Thursday, September 19, 2019

Cash Valley by Ryan K. Nelson

When FBI Agent Alex Travis receives an anonymous phone call on a September morning in 1954 with a tip concerning the now cold case of the Cache County Bank robbery, it has his undivided attention. The tip leads Travis to the top of the secluded Green canyon in Logan, Utah, where a young man named Jack Pepper proceeds to tell a story spanning the two years from the time of the robbery, when he and his girlfriend, Kate Austin, stumbled upon the crime of the century for the Cache valley. Travis must decide if he is dealing with the suspects or the victims of one of the largest bank robberies in U.S. history.

To get the answers, it will take one more trip up the canyon, to the entrance of the Spring Hollow mine, where the daylight ends and the cold dark begins.

 * Amazon * Goodreads

The way this mystery unfolded was not quite like any mystery I've read before.  It was, for the most part, interesting but sometimes I felt like the story was dragging a bit.  The pacing is slow up until the end and yet, I was curious the whole way through.  How would things end?  What was going to happen?  

This book is plot driven for sure.  I don't know that I had a lot of emotional or personal connections to the characters, but I liked them well enough.  I was definitely interested in the story which is mostly told in a series of flashbacks and verbal memories from one character to another which is what made it so different, I guess.  It's not heart pounding or dynamic but there is definitely something there that kept me reading to the end.  It felt like a story that might be told around a campfire late at night.

I think I would describe this book as a gentle mystery with a western feel to it.  If you love mysteries, you should give this book a look.  It's also on Kindle Unlimited!

Content:  some violence, death, kissing, peril

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

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

The Marquess Meets His Match by Julie Coulter Bellon + Giveaway!

A traitor with a deadly plan. Two agents sent to expose his identity before he strikes. But danger is closer than they think . . .

Lord Christian Wolverton―known as Wolf in a covert group operating during the war against Napoleon―has been called home from his military duties. For the moment, his family responsibilities require him to suspend his more clandestine activities. But information falls into his hands that a traitor will soon try to tip the scales back into French favor and Christian doesn't have much time to stop it from happening.

Going to the one person who can help him, the powerful Duke of Huntingdon, Christian comes face to face with Lady Alice. She's a beautiful member of the ton with a very big secret―she's also a trained agent and already on the case. Forced to partner with her to lure the traitor out of hiding, Christian wants to quickly close the case himself, before Lady Alice is more closely involved. But Lady Alice has ideas of her own and she's going to prove her theories correct―with or without him.

Danger is closer than they think, however, and it's a race against time to expose the traitor's identity before British lives are endangered. Both Christian and Alice have strong opinions on who he is, but which one will be proven right and can they catch him before it's too late?

 * Amazon * Goodreads *

What a fun romp this book is!  There is mystery, intrigue, danger and yes, a growing romance.  Lady Alice is fantastic- a trained secret agent with plenty of moxie.  She is strong, brave and smart but also very feminine and classy.  She felt like the perfect heroine to me.  I love how she stands her ground with Lord Wolverton and how much he grows to respect and enjoy that.  ;)

The story was entertaining, the plot moved at a great pace and I thoroughly enjoyed every moment of it.

Content:  mild peril, mild violence, kissing

- I picked this book up on Kindle Unlimited.

Julie Coulter Bellon is the author of nearly two dozen romantic suspense books. Her book All Fall Down won the RONE award for Best Suspense, Pocket Full of Posies won a RONE Honorable Mention for Best Suspense and The Captain was a RONE award finalist for Best Suspense. Most recently, her books The Capture and Second Look were both Whitney finalists for Best Suspense/Mystery.

Julie loves to travel and her favorite cities she's visited so far are probably Athens, Paris, Ottawa, and London. In her free time she loves to read, write, teach, watch HawaiiFive-O, and eat Canadian chocolate. Not necessarily in that order.
If you'd like to be the first to hear about Julie's new projects and receive a free book, you can sign up to be part of her VIP Readers Group at
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Thursday, September 12, 2019

The Aftermath (Love in Chaos #2) by Amy Matayo

According to Riley Mae Floss, life is a ten-page menu of possibilities. As the owner of a cupcake shop in small-town Missouri, she thrives on candies and rainbows and spreading joy every chance she gets. Even her hair is the color of bubble gum. Life is just the way she likes it, so why would she want anything to change now?

But when a tornado rips into Riley Mae’s southern town and destroys nearly everything in its path, her happy little life changes in less than forty-two seconds. Buildings gone. Homes carried away. People missing or even dead. Her bakery a shell of what it once was; also her life. Riley Mae’s picture-perfect world is shattered, and everyone she cares about has been hurt in the process.
According to insurance adjuster Chad Gamble, life always works out exactly the way it’s supposed to…for other people. As for him, life is a bit of a crapfest—one where he never wins the prize, makes the starting team, or gets the girl. He’s straight-laced, suit-and-tie, all-business, and sees the world for the color it is: muted gray with a little black around the edges.

