Review: To the Duke, with Love

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

There may be times when a gentleman is desperate to gain a lady’s attention, but a gentleman would never resort to desperate measures to obtain it.

A Proper Gentleman’s Guide to Wooing the Perfect Lady

Sloane Knox, the Duke of Hawksthorn is guardian for his sweet, younger sister. Due to his misguided past as one of the infamous Rakes of St James, Hawk is hoping to avoid the Season by securing a match for her before it begins. He has the perfect gentleman in mind, but for one infuriating—and unexpectedly intoxicating—obstacle: the intended groom’s own sister, Miss Loretta Quick.

Having narrowly avoided her own arranged marriage to an unacceptable nobleman, Loretta is determined that her dear brother—a gentle, good-natured soul—should marry for love. Matching wits with Hawk may be her greatest challenge yet. . .until she realizes it may also be her greatest pleasure. For the young duke’s irresistible charm has not only begun to crumble her stubborn resolve, it has claimed her heart in true love as well. . .

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

To the Duke, With Love by Amelia Grey is an intriguing regency romance. Arranged marriages and refusal to be married to the wrong person…can create an irresistible plot like this one. Wow! So, the strong heroine is a bit biased on arranged marriages. However, as I discovered, she has some right to be biased. It happened to her and didn’t bide well. She ended up vowing to be celibate and forced to live alone in the country. But, she has a loving brother who dotes on her. He comes with her. Feeling like she finally accepted her fate…a Duke arrives. Causing chaos to her quiet lifestyle. Their banters are playfully wicked and charming.

I couldn’t stop laughing. They really are a couple to follow and love. Their siblings make it even more entangled and exciting. Temptation, isolation, humor, and sexy characters that have enticed readers like me, to read till the ending. What a perfect way to end this adventure…Amelia Grey has stunned me to the core with the level of depth from her characters and the visual scenes that are unforgettable. Overall, I recommend this historical romance to all.

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Review: Lucy’s Book Club for the Lost and Found

Synopsis:

Sometimes you’ve got to run away to find yourself…

Twenty-four-year-old Lucy needs a fresh start. Forever single, frustrated with her studies and dreaming of writing a novel she can’t start, she gives up everything to run a little library in the leafy village of Tilley Moreton.

Lucy loves reading books almost as much as she loves fixing other people’s problems, so starting a book club seems like the perfect opportunity to do both. As she meets her new members, it’s clear she’s going to have her work cut out for her. Handsome but silent Callum is the biggest puzzle of them all…

But Lucy’s meddling begins to cause more problems than it solves, and she starts to think she should have kept out of everyone’s business. No one is more surprised than Lucy when Callum steps in to help. Could there be more to him than people think?

Callum secretly dreams of escaping his family and starting one of his own. Is Lucy crazy to think she could be the one? When he goes into business with her brother, is it the sign she’s been looking for? Or is he using her to get ahead?

As inspiration for her novel finally begins to flow, will Lucy follow her head, or her heart to find the happy ending she’s been longing for?

An utterly uplifting, emotional page-turner that will bring tears to your eyes and a smile to your face. Perfect for fans of Jenny Colgan and Milly Johnson.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Lucy’s Book Club for the Lost and Found by Emma Davies is a sweet heartfelt tale. The entire book was one happy story. Each of the characters struggled with their own issues. Callum struggles with insecurities and shyness. Hattie is a single mum. Lia is taking care of her mum who suffers from Alzheimer’s. Oscar feels lonely. All of these characters add a bit to the overall story. Lucy is a young woman who meddles into other people’s lives. This, causes for messy situations and for making new friends. I enjoy any journey that offers friendships, talk of books, and new beginnings like this one did. The pacing was steady. There wasn’t a ‘I must read this…before bedtime’ or an ‘OMG, this is amazing!’ moments…so, be prepared. However, it was clean and entertaining.

Review: Someone to Wed







Synopsis:

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

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

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Review: The Secret Life of Sarah Hollenbeck

Synopsis:

Becoming a Christian is the best and worst thing that has ever happened to Sarah Hollenbeck. Best because, well, that’s obvious. Worst because, up to this point, she’s made her very comfortable living as a well-known, bestselling author of steamy romance novels that would leave the members of her new church blushing. 

Now, Sarah is trying to reconcile her past with the future she’s chosen. She’s still under contract with her publisher and on the hook with her enormous fan base for the kind of book she’s not sure she can write anymore. She’s beginning to think that the church might frown on her tithing on royalties from a “scandalous” book. And the fact that she’s falling in love with her pastor doesn’t make things any easier.
With a powerful voice, penetrating insight, and plenty of wit, Bethany Turner explodes onto the scene with a debut that isn’t afraid to deal with the thorny realities of living the Christian life. 

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review

The Secret Life of Sarah Hollenbeck by Bethany Turner is a sweet romantic comedy. A young woman who writes sexy tales is in love with her pastor. Her career seems to clash with her pastor’s lifestyle of teaching what’s right versus wrong. I laughed out loud a lot with this story. It was crazy good. The characters are believable. Each protagonist has a past that they felt uncomfortable with until they finally let it out the truth. Not that they lied to one another. But that it was embarrassing for them to say until the right moment. Even then they struggled a bit. It was so real. Heartfelt, realistic, and enjoyable. Sarah and Ben’s relationship is different but it’s a happy one. They both felt a pull to be together and went with it. They trusted their gut. There were some moments when I thought oh no, what’s going to happen next and other moments where I was like, yes! I loved the protagonists. Overall, I recommend this beautiful tale to readers everywhere. 

Review: Birthday Cake and Bodies

Synopsis:

When Julia plans a surprise birthday party for Barker to finally meet his family, she did not expect that party to end in murder! With Barker’s three brothers in the frame, Julia is torn between respecting the man she loves, and her need to investigate! Will Julia be able to uncover the dark family secrets that lie at the heart of cracking this case without leaving behind a trail of destruction? 

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Birthday Cake and Bodies (Peridale Cafe Mystery #9) by Agatha Frost is the most exciting tale yet! Inside this book, readers get to follow the baker, Julia, as she plans and prepares for Barker’s surprise birthday party. For the party, Julia has gotten ahold of Barker’s family. They are coming to Peridale to celebrate his birthday. All should go well. But once they start to arrive, Julia is already regretting her decision for this party. 
The family members are eccentric. They are more than dysfunctional. There are multiple affairs happening within Barker’s strange family. Anger, tensions, and hatred rise. Rising to the point, somebody is willing to kill for it. 
But as always, the mystery isn’t cut and dry. One member killed a past relative. Creating a boiling point to snap among his brother. A brother who has blamed him for the death of his daughter. These two brothers are identical twins. But despite their looks, Julia, figures out how to distinguish them apart. That there helps her as she and Detective Barker investigate his family locked down in Julia’s father’s mansion. Someone is guilty and both are going to keep interrogating until they get their suspect. However, one death leads to another. The murderer thought the intended victim was gone. Only to discover the wrong person was murdered. Imagine the grief! Then, another body pops up…and it might not be too late for this new victim. Then, another family relative ends up almost dead. The same one who caused some of the trouble to begin with…but that’s not all. A member of the family is gay and hiding it for reason ps that are insane. Another is dating said gay person for the wrong reasons and two other relatives cause Barker even more stress by posting their troubles and mistreatment online. This all just adds to the craziness of the murder plot. 
In the background, Julia is worried that this murder is all her fault. Jessie, Julia’s adoptive daughter, has broken it off with her boyfriend because she doesn’t want him to leave for the army. So, she’s struggling with the breakup…and then, there’s Julia’s stepmother who is in the said mansion where the murder occurred and is about to go into labor. Julia definitely has her hands full in this novel. 
I loved it! Agatha Frost never disappoints. Her characters always bring out the humor, romance, and drama that makes this a spectacular read. There was never a dull moment. So many suspects and so many details that it might be hard for Julia to solve…overall, I highly recommend this book. 

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: Amanda Wakes Up

Synopsis:

The Devil Wears Prada meets Primary Colors in this wickedly funny debut novel about a bootstrapping young reporter who lands a plum job at a big-time cable news station and finds her ambitions and her love life turned upside down.
When Amanda Gallo, fresh from the backwater of local TV, lands the job of her dreams at FAIR News—the coveted morning anchor slot—she’s finally made it: a six-figure salary, wardrobe allowance, plenty of on-air face time, and a chance to realize her dreams, not to mention buy herself lunch. Amanda Wakes Up takes off as Amanda feels for the first time that she can make her mom and her best friend proud and think about an actual future with her boyfriend, Charlie. But she finds her journalistic ideals shredded as she struggles to keep up with the issues in a ratings-crazed madhouse—battling for hair and makeup time, coping with her sexist (but scathingly handsome) coanchor, Rob, mixing up the headlines with pajama modeling on the street, and showing Benji Diggs, her media maestro boss, that she’s got what it takes.
As the news heats up in a hotly contested election season and a wild-card candidate, former Hollywood actor Victor Fluke, appears on the scene, Amanda’s pressure-cooker job gets hotter as her personal life unravels. Walking a knife’s edge between ambition and survival, and about to break the biggest story of her career, Amanda must decide what she’s willing to give up to get ahead—and what she needs to hold on to save herself. 

Rating: 4-stars

Review

Amanda Wakes Up by Alisyn Camerota is a great read. This story, brings to life the daily struggles of a journalist. Media coverage, ethics, and politics all swarmed into an interesting novel. The pacing was steady. But the plot was worth reading. I took to the main protagonist, Amanda Gallo. Her personality was of an ambitious woman trying to climb up and make her career in broadcast journalism by also keeping herself intact. I enjoyed the realities of the situations the character experiened. It definitely was a journey to follow. Overall, Amanda Wakes Up is a must read for all readers especially, women. A lot of social themes were explored here. 

Review: The Rejected Writer’s Christmas Wedding






Synopsis:

Southlea Bay’s favorite sweethearts, Flora and Dan, are getting married and the members of the Rejected Writers’ Book Club are excited to help. Especially the group’s head honcho, Doris Newberry, who, much to Flora’s frustration, wants to control every detail, attempting to strong-arm Flora into accepting ridiculous wedding vows, wayward bongo players and into wearing a huge, old-fashioned wedding dress. But when a new resident arrives in town with information about Flora’s past that threatens her chance of happiness, the overwhelmed bride-to-be disappears overnight. To find her, The Rejected Writers set off on yet another zany road trip adventure, this time to a make-believe Bavarian town. Where they meet lederhosen clad, young men, are entertained by oompah bands, go on wild sleigh rides, and sing in a yodeling competition. But when they eventually find the bride and the bridegroom learns the truth about her, will he still want to marry her or will all the wedding plans be in vain. 

