brooke is puzzled. Everybody in the South has heard about the eccentric millionaire mistress of Talisa, but Brooke has never actually met her. Josephine’s cryptic note says she wants to discuss an important legal matter, but why enlist Brooke and not the prestigious Atlanta law firm she has used for years? Brooke travels to Shellhaven and meets the cagey Josephine, whose home is a crumbling pink mansion at the edge of the turquoise sea.

Over the course of a few meetings, Josephine spins a tale of old friendships, dark secrets, betrayal, and a long-unsolved murder. She is hiring Brooke for two reasons: first, to protect her island from those who would despoil her land, and second, to help her make amends with the heirs of the women who were her closest friends, the girls of The High Tide Club—so named because of their youthful skinny dipping escapades—Millie, Ruth, and Varina. To fulfill a dying woman’s wishes, Brooke must find Josephine’s friends’ descendants and bringing them together on Talisa for a reunion of women who’ve actually never met. But in doing so, Brooke unleashes the makings of a scandal that could make someone rich beyond their wildest dreams…or cause them to be in the crosshairs of a murderer….

The High Tide Club is Mary Kay Andrews at her Queen of the Beach Reads best: a story shrouded in mystery, Spanish moss, verandah cocktails, 1940s dinner dances, love lost, and possibly…love found.

Praise for The Weekenders:

“This book has all the makings of a beach read…The perfect blend of drama, humor, intrigue, and just a touch of murder.” —Bustle

“Andrews has this ‘perfect beach read’ label down pat—and then some. The Weekenders is not just good, it is beyond good… Summer doesn’t truly begin without a Mary Kay Andrews book in your beach bag, so here is another winner and Top Pick just for you.” —RT Book Reviews (Top Pick)

“Andrews’ novels…are the epitome of relaxing yet involving summer reads, and her latest is no exception.” —Booklist

Rating: 3.5-stars

Review:

The High Tide Club by MaryKay Andrews is a good read. It goes back and forth a lot between the last and present moments. This switching sort of lost me on what was happening. I felt bad for the characters. I didn’t enjoy this book as much as I had hoped. Usually, I love the characters that I meet. Here, I felt sorry for them but didn’t really care that much. The thing she that happened in the past shouldn’t happen to any young girls. But it did. The story was sad, intense, and heartbreaking. Themes of friendship, loyalty, and consequences are found inside this book. A group of girls keep a secret and it costs them in the process. Now, years later, most of them are dead but their children live on…it’s up to the last remaining friend to set things right. Secrets come out and so do the tears.

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

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

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

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

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

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

Review: As Bright as Heaven

As Bright as Heaven

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

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

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

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

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

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

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

Review: A Bicycle Made for Two

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

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

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

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

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

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

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

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

Review: The Heart Between Us

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

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

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

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

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

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

 

Review: The Cabin Sessions

Synopsis:

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

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

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

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

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

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

Review: Ghost Shadow (book 1)

Synopsis:

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

Katie O’Hara is one who can.

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

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

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

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

Review: A Vicarage Reunion

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Welcome to Thornthwaite, a quaint village tucked up in England’s beautiful but rainy Lake District… where homecomings and surprises await the four Holley sisters…

Esther Holley, the eldest in the family, has always had her life firmly in control until a miscarriage knocks her off course. Two months later, still emotionally spinning, she separates from her husband Will, a sheep farmer and man of few words and moves back in with her parents.

Life as a singleton thirty something living in her parents’ house is miserable, but Esther is determined to re-boot her life, including going on a few unfortunate dates. She’s shocked when tight-lipped Will shows up on her doorstep determined to woo her back. They’ve been married for seven years, but Will wants to return to the beginning, dating and getting to know each other again.

New challenges face them as they start over–and new chances too. Can Esther and Will save their marriage, especially when faced with the hardest decision of all?

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

A Vicarage Reunion by Kate Hewitt is a heartfelt women’s fiction story. Romance, marriage, miscarriage and family life are put to the test. A journey that sucked me in from the first page. A young married couple have been suffering silently for a long while. Until one day, the wife decides she can’t take it anymore. Losing their baby, was the last straw for Esther. Esther is a daughter of a vicar. She knew her faith should be stronger but she felt broken, sad, and unhappy. Esther decided to leave her good husband Will. Only fate has plans that neither adult saw coming. Will loves his wife and alway will love her. He felt sad, broken, and unhappy that she left him. Worried about what he did to make her leave, Will goes about trying to woo his wife back into his arms.

