Saturday, November 21, 2015

Rising Darkness By nancy Mehl

Back of the Book

Sophie Wittenbauer left her strict Mennonite hometown under a cloud of shame and regret. Certain she's left her past far behind her, she's now focused on her job at a newspaper and is shocked when she stumbles upon the name of someone she knew in her old life. But when she learns the man--a prisoner--claims a suspect from a decades-old unsolved crime is hiding out in the small town of Sanctuary, Missouri, she can't resist following the lead in hopes of furthering her career. 

Almost immediately upon her arrival, Sophie's confronted with a face from her past and fears her intention of using a false identity to investigate is doomed. But with the help of Sanctuary's charismatic young pastor, Sophie knows she's getting close. Will she be able to conceal the truth of her own past long enough to find the suspect before someone puts a stop--fatal or otherwise--to her investigation?

My thoughts

Oh, this is a good book.  Rising Darkness is the perfect blend of suspense and romance.  Great details make this book truly come to life, and scenes that will make your skin crawl with anticipation.  Sophie was an interesting character, and while I wished I had known more of her back story at the start of the book, I think it helped build the suspense that I didn't.  Being the 3rd book in the 'Finding Sanctuary' series, it has a lot of characters from past books, so I would definitely read at least the first book to learn about the town and the people who live there.  

If you are looking for a great thriller, look no further than this.  

I was given Rising Darkness for free from Bethany House publishing for my honest review.

Monday, November 9, 2015

The Christmas Joy Ride By: Melody Carlson

Back of the Book

Miranda did not put adventure on her Christmas list, but thanks to her eighty-five-year-old neighbor Joy, that's exactly what she's getting this year. When Joy tells Miranda that she plans to drive an old RV decked out in Christmas decorations from their Chicago neighborhood to her new retirement digs in Phoenix--in the dead of winter, no less--the much younger Miranda insists that Joy cannot make such a trip by herself. Unemployed and facing foreclosure, Miranda feels she has nothing to lose by packing a bag and heading off with Joy toward Route 66. But Joy has a hidden agenda for their Christmas joyride--one that could derail the whole venture.

No one captures the heartwarming fun of the Christmas season quite like Melody Carlson. Fasten your seat belt, because it's going to be an exciting ride!

My thoughts

If you are looking for a cute and entertaining book to get you into the holiday spirit, look no further than The Christmas Joy Ride.  Full of entertaining characters and heart warming scenes, this book was a delight to read.  While this book is entertaining, it also has a great underlining theme.  It highlights worries and strains that anyone can relate to at the holidays, as well as simple acts to help others find joy.   You might want to purchase two copies, because once you loan this out you might never get it back.

I was given this book free from Revell Publishing for my honest review. 

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Vendetta: A Novel (The Nikki Boyd Files) By Lisa Harris

Back of the Book

No one needs to push Nikki Boyd to excel on the Tennessee Missing Person Task Force. The case of her own missing sister, still unsolved after ten years, is the driving force in her work. When a Polaroid photo of a missing girl shows up at a crime scene, Nikki quickly recognizes similarities to the past. The closer she gets to the abductor, the more she feels that this case is getting personal, and that she is not the hunter at all--but actually the one being hunted.

With this explosive first book in the new Nikki Boyd Files, Lisa Harris takes readers on a fast-paced pursuit of justice that will have them holding their breath until the heart-stopping finish.

My Thoughts

Oh, this is a good book!  Its fast past action, twists, and turns will keep you on the edge of your seat.  With accurate detail and amazing hints you will think you have it all worked out, until you turn the page and once again are proven wrong.  Nikki is a great character, with a likable personality, and a well written back story that makes her actions easy to understand. I was only a little lost by some of Nikki's family relationships but by the end they were all cleared up.  This is the first book in the Nikki Boyd Files, even though there are some things left unanswered, it has enough of a wrap up it doesn't feel unfinished.

I was given this book free from Revell Publishing group for my honest review and I honestly loved this book.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Deadlock (FBI: Houston Book 3) By Diann Mills

Back of the Book

Two murders have rocked the city of Houston. Are they the work of a serial killer, or is a copycat trying to get away with murder?

That is the question facing Special Agent Bethany Sanchez, who is eager for her new assignment in violent crimes but anxious about meeting her new partner. Special Agent Thatcher Graves once arrested her brother, and he has a reputation for being a maverick. Plus, their investigative styles couldn’t be more opposite: he operates on instinct, while she goes by the book.

When hot leads soon fizzle out, their differences threaten to leave them deadlocked. But an attempt on their lives turns up the heat and brings them closer together, and a third victim might yield the clue that will help them zero in on a killer. This could be the case of their careers . . . if they can survive long enough to solve it.

My Thoughts

I have found you can never go wrong with a DiAnn Mills novel and this book is no exception.  Mills has a way of dropping you right in the middle of the action, but you never feel like you have missed anything. The back story on the characters seems to just mold into the story and add to the mystery of the plot.

