Thursday, July 5, 2018

Together Forever by Jody Hedlund

Will the mistakes of their past cost them a chance at love?

Determined to find her lost younger sister, Marianne Neumann takes a job as a placing agent with the Children's Aid Society in 1858 New York. She not only hopes to offer children a better life, but prays she'll be able to discover whether Sophie ended up leaving the city on an orphan train so they can finally be reunited.

Andrew Brady, her fellow agent on her first placing-out trip, is a former schoolteacher who has an easy way with children, firm but tender and friendly. Underneath his charm and handsome looks, though, seems to linger a grief that won't go away--and a secret from his past that he keeps hidden. 

As the two team up, placing orphans in the small railroad towns of Illinois, they find themselves growing ever closer . . . until a shocking tragedy threatens to upend all their work and change one of their lives forever.

Publisher: Bethany House, 2018
Genre: historical romance
Setting: 1858

My Review
Together Forever is a gripping story set in 1858 during the orphan train migration from New York to Illinois. From the first chapter, the chemistry between the hero and heroine sizzles and propels the story forward with a beautiful and satisfying ending. The orphans tugged at my heart and made me want to adopt them myself. The plot mixed with Ms. Hedlund's strategic writing takes the reader back in time on a journey that is bittersweet and historically accurate. Together Forever is book two in the Orphan Train series, but this novel stands on its own as well. I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys historical romance with a rich history and to anyone who enjoys a strong, yet clean, romance between characters. I give this book five stars. 

Thursday, June 14, 2018

The Accidental Guardian by Mary Connealy

She's the only witness to a wagon train attack. Keeping her safe, though, means his world is about to be turned upside down.

When Trace Riley finds the smoldering ruins of a small wagon train, he recognizes an attack by the same group who left him as sole survivor years ago. Living off the wilderness since then, he's finally carved out a home and started a herd--while serving as a self-appointed guardian of the trail. He'd hoped the days of driving off dangerous men were over, but the latest attack shows otherwise.

Deborah Harkness saved her younger sister and two toddlers during the attack, and now finds herself at the mercy of her rescuer. Trace becomes an accidental guardian when he offers the only shelter for miles around and agrees to take them in until they can safely continue their journey. His simple bachelor existence never anticipated kids and women in the picture and their arrival is unsettling--yet enticing.

Trace and Deborah find themselves drawing ever closer as they work together to bring justice to the trail and help the group survive the winter--but every day closer to spring means a day closer to leaving the mountains forever.

Publisher: Bethany House, 2017
Genre: historical romance

My Review

Mary Connealy brings readers another sweet, action-filled romance! As always, Ms. Connealy opens the novel right in the middle of the action. Readers are instantly grounded in the plot, rooting for the hero's and heroine's escape. Trace Riley's unique backstory makes him LOVABLE, and his journey intertwines perfectly with the novel's theme. Deborah Harkness's past makes her hesitance toward Trace understandable and makes her character journey all the more sweet. The ending is satisfying and had me looking forward to the next book in this series.

This story holds a more serious undertone than most of Ms. Connealy's stories, but I found this refreshing after her last spunky, fast-paced series (The Cimarron Legacy). I give this book four stars.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Willow Bradford is content taking a break from modeling to run her family's inn until she comes face-to-face with NFL quarterback Corbin Stewart, the man who broke her heart--and wants to win her back. When a decades-old missing-persons case brings them together, they're forced to decide whether they can risk falling for one another all over again.

Publisher: Bethany House, 2017

Genre: contemporary romance

My Review

Falling for You had me falling for it within the first chapter. Willow's gentle, giving--and breakable--heart endeared her to me immediately. Corbin's charm and clever wit had me swooning, but combined with his unplanned retirement from the NFL and the challenges he now faces as a new Christian, made him an unforgettable hero. This story has intrigue, a dash of mystery, laugh-out-loud humor, and steamy--yet clean--romance. 

I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys second-chance romance and/or stories of redemption. I give this book five stars! (I'd give it more, but that's as high as the review scale goes!)

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Honeysuckle Dreams by Denise Hunter

After Brady Collins’ ex-wife dies, he receives devastating news—his nine-month-old son Sam isn’t his son at all. And Sam’s wealthy maternal grandparents want custody of the child. Brady knows he’s in for the fight of his life. But regardless of what any blood test says, Sam is his son, and Brady will go to any lengths to keep him.

Brady’s attorney tips him off that one major life change would virtually assure him of winning guardianship of baby Sam at the final hearing: an impending marriage. And his friend Hope is willing to step in as the loving and devoted fiance.
Local radio celebrity Hope Daniels has been driven by a solitary goal her entire life, and after a happy accident she’s finally offered her dream job. But if the truth comes out about her arrangement with Brady, she may miss the chance of a lifetime and stand in the way of a dear friend’s dreams.
As Brady and Hope make sacrifices to help each other in their times of need, they risk uncovering a truth neither of them expects to find.

