Hadley Beckett's Next Dish by Bethany Turner ~ Review

My Review:

A sassy opposites attract romance, with sugar, spice and everything nice.

Southern Chef Hadley Beckett is given the opportunity of a lifetime to appear on a season of career highlight making show Renown, but there's a hitch. She must share the stage with her nemesis, the flamboyant bad boy Maxwell Cavanaugh.

A fun, lighter read that brings the drama of reality TV and the inviting feel of HGTV into this sweet, Southern, sassy read. Hadley and Max couldn't be more opposite from their lifestyles, to their cooking, I liked how they were contrasted against each other, and how even though they tend to not have the most peaceful of interactions they do force each other to show and confront parts of themselves that have been avoided for too long.

In a way this book felt like an extended meet cute, and I don't want to say too much, but as a whole we don't get to see as much of the relationship, and personal soul-searching as I was hoping for--despite them being in their heads quite a bit (not a bad thing). It's almost like we get to see the kinda a behind the scenes of the beginning of things and what was happening just while the shows were taping-probably not a good explanation. But I liked the characters, and in a way felt like my time with them was cut short.

Hadley is sweet and sassy, her inner dialog contrasts with her sweet, polite outward demeanor, which is contrasted with Max, who comes to many realizations over the course of the book. I liked how the various side characters are used effectively to show contrast, and also a deeper look into the main characters.

This was a quick read, enjoyable, and fun. It's a fun, opposites attracts romance, that is clean, but besides mentioning Hadley being a Christian a couple of times, and Max seeing something different in her, it doesn't dig into the faith of the characters more, which I personally think was sadly a missed opportunity in a release from a known Christian fiction publisher. It was a fun read, with very astute pop culture references that brought the story to life, with antics that kept me wondering what they would do next.

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


Rebel by Linda Windsor ~ Review

My Review:

The explosive conclusion to The Brides of Alba Trilogy, perfect for fans of medieval romance and Arthurian legend.

Filled with action, conspiracy, and steeped in legendary faith, this book reminded me just how much I really like Linda Windsor's books. This book has strong characters, and weaves the faith into the fabric of the story. I really like how this book shows how faith was a big part of the political atmosphere, being twisted by some for their own purposes, and the importance of standing strong on the truth.

Kella is a multi-lingual heroine, well versed in other languages spoken and written. She carries a shameful secret that binds her, and leaves her questioning God's forgiveness and love. She is stubborn and charming, the youngest of a household of boys, her strength is balanced with her vulnerability, making her real and a likable character.

Alyn was by far my favorite, he is at a crossroads in his life, yet he never waivers in being supportive and protective of Kella. He is always putting others first. I admired his humility, and calm, he is the exact opposite and perfect compliment for Kella's more impulsive nature.

Overall, this was an engaging, and entertaining read from beginning to end, I love how it blends faith and Arthurian legend, with history and romance. The characters are well developed, and I liked how the stakes rose as the book progressed. A satisfying conclusion to this series.

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


Before I Called You Mine by Nicole Deese ~ Review

Lucie's Review:

The perfect blend of heartwarming, humorous, and  heart wrenching.

Lauren is caught between the two things that she has wanted most, and to have one would mean to lose the other. I instantly loved Lauren, and empathized with her. I loved how this story was original, yet relatable throughout, especially the way that the adoption process was portrayed and how it is long frustrating and heartbreaking.

This book completely captivated me, devastated me, made me smile, and put me together again.  I loved the characters, and the complete premise of this book, I felt the weight of Lauren's decisions right alongside her.

Josh is ah-mazing. I loved his naturally camaraderie with the children, as well as his wonderfully supportive family. He has a good sense of humor, and is an all around very likable guy. I love how he really listens to Lauren and is supportive of her throughout.

Overall this book is compelling and captured my heart from the first and even more as the book progressed. I loved how we have a very relatable and likable 30-something heroine, who has a desire for a family life like her peers, with a child and husband, but that just didn't happen for her. I loved how this book blended amazing emotional depth, with great characters, a fantastically beautiful and original premise, with humor, and a strong sense of community and family. One of my favorite books this year, and definitely one of my favorite contemporary reads, as this not always a genre I am drawn to. Highly recommend this heartfelt novel about finding love in the most unexpected of ways and timing.

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


Unyielding Hope by Janette Oke and Laurel Oke Logan ~ Review

Lucie's Review:
Companion book to the popular TV series, this is the first in a brand new series by Janette Oke and her daughter Laurel Oke Logan.

