3.24.2017

The Illusionist's Apprentice by Kristy Cambron ~ Review

The Illusionist's Apprentice
My Review:

FBI Agent Elliot Matthews meets the elusive and intriguing Wren Lockhart, former assistant to Harry Houdini, in a graveyard. A disturbing spectacle in the graveyard sets them on the trail of what is being revealed as a much bigger conspiracy, bringing up ghosts from Wren's past, and has her working with Elliot to clear a charlatan that Houdini exposed as a fraud, of murder.

Set in the 1920's the vaudeville sensation is waning, Wren Lockhart has branched out on her own after Harry's death, but there are are still many of his enemies out there who do not have short memories. Wren must risk her deepest secrets as they work to get to the bottom of who is behind the murder.

Wren is an unconventional woman, even more so for her time. She dresses as a man on stage, lives in her uncle's mansion, yet keeps a staff of one, and prefers to do for herself. She has always been sharp witted, earning her place as an illusionist. She stands strong for what she believes in, having a distaste for those that pass illusions off as magic.

Elliot is a clever man, who knows how to follow a lead and get results. He is intrigued by the elusive Wren, and the life that she has made for herself.

A wonderful read that captures the era perfectly within the vaudeville community, filled with bright characters, and plenty of mystery! There are definitely a lot of twists along the way. Well written and descriptive, I liked how well the flow of the storytelling fit with the story. Wren is a terrific heroine, strong and clever, she loves fiercely and fights for what is right, Elliot really helps to draw her out and come out of the shell that she has built for herself. A fantastic read from beginning to end.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and testimonials in Advertising."

3.20.2017

A Stolen Heart by Amanda Cabot ~ Review

A Stolen Heart (Cimarron Creek Trilogy #1)

Lucie's Review:

Sheriff Travis Whitfield is waiting for the stage when Lydia Crawford arrives in Cimarron Creek, he is surprised to find that she is looking for Edgar Ellis, because he is looking for Edgar too. Edgar left without a trace, leaving behind his pregnant new wife.

Travis takes Lydia to stay with his Aunt Bertha, who is excited to have company, and quickly take her under her wing. Travis' cousin Catherine, the school teacher comes to visit Aunt Bertha, and Lydia and Catherine become fast friends.

Lydia is a hard worker and enjoys cooking up delicious confections, many of the townsmen come calling but she does what she can to discourage them. Travis enjoys Lydia's company and friendship, even though he can't offer her more than that. He admires how quickly she has fit into the community.

Travis is a man of faith, and integrity. He doesn't believe in marriage after witnessing his parents contentious union. There is great dialog between Travis and Lydia as their friendship builds and they come to trust each other.

This is a great read, with many intriguing characters, mystery, and several surprises along the way. One of my favorite character was Catherine, and I'm excited to follow her story in the future!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and testimonials in Advertising."

Moving Target by Lynette Eason ~ Review

Moving Target (Elite Guardians #3)Lucie's Review:

Maddy McKay and Quinn Holcombe have stuck by each other through good and bad, she is one of the Elite Guardians and he is a police detective. Quinn has just finished physical therapy to help him recover from breaking both his legs in the last book.

Maddy and Quinn find themselves in a mysterious room with a map on the wall. They soon find themselves in a race for their lives on a island full of booby traps trying to stay one step ahead of the man who calls himself "The Chosen One" who is hunting them.

Maddy and Quinn are forced to use everything at their disposal and their wits to survive the madman's game. But whatever they do, he seems to anticipate their every movement. Meanwhile back home, the rest of the Elite Guardians and Quinn's partner Bree are doing everything they can to find out where they are.

Maddy has moved on with her life after the controversy around her leaving the FBI, she is a good friend and loves her co-workers. She has loved Quinn for a long time, but doesn't see it ever working out long term. She is strong in her faith and challenges Quinn to face the demons in his past.

Quinn is irascible, but good at his job, Maddy get's to him like nobody else, be he's afraid that the things in his past will come to hurt her. I like how their situation brought them together and forced them to trust each other more, and face things head on.

An intense read full of suspense. I loved getting to read about characters from the previous books in the series, even though you don't have to read them to enjoy this book, it does make the characters more familiar. Fantastic read, and some serious The Most Dangerous Game vibes.


