4.18.2019

Ladies of Intrigue by Michelle Griep ~ Review

Lucie's Review:

Who can you trust when no one is who they appear to be?

In The Gentleman Smuggler's Lady, Helen Fletcher travels to Cornwall to comfort her dying father. She is literally swept off her feet by a masked man near the wharf. Who is the man behind the mask, and are his intentions good?

Her father has a strong faith, and encourages Helen throughout the book. I liked the way that Helen and Isaac meet formally, great tension and throughout. Good interaction brings the characters together. I also enjoyed the climactic ending.

In The Doctor's Lady Emmy Nelson is the daughter of a missionary doctor, while Dr. James Clark is a city doctor with his eye on teaching. They find themselves working together at Fort Snelling during the Dakota Uprising.

Dr. James has his path all planned out, he only intends to be in Dakota Territory for a short time before going back to the big city. Emmy is passionate about working with the Indians and helping those in need. She and James work together, but they don't see eye to eye despite their growing attraction.

James and Emmy share their faith, and I like how they both learn to look at things a little differently through the other's eyes. I liked how they got to know each other while working together, and had a strong respect for each other. I admired Emmy and her outgoing and compassionate nature. Overall, a enjoyable read, with great characters.

In A House of Secrets Ladies Aide Society President Amanda Carston wants to do more than knit socks and have teas, she wants to do more to help those in need. She sets her mind on fixing up a run down side of town and attempts to enlist the help of her fiance, Joseph, but he seems to be dragging his feet. Will Joseph's secrets get in the way of Amanda's plans to clean up the city and their relationship?

I like that Amanda has a heart to heart to help others and feels the calling to do more. I admired her passion for her cause. There are many secrets to be revealed, and it definitely kept me guessing. I liked the characters, and this was an enjoyable read.

Overall, a collection of stories that revolve around a secret, all set in different places during different time periods. Each of the stories stand on their own. An enjoyable collection.


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."

4.17.2019

The Governess of Penwythe Hall by Sarah E. Ladd ~ Review

Lucie's Review:

Cordelia Greythorne left Cornwall when she was blamed for the death of her husband. She takes a job as a governess for five children, but when their father dies, she follows her late employers final wishes that she stay with them after they are in the care of their new guardian who resides in Cornwall.

Jac Trethewey is determined to revive his inherited estate, returning it to its former glory, by growing the apple orchards and finding ways to make it profitable. He is surprised when he finds himself the guardian of his estranged brother's five children, and struggles to balance his multitude of responsibilities.

Old secrets rear their ugly heads, will they threaten Delia's chance at happiness?

Delia loves her young charges dearly, and even though she is loathe to return to Cornwall, she honors her employer's wishes. Delia struggles with fear, though on the outside she appears calm and composed. I love that she is close to her family, especially her sister who gives her wise counsel.

Jac inherited an estate, but not much money to go with it. He works hard with his bare hands to make his estate a success. He is an honorable man of integrity, and faith, once he gets over his surprise at their arrive he appreciates how the children have enriched his life. He has big dreams, and is incredibly driven to make his own way in Cornwall. He admires how Delia is able to be assertive and take control of situations that arise with the children.

Overall, a fantastic read, compelling and full of heart, perfect for fans of Poldark. I liked how Delia and Jac worked together and got to know each other through raising the children. There was good tension with the secrets, and the children were all well developed and wonderful characters. I loved the theme of faith over fear. A wonderful read from beginning to end, hard to put down, and with well developed characters and lush scenery.

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."

4.16.2019

Justice Mission by Lynette Eason ~ Review

Lucie's Review:

The first in a new series of K-9 adventures!

When Sophie sees a strange man lurking at while she is setting up for the K-9 graduation. She questions the man and gets kidnapped, she escapes but now her boss is missing and someone is still after Sophie.

NYPD Luke Hathaway and his K-9 partner Bruno are on the case, Luke is determined to keep Sophie safe and uncover what is going on.

