Thursday, March 30, 2023

Just a Friend: a Sweet, Small-town Brothers RomCom by Deb Goodman



Oliver and I have this thing. It’s an annual, not-a-date thing where we meet up in my small town every August and he buys me a milkshake.

That’s all. Nothing else. Except maybe an innocent hug or two.

But that’s it! I can’t fall for this man. He’s always seen me as just a friend. And besides the fact that my grandparents hate him, we’re complete opposites. He’s busy touring the world, running the family resort company with his brothers. I’m busy with pajama day at the broke-down mobile library I’ve sunk my heart and soul into.

So, yeah. It’s time for me to, once and for all, move on from this silly crush that has claimed me for far too long.


Seeing Sophie again has…changed things. She’s different. She’s always been interesting, beautiful, and funny. But suddenly, everything I thought I knew about the world and how it operates has been mixed up in a blender. I’m all shook up, but I don’t think she feels the same way.

The worst part? I can’t seem to quit her, no matter how hard I try.

Send help.

 * Amazon * Goodreads *

Guess what?  Two things.  

1.  New book

2. New author.  Well, definitely not a new author but an author new to me.  I haven't read any books by author Deb Goodman so this was a fun treat.  Why haven't I read anything by her before?  I have no idea, but it's a thing now.  I'll be reading more by her for sure!

Things I loved:

* Sophie is a librarian who loves books like I do!

* First person, dual perspective

* The library bus named Scotty

* the flower debacle.  Oh, and the water fiasco.  ๐Ÿ˜‚

* Oliver pushing the cart at the book convention

* compromise 

* friends to lovers, forbidden love.

This book was engaging, funny and filled with romance.  I'm really happy I had the chance to read it.  The set up for future books with Oliver's brothers has me excited!

Content:  kissing

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

Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Return to Satterthwaite Court (Somerset Stories #3) by Mimi Matthews


A reckless Victorian heiress sets her sights on a dashing ex-naval lieutenant, determined to win his heart as the two of them embark on a quest to solve a decades-old mystery in USA Today bestselling author Mimi Matthews’s sequel to her critically acclaimed novels The Work of Art and Gentleman Jim.

Lieutenant Charles Heywood has had his fill of adventure. Battle-weary and disillusioned, he returns to England, resolved to settle down to a quiet, uneventful life on an estate of his own. But arranging to purchase the property he desires is more difficult than Charles ever imagined. The place is mired in secrets, some of which may prove deadly. If he’s going to unravel them, he’ll need the assistance of someone as daring as he is.

At only twenty, Lady Katherine Beresford has already earned a scandalous reputation. As skilled with pistols as she is on horseback, she’s never met an obstacle she can’t surmount—or a man she can’t win. That is, until she encounters the infuriatingly somber Lieutenant Heywood. But Kate refuses to be deterred by the raven-haired soldier’s strong, silent facade. After all, faint heart never won handsome gentleman.

From the wilds of rural Somersetshire to the glittering ballrooms of early-Victorian London, Charles and Kate embark on a cross-country quest to solve a decades’ old mystery. Will the greatest danger be to their hearts—or to their lives?

 * Amazon * Goodreads *

Author Mimi Matthews has done it once again.  Of course she has.  At this point I would expect nothing less.  What a gifted author writing in this regency genre.  Her ability to weave stories with characters of depth and connect me to it all, is amazing.  

This book was absolutely everything I hoped it would be when it was announced.  The second generation characters brought me back to the people and places I loved in previous books.  Honestly, you really should read the to previous books (The Work of Art and Gentleman Jim) before reading this one.  I wouldn't say you HAVE to but it will deepen your connections and make the story richer if you do.

I adored Lady Katherine.  She was so bold while still maintaining poise and kindness.  It was sort of one and done once she encountered Charles.  She pursued him, so determined to catch his attention and devotion.  I just have to love a woman from any generation that knows who she is and what she wants.

Of course Charles is amazing too.  His soft heart for family and animals tops the list of his charming qualities.  It takes him a little bit longer to settle into the idea of forever with Kate but he gets there.  I loved how once he was in, there was no going back. 

There is a bit of intrigue, wrongs of the past that need to be put right, secrets and of course, growing love.  I was invested from beginning to end.  Love, love, love.

This title will be released on April 11th.  You can pre-order now.

Content:  mild peril, kissing

Tuesday, March 21, 2023

A Novel Proposal by Denise Hunter


When novelist Sadie Goodwin is forced to stop writing westerns and charged with penning a contemporary romance novel to rescue her lackluster sales, there’s only one tiny problem: She’s never been in love.

Desperate to salvage her career, Sadie begins devouring romance novels. Knowing she must devote herself to this confounding genre, she accepts an invitation to hole up at her friend’s beach duplex for the summer. Where better to witness love in bloom than on the beautiful North Carolina shore?

