Showing posts with label 3 stars. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 3 stars. Show all posts

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Review & Giveaway: The Neverland Inn by K.C. Grant





Heidi Reads... The Neverland Inn by K.C. Grant

My rating: 3 stars / I liked it

http://www.amazon.comhttp://www.amazon.comhttp://www.barnesandnoble.comhttps://deseretbook.com/p/neverland-inn?variant_id=165725-paperbackhttp://www.goodreads.com

Synopsis

Daniel Cavanaugh has it all—a lucrative career as a lawyer, a gorgeous fiancée, and his future mapped out for him. So why is he feeling increasingly dissatisfied with his life? When the assignment to handle his late grandmother’s estate takes him to the California coast, Daniel welcomes the escape. Staying at the nearby bed-and-breakfast isn’t really his style, but he soon realizes the inn may hold the key to the answers he’s been seeking. 

Spindrift Cove has few opportunities for a young unmarried woman like Sarah Michaels. Even so, she enjoys her solitude as owner and chef at the Neverland Inn. She thrives on catering to the needs of her guests and treating them to her fantastic cooking. But when Daniel walks through her door, he immediately tests her patience. Though he is handsome and well-bred, she finds him insufferable. Soon, however, the tranquility of the inn works its magic, and Daniel and Sarah forge a sweet and unexpected connection—until the life he left behind in the city demands his return and it seems that a happily ever after may not be on the menu after all.

My Review

This is a sweet and gentle story full of heart and delicious cooking. I liked that after each chapter was the recipe for the dishes that were mentioned and I plan to try a few! The pace was a bit slow and I was missing some depth and connection, but overall it was a pleasant read about two individuals that couldn't be more opposite, and the quaint inn off the beaten path that brings them together. Daniel is the one who did most of the changing, but it was a change he was ready for, one he didn't even know he was seeking. Once he allowed himself to turn off his father's voice in his head and tap into his softer side encouraged by his beloved grandmother, he became more likeable not only to the reader and Sarah, but to himself. The theme of finding "Neverland" by embracing sentiment and childlike joys gave the book a sweet and hopeful tone.

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Review: A Respectable Actress by Dorothy Love


Heidi Reads... A Respectable Actress by Dorothy Love

My rating: 3 stars / I liked it

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Synopsis

When the illustrious India Hartley is accused of murder, she has to uncover the deceptions of others to save herself.

India Hartley, the famous and beautiful actress, is now alone in the world after her father’s death and embarks upon a tour of theaters across the South. Her first stop is Savannah’s Southern Palace. On the eve of the second night’s performance, something goes horribly wrong. Her co-star, Arthur Sterling, is shot dead on stage in front of a packed house, and India is arrested and accused of the crime.

A benefactor hires Philip Sinclair, the best—and handsomest—lawyer in Savannah to defend India. A widower, Philip is struggling to reinvent his worn-out plantation on St. Simons Island. He needs to increase his income from his law practice in order to restore Indigo Point, and hardly anything will bring him more new clients than successfully defending a famous actress on a murder charge.

Because India can’t go anywhere in town without being mobbed, Philip persuades the judge handling her case to let him take her to Indigo Point until her trial date. India is charmed by the beauty of the Georgia low country and is increasingly drawn to Philip. But a locked room that appears to be a shrine to Philip’s dead wife and the unsolved disappearance of a former slave girl raise troubling questions. Piecing together clues in an abandoned boat and a burned-out chapel, India discovers a trail of dark secrets that lead back to Philip, secrets that ultimately may hold the key to her freedom. If only he will believe her.


My Review

I have mixed feelings about this one- there are a lot of things I liked and enjoyed, but also a handful of things that didn't work for me. The Southern setting and history of the era was well-described and fascinating, I really liked India's character and personality, and the plot was intriguing. I had a difficult time with Phillip- he was so likeable and quite heroic, but at times he pulled back and there was a lack of emotion. The story is told from India's point of view, and I think more cues to how he was feeling in those moments would have helped the romance not be so awkward. The pacing didn't feel smooth to me, with scenes ending in the middle of observations and conversations that felt important but not resolved- in the moment or later. The climax of the outcome of the trial was satisfying, but then more clues kept cropping up, and it seemed like the story would never end as one secret after another came to light and had to be additionally resolved. And then in the end, there was one left hanging! So it was a bit frustrating to feel like the story was winding up, only to have in prolonged with more choppy pacing. I definitely enjoyed the first half of the book more, but had to keep reading to see how it all turned out. A more succinct wrapping up would have been appreciated.

