Saturday, October 22, 2016

The Captive Heart by Michelle Griep

Proper English governess Eleanor Morgan flees to the colonies to escape the wrath of a an angry duke. When the Charles Town family she’s to work for never arrives to collect her from the dock, she is forced to settle for the only reputable choice remaining to her—marriage to a man she’s never met. Trapper and tracker Samuel Heath is a hardened survivor used to getting his own way by brain or by brawn, and he’s determined to find a mother for his young daughter. But finding a wife proves to be impossible. No upstanding woman wants to marry a murderer.

There was so much to love about this book!  

First there are the characters, Eleanor and Samuel.  At first I wasn't sure about either of them but as the story went on, I grew to love them.  They are so very different from each other but I love the whole opposites attract thing.  :)  Both have so much determination though, and it shows in everything that they do.  Samuel comes off so gruff and mean in the beginning.  I didn't figure there was any way I was going to love him but he grew on me and even though he was a bit caveman-ish with a severe communication problem, I found myself liking him.  In the end.

I loved the various settings and challenges this story brought.  It was full on western frontier hardships from fire and outlaws to bears and the Indian relations of that time.  Throw in some crazy men with vendettas, a jealous woman and an active toddler and there is never a dull moment.

It took me a bit to actually get into this book because it started out slow but once things started to pick up, I was fully invested and interested.  I enjoyed this one!

Content:  Clean, some mild violence, Christian fiction (although nothing overly preachy)

I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review. 

Thursday, October 20, 2016

For This We Are Soldiers: Tales of the Frontier Army by Carla Kelly

From master storyteller Carla Kelly comes this collection of frontier tales that take you behind typical army lines and into the hearts of ordinary men and women who perform extraordinary acts of bravery. From handsome hospital stewards and dashing soldiers to courageous children and wives who will pull at your heartstrings, there’s something for everyone’s fancy.

 * Goodreads * Amazon

I always enjoy books by Carla Kelly.  This book was a bit different than her usual stand alone novel in that it contained a collection of short stories.  All the stories revolve around people of the army of the frontier.  One thing I love about Carla Kelly is that her books always feel authentic to the time and place she is writing about.  She maintains a fantastic balance of grit and gentleness that resonates with me as a reader.

Each story in this book has something in it that will tug at your heart.  Life in the army isn't an easy one and these stories bring that to the front but they also show that love and compassion thrived there too.  

Historical fiction like this is one of my favorite genres because it reminds me how much I have to be grateful for and how many people have gone before me to make that possible.  If you love historical fiction and especially those set in the western frontier, you should give this book a try.  

Content:  Clean

--I received this book from the publisher. A favorable review was not required and all views expressed are my own.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Kept Secrets by Traci Hunter Abramson + $25 and Book Giveaway!

Unexpectedly reunited after six years, high school sweethearts Devin Shanahan and Grace Harrington cross paths and have a whirlwind wedding. A lot can change in six years, however, and they must figure out how to make their two independent lives mesh.

Unable to disclose his CIA job to his new wife, when Devin is assigned a top-secret mission to Hong Kong, he tells Grace part of the truth: that he is going to work abroad for six months in finance. But when the mission turns deadly and Devin doesn't know whom to trust, he must make the most difficult decision of his life in an effort to keep Grace safe. Will the seeds of deception prove destructive to their newly formed marriage? And will the love that brought them together be the very thing their enemies use to tear them apart?

I was excited to sign up for this blog tour.  Traci Abramson has always been an author I've enjoyed reading.  Her books are probably what I would call romantic suspense and they are clean.  That's a great combination in my opinion.

The books starts with a bit of foreshadowing- and look into the evil that is to come.  It gave me a little shutter of dread.  Then we are immediately transported to Las Vegas with friends getting together for a wedding.  Devin and Grace are reconnected after many years apart.  I got pulled into their whirlwind re-connection and romance.  It was such a drastic change from the first bit of the book.  But I couldn't forget that evil blip at the beginning.

Then the plot just takes over and things go crazy.  I didn't know who to trust.  I felt anxious and wondered how Devin was going to get out of the mess he was in.  It was so good.  I loved the varied settings as well.  I was never in one place for too long but each place rang true and I could easily picture what was going on.