Rating: 4-stars

Review

The Rejected Writer’s Christmas Wedding by Suzanne Kelman is an interesting tale. This book is definitely for women of all ages. The rejected writer’s club is a group of older women who write and discuss books. They’re clever, sweet, and caring. Every time something mysterious happens, the group gets nosy. This time, it involves a wedding. The tight group of women are fun to follow. Their funny and more energetic than they should be for their age. The plot was good but slow. Tons of humor and intrigue to keeps readers like myself guessing. Overall, I enjoyed reading it. 

Review: Roxie and Fred 







Synopsis:

“Readers will enjoy the warm-hearted celebration of this zesty old woman savoring the hell out of her final years.”

– Judith Viorst, American writer, journalist, and bestselling author of I’m Too Young To Be Seventy.

They meet by chance. Age doesn’t matter.

Having spent her life helping underprivileged women, Roxie, 88, is now content in her woodsy retreat her with her garden, yoga, and art.

With his children launched, Fred, 48, has left his wife and uninspiring job to paint fulltime, shackled only with his demons of doubt.

And then one day in a life drawing class, they meet by chance. Theirs is a love story that shatters orthodoxy as they discover themselves anew.

As the human race leads longer and healthier lives than ever before, Roxie and Fred’s love story serves as testament to fully embracing the mind, body and spirit, sexual pleasure included, without succumbing to the fears of older age.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Roxie and Fred by Richard Alther is a great novel. A unique read. The pages went by quickly. A heated affair between two artists. An older woman of 88-years and a man of 48-years. Their romance is fun to follow. The writer’s words swept me further into the characters’ journey. Surpringly, the woman is in better shape than her younger lover. Roxie and Fred is funny, sweet, and entertaining. I was hooked. A place where age doesn’t matter and love is in raw format. It was beautifully done. Richard Alther knew what he was creating and did it purposely. His characters are hard to forget even after finishing the book. Overall, I highly recommend Roxie and Fred to readers everywhere.

Review: Right Where We Belong 

Synopsis:

New York Times bestselling author Brenda Novak returns to Silver Springs with a moving story about rebuilding your life when you’ve got nothing left to lose 
Savanna Gray needs a do-over. Her “perfect” life unraveled when, to her absolute shock, her husband was arrested for attacking three women. With her divorce settled, she takes her two children home to Silver Springs to seek refuge between the walls of the farmhouse where she was born. It needs a little TLC, but she’s eager to take control of something. 
Gavin Turner understands the struggle of starting over. Abandoned at a gas station when he was five, it wasn’t until he landed at New Horizons Boys Ranch as a teen that he finally found some peace. He steps up when Savanna needs help fixing things—even when those things go beyond the farmhouse. 
Despite an escalating attraction to Gavin, Savanna resolves to keep her distance. She trusted her ex, who had a similarly tragic background, and is unwilling to repeat her past mistakes. But it’s hard to resist a man whose heart is as capable as his hands.
Rating: 5-stars 

Review:

Brenda Novak is the best! She has done it again…honestly, I love this writer’s talent. Never has she written a bad book yet. Her characters are swoon worthy and easy to love. Their troubles swallowed me up whole. I cried, laughed, and cheered them on…Right Where We Belong fits the new novel perfectly. It’s about where the two main protagonists end up and where they find their happiness.

Life has been traumatic, insane, and troubled for both characters. Savanna Gray finds out her husband has been raping women instead of working. Her shock goes unnoticed by the people where she has lived. Her kids are being targeted because of what their dad did. Finally arrested, Gordon Gray is where he belongs. But the police need more evidence to keep him there for a long, long time. 

Gavin Turnerhas been abandoned and neglected his whole life by people who should have loved him. His stepmother left him in a park until the police found him. He was then, placed into foster care. His father was never around…now, he is grown and found a woman who is like a mother to him. She really cares. Because of that, Gavin can live a positive life. Until a crazy woman comes back into his life. Just when he thinks she’s gone…she comes back when he likes someone else. 

His next door neighbor and her two kids have a way of entering his heart…

Gavin is romantically interested in Savanna…

Savanna likes Gavin more than she should. Should she stay away? Or is it fate?

Overall, Right Where We Belong is a perfect romance. A contemporary that captures the harsh realities of life and spins them into both a heartbreaking and charming tale. Brenda Novak has a way of spelling her readers, like me, into her books. Superb, sweet, and a beautiful story. This, was definitely a memorable piece. I highly recommend it to all. 

Review: The Crooked Path

Synopsis:

As retired physician Lettie Louw looks back upon her life, she recounts her coming of age in WWII-era South Africa in this compelling story of delayed love, loss, and reconciliation.
Lettie Louw is the daughter of the town physician in their South African village. She spends her childhood in the warm African days playing with her friends and being adored by her doting parents. When she becomes a teenager, she experiences her first taste of unrequited romantic love in the form of her best friend’s older brother, De Wet Fourie. When De Wet pursues the beautiful and wealthy Annabelle, Lettie’s dreams are crushed, and she moves to Johannesburg to pursue her studies in medicine.
Life in Johannesburg feels strange to Lettie, and the world around her is in profound upheaval as the Second World War rages. Her feelings for De Wet never waver, and Lettie is heartbroken when he marries another of her childhood friends. Lettie soon meets Marco Romanelli, an Italian immigrant, and they marry and raise two daughters, as the racial and political tensions in South Africa swirl about them.
Lettie never forgets her first love, even as the ravages of time, war, and illness play upon her life and the lives of those she loves. In their later years, Lettie and De Wet are thrown into one another’s company again, and they are given another chance at a life together.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Irma Joubert is a fascinating writer. Her words automatically transfer the reader into another place and time. I was just as hooked with this novel of hers as I was with the last one. I’m stunned. Instantly, connecting with characters on a personal, physical, and emotional level. Out of all he books I’ve read none has come that far in connecting me to the protagonist. Wow. Vivid, detailed, and fast-paced describes the plot, here. The Crooked Path is her latest book. 

The Crooked Path is sad, entertaining, and wonderful. I fell in love with the characters. The were three dimensional. Both internal and physical conflicts are shown. The struggles were heartfelt. I felt everything. It was like being transported in time to where the characters are. Love, loss, and risks are a few of the major themes woven onto these pages. The novel is set in South Africa and once more, I got to meet some of my favorite characters from a previous book. I was thrilled when, I noticed them again. Yes! Irma Joubert knows how to keep her readers prisoner inside her fictional worlds. I could not put this book down. Memorable and unforgettable characters. Overall, I highly recommend The Crooked Path to all. 

Review: Blue Ridge Sunrise 

Synopsis:
Former free spirit Zoe Collins swore she’d never again set foot in Copper Creek or speak to the man who broke her heart. But return she must when her beloved Granny dies, leaving the family legacy to Zoe—a peach orchard nestled at the base of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
When Zoe returns home with her daughter and boyfriend Kyle, she finds that she’s the only person in town who doesn’t expect her to give up the life she’s established far away from Copper Creek. Everyone believes she was born to run the orchard, but how can she make it her home after so many years?
Cruz Huntley never quite got over his first love, Zoe Collins, the little sister of his best friend Brady. Not when she cheated on him during their “break,” not when she took off to parts unknown with good-for-nothing Kyle Jenkins, and not even now—five years later.
As life-changing decisions and a history with Cruz hang over Zoe’s head, tensions rise between her and Kyle. Even as she comes to terms with the shifting relationships in her life, Zoe still isn’t sure if she can remain in Copper Creek with her new responsibilities . . . and her first love.
Rating: 3-stars

Review

Blue Ridge Sunrise by Denise Hunter is a good story. It has the markings of a book that would suck you right into the tale. But it feels slow, flat, missing the writer’s normal elements. Their was pain, conflict, and loss on both sides. The protagonists both have a shared past. One that involves broken hearts, cheating, and anger. Once more, the two meet up after years have gone by…their chemistry is still there buried deep within their hearts. Learning to let go of the past and move forward will be their toughest challenges. Zoe is a female character that was hard to feel connected to on an emotional level. I still don’t know what I feel towards her. Cruz is okay. I felt sorry for him a little bit. Other than that, it took awhile to get through this read. 

Review: Home All Along 

Synopsis:

Charlotte, an Englisher, is living in Amish Country, and she has formed strong and lasting bonds with the people in her new community. She has even fallen in love with an Amish man. But just when she is considering a permanent conversion to the Amish way of life, her world crashes around her. An unexpected death and a mysterious visitor unsettle Charlotte, and she begins to question her faith and her choices.
Daniel loves Charlotte and wants to share his life with her, even it if means leaving the only world he’s ever known. But as he walks alongside of her through her struggles, his own world is turned upside down when a loved one receives a grim medical diagnosis and a prodigal relative returns home. Will Charlotte and Daniel’s relationship succumb to the many pressures around them, or will their faith and the strong community around them allow them to weather the storms of their own lives in order to build a life together?

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Home All Along by Beth Wiseman is sweet. The characters and their circumstances show what life brings and takes away. Struggles are hard to handle. A little faith, patience, and love can lead them where they should be. The entire story was believable. A young woman lost her brother. Somehow finding her way back home. Home being an Amish community. Outside influences threaten her hold on staying there. But what will be will be. I’m an active reader of Beth Wiseman’s books. Each one is heartfelt. This one, is not different. I was able to easily connect with the characters. I felt their doubts, fears, and hopes. Any story that can pull me deeply into its plot, is one worth reading. That’s exactly what Home All Along did for me. Overall, I recommend it to readers worldwide. 

Review: Colors of Christmas







Synopsis:

Celebrate the joyful hope of the Christmas season as characters find healing in the midst of heartbreak.

New from Olivia Newport!

 

Christmas in Blue

In the wake of a personal loss deeper than anyone realizes, Angela plans to bypass as much of the season as possible and get through her duties as the church organist by going on autopilot. Instead, she finds herself in charge of the town’s celebration. After a mysterious young man arrives, townspeople suspect he is the reason that one set of plans after another disintegrate until little is left of their traditions. Yet Angela warms to Gabe because she suspects they share a secret—his real reason for coming to town. Even when all they have to work with is a garish supply of blue Christmas decorations, Gabe helps Angela discover the hidden beauty of hope.

 

Christmas in Gold

After eighty years, change is nothing new for Astrid. By the time she was twenty, she survived the destructive Nazi regime, caring for her family under brutal circumstances, moving to America, and losing her husband. At forty she was widowed again and left to build a new life with her children. Now, when she faces a move into an assisted living community and meets a young woman on the brink of despair, she resolves to stir up hope through tragedy one more time. 

