Showing posts with label 5 stars. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 5 stars. Show all posts

Monday, February 18, 2019

Review: Let's Begin Again by Heather B. Moore

Heidi Reads... Let's Begin Again by Heather B. Moore

My rating: 5 stars / It was amazing


Maurie's dreams are finally coming true, but when Grant Shelton shows up at her doorstep, she discovers that she's left love out of the equation.

USA Today bestselling author Heather B. Moore welcomes you to Pine Valley!

When Maurie Ledbetter moves back to her hometown to open her dream shop, she calls a local construction crew for help. Former teenage crush Grant Shelton shows up on her front porch, answering the call for the construction job. Seeing Grant again brings back Maurie’s memories of her troubled childhood, and she doesn’t know if spending time around Grant is the best way to move on. But when she discovers Grant has gone through difficulties of his own, Maurie realizes that he might be the key to her own healing.

My Review

Another winner of a story from the Pine Valley series I so quickly fell in love with! The beginning of this story was familiar to me since the author had published it in a novella collection, but added so much more content to this book and really made the characters that I enjoyed in the short story come to life. It was gratifying to see where their story led and how they dealt with the challenges in their lives and relationship. I admired Maurie's resilience after a dysfunctional childhood and time in foster care, the way she stayed strong and learned from those who showed genuine love for her. Grant struggled more as an adult with his failed marriage and desire to keep his son in his life, and Maurie supports and encourages him as he puts his life back together. Their curiosity about each other as youth picks right back up as adults, and they had *fantastic* chemistry! I also loved Maurie's best friend/business partner with her quirky personality, and I have my fingers crossed that she gets a Pine Valley story of her own!

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

Don't miss the other amazing books in the Pine Valley series
(They can easily be read in any order)

Friday, February 15, 2019

Review: Heart of Red, Blood of Blue by Rebecca Belliston

Heidi Reads... Heart of Red, Blood of Blue by Rebecca Belliston

My rating: 5 stars / It was amazing


A girl on the run. A kingdom to save.

Princess Gisela of Steinland was born without color. Albino. To add to this curse, her betrothal to Prince Jerrik of Kronga ends in his death and starts a ten-year-war her father is determined to win, even if it means bringing her out of hiding to do it. Now the savage Krongon war commander, Bloodless Kristoff, seeks the hearts of the entire royal family, especially Gisela's.

Desperate, her father agrees to another alliance that involves her marrying an old brute of a king. Unwilling to be the sacrificial lamb, Gisela goes on the run. Thrown into the center of a battle between three kingdoms, she finds herself fighting for her life and the right to be truly loved.

Can the girl who started the war find a way to end it?

My Review

Epic, intense, full of adventure, deception, and character growth! I especially loved seeing Gisela discovering her flaws and rising to the challenges before her to realize her inner strength. The plot is strong with the politics and dynamics of kingdoms, greedy kings, evil assassins, commanders of armies, the commoners they either oppress or support, and the women who must stand strong despite the injustice running rampant. I was never confused or overwhelmed by the details, even when there is a bit of mystery or suspense because we are seeing things through Gisela's limited perspective only, which I enjoyed. I felt like there was a great balance between the relationships, the action, and revealing the big picture little by little. There is romance which of course I loved, and Gisela learns important but hard lessons about trust, loyalty, and the characteristics of genuine love. I was enthralled the entire time and was pleasantly surprised with the twists and turns on Gisela's journey from an isolated and naive princess to a powerful force that directly influences the fate of the kingdoms and the outcome of the war. I know this will be one of my favorites of the year, and *highly* recommend!

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

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Review & Giveaway: Escape to Everly Manor by Chalon Linton

Heidi Reads... Escape to Everly Manor by Chalon Linton

My rating: 5 stars / It was amazing


Nineteen-year-old Lizzy and her young brother, Thomas, find themselves orphaned after a tragic accident claims the lives of their parents. Their estranged Uncle Cline arrives to claim his inheritance, and his roguish ways cast a shadow over the manor. Both the family estate and guardianship of his niece and nephew were left to him, and diabolical Uncle Cline is determined to indulge in his newfound wealth and rid himself of his charges. Desperate to save her brother from a dangerous life at sea, and herself from being married off to a detestable old gentleman, Lizzy knows there is only one choice left— they must run.