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and testimonials in Advertising."

3.19.2017

Just the Way You Are by Pepper D. Basham ~ Review

Just the Way You Are (Pleasant Gap Romance #1)

My Review:


Eisley Barrett is a single mother of three, who goes to England to help her dying uncle do research for his novel. She is staying with the kindly Harrisons, who's son so happens to be Christopher Wesley Harrison the swoon-worthy star of the small screen, who is known for playing period drama heroes.

Wes is an actor who has spent the last year of his life re-evaluating and prioritizing, having given his life to Christ and leaving his playboy ways behind.

Wes's parents are just adorable, still crazy about each other after all these years they love their son and only want what is best for him. Eisley's dad was an absolute hoot. Gruff and a merciless teaser, he loves his family and wants to protect his children anyway that he can, he has a good heart and just wants his children to be happy.

Eisley is  beautiful inside and out, she sees her own faults, and is refreshingly honest and open. She loves her children and wants to give them the best that she can. I loved her willingness to laugh at herself, and how comfortable just being who she is.

Wes is thankful for the second chance that he's been given to live his life differently. He is determined to fight for the ones that he loves, even when the mistakes from his past threaten to ruin his future. He is a modern day Darcy right out of a Sunday night PBS BBC miniseries, and even though they give him a rough time, he fits right in with Eisley's All-American family.

Overall, an absolutely delightful read, I think that one of my favorite things was meeting all of Eisley's siblings who all have their own unique stories to tell. This is a delightfully flirtatious read, full of witty dialog both internal and external, and great chemistry between the main characters. You won't want to miss it!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and testimonials in Advertising."

3.16.2017

The Elusive Miss Ellison by Carolyn Miller ~ Review

The Elusive Miss Ellison (Regency Brides: A Legacy of Grace, #1)
Lucie's Review:

Lavinia Ellison is the Reverend's daughter, she knows everyone in town and is concerned for their well being. Lavini is determined to convince the Earl of Hawkesbury to improve the condition of the tenant housing.

Lord Nicholas of  Hawkesbury assumes Lavinia to be a servant upon their first meeting from astride a high horse, figuratively and literally, but is enchanted by her gift for music. As he get's to know Lavinia better, it is hard not to find her passion for helping others infectious, but he has his own pain and guilt that he carries from the war. Will he let it get in the way of making things right?

I loved the witty dialog that Nicholas and Lavinia share whenever they are together. Lavinia is intelligent, determined, and compassionate, she doesn't care for the airs of high society and believes that every life is of value.

I like that Nicholas rushes to Lavinia's aid many a time, and he does what he can to right the damage that he unintentionally caused. He is torn between duty and honor, still fighting the ghosts that haunt him.

The title of this book is so fitting, as it is how Nicholas comes to think of Lavinia in his head. I loved the setting, characters, and clever dialog. Filled with touches of humor and well written characters that I wanted to cheer for the whole way through, along with some colorful side characters. I loved this read from beginning to end, it was thoroughly entertaining and enjoyable, and I never once thought that any of it dragged.

Nicholas' journey was my favorite, because he finds new life and freedom, along with a fresh perspective and attitude. And his faith goes from being for show and image to genuine and real.

Overall, a fantastic read. It's already on my favorites of 2017 list! Highly recommend this amazing book!



Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and testimonials in Advertising."

About the Book:


Handsome appearance counts for naught unless matched by good character and actions.
That's the firm opinion of not-so-meek minister's daughter Lavinia Ellison. So even though all the other villagers of St. Hampton Heath are swooning over the newly returned seventh Earl of Hawkesbury, she is not impressed. If a man won't take his responsibilities seriously and help those who are supposed to be able to depend on him, he deserves no respect from her. In Lavinia's pretty, gray eyes, Nicholas Stamford is just as arrogant and reckless as his brother-who stole the most important person in Livvie's world.
Nicholas is weighed down by his own guilt and responsibility, by the pain his careless brother caused, and by the legacy of war he's just left. This quick visit home to St. Hampton Heath will be just long enough to ease a small part of that burden. Asking him to bother with the lives of the villagers when there's already a bailiff on the job is simply too much to expect.
That is, until the hoydenish, intelligent, and very opinionated Miss Ellisonchallenges him to see past his pain and pride. With her angelic voice in his head, he may even be beginning to care. But his isn't the only heart that needs to change.
These two lonely hearts may each have something the other needs. But with society's opposition, ancestral obligations, and a shocking family secret, there may be too many obstacles in their way.
Fans of Georgette Heyer, Lori Wick, and Julie Klassen will enjoy the spirited exchanges between the bluestocking minister's daughter and the bruised war hero as they move past pride and presumption to a humbled appreciation of God's grace and the true strength of love.

