Thursday, December 7, 2017

Holding the Fort - Regina Jennings

Synopsis: Louisa's career as a saloon singer has abruptly ended. Her brother is serving in the calvalry in Fort Reno and getting into a heap of trouble. She decides to kill two birds with one stone and head there to look for a new job and keep her brother in line. Major Adams has two daughters in desperate need of a governess and sending for a Mennonite woman to take them in hand seems like a good idea. When Louisa turns up on his doorstep with a crate load of books, neither of them is entirely sure what they've gotten himself into. 

Review: Such a fun read. I only wish I had put in on the top of my TBR pile. Jennings is a talented writer and it comes out in spades in this first book of her new series. Louisa is an enchanting heroine with so much at stake. Her good heart and good intentions can't help but endear you to her. Major Adams is a fabulous hero. A devoted father who's just trying to do right by his daughters and give this questionable new governess the shadow of a doubt. Their relationship is wonderful and so rewarding. There are definitely some historical inaccuracies so if you're looking for by-the-book historical fiction, you won't find it here but those aside, the story is so well written and a delight to read. Sure to keep you up far later than you intended. Don't miss this one.

Amazon $9.99

I received an ARC to review

Monday, December 4, 2017

Hometown Girl - Courtney Walsh

Synopsis: Courtney's sister has bought a farm and has convinced her to help her restore it to its former glory.  Courtney just wants to get out of their small town and make a name for herself. Drew's returned to Fairwind Farm to try to find closure on a tragedy that happened 20 years earlier. Neither He nor Courtney has any intention of staying nor do they plan to get tangled up in a relationship.

Review: More Christian fiction that romance, this tale also involves a quasi mystery. It's a well written story of redemption and finding peace through their faith. Courtney and Drew make a satisfying couple and it's great when they finally figure things out. The story, however, does not necessarily revolve around their relationship so if you read strictly romance, this may not be your favorite read. It is, a good story, though. So I woulnd't pass it up just because of that. No heavy doctrine but there is significant discussion about prayer and reliance on God. Courtney's sister and best friend along with a few others round out the book with a engaging cast of characters.

Amazon $1.99

I received an ARC for review

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

A Dangerous Legacy - Elizabeth Camden

Synopsis: Lucy is a telegrapher with the Associated Press and doing just fine helping her brother fight a decades long family legal battle with their uncle. Sir Colin Beckwith works for the competing Reuters. He's inherited a dilapidated estate and needs to marry well to help pay to restore it. Two obvious reasons he should not fall for the enchanting Lucy. But she's so intriguing, and clever, and did I mention enchanting? It's not long before he's fully embroiled in her troubles and completely smitten with her. Lucy has no intention of falling for a fortune hunter. Especially when she hasn't any fortune to entice him. But, Colin is so handsome, and interesting, and so darn helpful.

Review: I'm normally not a mystery lover. But, Camden winds this one around such a compelling romance that you can't help but jump in with both feet. The twists and turns, not only in the mystery but in the romance, keep you on your toes and truly captivated with this wonderful couple. The odds are so stacked against them that it's almost painful to hope for them to get their HEA. Colin is a wonderful hero and Lucy a truly inspiring heroine. The villains are many, making for an intriguing read. Camden has done an excellent job.

Amazon $9.49

I received an ARC for review.

One Enchanted Noel - Melissa Tagg

Synopsis: Seb is completing the last of a year's worth of work for his grandfather. He's hoping to use the money he'll receive to help an old friend save his ranch. He's in town to restore their old theatre. A month. Then he's out. Of course, he didn't intend to have to host a grand opening. He also didn't intend to fall for Leigh, the woman who's going to help him put on that grand opening celebration, either.

Review: This is book three in a series that interconnects with Tagg's Walker Family series. It features an adorable couple who are not at all interested in a relationship with an expiration date. Seb just wants to get the job done and get out of town but that darn Leigh is just too compelling.  The chemistry between them is good and you can't help but hope they can each get over their concerns. Leigh has overcome lots in her life and you really want her to get her HEA.