Deadlock is a page turner and will be a hard one to put down or not think about.  Just as I thought I had it all figured out, bam!  I'm right back were I started with no idea who is good and who is bad.  Thatcher and Bethany make a great team, while they start out like water and oil, as the pot got stirred up they blended perfectly.

I would definitely recommend this book, and can't wait to see if I get more of the clues the second time around.  If you want to learn more about DiAnn Mills or see her other books check out her Webpage.

I was given this book free from Tydale Publishing for my honest review.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

The Lost Heiress By: Roseanna White

Back of the Book

Roseanna White Debuts Sparkling British Historical Romance

Brook Eden has never known where she truly belongs. Though raised in the palace of Monaco, she's British by birth and was brought to the Grimaldis under suspicious circumstances as a babe. When Brook's friend Justin uncovers the fact that Brook is likely a missing heiress from Yorkshire, Brook leaves the sun of the Mediterranean to travel to the moors of the North Sea to the estate of her supposed family.

The mystery of her mother's death haunts her, and though her father is quick to accept her, the rest of the family and the servants of Whitby Park are not. Only when Brook's life is threatened do they draw close--but their loyalty may come too late to save Brook from the same threat that led to tragedy for her mother.

My Thoughts

I absolutely loved this book.  I usually don't read historical fiction but the plot of this book really intrigued me, and I was not disappointed.  The Lost Heiress has mystery, suspense, and great dialog.  As a historical fiction novice I usually get lost in the historical dialect, but not in this book.  Brook and Justin are both spunky, entertaining, and their thoughts and actions were easy to relate to.  This is the first book I have read by Roseanna M. White, but it definitely won't be my last.

I would recommend this book to anyone, whether you are a historical fiction fan or not you will find something to love in the novel.

I was given this book free from Bethany House Publishing.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Last Chance Hero (A Place to Call Home #4) By: Cathleen Armstrong

Back of the Book

The inhabitants of Last Chance, New Mexico, could not be more pleased. Dr. Jessica McLeod has opened an office right on Main Street. Andy Ryan, the best athlete the little town ever produced, has ended his short career in the NFL and has come home to coach the mighty Pumas of Last Chance High. Unfortunately, Dr. Jess immediately gets off on the wrong foot when she admits that she's never seen a football game, isn't really interested in doing so, and, in fact, doesn't know a first down from a home run. Meanwhile, Coach Ryan is discovering that it's not easy to balance atop the pedestal the town has put him on. When this unlikely pair is drawn together over the future of a young player--whose gifts may lie in the laboratory rather than on the football field--they begin to wonder if they might have a future together as well.

With the flair that has made her Last Chance books a favorite among readers of contemporary fiction, Cathleen Armstrong draws on the passion Americans have for the traditions of small-town high school football.

My thoughts

I wanted to love this book, it has all the makings of an extraordinary, entertaining novel, but somehow it missed the mark.  You never get to understand Jess and Ryan's characters, and the time frame when their relationship was developing is skipped over.  On the flip side, many of the characters from the last 3 books are entertaining, well written, and their interactions enjoyable.   Last Chance Hero is light hearted, clean, and entertaining, just don't expect to much from Jess and Ryan but enjoy the other Characters.

I was given this book free for my honest review from Revell Publishing.

Friday, July 31, 2015

Through Waters Deep By: Sarah Sundin

Back of the Book

It is 1941 and America teeters on the brink of war. Outgoing naval officer Ensign Jim Avery escorts British convoys across the North Atlantic in a brand-new destroyer, the USS Atwood. Back on shore, Boston Navy Yard secretary Mary Stirling does her work quietly and efficiently, happy to be out of the limelight. Yet, despite her reserved nature, she never could back down from a challenge. When evidence of sabotage on theAtwood is found, Jim and Mary must work together to uncover the culprit. A bewildering maze of suspects emerges, and Mary is dismayed to find that even someone close to her is under suspicion. With the increasing pressure, Jim and Mary find that many new challenges--and dangers--await them.

Sarah Sundin takes readers to the tense months before the US entered WWII. Readers will encounter German U-boats and torpedoes, along with the explosive power of true love, in this hopeful and romantic story.

My thoughts

This is such an amazing book, I never thought about all the conflict going on in the US before WWII.  The story moved along at such a perfect pace, and while I never felt I was getting a history lesson, I learned so much and gained such understanding about the turmoil of the time.  Mary is such a perfect character and was well balanced by Jim.  Their personal struggles were so understandable, the love story was so sweet I just want to start reading it again.  Sara Sundin's research and understanding of the subject was so evident in the pages of this book.  I am ready for the next one.

I was given this book free from Revell Publishing for my honest review.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Hope Harber By: Irene Hannon

Back of the Book

Tracy Campbell never wanted to leave Hope Harbor, Oregon, or the idyllic three-generation cranberry farm where she grew up. But life--and love--altered her plans. When tragedy strikes and changes her plans yet again, she finds herself back in her hometown with a floundering farm to run and a heartbreaking secret. Romance is not on her agenda. Nor is it on Michael Hunter's. The visitor from Chicago has daunting secrets of his own. But when Tracy recruits him to help save a struggling charitable organization, the winds of change begin to sweep through Hope Harbor, bringing healing, hope, and love to countless lives--including their own.

