Wednesday, June 28, 2023

His North Star by Amanda P. Jones


I fell in love with my best friend, but he only ever loved me like a sister. So I moved on—with idiots. In an attempt to ignore the fact that my best friend, Ty, would never love me the way I wanted him to, I dated a lot . I even got engaged to Ty’s cousin. Except my ex-fiancé wasn’t the man I thought he was. When he broke off our engagement and fled to LA, I was left devastated and emotionally wounded. Leaning on Ty—the only man who has ever stayed by my side—I drowned myself in work and helping Ty renovate his new house. When Ty confesses he’s in love with me, I’m torn. He’s all I’ve ever wanted, but I’m scared, shattered, and nowhere near good enough for him—something my ex made sure I knew. How can I risk a relationship with the one person I can’t live without? His North Star is a sweet contemporary romance with a sprinkling of heat romance.

Cute, cute, cute!  I love the cover of this book and how perfectly it matches what is inside.  Ty and Maren have a fantastic relationship and a solid friendship.  It's been built on a firm foundation over the years.  I really loved how easy it was for them to be supportive and have fun.  Of course, friends to lovers generally means you have to wait FOREVER for the kissing to start and yup, that's what happened here.  But the buildup and tension were good so the wait only felt like forever and not forever and EVER.  😂  This was a quick romantic fix for me and I enjoyed it.

Side note:  I got to meet this author recently at an event our library was having.  She is lovely.  I had previously read a couple books by her so it was good to meet her face to face. 

Content:  kissing, some light innuendo.

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

Thursday, June 22, 2023

Along a Breton Shore by Arlem Hawks


France, 1794

Maxence Étienne, a soldier for the République, believes fiercely in the revolution that is bringing liberty to France. But even though the monarchy has fallen and Maxence is part of a great cause, he is still searching for a place to belong.

Armelle Bernard is a young woman from Breton whose father was sentenced to death for hiding counterrevolutionaries. She decides to confront the priest who betrayed her father, and as the conflict escalates, she herself is ordered to be executed—an order to be carried out by Maxence.

Maxence has seen his share of violence and bloodshed, but he also carries a tragic secret and can’t bring himself to carry out his assignment. In allowing Armelle to escape, he is forced to combat a fellow soldier, who dies in the struggle.

Though Armelle and Maxence are strangers and on opposite sides of the revolution, they find themselves united as fugitives of the new republic. Now they must find a way to trust each other as they search for a path to peace, and to freedom.

 * Amazon * Goodreads * Deseret Book *

I love historical fiction.  I was SO excited to start this one and then I opened it up to 8 pages of pronunciation and word definitions.  That really intimidated me!  I figured if there were eight pages of words I needed help with, this might be a hard book to read.  So, then I put it off and set it aside, thinking I needed to wait until I was in the right space to really tackle it.  I really shouldn't have waited.  It wasn't that bad and I was being silly.

Armelle is so spunky and smart.  I love her wit, her fire and her hope.  She is so consistent, loyal and everyone she meets loves her too.  Maxence though, he has quite the emotional and personal journey which Armelle helps facilitate with her kind, easy, yet direct personality.  I loved their interactions and conversations.

This book is set during the French Revolution but there isn't much actual war violence described in the story.  There is danger at every turn but mostly it is a love story that takes shape in the midst of a war with two characters on opposite sides.  It's a story of loss, hope and reconciliation.  It was so, so good.

Content:  violence, peril.  Kissing.

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

About the Author: 

ARLEM HAWKS began making up stories before she could write. Living all over the western United States and traveling around the world gave her a love of cultures and people and the stories they have to tell. She has a bachelor’s degree in communications, with an emphasis in print journalism, and she lives in Utah with her husband and four children. 

Friday, June 2, 2023

Naming of the Queen (Return of the Ancestors, Book 2) by JJ Makenzie


What is the cost of a name? Everything.

The princess always knew her name would come with a price, but she never knew how steep the cost would be. Falsely accused of killing her husband’s family, she’s on the run with the father she never knew. With help from him and a band of outcasts, she’s learning just how much she might have to pay, not only to save herself but all of Greatland. It’s up to her to learn who she truly is and restore the ways of the Ancestors. Yet what her heart yearns for most is to be reunited with the man she must speak her name to first—Rowan, king of Northrend.

Rowan vowed no woman would ever own the heart of the king of Northrend again. But the woman with no name captured not only his heart but his soul. And despite the crimes she’s been accused of, he’s having a hard time believing he was wrong about her. Yet with the balance of Northrend and Greatland in his hands, he has a choice to make—choose the woman he loves, or save his kingdom from going to war.

It is a dangerous game they play. One where it’s hard to know who is a friend and who is a foe. But if they wish to win, the lovers must reunite and help their people choose love and freedom before a shadow overcomes the land. The people must name their queen before it’s too late.

* Amazon * Goodreads *

Oh. My. Heart.  It's feeling all the emotions like a roller coaster.  Up and down.  Over and under.  Around and around.  Frustration, anticipation.  Sadness, happiness.  Hope, relief.  The thing about these emotions?  They are BIG.  This book (and this series) is like riding the wave of emotions.  I love books that make me feel.

First, I should say that you absolutely need to read the first book, The Queen with No Name, before you dive into this one.  And if you haven't read it yet, what are you waiting for?!?!  It's time.  Seriously.  

This second book really brought out my love for the princess.  She will capture your heart in the first book but she really steps into who she is in this book.  As her power as a woman and a leader settles within her, I could feel her strength growing.  It made me so proud of her.  Even with the growing power she keeps the softness and kindness present as well.  Princess/Queen is such a fantastic balance of all things a strong woman should be.  I love her.  Adore her.  AND!!  She finally shares her name!!  Sigh.  It's perfect.

The story really ramps up in this book.  The first book left me in a state of worry and concern and luckily the second book picks up right where the first left off.  I was worried for a minute that I was going to have to hate Rowan (again) 😂.  (Their angry reunion is awesome.)  As I said before, it was a roller coaster of emotions but I'm happy to say that it all ended in such a satisfying place.  I am still basking in the afterglow of happiness and contentment.  This book is still in my mind and my heart days, weeks after reading it.  And, I've read it twice already.  It's full of intrigue, action, emotion and magic.  I love it so, so much!!  

I have hopes for a book three.  I REALLY want to get a story about Marek and Sasha!!  Or anyone really.  I just want more of this type of book.  🙏🙏🙏

Both of the books in this series are on KU if you have that.

Content:  violence, peril.  Kissing.  Intimate relations between a married couple with fade to black.  Some innuendo between them.

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