8.15.2017

31 Proverbs to Light Your Path by Liz Curtis Higgs ~ Review

31 Proverbs to Light Your Path
My Review:

Liz Curtis Higgs shares stories, insights, and lessons from 31 selections from Proverbs, in a devotional style that takes less than 5 minutes to read per chapter.

 Based around 31 favorite verses from Proverbs, each chapter looks at the verse through the lens of multiple translations, often with Mrs. Higgs sharing story from her own life as well, ending with a prayer, and a challenge.

I really enjoyed reading this book, and it was not uncommon for me to sit and read 5 or 6 chapters at a time. I liked how Mrs. Higgs shared her stories, and implores her readers to seek wisdom, in a way that is comfortable and conversational, but also challenging. She speaks as a friend, a mentor, honestly and from the heart, sharing stories from her own journey in wisdom.

This is a wonderful book well worth the read, whether devoured quickly or read a chapter a day, it would be the perfect gift for a friend who needs encouragement or a word of wisdom. I really enjoyed the concise chapters, and I felt encouraged to dig deeper into Proverbs. Highly recommend this 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."

8.13.2017

A Matter of Trust by Susan May Warren ~ Review

A Matter of Trust (Montana Rescue, #3)
Lucie's Review:

EMT Gage Watson, and member of PEAK, used to be a famous free boarder, but his career came to a tragic end, and now he works for the ski patrol when he isn't doing search and rescue. But he can't seem to shake the memory of the girl who betrayed him.

Ella Blair is an attorney and the second youngest senator, and she is also the girl who betrayed Gage Watson and broke his heart. But when her brother Oliver goes into restricted areas on Glacier National Park, she must rely on Gage to help her bring him back safe.

Will Gage and Ella be able to trust each other again?

Ella knows that she is the last person that Gage wants to see, but she know that if there is one person who can find her brother, that it would be Gage Watson. I was hard for me to like Ella at first because of what she did to Gage and her hardened exterior, but once I got to know her real self better, I liked her.

Gage is a great guy, and even though it's awkward to be with Ella, he still wants only the best for her, and is willing to do what he can to help her. I think that the dialog was excellent, stilted at first between Ella and Gage, then it warms and becomes more natural as they become more comfortable with each other again.

This is a fast, action-packed read with plenty going on, I really liked the side story with Ty and Brette, who are great friends. I loved the sense of community and teamwork from PEAK, and getting to see characters from other stories still working together. This is a well told story of love, forgiveness, second chances, and adventure. Highly recommend!


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."

8.12.2017

Plain Retribution by Dana R. Lynn ~ Review

Plain Retribution (Amish Country Justice #2)
Lucie's Review:

Police Officer Miles Olsen is driving home one night when an Amish girl runs out into the street.

Ten years ago Rebecca Miller and her friends were kidnapped, and now one by one her friends are being picked off by someone who wants revenge for what they did to send their abductor to jail. Born deaf, the only person she can talk to on the force is Miles, who learned because his grandparents were deaf.

Miles insists in taking her home and checking out her place because what happened didn't seem like a random act, and when her roommate goes missing, and then turns up dead, they know that they have a killer on the loose. Will Miles be able to stop the killer and keep Rebecca safe, before it's too late?

I like that Miles is put in charge of Rebecca's case, he's determined to keep her safe and stop the threats that haunt her. He takes every precaution he can, but he finds himself growing to enjoy her company along with her smile and quick wit.

Rebecca is my favorite character, she is a survivor. When she left the Amish she held onto her faith, while taking advantage of what the English world had to offer, like an education, deaf friends, and a cell phone that helps her communicate with those who don't sign. She wants to be an interpreter to help other deaf people.

I like how Rebecca and Miles are there for each other, and Rebecca helps Miles to cope with his sister's murder, counseling him in faith.

This was an excellent read, fast paced action, mystery, and plenty of suspense, as well as sweet moments. Rebecca is a fantastic heroine, brave in the face of danger. Fantastic 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."

The Soldier's Secret Child by Lee Tobin McClain ~ Review

The Soldier's Secret Child
Lucie's Review:

Lacey McPherson is a CNA taking care of Vito D'Angelo's beloved Nonna. who recently had a heart attack. Lacey is working to build a bed and breakfast, in an attempt to get on with her life after losing her husband and child.

Vito returns to River Rescue to stay with Nonna, but is surprised to find her staying with Lacey. Nonna wants him to stay with her at Lacey's, but he's not alone and the situation is complicated by the fact that he is the guardian of an eight year old, named Charlie. Lacey welcomes them all into her home, but will staying with Nonna and Lacey mean breaking the promise that he made to a dying comrade?