I read this book in one day.  Actually, it was more like half a day.  I just couldn't put it down.  I love when that happens!  

Content:  some violence

I received a copy of this book from the publisher.  A favorable review was not required and all views expressed are my own.

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Saturday, October 15, 2016

Wild Montana Skies (Montana Rescue #1) by Susan May Warren

Search and rescue pilot Kacey Fairing is home on leave in Mercy Falls, Montana, twelve years after she joined the military to escape the mistakes of her past. With a job waiting for her as the new lead pilot of Peak Rescue in Glacier National Park, Kacey hopes to reconnect with the now-teenage daughter she sees only between deployments. What she doesn't realize is that someone else is also back in town.

Ben King has been building his country music career since the day Kacey shut him out of her life. Now all of that's on hold when his injured father calls him home to help run Peak Rescue until he's fully recovered. It doesn't take long, though, to discover his father's ulterior motives as Kacey Fairing walks into the house and back into his heart.

With Mercy Falls in a state of emergency due to flash floods, Kacey and Ben are forced to work together to save lives. But when floodwaters turn personal, can they put aside the past to save their future?

 * Amazon * Goodreads *

I don't know what it is about these books, but I am hooked.  It all started with the Montana Fire series that revolved around smokejumpers.  I LOVED that series.  I was so happy to see this off shoot series from that one.  Some of the characters cross over and it's fun to see them.  Susan May Warren writes these books in a way that just settles in so easy with me.  I love the romance and the adventure/suspense together.  By the end of the book I feel like I know these characters and I am invested in their success.

This series is about a search and rescue team in the small town of Mercy Falls, Montana.  The setting is perfect for this with National Parks all around.  This story is mostly about Ben and Kacey but there is a secondary story line happening as well.  Ian and Sierra's story starts in If Ever I Would Leave You: A Montana Rescue Prequel.  (which is free on Amazon as of when I wrote this.)  But it doesn't have a conclusion.  They are featured in this novel but STILL don't reach a conclusion.  I guess they are the couple with the eternal struggle.  It was awesome to read the prequel before this novel though to get a good sense of who Ian and Sierra are and how their relationship started and evolved.  It also set the stage for the Mercy Falls rescue team.

Ben and Kacey are a love story gone wrong.  Their love story began early when they were both young.  Circumstances tore them apart but now they have been brought back together with a common job task.  You can feel the tension and the connection these two have.  It's just a matter of finding their way through the murky waters of the past.

I'm so excited about this new series.  I can't wait to read the next book which is scheduled to come out in January.  Yay!  

Content:  mention of previous sexual relationship outside of marriage, some mild suspense and violence.  Christian fiction, some moments that have a "preachy" feel to it.

--I received this book for free from the publisher. A favorable review was not required and all views expressed are my own.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

The Governess by Kristen McKendry + $25 and Book Giveaway!

For Kate Porter in 1880s Canada, working as a governess is simply a means to an end, and she aspires to a high-society future that will lift her out of her middle-class existence. When she accepts a new position as tutor to Alonzo Colaco's children, she sees it as a step in the direction of her dreams. She eagerly envisions a grand house awaiting her...but when her new employer meets her at the train station driving a gaily painted gypsy wagon, Kate suspects her new job will not be all she anticipated.

Kate finds herself living in the woods in a refitted train car as she teaches the charming children of Alonzo, a tinker by trade. After trying in vain to secure another job, Kate is left with little choice. She must simply bide her time until a better position comes along. Soon, however, she abandons her preconceptions along with her bustle in favor of the joys of a simple life---and the possibility of true love. But when opportunity knocks, will Kate really be ready to walk away from all she has come to care about to pursue her high-society dreams?

This is such a sweet book!  

I fell in love with Alonzo and his little family.  Alonzo is a man who marches to the beat of his own drum.  He challenges Kate's views on society and the class structure.  Through him, Kate learns more about kindness, friendship and what is most important.  Kate catches on to some things faster than others, but Alonzo is a patient teacher and a good man.  He stole the show for me.

