11.10.2019

Hope's Highest Mountain by Misty M. Beller ~ Review

Lucie's Review:

A harrowing wilderness journey of endurance and determination. 

Ingrid Chastain is traveling with her father to deliver much need vaccines to the mountain dwelling folk, but a terrible accident leaves her injured and her father dead, leaving it up to her to complete their mission.

Micah is a drifter with a secret past, but when he finds Ingrid he knows that he must help her, so together they make the treacherous journey through the mountains.

The first in a brand new series with Bethany House Publishers, it begins with a this high stakes journey of strength, faith, and endurance, not without a high dose of pain along the way. Micah is running from his past with his wandering ways, while Ingrid is an angel of mercy to the mountain folk that she and her father serve. She relies on her faith in God to give her strength for the journey ahead of them, slowing getting to know Micah and breaking down his walls.

Slow to start at first, but it picked up after the characters got to know each other a bit. The journey was quite literally very painful, and I just couldn't help but feel terrible for their situation. There was good character building and interaction throughout, and I couldn't help but feel their pain as Murphy's Law seemed to be working in full force in their vicinity.

I wanted so much to love this book, but the literal agony of their journey made it a difficult read, because I couldn't stop thinking about how much pain their were both experiencing. My heart went out to them and the author did a great job of bringing their struggling to life. I applauded the strong themes of faith throughout, and the dangerous beauty of the mountains.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

11.06.2019

Soldier's Christmas Secrets by Laura Scott ~ Review

Lucie's Review:

Four years ago a plane went down with Special Ops Agent Hawk Jacobson on board, and he is assumed dead. He suffers from amnesia but he knows that the plane crash wasn't an accident and that he's a target. So he goes into hiding living life off the grid, using his skills working as a private investigator. But when his past work bring him and his wife, Jillian back together, he is afraid that she has moved on, but he is still determined to keep her and her daughter safe.

Hawk is a skilled soldier, and even though he lost a lot of memories, he is a natural protector. He was one of my favorite characters in a previous companion book, so I was so excited to see that he got his own story. He is a good man, and he loves his family fiercely, he wants to do all that he can to protect them. I admired his willingness to put others' needs before his own, and how he is shows by his actions his true character.

This is a fast paced-read, with a compelling and complex plot. Easy to follow, yet filled with action, intensity, and I didn't want to put it down! I'm by no means a Love Inspired expert, but I've read my fair share, and this is only the second book I've read from them where the main characters are already married. I loved the twists, the character development, and interaction. The story was compelling, thrilling, and well developed. You won't want to miss this one!

I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

11.04.2019

Hereafter by Jody Hedlund ~ Review


My Review:

The thrilling conclusion to The Lost Princesses Series!

Emmeline had a happy child in the Inglewood Forest, raised by former Elite Guard, Lance, and former Lady-in-Waiting, Felicia, knowing that she would someday claim her rightful place as a princess of Mercia. After being captured and forced to marry Ethelrex, she is bent on escape, but could God have brought her here for such a time as this?

Ethelrex has trained for years to become the best of the best in preparation to succeed his father, King Ethelwulf as ruler of Warwick. He is determined to honor his father and prove himself worthy after many years away honing his skills as a warrior. He was a surprising character, in that I didn't know how I would feel about him, but in the end he was definitely one of my favorites! He is a born leader, with the ability to think critically, and a high moral code.

Emmeline is content with her upbringing, and has no wish to be princess. Out of all the princesses I think she is my favorite, and the one that I related best to. Emmeline loves her parents dearly, and is loyal, humble, and modest, acting bravely in the face of grave danger to protect the ones she loves.

I've enjoyed each of the books in this series, but this final one most of all, where everything comes full circle. I think I was most anticipating Emmeline's story because of how much I enjoyed Lance and Felicia's story at the very beginning of the series. Emmeline was the most relatable to me, because of her fears and insecurities, as well as her loyalty and bravery. Rex was well written, complex, yet honorable. Fast paced, and highly entertaining, I loved every minute of this book, because everything from previous books was being turned in it's head and kept me guessing as to how this could all work out in the end. A highly satisfying conclusion to a fantastic series!

