Thursday, May 12, 2022

The Orphan Circus by Jane Redd


Some chances happen only once in a lifetime.

For Rook, it’s either the circus, or stay at the orphanage.
And become nothing. Stay nothing.
For Mari, she will follow Rook. For now. Until she can escape her own past.

* Amazon * Goodreads *

I first started reading this book as part of the Kindle Vella program but I didn't finish it.  I'm glad I finally had the chance to read the whole things from beginning to end.  It's a really fast read, novella in length, so it didn't take long at all.

Rook and Mari are the underdogs for sure.  I was firmly in their corner, rooting for them from the very first pages.  They are endearing and so deserving of all things good.  What I loved most about them is the way they stayed together and took care of each other.  Especially Rook.  He's so good to Mari.  I absolutely loved him.  

I wish this story had been longer.  It ended too soon for me and I wanted more.

Content:  mention of whippings, a fight, mild peril, a sweet kiss.  

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

Monday, May 9, 2022

Turn to Me (A Misty River Romance #3) by Becky Wade


His promise will cost him far more than he imagined.

Guilt has defined Luke Dempsey's life, but it was self-destructiveness that landed him in prison. When his friend and fellow inmate lay dying shortly before Luke's release, the older man revealed he left a string of clues for his daughter, Finley, that will lead her to the treasure he's hidden. Worried that she won't be the only one pursuing the treasure, he gains Luke's promise to protect her until the end of her search.

Spunky and idealistic, Finley Sutherland is the owner of an animal rescue center and a defender of lost causes. She accepts Luke's help on the treasure hunt while secretly planning to help him in return--by coaxing him to embrace the forgiveness he's long denied himself.

As they draw closer to the final clue, their reasons for resisting each other begin to crumble, and Luke realizes his promise will push him to the limit in more ways than one. He'll do his best to shield Finley from unseen threats, but who's going to shield him from losing his heart?

 * Amazon * Goodreads *

Ooh, I loved this book.  I'm pretty sure this is my favorite of the series but maybe that's because I've been waiting so long to get Luke's story?  The buildup was definitely worth it because this story had it all.  Romance, Mystery (who doesn't love a treasure hunt?!), Danger and Dogs!  😍

Luke is a tough nut.  He's been through a LOT and man, he's rough around the edges.  Finley is his exact opposite and also exactly who he needs to soften up those rough edges.  Finley is quite determined to rehabilitate Luke just like she does the dogs she rescues.  Luke can't run away because, well, he made a promise and funny thing, he really likes Finley.

I loved the slow build of friendship for Luke and Finley.  The growing intensity of feelings was spot on as both of them adjusted the way they viewed themselves and their lives.  Luke's protective nature was attractive and as the danger became clearer to me as a reader, I became so invested in every move, every detail that was happening with the characters.  It was one of those books that has lots of layers and lots of growth.  Mostly for Luke as he reconciles with his family, his friends, and himself.  I loved all of it.

Content:  Christian Fiction elements, mild peril, mild violence.  Kissing.

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

Tuesday, May 3, 2022

Games in a Ballroom by Jentry Flint


She was forbidden to love him.
He only wanted her heart.
Can a childhood game bring them together?

London, 1815

Olivia Wilde has resigned herself to never finding a love match. Her father has insisted she marry a man with a title, but the men her father deems acceptable are either boring or are only interested in increasing their own diminishing coffers. With her future looking dismal, Olivia vows to enjoy the last few months of freedom with her childhood friends, including Emerson Latham. His devilish smile and flirtatious teasing stirs up feelings she knows she cannot entertain.

Emerson is struggling to rise to his responsibilities after his father's death. Though he is still learning his place, one thing he knows for certain is that he wants Olivia Wilde to be his wife. Emerson had long ago fallen in love with her quick wit, beauty, and passionate heart. Yet, without a title, he will never be permitted to court Olivia openly. But he has a plan that may give him a chance to court her in secret.

As the Season kicks off, Emerson proposes a playful game of tag. Olivia's friends are delighted by the idea, though Olivia is wary. After all, the game must be played in secret as they tag each other at dinners and balls. As the romance builds between Olivia and Emerson, so does the risk of being discovered. Not only are their reputations at stake, so is their safety if they are caught by Olivia's strict father.

Can their love find a happily ever after before the game ends?