The cast of supporting characters includes glimpses of the Walker siblings which is always fun. A solid addition to this series - which is what we've come to expect from Tagg.

Amazon $2.99

Also available in a new collection of the 3 book series
for just $4.99:

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

A New Shade of Summer - Nicole Deese

Synopsis: Callie is not one to settle down. She's a wandering artists who is spending the summer living in her sister's backyard in her tiny house. Davis is a widower struggling to raise his preteen son. Callie has a way of being that softens Davis and brings his son around. Can she overcome years of wandering and settle down? Davis is certainly trying to convince her she can.

Review: Part three in this series is a solid contribution. We got glimpses of Davis in book 2 and it's nice to see him get his own story. He's a confident Hero who is both patient but clear about what he's willing to put up with. Callie is a great heroine as she battles inner conflict and the proverbial butterflies that come with true love. They make a good, solid couple. Well developed supporting characters round out the story to give it substance. Another good read from Nicole.

Amazon $3.99
Audio version is just $1.99 more

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

The Trouble With Billionaires - Michelle Pennington

Synopsis: Charlotte has moved into the home her late grandmother has left her. She and her young son are making a go of it and managing until she can get her hair salon up and running. Her ex-husband has left her avoiding men with money. Trouble comes in the form of her son's t-ball coach. Turns out, Nate is a lethal combination of rich, handsome, and awfully nice.

Review: Nate is such an all-around good guy that it's really hard to figure out how he's managed to stay single so long. Charlotte is awfully hard on him. I love the contract she makes him sign and I love his many ways of working around it. He's definitely a worthy Hero who isn't easily thwarted. The cast of female characters Charlotte meets in her new town are a bonus. Pennington has definitely caught the Southern spirit in these women and you love them immediately - warts and all. This is a fun couple to spend time with, you''l be glad you did.

I received an ARC to review.

Amazon $2.99

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Honeymoon for One in Christmas Falls - Jennifer Peel

Synopsis: Hoping to be promoted in the new year, Piper is especially concerned about doing her job well. Jace shows up at the resort where she works drunk, alone, and demanding to be moved from the honeymoon suite he obviously isn't needing. His two weeks there are not proving to be a big help with Piper's promotion, nor with her determination to stay away from rich, handsome men who have been nothing but trouble for her. A sober Jace isn't so sure being ditched at the alter is going to turn out to be as bad as it originally seemed.

Review: You can almost assume that any book written by Jennifer Peel is going to be great. This one holds to her standards. Piper is a hard working single mom who has believable concerns and doesn't fall too easily for Jace. He is a confident Hero without the ego. I love that he's such a gentleman without being contrived. I love his respect for Piper's abilities. He is determined to get her attention but he does it by enabling her and empowering her. They are a good couple with good chemistry and it's easy to want them to figure it all out.

This book is part of a stand-alone book series.  Not having read any of the others yet, I can only assume that the characters and friends Piper encouters along the way are from other stories. While not blatant, they feel, at times, like product placement rather than essential plot points. There's also ongoing reference to some pageant and perfomance by the friends that never happens in this book. The story doesn't really suffer for it, but it's not typical of Peel.

It's a satisfying read and is undoubtedly a solid contribution to the series. 

Amazon $2.99

Friday, October 20, 2017

Unspoken Words: a Romance Compilation

I was given an ARC to review

Synopsis: Fourteen short stories written by writers who are members of LDS Beta Readers including: Jenny Flake Rabe, Victorine Lieske, and Michelle Pennington.

Review: All good stories. Some are perhaps more likely written by less experienced writers but they're all enjoyable reads. Many are very good and that's not surprising given who wrote them. Only one makes passing reference to an LDS mission and a temple as a wedding venue. Otherwise, all are just good clean romances.

As a reader, short stories can be frustrating because you want deeper characters, more back story, and a more complicated plot. Not being a writer, I can imagine, though, that getting as much in as these authors have managed, in so few words, is fairly remarkable and they're to be commended for their accomplishments. Some of them do an amazing job of telling their story without compromising too much in any one area.

