Friday, October 30, 2020

Dawn of Darkness (The Riven Kingdoms #3) by Shari L. Tapscott

Princess Amalia of Renove expected to find plague and death when she and Rhys entered the kingdom of Draegan, but she didn’t realize she’d find herself in a nest of lies and deception.
Now the princess’s world is crumbling. She must learn to navigate a wicked court, where everyone wants something from her—including the one man she thought she could trust.

And Amalia isn’t the only one struggling. Newly betrothed Cassia finds herself torn between family, duty, and love. One wrong decision, and the Draeganish princess’s world could come to an end.

Time is running short for the two riven kingdoms. An army of darkness gathers, preparing to destroy the entire continent.

Little do any of the royals know there are more players behind the scenes. Whether they act for the good of the kingdoms, or their destruction, only time will tell…

 * Amazon * Goodreads *

AAAAHHHHH!  Book three!!!!  So much love and excitement for this series AND this book!  But ARG!  Now I have to wait for book four!  I know it won't be too long (January) but it really feels like a long time.  (you know, NEXT YEAR)

I am loving the progression of the story, the characters and the excitement.  Tension is building, relationships are building and it's headed to a very climactic conclusion.  This book is filled with adventure and battles against the dark monsters.  There is magical love and I just adore how the light and healing comes to the land and the people through love.  

I read through this book so quickly.  I couldn't help myself.  Now I am left waiting, once again, for the next book.  It's so hard to wait but so worth it because I love this book, this series and this author.

Content:  peril, violence, death, kissing

This book is available on Kindle Unlimited.  (as is the whole series!!)

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Warriors of Wing and Flame (Sisters of Shadow and Light #2) by Sara B. Larson



The doorway between the magical Visempirum and the human world has been reopened. Paladin are once more living in the citadel where Zuhra and Inara grew up completely isolated by the magical hedge that trapped them there. Amidst the brewing conflict between the Paladin and humans looms the threat of Barloc, who has stolen Inara’s immense power and continues to elude the Paladin who are desperately searching for him.

In this sequel to Sisters of Shadow and Light, Inara and Zuhra must navigate the treacherous paths of self-discovery, their love for each other, and for the boys who have captured their hearts. Together, they search for the strength within themselves to bridge the divide between the two worlds they inhabit, even as war threatens to destroy everything—and everyone—they love.

 * Amazon * Goodreads

After reading the first book in this duology, I was anxiously awaiting this book.  The first book left off in a cliff hanger place so it felt like a rough place to end and a long time to wait.  You really must read the first book before you read this book.

This book picks up pretty much where the last book leaves off.  It has excellent pacing and plenty going on that kept me interested in the story and invested in the characters.  I loved the mix of adventure, action, romance and magic.  I also loved how all the characters came together to fight against Barloc.  It was satisfying to watch both Zuhra and Inara grow into power and confidence while the people around them support and build them up.

The only little glitch I had was telling the sisters apart.  Their voices became very similar in this book and because the author changes the character narrative with each chapter, I found I had to go back and remind myself who was talking.  Not always, but a few times for sure. 

 This is a fun young adult fantasy duology and I really enjoyed it.  

Content:  peril, violence, death, kissing

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

Monday, October 26, 2020

In Name Only (Pine Falls Novel Book 2) by Jennifer Peel

He gave his name to protect her. All she wanted was his heart. 

Dani Kramer used to think growing up in foster homes was the most difficult thing she would ever have to do until all her dreams come true. Married to the love of her life, Dr. Brock Holland, and running a foundation that specializes in finding jobs for kids out of foster care, Dani seems to have it all. What no one knows is that it could all go away tomorrow if anyone finds out about the precious secret she carries.

For Brock Holland, military doctor, life has always been about duty to his career and country. But when he’s captured during a joint allied training mission, thoughts of Dani, his best friend, the woman he’s tried for years not to fall in love with, help him not only survive but reevaluate his priorities. However, when he returns home, he finds Dani is pregnant. In a cruel twist, duty calls again. He must marry Dani to save her from becoming a political pawn in a dangerous game she didn’t know she had signed up to play. 

But who will protect Dani’s and Brock’s hearts from each other? Or will they discover their marriage is more than only sharing a last name?

* Goodreads * Amazon  

What just happened?!  I'll tell you exactly what just happened.  I fell in love.  My heart broke.  Then it fluttered with hope.  Then it broke again.  Then it celebrated.  Then it got stomped on.  Torn out.  But then put back together, a little different then when it started but still beating and hopeful and full of love.  Does this sound like an emotional roller coaster?  Yes.  Yes it does.  But in the very best of ways.

