Showing posts with label 4 stars. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 4 stars. Show all posts

Monday, August 5, 2019

Review: The Lady in the Coppergate Tower by Nancy Campbell Allen


https://amzn.to/2ZsME2Z

My rating: 4 stars / I really liked it

http://www.amazon.comhttp://www.amazon.comhttp://www.barnesandnoble.comhttps://deseretbook.com/p/lady-in-the-coppergate-tower?variant_id=170390-paperbackhttp://www.bookdepository.comhttp://www.goodreads.com

Synopsis

Hazel Hughes has spent her life believing she is a Medium—someone who can talk to ghosts. But as of yet, that skill has remained frustratingly elusive. She is also suffering from a reoccurring childhood dream of someone who looks almost exactly like Hazel, but this dream version of herself is slowly going mad.

Sam MacInnes is a talented surgeon who runs in the highest social circles thanks to his family’s position and history. When Sam hires Hazel to assist him with his medical practice, he is immediately drawn to her intelligence, wit, and beauty.

Their potential relationship is derailed one evening when a mysterious count arrives in London and reveals to Hazel the truth about her past: she was abducted at birth and her twin sister has fallen dangerously ill.

Hazel agrees to travel to Romania with Count Petrescu in order to save her sister, and Sam insists on accompanying her. The count has secrets, though, and the journey grows more sinister with every mile that draws Hazel closer to her homeland. Even as her feelings for Sam become deeper and more complicated, she fears she might not survive the quest to save her sister with her heart intact, not to mention her life. She must learn to draw on gifts she doesn’t know she has if they are going to ever return home again.

Hazel and Sam must fight their way past dark magic, clockwork beasts, and their own insecurities as they try to reach her sister in the impenetrable Coppergate Tower before time runs out.


My Review

The author does a wonderful job drawing the reader into the world of fantasy fairy-tale retelling and steampunk with realistically grounded characters and a mystery to solve. Unrequited love that is secretly not unrequited is one of my favorite tropes and I really enjoyed the developing romance between Hazel and Sam with the tension that holds them back all the while falling more in love with each other. There is a darkness to the suspense as they follow the dubious Romanian uncle to Hazel's sister, and I was anxious to see how they would rescue her. Such creative world-building! Characters and situations from the previous two books are referred to and while I had read the second book in the series, I wish that I had read the first one also, so I would recommend reading them in order for full enjoyment. It definitely works as a standalone though.

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




Sunday, July 28, 2019

Review: Never Marry a Marquess by Regina Scott


https://amzn.to/2XhRPVr

My rating: 4 stars / I really liked it

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Synopsis

Shy Ivy Bateman has always felt more comfortable behind the scenes than front and center. She is happiest caring for her family and baking sweet treats. She certainly never expected the wealthy Marquess of Kendall to propose marriage, especially a marriage of convenience. It seems his baby daughter needs a mother, and Ivy cannot deny the attraction of the role, or the attraction she feels for the handsome marquess.

Kendall had asked Miss Thorn of the Fortune Employment Agency to find him a particular sort of lady. His heart went to the grave with his first wife. Now, all he cares about is ensuring his frail daughter doesn’t follow it. Installing Ivy Bateman as his next marchioness will not disrupt his life or make him question his love for his dead wife. But as he comes to appreciate Ivy’s sweet nature, he begins to wonder about their future. When an old enemy strikes at Miss Thorn and all her ladies, a grieving lord and a shy lady must work together to save the day. In doing so, they might just discover that love, and a good cinnamon bun, can heal all wounds.


My Review

Such a sweet story! We got to know Ivy in the previous book as Charlotte helps her and her sisters prepare to enter Society. I enjoyed Ivy's growth as she determines that helping baby Sophia will bring her happiness. Kendall is kind and overprotective, completely endearing as he learns from Ivy what his daughter truly needs. His joy at seeing his daughter thrive was lovely and I enjoyed the way he and Ivy quickly trust each other and the blossoming friendship that turns to more. The subplot of Miss Thorn and Julian's relationship that has lasted throughout the entire series is finally concluded as well. I've enjoyed this series and the consistent quality of storytelling and vibrant characters. I recommend that it be read in order for full enjoyment!