It was so easy to like the characters. Relating to the married couple was like breathing in air. Their personalities made them believable. Heartache, fear, and their little flaws make way for a path of discovery, renewal, and acceptance. Both Esther and Will have a lot to figure out before they can get their lives back in-order.

Overall, A Vicarage Reunion, is sweet, thoughtful, and deep. I enjoyed following the protagonists as they fell and rose. Their dilemmas were understandable. The story was clean, well-developed, and engaging. I highly recommend this title to all readers.

Review: Collision Point

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Riordan “Rory” Malone is a force to be reckoned with. A member of the Brute Force Protection Agency and an operative working with the Elite Ops, Rory is the fiercest of warriors and protectors. Honed from the strong Irish stock of their grandfather and sharpened to a razor’s edge, Malone men live for one single purpose: to protect the women who own them, body and soul. From the moment he saw Amara Resnova, he knew she could be that woman.

But Amara, daughter of an alleged notorious crime lord, is a force in her own right. When she betrays her father, she’s finds herself in the arms of a man who is dangerous for her body and soul.

Can Rory keep Amara safe while protecting his own heart? Can Amara trust Rory not to break hers even as the danger mounts, threatening to take them and their passion to a breaking point?

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Collision Point by Lora Leigh is packed full of action, suspense, and heat. The sexy rollercoaster ride will not disappoint readers. The attraction is hard to resist between the protagonists. It’s realistic. Temptation, lust, and love is evident on every page. I also felt the fear, loss, and sadness as the plot swept me up into its world. Lora Leigh is a talented writer. I never wanted the book to end…

Riordan Malone is an interesting hero. A black ops guy who is also a cowboy. He became one woman’s bodyguard because he liked her. Not for the money. That made me love this man so much. He’s powerful, demanding, and all alpha. Hot, sexy, and dangerous. Cross him and death will come. Riordan fell fast and hard for Amara. She’s the daughter of a Russian crime lord. Amara almost died and Riordan was never the same again. Amara fills his dreams and thoughts everyday. Now, after six months, she finds him, asking him to protect her. And he does…

Amara is in danger once more. Someone has tempted to kill her several times, recently. All she remembers is Riordan. He vowed to protect her, and she feels safe with him. Amara was kidnapped and tortured almost to the point of death. Yet, here she is alive and trying to stay alive. She has no memories of of the abduction nor who or why someone wants her dead. All she knows is Riordan. Amara seeks him out for her protection against her fears. Something about Riordan has her feeling lustful and unbalanced. He makes her want things…but first, she must live long enough to survive.

Collision Point is exciting. I couldn’t stop reading this novel. Lora Leigh created characters that I fell in love with…I liked them all, even her over protective father who can be a pain in the ass at times. His love for his daughter is his most likable quality. And the alpha hero, Riordan is every woman’s fantasy. I loved his attitude! Overall, I highly recommend this romantic suspense to readers everywhere.

Review: The First Kiss of Spring

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Spring has come to Eternity Springs in The First Kiss of Spring, the newest installment in this New York Times bestselling series by Emily March.

Life could be a dream…

Goal-oriented and gorgeous, Caitlin Timberlake’s dreams took her to the top of the corporate ladder in New York City. Now years later, her goals have changed. She wants to come home to Eternity Springs and build a business and a family of her own—with the new man in town. So what if sexy mechanic Josh Tarkington wants nothing more than a fling? Caitlin is a patient woman who knows how to work hard and strategize to win what she desires. She desires Josh. Unfortunately, he has other plans.

If only things were different…

Josh craves Caitlin and all she has to offer. However, he is a man with secrets. He has worked hard to overcome his tragic past, but he’s afraid to risk having a future because he knows trouble is never very far away. When a selfless act brings that trouble to his door, he stands to lose everything he cares about—including Caitlin. Will her love and the healing magic of Eternity Springs be enough to save him?