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Colors of Christmas by Olivia Newport were inspiring tales. Two wonderful novellas about finding hope, forgiveness, and joy. Both stories were realistic. Each one featured a woman going through struggles. Real life issues with characters that were easy to connect with on every level. The pacing was steady sometimes felt slow. It felt a little dry in some areas of the plot. I wish there was a bit more of an emotional rollercoaster. Overall, good stories. 

Review: Diary of a Dead Dreamer 







Synopsis:

A ghost. A killer. A man.

All three want to be a part of Elizabeth’s life… but for very different reasons.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Diary of a Dead Dreamer by N.C. Cummings is a dark read. It has a haunting theme. Action, consequences, and evil lies ahead. A young girl goes to college and her life falls apart instantly. Meeting one new girl, could destroy her completely. Elizabeth meets Sadie. There’s a lot of torture involved and many may not like it. Physical, emotional, and mental abuse happens on these pages. Nightmares that felt so real. The characters played their role just like they were meant to…however, I didn’t like them. I couldn’t like the girl who fell victim. Watching as she let her life fall apart was hard to do. I can’t stand characters who are crazy enough to let bad people torture them. The woman was at an age where she knew right versus wrong. Yet, she allowed herself to be hurt in a repetitive fashion. Chilling, frightening, and gruesome are the words I’d use to describe this thriller. As a reader, I couldn’t connect with the victim at all. That put me off from liking this title. Diary of a Dead Dreamer offers everything a thriller should offer. Overall, it was good but not my favorite. 

Review: Love Held Captive 

Synopsis:

After the War Between the States, a Confederate officer longs to heal the heart of a beautiful woman—but first he’ll have to right the wrongs that were done to her.
Major Ethan Kelly has never been able to absolve himself of the guilt he feels for raiding a woman’s home shortly before he was taken prisoner during the Civil War. He is struggling to get through each day until he once again crosses paths with Lizbeth Barclay—the very woman he is trying to forget.
Life after the war is not much different for former Captain Devin Monroe until he meets Julianne VanFleet. He knows she is the woman he’s been waiting for, but he struggles to come to terms with the sacrifices she made to survive the war.
When Ethan and Devin discover that their former colonel, Adam Bushnell, is responsible for both Lizbeth’s and Julianne’s pain, they call on their former fellow soldiers to hunt him down. As the men band together to earn the trust of the women they love, Lizbeth and Julianne seek the justice they deserve in a country longing to heal. 

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

Love Held Captive by Shelley Shepard Gray is a beautiful confederate tale. A story full of loss, grief, trouble, and regrets. But somehow, through it all, there is also hope. That built trust between characters. In that something more came between them. Something called love. Love bears all. Troubles, risks, and forgiveness are found on every page. Strong women and men. Suffered from one man…who tormented them. Then, with a newfound courage, they plan to bring their enemy down forever. Death lingers near. Rap, lies, beatings, and war are discovered here. Shelley Shepard Gray has created a realistic story and believable characters. It felt as thought I had traveled back in time. I felt everything the characters felt. Love Held Captive is exactly that. Each character ends up as a captive of their love. Pain and healing are two major themes featured inside this novel. It was heart breaking and heartfelt at the same time. Bittersweet…overall, I recommend this historical book to all. 

Review: Across the Blue

Synopsis:

Set in Edwardian England and ideal for readers who enjoy Julie Klassen novels, this romance about an English aviation pioneer and the girl who falls in love with him is filled with adventure and faith.
Isabella Grayson, the eldest daughter of a wealthy, English newspaper magnate, longs to become a journalist, but her parents don’t approve. They want her to marry well and help them gain a higher standing in society. After she writes an anonymous letter to the editor that impresses her father, her parents reluctantly agree she can write a series of articles about aviation and the race to fly across the English Channel, but only if she promises to accept a marriage proposal within the year. When James Grant, an aspiring aviator, crashes his flying machine at the Grayson’s new estate, Bella is intrigued. James is determined to be the first to fly across the Channel and win the prize Mr. Grayson’s newspaper is offering. He hopes it will help him secure a government contract to build airplanes and redeem a terrible family secret. James wants to win Bella’s heart, but his background and lack of social standing make it unlikely her parents would approve. If he fails to achieve his dream, how will he win the love and respect he is seeking? Will Bella’s faith and support help him find the strength and courage he needs when unexpected events turn their world upside down? 

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Across the Blue by Carrie Turansky is an adventure that I shall not forget. It was enticing from page one. Immediately, the writer caught my full attention. The plot was exciting. Tensions rose, said the drama was set, and the intensity of winning the aviation race was fun. 

Across the Blue is a historical tale. One that brought me back to the times women were forced to follow society’s rules. Get married, have kids, and be a wife. However, Isabella Grayson isn’t ready to do all that. She wants more from life than what is expected of her. Her parents force her to choose….and that choice soon became complicated. Fate has a way of knocking a man onto her path. An aviator hoping to win the race. Chemistry sizzles between them. However, his background can’t win her family’s approval. But perhaps the race can help…

I was deeply engaged with this story. The characters were exactly opposites in backgrounds. When it came to adventure, both shared it. Pressure leaned on both protagonists pretty heavily. It was fascinating to watch them both roll with their fate. Intriguing, exciting, and a charming tale overall. I loved it. Both characters were easy to like. Their personalities made them both enjoyable. I highly recommend it to readers worldwide. Action, love, and adventure.

Review: Moonlight Over Manhattan 

Synopsis:

She’ll risk everything for her own Christmas miracle… 
Determined to conquer a lifetime of shyness, Harriet Knight challenges herself to do one thing a day in December that scares her, including celebrating Christmas without her family. But when dog walker Harriet meets her newest client, exuberant spaniel Madi, she adds an extra challenge to her list—dealing with Madi’s temporary dog sitter, gruff doctor Ethan Black, and their very unexpected chemistry. 
Ethan thought he was used to chaos, until he met Madi—how can one tiny dog cause such mayhem? To Ethan, the solution is simple—he will pay Harriet to share his New York apartment and provide twenty-four-hour care. But there’s nothing simple about how Harriet makes him feel. 
Ethan’s kisses make Harriet shine brighter than the stars over moonlit Manhattan. But when his dog-sitting duties are over and Harriet returns to her own home, will she dare to take the biggest challenge of all—letting Ethan know he has her heart for life, not just for Christmas?

Rating: 5-stars 

Review:

Moonlight Over Manhattan by Sarah Morgan is another perfect romance. This, contemporary has all the emotions to suck readers like myself deeper into the tale. From sweet caring characters to crazy matchmaking family members, I enjoyed this book. I laughed so hard and fell in love immediately. The characters both big and small made this enticing. It’s not every time, that I can honestly say, all the characters were amazing. But they were. 

Love has been something both protagonists have put on the back burner. Until recently…Harriet is a fun, kind, warm hearted woman. She works as a dog walker. Both the dogs and the owners love Harriet. After meeting her, I too, liked her. She can cook out of this world. Her personality goes from a shy woman to a woman not afraid of what happens. This, is due to two things. Her challenge Harriet list and the sexy doctor in her life. 

Ethan appears cold and grouchy. But he has a heart of gold. Working as an ER doctor, he has turned off his emotions. Can’t feel anything. Or so he thought. Then, his sister has him taking care of her dog…that’s where Harriet comes to the rescue. At first, their friendship is rocky but soon smoothed over into something much deeper. Love. 

Overall, I highly recommend Moonlight Over Manhattan. It’s the lastest installment by bestselling writer, Sarah Morgan. I don’t know how she does it every time, but she wields magic in her books. 

Review: The Proving 

Synopsis:

Having left the Amish life for the English world, Amanda Dienner is shocked when she learns that her mother has passed and left her Lancaster County’s most popular Amish bed-and-breakfast. The catch is she has to run it herself for one year, acting as hostess. Amanda accepts the terms, but coming home to people she left behind won’t be easy.

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

The Proving by Beverly Lewis is a beautiful Christian tale. A young Amish woman is to return home. Her mother just passed away recently and she alone has inherited the family bed and breakfast. However, there are conditions she must follow to keep it. After being away for five years, Mandy isn’t sure where she belongs. Being back home, is an emotional journey for her. Faith, love, friendship and new beginnings are featured on these pages. I was deeply engaged from the beginning. Theending was sweet. The plot’s pace was steady. Challenges are hard but here, I got to watch as the main character pursued hers. I enjoyed the hidden messages of wisdom. Beverly Lewis is indeed a great writer. Overall, I recommended The Proving to all. 

Review: Pride and Prejudice and Mistletoe





Synopsis:

Pride and Prejudice and Mistletoe from New York Times bestselling author, Melissa de la Cruz, is a sweet, sexy and hilarious gender-swapping, genre-satisfying re-telling, set in contemporary America and featuring one snooty Miss Darcy.

Darcy Fitzwilliam is 29, beautiful, successful, and brilliant. She dates hedge funders and basketball stars and is never without her three cellphones—one for work, one for play, and one to throw at her assistant (just kidding). Darcy’s never fallen in love, never has time for anyone else’s drama, and never goes home for Christmas if she can help it. But when her mother falls ill, she comes home to Pemberley, Ohio, to spend the season with her family.

Her parents throw their annual Christmas bash, where she meets one Luke Bennet, the smart, sardonic slacker son of their neighbor. Luke is 32-years-old and has never left home. He’s a carpenter and makes beautiful furniture, and is content with his simple life. He comes from a family of five brothers, each one less ambitious than the other. When Darcy and Luke fall into bed after too many eggnogs, Darcy thinks it’s just another one night stand. But why can’t she stop thinking of Luke? What is it about him? And can she fall in love, or will her pride and his prejudice against big-city girls stand in their way?

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Pride and Prejudice and Mistletoe by Melissa De La Cruz is a hilarious yet sweet tale. The pages were very entertaining. I couldn’t get enough of Darcy and her nemesis Luke. Real relationship struggles, friendship, and love. A family that has been close grew apart. Now, after so many years they might find some closure. Then, there’s Darcy who doesn’t think she needs a relationship, is highly successful, works like crazy, and only wants to marry for love (if she does marry). Melissa De La Cruz brought a lot of humor to life, here. The banter between best friends and between potential lovers were amusing to follow. At first Darcy seems stand-offish but after exploring her backstory, I can understand her attitude. It seems that coming back home for her mom has set off a lot of events from the past that will now collide with her future.  Watching her transform through the pages was exciting. Everything felt real. I got sucked up into the plot instantly. The other characters only added more depth to the story. Sending sweet emotions to sweep over me. Overall, it was a great read. I recommend it to others. 

