Saturday, June 22, 2019

A Reluctant Bride (Bride Ships #1) by Jody Hedlund

After facing desperate heartache and loss, Mercy agrees to escape a bleak future in London and join a bride ship. Wealthy and titled, Joseph leaves home and takes to the sea as the ships surgeon to escape the pain of losing his family. He has no intention of settling down, but when Mercy becomes his assistant, they must fight against a forbidden love.

 * Amazon * Goodreads *

I don't think I've ever read anything about the bride ships that came to Canada from England.  It doesn't necessarily surprise me that something like that happened but what does surprise me is the "how" of it all, I guess.  The author took many of the events of this book from actual accounts so the story was very true to what really happened.  I really love that because it gives me such a good feel for where the brides came from and how they may have felt and acted.  It was so interesting!  I love learning about lesser known events in history which would explain my love for historical fiction.

Mercy is such an awesome character.  Despite her horrible upbringing she embodies everything kind, gentle and compassionate.  I loved her almost instantly.  The author does such an incredible job of bringing the characters in this book to life.  They felt like real people with struggles and growth.  The growing intensity between Mercy and Joseph was fantastic.  I was completely caught up in it and invested every step of the way.

This is one of my favorite books this year, I think.  I have a handful of them now.  I can't wait to see what comes next in this series!

Content:  peril, mild violence, kissing

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

Thursday, June 20, 2019

The Printed Letter Bookshop by Katherine Reay

Love, friendship, and family find a home at the Printed Letter Bookshop
One of Madeline Cullen’s happiest childhood memories is of working with her Aunt Maddie in the quaint and cozy Printed Letter Bookshop. But by the time Madeline inherits the shop nearly twenty years later, family troubles and her own bitter losses have hardened Madeline’s heart toward her once-treasured aunt—and the now struggling bookshop left in her care.

While Madeline intends to sell the shop as quickly as possible, the Printed Letter’s two employees have other ideas. Reeling from a recent divorce, Janet finds sanctuary within the books and within the decadent window displays she creates. Claire, though quieter than the acerbic Janet, feels equally drawn to the daily rhythms of the shop and its loyal clientele, finding a renewed purpose within its walls. When Madeline’s professional life takes an unexpected turn, and when a handsome gardener upends all her preconceived notions, she questions her plans and her heart. She begins to envision a new path for herself and for her aunt’s beloved shop—provided the women’s best combined efforts are not too little, too late. 

Believe it or not, this is my very first Katherine Reay book.  I am happy to say that I have two more of her books on my Kindle and I'm excited for the chance to read them.  This is her newest release and I think it was a great place for me to start.

I want to work in a bookshop.  I think that might be my dream job- to be surrounded by books all day, to talk about books all day, to help people find books that they love ALL DAY.  Seriously.  I wish bookshops weren't starting to feel like a thing of the past.  This book was all about that Painted Letter Bookshop and I loved it.  By the end of the book, it felt like home to not only Madeline, Claire and Janet, but to me as well.  I loved the book references and wished I knew more about some of the books spoken of.  I think I have a bit more reading to do!

The story starts off with a funeral and a very confused Madeline who later learns she has inherited all that her aunt has.  This sets Madeline on quite a journey as she has to not only navigate a store that is failing but the lives of everyone in connection with her aunt and her store.  This story revolves around Madeline and the two women who work at the bookshop.  Even though Aunt Maddie isn't there anymore, it really is all about her as well.  Her influence is woven into each woman.  It was a slow build of information but one I really enjoyed.  I was literally getting to know each woman in a very personal and intimate way.  Every woman will probably be able to find a bit of herself somewhere in at least one of these very different women.

This book isn't a romance.  It isn't especially bright and happy either.  These women are living real lives with real struggle and faults.  They excel at some things and struggle with other things.   Sometimes I felt the heaviness of it weighing me down but there was always a thread of hope to hang onto.  It took me a bit to become invested in these characters but by about halfway through, it was tough to put this book down.  I'm looking forward to reading more by this author.

Content:  some talk of God, praying, forgiveness.  Mention of affair, drinking alcohol.  

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


Monday, June 17, 2019

27 Ways to Find a Boyfriend by Shari L. Tapscott

If at first you don't succeed, keep going down the list...

I need you to know I’m not pathetic. A little desperate, sure. But not pathetic. And mostly I agreed to Jessa’s insane boyfriend-finding list idea because Carter was looking at me like it was the stupidest idea known to man, and I wanted to irk him.

