Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Review: Byrd's -Eye View by Chautona Havig

About:

If everything looks so perfect, how does she know it's all wrong?

Madeline just wanted to learn to develop her own photographs. It seemed an innocent enough pastime until she sees something in the developer’s tray that piques her meddlesome curiosity.

Now she’s on the hunt for clues to spare a man’s life, and she might just land her father in hot political waters while she’s at it. 

Not only that, but romance is in the air, and the people closest to her are acting rather moonstruck. Is it possible for spring fever to arrive six months early?

The fifth book in the Meddlin’ Madeline Series, Byrd’s-Eye View,sees Madeline back at home in Rockland and determined to stay out of trouble, although that’s not likely to happen, is it?


My Thoughts:

Madeline is in trouble again. But not really due to her own meddling this time. She just happens to notice things that others do not. Madeline has done some maturing and she is really trying to be a proper lady, she just cannot help her natural instincts.

I enjoyed getting to know this group of people. My daughter read the first five books and was unable to read this one so I stepped in and though I know I missed some back story, (which I did discuss with my daughter) I felt comfortable enough to continue on with this 5th book. And as author Havig's prowess as an author shows, I was quickly caught up in the story.

The history around the camera, crimes scenes, etc. (no spoilers), was rather intriguing and a little bit shocking as well.

Russell quickly put me in the mind of Mr. Knightly. Such a proper young man who really doesn't let his feelings rule him, yet he keeps Madeline grounded and as safe as he can. I do hope there is more to this series. I would like to see what happens in their future acquaintance. Hopefully some kissing!

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.

Friday, September 25, 2020

Review: Until I Met You by Tari Faris

 

About:

Welcome back to Heritage, Michigan--the small town with a big heart

When she hears that the town of Heritage is looking for a new librarian, Libby Kingsley jumps at the opportunity. Little did she know the library is barely more than a basement room stuffed with dusty, outdated books. What the community really needs is a new building. But the only funds available are those being channeled into the new town square, and the landscape architect in charge of the project wants nothing to do with her plans.

All Austin Williams wants to do is get the town square project finished, and he hopes it is enough to save the family business. Then he can extricate himself from the town that reveres the brother who cost him so much. But the local media and the town's new librarian seem to be conspiring against him at every turn. Will the determined bookworm find her way into his blueprints--and possibly even his heart?

My Thoughts:

Until I Met You is another heartwarming read by Tari Faris who takes us once again to the town of Heritage. As the town is trying to restore and become relevant again, the Williams brothers need to restore their relationship.

What I liked is that we get not one but two romances. Nate and Austen are dealing with ramifications from Nate's past. A little bit of a prodigal story here. Nate is a pastor now and Austen cannot understand why everyone loves his tattooed, motorcycle riding brother while he deems himself the responsible one. This puts Austen in a rather dark and moody state.

Enter the girls, Olivia and Libby. Olivia loves Nate and a Nate loves Olivia but Nate just sees that he is not good enough for her. Olivia is also working on becoming a journalist so some of her reporting puts her in uncomfortable and humorous positions. Which gets Nate's protective side going.

Libby is Luke's sister and she has just moved to Heritage. She has been suffering it seems from PTSD from an incident in her life and she is trying to move on and make a life for herself. She and Austen don't quite hit it off at first, but as they become "friends" the kissing soon begins. And Austin, well he is not always dark and moody, he can be quite impulsive and romantic as well.

It was good to meet up with Luke and Hannah again, even though their story was a little sad. Throw in a few naughty dogs and Otis the evermoving hippo statue, major town renovations and you have another great small town read. 

I was provided 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.


About the Author:


Tari Faris is the author of You Belong with Me. A member of American Christian Fiction Writers and My Book Therapy, she is the projects manager for My Book Therapy, writes for  learnhowtowriteanovel.com, and is a 2017 Genesis Award winner. She has an MDiv from Asbury Theological Seminary and lives in the Phoenix, Arizona, area with her husband and their three children. Although she lives in the Southwest now, she lived in a small town in Michigan for 25 years.

Review: Something Worth Doing by Jane Kirkpatrick

 

About:

Some things are worth doing--even when the cost is great

In 1853, Abigail Scott was a nineteen-year-old school teacher in Oregon Territory when she married Ben Duniway. Marriage meant giving up on teaching, but Abigail always believed she was meant to be more than a good wife and mother. When Abigail becomes the primary breadwinner for her growing family, what she sees as a working woman appalls her--and prompts her to devote her life to fighting for the rights of women, including the right to vote.

Based on a true story, Something Worth Doing will resonate with modern women who still grapple with the pull between career and family, finding their place in the public sphere, and dealing with frustrations and prejudices when competing in male-dominated spaces.

My Thoughts:

Abigail (Jenny) Duniway was a woman who in her day felt for all women and wanted so much more for her sisters, daughters, and the future women of the world. More than what her late mother had. Something Worth Doing is based on the true story of Abigail who fought for women's rights, especially the right to vote the best way she could, with her written words.