Lacey and Vito knew each other growing up as neighbors, and they pick up their friendship where they left off. Vito returns from the Army with scars, he dreams of being a teacher, but he's self conscious about his looks. Lacey is supportive of Vito, and encourages him to pursue his dreams, because he has a lot to offer young students. Lacey has a big heart, and loves her church family, she enjoys Charlie's company,

Vito has always liked Lacey, and even more so now that he sees what a wonderful woman she has become, but he knows that he can't pursue a relationship with her, while hiding a secret from her. Vito is a good man caught between what he wants and a promise that he made to a friend. He wants to do what is right even if it isn't what he wants.

I loved how this story built on great dialogue, with great chemistry and tension. I loved Nonna, she has a big heart and a bent for matchmaking. She prays for those around them, and is always there to give wise counsel. Great story 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."

Bread of Angels by Tessa Afshar ~ Review

Bread of Angels
My Review:

Lydia and her father labor to make the most beautiful purple dye and cloths, making a name for themselves with their high quality, but reasonably priced products. But then betrayal strikes, taking almost everything from them, Lydia flees to Phillipi with the secrets of their trade.

Lydia meets a young Jewess, Rebekah, who becomes a fast friend, and encourages Lydia to trust in the One True God. Lydia and Rebekah work hard to establish their shop, and trust God through the trials of being single business women.

Lydia is a talented young woman, taught by her father the secrets of purple. She loves her father, and loves working alongside him to make their precious purple cloth, but she grapples with fear and worry. She strives to be an honest business woman and good friend to those around her, yet there are still few who would align themselves against her, and hope to steal her secrets. I admired Lydia's faith, bravery, and kindness. I really liked her friendship with Rebekah, and how she learned about trusting in the Only God.

Rebekah is a good friend to Lydia, comforting and supporting her when times are tough and easy alike. She is a hard worker, and proves herself to be the truest of friends.

I really liked how this book imagines Lydia's life to be. Even though we don't know much about Lydia from the accounts in the Bible, I liked how Ms. Afshar wrote this story about what Lydia might have been like, she does an excellent job bringing to life the ancient world as it would have been for a single successful business woman.

Overall, this was a riveting read, I could hardly put it down, and I think that I finished it in just a little more than a day. The well written companion to The Land of Silence, it has everything faith, suspense, conspiracy, betrayal, friendship, love, and forgiveness. I liked how Lydia learns to step out in faith and trust God for Bread of Angels. Fantastic from beginning to end, a terrific read for fans of Biblical fiction.


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."

8.10.2017

The Shattered Vigil by Patrick W. Carr ~ Review

The Shattered Vigil (The Darkwater Saga, #2)
My Review:

Willet Dura and the Vigil discover that the evil coming from the Darkwater is worse than they could have imagined, and that the Darkwater is growing.

This book picks up right where the last book left off, but they must face new evils in their search for the truth of what hides in the depths of the Darkwater.

Each member of the Vigil has taken an apprentice from among the urchins, and I loved seeing how Toria, Pellin, Bronwyn, and Willet mentor, and teach their young apprentices who are quick to learn and understand the gravity of the evil that the Darkwater brings. Rory and Fess are my favorites, daring, brave, yet skeptical at times and unafraid to ask questions. I especially was touched by the relationship between Fess and his mentor, Bronwyn.

Willet struggles to  win the trust of the Vigil, proving himself time and again, despite the dark vault hidden deep within his mind. I like how he has grown, and though still reckless by the standards of others, he is learning more about the Vigil and the Darkwater and what his gift means for his life.

What I really liked about this book was getting to know the other members of the Vigil better, as well as the charming urchins, Rory, Fess, Lelwin, and Mark. I felt that with this book there was much stronger characterization, and even though it was the second book in the series, I never felt that it was a "filler" book, there was actually a lot more action in this book than in the last one. I really didn't want to put it down, yet at the same time I didn't want it to end!

Overall, this was the thrilling sequel to The Shock of Night. Willet struggles to find his place in a Vigil that seems to want to lock him out despite his insights. I like how in this book we see more of his vulnerabilities, which only made me like him even more. Bolt and Rory are made for each other, with their sayings, they are constantly sharing their wisdom. I can't wait to see how it all comes together in the final book! Highly recommend for anyone who enjoyed the first book in the series!



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."

Wedded for the Baby by Dorothy Clark ~ Review

Wedded for the Baby (Stand-In Brides #2)
Lucie's Review:

Katherine Fleming makes a promise to a dying woman, to deliver her child to Trace Warren in Whisper Creek, WY.