Fan favorite Irene Hannon brings a whole new cast of characters to life in a charming Oregon seaside village. Emotional and heartwarming, this story invites readers to come home to Hope Harbor, where love and hope bloom--and hearts heal.

My Thoughts

I have always loved Irene Hannon's books, her thrillers keep me on the edge of my seat.  I'm just not 100% sure I love her other books.  Hope Harbor is an emotional story of forgiveness, fixing regrets and moving forward through life's trials.  There was so much drama in the story that it went past believable to thinking 'what else could go on'.  Small towns do seem to spread gossip which can cause more drama, but nothing like this.  While the writing was done well, and the characters were well thought out, and the book had several good scenes, I just could not seem to get past all the other stuff to really enjoy this book.

I was given this book free from Revell Publishing for my Honest Review.

Friday, July 3, 2015

A Bride at Last By Melissa Jagears

Back of the Book

Abandoned by his mail-order bride, Silas Jonesey has fought an uphill battle to recover from a pattern of poor choices. Now his prayers for reconciliation have finally come true and his estranged wife has contacted him with her whereabouts.

Kate Dawson was supposed to be a mail-order bride, but upon realizing she'd been deceived about her intended groom, she's now settled into life as a schoolteacher. When the mother of a student passes away, Kate assumes she'll take on care of nine-year-old Anthony--until two men suddenly show up in town, claiming to be the boy's father.

Silas can see Anthony loves Kate, so he enlists her help in reaching out to the boy and attempting to prove his paternity to the court. When a common interest in Anthony leads to an interest in each other and Silas and Kate begin to think they can overcome their rocky start, neither is prepared for the secrets and past hurts that have yet to come to light. Can Silas, Kate, and Anthony's wounded souls bind them together or will all that stands between them leave them lonely forever?

My Thoughts

This is definitely my favorite book by Melissa Jagears.  After overcoming his drinking addiction Silas has become a hard working, kind and peaceful character and was just hoping to fix his past actions. Kate is a sweet, independent and hardworking woman.  Silas and Kate's personalities are a great match as they work together to let go of the past and put their trust in the future.   A Bride at Last is definitely worth reading, Jagears did a wonderful job at addressing the struggles one faces even years after overcoming an addiction.  While this book takes place in the same city as Jagears past books, it can be read as a stand alone novel, and while I would suggest reading the other books first, it is not necessary.

I was given this book free from Bethany House publisher for my honest review.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

The Wonder of You By: Susan May Warren

Back of the Book

Mortified after her semester abroad is cut short, Amelia Christiansen returns to Deep Haven, certain she isn’t brave enough for the adventures she’s dreamed of. The last thing she expects is for the man who broke her heart to cross the Atlantic and beg forgiveness.

Heir to a European hotel dynasty, Roark St. John has trekked from one exotic locale to another, haunted by tragedy and the expectations that accompany his last name. Amelia is the first woman to give him a reason to stop running. He’ll do anything for a second chance―even contend with Amelia’s old flame, who is intent on sending Roark packing.

While one surprise after another leaves Amelia reeling, Roark’s continued presence only highlights the questions pursuing her. Like him, is she running from the life God has called her to? Could finding her new place mean leaving home behind?

My Thoughts

After the crazy end in the last book (Always on my Mind) I was wondering were Amelia's story would go and it seemed throughout the book, so did Amelia.  With past books involving all the Christiansen family and the progression of their lives, this book focuses mostly on Amelia and her struggles.  With just small glimpses into the rest of the family's lives.  I loved the family comradery when Roark shows up and how that evolves. I have come to expect a lot from a Susan May Warren books, and this one delivers.  With a wonderful story line and great scenes this is a must read.   

I was given this book free from Tyndale Publishing for my honest review.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Gone without a Trace By: Patricia Bradley

Back of the Book

It's been more than two years since homicide detective Livy Reynolds's cousin disappeared from Logan Point. Unlike most people in her hometown, Livy has never believed that Robyn left voluntarily. When Dallas private investigator Alex Jennings contacts Livy concerning a missing senator's daughter who was last seen in Logan Point, she notices eerie similarities between the two disappearances. But with self-doubt plaguing her and an almost instant dislike of Jennings, Livy is finding this investigation an uphill battle. With her future in law enforcement on the line, can she find a way to work with a man who is her polar opposite?

Award-winning author Patricia Bradley keeps readers on the edge of their seats as they anticipate the outcome of the case--and the relationship between Livy and Alex--which is anything but certain.