I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

10.31.2019

Western Christmas Wishes by Brenda Minton and Jill Kemerer ~ Review

Lucie's Review:

Two heartwarming western romances, of homecoming at Christmastime.

I couldn't think of anything better than two of my favorite Love Inspired authors teaming up in this Christmas novella two-pack!

Laurel Adams comes to visit her grandmother's ranch and is surprised to find a foster child and a kind-hearted horsetrainer, who both quickly capture her heart.

Michael is on his way home for Christmas when he comes across Leann and her daughter stranded in the snowstorm. He rescues them and bring them home with him for Christmas, can they help him reconnect with his family?

Two fantastic stories about the importance of faith and family at Christmastime. I loved how Leann was open minded, and embraced getting to know her new neighbors and life in a small town. She is a good friend, and a natural encourager. I liked how Laurel bonded with Rose, encouraging her to learn and use her skills to help others.

Overall, a wonderful read to get you in the mood for Christmastime. Brenda Minton and Jill Kemerer are some of favorite authors and I was thrilled to read these heartwarming Christmas romances. Great character interaction and development, highly enjoyable, cozy read.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

10.30.2019

You Belong With Me by Tari Faris ~ Review


Lucie's Review:

Realtor Hannah Thornton has loved Luke since they were children, but misunderstandings and bad timing has always got in the way of their friendship turning into something more.

Hannah is on a mission to save their smalltown from a large developer that wants to build a shopping center. She is passionate about her small town, and helping others.

Luke had a troubled childhood, and has always struggled to see himself as an equal with his colleagues. He sees himself as an outcast, unwanted and not good enough for the likes of Hannah. He admires her determination to preserve her hometown.

Thomas is Hannah's brother, working at the diner alongside his ex-flame, Janie, who he broke up without explanation. From outward appearances he has moved on, and is even engaged to another woman. Thomas struggles to fight for the love he wants, despite a secret that believes will keep them apart.

I liked how this book follows siblings Thomas and Hannah as they navigate life and love, growing in faith. There was good emotional depth, and layered backstories which the novel relies heavily upon. I wish that some of the characters had been more upfront about what they were going through at times.  I also think I missed some 80's rom com references that would have tied the plot together more neatly in my head, if I had seen the movie. An enjoyable read, about big love in a small town.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

10.29.2019

The Telegraph Proposal by Gina Welborn and Becca Whitman ~ Review, Just Read Blog Tour, and Giveaway


The Telegraph Proposal JustRead Tour 

Welcome to the Blog + Review Tour & Giveaway for The Telegraph Proposal by Becca Whitham and Gina Welborn, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

ABOUT THE BOOK

The Telegraph Proposal
Title: The Telegraph Proposal
Series: Montana Brides #3
Authors: Becca Whitham & Gina Welborn  
Publisher: Zebra
Genre: Western Romance  
Release Date: October 29, 2019  

In the rough and rugged Montana Territory, the journey to true love is filled with unexpected twists--and sweet rewards--for daring frontier women who faithfully believe every heart has a home . . .

With the help of the Archer Matrimonial Company, Yancey Palmer has finally put Hale Adams, the man she's loved for ten years--sometimes not wisely or well--behind her. Yancey is so sure of her love for the man the agency matched her with, she readily promises a friend that she'll help Hale with his mayoral campaign without chasing him.

Hale has also engaged the services of the matrimonial agency. He's so pleased with one lady, he requests that she join him in Helena to commence a sixty-day courtship. But instead, the Archer ladies arrive in town to reveal the true identities of both Hale's and Yancey's matches: each other. Can they look past their misunderstandings and hurt to see that they are still a perfect match?  

PURCHASE LINKS*: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Book Depository

Review: Yancey Palmer has loved Hale Adams since she was a little girl, but she has finally put her crush on Hale to rest after the Archer Matrimonial Agency matches her with a mysterious man from Denver. She agrees to help Hale run for mayor in Helena, MT because she believes that she may be moving to Denver to start a life with Nathaniel St. John.

