Friday, February 14, 2020

Review: The Dating Charade

The Dating Charade

"Cassie Everson is an expert at escaping bad first dates. And, after years of meeting, greeting, and running from the men who try to woo her, Cassie is almost ready to retire her hopes for a husband—and children—altogether.
But fate has other plans, and Cassie’s online dating profile catches the eye of firefighter Jett Bentley. In Jett’s memory, Cassie Everson is the unreachable girl-of-legend from their high school days. Nervously, he messages her, setting off a chain of events that forces a reluctant Cassie back into the dating game.
No one is more surprised than Cassie when her first date with Jett is a knockout. But when they both go home and find three children dropped in their laps—each—they independently decide to do the right and mature thing: hide the kids from each other while sorting it all out. What could go wrong?"

Author: Melissa Ferguson
Genre: Contemporary Romance 

The Brady Bunch meets Yours, Mine, Ours 

HAPPY VALENTINES DAY PEOPLE! I hope you are enjoying the chocolate you got, whether from another human or yourself. 
I couldn't think of a better book to review on this beautiful day! So grab your Russell Stover mix variety chocolates and get my thoughts on this adorable book. 

I really enjoyed this book! The story was the perfect blend of heartfelt and heartbreak. 
I can honestly say I don't know much about the adoption process, but I felt like the author did a great job with her research! I don't read many books with adoption as the main focus, probably because when people want to make a kid theirs in historical books they just kind of take them. πŸ˜… #historicalreader 
I really did enjoy this story, this twist to my normal reading plot. It was a bit of a step outside my normal box, and I'm glad I took the leap.

Melissa took the topics of adoption, infertility, and broken families and handled them with soft hands, and a softer heart. You can see her love pouring from the pages. That is what kept the book from being a straight romance you forget about in 6 months. It had hope, it had humor, it had love, it had heartbreak, it had brokenness, it had real life woven throughout each and every paged.

I enjoyed all of the characters! Each one made me smile in a different way. I really loved Cassie and Jett, they were so good together. 

My biggest issue was the lack of backstory. I don't know if there were too many players on the board, but I felt like something was missing through the story and that was true drive from the characters. What drove them to be the way they were? What made them tick? There were a few things briefly touched on, but we never got the full story and I think that really would've helped elevate the storyline for me. 

It was a faced paced book, and a quick read for me. Perfect thing to grab on a free weekend and take on a car ride, or even just curl up in bed with. I loved the "Brady Bunch meets Yours, Mine and Ours" vibe! 
Overall, I'm glad I stepped outside my normal reading box and gave this book a read. It was super cute, and I'm looking forward to Melissa's next book!
4/5 stars

*I received this book from the publisher**All opinions are my own* 

Monday, January 13, 2020

Review: Love You, Truly

Love You, Truly

"Blake Carlton, the camera-shy son of Hollywood’s Darling, dodges the invasive limelight and scripted relationships that so often accompany fame. But when his mother’s popularity declines and she falls into a depression, he offers himself up as the next bachelor on a reality show, hoping to reignite interest in her career while creating a way for them to finally connect.After her fiancΓ© dumps her for her best friend, aspiring photographer Harlow Tucker is done with romance—until her beloved, disabled sister requests her aid to start a nonprofit. Harlow agrees to do whatever is needed to raise funds, even reluctantly costarring on a dating show with a notorious womanizer who distrusts anyone behind a lens.As Blake and Harlow navigate the superficiality of a reality show, their preconceived notions of love are challenged."

Author: Susan L. Tuttle
Genre: Contemporary Romance



Deciding to trust each other feels like the ultimate risk, 
but taking that chance could lead to a love truly picture-perfect, 
worth both of their hearts.


OH THIS BOOK COULD'VE BEEN A 5 STAR READ FOR ME! It made me cry. That says a lot about a book in my eyes, but there were some big things that hindered my 5 star rating.

I connected with Harlow in a way I've never connected with a character before. My older brother has a disability called cerebral palsy, and my whole life has revolved around that. In HER vulnerable moments I felt that pain. I've had those questions. And I've also received that peace to know I'm chosen. 
There is a scene in this book where she has an EMOTIONAL heart to heart with her sister and I cried. I actually had to put the book down because I was there, I was having that discussion, and its hard. So ALL of the props to Susan for capturing the side of disabilities no one ever talks about, the other people it affects who have to sacrifice too. You wrote it well!

