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!

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Heart on the Line by Karen Witemeyer

When danger arrives, it's more than just her heart on the line.



Grace Mallory is tired of running, of hiding. But when an old friend sends an after-hours telegraph transmission warning Grace that the man who has hunted her for nearly a year has discovered her location, she fears she has no choice. She can't let the villain she believes responsible for her father's death release his wrath in Harper's Station, the town that has sheltered her and blessed her with the dearest friends she's ever known. 

Amos Bledsoe prefers bicycles to horses and private conversations over the telegraph wire to social gatherings with young ladies who see him as nothing more than an oddity. His telegraph companion, the mysterious Miss G, listens eagerly to his ramblings every night and delights him with tales all her own. For months, their friendship--dare he believe, courtship?--has fed his hope that he has finally found the woman God intended for him. Yet when he takes the next step to meet her in person, he discovers her life is in peril, and Amos must decide if he can shed the cocoon of his quiet nature to become the hero Grace requires.


Publisher: Bethany House, 2017
Genre: Historical Romance
Series: Ladies of Harper Station, book #2


My Review

Solid writing from Karen Witemeyer. Heart on the Line is book two of her Ladies of Harper Station series. Grace Mallory is gentle yet tough, and her affinity for the telegraph leads her to Amos Bledsoe, a telegrapher in another town. Through secret messages, elusive code names, and a little flirting over the line, the two end up working together to save Grace from a dangerous man. The characters in this book are realistic and likable, and the town of Harper Station is intriguing. Full of heart and fun, I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys clean, entertaining historical plots and/or westerns. I give this book 4.5 stars!

Sunday, June 18, 2017

True to You by Becky Wade



After a devastating heartbreak three years ago, genealogist and historical village owner Nora Bradford has decided that burying her nose in her work and her books is far safer than romance in the here and now.

Unlike Nora, former Navy SEAL and Medal of Honor recipient John Lawson is a modern-day man, usually 100 percent focused on the present. But when he's diagnosed with an inherited condition, he's forced to dig into the secrets of his past and his adoption as an infant, enlisting Nora to help him uncover the identity of his birth mother. 

The more time they spend together, the more this pair of opposites suspects they just might be a perfect match. However, John's already dating someone and Nora's not sure she's ready to trade her crushes on fictional heroes for the risks of a real relationship. Finding the answers they're seeking will test the limits of their identity, their faith, and their devotion to one another.

Publisher: Bethany House, 2017

Genre: contemporary romance

Series: Bradford Sisters, Book 1


My Review
Story crafting at its finest! This book made me laugh, had me in tears, made me swoon, and threw me a twist I never saw coming. As always, Ms. Wade's characters were lovable, witty, and just quirky enough to make them human. The setting was unique and enchanting. I read just enough about Britt and Willow, Nora's sisters, to totally hook me into reading future books in this series. Upon closing the back cover, all I could think was, "Wow!"-- a habitual reaction I've come to expect from all of Wade's novels. True to You is a magnificent start to a wonderful new series. I give this book five stars, only because I can't give it more.

Monday, May 29, 2017

What Hope Remembers by Johnnie Alexander

When you need a new beginning, sometimes
the best place to start is home.




When Amy Somers loses her job as a lobbyist, she moves to Misty Willow, well aware that she's crossing bridges she'd burned years before. With all the mistakes she's made and the uncaring things she's done--even to her own family--she can hardly believe that happiness will find her, especially when Gabe Kendall, her first crush and her first kiss, rides back into her life atop a buckskin mare.

A former Marine, Gabe is at loose ends after serving a prison sentence for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. He sees beyond Amy's hard exterior to the girl he once knew and loved, and he longs to see her open her heart. Yet with his vision clouded by shame for his past and fears about the future, he finds it difficult to see the path ahead.

But the memory of that long-ago kiss just may have the power to reignite a romance that brings out the best in both of them.


Publisher: Revell, 2017

Genre: contemporary romance


My Review
What Hope Remembers is book three of Alexander's Misty Willow series and is a nice conclusion to the Somers family saga. Set in rural Ohio, this romance features two broken characters fighting for a fresh start. With pasts that both bond them together and makes their future relationship challenging, this story brings the Somers family together, heals, and brings true faith to light. The twist at the end caught me completely off guard, which was nice as that doesn't happen often. This book reads as a standalone novel, however, I recommend reading the entire series in order to better appreciate Amy's character. I give this book four stars, and I'm looking forward to what Ms. Alexander brings us next!