So when Chad Gamble walks into Riley Mae’s ruined bakery to “assess the damages”—his words, not hers—he has no intention of getting bogged down by sentimental nonsense. Sparks immediately start to fly, and not the good kind. Who does this pushy, pink-haired chick think she is, treating him like an outsider when all he came to do was help? He can’t figure out why the locals like her so much.

Or worse, why he can’t stop thinking about her.

 * Goodreads * Amazon

Wa-hoo!  I love reading books by Amy Matayo!  It is always so exciting when I sit down and get to open to that first page that will start me on a roller coaster of emotions with characters I will grow to love. 

This book was so good.  So full of grit and charm.  There is tragedy and adversity with struggle around every turn.  It's in those moments of struggle, when things seem to be at their worst, that the core of who we are really emerges.  Riley is, at her core, generous and compassionate.  She sees human need and gives of herself, whatever she can, to fill those empty places even when she is breaking apart too.  I absolutely loved her.  

"Rescuing people isn't always about pulling them from the depths.  Sometimes it's about being there, being present, letting someone know you care without words or platitudes or even heroic acts of courage.  Sometimes the most courageous thing you can do is just listen without walking away."

And Chad?  He really is a man who shows up.  Whatever the motivating factor, he shows up and acts like a man.  A good man.  Yes, please.

I loved the sparks.  I loved the cupcakes.  I loved the sense of triumph in tragedy.  I loved seeing characters from the previous book in this series.  I loved the love.  The growing, palpable love. πŸ’™πŸ’™  I was so invested, from beginning to end.

Content:  a couple instances of mild swearing, peril, kissing

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

Springback (Ring of Time #1) by Jana Miller

Ever since discovering her ability to rewind time seven years ago, Chloe has been reaching—for a worthy use of her ability, for redemption from her past, and for the kind of validation she’ll never find as long as she has to keep this secret.

By the time she’s sixteen, Chloe has decided that rewinding is not a gift at all, but punishment for her part in the tragedy that has shaped her life for so many years. And when she discovers others who possess the same ability, she has no idea whether she can trust them--or the information they offer about her own history.

Secrets of the past combine with rivalries of the present to set off a series of painful events and impossible discoveries, and soon Chloe finds herself in a race to piece together a puzzle of ancient relics, family feuds, and strands of time as she seeks to defuse the threat to her family, her powers, and the fabric of time itself.

*Note: This is a standalone novel; while there will be a sequel, the story comes to an end with no cliffhanger.

I think it's important as a reader, to step outside your usual genres and throw in something a little different.  It helps keep things fresh and balanced.  This book was definitely outside my usual genres and probably not something I would gravitate to on my own.  This is a YA book, on the younger side of YA and probably even fitting for a middle grade reader.  It is clean- no swearing, no sexual content.  There isn't even any type of romance at all. 

So, there were some things I really liked, some that were okay and some things I didn't like.  I really liked the "rewinding" idea.  Being able to go back in time to fix something or alter something.  I can think of many times I wish I could've had that power!  The author did a great job of creating a visual for me of how the characters were accomplishing that.  I also really liked that there were rules of sorts- parameters set within that ability.  Consequences even.  It made the idea seem more valid and possible because of those things. 

I was so interested in the first bit of the book.  It was new and fresh and I was wholly invested in Chloe and Jake meeting, rewinding, meeting, rewinding etc..  The middle part of the book got a bit slow.  There isn't a lot happening and the forward progression is, for lack of a better word, slow.  The last handful of chapters of the book pick up and things start happening faster which was good.  The story needed some climactic build up.  Most of it is at an even level.

I think the thing I had the hardest time with was the emotion.  When you don't have strong emotional connections happening, it's harder to invest your own emotions.  I didn't feel an emotional pull to any of the characters.  They were likable but nothing really drew me into them.  If you don't have strong characters with lots of emotion, you better have a gripping, fast moving plot to make up for it.  I didn't really get either of those things.  BUT, I think this book would be great in the hands of the younger crowd or for parents to read with their tweens.  It sparks the imagination and gives plenty of room for conversation about what you might "rewind" and why.

Content:  mild peril

- I picked this book up on KU

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

On Tour With Always (The Lost Princesses #0.5) & Evermore (The Lost Princesses #1) by Jody Hedlund + Win This Whole Series (ebook or paperback)!

