Friday, December 2, 2016

Review: A Captain for Laura Rose by Stephanie Grace Whitson

Heidi Reads... A Captain for Laura Rose by Stephanie Grace Whitson

My rating: 5 stars / It was amazing


Laura Rose White's late father taught her everything he knew about piloting a Missouri River steamboat. He even named their boat after her. Despite that, it seems that Laura will forever be a "cub pilot" to her brother Joe, because in 1867, a female riverboat captain is unheard of. That is, until tragedy strikes and Laura must make the two month journey from St. Louis to Fort Benton and back in order to save her family's legacy, her home, and the only life she's ever known.

The only way for her to overcome the nearly insurmountable odds is with the help of her brother's disreputable friend Finn MacKnight, a skilled pilot with a terrible reputation. Laura loathes having to accept MacKnight as her co-pilot, especially when she learns she must also provide passage for his two sisters. Straight-laced Fiona has a fear of water, and unpredictable Adele seems much too comfortable with the idea of life in the rough and tumble environment of the untamed river and the men who ply it. Though they are thrown together by necessity, this historic journey may lead Laura and the MacKnights to far more than they ever expected.

My Review

I so enjoyed reading this historical novel! I was fascinated with the journey of Laura and the obstacles she overcame along the way. All aspects of the book seemed historically accurate, rich with details and scenes pulled straight from captains' logs and journals. I especially appreciated the author's note at the end of the book which shared insights into her thorough research. She brought to life the difficulty of being a woman breaking into a male-dominated profession as Laura fought to be the first female steamboat captain. One of the main focuses of the book was the indomitable spirit of Laura, even as she felt alone and hesitant to turn to God. She and Finn bonded over the support they provided as they revealed their vulnerabilities and began to trust each other. Their characters were so well-developed and there wasn't a dull moment as they battled both internal and external trials. Finn's sisters Fiona and Adele were a wonderful contrast to each other, and Dr. Ross and Laura's mother provide spiritual guidance when Laura needs it the most. I loved the loyalty of the crew, Laura's dog Logjam, and the various colorful characters that rounded out the story. A thoroughly satisfying read!

(I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher; all opinions in this review are my own)

Review: Between Hope & the Highway by Charissa Stastny

Heidi Reads... Between Hope & the Highway by Charissa Stastny

My rating: 4 stars / I really liked it


Sometimes things get so messed up you have to pick up and get the heck out of Dodge. That’s what Liz Ruthersford does. Memories can be weapons, and hers have become incoming missiles. Fleeing home and her parents’ pity, she seeks refuge on a remote ranch in Montana where no one knows her tragic past. When she meets Bentley and Rawson Law, brothers with wounds of their own, life veers off course from her plans. Embers of hope and love flicker to life, but will Liz let them burn bright enough to warm her heart? Or will she hit the highway and run once again? A clean, heart-pounding romance and redemption story.

My Review

This is a great story of forgiveness and second chances. It's written in first person from three characters' points of view- Liz, Rawson, and Rawson's little brother Ben. The characters were easy to get to know, but not always easy to like. They each have their share of flaws and tragedy, and it was interesting to see how their relationships changed them and they are all the better for knowing each other. I initially thought that Ben's perspective wasn't needed and seemed out of place, but he gives important insight and incorporates clever banter (which was needed since Liz and Rawson's banter borders on cheesy). The book seems really long and the pacing lagged in a few parts, but I was invested in the characters and story from the beginning and just had to keep reading. I enjoyed the mannerisms of the characters which made them come to life and also provided some interesting tidbits throughout the book. Side note- I've never really been one for cowboy boots, but that pair on the cover is pretty darn awesome ;)

(I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher; all opinions in this review are my own)

Freebie Alert! So Rare a Gift by Amber Lynn Perry

Don't miss this free e-book! I loved the historical setting and message of perseverance and love! Even though it's the third book in the series it can easily be read as a stand alone (I highly recommend the first two book in the series too!)

My rating: 5 stars / It was amazing


Escape is Anna Rone’s only option. Never again will she be trapped in a loveless marriage. A new life in America means safety—and discovering the truth behind her beloved brother’s death. But when she is nearly captured and forced to return to England, her vow to never marry for anything but love is forgotten when she must marry for protection. Perhaps the handsome man she accepts is truly as caring as he seems. If he is not, her future in America is darker than ever before.

Captain Henry Donaldson aided the colonists too many times. And now, the British army intends to make him pay with his life. Without his friends in Sandwich, he would be a dead man. He’s already changed his name, and when the kind, courageous woman he rescued offers to become his bride, he accepts despite the risks. His past taught him that women are not to be trusted and that love can cut deeper than the sword. Only time will reveal if this choice will bring the greatest pain he’s ever known.

Spotlight, Excerpt & Giveaway: Silver River Secrets by Linda Hope Lee

On Tour with Prism Book Tours.

