Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Summer by the Tides by Denise Hunter

Following a painful betrayal, Maddy Monroe's love life is a wreck, and her restaurant career is in shambles. When her grandmother goes missing, she and her estranged sisters converge at the family beach house in Sea Haven, North Carolina. Being with uptight Nora and free-spirited Emma at the place where their family broke apart is a struggle, and undercurrents of jealousy and resentment threaten to pull the sisters under. In the midst of the storm, sparks begin to fly between Maddy and Gram's maddening neighbor, Connor Murphy.

As the sisters pack up the family belongings, memories of idyllic, slow-paced summers are resurrected. But long-buried secrets also come to light as Maddy discovers that all was not as it appeared that last summer in Sea Haven--nor today in the seemingly perfect lives of her sisters.

As family tensions rise and Connor causes tumult in Maddy's heart, the sisters must find a way to accept each other for the women they've become before the bitterness of the past destroys their hope for a future.

 * Amazon * Goodreads

I've been looking forward to this book for so long!  I was excited to finally get to sit down and enjoy it.  Denise Hunter is one of my go-to authors and I'm always watching for her next book.

The coastal setting of this book was magic to me.  I'm in desperate need of some summer beach time and this story made that desire even stronger.  

There are some strong family dynamics happening in this book.  Maddy and her sisters have drifted apart.  They really have no idea what is happening in each other's lives and when they are thrown together it makes for some tense situations.  The detailed backstory is revealed bit by bit, intertwining with current circumstances.  It made for an excellent build up of emotions.  I loved getting to know all the characters in such a personal way.

Maddy is the youngest by quite a bit.  She is the one trying to keep the peace between her warring sisters.  Emotionally she has a lot on her plate.  Poor Connor gets the brunt of Maddy's frustrations and betrayals in the beginning as he is misjudged and just a titch mistreated.  Fortunately, he is a good, solid guy.  He is honest and he is kind.  I really loved him.  Maddy eventually comes around to the knowledge of the kind of stand up guy he is and I loved when that shift started to happen. 

This book was full of emotion and conflict that came to rest in a very satisfying ending.  I was all in and enjoyed every single page.

Content:  peril, kissing, Christian elements (talk of God, trusting in God)

- I received a complimentary copy of this book.  All opinions expressed are my own.

Friday, May 17, 2019

All For You (Pine Valley #8) by Heather B. Moore

Crash and burn pretty much describes Lindsey Gerber’s last six months at her law firm where she hoped to make partner. Now, every goal she’s made is suddenly out the window. She moves to Pine Valley, looking for a new start. On day one she meets pro hockey player Tyler Nelson, who’s recovering from an injury and in a physical therapy program that includes nature things like hiking the ski resort, which he hates, and makes no secret of. He also makes no secret of his interest in Lindsey. Their lives are two worlds apart though, and it will take one of them changing everything to make a relationship work.

 * Goodreads * Amazon

Oooh.  I might have a new favorite in this Pine Valley series!  This one definitely ranks in the top two.  I just loved both Lindsey and Tyler.  Mostly Tyler.  😊  I thought the story felt very realistic, mature and flowed very well.  The first meet between Lindsey and Tyler (I'm going to call him Nelson) was fun.  Nelson is all man and his presence fills up all the space around him.  He exudes strength and confidence.  I really liked that.  He is also a man who shows up.  His concern and care are evident in the way he treats Lindsey.  

I loved the natural progression of the relationship between Lindsey and Nelson.  The kissing was yummy and my heart did a lot of twittering.  This was the perfect read for me this week.

This book is on KU if you have that!  Also, this book is part of a series but can stand alone.

Content: mild implied swearing, kissing

- I received a complimentary copy of this book.  All opinions expressed are my own. 

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Finding Anne de Bourgh by Ronda Gibb Hinrichsen + Win This Book!

As heiress of Rosings Park, Anne de Bourgh’s health is of utmost importance to her mother, Lady Catherine de Bourgh. Thus, following the shock of a recent fire at Rosings Park, the young woman is spirited away to Brighton to take the cure. While her domineering mother is bent on healing her daughter’s sickly constitution to secure her a suitable match, Anne herself is far more concerned with sketching the flora and fauna of the lovely sea town. It is in pursuit of artistic inspiration among the flowers that Anne becomes acquainted with Mr. Owen Talbot, a charming man with whom Anne feels an immediate connection, notwithstanding their differing stations.