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Behind the Scenes by Jen Turano



Miss Permilia Griswold, the wallflower behind "The Quill" gossip column, knows everything that goes on in the ballrooms of New York. When she overhears a threat against the estimable Mr. Asher Rutherford, she's determined to warn him. Away from society's spotlight, Asher and Permilia discover there's more going on behind the scenes than they anticipated.


Bethany House Publishers, 2017
Historical Romance
Apart From the Crowd series, book 1


My Review
Jen Turano is known for her lovable characters and witty banter. Her plots are always complex, yet light-hearted, and include a good mystery. Behind the Scenes was written in true Turano fashion, starring Permilia Griswold, a socialite banned to the wallflower section of society, and Asher Rutherford, an eligible bachelor who owns a department store. With instant chemistry on Asher's end, these characters fall into a comfortable camaraderie from the first page that both charms and delights. Throw in a murder plot and a few unexpected twists, and you have a romance that takes center stage. 

I give this book 3.5 stars! 

Thursday, March 9, 2017

A Note Yet Unsung by Tamera Alexander



Despite her training as a master violinist, Rebekah Carrington was denied entry into the Nashville Philharmonic by young conductor Nathaniel Whitcomb, who bowed to public opinion. Now, with a reluctant muse and a recurring pain in his head, he needs her help to finish his symphony. But how can he win back her trust when he's robbed her of her dream?


Publisher: Bethany House, 2017
Genre: Historical Romance
Setting: Nashville, Tennessee, 1871


My Review
A Note Yet Unsung is a beautiful and complex story of music, dreams, and the many relationships formed in a lifetime.  This novel is full of strong, romantic tension between two characters who know what they want and aren't afraid to work for it. With a gripping plot that plays across the pages as melodically as Tate Whitcomb's symphony, A Note Yet Unsung is a must-read for all fans of historic romance. Tamera Alexander does not disappoint with her conclusion of the Belmont Mansion series. This is a standalone novel, but I highly recommend reading the other books in this series as well. 

Thursday, March 2, 2017

March 2017 Releases in Christian Fiction

More in-depth descriptions of these books can be found on the ACFW Fiction Finder website.


Contemporary Romance:
reunion-at-crane-lake Reunion at Crane Lake by Robin Bayne -- Colt's memory is returning after the accident that ended his career. Now he wants to take over his family's inn, but he'll have to partner with his former fiancée to be able to afford it. He'll need forgiveness to make that happen. Tia's goal is clear: to return the inn to its former grandeur. And she'll even work with Colt to do so. But like the inn, their relationship needs a lot of work. He broke her heart...can she ever trust him again? (Contemporary Romance from White Rose Publishing [Pelican]) 


  hope Hope by Fay Lamb -- She's a starving artist facing a serious illness; he's the doctor who's her only hope of survival. If only she hadn't caused his sister to die. (Contemporary Romance from Write Integrity Press) muffins-&-moonbeams





Muffins & Moonbeams by Elizabeth Maddrey -- Malachi Baxter is happy to hide in the background and manage the business-end of the family bakery. He'd much rather live in the online world of computer games where he can explore the galaxy and no one has to know he's deaf. Ursula Franks designs websites during the day and spends her evenings battling alien races online where relationships are easy and uncomplicated. When she agrees to design a website for the local Community Supported Bakery, she has no idea that Malachi is the real man behind her online persona's best friend and her own secret crush.As the two work together on the website, they uncover an attraction, but will they be able to put aside past hurt and insecurity to find love? (Contemporary Romance, Independently Published) 


hope Then Came You: A Bradford Sisters Novella by Becky Wade -- Garner Bradford, heir to the troubled Bradford Shipping empire, doesn't know much about babies. But he's going to have to learn fast because he's just become a single father to his newborn daughter. Career girl Kathleen Burke is wholly uninterested in settling down. She has big dreams, and none of them include Garner and his small hometown in Washington State. Yet she can't seem to get her handsome boss out of her head or her heart.... (Romance Novella, Independently Published)


