Tuesday, February 28, 2023

Just Add Mischief (An Everly Falls Novel) by Heather B. Moore


New neighbor? No, thank you. Peace and quiet? Yes, please.

Fresh from a broken engagement, the last thing Brandy Kane wants is to deal with her standoffish new neighbor, even if his dog is a sweetheart.

Ian Hudson doesn’t like people, which includes the busybody family who’s apparently moving in the property below his private cabin. A place he thought was abandoned for good. He’s secluded himself for a reason, and he isn’t about to allow his peace to be disturbed.

But when the rest of his teetering world takes a nose dive, his new neighbor might be the only one to get him through. It will just take adding a little mischief.

 * Goodreads * Amazon *

Aw, what a sweet romance.  I loved the peaceful setting in the woodsy area, the gradual building friendship to romance between Ian and Brandy, the pop of suspense and the cute dog!

This is a sunshine/grump, fake dating troupe with the bonus of a little suspense toward the end to liven things up.  I love a little suspense.  Or a lot.  I like that too.  :)  

It was fun to see Brandy win over Ian with her kindness and understanding.  Both Ian and Brandy have some past (and present) hurts they are trying to work through and I love how they discovered it was better to deal with them together.  They were fun characters and I enjoyed getting to know them through this story.

Content:  mild peril, mild violence.  Kissing.  Mention of infidelity.

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

Thursday, February 23, 2023

Memory Lane by Becky Wade


After surviving a trauma several years back, Remy Reed relocated to a cottage on one of Maine’s most remote islands. She’s arranged her life just the way she wants it, spending her time working on her wood sculptures and soaking in the beauty of nature. It’s quiet and solitary—until the day she spots something bobbing in the ocean.

Her binoculars reveal the “something” to be a man, and he’s struggling to keep his head above water. She races out to save him and brings him into her home. He’s injured, which doesn’t detract from his handsomeness nor make him any easier to bear. He acts like a duke who’s misplaced his dukedom . . . expensive tastes, lazy charm, bossy ideas.

Remy would love nothing more than to return him to his people, but he has no recollection of his life prior to the moment she rescued him. Though she’s not interested in relationships other than the safe ones she’s already established, she begins to realize that he’s coming to depend on her.

Who is he? What happened that landed him in the Atlantic Ocean? And why is she drawn to him more and more as time goes by?

There’s no way to discover those answers except to walk beside him down memory lane.

First, I have to say that I am a fan of this author.  I've been reading her books for so long.  She's an auto read for me and I rarely read the blurbs for the books before agreeing to review.  That's why this book caught me a bit off guard.  It is totally different than what I've read before and not what I was expecting at all.  That isn't a bad thing!  

This book was more mystery.  Remy finds a man in the ocean that has been through things, clearly.  He's battered and can't remember anything.  There is the whole mystery around what happened and as he tries to recover and remember, the plot thickens.  I really liked *Jonah*.  He was quite determined and ever so patient with Remy, who has a shell harder than a turtle. The things he did to help and support Remy were so sweet.  He was always thinking of her.   I'm not exactly sure how *Jonah* became so enamored with her because man, was she hard to get to know and like for me, as a reader.  So prickly, that one.  Yes, she has some good reasons due to her own trauma, but still.

I would say this story was a bit heavier due to some of the trauma the characters experienced.  This wasn't a light read.  It was a little gritty and stayed pretty heavy all the way through but the ending was really good.  Everything came together in a great climactic showdown and it was completely engaging.  I loved that part!  The epilogue helped lighten things and gave me some happily ever after vibes.

I'm looking forward to the next book about Joel, who is *Jonah's* brother.  FBI and going under cover.  It should be so good!

Content:  peril, mild violence.  Kissing.  Some trigger warnings for rape and infidelity.  Some Christian elements.

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

Tuesday, February 21, 2023

Fraser (Minnesota Marshalls #1) by Susan May Warren


Fraser Marshall is pretty sure his career as a Spec Ops fighter is over. Yes, he’s gone into private security, working for Jones, Inc, but his last gig ended with him wounded and taken captive. And those wounds just won’t heal. The last thing he wants to do is stick around his family’s winery pressing grapes. But what choices does he have?

The answer comes via a panicked phone call from his kid brother, Creed.

Help, Fraser. I’m in over my head…

Yeah he is, because he’s run away with a princess, with her bodyguard hot on the trail. And said bodyguard, Pippa Butler is going to hunt them down, no matter the cost.

Even if she has to join forces with a bossy, arrogant former American SEAL. But Pippa has her own set of lethal skills, and if Fraser gets in the way, she’ll leave him on the side of the road. Still, maybe he’s not a terrible side-kick. He is handsome, and he makes her laugh…

No, no, bad Pippa! She has no room for a man—an American—in her life. And Fraser hasn’t ever considered slowing down. Even if Pippa has him wondering if there is a different future ahead.

But there’s more to the story than a Romeo-and-Juliet runaway romance. Princess Imani has seen a murder, and the perpetrator isn’t going to let her get away. Will Fraser and Pippa find the couple first?