Review: The Two of Us 

Synopsis:

Heartwarming and Touching New Contemporary Romance from Victoria Bylin.

After two broken engagements, nurse practitioner Mia Robinson is done with dating. From now on, she only trusts herself and God, and she’s focused on her eighteen-year-old sister, Lucy, and caring for patients. Just as she applies to work for an international aid organization, a phone call from Lucy, who’s pregnant and running off to marry her twenty-one-year-old boyfriend, throws a wrench into all of Mia’s plans. 

Jake Tanner may have recovered from the physical injuries he sustained on the job as a police officer, but his heart has yet to heal from losing his former partner in the tragedy. He’s poured himself into starting a camp for the sons of fallen officers and mentoring Sam, the adult son of his deceased partner, who’s asked him to be his best man at his wedding. 

Mia is expecting a mess when she arrives to sort out the situation with Lucy, but she wasn’t expecting Jake. And Jake, who can’t help envying Sam and Lucy, doubts he’ll ever experience their happiness for himself. But maybe Jake’s courage and Mia’s caring spirit are just what they need to bring them a lifetime of healing and a forever kind of love. . . . 

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

The Two of Us by Victoria Bylin is a stunning heartfelt piece. Once more, this writer, has created another tale to love. It’s a woman’s tale. Full of surprises and intrigue. Themes of acceptance, trusts, and love are explored. Victoria Bylin’s piece was inspiring, romantic, and a good clean Christian read. I felt excitement as I rushed through the scenes. The pages flew by fast. The plot was well-developed. Characters were great. I was rooting for them with each page. 

The Two of Us features a story of two sisters. The older one went through a rough patch. Her hesitation to love like her younger sister creates friction. A good man, Jake, loves her. But her heart isn’t as ready as I nor Jake would have wanted her to be. But it was understandable. I could easily relate to her inner struggles and sympathize with her. Mia is a tough woman. She handles responsibilities beyond any character I know. The two sisters, Mia and Lucy are wonderful people. Their love is warm and contagious. Many lessons are learned in this tale. Mia and Jake may finally find what they needed and want to have. Overall, Victoria Bylin has done a superb job with this novel. I recommend it to readers everywhere. 

Review: Hot Georgia Rein








Synopsis:

First loves don’t last, not like you think they will when you’re in the beginning or middle of them. First loves are fun and painful, giving you the beauty and darkness of life in a single relationship, breaking your fantasies like a twig and making you realize that life is not all sunshine, sparkling fireflies, and rainbows. No, it’s not pretty at all. First loves build you up, and just when you think that life can’t get any better, they shatter into a million raindrops, making you see how life really works. First loves crush you, ruining you for anyone else.

That’s what Ivy Lynn Abney and Henry Lee Rein have battled with since things ended between them three years ago. Neither of them have spoken and are still hung up on what occurred. They both have regrets and the love they once had for each other never really went away. They were young and wanted different things. Have their wants changed enough to allow their love to reignite? Can first loves become second loves even with secrets? 

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Hot Georgia Rein by Martha Sweeney is out of this world. Her new romance novel sizzles with fire. Leaving me in love and completely satisfied with the material presented on the pages. Martha Sweeney has once again lured me deeply into her world of fiction. I have read a variety of genres written by this writer. She has never once disappointed me. Martha goes for something and does it with such raw talent that it leaves readers, like me, wondering how she does it. Magic…that’s the only solution I came up with so far. 

Characterization was well-done. Ivy and Rein are two unforgettable protagonists. Their chemistry and lust runs hot. Here, I got to watch as their last collided with their present lives. I got their backstory. It all made perfect sense. Yet, even with the sides and perspectives in every chapter, I still wasn’t sure how how their relationship was going to work. They could end up together or broken apart again. Martha Sweeney cleverly keep me in suspense throughout the entire book. Until the ending…that’s when I finally got my answer. 

Hot Georgia Rein is both fast-paced and sexy as hell. Ivy and Rein can’t be near each other and keep their hands off each other. Their story was sad, intense, and hilarious. They loved each other more than just bedding each other. Rein and Ivy clicked. Knew when the other was lying or what the other wanted. Yes, their relationship is unconventional. But it worked out for them. Love was raw and fresh in this contemporary romance. I was hoping for the best for them as a couple…so many twists and turns lead me to thinking certain things would never happen between them. Martha Sweeney is indeed a talented writer. I love her work. Her characters…are real. They don’t follow a mold. They break every barrier set by society and still come out rocking. This was an emotional journey I truly enjoyed following. I loved it. Can’t wait to see what comes out next with this writer…overall, I highly recommend reading, Hot Georgia Rein to readers worldwide. 

Review: All She Left Behind

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Jennie Pickett is a natural healer, but her dreams to become a doctor in 1870s Oregon put her at odds with the world around her. As she struggles to keep her dream alive, she finds that the road to fulfillment winds past love, heartache, and plenty of surprises along the way.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

All She Left Behind by Jane Kirkpatrick is a  heartfelt story of one strong woman. Jennie Pickett has a dream of becoming a doctor. Back then, only men occupied that spot. Yet with determination, hope, and hard work, she might just be the one female to accomplish just that. From seventeen years of age, Jennie has had both good and bad times. Married young, had children, pursued an education and a top career. But then, fate comes calling and as many joys that are felt so too, are the sad ones. Jane Kirkpatrick created an engaging tale from the start. I was immediately fascinated with Jennie. A woman who lived life and still wondered if she did all she could do. She’s a character, I can relate to, as well as feel connected with…hope, can move mountains. All She Left Behind is a story of one woman going beyond her boundaries and facing the world with each new step forward. Overall, I recommend it to readers everywhere.

 

Review: An Amish Christmas Love






Synopsis:



Winter Kisses by Beth Wiseman
Three generations of Stoltzfus women are all living under the same roof. At twenty-five, Naomi has never been married, and both her mother, Barbara, and her grandmother, Ruth, have recently been widowed. Each nursing broken or lonely hearts, they also each have potential suitors. When a storm on Christmas Eve forces the three couples to take shelter in the basement of the Stotlzfus homestead, secrets are revealed, hearts are opened, and all three potential grooms drop to their knees for very different reasons a proposal, a prayer, and an epiphany.

The Christmas Cat by Amy Clipston



Emma Bontrager is spending her first Christmas alone after her husband of 45 years, Henry, passed away in July. Although the Amish don t normally allow animals in their homes, a big, fat, orange barn cat keeps coming into Emma s house. She shoos the cat away, but it continues to appear in her house, settling on Henry s favorite wingchair. But the cat isn t the only Christmas visitor: a group of young people help bring the Christmas spirit to Emma, reminding her that love and hope abide.

Snow Angels by Kelly Irvin



As a young man enjoying his rumspringa, David Byler gave his heart to an Englisch girl, but he eventually realized he couldn t give up his Plain faith and family for her, so he let her go. He s found a new love in his Bee County Plain community, Molly Shrock. Molly has been patient, waiting for the man she loves to love her back. Just as he is ready to propose, David makes a startling discover: Bobbie McGregor, his Englisch love, is back. Will Molly s prayers for a Christmas love be answered?

Home for Christmas by Ruth Reid



When a misdirected GPS sends Ellie Whetstone to the wrong address, she inadvertently finds herself breaking into the home of Amish man, Ezra Mast. Ellie hopes to fix up the house left by her aenti and sell it quickly, but a series of run-ins with Ezra and his young daughter have her questioning whether a hasty sale is the right move. Could this new place with its slower pace be the right home for Ellie?

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

An Amish Christmas Love is a perfect blend of Christmas tales by four outstanding writers. Each writer has her own unique flavor that only added to this collection of novellas. In Winter Kisses by Beth Wiseman, was about each woman finding courage to love for the first time or to find love again. A granddaughter finds love for the first time, a mother who lost her husband, finds a new love and the grandmother who lost her husband finds courage to love her first love after all the years. The tale was full of hope, love, and laughter. Next, was The Christmas Cat by Amy Clipston. This, story was about an elderly Amish woman who lost her husband after so many years. They never were blessed with kids. Now, faced with a lonely life, the woman finds a cat to keep her company. Then, when she least expects it, she gets more company but in the human form. I thought it was sweet, heartfelt, and beautiful. Third tale, is Snow Angels by Kelly Irvin. A young Amish woman has forever loved a young Amish man from her community. However, he hasn’t always loved her. Now, just as they are engaged, fate brings an unexpected twist. A former Love enters the mix, and from there it’s emotional tug of war. The young man appears confused with both loves near him. But only he has the power to choose which destiny is right. This short novella was full of faith, choices, and forgiveness. Last but not least, the last story in this collection was Home for Christmas by Ruth Reid. Here, a young Amish boy is lead to a community where he was going to work for his Uncle…only to find out that he broke his probation agreement. His uncle takes him back and helps the young man fix his situation. Meanwhile, the young Amish woman who became friends with the young man is devasted that he left. Her heart feels heavy…but this Christmas is full of surprises. Overall, I loved each one of these tales. They were entertaining, delightful, and realistic. It was easy to love the characters. I was rooting for them all. I highly recommend An Amish Christmas Love to all. 

Review: Diamonds Are Not A Girl’s Best Friend





Synopsis:

Who says, ‘Diamonds are a girl’s best friend?’ Don’t believe all those clichés you hear. If you want a friend, get a dog! Trust me, they are more reliable. Want another piece of advice? Trust but verify! In this one, nothing is as it seems, as I end up in a double-blind conspiracy, resulting in a gem of a mystery!

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Diamonds Are Not A Girl’s Best Friend by Peggy A. Edelheit is a great novella. Full of mystery, suspense, and humor. The style of writing is similar to Janet Evanovich’s but better. The protagonist, a woman sleuth, is a joy to follow. This is the eleventh book in this writer’s series. I couldn’t believe that I haven’t read a book of hers until now. The has a cozy mystery vibe. Here, there’s a conspiracy investigation going on…and it’s up the to the main character to solve the case. A fun steady-pace that in entertaining from beginning to end. Like all cozy mysteries, readers will find murder and theft involved. This particular case was interesting in that the stolen object was a cane. And that there’s a cane club. Intriguing with plenty of twists to keep readers guessing along. Diamonds Are Not A Girl’s Best Friend is definitely one that I recommend to readers. 

Review: Half My Age Plus Seven (A Sinful Confession)





Synopsis:

This contemporary, literary romance tells the story of Tara, a 38-year-old East European woman who falls in love with Adrian, a 25-year-old English boy. A psychological tale of mind and heart in a catastrophic collision. Struggles, pain, doubts, desire, guilt, shame, torment, you name it. All human emotions described in detail. But there is more, way more. A novel for soulful people only. Read it and rate it! 

