A Valentine's Day Return by Brenda Minton // Review

Lucie's Review:

Mark Rivers returns to his hometown to apologize to his ex-wife after getting out of rehab, and ends up staying to help when unforeseen circumstances leave Kylie needing some help. 

A heartwarming story of family and forgiveness. I liked how Mark stayed and got to know his daughter, reconnecting the town, and proving that he is a changed man. Little Junie is so cute, and I like how Mark got to know her better. 

A sweet small town romance, with strong themes of faith and family. I loved that he was also able to reconnect with his brothers, I thought that it did a great job of dealing with issues of addiction as well as grace and forgiveness. Highly recommend. 

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

 *As an Amazon affiliate I earn from qualifying purchases


All My Secrets by Lynn Austin // Review

My Review:
A powerful story spanning three generations of Stanhopes, about the secrets that have the power to entrap or to set free. 

After the sudden death of Arthur Stanhope III, Adelaide finds herself torn in two different directions. The obligation to marry into money to maintain their lifestyle, or to take hold of the freedom to pave her own way. Her mother arranges stylish parties to attract eligible suitors, while her grandmother shows her the work that she has been doing with her charitable foundation, while sharing the secrets that have implications into the present. 

A powerful story of grace and the power of God's redemption, set in the Gilded Age. Told from the perspectives of each of the three women, I loved how they grew closer through sharing their secrets and hopes for the future while helping Adelaide find her own path. 

Howard was one of my favorite characters, a confident young man in all the ways that truly matter, with a heart for others, and a way of quietly pointing to the Lord. Junietta is also quite a character, I loved her honesty, wisdom, and genuine love for others. 

Overall, a beautifully unfolding and compelling tale, with a powerful message of hope. A memorable read that will stick with me for years to come, highly recommend!

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

 Buy it here: https://amzn.to/4blx0vz   *As an Amazon affiliate I earn from qualifying purchases


Undercover Baby Rescue by Maggie K. Black // Review

Lucie's Review: 

When his nephew is stolen by traffickers Justin Leacock is determined to do whatever it takes to get him back and bring the traffickers to justice, even if it means teaming up with his ex-fiancé. 

A fast paced adventure with likable protagonists, in an adventure that will have you hanging on tight. Justin is a guy juggling a lot of responsibilities, I liked his commitment to family and leadership. I liked the relationship between him and Violet, as they reconnect and work together. 

An exhilarating adventure, with strong themes of faith, with great relationship building and character development. Highly recommend!

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

 Buy it here: https://amzn.to/3OdGsHw   *As an Amazon affiliate I earn from qualifying purchases


In the Shadow of a Queen by Heather B. Moore // Review

My Review: 

A wonderful historical read that brings the life of Queen Victoria's 6th child, Princess Louise to life. 

An engaging and engrossing read that brings Queen Victoria's court to life. I'll admit that I didn't know much about Princess Louise before reading this book, and it was fun to learn about her passion for women's rights, art, and a life of service. I liked how the author showed the things going on in the background, and how they impacted Louise, like how Albert's death affected Victoria and her desire to keep her children closer. 

Overall, a well written read, I liked how it followed her young life through her courtship and beyond. The author does a great job of staying true to the facts, while filling in the dialog and bringing the people to life. A well done historical, that shines light on a royal not commonly talked about in the modern day. 

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

 Buy it here: https://amzn.to/3S5u11A *As an Amazon affiliate I earn from qualifying purchases


Wyoming Wild by Sarah M. Eden // Review

My Review: 

A wonderful addition to the Savage Wells series, but also a solid stand alone.

Upon receiving a tip off about a murder plot against him, Marshal John "Hawk" Hawking goes down to Sand Creek to investigate. Uncovering a tyrannical reign of terror, he finds an unlikely ally in the daughter of the corrupt sheriff. Can they bring down the crooked sheriff and his mob rule?  

A fun read full of adventure, humor and witty dialogue. A clean western romance with a fun plot that kept me on my toes. I really enjoyed seeing familiar faces from the previous books, like Paisley and Miriam. 

Overall, a highly enjoyable read with great character development, action and humor. A quick light read that brought a smile to my face. 

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

 Buy it here: https://amzn.to/3S8kiax *As an Amazon affiliate I earn from qualifying purchases


The Way You Love Me by Michelle Sass Aleckson // Just Read

Lucie's Review: 

Oliver Fox comes home to Deep Haven in the name of second chances and for his daughter, Kiah.

Lena is the town Veterinarian, she has a passion for animals and how they are less complicated than people. She isn't happy to see Oliver back in town, especially when she finds out that he is completing for the same grant that she was hoping to win to save the shelter. I admired her for her courage, stepping out of her comfort zone, and how she bonds with little Kiah. 