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



Don't miss the previous books in the Fortune's Brides series . . .

https://amzn.to/31Alrg0https://amzn.to/31Alrg0

https://amzn.to/31Alrg0https://amzn.to/31Alrg0

https://amzn.to/31Alrg0








Saturday, July 27, 2019

Review: An Amish Homecoming by Amy Clipston, Beth Wiseman, Shelley Shepard Gray, Kathleen Fuller


https://amzn.to/2WBdrf9

My rating: 4 stars / I really liked it

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

Synopsis

Four brand new Amish stories of coming home.

No Place Like Home by Amy Clipston
Estranged daughter Eva Dienner has been staying with her in-laws, the Riehls, since her husband was killed in a fire, but now she wants her son to meet his maternal grandparents. Upon her return, Eva finds that the man her parents always intended for her is living in their daadihaus and running the dairy farm for them for free, despite her suspicions of him taking advantage of her family. Eva knows she should put the past behind her, but is she ready to move into the future?

When Love Returns by Beth Wiseman
Hurricane Harvey forces Sarah Zook to return to the home she fled six years ago when she couldn’t face her stern parents’ reaction to her unplanned pregnancy. Upon her return, Abram King can think of nothing but the pain she caused him—until he meets Sarah’s daughter and realizes that he never really stopped loving Sarah. Sarah and Abram must find a way to face the truth of their past so they can rekindle their first love.

The Courage to Love by Shelley Shepard Gray
After the death of her Englisch husband, Irene Keim seeks a fresh start by staying with her new friends Mary Ruth and Henry Wengerd in exchange for helping them around the house. But when Mary Ruth and Henry’s son Marcus comes around, he isn’t pleased with the woman they’ve taken in and is determined to push her out. Misunderstandings abound, but both Irene and Marcus learn that people aren’t always what they seem.

What Love Built by Kathleen Fuller
Independent and headstrong, Carolyn is determined to forge ahead with the opening of her bakery, a lifelong dream, in the Birch Creek home she left ten years ago. But she’s in over her head and needs help with the cleaning, shopping, and deliveries. Carpenter Atlee Shetler is visiting Birch Creek to escape the memories of his late wife. He takes a job renovating the new bakery and finds the project—and its owner—to be much more than he bargained for. Both Carolyn and Atlee must face pains of the past if they want to have the bright future God has planned for them.


My Review

I enjoyed this collection of stories that are themed around second chances. Each story is unique from the others, and I appreciated the variety of characters and situations. When I read collections like this I'm always transported to the beautiful countryside and what seems to be a simpler lifestyle. The issues faced by the characters are universal ones and the themes of forgiveness, family, and love are applicable to all readers.

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


Friday, July 26, 2019

Review: A Timeless Romance Anthology: Midsummer Night by Charlie N. Holmberg, Julie Wright, Annette Lyon, Jane Redd, Amber Argyle, Luisa Perkins


https://amzn.to/31yfobY

My rating: 4 stars / I really liked it

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

Synopsis

ILLUSIONS OF LOVE by Charlie N. Holmberg
Aster has worked as the great magician Celtin's assistant for two years and has been in love with him nearly as long. After hearing he'll be looking for a wife at the house ball, Aster disguises herself as a high-class woman so she can woo him away from other bachelorettes. But not everything goes according to plan...

DANCING WITH THE MOON by Julie Wright
A girl may love a ghost, but where would they live? When a ghost who insists he isn't dead shows up in Grace's shed, he begs for her help. If they cannot reunite his spirit and body before the full moon rises, Arell will die in actuality and so will the royal family. The race against the moon becomes more frantic when Grace realizes she loves him and will die alongside him if she loses him. But can a ghost with no heart return her love?

THE TRUEST TREASURE by Annette Lyon

When Saara’s sister Fia is stricken with a fatal illness, she goes on a quest to find a magical treasure with which to pay a shaman who can save Fia. Midsummer Night is the best time to locate such a valuable item, as piru fire, which marks the location, appears then. Along the way, she meets Timo, who, unbeknownst to her, is on a similar quest: if he can’t find treasure to pay for an apprenticeship with a wizard, his magical abilities will never grow, and he’ll never reach his dream of becoming a wizard. They meet in the woods and become a team. but only one of them can come away with the treasure. As their feelings for each other intensify, deciding what to do when—and if—they seize the treasure becomes a much trickier proposition.

