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

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Review: A Timeless Romance Anthology: A Yuletide Regency by Regina Scott, Sarah M. Eden, Jen Geigle Johnson, Annette Lyon, Krista Lynne Jensen, Heather B. Moore


Heidi Reads... A Timeless Romance Anthology: A Yuletide Regency by Regina Scott, Sarah M. Eden, Jen Geigle Johnson, Annette Lyon, Krista Lynne Jensen, Heather B. Moore

My rating: 5 stars / It was amazing

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Synopsis

From the publisher of the USA TODAY bestselling & #1 Amazon bestselling Timeless Romance Anthology series in Clean & Wholesome Romance, comes A YULETIDE REGENCY.

Six brand new Regency romance novellas by Regina Scott, Sarah M. Eden, Jen Geigle Johnson, Annette Lyon, Krista Lynne Jensen, and Heather B. Moore

ALWAYS KISS AT CHRISTMAS by Regina Scott
Mary Rose has one goal for her mother’s annual Christmas Eve party: convince her childhood friend Julian Mayes to marry her. She has always admired Julian. Surely one moment under the kissing bough will convince him they were meant to be together. Newly hired by a prestigious London law firm, Julian is ready to shake the dust of the countryside off his polished boots. But he’s always had a soft spot for Mary. As the danger to her future becomes clear, will one kiss be enough to prove to him how far he will go to protect her?

A YULETIDE MATCH by Sarah M. Eden
Famed matchmaker to the ton, Adelaide Northrup cannot imagine a more perfect way to spend Christmas than answering the desperate call of Mr. Porter Bartrum: widower, young father, dunderhead. The young gentleman’s first marriage was an arranged one and he hasn’t the first idea how to find a wife on his own. His dear friend, Chloe Munson, has watched his attempts with amusement and finds this latest approach, the clandestine hiring of a matchmaker, his most entertaining yet. If Adelaide plays her cards right, and she always does, she might very well manage to secure two happy endings.

THE FORBIDDEN DUKE by Jen Geigle Johnson
They weren’t supposed to meet, but now that they have, nothing will ever be the same. The Duke of Salsbury blames her family. Lady Catherine blames his. Will an age-old dispute between the Salsburys and Asters rip apart any hope they have to be together? In this game of secrets and lies, can their love for each other conquer even the most tightly held family prejudices?

MISTLETOE AT WILLOWSMEADE by Annette Lyon
On Christmas Eve, Eleanor Hadfield, who works as governess at her childhood home of Willowsmeade, is stunned to learn that the love of her youth, Julian Phillips, is coming back after a decade’s absence. Once the gardener’s son, he has elevated his station to navy captain. Making a match with a mere governess would lower his position, if he were to still love her as he did as a young man, which is unlikely. Unable to bear the idea of noble Julian keeping an old promise out of obligation or pity, Eleanor decides to leave the only place that has ever been a home.

FOLLOW THE RIVER HOME by Krista Lynne Jensen
With her beloved home entailed away to a wealthy cousin, spirited Arabelle Hyatt has resigned herself to marry the arrogant man, if only to save her family from destitution. But before an understanding is reached, a childhood friend returns from war, wounded in more ways than one. With Christmas coming—what may be their last at Hybrigge—holiday traditions are celebrated, memories are revisited, and Arabelle learns what lies in a man’s words is not always what lies in his heart.

THE NEW EARL by Heather B. Moore
Celia Thompson knows she can’t live with the new earl who’s come to take her brother’s place. Before she can pack her belongings and reconcile herself to a fate of living as a spinster in her aunt’s home, the new earl arrives. Yet, Aaron, now Lord Banfield, is not the pompous, arrogant man she’d imagined. In fact, he’s quite . . . interesting and handsome. Celia decides to help the man acclimate to his new role. But the longer she stays on at Banfield, the more she realizes the new earl might be the answer she’s been looking for.


