Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Review: One Small Chance by Lucinda Whitney

* Sale Alert * 

Heidi Reads... One Small Chance by Lucinda Whitney

My rating: 5 stars / It was amazing


Isabel Antunes is content with her life as director of the English Academy in Lisbon. Then she’s hit by a man on a bike—a man her boss just hired to be her assistant. Despite Simon Ackerley’s repeated assurances to the contrary, Isabel believes he’s after her position, but she won’t hand it over without a fight. As if dealing with him all week is not enough, he shows up at church as well. Her only solace is in writing to the pen pal she knows as “Elliot”.

Simon Ackerley told his father that he was moving to Lisbon for the job. But that isn’t the only reason. Simon is looking for Amélie, the pen pal he’s written for fifteen years. A woman he knows everything about—except her real name and address.

When the biking accident reveals that Simon’s prickly co-worker Isabel is the elusive Amélie, he knows he has to win her trust before he can confess his true identity. If only he could tell her the actual reason why he’s come, he’s sure Isabel would treat him differently. But she’s not ready for the truth.

One Small Chance is a standalone novella of 43,000 words and it’s set in Lisbon, Portugal. It’s a clean and wholesome contemporary LDS romance.

My Review

I loved this sweet story with a "You've Got Mail" theme. The characters are well-fleshed out and the story and plot has a full arc. It didn't feel too short like novellas often do and when I finished the last page I just had to sigh in satisfaction. The setting of Portugal played a huge part in making the story stand out. It was so fun to imagine the foreign location and accents and the vivid descriptions were subtle without taking over the narrative. I was able to connect with both Isabel and Simon and felt the emotions they were experiencing as they grew closer together in spite of the struggles they face. Highly recommend!

(I purchased a copy of this book; this is my honest review)

New Release & Giveaway: King of the Friend Zone by Sheralyn Pratt

I am so excited to read this book! Her previous two contemporary romances both earned 5 stars from me. I'll be reading and reviewing it ASAP!

King of the Friend Zone
The King of the Friend Zone by Sheralyn Pratt

Esme Taylor has an amazing fiancé, a lifelong best friend, and a problem. The problem stems from the fact that her best friend is named Hunter and, well. . . he’s kind of (totally) hot. It’s hate at first sight when her fiancé, Jon, and Hunter meet. Jon’s convinced that Hunter is in love with Esme, and that Hunter must be out of the picture if their upcoming marriage is to succeed. Esme thinks Jon is paranoid. The truth is, Jon’s not that far off. Hunter is in love with his best friend and always has been. What Jon has wrong, however, is that Hunter never had any plans of ruining Esme’s happily ever after. Hunter wants what’s best for Esme, even if that’s not him. When Jon pushes hard to end Esme and Hunter’s friendship, opposition comes from the most unlikely of places. It’s an eccentric lady with a cookie cart who suggests a different solution to Esme’s problem: Hunter and Esme should give each other a chance. They’ve both thought of the possibility over the years—of course they have. But with a ring already on Esme’s finger and a heap of hurt feelings and broken trust in the mix, there hasn’t been a worse time to explore the depths of their feelings for each other. Both Esme and Hunter think it’s time to move on and leave childhood crushes in the past. The question is: Can one woman and the taste of one cookie change their minds?