What really impressed was how the author wrote Abigail's feelings and thoughts and how really they are the universal concerns of women. I felt for Abigail, her wants buried by just survival and all the work a women of that day had to do. Concerns of her household, the very real dangers she and her husband faced. The loss of their home and livelihood. The real fears and unconditional love she had for her children. 

Ben, her husband was a good guy. He didn't always understand her, but he did love her. Abigail wanted to be his partner for life, not be treated like another possession. They had their troubles. But what marriage doesn't. Especially when one makes an unwise decision that affects all the family.

I was caught up in this story. I feel the author caught the essence of who Abigail was. She was a woman, wife, mother, suffragist, fighter, and most of all she was a woman of worth. I appreciate all the more what our ancestors fought so hard for and won for us. 

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.


About the Author:



Jane Kirkpatrick is the New York Times and CBA bestselling and award-winning author of more than 30 books, including One More River to CrossEverything She Didn't SayAll Together in One PlaceA Light in the WildernessThe Memory WeaverThis Road We Traveled, and A Sweetness to the Soul, which won the prestigious Wrangler Award from the Western Heritage Center. Her works have won the WILLA Literary Award, the Carol Award for Historical Fiction, and the 2016 Will Rogers Gold Medallion Award. Jane divides her time between Central Oregon and California with her husband, Jerry, and Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Caesar. Learn more at www.jkbooks.com.



Review: A Ranger for the Twins by Tanya Agler

 

On Tour with Prism Book Tours

A Ranger for the Twins
By Tanya Agler
Contemporary Romance
Paperback & ebook, 384 Pages
October 6, 2020 by Harlequin Heartwarming

She fell from grace…

Before falling for him

When her husband defrauded the town of Hollydale, now-divorced mom Lucie Decker went from being the town darling to total pariah. Now she’s launching a new business and needs ranger Caleb Spindler’s help. And her twins adore Caleb. After all, he’s a genuine hero—even if he is hiding a secret. But while Lucie’s heart has forgotten how to trust, it still remembers how to fall in love…

(Affiliate links included.)

Other Books in the Series

The Sheriff's Second Chance
By Tanya Agler
Contemporary Romance
Paperback & ebook, 368 Pages
January 1, 2020 by Harlequin Heartwarming

Broken things can’t be fixed…

Or can they?

Officer and single dad Mike Harrison doesn’t believe in second chances. Ever. That is, until he learns that his former best friend—gorgeous green-eyed car mechanic Georgie Bennett—is back in town. Unfortunately, she’s also a suspect in a recent break-in! But it’ll take an old classic car to show Mike and Georgie that almost anything can be restored with a little patience…and a whole lot of love.

(Affiliate links included.)


My Thoughts:

Lucie has moved back to her hometown, this once town darling is now looked at with suspicion as her ex-husband defrauded many people out of their money. Using her late parents property, she has a solid business plan, if only people would give her a chance to get her business off the ground.

Turning to once upon a time friend and now returned town hero, park ranger Caleb has come back with a dual purpose. To find out what Lucy needs and to help his parents regain their hard earned money.

I cannot imagine how hard it would be to be judged for the criminal doings of your spouse. Even though Lucie was not aware of her ex's criminal activities and was cleared of any wrong doing, it is going to take a lot to get the townspeople to ever accept her again. This was a story of starting over from the very bottom.

Caleb is in a peculiar situation as well. He is falling for Lucie but he does have loyalty to his parents. They themselves have had a hard time of it and I completely understood his love and protectiveness for them. In fact the author did not sugarcoat anybody's pain. And the pain of losing their life long savings was palpable. As well as Lucie's pain of being judged unfairly. Caleb balanced out the story well.

Throw in Lucie's adorable twins and the menagerie of pets they have picked up along the way, well Caleb can't help but feel at home with Lucie. Now what to do about a pesky woodpecker which also poses some serious problems?

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.


About the Author


An award-winning author, Tanya Agler moved often during her childhood and settled in Georgia where she writes sweet contemporary romance novels, which feature small towns, family and pets, and themes of second chances and hope. Her debut, The Sheriff’s Second Chance, is a January of 2020 Harlequin Heartwarming release. The sequel, A Ranger for the Twins, will be released in Oct. 2020. A graduate of the University of Georgia with degrees in journalism and law, she lives with her wonderful husband, their four children, and a lovable Basset, who really rules the roost. Represented by Dawn Dowdle and the Blue Ridge Literary Agency, she’s currently at work on the sequels to her debut. When she’s not writing, Tanya loves classic movies, walking, and a good cup of tea.


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Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Review: Nine by Rachelle Dekker

 

About:

Some secrets can't stay hidden

Zoe Johnson has spent most of her life living in the shadows, never drawing attention to herself, never investing in people or places. But when a wide-eyed, bedraggled teenager with no memory walks into the diner where Zoe works, everything changes.

Against her better judgment, Zoe, who has been trying to outrun her own painful memories of the past, finds herself attempting to help a girl who doesn't seem to have any past at all. With little warning, they must follow the only sure thing they know: a woman hundreds of miles away, will either save them . . . or be the last person to see them alive.

My Thoughts:

I read the companion book to this one, and was interested to see how it tied together. The short answer is trauma, but I won't give any more away since so much of this story is how characters overcame their past and present for a chance at perhaps a future.