I did like watching Blake come to God. He fought it HARD, but in the end God won his heart. (Are we surprised?! πŸ˜‰) It was definitely a nice redemption arc.

I adored the chemistry between Blake & Harlow. They really did blend well together, and their snark was EVERYTHING! 
But the continuous back and forth of them not trusting each other, then trusting each other, then one small thing (that could've been handled if they talked about it like adults) making them storm off like children and lose all trust in each other again just got old! It just felt immature. 
Now, I understand they both had been hurt in the past! I get that, however they shouldn't have "trusted" the other person so readily if they weren't ready. 

Another thing that really bothered me is how fast they would assume the worst of each other. If you love someone, and say you know them better than that WHY would your first reaction be to say they're a liar and never give them a chance to give you their side of the story. 
I don't handle name besmirching/integrity dragging story lines very well. And that is what it felt like to me.

Its hard for me because I really did like a lot of the story aspects. I really liked the "bachelor" troupe! The author did an amazing job getting me sucked into the story. I laughed, I cried, I connected with characters like I never have before. But I couldn't get behind their "blame now, explain later" attitude.

I want to try another book by Susan Tuttle! I did enjoy her writing style, and I loved parts of this book.
I rated it a 3.5/5 stars.

*This is a ROMANCE book. There is a lot of kissing, talk of premarital sex, and an intense scene on a beach. It got heated in a few places!  Just a heads up for anyone who is looking for content warning.*

*I received this book from the author**All opinions are my own*

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Review: On Wings of Devotion

On Wings of Devotion JustRead Tour 

Welcome to the Blog Tour & Giveaway for On Wings of Devotion by Roseanna M. White, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!


ABOUT THE BOOK


On Wings of Devotion by Roseanna M White 
Title: On Wings of Devotion
Series: The Codebreakers #2
Author: Roseanna M. White
Genre: Historical Romance
Publisher: Bethany House
Release Date: January 7, 2020

Against Every Warning, She's Drawn Ever Closer to the Man Known as "Black Heart" 


All of England thinks Major Phillip Camden a monster--a man who deliberately caused the deaths of his squadron. But he would have preferred to die that day with his men rather than be recruited to the Admiralty's codebreaking division. The threats he receives daily are no great surprise and, in his opinion, well deserved.

As nurse Arabelle Denler observes the so-dubbed "Black Heart," she sees something far different: a hurting man desperate for mercy. And when their families and paths twist together unexpectedly, she realizes she has a role to play in his healing--and some of her own to do as well.

With Camden's court-martial looming, an old acquaintance shows up, intent on using him in a plot that sends the codebreakers of Room 40 into a frenzy. With their fragile hopes for the future in the cross hairs, Arabelle and Camden must hold on to hope--and to each other--if they want to survive.


PURCHASE LINKS*: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Book Depository | Christianbook 

___________________________________________________________

MY THOUGHTS


I just need a second to gush! Y'ALL THIS BOOK WAS AMAZEBALLS! So stinkin' good, and such a great way to start off the reading year!

Roseanna is a crazy talented author. I don't think she has written a book I haven't liked. She writes such unique and REAL characters, they're just so easy to fall in love with!
Not many authors can take the risks she does and pull them off.

This book was no different! I loved every one of the characters! They each played their part perfectly! The villains, the leads, the side characters. They blended and meshed so well.

I just loved everything about this book! It was deep. It was light. It was emotional. It was humorous. It was the perfect blend of history and fiction.  

Phillip Camden was the best! 😍😍 New favorite hero right there! Arabelle was his perfect match, the perfect leading lady.
They complemented each other so well. Each learning that what THEY defined themselves as was not who they were. They built each other up, and was a shoulder to cry on when they needed one. 
There was so much emotion and they both grew so much throughout the story. 
PLUS! They're chemistry and banter was EVERYTHING! 

One thing that I've noticed in this series, and something I love with my WHOLE heart, is that the women pray for the men. Even before they know who he is, or that they'll end up together. I just ADORE that thread so much.  (it could be also in her other series too and I just didn't realize it)

I will be gushing about this book always! There are so many things I didn't even touch on in my review. It was just so amazing, and you all need to go order it! 
I want to give this book all the stars, but alas I can only give it 5. So you should know what my rating is! 5/5 stars!