(I received a complimentary copy of the book; all opinions in this review are my own)


Friday, July 20, 2018

Review & Giveaway: The Matchmaker's Match by Brittany Larsen




Heidi Reads... The Matchmaker's Match by Brittany Larsen

My rating: 3 stars / I liked it

http://www.amazon.comhttp://www.amazon.comhttp://www.barnesandnoble.comhttps://deseretbook.com/p/matchmakers-match?ref=Grid%20%7C%20Search-1&variant_id=170007-paperbackhttp://www.goodreads.com

Synopsis

Eliza Woodhouse has everything a girl could want: a delightful little beachside flower shop, a loving family, and the best friend a girl could ask for. And while she suffers a chronic lack of romance in her own life, the bohemian beauty is a self-proclaimed matchmaker extraordinaire, as evidenced by her recent successes. Having found a fiancé for her sister and a boyfriend for her best friend, she is now taking her lovelorn new employee under her wing. Yes, life is working out quite nicely for Eliza. Until Parker Knightley walks back into her life. After three years in Hong Kong, Parker is in town for his brother’s upcoming wedding to Eliza’s sister. They’ve all known each other their whole lives, and Eliza will never be anything but Little Liza Belle to her handsome childhood tormentor. So the fact that their siblings are getting married simply puts Parker one step closer to becoming the big brother he and Eliza have always joked about him being. But the more time they spend together, the more confused Eliza’s feelings become. Because she has come to the shocking realization that the role of brother is the last role she wants Parker to play in her life . . .

My Review

This is a fun, light contemporary retelling of Jane Austen's Emma. It was cute to see the classic characters in a modern setting, but it made the story rather predictable. I was hoping for some twists to shake things up or bring added depth, but the themes and characters stuck to the formula. I enjoyed the Southern California setting with the sunshine and surf, and the flower shop was sweet, although Eliza repeatedly got annoyed that others didn't know to not touch the petals of her flowers. Parker and Eliza shared great chemistry and banter, but I wished there was more romantic tension between the two of them throughout the story. Overall it was a pleasant book and a nice summer read.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Review: Take a Chance on Me by Kaylee Baldwin


Heidi Reads... Take a Chance on Me by Kaylee Baldwin

My rating: 3 stars / I liked it

http://www.amazon.comhttp://www.amazon.comhttp://www.goodreads.com

Synopsis

Madelyn Stewart knows how to have fun, no matter what her ex-husband claims, but between working two jobs and taking care of her five-year-old son, opportunities for fun are few and far between. So when she is given tickets to take her son to see a live taping of the MyHeartChannel show Take a Chance, they go, even though it means she’ll have to stay up all night to turn in her latest article on time. To her shock, the daredevil star, Chance Risk, is none other than Graham Sawyer, the quiet accounting major she’d dated in college—someone she’d cowardly broken up with by note and hoped to never see again. When she makes a major mistake on her article, she has to swallow her embarrassment and reach out to Chance for an exclusive or risk losing her job.

Chance Risk doesn’t talk to reporters. Not after the way he’s seen them destroy his brother’s marriage and career. But Take a Chance is starting to lose viewers, he’s desperate. Despite his better judgement, when Madelyn reaches out, he can’t resist the opening to figure out why she broke his heart eight years before. His only condition: she has to come to three filming locations with him and his crew to get a real sense of what the show is about.

Swept up in adventure, they start to feel the chemistry from college rekindling. But the reason Madelyn left eight years before still looms between them. If Chance can’t convince Madelyn to take a chance on love, she’ll walk away again. This time forever.


My Review

This is a sweet second chance romance story with some fun adventures mixed in with a heavy dose of real life. Although Madelyn is often worn down by single parenthood, working two jobs, and a dependent mother, she keeps working hard for those she loves. She has fears that get in the way of her relationships, and Chance helps her realize that there is more to life if she will take a little risk. He is one of those larger than life people, and his attraction to Madelyn and acceptance of her life is endearing. He has his own set of troubles, but he faces them head on and with determination. I didn't quite feel connected to the characters, but it was an entertaining story and an easy read.