Lillian and Grace are two sisters reunited after a lifetime apart, Lillian was adopted after the death of her parents and raised by a loving family. When she finds out that she has a small inheritance from her birth family, she also learns that her sister, long believed dead, is alive.

Slow to start, this book spends much of the time setting up or future installments to come in the series. There were parts of the story that seemed to come more easily than I expected, but I liked the characters and the setting. Grace has a strong faith, she is very hands-on, and outgoing with a passion for orphans. Lillian quickly agrees to help, uses her gifts of organization to help as well.

The book also follows an older orphan Lemuel, with dreams of pursuing higher education. He is a huge help to the sisters, and I'm excited to see where his story will go.

Overall this was a pleasant read, but felt more like a prequel or set up book, while the pace is perhaps realistic, there were times when reading it that I wondered if this book could have been condensed and tightened. I like the contrast between the sisters, and how Lillian grows throughout. There is a strong theme of faith and family. I'm interested to see where this will go, and am planning now to look into the show.

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


The Lost Lieutenant by Erica Vestch ~ I Read with Audra Blog Tour, Review, Giveaway and More!

Evan Eldridge never meant to be a war hero--he just wanted to fight Napoleon for the future of his country. And he certainly didn't think that saving the life of a peer would mean being made the Earl of Whitelock. But when the life you save is dear to the Prince Regent, things can change in a hurry.

Now Evan has a new title, a manor house in shambles, and a stranger for a bride, all thrust upon him by a grateful ruler. What he doesn't have are all his memories. Traumatized as a result of his wounds and bravery on the battlefield, Evan knows there's something he can't quite remember. It's important, dangerous--and if he doesn't recall it in time, will jeopardize not only his marriage but someone's very life.

Readers who enjoy Julie Klassen, Carolyn Miller, and Kristi Ann Hunter will love diving into this brand-new Regency series filled with suspense, aristocratic struggles, and a firm foundation of faith.

Read an excerpt from Kregel by clicking here!

He's doing what he can to save the Prince Regent's life . . . but can he save his new marriage as well?

Review:   A war hero comes home to a brand new life, haunted by a secret he can't recall.

I'm very familiar with this author's Western books, so when I saw that she was releasing a Regency novel I knew I had to read it. And it didn't disappoint, engaging, with a well balanced plot and fantastic protagonists, this book was a pleasure to read from beginning to end. This book has it all great characters, a riveting plot, romance, mystery, and arranged marriage.

Evan is a admirable hero, a well educated man not born to wealth, but noble of heart. He's a problem solver, with a heart for people and a solid foundation. I admired how he utilized his natural leadership skills to help his comrades, and he worked to settle into his new life.

Diana has been trained for years to enter society and be the mistress of her own home. She is determined to protect the ones that she loves. I loved how well Evan and Diana complimented each other throughout, and though it all they both grow together as a couple and as individuals.

Overall, this was a wonderful read, well paced, with an engaging plot. I loved how this book is the perfect blend of history, romance, intrigue, and faith. I absolutely adored Evan, his integrity really shone, and I liked how he grew throughout the book. Highly recommend, and I can't wait to read Marcus's story!

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

Erica Vetsch is a New York Times best-selling and ACFW Carol Award–winning author. She is a transplanted Kansan now living in Minnesota with her husband, who she claims is both her total opposite and soul mate.  

Vetsch loves Jesus, history, romance, and sports. When she’s not writing fiction, she’s planning her next trip to a history museum and cheering on her Kansas Jayhawks and New Zealand All Blacks.

A self-described history geek, she has been planning her first research trip to England.

Learn more about Erica Vetsch and her books at www.ericavetsch.com. She can also be found on Facebook (@EricaVetschAuthor)Twitter (@EricaVetsch)Instagram (@EricaVetsch) and Pinterest (Erica Vetsch).

Enter the giveaway below or follow this link if the widget is having trouble loading: https://promosimple.com/ps/fb79/the-lost-lieutenant


The Fountains of Silence by Ruta Sepetys ~ Review

My Review:


Just wow.

About 75% of the way through this book I knew that this book would be the kind that would give me a serious book hangover.

A stunningly complex, spellbinding novel of depth, seamlessly blending meticulous research with a heart-gripping story that snuck up on me and took me hostage until I turned the last page down.