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

The First Kiss of Spring by Emily March is an emotionally charged story. I found myself feeling every motion displayed in the scenes. The characters provoke me into loving them. Their attitudes, relationships, fears, and troubles were believable. Family, work, and love are greatly balanced here. A family going through a tough journey and a young man fighting off a lifetime issue…had me hooked.

I laughed and cried. Emily March presented her characters in a three-dimensional way. They felt like real people. Caitlin is coddled by her parents. She’s the only daughter they have and they love her fiercely. Sometimes, too much. Caitlin needed her parents to support her leaving her current job to go after her dreams. At first their reaction, sent her feeling frustrated. She wanted them to be happy for her…and her father thought her mechanic man, got her pregnant. The thing was, Caitlin would like that after she married the mechanic first, though. But proving to her parents that she can be successful and getting her man to love her, has proven to be difficult.

Josh has had a difficult lifetime. His mother made a bad choice and with that choice she plunged her young son into the world of darkness. Only when Josh got adopted did he make it out into the light. But just when he thought his life was great, it took the rug from his feet twice. Josh fell several times but his faults made him more human. His craving for Caitlin proved he was just a man who wanted to love her and be loved back. But Josh has to learn to accept his past, get help, and decide if he wants Caitlin to be his forever…otherwise he might just lose everything he cares about…

Then, there’s Caitlin’s dad, who is suffering. He won’t open up about it with his kids. He has his own journey of acceptance to follow, just like Josh has. Finding courage to accept and discuss it will be the break it moment for this character and his family.

Fear, courage, and love are major themes of this novel. The First Kiss of Spring is a sad yet sweet contemporary tale. I was hooked. Overall, I would recommend it to all readers.

Review: Awaken to the Wilderness

Synopsis:

Edge of the Known have emerged from their self-imposed stasis into a climate of musical stagnation and social unrest. The world is hungry for a new vision, and many people look again to the band that once brought it to them with passion and fury.

But as Brandon Chane leaps into his most grueling tour jaunt to date, alongside his group of soul-brothers, he questions, more and more, whether it is the creative or the destructive power of Dionysus that he has just unleashed.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Awaken to the Wilderness by Seth Mullins is a great read. It’s more of an emotional journey that the main protagonist tells. He shows us what he’s feeling, thinking, and the consequences of his actions. He finds responsibility in his actions and wonders just how much he can impact others with his music. Brandon is a musician who goes through thinking about his past, present, and future lives. Through this journey, there are a lot of sad, angry, and heartfelt moments. I felt sympathy towards Brandon. He wanted to be successful and he got it. But at what cost to others? This book is not a standalone and should be read in order of the character’s journey. That way, it’s easier to understand where Brandon is coming from, how, and why. Overall, it was a good story…

Review: Beneath the Summer Sun

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Jennie Troyer knows it’s time to remarry, and with two men pursuing her, she doesn’t have to look far. But after the pain she’s experienced, can she open her heart to love?

It’s been four years since Jennie’s husband died in a farming accident. Long enough that the elders in her Amish community think it’s time to shed her grief and remarry for the sake of her seven children. What they don’t know is it isn’t grief that’s holding her back, but rather a fear of a repeat of her abusive marriage.

Leo Graber has known–and loved–Jennie since they were children, and he’d hoped to court her when they were teenagers. But when he was fourteen, Paul’s father died suddenly in his arms. Ever since he’s been afraid of the searing pain of loss that comes from opening himself up to love. Now Jennie’s free again, and he’s fighting to have the courage not to lose her a second time.

Nathan Walker is a Mennonite book salesman who makes it a point to stop by Jennie’s farm as often as he can. He’s grown to care for her, but he knows he has no right to court her unless he resolves his own struggle with his faith. He will have to change everything about his life in order to join the Jamesport Amish community. But would he be embracing a new life or running from his old?

The path isn’t clear for any of them. These three people, drawn together by circumstances and God’s plan, must come to grips with their pasts in order to discern God’s plan for their futures and find peace beneath the summer sun.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Beneath the Summer Sun by Kelly Irvin is an interesting tale. One full of faith, hope, and love. Three protagonists have their own dilemmas to face. The question of them being able to move forward and find happiness caught my attention. Pain, loss, and fear cloud the characters as they struggle to face their issues. Clean and heartfelt, I felt like I was there with the characters.

