Wednesday, December 12, 2018

The Stand-In Christmas Date - Rachel John

Synopsis: Shauna needs her cousin Alyssa to spend a quick 20 minutes with the guy she met speed dating. She's already had to cancel once and he's too awesome to lose just because she's got a cold sore. Alyssa reluctantly agrees. Wes turns out to be just as awesome as Shauna says. And, therein lies the problem. It doesn't take Alyssa long to start wishing she wasn't just pretending to be Shauna.

Review: Wes is fantastic. He plays this out so perfectly. Self assured and clear about what he wants, he's the perfect Hero for Alyssa. An easy and fun read, this is probably my favorite Christmas romance yet. Love her brothers, her parents, and even flakey Shauna turns out to be not so ridiculous afterall. Maybe we'll see her get her own HEA one day. For now, though, Alyssa and Wes are the perfect couple to spend a cold December evening getting to know.

Amazon $.99

I reviewed an ARC I received.

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Who I am With You - Robin Lee Hatcher

Synopsis: The book follows two couples several generations apart. One is set in the depression and are the ancestors of the heroine. Newly married Andrew and Helen are faced with job loss and an uncertain future. Their marriage subsequently faces several challenges that are mirrored in their great grand-daughter's life. Newly widowed Jessica has a new neighbor. Ridley's moved to his parent's new vacation home to get away from bad press and a career catastrophe. Neither he nor Jessica are looking for a relationship. But, not too surprisingly, they find exactly what they weren't looking for.

Review: I'll admit that I first felt that Andrew and Helen's story was interrupting the flow of Jessica and Ridley's. But, as it began to unfold, I found myself wishing for more of it more often. Both are beautiful stories that could really be told in their own book. But, they are, of course, intertwined and wonderful together. Their stories are complicated and deep and soul wrenching. Keep your tissues handy. This is no light, quick read. It's beautiful and entirely satisfying. The characters are all thoughtful, multi-faceted people. They're forgiving, loving, and imperfect. Their stories aren't sugar coated and neither are their resolutions. It takes work and patience and a whole lot of faith to get to their HEAs. 

Very heavy faith element. Lots of quoted scripture, doctrine, and praying. Uplifting and edifying if you appreciate and want it. Hard to skip if you don't.

Amazon $8.99

I was pleased to review the ARC copy I received.

Monday, December 3, 2018

The Christmas Heirloom - Anthology

Synopsis: Four stories that span from the early 1800s to present day. They each revolve around a brooch that's a family heirloom with "magical" qualities. The brooch is passed down from mother to daughter and is thought to bring her true love. Beginning with an old dowager, then an American pioneer, followed by a 1950's tomboy, and finally ending up with a young woman in Washington State. 

Review: Watching the brooch get passed down in each story is kind of fun. Each is her own woman and doesn't really connect directly to the previous story since we usually miss a generation. The first story is a little light and frivolous and begs you to forget many historical facts, but it's cute and fun to see the couple get the HEA that leads to subsequent tales. Karen Witemeyer's contribution definitely stands out. Her hero and heroine are really lovely to get to know and love. We don't often see stories set in the mid-1900's so the third couple is intriguing to watch. While they get their HEA, there are some loose ends that would have been nice to have had resolved. Becky Wade's story ties in to her Bradford Sisters series. Though it is definitely a stand alone and won't likely have a huge affect on the main series, it's definitely fun to see the sisters show up in her contribution. All are short stories/novellas, so they aren't long to read and can't be expected to get too detailed. Nevertheless, the stories are fulfilling and the brooch connecting them gives them some context beyond their own dynamic. Love these sweet couples!

There are mild to moderate elements of faith in these stories.

Amazon $15.99

I received an ARC