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

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

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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

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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

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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


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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?






Monday, June 3, 2019

Review & Giveaway: The Printed Letter Bookshop by Katherine Reay


https://amzn.to/2XnO7GB

My rating: 4 stars / I really liked it

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Synopsis

Love, friendship, and family find a home at the Printed Letter Bookshop

One of Madeline Cullen’s happiest childhood memories is of working with her Aunt Maddie in the quaint and cozy Printed Letter Bookshop. But by the time Madeline inherits the shop nearly twenty years later, family troubles and her own bitter losses have hardened Madeline’s heart toward her once-treasured aunt—and the now struggling bookshop left in her care.

While Madeline intends to sell the shop as quickly as possible, the Printed Letter’s two employees have other ideas. Reeling from a recent divorce, Janet finds sanctuary within the books and within the decadent window displays she creates. Claire, though quieter than the acerbic Janet, feels equally drawn to the daily rhythms of the shop and its loyal clientele, finding a renewed purpose within its walls. When Madeline’s professional life takes an unexpected turn, and when a handsome gardener upends all her preconceived notions, she questions her plans and her heart. She begins to envision a new path for herself and for her aunt’s beloved shop—provided the women’s best combined efforts are not too little, too late.

The Printed Letter Bookshop is a captivating story of good books, a testament to the beauty of new beginnings, and a sweet reminder of the power of friendship.


My Review

I can't think of a cozier setting than a bookshop! The Printed Letter Bookshop is a beloved community haven just outside Chicago, and the person who makes it that way, Aunt Maddie, has just died at the beginning of the book- it opens with her funeral. Even though she is not alive during the story, she is very much a presence and influence throughout, thanks to Claire, Janet, Madeline, and several others whose lives were touched by her. I always enjoy this author's lovely manner of using words as she brings her characters and setting to life, they are both grounding and lifting. The way the details of the lives of these three women- four, including Maddie- were slowly revealed peaked my curiosity and kept me interested in their struggles and successes, even though romance was not a main focus of the plot. It was more about the relationships they had with Maddie, each other, and themselves, becoming self-aware and changing as they realized the direction they want their lives to take. The literary references are fun and I wish the bookshop was a real place I could visit!

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


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Friday, May 31, 2019

Review & Giveaway: Sweet on You by Becky Wade #SweetonYouTour #BHPFiction


On Tour with Prism Book Tours

https://amzn.to/2YSCcB7
Sweet on You
(Bradford Sisters #3)
By Becky Wade
Christian Contemporary Romance
Paperback & ebook, 368 Pages
April 30th 2019 by Bethany House Publishers

Britt Bradford and Zander Ford have been the best of friends since they met thirteen years ago. Unbeknown to Britt, Zander has been in love with her for just as long.

Independent and adventurous Britt channels her talent into creating chocolates at her hometown shop. Zander is a bestselling author who's spent the past 18 months traveling the world. He's achieved a great deal but still lacks the only thing that ever truly mattered to him--Britt's heart.

When Zander's uncle dies of mysterious causes, he returns to Merryweather, Washington, to investigate, and Britt is immediately there to help. Although this throws them into close proximity, both understand that an attempt at romance could jeopardize their once-in-a-lifetime friendship. But while Britt is determined to resist any change in their relationship, Zander finds it increasingly difficult to keep his feelings hidden.

As they work together to uncover his uncle's tangled past, will the truth of what lies between them also, finally, come to light?



My Review

Britt and Zander know how to do friendship. They are 100% there for each other, even in little ways they don't allow each other to see but are revealed to the reader in snippets from notes over the years. Unrequited love come to fruition is one of my favorite types of romance, and I've been looking forward to Zander finally getting his girl! I loved getting inside his head and experiencing the longing and yearning he has for Britt, while also fulfilling his own aspirations in the meantime. The mystery behind his uncle's hidden past and the suspense it brought to the plot was the perfect balance for the angst Britt and Zander are feeling and also providing them the opportunities to get closer together. For much of the book Britt did such a good job convincing herself that there was no romance between herself and Zander that I was convinced also, and had to make a major shift when things finally heat up between them. I would have done better with a bit more emotion or self-awareness from her leading into the new dimension of their relationship. They have such a deep connection otherwise, the chemistry that rises to the surface is just the icing on the cake. Britt and Zander each are developing their faith as well and I appreciated the insights and inspiration there. I love this series focused on a trio of sisters!