While everyone around Hunter ate and drank, Hunter swirled the liquid in his glass and watched his friends and family interact with Jon. The man was suave when he wanted to be; Hunter would give him that. He wore the right suits, said the right words, and charmed the right people. What a hero. He was also several inches shorter than Hunter, which meant Esme fit neatly against his shoulder as they stood and spoke with all their guests. Esme looked so content as she reclined against Jon, and Hunter wasn’t the only one who had noticed. The last person who had commented on Jon and Esme within Hunter’s earshot had called them “two peas in a pod” as if there were awards to be won in the category. Well, there weren’t. In that moment, Hunter was very glad he hadn’t been drinking that night, because otherwise he might have gone so far as announcing that fact to everyone. There are no awards for being two peas in a pod, everyone. Oh, and by the way, you should meet this guy when he isn’t trying to impress you. He’s a bit of a prick. But, of course, no one wanted to hear that. No one wanted to hear anything from Hunter tonight except for a glowing toast endorsing the golden couple. He still hadn’t written anything, although he had googled a generic speech and printed it out. It was in his pocket now, but he hadn’t practiced it and reading the prepackaged speech was pretty much out of the question now, thanks to his dyslexia. Reading on the best of days usually didn’t go that well for Hunter, but when he was seething mad? Yeah, that wasn’t happening. So he sat and swirled and watched and tried to imagine what in the world he could say that wouldn’t earn him more frowns than his jeans had already earned him. Then it hit him: Why try? Why not be honest? There wasn’t a face at this party that he hadn’t known for the better part of twenty years—well, except Jon. His smug mug was as new as it was unwelcome in Hunter’s book. But everyone knew Hunter and they’d know if he vomited some fake, glowing speech their direction. So why should he? Why not be honest? The idea grew on Hunter as the night went on and the praise for Jon became more and more abundant. The clincher was when Jon’s best man stood up and gave a speech that proved he’d probably met Esme all of once, and everyone in attendance nodded and beamed as the guy praised Esme in the most generic of terms. According to whatever the best man’s name was, Esme was kind and compassionate and a joy to all those who met her. Seriously? The guy had clearly never been within earshot of Esme when an ice cream truck passed in July playing Christmas music. That would redefine the guy’s definition of “joy to all those around her.” Yet everyone ooohed and ahhhhed and clapped until the guy sat and Jon gave his bestie an appreciative slap on the back with a look that said, Well done. Then everyone in the future wedding party looked at Hunter expectantly. It was his turn. In that moment, Hunter had a choice to make. He could either repeat the same lame puffery the best man had, or he could give the speech that had been building up in him like a sneeze all night. Be nice now and freak out later, or let it all hang out? That was the question. And one quick glance at Jon’s arrogant face gave Hunter his answer.

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Author Sheralyn Pratt
Some describe Sheralyn as a girl who's been around the block and worked at every shop. This isn't far from the truth. Writing is what she loves most, however. There's a magical power in stepping into new perspectives time and again, and seeing the world through different eyes. Few things increase empathy more than walking in another's shoes for 100,000 words or so. At least that seems to be the trend so far.
Some random things to know about Sheralyn: * She's a wanderer (geographically) * She can write a novel, but doesn't have the attention span for one page in a journal * She vehemently disagrees with Stephen King's stance that authors should not watch TV * She is pretty much incapable of sleeping before midnight
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$50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Giveaway
Ends 9/23/16 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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Book Blitz & Giveaway: One Small Chance by Lucinda Whitney

Author Lucinda Whitney is back to join us with her newest book!
She is offering her book at a discount price right now too - you can pick it up for only 99 cents

And, for a short time, she is hosting a $25 gift card giveaway for those who post a review!!
See below for the giveaway options

Lucinda Whitney was born and raised in Portugal, where she received a master’s degree from the University of Minho in Braga in Portuguese/English teaching. She lives in northern Utah. When she’s not reading and writing, she can be found with a pair of knitting needles in winter, or tending her herb garden in the summer. She also works part-time as a substitute teacher.

Connect with the Author here: 

One city of two million people and only three months to find her.
What are his chances?

When Isabel Antunes is hit by a man on a bike, she doesn’t expect to see him again. But on Monday at work, she learns her boss just hired him. Despite the guy’s repeated assurances to the contrary, she feels he’s a threat to her position of director, and she won’t hand it over without a fight. As if that’s not enough, he’s a member of the same church she joined a few months ago and she can’t get away from him on the weekends either.

Simon Ackerley is in Lisbon, Portugal, as a consultant for an English-only private academy. He doesn’t speak any Portuguese but he’s enjoying the city and his new job, despite a co-worker who’s bent on treating him as the enemy.

But when he discovers a clue to her identity, Simon realizes there is so much more at stake than just a pleasant working environment. If only he could tell her the reason why he’s come, he’s sure Isabel would treat him differently. But he knows she’s not ready for the truth.


Isabel nodded at him. “To answer your question, Mr. Ackerley, I’m not quite sure what a singles ward is. Everybody keeps talking about it, but I don’t know what or where it is.”
“Call me Simon. We’re not at the academy and we’re not at church.” 
He was persistent, she gave him that. “Simon.” 
He smiled. “A singles ward is for members of the church who are between the ages of eighteen and thirty.”
“The equivalent to a marriage mart, I’m guessing?” 
Simon tossed his head back and laughed heartily. He had an honest laugh. “Well, yes, that’s the main purpose even though nobody likes to admit it.”

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Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Review: Accidentally Me by Kim Karras

Heidi Reads... Accidentally Me by Kim Karras

My rating: 4 stars / I really liked it


Sabrina has been trying to be the perfect child her entire life to convince her parents that she's more than just an "accident." Now she is determined to go to her dream college, but her parents want her to stay close to home. Desperate times call for desperate measures, and Sabrina must team up with an unlikely ally- a guy she hires to pretend to be her stalker- to get what she wants. But when her scheme... goes according to plan, and people believe he is really stalking her, her new feelings for him prove most inconvenient.

