Monday, February 17, 2020

Promised by Leah Garriott

Fooled by love once before, Margaret vows never to be played the fool again. To keep her vow, she attends a notorious matchmaking party intent on securing the perfect marital match: a union of convenience to someone who could never affect her heart. She discovers a man who exceeds all her hopes in the handsome and obliging rake Mr. Northam.

There’s only one problem. His meddling cousin, Lord Williams, won’t leave Margaret alone. Condescending and high-handed, Lord Williams lectures and insults her. When she refuses to give heed to his counsel, he single-handedly ruins Margaret’s chances for making a good match—to his cousin or anyone else. With no reason to remain at the party, Margaret returns home to discover her father has promised her hand in marriage—to Lord Williams.

Under no condition will Margaret consent to marrying such an odious man. Yet as Lord Williams inserts himself into her everyday life, interrupting her family games and following her on morning walks, winning the good opinion of her siblings and proving himself intelligent and even kind, Margaret is forced to realize that Lord Williams is exactly the type of man she’d hoped to marry before she’d learned how much love hurt. When paths diverge and her time with Lord Williams ends, Margaret is faced with her ultimate choice: keep the promises that protect her or break free of them for one more chance at love. Either way, she fears her heart will lose.

I was so reluctant to end this book.  I really enjoyed every single moment in it and I wanted more of Margaret and Lord Williams.  I love when that happens.

This story is gentle and doesn't hold many climactic moments but wow, it sure did hold my attention.  I was interested from the very first dinner scene because Margaret has such a determination to marry someone that cannot hurt her and that she has no real affection for even at her brother's  obvious disapproval.  Getting to know Margaret was a treat even though at times I wanted to shake some sense into her.

The beginning third of the book had a distinctly Pride & Prejudice feel to it as Margaret and Lord Williams have a bit of a battle of the wills and some heavy judging.  (mostly Margaret).  But then, Lord Williams is there and at every turn he is proving himself to be the most gallant of men.  I really adored him- his tenacity, his hope and his patience.

I enjoyed this book from start to finish.  It was just lovely.  Oh!  And I love the cover too.

Content:  kissing

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

Saturday, February 15, 2020

Crosscheck (Northbrook Hockey Elite #4) by Rebecca Connolly, Heather B. Moore, Sophia Summers

He’s a hard hitter, she’s a straight shooter. Can they stop the sparks from flying? Do they want to?

Zane Winchester is a beast on the ice, known for racking up penalties and delivering hard blows. No one would suspect the complicated nature of his personal life, or just what it entailed. And no one, not even him, would have suspected what one unexpected encounter with a remarkable woman would do to his life.

Mara Matthews is a regular woman with a regular job and a regular life. Then she meets the father of one of her little students, and regular becomes the last word to describe her life. Zane is intense, funny, charming, and drop dead gorgeous; he shouldn’t pay any attention to someone like her. But Zane isn’t giving up, and Mara doesn’t want him to.

 * Amazon * Goodreads *

It's another Northbrook Hockey Elite book!  I'm not a hockey fan but I wish I were.  There aren't many opportunities to watch hockey where I live but if there were, I think I could be a hockey fan.  This book really makes me want to watch hockey.

Zane is the best.  He's just an all around good guy- well, on the ice he's got a bit of a reputation for intentional rough play but aside from that, he's got all the qualities that make for a great lead man.  I loved how Zane recognized Mara's goodness right away, probably due to his daughter, but still.  Yes, he was attracted to her but it was more than her looks.  I loved how intentional Zane was and how he handled Mara and his daughter.  It was so attractive.  And, speaking of attraction. . . <ahem>.  There is plenty of attraction between Zane and Mara.  Holy cinnamon roll scene, Batman.  And can I please get some of that?  Flame on.  

This is probably my favorite book in this series so far.  Did I say that last time?  Hmmm.  I  love this group of hockey player friends.  I love how they support each other and how they all rally around Zane and especially his little girl in this book.  It melted my heart.

Content:  Clean romance, kissing

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

Friday, February 14, 2020

The Dear Wife (More Than A Wife #3) by Jennifer Peel

She’s been holding on for dear life, now she must learn to let go.

Marathon runner and quintessential wife and mother Avery Decker appears to have it all together. But don’t let her smile fool you. Since the death of her daughter four years ago, she’s been trying to fake her way through life.

