Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Review: Loving Helen by Michele Paige Holmes

Loving Helen

My rating: 4 stars / I really liked it



Eighteen-year-old Helen Thatcher grew up under the protection of her older siblings, Grace and Christopher. Living in their shadows and keeping to herself suited Helen just fine—until she met widower Samuel Preston. Watching Mr. Preston care for his young daughter and seeing his concern extend to her own family, Helen felt her reserve slipping away, as she learned first to trust him and then realized she had fallen in love with him. But instead of returning—or even noticing her affection—Mr. Preston developed his own tender, and unrequited feelings, for Grace.

In the midst of each silently nursing their broken hearts, Helen and Samuel are faced with a daunting task—reuniting Grace with her fiancé, Nicholas Sutherland. Now it is Helen who must look out for her sister and sacrifice her own fragile heart, as she and Samuel pretend to be engaged. Helen finds the role surprisingly easy to play, allowing herself to imagine that Samuel’s loving remarks are sincere. As the time for their charade to end draws near Helen must summon her courage and tell Samuel the truth of her feelings, or risk losing him forever.

My Review

This book is a companion novel to Saving Grace and I would definitely recommend you read that one first! The first part of Loving Helen is from Helen's limited point of view on significant events from Saving Grace- it would be hard to grasp the importance without reading the first book previously.

That being said, Loving Helen surprised me with some twists and turns that kept the pace of the book moving swiftly even though some events are being relived from Saving Grace. Since Helen's experience with men has been manipulative and abusive, she naturally is drawn to the kind Samuel with his gentle humor and loving parenting methods for his young daughter. I found Samuel's shifting affections annoying since it made him seem wishy-washy, but once he focuses completely on Helen they have some wonderfully romantic moments :)

(Thank you to Ebooks For Review for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review)

Monday, April 27, 2015

Free e-book! Rewind to You by Laura Johnston

Links to FREE eBook:

Rewind to You FREE on Amazon Kindle

FREE on Barnes and Noble

FREE on eBooks
FREE on Kobo

   “Johnston’s debut spotlights romance and familial relationships, including themes like grief and self-sacrifice. It’s an ideal story for readers looking for a deep-rooted YA love story with the emotional ups and downs and poignancy of a Nicholas Sparks contemporary. There’s also a touch of wit and a sigh-worthy hero – a definite on your TBR list.”
– RT Book Reviews

Wish You Were Here

One last summer before college on beautiful Tybee Island is supposed to help Sienna forget. But how can she? This is where her family spent every summer before everything changed, before the world as she knew it was ripped away.

But the past isn’t easily left behind. Especially when Sienna keeps having episodes that take her back to the night she wants to forget. Even when she meets the mysterious Austin Dobbs, the guy with the intense blue eyes, athlete’s body, and weakness for pralines who scooped her out of trouble when she blacked out on River Street.

When she’s with Austin, Sienna feels a whole new world opening up to her. Austin has secrets, and she has history. But caught between the past and the future, Sienna can still choose what happens now…

Contemporary YA romance

Published by Kensington Publishing Corp.

"I love a good YA summer romance and for me, this one totally hit the spot!...I loved the journey; I loved the story; I loved the romance; I loved the little surprises and twists; and I loved the ending! Content: no language; mild violence; lots of kissing. Clean!" - Katie's Clean Book Collection

"I loved this book!...It caught my attention from the beginning and didn't let up the entire time." - Mel's Shelves

"This is a really remarkable love for me, to be honest. Definitely worth my 5 stars." - Book Inspections/Silly Readers

"Rewind to You is a fantastic young adult book. It has it all and it does it all so very well. Romance, heartbreak, loss, growth. You really can’t ask for more with a book. Laura Johnston created a little master piece in this otherwise unassuming young adult contemporary. "- Book Briefs

"This is why I LOVE reading YA! Rewind to You is a sweet romance with such awesome lyrical writing that I couldn't help but be swept up in the feelings of the characters." - A Writer's Dream

"I've read a lot of contemporary books the past two years, and I can safely say that Rewind To You is easily one of the best that I have ever read." - Justin's Book Blog

"...This was so much more than a sweet love story, it was a wonderfully done tale of learning how to deal with pain, loss, and moving on while still keeping your heart open to new experiences, new people, an new challenges." - My Guilty Obsession

"The writing is excellent and the story only deepens as the summer draws to a close, leaving the characters with resolution and the reader with a satisfying ending." - Heidi Reads...

