Friday, January 18, 2019

Review and Giveaway: Who I Am with You by Robin Lee Hatcher

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For these two broken hearts, the first step toward love will be a huge leap of faith.

Jessica Mason isn’t looking for love when she meets Ridley Chesterfield. Instead she is still reeling from the tragic, unexpected loss of her husband and daughter—and awaiting the arrival of her unborn child. Harboring the secret of her husband’s betrayal, her pain is deeper than anyone knows.

Ridley Chesterfield is hiding out in Hope Springs, Idaho, avoiding a political scandal and the barrage of false media headlines that have tarnished his good name. The last thing Ridley wants is a relationship—but when fate leads Ridley to form a friendship with his reclusive and pregnant neighbor, he wonders if this small-town hideout might be more of a long-term destination. 

When Jessica begins to read her great-grandfather’s Bible, she finds a connection with a man she never knew. Somehow the verses he marked and the words he wrote in the margins open her heart to healing. And as Ridley and Jessica help each other forgive the people who have broken their hearts, they must decide if the past will define them or if they will choose to love again.

Who I Am with You weaves together a modern-day romance with Jessica’s great-grandfather’s story from the 1930s, reminding us that some truths can cross generations and that faith has the power to transform families forever.

Who I Am with You is the first book in Robin’s new “A Legacy of Faith” series.

My Thoughts:

Who I Am with You, is a novel that tackles some very difficult life situations. Widowed and pregnant, Jessica Mason has lost both her husband and daughter in a tragic accident and before that she had also lost her marriage due to her husband’s betrayal. Now pregnant and alone she has shut herself off from the world as much as she can.

Ridley Chesterfield knows something about betrayal in a different way. His life has been tossed upside down as he has been blamed for a political scandal and his name has been dragged through the mud by the media twisting the truth and lies. Needing to get away, he escapes to his parent’s vacation home which just happens to be next door to Jessica’s.

Ridley and Jessica find themselves in similar situations; both trying to hide from the world and go it alone. However, we and they were never meant to be alone so what we have is a tender story full of heartbreak of two people finding their way back into life, friendship, and love -a bit wiser, wearier, but also stronger and more hopeful.

I enjoyed how their relationship unfolded and hurt for both due to their circumstances and cheered when they decided to trust each other. The backdrop of this story has to do with Jessica’s great-grandfather’s Bible and the many scriptures underlined and the notes taken. We see Andrew’s story unfold in the late 1920’s and 1930’s and his memorable story is not without heartbreak either.

This story has strong themes of love and forgiveness, in particular learning the hard lessons of forgiving and loving no matter what, taking marriage vows seriously, and trusting God to hold you in His hand no matter what life throws at you or who betrays you.  I look forward to more of this series as the Bible continues to be passed to those who need it the most.

I received a copy of the novel from the publisher. I was not required to post a positive review and all views and opinions are my own.

About the Author:

Robin Lee Hatcher is the author of over 75 novels and novellas with over five million copies of her books in print. She is known for her heartwarming and emotionally charged stories of faith, courage, and love. Robin is an ACFW Carol Award winner and an eight-time finalist and has won two RITA Awards and been a finalist eleven times. Her numerous other awards include the Christy Award, the HOLT Medallion, the National Reader’s Choice Award, and the Faith, Hope & Love Reader’s Choice Award. She is also the recipient of prestigious Lifetime Achievement Awards from both American Christian Fiction Writers and Romance Writers of America.
When not writing, she enjoys being with her family, spending time in the beautiful Idaho outdoors, Bible art journaling, reading books that make her cry, watching romantic movies, and decorative planning. A mother and grandmother, Robin and her husband make their home on the outskirts of Boise, sharing it with a demanding Papillon dog and a persnickety tuxedo cat.


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Monday, January 14, 2019

Review: The Marriage Bargain by Stephanie Dees

To Purchase


Falling for her convenient groom

Family Blessings lead to new beginnings

Jules Sheehan will do anything to keep custody of the two orphaned girls in her care—including a marriage of convenience with their uncle. Cam Quinn crosses the globe as a travel writer, but he’s ready to settle down. Now tough, tender Jules is offering the home he’s secretly longed for. Can this marriage in name only become a family of the heart?

My Thoughts:

The Marriage Bargain is the final Sheehan sibling’s story and this one focuses on younger sister Jules. One of the things I really like about this series is that each time we come to a new book, some time has passed. Jules has had a really tough time as she is trying to adopt her late best friend, Glory’s two little girls. However, two family members stand in her way, the grandmother-who is not a really nice person, and Cameron Quinn, Glory’s older brother.

Cameron is headed back to his hometown, a place that holds very unhappy memories for him to care for his nieces after his sister’s and brother-in-law tragic deaths. Cameron is searching for home and a family that he can call his own, and for people who will love him for him. When he meets his nieces, he knows he is sticking around to get to know them, but he did not realize how he would be sticking around.