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Half My Age Plus Seven: A Sinful Confession by Cristina G. is an emotional rollercoaster. One that goes wildly crazy. Here, there are two protagonists that are not sure of what they want nor how to go about it. The whole story is surrounded by their weak attempts to make a go of a feeling of attraction. The man hardly puts any effort if at all into loving Tara. So, disappointing. Sad, too. Tara despite her age shouldn’t be so childlike in her responses to their relationship. I barely felt like they had anything to go on…was hoping for better outcomes. Other than that, the plot was believable. It felt real. Not a happily ever after tale like most books. It’s a good read for women. It shows how not to be. Standing up, taking action, knowing what you want and going for it…are lessons taught throughout this piece of literature. 

Review: Reach for the Stars

Synopsis:
When Evelyn Dooley married her high-school sweetheart, James, she thought she was set for life. Now she’s 28, single, and fleeing to Dublin from her small hometown to avoid the gossip surrounding their break-up.
This was not in her five-year plan.
Then a chance encounter with gorgeous musician Danny leads to an unlikely friendship, and soon the pair are running music nights together. Surrounded by new friends and a welcoming community, Evelyn is building a life that she really loves – and sparks are beginning to fly between her and Danny…
But when her savings run out and home beckons, Evelyn has to choose. The safe, comfortable life she left behind, or a new adventure with Danny? Will Evelyn flee back to the familiarity of her ex, or reach for the stars and take a leap into the unknown?
A laugh-out-loud, feel-good story of friendship, second chances, and romance, perfect for fans of Mhairi McFarlane, Lindsey Kelk and Marian Keyes.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Reach for the Stars by Colleen Coleman is the most realistic piece of fiction I’ve read in awhile. The whole story centers around finding finding oneself. The main character, Evelyn, hasn’t found herself. She’s not sure of who she is or what she wants. Currently married to a man due no longer loves, but tried to save what’s left of their marriage led Evelyn onto a new path. From the moment she and her husband found out they were no longer in love, she left to discover what she needed. This journey took her to Dublin. Once there, she gets a job, makes new friends, and even finds herself a new man. It wasn’t intentional. Evelyn even pushed the romance aside. One failed relationship was enough…but fate had other ideas. 

Colleeen Coleman created many ups and downs in this contemporary tale. I felt everything Evelyn did. Like I was inside of her. Her new adventure sets off many positive vibes then comes crashing down upon her. Feeling small and lonely again, Evelyn returns back home. From there surprises await both for her and the reader (me). Hope, family, friendships, and new beginnings are explored throughout the book. Divorced to singlehood and from broke to making a life for themselves…Reach for the Stars was exactly that. Evelyn said, go big or go home. That phrase carried her through this epic yet emotional journey. I enjoyed reading it. Reach for the Stars was heartfelt, believable, and engaging from beginning to end. Overall, I highly recommend it to all. 

Review: Sugar Pine Trail 








Synopsis:

An unlikely attraction brings comfort, joy and unforgettable romance this holiday season! 
Librarian Julia Winston is ready to ditch the quiet existence she’s been living. She’s made a list of new things to experience, but falling for Jamie Caine, her sexy military pilot neighbor, isn’t one of them. Julia’s looking to conquer life, not become the heartbreaker’s latest conquest. But when two young brothers wind up in Julia’s care for the holidays, she’ll take any help she can get—even Jamie’s. 

Happy to step in, Jamie reveals a side of himself that’s much harder to resist. Not only is he fantastic with kids, he provides the strength Julia needs to tackle her list. She knows their temporary family can’t last beyond the holidays, but the closer she gets to Jamie, the more she wonders if things could be this merry and bright forever…

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Sugar Pine Trail by RaeAnne Thayne is another holiday Christmas tale that I loved. Heartfelt, emotional, and sweet. A young woman, finds surprises like two adandoned boys, who lost their dad and maybe even their mom…a hot man renting a room upstairs from her, and other new experiences. I enjoyed reading this book. I cried, laughed, and was able to connect with all the characters. The main protagonist, Julia, was believable. She’s this clever, kind, sweet, yet shy librarian. However, she does have a bit more to her then what most see. Her sexy crush turns out to be more than she originally thought…a flitter who has a heart of gold. Loss, hope, love, and new beginnings are found here. I recommend this book to readers everywhere. 

Review: Finger Lickin’ Fifteen 

Synopsis:

Unbuckle your belt and pull up a chair. It’s the spiciest, sauciest, most rib-sticking Plum yet.
Recipe for disaster: Celebrity chef Stanley Chipotle comes to Trenton in a barbecue cookoff and loses his head – literally.
Throw in some spice: Bail bonds office worker Lula is witness to the crime, and the only one she’ll talk to is Trenton cop Joe Morelli.
Pump up the heat: Chipotle’s sponsor is offering a million-dollar reward to anyone who can provide information leading to the capture of the killers.
Stir the pot: Lula recruits bounty hunter Stephanie Plum to help find he killer and collect the moolah.
Add a secret ingredient: Stephanie Plum’s Grandma Mazur. Enough said.
Bring to a boil: Stephanie Plum is working overtime tracking felons for the bonds office at night and snooping for security expert Carlos Manoso, aka Ranger, during the day. Can Stephanie hunt down two killers, a traitor, and five skips, keep her grandmother out of the sauce, and solve Ranger’s problems and not jump his bones?

Warning: Habenero hot. So good you’ll want seconds. 

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Finger Lickin’ Fifteen by Janet Evanovich is a hilarious yet entertaining mystery. I enjoy reading the Stephanie Plum series by this writer. Never a dull moment withthe main protagonist. Stephanie Plum isn’t perfect. She’s full of quirks. It’s easy to relate to the sleuth and her friends. Her relationship with the police officer Joe Morelli is complicated. Stephanie likes him but she feels they fight way too easily over everything. But she can’t deny her attraction to the sexy man. Their relationship is off and on…through the book. There’s also the hot security expert, Ranger, whom Stephanie likes, too. Where this new adventure leads her is for readers to open up and follow along. I laughed as the famous humor from the talented writer came to live on every page. Still fun, spontaneous, and intriguing. 

Review: The Monk Woman’s Daughter

Synopsis:

This eye-opening and entertaining first novel paints a vivid picture of the rough-and-tumble of 19th century urban America. Vera St. John is a resourceful girl growing into an unconventional woman. She comes of age through the wild streets of New York City, the quiet rural village of Flatbush, the mob violence of Baltimore, and the turmoil of Washington City during the Civil War, struggling to make her way out of poverty. All the while she hides an explosive secret: she is the daughter of the “infamous Maria Monk” one of the century’s most notorious women. Vera sees her world with irreverence and insight, and comes to learn about the corrosive nature of power, the importance of freedom, and the real meaning of belonging. 

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

The Monk Woman’s Daughter by Susan Storer Clark is a historical mystery with a lot of suspense. Keeps readers like myself entertained. The historical parts to this fictional tale was well-researched. I felt like I stepped back to that particular time period. Susan Storer Clark brought up a lot of strong issues that were faced back then into her novel. That was interesting…it felt a little bit like an educational journey but in the most exciting way. One theme was centered around women. How they dealt with the life they were given or stuck within…like the main character, struggling with the weight of her parents. The Monk Woman’s Daughter is an intriguing tale that I recommend all to read. 

Review: First Case Scenario 

Synopsis:

Most cops walk a beat. She dances to one.
Undercover and using moves she didn’t learn at the Detroit Police Academy, Harlee races to identify the cold case murderer who has struck again. While juggling a charming ex-fiancé, a friend with benefits, and a partner who is too darn handsome for his own good, Harlee begins socializing with the potential suspects outside of work… until the killer learns of her double identity. 
This mystery has a perfect blend of humor, sexiness and suspense. It is the first novel in the Harlee’s Whodunit in the Motor City Series. 

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

First Case Scenario by Annemarie DeClark is a fast-paced yet exciting read. The whole story caught my attention immediately. It was easy to connect with the characters, especially with the main protagonist. Brilliant mystery. I was intrigued by what Harlee was going through and how she would juggle it all. She’s a new leading woman to watch out for…similar to Stephanie Plum. I laughed so hard and was entertained from beginning to end. Danger, suspense, and mystery all woven into one stunning novel. There’s even a bit of romance included, too. Addictive. Annemarie DeClark has been added to my favorites list. I can’t wait to see what she comes up with next time. Overall, I highly recommend this book to all. 

Review: Bringing Maggie Home

Synopsis:

Decades of Loss, an Unsolved Mystery, and a Rift Spanning Three Generations…
Hazel DeFord is a woman haunted by her past. While berry picking in a blackberry thicket in 1943, ten-year old Hazel momentarily turns her back on her three-year old sister Maggie and the young girl disappears.
Almost seventy years later, the mystery remains unsolved and the secret guilt Hazel carries has alienated her from her daughter Diane, who can’t understand her mother’s overprotectiveness and near paranoia. While Diane resents her mother’s inexplicable eccentricities, her daughter Meghan—a cold case agent—cherishes her grandmother’s lavish attention and affection.

 

When a traffic accident forces Meghan to take a six-week leave-of-absence to recover, all three generations of DeFord women find themselves unexpectedly under the same roof. Meghan knows she will have to act as a mediator between the two headstrong and contentious women. But when they uncover Hazel’s painful secret, will Meghan also be able to use her investigative prowess to solve the family mystery and help both women recover all that’s been lost?

Rating: 5-stars

Review

Bringing Maggie Home by Kim Vogel Sawyer is beautiful contemporary tale. It also demonstrates a good Christian lifestyle that still is entertaining to read. Inspiring, realistic, and heartfelt. I’m still a huge fan of Kim Vogel Sawyer’s work. Her writing is three-dimensional. Sucks me into her new worlds each time I open up her new novel. A past that haunts one particular family is about to unravel. Bringing back the loss, the mystery, reopening the cold case, and bringing forth an unforgettable emotional journey. Healing, home, and family are major themes incorporated throughout this stunning story. I was hooked. Definitely a page-turner. A disappearance from the past has strong impacts on a family of women. Intense, suspenseful, and addictive. The plot is well-written. Their messy lives are bout to unfold…overall, I recommend this read. I couldn’t stop reading it once I started. Once more, Kim Vogel Sawyer has sown a perfect book. 