Dani and Brock have history.  It's a bit complicated (and by a bit, I mean a LOT), in the past and at the present time.  Both are battling their own demons while trying to navigate a very sticky and stressful situation.

Author Jennifer Peel has said that this Pine Falls series is a bit like a soap opera, and it really is!  But again, in the very best of ways.  There is so much drama.  DRAMA LAMA.  I LOVED it.  There aren't enough hearts to convey my love for this book.  That's because this author does such a good job of making me feel things.  I am invested in her characters and I'm full of emotions.  That's a win.  I'm willing to be put through the wringer if I come out with heart eyes in the end and have real emotions all the way through.

It was really hard to drag myself away from this book.  When I wasn't reading it, I was thinking about it.  I can't wait to go back and read it again!  Oh, and this might be one of my favorite covers ever.  I am in love with it as well as what's inside!

Content warning: Mention of intimate relations but nothing in detail.  Kissing.  This book contains sensitive material related to PTSD, brief military violence, and pregnancy. For more detailed descriptions that include spoiler alerts see the authors blog on her website.  

Saturday, October 24, 2020

A Portrait of Loyalty (The Codebreakers #3) by Roseanna M. White

Zivon Marin was one of Russia's top cryptographers, until the October Revolution tore apart his world. Forced to flee after speaking out against Lenin and separated from his brother along the way, he arrives in England driven by a growing anger and determined to offer his services to the Brits.

Lily Blackwell sees the world best through the lens of a camera--and possesses unsurpassed skill when it comes to retouching and recreating photographs. With her father's connections in propaganda, she's recruited to the intelligence division, even though her mother would disapprove.

After Captain Blackwell invites Zivon to dinner one evening, a friendship blooms between him and Lily. He sees patterns in what she deems chaos; she sees beauty in a world he thought destroyed. But both have secrets they're unwilling to share. When her photographs reveal that someone has been following Zivon, his loyalties are called into question--and his enemies are discovered to be far closer than he'd feared.

 * Amazon * Goodreads *

This series is so good!  I love historical fiction and these stories have a fresh take on lives in intelligence during war.  This one was a bit different as it dealt with pictures instead of codes but happened in the same building as the other books so previous characters were still around and involved in this story too.  I think these books can stand on their own but I would highly recommend reading them in order.  They are all so good.

I loved Zivon.  LOVED him.  The way he thought things through and tried so hard to be a good person.  He had depth and loyalty.  Lily was pretty great as well and I loved how her talents for photos were used in this story.  I never really gave thought to how photo editing was done back then or even that it was a thing that could be done.  I learned something new while being entertained.

This story started off slow for me.  It took me a bit of time to become invested in it but it did happen.  The story has a slow build to it and by the end of the book I was completely hooked- feeling the emotions and invested in the outcome.  This is probably one of my favorite historical fictions series and definitely my favorite this year.

Content:  mild peril, death, mild violence, kissing, Christian elements (talk of God, praying, forgiving)

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

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Autumn Skies (Bluebell Inn Romance #3) by Denise Hunter



The Bluebell Inn is turning a profit, and it’s time for the Bennett siblings to sell it and move on. Only Grace has plans to stay in the small lake town of Bluebell, North Carolina, where she hopes her growing outfitters business will save her from the loneliness of her siblings’ departure and the persistent sense of unworthiness in her life.

A gunshot wound resurrects the past for Secret Service agent Wyatt Jennings, and a mandatory leave of absence lands him in Bluebell. There he must come to grips with the tragedy that altered his life fourteen years ago.

When Wyatt books a room at the Bluebell Inn, sparks fly between him and Grace. She volunteers to be his mountain guide, and he soon opens up to her, drawn to her strength and sense of humor. But both are reticent to talk about the survivor’s guilt they each carry, and when their pasts finally collide, their budding romance might not survive the truth.

 * Amazon * Goodreads *

I think this book may be my favorite of this series.  I really loved it- from beginning to end.  The characters and the story progression felt natural and moved forward at a great pace.  I was so invested in this story the whole way through. 

Wyatt and Grace are two characters that are easy to like and easy to root for.  I enjoyed them together and apart.  Wyatt is cautious and conflicted and his story is more complex.  His search for closure brings him close to Grace who struggles with some of her own demons.  The emotions were real and even though I don't personally struggle with the same things Wyatt and Grace did, I connected with the way the characters were feeling.  That's exactly what I want as a reader.