So far, it hasn’t worked out so well.

Avery is overwhelmed not only with the grief of losing her daughter, but with the fear that she’ll lose someone else she loves—her husband James. This time not to death, but to the secret demons he’s been using to cope with the loss of their little girl. Day after day she’s been privately battling to save him and their marriage, but it’s only left her exhausted and lonely. Tired of pretending, she turns to the strongest women she knows. Together they help her face the truth and realize that the only person she can save is herself. But will it cost her the person she loves the most? Or will James remember who he is and hold on to the person he holds most dear?

Content warning: This book contains sensitive subject matters including pornography addiction and the loss of a child.

I can honestly say that Jennifer Peel has one crazy, wonderful gift for writing tangible, emotional stories that stay with you long after you finish reading in them.  The way she allows me, as a reader, to become so emotionally invested in not only the story but the characters as well, always leaves me amazed.  I have no idea how she does it but I always end her stories feeling grateful to be a reader.  Not all Jennifer Peel books dig this deep into the difficulties of life but all her books breathe with real emotion.  It's something I've come to count on.

I need to say upfront that this book tackles some real, raw and hard topics.  There are many possible triggers in this book for people.  Please read my content description for a detailed list so you can decide for yourself if this book is right for you.  I will also direct you to the author's page to read what she has to say about writing this book.  Click here.

This book.  Wow.  I had a hard time putting it down.  When I did, I was thinking about it and anxious to get back.  Emotionally, this was not an easy book to read (you should keep tissues on hand) but it is beautifully written and it took me on a journey.  There is a ribbon of hope through the darkest moments and I can honestly say that this book ends in a lovely place of healing and love.  For me, it was a journey worth taking.

Avery is a good person.  Better than I would be in her situation.  I admired her strength even when she felt at her weakest.  It was especially good to see the characters from previous books in this series step in and rally around both Avery and James as family and friends.  

I would say that this book can stand alone but you will have a much stronger connection it if you read the whole series in order.  It will help you have a clear view of the family, their motivations and their history together.

Content:  frequent mild swearing, situations involving pornography- use and addiciton, emotional and verbal affairs, discussion and mention of intimate relations between a husband and wife, loss of a child,  alcohol abuse

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

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

The Winter Companion (Parish Orphans of Devon #4) by Mimi Matthews

She Needed to be Seen...

As a lady’s companion, Clara Hartwright never receives much attention from anyone. And that’s precisely how she likes it. With a stormy past, and an unconventional plan for her future, it’s far safer to remain invisible. But when her new employer is invited to a month-long holiday at a remote coastal abbey, Clara discovers that she may not be as invisible as she'd hoped. At least, not as far as one gentleman is concerned.

He Wanted to be Heard...
Neville Cross has always been more comfortable with animals than people. An accident in his youth has left him with a brain injury that affects his speech. Forming the words to speak to his childhood friends is difficult enough. Finding the right things to say to a lovely young lady’s companion seems downright impossible. But Miss Hartwright is no ordinary companion. In fact, there may not be anything ordinary about her at all.

During a bleak Devon winter, two sensitive souls forge an unexpected friendship. But when Clara needs him most, will Neville find the courage to face his fears? Or is saying goodbye to her the most heroic thing he can do?

  * Amazon * Goodreads

If you are following me on Facebook, Instagram or Goodreads, you will know that Mimi Matthews is my new author obsession.  I started with the first book in this series and then worked my way forward and back.  I have loved all the books.  Did you know that this author does a serial novel- releasing a chapter at a time- in her newsletter?  It's SO good and it's also driving me nuts because one chapter per month is a horrible way to read a novel by this author!!  I lack patience.  If you are interested in Mimi or in joining her newsletter you can do so HERE.

This is the fourth book in this series.  I would recommend reading them in order for your best reading enjoyment.  The characters from previous books play a large role in each book so it has a building feel to it.  This book especially.  All four friends are together for the Christmas holiday and knowing their backstories will really help.

I've been waiting and dreaming of Neville's story.  I knew there would be so much to learn with him.  We've been getting bits and pieces of his childhood accident through the other characters and their stories but it was so nice to actually get the story from Neville himself.  Neville is the most kind and gentle human.  I found him utterly charming and endearing.  I loved how Clara and Neville bond over the animals, each filling a need for the other in the most gentle and easy way.  I also loved the quiet of the barn and how crucial that peace was for Neville as opposed to the gathering inside the house which was louder, more jovial and consequently more oppressive to Neville.  Neville really stretches himself to be with Clara and wow, it is ever satisfying to read.