And if they do, can they work together to keep them safe?

It’ll be tough if their hearts get in the way…

In true Susan May Warren fashion, this story is full on, fast paced, heart pounding, edge of you seat excitement.  It really had me invested and anxious all the way through.

The first meet between Fraser and Pippa is literally shocking.  Haha.  It's definitely one to remember.  Forever.  Poor, poor Fraser.

Fraser and Pippa are both strong, smart and capable people.  I love how they learned that working together made them stronger.  They both have baggage and hard things to deal with but that never stops them from doing the next right thing.  They learned to trust each other and that was so satisfying.  I also loved the mending relationship between Fraser and Creed and the more trusting one that was formed between Pippa and Imani.  This author really does family/romantic relationships well.

This story has a halfway ending, with some resolution for Pippa and Fraser, but there is an overarching story that is continuing in the next book.  I can't wait!

Content:  violence, peril.  Moderate Christian Fiction elements.  Kissing.

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

Thursday, February 2, 2023

Shifting Sands by Kathi Oram Peterson


All Gloryanna Griffin needs is a full-ride scholarship to finish her master’s degree in marine biology in order to pursue her dream of saving the ocean. However, to be a serious contender for the money, she needs to publish in a prestigious magazine. A research dive off the Olympic Peninsula is a dangerous proposition but one that just might give her article the impact it needs. But when she’s swept into an underwater vortex, she realizes her life may be the price she pays instead.

When she awakens on the rocky beach—miraculously alive—the first person she sees is the handsome stranger who saved her. Over the years, Jonathan Dawson has saved countless lives from the perils of the ocean. But until now, no one has ever seen him. Nearly eighty years ago, he died on this same beach, and his spirit has been tied to the spot ever since. Now Gloryanna and Jonathan are irrevocably linked as they are plunged into a decades’ old mystery that promises answers to the past and keys to the future. But they soon discover that some secrets may be better left undisturbed.

 * Goodreads * Amazon * Deseret Book *

I have read so many books by this author (maybe all of them!) and this is the first one that features a ghost as a main character!  Yup, you heard that right.  This author is known for her mystery/suspense novels but this time she has thrown in a bit of the paranormal and I really liked it!  That sure changed things up!

Jonathan is a ghost.  A steady, unwavering, dependable ghost.  Still protecting the stretch of beach he did in life.  His dog is there too and good thing he was because he literally saved Gloryanna a handful of times all by himself.  

Gloryanna is a ocean loving student diver.  Resilient and smart.  She slowly but surely came to love her ghost, Jonathan.  It was a lovely process.  A ghost, a dog and a diver.  

I loved the whole mystery and how everything started connecting together with the characters and the plot.  The ending was great!  The last bit of the book really turns up a notch so I was reading really quickly!  So fun.

Content:  peril, violence, death.  Kissing.

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

Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Miss Newbury's List Megan Walker


Before Rosalind weds, she wants to experience ten things. Meeting Charlie wasn’t on her list. 

England, 1820 

Rosalind Newbury is counting down the days until her wedding to the Duke of Marlow, a man she has only met twice, and she knows exactly how she wants to spend her time. As a child, Ros created a list of ten things to do before her wedding day. So far, she has done none of them. She is determined to tackle each item, though she’ll have to accomplish them all in secret. After all, a soon-to-be-duchess is not usually allowed to bury treasure in the pasture, eat sweets all day, or learn how to swim. 

She enlists the help of her best friend, Liza, who brings along her cousin, Charlie, a prodigal son-turned-boxer who has come to the countryside to mend his reputation and learn how to be his father’s heir. 

Together, the three of them work to complete the list, and as each item is crossed off, an unlikely friendship blossoms between Ros and Charlie. The more time they spend together, the more Ros falls in love with this imperfect man and his good heart. 

With the wedding looming, Ros must decide to either admit her romantic feelings for Charlie and risk her family’s future, or keep her promise to marry the duke and start a new life as a noblewoman.

 * Amazon * Goodreads * Deseret Book *

What a sweet story!  It was so gentle in nature, so endearing.  Rosalind is a character that grows on you with every turn of the page.  She is determined but in a quiet way.  I loved her desire for adventure, the bucket list and the journey it took her on.  The personal growth that led her to knowing herself better was a satisfying one with a lovely ending.

This is a super slow burn romance- actually more like a friendship for most of the book.  In fact, Charlie isn't even a friend at first but obviously that changes.  Once Charlie decides to help Rosalind with her list, he's all in.  I loved how he encouraged, supported and provided opportunities for Rosalind to accomplish her goals.  It was just all so very sweet.  If you love regency novels, don't miss this one!

Content:  mild peril, sweet ending kiss

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

About the Author: MEGAN WALKER was raised on a berry farm in Poplar Bluff, Missouri, where her imagination took her to times past and worlds away. While earning her degree in Early Childhood Education, she married her one true love and started a family. But her imaginings of Regency England wouldn’t leave her alone, so she picked up a pen. And the rest is history. She lives in St. Louis, Missouri, with her husband and three children.