Trace has opened an apothecary shop in Whisper Creek, he is passionate about helping people and knows many cures. But one of the conditions of him opening his shop was that he be married, and he had thought that him being a widower was enough, but it's not, so he arranges to marry a single mother. But when Katherine steps off the train, he offers to marry her for the sake of the baby, in name only.

Katherine is amazed at how much she has come to care for the child so she agrees to Trace's terms, but makes him write them out in paper before marrying him. Can this arranged family find love in Whisper Creek, WY?

Katherine doesn't know much about caring for a child, but Trace does, and she is quick to learn. Trace at first intends to avoid Katherine and the baby as much as he can, but he soon finds that he doesn't want to, and he admires Katherine's loving care for the child that they decide to name Howard. I like the dialogue between Katherine and Trace, as they adjust to life together and convincing the townspeople that their marriage is genuine.

I really like Katherine and her willingness to help and her self-less love for Howard. She also encourages Trace to re-examine his faith, and come to terms with his past.

I loved returning to Whisper Creek, and seeing Audrey and Blake again, as well as meeting Katherine who was my absolute favorite. This was a very enjoyable read, that I loved to the end. Definitely recommend!

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."

8.05.2017

The Secret of the Hidden Scrolls: The Beginning by M. J. Thomas ~ Review

The Beginning (The Secret of the Hidden Scrolls #1)
My Review:

Peter, Mary, and their dog Hank are staying with their Uncle Solomon for the Summer. He doesn't have a TV and gave them toothbrushes for Christmas, so they don't have high hopes for their Summer.

But when Uncle Solomon shows them the hidden scrolls, they are thrust into an adventure that they never could have imagined to witness the beginning!

Come along on this fun-filled Bible adventure as Mary and Peter discover The Secret of the Hidden Scrolls. I was so excited to be able to review this book, I'm always on the lookout for great new books for children that are clean and teach valuable lessons for the church library, as I am one of the assistants. This book did not disappoint. Full of adventure, and humor this is a great read for 2nd-4th grade readers who are just getting started on chapter books. I loved that this brand new book series is aimed at this age group, because I have noticed that is is one of the hardest ages to find good quality reads for, so I was thrilled to have found this great series!

A wonderful read for young readers who are gaining confidence with chapter books, full of adventure and Bible fun! Great characters and a delightful story, a great book to share with the young readers in your life!


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."

8.04.2017

A Name Unknown by Roseanna M. White ~ Review

A Name Unknown (Shadows Over England #1)
Lucie's Review:

With a war on the horizon lives are about to change and Peter Holstein needs to prove his citizenship to England before the imminent war with Germany. Peter loves books as did his father and grandfather, they also never threw anything away, so in order to prove his citizenship he must find the documentation among his library, so he hires Rosemary Gresham to help put his library in order.

Rosemary takes the job after ever previous applicant turned down the job after they see the task at hand, but what Peter doesn't know is that Rosemary was hired to steal the information proving that Peter has allegiance to Germany.

But as Rosemary works alongside Peter she sees his kind and generous nature, can she help him prove that he is more than his name?

Rosemary is initially overwhelmed by her job, but is smart and comes up with a logical way to catalog Peter's belongings. She grew up with a band of orphans stealing to get by, and she's gotten good at it. But as she get's to know Peter and sees his kindness, she questions whether she will be able to continue working against him.

Peter does have a secret, but it's not the one that everyone thinks. He is clever, and has a kind heart, he even get's around his stuttering by writing letters to Rosemary. He admires Rosemary's quick mind and insight. Though he stutters and repeats himself, he is often able to convey so much with just a single word. His dry wit and Rosemary's habit of saying exactly what she's thinking makes for some great dialogue, and made me love Peter and Rosemary.

I like how Peter challenges Rosemary to rethink her plan, and how she get's to know him for who he is a man loyal to his country. Rosemary and Peter are people who come from very different backgrounds and I love how it brings them together, and how they complement and make challenge each other. This was a fantastic read, I loved the characters, though it was slow to start for me. I love how Rosemary and Peter find logical ways to organize generations worth of clutter, while they also get to know each other. A great start to a new series!

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."