  (The Lost Princesses #0.5) By Jody Hedlund 
Christian YA Historical Romance 
Paperback & ebook, 136 Pages 
August 13th 2019 by Northern Lights Press

A fierce elite guard. A loyal lady in waiting. They must work together to save three princesses from certain death.
On the verge of dying after giving birth to twins, the queen of Mercia pleads with Lady Felicia to save her infant daughters. With the castle overrun by King Ethelwulf’s invading army, Lady Felicia vows to do whatever she can to take the newborn princesses and their three-year old sister to safety, even though it means sacrificing everything she holds dear, possibly her own life.
Gravely wounded in battle and knowing all is lost to his enemy, the king of Mercia tasks Lance, one of his fiercest elite guards, to protect his family along with keys to an ancient treasure. As Lance makes plans to sneak the princesses out of the capital city, he doesn’t need or want Lady Felicia’s help.
With the dark enemy in pursuit, Lance and Felicia must put aside their differences to outrun King Ethelwulf and prevent him from killing the princesses. In a desperate attempt to hide the young girls, Lance and Felicia agree to a marriage of convenience, a decision that will change their lives—and hearts—forever.
Also FREE through KindleUnlimited

I've been anticipating this book and this new series by Jody Hedlund since I first heard about it!  I was so anxious to get started.  This novella really sets the stage for the following books.  It's an in-depth look into the series of unfortunate events leading up to the lost princesses.  Honestly, it was heartbreaking.  Two countries are at war, there is death and destruction everywhere.  King Ethelwulf is a brute and will stop at nothing to gain the victory, the throne and the treasure.  What he doesn't count on is the loyalty and devotion of two brave people who are willing to risk everything to see the future of their country preserved through the three young princesses.

Both Lady Felicia and Lance are fierce in their loyalty.  The vows they made to the queen and king are binding to them and come before all else.  I loved them both.  They fought hard, they committed and they stayed the course no matter what was against them.  How can you not love that?!   Honestly.

I loved the pacing of this book- fast and exciting.  There was hardly time to breathe!  I am so glad I got to immediately read the next book without waiting.  #EverTour

Content:  peril, some violence, kissing

(The Lost Princesses #1) By Jody Hedlund 
Christian YA Historical 
Paperback & ebook, 222 Pages 
August 27th 2019 by Northern Lights Press

An ancient key. A secret treasure. And a princess destined to use them both to fight evil and restore peace.
Raised by a noble family, Lady Adelaide has always known she’s an orphan. Little does she realize she’s one of the lost princesses and the true heir to Mercia’s throne…until a visitor arrives at her family estate, reveals her birthright as queen, and thrusts her into a quest for the throne whether she’s ready or not.
Unable to tolerate King Ethelwulf’s cruelty and lawlessness, Christopher Langley left Mercia years earlier, training a group of rebels in neighboring Norland. When he returns home after his mother’s death, he discovers that not only is Adelaide all grown up, but she’s also the rightful queen of Mercia.
When King Ethelwulf discovers Adelaide’s location, he’ll stop at nothing to capture her and the key she holds to the ancient treasure. Christopher is just as determined to protect Adelaide so she can lead the growing rebellion. When feelings ignite between the two old friends, forces threaten to destroy their love and rip them apart forever.

Also FREE through KindleUnlimited

Jody Hedlund has a gift for writing.  No doubt about it.  This Lost Princesses series falls right in my sweet spot for reading.  I am transported to the world she created with characters I can love and root for without even thinking about it.  I love it.

Lady Adelaide is exactly how I think a lady should be.  Smart, compassionate, strong and passionate.  She isn't afraid to stand up for what she believes is right but she does it in a smart and compassionate way, ensuring the loyalty and love of all those who feel the effects of those traits.  Lady Adelaide is everything you would envision a young queen to be. 

The pacing in this book is excellent.  I had heart pounding moments of running and fighting, heart warming moments of character development and connection, heart skipping moments of new love and attraction and even a couple heart breaking moments of loss.  My heart sure got a workout!  It was an awesome ride from beginning to end. But wait, it isn't over!  The next book will be coming out at the end of this month and I cannot wait!  What a fun series this is.  Oh, and don't even get me started on these gorgeous covers.  They are absolutely beautiful, right?  #EverTour

Content:  violence, peril, kissing

Other Books in the Series 
Coming late September and October. Pre-order now!

About the Author

Jody Hedlund is a best-selling and award-winning author who loves fairy-tales and happily-ever-afters. She makes her home in Midland, MI with her husband and five teen-aged children. When she’s not writing another of her page-turning stories, you can usually find her sipping coffee, eating chocolate, and reading.

Tour Schedule
 On Tour with Prism Book Tours

Tour Giveaway

One winner will receive the prequel and all three books in The Lost Princesses series (Always, Evermore, Foremost and Hereafter) in paperback or ebook (winner's choice, if winner is outside the US ebooks only) Ends September 25, 2019

Thursday, September 5, 2019

Ford (The Montana Marshalls #3) by Susan May Warren

Navy Seal Ford Marshall isn’t the kind to stand by and let a woman get hurt—especially when it involves his twin sister, RJ. So, when she makes the news, accused of sparking an international incident, he doesn’t care what it takes—he’s going to find her and bring her home.