A heartwarming romance, with a adorable meet cute, and strong themes of faith, family and forgiveness. This is a heart tugging read with great characters, lots of heart, faith, and second chances. 

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

 Buy it here: https://amzn.to/4253jui *As an Amazon affiliate I earn from qualifying purchases


Wedding at Sea by Melissa Tagg // Review

Lucie's Review: 

A satisfying final chapter to this heartwarming family drama, full of heart, intrigue, and faith. 

Lillian has always wondered about her past, now a successful lawyer she and Wilder have always had a slightly antagonistic relationship. It was fun seeing them banter, and come to see each other in a different light while working together. 

It was fun to see all the pieces come together as the secrets were unearthed. I loved seeing Maggie find a lasting love after all these years, and wished there had been a little more of her and Ray's story. 

Overall, a satisfying conclusion filled with captivating and engaging characters, great relationship building, and themes of faith. 

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

 Buy it here: https://amzn.to/426ZVPz *As an Amazon affiliate I earn from qualifying purchases


Fugitive in Hiding by Jenna Night // Review

Lucie's Review: 

Naomi Pearson's brother Jared is in a bind after getting tangled up with the wrong crowd, the only person that she knows to turn to is her ex-husband Conner Ryan. 

A fast paced suspense, full of tension, with a mystery that kept me guessing. Naomi and Conner have changed a lot since their failed marriage, and I enjoyed seeing them reconnect bonding through their love of family and faith. 

An action-packed read, with great interaction, wonderful characters, and a plot that had me hanging on tight. Thoroughly enjoyed this book by a new to me author!

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

 Buy it here: https://amzn.to/47H0YqK *As an Amazon affiliate I earn from qualifying purchases


Still My Forever by Kim Vogel Sawyer // Review

My Review: 
 A  heartwarming historical romance of second chances and finding home. 

Four years after Gil Baty left Falke to pursue a career in music, dashing Ava's hopes of love and marriage. Now he's back, stirring up old memories, and conducting a local band bringing much needed music and community to their small town. Could this be a second chance for Ava and Gil, or is he bound to leave again? 

A sweet old fashion romance, with likable characters, heartwarming moments and adorable children. I especially liked how Gil takes little Timmy under his wing. Gil is a good man, he has a big heart and a big dream. I admired Ava's devotion to family, and didn't think it was fair to be calling her on the brink of spinsterhood at 21 years old!

Overall, a clean read with strong themes of faith, and a little bit of a love triangle. I admired Gil for his kindness towards others even when they didn't have the best intentions towards him. 

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

 Buy it here: https://amzn.to/4aYhwx8   *As an Amazon affiliate I earn from qualifying purchases


Brynn and Sebastian Hate Each Other by Bethany Turner // Review

Mt Review: 

After making her too honest opinions about her humble hometown public on national television America's Sweetheart Brynn Cornell is in hot water and hoping to make amends. 

Travelling back to her hometown she is forced to face her past, and a handsome city council member who seems determined to oppose her at every turn. A fun flirty rom com, with an enemies to lovers vibe, with likable characters, and a community that comes alive. I loved how the people of Adelaide gave Brynn a fair chance, especially her friends Laila and Cole. 

Sebastian has come to love the small Colorado town that he has made his home, and he is willing to fight for it. He has a chip n his shoulder, but even he can see that Brynn's visit to Adelaide Falls might not be all bad. I loved the banter between the two, as well as their authentic feeling chemistry. 

Overall, this was a fun quick rom-com, with lovable characters and good emotional depth. I'm excited for the sequel about Laila and Cole!

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

 Buy it here: https://amzn.to/3Hh46ik   *As an Amazon affiliate I earn from qualifying purchases


A Seaside Wonder by Melissa Tagg // Review

Lucie's Review:

A wonderful follow up to Autumn by the Sea, could a chaotic meeting and case of mistaken identity lead to a lasting love?

Indi Muir has worked hard to prove to her family that she has her life under control, so when a near stranger get's mistaken for her fiancé she doesn't correct them right away. Philip West wants to help a heart in need, and he doesn't want to make things worse for Indi who is already in over her head. I loved how he stands by her and is there for Indi through tough times, giving her space, and doing his best to be supportive of a woman who is quickly becoming a friend, and perhaps more. 

I loved revisiting the familiar faces from Muir harbor, Philip was easily a favorite with his quiet caring, and support, while working to reconnect with his sister. A heartwarming family drama, with well developed characters, strong faith, and romance.

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

 Buy it here: https://amzn.to/3vvqt0N *As an Amazon affiliate I earn from qualifying purchases


The Seamstress of Acadie by Laura Frantz // Review

My Review: 

Captivating and immersive. I was absorbed by the rich prose and compelling history of the Acadians, in this winning new novel from Laura Frantz. 