(I received a complimentary copy of the book; all opinions in this review are my own)


Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Review: The Librarian and Her Beast by Laura Ann


Heidi Reads... The Librarian and Her Beast by Laura Ann

My rating: 3 stars / I liked it

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Synopsis

Welcome to Middleton Prep, a place where fairy tales and modern day collide. Where fair maidens spend their time developing lesson plans and valiant knights do battle with unreliable wifi signals; all in the hopes of finding True Love.

Librarian Piper Belmont’s world turns topsy turvy when new football coach Nash Wilde joins the staff at her school. Tall, dark and handsome, he’s every girl’s dream...until Piper realizes he only speaks in grunts and nods. Determined not to judge a book by its cover, Piper agrees to go out with him.

Just as they are getting to know each other, a family emergency forces Piper to leave town. Will she ever get the chance learn the secrets behind Nash’s silence? Or will the staff’s reigning beauty queen catch Nash’s interest before Piper gets back?

The Librarian and Her Beast is the first book in the Middleton Prep series. Each book is a stand alone story, but the series is best read in order. Every installment is a loosely based, contemporary retelling of a favorite fairy tale, full of swoon worthy kisses and, of course, a Happily Ever After.


My Review

I enjoyed this cute novella with a fun premise- classic fairy tale characters are modern day teachers and staff at a high school. This story is obviously based on Beauty and the Beast, and I thought it was a nice nod to make Piper the librarian. She's likeable and has some funny quirks. Nash represents the Beast as a nearly mute math teacher and football coach (although his brawniness comes off as hot rather than fearsome). The mystery of why he wouldn't talk kept me reading and while I thought Piper was enabling him by "playing a one-sided game of twenty questions," it drew out the relationship until other conflicts enter the plot to mix things up. They have great physical chemistry in the beginning of their relationship, and over time they learn to read each other and grow closer in other ways. The villain was way over the top which was a turn-off since I prefer more subtlety and dimensionality. Overall it was a fun bit of fluff that provided a nice escape for an evening.

(I received a complimentary copy of the book; all opinions in this review are my own)


Saturday, May 26, 2018

Review & Giveaway: Cowboys of Summer by Mary Connealy, Lorna Seilstad, Cheryl St. John, Missy Tippens, Tina Radcliffe, Sherri Shackelford



https://amzn.to/2rC5zJJTitle: Cowboys of Summer
Authors: Mary Connealy, Lorna Seilstad, Cheryl St. John, Missy Tippens, Tina Radcliffe & Sherri Shackelford
Release Date: May 1, 2018
Genre: Sweet Contemporary Romance / Western
http://www.goodreads.com

As the summer weather sizzles, relax by the pool with stirring tales of handsome cowboys and the spirited ladies who wrangle them into romance. Six of Christian fiction’s most beloved authors join forces to bring you a collection of humorous, romantic and heartfelt novellas set against the sultry heat of summer.

In Mary Connealy’s, “Dr. Tess and the Cowboy”, sparks fly when Dr. Tessa Rhoades discovers dinosaur bones on Joe Holt’s ranch and decides to excavate—even if that means kicking Joe off his own land. 

In “Hometown Girl” by Cheryl St.John, injured rodeo champion Justin Cooper returns to the sleepy Oklahoma town he escaped for fame and fortune--and takes his biggest tumble yet--straight into the arms of Stevie Marshall, his first love who soon has him questioning his life choices. 

In Tina Radcliffe’s, “Lake Effect”, cynical cowboy Tucker Jackson knows he’s in trouble when he starts counting the days until the end of summer and praying ‘summer girl’ Jessica Richards will find a home for her heart in Paradise.

In "His Lone Star Heart" by Missy Tippens, rancher Zeb West tries hard not to fall for Beecher Brown, the feisty but off-limits sister of his best friend. As she tries to prove she's capable of running her family's ranch--the one he's trying to buy--he might just find he's met his match...for life.

Will Lorna Seilstad’s characters make “Great Strides” when Dana Etherton, the owner of a horse therapy ranch, must choose between the kids she serves and Adam Malone, the embezzler who’s been assigned to do community service there?

When Paige Monroe agrees to draw the press away from a country star’s wedding by pretending to be the look-alike bride, she wasn’t counting on having very real feeling for her decoy fiancé, Sterling Tanner.  In Sherri Shackelford’s, “The Decoy Bride”, two people feigning love forget they’re acting.