Sophie is very close to her family, she grew up fast, almost solely responsible for raising her younger brother after the death of their mother. She is very responsible and organized, she is a good friend and comforter in the wake of the turmoil.

Luke has been burned by love in the past, and has never really talked to Sophie before this happened. Luke is a fair man, consistently aloof, he doesn't like to get close to people. He has a strong bond with his dog, Bruno, struggles to break free of his own self-imposed rules.

Actioned-packed from the start, with great tension that had me not wanting to put it down, I almost read it in one sitting! I really liked Luke and Sophie, they get to know each other and work well as a team. They are a good example of opposites attracting, in the ways that they relate to people and are respected, and how they grow in their faith. This book sets up well for the rest of the series, and I can't wait to read the next installment!

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."

4.15.2019

A Most Inconvenient Love by Ruth Logan Herne ~ Review

Lucie's Review:

Seb Ward has worked hard to make a life for himself apart from his complicated family and all their drama. Seb is a successful businessman who has worked hard to maintain a good reputation, but when a boy arrives on the train with an uncanny resemblance to himself.

The boy takes instantly to the new teacher, Rachel Eichas. Her father was a business first man, who rarely had time for her, so that is the last thing she is looking for in a man.

Will Rachel and Seb see past their outward reservations and give love a chance?

Rachel offers to help Seb out by taking Eli under her wing, he is an adorable young boy, 5 yrs old and eager to please. He misses his mother, and instantly takes to Rachel. Rachel doesn't want to pass judgement on Seb, despite what the gossip, she tries to give him time to explain the situation. Rachel is not a complainer, and she is good at making do with what she has. I like her compassion and heart for the children that she teaches. She is independent with a love of learning that she shares with the children.

Seb has worked hard to maintain a good reputation, to forge a different legacy than the one that his family has hidden with their wealth. He is very sober-minded and holds himself to a high standard. He accepts Eli and wants to give him a loving home with a good childhood. He reminds me of a Midwestern Mr. Darcy.

Overall a wonderful start to a sure to be fun series, I loved how it is set South Dakota and revisits many of the characters that we were introduced to in The Sewing Sisters' Society. Great interaction, and a good sense of community, I liked how Rachel and Seb grew in their faith. A well written read, with characters that captured my heart.


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."

4.12.2019

The Memory House by Rachel Hauck ~ Read with Audra Tour ~ Review ~ Giveaway


About the book:

When Beck Holiday lost her father in the North Tower on 9/11, she also lost her memories of him. Eighteen years later, she’s a tough New York City cop burdened with a damaging secret, suspended for misconduct, and struggling to get her life in order. Meanwhile a mysterious letter arrives informing her she’s inherited a house along Florida’s northern coast, and what she discovers there will change her life forever. Matters of the heart only become more complicated when she runs into handsome Bruno Endicott, a driven sports agent who fondly recalls the connection they shared as teenagers. But Beck doesn’t remember that either.

Decades earlier, widow Everleigh Applegate lives a steady, uneventful life with her widowed mother after a tornado ripped through Waco, Texas, and destroyed her new, young married life. When she runs into old high school friend Don Callahan, she begins to yearn for change. Yet no matter how much she longs to love again, she is hindered by a secret she can never share.

Fifty years separate the women but through the power of love and miracle of faith, they each find healing in a beautiful Victorian known affectionately as The Memory House.  

Lucie's Review:

Decades apart Everleigh and Beck are two young women who spend time in the Victorian house that holds so many memories. Beck struggles to remember her father who died when the North Tower fell during 9/11, while Everleigh holds onto the past at the risk of rejecting a second chance. 

Bruno is a sports agent, struggling to keep his clients as he blazes a new path with his own agency. He is a good listener, and helps Beck sort out her past. Don falls for Everleigh the instant he sees her, he is struggling to cut his own path apart from the paved road that his father has marked out for him down to the girl that he is to marry.