Hale Adams has engaged the services of a matrimonial agency to help him find a bride, but none of the matches please him, and the ladies of the Archer Matrimonial Agency are almost at their wits end to find him a match, until they come up with a scheme. Hale has a predictable, but lonely schedule, working all day, then dining alone every day.

But when the real identity of their matches are revealed, can they look past their past and misunderstanding to give love a chance?

Though the third in the series, it can be read as a stand alone though there are wonderful references to previous characters in this book.

An engaging tale of misunderstandings and miscommunication, Hale and Yancey are opposites who compliment each other well. Hale is more introverted, and tends to shy away from crowds and big social events, while Yancey is very personable, and natural in social situations. Hale and Yaney both bring out the best in each other, and their friendship rekindles naturally while they both assume that they are writing to someone else.

Yancey really grows in her faith over the course of the book, and she encourages Hale to deal with pain from the past.

Overall, this was a very enjoyable read, with great characters, engaging plot, and even a mystery on the side with an undercover counterfeit ring.  I really liked the original plot, and how Yancey and Hale interact, with their differences becoming their strengths. I like how they both grow in their faith and as people. I loved every bit of it!

I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.


ABOUT THE AUTHORS

Gina Welborn and Becca Whitham
Gina Welborn and Becca Whitham
 
Becca Whitham (WIT-um) Award-winning author, paper crafter, and Army wife, Becca and her twelve-foot long craft cabinet follow her husband of thirty-five years wherever the army needs a good chaplain. She thinks the cabinet should count as a dependent. So far, neither the army nor the IRS is convinced. In between moves from one part of the country to the other, she writes stories combining faith and fiction that touch the heart. She's a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Romance Writers of America.  

CONNECT WITH BECCA: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest    

Gina Welborn is the bestselling author of twenty inspirational romances, including the Montana Brides Romances from Kensington Publishing. She’s a member of Romance Writers of American and American Christian Fiction Writers. Sharing her husband’s passion for the premier American sports car, she is a lifetime member of the National Corvette Museum and a founding member of the Southwest Oklahoma Corvette Club. Gina lives with her husband, four of their five children, a rabbit named Hobbit, and two cats that don't realize rabbits are edible.  

CONNECT WITH GINA: Website | Facebook | Pinterest

TOUR GIVEAWAY

(1) winner will receive a $50 Amazon gift card and a Montana huckleberry syrup and jam gift box!

The Telegraph Proposal JustRead Giveaway

Be sure to check out each stop on the tour for more chances to win. Full tour schedule shown below. Giveaway will begin at midnight October 28, 2019 and last through 11:59 PM EST on November 4, 2019. US only. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize.
Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.

 

Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!
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*NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.

10.28.2019

Killer Amnesia by Sherri Shackelford ~ Review


Lucie's Review:

Deputy Liam McCourt responds to a nearby call, and finds a young woman who has been run off the road. After taking her to emergent care, she is diagnosed with amnesia.

Emma Lyons doesn't remember who she is, and the more she and Liam try to retrace her steps the greater the danger is, as it leads them to a killer who is determined to end their investigation.

Liam bounced around a lot as a child, but found stability in his faith. He is a steady rock for Emma to lean on during everything, with losing her memory and trying to recall what she had found out that made someone want her gone. He had a troubled past, but getting to know Emma he wonders if a guy like him does have a chance at love.

Filled with tension and suspense, but there are also moments where this book breathes and has lighter moments as well. I like how both Emma and Liam rely on their faith to see them through. Emma is very brave and faces the unknown courageously. There are some great side character, both fun, and shady. Fantastic plot, with well developed characters, well-fleshed out background stories, and twists that took me by surprise. Highly recommend this fantastic suspense novel!

I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

10.25.2019

The Huntress of Thornbeck Forest by Melanie Dickerson ~ Review


My Review:

Orphaned at a young age and taken in my her merchant uncle, Odette has always had soft spot in her heart for the orphans. So at night she poaches the Margrave's forest for meat to feed the poor.