It started out slower, painting a picture of Franco Regime Spain, divided after the Spanish Civil War, contrasting the facade of Madrid shown to Daniel Matheson, the son of a Texas Oil Baron, with the realities faced by the citizens under the regime. I loved how the book used multiple characters, to show the challenges, heartaches, and hopes of the Spanish people, and though it took some time to get to know them all, I fell in love with each and every one of them as the threads of the story took shape.

I loved the descriptive language that showed, rather than told, evoking just the right emotion, and bringing the story to life. It is a book that is heartbreaking and beautiful, with a hopefulness, and bright bursts of perfection encapsulated against a foreboding backdrop, the contrasts making both sides more striking. Haunting in the best way, bringing to life a time in history that I was woefully ignorant of before reading this book. Highly recommend!

Opinions are my own. All books reviewed are either bought by myself, borrowed from a friend, or checked out from my local library, unless otherwise stated. 


Chivalrous by Dina L. Sleiman ~ Review

My Review:

I was happy to see Allen of Ellsworth's story continued. Even though it had been some time since I read Dauntless, it didn't matter as this book reads like a standalone, with cameos of familiar faces along the way.

I liked Allen's strong sense of duty and willingness to serve others, and he admires Gwen's unconventional ways and fighting spirit. I liked how he sees her beauty in ways that she can't, and always makes her feel heard and valued.

Gwen has a outwardly advantageous life, but behind it all is the painful truth of her gilded cage. I admired Gwen for being willing to stand up for herself and her mother.

I also really liked how it sets up well for the next book in the series, as Randel and Rosalind were some of my favorite characters in this book for how they supported Gwen in friendship.

 There is action and daring, but at times the plot felt predictable, and the felt villains rather one-note, there were many things that I really loved, and while some elements that didn't click with me. I loved the strong faith lived by the characters, and also how well researched the story was in regard to jousting, very well done. Allan as probably my favorite, mostly because I had liked him from the first book in this story realm and so I had a headstart in liking him. Overall, this is an enjoyable read, perfect for fans of Medieval novels.

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

Star of Persia: Esther's Story by Jill Eileen Smith ~ Review

My Review:

A fresh, yet familiar, and immersive rendering of one of the greatest female heroes of the Bible.

Well researched, and beautifully told in a way that even though I knew what was coming I was still absorbed into the story, and at times surprised by the timing of certain events. The author uses the multiple third person narrative to her advantage, showing some aspects of the story from an unexpected viewpoint that really enhanced the story and made it less predictable which is challenging in such a well beloved tale.

There is a creative license as well as a respect for the recorded history that make the story more realistic. I liked how the book addressed the realities, of how less than ideal Esther's situation was, showing the sadness in the midst of the luxuries afforded her.

Overall, this was a rivetingly rendered telling of one of history's greatest queens. Excellent research and engaging storytelling. Highly recommend for fans of Biblical fiction.

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


Witness Protection Unraveled by Maggie K. Black ~ Review

Lucie's Review: 

Travis Stone has been living in Witness Protection for 4 years, after an undercover case went wrong. Now that that Witness Protection database has been breached, he jumps into action to protect those he loves, which has come to include two young orphans and their grandmother who have taken him in.

He is reunited with his former partner, Jessica, and is introduced to her teammate Seth who is a tech whiz, as they work together in a race against time to put away the man for good who forced him into Witness Protection.

There is a lot going on in this book, with the past and present colliding for Travis who was settling into civilian life, and finding peace in his small town life. There were many well developed characters, and I loved the children, Willow, Donovan, and their grandmother Patricia, who help him find a new normal after his former high tension life. Seth is a really fun guy, who is a genius, with a heart of gold, and is like one big kid, he was a great character who just made me happy. Jessica is very honest, committed to her convictions. Jessica is passionate about helping others, with courage and faith.

Overall this book had it all, faith, family, friendship, with not one but two suspenseful plotlines, and fantastic, well developed characters. All around a terrific read, with a great balance of suspense, faith, and family. There was so much going on, and this book was pretty much impossible to put down. Well-paced, and well balanced, I loved everything about it. Highly recommend this fantastic, highly engaging, and entertaining read!

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


A Flying Affair by Carla Stewart ~ Review

My Review:

A bit of a slower paced read, I was delighted to find out that it is a companion to a previous book by this author, The Hatmaker's Heart. It was a pleasant experience revisiting a handful of familiar faces and meeting new ones along the way.