"5 out of 5...but I think it deserves another star!!! It's AWESOME!...This story was such a sad, and beautiful story all at the same time." - My Love for Reading Keeps Growing

"Laura Johnston has written a beautiful story with wonderful characters that have so much depth to them, I could have sworn they were real." - The Written Adventure

"Laura Johnston's debut novel Rewind to You is a perfect summer read ! A stunning soul touching story about finding love and forgiveness." - Lady A, Literature Junkie Extraordinaire 

"Rewind To You is a beautiful, heart touching romance. Laura Johnston deals with a subject we don't want to think about, the loss of a loved one, but she did it with heartfelt tenderness and a beautiful romance. I recommend Sienna and Austin's love story as a must read." - I Heart YA Books 

"I really enjoyed this book from Laura Johnston. The characters were solid and the story was fast paced and sweet." - Min Reads and Reviews

"This book was soooo good!" - Mylissa's Reviews and Books Thoughts

"I went through every emotion more than once. I can't find enough words to convey just how much I LOVED this book" - Crazy Four Books

Book Tour: A Love Like Ours by Becky Wade

On Tour with Prism Book Tours.

We're blitzing the GRAND FINALE for:
A Love Like Ours
By Becky Wade

Did you miss any of the excerpts or reviews for this tour? There's still time to check them out and to order your copy of A Love Like Ours by May 17th to have part of your proceeds go to the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund (more details on the Launch).

Launch - Letter from Author Becky Wade
"I'll be giving a percentage of my earnings on A Love Like Ours from whenever the book starts selling through May 17th to IFHF."

Babs Book Bistro - Review
"...this is the first book I have read by this author and it will not be the last."

     Turning, he squinted beneath the brim of his black Stetson and tried to make out who was coming toward him. A small woman with long, wavy blond hair. She wasn’t on the barn staff; that he knew. He angled toward her more fully.
     And then, very slowly, recognition began to slide over him. The hair on his arms rose.
     It couldn’t be her. Not after all this time. And yet the rational part of his brain understood that it could be. He knew she’d moved back to Holley. His mom had been nagging him to see her ever since, but he’d wanted no part of that, no part of her.
     Yet here she was.

Bookworm Lisa - Review
"Jake was a marine. The wounds he carries from his time in Iraq are not all visible to the eye. He has a scar on his face, but his real battle is in the PTSD that is a part of his everyday life. I really liked that the book looked into a topic that is the battle that extends long after a soldier leaves the military. The book looks at how everyday situations can impact a person struggling with PTSD."

Wishful Endings - Excerpt
     Jake’s poor face. His poor, ravaged face, both undeniably handsome and unbearably exhausted. As big and strong as he was physically, he was also wounded. He needed someone to care about him.
     Following pure instinct, she stepped forward and reached up to place her hands on either side of his face.
     “No,” he rasped, trying to pull back.
     “Shh,” she replied, firm. She’d purposely placed her hands in the same position on both sides of his face, favoring neither the perfect side nor the scarred.

"Tackling a serious issue that many in our military face is no easy feat, but Ms. Wade does it well. The story isn't too heavy, as it's balanced with romance, fun, family, horses, and religion. I love reading about this Porter Family and can't wait for more!"

Pieces of Whimsy - Excerpt
     He had only two goals where Lyndie was concerned: to interact with her as little as possible and to keep her safe.
     Whispering Creek Horses took every precaution with their exercise riders. In the past, a few had sustained minor injuries but none had been seriously hurt. There was no reason to worry about Lyndie.
     He should be more concerned about himself. He couldn’t afford to let a pretty blonde mess with his head.