Lizzy and Thomas sneak away and find refuge in an abandoned cabin. There they remain hidden until fate acquaints Lizzy with Mr. Barton, a charming gentleman who is immediately intrigued by the mysterious young woman. Concealing her identity, Lizzy is unaware that there is much more to this compassionate man than meets the eye. Through his kindness to herself and her brother, Lizzy begins to trust him. Soon Lizzy realizes Mr. Barton may be her best hope for a life in which she can live—and love—as she chooses . . .

My Review

I loved the unique plot in this Regency romance! The characters are memorable and I loved Barton and Lizzy's interactions, even if their misunderstandings were frustrating at times. There is a strong supporting cast of characters that rounded out the story, and I enjoyed the family dynamics and evidence of their devotion to one another. Lizzy is so protective of her brother, and Barton is full of compassion for the both of them, making him a perfect hero! The setting of the small village was idyllic and the adventure made the pace of the book move steadily forward.

Sunday, February 3, 2019

Review & Giveaway: The Warrior Maiden by Melanie Dickerson

Heidi Reads... The Warrior Maiden by Melanie Dickerson

My rating: 5 stars / It was amazing


She knows women are expected to marry, cook, and have children, not go to war. Can she manage to stay alive, save her mother, and keep the handsome son of a duke from discovering her secret?

When Mulan takes her father's place in battle against the besieging Teutonic Knights, she realizes she has been preparing for this journey her whole life-and that her life, and her mother's, depends on her success. As the adopted daughter of poor parents, Mulan has little power in the world. If she can't prove herself on the battlefield, she could face death-or, perhaps worse, marriage to the village butcher.

Disguised as a young man, Mulan meets the German duke's son, Wolfgang, who is determined to save his people even if it means fighting against his own brother. Wolfgang is exasperated by the new soldier who seems to be one step away from disaster at all times-or showing him up in embarrassing ways.

From rivals to reluctant friends, Mulan and Wolfgang begin to share secrets. But war is an uncertain time and dreams can die as quickly as they are born. When Mulan receives word of danger back home, she must make the ultimate choice. Can she be the son her bitter father never had? Or will she become the strong young woman she was created to be?

This fresh reimagining of the classic tale takes us to fifteenth-century Lithuania where both love and war challenge the strongest of hearts.

My Review

At first I thought this book would follow the story of Mulan close to the Disney version, but I soon realized that this retelling would take new twists and turns that brought a new life and energy to the story. I loved the different backstory to Mulan and her family, and the interesting political dynamics between the different powers of the region that are embroiled in conflict. The ugliness of war is realistically portrayed without being overly graphic, but it made me grateful for how times and society has changed, especially in attitudes toward women. I was glad that there was plenty of story before Wolfgang discovers Mulan is female, and also plenty of story after. They had great chemistry first as brief rivals, then as friends, then as more. The pacing was well-balanced with the exciting action and moments of reflection and connection between Mulan and those around her. Family dynamics are a strong theme with Wolfgang's struggles with his brother, and Mulan's loyalty to her mother and complicated relationship with her father. I admired Mulan's faith, courage, and determination as she fought for her country's allies and learned more about herself and what she wants out of life. Highly recommend to fans of clean romance, fairy tale retellings, or medieval fiction.

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

Melanie Dickerson is a New York Times bestselling author, a two-time Christy Award finalist, two-time Maggie Award winner, Carol Award winner, two-time winner of the Christian Retailing's Best award, and her book, The Healer's Apprentice, won the National Readers Choice Award for Best First Book. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and Romance Writers of America (RWA). Melanie earned a bachelors degree in special education of the hearing impaired from The University of Alabama and has worked as a teacher in Georgia, Tennessee, and Ukraine. She lives with her husband and two children in Huntsville, Alabama.

Prize: Win (1) physical copy of THE WARRIOR MAIDEN by Melanie Dickerson (US ONLY) or e-copy for (INT)

Giveaway Starts: 30th January, 2019
Giveaway Ends: 13th February, 2019

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Click here to see the full tour schedule

Friday, January 25, 2019

Review: So Bright a Hope by Amber Lynn Perry

Heidi Reads... So Bright a Hope by Amber Lynn Perry

My rating: 5 stars / It was amazing


When Caroline Whitney receives word that the brother she thought was dead is in fact a prisoner of war, she is frantic to rescue him. On the way to find help, she hides from the Redcoats, but is quickly discovered by a rugged British soldier who claims she must go with him, or be tried for espionage. The world would tell her this man is the enemy, but the veiled secrets in her captor’s eyes reveal he is more than he seems. If she fails to trust, more could be endangered than her life—her heart is bound to be broken a second time.