This book has a gentle feel to it.  It is more sedate in nature, but it never lost my interest.  I was wholly invested from beginning to end.  I did wish Kate's "opportunity" was less lengthy- it sure seemed to take a long time for her to figure out the obvious but all's well that ends well, I guess.  :)

Content:  Clean

--I received this book for free. A favorable review was not required and all views expressed are my own.

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Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Can't Help Falling by Kara Isaac- Happy Release Day!

A funny, heartfelt romance about how an antique shop, a wardrobe, and a mysterious tea cup bring two C.S. Lewis fans together in a snowy and picturesque Oxford, England.

Emelia Mason has spent her career finding the dirt on the rich and famous. But deep down past this fearless tabloid-reporter façade, there’s a nerdy Narnia-obsessed girl who still can’t resist climbing into wardrobes to check for the magical land on the other side. When a story she writes produces tragic results, she flees to Oxford, England—home to C.S. Lewis—to try and make amends for the damage she has caused.

Peter Carlisle was on his way to become one of Great Britain’s best rowers—until he injured his shoulder and lost his chance at glory. He’s determined to fight his way back to the top even if it means risking permanent disability to do so. It’s the only way he can find his way past failing the one person who never stopped believing in his Olympic dream.

When Peter and Emelia cross paths on her first night in Oxford, the attraction is instant and they find common ground in their shared love of Narnia. But can the lessons from a fantasyland be enough to hold them together when secrets of the real world threaten to tear them apart? Cobblestone streets, an aristocratic estate, and an antique shop with curious a wardrobe bring the world of Narnia to life in Kara Isaac’s inspiring and romantic story about second chances.

After reading Close to You by Kara Isaac, I knew I would be coming back for more of her books.  I was excited to see this new book, Can't Help Falling up on NetGalley.  Today is release day for this book so you don't even have to wait to read it!  Yay!

Emelia and Peter are fantastic characters.  They have the perfect balance of charm, charisma, and heart wrenching baggage.  My heart broke for both Emelia and Peter who carry so much weight on their shoulders.  

The story unfolds in a beautiful way that had me, as a reader, so anxious to press on.  You just know the big secrets are going to explode and they sure do!  The secondary characters (some from the first book) were fantastic as well.  They helped this book feel full and sturdy.  (if that makes sense)  It was very well done.

Content:  Mention of drug use and abuse

This is a Christian fiction book so there are some heavier Christian themes to it.  If you don't like your books preachy, this one may be a bit much for you.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

Saturday, October 8, 2016

The Woman With No Name by Kelly Nelson

Losing her memory might lead to finding happily ever after.

Sworn bachelor Colton Murdock gets more than he bargained for on the elk hunt when he finds an injured woman in Utah’s high country. She must have a history, but she wakes up to towering pines and the clap of a thunderstorm with no recollection of her name or how she came to be there. Colt brings her to the safety of his camp, trying to ignore the first stirrings of his heart since the tragic death of his fiancée six years ago. 

The young woman can’t help falling for her ruggedly handsome rescuer, who calls her Skye for her blue eyes. But her life goes into a tailspin when she is recognized as Lily Vanasche, fiancée of a popular TV news anchorman, and Colt is arrested for a series of crimes—including her abduction. After the real kidnapper leaves a death threat in Lily’s ransacked house, the clock starts ticking. Can she remember her past before it catches up with her?

Ooh.  Swoony.  Colton.  What?  I'm having a hard time talking in complete sentences.  Ha.  

Let me start again.  Ooh, that Colton is so swoony.  (wait a sec while I fan myself)

I know I should talk about the book but I can't help myself.  Colton is the best part of this book so he deserves to be talked about.  Colton is, aside from his pretty face, a protector.  He is tough and smart and strong.  I love the way he took care of the hard things without being a brute.  

Yeah, Lily is okay too.  :)

I loved the pacing of this book, the characters (obviously) and the setting.  I was caught up in the thick of things right from the get go and I love that.  Books that get my heart beating just a tad faster than normal make me happy!  What a fun diversion this book was.  I loved it!  

Content:  Clean, some mild violence

I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for my honest review.