"The slow progression for Jake is so satisfying to read. I loved the flow of the book and I loved learning in bits about both Jake and Lyndie. This is one of those "feel good" books leave you so content in the end. It's a great addition to this Porter Family series. I loved it!"

I Am A Reader - Excerpt
     How long had it been since she’d experienced a stirring of desire for anyone? Ages. A couple of years at least. It was fun and harmless to . . . tingle . . . over someone again. It wasn’t as if Jake was in danger of returning her feelings. Or as if this altered her intentions toward him.
     She was determined to help him and his horse. The kind of help she had in mind for Jake had nothing to do with Valentine’s Day emotions and everything to do with God’s power to redeem.

     Jake stopped at Silver Leaf’s stall. The horse had his head down, chewing hay. It took Jake a moment to spot Lyndie’s small form in the dim space. She sat to one side, her back against the wall, her knees drawn up and her arms wrapped around them. She must have heard him coming because she was already gazing up at him. Her lips tipped into a gentle smile.
     For a long moment Jake stared at her. Foolish woman, sitting in a horse stall for hours every day. Even more frustrating, looking at him as if she liked him and trusted him. Looking at him as if she believed he was worthy of her friendship and trust. Raw pain gathered in his chest.
"A Love Like Ours was another special read from Becky Wade. I loved the characters and finally reading Jake's story...which was such a sad, yet beautiful story."

Worthy2Read - Review
"Character-driven, A Love Like Ours was a joy to read — and re-read. As Lyndie and Jake get to know one another again, Lyndie breaks through the walls Jake has built (and those surrounding Silver Leaf) to be an instrument of hope and healing. Wades characters are flawed individuals, ones the reader can relate to and cheer for. Her novel captivates the reader from the prologue."

A Love Like Ours (Porter Family #3)A Love Like Ours
(Porter Family #3)
by Becky Wade
Christian Contemporary Romance
Paperback, 368 Pages
May 5th 2015 by Bethany House Publishers

Deeply scarred from a day he wishes he could forget during his military service, Thoroughbred trainer Jake Porter has given up on love. He struggles against symptoms of PTSD, lives a solitary life, and avoids relationships.

When Lyndie James, Jake's childhood best friend, returns to their hometown of Holley, Texas, Jake cautiously hires her to exercise his Thoroughbreds. Lyndie is tender-hearted, fiercely determined, and afraid of nothing, just like she was as a child. Jake trusts her with his prized racehorse, Silver Leaf, then battles his hopes for his horse against his increasing fear for Lyndie's safety.

Though Jake and Lyndie have grown into very different adults, the bond that existed during their childhood still ties them together. Against Jake's will, Lyndie's sparkling, optimistic personality begins to tear down the walls he's built around his heart. A glimmer of the hope he'd thought he'd lost returns. Will Jake ever be able to love Lyndie like she deserves, or is his heart too shattered to mend?

During her childhood in California, Becky Wade frequently produced homemade plays starring her sisters, friends, and cousins. These plays almost always featured a heroine, a prince, and a love story with a happy ending. She's been a fan of all things romantic ever since.

Becky and her husband lived overseas in the Caribbean and Australia before settling in Dallas, Texas. It was during her years abroad that Becky's passion for reading turned into a passion for writing. She published three historical romances for the general market, put her career on hold for many years to care for her kids, and eventually returned to writing sheerly for the love of it. She’s delighted to be penning warm, wry, and heartwarming contemporary romances for the Christian market. She's the Carol Award and Inspirational Reader's Choice Award winning author of My Stubborn Heart, Undeniably Yours, and Meant to Be Mine.

These days Becky can be found failing but trying to keep up with her housework, sweating at the gym, carting her kids around town, playing tennis, hunched over her computer, eating chocolate, or collapsed on the sofa watching TV with her husband.