A word of caution: As short stories, they are, by definition, a quick read. Since each one of them takes you through all of the normal highs and lows of traditional romance stories, if you read too many of them at once, you can start feeling like you're riding an emotional rollercoaster.  Whew. A testament to the skill of this great group of writers. Take my advice and enjoy just a few at time. You'll be glad you did.

Amazon Pre-Order: $3.99

Monday, October 9, 2017

Blue Ridge Sunrise - Denise Hunter

Synopsis: Zoe has returned to Copper Creek for her grandmother's funeral. She's been gone 5 years and never intended to return. She's now inherited an orchard.  Being home among family and friends has given her strength to leave an abusive relationship and see if she can start again. She's got plenty of explaining to do and maybe even a little forgiveness to ask for. Cruz has never entirely stopped loving Zoe but has mixed feelings about her return. As the foreman of the orchard, they're bound to finally figure out a few things but it's not going to be easy.

Review: Yikes. This one is going to give a few people fits. I can already hear the diehard Christian romance readers voicing their concerns over it. But, before I get into that, let me just say that Denise Hunter is such a skilled author that she could write about paint drying and you'd beg for a sequel. And, so, Blue Ridge Sunrise is destined to be a five star book.  However, in reviewing it, I am breaking one of my rules and I've struggled with that. The main characters, we are told, have been intimate and are not married.  Zoe is in an intimate relationship with her boyfriend when we first meet her. There is little indication that either main character has any concerns about premarital intimacy.  And so, it's hard to call this a chaste book.  However, the book is clean and the intimacy is not lauded and is only a passing (and assumed) element of the story.  So, I am giving this one a by and sharing my two cents.

If we thought that the first book in this series was edgy, this one is true to that sentiment. It contains adult situations, is gritty, and edgy. It's no lighthearted read like some of Hunter's latest series. Rather, it deals with real people struggling with real situations, pasts and their consequences. Nothing is sugar coated in this story and not everything turns out perfectly. Characters are complicated as are their lives and it's refreshing to see that.  However, I do think that Hunter has squeezed in a religious element that feels a little contrived. These are not really faithful people. They may believe in God and there's mention that they attend church, but they aren't living their daily lives as such so to have those pieces thrown in, feels like her publisher made her do it.  And that's unfortunate because instead of adding to the story, it feels a little manipulated and Hunter is too good for that. I don't love the boogie man ending but the rest of the book is excellent and so well written it will pain you to have to put it down to make dinner, go to work, or go to bed. Zoe and Cruz's story is a solid sequel to Sweet Briar Cottage.

Amazon Pre-Order $8.99
Release date: 11/07/2017

I was given an ARC to review

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Christmas at Carnton - Tamera Alexander

Synopsis: Set in Civil War Tennessee, recent widow Aletta Prescott is struggling to support herself and young son. At seven months pregnant, the news that she is losing her factory job and will soon foreclosed upon, leaves her with few options. Recently wounded Captain Jake  Winston is being sent off to Carnton Plantation to help support the Women's Relief Society's upcoming auction. He's determined to get through the month and return to active duty. He didn't expect to find an enchanting woman and her rascal of a son getting in the way of his plans.

Review: I once read that Civil War stories don't sell. Clearly, they weren't trying to sell Tamera's books. Her ability to bring a sorrowful, challenging time to life is remarkable. Her stories are rich in historic detail and full of wonderful characters that give them depth and context. Aletta is a strong heroine who does all that she can to face her problems head on. Her faith and confidence in a power greater than her, is inspiring. Jake is a worthy Hero and one can't help but hope he can win the new widow over - even if she's only been one for a few months. 

I was given an ARC copy for review.

Amazon $7.99

Monday, October 2, 2017

Mine for a Day - Delaney Cameron

Synopsis: Violet might have known her life was about to change when she accidently runs into the same handsome guy twice in just a few days. He's handsome and kind but she's sure he'd never look twice at her.  Sure enough, Jackson has a girlfriend. But, turns out, Jackson's girlfriend and her wallflower tendencies, may not be Violet's biggest obstacle to winning Jackson's heart.