I loved this book.  I loved Neville.  I love this series.  I love this author. 💙  Don't hate me for using the L word too much.

Content:  there may have been a few instances of mild swearing and profanity (using God or Jesus as an exclamation) but I cannot remember exactly.  There were in previous books so there's a good chance.

- I received a complimentary copy of this book but have purchased my own copy as well.

Thursday, February 6, 2020

On Tour With A Girl's Guide to the Outback by Jessica Kate + Enter to Win A Book!

A Girl's Guide to the Outback
By Jessica Kate
Christian Contemporary Romance
Paperback, Audiobook & ebook, 368 Pages
January 28th 2020 by Thomas Nelson

How far will a girl go to win back a guy she can’t stand? This funny, sweet, and romantic story proves that opposites do attract—and that God has a sense of humor.

Samuel Payton is a passionate youth pastor in Virginia, but below the surface, he’s still recovering from the blow of a failed business and insecurities he can’t shake. His coworker, start-up expert Kimberly Foster, is brilliant, fearless, and capable, but years of personal rejection have left her defensive and longing for a family. Two people have never been more at odds—or more attracted to one another. And every day at work, the sparks sure do fly.

When Kimberly’s ambitious plans for Sam’s ministry butt up against his risk-averse nature, Sam decides that obligations to family trump his work for the church. He quits the ministry and heads home to Australia to help his sister, Jules, save her struggling farm. As Kimberly’s grand plans flounder, she is forced to face the truth: that no one can replace Sam. Together they strike up a deal: If Kimberly comes to work on Jules’s dairy farm and lends her business brains to their endeavor, then maybe—just maybe—Sam will reconsider his future with the church.

As Kimberly tries her hand at Australian farm life, she learns more about herself than she could’ve ever expected. Meanwhile Sam is forced to re-evaluate this spunky woman he thought he already knew. As foes slowly morph into friends, they wonder if they might be something even more. But when disaster strikes the farm, will Sam find it within himself to take a risk that could lead to love? And will Kimberly trust God with her future?

Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Book Depository
Target | iBooks | Kobo | GooglePlay | TNZFiction

What a cute book!  I loved the setting and I loved getting to know the characters in this book.  They had depth and personality.  This author is great at creating scenes that I can easily visualize in my mind and I love how it all played out so vividly.

Kimberly is really like an onion with those layers being peeled back slowly, one at a time.  I loved her drive, her determination, her willingness to work hard and her desire to be a part of something bigger than just herself.  Who cannot relate with the desire to belong?  It really connected me to Kimberly.

When Kimberly arrives in Australia, she begins to become somewhat of a revelation for Sam too.  Watching him realize things not only about Kimberly but about his own life and tendencies was very satisfying.  And Jules?  She was fun.  I'm glad she got a happy ending too.  💙


Content:  kissing, mild peril, Christian fiction

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

About the Author

Australian author Jessica Kate writes inspirational romances with wit, sass, and grit. Jessica is a screenwriting groupie, cohost of the StoryNerds vlog and podcasts, and her favorite place to be—apart from Mum and Dad’s back deck—is a theme park. She has traveled North America and Australia, and samples her favorite pasta wherever she goes—but the best (so far) is still the place around the corner from her corporate day job as a training developer. She loves watching sitcoms with her housemates and being a leader in a new church plant.

On Tour with Prism Book Tours

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One winner will receive a print copy of Love and Other Mistakes by Jessica Kate
US only
Ends February 12, 2020

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Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Adoring Abigail by Chalon Linton + Enter To Win This Book!

Captain Robert Wilkins has never aspired to grandeur. So when the returned war hero unexpectedly inherits the vast estate of Cattersley from his great-aunt, he feels woefully inadequate in his new role. Out of place in his lavish surroundings, his first glimmer of hope comes when he happens upon a lovely trespasser in his gardens.

