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

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

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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 fiancĂ©, 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


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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

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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)


Thursday, March 8, 2018

Review: The Lost Castle by Kristy Cambron


Heidi Reads... The Lost Castle by Kristy Cambron

My rating: 3 stars / I liked it

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Synopsis

Launching a brand-new series, Kristy Cambron explores the collision of past and present as she discovers the ruins of a French castle, long lost to history.

A thirteenth century castle, Chateau de Doux Reves, has been forgotten for generations, left to ruin in a storybook forest nestled deep in France's picturesque Loire Valley. It survived a sacking in the French Revolution, was brought back to life and fashioned into a storybook chateau in the Gilded Age, and was eventually felled and deserted after a disastrous fire in the 1930s.

As Ellie Carver sits by her grandmother's bedside, she hears stories of a castle . . . of lost love and a hidden chapel that played host to a secret fight in the World War II French resistance. But her grandmother is quickly slipping into the locked-down world of Alzheimer's, and Ellie must act fast if she wants to uncover the truth of her family's history.

Sparked by the discovery of a long forgotten family heirloom, Ellie embarks on a journey to French wine country to uncover the mystery surrounding The Sleeping Beauty--the castle so named for Charles Perrault's beloved fairy tale--and unearth its secrets before they're finally silenced by time.

Set in three different time periods--the French Revolution, World War II, and present day--The Lost Castle is a story of loves won and lost, of battles waged, and an enchanted castle that inspired the epic fairy tales time left behind.


My Review

I love this author's evocative writing style, making it easy to get lost in a different era. The three different stories all focus on a strong female- Aveline, an aristocrat in hiding during the French Revolution, Vi, who is on a mission and also in hiding in Nazi-occupied France, and Ellie, our modern-day heroine who is searching for answers and connecting the secrets of the past. I have to admit that I really struggled with the triple timeline that gave each story equal attention, I generally prefer when one story is central and the other(s) are used to enhance it. I was fascinated by each character's journey, but felt drawn out of it too quickly with each shift. But I wouldn't let my personal hangup prevent you from reading this book- so many of my reader friends are raving about it, and it really is beautifully written!

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


Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Review: Coast Guard Courtship by Lisa Carter


Heidi Reads... Coast Guard Courtship by Lisa Carter

My rating: 3 stars / I liked it

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Synopsis

Coast Guard Officer Braeden Scott's life is all about freedom and adventure. Being assigned to a tiny Virginia coastal village is the last thing he wants. But thanks to a feisty redhead, he's soon discovering the charms of a small-town life. Amelia Duer is all about home and hearth. Taking care of others is her whole world. As Braeden spends more time with her and her nephew, his hopes for a family begin to resurface. Could Amelia prove to be the anchor this charming Coastie needs to stop wandering and create a home for good?

My Review

This is a sweet romance between a stalward coast guard officer and feisty fisher woman. Both are emotionally vulnerable and put up walls to protect themselves. I was surprised by how quickly Braedon falls for Amelia, and most of the book he is working to bring down her walls. The dialogue between them was a bit disjointed throughout the book, I wasn't used to the author's style of writing conversation. They had a propensity to misunderstand each other which created much of the conflict. The setting was very much a part of the story, and I loved the descriptions of the coastal town and ocean.

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


Saturday, February 10, 2018

Review: The Mayflower Bride by Kimberley Woodhouse


Book One in the Daughters of the Mayflower series

Heidi Reads... The Mayflower Bride by Kimberley Woodhouse

My rating: 3 stars / I liked it

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Synopsis

A brand new series for fans of all things related to history, romance, adventure, faith, and family trees.

Mary Chapman boards the Speedwell in 1620 as a Separatist seeking a better life in the New World. William Lytton embarks on the Mayflower as a carpenter looking for opportunities to succeed—and he may have found one when a man from the Virginia Company offers William a hefty sum to keep a stealth eye on company interests in the new colony. The season is far too late for good sailing and storms rage, but reaching land is no better as food is scarce and the people are weak. Will Mary survive to face the spring planting and unknown natives? Will William be branded a traitor and expelled?


My Review

I have to admit, I first wanted to read this book because of the amazing cover. I was intrigued by the historical setting and what story the author would tell. While the book has plenty of details of the Speedwell and Mayflower voyages, they were basic and I didn't find them very compelling and didn't feel immersed in the setting. I felt like I was being told facts instead of experiencing it along with the characters. I liked Mary Elizabeth and the realistic portrayal of her fears, and how she relied on her faith to give her strength to overcome. Her friend Dorothy was a bright spot with her optimism and enthusiasm. William has a background that is tragic yet redeeming, and his developing friendship with Mary Elizabeth is sweet. Somehow I didn't feel a connection to the emotions they described, and felt like what depth was there was repeated throughout the book.

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



More to come in the Daughters of the Mayflower series . . .

Book Two
http://amzn.to/2G9IvYl

The Pirate Bride by Kathleen Y’Barbo - set 1725 New Orleans 
(coming April 2018)

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Book Three

The Captured Bride by Michelle Griep - set 1760 during the French and Indian War 
(coming June 2018)

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Book Four

The Patriot Bride by Kimberley Woodhouse – set 1774 Philadelphia 
(coming August 2018)

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Book Five

The Cumberland Bride by Shannon McNear – set 1794 on the Wilderness Road 
(coming October 2018)

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Book Six

The Liberty Bride by MaryLu Tyndall – set 1814 Baltimore 
(coming December 2018)

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