My thoughts

Gone without a Trace was a wonderful thriller with an edge of creepiness that only Patricia Bradley has learned to perfect.  With peeks into the killers life, and little tidbits about them, I was on the edge of my seat.  Every time I felt I had it figured out I was wrong.  Livy and Alex are well written, intriguing characters, with intertwined pasts that add a great blend to the story.  Gone without a Trace is the 3rd book in the Logan Point series and while characters from the last books are in the story  you don't need to read them to love this book.  I will warn you once you have read one book in the Logan Point series you will have to read them all, over and over again.

I was given this book free from Revell Publishing for my honest reveiw.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Drawing Fire By Janice Cantore

Back of the Book

One case from her past defines homicide detective Abby Hart.

With a possible serial killer stalking elderly women in Long Beach, California, Abby’s best lead is Luke Murphy, an irritating private investigator who saw a suspect flee the scene of the latest homicide. When Abby discovers that the most recent victim is related to the governor, she’s anxious to talk to him about a cold case that’s personal to her―one Luke is interested in as well.

As she learns more about the restaurant fire that took her parents’ lives years ago, Abby discovers why Luke is so invested in finding the ones responsible. The more they uncover, though, the more questions they have. Can Abby find peace without having all the answers?

My thoughts

Drawing Fire has an intense addictive plot, with wonderful dialog and scenes that are well thought out and perfectly scripted.  You will not be able to put this book down.  Abby is a great, hardworking, strong person that is well respected in her field. Luke is the all around hero type and it drives Abby crazy in more ways than one.  Cantore wrote equally entertaining side characters, and a case that just when you think you have it figured out, a new clue comes to light that makes your head spin.  While a conclusion is made on the case, in the end there seems to be enough dangling to make the next book.  If you love a great suspense and don't mind a few stones unturned then grab this book and start reading, but if you need it all cleared up in the end wait for the next book to come out and then start reading.

I was given this book free from Tydale Publishers for my honest review.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Once Upon a Summertime

Back of the Book

Managing the Value Lodge in her hometown was not what Anna Gordon had in mind when she set out in the hospitality industry. But it's a safe choice for a woman whose childhood was anything but stable. Out of the blue, she gets a once-in-a-lifetime chance to reinvent herself by moving to New York City, where she hopes for a management position at a stylish new boutique hotel. The big city is full of surprises--not the least of which is Sean O'Neil. Her childhood crush has applied for the very same position!

Sweet, romantic, and endlessly entertaining, this romp through the storied streets of New York City will enchant readers. Melody Carlson has created characters so charming that readers will long to meet them in the lobby of the stunning Rothsberg Hotel.

My thoughts

A sweet, clean Hallmark-style summer read that would be great to take with you to the beach.  Once Upon a summertime takes a little time to get going but once I got into the plot it was a cute book.  Anna seemed like a sweet girl but almost a little to hung up about her hometown.  Sean was a great balance and seemed like the perfect, kind person anyone would like to meet.  I wish more had been written about some of the side characters, they just seemed to pop up randomly, and then as soon as the scene ended they were gone.  Even her grandmother seemed to have fallen into the same black hole once the book got rolling.  If you are looking for a simple summer read this is the book for you.

I was given this book free from Revell Publishing for my honest review.

Friday, May 22, 2015

In Firefly Valley By: Amanda Cabot

Back of the Book

Marisa St. George is devastated when she is a victim of downsizing and has no choice but to return to the small Texas town where she grew up. Though it's a giant step backward, she accepts a position as business manager at the struggling Rainbow's End resort. The only silver lining is Blake Kendall, a new guest who is making her believe in love at first sight. But will her dreams of happily-ever-after be turned upside down when she discovers who he really is?

Romance readers will love this warm and witty story of mistaken identity and second chances from bestselling author Amanda Cabot.

My Thoughts

I wanted to love this book, but no mater how hard I tried, I just could not do it. The idea of forgiveness, trust and the example we have on others was great, it just never came together.  Marisa and Blake just seemed to clash so often, that I almost wished they could find people more suited for them.  I never felt sorry when they were on the outs, I just figured it was bound to happen.  The plot, story lines, and characters, are well thought out, but some of the scenes just seemed thrown in to fill the pages and are not really part of the story.  I actually enjoyed the side characters lives more and felt they truly made the story.

I was given this book free from Bakers Publishing for my honest review.

Friday, May 8, 2015

No Place to Hide By: Lynette Eason

Back of the Book

She'll defend her friend until the bitter end--but is she in over her head?
It's not every day you see your childhood friend and onetime crush on national news. Jackie Sellers just wishes it were under different circumstances. She can't believe that Ian Lockwood is wanted in connection with a terrorist plot, and she's determined to find him and help him clear his name. Unfortunately, she's not the only one looking for him. The FBI wants him captured. The bad guys want him dead. Ian just wants to stay alive long enough to prove his innocence and prevent a catastrophe. 

Lynette Eason delivers nonstop action as Jackie and Ian travel a dangerous road--one that may lead straight to destruction.