Other Books by the Author
Tour Giveaway

$50 Amazon Gift Card (INT)
Signed copy of A Love Like Ours (US Only)
1 Kindle ebook (gifted through Amazon) of A Love Like Ours (INT - if available in your area)

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Review: Rough Around the Edges Meets Refined by Rachael Anderson


My rating: 5 stars / It was amazing



For Noah Mackie, life is finally back on track. He has a great support system, a promised promotion is on its way, and he's finally getting the hang of this single father thing. But when the job falls through and his neighbor's matchmaking efforts become more aggressive, Noah is in for yet another unwanted detour. With his career and two spirited daughters to worry about, he doesn't have time for dating—especially not someone like Cassie Ellis, his girls' beautiful and sophisticated dance instructor, who is about as open and approachable as a brick wall.

Rough around the Edges Meets Refined is about two people who think they know exactly what they want but who have no idea what they really need. It's about learning that people aren't always what they seem and that sometimes life’s detours take you exactly where you need to go.

My Review

This is a great contemporary romance! Cassie is finding herself again after a dysfunctional marriage ends, Noah has been grieving his wife for four years. Their first impressions of each other aren't favorable, but as Noah renovates Cassie's basement for a dance studio, they are given the opportunity to see the true person behind the walls they put up... which slowly come down. This author is skilled at giving her characters great scenes and dialogue- it's like watching a movie in my head! My favorite is when Noah catches Cassie lip-synching in her kitchen and she sees a whole other side of him as he joins in and encourages her to just have fun, while he sees the side of her that is yearning to let go and live passionately.

This is the second book in Rachael Anderson's Meet Your Match series, and Noah and his daughters are minor characters in the first book, Prejudice Meets Pride which features his sister as the lead (read my review here). I recommend reading them in order to fully understand the backgrounds of all characters in the books, but they are also written to be read as stand-alone novels.

(Thank you to Ebooks For Review for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review)

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Review: Serving Up a Sweetheart by Cheryl Wyatt

Serving Up a Sweetheart by Cheryl Wyatt

My rating: 3 stars / I liked it



Meadow knows how to serve delicious food to match any wedding theme. But can she accept love when it's served up on a silver platter?

During one of the biggest weeks of her catering career, Meadow Larson’s kitchen roof caves in after an unrelenting blizzard. She has to accept help from the last person on earth she wants to see: Colin McGrath. The tormentor from her past is now a contractor, her new neighbor—and the only person available to take on a project of this size.

Colin is aware God has given him a second chance to make things right with Meadow after bullying her in high school. After years of regret and guilt, Colin is determined to earn her respect and forgiveness, no matter what it takes.

It’ll take an extreme kitchen renovation, several cooking lessons, a little lace, and a lot of grace, but God is using this renovation project not only to restore Meadow’s heart, but also to restore Colin’s integrity in her eyes. Will Meadow learn to trust the new Colin even as their relationship grows from a business exchange to something more meaningful?

My Review

I liked the idea behind this story, but the first part of the book only hinted at some of the misdeeds from Colin's past, which made the extent and intensity of Meadow's bitterness seem unequal to what was revealed. I think I would have enjoyed the story more if her vulnerabilities were shown rather than repetitively guarded by a brash exterior. Once she begins to let go and forgive, the story picks up and the characters are able to finally interact and bond. I admired Colin's tenacity in proving himself to Meadow- he goes the extra mile by volunteering his time and resources to repairing her house and giving her a place to live and work during the renovation. All free of charge, no strings attached. I completely understand how uncomfortable this makes Meadow, but as she's desperate to fulfill her upcoming contracts, she accepts... and her matchmaking sister with a softer heart for redemption influences Meadow to open her heart and allow God to heal her hurts.

(Thank you to Zondervan Publishing and BookLook Bloggers for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review)

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Review: A Cowboy for Christmas by Lacy Williams

A Cowboy for Christmas by Lacy Williams

My rating: 4 stars / I really liked it



After an accident leaves her injured, Daisy Richards stays secluded at her family's Wyoming ranch to avoid the town's gawking stares. Yet handsome cowboy newcomer Ricky White insists she can do anything she dreams—ride a horse, decorate a Christmas tree…even steal a man's heart.