Beautifully written, this story brings to life the difficult plight of the Acadians, a resourceful people torn from their land. Sylvie is a skilled seamstress, devoted sister and daughter. I admired her strength and how she held tight to the truth as well as her heart for Nolan and Rietta. Will Blackburn is a man of many skills, with a natural air of leadership. I liked his compassion for others, as well as his fair and generous treatment of others, giving them a chance at a better life. 

An immersive and evocative read, with a slow burn romance set against a wild and unforgiving young American frontier. A gripping read that was hard to put down, yet I wanted to savor every word. Highly recommend! 

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

 Buy it here: https://amzn.to/4aTEOEH   *As an Amazon affiliate I earn from qualifying purchases

Undercover Christmas Escape by Terri Reed // Review

Lucie's Review:

A fast paced adventure that takes off right from the start as Sera Morales and Duncan O'Brien team up to take down a drug cartel. 

A wonderful read, with an engaging plot, and characters that I came to care for quickly. Despite their differences, Duncan and Sera make a great team and I liked how they worked together, finding common ground in their shared faith and mission. 

Action-packed, with quick thinking heroes, great character growth and interaction, as well as relationship building. A full plot and satisfying read. A great read that was hard to put down!

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

 Buy it here: https://amzn.to/4aXIIfM   *As an Amazon affiliate I earn from qualifying purchases


The Juliet Code by Pepper Basham // Celebrate Lit

About the Book

Book: The Juliet Code

Author: Pepper Basham

Genre: Christian Fiction/Historical Fiction

Release Date: December, 2023

Newlyweds Lord and Lady Astley Finally Reach Their Honeymoon Destination Only to Encounter a New Mystery in Need of Solving

Frederick and Grace Percy finally make it to Italy to enjoy a delayed honeymoon and explore the beauties of the historic city of Venice. To their surprise, their friend, Detective Jack Miracle, is also in the city, investigating a series of art heists starting at the house of eccentric millionaire, Laraby Covington. Drawn into a world of boat races, mysterious houses, and parties of the rich and unusual in Venice, Frederick and Grace learn of the existence of the Juliet paintings, (Renaissance paintings feature Shakespeare’s tragic heroine) rumored to hold a secret code to an underground vault of similarly treasured artwork assumed lost over the centuries. As Freddie and Grace are pulled deeper into the mystery and their beloved Detective Jack disappears, can they use their wits and work as a team to find the thieves and Jack before it’s too late.

The Juliet Code is a Freddie and Grace Mystery, sequel to The Mistletoe Countess and The Cairo Curse.


My Review:

Grace and Frederick are excited to spend their honeymoon together in Venice, they are surprised to find their dear friend Jack already there and in need of their help with a current case. 

Swept into another adventure filled mystery, newlyweds Grace and Frederick must use their skills to unravel what is happening to the missing paintings before something more sinister occurs. A delightful read with wonderful chemistry and interaction between the characters, I also liked the friendship that Grace and Frederick have with Jack, as well as seeing their relationship grow stronger. It was also fun seeing Jack team up with a spunky counterpart of his own, in this fast paced mystery.

A highly enjoyable read with wonderful characters, strong faith and growth, with a positive view of marriage, as well as plenty of adventure! A terrific addition to the series!

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

Buy it here: https://amzn.to/3voLAlB *As an Amazon affiliate I earn from qualifying purchases

About the Author

Pepper Basham is an award-winning author who writes romance peppered with grace and humor with southern Appalachian flair. Both her historical and contemporary novels have garnered recognition in the Grace Awards, Inspys, and ACFW Carol Awards. Her historical romance, The Thorn Healer, was a finalist in the 2018 RT Awards. Her historical romance novels, My Heart Belongs in the Blue Ridge and The Red Ribbon, and her contemporary novels, the Mitchell’s Crossroads and Pleasant Gap series, showcase her Appalachian heritage, as well as her love for humor and family. She currently resides in the lovely mountains of Asheville, NC where she is the mom of five great kids, a speech-language pathologist to about fifty more, and a lover of chocolate, jazz, hats, and Jesus.


More from Pepper

The Ever After

I’ve always loved fairytales.

Especially the romanticized version (#romancewriter).

The wonderful sense of a two people meeting, overcoming obstacles to be together, and then the happily-ever-after?

Well, those are some of my favorite reasons to read and write fiction. However, I didn’t realize the challenge I took on when I agreed to write a second and third book with the main characters staying the same!

You know what I mean?

In most series, the main characters from book one become secondary characters in the consecutive books so that the secondary characters in book one can become the main characters in book 2 (everybody still following along? 🙂)

One of my favorite book series that do this so well is the Amelia Peabody series. I fell in LOVE with Amelia and Emerson in book one, but just loved watching their continued dynamic as a couple grow with each new book. I felt as if I got to know them so much better in their “ever after” while they engaged in all sorts of adventures together.