Silver River SecretsSilver River Secrets
by Linda Hope Lee
Adult Contemporary Romance
Mass Market Paperback & ebook, 384 pages
December 1st 2016 by Harlequin Heartwarming

Tragedy made them strangers. The truth could change that…

Lacey Morgan's grandmother is the only reason she has to ever set foot in Silver River. Her hometown is populated with too many ghosts and memories. Too many painful reminders. Including Rory Dalton.

In all her brief visits over the past ten years, they've barely spoken. Locked on opposite sides of the tragedy that tore their lives apart, they buried their feelings along with their parents. But this trip is different. She will stay a little longer. Dig a little deeper. And try to solve the mystery that has kept them from the truth…and each other.

GoodreadsAmazonBarnes & NobleHarlequin


    Inside the house, Sophie Bennett came from around the counter with arms outstretched. “Lacey! I’ve been watching for you.”
    “Hello, Sophie.” Lacey returned Sophie’s hug, catching a whiff of her lilac-scented perfume.
    Sophie stood back and held Lacey at arm’s length. “Good to see you.”
    “You, too.”
    Sophie’s bright blue T-shirt and orange slacks fit smoothly over her trim figure. An orange scarf holding back shoulder-length blond hair revealed a hint of gray at the temples.
    Sophie returned to her post behind the counter to check Lacey in. That completed, she took a key from a drawer and motioned to Lacey. “Come on. I’ll take you up to your room.”
    They went down a carpeted hallway to the stairs. The rooms they passed offered Lacey glimpses of wood paneling and wallpaper, brocaded fabrics and patterned carpets, hurricane lamps and heavy draperies. The B and B had long been a dream of Sophie’s, and when she finally convinced her husband, Hugh, to buy the place, she fixed it up in style.
    “Sorry to hear about your grandmother’s accident,” Sophie said over her shoulder as they climbed the stairs. “How’s she doing?”
    “Determined to walk again, but agrees it’s time to be in a place where someone can look after her.”
    “There’s no better place around here than Riverview.”
    “I know. We’re so lucky the owners decided to build their retirement home here rather than in Milton.”
    On the second floor, Sophie stopped at one of the rooms and slipped her key into the lock. “Here we are.”
    Lacey followed her inside, her gaze taking in a queen-size bed with a colorful patchwork quilt, an armoire, an overstuffed chair and a round rosewood table. A Tiffany lamp decorated with yellow roses hung over the table.
    “I love it!” Lacey exclaimed.
    “Fabulous view, too. Take a look.”
    Lacey parked her suitcase next to the luggage rack and followed Sophie to the window. In the courtyard below, water gushed from a stone fountain, and walkways wound through gardens full of flowers. Beyond lay the river and neighboring farms.
Then her gaze landed on an all-too-familiar copse of willow trees and a two-story house with peeling white paint. Her stomach dropped. “Oh...”
    “What’s the matter?” Sophie’s voice rose in alarm.
    “Our old house. Gram’s house.”
    “You can see it from here?” Sophie peered out the window. “Oh, my. Lacey, I’m sorry. I never realized...” Sophie pressed her fingers to her lips and looked at Lacey.           “You don’t have to stay in this room. You can move across the hall.”
    Lacey shook her head. “No, I want this one.”
    “But to be reminded whenever you look out the window...”
    “Sophie, not a day goes by that I don’t think about what happened in that house.”
    “I’m sorry, honey, so sorry. But I do wish you could put the past behind you.”
    Lacey shook her head and bit her lower lip. “Not possible.”
    Sophie let a moment of silence pass and then said, “Okay, if you’re sure you don’t want to change rooms, I’ll let you get settled. You probably want to go see your grandmother right away.”
    “Yes, I’m having dinner with her, but that still gives me time to unpack.”
    “If you need help bringing in more stuff, Hugh is around somewhere.”
    “I’ll be fine. Thanks.” Lacey lifted her suitcase onto the luggage rack and unzipped it.

Linda Hope Lee writes contemporary romance, romantic suspense, and mysteries. She enjoys traveling especially to small towns in search of story ideas. She's also an artist, specializing in watercolor, pen and ink, and colored pencil. Photography provides inspiration for both her writing and her art. She lives in the Pacific Northwest, where many of her stories are set.

Tour Schedule

November 29th: Launch
November 30th: Mommabears Book Blog
December 2nd: I Am A Reader & Heidi Reads...
December 3rd: Zerina Blossom's Books
December 5th: Getting Your Read On
December 6th: Grand Finale

Tour Giveaway

- 1 winner will receive a $50 Amazon eGift Card & copy of SILVER RIVER SECRETS by Linda Hope Lee (print if US, ebook if international)
- 3 winners will receive a copy of SILVER RIVER SECRETS by Linda Hope Lee (print if US, ebook if international)
- Open internationally
- Ends December 12th

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