But he might need a little help, so he calls on the woman who has had his back during the last three years—Petty Officer Scarlett Hathaway, former communications expert-turned Rescue Swimmer candidate. She’ll help him get into the country, watch his back, and…well, they might be able to have one last mission together before she leaves for a new life, a life he very much wants to be a part of now that she is off his team. Maybe he can convince her to give them a chance to kindle the spark that’s simmered between them for years.

Scarlett Hathaway isn’t sure what future she wants—not when she suddenly has to care for her little brother. Maybe she should quit the Navy and start a life with the man she can’t seem to get out of her heart. So yes, she’ll help Ford find his sister. And maybe, along the way, figure out if they have a future.

But finding RJ somewhere in the vastness of Russia with the FSB chasing them will push Scarlett beyond even her courage and make her question everything she thought she wanted…including Ford. What will it cost her to love a man who saves the world?

And when Ford is asked to choose between saving his sister, saving the world from a war, and rescuing the woman he loves…can he live with his decision?

Oooooh.  I think this might be my favorite of this series so far.  That is saying something because I loved Knox and Tate!  But Ford. . . Ford was, wow!  Intense, fast paced, full of danger, growing attraction and yummy kiss scenes.  Yup, I had a hard time putting this one down.  Maybe part of my extra love for this one was because I actually got TWO love stories in one.  RJ (Ruby) has her own story going in this book running parallel to Ford's as he tries to find her.  In Russia.  They eventually intersect but until then we have RJ and York, which was also so, so good. 

The hardest part about this book is reaching the end and now I have to wait for the next book to see how things play out.  I hate waiting.  I'm feeling almost desperate but in the most amazing way.  I can't wait to read Wyatt!! 

You really need to read this series in order.   If you haven't started it yet, you are in for a treat!

Content:  peril, violence, death.  Kissing.  Christian fiction.

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

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

The Lady and the Highwayman by Sarah M. Eden

Elizabeth Black is the headmistress of a girls’ school and a well-respected author of “silver-fork” novels, stories written both for and about the upper-class ladies of Victorian society. But by night, she writes very different kinds of stories—the Penny Dreadfuls that are all the rage among the working-class men. Under the pseudonym Mr. King, Elizabeth has written about dashing heroes fighting supernatural threats and dangerous outlaws romancing helpless women. They contain all the adventure and mystery that her real life lacks.

Fletcher Walker began life as a street urchin, but is now the most successful author in the Penny Dreadful market, that is until Mr. King started taking all of his readers--and his profits. No one knows who King is, including Fletcher’s fellow members of the Dread Penny Society, a fraternity of authors dedicated to secretly fighting for the rights of the less-fortunate.

Determined to find the elusive Mr. King, Fletcher approaches Miss Black. As a fellow-author, she is well-known among the high-class writers; perhaps she could be persuaded to make some inquiries as to Mr. King’s whereabouts? Elizabeth agrees to help Fletcher, if only to insure her secret identity is never discovered.

For the first time, Elizabeth experiences the thrill of a cat-and-mouse adventure reminiscent of one of her own novels as she tries to throw Fletcher off her scent. But the more time they spend together, the more she loses her heart. Its upper-class against working-class, author against author where readers, reputations, and romance are all on the line.

It is always, always, a pleasure to read Sarah Eden's books.  She has a remarkable gift for crafting a story that wraps itself around my heart.  I think what I love the most is how she takes the dark, hard and difficult circumstances of life and balances that with hope through a few good people trying to make a difference.  That, in turn, gives me hope.  I've been a bit heartsick lately for how difficult and cruel this world is.  The future doesn't always look so bright and I've been trying to remind myself that there are lots of good people in this world, trying to combat the evil, one person at a time.  I was worried that this book would just add to my disappointment in humanity based on what this book is about but I shouldn't have worried.  The hope was stronger than the evil and the good people made a difference.  I needed that reminder.  Even though this is a work of fiction, it portrays real life.  There are people out there rescuing and loving.  They are making a difference for the one.

I love Fletcher.  He won me over in the first few chapters because he's the underdog that everyone wants to root for.  Fletcher is scrappy, determined and has a heart that lends itself to helping the downtrodden- especially the children.  He's a gem and Elizabeth thinks so too.  πŸ˜‰  Elizabeth is pretty great herself.

There are stories within the story as Fletcher and Elizabeth are both writers and we get a sample of the "Penny Dreadful" stories they create.  It gave me a glimpse into both of their worlds and their hearts.  It was fun!

I really loved this book.  From beginning to end.  I felt as though I was right there with Fletcher and Elizabeth through it all.  It was fantastic.