So…that’s what I hoped to accomplish with Freddie and Grace.

Where The Mistletoe Countess ends with a happily-ever-after, The Cairo Curse and The Juliet Code take over to show us more of the…ever after – my attempt at showing how two main characters continue to grow beyond the end of book one.

I didn’t realize what a daunting feat it would be. Watching two characters meet, fall in love, and show some growth in book 1 was what I was used to doing. But how was I supposed to continue that character growth in consecutive books?

Well, I had to grow myself as a writer to understand how small changes can make lasting differences especially when writing about a beloved couple.

I think The Juliet Code shows a little of that growth – of our Freddie and Grace have not only matured spiritually and, in Grace’s case, experientially, but also as a couple.

Do you have a series that you love where the main characters stay the same?

Blog Stops

The Sacred Line, December 28

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, December 28

Bigreadersite, December 28

Texas Book-aholic, December 29

Devoted To Hope, December 29

Mary Hake, December 29

She Lives To Read, December 30

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, December 30

Book Butterfly in Dreamland, December 30

Locks, Hooks and Books, December 31

Blogging with Carol, December 31

For Him and My Family, December 31

Where Faith and Books Meet, January 1

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, January 1

Back Porch Reads, January 1

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, January 2

Life on Chickadee Lane, January 2

Connie’s History Classroom, January 2

Book Looks by Lisa, January 3

Aryn the Libraryan, January 3

Girls in White Dresses, January 3

Daysong Reflections, January 4

Holly’s Book Corner, January 4

Splashes of Joy, January 4

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, January 5 (Author Interview)

Wishful Endings, January 5

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, January 5

Becca Hope: Book Obsessed, January 6

Blossoms and Blessings, January 6

Pause for Tales, January 6

Tell Tale Book reviews, January 7

Cover Lover Book Review, January 7

Live. Love. Read., January 7

Labor Not in Vain, January 8

Mornings at Character Cafe, January 8

Worthy2Read, January 8

All-of-a-kind Mom, January 9

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, January 9

The Lit Lady, January 9

Lily’s Corner, January 10

By The Book, January 10

To Everything There Is A Season, January 10


To celebrate her tour, Pepper is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon eGift card and a print copy of the book!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.



Tracked Through the Woods by Laura Scott // Review

Lucie's Review: 

Abby Miller grew up living her life on the run, trying to stay one step ahead of the mob that is after her father. Now she is forced to Trust Wyatt Kane, who is her only shot to uncover the mole who put her and her father's life at risk. 

A fast paced read, with an engaging and original plot. I liked how Abby is used to thinking in her feet, and has learned to rely on her skills for survival. An action packed read with likable characters, I liked how Wyatt encouraged Abby to trust God throughout their trials. 

Overall an engaging and exciting read, with plenty of suspense, faith, and romance. 

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

 Buy it here: https://amzn.to/3TGlmVH   *As an Amazon affiliate I earn from qualifying purchases


Autumn by the Sea by Melissa Tagg // Review

Lucie's Review:

Neil MacKean is skeptical of yet another young woman poking around and claiming relation to Maggie, the woman with a big heart who took him in when no one else would.

Sydney has always longed for a place to belong, so when a private detective approaches her with a story that sounds too good to be true, she takes the leap and travels to Muir Harbor.

A heartwarming seaside seaside drama, with strong themes of faith, family and finding your home. I loved getting to know all the characters and learn to appreciate their intricate relationships. 

A well written read, with a great depth to it, well developed characters in a small seaside setting. I loved Maggie's heart for each of her chosen family, and how she welcomes Sydney with open arms, not knowing who she may or may not be. Highly enjoyable, heartwarming, and engaging. 

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

 Buy it here: https://amzn.to/48DwxTj *As an Amazon affiliate I earn from qualifying purchases


Within These Walls of Sorrow by Amanda Barratt // Review

My Review: 

A powerful read, that packs a punch, leaving a haunting impact in that way that it brings to life what the people of Poland suffered at the hands of the Germans. 

Zosia and Hania are neighbors who find their lives drastically changed after the German occupation of Poland. Hania and her family finds themselves cast down to the ghetto, while Zosia finds meaning and a reason to keep going in her precious but dangerous work. 

A gut-wrenching, and riveting read that brings to life the harsh realities of the war, the courage and cowardice found within human nature. I loved the resounding theme of faith and questioning God's goodness in the midst of such suffering. 

Overall, a poignant novel, immersive, and haunting, all the more because of the reality of it all. A powerful read that you won't be able to put down. 

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

 Buy it here: https://amzn.to/41EdVQR

 *As an Amazon affiliate I earn from qualifying purchases