This book focuses mostly on a third of the title number in characters. There is a mysterious young girl we first see fleeing for her life, though she has no memory as to exactly why. Then we meet Zoe, a kindly waitress who decides to help the girl. And finally, there is the FBI agent whose mission is that girl. 

It was fascinating to go on the run with this unlikely trio as they try to figure out what exactly is going on and how to fix it, both in the bigger picture and in their own lives. And the question is, which would they rather sacrifice- what they hold close to or that bigger picture.

If you like action, intrigue, psychological suspense, and/or books with Christian elements, then this one is for you. It was so interesting to read a book that seemed to belong in a completely different genre than its companion, but that is how this world is- so many different things all connected together. Like the trio.

P.S. My favorite character was the FBI agent. I'm just throwing that out there.

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

Reviewed by Jes 


About the Author:


Rachelle Dekker is the Christy Award-winning author of The ChoosingThe Calling, and The Returning in the Seer series. The oldest daughter of New York Times bestselling author Ted Dekker and coauthor with him of The Girl behind the Red Rope, Rachelle was inspired early on to discover truth through the avenue of storytelling. She writes full-time from her home in Nashville, where she lives with her husband, Daniel, and their son, Jack. Connect with Rachelle at www.rachelledekker.com.

Review: Otherwise Engaged by Joanna Barker

 

About:

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?


My Thoughts:

What a wonderful romantic story this one was, as my heart is still going pitter pat. What happens when true love sneaks up on you and as the title says you are otherwise engaged?

Rebecca Rowley is not necessarily a rebellious soul. She is just a woman who wants to forge her own way in life. She is looking forward to having her own home and can hardly wait to marry her fiancĂ©. Unfortunately their is some family history that may prevent an easy transition for her and Edward.

While living at her brother's newly inherited home, Rebecca comes across their new neighbors in quite an unconventional way. After this mishap Rebecca and Lieutenant Nicholas Avery make a sort of peace agreement that turns into a friendship. Rebecca also wants to be a friend of sorts to Nicholas's much younger sister as well, who has lost so much in her young life.

I was able to envision all this story illustrated in words. I liked that the author showed how human all of these characters were. We get just enough of their back stories that we get to know them well and the story is not weighed down with too many details either. 

However, something begins to grow between Rebecca and Nicholas, misconceptions are made and well...the heart wants what the heart wants. Nicholas is not a man who shows his feelings, but when he begins to pursue Rebecca in earnest, watch out. He is quite the romantic. I adored this story.

I received a copy of this novel courtesy of Covenant Communications through Interviews and Reviews. I was not required to post a positive review and all views and opinions are my own.


Monday, September 21, 2020

Review: Acceptable Risk by Lynette Eason

 

About:

For one journalist, the story of a lifetime is hitting too close to home

Sarah Denning is a military journalist with the Army in the Middle East when she is taken hostage. When former Army Ranger Gavin Black is asked by his old unit commander--Sarah's imposing father--to plan an extremely risky rescue, he reluctantly agrees and successfully executes it.

Back in the US, Sarah is livid when she's discharged on a false psychiatric evaluation and vows to return to the Army. Until she learns of her brother's suicide. Unable to believe her brother would do such a thing, she puts her plans on hold and enlists Gavin to help her discover the truth. What they uncover may be the biggest story of Sarah's career--if she can survive long enough to write it.

My Thoughts:

If you are looking for a book to keep you up at night and thinking about during the day- then look no farther than Acceptable Risk. It starts off strong and never lets up. I wondered how some of the characters even had the stamina to keep going. But their lives depended on it and to get to the bottom of the truth they needed to.

Sarah Denning is a military journalist and finds herself kidnapped in the Middle East. Not a very safe position to be in. However, as we get deeper in the story that ends up just being the tip of the iceberg of the evil that is coming her way.

This is a suspense, thriller, and a mystery all rolled up into one fantastic story. Eason also has time to show the complicated father/daughter relationship between Sarah and her father, her love interest and body guard Gavin, her friendships, and a grief that has rocked her world. Not too mention a very crazy and scary scenario of why so many people are harming themselves.

I think my very favorite part of the story was what Sarah finally realizes at the very end. You see, to me Sarah was not a really likable character. She was stubborn and rebellious and really took offense when there was none to be taken. Why? Well, that is the heart of this story. 

The Elite Guardians was my favorite Eason stories, this one is my current. Looking forward to more.

I was provided a copy of this novel courtesy of Revell Publishing through Interviews & Reviews. I was not required to post a positive review and all views and opinions are my own.

About the Author:

Lynette Eason is the bestselling author of Collateral Damage and Acceptable Risk, as well as Protecting Tanner Hollow and the Blue Justice, Women of Justice, Deadly Reunions, Hidden Identity, and Elite Guardians series. She is the winner of three ACFW Carol Awards, the Selah Award, and the Inspirational Reader's Choice Award, among others. She is a graduate of the University of South Carolina and has a master's degree in education from Converse College. Eason lives in South Carolina with her husband and two children. Learn more at www.lynetteeason.com.