I've loved this Bluebell Inn series but again, this story was my favorite. It was nice to see Grace's sister and brother in this book too, keeping with the family connections present in each book.  I loved how all their stories came to a feel good resolution.  It was so well done.  I think this book could stand alone but I would really recommend reading this series in order.  These three siblings play a prominent role in each book and their stories progress in each even though each book focuses on one particular person.

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

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


Friday, October 16, 2020

Billionaire Ghost Tour by Stephanie Fowers


Who says opposites attract?

When Janson and Mollie get off on the wrong foot at the bachelor auction, the two never want to see each other again... except they sorta do. In fact neither of them can stop thinking about that night.

Mollie doesn’t know what’s wrong with her. Janson Styles tops her list of most arrogant men—with his wealth, good looks and a bad boy charm that gets him in trouble with the media (not to mention with her) so why isn’t she immune to his sultry smirks?

Janson can’t stop playing with fire. Of course, he's strong enough to withstand the fiery temptation of Mollie Sawyer—not only will he book a ghost tour with that molten hot redhead, but he’ll also bring a date! It doesn’t help that the moment he sees Mollie, he loses his head again.

Now they're both in for the night of their lives, fighting attraction and unexpected dangers, while everything that can possibly go wrong does—but in all the right ways. After all, can they really be such opposites when they fit so well in each other’s arms?

 * Amazon * Goodreads *

Ooh, this is a fun book set at the perfect time for this month!  It's a ghost tour unlike any others!  I loved the bit of suspense that helped propel this story forward.  It wasn't anything too nail biting because there is fun to be had all along the way.  This author did a good job of keeping me smiling with quirky and funny things all while the characters were being chased.  Oh, and there was attraction too that led to some good kissing.  Like I said- it was a fun romp.  (I realize I'm using the word fun too much.  Sorry. haha)

Mollie and Janson have a rough start.  Mollie is all sorts of fiery and she dishes Janson everything she's got.  It all backfires, of course, in the best of ways.  I loved that Janson was attracted from the get-go and that didn't change.  He wasn't intimidated by Mollie and just kept after her.

I loved the small town and how everyone knew and loved Mollie.  They definitely rallied around her when she needed them the most.  The zombie parade was a fun addition (and I saw pictures of when the author attended a real live zombie parade!) and definitely helped with the overall feel of the book.  It's perfect for October!!

This book is on kindle unlimited if you have that.

Content:  mild peril, mild violence, kissing

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Champion of the Titan Games (Dragonwatch #4) by Brandon Mull


Who will win the battle between Dragons and Giants?

As the war with the dragons intensifies, all eyes are turning to Titan Valley for help. A dragon sanctuary unlike any of the others, this one is home to enslaved dragons ruled by the powerful Giant Queen, one of the five monarchs of the magical world. In addition, it houses the arena for the Titan Games, a series of gladiator-style battles presided over by none other than Humbuggle, the demon who stole Seth’s memories!

Seth is seeking for his memories. Kendra is seeking for Seth. And everyone is seeking to stop the dragons from taking over the world—everyone but Ronodin, the dark unicorn, who has his own devious agenda. In the monstrous battle between giants and dragons, who wins? In the race to retrieve a magical talisman that could help win the war, can Kendra trust Seth? Will they find the answers they desperately need in a realm of trolls and titans? Or are more betrayals imminent?

 * Amazon * Goodreads * Deseret Book

There are some full on fans of this series out there and my husband is one of them.  He's loved this series since the very beginning of Fablehaven.  I am not the biggest fantasy fan so this isn't a series I'm naturally drawn to but I've bought them (or agreed to review them) all because, well, husband.  😊  So, now that you know that you know this little tidbit, the following is my husband's review of this book.  

The world of Fablehaven is always so much fun. A new book release in the world of Fablehaven is something I anticipate with eagerness. Brandon Mull does a good job writing the stories to include both Kendra and Seth. That being said, the previous story, Master of the Phantom Isle felt more like it focused on Kendra. For me, Champion of the Titan Games seems more a story for Seth. Seth’s hunt for his memories takes him to exciting places with fun twists.  Can he look at things a certain way?  How should he respond to an unseen presence? 

The arena games are exciting with mysterious participants and secrets to be uncovered. With angry dragons, a looming giant threat, and the Wizenstone at stake, there most assuredly will be a fight. A flying ending with some special challenges provides the icing on the cake! Fans will love this book!   