This is a modern day marriage of convenience story and I thought it was outstanding. Jules proposes her crazy scheme to Cameron that they should marry to keep the girls with them- safe and protected. What follows is a family that has been thrown together through awful circumstances and they must learn the new normal. I enjoyed watching Cameron and Jules navigate sudden parenthood of a baby and a three year old, while also trying to find out how they fit into each other’s lives now that they were spouses.

Author Dees does not give them an easy time of things either. Their love develops and grows amongst the trials and tribulations that are continuously thrown their way and they both must decide if their marriage is for keeps. This whole series is one for the keeper shelf and I have enjoyed every single one of them.

I received a copy of this novel from the author. I was not required to post a positive review and all views and opinions are my own.

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Review: Their Secret Baby Bond by Stephanie Dees


To Purchase
He wanted roots. She chose career.
Can a baby bring them back together?

Wynn Sheehan planned to change the world—not return to Alabama alone and pregnant. Her life is in shambles, but at least she can help take care of Latham Grant’s ailing grandpa. Latham isn’t ready to trust the woman who eagerly left him and their small town behind. But can they ignore the spark rekindled by unexpected Family Blessings?

My Thoughts:

Continuing in the Sheehan family series and now that the brothers are happily married, author Dees now turns her attention to the sisters’ stories starting with Wynn.  Wynn has come back home with dashed dreams, a broken heart, and an unexpected pregnancy. Wynn left her hometown with stars in her eyes and aspirations to make a difference in DC, unfortunately things didn’t turn out the way she would have liked. Wynn was broken in spirit and was not quite sure what to expect when she came home pregnant and unmarried. But much to her surprise, her family welcomes her with open arms and so does the man whose heart she broke ten years previous.

Latham has come back home with an unfinished degree to take care of his grandfather after the sudden death of his grandmother. Latham has never stopped loving Wynn since she ran away from him on her graduation night. Knowing her dreams are beyond him, he still hopes that she will choose him over anything else. Latham certainly gave Wynn room and I understood his reluctance to hand his heart back over to Wynn.

This was another sweet love story of two people finding themselves, each other, and letting their dreams go for a much better plan. I have immensely enjoyed getting to know this family and watching the characters grow through their joys and trials. This is a good family drama series.

I received a copy of this novel from the author. I was not required to post a positive review and all views and opinions are my own.

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Weekend Briefing

Welcome back, agents from both Pause for Tales and Agency of Books and Spies. There are some special announcements all agents Level 6 and up need to hear.

Agent of the week:

Be sure to congratulate Agent Strokes if you see her. Unless she's in deep cover (then you saw nothing), or if she's in a Mood (which is 89% of the time, so be warned).

-All three of the Ninja and Hunter Series has been re-edited by the fabulous Kara Grant.

The Time I Saved the Day and The Time I Saved a Damsel in Distress are both updated, and The Time I Saved the World will be updating sometime in the next few days.

-Mind of Darkness is now available in print!

-Fists of Injustice has only six chapters left- which means marathon time! Every day, Monday through Saturday, there will be a new chapter posted on Wattpad. So if you want to see the fall-out from the WTO catastrophe, it won't be long...

-Title reveal for Book Three of the Dystopian Takeover trilogy. Here we go, agents:

Cover reveal next week!

That is all for this briefing, though, agents.Until next time, Ciao!

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Review: On Magnolia Lane Denise Hunter

To Purchase

From the bestselling author of The Convenient Groom (now a beloved Hallmark Original movie) comes the final book in Hunter’s Blue Ridge Romance series.

Pastor Jack McReady has secretly carried a torch for Daisy for two long years. She’s a member of his congregation, after all, and she’ll never see him as more than a trusted counselor. Jack’s best friend Noah has taken every opportunity to encourage his lovesick friend, but when Noah catches wind that Daisy has joined an online dating site, he takes matters into his own hands and orchestrates a meet-cute of the most unconventional kind.

Owner of the local flower shop, Daisy Pendleton is content with her small-town life, but she’d sure like someone to share it with. After several disastrous first dates, she’s about to give up—and then she finds a seemingly wonderful man online. Daisy gets to know TJ through a series of messages but finds herself spending more time with Pastor Jack outside of the church at the same time. What she doesn’t know is that her online prospect and Jack are one and the same.

Just as Daisy’s love life starts to look promising, a mysterious woman appears in town. Daisy is faced with a revelation about her family that turns her world upside down, and she looks to both TJ and Jack for help.

Jack must find a way to reveal himself as her online suitor without breaking her heart and losing her trust. As Daisy faces Jack’s betrayal, she’ll have to learn to extend grace to herself, her family, and the man she’s grown to love.