But despite their growing esteem for one another, the couple faces an insurmountable problem: Lady Catherine has set her sights on a rich, well-connected man for her daughter, and Mr. Talbot is simply too common. With their love in jeopardy, the couple soon faces far graver problems. There has been a murder in Brighton, and Anne is innocently drawn into an amateur investigation that ultimately traces its roots to her own family. With a frightening foreshadowing regarding the de Bourghs, Anne begins to question whom she can truly trust.

As a fan of Jane Austen and Pride and Prejudice, of course this book has been on my radar.  I love how this author developed the character of Anne de Bourgh.  She brought light and life to Anne showing how she might go from the character depicted in Pride and Prejudice to the young lady found in the last few chapters of this book.

Anne is the sickly daughter of an overbearing, opinionated mother.  In P&P, she is sallow, unbecoming and of no consequence but in this book we see what a little thought and imagination can bring to Anne's story.  I really loved the growth Anne made in this book.  She ventures her own opinion once and gains some confidence.  Every little instance of Anne expressing her own thoughts, opinions and desires felt like a small victory.  

In the meantime, a dangerous, unsavory plot is swirling around Anne.  It grows right along with Anne's confidence.  There's nothing like a bit of intrigue to liven things up.  This book is more gentle and placid in nature so I appreciated the growing plot to help keep me engaged.  It was a good balance of plot and characters and I enjoyed it.

Content:  mild peril and violence, death

- I received a complimentary copy of this book.  All opinions expressed are my own.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Daisies and Devotion (Mayfield Family #2) by Josi S. Kilpack

Timothy Mayfield is ready to marry for love, but, since his personal finances are thinner than he’d like, he knows he’ll also need to find a wife with wealth. After receiving an unexpected inheritance, Timothy’s circumstances change, and he is free to pursue his “perfect woman”—one with blonde hair, blue eyes, a light laugh, arched eyebrows, elegant fingers, and a dazzling smile, among nearly twenty other characteristics.

Maryann Morrington doesn’t match anything on Timothy’s list—except for wealth. An heiress in her own right, she is tired of men pursuing her only for her money. But at nearly twenty-two years old, and not a particularly stunning beauty, she can’t be as picky as her friend Timothy is.

The two friends end up playing matchmaker for each other. Timothy will find a decent gentleman for Maryann, and Maryann will prove to Timothy that his “perfect woman” doesn’t exist.

Until Miss Shaw comes to London.

Now, with Timothy’s heart captivated by the blonde, blue-eyed beauty, Maryann must decide if she should risk her heart and reveal her true feelings for her friend, or if she should settle for someone else. It’s an up-and-down game of “he loves me, he loves me not” with both hearts and friendship on the line.

Sigh.  This book was so sweet.  So gentle.  I just loved how softly it fell around my heart.

Maryann is a fantastic character.  Her personality is well defined and I love how she is unlike the "norm" for the time.  She speaks her mind, stands up for herself but never in an unkind way.  She is gentle but strong too.  She laughs loudly when amusement fills her.  Maryann is exactly the kind of person I would love to be friends with.  Evidently, Timothy feels the same way.   Poor Maryann.  Try as she might, she just cannot help but wish for more with Timothy even when he insults her (multiple times) and puts her firmly in the friend box. 

It's such an interesting dynamic between Maryann and Timothy.  I was invested and interested in them from beginning to end.  I loved the ending chapters because by that time I really felt like I knew both Maryann and Timothy.  The anticipation for me as a reader was heightened and all my emotions were there.  I LOVE that. 

This book is part of a series but I think each book can stand on it's own.  I would recommend reading them in order just for your own enjoyment.

- I received a complimentary copy of this book.  All opinions expressed are my own.


Monday, May 13, 2019

Spelled (Kingdom Chronicles #2) by Camille Peters

Rosie is fairly certain that there’s nothing wrong with putting a love spell on a foreign prince. At least she hopes there's not, because such a drastic measure is necessary in order for her to ensure that the perfect fairy tale romance she’s dreamt about her entire life includes her own prince charming. As the heroine in her story, she won’t be deterred by well-meaning friends, royal betrothals, hungry dragons, or the intriguing guard who stands in her way.

Luckily, Rosie has access to an enchanted bakery and a recipe book of spells, one of which will ensure she’ll win the royal heart she desires. Unfortunately, no story is complete without a few obstacles, and Rosie’s comes in the form of a most formidable foe—a stoic guard whom Rosie may or may not be developing feelings for, one who is committed to thwarting her at every turn. But nothing will stand in the way of Rosie’s happily ever after. After all, what harm can a simple love spell do?