Content:  peril, abuse (with no specific details), some mild violence, kissing

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


Thursday, August 29, 2019

Robin and Marian: A Clean Billionaire Romance in Merry New England (Adventurous Romantics) by Stephanie Fowers

Who says Chivalry is dead?
Robin King lives up to the legendary name of Robin Hood more than he should—a bigshot billionaire and successor of King enterprises, a Prince of Mischief and a rogue who steals hearts ... and maybe even a few kisses. He never thought he’d follow the storyline so closely, until the day he gets in trouble with the law and pays the price—all for protecting his younger sister Scarlett.

Taken in by an Outlaw
Marian is a hard-hitting reporter … or would be if the New England Chronicle would stop assigning her puff pieces. Now she has the chance to prove herself, but it could prove her undoing—since the story of a lifetime might just be Robin King, a ruthless scoundrel, who she swore would never break her heart again.

Making New England Olde again
Together, they must overcome their differences to save their hometown from thieves and corruption. And they’d better do it before someone gets killed. As danger lurks closer, legend becomes life, and Robin’s feelings for Marian deepen as he struggles with sharing the secrets that could clear his name and ruin his sister.

There were so many things I loved about this book.  First, the Robin Hood references all throughout, and I mean references that reminded me of the Disney cartoon Robin Hood.  So many little things as well as the obvious bigger things like names and places.  It made me happy.  And, I think I've had the Robin Hood and Little John song running on a constant loop in my head since I started this book.  You know the one?  Ooo Da Lolly, Ooo Da Lolly, Golly What a Day!

But obviously, this book wasn't like the cartoon, it was a grown up, real life version, full of treachery, deceit, lies, jealousy, danger and my favorite- love.   Robin is a literal hero.  Honestly, you probably couldn't dream up a better man.  Chivalry is alive and well in this book.  I loved that!  The intensity grew throughout the whole story as the mystery deepened.  The ending was climactic and the epilogue was the perfect bow to tie off my present.  

This book is a long one.  It's almost double the size of normal books so know that going in.  Things don't progress super quickly plot wise, but I never felt bored or distracted.  It was like a modern day Robin Hood soap opera saga and it was fun!

Content:  peril, violence, kissing, death

- I picked this one up on Kindle Unlimited

Monday, August 26, 2019

I Will Follow Him (Oceanic Dreams #5) by Holly Tierney-Bedord

A bachelor party on a cruise ship. What could go wrong?
When private detective Francie is hired to spy on a groom-to-be as he and his bachelor party set sail for the Caribbean, she thinks she's landed herself a week of paid vacation. Between lounging in the sun and sipping margaritas, she just needs to--best case scenario--report back that he's on the up and up, or--the unfortunate, more likely scenario--snap a few photos of her target in compromising positions, buy a box of sympathy chocolates for her client, and then collect her pay along with a nice golden suntan.

Blame it on the island breezes or the alcohol, but within hours of setting sail, Francie's leisurely vacation gets complicated when she starts making careless mistakes. Like accidentally becoming friends with the groom and falling for his best man.

Can she get herself and her mission back on track, or has she blown her cover and possibly even her career?

This novella-length romantic comedy is book five in the Oceanic Dreams series where each book is written by a different author.

 * Amazon * Goodreads

This book made me smile.  A lot.  I enjoyed Francie's humor and the sometimes awkward situations she found herself in.  It was entertaining and I love to be entertained while reading!  This story is short- novella in length- and it was over before I was ready.  This is my first book by Holly Tierney-Bedord and I probably won't be reading her previous books just based on content and what I'm comfortable with but if she writes more like this one, I'll be ready to snatch it up.  😁

Content:  drinking alcohol, some swearing 

I picked this book up on Kindle Unlimited at the author's request.

Friday, August 23, 2019

Storm Rising (The Book of the Wars #1) by Ronie Kendig

Once lost to history, the Book of the Wars has resurfaced, and its pages hold ancient secrets and dangers. Former Navy SEAL Leif Metcalfe has been tasked with capturing the ancient text, but a Bulgarian operative snatches it, determined to secure her freedom. When a series of strange storms erupt, they must form an alliance to thwart impending disaster.

 * Amazon * Goodreads *

How is this the first book I've read by Ronie Kendig?!?!  I have a couple of her books on my kindle and I've read a ton of good reviews for her books but somehow I just haven't connected and read one myself.  I'm so glad I have now rectified that mistake!  And now that I've been introduced to the world of Ronie Kendig, I'm never going back.  How happy that I have so many books to look forward to.  πŸ˜ƒ

This book!  Fast paced, action packed, full on, from beginning to end.  Sometimes a girl just needs to sit on the edge of her seat for a whole book, you know?  I really loved the alternating points of view so I really got to know the inner workings of both main characters.  It helped me connect and feel the passion behind their decisions- for better or for worse.  

I have to say that for the first third of the book I had a hard time with all the characters introduced.  It was hard to keep them straight and remember who was who.  There were SO many characters!  Eventually I caught on though and they became more familiar to me.  It's so much easier to fall into a book when you don't have to constantly think about who is who.  