My Review

Poor Sabrina gets herself into quite a mess in this quirky young adult/new adult novel. Granted, she doesn't have any experience standing up to her parents, and when her underhanded way of trying to manipulate them quickly gets out of control, she only ends up making things more complicated. She has an inner sassiness that is fighting its way out, but manifests in whining and bickering with her sister. She is a little self-absorbed as most 18 year olds are I'm sure, but as she is humbled by her experiences she learns to not take her family for granted. Calvin is somewhat of an enigma, and even though he has his share of flaws, he helps Sabrina realize her true fears that she must conquer in order to claim independence. The secondary characters are vividly portrayed through the lens of Sabrina's perspective, and I loved the fun coincidences of a shy admirer popping up here and there in the story, throwing Sabrina off guard in the middle of her self-inflicted drama. There were some difficult lessons she learned but the story ends on an upswing that melted my heart.

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

Monday, August 29, 2016

Review: Told You Twice by Kristen Heitzmann

Heidi Reads... Told You Twice by Kristen Heitzmann

My rating: 4 stars / I really liked it


Alexis Murphy is done messing with the wrong kinds of men. She could not be happier planning a personalized Grace Evangeline wedding with her fiancé, Jeffrey, who is so…right for her. Or is he?

Stage star and spokesmodel, Bo Corrigan, could be the ultimate disruption. Alexis—Exi—is caught by his talent and sexual magnetism. Yet under the glow, she senses trouble, not only danger from Bo’s past mistakes, but something inside tearing him apart.

From the moment Bo sees Exi, he knows she’s special, but not only that—she’s real. Unlike the theater scene he’s been immersed in, she sees the man he is and won’t stop until she’s reached inside and brought that person from despair to life … if only they have time. With violent forces against them, can they get beyond the damage to love that heals and restores?

My Review

This is the second book in the Told You series, and I recommend reading the first book, Told You So before this one since Bo is an important character in that book and the main characters Grace and Devin play important roles in this book. The author quickly weaves in the backstory from the first book but to me it didn't feel like it was incorporated naturally. The story jumped right into the plot and I felt like some of Exi and Bo's initial development was lacking or superficial, but as I continued reading I was able to get a better sense of their depth and emotions. Although they are strongly drawn to each other, their relationship is brief before all sorts of drama starts happening. The pacing slowed for me in the middle of the book, but then Bo's path to redemption was amazingly portrayed, with realistic grittiness and finally an acceptance and surrender. I know I'm being vague but I'd hate to spoil any of the twists! There is quite a bit of change and growth experienced by Exi, Bo, and even Devin. I loved that Exi is an artist and still discovering her personal style and passion. There was a subtle theme of learning to find and seek after your own dreams, not what someone else expects or according to pressure from perceived societal standards, and it applied to both Exi and Bo on their journey and through their struggles. Definitely recommend to fans of the first book, and if you haven't read it, read it first! :)

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

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Review: Dear Jane by Rachel Ward

Heidi Reads... Dear Jane by Rachel Ward

My rating: 5 stars / It was amazing


The plan was to serve a mission, marry her boyfriend, and live happily ever after. But all of that changed when Quinn got a Dear Jane email. Now she's stuck at home with no boyfriend, no job, no major, and absolutely no social life. Will Quinn ever find the path that leads to her eternal happiness?

My Review

This book completely surprised me. The book blurb really doesn't do it justice. I didn't expect the depth and difficult topics it included in Quinn's transition back to normal life after her church mission. She has an idealized view of the gospel, that following the commandments will keep you safe from certain types of hardship and trials. That bubble is quickly popped when she is faced with rejection, family secrets are revealed, and loved ones deal with divorce, infidelity, and suicide. In the midst of it all she finds comfort and understanding from an unlikely source, a coworker at her current job that she served with on her mission who was an inexplicable jerk. Nick is a different person now, and they develop a strong friendship. It's obvious to the reader that he has a case of unrequited love for Quinn, but their relationship is complicated by  a rival suitor, regretful arguments, and family drama. I admired how Quinn didn't sit around waiting for life to happen, she quickly went and got a job to provide for herself and plan for an independent future. Even though she's a capable and strong young woman, her emotions at the struggles in her and her family's lives are skillfully brought to life and I was close to tears a couple times as she deals with grief and uncertainty. I felt like the spiritual thread was lacking, there's not much detail about Quinn's personal faith and relationship with God. However, I found that I couldn't put the book down as I was engrossed with the events unfolding in the lives of Nick and Quinn. So glad that I picked this one up and look forward to reading more by the author!