TO PURCHASE A COPY*

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My Review

I enjoyed these entertaining stories set in the Midwest on ranches and in small towns. They each had a creative plot and interesting characters that put up a fight at first, but just can't help falling in love. Some characters made the transition from antagonism to romance more quickly than others, but they were all fun to read. I especially enjoyed Tucker and Jessica in Lake Effect; they are both vulnerable and hesitant to risk a new relationship. Jessica is at a crossroads in her life and doesn't know what the future holds for her, and Tucker is guarding not only his heart but also his daughter's. It's a story that I would enjoy reading a longer version of, especially details of Jessica's inn and Tucker's ranch. Another story I found fascinating was Great Strides with Dana's career and passion for hippotherapy. I loved learning about how it works and the way that the horses helped strengthen the children. A wonderful collection for fans of sweet contemporary romance and cowboys ;)

(I received a complimentary copy of the book; all opinions in this review are my own)


ABOUT THE AUTHORS


Photo courtesy of
Ginger Murray Photography
Mary Connealy writes "romantic comedies with cowboys" and is celebrated for her fun, zany, action-packed style. She has more than half a million books in print. She is the author of the popular series Wild at Heart, Kincaid Brides, Trouble in Texas, Lassoed in Texas, Sophie's Daughters, and many other books. Mary lives on a ranch in eastern Nebraska with her very own romantic cowboy hero.
CONNECT WITH MARY: website,  facebook,  twitter,  instagram

You can also find Mary at these sites: Seekerville and Petticoats & Pistols

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Lorna Seilstad has called Iowa home her whole life. She received her B.S. in education from Lubbock Christian University. After her first child was born, she stopped teaching and became a professional wiper. “I wiped noses, tears, skinned knees, baby’s bottoms, and countertops every day. But at naptime, I wrote.” Today, she writes historical fiction with a generous dash of humor.

CONNECT WITH LORNA: websitefacebook


cheryl2

Cheryl St. John is the award-winning author of more than fifty Harlequin and Silhouette books, as well as several independently published books. Her book Writing With Emotion, Tension & Conflict by Writer's Digest is a popular seller. Cheryl has always loved the exciting and diverse worlds available between the covers of books. As a child Cheryl wrote stories and drew covers, then stapled them into little books. She cut all the tiny book images from the book club advertisements in the Sunday paper and glued them to bits of cardboard so Barbie® had a full library.

Cheryl believes in paying it forward, and her some of her most rewarding experiences have been sharing in the successes of writers she has coached over the years.
Cheryl loves hearing from readers.  You can email her at StJohn[at]aol[dot]com.

CONNECT WITH CHERYL: website,  facebook,  pinterest


205_missytippens_3

Born and raised in Kentucky, Missy Tippens has lived in Georgia for the last 25+ years. She is a pastor's wife and mom of three. A former microbiologist and teacher, she now focuses on her writing.
After more than ten years of working toward publication, Missy finally made her first sale of a novel in 2007. She feels very blessed to be working at home in her dream job!

CONNECT WITH MISSY: website, facebook

You can also find Missy at these sites: Seekerville and Yankee Belle Cafe


Tina March 2018 2

Tina Radcliffe is a two-time RWA Golden Heart finalist, a 2012 ACFW Carol Award finalist, a 2014 ACFW Mentor of the Year finalist, a 2014 Golden Quill finalist and a 2014 ACFW Carol Award winner. She has won first place in over twenty RWA chapter affiliated contests in her career. Tina is also a short story writer and has sold over twenty-five short stories to Woman’s World Magazine. She currently resides in Arizona where she writes fun, heartwarming romance. Find her at http://www.tinaradcliffe.com where you can sign up for her newsletter so you don’t miss her fun giveaways and bad jokes.

CONNECT WITH TINA: website,  facebooktwitter,  pinterest,  instagram


Sherri Shackelford Bio

Sherri Shackelford is an award-winning author of inspirational, Christian romance novels for Harlequin/HarperCollins Publishers. A wife and mother of three, Sherri’s hobbies include collecting mismatched socks, discovering new ways to avoid cleaning, and standing in the middle of the room while thinking, “Why did I just come in here?” A reformed pessimist and recent hopeful romantic, Sherri has a passion for writing. Her books are fun and fast-paced, with plenty of heart and soul. Look for her new adventure in Love Inspired Suspense, No Safe Place, in stores January of 2019.