Mittie Humphreys has a thirst for adventure, and at times struggles under the responsibilities of her family's horse farm. She has a passion for horses and flying, pushing the limits at times. She is swept into the exhilarating world of flying, while fighting to balance her duties and her passions.

I loved the colorful characters, vibrant and flawed, like Calista and others. I really liked how her father lives his beliefs, even when it hurts.

In the end, this was a pleasant read, though at times slower and it seemed to go from one event to another, with a softer plot thread, showing characters as they showed themselves to Mittie in their varying shades of good and bad. I think that some characters I would have liked to see spend more time together, just simply because I liked them, and I wished that some threads had more of a solid satisfying conclusion, as well as a stronger focus on faith. A slow burn, but enjoyable nonetheless.

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

The Socialite by J'Nell Ciesielski ~ Review

Lucie's Review:

A story of a sister's love against the backdrop of the Nazi elite.

Well researched, this book shows a different side of WWII, showing the  shocking disparities between the lives of German officers and regular citizens. I wanted so badly to like this book, but found it rather hard for me to get into, with the pacing, the characters being in their heads a lot, and I just wasn't a fan of the romantic relationship.

Kat is a headstrong young woman who fiercely loves her younger sister, Ellie who has chosen a dangerous path, and Kat being the elder is willing to do anything for her sister. She is joined by Barrett, a man hired her father extract her sister as well, and together they are swept into a world of intrigue. At some moments there is a lot going on, and in others the pace was slower, and I questioned choices that the characters made.

I really liked how this book takes a different angle and looks at the high society, the parties, and more, getting closer to the glitz and glamour, as well as the gritty truths underneath.

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

*I would also like to note that this is not a faith focused read.


Daughter of Rome by Tessa Afshar ~ Review

My Review:

A well-researched, immersive read about the early church, filled forgiveness and new beginnings.

Priscillia is a Roman citizen, who from outward appearances seems to live a life of ease, but her life is more difficult than it appears, and she harbors a secret that weighs on her soul.

Aquila is a leather worker along his uncle, not always a tradesman he forsook much to follow Christ. Jewish by heritage he is taken with Priscilla and her kindness to others.

A compelling and poignant read, that shows the early church and the lives changed by Christ. I loved how this book did an excellent job of showing how Christianity really shook up the culture, making enemies family in Christ. Well researched, this book skillfully navigates life in Rome and Corinth, and how it may have been experienced differently by different members of society.

I loved how this book shows love in more than just the first blush of romantic love, but also the enduring love in marriage, and the love that binds us together in Christ.

This was a very satisfying read, with many threads finding their home throughout. One of my favorite characters was Marcus, who brought spunk, hope, and wisdom along with him. I also loved how Priscilla and Aquila had many true, supportive friends that became family to them, which I strongly related to as I have some Christian friends that are closer than family because of our shared faith. I also loved seeing Theo again, still hoping he'll get his own story--Pretty please? A well layered read, with excellent character development, strong well focused themes of faith that reached deep. Highly recommend!

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

The Bookwoman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson ~ Review

My Review:

So many people recommended this book to me, and rightly so, it's a gem of a read striking that perfect balance between heartache and hopefulness, capturing the spirit of the tough folks who made the unforgiving Kentucky Mountains their home.

Cussy "Bluet" Mary is the last of her kind, the Blue-Skinned Kentuckians, and a packhorse librarian who delivers reading materials deep into the mountains. She wins the trust of the hardworking mountain folk, while fighting for her place as a "colored", and giving people hope through literature.

I loved the culture rich way this book was told, and how Cussy shows rather than tells what life in the mountains is like and the challenges that its people face, through the various characters. I loved Cussy's passion for reading, and how it helped brighten the difficult lives of those around her.

In this book we see a lot of good and bad in the same characters, I started this book not liking Cussy's Pa, but over time he proved that he just wanted a good life for his daughter, even if sometimes he didn't know how to give it to her. I loved the stubbornness of the mountain folk, and their pride. I also appreciated how faith was shown in both positive and negative ways in Cussy's live, she had both good and bad examples of Christianity, and her own moments of honest doubt, the balance felt realistic and relatable.

Overall, this was a highly enjoyable read that brought real Christy vibes with the honest representation of the tough mountain folks, and their pride. There are some adult themes, and instances of strong language, but it all fit into the narrative of the story and wasn't there for simply shock value. I loved how this book had a driving aura of hopefulness throughout, despite the heartaches and cruelty of mountain life, with an honesty of the human condition. One of my favorite reads this year, with so memorable characters, and a truly unique and inspiring heroine.