There is so much going on in this book plot wise.  Yes, there is this overarching story about the "book" and the storms, but there are also smaller mysteries going on with different characters.  It definitely kept my mind spinning and thinking!  This is the beginning of a series and this book did not have much resolution.  A little tiny bit.  Now I am left waiting and wondering until the next book comes out.  It kind of makes me glad that I can go back to past books and read through them all without waiting.  The perk of coming in late to the game, I guess.  Waiting is so hard.

Content:  violence, death, peril, abuse, mention of repeat rapes with no details.  Kissing.

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

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

The Art of Rivers (Coastal Hearts #3) by Janet W. Ferguson

Rivers Sullivan bears both visible and invisible scars—those on her shoulder from a bullet wound and those on her heart from the loss of her fiancΓ© during the same brutal attack. Not even her background as an art therapist can help her regain her faith in humanity. Still, she scrapes together the courage to travel to St. Simons Island to see the beach cottage and art gallery she’s inherited from her fiancΓ©. When she stumbles upon recovering addicts running her gallery, she’s forced to reckon with her own healing.

After the tragic drowning of his cousin, James Cooper Knight spends his days trying to make up for his past mistakes. He not only dedicates his life to addiction counseling, but guilt drives him to the water, searching for others who’ve been caught unaware of the quickly rising tides of St. Simons. When he rescues a peculiar blond woman and her sketch pad from a sandbar, then delivers this same woman to his deceased grandmother’s properties, he knows things are about to get even more complicated.

Tragic circumstances draw Cooper and Rivers closer, but they fight their growing feelings. Though Cooper’s been sober for years, Rivers can’t imagine trusting her heart to someone in recovery, and he knows a relationship with her will only rip his family further apart. Distrust and guilt are only the first roadblocks they must overcome if they take a chance on love.

There was so much to enjoy in The Art of Rivers.  I love when a book can draw emotion from me and this one definitely accomplished that.  Rivers and Cooper have been through so much that my heart just ached for them.  There seemed to be trouble at every turn, walls blocking their paths and emotional turmoil that left even me breathless.  Through it all was a sliver of hope that kept me invested and pushing forward right along with Rivers and Cooper.

Cooper and Rivers dedicate their lives to helping others who have struggles similar to their own.  I loved their dedication and devotion to those struggling.  It takes a special kind of individual to do something like that, not only in this book but in real life too.  I know there are so many people trying to make the world a better place by helping others through the tough patches and I'm so grateful for them.

I loved how the relationship between Rivers and Cooper developed.  It was a sweet romance born in the midst of struggle and it was extremely satisfying.

I will say that this book is heavy on the Christian elements.  It was a bit more than I personally prefer in a fiction book but that is just a personal preference.  If you are looking for a light Christian or inspirational book, this would not be the one to pick up. 

Content:  alcohol and drug abuse, death, some violence, heavy Christian elements

- I borrowed this book through Kindle Unlimited.

Thursday, August 8, 2019

A Lady's Maid by Jen Geigle Johnson + Win This Book!

Molly O’Malley, lady’s maid to the progressive Lady Amanda Halloway, is determined to continue the life’s work of her lost love, killed in the Peterloo Massacre. But when her efforts and a trip to Lady Halloway’s charitable orphanage culminate in her own abduction, Molly’s eyes are opened to the horrifying crimes transpiring in the city’s slums. Despite the risks, she broadens her mission and is drawn ever closer to the peril all around them.

Thomas Flaherty, a footman in the Halloway household, has been with Molly from the beginning, but he fears she will never trust him with her heart. Even though her cause and happiness are of foremost importance to him, his loyal patience is tested by the fears that keep her at a distance. But with their safety on the line, Thomas is resolved to sacrifice everything for the woman he loves.

Risking their lives and their love, Molly and Thomas and a team of nobles on their side will stop at nothing to empower the powerless, no matter the personal cost.

Jen Geigle Johnson has crafted a beautiful story, bringing to light the early days of women's suffrage and the oppressive conditions in the more poverty stricken areas of England.  She built the story around characters I can relate to and root for making it easy to fall into this historical fiction.

The story contains a host of characters with Molly and Lady Amanda being the center of all that is happening.  One of those revolving around these two is the shy and reserved Lady Chloe who is just beginning to find the power of her own voice.  One of my favorite lines comes from her, "Because my voice is my own.  I am a unique and valued person in my own right, and I deserve to have a say in the process of our government and in who represents me."

While the book's main message and theme is the women's suffrage movement, there is also sweet romance, a bit of danger and intrigue.  This book reminded me of all the brave women who desired something more and weren't afraid to take a stand and work hard to change the ways of a society of repression.  It made me proud to be a woman.  It also made me especially grateful for the good men through time who have supported and championed the women in their lives- wives, mothers, sisters and daughters.  Many of those men types of men were represented well in this book.  The world needs good women and men, working together to bring about better lives for all.