Once a reckless cad, Ricky is to blame for what happened to Daisy. Now reformed, he wants to make amends by setting things right for his boss's beautiful daughter in time for the holidays. But Daisy doesn't know Ricky's responsible for her predicament. When the truth is revealed, will he lose the greatest gift he's ever received—her trust?

My Review

Boy, Daisy and Ricky sure have it rough in this story! In the beginning Daisy has a very "woe is me" attitude (can't really blame her...) but her tentative friendship with Ricky gets her looking beyond her trials and forward to the future with hope. Her character arc was well done and realistic for the challenges she faced. Ricky is so full of guilt and remorse, and I admired his fortitude in relying on Jesus to carry the burden of his sins. Of course, throughout the story I was waiting for the ball to drop- for Daisy to discover that Ricky had a part in her tragic circumstances, and wondered how she would manage to handle it and forgive him. You'll have to read the book to find out! ;)

(Thank you to Harlequin and Love Inspired books for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review)

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

E-book sale: 99 cents for Daisies are Forever by Liz Tolsma


Only 99 cents for the e-book of Daisies are Forever by Liz Tolsma. This one is on my to-read list since her previous book was excellent!
(Be sure to check the price since e-books sales are for a limited time)



Gisela must hold on to hope and love despite all odds in the midst of a war-torn country.

Gisela Cramer is an American living in eastern Germany with her cousin Ella Reinhardt. When the Red Army invades, they must leave their home to escape to safety in Berlin.

However, Ella is a nurse and refuses to leave, sending her young daughters with Gisela. During their journey, Gisela meets Mitch Edwards, an escaped British POW. She pretends she is his wife in order to preserve his safety among other Germans, especially one wounded German soldier, Kurt, who has suspicions about Mitch's identity. Kurt also has feelings for Gisela and tries to uncover the truth about her "marriage."

Their journey to Gisela's mother in Berlin is riddled with tragedy and hardship, but they strive to keep Ella's daughters safe so they can reunite with their mother. During the journey Gisela and Mitch begin to develop feelings for one another beyond friendship. They reach Berlin, but their struggles are far from over. Gisela and Mitch must learn to live for the day and find hope in the darkest of circumstances.

In this moving, historically accurate portrayal of WWII Germany, the characters learn that, even with destruction all around them, some things last forever.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Review: Buried Secrets by Irene Hannon


My rating: 4 stars / I really liked it



After seven years as a Chicago homicide detective, Lisa Grant has hit a wall. Ready for a kinder, gentler life, she takes a job as a small-town police chief. But the discovery of a human skeleton by a construction crew at the edge of town taxes the resources of her department. A call for assistance brings detective Mac McGregor, an ex-Navy SEAL, to her doorstep. As they work to solve the mystery behind the unmarked grave, danger begins to shadow them. Someone doesn't want this dead person telling any tales--and will stop at nothing to make certain a life-shattering secret stays buried.
Master storyteller Irene Hannon is back with an exciting new series featuring former special forces operatives now in the thick of the action in civilian life. Hannon is at the top of her game in this can't-put-it-down thriller that will have readers up until the wee hours devouring every page.

My Review

If you're looking for a book to help you fall asleep at night, don't pick this one up! I finished Buried Secrets at 2 am since I could not put it down. We read about the accident in the prologue, in first person perspective from the one who masterminded the cover-up. So the who-done-it is not a mystery, but rather the suspense comes from how the people involved are going to prevent the truth from coming to light. Lisa's character reminds me of Teresa Lisbon from the TV show The Mentalist- tough, professional, dedicated, and tenacious. Mac offers some assistance and insights but she clearly has a handle on the investigation. They are attracted to each other from the start, and Mac repeatedly admires her auburn hair with highlights. He's obviously a hair guy. We see his vulnerable side as he worries over his two brothers who are active duty special ops overseas. The softer side of Lisa is for the stray dog she adopted and became the department mascot. The viewpoint of the villain was chilling but also interesting to know the motivations for behavior. The investigation isn't fast-paced at first but the different viewpoints prevent stagnancy. Things speed up as evidence is discovered and more pressure is put upon the villain, which leads to a nail-biting climax.