*I received this book from the publisher**All opinions are my own*




ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Roseanna M. White


Roseanna M. White is a bestselling, Christy Award-nominated author who has long claimed that words are the air she breathes. When not writing fiction, she’s homeschooling her two kids, editing, designing book covers, and pretending her house will clean itself. Roseanna is the author of a slew of historical novels that span several continents and thousands of years. Spies and war and mayhem always seem to find their way into her books…to offset her real life, which is blessedly ordinary. You can learn more about her and her stories at www.RoseannaMWhite.com.


CONNECT WITH ROSEANNA: Website | Facebook Twitter | Instagram




TOUR GIVEAWAY


(1) winner will receive a On Wings of Devotion inspired prize pack including:
 a Recreation RFC Pilot Wings pin, a mini globe, Cadbury Chocolate, Caddie the Cocker Spaniel (handmade by Roseanna), and One Seat and Tea Package for an Online Tea Party Book Club with Roseanna 
(Winner's choice of scheduled dates. Includes treats, loose-leaf tea, and book club goodies. A $25 value! For more information, visit http://www.roseannamwhite.com/tea-party-book-club/.)!


On Wings of Devotion giveaway JR


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 January 7, 2020 and last through 11:59 PM EST on January 14, 2020. US only. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.



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

Saturday, January 4, 2020

Review: A Distance Too Grand

A Distance Too Grand

"Meg Pero has been assisting her photographer father since she was big enough to carry his equipment, so when he dies she is determined to take over his profession--starting with fulfilling the contract he signed to serve on an Army survey of the North Rim of the Grand Canyon in 1871. What she doesn't realize is that the leader of the expedition is none other than the man she once refused to marry.

Captain Ben Coleridge would like nothing more than to leave without the woman who broke his heart, but he refuses to wait even one more day to get started. This survey is a screen for another, more personal mission, one he cannot share with any member of his team.

As dangers arise from all sides, including within the survey party, Meg and Ben must work together to stay alive, fulfill their duties, and, just maybe, rekindle a love that neither had completely left behind."

Author: Regina Scott
Genre: Historical Romance
Series: American Wonders Collection (book 1)


"As dangers arise
they must work together to stay alive"


These reviews are always really hard for me to write! *deep breath* Let's get on with it. 
Here's the thing. I didn't hate it, but I also didn't love it.

The premise of this story intrigued me! An Army exposition sent to decide if the Grand Canyon was habitable...I LOVE IT! Sadly, the execution fell short for me. There were story/plot lines that weren't flushed out completely, so nothing really connected or gave me that "AH HA!" moment.

I didn't really connect with any of the characters. In all honesty, the side characters started to blur into one person. No one stood out to me. 
I never felt any chemistry coming from the pages, not from leads or the secondary characters.

I did enjoy the photography aspects of the story. It was really cool to learn a little about that history, and to see where photography has come.

For people who enjoy descriptive books this one might just be for you! The Grand Canyon is beautifully described, as well as some of the photography process. It is rich in history & descriptions.

I feel like this book had lots of potential! I just wish it had been flushed out some more. It definitely is an interesting time in history!

Regina is one of my ALL TIME favorite authors, so I'm sad I didn't love it. But, not every book hits a sweet spot and that's okay. 
I am interested to read book 2, maybe that story will hit its mark.
Nevertheless, I will follow Regina wherever she goes. She's a wonderful author, and an even better person.
I rated it a 3/5 star.

*I received this book from the publisher**All opinions are my own*

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Review: The Perfect Christmas

The Perfect Christmas

"Will the perfect Christmas be enough to convince Beau that a life with Ansley could be equally perfect? 

Born and raised in Winter, Montana, Beau Bradley can’t imagine life anywhere else. During the holiday season his coffee shop, Mountain Grounds, is as busy as ever and now that his girlfriend is back in town, things finally seem to be lining up—until he gets a call that could change it all. 

Ansley Strauss is back in Winter after a nine-month, art intensive in Canada and she’s ready to celebrate the Christmas season in the tried and true Winter-style. There’s only one problem: her boyfriend lacks Christmas spirit. Her solution? Make this Christmas perfect to remind Beau just how special this time of year is. 

Set on a course for ultimate Christmas joy, Ansley and Beau find that life doesn’t always work out the way they hope it will. Beau faces the reality that plans can’t account for everything and sometimes risking it all is the only way. Ansley will have to come to the realization that no matter how perfect things are, it’s the imperfections in life that make it worth living."