Words have never come easily for Abigail Rutherford, and she prefers the solitude of exploring the gardens at the neighboring country estate to engaging in uncomfortable conversation. But when she unexpectedly encounters Captain Robert Wilkins in her place of solace, she is surprised at the immediate ease she feels in his presence. Soon her brightest moments are those spent with the captain. But even as their friendship grows into something more, outside forces have other plans for the two. Mr. Mead, the handsome vicar, has also taken a liking to the quiet and timid Abigail—and he will stop at nothing to ensure she becomes his wife.

I've been looking forward to this book since I heard it was coming out.  It seems like everyone read this book (and loved it!) before me.  Finally it's my turn.

This story is told in the first person with the alternating voices of Robert and Abigail.  I really loved getting both points of view and feeling the intimacy of their thoughts.  Robert and Abigail are both kind people.  Robert is very aware of everything going on around him.  He is invested in learning his new role and doing a good job.  He really pays attention to Abigail and notices the small things but he never pushes her or forces her to divulge things she is uncomfortable with.  Abigail is a character worth rooting for and honestly I couldn't help myself.  She's the underdog, unfairly repressed and insulted for most of her life.  I wanted all good things for her and even felt outrage on her behalf when people were mean. 

I could easily picture the people and places in this story.  It all flowed gently and easily.  All things led to a very sigh worthy ending and I really enjoyed it!

Content:  kissing, a couple instances of untoward advances

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

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, February 3, 2020

Loving Her Fling (Hidden Hollows #3) by Heather B. Moore

Can her love tame her fling?

Everly King’s life might be on a Plan B track, but she’s perfectly content with her job, her nights out at the movies, and putting her past behind her. She certainly doesn’t need to be reminded over and over that her sister is, well, engaged to Everly’s ex.

Austin Hayes is the architect hired to redesign Everly's beloved theater. As a widower with a young daughter, the last thing he wants is to juggle another relationship.

Thankfully, Austin is only in Hidden Hollows for a few weeks. A fake relationship seems exactly what both need. After all, when it’s just a fling, no one gets hurt. Right?

I love Heather B. Moore and I loved this book!  I am always drawn to fake to real scenarios.  I really loved the overall feel to this book.  It wasn't over the top or extreme but had a real, down to earth vibe that made me comfortable and happy.  The first meet in the movie theater was cute and really set the stage for the rest of the book.  It was great.

Everly is a fun character, a little quirky, and very sweet.  She seemed to know how to soothe people and help them feel better.  Everly tends to put other people before herself which is a great quality but I also loved when she took a stand and let her voice be heard.  Austin is patient with Everly, especially in the beginning when her emotions come to the front with the injustice she felt over the movie theater.  I love how he listened to her and tried to please her.  

This is the third book in this Hidden Hollows series and I haven't read the others.  Each book in this series is written by a different author and each book can stand alone.  This book is on KU if you have that.

Content:  kissing

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

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

One Summer Day (Prosperity Ranch #1) by Heather B. Moore

She’s desperate to start over. He represents the past she wants to leave behind. But falling in love is never about logic.

Macie’s divorce has left her at rock-bottom, and she uproots everything and takes her young daughter to visit Prosperity Ranch for the summer. Every kid deserves to know her grandparents, right? Macie hopes for some healing time, even if she is staying at her ex in-laws ranch. What she isn’t expecting is her ex-husband’s brother, Holt Prosper, to fit every ideal she’s ever hoped for in a man.

 * Amazon * Goodreads

I am so excited to have a new series by one of my favorite authors to delve into!  This one is set on a ranch in Texas and I just love a good rancher/cowboy lead character.  Throw in that Texas charm and yup, hello Holt.

Is it weird that Macie falls in love with her ex-husband's brother?  I think it is.  I mean, I think Holt is awesome too, but seriously.  Awkward.  I just kept thinking the whole time how weird it would be to know your wife slept with your brother.  Who is still alive and coming to family dinner.  😳 I don't know.   Don't worry though, I can easily set aside my concern and mostly focus on Holt and Macie who are two great characters deserving of happiness and love.

How could Macie not fall for Holt as she watches him fulfill every hope and wish she had going into a marriage before?  Holt is all that and a bag of cookies.  Chocolate cookies.  I loved how easy it was for Holt to extend kindness, respect and love to both Macie and her daughter.  Both Holt and Macie are ready for love and the attraction is definitely there.  Hummm yumma I love lots of kissing and I sure got it with this book. 