Jorgen Hartman has inherited his father's position as the Margrave's Forester entrusted with protecting the forest from poachers like the one that killed his father.

A mix of Robin Hood and the Swan Princess, Odette is a compassionate and generous hearted heroine. But I personally thought that at times she was a bit misguided in the way that she went about helping others.

Jorgen has more in common with Odette than it would appear at first. He is innovative and conscious of the means at his disposal. I admired his straightforward approach to things and how he found ways to help others as well. Jorgen was easily my favorite character in this book.

A bit slow to start, this wasn't my favorite book of the series. It did all come together in the end, but it took a while to get there. I would agree with some other reviews in that in some ways this book seemed less complex, but also it did touch on some more adult themes as well. It was enjoyable read, nonetheless, and sets the stage for the sequel/companion book.


I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

10.20.2019

Dark Ambitions by Irene Hannon ~ Review

Lucie's Review:

Rick Jordan was a Night Stalker in the Army before following his passion to open a summer camp for foster children, but the in the winter time he is typically alone. But when bloody footprints on his property lead to dead body belonging to someone from his past. Rick and Investigator Heather Shields work together to uncover who is behind everything before it is too late.

An action packed suspense, filled with tension, and surprising twists along the way. I love how Ms. Hannon blends heart-pounding suspense with great character development and relationship building. Even though I kept wanting to turn the page and find out what would happen next, there were still lighter moments of humor, that in no way took away from the gravity of the situation.

There was great relationship building between Rick and Heather as they work together to solve the mystery, and keep one step ahead of the killer. I admired how they opened up to each other, and grew in their faith over the course of their journey.

There is a full cast of side characters that really bring this book to life, like Heather's co-workers and her father. The book follows a variety of characters that are each an important component to unraveling the case, sometimes switching from third person to first person narrative.

Tight with tension and great storytelling, each chapter mounting the suspense and tying off some threads, while pulling out others leading to a climactic ending. Highly recommend this read from one of the Queens of Christian Suspense, you won't want to put it down!


I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

As the Light Fades by Catherine West ~ Grand Finale Blitz & Rafflecopter

On Tour with Prism Book Tours

Book Tour Grand Finale for
As the Light Fades
By Catherine West

We hope you enjoyed the tour! If you missed any of the stops
you'll find snippets, as well as the link to each full post, below:

Launch - Author Interview

What was your motivation behind AS THE LIGHT FADES? Why did you want to write it?

I wrote As the Light Fades as a spin-off to my 2016 novel, The Things We Knew. Readers were asking for more books about the Carlisle family. I chose to tell Liz’s story, because I think she may have been the least popular Carlisle sibling. I’m always intrigued by the underlying stories of what causes people to act the way they do – what events from the past have shaped their future? What is their wound? I knew Liz’s story would be a fascinating one! And the addition of Drake, Matthew, and Mia Stone’s voices to the novel made it even more appealing for me. And of course, I love the setting of Nantucket, and I was eager to get back to it.


Eyes the color of dark toffee, flecked with gold, a hint of green on a good day. Eyes that have seen the passage of time, held laughter and tears, watched over loved ones, and reluctantly let them go. Eyes that still twinkle with mischief and a resolute determination that says this is not the end.

The man gives a sudden smile, and recognition flips a switch.

I think it might be me.

Jorie Loves A Story - Spotlight

Bookworm Lisa - Guest Post

Why I Decided to write General Market Fiction

Some of you may know that my previous books are considered “Christian Fiction.” For those who may not know what that is, it’s basically a story written from a Christian worldview. The faith message can be subtle or not, the characters all believers or not, but the theme of redemption is (usually) always present. Some books will be successful in both the Christian market and the general market, many will not. . . .