As a double agent in the service of Washington, British Captain James Higley must keep his true convictions a secret or face being killed as a traitor. On his newest mission, he discovers a courageous woman hiding in a barn, and is forced to capture her, or both their lives will be in jeopardy. When she offers her compliance in exchange for help in finding her brother, he accepts, despite his inner warnings. He must keep his distance from this alluring Patriot, or risk revealing not only his identity, but the true feelings of his heart.

My Review

So intense!!! This is a wonderful conclusion to the Daughters of His Kingdom series, delving into the world of espionage during the Revolutionary War. I was amazed that even with the book's swift paced plot, I felt like I got to know the characters quickly and connected with them as they faced challenges. It's written in a way that immersed me in the setting, had my hands gripping my kindle from the action, and feeling the powerful emotions of Caroline and James. They had strong chemistry, and also strong convictions as they each fought in their own way to support Washington and the Patriots. Part of the story is also told from the point of view of Captain Greene, the vengeful Redcoat pursuing them, increasing the suspense and tension. There are some twists that I don't want to give away, but something else I enjoyed was how the lives of the characters from the previous books in the series were entwined with James and Caroline. This book would read well as a stand alone, but for full enjoyment of this amazing series I recommend reading them in order and watch the history unfold during the birth of our country's independence.

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

Don't miss the previous books in the Daughters of His Kingdom series . . .

Friday, January 11, 2019

Book Tour, Review & Giveaway: No Safe Place by Sherri Shackelford

On Tour with Prism Book Tours

Heidi Reads... No Safe Place by Sherri ShackelfordNo Safe Place
By Sherri Shackelford
Christian Romantic Suspense
Paperback & ebook, 224 Pages
January 1st 2019 by Love Inspired Suspense

He lives by the law.

She’s running for her life.

After forensic accountant Beth Greenwood uncovers a money-laundering scheme tying her company to the organization that murdered her mentor, she knows she needs to go into hiding. With ruthless killers in pursuit, she’s forced to rely on homeland security agent Corbin Ross’s protection—even as his investigation suggests Beth is complicit in embezzlement. Can their uneasy alliance develop into something deeper—and keep them alive?

My Review

This is my kind of suspense book. Not so intense that I'm biting off all my nails and can't go to sleep, but engaging and compelling and has me turning the pages to see what happens next. The pace is swift as Beth and Corbin are on the run, but the author weaves in time for us to get to know the characters, feel a connection to them, and for them to begin connecting to each other. I liked how they had a friendly work relationship before she made her escape, because they had something to build on. They have great chemistry and appreciate each other even while they are in circumstances that make it difficult to trust. This is a story that I didn't want to put down and felt that great feeling of satisfaction as I finished. Highly recommend to fans of light romantic suspense!

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

About the Author

A former naval reservist with a top-secret security clearance, Sherri writes rapid-fire suspense featuring captivating characters and heart-pounding romance. She's authored more than a dozen novels for Harper Collins publishing, including both historical and contemporary suspense.

Tour Schedule

January 7th:
The Power of Words
Splashes of Joy
January 8th:
Hearts & Scribbles
Jorie Loves A Story
January 9th:
Rockin' Book Reviews
January 10th:
Simply Kelina
Labor Not in Vain
By The Book
January 11th:
The Barefoot Reader
Heidi Reads...
January 14th:
Faithfully Bookish
Locks, Hooks and Books
Among the Reads
January 15th:
Book by Book
The Becca Files
January 16th:
Wishful Endings
Author Loraine D. Nunley
January 17th:
Tell Tale Book Reviews
Harlie's Books
Two Girls and a Book
January 18th:
Min Reads and Reviews
January 19th:
Grand Finale

Tour Giveaway

1 winner will win "A Little Bit More Romance Box," which includes the following items in a Decorative Box (pictured):
- Romance Bubble Bath
- Classic Cover Harlequin Notebook
- Collectible Addition Book of Romance Poems
- Romance Bath Bomb
- Scented Candle
- Fuzzy Socks
- Books: No Safe Place and His Substitute Mail-Order Bride by Sherri Shackelford, and Undercover Memories by Lenora Worth

US only
Ends January 23, 2019

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