At times a hard read, because of the heartbreak, but intriguing with the mysteries of Beck and Everleigh's past kept me coming back, as I tried to figure out their connection. This book explores family, love, loss, with a compelling mystery. I liked how their journeys shaped their faith, as they learned to trust God with the future and the past.

Overall, a compelling read that shows how God can take our messes, through the ups and downs and use them for His glory.


Click here to read an excerpt!


About the author:

Rachel Hauck is an award winning, New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling author.

Her book The Wedding Dress was named Inspirational Novel of the Year by Romantic Times Book Reviews. She is a double RITA finalist, and a Christy and Carol Award Winner.

Her book, Once Upon A Prince, first in the Royal Wedding Series, was filmed for an Original Hallmark movie.

Rachel has been awarded the prestigious Career Achievement Award for her body of original work by Romantic Times Book Reviews.

A member of the Executive Board for American Christian Fiction Writers, she teaches workshops and leads worship at the annual conference. She is a past Mentor of The Year.

At home, she’s a wife, writer, worship leader and works out at the gym semi-enthusiastically.

A graduate of Ohio State University (Go Bucks!) with a degree in Journalism, she’s a former sorority girl and a devoted Ohio State football fan. Her bucket list is to stand on the sidelines with Ryan Day.

She lives in sunny central Florida with her husband and ornery cat.






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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."

4.11.2019

Arcade and the Triple T Token by Rashad Jennings ~ Review

My Review:

Arcade Livingston and his sister Zoe have just moved to New York City with their family and are starting new schools at the end of March. Arcade has a passion for learning and loves to visit the library. He is given a mysterious token that bears strange powers that are able to transport him into the past and alternate futures.

Arcade's school assignment is to create a presentation and display about a future career. Arcade makes new friends, as he navigates the assignment, goes on adventures, and uses his wits to do the right thing when in a tough spot.

A delightfully fun-filled read, perfect for readers 9 to 14. There aren't a lot of Christian books for young people and even less for tweens and early teen aged youths,  so I was excited to find this book. Arcade is a intelligent young man with a hunger for learning and a helping hand attitude. He and his sister are new to New York, and even though they tease each other, they have a great relationship and are very supportive of each other.

I loved how Arcade was able to step out of his comfort zone and help others, and as a result make many new friends. He tries many new things and all along the way has a positive attitude.

Overall a fantastic read. I will admit that I'm not familiar with Rashad Jennings outside of his authorship of this great book, but he really nailed it with this fast-past, funny, and adventure-packed foray into Middle-Grade fiction. Good positive themes of helping others, encouragement, and trusting God, as well as a healthy love for the library, and responsible phone use. A great launch of a fun new series, with plenty of the token's mysteries still to be unraveled. This will be a great addition to my church's library.

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."

The Crooked Path by Irma Joubert ~ Review

My Review:

I was absolutely thrilled to discover that The Crooked Path is a parallel companion/sequel to Child of the River. This book's storyline intersects and entwines with it's companion, sharing many of the main characters and following them through the decades starting a few years before WWII.

Lettie Louw is an intelligent young woman who follows in her father's footsteps, training to be a doctor in South Africa. Lettie is a good friend, supportive, compassionate, with a strong moral compass and respect for the truth. Her first patient is Marco Romanelli, an Italian man who weathered the horrors of Concentration Camp, with compromised health and a weakened immune system.

I admired Lettie for her strengths and vulnerabilities, she captured my heart instantly as a body conscious teenager, in love with a boy who doesn't notice her. She is compassionate and empathetic, often thinking of others, how they will feel, and always treating others with respect. 

I loved how this book takes place over the course of multiple decades, showing snapshots of important moments in Marco and Lettie's lives, we see couples fall in love, children born, and people die. And even though the years are spinning by, I never felt like I missed even a beat. Gripping from the very first page, I was delighted revisit many of families from Child of the River, like De Wet, Boelie, Christine, and Persomi, just to name a few. I savored immersing myself in a different culture, sharing their triumphs and heartbreak in this powerful read that showcases the human condition. This book showed a very different side of South Africa than its companion, focusing more on the medical side and the Polio epidemic in South Africa.