General:
when-the-bough-breaks

When the Bough Breaks by Ane Mulligan -- Her dream job has a Catch 22—and time's running outRookie lobbyist Sienna O'Shea is determined to make a name for herself in New York's capitol city and use that influence to gain easier access to her birth records. For years she's searched for her birth mother, but when she's handed her first assignment—to lobby support for the permanent sealing of all adoption records—her worlds collide. Swept up into the intrigue of backroom politics, falling in love was not on Sienna's agenda, but the candidate for Lt. Governor runs a formidable campaign to make her his first lady. When an investigative reporter discovers foreign money infiltrating political campaigns, the trail leads to Sienna's inner circle. (General, Independently Published)

  the-memory-of-you

The Memory of You by Catherine West -- Thirteen years ago, Natalie lost a part of herself when her twin sister died. Will traveling back to the family winery finally put the memory to rest, or will it completely destroy her? (General from HarperCollins Christian Publishing [Thomas Nelson and Zondervan])


Cozy Mystery:

murder-is-no-accident

Murder Is No Accident by A. H. Gabhart -- When murder comes to call at a stately Victorian house, the town of Hidden Springs looks to Deputy Sheriff Michael Keane to solve the crime before anyone else dies. (Cozy Mystery from Revell [Baker])




 
Historical Romance:

a-rocky-mountain-romance A Rocky Mountain Romance by Misty M. Beller -- When Zeche takes shelter from a blizzard in a remote cabin, he doesn't expect to find a beautiful woman and her father, a disturbed Civil War veteran. Zeche's instincts tell him Greta is endangered and he should stay and protect her, but his own presence aggravates her father's condition. With a dangerous snowstorm outside and growing hostilities inside, can he find a way to keep them all safe from harm? Or will it be to the detriment of his heart? (Historical Romance, Independently Published)


  a-stolen-heart
A Stolen Heart by Amanda Cabot -- From afar, Cimarron Creek seems like an idyllic town tucked in the Texas Hill Country. But when former schoolteacher Lydia Crawford steps onto its dusty streets in 1880, she finds a town with a deep-seated resentment of Northerners--like her. Lydia won't let that get her down, though. All will be well when she's reunited with her fiancé. But when she discovers he has disappeared--and that he left behind a pregnant wife--Lydia is at a loss about what to do next. The handsome sheriff urges her to trust him, but can she trust anyone in this town where secrets are as prevalent as bluebonnets in spring? (Historical Romance from Revell [Baker]) 


carmela's-quandary My Heart Belongs in the Superstition Mountains: Carmela's Quandary by Susan Page Davis -- Experience the Wild West as Carmela seeks freedom of body and soul. Forced for years by her uncle to pose as a survivor of an Indian kidnapping so he can profit on the speaker circuit, she longs to end the lies. On a stagecoach in Arizona Territory, Carmela and her uncle are fellow passengers with a deputy US marshal and his handcuffed prisoner. When the stage is attacked, will Carmela's wish come true, or will she forever be branded by her past? (Historical Romance from Barbour Publishing)

  desert-moon-and-honor-bound Desert Moon & Honor Bound by Susan Page Davis and Colleen L. Reece -- Enjoy an Old West romance adventure from author Susan Page Davis. Julia Newman looked forward to moving home to Arizona, then she got word that her mother has died and Julie's stagecoach is robbed. If that wasn't enough, the first person she sees in town is Adam Scott—the man she always loved but could never have—and now he is accusing her brother of criminal activity. Also includes a bonus historical romance, Honor Bound by Colleen L. Reece. (Historical Romance from Barbour Publishing)



her-motherhood-wish

Her Motherhood Wish by Keli Gwyn -- En route to the Double T Orphanage to work on its expansion, carpenter Chip Evans and Caroline Hunt discover two orphaned children—and become their caregivers. But Chip's determined not to let himself get too attached to the children who just lost their widowed father…or to the lovely woman helping him care for them. Especially since Callie and the little ones just don't fit into his detailed plans for the future. Callie can't help but fall in love with the orphans, and despite her better judgment, she's falling for Chip, too. Her dreams of being a wife and mother were not quite like this. But Callie believes a plan bigger than Chip's brought them all together…and now she just has to help him see it, too. (Historical Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])


  the-planter's-daughter The Planter's Daughter by Michelle Shocklee -- When her father's Texas cotton plantation faces bankruptcy, Adella must choose between the man who can her family's land and the man who can save her! (Historical Romance from Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas)
  when-tides-turn