Review: It's fun to read Violet's story.  She's an adorable, wonderful young woman who you just want to see get her HEA. She's steady and, although she's not gotten the best sense of self worth, she's got her life together and is doing just fine.  Jackson is a great Hero. He's not perfect and has issues to work through. But his reaction to Violet is real and believable.  He doesn't fall for her istantly but slowly learns to trust her and want more with her. They're definitely a couple you want to root for.


Amazon $0.99

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

To Wager Her Heart - Tamera Alexander

Synopsis: Alexandra lives in 1870's post-war Nashville. Threatened with an unwanted marriage she instead takes a position teaching at a freedmen's college. The challenges and sacrifices she makes are not inconsequential but the fulfillment she feels in doing something more important than herself may just outweigh them.  Sy comes to Nashville to secure a contract for his small railroad and to vindicate his father's name. The train crash that killed both Alexandra's fiance and his own father a year earlier looms large.  As Sy falls for Alexandra, proving his father's innocence becomes essential in winning her heart.

Review: Tamera doesn't just write a story.  She weaves a tale so engaging and mesmerizing, it's nearly impossible to put the book down. After reading her books, you always want to be better, stronger, kinder, gentler, more long suffering, and forgiving. This story is no different.  Her characters are vibrant and the storyline rich. How does she manage to make you feel like you can hear those Jubilee Singers just by reading her words?! She has an incredibe ability to transport you to the train station, Fisk, and Belle Meade itself. This is a moving tale of post-war Nashville rather than merely a love story. Though the romance beautifully interwoven, it is only just a morsel of what this book has to offer. Alexandra is a wonderful heroine. Sy is the perfect Hero - his only fault being that his father was driving the No 1 that fateful day. I might have liked a proposal scene. I found myself a little disappointed there wasn't one. But otherwise, this book is so satisfying you can't but feel privileged to have read it.

Because the Jubilee Singers and Fisk College are an integral part of this story, readers should not be surprised to find that it is heavier in Christian doctrine than some of Tamera's other books. While critical to the plot, the passages are significant.  So if heavy doses of religion aren't your bag, you may end up skimming a bit.

Amazon $8.99

Monday, September 25, 2017

The Sherrif's Bride - Kimberly Krey

Synopsis: Trent is the new sherrif and town. Jessie is the resident and much loved owner of the Cobble Creek's B&B. Both have sworn off marriage. Both are doomed from their very first fight.

Review: Kimberly Krey is such a solid writer that's it's pretty much a given her books are going to get a high recommendation. Her characters are always well developed, the dialogue and chemistry spot on, and the supporting characters and setting an added bonus. Jessie and Trent are broken and dealing with their own skeletons. Neither is looking for a relationship but the chemistry Krey develops between them is unmistakable and powerful. I don't love non-communication as a roadblock to relationships but the story is so engaging, you can't give up on them just for that.

This is a part of a series by several authors set in the same small town of Cobble Creek. One can't help but hope that maybe Jessie's friend, and favorite cause, Sheila is included in one of the other books...

Amazon $2.99

Thursday, September 21, 2017

One Woman's Heart - Delaney Cameron

Synopsis: Holly is coming off a bad relationship and finds herself becoming friends with her new neighbor.  Devon has been married before (twice) and is years older than the pretty young woman next door. He might be what everyone else thinks is the town's most eligible bachelor, but he's hardly feeling like a catch to the girl he's been crushing on for the last few months.

Review: This is a fantastic addition to the series. Holly is a lovely young woman with a very real challenge ahead of her. Devon is a fabulous hero.  Older, thoughtful, capable, handsome, unsure, but also completely smitten. Secondary characters from previous books as well as Devon's mom and son round out the story. It flows well, is believable; No huge drama or boogie man;  No massive misunderstanding or lack of communication.  Just a sweet story about two people admitting they're in love. A stand alone book - you needn't read the earlier books to completely enjoy this one - and you will!