About the author:

Carolyn Miller lives in New South Wales, Australia, with her husband and four children. A longtime lover of Regency romance, Carolyn's novels have won a number of RWA and ACFW contests. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Australasian Christian Writers.

Visit our blog Like us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Find us on Pinterest 

3.12.2017

A Moonbow Night by Laura Frantz ~ Review

A Moonbow Night
Lucie's Review:

Temperance "Tempe" Tucker lives with her family in their inn along the Shawnee River, that is a wayside stop for trappers and travelers of all kinds. When her fiance James Boone is killed, and her brother Russell is crippled, by Indians, and her father kills a man, Tempe becomes the provider, forager, scout, and her whole family depends on her for their livelihood. When a surveying team comes to the inn, her father forces her to go with them a guide.

Sion Morgan is a surveyor come to map the Southwest frontier, he is a man at home in the wilderness, but he struggles with conflict within the team, especially from his brother-in-law who is a stark negative to him in every way. Sion is a natural leader, honorable, and true, he and Tempe must rely on each other to survive the Kentucky frontier.

Historically lush and evocative with detail, I loved how the characters were true to their time and were realistic for their time. Tempe is a strong young woman, good daughter, and skilled outdoors woman, she has a strong faith that holds her fast during the turmoil and tension of young Kentucky. I admired Tempe for her faith and forbearance, she befriends Nate an older man on the surveying team.

There is a lot going on this book, full of tension with the conflicts between the Indians and the brave people forging their way into a new frontier. At times the pace was a bit slow going. I loved the evocative writing style that brought the wilds of Kentucky to life in this historical saga that brought to life the brave men and women who traversed the wilds of Kentucky.


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and testimonials in Advertising."

3.05.2017

Long Time Gone by Mary Connealy ~ Review

Long Time Gone (The Cimarron Legacy, #2)
Lucie's Review:

This book picks up right where the last one left off, Cole Boden has just been shot and Justin is rushing to  get his brother safely back to the ranch.

Angie Dupree comes with the doctor and stays to care for Cole, she came to Skull Gulch to her her Aunt Margaret at the orphanage. She met Justin  when she first came to town, Angie does what she can to help out and soon finds herself drawn into their problems,

Full of mystery, even though they caught a couple of the bad guys, they still don't know who is behind it all or why. Especially after a woman at the orphanage is shot, instead of the sniper's mark, Justin.

I like the friendship between Justin and Angie, he always seems to be there when she falls and he doesn't give up when she refuses his idea of courtship.

Angie came to Christ during her first marriage and has held to her faith through the troubled times, she doesn't want to let her past define her anymore, she wants to prove to herself that she is strong and capable of taking care of herself.

I like the sense of camaraderie between the brothers, and how they have accepted their brother-in-law, Heath, even though they didn't like him when he first married their sister, Sadie. There is plenty of teasing and humor between them.

I like that his boo also follows the Boden parents, Veronica and Chance who are in Denver seeing a doctor about Chance's leg. And they know the family trouble isn't over, because it has followed them to Denver, and they work together to keep each other safe.

This was a quick paced read, and there was always something going on, leading up to an action packed ending. A highly enjoyable read!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and testimonials in Advertising."

Mark of the King by Jocelyn Green ~ Review

The Mark of the KingLucie's Review:

Julianne Chevalier is a midwife in Paris, falsely accused of causing the death of one of her patients, she finds her self branded and imprisoned. She chooses to go to Louisiana rather than face imprisonment, but little did she know what she would face to get there, including marrying a fellow convict.