She's out to steal his name. Will he steal her heart instead?
Rosemary Gresham has no family beyond the band of former urchins that helped her survive as a girl in the mean streets of London. Grown now, they are no longer pickpockets-now they focus on high value items and have learned how to blend into upper-class society. Rosemary's challenge of a lifetime comes when she's assigned to determine whether a certain wealthy gentleman is loyal to Britain or to Germany. How does one steal a family's history, their very name?
Rumors swirl around Peter Holstein. Awkward and solitary, but with access to the king, many fear his influence. But Peter can't help his German last name and wants to prove his loyalty to the crown-so he can go back to anonymously writing a series of popular adventure novels. When Rosemary arrives on his doorstop pretending to be a well- credentialed historian, Peter believes she's the right person to help him dig through his family's past.
Anger and danger continue to mount, though, and both realize they're in a race against time to discover the truth-about Peter's past and about the undeniable attraction kindling between them.
Check out all the great stops on this tour and hear what people are saying :  http://litfusegroup.com/author/RWhite



About the author:


Roseanna M. White pens her novels beneath her Betsy Ross flag, with her Jane Austen action figure watching over her. When not writing fiction, she's homeschooling her two children, editing and designing, and pretending her house will clean itself. Roseanna is the author of over a dozen historical novels and novellas, ranging from biblical fiction to American-set romances to her British series. Spies and war and mayhem always seem to make their way into her novels . . . to offset her real life, which is blessedly boring. She passes said boring life with her husband and kids in the beautiful mountains of eastern West Virginia.
Find out more about Roseanna M. at http://www.roseannamwhite.com.
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7.17.2017

Bless Our Gramps and Gran by Mike Berenstain ~ Review

The Berenstain Bears Bless Our Gramps and Gran (Berenstain Bears/Living Lights)
My Review:

In this delightful new addition to the Living Lights series, Brother, Sister, and Honey want to start honoring their grandparents by celebrating Grandparents day, so they make something special as a gift and learn about an ancient pair of grandparents and imagine what their grandchildren might have been like.

Reading the Berenstain Bears always brings back good memories of my childhood and this is charming new release is no different. Adorably humorous and with a great story this is a wonderful story to share. I love how the author uses to the story of Noah and his family to talk about the blessing of grandchildren.

Overall, a delightful classic, that would be a lovely book to share with grandchildren and grandparents. A lovely read that is sure to be enjoyed thoroughly!



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."

7.13.2017

With You Always by Jody Hedlund ~ Review

With You Always (Orphan Train, #1)
My Review:

Elise Neumann and her sisters, along with their young charges, have taken refuge in the Seventh Street Mission run by the kindly and industrious Miss Pendleton. Elise and her sister Marianne sew in the sewing shop, but as the factories are laying off workers, the mission too must lay off workers. Elise is the eldest, so she gets a job with the Children’s Aid Society along the Illinois railway line that sends her miles away from her family with little hope of making a living.

Thornton Quincy and his twin brother Bradford are competing for the ownership of their father’s railroad empire in a deathbed challenge. Thornton has 6 months to develop a town along the Illinois railroad, as well as marry for love. Thornton has never felt that he could make his father proud the way that his brother Bradford did, but he determined to make his father proud before he passes.  But he never counted on falling for a strong willed, passionate, and beautiful German woman who challenges him to take a stand and fight for his dream.

Elise is a hard working young woman, who isn't afraid to stand up for herself. I love her unconditional love for her sisters, and that way that she challenges Thornton to be a better man, and give him encouragement and confidence. She brings out the best in Thornton. She is kind and compassionate, even to those who don't always treat her well. 

Thornton is a good man, he has more confidence than he thinks and even though life hasn't been perfect, he's had it relatively easy despite being in is brother shadow. Elise know how to encourage him and challenges him to think about things in a different way. He is drawn to her like a magnet, and they just "click" in a way he never has with anyone else.

Reinhold is a wholesome young man, sturdy and strong, he is a gentleman to the core of his being. I love is honesty and selfless love wanting the best of others. I hope he finds happiness someday! I think he was one of my favorite characters in this book.

This book had my favorite characters by Jody Hedlund ever. Elise is a sensible heroine, compassionate, and vulnerable. While Thornton has a healthy ambition to prove himself to his father, when he is with Elise he sees himself as the man that he wants to be. I also really loved the townspeople like that Grays, Fanny, and Reinhold.

Well written and fast-paced it makes for a hard book to put down, and I instantly liked the characters and could help but cheer for them all the way through. The ending came together well, with surprise twists of suspense for a thrilling climax. I liked how this book showed a different side of the Orphan Train and Children's Aid Society, it was well researched and I loved every minute of it. I'm excited to read about Elise's sisters as they make their own way in the world in the coming installments of the series. Highly recommend!


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."

7.09.2017

The Cowboy's Baby Blessing by Deb Kastner ~ Review

The Cowboy's Baby Blessing (Cowboy Country)
Lucie's Review:

At Serendipity, TX’s 1st Annual Bachelor and Basket’s Auction Rachel Perez the owner of a local daycare is looking for a handyman, not a date. 

Rachel would never have bid on Seth Howell, even though he recently designed and built the new play equipment for the park, he’s flashy and just returned from a tour of duty in the Army, but her 16 year old daughter has other ideas.