This book is part of a series that should be read in order.  This book and series is perfect for all ages.  It has a 5-6th grade reading level but younger kids would love hearing this book read aloud.  And, as I stated above adults love this series as well.  😉

Content:  peril, mild violence

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


Tuesday, October 13, 2020

The Kissing Tree: Four Novellas Rooted in Timeless Love by Karen Witemeyer, Regina Jennings, Amanda Dykes and Nicole Deese

Bestselling novelist Karen Witemeyer joins award-winning authors Regina Jennings, Amanda Dykes, and Nicole Deese for this Texas-sized romance novella collection. Each of the authors' unique voices is on display in stories where courting couples leave a permanent mark of their love by carving their initials into the same oak's bark.

In Regina Jennings' Broken Limbs, Mended Fences, a small-town teacher has her credentials questioned by a traveling salesman.

Karen Witemeyer's The Kissing Tree Inn tells the tale of an unlikely woman building a very unexpected lover's retreat.

From Roots to Sky by Amanda Dykes follows a young WWII naval airman who heads to Texas to meet the sister of a lost compatriot.

Heartwood by Nicole Deese is a modern-day romance where the aftermath of a giant storm brings changes for the owner of a historic inn.

 * Amazon * Goodreads

This was the sweetest book!  I love how each book is connected by a tree that lasts through generations of people.  In the first book we get our first introduction to the tree and see how it's history and legend were started.  I love how each story is set in a different decade of time bringing different challenges to the characters.

I thought all the stories were well done.  These are all great authors and it's fun to see them writing for one collection.  What a fun idea this was!  Each story is novella size so I read through them pretty quickly. 

The tree is an integral part of each of the couple's stories and romances and I really loved how each generation celebrated the tree's history and honored it's place in their community. It really gave the whole book such a romantic feel.

Content:  mild peril, kissing

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


Monday, October 12, 2020

Otherwise Engaged by Joanna Barker


She’s never been afraid of breaking the rules—until she risks breaking her heart

Constantly stifled by the rules of Society, spirited Rebecca Rowley enjoys finding ways to quietly—or not so quietly—rebel. But riding bareback and avoiding nosy neighbors are nothing compared to the thrilling secret she is keeping from her family.
When Rebecca’s quick thinking saves the life of a young girl, she unwittingly attracts the attention of the child’s dashing brother, Lieutenant Nicholas Avery. As that attention turns flirtatious, Rebecca is forced to tell him the truth: she is secretly engaged—to the one man her family would never approve of. Fortunately, Lieutenant Avery is a navy man with no wish to marry, or so they both assume as they enter into a friendship. Rebecca hopes to change her family’s mind about her betrothed, but the more she comes to know the handsome lieutenant, the more she wonders if she promised her hand too hastily.

After all her carefully laid plans are shattered during a family crisis, Rebecca must force her heart to decide. Should she stay true to the promise she made or fight for the future she’s only just begun to imagine?

 * Amazon * Goodreads * Deseret Book *

I just love when a book engages my interest from the very beginning and doesn't let go.  That's what this book was- engaging and interesting.  The characters were enjoyable and the plot was layered.  Oh, and isn't the cover pretty?

Rebecca is a fun character.  She longs for adventure and freedom.  Yes, she is a bit on the obstinate side but she is kind and never tries to purposely hurt anyone.  I loved her passionate side and how much she loved riding her horse- fast!  Her family is protective of her but they recognize her zest for riding and try not to stifle her too much.  If only they knew . . .

The first meeting between Nicholas and Rebecca was a good one.  Think of a good dousing in a lake.  I love how although things between Nicholas and Rebecca start out a bit rocky, their friendship is genuine and grows in a lovely, natural way.  Because they are both great characters, it was easy to love them both.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book.  The ending was dramatic and romantic.  The epilogue was just what my heart wanted to seal the deal.

Content:  kissing

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

Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Widows of Somerset by Rebecca Connolly, Jen Geigle Johnson and Heather B. Moore



Rules of the Secret Society of Young Widows:
Rule 1: Be a widow.
Rule 2: Have an impeccable reputation.
Rule 3: Don't fall in love again.

AN HEIR TO SPARE by Rebecca Connolly
Widowhood has changed much for Anna—Lady Lyndham—but an unconventional heir to the estate was not something she had anticipated. Nor had she anticipated that he would have no intention of forcing her out, although he has every right to. And she certainly did not anticipate finding him handsome, charming, and unfailingly generous. But Ned Richards, the new Lord Lyndham, has a world of surprises in store for her, and not anticipating them will become quite the adventure.