Kelly Irvin has created a believable plot. Jennie is scared to love again after her abusive marriage. But with all of her kids, she needs a man in her life. Nathan is looking for love too, but he struggles accepting his faith. He must first find that before he can love anyone. Leo like Jennie has faced a loss. He lost his father and struggled with wanting to save others especially Jennie. But his fear of not being able to save someone he loves has him stuck in a rut.

A love mess with two Christian men chasing after one widow, made me smile. It gave a shed of lightness to Jennie’s dark marriage and to Leo’s loss. Having a third character brought out a little more in Leo. It gave me more of the push he needed to go after Jennie. Jennie is super easy to connect to…her situation made her likable. She felt real. I really liked her.

Beneath the Summer Sun was a sweet journey. A path to finding oneself and one’s heart. Having faith helped these characters face their lives in the present. Slow but steady, I think these characters will have found what they’re looking for in life. Overall, I enjoyed reading this novel.

Review: Amish Sweethearts

Synopsis:

Love is in the air in these four sweet romances!

Love and Buggy Rides  (previously published in An Amish Harvest)

Janie Lantz is a cashier at Lancaster Souvenirs and Buggy Rides, where Jonathan Stoltfuz is a buggy driver. A frightening accident brings Janie and Jonathan together in a blossoming friendship, yet daunting obstacles stand between them and something deeper. Can love kindle into flames that burn away fear and regret—and lead them to a life together?

A Home for Lindsay

From Amy Clipston’s beloved Kauffman Amish Bakery series comes Lindsay Bedford’s story. Lindsay is happily looking forward to the day she becomes Matthew Glick’s wife and is excited for the plans he has for the house he will build her. So, when Matthew suddenly calls off the wedding, she is blindsided. She knows there is more to the story than what he is telling her, but will he open up and let her in on his own heartbreak?

Where the Heart Is

Tobias Smucker is back home, and it’s no secret he and his father are still not on the best of terms. But what is surprising is that his little sister’s best friend, Mariella, has been harboring her own secret feelings for Tobias. With her help, he begins to unravel a family mystery and learns that everyone has their own hidden depths, including his father.

Love Birds  (previously published in An Amish Market)

While Ellie Lapp and her mother are still mourning the loss of her brother, Seth, Ellie starts working at one of the gift shops in town. Seth’s friend Lloyd is talented at carving wooden birds, but his father disapproves and expects him to take over the family farm someday. Ellie sees the beauty in Lloyd’s creations and insists Lloyd sell the birds in the gift shop where she works. As Ellie and Lloyd spend more time together, they begin to develop feelings for one another, but she accidentally betrays his trust. Will she lose any hope of a future with him?

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Amish Sweethearts by Amy Clipston is a wonderful collection of four short stories. Each story has a powerful message and heartfelt connection. I enjoyed following each of these characters. Their journeys were hard and full of promise. Hope, faith, and love are major themes examined in each of these tales. Amy Clipston captured the Amish language and culture down perfectly. It was like being there physically experiencing all of the scenes firsthand.

In Love and Buggy Rides, I got to meet these characters again from a previous collection. Two young Amish adults find themselves facing their fears. An accident involving a buggy brings them together in ways they didn’t think would.

A Home for Lindsey was exciting. I got to meet with previous characters from another story. However, in this one, I got to follow along and see if there would be happy ending. Love is simple yet complicated. This tale made me laugh and fall in love with the characters. Amy Clipston never disappoints. I was intrigued.

Where the Heart Is, showed me that even though we think we know something, it turns out that there’s always more to the story than originally thought. Here, there was a lo of anger directed at a father from his son. Boundaries were explored and tested in this story. It was interesting to watch the rift between them men become less sows the pages fly by. A young woman helping the son find strength and hope. A sweet journey.

Love Birds was my most favorite. Here, two best friends lose their friendship over a misunderstanding. It takes a lot of work, patience, and forgiveness before these two can begin again. Plus, there’s the secret attraction one feels for the other. It made the plot more engaging.

Overall the Amish Sweethearts, is a clean romantic collection of novellas. Each one facing a different love issue. The struggles felt real. Amy Clipston beautifully wove these words into three-dimensional worlds. I loved the Christian feel good environment filled with sweet promises.