Author: Bell Renshaw
Genre: Clean Romance
Series: A Winter Montana Novella (book 2)


It’s another Christmas in Winter, Montana 
where the coffee is always hot and the mistletoe beckons lovers to share a kiss.


So...my review is a week later than I said it was going to be, but it's going up none the less. 

Let me start off by saying that Bell is amazing! Hands down. That's my story and I'm sticking to it. 

We're finally back in Winter, and I couldn't be happier. This town, these people, the chemistry. I LOVE IT ALL! 

One thing about the way this author writes, she always makes you feel like the town you're in could be real. (Or at least you want it to be real) 
That's how I felt about Winter, Montana a few years ago when I read "One Christmas in Winter". 
Even years later and the town still has the same charm. It didn't feel like any story lines slipped, or any people just disappeared. Once again, I was enchanted by the perfect small town.

I was SUPER excited when we found out that Beau & Ansley's story was going to be told! 
Bell did an amazing job keeping the story realistic, but still light enough for a Christmas read. 

I really loved watching Beau & Ansley find their voices, and their identities with (and without) each other. 
The story had GREAT themes of patience and love being worth it. Worth the wait, and worth the risk.

I love reading Bell's books, they're always the perfect length. Nothing is ever rushed, and nothing is ever drawn out. I just love her!
I'm really really excited for Troy's story.
5/5 stars!

*I received this book from the author**All opinions are mine*

Friday, November 29, 2019

Review: One Final Breath

One Final Breath
"When investigator Gabriel Chavez had his cover blown by an aggressive reporter, the silver lining was being able to rejoin the dive team. The downside? Dive team captain Anissa Bell--a woman who both fascinates and frustrates him.

Anissa grew up as a missionary kid on the Micronesian island of Yap and always planned to return after college. But she remained stateside, determined to solve the case that haunts her--the murder of her best friend and the disappearance of a three-year-old child.

When Anissa's fractured past collides with Gabe's investigation into the tragic shooting death of a teenage boy in Lake Porter, they'll have to put their complicated history with each other aside in order to uncover the identity of a killer. What they'll discover is that revenge has no statute of limitations."


Author: Lynn H. Blackburn
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Series: Dive Team Investigators (book 3)


"A nail-biting story that will have you wondering 
how long you can hold your breath."


I loved this book.
I loved this team.
I loved this couple. 

That is all.

Lynn is amazing at keeping you guessing. The suspense keeps you at the edge of your seat, while the romance keeps you sighing. 😍😍

Gabe and Anissa really jive together. Neither think they're worthy of love because of past mistakes, but they're both loving people. (In their own way)
They put people before themselves, and God before other people.

We get to know them throughout the series, but it was nice to get their story! I loved seeing everything from their perspectives.  I was so excited when I heard they were getting their own story.
They're chemistry and snark was EVERYTHING! 😍 

There were quite a few plot lines, but each intertwined and wrapped up beautifully. 
I really loved this book! I'm sad to say goodbye to these characters, but I'm excited to see where this author goes next. (Plus rereads are ALWAYS an option)
I rated it 5/5 stars.

*I received this book from the publisher**All opinions are my own*

Quotes:

"Sometimes God calls his children to sacrifice everything and serve him in the up-close spaces. In the hospitals, the courtroom, the classroom, the sheriff's office. Staying put and doing the hard work right where you are takes the same obedience, the same passion for the Lord, as any other calling."

Thursday, November 28, 2019

Review: Serving Up Love



"Bestselling novelist Tracie Peterson joins Karen Witemeyer, Regina Jennings, and Jen Turano in this collection of four novellas, each featuring a Harvey Girl heroine. From Kansas to Texas, the Grand Canyon to New Mexico, the stories cross the country with tales of sweet romance and entertaining history.

In Karen Witemeyer's "More Than a Pretty Face," a young woman works her hardest to escape poor choices from her youth. Tracie Peterson offers "A Flood of Love," where reuniting with an old flame after more than a decade offers unexpected results. Regina Jennings's "Intrigue a la Mode" delights with a tale of a young woman determined to help support her family, despite warnings of danger nearby. And Jen Turano's "Grand Encounters" heads to the Grand Canyon with a tale of a society belle intent on finding a new life for herself."