THE ISLE OF ROSE by Jane Redd
Cornelia's greatest secret is that she can read minds. When her sister elopes with another man, Cornelia must stand in her sister's stead to marry Lord Moss, a man with the same gift, who has the power to expose her.

FIRE AND FOUNTAIN by Luisa Perkins
Historian Lucie Tremblay loves studying Qu├ębec’s past, but when she accidentally travels back in time through a magical St. John’s Eve bonfire, she finds that life in 17th-century New France is far more complicated than it seems in books. As colonist Nicolas Beaubien tries to help her find a way back to 2019, Lucie finds herself falling for him—and must choose between her old life and new love.

LADY OF SHADOWS by Amber Argyle
Every year, girls go missing in the night—taken by the beast of the Forbidden Forest. A beast that has haunted the town of Hamel for centuries. A beast that is now coming for Caelia.


My Review

ILLUSIONS OF LOVE by Charlie N. Holmberg - 5 stars
There are Cinderella elements to this story but it was still different enough to be interesting. Loved the sweet romance!

DANCING WITH THE MOON by Julie Wright - 5 stars
Great suspense as Grace and Arell solve the mystery of his death and hurry to save the royal family. Loved how the ending worked out.

THE TRUEST TREASURE by Annette Lyon - 4 stars
Interesting world building with a culture and mystic elements so different from ours. I had to really concentrate to get into the story.

THE ISLE OF ROSE by Jane Redd - 5 stars
Enjoyed the way they used their gifts to work together and took the risk to trust each other which led to love. 

LADY OF SHADOWS by Amber Argyle - 4 stars
Such a great beginning to what seems to be an epic story... but the novella felt like reading the first few chapters of a much longer book and it ended right when the adventure was about to really begin! 

FIRE AND FOUNTAIN by Luisa Perkins - 3 stars
I’m not a fan of time travel stories, so this one wasn’t my cup of tea, although it was well written.

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


Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Review: The Crossing at Cypress Creek by Pam Hillman


https://amzn.to/2IMRhxL

My rating: 4 stars / I really liked it

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Synopsis

Sailing and soldiering around the world has taken Caleb O’Shea far from his native Ireland, so he never imagined that a promise to see a fellow crewman safely home would practically land him on his brother’s doorstep. After spending years away from his family, Caleb isn’t certain what kind of reception he will receive when he steps foot in Natchez, Mississippi. The one thing he knows for sure is that he won’t stay long.

Since her sister was kidnapped by river pirates six months ago, Alanah Adams has taken special care to avoid drawing attention to herself. Those living in the rough-and-tumble settlement of Cypress Creek might even think she’s addled. But when she stumbles into Caleb and his friends in Natchez, she appears to be the picture-perfect lady.

Caleb only catches glimpses of the mysterious and beautiful Alanah before she disappears. But a chance encounter with her at his brother’s logging camp near Cypress Creek leaves him uncomfortable at the thought of the young woman traversing the dangerous area alone. At a crossroads in his life, Caleb must decide whether he wants to give up the worldly adventures he’s been seeking for one closer to home.


My Review

I loved that we got to see Caleb's story and discover where he went after leaving his brothers in Ireland. He's had a life of turmoil, but he's thrived in the treacherous environment on the seas. He appears in Natchez at the perfect time to assist his family defeat the river pirates that are plaguing the communities. I loved Alanah's grit as she carves out a life for herself in Cypress Creek foraging for medicinal herbs and apprenticing to the local healer. It would be hard for me to live in such a dangerous area, but Alanah is at home there, even as she grieves her sister's kidnapping. Caleb shows her that not all men are evil, but there are those out there that respect women, and he is one of them. The author shares so many great historical details of the setting, including logging and transportation on the river. Quinn (the brother from the second book) is pretty stubborn and has a hard time with Caleb's appearance, but Caleb has a hard time with him too. It was good to see them clear the air and slowly rebuild their relationship. I enjoyed this last installment in the Natchez Trace series!

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


Monday, June 17, 2019

Review: Flirting With First by Sophia Summers, Heather B. Moore, Rebecca Connolly


https://amzn.to/2RgsExb

My rating: 4 stars / I really liked it

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

Synopsis

Trista’s movie star status keeps her from the one guy she’s ever really wanted—professional baseball player, Ryker Stone.