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

Other Books in the Series


About the Author


Becky’s a California native who attended Baylor University, met and married a Texan, and settled in Dallas. She published historical romances for the general market before putting her career on hold for several years to care for her three children. When God called her back to writing, Becky knew He meant for her to turn her attention to Christian fiction. She loves writing funny, modern, and inspirational contemporary romance! She’s the Christy Award and Carol Award winning author of My Stubborn Heart, the Porter Family series, and the Bradford Sisters Romance series.


Tour Schedule


Tour Giveaway


ONE WINNER WILL RECEIVE:
  • Tote bag highlighting Britt’s chocolate shop, Sweet Art
  • Paperback copy of Sweet on You
  • $100 Visa gift card
  • 1 pound box of See’s chocolate truffles
  • Set of chocolate scented soap
  • Box of colored pencils
  • “Tattoo” coloring book
Enter on Becky's website HERE

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Thursday, May 30, 2019

Review: Cards of Kindness for Courageous Girls: Shareable Devotions and Inspiration


https://amzn.to/2QhSZKH

My rating: 4 stars / I really liked it

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Synopsis

Courageous Girls Are Kind!

Your heart will delight in spreading kindness and inspiration wherever you go with these shareable Cards of Kindness!

Flip each page to discover a positive life message that will both uplift and inspire your heart—and the hearts of other courageous girls just like you. Once you’ve read through the devotion and pondered the message of loving-kindness, tear out the card and pass it on to another girl . . who will then be encouraged to keep the "Courageous Girls Are Kind" movement going. . .by passing the card along to yet another courageous girl!

Each Card of Kindness will spark positive, faith-building discussions with other likeminded girls. You’ll enjoy spreading kindness and God's love, page by delightful page!

Be blessed, COURAGEOUS GIRL!


My Review

The messages in this cute book are ultra-encouraging and inspiring. So much so, that I picture the words being said by a woman with a wide bright smile. Some can get a little cheesy, but overall they are heartwarming and I love the ideas and messages they shared. Each page is perforated so it can be easily removed and "passed on" to another girl. One side has a paragraph or two in a discussion-type narrative, along with a correlating scripture, and the reverse side has the main idea surrounded by illustrations and graphics which are colorful, trendy, and tasteful. I would have preferred a slightly heavier paper so the pages are more like an actual card, but they are not thin either. This would make a thoughtful gift for a girl or young woman!

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


Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Review & Giveaway: Wooing Cadie McCaffrey by Bethany Turner


https://amzn.to/30La3gW

My rating: 4 stars / I really liked it

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Synopsis

After four years with her boyfriend, Cadie McCaffrey is thinking of ending things. Convinced Will doesn't love her in the "forever" way she loves him, Cadie believes it's time for her to let him go before life passes her by. When a misunderstanding leads to a mistake, leaving her hurt, disappointed, and full of regret, she finally sends him packing.

But for Will, the end of their relationship is only the beginning of his quest to figure out how to be the man Cadie wanted him to be. With the dubious guidance of his former pro-athlete work friends and tactics drawn from Cadie's favorite romantic comedies, Will attempts to win her back. It's a foolproof plan. What could possibly go wrong?

Bethany Turner is back with more of the heart and humor readers love. Anyone who enjoys a good romance or binges romantic comedies on Netflix will devour this delightful story.


My Review

This was an interesting book in many ways! We start at the end of the relationship between Cadie and Will- with a few well-placed flashbacks to help us feel the romance of their early relationship as well as experience some critical stages of decline. They seem so in sync, yet the miscommunication of such vital topics as expectations, marriage, and the future cause a rift between them- and they think it is for different reasons. I felt so badly for Will who is pretty much blindsided by the breakup, but admired his fortitude and determination to keep her in his life. The corporate setting brought a dynamic to the story showing how the professional lives of Cadie and Will intersect with their personal relationship. Powerful themes of regret, forgiveness, faith, and devotion are woven together with fun pop culture references, specifically from romantic movies, that make cameos as Will fights for the love of his life.

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


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