As a widow, Lillian Hunter has never been in love and plans to never marry again, so the rules of the Secret Society of Young Widows suit her just fine. Her days are spent attempting to transform her newly inherited Lavender Cottage into a livable space until Oliver Wentworth shows up, asking for her late husband. Anxious to establish himself as a landed gentry in Somerset, Oliver is none too pleased to discover that a widow lives alone in a tiny run down cottage bordering his new property. The fact that she’s young and attractive only adds frustration to his sense of responsibility over her. And confound her, she challenges his every attempt to help manage her affairs.

Charlotte Ashford never thought she’d marry a vicar, and she never thought she’d find herself widowed with a young child to care for on her own. She certainly never thought she’d return to Somerset to live with her mother again, and Charlotte never thought she’d see him again. But Lord Wilshore has never forgotten her, and he has never forgotten their promise made long ago. Charlotte would love nothing more than for Lord Wilshore to forgive her, but too much heartache and too much time might make that impossible. Friendship is all she can hope for, but that hope may be dashed as well.

 * Goodreads * Amazon

There is so much to love about this book and these three stories!  All three of these authors are fantastic and they have created such a fun premise for these stories.  A society of widows who educate themselves so that the varying situations of destitution never happen to them again.  I really love this- women helping other women to succeed.

All three of these stories are lovely.  Both the female and male leads in all books are smart, strong and just all around good people.  (Anna and Ned might be my favorite!)  The stories have a consistency to them with the overlapping of some secondary characters.  It made the stories feel interwoven and I liked that.

The stories were very romantic and made my heart happy.  There were plenty of emotional moments and fun moments.  There was growth and there was love.  All had fantastic happily ever afters.  It was perfect!  💙

Content:  kissing

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

Monday, October 5, 2020

Brass Carriages and Glass Hearts (Steampunk Proper Romance #4) by Nancy Campbell Allen + Win This Book!



Emmeline O’Shea is determined to save the world—single-handedly, if necessary. A strong voice for societal reform, she is the natural choice to deliver a key speech at the end of the International Shifter Rights Organization’s week-long Summit in Scotland.

But when a death threat arrives at Emme’s home, she is immediately placed into protective custody, watched over by none other than her personal nemesis, Detective-Inspector Oliver Reed. The two have crossed paths many times, with disastrous results, but now they will have to work together in order to reach the Summit before midnight of the last day in order to ensure legislation is passed to protect the Shifter community.

As unseen enemies close in around Emme and Oliver, they struggle to reach Edinburgh by any means necessary, only to find Emme’s vindictive stepsister, Oliver’s vampire brother, and a dangerous political minefield awaiting them in Scotland.

Even more difficult is their own refusal to admit that the fiery animosity that once burned between them might be turning into the heat of romantic passion. Could a straitlaced policeman determined to uphold the law and an outspoken activist willing to break the rules ever find true love? Or will all their dreams shatter like glass when the clock strikes midnight?

 * Amazon * Goodreads * Deseret Book

I've been reading this series from the beginning and it's been so fun.  Steampunk allows for elements that other book genres don't have so it feels unique and different.  This series also has some paranormal elements with people known as "shifters".  This book and this series always feel like a breath of fresh air and a good change up from the regular genres I read.

Emme is a strong voice for shifter rights and she definitely makes her voice heard which earns her some nasty enemies.  Oliver and Emme have known each other for a long time as Oliver almost always puts an end to Emme's protests and gatherings when things turn violent.  As a result, Oliver and Emme have a rough start when Oliver is assigned to protect Emme.  They both slowly realize they don't know all that much about each other and it was fun to watch them learn more and come to new realizations.  These characters are well developed and I loved that both Emme and Oliver were strong, intelligent, passionate and courageous.  They were evenly matched in almost every way.

There is a bit of mystery, a bit of adventure and a growing romance.  It all worked together so well.  I also loved seeing characters from previous books appear in this book.  I don't think you have to read this series in order but you will probably be happier if you do.  Each book can stand alone though.  If you haven't ever read a steampunk book, I would highly recommend you try one.  You might be surprised at how much you like them.

Content:  mild peril, mild violence, death, kissing

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

I happen to have an extra copy of this book that I want to give away!  Yay!!  This giveaway is for US residents only as I have to ship the book. 

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