*This is an LDS fiction book, with some references that those unfamiliar with the Mormon faith may not understand. If you read it and have questions just leave me a message on Facebook or Goodreads and I'll try to help :)

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

 About the Author

Rachel Turner Ward graduated from Hillcrest High School after spending two years writing for the yearbook and the creative writing magazine. She then studied English at Brigham Young University­—Idaho, graduating with an emphasis in Literary Studies. She has contributed to several online publications, including Mormon Mommy Blogs and SheSteals. She has written a personal blog since 2009, Trapped Between a Scream and a Hug.  Rachel lives in Salt Lake with her six children and husband of 15 years.  

Grand Finale Blitz: Carousel Nights by Amie Denman

On Tour with Prism Book Tours.

Book Tour Grand Finale for
Carousel Nights
By Amie Denman

We hope you enjoyed some amusement park magic and learning more about June and Mel's story. 

Don't forget to grab a copy of the first book in the series while it's on sale!

If you missed any of the stops, go back and check them out now...

Launch - The Starlight Point Stories

When I was a college student, I escaped textbooks and spent my summer days working at an amusement park. My experience four summers in a row became the inspiration for Starlight Point Stories published by Harlequin Heartwarming.

I Am A Reader - Summer Love

Have you ever fallen in love in the summer? I fall in love with summer every year, but I actually fell in love during summer when I worked at a seasonal resort and amusement park much like the fictional Starlight Point in my Harlequin Heartwarming series. In case you’re one of those people who likes to skip to the happy ending, I’ll let you off the hook right now. I’m still in love with the same man more than twenty years later.

Wishful Endings - Excerpt

Mel felt the air change the moment her gaze swung to him. He wasn’t foolish enough to think she brightened because of any reason except one: he was key to getting things done around Starlight Point. And she had a project in mind.

Hardcover Feedback - Review

"All in all, this was a great read. Perfect for a day at the beach, relaxing by the pool, or anytime really. I definitely recommend the book to any fan of contemporary romantic fiction."

Katie's Clean Book Collection - Sisters

If you have siblings, you know how much they contribute to shaping you as a person. I have three sisters with whom I’ve always been close, and I know that they have influenced me—almost always in a good way! The four of us even have a vague pact to end up in a bungalow in Key West together someday to raise a margarita glass to our gray hairs. My Starlight Point series focuses on romance, of course, but the relationship between the three siblings who inherit an amusement park is also close to my heart.

underneath the covers - Excerpt

"Mel’s familiar scent—Dial soap mixed with a little bit of sweat and motor oil—tingled her senses even with a hundred other distractions. Of course he was hard to ignore. He was standing so close their clothing touched."

Book Lover in Florida - Excerpt

Having a good partner made a difference the size of the peninsula Starlight Point sat on. June was light and graceful, her love for the movement clear in every step and sway. Leading her as a dance partner was like being behind the wheel of a Ferrari. The only way he could go wrong was if he lost control.

EskieMama Reads - Promo

Harlie's Books - Review

"All that makes for a great story. June and Mel were getting a second chance at love but some really big decisions needed to be made? Did I have my doubts? Nope, I knew that Ms. Denman wouldn’t do that to me. 😉 She wrote a heartwarming book that had the characters, emotional depth, and an amusement park. And dancing. 🙂"

Reading Is My SuperPower - Review

"Carousel Nights is fun and sweet and swoonworthy with some really great kisses and a really great setting. The chemistry between Mel and June is one that comes from years of knowing each other, from years of being in love, and yet it feels new and electric. The tension of running an amusement park – the crackle of the radio signaling another breakdown or emergency – keeps the action high and the pace steady."

Christy's Cozy Corners - Review

"I love this story and these characters! There is so much life in this book. The romance develops quickly but not in an unrealistic way since June and Mel have known each other forever. You will love reading this story! It is so sweet and heartwarming. I highly recommend it!"

With Love for Books - Review

"Amie Denman has chosen a fantastic setting for her series. She brings Starlight Point to life with vivid descriptions of the park itself and the plans to make it successful again. I fell in love with the place straight away. Amie Denman's writing flows easily and it was fun to read about the rides and everyone's response to them. It feels like the main characters really belong in the amusement park, which is something I loved about Carousel Nights. I also liked the sweet romance very much and highly recommend this lovely book."

Bookworm Lisa - Starlight Point Amusement Park

In Carousel Nights, you’ll meet June Hamilton. She shares ownership of the family amusement park Starlight Point with her brother and her sister. Only twenty-five, she does not plan to settle in and devote her life to roller coasters, cotton candy, and the beach resort. She wants to keep dancing on Broadway, but she comes home for the summer to lend her talent to the live shows at Starlight Point.