This is a great start to this series and I'm really looking forward to the next book, releasing in March.  One Summer Day is on KU if you have that.

Content:  mention of affairs, kissing

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


Thursday, January 23, 2020

The Will and the Wilds by Charlie N. Holmberg

Enna knows to fear the mystings that roam the wildwood near her home. When one tries to kill her to obtain an enchanted stone, Enna takes a huge risk: fighting back with a mysting of her own.

Maekallus’s help isn’t free. His price? A kiss. One with the power to steal her soul. But their deal leaves Maekallus bound to the mortal realm, which begins eating him alive. Only Enna’s kiss, given willingly, can save him from immediate destruction. It’s a temporary salvation for Maekallus and a lingering doom for Enna. Part of her soul now burns bright inside Maekallus, making him feel for the first time.

Enna shares Maekallus’s suffering, but her small sacrifice won’t last long. If she and Maekallus can’t break the spell binding him to the mortal realm, Maekallus will be consumed completely—and Enna’s soul with him.

 * Amazon * Goodreads *

I absolutely love when a cover perfectly represents what is inside.  This one is so pretty too- I love the colors.

Enna is an endearing character.  Her soul is a main source of focus in this story and for good reason.  It really does burn brightly and purely.  As Enna shares her soul with Maekallus, he begins to feel and realize things long forgotten.  I loved the contrast between dark and light in relation to Enna's soul.  The relationship develops slowly between Enna and Maekallus as they work through a common problem that binds them.   

The story also progressed slowly but picked up a bit about half way though.  I just finished reading a fast paced, high intensity book so maybe the contrast between that book and this one made it feel extra slow to me.  This book definitely wasn't intense and didn't involve my emotions much.  It was however, sweet and gentle with a unique plot and likable heroine.  This author does a good job of weaving in the magical to spark imagination.  While this wasn't my favorite book by this author, I did enjoy it and would easily recommend it to teenage (and older) fantasy lovers.  The ending really was magical. 💜

This book is on Kindle Unlimited.

Content:  kissing, mild peril, mild violence

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

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

$50 Release Day Giveaway! The Solicitor's Son by Rachael Anderson


Happy Release Day!! The Solicitor’s Son by Rachael Anderson
At the end of her third season, Miss Sophia Gifford is firmly on the shelf, and she’s determined to accept her current suitor—a man she likes but cannot love. When her sister decides to throw an impromptu summer house party, Sophia reluctantly agrees to help. What she doesn’t realize is that her sister has plans of her own—plans that would bring a certain childhood friend back into Sophia’s life. It’s been nearly a decade since Sophia has seen Hugh Quinton. He’s grown into a handsome, charming, and successful—yet completely unacceptable—tradesman. Her mother looks down on him, her father detests him, and society would snub him in an instant. Sophia shouldn’t even consider him. But her heart doesn’t listen to reason, and before long, she finds herself wondering how much she is willing to sacrifice for love.     Release Day Giveaway 
 $50 Amazon Gift Card or PayPal Cash Ends 2/2/20 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. This giveaway was organized by Kathy from Clean Wholesome Romance and is sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. 

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Rebound (Northbrook Hockey Elite #3) by Sophia Summers, Rebecca Connolly, Heather B. Moore

He's all in. She's all in. Nothing stands in their way--until their families get involved.

Summer Davis, small town librarian, PHD candidate, wants to fall in love.
Rocco De Luca, pro hockey player, didn’t know he was looking for love until he met Summer.

Now they try to navigate getting to know each other around his home game schedule with both their families vying for attention and meddling in ways only big families can. It’s a wonder they can go on a few dates at all once Summer’s brothers learn a pro hockey player is interested in their sister.

But the closer they become, the harder it will be when Summer is offered the chance of a lifetime…far away from their small town in Wyoming.

Do you love hockey?  Or, are you like me and know next to nothing about hockey?  Luckily, either way you probably love this book.  It's not the hockey that makes me love this book but the romance and the awesome relationships between  this group of friends that all started with hockey.  That is really the kind of stuff that I love to settle in with.  Love and friendship. It makes my heart happy all the way around.   

I think Rocco and Summer are both fun characters.  They are well matched and their first meet was something else!  I liked the natural progression of their relationship and the fun they had together.  

This series is one of my favorites.  I'm all in and anticipating the next book!