(Thank you to Revell Publishing for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review)

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Review: Finding Sheba by H.B. Moore

Finding Sheba by H.B. Moore

My rating: 5 stars / It was amazing
*The e-book is an affordable $3.99!*



For centuries, historians have speculated that the Queen of Sheba is nothing more than a seductive legend; but when undercover agent Omar Zagouri finds a tomb in a tunnel beneath Jerusalem, he unearths cryptic clues that may lead to the queen’s final resting place.

This discovery, if authentic, could throw into question the governmental claim to the Holy Land—and prove the Bible false. Wealthy collectors, ruthless archaeologists, and officials from Egypt, Ethiopia, Israel, and Yemen scramble to find and lay claim to the secret site.

Dr. Richard Lyon of Brown University, the world’s leading expert on the queen, is found murdered in his office, setting off a chain of deadly events. Omar desperately works to piece together the puzzle to locate the queen’s burial ground, fearing another assassination will take place. He teams up with one of Lyon’s protégées as well as with his ex-girlfriend, agent Mia Golding, in order to unravel the truth about the queen, expose a murderer, and reveal a timeless story of love, revenge, and sacrifice.

My Review

I don't always like modern and historical stories interwoven- I usually find one boring and distracting to the other, but not in this case! I loved the viewpoint of Nicaula, the legendary Queen of Sheba, eagerly anticipating her next account and discovering where her passionate story led. The modern viewpoints are chock full of action and intrigue- switching from one character to another to give a well-rounded perspective of the puzzle pieces that seem random but work their way together by the end.

Omar is a cross between Indiana Jones and James Bond; Mia a female version of that in her own right as an amazingly skilled agent. Their missions overlap and they end up rescuing each other, uncover corruption in several high-ranking officials, and gather evidence to solve the mysteries of the tombs. Omar is full of angst over their recent break-up which brings some humorous tension between him and his boss, her new boyfriend that he suspects stole Mia from him.

I also enjoyed the perspective of Jade, an American graduate student who studied under Dr. Lyon who traveled to the Middle East to gather research for her thesis, and Alem, a Ethiopian seeking to validate his family's relation to the royalty of the Queen. There is a reasonable amount of violence, a couple mild swear words, and a reference to Omar and Mia living together when they had a relationship. I highly recommend this book to fans of The Da Vinci Code and similar ancient historical thrillers.

(Thank you to Ebooks For Review for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review)

Friday, April 10, 2015

Review & Giveaway! The Captive Imposter by Dawn Crandall


Be sure to scroll down and enter the giveaway for any of the books from The Everstone Chronicles!

My rating: 5 stars / It was amazing



Sent away for protection, hotel heiress Estella Everstone finds herself living undercover as a lady’s companion named Elle Stoneburner at one of her father’s opulent hotels in the mountains of Maine—the one she'd always loved best and always hoped to own one day, Everston. The one thing she doesn't like about the situation is that her ex-fiancé is in the area and is set on marrying someone else. Reeling from her feelings of being unwanted and unworthy, Estella reluctantly forms a friendship with the gruff manager of Everston, Dexter Blakeley, who seems to have something against wealthy young socialites with too much money, although they are just the kind of people Everston caters to.

When Estella finds herself in need of help, Dexter comes to the rescue with an offer she can't refuse. She sees no other choice aside from going back home to her family and accepts the position as companion to his sister. Throughout her interactions with Dexter, she can't deny the pull that's evidenced between them every time he comes near. Estella realizes that while she's been hiding behind a false name and identity, she’s never been freer to be herself than when she's with Dexter Blakeley. But will he still love her when he finds out she's Estella Everstone? She's not entirely sure.

My Review

Dawn Crandall's writing style is fascinating. Written in first person, there is a quality about it like I'm reading in tunnel vision- I know there's more going on peripherally but I can only see what is being experienced by the main character, Estella. The story unfolds in layers and the different aspects of the plot are revealed strategically. It's almost like uncovering a mystery!