However, once ensconced in the charming ocean-front home with her sweet maltipoo Rio, she finds many ways to procrastinate. First there’s the beach, right outside her backdoor, with all its interesting visitors (research). Then there’s the free library she decides to build and set up by the back deck (She has to do something with all those romance novels). To say nothing of Sam Ford, the grumpy neighbor on the other side of the duplex . . . who she can’t seem to stop annoying.

A social butterfly by nature, Sadie soon gets to know all the beach regulars—sunbathers, walkers, and surfers alike. The free books draw a crowd right up to the house for nice little book chats, which further irritates her reclusive neighbor, to break up her “writing.” But things take an unexpected turn when Sadie opens a recently-placed novel to find a secret compartment—and tucked inside is a beautiful engagement ring. To whom does the ring belong? Sadie is convinced she needs to find the owner and save the man’s proposal from certain doom.

She draws a reluctant Sam into the project, and slowly their connection begins to develop. Are these weird fluttery feelings the first stirrings of love? Has Sadie managed to stumble upon the very subject about which she must write—and wouldn’t Sam make the perfect alpha hero?

Will Sadie find the ring’s rightful owner? And will she manage to pen a career-saving romance novel by summer’s end?

There was so much to love about this book.  

* The ocean front setting
* The tiny library
* The mystery of the hidden ring
* All the book/writing references
* A cute dog

Sadie is a fun, friendly, lively character.  She's easy to like and easy to root for.  Her tangents made her human and relatable.  Sam wasn't really loving all that at first, but Sadie grew on him.  Of course she did.  It's hard to resist Sadie.  Almost no chance of it, really.  Poor Sam.  haha.  He just didn't know that he needed a Sadie in his life.

I really enjoyed reading this story!  It was personable and easy on the brain and heart.    
4/5 stars.

Content:  kissing

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

Tuesday, March 14, 2023

A Waltz with Traitors by A.L. Sowards


The Former Russian Empire, 1918

Czech soldier Filip Sedlรกk never wanted to fight for the Austro-Hungarian Empire. So at the first opportunity, he defected to the Russians. Now he and others like him have formed the Czechoslovak Legion. Their goal: leave the chaos of Russia, sail to France, and help the Allies defeat the Central Powers, thereby toppling a hated empire and winning an independent Czechoslovakia.

With the fall of the tsar, Nadia Linskaya’s life is in ruins. Her family is dead, her lands are confiscated, and her aristocratic world is gone forever. But Nadia is determined to elude the Bolshevik agent who destroyed her family and find a way to survive in this changed world.

When Nadia takes refuge with the Czechoslovak Legion, the last thing she expects is an ally. But when Filip proposes a sham marriage to ensure her safe passage across Siberia, she takes it. Neither Filip nor Nadia expect real love, not when the legion has to take over the longest railroad in the world—and then hold it against Bolshevik counterattacks, partisan sabotage, Allied intrigue, and a set of brutal Siberian winters. At risk is the future of Czechoslovakia, the fate of Russia—and their hearts.

* Amazon * Goodreads * Deseret Book *

I can't stop thinking about this book- the characters, the setting, the situations. It's just, WOW. This author did an amazing job at creating a world with emotion, conflict and purpose. I'm overwhelmed by it all in the best of ways.

Historical fiction is a favorite of mine because I love learning about events in history in a less "history lesson" sort of way. I had no idea about any of these events or the people of Czechoslovak legion who fought so hard and gave so much for the dream of a country of their own. What determination and endurance. What suffering, sorrow and loss. War is brutal and unfair. It was hard to read that part of it but necessary because we need to remember these brave people. I loved reading the author's notes at the back of the book too. Don't miss those.

Filip and Nadia are fantastic characters. I grew to love them so much. It's slow going for their relationship but I'm glad they really came to know each other through their actions. Neither one had a life they thought they would, but the way they adapted with grace and honor just swelled my heart. The whole cast of characters around them were all so good. There were multiple points of view throughout the book and I really enjoyed that.

I loved this book, I love this author. Oh! And I love this cover. It's beautiful and represents the story perfectly.

Content: violence (this is high because this is a war story), peril, death. Mention of rape and abuse with no details. Intimate relations between and husband and wife with no details. Kissing.

Covenant has a launch bundle for the first 100 people who buy a paperback copy of A Waltz with Traitors and submit their receipts.
Bundle includes a signed bookplate, bookmark, art print, vintage map, and exclusive stickers.

Author Info:

A. L. Sowards is the author of multiple historical fiction novels, with settings spanning the globe from the fourteenth to twentieth centuries. Her stories have earned multiple awards and nominations, including a Whitney Award and a Readers’ Favorite gold medal. Sowards grew up in Washington State, spent a few decades in Utah, and now resides in Alaska with her husband, three children, and ever-growing library. She enjoys hiking and swimming, usually manages to keep up with the laundry, and loves it when someone else cooks dinner.