CONNECT WITH SHERRI: website,  facebooktwitter


GIVEAWAY

justread_cowboysGiveThe authors of Cowboys of Summer are giving (1) winner:
Prize:
  • (1) $25 Amazon Gift Card
  • (1) 'I Trust in God's Unfailing' Mug
  • (1) Reading at the Cafe Candle from Frostbeard Studios
Enter via the Rafflecopter giveaway below. Giveaway will begin at midnight May 21, 2018 and last through 11:59 PM on May 28, 2018. Winners will be notified within a week of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize.
Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.

ENTER HERE or use the Entry Form below


Be sure to stop at a stop each day for extra entries!


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Monday, May 7, 2018

Review: The Practically Romantic Groom by Maria Hoagland


Heidi Reads... The Practically Romantic Groom by Maria Hoagland

My rating: 3 stars / I liked it

http://www.amazon.comhttp://www.amazon.comhttp://www.goodreads.com

Synopsis

When words don’t come easily…

Cobble Creek’s divorce attorney, Isaac Murphy, is not interested in romance. Quite the opposite, in fact. As a supportive brother for his sister raising a daughter with selective mutism, Isaac has seen enough disappointed hearts and broken marriages to know love takes more than a bouquet of roses or flowery phrases. No, Isaac is all about being pragmatic when it comes to relationships.
 

As the small-town florist, Brooke Holt is passionate about romance in everything from picnics to horseback riding. A closet musician, she pours her romantic dreams into writing country love songs—which she might even share someday, if she weren’t stricken with a severe case of stage fright.
 

When Brooke’s brother shows interest in Isaac’s sister, what starts as a friendly wager between Brooke and Isaac to prove whose way is right brings out their competitive streaks and rekindles their old high school friendship. As feelings start to turn into something more, though, expressing those feelings seems like an awfully risky gamble.

My Review

This is a fun story with vibrant and optimistic Brooke reuniting with her middle school boyfriend, the now jaded Isaac. It took me a while to get a feel for both Brooke and Isaac since they start out expressing some extreme opinions but quickly fall back into a friendship despite their disagreements. They love to banter and don't go easy on each other. Their relationship is all about fun and they enjoy feeling good around each other, even when they often get frustrated. The subplot of Brooke's brother dating Isaac's sister added another dimension, especially with the disability of Isaac's niece and the way her family and friends supported her and handled the difficulties that arise.

(I received a complimentary copy of the book; all opinions in this review are my own)

Check out all the books in the Cobble Creek Romance series . . .


The Sheriff's Bride
The Inventive Bride
The Lumberjack's Yuletide Bride
The Practically Romantic Groom
The Snapshot Bride
The Combustible Engagement




Saturday, March 31, 2018

Review: Across the Blue by Carrie Turansky


Heidi Reads... Across the Blue by Carrie Turansky

My rating: 3 stars / I liked it

http://www.amazon.comhttp://www.amazon.comhttp://www.barnesandnoble.comhttp://www.bookdepository.comhttp://www.goodreads.com

Synopsis

Set in Edwardian England and ideal for readers who enjoy Julie Klassen novels, this romance about an English aviation pioneer and the girl who falls in love with him is filled with adventure and faith.

Isabella Grayson, the eldest daughter of a wealthy, English newspaper magnate, longs to become a journalist, but her parents don't approve. They want her to marry well and help them gain a higher standing in society. After she writes an anonymous letter to the editor that impresses her father, her parents reluctantly agree she can write a series of articles about aviation and the race to fly across the English Channel, but only if she promises to accept a marriage proposal within the year. When James Drake, an aspiring aviator, crashes his flying machine at the Grayson's new estate, Bella is intrigued. James is determined to be the first to fly across the Channel and win the prize Mr. Grayson's newspaper is offering. He hopes it will help him secure a government contract to build airplanes and redeem a terrible family secret. James wants to win Bella's heart, but his background and lack of social standing make it unlikely her parents would approve. If he fails to achieve his dream, how will he win the love and respect he is seeking? Will Bella's faith and support help him find the strength and courage he needs when unexpected events turn their world upside down?


My Review

I enjoyed the historical aspect of this novel, the subject matter definitely stood out to me since I had not read a book that focused on the advent of flight and its swift progress. It is easily apparent that the author meticulously researched early aviation and the experiences of the pilots and engineers. The overall pace of the book was too slow for me however, and I was missing the impetus to keep turning the pages. The attraction and romance between Bella and James is sweet, yet tepid as they both have strong goals with journalism and flying. This is a book that will be enjoyed by readers who prefer a strong historical focus over a character-driven story.

(I received a complimentary copy of the book; all opinions in this review are my own)