Overall, a thoroughly tremendous read, Ms. Joubert is a masterful wordsmith, weaving a story that shows multiple families as they struggle through loss, love, forgiveness, and finding hope in second chances. The translation from Afrikaans is excellent. The faith element was handled very well, it was never preachy, and there were no pat answers.While the characters might not have spoken about their faith all the time, what was more powerful to me was how they lived it and how much it held weight in their lives by their actions.

A heartfelt read, I cried over their heartbreaks, and rejoiced with their triumphs. Heartbreaking, yet full of hope. One of my favorite books read this year, I can't recommend this book enough!


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."

4.09.2019

Never Let Go by Elizabeth Goddard ~ Review

Lucie's Review:

Following the sudden death of her grandfather, forensic genealogist Willow Anderson continues his work on a cold case kidnapping that happened over 20 years ago. But when someone makes an attempt on her life, she knows that she is on the right track.

Former FBI agent, and Willow's Ex-Boyfriend Austin McKade offers his help. Austin must confront his past, if he's going to fight to win back the one who got away.

A fast paced read, with fantastic tension, strong characters lead this explosive read. I liked the intriguing and taunt plot, as well as the well done emotional element to this story.

Willow is determined to see this to the end, as this is the last case her grandfather was working on before his death. Her grandfather was a big part of her life, with a strong faith that inspired her daily. She isn't sure if she has the strength to follow in his footsteps as a forensic genealogist, and she tries to do what he would do and make him proud. She must use all of her wits to solve this case and make it out alive. I admired her perseverance and strong family and faith values.

Austin had a troubled childhood, and has always struggled to lay the past to rest. He is a loyal friend and is determined to help Willow, and be there for her this time. He's always kept a close guard on his heart with walls a mile high, he wants that to change and be someone that she can rely on.

A thrilling read, with compelling characters and a whirling plot, you don't know who to trust or where Willow and Austin can turn. It's pretty much non-stop action, but the strong character development is not neglected. There is strong faith, and a terrific plot that kept me guessing the whole way through and before I knew it--and way too soon I might add--the book was over.  I was hanging on tight the whole time! There was a full cast of characters, and I couldn't help but love how the mystery brought them to Wyoming. This is the first book I've read by Elizabeth Goddard, and it won't be the last, I'm definitely won over as a new fan and can't wait for the rest of the series. Highly recommend this suspenseful adventure, with a compelling storyline and fantastic heroes!


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."

4.08.2019

The Unexpected Champion by Mary Connealy ~ Review ~ Just Read Tour



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Welcome to the Blog Tour & Giveaway for The Unexpected Champion by Mary Connealy with JustRead Publicity Tours!

ABOUT THE BOOK

9781493417209 Title: The Unexpected Champion  
Series: High Sierra Sweethearts, Book 3  
Author: Mary Connealy  
Publisher: Bethany House Publishers  
Release Date: March 5, 2019  
Genre: Historical Romance / Western  

They’re as Different as Could Be.  
But They’ll Need to Trust Each Other to Survive the Wilderness . . . and the Dangers Chasing Them.

City dweller John McCall never expected to be out in the High Sierras of 1868 on a wild-goose chase to find the Chiltons’ supposedly lost grandson. But now that he’s out here, things have gotten even more complicated, mostly due to wildcat Penny Scott. She’s not like any woman he’s ever met–comfortable in the woods, with a horse, and with a gun.

When Penny and John are taken against their will by a shadowy figure looking for evidence they don’t have, both realize they’ve stumbled into something dangerous. With their friends and family desperately searching for them, Penny and John must make a daring escape.

When they emerge back into the real world, they discover their kidnapper just won’t stop. This city man and country woman must bring a powerful, ruthless man to justice, all while fighting a very inconvenient attraction to each other.