Author(s): Tracie Peterson, Karen Witemeyer, Regina Jennings, Jen Turano
Genre: Historical Romance


Y'ALL.
Y'ALL.
Y'ALL.
Every one of my dreams has come true with this novella collection! LOOK. AT. THIS. LINEUP. 
😍😍😍

And they brought it with this collection. Each story was so good. I loved them so much. 

***

A Flood of Love (Tracie Peterson)

"Returning home to New Mexico for the first time in years to fill in at the Harvey House, Gretchen Gottsacker is sure the past is behind her. But nothing can be that simple. When the man she loved long ago steps back into her life--with a daughter, no less--will she ever be the same?"

This story was so cute! I loved the character arcs. There was a lot of growth even in the short length of the story.
I love when the "childhood/teenage sweetheart" troupe is used. There was already so much history, but Tracie did a great job giving us the inside scoop, without having information overload. 

The little girl was the BEST! She was a doll, and I loved her!
4/5 stars.

***

More Than a Pretty Face (Karen Witemeyer)

"Rosalind Kemp becomes a Harvey Girl, clinging to the promise of one day transferring even farther west, someplace her youthful indiscretion won't catch up to her. But the past is hard to escape, and when the worst occurs, will anyone stand up for her?"

I feel like I've been waiting forever and a day for this story, even though its only been a few months. 😜
I don't know what all I can say other than "I loved it!" I loved the characters, and I loved the chemistry between them all, main and side characters a like. 😍😍
I loved being able to get to know Rosalind a little better, and I loved how strong she was. 
The romance pairing was perfect, they really worked well together. 
5/5 stars.

***

Intrigue a la Mode (Regina Jennings)

"When Willow Kentworth is warned that strange things are happening in the railyard after dark, she never intends to get involved. That is, until a handsome new employee at the Harvey House--who has secrets of his own--needs her assistance."

Regina just writes the best novellas! She always sucks you in and gives this perfectly constructed story in less than 150 pages. 😍 This one was no different. It honestly might've been my favorite of the collection.

This story had a very "undercover boss" feel to it, but like amped up 92.8%. AND I LOVED IT! The mystery, intrigue plot was so well done! I loved the "secret Pinkerton", and I really hope she get her own story one day! 
The characters in this story were great, and I just really really loved it.
5/5 stars.

***

A Grand Encounter (Jen Turano)

"After her fiancΓ© abandons her, Miss Myrtle Schermerhorn flees New York's pity for a position at the El Tovar Hotel on the rim of the Grand Canyon. She's determined to hold fast to her life of independence--but a rugged, frequent guest of the hotel makes that vow difficult to uphold."
 
This was a really cute story! I loved the troupe that was used, and I loved Myrtle's attitude throughout the book. She grew a backbone when she left society, and she wasn't about to lose it ever again.
I enjoyed the characters a lot, and really felt that the side characters kept the story moving.
4/5 stars.

***

Overall, I loved this collection! I had so many wo derful expectations and they were all pretty much met!
Though each story was a standalone, different years and states, there was a common thread of redemption and forgiveness that ran through each story. 
I rated the whole collection a 4.5/5 stars!

*I received this book from the publisher**All opinions are my own*

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Review: Aiming for Love

Aiming for Love

"Josephine Nordegren is one of three sisters who grew up nearly wild in southwestern Colorado. She has the archery skills of Robin Hood and the curiosity of the Little Mermaid, fascinated by but locked away from the forbidden outside world--a world she's been raised to believe killed her parents. When David Warden, a rancher, brings in a herd much too close to the girls' secret home, her older sister especially is frightened, but Jo is too interested to stay away.

David's parents follow soon on his heels, escaping bandits at their ranch. David's father is wounded and needs shelter. Josephine and her sisters have the only cabin on the mountain. Do they risk stepping into the world to help those in need? Or do they remain separated but safe in the peaks of Hope Mountain?"


Author: Mary Connealy
Genre: Historical Romance
Series: Brides of Hope Mountain (book 1)



Their world will never be the same...


It breaks my heart when I don't love a book by one of my favorite authors! I'll be honest, the reviews are hard to write. 

This was one of those times for me. 
I didn't connect with any of the characters. They didn't feel fully flushed out, they felt really two dimensional to me. 

I felt like there were a few plot lines that were started and never touched on or wrapped up. I'm hoping to see them highlighted as the series goes on.