My thoughts

This book is intense from the first page to the last.  No Place to Hide has such realistic descriptions you feel the tension through the pages, I wanted to close my eyes because I could feel that moment before you know someone is about to jump out.  Jackie is a spit fire character with an intriguing back ground, while Ian is the once bullied kid who changes his life around.  With a few surprises that will send you reeling, and with no idea who to trust or where to turn, there really is no place to hide.

I was given this book free from Revell Publishing for my honest review.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

A Love Like Ours By: Becky Wade

Back of the Book

Former Marine Jake Porter has far deeper scars than the one that marks his face. He struggles with symptoms of PTSD, lives a solitary life, and avoids relationships.

When Lyndie James, Jake's childhood best friend, lands back in Holley, Texas, Jake cautiously hires her to exercise his Thoroughbreds. Lyndie is tender-hearted, fiercely determined, and afraid of nothing, just like she was as a child. Jake pairs her with Silver Leaf, a horse full of promise but lacking in results, hoping she can solve the mystery of the stallion's reluctance to run.

Though Jake and Lyndie have grown into very different adults, the bond that existed during their childhood still ties them together. Against Jake's will, Lyndie's sparkling, optimistic personality begins to tear down the walls he's built around his heart. A glimmer of the hope he'd thought he'd lost returns, but fears and regrets still plague him. Will Jake ever be able to love Lyndie like she deserves, or is his heart too shattered to mend?

My Thoughts

Wow, A love like Ours has all the things you want in a christian novel.  I found myself laughing (and reading parts to my husband) and then wanted to cry in just a few short pages.  Jake is kind, quiet and dealing with so much you just want to hug him and smack some sense into him at the same time.  Lyndie is sweet and stubborn and willing to put her trust in the Lord.  With some equally entertaining side characters and more of the Porter family you will not be able to put it down.

A Love Like Ours brings the best of the Porter family, and aspects of Wades first book My Stuborn Heart (that has been my favorite 'till now) to make the perfect entertaining novel.  This novel is clean, funny, heart warming, and just plan wonderful.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Every Bride Needs A Groom By: Janice Thompson

Back of the Book

Small-town girl Katie Fisher is planning her wedding. Sure, her boyfriend hasn't managed to pop the question just yet, but that doesn't mean she shouldn't enter a contest in Texas Bride magazine to win the dress of her dreams, right? But when her boyfriend breaks up with her and takes a job in another town--the very same day Katie wins her dream dress--her world is turned upside down. Should she claim her prize? And will the hunky former pro-basketball player who runs the swanky Dallas bridal shop--yeah, you read that right--catch on to her humiliation if she does?

Janice Thompson designs a romance sure to delight, with plenty of fish-out-of-water moments, a hilarious supporting cast, and more of the wedding biz world her readers adore.

My thoughts

If you are a fan of the Wedding by Design series you will enjoy this book.  Every Bride needs a groom is a funny unique story about Katie and her journey to leave her small town.  Katie has a large, overbearing, eccentric southern family.  Even though Katie and Brady are the main characters, a lot of the book focused on the relationship between her Grandma and aunt.  This book was entertaining but when I got to the end I expected...more.

I was given this book free from Revell Publishing for my honest review.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Chance of Loving you By: Terri Blackstock, Candace Calvert & Susan May Warren

Back of the book

An anthology by three bestselling romance authors

For Love of Money by Terri Blackstock 
Trying to launch her own design firm while waitressing on the side, Julie Sheffield was drawn to the kind man she waited on at the restaurant last night . . . until he stiffed her on the tip by leaving her half of a sweepstakes ticket.

The Recipe by Candace Calvert Hospital dietary assistant Aimee Curran is determined to win the Vegan Valentine Bake-Off to prove she’s finally found her calling. But while caring for one of her patients—the elderly grandmother of a handsome CSI photographer—Aimee begins to question where she belongs.

Hook, line & Sinker by Susan May Warren Grad student Abigail Cushman has agreed to enter the annual Deep Haven fishing contest. She’s a quick learner, even if she doesn’t know the difference between a bass and a trout. But nothing could prepare her for competing against the handsome charmer she’s tried to forget since grief tore them apart.

One chance for each woman to change her life . . . but will love be the real prize?

My Thoughts

As an anthology I love the stories, and while they all shared a mutual theme they were each different and entertaining.  Click on the authors name to view their website.

For Love of Money by Terri Blackstock
    The basic idea of a lottery ticket as a tip is not new, the rest of the story was all its own.  Both Characters are entertaining and I found parts of myself in both of them.  This book has a great plot that really asks us if money can buy happiness.

The Recipe by Candace Calvert
    The recipe has some great scenes that I found really entertaining, and the contrasting personalities between Aimee and Lucas were wonderful.  It has a few choppy sections but they did not detract from the story.

Hook, line & Sinker by Susan May Warren
     This book was released in 2011 as an ebook, but is definitely worth being printed.  Hook, line & sinker is a wonderful story, it has great characters and a perfect conclusion.  Even though this is a short novel it has all the plot and depth of a full length book.

This anthology was wonderful and I look forward to reading it again and again.