This was a very enjoyable and enlightening read.  I appreciate the amount of research and time the author took to represent the time and people accurately.  I'm looking forward to the next book, set to release next year!

Content:  mild violence, mild peril, kissing, mention of brothels

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

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Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Vow of Thieves (Dance of Thieves #2) by Mary E. Pearson

Kazi and Jase have survived, stronger and more in love than ever. Their new life now lies before them―the Ballengers will be outlaws no longer, Tor's Watch will be a kingdom, and the two of them will meet all challenges side by side, together at last.

But an ominous warning mars their journey back, and in their rush to return to Tor's Watch, just outside the fortress walls, they are violently attacked and torn apart―and each is thrust into their own new hell.

Unsure whether the other is alive or dead, Kazi and Jase must keep their wits among their greatest enemies and unlikeliest allies. And all the while, Death watches and waits.

Last year I read Dance of Thieves and there was no question that I would be coming back for the next installment in this series and here it is!  Finally!

It took me a quick minute to remember the details of the previous book and get back into the groove of this series but the author did a good job of giving me reminders to jog my memory.  I'm so glad the book started off with Jase and Kazi together so I had that solid relationship foundation to kick things off.  It really helped with all the crazy awful stuff that came next.  

This book is full of political intrigue, deadly games, kings and traitors.  Jase and Kazi spend a majority of the book apart each battling through their own horrible circumstances.  But they are fierce.  Fierce in their love, fierce in their loyalty, and fierce in their will to survive and protect.  They are awesome characters and I couldn't help but be pulled into their world.  I was firmly planted in their corner the whole way through.

I don't think I had a chance to catch my breath this whole book.  It was so full on and constant that I could hardly keep up.  The few times I had to put this book down to "real life", I was thinking about it and longing to get back to reading.  I love when that happens.

This series needs to be read in order.  Jase and Kazi's story wrapped up nicely in this book (it was such a relief to have some good things happen!) but there was definitely an opening left for another story.  Fingers crossed!  :)

Content:  violence, death, torture, swearing. Kissing, mild innuendo.

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

The Lady in the Coppergate Tower (Steampunk Proper Romance #3) by Nancy Campbell Allen

Hazel Hughes has spent her life believing she is a Medium—someone who can talk to ghosts. But as of yet, that skill has remained frustratingly elusive. She is also suffering from a reoccurring childhood dream of someone who looks almost exactly like Hazel, but this dream version of herself is slowly going mad.

Sam MacInnes is a talented surgeon who runs in the highest social circles thanks to his family’s position and history. When Sam hires Hazel to assist him with his medical practice, he is immediately drawn to her intelligence, wit, and beauty.

Their potential relationship is derailed one evening when a mysterious count arrives in London and reveals to Hazel the truth about her past: she was abducted at birth and her twin sister has fallen dangerously ill.

Hazel agrees to travel to Romania with Count Petrescu in order to save her sister, and Sam insists on accompanying her. The count has secrets, though, and the journey grows more sinister with every mile that draws Hazel closer to her homeland. Even as her feelings for Sam become deeper and more complicated, she fears she might not survive the quest to save her sister with her heart intact, not to mention her life. She must learn to draw on gifts she doesn’t know she has if they are going to ever return home again.

Hazel and Sam must fight their way past dark magic, clockwork beasts, and their own insecurities as they try to reach her sister in the impenetrable Coppergate Tower before time runs out.

I think the thing I like most about this book and the others in this series is that it feels different to me.  When I start reading, I know I will get a story that isn't like all the others.  The light steampunk feel is fun and I love the creativity it allows the author to build up a world unlike the one I know.  While this book is based on Rapunzel, it really doesn't feel that way at all, which also makes me happy. 

This book has mystery, danger and a growing intensity that I really felt.  The darkness sort of hovered around everywhere, waiting to jump at me. It gave the story a bit of edge that I really liked. 

 Sam and Hazel are two intelligent, even tempered people.  They suit each other very well in their professions and as people falling in love.  I loved being right there with them as they research, learn and put all the clues together.  I think what I most appreciated was that even though they were smart, it was their intuition that they followed.  Those gut feelings should never be ignored.  Oh!  And I cannot forget Eugene!  He was definitely the comedic relief in this story.  He kept things entertaining and light which was a much needed balance to the heavier feel to other parts of the story.

Overall, this was a fun story.  I always love reading books by this author and can't wait to see what comes next!

Content:  dark magic, death, mild violence, kissing

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

Monday, August 5, 2019

My Not So Wicked Boss (My Not So Wicked Series) by Jennifer Peel + $.99 Book Deal to Celebrate New Release!

Aspen Parker's life can be summed up in one word. Unexpected. For instance, she never expected to become a mother at twenty. Her divorce at twenty-one really threw her off. She certainly didn't see losing her promotion at the bank to that weasel Stephen. And she most definitely didn't see Miles Wickham, better known as Taron Taylor--international bestselling author, the man whose words have captivated her--offering her a job to be his nephew's nanny.