When Tides Turn by Sarah Sundin -- When Quintessa Beaumont learns the US Navy has established the WAVES program for women, she enlists, eager to throw off her frivolous ways and contribute to the war effort. Lt. Dan Avery employs his skills in antisubmarine warfare to fight U-boats at the peak of the Battle of the Atlantic, but the last thing he wants to see on his radar is fun-loving Tess. As Dan and Tess work together in Boston, the changes in Tess challenge his notions--and his heart. (Historical Romance from Revell [Baker])

 
Medical Suspense:

agent-in-training Dcotor's Dilemma by Richard L. Mabry M.D. -- Young surgeon Tyler Gentry thought the offer to join the Hall Group of surgeons offered the answer to his problems, but things changed when he received a 3 AM phone call that told him such a move would be hazardous to his health. (Medical Suspense, Independently Published)



 
Romantic Suspense:

her-baby's-protector Her Baby's Protector by Margaret Daley and Susan Sleeman -- Saved by the Lawman by Margaret Daley: As an unknown assailant attempts to kidnap family-court judge Kate Forster's infant son, police officer Chase Walker thwarts the attack—and vows to keep the pair safe. But who will protect the ex-marine's heart when the widowed mother and her little boy make him long for a permanent spot in their family? Saved by the SEAL by Susan Sleeman: The tragedy that killed Bree Hatfield's best friends--and left her with custody of their young daughter--has been ruled an accident. But Bree knows it was murder. Scared and alone, she turns to her ex-boyfriend, navy SEAL Clint Reed, who'll risk everything to protect baby Ella and the woman he never stopped loving. (Romantic Suspense from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

  agent-in-training
Agent-in-Training by Terri Reed -- FBI intern Zara Fielding and her K-9 partner, Radar, stumble across a robbery gone wrong and put themselves in the criminals' crosshairs. Her childhood friend FBI computer guru Dylan O'Leary works for the secretive FBI unit she longs to join, and he vows not to let anything happen to her. As they work to stay one step ahead of the bad guys, new feelings ignite. When she goes missing, it's only Dylan--and Radar--who can track her down. Will they arrive in time to save her and the future she and Dylan have started dreaming about? (Romantic Suspense from Love Inspired [Harlequin])


Speculative Romance/Fantasy:

ingrid's-engagement Ingrid's Engagement by Kristen Reed -- When King Viggo marches through the kingdom of Schlagefilde in a relentless quest for retribution against its wicked king, the Count of Anselm attempts to make peace with him. As the two strike a deal that will protect the people of Anselm, the King of Villriket becomes enthralled with a portrait of the Count's oldest daughter, Ingrid. The vengeful king vows that he will leave Edmund's county in peace if he will allow him to marry Ingrid. To prevent her father from incurring the sovereign's wrath, the young lady hastily agrees and enters into an unforeseen engagement with the grim ruler. Ingrid's Engagement tells the enchanting tale of a beautiful young woman who softens the hardened heart of a beastly king with nothing more than her quiet wisdom and gentle spirit. (Speculative Romance/Fantasy, Independently Published)

Sunday, January 8, 2017

For the Record by Regina Jennings




Betsy Huckabee might be a small-town girl, but she has big-city dreams. Writing for her uncle's newspaper will never lead to independence, and the bigger newspapers don't seem interested in the Hart County news. Trying a new approach, Betsy pens a romanticized serial for the ladies' pages, and the new deputy provides the perfect inspiration for her submissions. She'd be horrified if he read her breathless descriptions of him, but these articles are for a newspaper far away. No one in Pine Gap will ever know. 


Deputy Joel Puckett didn't want to leave Texas, but this job in tiny Pine Gap is his only shot at keeping his badge. With masked marauders riding every night, his skills and patience are tested, but even more challenging is the sassy journalist lady chasing him.



Publisher: Bethany House, 2016

Genre: historical romance

Setting: Missouri, 1885

Author website: www.reginajennings.com

My rating: 4.0  stars


My Review:

Regina Jennings has, once again, created a story with spunky and lovable characters, full of humor and strength for hours of entertainment. Set in Pine Gap, Missouri, 1885, this novel follows a quirky heroine who longs for the perfect hero so badly she writes about one, using the new sheriff as her guide. But as we all know, what we plan for isn't always what happens, and sometimes we should be careful what we wish for. 

Full of heart and lessons learned, I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys historical romance and good, clean entertainment.