Tag?  In a ballroom?  Sounds fun, right?  Emerson thinks so too and he hopes by employing this game that it will give him opportunities to get closer to Olivia.  I liked this clever approach to this regency story.  It felt unique in that respect and I don't think I've read another book with that idea in it.  

Emerson is a fun guy- very determined to win Olivia over.  He's on the chase and it brought a smile to my face.

The whole story felt light and fun.  It never really left surface level for me in terms of emotion and depth but it was easy, happy reading which is a good diversion.  A good debut novel for this author!

Content:  some abuse alluded to but not described, kissing.
- I received a complimentary copy of this book.  All opinions expressed are my own.

JENTRY FLINT is a bookworm-turned-writer with the propensity to try just about anything. She has a true love of history and believes a good quote can fix most things. She lives in southern Utah with her husband and two daughters—who, naturally, are named after characters from books.

Her favorite things in life are flavored popcorn, her grandmother’s purple blanket, and curling up on the couch to watch a movie with her husband. Games in a Ballroom is her debut novel.

Thursday, April 28, 2022

Fatal Code (The SNAP Agency #2) by Natalie Walters



In 1964, a group of scientists called the Los Alamos Five came close to finishing a nuclear energy project for the United States government when they were abruptly disbanded. Now the granddaughter of one of those five scientists, aerospace engineer Elinor Mitchell, discovers that she has highly sensitive information on the project in her possession--and a target on her back.

SNAP agent and former Navy cryptologist Kekoa Young is tasked with monitoring Elinor. This is both convenient since she's his neighbor in Washington, DC, and decidedly inconvenient because . . . well, he kind of likes her.

As Elinor follows the clues her grandfather left behind to a top-secret nuclear project, Kekoa has no choice but to step in. When Elinor learns he has been spying on her, she's crushed. But with danger closing in on all sides, she'll have to trust him to ensure her discoveries stay out of enemy hands.

Natalie Walters sucks you into the global race for space domination in this perfectly paced second installment of her SNAP Agency romantic suspense series.

 * Amazon * Goodreads

The SNAP Agency series is starting to feel like family.  This second book is bringing me closer to the characters and I am becoming more and more invested in them.  Kekoa is a big personality and I loved his spotlight adventure here.  Kekoa does a lot of stretching outside of his comfort zone and has a great arc of healing and growth.  I enjoyed him so much!

Intensity grows steadily in this story.  All the little moments are leading up to the big, final moments and it's so good.  I loved the urgency that came in the last bit of the book, the danger and yes, the wee bit of romance.  I read through this book so quickly and enjoyed it from beginning to end.

I love how the characters in this series are in every book.  I can't wait to read the next one!  I have a feeling it's going to be quite dynamic!  This book releases on May 3rd, 2022.

Content:  peril, mild violence, Christian fiction elements, kissing

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

Monday, April 25, 2022

Facing the Enemy by Paige Edwards + Enter To Win A Copy of This Book!


Lady Elise Henderson lives two separate lives. At home in Scotland, she’s the titled daughter of the Marquess of Roxbury, an heiress in her own right. In London, however, she’s Elise Taylor, a top MI6 operative for the “home office.” But when a devastating accident threatens to end her career, Elise is left with far too much time for self-reflection and the regret of a decision made long ago that features one man: fellow MI6 agent Harry Benson.

Harry Benson, the son of servants, has loved Elise for the better part of a decade. But life took them on separate journeys until their worlds converged once more. An immediate assignment to the Scottish Borders leaves Harry little time to make provisions for his small, rambunctious son, Sammy. Harry knows only one person he can rely on for the boy’s care—Elise. When Elise brings Sammy to her ancestral estate, she never imagines that a nemesis from her past looms in the shadows, hungry for revenge. Stalked at every turn, Elise and Harry discover that fighting their feelings for one another is futile, but can they survive long enough to get another shot at true love?

 * Amazon * Goodreads * Deseret Book *

This book is encompasses all things I love about romantic suspense.  I love this genre and I love this author writing it!  I hope she never stops.

Elise and Harry have a history so when their paths cross again, there are some layered emotions and misunderstandings.  Elise is one tough lady with a lot on her heart.  After a recent accident where she lost her M16 partner, Elise receives some devastating news.  She is struggling when Harry reenters her life but that little rascal Sammy sure provides some over the top distractions with his penchant for getting in trouble.