Review:

Picking up right where the previous book left off, the Chiltons have hired Pinkerton agent John McCall to restore to them their long lost grandson, Ronnie, in order to control his handsome trust fund. Ronnie has been living with the Scott family, who loves him very much.

Penny Scott is a strong woman who knows how to take care of herself in the wilderness, she can ride, shoot, and speak her mind. She has a homestead next to her brother Cameron and plans to raise cattle, she is suspicious of John and dislikes him right away because of his job. But when they are kidnapped and held hostage together, they must work together to escape.

John is a city-livin' Pinkerton agent, he is a master of disguise and dedicated to his work. John is comfortable with his life in the city, but he is an honorable Christian man. He admires Penny's strength and know-how. I loved seeing them get to know each other and learning to work together, seeing each other's strengths and weakness, with a common bond of faith.

Fast paced adventure, with everything happening over a span of weeks. The explosive conclusion to a fantastic trilogy, it is not one I'd advise reading as a standalone. I was surprised by how much I liked John by the end of this book, as he was in previous books and at that point in time he wasn't my favorite. I loved seeing the familiar faces from the previous books, as well as Ms. Connealy's signature humor. Page-turning suspense that was hard to put down, I found that this book ended far too quickly. Fantastic western storytelling, with strong bonds of faith and family. This was by far my favorite of the series because of how everything that was building up from the very first book, came together so fantastically in this final installment. I loved every minute of it!

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

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

MaryConnealy by Ginger Murray Photography 
 Photo courtesy of Ginger Murray Photography

Mary Connealy writes “romantic comedies with cowboys” and is celebrated for her fun, zany, action-packed style. She has more than half a million books in print. She is the author of the popular series Wild at Heart, Kincaid Brides, Trouble in Texas, Lassoed in Texas, Sophie’s Daughters, and many other books. Mary lives on a ranch in eastern Nebraska with her very own romantic cowboy hero.

CONNECT WITH MARY: website, facebook, twitter, instagram

You can also find Mary at these sites: Seekerville and Petticoats & Pistols

the unexpected champion giveaway

TOUR GIVEAWAY

 (1) winner will win
  • a complete set of all three High Sierra Sweethearts books (print, US only)
  • $20 Barnes & Noble gift card
Enter via the Rafflecopter giveaway below. Giveaway will begin at midnight April 8, 2019 and last through 11:59 pm April 15, 2019. US only. Winners will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.


Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!
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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."

4.05.2019

Return of Devotion by Kristi Ann Hunter ~ Review

Lucie's Review:

Daphne Blakemoor lives happily in the country caring for the children and working as a housekeeper, and continuing to keep her secret. But when the new Marquis decides to move into the mansion, she finds every things that she has fought for threatened.

William is the new Marquis of Chemsford, and he is determined to establish a legacy completely the opposite of his father. He is looking forward to a quiet life in the country away from the foils of society. But when he arrives at his country estate he is surprised by the housekeeper's reluctance to let him in, he is baffled by her peculiar habits but wants to give her a chance to prove herself. But does this housekeeper hold a secret that will change his life forever?

An engaging read, with strong characters and serious situations with a humorous twist. William is understandably baffled by the goings on at his country estate and his beautiful housekeeper who often goes missing at odd hours. He is ashamed of his past and vows to chart a different course rather than follow in the footprints of his father. As he gets to know Daphne he admires her ideas and resourcefulness.

Daphne never really liked the bustle and betrayal of society, she struggles with fear of her secrets being revealed and how they will affect the ones that she loves. I like how she expresses her ideas and holds to her faith.

Though part of a series, it stands well on its own and has strong themes of faith, family, and forgiveness. I liked returning to Haven House and the many characters. I really admired William and Daphne, they were both good heroes, strong in their weaknesses. Good character growth and a great use of situational humor to lighten the mood and bring a smile to my face. Highly enjoyable!


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."