Seth has big plans and isn’t looking to settle down, but he comes to Rachel when he unexpectedly becomes the guardian of 2 year old Caden, the son of a close friend who died serving beside him in the Army, as well as the guardian of the ranch that will one day be Caden’s. Seth is understandably overwhelmed, and Rachel suggests that he bring Caden to her daycare while he sorts things out.

Though they seem unlikely, will Rachel and Seth be just what the other needs?

I like that Rachel is strong, she’s had to be. She got pregnant with Zooey at 16, and had to learn to lean on her faith to build a stable life for herself and her daughter.

Seth admires Rachel for everything that she’s overcome, and her strong faith makes him want to rethink his writing off of God. He likes her honesty and how stable she seems, while he’s always been unsettled and adventurous. I like how he encourages Rachel to try new things and to be more adventurous.

A great tale of an unlikely couple, I like how they get to know each other through Rachel watching Caden and Seth working on the new play equipment. The both are opposites, but help each other be better and more well-rounded people. I like how both of them are different and settled into their own ways and how meeting each other forces them to open their eyes to more possibilities. Great characters and enjoyable story.



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."

Protective Measures by Maggie K. Black ~ Review

Protective Measures (True North Bodyguards #3)
Lucie's Review:

Leo has spent his life in the Navy and his hard work has seen him rise through the ranks at the cost of his family. He has a new assignment looking for a leak of Navy intelligence.

Zoe is a former gymnast and a member of Ash Security, she and her team are running security for a party when Leo sees her up on the rooftop. When an explosion disrupts the party Leo and Zoe are forced to jump from the building and he wonders if he could have been the target. So he hires Ash Security to watch his back and protect his daughters.
As the threats continue Leo and Zoe must work together to stop a radical group from doing more harm.

Action packed and full of mystery, non-stop suspense as the radical blackmailers, who trade in secrets, always seem to be one step ahead of them.

Leo hasn’t always been there for his family, a career in the Navy was always taking him away, and he and his wife tended to do better when they were apart. But he feels like he missed out on a lot of time with his daughters. He is dedicated to his job and proud of his career in the Navy.

Zoe is great with Leo’s girls, Eve and Ivy. Zoe has spent her life feeling like she’s always had to prove herself. She used to be a world class gymnast and one unfortunate incident got her kicked off the team. She has a great relationship with her brother, and he is supportive of her.

A great story from beginning to end, with non-stop action, great characters and dialog. Leo is an honorable hero, haunted by his bad marriage and the promise he made to his late wife on her deathbed. I liked the interaction between the characters, and how Zoe was able to help Leo reconnect with his daughters. An intense read, hard to put down with great tension and chemistry between the heroes. Definitely recommend!



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 Two of Us by Victoria Bylin ~ Review

The Two of Us
Lucie's Review:

When Mia Robinson and Jake Turner meet at a diner in Vegas little do they know how much they have in common and the things they will share, until they see other again at a wedding chapel.

Mia is at the wedding to support her little sister, Lucy, who is pregnant and marrying Sam. Sam is the son of Jake’s partner who died in a bomb blast that took part of Jake’s hearing and cost him his career. Jake has tried to help Sam by teaching him how to fix up cars, and also lessons of faith. Jake is proud of Sam for wanting to do the right thing and marry Lucy. Jakes also finds work for Lucy taking care of his mother Claire who is suffering from Alzheimer’s.

Mia is a nurse practitioner with a passion for international medical missions, during the interviews the agency is quick to point that her experience is largely in big city hospital settings.  She knows that the doctor in Echo Falls wants to retire soon, so she takes the job so that she can also be close to Lucy. I liked her determination to reach her goals. And I related to her struggle with giving up control.

Jake is supportive of Mia’s dreams to pursue a career with Mission Medical, and he accepts that maybe friends is all that Mia is ready for right now. Jake is an observant and patient man, and a good friend to Sam. He lives his faith and has passion for helping other young people like Sam. Jake hasn’t let his hearing loss get him down and he has a great dog Pirate that helps to alert him of things that he can’t hear. I really admired him and his patient friendship with Mia and mentorship of Sam.

Jake’s dad, Frank, is a really great guy, he  love his wife and wants to keep her at home as long as they can until they can go to a special home together.

I also really liked how the book follows Sam and Lucy too. Sam is a great guy he wants to do the best he can by Lucy and their child, and he is going to school and is in the ROTC. Lucy really learns to trust God with her worries, and she grows a lot in her faith over the course of the book.

I really liked the way that this book brings together multiple generations within a family, with great dialog and well-rounded characters. There are many surprises along the way as well. I liked the realness of the characters all in their different walks of life, and how they all came together for each other. I would definitely recommend this well done 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."