The bad guy is SO bad.  The danger is clear in it's progression and as a reader I felt it ramping up and closing in.  It was such an exciting feeling and I loved it!  Elise is the rock star of the show taking on the Scottish wilderness AND Sammy in one dramatic cat and mouse game.  I was glued to the pages the last third of the book and so glad I had uninterrupted reading time so I could engage and invest in the best way possible.  What a fun adventure this was!  I can't wait for more!

Content:  mild peril and violence.  Some talk of killing and death.  Kissing. 

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

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Thursday, April 21, 2022

Mulberry Hollow (Riverbend #2) by Denise Hunter



Contractor Wes Mathews is nearly finished hiking the Appalachian Trail in honor of his recently deceased best friend when he falls terribly ill. He stumbles into the nearest town and soon finds himself indebted to the beautiful young doctor who owns the clinic. In lieu of payment, he proposes a trade that will keep him in town—and away from obligations to his best friend’s sister—for several weeks.

But as Avery and Wes spend time together, their friendship begins moving into unexpected territory. Soon they both begin to question their plans for the future. But will Wes be able to let go of the debt he owes his best friend? And will Avery find the courage to risk everything for love?

 * Goodreads * Amazon

I've been looking forward to this book ever since I finished the first book!  I love the small town setting nestled along the Appalachian Trail.  Avery's clinic and home is in the most picturesque place with a river running behind it.  It just sounds so lovely.

Avery and Wes have a relationship that grows so naturally and fluidly.  They were so comfortable with each other and I really felt that come through as a reader.  Both Avery and Wes are battling some big challenges that require courage and heart.  All I can say is thank goodness for good people in their lives, helping them to get to the right decisions to find happiness and peace.  It was so easy to like both Avery and Wes.  They are the kind of people I would like to be friends with.

This is a sweet, gentle story with strong, well defined characters. 

And now I will not so patiently wait for book three because Avery's brother deserves such a happily ever after.  I'm desperate for him to get it. 

Content:  kissing. Mild Christian elements.

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


Tuesday, April 19, 2022

The Unknown Beloved by Amy Harmon



From the bestselling author of Where the Lost Wander and What the Wind Knows comes the evocative story of two people whose paths collide against the backdrop of mystery, murder, and the Great Depression.

Chicago, 1923: Ten-year-old Dani Flanagan returns home to find police swarming the house, her parents dead. Michael Malone, the young patrolman assigned to the case, discovers there’s more to the situation—and to Dani Flanagan herself—than the authorities care to explore. Malone is told to shut his mouth, and Dani is sent away to live with her spinster aunts in Cleveland.

Fifteen years later, Michael Malone is summoned to Cleveland to investigate a series of murders that have everyone stumped, including his friend and famed Prohibition agent Eliot Ness, now Cleveland’s director of safety. There, in a city caught in the grip of a serial killer, Malone’s and Dani’s paths cross once again.

Malone is drawn to Dani and her affinity for the dead and compassion for the destitute. It doesn’t take long for him to realize that she could help him solve his case. As terror descends on the city and Malone and Dani confront the dark secrets that draw them together, it’s a race to find the killer or risk becoming his next victims.

 * Amazon * Goodreads

Author Amy Harmon is probably the only author I would follow down the path to a serial killer/murder mystery book.  I was so torn as to whether I wanted to read this one but ultimately I decided that yes, I would.  Because, well, Amy Harmon.  I'm not really a fan of these kinds of books, they tend to freak me out.  Yeah, I'm a lightweight.  I was a bit freaked out with this story, if I'm being honest, but only because it really did happen.  The author did a good job of creating characters and adding humanity for me to connect to.

Dani is my favorite.  Such a unique individual with a big heart and a clear head.  I loved her every movement, word and thought in this book.  What a powerful message came through her.

The details of the murders in this book were true to actual reports.  Such a gruesome, horrible thing to read about.  That was probably the worst part of it all for me.  The details.  I had such a hard time with it because creating a movie in my head with things like that is not where I want to be.  That is in no way the author's fault.  It's just my personal preference.  If this author writes in this particular genre again, I might not go there with her but I'm pretty much game for anything else she writes!

Content:  death, violence, details of murders including dismemberment and beheading.  Kissing, some sexual content (fade to black).  Frequent mild swearing. 

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