Opinions are my own. All books reviewed here are either bought by myself, borrowed from a friend, or checked out from my local library, unless otherwise stated. 


How Do You Kill 11 Million People? Why the Truth Matters More Than You Think by Andy Andrews ~ Review

11 Million People Blog Tour

Welcome to the Blog Tour for How Do You Kill 11 Million People? by Andy Andrews, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!


How Do You Kill 11 Million People? by Andy Andrews Title: How Do You Kill 11 Million People?: Why the Truth Matters More Than You Think
Author: Andy Andrews
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Release Date: March 17, 2020
Genre: Motivational/Inspirational Political Science

Become an informed, passionate citizen who demands honesty and integrity from our leaders or suffer the consequences of our own ignorance and apathy.

In this updated and expanded New York Times bestselling nonpartisan book, Andy Andrews urges you to believe that seeking and discerning the truth really, really matters and that believing lies is the most dangerous thing you can do. You’ll be challenged to become a more “careful student” of the past, seeking accurate, factual accounts of events and decisions that illuminate choices you face now.

By considering how the Nazi German regime was able to carry out over eleven million institutional killings between 1933 and 1945, Andrews advocates for an informed population that demands honesty and integrity from its leaders and from each other. He includes several key documents written by our Founding Fathers as examples of America’s core principles that present and future leadership should live up to and embrace.

We can no longer measure a leader’s worth by the yardsticks provided by the left or the right. Instead, we must use an unchanging standard: the pure, unvarnished truth.

PURCHASE LINKS*: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository |Christianbook

 Review: In this fairly quick read Andy Andrews encourages his readers to look back at Nazi Germany how an entire country was successfully lied to, showing examples from history and entreating readers to look back at the founding principles and values of the forefathers. Throughout the book the author encourages his readers to think critically about truth, and what part that plays in character and selecting a moral leader for our country.

I found this to a rather interesting read as it had a few chapters in the beginning where the author raises many concerns that we should have when supporting a leader, as well as raising many legitimate questions. He talks about our responsibility as citizens to vote and to think critically, seeking truth.

After those first few chapters, the rest of the book is excerpts from correspondences of the founding fathers, Common Sense by Thomas Paine, as well as the Bill of Rights. Then at the very end there are a series of questions for us to think about. So in a way it seemed to me like a short book with a couple of  appendixes.

Overall, a rather interesting and informative read, I liked how the first part of the book is written more conversationally as it balances out the more formal language of the historical articles featured later on. A good encouragement to seek truth and take responsibility in the future of our country, by being discerning, staying informed, and by being involved!

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



Photo by Christy Haynes, BeachChicPhotography.com

Andy Andrews is a bestselling novelist, speaker, and consultant for some of the world’s most successful teams, largest corporations, and fastest-growing organizations. He is the author of the New York Times bestsellers The NoticerHow Do You Kill 11 Million People?, and the modern classic The Traveler’s Gift. For more information, please visit AndyAndrews.com.

CONNECT WITH ANDY: Website | FacebookTwitter | Instagram  


(3) winners will receive a print copy of How Do You Kill 11 Million People? by Andy Andrews!

How Do You Kill 11 Million People Giveaway

Be sure to check out each stop on the tour for more chances to win. Full tour schedule shown below. Giveaway will begin at midnight April 6, 2020 and last through 11:59 PM EST on April 20, 2020. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. US mailing addresses only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.

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


Rakes and Roses by Josi S. Kilpack ~ Review

Lucie's Review: 

Lady Sabrina is an independent woman of means after an abusive marriage and young widowhood. She has found purpose, and is content with her life, but a face from her past gives her the  opportunity to repay a kindness.

Harry Stillman is an alcoholic gambler, and rogue. His dangerous living find him beaten by thugs in an alley, which is where Sabrina comes to his aid.

As they rekindle their friendship, will their pasts and secrets threaten their chance of happiness?

Sabrina has always felt like an outcast of society, despite being a talented hostess. She is compassionate and thoughtful, a good friend to those around her, ans has survived a lot of pain. I loved the relationship that she has with her dear brother Nate, who is her protector and supporter through everything. I loved her confidence and determination.

Harry is not a very likable character at first, and it took quite a while to warm up to him. Honestly it made me love Sabrina more for her saint-like patience with him. Harry is a man of many undesirable vices, but has he grows to thinking more outwardly, he sees the error of his past. He is a very charming man, with an engaging quality about him. I admired his journey and how faith is shown in this story.