Content:  kissing

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

Thursday, January 16, 2020

Roman & Jules: A standalone Fake Marriage Clean Romance by Stephanie Fowers

When Jules meets Roman Verona at an exclusive Vegas party, she doesn’t suspect the bad blood that runs so deep between Roman and her boyfriend, Ty, until the two men have it out in front of her. Even worse, Jules finds out that Ty has never loved her. She storms away, only to have her ex’s sworn enemy offer her a ride into town... as well as a shocking proposal.

A nice girl wouldn’t even consider making her ex jealous with a sham marriage, so why does she chance it with Roman?

Acting the role of devoted husband, Roman soon becomes fascinated with more than Jules’s sweet smile and poetic soul. As her band’s fame grows in Vegas so do his feelings for her and what started out as revenge against his miserable cousin turns into something deeper.

But bad boys don’t settle down. So why does Roman risk everything to win Jules’ heart?

All bets are off in this modern and sleek tale of star-crossed love!

 * Amazon * Goodreads

I lovey loved this one!  😍  The story, the cover, everything!  It's my favorite from this author, I think. 

I just love a good fake marriage story and this one felt new and fresh.  There is an air of rebelliousness, revenge and recklessness as the story begins for both Roman and Jules.  It was the perfect way to lure me in!  I loved the chemistry between Roman and Jules and how it grew into friendship and respect and admiration.  When you combine chemistry with those other attributes, love is sure to follow.  Those are my favorite kind of love stories.

Roman does so many sweet things without Jules even knowing.  I love how hard he tries to please her and speak her language.  Jules is just sweet- from beginning to end.  And speaking of the end . . .  I loved it.  💙 

This book is on kindle unlimited. 

Content:  mild violence, kissing, mild innuendo

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

The Way of the Brave (Global Search and Rescue #1) by Susan May Warren

Former pararescue jumper Orion Starr is haunted by the memory of a rescue gone wrong. He may be living alone in Alaska now, but the pain of his failure--and his injuries--has followed him there from Afghanistan. He has no desire to join Hamilton Jones's elite rescue team, but he also can't shirk his duty when the call comes in to rescue three lost climbers on Denali.

Former CIA profiler and psychiatrist Jenny Calhoun's yearly extreme challenge with her best friends is her only escape from the guilt that has sunk its claws into her. As a consultant during a top-secret mission to root out the Taliban, she green-lighted an operation that ended in ambush and lives lost. When her cathartic climb on Denali turns deadly, she'll be forced to trust her life and the lives of her friends to the most dangerous of heroes--the man she nearly killed.

Her skills and his experience are exactly what's needed to prevent another tragedy--but in order to truly set Orion free from his painful past, Jenny will have to reveal hers. They'll have to put their wounds behind them to survive, but at what cost?

It took me a bit to really get into this book. There are a lot of characters introduced quickly and it was hard enough to keep everyone straight at first let alone make emotional connections.  I can see that this story is laying the foundation for the series to come and there are many, many players in this game.  Each book will add a layer to an overarching story/mystery to be solved.  It's exciting to think about.

I have no idea how people willingly go into places like Denali where it's well below freezing, you can never get warm, you eat nasty things and seriously?  It's a death trap.   It absolutely boggles my mind.  But, welcome to a whole story of characters willing do this.  😳  A story of a whole group of characters who nearly freeze to death, starve, get altitude sickness, fall over cliffs, get injured, and almost die on more than one occasion.  Yup, it's one harrowing experience after another.  It's intense and my body was so locked up for half this book!  I had to remind myself to relax.

It was interesting to see how the different characters handled guilt and fear.  Not everyone responds the same in extreme situations which is what makes us human and individual.  I like how this author portrays that.

Meanwhile, Orion and Jenny come in contact after 3 years apart.  There are many things swirling around them from the past and it's all mixed in with some pretty yummy attraction.  I liked how things came together in the end and how I could feel the shift in not only the characters but the story line as well.  I'm looking forward to the next book!

Content: some violence, peril, death, kissing, Christian elements (a bit on the heavier side)

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

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

The Last Shot (Love in Chaos #3) by Amy Matayo

It’s the same routine every night, and country music superstar Teddy Hayes wouldn’t have it any other way.