A Crown of Wishes by Roshani Chokshi ~ Review

A Crown of Wishes (The Star-Touched Queen, #2)
My Review:


Vikram, The Fox Prince, is a prince in name but not in power. Adopted by the Emperor of Ujijain when he was a small boy, the counsel does not see him as worthy of the throne. He wishes to rule Ujijain. Vikram receives a magical invitation to the Tournament of Wishes, a contest that promises to grant the winner their heart’s desire. But in order to play, he needs a partner.

Princess Gauri, Jewel of Bharata, wishes to overthrow her tyrant of a brother and lay claim to the throne. She has been exiled and imprisoned, forced to betray her best friend. Her brother sends her to Ujijain to be executed by Prince Vikram as a show of loyalty to Gauri’s brother, Skanda of Bharata. But her escape comes unexpectedly when Prince Vikram invites her to be his partner in the Other Realm’s Tournament of Wishes.

Will they find what their hearts desire within Alaka’s gates?

Vikram is a clever thinker, he is good at coming up with fair solutions, and his wits are his weapon. He is cool and collected in the face of danger, and a patient scholar. I really admired his inquisitive mind, wisdom, and sense of adventure.

Gauri is calculated, yet anxious, she has been raised as a warrior to trust no one. Her heart hurts for the pain that her brother Skanda has caused his subjects, but she wonders if her patience is another form of cowardice. She is quick thinking and always ready to fight. On the outside she appears hard and seamless, but I like how her friendship with Nalini showed her softer side as well as her growing friendship with Vikram.

Aasha is an other-worldly creature, she and her Vishakanya sisters feed on the desires of others but their touch is toxic. Aasha longs for the world beyond the Other Realm, she has questions about taste, touch, and the human world. She befriends Vikram and Guari, helping them navigate Alaka in return for information about the human world. Though a century old, she is youthful and brimming with questions and longing, she is a faithful friend, honest and true.

I was initially drawn to this book because I have read very little about Indian folklore and was intrigued by how their culture was expressed in their stories. It was interesting to see how different themes were played up compared to our western fairy tales, and I was completely enchanted by this spellbinding adventure of love, courage, desire, hope, vengeance, and forgiveness.

Vikram and Gauri are opposites, yet unknowingly the perfect complement to each other. Sparks fly, and there is great chemistry between them. I like how their grudging partnership warms to friendship as they face the trials of fear and love. Full of twists, humor, adventure, all with an Indian flare, it is an enchanting tale of desire and destiny. Highly recommend for fans of folklore and fantasy.



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."

Beneath Copper Falls by Colleen Coble ~ Review

Beneath Copper Falls (Rock Harbor #6)
Lucie's Review:

911 operator Dana Newell returns to Rock Harbor after her abusive boyfriend tries to drown her. Dana grew up in Rock Harbor, and finds a place to stay with her cousin Chris, meanwhile she and her friend Bree are training a puppy for search and rescue.

Boone Carter is a former smoke jumper who is now an outfitter who rents out cabins. He is a good friend of Chris and willingly goes to check on Dana while Chris is gone. He defensive around women because of a scar on his face, previously his fiance broke it off with him when she saw it.

When Dana's friend, Allyson, who also happens to be Boone's cousin, frantically calls Dana, with a haunting message before the line goes dead, soon after Allyson's body is found and ruled an accident, but Dana wonders if Garret, her ex could be involved. She knows that Allyson was investigating a new story, could she have gotten too close to the truth?

Dana is a brave and clever heroine, and her is determined to do everything that she can to find out hat happened to Allyson and prevent it from happening to others.

I really liked Boone, he is slow to trust Dana, but comes to see that he can be himself when he is with and her and that her questions are out of concerned kindness, and he admires her bravery and how she cares for people on and off the clock.

This is a fast-paced and suspenseful read, with a tension filled mystery that brings Dana and Boone together. Boone is very supportive of Dana, and a very good friend. I really liked seeing Bree, Kade and Sampson again, along with Bree and Kade's 4 year old twins! There are many surprises along with twists, and plenty of tense moments. Definitely a great read for fans of Colleen Coble's Rck Harbor Series!




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."

7.06.2017

An Outlaw and a Lady by Jessi Colter and David Ritz ~ Review

An Outlaw and a Lady: A Memoir of Music, Life with Waylon, and the Faith that Brought Me HomeMy Review:


Jessi Colter famous singer, song-writer, child of God, and love of Waylon Jenning’s life, tell her story in this autobiography that tells of her childhood, meeting and loving Waylon, and rediscovering her faith in God.