". . . I absolutely loved it. . . . This story is one where these broken people are brought together by fate and end up healing each other in more ways than they could ever imagine. Families finally find ways to make amends for past misunderstandings. Friends learn the importance of friendship and just being there for each other. Individuals are finally able to reach deep inside and finally find their inner strength. And romances are a more realistic slow burn of caution and the creation of a solid foundation. . . . It was well done and I loved soaking up every word of it."

Paulette's Papers - Guest Post

Fun Facts About Catherine West

I thought it might be fun to share a little about me, since some of you might not know me and my books! I also asked readers what they’d like to know, and here are some of the questions they sent me! . . .

Pause for Tales - Review

"As the Light Fades is a story that deals with a lot of family issues, sickness, and abuse. However it is written in such a way that is not depressing or heavy with the topics but instead is full of hope and healing. . . . I enjoyed the message of this story. . ."


WHAT’S IT LIKE TO LIVE ON AN ISLAND?

This is a question I’m asked a lot. When people hear that I’m from Bermuda, that I was actually born and raised here, and still make it my home, their eyes widen, and they blink a little, and then usually the question comes, “So what’s that like?” . . .


"This book kept my attention. I got involved in the story. I admired Matt, the way he cared about Mia. One of the best books I have read for a while."

Splashes of Joy - Excerpt

Liz Carlisle never imagined she’d be back in this place. Certainly never dreamed she’d actually enjoy the simple act of walking the dogs around the Nantucket neighborhood she’d grown up in. Yet here she was.

Everything was different now. Renovations at Wyldewood, the rambling estate that Liz and her four siblings called home, were well underway. Her brother David and his wife Josslyn were overseeing the work on the house as well as running after their toddler twins, and her sister Lynette was still in Africa, so the task of trekking out with the family’s two labs had fallen to her. Truthfully, any excuse to get away from the noisy house, now more of a construction zone than anything, was most welcome.


"I thought the novel was a nice cozy read about forgiveness, friendship, and trust. The novel was told from a few different viewpoints such as Mia, Drake, Liz, and Matt. I like that it helped us get a well-rounded image of each character."


The cold she could handle. She’d grown up with it. But the dreary, dull days, nowhere to go, no city lights, no nightlife . . . well, maybe she wouldn’t miss that so much. She did miss her daily routine though. Rising at dawn to get in an hour at the gym before heading to work, being pulled along on the crowded sidewalks of the Financial District, the smell of smog and coffee and fresh bagels in the early morning air. The pinch of pride as she entered the shining glass building on Slate Street, riding the elevator up to the twenty-second floor to her corner office with a view of New York Harbor. Not that she’d ever really appreciated the view.

Hallie Reads - Review

"I have loved everything I have read by Catherine West, and As the Light Fades is no exception. It is a contemporary story, full of hard topics, authentic growth and relationships, and a sweet romance. It’s an entirely enjoyable read; I loved it and recommend it."


"Not only am I impressed by the story, but also by the author’s writing abilities. . . . As The Light Fades is a touching story of hope and redemption, of learning when to forgive, and let go. It was a refreshing and uplifting read. This was my first foray into contemporary women’s fiction, but it was definitely worth it."

Wishful Endings - Guest Post

Discovering Nantucket

As an island girl, having grown up in Bermuda, the thought of writing a book set on an island held great appeal. At the time of writing my 2016 novel, The Things We Knew, I was told stories set in the US would sell better than stories set on foreign soil, so I chose to set my story on Nantucket, a charming, tiny island off Cape Cod. . . .


"As the Light Fades is moving, meaningful, and memorable. It centers on mature subjects, such as family dynamics, self-injurious behavior, the aftermath of abuse, trust, and faith. But even with these serious themes, the story isn’t heavy or depressing. It’s rather uplifting and edifying."


"If I were to explain the storyline of As The Light Fades in a single sentence it would be, life is messy and family relationships are not always easy. . . . It's a good story about the messiness of life, of trying to put the pieces back together, and most importantly the need for family to stick together through thick and thin..."

Colorimetry - Excerpt

“What in heaven’s name happened here?” Evy quickstepped it toward them in high heels, sequins on her teal blouse sparkling, a bright pink silk scarf flapping behind her.