Jessa’s guy-finding list is the stupidest idea known to man. The only reason Addison doesn’t have a boyfriend is because she’s the boss’s daughter, and none of the guys in our shop want to be fired.

Maybe if he hadn’t kissed me last weekend, I wouldn’t be thinking about him constantly. See there? This is his fault. If I need to use a list to find someone who will get him out of my head, then so be it.

Maybe if I hadn’t kissed her last weekend, the list wouldn’t bother me so much, but now I can’t get her out of my head. So I’m going to do the only thing a sane guy would do in my position. I’m going to sabotage the experiment…

Author’s note: 27 Ways to Find a Boyfriend is a steamy-clean adult romantic comedy with all the sizzle but no sex.

I had so much fun reading this book.  It made me happy!  The back and forth between Addison and Carter felt tangible and made my tummy flutter.  I loved the dual perspectives which really helped me connect with both characters in an intimate way.  

Carter and Addison have known each other for a long time.  Carter's sister is Addison's best friend.  Addison has been crushing on Carter for as long as she can remember and when he kisses her at a wedding, everything shifts for both of them.  But poor Carter knows that Addison's dad is crazy when it comes to her dating.  If he tries to date Addison, he will lose his job.  Poor Carter is so tortured.  

There are so many amusing situations in this book and boy, do I love to be amused.  There isn't anything terribly deep or trumatic which kept everything light and fun.  I loved how good it all felt.  😍

Content:  kissing

- I own my own copy of this book.  This book is on KU!

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Flirting With First (Belltown Six Pack #5) by Sophia Summers

Ryker Stone, one of the famed Belltown Six Pack loves what no one else notices in Trista McKinney. But when co-star and heart throb, Trevor Dayton, starts a social media campaign, competing for her attention, and Ryker’s baseball schedule and pressures amp up, Ryker lays it all on the line to win her over forever.

Trista McKinney doesn’t need winning. She’s been Ryker’s from the very beginning, but her movie’s production schedule and her dreams of one day winning an Oscar make it almost impossible for things to progress between the two.

With feelings high, both of their careers in the balance, can Trista and Ryker find a path to professional success without losing what they’ve found in each other?

 * Goodreads * Amazon

Yay!  Another Belltown Six Pack story!  I'm SO loving this series!!  I love the blue on white theme with this book cover- it's so attractive to me.  Like Ryker.  😍  I read this book right on the heels of Snatching the Catcher and Grizz who I think is still MY number one favorite but Ryker might hold a close second.  A VERY close second.

Ryker is cautious when it comes to Trista because of her profession and the media exposure she frequently receives but Trista is all in and has been since she first met Ryker.  She really wants to move forward with a relationship with him but between both of their  occupations and Ryker's hesitation, things are moving at a snail's pace.  Poor Trista was so frustrated!  I felt her longing and her increasing desire to be near Ryker.  She was practically begging Ryker to kiss her!

I love when Ryker decided he was all in.  It was such a good moment for me as a reader.  I just love all in moments.  I loved how Trista wanted to protect her growing relationship with Ryker.  I loved the "luck stone" and it played a part in the whole story.  Especially the ending.  💙

This book is part of the Belltown Six Pack series but can stand alone.  I would recommend reading them all though!  It's a fun bunch of books!

Content:  kissing

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

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Storm and Fury (The Harbinger #1) by Jennifer L. Armentrout


Eighteen-year-old Trinity Marrow may be going blind, but she can see and communicate with ghosts and spirits. Her unique gift is part of a secret so dangerous that she’s been in hiding for years in an isolated compound fiercely guarded by Wardens—gargoyle shape-shifters who protect humankind from demons. If the demons discover the truth about Trinity, they’ll devour her, flesh and bone, to enhance their own powers.

When Wardens from another clan arrive with disturbing reports that something out there is killing both demons and Wardens, Trinity’s safe world implodes. Not the least because one of the outsiders is the most annoying and fascinating person she’s ever met. Zayne has secrets of his own that will upend her world yet again—but working together becomes imperative once demons breach the compound and Trinity’s secret comes to light. To save her family and maybe the world, she’ll have to put her trust in Zayne. But all bets are off as a supernatural war is unleashed…

 * Amazon * Goodreads

I was on the hunt for a good paranormal romance and I came across this book.  It sounded like just the kind of story I was looking for.  

The good:
This author really knows how to write an engaging story!  I was caught up right from the beginning.  The characters are distinct, strong and I really liked them.  There is a definite growing chemistry between Trinity and Zayne that I could feel.  Trinity's personal growth as she gains information was satisfying.  The author really gave a piece of herself to this story as she gave Trinity a degenerative eye disorder.  It is always awesome as a reader to have something so personal to an author represented in their stories.  It makes it human, relatable and I even learned something!