Review: Sugar and Spice and All Those Lies

Synopsis:

Cooking a wonderful meal is an art. An act of love. An act of grace. A gift that affirms and gives life—not only does it nurture those who partake of the meal; it also feeds the soul of the creator. These are lessons Gina learns from her mother, daughter of an unfortunate French chef.

Gina is a young woman born to poor parents, a nobody keen to taste life outside the world she was born into. A world that exposes her to fascinating people gripped by dark motives. Her passion for cooking is all she has to help her navigate it.

She gets lucky when she’s chosen to cook at a Michelin-starred restaurant in the San Francisco Bay Area where customers belong to a privileged class with money to spare for a dinner of inventive dishes costing hundreds of dollars. In this heady, scintillating atmosphere, she meets new friends and new challenges—pastry chef Marcia, filthy rich client Leon, and Brent, a brooding homicide detective. This new world, it turns out, is also one of unexpected danger.

Can the lessons Gina learned from her mother about cooking and life help her survive and thrive in this other world of privilege, pleasure, and menace?

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Sugar and Spice and All Those Lies by Evy Journey is a contemporary readers like myself won’t forget. The plot itself is this dark edgy vibe to it with a hint of romance. It’s more dangerous than anything. Friendships are tested, broken, and destroyed. Romances begin so fast and end just as quick as they started. From a sexy filthy rich man to a regular average joe, the main protagonist has her hands full. Being seduced by a rich man can be nice…but with comes unwanted danger. Unexpected events occur and kept me intrigued. I felt both sympathy for the bad ones at first but I felt even more sorry for the protagonist. Her pain is both a physical and emotional one. What a rollercoaster…

Evy Journey has created three-dimensional characters. I could see, hear, and feel everything they did. It was crazy. One moment Gina’s work life goes from being busy good to a nightmare. Her past friendship comes out and it gets worse with each page. I felt connected to Gina. She’s a hard worker and a good person.

Gina comes from a poor family. Inherited her skills of cooking from her family, Gina works her butt off in the food industry. She has finally landed herself at a top star restaurant and her personal life unwinds completely. All it takes is for one rich customer and a former best friend to bring the unexpected and disasters to Gina. What Gina thought she knew will change as the course of events escalate out of control. Life threatening, deadly, and stunning…scenes kept me turning the pages.

Leon is the filthy rich customer who wants nothing but Gina. However, he’s dating her best friend. Talk about issues and complications. Here, this was the first warning bell for Gina,,yet she didn’t think things would turn out for the worse…

Imagine trusting a best friend one moment and then fighting for your life…

That’s what happened to Gina…not once but twice.

Pastry chef, Marcia, is the other best friend that Gina has. I really liked Gina until I noticed her crazy moment over the “brooding” cop, Brent. She was obsessed with him as hers until she learned he doesn’t like sweets. Luckily, Brent had that going for him…because Gina has a past that one doesn’t know until the unexpected happens…

Brent is the homicide detective that meets with Gina when the accident with her first best friend happens. From there, Brent and Gina have been in contact since. Brent soon becomes a little jealous because Gina is gorgeous and Leon is trying to take her. Brent knows something about Leon and try’s to tell Gina, but she still goes with Leon. Thinking Leon really loves her…

Romance, work, and friendships are deeply explored in this exciting piece. Evy Journey has captivated me from the beginning with this tale. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but it was worth reading every single last page. Sugar and Spice and All Those Lies is exactly what’s in this novel. There’s a little of all that inside…overall, I recommend this contemporary to readers everywhere.

Review: Weightless

Synopsis:

When 15-year-old Carolyn moves from New Jersey to Alabama with her mother, she rattles the status quo of the junior class at Adams High School. A good student and natural athlete, she’s immediately welcomed by the school’s cliques. She’s even nominated to the homecoming court and begins dating a senior, Shane, whose on again/off again girlfriend Brooke becomes Carolyn’s bitter romantic rival. When a video of Carolyn and Shane making out is sent to everyone, Carolyn goes from golden girl to slut, as Brooke and her best friend Gemma try to restore their popularity. Gossip and bullying hound Carolyn, who becomes increasingly private and isolated. When Shane and Brooke—now back together—confront Carolyn in the student parking lot, injuring her, it’s the last attack she can take.