“Elizabeth?” “Hi, Evy.” Liz pulled her cell phone from the pocket of her jeans. “I was walking the dogs and this . . . happened. We should call the police. She doesn’t have a license and the vehicle might be stolen.”

“No, please, no cops!” The girl’s eyes flared. “And it’s not stolen.”


"This is another incredibly heartwarming and thought provoking story.

One of those at which Catherine West is so good at writing. (Every time I read a book by Ms. West, I am amazed. I think they can’t possibly get better, and yet, they do!) . . . This author has once again given us a look at some hard things in life, and shown us a picture of how someone can face those things and deal with them. . . . I highly recommend this one!"


A striped cat suddenly scooted out from under the wild rose hedge to her left, and Liz held her breath. “Seriously?”

Sure enough, the small animal raced for the road, straight across the Jeep’s path. Tires squealed and skidded, sending sand, crushed shells, and small stones every which way as the vehicle lurched off the road onto the nearest lawn, finally coming to a crunching stop at the base of an old black oak.


Why I write Family Drama

“All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” – Leo Tolstoy

When asked what type of fiction I write, I often respond with “Family Drama!” As most of us can attest to, families of all sizes will experience drama from time to time. In some cases, drama is the MO. I’ve always found family dynamics fascinating. Maybe that’s due in part to growing up an only child and always wishing for a brother or sister. As I got older, friends with siblings told me how lucky I was to not have to share anything or have anyone to fight with. I figured maybe there was some truth in that. But I think somewhere deep down, I still dreamed of that big family. . . .


The door on the driver’s side opened with a slow creak. Liz stopped a few feet away and watched a pair of skinny legs clad in tight jeans and clunky black boots emerge. And then a young girl stood before her.

A kid. Barely sixteen, if that.

Great.

Liz swallowed her first response and stepped closer. She gave the vehicle a cursory inspection and saw the airbag hadn’t released. No blood on the kid. No bruises that she could see. “Are you all right?”

Heidi Reads... - Review

"I loved the sense of hope and healing that kept the story from feeling too heavy as it dealt with themes of abuse, aging, and dysfunctional families in a very realistic way. . . . This book is more than a story, it is an exploration of life and the hardships that are heartbreaking but through grace can make us stronger and more resilient."

Don't forget to enter the giveaway at the end of this post...

As the Light Fades
By Catherine West
Women's Fiction
Paperback & ebook, 362 Pages
September 10th 2019 by KDP

Sometimes we’re placed in the strangest of circumstances for the most important reasons.

After her carefully constructed life crumbles, Liz Carlisle finds herself back on Nantucket, picking up the pieces. With the family estate under renovations, the solitude she craves seems out of reach.

Matthew Stone intends to steer clear of his new tenant. She’s carrying a load of baggage, but as long as she pays the rent, he’ll let her be. He’s got enough to deal with caring for his wayward niece, Mia.

Liz doesn’t have time for teenagers and her track record with men is abysmal, but an unlikely friendship forms between the three.

When her former boyfriend is charged with assault, Liz is called to testify against him. But he knows the darkest secrets of her life—secrets she’d hoped to keep buried forever, and he’s ready to reveal them. Telling the truth is the right thing to do, but it may cost her everything she’s worked so hard for, and all she’s come to love.

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About the Author


Catherine West is an award-winning author of contemporary women’s fiction. When she’s not at the computer working on her next story, you can find her taking her Border Collie for long walks or reading books by her favorite authors. She and her husband reside in Bermuda, and have two adult children and one beautiful granddaughter. Catherine is the winner of the 2015 Grace Award (Bridge of Faith) and the Romance Writers of America’s Faith, Hope & Love Reader’s Choice Award (The Things We Knew). Where Hope Begins released May 2018, and her latest novel, As the Light Fades, releases September 2019.


Tour Giveaway


One winner will receive a $75 Amazon Gift Card and a copy of The Things We Knew by Catherine West (print to US/CAN, ebook to INT)
Ends October 23, 2019

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