Review: The Promise of a Letter







Synopsis:

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

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

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

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

Rating: 5-stars

Review

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

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

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

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

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

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

Review: Macaroons and Mayhem






Synopsis:

Excitement blossoms through Peridale when a prestigious gardening magazine picks the village as the spotlight for their next issue, but that joy quickly turns to dread when members of the local gardening society, The Peridale Green Fingers, start dying one by one after their obituaries are sent to The Peridale Post the day before their murders.

Julia is asked to bake macarons for the magazine’s unveiling of ‘The Best Garden in Peridale’ party, but with death striking the village, she has more important things to worry about. Is somebody killing The Green Fingers’ to better their chances of winning the title as well as the cash prize, or is there something more sinister happening? With her old friend and newspaper reporter, Johnny, by her side, Julia must uncover the truth before every member of the club is crushed like an unwanted weed.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Macaroons and Mayhem by Agatha Frost is the nest best book in this thrilling mystery series! I love her books. Agatha Frost has once again, proven that she is queen of the cozy mystery genre. There’s so much to love about her writing. Fast-paced, exciting, romantic, hilarious, deadly, and plenty of drama to keep me busy as always. 

The main character, Julia South, is my all time favorite sleuth. A baker at heart who has the ability to become the best world known detective. She always solves every case. Wherever Julia goes, there’s always a murder mystery to solve. In this case, more than one person dies and a fourth victim as or may not survive the attack. Someone is targeting a garden club. The top members are being killed one by one. Unless the police can figure it out, more people will die. That’s when Julia is called to the case. An investigative journalist friend comes to her after the police mocks him. He thinks he’s stumbled upon a murder investigation. But even Julia is skeptical….but as the events unfold her skeptics may changes and she’s on the hunt. Macaroons and Mayhem has proven to be Julia South’s toughest case yet. Overall, I loved reading this new mystery. I can’t wait to read the eighth book. Agatha Frost is beyond talented. 

Review: Expresso and Evil 






Synopsis:

The 6th book in the BESTSELLING Peridale Cafe Cozy Mystery series!

When a coffee shop opens in the village, Julia is surprised when her customers flock to the new business, leaving her café almost empty. A failed protest against the corporate chain store leaves Julia wondering if her café can survive, but she suddenly has bigger fish to fry when the owner of the coffee shop is poisoned, and she is framed for his murder.

As Julia attempts to clear her name, she is stopped in her tracks when an unwanted familiar face arrives in Peridale. Her past and present crash together, threatening to jeopardise her blossoming relationship with Barker. Julia’s history is back to haunt her, and she is forced to deal with the consequences of her actions before it is too late. Somebody is trying to frame Julia for her rival’s murder, but can she juggle her most challenging case yet with her complicated love life before she loses more than just her café?

Book 6 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 and 48,000 words long. No cliffhanger, swearing, gore or graphic scenes! 



Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Expresso and Evil: A Peridale Cafe Mystery by Agatha Frost is another brilliant mystery! I was hooked instantly. This, is the sixth book in the A Peridale Cafe Mystery series. I don’t know how Agatha Frost manages it, but she delivers a clean, hilarious, and intriguing tale every time. I haven’t found a bad book by her yet…

Inside Expresso and Evil, I followed the main character and her close knit group as another mystery tumbles literally into their own territory. In fact, it happens inside of Julia South’s bakery. Her well-know enemy is found dead in her cafe. As the facts pour forth, it looks like someone has been going to a lot of trouble to frame Julia. Her bakery is also suffering a major loss due to her customers going to her enemy’s cafe. Then, to add to the drama, mystery, and trouble, her ex husband has a surprise for her…then, there’s the technical issue with their divorce that puts Julia and Barker at a distance. So much action, mayhem, and sparks flying everywhere. Julia is my favorite sleuth. She’s kind, caring, and smart. Plus, her baking is out of this world….

Agatha Frost combines a lot of genres into one marvelous read. Her series of cozy mysteries are addictive. Once, I start a new book of hers, I can’t stop reading. Then, I wait in anticipation for the next novel to be released. Fun, charming, and plenty of laugh-out-loud moments. This book was also heartfelt in many ways. Expresso and Evil suits this novel well. Coffee and murder…overall, I recommend this book to readers everywhere. 

Review: Pancakes and Corpses

Synopsis:

Soon to be divorced Julia South never expected to be caught up in solving a murder, until she discovered the body of her cafe’s most awkward customer. With a new smug Detective Inspector in town who underestimates her every move, Julia makes it her mission to discover the real murderer, before her village friends are dragged into the frame, and more bodies are discovered.
A light, cozy mystery read with a cat loving and cafe owning female amateur sleuth, in a small village setting with quirky characters. No cliffhanger, swearing, gore or graphic scenes. 

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

Pancakes and Corpses: A Peridale Cafe Mystery by Agatha Frost is an exciting new series. I love the main character, Julia. She’s a divorced women returning back to her hometown. Here, in Peridale, Julia is baking. Baking is her passion. But then, her cakes go missing…and a dead customer turns up…which then, catches the unwanted attention of the new detective. Something about him, puts Julia off in more than one way. 

I’ve read a few other book witinnthis series before this one, and I was easily able to follow along. The mystery in each book is different and thrilling to follow. Julia is the best baker. Her hometown, Peridale, is small but sets forth a variety of interesting characters. Intriguing, fun, hilarious, sweet, and sometimes deadly. Pancakes and Corpses is a must read for all. Action, adventure, and a murder case to solve. I couldn’t stop reading it. Agatha Frost is a talented writer. Her pages flew by fast.  

Review: Second Chance Cowboy 

Synopsis:

Dancer Larissa Martine is ready to start over and Las Vegas seems like the perfect city for a shiny new beginning. But first, to honor her pact with her girlfriends, she wants to make a quick stop in Cheyenne, WY to make amends with her first love, the guy she left to chase her dreams of Broadway fame. Except rancher Matt Briggs isn’t nearly as interested in her regrets as he is in keeping her in town for his sister’s wedding. It’s a request she can’t deny when his family takes up the cause to make her stay for just one more week, but it’s difficult to maintain her friends-only boundaries with a man who attracts her as much as ever. 
After losing his father and inheriting the family ranch in addition to the one he’d bought on his own, Matt’s life is all about obligations. But Larissa’s unexpected arrival during the wedding mayhem is a bright spot he won’t ignore, even if that means tempting her into far more than just a dance. He figures one night with her will bring them both some peace with their past, which is all she said she wanted. But one night leaves Matt wanting a whole lot more and this time, he’s willing to gamble everything to make her stay. 

Rating: 5-stars

Review

Second Chance Cowboy is the second book that I’ve read by Joanne Rock. I was amazed by her talent with her other book that I read before this one. Her characters literally pop off the pages. Bringing the story to readers in live motion. I felt like I was there experiencing it all in both the main characters’ shoes. I got the best perspectives from the leading female and male protagonists. Their thoughts, actions, and words could easily be felt and understood. 

Joanne Rock made me cry happy tears while reading this contemporary romance novel. I also laughed a lot. Cowboy rancher, Matt, just has affect on women. Especially, Larissa, aka Rissa. Sexy as hell, Mattcan make any woman swoon on spot. But the one woman he wanted left him eight years ago. Now, he finds her back in their ranching world. This time, he’s not ready to let her go…

Larissa is having a crappy life. Her dancing career did hit it off until her injury. Her hips still give her pain. But she still wants to audition in Las Vegas. However, on her way there, she stops home to seek forgiveness and a fresh start. Little does Larissa know that fate has more in stored for her than she planned. Like resurfering sparks between her and Matt. Matt…looked even better than she remembered. She wants him again. Feeling a bit jealous of the girl hitting on him, Larissa skates her feelings. Then, Matt’s sister ends up forcing them together for her wedding. Close proximity with each other will set off memories they never forgot…

Second Chance Cowboy is the latest novel by Joanne Rock. I love how she created so many raw emotions within me. The journey was epic. Addictive, hot, and charming. Every page was well-written. The entire story went by faster than I thought. The actions of the protagonists sped up my reading. I was so eager to find out what happened between them that I soon found the last page. And it was so good. Better than good. Superb. I have fallen in love for the second time with Joanne Rock’s writing. She delivers only the best for her readers every time. Overall, I recommend this sexy cowboy romance to all.  

Review: The Art of Hiding






Synopsis:

Nina McCarrick has it all: a loving husband, two beautiful boys, a well-appointed home and more time than she knows what to do with. Life is perfect. Until her husband, Finn, is killed in a car accident and everything Nina thought she could rely on unravels.

Alone, bereft and faced with a mountain of debt, Nina quickly loses her life of luxury and she begins to question whether she ever really knew the man she married. Forced to move out of her family home, Nina returns to the rundown Southampton council estate—and the sister—she thought she had left far behind.

But Nina can’t let herself be overwhelmed—her boys need her. To save them, and herself, she will have to do what her husband discouraged for so long: pursue a career of her own. Torn between the life she thought she knew and the reality she now faces, Nina finally must learn what it means to take control of her life.

Bestselling author Amanda Prowse once again plumbs the depths of human experience in this stirring and empowering tale of one woman’s loss and love.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

The Art of Hiding by Amanda Prowse is one of the most believable tale I’ve read. A story of loss, love, and hope. The loss of a father and husband, losing their home, and moving to a new place.  Plus, a single widowed mother dealing with a teenager who seems like he’s connecting with her anymore. A you’re son who loves her still but is also wanting to be like his big brother. Sweet, heartfelt, and realistic. 

The title, The Art of Hiding, fits well. I was amazed at how well the mother holds onto the little she has. Her sons. Going after a career, a new home, and a new area can place a lot of stress and emotions on a family that has already lost so much. But with time, there’s hope and maybe even some healing. I was throughly entertained with this book. Every page was exciting. Something always caught my attention and held it there until the ending. Amanda Prowse is a talented writer. This, was the second novel of hers that I’ve read. Enjoyable, easy to follow along, and great characters to love. Overall, I recommend this novel to all. 

Review: Conversations with Friends 

Synopsis:

A sharply intelligent novel about two college students and the strange, unexpected connection they forge with a married couple.
Frances is twenty-one years old, cool-headed, and darkly observant. A college student and aspiring writer, she devotes herself to a life of the mind–and to the beautiful and endlessly self-possessed Bobbi, her best friend and comrade-in-arms. Lovers at school, the two young women now perform spoken-word poetry together in Dublin, where a journalist named Melissa spots their potential. Drawn into Melissa’s orbit, Frances is reluctantly impressed by the older woman’s sophisticated home and tall, handsome husband. Private property, Frances believes, is a cultural evil–and Nick, a bored actor who never quite lived up to his potential, looks like patriarchy made flesh. But however amusing their flirtation seems at first, it gives way to a strange intimacy neither of them expect.As Frances tries to keep her life in check, her relationships increasingly resist her control: with Nick, with her difficult and unhappy father, and finally even with Bobbi. Desperate to reconcile herself to the desires and vulnerabilities of her body, Frances’s intellectual certainties begin to yield to something new: a painful and disorienting way of living from moment to moment.
Written with gem-like precision and probing intelligence, Conversations With Friends is wonderfully alive to the pleasures and dangers of youth.” 