7:00 pm: Arena doors open and fans fill the stands.
7:45 pm: Lights go out and spotlights come on.
7:46 pm: Energy from concert-goers reaches an ear-spitting crescendo.
7:47 pm: Teddy takes the stage and begins to sing.

But tonight, something is off.

It starts when a stage light malfunctions and sends sparks into the air.
It continues when his drummer stops playing and stares slack-jawed in Teddy’s direction.
It dawns on him when a fan doubles-over and a red stain spreads across her shirt.
Something isn’t just off tonight.

Someone in the crowd is shooting a gun.

And it’s up to a female bodyguard he’s never met before to save his life.

 * Amazon * Goodreads

Wow.  This book jumped right into the thick of things.  There was no easing into this climactic situation and honestly, it just doesn't let you go.  This book was very intense for me and very frightening.  Maybe because it is so real.  The previous books in this series are very real too, but they were more about the elements against people.  That is scary but not personal.  People shooting other people is personal and it's the stuff of nightmares.  There were a few times I had to close the book and walk away for a minute- just to calm my emotions. 

Lest you think all is lost- love begins in the darkest of places.  Literally.  I don't even think it was romantic love at first- just a common love for another human being struggling and needing comfort and support that turned to awareness.  I loved the connection forged between Teddy and Jane.  In the hardest, scariest moments of their lives, they are joined together, trying to make sense of what is happening and trying to stay alive.  Amy Matayo is so good at working through raw human emotions and turning it into something beautiful.  It really helped me feel like I knew intimately both Teddy and Jane.  

I think I read through this book in fast forward.  I actually thought when I finished that it was a shorter book- barely novel length.  Haha.  No.  It's a good size novel and I just blew through it so fast that it felt that way.  I couldn't help it, I guess.  That's what intense does to me. 

This book is the third in the series.  It can stand alone but characters from previous books make an appearance or two so you might be happier if you read the others first.  These books are all on Kindle Unlimited.

The Waves
The Aftermath

 Content:  violence, peril, mild swearing, kissing, mention of casual intimate relations

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

Thursday, January 9, 2020

On Wings of Devotion (Codebreakers #2) by Roseanna M. White

All of England thinks Phillip Camden a monster--a man who deliberately caused the deaths of his squadron. But as nurse Arabelle Denler watches the so-dubbed "Black Heart" every day, she sees something far different: a hurting man desperate for mercy. And when their paths twist together and he declares himself her new protector, she realizes she has her own role to play in his healing.

Phillip Camden would have preferred to die that day with his squadron rather than be recruited to the Admiralty's codebreaking division. The threats he receives daily are no great surprise and, in his opinion, well deserved. What comes as a shock is the reborn desire to truly live that Arabelle inspires in him.

But when an old acquaintance shows up and seems set on using him in a plot that has the codebreakers of Room 40 in a frenzy, new affections are put to the test.

 * Goodreads * Amazon *

I'm so excited to have discovered a new author whose books I love!  Roseanna M. White!  She writes historical fiction which is one of my favorite genres.  This particular series is set during WWII and it really is amazing.  The whole story just came alive in my head.  I could picture the characters, the places and all the things going on.  On Wings of Devotion is the second book in the series.  I was lucky enough to pick up book one (The Number of Love) on a deal from Amazon (It's still on sale for just $.79 so grab it NOW! If you don't follow me on Facebook, you should!  That's where I post about all the freebies and deals I find!) and I read it right before reading this book.  It was awesome to jump right from one book to another and never leave that world of characters.

We first meet Phillip Camden in book one.  He is aggressive and angry with the weight of the world on his shoulders.  I'm so glad this second book was all about him and the golden hearted Arabelle.  I loved how the story grew steadily and how my emotions were invested.  By the end I felt almost desperate, reading much faster than I should have been!  

This whole Codebreakers idea is fascinating to me.  What an important part of history that I had no idea about before now.  The author does a great job of outlining fact and fiction in her afterwords so I recommend reading those.

If you love historical fiction, I would really recommend this series.  I will be anxiously awaiting the next book!!

Content:  some violence, peril, kissing.  Christian fiction.

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

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Just a Boyfriend (End of the Line #2) by Sariah Wilson

Ian “Bash” Sebastian and Ember Carlson were high school sweethearts…until their single parents got married. With one thorny twist of fate, a secret young crush went from on fire to off-limits. What could a new stepbrother do but bail? Now, after almost four years, Bash has returned to Seattle, and he’s back in Ember’s orbit at End of the Line. EOL is the go-to college for second-chance scholarships. But what about love?