Estella has undergone her transformation from shallow socialite to compassionate companion before the book begins, so we see her new perspective of the world and herself. I love how she is drawn to Dexter and values him for his own qualities as she comes to know him and forms an unlikely friendship with him. He is a bit of a mystery as well, but from the beginning his integrity and honor are obvious. I loved reading the developing romance between Estella and Dexter and discovering all the facets of their story! This third book in The Everstone Chronicles is definitely my favorite.

(Thank you to the author for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review)



Thursday, April 9, 2015

Review: Betting on Hope by Debra Clopton


My rating: 4 stars / I really liked it



A bet gone wrong. A small town's meddling. And a cowboy intent on saving his ranch.

Maggie Hope is an advice columnist whose background leaves her with little advice to give . . . and it's beginning to show. When Maggie fills in at an interview with champion horse trainer Tru Monahan, the on-camera chemistry between them is undeniable. Maggie's bosses know this is the opportunity she's been looking for to launch her career--and their bank accounts. In order to save her column, Maggie takes Tru up on the bet that he can teach her to ride a quick-stepping cutting horse like any cowgirl, despite the fact that she has never been on a horse. And in the meantime, she can get the scoop on the man under the cowboy hat.

Tru has been on the competition circuit for longer than he'd like, but he knows it's the only way he can afford to keep the Four of Hearts Ranch that means so much to his ailing grandfather. So when his sponsors see the opportunity for Tru's fans to get to know the star on a more intimate level, he knows he must oblige. To his dismay, Maggie not only invades his small town of Wishing Springs, but she also invades his heart, and that is something he cannot let any woman do--for her own good.

In Wishing Springs, Maggie finds what she has always been looking for: a community and a home. But when her past catches up to her, it threatens everything, even the tender hope that this town holds all of her heart's desires.

My Review

At first look, it seems like beautiful Maggie and heartthrob Tru have everything going for them- in the career department at least. But under the surface they each have tragic backgrounds and current struggles that run deep. It was the harder themes that got to me with this book rather than the romance. The author dealt with them in a gentle manner yet didn't shy away from the reality of the situations portrayed in the story. Dysfunctional family members, family loyalty, Alzheimer's, homelessness, unwed pregnancy, adoption, infertility, gambling, fame... but even with the heavy themes it's still uplifting and inspiring. I especially appreciated the different perspectives in the adoption storyline since we adopted both of our daughters. Don't get me wrong- there are plenty of funny and sweet moments too, and there is a strong cast of secondary characters that rounds out the hometown feel of this novel.

(Thank you to Thomas Nelson Publishing and BookLook Bloggers for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review)

E-book sale: $1.99 for Unequal Affection: A Pride & Prejudice Retelling by Lara S. Ormiston


Unequal Affection was recommended to me as one of the better Pride and Prejudice variations out there. It's been on my wishlist and today I found the e-book on sale! Get it at Amazon for only $1.99!



When Elizabeth Bennet first knew Mr. Darcy, she despised him and was sure he felt the same. Angered by his pride and reserve, influenced by the lies of the charming Mr. Wickham, she never troubled herself to believe he was anything other than the worst of men--until, one day, he unexpectedly proposed.Mr. Darcy's passionate avowal of love causes Elizabeth to reevaluate everything she thought she knew about him. What she knows is that he is rich, handsome, clever, and very much in love with her. She, on the other hand, is poor, and can expect a future of increasing poverty if she does not marry. The incentives for her to accept him are strong, but she is honest enough to tell him that she does not return his affections. He says he can accept that--but will either of them ever be truly happy in a relationship of unequal affection?

Diverging from Jane Austen's classic novel Pride and Prejudice at the proposal in the Hunsford parsonage, this story explores the kind of man Darcy is, even before his "proper humbling," and how such a man, so full of pride, so much in love, might have behaved had Elizabeth chosen to accept his original proposal.