Rating: 3-stars

Review:

Conversations with Friends by Sally Rooney is a different kind of novel than I’m used to reading. A young woman ends up living a very complicated lifestyle. Her relationships entangle  in ways she didn’t imagine. Going for the moment instead of thinking of all the things that may come of her decisions. Friendship, lust, and love. These are just some of the major themes expressed on the pages. Out of the three characters, Frances is the one I mostly enjoyed following. I didn’t like her going after another woman’s husband…Frances wasn’t easy to relate due to her sexuality preferences. She could go either…man or woman. This wasn’t my favorite read. But it appeared realistic and for that it earned points. I can see three people living lives similar to these characters. I liked how I knew exactly what the characters were thinking. That made this interesting to follow. Overall, it was okay for me. Not one I would highly recommend to others but still worth reading. 

Review: The Summer that Made Us





Synopsis:

Mothers and daughters, sisters and cousins, they lived for summers at the lake house until a tragic accident changed everything. The Summer That Made Us is an unforgettable story about a family learning to accept the past, to forgive and to love each other again. 


That was then… 

For the Hempsteads, summers were idyllic. Two sisters who married two brothers and had three daughters each, the women would escape the city the moment school was out to gather at the family house on Lake Waseka. The lake was a magical place, a haven where they were happy and carefree. All of their problems drifted away as the days passed in sun-dappled contentment. 

Until the summer that changed everything. 


This is now… 

After an accidental drowning turned the lake house into a site of tragedy and grief, it was closed up. For good. Torn apart, none of the Hempstead women speak of what happened that summer, and relationships between them are uneasy at best, hurtful at worst. But in the face of new challenges, one woman is determined to draw her family together again, and the only way that can happen is to return to the lake and face the truth. 

Robyn Carr has crafted a beautifully woven story about the complexities of family dynamics and the value of strong female relationships.

Rating: 3.5-stars

Review:

The Summer that Made Us by Robyn Carr is a great read. At its center, lies a family struggling with their lives. Each one feels stressed. A past event has kept them torn apart. Now, in the present they go back to the place where all went wrong. Some want to forget it, while others want to remember the good that was there. Hope, fear, anger, and a sadness lingers on every page. I was taken into each character’s feelings. They felt hesitant about the future. Loss, death, and managing relationships both personal and in the family is a hard thing to juggle. I understood the characters’ actions. However, I didn’t feel as close to them as I have with other characters. Robyn Carr is phenomenal writer. Her stories have always inspired me. This book, is inspiring in many ways but the emotional entertaining connection wasn’t really there for me. I didn’t really want to dig deep in this tale. But I continued. The themes and points were on target. Just didn’t feel as engaging as Robyn Carr’s previous novels. The Summer that Made Us fits perfectly with the pages’ content. I do recommend this book. It drags some but it’s still worth reading. 

Review: To Wager Her Heart

Synopsis:

With fates bound by a shared tragedy, a reformed gambler from the Colorado Territory and a Southern Belle bent on breaking free from society’s expectations must work together to achieve their dreams—provided that the truth doesn’t tear them apart first. 
Sylas Rutledge, the new owner of the Northeast Line Railroad, invests everything he has into this venture, partly for the sake of the challenge. But mostly to clear his father’s name. One man holds the key to Sy’s success—General William Giles Harding of Nashville’s Belle Meade Plantation. But Harding is champagne and thoroughbreds, and Sy Rutledge is beer and bullocks. Sy needs someone to help him maneuver his way through Nashville’s society, and when he meets Alexandra Jamison, he quickly decides he’s found his tutor. Only, he soon discovers that the very train accident his father is blamed for causing is what killed Alexandra Jamison’s fiancee—and what has broken her heart. 
Spurning an arranged marriage by her father, Alexandra instead pursues her passion for teaching at Fisk University, the first freedmen’s university in the United States. But family—and Nashville society—do not approve, and she soon finds herself cast out from both. Through connections with the Harding family, Alexandra and Sy become unlikely allies. And despite her first impressions, Alexandra gradually finds herself coming to respect, and even care for this man. But how can she, when her heart is still spoken for? And when Sy’s roguish qualities and adventuresome spirit smack more of recklessness than responsibility and honor? 
Sylas Rutledge will risk everything to win over the woman he loves. What he doesn’t count on is having to wager her heart to do it. 
Set against the real history of Nashville’s Belle Meade Plantation and the original Fisk University Jubilee Singers ensemble, To Wager Her Heart is a stirring love story about seeking justice and restoring honor at a time in history when both were tenuous and hard-won. 

Rating: 4.5-stars 

Review:

To Wager Her Heart by Tamera Alexander is a brilliant historical romance. Full of emotions. Both protagonists find themselves in  a world of hurt that binds them together. Each one seeking something with the help of the other. Tamera Alexander brought me back into the era of railroads and their danger. High clout families, politics, and the risks of falling in love. The stakes are high and the scenes are engaging. Themes of loss, honor, and hope are found here. I was intrigued with both the southern belle determined to make her own way and the troubled man taking on a huge task. Heartfelt, entertaining, and well-developed. Alexandra Jamison is a strong female character. She worked hard and it paid off…the feeling of accomplishment back then in her time period was the best part of the book. To Wager Her Heart has won my heart over many times. I highly recommend it to readers worldwide. 

Review: Going Down and Man Candy








Synopsis:

“Elise Sax will win your heart.”—NYT bestelling author Jill Shalvis

“Elise Sax will make you laugh. Her larger-than-life characters jump off the page and make crazy seem like a fun place to hang out.”–Christie Craig, New York Times bestselling author of Texas Hold ‘Em

“Elise Sax belongs on every bookshelf.” — Melissa Foster, New York Times Bestselling Author 

The Five Wishes Series: Novellas about wishes that go terribly wrong…fortunately. Five Wishes…A happy ending is just a coin toss away. Each novella is approximately 100 pages with NO cliffhanger.




Book 1: Going Down:

Marion MacAlister wants to nail her audition, not get nailed. Truly. Honestly. All right…maybe she does want to get nailed, but that’s just because her hottie landlord and local diner owner Mack Ryan is confusing her. Can friends become lovers? Especially friends who might not even be friends in the first place? 



Book 2: Man Candy:

Raine Harper is in love with Wade Gates. But Wade likes women who are model thin, and Raine is model thin plus a whole lot of pounds. Desperate to make him love her, she trains just a little too hard and passes out in the arms of superstar movie star Dirk Adams. Dirk thinks Raine’s junk in the trunk is perfect and proposes to make Wade jealous by becoming her pretend boyfriend. Pretend soon seems very real. Is Dirk a great actor, or is something really developing between Raine and the movie star? 

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Going Down and Man Candy by Elise Sax is a 2-in-1 book set. A great summer romance set that is enjoyable to follow. The two stories feature a different woman going through body issues. They also want to be super skinny. One wants to make it as an actress. The other wanting her long time crush to fall in love with her. Each one has a super hot guy after their own hearts. Sweet, sexy, and entertaining. Both stories are easy to read and short. Elise Sax writes funny yet romantic tales. Overall, I recommend her book set to all. 

Review: The Summer House  

Synopsis:

When Flossy Merrill summons her children to the beloved family beach house to celebrate their father’s eightieth birthday, both cherished memories and long-kept secrets come to light in this charming and lyrical novel from the author of The Lake Season and Mystic Summer.
Flossy Merrill has managed to—somewhat begrudgingly—gather her three ungrateful grown children from their dysfunctional lives for a summer reunion at the family’s Rhode Island beach house. Clementine, her youngest child and a young mother of two small children, has caused Flossy the most worry after enduring a tragically life-altering year. But Samuel and his partner Evan are not far behind in their ability to alarm: their prospective adoption search has just taken a heart-wrenching turn. Only Paige, the eldest of the headstrong Merrill clan, is her usual self: arriving precisely on time with her well-adapted teens. Little does her family know that she, too, is facing personal struggles of her own.
No matter. With her family finally congregated under one seaside roof, Flossy is determined to steer her family back on course even as she prepares to reveal the fate of the summer house that everyone has thus far taken for granted: she’s selling it. The Merrill children are both shocked and outraged and each returns to memories of their childhoods at their once beloved summer house—the house where they have not only grown up, but from which they have grown away. With each lost in their respective heartaches, Clementine, Samuel, and Paige will be forced to reconsider what really matters before they all say goodbye to a house that not only defined their summers, but, ultimately, the ways in which they define themselves. 
Featuring McKinnon’s “sharp and evocative” (Kirkus Reviews) voice, this warm-hearted novel is perfect for fans of Elin Hilderbrand and Mary Alice Monroe.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

The Summer House by Hannah McKinnon is a superb summer read. A story about a family dealing with a lot of issues. The mother forces her kids back to the summer house. There she hopes to help them deal with their issues and maybe, find some peace. A worried mother over grown children. The mother herself has something to share with her children. She plans to sell their summer house. A place full of childhood memories for the children who are now, grown adults. The journey is rocky at first but smooths over as the pages are turned. Emotional, stunning, and heartfelt. 

Hannah McKinnon writes well. Her characters are believable. Each one adds to the plot. A different issue like the lost of a husband. Readers will easily relate to the them. I was able to understand and love the characters. The mother was the centerfold of this family. Strong, dependent, and clever. She loves her family. Caring, loving, and sweet. I couldn’t put this book down…The Summer House lured me from my seat and deep onto its pages. A deep entertaining read. One that pulled at my heart strings all the way. Overall, I recommend this novel to readers worldwide. Loss, love, and healing. 

Review: Any Dream Will Do

Synopsis:

Shay Benson adored her younger brother, Caden, and that got her into trouble. When he owed money, Shay realized she would do anything to help him avoid the men who were threatening him, and she crossed lines she never should have crossed. Now, determined to start fresh, she finds herself in search of a place to stay and wanders into a church to escape from the cold.
Pastor Drew Douglas adored his wife. But when he lost her, it was all he could do to focus on his two beautiful kids, and his flock came in a distant third. Now, as he too is thinking about a fresh start, he walks through his sanctuary and finds Shay sitting in a pew.