Born Mirriam Johnson, to a Pentecostal preacher and a racecar driver, she sang in church and her family knew that she was something special. At 17 with her family’s blessing she recorded her first record and met Duane Eddy whom she later married. Those were troubled years, though she seemed to have everything she could have wanted a supportive husband, daughter, and a song-writing career, something was missing. She explored the New Age worldview, liking the self-empowering messages, but finding them oddly empty, soon after her marriage failed and she was divorcee at 24. It was then that she met Waylon Jennings the enigmatic country rocker, who didn’t like to play by the rules. He was a hard living, woman loving man, with a pill problem, just coming out of his third divorce at 31. But when they met they were smitten.


Uncertain years of up and downs followed, Mirriam took the professional name Jessi Colter and had many successes of her own, touring with Waylon on and off, and going to the top of the charts with her song “I’m Not Lisa” as well as with a few other songs that she sang herself, or that were cut by other artists. And even though she lived for loving Waylon, something was still missing.

I've been a long time fan of country music, so this book caught my eye when I saw that it was about the woman who new Waylon best. I realized as I read how little I knew about Jessi beyond her songs. Jessi was a strong woman, and though success came and went through the years her love was always with her family. I liked her honesty as she told her story, she didn't sugar coat Waylon's past and the hurt that he had caused her, despite being the love of her life. 

It's so cool to see looking back how God was working in her life even when she seemed to be running away from Him. Through everything she stayed true to her husband and to the God that gave her strength to keep going and inspired her music. I learned so much about the rich history of outlaw country and the woman beside one of country music's greatest legends and rule breakers. 

Overall all it was a wonderful read and a great intimate look at the life of Jessi Colter and her famous husband Waylon Jennings, and the life that they found together. Highly recommend for fans of Jessi and Waylon, or anyone who enjoys reading about a real life love story. 

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 Engagement Charade by Karen Kirst ~ Review

The Engagement Charade (Smoky Mountain Matches #11)Lucie's Review:


Ellie Jameson lost her husband and lives with her controlling in-laws, she is pregnant and doesn’t want to think about what their plans for her child might be. So she takes a chance at a job, and finds a place to board in town. Ellie won the cooking contest to become the new cook at Plum Café, but she struggles to communicate with the restaurant owner about the menu and other concerns because he spends his days hiding in his office.

Alexander Copeland just wants to be left alone. He came to Gatlinburg to escape the memories of his late wife and son, and in his grief has turned his back on God. Despite everything that Ellie has been through, she comes to work every day with a smile, and tries to coax Alex into the world of the living by cooking him special dishes, encouraging him to catch fish for the restaurant and has ideas for sprucing up the place. One night Ellie stays to work late so Alex offers to bring her home, and gets a picture of how oppressive her in-laws are, so to protect her he tells them that he is Ellie’s fiancé.

But as the charade grows and pushes him out of his solitude, could he be the answer to Ellie’s prayers?

Ellie is a bright and optimistic woman, she doesn’t sit and feel sad for herself when she rightfully could do just that, but she puts her energy towards helping others, especially Alex. She isn’t scared off by his gruff demeanor, and she doesn’t like lying to people even though she knows that he did it for her. She is my favorite person in this story because of her hopeful and encouraging spirit.

There is great interaction between the characters, and I like how Ellie speaks freely about her faith. Ellie sees Alex for the man that he could be again, and I like how together they find hope for a future in an unconventional charade. Engaging from start to finish, I love revisiting Gatlinburg and its wonderful residents. Wonderful story, definitely recommend!




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 Shock of the Night by Patrick W. Carr ~ Review

The Shock of Night (The Darkwater Saga, #1)
My Review:

Willet Dura is King Ladir’s trusted reeve, the lowest of the titled, and engaged to marry his beloved Gael, yet he is still haunted by the war. He has a mysterious gift for knowing when someone will be murdered and is always the first on the scene, he fears that his involvement may be more than simply coincidental, yet he has a strange fixation with death and the live after.

The death of an elderly priest changes his life forever when he receives a rare gift, hidden for ages, that puts his well-planned future in jeopardy, but also brings responsibility and greater thing than Willet could have ever imagined.

Though this is the first book in the series, I highly recommend reading the free e-book novella By Divine Right, first. The reason is because while typically you could ignore the prequel novella, I found that while I was reading Shock of the Night, that there were many references to how Willet had earned the esteem and disgust of his acquaintances, and I felt like I was reading the second book in a series even though it was the first. After I finished this book, I went back and read By Divine Right and found that it filled in a lot of things, and answered many questions that I had, as well as giving more insight into Willet’s relationship with Gael, and helped me understand more of how Aer’s gifts were given and worked within the realm of this book.