Publisher: Thomas Nelson (Harper Collins), 2018
Genre: contemporary romance

My Review

Once again, Ms. Hunter has written a deep, satisfying romance that pierces the heart. The gripping cover is just a glimpse of what’s inside. Brady and Hope are two loveable characters with complex thoughts and raw emotions. Though they’re thrust into a romance they didn’t expect, their journey is sweet and organic and sticks with you long after the last page. Honeysuckle Dreams is a standalone novel, however, readers of Blue Ridge Sunrise will get a glimpse of past characters. I look forward to what Ms.  Hunter will bring readers next. 

I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys marriage-of-convenience romances with a twist. I gave this book 5 out of 5 stars!

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Holding the Fort by Regina Jennings

When dance hall singer Louisa Bell visits Fort Reno to see her brother, she is mistaken for the governess that the harried Major Daniel Adams is waiting for. Between his rowdy troops and his two daughters, he has more responsibility than he can handle alone. Eager for the opportunity, Louisa sets out to show the widower that she is a perfect fit.

Publisher: Bethany House, Dec 2017
Genre: Historical Romance

My Review
This super fun plot grabbed my attention from the first page and held it to the last! Set in the tamed--untamed--west, opposites truly attract when Major Daniel Adams falls at dance hall singer, Louisa Bell's, feet--literally.  That starts a gambit of twists and turns, misunderstandings and deceptions that will either bring Daniel and Louisa together or will tear them apart.

With witty dialogue that had me laughing out loud, bold and lovable characters, and the plotting genius of Ms. Jennings, I give this book five stars!

I recommend this book to anyone who loves funny, light-hearted entertainment and those who love historical fiction. I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. My opinion was in no way influenced by anyone except the authors talent for writing.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

A Dangerous Legacy by Elizabeth Camden

Lucy is determined to keep working as a telegraph operator at a news agency, even though the arrival of Sir Colin Beckwith threatens her position. When she discovers Colin's shocking secret, she agrees to assist him if he helps her find her family's stolen inheritance--not realizing that the trail leads into a web of treachery, danger, and conspiracy.

Publisher: Bethany House, 2017
Genre: Historical Romance

My Review

Ms. Camden never fails to captivate me from the first chapter with her strong, complex characters and her gripping historical plots. A Dangerous Legacy is no exception. 

Lucy Drake and Sir Colin Beckwith have an electric attraction from the first moment they meet. Colin's loyalty to his family estate overseas and the decades-long feud surrounding Lucy's family make a romantic relationship between the pair near impossible. But need drives them together in a way that creates a formidable team and soon the two are deeper into the journey than they intended. 

With strong supporting characters and constant twists, A Dangerous Legacy is one I will read again. I give this book five stars!

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Monday, July 31, 2017

On Love's Gentle Shore by Liz Johnson

Fifteen years after she left Prince Edward Island, Natalie O'Ryan had no plans to return. But when her fiancé, music producer Russell Jacobs, books their wedding in her hometown and schedules a summer at Rose's Red Door Inn, she sets out to put the finishing touches on the perfect wedding. But she can't possibly prepare for a run-in with Justin Kane--the best friend she left behind all those years ago after promising to stay.

Justin's never forgotten Natalie or the music career he always dreamed of pursuing. He'd been prepared to follow her off the island until his dad died and he was left to run the family dairy farm. He's done the best he can with the life that was thrust upon him--but with Natalie back in the picture, he begins to realize just how much joy he's been missing.

After Natalie's reception venue falls through, she must scramble to find an alternative, and the only option seems to be a barn on Justin's property. As they work together to get the dilapidated building ready for the party, Natalie and Justin discover the groundwork for forgiveness--and that there may be more than an old friendship between them.

Publisher: Revell, 2017
Genre: contemporary romance
Setting: Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, Canada

My Review
I'm a sucker for the angst of a good love triangle--especially if both love interests are so incredible they make it hard for me to decide which one I want to win--but in this book the winner was a no-brainer for me from the start. Both male characters were great, don't get me wrong, but Natalie and Justin have a history--memories and emotions--that connect them in a permanent way. There are many wonderful aspects to this story, such as seeing beloved characters from previous books again, the fantastic setting, the conflict between characters, and the beautiful heart-wrenching emotion spilled out on paper. Ms. Johnson did a fantastic job concluding this series. I look forward to what she'll bring readers next. 

I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys contemporary romance, second chances, or the arduous and beautiful journey of returning home. 

I give this book 5 stars!