An engaging book with excellent character development and growth throughout. I loved the full cast of characters, and engaging plot. Sabrina is a admirable heroine, with a heart of gold, she is compassionate and vulnerable, savvy, and strong.

Overall, and engaging and entertaining read, with fantastic characters. Secrets and surprises abound. Great chemistry.  Definitely recommend for fans of proper romance!

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


A Beautiful Arrangement by Beth Wiseman ~ Review

My Review:

Lydia Bontrager is a young wife and mother at the age of seventeen. She and her husband, Samuel, married young because of an unplanned pregnancy, and since marriage have struggled to relate to each other. They work together to help out two of their friend make a match, while rekindling their love.

Lydia is very young and had to grow up fast as a result of her marriage and motherhood, and she has matured from the teenager that she was in Hearts in Harmony. She has settled into domestic life and running her own household well, and I admired her newfound maturity.

Joseph and Beverly are adorable together, and made for a great side plot. I loved their instant chemistry and love of children and shared dream of a big family.

Samuel is a hardworking man, who loves his family, but struggles to communicate with his wife, he has trouble expressing himself.

Overall, this was a sweet heartwarming romance, and I like how Lydia was challenged by meeting Margaret, and how it helped her grow and mature. Entertaining, full of heart, misunderstandings, and sweet moments. Very enjoyable.

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

Marvelous by Travis Thrasher ~ Review

My Review:

Brandon Jeffrey's summer is off to a rough start he is working two jobs to pay off his wrecked car, while avoiding his alcoholic father as much as possible.

A local boy is murdered, and Brandon's friend Devon has more than a few ideas about who might be involved. And then there is Marvella, or Marvel as she likes to be called, a uniquely beautiful bright spot in Brandon's life, and when she is around miraculous things happen.

What does it all mean?

Brandon is a likeable soccer jock, he tends to float in the middle, not popular, but not unpopular either. His homelife is less than ideal, and he does his best to hide that part of his life from others. Brandon is smitten by Marvel, who is unlike any other girl he has met before (I know, I know it sounds cliche), he is drawn to something in her that he has never encountered before and also sees a kindred spirit. I liked how he is honest about his past, and through his point of view we see how he has never quite fit in, but he also hasn't not fit in.

This was a highly engaging read that as the first of a series left me with more questions than it answered, which for the first book in the series is a positive. There is a lot going on behind the scenes, and I thought that they characters were very well developed in a way that let you know that all of the supporting members of this book lived full lives outside of what we saw, like Harry in the record shop, Frank, Seth, and Devon, which fit well with the first person narrative. I know I'm kinda late to the party with this book, but many of the pop culture references aged decently--especially the brief mention of Donald Trump, and I thought the texting was integrated well.

Marvel is a girl who is like a ray of sunshine, but honest, careful, and perceptive. I also like that she is mysterious and sees the best in others, but can also be vulnerable.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book, and by the end didn't want to put it down. I was very sad to find that I may have to do some serious hunting to find the rest of the series right now as at the time of this review we are in the midst of the COVID-19 situation. I'm interested to see where this series goes and how the faith themes will be expanded upon, as well as spiritual warfare, as that seems to be the direction the series is headed. I can't wait to read the rest of the series!

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


A Summer Amish Courtship by Emma Miller ~ Review

Lucie's Review:

Widowed Abigail moves back home with her young son, Jamie, to care for her aging parents. Her son is having trouble adjusting and is in constant trouble with the schoolmaster, Ethan Miller.

Ethan is a kind hearted widower, not nearly as strict as Abigail's son would have her believe. As they work together with Jamie, juggling caring for family, Abigail and Ethan wonder if this could be the start of something new.

Ethan is a kind, sensitive man. He is the oldest of a large family, and loves his job as the local schoolmaster. He is very aware, and cares for his family deeply.

Abigail is very straightforward and tries her best to be the best mother that she can to her son. She is willing to help out, and worries about her aging parents. I liked her honesty with herself as a parent, it isn't easy but she does her best to discipline her son, which I really admired.

Ethan's father is very active in the community and in the lives of his children, encouraging them all to their full potential. I really liked how he supports his children and gives sage advice.

A well told story, heartwarming and I liked how this book featured a male school teacher, which isn't common in Amish fiction. I loved the characters, and how they grow over the course of the book, and I liked how they were older than your typical romance book characters. Highly enjoyable read!