Thursday, March 9, 2023

To Win Her Hand (A Gentleman's Match #1) by Jen Geigle Johnson


An expert at winning a woman's hand. A woman who cannot be won.

Lord Featherstone has the world on his shoulders. Or at least his world. With two brothers and a failing estate he must make funds somehow. But what happens when he falls for a woman? Will his tactics work when the situation is so close and personal?

Everyone thinks Lady Loveluck is a wealthy widow. What they don't know is that she is on the brink of hiring herself out as a Governess in order to pay for her next meal. The only thing keeping her from employment is a growing reputation as a matchmaker. As long as she never falls for another man, as long as she doesn't allow herself to be fooled into marrying, she will be just fine.

But she never counted on being caught up in the beguiling tactics of London's renowned and not so secret matchmaker for men.

 * Goodreads * Amazon *


๐ŸŽœMatchmaker, matchmaker make me a match . . . Find me a find, catch me a catch.๐ŸŽœ  Does anyone know this song from Fiddler On the Roof?  This is the song that kept running through my head throughout this book.  It's now my theme song for this book.  

Lord Featherstone and Lady Loveluck are matchmakers of a sort.  They help people fine tune themselves so that they can make a love match.  They help them navigate society and give them confidence.  But then Lord Featherstone finds himself enamored with Lady Loveluck and has to become the matchmaker for himself!  (This makes me laugh because then he is singing my theme song to himself! ๐Ÿ˜‚ )  Lady Loveluck is harder to convince than most women.  And Lord Featherstone isn't the only one vying for her attention.  Competition!!

There is a lot of back and forth in this book.  Both characters trying to sacrifice for the greater good- their clients, mostly.  There is a slow growing awareness and attachment.  It was all very sweet and gentle in nature.  Pure regency.  A fun start to a new series by this author.

This book is also on KU if you have that!

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

Jen Geigle Johnson is an award-winning author, including the GOLD in Foreword INDIES Book of the Year Awards and LDSPMA Praiseworthy's top award for Romance,

Jen has more stories circulating in her brain than can possibly be told. She discovered her passion for England while kayaking on the Thames near London as a young teenager. History is her main jam. Her literary heroes include the greats: Jane Austen and Charles Dickens. But she has modern sensibilities as well.

Six children and an inspiring husband keep her going and make certain she doesn't stay glued to a keyboard or lost in obscure fascinating details of old castles.

Now, she loves to share bits of history that might otherwise be forgotten. Whether in Regency England, the French Revolution, or Colonial America, her romance novels are much like life is supposed to be: full of adventure.


Tuesday, March 7, 2023

Wyoming Wild Sarah M. Eden


Wyoming Territory, 1876

US Marshal John “Hawk” Hawking is one of the most respected lawmen in the West, so when a telegram arrives from the small town of Sand Creek warning him of a death threat against him, he immediately begins an investigation.

Posing as a farmer, Hawk heads to Sand Creek, a town ruled by a violent and corrupt sheriff. Only one person is trying to stop him—Liesl, the sheriff’s own daughter. When she meets the self-assured and attractive new farmer, John, she hopes he might help her in the fight for justice.

John is completely unfazed by Sheriff Hodges’s attempts at intimidation, and Liesl is quickly swept up by Hawk’s courage and integrity. Just as quickly, Hawk finds himself falling for Liesl’s strength and bravery, as well as her grace and beauty.

When Liesl discovers John’s true identity, she feels betrayed. Despite her lingering distrust of him, Liesl agrees to work with him to enact a dangerous plan that will put the criminals away forever. Liesl must put her life, and her heart, in the hands of his lawman if she has any hope of saving her family and her town.

It was so good to return to Savage Wells and see some old friends again.  Western romances are a fun change of pace for me so I was excited to delve into this one.  I read through it quickly and really enjoyed myself!

I think Liesl is my favorite.  The beginning finds her aiding the people of her town who are being hurt and tortured by her father who is the sheriff.  She is smart and brave.  I loved how hard she tried to protect people at the risk of her own well being.  Then she reluctantly joins forces with John to take her father down.  It's quite the bumpy road with more sneaking, pretending to be married and hiding out in a new town.  Liesl just handles everything with so much dignity and grace.  She is intuitive and definitely gives more than she takes.  What's not to love about that kind of heroine?!

Hawk finally find someone to love and trust.  That's saying a lot.  It was a longer road to get to that place than Liesl, mostly because he denies it for so long but he gets there.  I love his fierce determination to protect people and bring peace to his territory.

Welcome to the rough and wild west.  They say "ain't" and lots of other words that might have you scratching your head.  Horse rides, shoot outs and plenty of bad guys that will have you rooting for the good guys.

Content:  mild peril, violence, kissing.

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