I was given this book Free from Tyndale House Publishers for my honest review.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

From the Start By Melissa Tagg

Back of the Book

Kate Walker used to believe in true love and happily ever after. While her own love life may have left her brokenhearted, it hasn't kept her from churning out made-for-TV romance movie screenplays...until a major career slump and a longing to do something meaningful send her running back to her hometown of Maple Valley. 

Permanently sidelined by an injury, former NFL quarterback Colton Greene is temporarily hiding out in a friend's hometown to avoid the media and the reminders of all he's lost. Maple Valley seems like the perfect place to learn how to adjust to normal life. The only trouble is he's never really done normal before.

While Kate plays things safe and Colton is all about big risks and grand gestures, they both get what it's like to desperately need direction in life. An unexpected project gives them both a chance to jumpstart their new lives, but old wounds and new dreams are hard to ignore. Starting over wasn't part of the plan, but could it be the best thing that's ever happened to them?

My Thoughts

From the start is one of those perfect books, the one you tell people they must read, but are reluctant to loan out your copy because you're afraid you won't get it back. Every scene in this book is spot on and hilarious, the scene when Colton and Kate met made me laugh so hard I had to go back and read it again.  Kate's family is just that, a family.  They have such normal family dynamics they were easy to understand and relate to. From the Start is clean, entertaining and fun.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Together With You By: Victoria Bylin

Back of the Book

When a Lost Child warning blares over the mall's PA system, Carly Mason finds the little girl playing with a stuffed rabbit. Something about Penny Tremaine is different. An ex-social worker, Carly recognizes that the child suffers fetal alcohol effects, and a piece of Carly's past suddenly confronts her. Never again will she become personally involved with a client. The risks are far too great. But something about Penny--and Penny's handsome father--tugs at Carly's heart.

Dr. Ryan Tremaine is trying to put his life back together. With his ex-wife remarried and on a trip far away, his two teenage sons and Penny are living under his roof full time. Ryan has put his faith in his Sink-or-Swim list, a plan to reconnect with his children. The first step: recruit Carly Mason to be Penny's nanny.

Ryan never anticipated being so drawn to Carly, an attraction Carly seems to fight as much as he does. Could Carly be the missing piece that helps his family stay afloat, or will their blossoming romance only complicate things further?

Known for her realistic and engaging characters, Victoria Bylin delivers an emotion-packed story reminiscent of The Sound of Music, one that reminds us all to believe in the power of faith and love.

My thoughts

Together with You was nothing like I thought it would be from the back of the book.  Ryan's divorce comes after he has an affair that results in a child with Fetal Alcohol Symptoms.  Ryan is gritty, strict and out of touch, Carly is smart, down to earth and loving.  In the beginning I wanted to tell Carly to stay away, but then as the story progresses and you see the changes in Ryan I wanted to push them together. Bylin does an amazing job showing the effects our choices have on others, and how powerfully guilt holds us back from growth.

Together with you is not a heartfelt hallmark type book, it deals with the aftermaths of some really bad choices and some tough issues on faith, I would recommend this book because it made me think and the writing was extremely good.

I was given this book free from Bethany House Publishing for my honest review.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Double Cross By: DiAnn Mills

Back of the Book

FBI Agent Laurel Evertson’s investigation into a scam targeting the elderly takes an unexpected twist when key evidence leads her to Morton Wilmington, a felon she arrested five years ago on her first undercover assignment. That case has haunted her since, and though she’s vowed to forget Wilmington—and what she sacrificed to put him away—he is now her best lead.

Houston Police Officer Daniel Hilton fears his grandparents may be the scammer’s next targets, and he’ll do anything to protect his family—even force interagency cooperation. But he’s quickly drawn to Laurel’s empathy and zeal and agrees to follow her lead . . . even if it means teaming up with a felon.

As the unlikely trio uncovers evidence suggesting the scam is more extensive and deadly than they imagined, both Laurel and Daniel find themselves in the crosshairs of a killer. Together they must decide if they can trust Wilmington’s claims of redemption, or if he’s leading them straight into a double cross.

My thoughts

Double Cross was entertaining with a solid DiAnn Mills plot.  It had intriguing characters and a few twists and turns.  As the story developed little clues were given so that I thought I had it all figured out but in the end I was wrong.  I enjoyed Daniels character, he was well thought out and easy to understand.  Laurel was harder for me to connect with, and if there were sparks between them I never felt it.  Even though all the twists and turns get straightened out in the end, the conclusion felt rushed and choppy.  This is the second book in the series, but I never found the connections to the first so you should be fine reading this even if you missed the first.

DiAnn Mills is a wonderful author, check out her website for other books.  Double Cross is a clean entertaining novel but not my favorite DiAnn Mills book.