The romance was really, really quick. For how little they actually interacted with each other, and how little Jo knew about men or people, it just felt really rushed.  They weren't even in the same area for a portion of the book. 

I did really enjoy the family aspect of the book! Each family was close, even through the hard times. They held on to God, and each other. And THAT'S what got them through the valleys.

The story as a whole felt rushed and a bit incomplete. 
I LOVE Mary, and I am interested to read Isla & Mitch's story. This story just didn't hit the spot for me.
I rated it a 2.5/5 stars. 

*I received this book from the publisher**All opinions are my own*

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Review: Diamond in the Rough

Diamond in the Rough
"To save her family from financial ruin, Miss Poppy Garrison accepts an unusual proposition to participate in the New York social season in exchange for her grandmother settling a family loan that has unexpectedly come due. Ill-equipped to handle the intricacies of mingling within the New York Four Hundred, Poppy becomes embroiled in one hilarious fiasco after another, doomed to suffer a grand societal failure instead of being deemed the diamond of the first water her grandmother longs for her to become.

Reginald Blackburn, second son of a duke, has been forced to travel to America to help his cousin, Charles Wynn, Earl of Lonsdale, find an American heiress to wed in order to shore up his family estate that is in desperate need of funds. Reginald himself has no interest in finding an heiress to marry, but when Poppy's grandmother asks him to give etiquette lessons to Poppy, he swiftly discovers he may be in for much more than he bargained for."

Author: Jen Turano
Genre: Historical Romance 
Series: American Heiresses (book 2)


"Your imperfections are what make you perfect!"


Let me start off by freaking out over this cover!!! If someone would like to send me a huge poster of this cover I would not be mad! 😍😍😍😍

Now on to the gorgeousness that is INSIDE this cover. 

***

ALL OF THE SWOONY HEART EYES FOR THIS BOOK!!!

I LOVE when "no nonsense" heroes are thrust into the lives of crazy, unpredictable heroines. Wacky things always go down. 
Jen Turano is QUEEN of all wacky, and hilarious situations! (And no nonsense heroes)

Reginald was great! 😍 
WAY under his brooding nature was a caring, wonderful man! He really had a heart of gold, and I loved watching it grow the more he was around Poppy.

Poppy was a BLAST! How that woman found herself in all those predicaments is beyond me, but I LOVED her attitude about it. She handled everything with a smile, and quick wit. She was just Poppy. No matter what life, or society, threw at her.

Jen always writes great side characters! This time was no different. I loved Murray! I really enjoyed the relationship between him & Poppy. Also, watching him grow a backbone was fun too. 

The "intrigue" part of the story seemed a little rushed, but since it was a sub plot it wasn't a deal breaker for me. I did enjoy the added element to the story. 

I really did love this book, and I cannot wait for book 3! Beatrix is going to be a HOOT, I can already tell.
I rated it 5/5 stars. 

*I received this book from the publisher**All opinions are my own*

Friday, November 22, 2019

Review: Deadly Deceit

Deadly Deceit

"Independent and tenacious journalist Vivian DeMarco is back in Walton, Georgia, for one reason--to do her job and get out. When her boss suddenly dies under suspicious circumstances, Vivian's only hope for finding the truth--and the next big story--is small-town law enforcement's lanky poster boy, Deputy Ryan Frost. But the deeper they dig, the more twisted the truth becomes, and Vivian finds herself fighting for not only answers but also her life. False leads, incriminating emails, and someone called The Watcher force Vivian to confront the secret of her past and decide: How much is she willing to risk for the sake of a headline?"


Author: Natalie Walters
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Series: Harbored Secrets (book 2)


Welcome back to Walton, Georgia.
Where everyone knows your name--but no one knows your secret.


AH! I'm back! FINALLY!
Life has gotten away from me, but I'm working hard to finish this year strong. Thank you for sticking with me! I love you big!

I read quite a few books during my "posting hiatus" and Natalie's book was one of them! So today I'm gonna give all the thoughts to you.

***

I knew I was going to love this book when I found out who it was going to be about!
I really wanted to see how the author was going to write Vivian's redemption arc, since she was a piece of work in book 1.

I loved the chemistry between Vivian and Ryan. The more geeky they got, the more I loved them. (YES to all the superhero references!)
Their romance was on the quicker side, but they fit so well together it worked. They opened up to each other quickly, and they became friends. They just worked well together.