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


Her Hidden Hope by Jill Lynn ~ Review

Lucie's Review:

Addie Ricci returns with her young son to renovate and re-open her aunt's bed and breakfast before the town's biggest annual festival. Addie is over her head and can't turn away any help that comes her way, even if it's from her old high school flame, Evan Hawke.

It took Evan a while to pull himself up after his life altering accident, but now he is passionate about helping others, and encouraging them to challenge themselves and never stop adventuring. He offers his helps to Addie, and as they work together old sparks begin to stir.

But will a secret from the past keep them apart?

An engaging small town romance, with themes of forgiveness and rekindled love. I love the supportive friends and family that encourage Addie and Evan through everything, like Jace and Charlie. Both Addie and Evan have had to overcome a lot in life to get to where they are, and I admired them for that.

Sawyer is an adorable young man, very open and friendly he takes to him new surroundings and friends right away, I loved him and Evan together.

Overall, heartwarming romance, though part of a series it stands well on it's own. I loved the adorable dogs and the beautiful Colorado small town.

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


Nameless Queen by Rebecca McLaughlin ~ Review

My Review:

A name can be an identity, a future, and power.

Coin has made a living on the streets, a Nameless in a caste system of Royals, Legals and Nameless. She doesn't know her real name, but when she is impossibly named the heir to the throne, she must fight for her life and for the lives of her people.

A engaging young adult read from debut author Rebecca McLaughlin, set in a well constructed world, with surprising twists and allies along the way.

Coin is a clever heroine, having survived on the streets by her own wits for years when suddenly a  new destiny is thrust upon her. She is emotionally distant from others, and doesn't trust anyone, but over the course of the book we see her long held standards challenged. I admired her determination, fighter's spirit, she doesn't back down, and isn't afraid to play the long game.

There were many fantastic characters, especially strong females. I really liked Esther, Devil, and Hat, with her child-like innocence and enthusiasm. But of course Glenquartz was a fantastic character, and rather unexpected.

Well written, engaging, with great world building, and characters, with a compelling concept and subsequent consequences. I also really liked how this book proved that you don't need a romantic storyline to tell a killer story, instead focusing on strong themes of friendship, family, power, and identity. Lots of action, and political intrigue, with a satisfying ending.

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

Border Breach by Darlene L. Turner ~ Just Read Tour, Review

Border Breach JustRead Blog Tour 
Welcome to the Blog Tour & Giveaway for Border Breach by Darlene L. Turner, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!


Border Breach Title: Border Breach
Author: Darlene L. Turner
Publisher: Love Inspired Suspense
Release Date: April 1, 2020
Genre: Inspirational Romantic Suspense

When drugs are smuggled across the border
it’s their duty to stop the culprits…at any cost.

Forming a joint task force, Canada border officer Kaylin Poirier and police constable Hudson Steeves have one objective: take down a drug-smuggling ring trying to sell a new lethal product. But when the smugglers come after Kaylin and Hudson, this mission becomes more than just a job. Can they live long enough to solve the case?

PURCHASE LINKS*: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository  


Canadian Border Agent Kaylin Poirier and Constable Hudson Steeves must join forces to stop a deadly drug ring, with a lethal new product on the market. Kaylin and Hudson have worked together in the past, to disastrous results, but as they work on the case they become targets themselves and have to catch the culprits before they become the next victims.

Kaylin is a strong and capable young woman, and draws inspiration and motivation from the pain of her past. She is very conscientious and devoted to her job, though at times she feels like she is constantly proving herself again and again, which eats at her confidence. She doesn't like to think about faith, and I liked how Hudson challenges her in that way.

Hudson is devoted to finding the kingpins of the drug ring, and he knows that he made mistakes last time he worked with Kaylin. He is strong in his faith, and aware of his failings. I liked his honesty and how he really does work hard to be more conscious of how he treats others.

A high stakes, action packed adventure from debut author, Darlene L. Turner. I liked how both Kaylin and Hudson make an effort to open up the lies of communication, leading to a stronger partnership, and great interaction throughout. I loved the strong backstory, as well as the secondary storyline of Kaylin and her father's difficult relationship. Fantastic read from beginning to end, I didn't want to put it down! Highly recommend!