The pair strike up a friendship—Drew helps Shay get back on her feet, and she reignites his sense of purpose—that, over time, turns into something deeper, something soulful, spiritual, and possibly romantic. Even Drew’s two children are taken with this woman who has brought light back into their lives. Perhaps most important, Shay learns to trust again as she, in turn, proves herself trustworthy to her adopted community.

But Caden’s return to town and a disastrous secret threaten to undo the life Shay has tried so hard to rebuild. It will take the utmost courage and faith if she and Drew hope to find healing and open their hearts to a brighter future.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Any Dream Will Do by Debbie Macomber is as close to a realistic story as possible. Everything felt real. It was like reading a person’s journey from the rough life to a good one. A young woman has had trust issues due to the men in her life. With no One But a brother as family and as a friend, Shay had to learn a lot of lessons. Including, not trusting her baby brother. He relied on her and she made a bad choice because she thought it was a life or death situation. Her brother used her. Broke his promise and left Shay to deal with the consequences. Shay went to prison, lost her bank job, and is dealing with a lot of emotions. Anger, fear, and survival mode. After being released she finds no where to go. Stepping into a church, Shay’s life turns around….she meets Paster Drew. 

Pastor Drew is another interesting character. He and his very young kids lost a loved one. A wife and mother. Drew was hopeless and lost until he meets Shay. He sees hope for her. Even though she can’t. She has a tough attitude but inside she’s good. Drew calls a friend and help Shay into a program for women like her. Because he helped her, Shay forms an attachment of trust, liking, and hope towards him. Drew can’t help but feel good knowing he helped her. Something about Shay also gives him hope for the future. Then there’s his kids. Both meet Shay. Shay loves them as much as they love her. 

Debbie Macomber has written an inspiring tale here. I couldn’t stop reading it. The whole story made me cry, smile, and fall in love. Lost souls finding their ways after a tragedy. A little faith, hope, and love go a long way in this novel. Those who have been through a tough time can easily relate to both Shay and Drew’s issues. Struggles can make or break us at times. But it’s about continuing even when we have nothing else to lose. Overall, I recommend this contemporary to all. Any Dream Will Do is a must read. 

Review: Maybe I Do








Synopsis

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

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

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

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

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

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

Review: Need You Now 





Synopsis:

Welcome to the small island town of Cloud Bay, where it’s never the wrong time to find a love that’s oh-so-right. . .

Caleb White knows what he wants out of life—and being a star tennis player is not it. After speaking to the press about his plans to retire, Caleb decides that a trip to quaint, beautiful Cloud Bay for its legendary music festival is exactly what he needs. There will be time to figure out what to do with his life without a racket in his hand soon enough. Until then, Caleb is content to be stuck on an island with CloudFest’s gorgeous director Faith Harper. . .

The daughter of a famous rock star, Faith knows all about fame, fortune, and hot flings that aren’t meant to last longer than a few good songs. Gorgeous, built Caleb is a temptation she can’t resist, but she’s not prepared for the way he makes her feel. . .and the dreams that they both share. What begins as a carefree distraction deepens into something real. But is Caleb ready to put his celebrity behind him and give life in the slow lane with Faith a chance?

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

Need You Now by Emma Douglas is a hot summer read. The instant chemistry between characters lured me further into the book. The daughter of a musician is needing a new fling. She soon spots a sexy man with the bluest eyes. Attraction hard and fast. Later on, Faith finds out who he is. The famous Caleb White, star tennis player, who has recently retired. Both start out wanting a good distraction. A no strong relationship. But the more they’re together the harder that becomes for them both. Sparks fly everywhere. Hot, sexy, and fun. Emma Douglas has created an exciting contemporary novel. I was entertained. In the beginning the pages dragged a bit in speed, but soon took off fast. Need You Now suits this book well. Both Faith and Caleb need each other in their lives. But the question lingers if they will figure it out…overall, this was an engaging story. 

Review: Leave the Night On






Synopsis:

Love, betrayal, and sweet revenge—life in Cottonbloom is about to get a whole lot hotter . . .

Sutton Mize is known for lavishing attention on the customers who flock to her boutique on the wealthy side of her Mississippi town. So when she finds a lace thong in her fiancé’s classic cherry-red Camaro, she knows just who she sold it to: her own best friend. In an instant, Sutton’s whole world goes up in flames. . .

Wyatt Abbott has harbored a crush on Sutton since he was a young kid from the other side of the tracks. He witnessed Sutton’s shocking discovery in the Camaro at his family-owned garage—and it made him angry. What kind of man could take lovely, gorgeous Sutton for granted? But then Sutton comes up with an idea: Why not give her betrothed a taste of his own medicine and pretend that she’s got a lover of her own? Wyatt is more than happy to play the hot-and-heavy boyfriend. But what begins as a fictional affair soon develops into something more real, and more passionate, than either Sutton or Wyatt could have imagined. Could it be that true love has been waiting under the hood all along?

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Leave the Night On by Laura Trentham is full of excitement. From betrayal by a best friend and from a fiancée, a false relationship, and a path to new love…I was hooked. The main character, Sutton is a strong woman. She’s more than just daddy’s little rich girl and more than a beauty. Wyatt is now, a mechanic. The best around his side of town. He can’t deny his attraction to Stutton. Something about her always had his interest. Stutton’s life was going well, until she and Wyatt find her ex cheating on her. From there, revenge, sweet lies, and a whole lot of action happen. I was intrigued with every page. I couldn’t stop reading it. Leave the Night On fits this story well. The plot was fast-paced. Entertaining, engaging, and hilariously sweet. I loved it. Laura Trentham has done it again. Creating another magical world where I got lost within the pages. Overall, I recommend this contemporary romance to all. 

Review: A Wedding Tail 





Synopsis:

’TIL DEATH DO US BARK…

Wedding planner Zoe Plum has brides from all walks of life vying for her services. The only problem is: happily-single Zoe doesn’t actually enjoy weddings—but that might change when she meets the singer of a local band playing at one of her weddings. His name is Levi Dolson and he’s too gorgeous for his own good. And now he’s gone ahead and charmed her new dachshund. . .

It’s no secret that Zoe doesn’t believe in fairy tales, but that doesn’t stop her from wanting to make sweet music with Levi. While she’s convinced she doesn’t need a man, when someone starts setting one trap after the next to make sure she never plans a wedding ever again, she might need Levi in more ways than she could have imagined. But just how far is Zoe’s hidden enemy willing to go? The only thing Levi knows for sure is that he will do everything in his power to protect the woman who brings music to his soul. Maybe that will prove to Zoe, once and for all, that he is a man worthy of her heart. . .

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

A Wedding Tail by Casey Griffin is spectacular. It combines murder, mystery, and romance into one amazing read. This is also a great book for animal lovers. Especially, those that love dogs. An adopted wiener ends up rescuing his adoptive mother from a murderer. She ends up saving the man who has become so much more to her than just hot kisses. Her heart is totally in love with him. Now, it’s up for her to call the shots. The murderer was a character that I didn’t expect to be the killer. Surprises are everywhere in this book. Humor, intrigue, heat, and an unforgettable emotional journey. Casey Griffin has once again, hooked me. Her books are worth reading. I was so happy that her latest novel, A Wedding Tail, turned out perfect. Crazy brides, a weddding gone wrong, a flirtatious man, someone sabotaging Zoe’s business and much more…this, was one adventure I’ll never forget. Hilarious, sweet, and engaging. Overall, I highly recommended this title to all. 

Review: The Kentucky Cure

Synopsis:

Elise Newton is your classic non-committer. Although this time…this guy, Darren Masterson is giving her a run on her oath to staying single forever. After all, that’s how her mother raised her–never let your guard down and get sucked into forever. Before she has to decide what to do, she gets called home to take care of her mom, fresh out of foot surgery. While in Kentucky, she runs into Ben, her first love–the one who almost lassoed her with a ring and an ‘I do’ twelve years ago. 
Follow Elise’s journey to understanding why she can’t commit, and you’ll discover the one she can’t live without.
*title was previously released as A Reason to Stay*
Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Kentucky Cure by Julieanne Dove is a great journey. A young woman who has commitment issues may find her cure after all. The main character, Elise, was believable. I felt like she kept running away from life over and over again. It was hard to feel what she was really feeling. I couldn’t really get a good grasp on it in the beginning. Then, towards the middle I discovered why she has the issue. But again, I couldn’t really connect with her. Instead, I felt more connection to the guys who loved her. Heartbreaking, heartfelt, and emotional. The whole story felt sad. Until the ending…it was great. It was worth reading the ending. The title fits the plot well. Overall, Kentucky Cure is a contemporary romance novel that is entertaining. 

Review: Virgin River

Synopsis:

“Wanted: Midwife/nurse practitioner in Virgin River, population six hundred. Make a difference against the backdrop of towering California redwoods and crystal-clear rivers. Rent-free cabin included.” 

When the recently widowed Melinda Monroe sees this ad she quickly decides that the remote mountain town of Virgin River might be the perfect place to escape her heartache, and to reenergize the nursing career she loves. But her high hopes are dashed within an hour of arriving: the cabin is a dump, the roads are treacherous and the local doctor wants nothing to do with her. Realizing she’s made a huge mistake, Mel decides to leave town the following morning.
But a tiny baby, abandoned on a front porch, changes her plans…and a former marine cements them into place.
Melinda Monroe may have come to Virgin River looking for escape, but instead she finds her home.

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

Virgin River by Robyn Carr is an exciting adventure. One that took me to a small-town, Virgin River. There isn’t a school, no Starbucks, and her promised quarters is falling apart. Not like what the woman said on the phone to get Melinda to come to Virgin River. Apparently, nothing was what it seemed. First, Melinda gets stuck in mud with her fancy BMW. Her living quarters is dirty and falling apart. And the doctor doesn’t want her there to help him. 

But then things changed. A baby is found outside her place. Someone abandoned it. Then, Melinda decided to stay for a little bit. Using that little bit of time, a former marine works his butt off to make her own place new and clean. Plus, he’s attracted to her. Doing his damn best to keep apretty young medical woman in town proved to be a challenge. One worth doing. 

Melinda wanted out of L.A. Danger was everywhere. She couldn’t handle the pressure of fear that amounted with the amount of criminals everywhere. Then, she finds out about Virign River. A small-town looking for someone like her. A safe and quiet place to move. Melinda found a lot of surprises in Virgin River. Tested her will power and determination. 

Virgin River is a novel about community, small-towns, and new beginnings. I loved it. Robyn Carr swept me from my chair into her sweet, charming, and romantic tale. This book was engaging from start to end. Overall, I recommend it to all.