I was given this book free from Tyndale Publishing for my honest review.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Buried Secrets By Irene Hannon

Back of the Book

After seven years as a Chicago homicide detective, Lisa Grant has hit a wall. Ready for a kinder, gentler life, she takes a job as a small-town police chief. But the discovery of a human skeleton by a construction crew at the edge of town taxes the resources of her department. A call for assistance brings detective Mac McGregor, an ex-Navy SEAL, to her doorstep. As they work to solve the mystery behind the unmarked grave, danger begins to shadow them. Someone doesn't want this dead person telling any tales--and will stop at nothing to make certain a life-shattering secret stays buried.

Master storyteller Irene Hannon is back with an exciting new series featuring former special forces operatives now in the thick of the action in civilian life. Hannon is at the top of her game in this can't-put-it-down thriller that will have readers up until the wee hours devouring every page.

My Thougths

Awesome, amazing, and highly entertaining!  I have been counting down the days for this book ever since I read the teaser at the back of Deceived and it was well worth the wait.  Buried Secrets has such a unique plot and I soon found myself totally engrossed in the story. Lisa was spunky and sharp, and Mac was sweet and understanding. As the mystery develops and the plot thickened, the book got better and better.   Like all her past books Hannon made characters you will love, a plot you can't stop reading, and an ending worth the wait.  Now the count down begins again for the next book.

I was given this book free from Revell Publishing for my honest reveiw.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

By Your Side By: Candace Calvert

Back of the Book

ER nurse Macy Wynn learned essential, gritty lessons in the California foster care system: land on your feet and trust no one. She’s finally located the fellow foster child she loves like a sister, but the girl’s in deep trouble. Macy’s determined to help, no matter what it takes. Her motto is to “make it happen” in any situation life throws at her—even when she butts heads with an idealistic cop.

Deputy Fletcher Holt believes in a higher plan, the fair outcome—and his ability to handle that by himself if necessary. Now he’s been yanked from Houston, his mother is battling cancer, and he’s attracted to a strong-willed nurse who could be the target of a brutal sniper.

When everything goes wrong, where do they put their trust?

My Thoughts

By Your Side did not grab my interest at first, but then after about the 50th page I could not put it down. The story bounces around between people and that was sometimes hard to follow, as soon as I was really interested in a scene the author switched people and locations. Hence I could not put it down.  I loved the plot of this book, and watching the relationships develop between Macy and Fletcher, and some relationships I hope to see more of in the next book.

This was a great read, and really interesting after your get to know all the characters.

I received this book free from Tyndale Publishing for my honest review.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Where Rivers Part By: Kellie Coates Gilber

Back of the Book

Following in her estranged father's footsteps, Dr. Juliet Ryan has devoted her scientific acumen to corporate America, providing safe drinking water for millions--and affording her plenty of perks along the way. Then, without warning, a fast-moving disaster sweeps Juliet into a whirlpool of corporate scandal and puts lives at risk. As she scrambles to find answers, Juliet must face her deepest wounds and join forces with her father to expose a far-reaching conspiracy. Underneath it all, she struggles to forgive those who betrayed her trust--not least of all her own father.

My thoughts

Where Rivers Part was a surprisingly harsh look into the corporate food markets, and corrupt business practices.   This is a well written novel and  has a well balanced plot that kept me reading.    Gilbert put a lot of detail into the story that was both helpful, in some areas, but seemed to suffocate the story in others.  

Where River Part illustrates the realities of depression, addiction and forgiveness.  If you are looking for a sweet christian romance this is not the book for you.  

I was given this book free from Revell Publishing for my honest review.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Sabotaged By: Dani Pettrey

Back of the Boook

Finally Returned Home, Reef McKeena
Finds His Beloved Alaska Facing Its Greatest Threat
Growing up, goody-two-shoes Kirra Jacobs and troublemaker Reef McKenna were always at odds. Now, working together as search-and-rescue for Alaska's arduous Iditarod race, a growing attraction seems to be forcing aside old arguments. Then Reef catches Kirra sneaking from camp in the middle of the night. 

Kirra's uncle, a musher in the race, has disappeared. Kirra and Reef quickly track the man, but what they discover is harrowing: Frank's daughter has been kidnapped. Kirra and Reef, along with the entire McKenna family, are thrown into a race to stop a shadowy villain who is not only threatening a girl's life--but appears willing to unleash one of the largest disasters Alaska has ever seen. 

Pettrey is the Winner of the 2014 Daphne du Maurier Award for Inspirational Romantic Suspense

My Thoughts

What can I say, this book was great!  If you have enjoyed Dani Pettrey's past novels you will love this one.  Sabotaged is definitely an example of saving the best for last.  It was fast paced, suspenseful, and kept me guessing.  Kirra and Reef make such a great couple.  Even though it is the last book in the series, the book doesn't attempt to wrap up everyone's life like so many final novels.  This is hands down my favorite in the Alaskan Courage series.

This is a clean book that I would recommend.

I was given this book free from Bethany House publishing for my honest opinion.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Paper Hearts By: Courtney Walsh

Back of the Book

Abigail Pressman would never have guessed that love notes penned on paper hearts by an anonymous couple could restore her belief in love. As a business owner in a quaint town at the base of the Rockies, she’s poured everything into dreams of expansion . . . and resisting the matchmaking efforts of the Valentine Volunteers, who gather in her store to continue Loves Park’s tradition of stamping mail with the city’s romantic postmark.