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


Darlene Turner

Darlene L. Turner is an award-winning author and lives with her husband, Jeff in Ontario, Canada. Her love of suspense began when she read her first Nancy Drew book. She’s turned that passion into her writing and believes readers will be captured by her plots, inspired by her strong characters, and moved by her inspirational message. You can connect with Darlene at www.darlenelturner.com where there’s suspense beyond borders.

CONNECT WITH DARLENE: Website | FacebookTwitter | Instagram  


(1) winner will receive a cross pendant, bookmarks, pens, and $25 Amazon Gift Card!

Border Breach JustRead Giveaway

Be sure to check out each stop on the tour for more chances to win. Full tour schedule shown below. Giveaway will begin at midnight March 31, 2020 and last through 11:59 PM EST on April 7, 2020. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. US/CAN mailing addresses only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.

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


The Story Peddler by Lindsay A. Franklin ~ Review

My Review:

Tanwen dreams of being the royal storyteller, spinning her colorful stories and never going to bed hungry again. But her craft is a dangerous one when there are only a handful of approved stories, and anything outside of that is considered treasonous. As she continues to tell her stories and she unravels more of her mysterious past and that of the usurper, the truth becomes more and more difficult and even painful to suppress.

Will the truth cost Tanwen her life?

A fantastical new series, with strong worldbuilding, and wonderfully unique underdog heroes. A well crafted story, with a straightforward, and unflinchingly curious heroine. Tanwen says what she thinks, though she is also sensitive to others and struggles to strike a balance with one of her dearest friends.

I loved how the author used the color imagery of story spinning to bind the story together, as well as using various viewpoints to tell the story.

Overall this is an excellent start to a sure to be fantastic trilogy. I had heard rave reviews from other bookish friends so I was excited to dive into this one, and I wasn't disappointed. It has strong themes of truth, with seedling threads of faith, as well coming of age themes. Many of the characters are very interesting, some of them we got to know better than others, but I'm excited to get to know them better and see where the story goes. The ending was satisfying, in that it gave me just enough answers, while still leaving many threads unwound to be woven in subsequent installments. Definitely recommend!

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

How I'm Doing: Life Update

It's hard to know what to say in times like these.

I'm at a loss for words.

I want to be upbeat and encouraging despite the challenges we are facing, but I also want to respectful of the difficulties that many close to me are facing being laid off of work, or with loved ones who are at an especially high risk due to pre-existing health conditions.

I'll be honest it's difficult to know how to respond. My heart hurts for those who have lost loved ones, and for those who are struggling to make ends meet and don't know if they will be able to keep a roof over their family's head or food on table. If this is you, know that you are in my prayers.

This has been a time of slowing down and reflection as well. I've been very blessed, and I am so thankful to have a very people centered employer who is doing the best to make sure that our needs are met while we continue to serve our community. To be honest my family has not been immediately affected by these changes, as I continue to work my full-time job--with reduced hours coming soon, and both my father and brother are very busy working in the grocery industry.

During this time of social distancing and self-isolation it has been amazing to me how over and over these past few weeks whenever I have been tempted to worry or despair, I have been reminded of how great my God is. He is sovereign over all. Over the economy. Over our leaders. Especially over COVID-19. He is in control and I am not. Luke 12:25-31 has been a passage that keeps coming to mind during the last few weeks, and has been a great source of encouragement.

Forgive my rambling thoughts.

Until next time.

Copycat Killer by Laura Scott ~ Review

Lucie's Review:

A double homicide eerily mirrors that of one that happened 20 years ago.

Willow Emery's brother and his wife are going through a difficult time, so Willow offers to take care of her niece, Lucy. But when Lucy's parents are brutally murdered, she finds herself also the target of an unknown killer. Willow is an aspiring photographer, and loves her niece dearly, she is determined to do everything that she can to help them solve the case and keep her niece safe.

Nate Slater is a cold case detective, he likes to be emotionally distant, and doesn't want to get involved in the of the people he works with, but Willow and Lucy are different, and he takes on responsibility for their safety. I like how being with them helps him to open up and make peace with his past, taking a second look at things that he had been overlooking.

I loved how this book follows up on a dog who was a puppy in the previous book, showing how Murphey has really matured and grown into his potential. Lucy is adorable child and Murphy is excellent with her. Nate and Willow are strong leads, who compliment each other well, bring out the best in each other. I really liked how Willow was open about her faith, and I admired her authenticness.

This book is filled with a good balance of action, faith, and good relationship building. It sets up the next books in the series well, with a strong plot, and great setting.

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