Once they reach New Orleans Julianne loses Simon, and gains a friend in Madame Francoise St. Jean who share her faith with her and helps her adjust to her new life in Louisiana. Julianne befriends many of the woman who come over with her on the ship.

I like how this story is based on true historical events, and how John Law paid for convicts to come to Louisiana in order to help colonize the French Territory.

I like Marc-Paul Girard. He is captain of the French Army stationed in New Orleans, he recognizes Julianne because he knows her brother who was stationed in New Orleans too. He helps her find a job, and learn more about medicine, translating for her and standing up for her in times of trouble. Marc-Paul has his secrets too, and he doesn't tell her everything. He is a man of faith and reads a protestant Bible, even though good French men are Catholic. He brings home a young girl named Lily, who is his daughter, and it is difficult for her and Julianne because Lily doesn't speak French, though they finds ways to communicate.

This was a hard book to read, because of all the hardship and pain that Julianne goes through over the course of the many years that this book covers.  It highlights the harsh conditions the colonists faced the precarious relationships that the French had with the various native tribes. I liked Marc-Paul and Julianne, they are resilient and truly care about the people of the colony, full of interesting characters and plot twists. This book covers the span of many years, so at times it seemed like she wasn't happy for very long before something terrible happened again. There are many surprises and a climatic ending, very good book for fans of gritty historical fiction.

Note: Some content in book may be considered PG-13.



Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and testimonials in Advertising."

A Temporary Family by Sherri Shackelford ~ Review

A Temporary Family
Lucie's Review:

Nolan West  runs the stagecoach station in a near ghost town, Pyrite, Nebraska. He spent most of the Civil War as a prisoner of war, and he likes the solitude and order of his home. He certainly doesn't want overnight guest in the form of a woman and her three children.

Tilly Hargreaves is escorting her nieces to Omaha when Caroline get's sick and they have to stop in Pyrite, they plan to catch the next stage out, but when outlaws show up in town after the gold shipment she finds herself in for an extended stay.

I like how the outlaw assume Tilly to be Nolan's wife, and he doesn't correct them. They work together to keep the girls safe, and find themselves telling each other things that they've never told anyone before.

Tilly is my favorite character, and she like Nolan despite of his idiosyncrasies. She is a woman of faith, and knows that Nolan doesn't think that he is worthy of her, but she holds to hope that he will come to his senses.

There is almost non-stop action throughout, with Captain Ronald and the girls' mother showing up in Pyrite as well. I liked Tilly's nieces, especially Elizabeth who quickly wraps "No-wan" around her little finger.

Nolan is honest man, who sees Tilly's beauty and intelligence right away and admires her for it. He struggles with his past and the man that he is.

This was a great read, with lots of action and surprises throughout. Highly enjoyable read!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and testimonials in Advertising."

Mistaken Identity by Shirlee McCoy ~ Review

Mistaken Identity (Mills & Boon Love Inspired Suspense) (Mission: Rescue, Book 7)
Lucie's Review:

Trinity Miller has a big heart, she's on a mission to help her best friend's son Henry who is going to lose his leg to cancer. She wants the elusive Mason Gaines to make Henry's prosthetic, and she knows that he has property in Maine. But upon finding his house she is chased off with gunshots.

Mason comes home just in time to help Trinity. Mason is ex-military and makes prosthetic limbs for veterans, placing a computer chip in each of the limbs, and he believes that someone is trying to find one of his clients. He feels responsible for Trinity's safety after the bad guys assume that she is his girlfriend, and her life is now in danger.

Will they be able to find out who is after them before it's too late?

Trinity is a computer forensics expert, she is brave and tenacious, she is determined to see it though to the end and get Henry his leg.

Mason is impressed by Trinity and her determination. He is always on the alert for danger and does his best to keep her safe. He thought that he wanted to be alone and live in solitary, but meeting Trinity is changing everything for him. He must step out of his comfort zone to keep her safe.

I loved how this book is fast paced, and full of intensity. The dialog grows their relationship, and I like how the heroes realize that God's plan is bigger than anything that they could have planned themselves.  Highly enjoyable and full of tension!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and testimonials in Advertising."