When Abigail is unwillingly drafted into the Volunteers, she encounters the paper hearts, a distraction that couldn’t come at a worse time. A hard-to-read doctor has become Abigail’s new landlord, and he’s threatening to end her lease to expand his practice.

As she fights a growing attraction to this handsome man crushing her dreams, Abigail is inspired to string the hearts in her store, sparking a citywide infatuation with the artsy trend. But when a new batch of hearts reaches the Volunteers, it appears something tragic has happened to the couple. Will uncovering their story confirm Abigail’s doubts about love, or could it rescue her dreams . . . and her heart?

My thought

Oh, I am so in love!  Paper Hearts was a sweet romantic novel that is perfect to curl up with on the couch during the Valentines season.  It's the perfect balance between a hallmark movie and a christian novel that you will not be able to put down.    Abigail and Jacob (her new land lord) are both such wonderful characters and you will find yourself wanting to hang paper hearts all over your house.  I would recommend this book to anyone, it is clean with only kissing and no swearing.

For more about Courtney Walsh check out her facebook page or website.

I was given this book free from Tyndale Publishing for my honest review.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

All Regency Collection : A Timeless Romance Anthology

Back of the Book

Six Award-Winning Authors have contributed new stories to A Timeless Romance Anthology: All Regency Collection. Readers will love this collection of six regency romance novellas. 

In THE WEDDING GIFT: A PRIDE AND PREJUDICE STORY, an enchanting novella by Anna Elliott, the story opens two weeks before Elizabeth Bennet’s wedding to Mr. Darcy. He has given her the perfect wedding gift, and now she must come up with one for him. But what do you give a man who has everything? Elizabeth soon discovers that the gift of love is more important than any one thing. 

DREAM OF A GLORIOUS SEASON, a sweet novella by Sarah M. Eden, we meet Elizabeth Gillerford who envies her sister only one thing—that she’s been intended for Julian Broadwood since they were children. The trouble is that Elizabeth is hopelessly in love with Julian too. When Julian discovers that Elizabeth has been denied a Season because her older sister is yet unwed, he undertakes his own stealthy measures to introduce her to society, only to find himself falling in love with her himself. 

In THE MENDER, a captivating story by Carla Kelly, Thankful Winnings takes a sea voyage with her cousin on the Ann Alexander, in a last adventure before she settles down to marry one of her beaus. Unexpectedly they come upon the aftermath of a fierce ship battle, and Thankful is commissioned to help in the place of an injured surgeon on one of the Royal Navy ships. Adam Farnsworth, surgeon, has been at sea for years. Tired of war, but devoted to his post, it takes a resourceful lady such as Thankful to give him the hope of love and help heal his own wounds, the ones that show and the ones that don’t. 

In BEGIN AGAIN, a charming novella by Josi S. Kilpack, Regina Weathers gives up on marrying for love the day that Ross Martin walks out of her life. Now, fifteen years later, Ross shows up at a ball and thinks he can woo Regina. But she is set on her lonely path and stitched-up heart, no matter the excuse Ross gives for his years of silence and neglect. When Ross insists he wrote many letters during his military years, Regina discovers a secret long-since buried by her father, and the revelation might be enough to thaw the coldness of her heart. 

In Annette Lyon’s endearing story, THE AFFAIR AT WILDEMOORE, Mrs. Ellen Stanhope escorts her three daughters to a ball. As her oldest flirts with a beau, Ellen is reminded of her courtship and early years of marriage with Anthony, before tragedy struck with the death of their infant son. The marriage has faded and dulled. Not until she sees Anthony dancing with a woman he courted years before does Ellen realize how much she misses him, still loves him, and yearns for him to yet feel the same way for her. 

In the delightful novella, THE DUKE’S BROTHER, by Heather B. Moore, Mr. Gregory Clark is having an awful day, and it only gets worse when he’s ran over by … a woman. Mabel Russell reluctantly visits her sister in London for the Season, even though she’d rather stay in the country cataloging insects and aphids. When she runs into Gregory Clark, quite literally, she’s afraid to show any interest, especially since he’s a member of the dreaded ton. But getting to know Gregory becomes an unexpected delight. 

My Thoughts

Timeless Romance Anthology's are a great way to read popular authors works, but in a short story form and for less money.  I have enjoyed many of the previous books, and while historical fiction is not my normal genre, I recognized several of the authors.  Each story was short enough to be read in an afternoon but still gave you a great example of the authors writing style. While many short stories seem to lack depth, many of these books had a great plot and were entertaining to read.  My main reading genre most likely wont be changing, but I did find a few authors I have now added to my reading list.  With that being said, these are true historical fiction novels and some of the dialect and conversation might lose your interest as it did mine.

I would only recommend this if you are interested in the authors works, or if you like historical fiction.