The hard:
I am more of a conservative reader so the excessive swearing was hard for me to swallow.  This is, I realize, a personal preference and not one everyone shares.  But for me, the swearing was just too much.  The other was the descriptive, might as well have been, sex scene.   Again, personal preference. 

I will not be coming back to this series for the hard reasons mentioned above but aside from those things, I really enjoyed the story.  It has an open ending so for those reading it, get ready for a wait before you get more of the story!  Oh, and I love the cover.

Content:  frequent swearing (including the F word, many times), profanity, descriptive sexual scene, kissing, innuendo

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

Monday, June 10, 2019

The Noble Guardian (The Bow Street Runners #3) by Michelle Griep

The must-read conclusion to Michelle Griep’s Bow Street Runners Trilogy: Life couldn’t be better for Abigail Gilbert—but it’s been a long time coming. Having lived with a family who hated her, love is finally within reach. Abby sets off on a journey across England to marry one of the most prestigious gentleman bachelors in the land—until highwaymen upset her plans and threaten her life.

Horse patrol captain Samuel Thatcher arrives just in time to save Abby. But to him she’s simply another victim in a job he’s come to despise. Tired of the dark side of humanity, he intends to buy land and retire.

Abby pleads with him to escort her on the rest of her journey. He refuses until she offers him the thing he desperately needs to achieve his goal: money. Delivering her safely will earn him more than enough to settle into a quiet life.

So begins an impossible trek for the cynical lawman and the proper lady. Each will be indelibly changed by the time they reach her betrothed, if they don’t kill one another first—or fall in love.

 * Amazon * Goodreads

Michelle Griep is an author whose books I love to read.  She has such a fantastic way of weaving a story- gently and gradually.  I can literally feel it building and growing.

This story started out slow for me and it took me a bit of time to become invested but it did happen.  I knew it would, I just had to be patient.   Samuel and Abby really do frustrate each other but through that they also find respect for each other.  From respect grows friendship and admiration.  I loved the natural progression of feelings between them.

There were plenty of external conflicts for Samuel and Abby.  For the most part it was the two of them against the conflicts.  They had to work together and I liked that a lot.   The ending was satisfying and I was grateful to reach a happy place.

Content:  some violence, peril.  Kissing.  Some talk of God and praying.

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

Friday, June 7, 2019

Now and Then and Always (Maple Valley #1) by Melissa Tagg

“It was just a house. Just a weathered old house in a hidden grove, shuttered and still . . . ”

Last year, after traumatic circumstances forced her from her job as a nanny, Mara Bristol finally found a place to belong—the winsome Everwood Bed & Breakfast at the edge of Maple Valley, Iowa. For months, she’s helped its owner, Lenora, maintain the ramshackle property despite their shortage of guests. But when Lenora fails to return from a month-long trip and the bank threatens foreclosure, Mara worries she’s once again alone . . . abandoned . . . about to lose the only true home she’s ever known.

Detective Marshall Hawkins is no closer to whole today than he was two years ago . . . the day his daughter died. Between his divorce, debilitating migraines, and a dependence on medication, his life is falling apart. And when a reckless decision on the job propels him into administrative leave, he has no other plan but to get in his truck and drive. A one-night stay at the Everwood was supposed to be just that. But there’s something about the old house—or maybe its intriguing caretaker—that pulls him in.

Together, Mara and Marshall set out to save the Everwood. But its secrets run deeper than they could’ve imagined. As they renovate the house and search for its missing owner, they’ll each confront the pain that brought them to the Everwood in the first place . . . and just maybe discover a faith and love to help them carry on.

 * Amazon * Goodreads *

I've been so anxious to read this book!  Melissa Tagg is one of those consistently good authors that keep me coming back for more.  And this cover!  It is an awesome representation of significant part of this story.  I love the colors too.

This story is about two people, both broken from tragic and traumatic things in their lives, but still fighting to move forward.  Mara and Marshall are both characters that you root for, even in their darkest moments.  I was invested in their stories and in their ultimate peace and happiness.  As a reader, that is what I long for.  That emotional connection to the characters.

I loved the added bits of mystery/intrigue and the tiny bits of suspense.  It gave the story some added elemental life to balance out the emotional build up.  Everything unfolded brilliantly and kept me turning those pages because I just couldn't stop.  It was so good!

The secondary characters have me so interested!  I can't wait to see what is coming next!

Oh!  And don't forget to enter the author's giveaway in conjunction with this new release!