Both characters were dealing with problems that held them back from their own dreams.
Ryan felt he couldn't chase his dreams because he needed to be their for his family.
Vivian felt she couldn't chase her dreams because she trying to live up to expectations she put on herself.
Their connection helped them see the other person holding back, and they became each other's greatest confidant & supporter.

Ryan was...😍 YES! Natalie can write a man in uniform. 😍 LOVED HIM!
I really liked seeing his character development, while still keeping his "shy, nerdy, quirky" characteristics.

Vivian was a huge turnaround character from book 1, and I was HERE FOR IT! I loved watching the "small town magic" suck her in and break her walls down.

There were actually a few different suspense plot lines running throughout the story, and I really enjoyed that. Amped it up. πŸ˜‰ It was relatively action packed, since Vivian was always getting into scrapes.

I do wish the "motive" for the whole scheme had been explained a little more. It felt a little rushed and unfinished, but I think it was because there were so many players.

Overall, I really enjoyed this story! I rated it a 4/5 stars.

*I received this book from the publisher**All opinions are my own* 

Friday, September 27, 2019

Review: Anointed

Anointed

"After a terrible car accident, sixteen-year-old Rachel awakens with no memories and is shocked to discover she’s become the newest resident of a mystical Cloaked City called BethEl. She quickly begins to feel at home in the mysterious town with her supernaturally gifted neighbors, especially Cohen, the handsome boy who found her. But Rachel’s new life is haunted by disturbing nightmares. 

When her new Mentor hears of these horrific visions, he believes they are more than mere dreams. They are the key to finding the long-promised Anointed—the one who will prepare the way for the return of the Messiah.

As the quest for the Anointed ensues, Rachel and her new friends are thrust directly into the center of a spiritual war. But as Rachel learns to use her dreams and newfound spiritual gifts, she begins to distinguish her memories from the nightmares that plague her. And what she discovers is even more terrifying. Now, as her past collides with her present, Rachel must fight to not only find and rescue the Anointed, but to save herself."

Author: H.R. Hutzel
Genre: Spiritual Fantasy
Series: BethEl (book 1)



"A mysterious car accident. A mystical city. 
She can’t remember anything, but they need her to remember everything."


This is a very tricky genre to navigate. There is a stigma around it, as much as there is around biblical fiction. Here's what I want people to know...this stuff they write about, is REAL! The spiritual warfare they write about it so real. 

This genre is normally a hit or miss for me. I don't gravitate towards it on a normal basis, but I'm glad I gave this book a try! I was instantly drawn into the world every time I opened the book. Time slipped away and I was sad when I would have to set the book down. 

I definitely felt the inspiration of Frank Peretti throughout the story, though the story line was still unique. 

Each plot line had another deeper meaning behind it, and they slowly untangled through the process of the story and the final connection was GREAT! This book handled so many topics beautifully. It dealt strongly with spiritual warfare, and the fight between Light and darkness. It also handled topics of your past not defining you, and God calls who He calls no matter their past.
There were even themes that were so relevant to today's real world, it was a bit freaky.
*This is a heavily "end time" based book, so if that makes you uncomfortable this probably isn't the series for you.*

The characters were GREAT! Even the villains were developed. There was the perfect amount of character development for Rachel in this book, it was paced well and written in a way that seemed realistic without making her too annoying. I'm hoping Cohen gets his character growth in book 2!
Elias was hands-down my favorite though! (Really hoping she doesn't kill him off)

The world was built nicely as well. Though there is a LOT of story, I never felt bogged down with words or information. The author did a great job painting a vivid picture of every new place she took us. As someone who really doesn't visualize when I read, this was incredible.

There was ONE thing I had a big problem with, the use of curse words. The bad guys use them a few times. They pulled me out of the narrative because I was surprised that they were there. So reader, please be aware.
That is honestly the only reason this book isn't getting a five star rating.

It was a very powerful book though, it brought tears to my eyes a few times.
I'm rating it a 4/5 stars.

*I received this book from the author**All opinions are my own*

Friday, September 13, 2019

Series Spotlight: An Offer of Grace

I had the honor of reviewing the first book in this series when I first started my blog. I'm honored I get to spotlight the full series today! 😍

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ABOUT THE SERIES



 Forward to What Lies Ahead

"Sometimes being strong isn’t enough. 