This book jumps right into the story, and though it did take me a bit to figure out who everyone was and what was going on, (reading the prequel first will help with this), I felt that it was an engaging read from the start. Willet is a compelling and intriguing hero, mysterious in ways even to himself; he is a seeker, survivor, clever, loyal, and at times reckless. I liked how even though he has his secrets, he is a natural leader even if he doesn’t see it in himself, his demeanor commands respect despite his at times rash decisions. He treats others with respect as well, like the urchins who live off the streets and his warm friendship with the librarian, Custos. Though I wish there had been a bit more dialog with Gael so that we could see more of their relationship in real life beyond Willet’s high regard for her when he dreams of his future with her.

Bolt is another of my favorites, honor and duty bound he smart and observant, willing to go against the grain and trust his gut when he needs to, and a faithful friend. Even though Willet put him to the test, he in turn respects Willet for it, and in fact they are men of a similar bent.

It is interesting how much of this book is told from Willet’s point of view in first person narrative, while a few short chapters are told in third person about Pellin the uneasy new Eldest of the Vigil.  I felt that the style worked well for the story. Mr. Carr does an excellent job of creating a fantastic world, well balanced with blessings and consequence. Intricate, and captivating, I love how it makes you think about things, and as the reader you aren’t just along for the ride. I would definitely recommend this book for fans of fantasy and speculative fiction, I’m very excited to see where this series goes.



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 Captain's Daughter by Jennifer Delamere ~ Review

The Captain's Daughter (London Beginnings #1)Lucie's Review:
Rosalyn and her orphaned sisters were taken in by the George Mueller Home for Children, but at seventeen they were slowly pushed out to make their own way. Rosalyn found work as a lady’s maid to a widow, but when her employer marries her situation changes as her employer’s new husband begins to make unwelcome advances, Rosalyn flees and ends up in London. In London she is met by a series of bad fortune, finding herself with nothing of value to her name and destitute. But things begin to look up when she finds a job with Gilbert and Sullivan’s Opera House first as a cleaner, and then as the dresser for the chorus line. She finds a friend in Jessie Vaughn, who warns her to beware of men. But as she navigate the theatre life she finds herself caught between the dazzling leading man, Tony, and the quiet and kind, Nate.

Nate is a soldier, haunted by the night of an attack that injured his arm. He works the stage lights, biding his time until he can join the army again to redeem himself. His family has a passion for helping women who have fallen on hard times, so he offers his family’s home as a place for Rosalyn to stay. Will Nate find freedom from his past and a second chance at love?

Rosalyn is a talented and kind young woman, thrust into a situation that she cannot really control. I liked her strength to leave her job and get away. She is soon swept into the world of theatre, and the intricate art that goes on behind the scenes.

Nate is a good man and a gentleman, he is kind and genuinely wants to help Rosalyn form the start, but she is skittish of men and it takes time for her to trust him. He has a strong sense of duty and responsibility, maybe too much so.

This book was really well researched and I felt like I came away with so much knowledge about the theatre world of Gilbert and Sullivan. The characters were well written, and I especially liked Jessie Vaughn, who was a real life actress at the time. This was a quick and engaging read, and it sets up well for the next books in the series. I can’t wait to read about Rosalyn’s sisters!




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:

When a series of circumstances beyond her control leave Rosalyn Bernay alone and penniless in London, she chances upon a job backstage at a theater which is presenting the most popular show in London. A talented musician and singer, she feels immediately at home and soon becomes enthralled with the idea of pursuing a career on the stage.
An injury during a skirmish in India has forced Nate Moran out of the army until he recovers. Filling his time at a stable of horses for hire in London, he has also spent the past two months working nights as a stagehand, filling in for his injured brother. Although he’s glad he can help his family through a tough time, he is counting the days until he can rejoin his regiment. London holds bitter memories for him that he is anxious to escape. But then he meets the beautiful woman who has found a new lease on life in the very place Nate can’t wait to leave behind.

Jennifer Delamere

About the Author:


A history fan, travel lover, and outdoor enthusiast, Jennifer Delamere writes tales of the past...and of new beginnings. Her debut novel An Heiress at Heart was an RWA RITA® award finalist, and her follow-up, A Lady Most Lovely, earned a starred review from Publishers Weekly and the Maggie Award for Excellence from Georgia Romance Writers. Jennifer earned her B.A. in English from McGill University in Montreal, Canada, where she also gained fluency in French and developed an abiding passion for winter sports. An avid reader of both classic novels and historical fiction, she also enjoys biographies and histories, which she mines for the vivid details to bring to life the characters and places in her books.  http://jenniferdelamere.com/

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