Content: mild peril, kissing, Christian elements (praying, forgiving, finding your way back to God)

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

Thursday, June 6, 2019

The Friend Zone by Sariah Wilson

Disgraced college quarterback Logan Hunt was on his way to NFL stardom when he messed up big-time. Now the Texas star player with a bad temper has a new option: Seattle’s EOL College—as in End of the Line, to his fellow misfit recruits. It’s Logan’s last chance. If he can follow the rules. No parties, no fighting, no swearing, and oh, no dating the coach’s daughter, Jess. Simple. Yeah, right. For Logan, there has never been a rule he’s more tempted to break.

The deal is “just friends.” The pretty, confident, and fiercely smart math whiz is fine with pizza, tutoring, and keeping Logan in line. But the closer Jess gets, the more receptive she is to his warm heart and spirit—not to mention his irresistible off-field passes. With defenses down, they’re both heading into the danger zone.

It’s more than thrilling. It’s love. It’s also a game changer that could sideline Logan’s NFL goals—and more important, a future with Jess. But dreams are worth fighting for, right?

 * Goodreads * Amazon

Oooooh friends, this book was so yummy.  I know that when I love a book it comes out mostly in the adjective "yummy" but I just cannot help myself.  That's because this book is so good I figuratively ate it up.  And I would literally eat it up if it were actually food.  Which it isn't.  But, it did have pizza and gelato in it.  😀

This book was so much fun to read.  The dialogue was witty and flirty, the attraction and chemistry had an amazing build that became combustible.  Oh man, did it ever.  The explosions were worth waiting for.  😍🔥

There was depth and struggle for the characters and I love how they took the place in life they were in very seriously.  They trying to make good choices and live up to their potential.  Logan and Jess were easy to like and easy to root for.  I am really hoping that this is the start of a series that will include Bash!  He needs his own story!  I need more of him.

So yeah, my yummy siren is singing out loud and constantly with this book.  I would love to sit down and read it again right now because it made it me happy.  Sariah Wilson is so good at writing books that I love.  This one might be my favorite. (do I say that every time?!)  This book will be released on June 11th so pre-order it now!  I do believe it will also be on KU if you have that.

Content:  kissing, a couple make-out scenes, mention of child neglect and abuse, mention of date rape drug and almost rape with no details.

- I received a complimentary copy of this book but I have pre-ordered my own copy.

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

The Heart of a Vicar (The Jonquil Brothers #6) by Sarah M. Eden + Win This Book!

Young love is all too fleeting, as Harold Jonquil painfully discovered years ago when Sarah Sarvol, the niece of a neighboring landowner, captured his heart. After an idyllic few weeks in the throes of blossoming love, reality intervened. They could have no future. Following their disastrous parting, Harold attempted to push aside thoughts of love and regret, but Sarah has never left his heart. Now, years later, he has achieved his lifelong aspiration of becoming the local vicar. However, the role proves more difficult than he imagined. He feels hollow and uninspired—until the most important person in his past returns, challenging him as no one ever has.

When Sarah’s ailing uncle summons her back to the family estate in England, there is only one person from her past she is reluctant to see again: Harold Jonquil, the only man who has ever claimed her heart. But when she comes face-to-face with her former beau, she hardly recognizes the aloof and dull man before her. She is determined to help Harold rediscover the passion he once felt toward his chosen profession. Soon, despite their exasperation with each other, they cannot deny the stirring of feelings long buried—but is it too late for second chances?

 * Goodreads * Deseret Book * Amazon

I don't think I've ever met a Sarah Eden book I didn't love.  I was so happy to be back with the Jonquil family, this time with the focus on Harold.  This family is large and full of personality.  The Jonquil brothers are an interesting lot- each struggling in their own way, teasing and torturing each other but coming together in a strong way when the needs arise.  I think that pretty much sums up familial dynamics for a lot of us.  It makes it easy to love these people and root for their happiness.  Each book may focus on one brother in this family but in each book, they are all present in some way.  I love that they never go away but we see a continuation of their stories in each new book that comes our way. 

Harold is described by his sister in law as adrift.  I love that description, especially as we come to know Harold better.  He has so many ideas of what he ought to be and what he ought to do that somewhere in the process of becoming a vicar he lost himself.  Thank goodness Sarah comes back into the picture.  She is the turning point for Harold and the catalyst for his change.  I love her and I love her for Harold.

As with all of Sarah Eden's books, I was filled with emotion.  She has a gentle way of telling a story that fills up all the crevices of my heart.  

Content:  some mild peril, verbal abuse.

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

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