My Thoughts:

On Magnolia Lane was a really super cute read for me especially in the romance department. I enjoyed the technological bloom of romance that happened between Daisy and Pastor Jack. Jack, or Pastor Jack as Daisy called him for so long, is indeed a pastor but he is also a man who would like to have a wife to share his life with. He has actually been in love with Daisy for two years and she has no clue because he hid it so well. Jack was very sweet if not a bit too timid with his wanting a relationship with Daisy. And Daisy was a woman who wanted to move on with her love life as all her friends were married and in love, she wanted that too. So when Daisy starts dating with the help of a dating site, Jack finally gets a sense of how serious she is to settle down.

After a bit of “help” from his friends, Jack now has a profile by the name of TJ on the dating app as well. At first he resents this but then he sees this as a way to let his guard down and let Daisy get to know him as man instead of a pastor. However, everything seems to be working too well and Daisy is actually beginning to fall for TJ. In the meantime with his new boldness, Jack is pursing Daisy in real life as well.

Even though Jack was shy and had trouble expressing his feelings to Daisy, the doggedness of his pursuit to woo her and make her his was endearing and swoony at the same time. As Daisy begins to see Jack less as a pastor and more as a friend, she becomes less immune to his hidden charms. Daisy does not think she is good enough for a pastor and she is certainly confused about her feelings for both men.

While this is a lighthearted, feel good romance, Daisy has found out some devastating news. She naturally turns to Jack to help work through her emotions and for spiritual help which only brings them closer. I found this to be a charming romance and story that delves deeper into matters of forgiveness and grace and letting go.

I received a copy of this novel from the publisher. I was not required to post a positive review and all views and opinions are my own.

Sunday, January 6, 2019

Review: We Hope for Better Things by Erin Bartels

To Purchase

In this richly textured debut novel, a disgraced journalist moves into her great aunt's secret-laden farmhouse and discovers that the women in her family were testaments to true love and courage in the face of war, persecution, and racism.

My Thoughts:

I have really been enjoying the time slip novels that have been coming out recently, and We Hope for Better Things is one that takes on a family through three generations of women who all know what it is like to struggle as a woman. Debut author Bartels tells her story in a fresh and memorable way and I enjoyed uncovering the secrets of this family as their past focuses on racial and unjust tension.

In modern times Journalist Elizabeth Balsam is tasked with giving a box of old photos to a distant aunt. Elizabeth is also going through some troubling circumstances that gives her a chance to come live with her great-aunt Nora, whom she didn’t even know she had. At another family member’s request, they want Elizabeth to look for any troubling signs that Nora is failing in her body and mental capacities.

Nora, though having lived a great many years, has some stories and secrets to share with Elizabeth. The other time we go back to is Nora’s own as a young woman living in Detroit during the 1960’s, the racial tension that is going on, and the man she eventually marries making family and friends displeased with their interracial romance.

The third timeline takes place with Mary Balsam who is living in the 1860’s and must watch as her husband leaves her to fight on the Union side of the Civil War. Pregnant and alone with a servant, Mary must run the farm by herself until one fateful day when her husband’s trunk arrives back to the farm.

Each chapter is set up in a different time period and in some cases there is a passage of years. We are told what time period we are in and where so there is no confusion just three great stories unraveling at once. I also liked that all three of these women have a connection to the house where Elisabeth has come to stay with Nora.

This was a riveting debut read and I look forward to more by author Bartels.

I was provided a copy of this novel by the publisher. I was not required to post a positive review and all views and opinions are my own.

Review: A Bound Heart by Laura Frantz

To Purchase

Their stations could not have been more different: a Scottish laird and a simple lass. When a tragedy forces both to colonial Virginia as indentured servants, can a love thwarted by tradition come to life in a new land?

My Thoughts:

I have been so excited for author Laura Frantz’s new book A Bound Heart since I heard the blurb and when I saw the cover. That cover is especially beautiful. This story did not disappoint and I found myself swept away back in time to Scotland, Colonial Virginia, and Jamaica. This novel was chock full of historical detail concerning unjust arbitrary laws the British pushed on the Scottish, wrongful imprisonments, indenture hood, slavery, and more. This book read as in different parts as circumstances beyond Magnus’s and Lark’s control swept them across the ocean on a rather eventful ship voyage to the new world and one in which they would have to grow accustomed to.

As with the author’s other books, she balances out the romance with the historical. I know there will be a happy ending, but the trials and tribulations she put these two through had me reading late into the night and thinking about the next day. I tend to like my hero and heroine together most of the book and these two were for the most part but under such circumstances that their love was to be tested and strengthened by the trials and tribulations they faced together and apart. This reading year is starting out very promising.

I was provided a copy of this novel by the publisher. I was not required to post a positive review and all views and opinions are my own.