Amazon $0.99

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Calming the Storm - Melanie Snitker

Synopsis: Rachel has to drop out of school to care for her recently orphaned niece. Brandon, her professor, becomes concerned when he learns about her situation and wants to help. He's falling for her but she's having a hard time accepting that she's not going to be abandoned once again.

Review: There's not a ton of passion or drama in this sweet romance.  Rather, it's a slow progression as Rachel comes to trust Brandon.  Her past has left her skeptical and unsure of building relationships with others.  Snitker does a good job of developing her characters and the story.  Brandon and his family are steady and loving and it's not hard to see and believe that Rachel will soon come to accept that she can be loved. There is quite a bit of praying, and reliance on God is a a central theme.  This is not a light romance but it's not heavy and overbearing either.  It's a lovely story of two people learning to trust God and love each other rather than all of the drama that comes in a fast paced, passionate love story.

Amazon $2.99

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Heart on the Line - Karen Witemeyer

Synopsis: Grace has been living with the ladies of Harper's Station and working as a telegraph operator while she hides out from the man who's killed her father. Over that time she's struck up a friendship with Amos, an operator in a nearby town. When her whereabouts is discovered, Grace knows she can't put the Ladies of Harper's Station at risk.  Amos decides to take a risk and travel to meet this mystery operator in person only to find when he gets to her, that her life is in danger and she's in no position to develop a relationship with him.

Review: This is a solid addition to the Harper Station series.  Witemeyer is a solid writer and so fun to read.  Her characters are delightful and the mishaps and challenges unique and engaging. It's always nice to meet up with characters from previous books and get to know them just a little better.  Definitely need to read book 1 first to get the richness of the setting and characters who figure prominently again in Grace and Amos' story.  They're a delightful couple and Amos is a worthy Hero.

Book 2

Amazon $8.53

Book 1

Amazon $8.30

Friday, September 15, 2017

Worth the Fall - Bria Quinlan

Synopsis: Kasey loses her job.  Gets dumped by her long-time boyfriend and finds herself homeless in the process. Wandering into the Brew Ha Hs coffee shop finds her meeting a slew of new friends and a new place to live. Max finds himself embroiled in her mishaps and falling for her at the same time. Can any good come from that? He's not so sure.

Review: I'm torn about whether reviewing this one breaks my review rules. It's totally clean and the main characters are completely chaste.  The problem comes in the general view of premarital intimacy amongst the group of friends. None of them seem to think it at all wrong to be moving in with each other, for example.  That said, this is a fun story with characteristic Brian Quinlan antics. Characters are multi-layered and real even while they may be facing over-the-top circumstances.  Kasey is fabulous.  Max is perfect. Their struggle is real! lol If you ignore the liberal views on intimacy, this is a really fun series. There is an occassional mild cuss as well.  If that matters a lot to you.  This is book 2 in the series.

Book 2

Amazon $4.99

Pick up these too, while you're at it:

Book .5

FREE on Amazon

Book 1
Free on Amazon

Book 2.5
Amazon $0.99

Book 3
Amazon $4.99

Book 4
Amazon $3.99

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

My Unexpected Hope - Tammy L. Gray

Synopsis: The second in the series.  Laila is trying to move forward after finally divorcing her addict husband.  She's got a new boyfriend and plans to move to a new home in the next town over.  Chad has been clean for months and is getting ready to get his wife back. 

Review: Gritty and complicated, this second book is incredibly moving.  Laila is working hard to pick up the pieces and move on without the love of her life. Chad is vulnerable and not entirely stable.  Gray never sugar coats her characters.  They're raw and honest and real. This is a heavy read but incredibly satisfying in its candid look at life as and with an addict. You definitely need to read the first book in the series before tackling this one.  It's equality excellent and you'll be glad you read them both.

On Sale: $1.99 (reg $3.99)

Book 1

Amazon: $3.99