Sarah Bannan’s deft use of the first person plural gives Weightless an emotional intensity and remarkable power that will send you flying through the pages and leave you reeling.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Weightless by Sarah Bannan is a novel everyone should read. It’s about bullying, manipulation, and disaster. Loss, grief, uncertainty and coming of age themes are woven into the plot. One girl went from being a typical teenager to dying. Bullying happened. Maybe, she was to blame as well. But the horrifying elements of the attacks against her made me cringe.

Carolyn Lessing was popular. Loved and hated. Yet, it all began with dating a senior. From there her life changed dramatically. Drama increased. From a jealous ex to thrown glass, Carolyn experienced it all. Blood, taunting, and harassment never stopped. I felt sorry for Carolyn. She didn’t deserve what she received.

Sarah Bannan took me back to the era of being a high schooler. That’s a time, I would love to forget. I thought I had it bad…until, I read this book. Carolyn suffered worse. Her whole life got torn to shreds and inside out…

No one helped her.

The worst part, she really didn’t seek for help either.

Teenagers are cruel. They’re not saints. That image and philosophy can be seen on every page. I was shocked. These things actually happen to teens everywhere. Some have it even worse than Carolyn did. A life is changed and gone forever, a community destroyed, a family never whole, and the memory will haunt forever…

Weightless by Sarah Bannan is a great read. I was hooked. I didn’t like the tormentors much. Their personalities probably describe how real ones act and feel. But it just made me move as far away from them as possible. I’m still wanting to know why they did it. The book left me wondering why…so much pain and hurt was felt. It’s a sad novel.

Review: When You Love a Scotsman

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

New York Times bestselling author Hannah Howell sweeps readers away with the passion-filled adventures of the MacEnroy brothers, seven daring Scotsmen who take on America in her most turbulent days—and capture the hearts of the ladies each is destined to wed . . .

With danger closing in from all sides, Abigail Jenson works tirelessly to protect her small Missouri farm. She doesn’t require saving—but a handsome officer appears on horseback just as ruthless marauders set her cabin ablaze. With nowhere else to turn, Abigail allows the soldier with the seductive Highlander’s gaze to escort her to shelter in a nearby town.

Matthew MacEnroy was reluctant to join his adopted nation’s conflict—until an enemy attack wounded two of his brothers. Bravely doing battle has its price when a proud, independent beauty comes under his watch—no military man can risk the powerful emotions their attraction has unleashed. But when Matthew himself is caught in the crossfire, Abigail leads their long journey home to MacEnroy valley . . . and her caring touch sparks the promise of a bold future together.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

When You Love a Scotsman by Hannah Howell is a great read. This story wasn’t what I thought it would be. Meaning, it was exactly as the title stated…but it was different from similar titles. Here, a young woman loses her brother, pet, and both parents. The house also burnt down…leaving behind the barn if it didn’t get caught with enemy fire. Abby had to learn how to survive. She takes after her dad on shooting. A sharp eye, she has. Making the soldiers who are good guys feel less sufficient at shooting. I thought that moment was funny and sweet. A strong female protagonist took form from there.

Matthew is a solider on his was out of the war. His last stop leads him to Abby. A beautiful young woman who can shoot better than most men in the war. Her skill of stitching people also comes in handy. Matthew feels sympathy for Abby. Hearing what she has endured and watching as her parents both died in the fire during an enemy attack. Matthew drags her with them to a town house for abandoned women. There their journey only grows tighter.

Abby finds a young boy to love. A promise to a dying woman leaves her with adopting a baby instead…leaving behind the young boy. A boy brighter than his age and one determined to live with her. Abby thinks about Matthew…

Matthew can’t stop thinking about Abby. He brings her to his home along with the infant. Only time can tell where their hearts and lives will go…

Overall, When You Love a Scotsman by Hannah Howell was an interesting journey. One filled with action, adventure, and hope. Some humor humor and steam can be found within its pages. I enjoyed reading this entertaining title. This historical romance was steady paced with bits of heat, humor, and emotion.