Thoughts of a Blonde - Review

"5 STARS! Feels like a homecoming when you read a book that portrays such a sweet reunion!"

And don't forget to nominate Amie's book on KindleScout!

Carousel Nights (Starlight Point Stories)Carousel Nights
(Starlight Point Stories #2)
by Amie Denman
Adult Contemporary Romance
Mass Market Paperback & ebook, 384 pages
August 1st 2016 by Harlequin Heartwarming

Every first love deserves a second chance

June Hamilton left home to pursue her dream of dancing on Broadway. Seven years later, she has one regret: Mel Preston, her teenage crush and onetime summer love. Now a single dad and the head of maintenance at Starlight Point, her family's amusement park, Mel's easy smile still makes her heart beat in triple time. But June came home with a plan. She would spend the summer revitalizing the park's aging theaters, then make a graceful exit back to the big city. Until Mel and his young son start making a powerful claim on her emotions, and June faces an impossible decision…

GoodreadsAmazonBarnes & NobleHarlequiniTunesKobo

Other Books in the Series

Under the BoardwalkUnder the Boardwalk
(Starlight Point Stories #2)
by Amie Denman
Adult Contemporary Romance
Mass Market Paperback & ebook, 384 pages
January 1st 2016 by Harlequin Heartwarming

Everyone's counting on him

With the sudden death of his father, Jack Hamilton finds himself running the family amusement park, Starlight Point. His first job? Balance the books, and that means raising the rent for vendors like baker Augusta Murphy.

Gus won't accept the new contract…not without a fight. She rallies the other vendors and sets out to negotiate with Jack. At least, she tries. How do you play hardball with a man who's charming and kind and still grieving? Gus needs to figure it out fast, because the closer she gets to Jack, the more she risks losing everything.

Amie Denman lives in Ohio with her husband, sons, cats, and dog. When she's not reading or writing, she enjoys walking and playing outside. Born with an overdeveloped sense of curiosity, she's been known to chase fire trucks on her bicycle just to see what's going on. Amie believes that everything is fun: especially roller coasters, wedding cake, and falling in love.

Tour Giveaway

10 copies of the first book in the series, Under the Boardwalk (print if US, ebook if outside the US)
Open internationally
Ends September 2nd
Grab Our Button!

Friday, August 26, 2016

Review: No Other Will Do by Karen Witemeyer

Heidi Robbins... No Other Will Do by Karen Witemeyer

My rating: 5 stars / It was amazing


Men are optional. That's the credo Emma Chandler's suffragette aunts preached and why she started a successful women's colony in Harper's Station, Texas. But when an unknown assailant tries repeatedly to drive them out, Emma admits they might need a man after all. A man who can fight--and she knows just the one.

Malachi Shaw finally earned the respect he craved by becoming an explosives expert for the railroad. Yet when Emma's plea arrives, he bolts to Harper's Station to repay the girl who once saved his life. Only she's not a girl any longer. She's a woman with a mind of her own and a smile that makes a man imagine a future he doesn't deserve.

As the danger intensifies, old feelings grow and deepen, but Emma and Mal will need more than love to survive.

My Review

Once again I was captivated by the unique story that Karen Witemeyer wove with vibrant historical detail, humor, action, and sweet romance. I loved the background of how Malachi came to know Emma and her aunts as a youth. It created a special bond between him and Emma and their rapport as adults picked up right where it left off. He is unfailingly loyal and defends her with a fierce protectiveness. The setting of a western town with no men is fascinating, with a wide variety of characters who live and work in the community. I appreciated that Emma was not portrayed as a man-hater, even though she's witnessed abuse and dealt with some frustrating men. She is open to love and sees the good in all people, males included. Mal's reserved yet passionate nature was a perfect contrast to Emma's more open and positive personality, and as they worked together to protect the community and draw out the villain, their relationship deepens even though Mal doesn't think he deserves her. The person behind the attacks remains a mystery for much of the book, leading me to suspect pretty much anyone suspicious :) Emma and Mal had to do the same in order to catch the perpetrator, even though it was hard for Emma to believe any of the ladies taking refuge in their town could be a traitor. The story explored themes of independence, recovery from abuse, the value and worth of an individual, and finding purpose in following God's will.

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

About the Author

Christy Award finalist and winner of the ACFW Carol Award, HOLT Medallion, and Inspirational Reader's Choice Award, CBA bestselling author Karen Witemeyer writes Christian historical romance for Bethany House, believing the world needs more happily-ever-afters. She is an avid cross-stitcher and makes her home in Abilene, TX with her husband and three children.