But there's a caveat to accepting the position; she must sign a contract agreeing to no romantic entanglements between her and the debonair Brit. Aspen doesn't expect this to be an issue seeing as she's not particularly fond of men. Once again, though, life is not turning out how she expected.

While Aspen and Miles traverse single parenthood together, there's no denying the chemistry between them. She can't figure out how her charming boss knows how to pierce the protective layers of her heart, and it's driving her mad. Mad with desire that is. Miles, too, is finding it hard to resist the reserved beauty who brilliantly takes care of his nephew and him. But with both their tentative hearts on the line, can they risk taking a chance on each other? Which will win? Love or the contract?

Ooh la.  Ooh la la.  I am in love with Aspen and Miles.  L.O.V.E.  Here's why:

Attraction? ✅ 
Sexy Brittish author with a swoony accent? ✅ 
Sweet three year old who will steal your heart? ✅  
Tension so thick you can't even cut it with a knife? ✅✅  

While it isn't insta-love for these two, it IS insta-attraction.  Aspen nearly faints away when she realizes that Miles is her fangirl crush of an author.  Yeah, I can totally relate to Aspen.  There is zing and a tangible growing tension throughout that I absolutely crave.  But, it was more than just that.  It was real characters with real struggles and flaws, trying to figure life out.  I connected to Aspen on a deeper emotional level and that's the true test, right?  When your emotions become involved in lots of different ways?  I think so.

Aspen is kind, caring and smart.  Her sensitive mothering nature comes naturally to her.  She is patient with not only Henry and Chloe but with Miles as well.  Aspen is guarded though.  She keeps things close to avoid being hurt.  But she is tough when she needs to be.  She stands up when the need arises and doesn't take crap.  I really loved her.  

Two of my favorite bits?  The "research" (😍) and of course the phrase "strictly business".  

"Wow, did he follow directions well.  The butterflies in my stomach gave him an A+"

You know what I really want?  This book in audible with dual male/female voices and of course, the male needs to have an authentic British accent.  Yup, that's my fantasy, I mean dream.  My dream.  My really good dream.  And then me and my book friends can have a listening party.  At a beach setting.  Drinking yummy, fruity drinks and eating chocolate.  Oops, getting carried away.  😳

I love this book and I love this series.  I love that the characters from previous books are still part of each book and I don't have to miss them.  This book was everything I've come to expect and love from Jennifer Peel.  I don't know how she does it but I hope she never stops.  My heart finds it's happiest place in her books.

This is available on Kindle Unlimited if you have that.

Content:  kissing, mention of affair

To celebrate this new release, you can pick up My Not So Wicked Step Brother for just $.99!  

Thursday, August 1, 2019

The Killing Tide (Coastal Guardians #1) by Dani Pettrey

When one Coast Guard officer is found dead and another goes missing, Coast Guard Investigative Service special agent Finn Walker faces his most dangerous crime yet. His only clues are what little evidence remains aboard the dead officer's boat, and the direction the clues point to will test Finn and the Guard to their limits.

When investigative reporter--and Finn's boss's sister--Gabby Rowley arrives, her unrelenting questions complicate an already volatile situation. Now that she's back, the tug on Finn's heart is strong, but with the risks she's taking for her next big story, he fears she might not live through it.

Thrown together by the heinous crime, Finn and Gabby can't ignore the sparks or judgments flying between them. But will they be able to see past their preconceptions long enough to track down an elusive killer, or will they become his next mark?

 * Amazon * Goodreads *

Guess what is releasing this next week?  Good news, right?  Dani Pettrey is a talented author and one of my favorites in the romantic suspense genre.  I've been anticipating this book for what seems like a long time.  Oh and just a shout out to the cover!  I love when a book cover represents what is inside so well.  It just makes me happy.  And I love those colors!!

You better buckle up for this book.  Seriously.  It is nonstop, petal to the metal, fast paced, forward momentum.  I was sucked in from the first few pages and had a hard time putting this one down for "real life".  haha.  Sometimes with suspense novels, it's more about the plot than the characters.  I don't know how Dani Pettrey does it, but there is such a fantastic balance of character building in the midst of a growing mystery and death defying scenes.  It makes for such an awesome story.

I love the setting for this new series and also the homage it pays to some largely unsung heroes that protect our waters.  I'll admit that some of it creeps me out (think underwater fighting, drowning and sharks!) but it's okay, I'm okay.  😨  It could never be my job but I sure am grateful for those who are our coastal guardians.

This book spotlights Finn and Gabby (I LOVE Finn! Gabby, not so much.) but also introduces us to a team of people who this series will revolve around.  The stage has been set for the next novel and once again, I am left anticipating the next book.  It cannot get here fast enough.

Content:  violence, death, Christian elements, kissing

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