 * Amazon * Goodreads

Wow.  Rosie.  I think I'm just going to say that I struggled with Rosie, she wasn't my favorite character, and leave it at that.  I did love the continuation of characters in this book from the first.  It gave me a sense of family and community.

The whole tone and voice of this book is young.  It reads as more of a middle grade than young adult.  Maybe that contributed to how I felt about Rosie?  She felt very immature.

I enjoyed the first book in this series, Pathways, although I did mention in my review of that book that it also felt "younger".  While I didn't enjoy this book as much, I still have hope for the next book and know who I hope the main character will be!

The cover for this book is pretty!  

- I received a complimentary copy of this book.  All opinions expressed are my own.

Friday, May 10, 2019

Charlotte's Promise by Jennifer Moore + Win This Book!

One year ago Charlotte Bower's life was ripped apart when Creek Indians attacked, killed her parents, and separated her from her young brother—now, she will stop at nothing to find him. After a year of captivity, she has finally made her escape. Her search will begin in New Orleans, where captives were taken after the raid. But how to reach a city hundreds of miles away? As she watches men boarding a waiting ship, Charlotte formulates a bold plan: if it's men they need for the ship's crew, it's a man they'll get. Taking on her childhood nickname, Charlie, it is all too easy to gain passage on the New Orleans-bound vessel. Easy, that is, until Charlie is caught . . .

From the moment he sets eyes on the new deckhand, Captain Alden Thatcher knows one thing for certain: Charlie Bower is no man. But for reasons of his own, he keeps her secret. As their journey progresses, however, the voyage is increasingly ill-fated. With danger ever present, Charlie and the captain find themselves relying on one another in ways they'd never imagined. As they draw closer to her goal, Charlotte is faced with the most perilous adventure of all—an adventure that may risk her heart.

This is exactly the kind of historical fiction I love to read.  Anytime a book leaves me wanting to know more about a certain time and event in history I know the author has done their job.  I knew absolutely nothing about the battle in New Orleans.  I've never been there but if I am lucky enough to venture there one day, I will be sure to visit the museums and historical monuments that commemorate this part of the war.  The author has an ancestor who fought in this war which made it all so much more real, I think.  I could feel the research and dedication throughout the story.

 Charlotte (aka Charlie) is a great character.  So determined and strong.  I fell in love with her- right along with everyone in this book!  She is gentle, kind and resourceful.  I also love that nobody that really knew Charlie was fooled by her attempt to be a boy- especially Alden.  He knew right away but kept her secret and protected her.  The slow growing relationship between Alden and Charlie was fantastic.  Slow but fantastic.  It couldn't have been any other way.

I loved this book from beginning to end.  One of my favorites by this author.

Content:  peril, war violence

- I received a complimentary copy of this book.  All opinions expressed are my own.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, May 9, 2019

Upon My Heart Forever by Amber Lynn Perry

When Clara Moore learns of her brother's unthinkable scheme—to take her to England and force her into a hasty marriage—she knows she must escape New York. But when she finds out who has accepted the job of taking her to Boston, she almost rethinks her own hurried plan. For the handsome man who comes to her aid is none other than her former love, Ethan Barrik. He left her heart in shambles six years before. Can she trust him a second time?

Ethan Barrik is no stranger to struggle. But tracking the enemy, and war-time spying are nothing compared to the pain of regret. Ready at last to leave his past behind, he accepts one final job for a friend, only to discover the person he's really helping is the woman he still loves. Despite her ire, he knows he must make every attempt to make it right—and hope she will find a way to forgive him and give their love another chance.

 * Amazon * Goodreads

I love reading books by author Amber Lynn Perry.  She excels at writing characters that come alive for me and this book is no exception.  This felt like a short book (And it is!  I just checked- 99 pages) and even in that short amount of time I really felt like I knew the characters.  Knew them and was frustrated with them!  Especially Ethan.  I may or may not have yelled out loud to him, "COME ON, Ethan.   Man up and just tell her already!!"

When the story begins, Clara is hurt, angry and confused.  Ethan is guilty, remorseful and seeking forgiveness.  Both of these characters sit in silence more than they talk which is where my frustration with them came in.  Thankfully Clara finally musters the courage to confront Ethan which leads to some better communication.  Eventually.  I felt the mounting tension, the growing feelings and the unmistakable attraction.   I missed the historical depth I've come to love from this author but realize that with a story this length, that had to be sacrificed to some degree.  😭  I really did enjoy this little bite sized story though!

This book is on Kindle Unlimited if you have that!

- I received a complimentary copy of this book.  All opinions expressed are my own.

Author links:

Tour Schedule

May 10th - Peggy Urry

a Rafflecopter giveaway