Ever since she was a teenager, Regina Whitman has relied on her tough, independent spirit to survive and to protect the ones she loves. Even when heartache and disappointment strike, she finds the strength to press forward, rebuild her life, and do meaningful work.

But just when her outlook seems brightest, a tragic and shameful secret from the past catches up with her, jeopardizing her future and threatening the lives of the people around her.

In the face of overwhelming danger and darkness, can Regina learn to trust God and embrace the love she doesn’t think she deserves? Or will the painful guilt of her past destroy her?"



A Time for Every Matter

"Seven years ago, Madeline Pine went mad.

At least it seemed that way. She traded in her fast-paced New York City lifestyle for a quiet small town existence. On the upside, she now has faith and a sense of purpose.

Yet her tranquil world is upended when her nephew witnesses a murder, and she is faced with the challenge of keeping him safe. Compelling and enigmatic business mogul, Hiram MacArthur offers to assist her, but their growing attraction makes him more distracting than helpful.

New dangers, old memories, and a potential romance will all challenge what Madeline thought God wanted for her life. Will she trust His plan enough to embrace a new season?"



No Longer a Stranger

"There is grace in the power of connection.

EJ Handler is the perpetual class clown, but he’s also a loyal friend and dedicated worker at the tech company he helped found. Friendship and work are the only commitments he needs. Yet a dangerous scandal quickly upsets his laid back life and dredges up the old heartaches that made him fear responsibility in the first place. His only hope rests in his faith and the reluctant assistance of a mysterious female detective.

Sloan is a tough, unemployed cop with a penchant for taking on the cares of the world by herself, when an unexpected job offer gives her the opportunity to do what she loves. Little does she know that a simple job will bring the infuriating, but endearing EJ and a chance at the friendships she’s avoided for so long."


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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Chloe S. Flanagan is an author, technical writer, blogger, and graduate of New York University. She enjoys exploring the Christian walk frankly and thoughtfully in her fiction and in her blog, The Candid Corinthian. When she’s not writing, Chloe loves music, travel, reading books in all genres, and spending time with family.

CONNECT WITH CHLOE: Facebook | Goodreads | Website

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Chloe is the sweetest person, and I really think you should check out her books! 

If you want to know my thoughts about book one, check out my review here.

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Spotlight: Going Back Cold

I LOVE spotlighting new authors! It's an easy way to support authors in a small way.

This week I'll be spotlighting some indie authors & their newest releases.

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Today I'm spotlighting Kelley Rose Waller, and her next release 'Going Back Cold'.




ABOUT THE BOOK


"“You can’t let grief enter every area of your life, so she keeps hers confined to certain areas,” he said. “Grief doesn’t come into the lab or sit with you over your coffee at breakfast. But, late at night, grief is on your pillow.”

Physicist Dr. Jane Whyse and her husband have just arrived at a remote Antarctic base when they discover an unexpected blessing—Jane is pregnant with their second child. As Project Split Horizon builds the piezoelectric jet she designed, Jane gets closer to achieving faster-than-light travel, with the potential to radically change the course of NASA’s future plans. But after eight months of anticipation, the Whyses are devastated when their daughter is stillborn.

Torn between faith and hopelessness, Jane begins an ugly struggle to understand God’s plan for her life in the midst of a mother’s mourning. The lifeless Antarctic landscape seems only to emphasize the emptiness within her. Despite success in her scientific research and a world-changing technological leap forward, Jane continues to grieve. What healing can faith offer against hopelessness? Does the Author of Creation truly understand the suffering of His children? As she tries to find restoration through years of searching, Jane explores a critical horizon where her scientific breakthrough meets God’s sovereignty over space and time."

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR




"Kelley writes fiction to imagine new life experiences.  Her debut novel, The Senator's Youngest Daughter, was released in 2016, and her latest release, Going Back Cold, will be available starting October 1, 2019.  
Kelley's day job as vice president of a marketing firm offers her the opportunity to write and plan for clients in diverse fields.  Kelley and her husband are Pennsylvania foster parents.  Kelley lives and writes to uplift and glorify the name of Jesus Christ.
Kelley is a ridiculous fan of science fiction and board games.  She has a B.A. in English and lives in Lancaster, PA, with her husband, their children, and their dog."

CONNECT WITH KELLEY: Website | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter

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If this is something that's up your reading alley, you can purchase the book here!