Review: Someone to Wed







Synopsis:

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

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

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Review: Fruit Cake and Fear 

Synopsis:

The 8th book in the BESTSELLING Peridale Cafe Cozy Mystery series! 
A storm hits Peridale with disastrous effects. Barker’s cottage is destroyed, forcing him to move in with Julia, but she has more to worry about than him leaving his socks around and not putting the toilet seat up. Julia is shocked when the storm also uncovers a secret basement underneath her cafe and even more shocked when she finds the body of a teenage girl who has been missing for twenty years.
The cold case team rushes in, pushing Julia out of her cafe and leaving her to unravel the truth of the past one thread at a time. When she realises the girl, Astrid, was the daughter of Evelyn, the eccentric B&B owner, Julia vows to piece together the events that led to Astrid being trapped in a basement for decades. How did the girl die, and more importantly who killed her? Julia hunts for clues to a case the village had almost forgotten about so she can bring Evelyn the peace she deserves, but will she be able to do it in time before somebody she loves suffers a similar fate? 

Book 8 in the Peridale Cafe Cozy Mystery series! Can be read as a standalone but will be enjoyed more as part of the series. A light, cozy mystery read with a cat loving and cafe-owning amateur female sleuth, in a small village setting with quirky characters. Written in British English. No cliffhanger, swearing, gore or graphic scenes! 



Rating: 5-stars

Review:

In this eighth novel, in the Peridale Cafe Cozy Mystery series, I was in love! Agatha Frost has once again worked her magic words over me. The plot was just as enticing, juicy, and hilarious as always. The same group of characters like Dot, Barker, Julia, and Jessie are still around. I was excited. This latest murder mystery case, had me intrigued. A dead girl’s body finally found after twenty years. She went missing and was never found until a storm lead to her body. The whole town went into shock and gossip over it. The dead girl’s remains haunt Julia as the case keeps going. What caused the death, who did it, and why? Just like that, I was hooked. Fruit Cake and Fear is everything I expected it to be. Funny, deadly, and sweet. Unlike the previous cases, this one, happens on Julia’s birthday. That’s one way to celebrate…overall, I love this writer’s work. Agatha Frost never disappoints. In fact, there’s another book out after this one. I can’t wait to dig in…this, is a must read series. Once you start, you can’t stop reading it…

Review: Wyoming Winter









Publisher: HQN

Genre: Western Romance

Synopsis:

There’s something about those Wyoming men… New York Times bestselling author Diana Palmer returns to the Cowboy State with a brand-new tale of desire and deception 
Cultivating his vast Wyoming ranch is all security expert J. C. Calhoun wants. His land is the only thing the betrayed rancher can trust in after discovering his fiancee was pregnant by another man. But all J.C. holds dear becomes compromised when a lost little girl leads him to Colie Jackson, the woman who destroyed his life.

Colie stops at nothing to protect the people she loves. Years ago she left J.C. for his own good. Now, for the sake of her daughter, she must depend on a hard-hearted man who won’t forgive her. As a band of ruthless criminals tracks their every move through the frozen Wyoming winter, Colie and J.C. will be forced to confront the lies that separated them–and the startling truth that will bind them forever… 

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Diana Palmer is a great writer. Her stories capture one’s heart. The troubles that both characters have gone through make this a must read. Wyoming Winter is the latest novel by this writer.

The male protagonist was abandoned by his drunk father. His mother died in a car crash due to his father’s drunk driving. The father ran away, leaving his son to the authorities. Then, there was the one female who betrayed and hurt J.C. in a way that turned him against all women. His last string of trust broke completely. Then, he meets Rod. Rod has a sister who is nothing but a good woman. J.C. planned to woo her and then leave her hanging. But his heart wouldn’t let him. 

The female protagonist lost all of her mother figures early in life. All she has now, is her dad who is a minister and her brother, Rod. But Rod has been changed after since he came back from war. Rod is struggling to live like he used to live. Colie wants to help him, but there’s only so much she can do. Rod has to change or suffer the consequences. Colie meets J.C. a friend of Rod’s and falls deeeply in love. Something about him, has her heart so tangled in knots. But he doesn’t want marriage and kids. But Colie thinks he will change…

Danger comes out of nowhere and risks are taken. Both characters are torn apart. Lies and betrayal devastate them both. 
Can love conquer all? 
Colie and J.C. are reunited and it will take alltheir strength to move forward. Forgiveness, second chances, and love are major themes found here. I enjoyed Wyoming Winter. However, the pacing was too slow for my taste. Otherwise, it’s a great read. 

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