Sure, the old hurts are there. So is the attraction—and it’s more magnetic than ever. Still, they’re adults now, levelheaded and just fine with the friend thing. If only to make family dinners less awkward. But when they agree to start dating other people, moving on threatens to bring them closer together than ever.

Is it time to admit their past to their parents? Even trickier, their hope for the future? Because Ember and Bash deserve a love story of their own. With all their defenses down, can they make it a happy ever after?

It's always a happy day with a happy dance when I get to read a new Sariah Wilson book!  And that's what this book made me- happy, happy, happy.  It was flirty and fun but not without it's more serious issues.  The characters do struggle a bit with outside issues and they also struggle between themselves but it never became greater or more oppressive  than the love and attractions swirling around them from the very beginning.  Have I ever mentioned how much I love swirling love and attractions?  Yum.  Sariah Wilson does this sort of thing very well.

I first met Bash in the previous book in this series.  I knew he was going to be a fun character to delve into.  Ember and Bash have a very interesting relationship and history.  It makes for some equally awkward and heart warming situations.  I really enjoyed reading this one- it was just what I needed.  I smiled and I swooned.  See?  Happy.

This is the second book in this series but can stand alone.  You might be happier if you read the first book (The Friend Zone) though.  The characters from that book do appear in this book.  

Content:  kissing, making out.  Some light innuendo.

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

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

A Wrinkle in Forever (Love Under Wraps Book 3) by Charissa Stastny

What do you do when forever unravels?

Laurel Tremain never imagined when she ousted Everett Montgomery from student council that she would lose her heart to the arrogant, but oh-so-charming jock. That was the moment their love story began and flourished into a forever kind of love.

But a tragic accident the night before their wedding leaves Laurel broken, unable to give Everett what he most desires. When she realizes he will never be the one to walk away, she runs, placing a permanent wrinkle in the fabric of their lives.

Years later, a twist of fate brings Everett back into Laurel’s orbit. He’s struggled to move on since she disappeared from his life, and the forever he longed for has diverged far off course. But being with Laurel again proves that time hasn't erased his feelings. Laurel is still his perfect match.

There’s just one problem. Their second chance rests squarely in the forbidden zone.

 * Goodreads * Amazon *

I have been loving this Love Under Wraps series.  The first two books were SO good.  I struggled with this one though and I really hate to say that.  I'm going to go with the good and the not so good for me.  This book is written in alternating perspectives and jumps back and forth through time.  Just make sure to pay attention to the dates to keep everything straight!  Oh, and this book is Looooooong.  Over 350 pages.

The good:  I feel like I really knew the characters- their motivations, their struggles, their strengths and weaknesses.  I was definitely sucked into the drama of the story and it was hard to disengage myself- especially in the first half.  I could picture the scenes in this book and felt like I was there with the characters.

The bad:  There was so much drama in this book.  So many depressing, hard and dramatic things happening.  All the time.  All the way through.  Just when you think there might be a speck of hope, nope.  Nada.  I had a hard time being in the throes of depression and hard things for the majority of the book.  As a reader, I really need to feel that hope and that light.  This book swirls in darkness most of the time.  It was depressing and I didn't like it.

I think the author threw in every single horrible thing she could think of into this book.  I was listing them all to my daughter and it almost got ridiculous saying them all out loud.  I won't list them all here because if you want to read this book, I don't want to give anything away but please be advised that I will be listing many things in my content head's up so read it or don't as you will.  I don't mind hard issues for characters in the books I read.  I love depth and growth but I really need a balance so the darkness doesn't become overwhelming.

The next thing I was surprised with was the swearing and sexual references in this book.  I wouldn't label it clean and I thought this was a clean romance series.  Also, there are a lot of potential triggers for people in this book so be aware.

I'm sorry to say I didn't enjoy this book.  I really am.  Every book is different for every reader and this one just wasn't for me.

Content:  swearing, sexual references (groping), innuendo, crass thoughts and words, drinking to excess, teenage partying and drinking, references to casual sex, drug abuse and addiction, suicide, overdose, rape, molestation, depression, marital affairs, child neglect.

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