Ryker Stone, one of the famed Belltown Six Pack loves what no one else notices in Trista McKinney. But when co-star and heart throb, Trevor Dayton, starts a social media campaign, competing for her attention, and Ryker’s baseball schedule and pressures amp up, Ryker lays it all on the line to win her over forever.

Trista McKinney doesn’t need winning. She’s been Ryker’s from the very beginning, but her movie’s production schedule and her dreams of one day winning an Oscar make it almost impossible for things to progress between the two.

With feelings high, both of their careers in the balance, can Trista and Ryker find a path to professional success without losing what they’ve found in each other?

My Review

It was so fun to see the continuation of a meeting that happened between two people in one of the previous Belltown books! Ryker fills in for Cole when he decides to ditch the famous actress his agent set him up with, and Ryker's friendship with Trista moves to the next level in this book. It was interesting to see Trista's insecurities and secret passion for math that makes acting and modeling just another job for her. Ryker is a good friend to her, but he's trying to play it cool so that she'll stay interested in him. I love the perspective of the guys and realizing how differently they think and perceive things. I enjoyed the personal side of their relationship, but the media side of their lives was not only frustrating and exhausting to them, it was to me as a reader. But that really drove the conflict and the plot, so I kept reading and appreciated the way Ryker and Trista handled the hype and obstacles along the way as they grew closer together. The dynamic of the Belltown Sixpack was as always a highlight of the book for me, it really makes this series stand out!

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



Welcome to Belltown! Six baseball players meet in the college town of Belltown, Massachusetts, becoming best friends, their lives intertwining as they each get called up to the Major Leagues.


https://amzn.to/2EEdT2m

Follow Sawyer, Cole, Axel, David, Ryker, and Levi in these six swoony sports romances.

Belltown Six Pack Series:
 

Hitching the Pitcher
Falling for Centerfield
Charming the Shortstop
Snatching the Catcher
Flirting with First
Kissing on Third







Review: B is for Barista by Brenna Jacobs


https://amzn.to/2IhPNwf

My rating: 4 stars / I really liked it

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

Synopsis

Ivy Morehouse loves her hourly-wage job at the funky punk-rock-themed Velvet Undergrounds coffee house. Bentley Hollis grew up in a wealthy family and has a Harvard business degree. The only thing they have in common is an appreciation for ironic branding and great pastry.

When Bentley shows up at the Velvet Undergrounds as an employee, Ivy’s certain he’s just another overconfident, rich, handsome jerk—a type she’s unfortunately familiar with. And he’s clearly keeping a secret. Why else would he be working in a coffee shop? But as she overcomes her first impressions, will they both learn that they could be the perfect blend?

My Review

This story is pretty cute! The coffeehouse setting is fun as well as Bentley's secret identity. I found his vulnerability and self-consciousness in Velvet Undergrounds surprising since he's at home in the much more intimidating setting of a corporate boardroom. Ivy really catches him off guard and makes him curious about what makes her tick. The chemistry wasn't all there for me, but I enjoyed their interactions and the anticipation of what would happen when his identity was revealed. The mannerisms of the characters really brought them to life. I'm excited for more from this promising series!

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



Don't miss the novella that kicks off the series and the first book, A is for Author . . .

https://amzn.to/2Wg6Lj2

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

Synopsis

Can he persuade her to see him as something more than just her best friend?

Allie Carmichael is dating the wrong kind of man. To help Allie out of her dating rut, Allie’s sister, Cassie, challenges her to date 26 new men, all that have 26 different careers—one for every letter of the alphabet.

When Eric’s neighbor, Allie, asks him for help with her new dating challenge, he’s reluctant to get involved. Mostly because he’d really like Allie to fall in love with him. She’s determined to finish out her dating challenge, but he’s a veterinarian. And V is at the end of the alphabet.

Can Eric persuade Allie to abandon the list and see him as something more than just her best friend?

(Previously titled The ABC's of Dating) 

https://amzn.to/2TpCJwa


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

Synopsis

He’s the guy she loves to hate.
 
Emma Lindsor writes beautiful books adored by literary critics, even if readers don’t exactly line up for them. Aidan Maxwell writes heart-pounding thrillers with explosions and car chases. And thanks to his handsome face, readers line up for blocks to buy his novels.

Aidan Maxwell stands for everything Emma loathes, and when professional circumstances throw them together, sparks fly—angry ones. But as their paths keep crossing, will they see past their own hardwired ideas to star in a love story all their own?