My Review

What a great collection of stories!!! I enjoyed them all and had several favorites. As much as I love Regency romances, I love *Christmas* Regency romances even more! There's something sweet about the traditions that are specific to the era, like the yule log, and the ones that have stood the test of time that we still celebrate today, like mistletoe and Christmas trees. While some of the plots had more drama than the others, for the most part the novellas were pleasant and compelling, and I loved the feeling of connecting to the characters quickly and experiencing the season with them as they overcame personal and societal struggles to achieve a lovely happily-ever-after. A wonderful anthology that is perfect for reading during the busy holiday season!

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


Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Review & Giveaway: Wager for a Wife by Karen Tuft



Heidi Reads... Wager for a Wife by Karen Tuft

My rating: 5 stars / It was amazing

http://www.amazon.comhttp://www.amazon.comhttp://www.barnesandnoble.comhttps://deseretbook.com/p/wager-for-a-wife?variant_id=170146-paperbackhttp://www.bookdepository.comhttp://www.goodreads.com

Synopsis

William Barlow's life has been forever altered: his estranged father is dead, and William has inherited the title of Viscount Farleigh. Along with the title comes a neglected estate, an enormous amount of gambling debt, and one astounding acquisition that will turn William's world upside down . . .

It is her first London Season, and Lady Louisa Hargreaves could not be more pleased. She has attracted the attention of the Earl of Kerridge, and the two are on the cusp of an official betrothal. That is, until she learns of a generations-old family debt: her grandfather gambled her hand in marriage and lost, and now Louisa must pay the price. She will marry not the earl but a man she just met, who has taken her freedom in one fell swoop. Even as she struggles to understand the handsome and aloof man she is to wed, Louisa is irresistibly drawn to him—and he to her. But she soon realizes he is harboring secrets, and as her wedding day approaches, she must discover what her future husband is hiding before she makes the gravest mistake of her life.


My Review

I enjoyed this Regency romance and the characters that came to life in their unusual circumstances. I loved the premise of the plot- the difficulties that both Louisa and William are dealing with, and the relationship that slowly develops between them, despite their differences. I learned some new details about the Regency era as new plot twists surfaced. A lovely romance with emotion, angst, tension, and a wonderful ending!

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

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Saturday, December 1, 2018

Review: The Christmas Heirloom by Karen Witemeyer, Kristi Ann Hunter, Sarah Loudin Thomas, Becky Wade



My rating: 5 stars / It was amazing

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Synopsis

In Kristi Ann Hunter's "Legacy of Love," Sarah Gooding never suspected returning a brooch to an elderly woman would lead to a job . . . and introduce her to the woman's grandson, a man far above her station.

In Karen Witemeyer's "Gift of the Heart," widow Ruth Albright uses the family brooch as collateral for a loan from the local banker. But the more she comes to know the man behind the stern businessman, the more she hopes for a second chance at love.

In Sarah Loudin Thomas's "A Shot at Love," Fleeta Brady's rough-and-tumble childhood means she prefers hunting to more feminine activities. She never expected her family's brooch might be how a fellow hunter turns her attention from competition to romance.

In Becky Wade's "Because of You," Maddie Winslow has spent years in love with a man whose heart was already spoken for. When a church Christmas project brings them together and she stumbles upon an old family brooch, might it finally be her turn for love?


My Review

I enjoyed each of the stories in this collection by four of Bethany House's strong authors! It was neat that they took place in different eras, connected by the heirloom brooch that is passed down the maternal line. With each story I was immersed in the setting and characters, and a full story arc was achieved in the space of a novella. The romances were sweet and full of chemistry between the lead characters, making the stories come to life. This is a collection that I plan to read again in the future! It would also make a lovely Christmas gift for readers and fans of wholesome romance.

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


Friday, November 16, 2018

Review: Lies, Love, and Breakfast at Tiffany's by Julie Wright




Heidi Reads... Lies, Love, and Breakfast at Tiffany's by Julie Wright

My rating: 5 stars / It was amazing

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Synopsis

The Lie
Women in Hollywood are just pretty faces. But Silvia Bradshaw knows that’s a lie, and she’s ready to be treated as an equal and prove her worth as one of Hollywood’s newest film editors.

The Love
She and Ben Mason had worked together as editors before Silvia got her big break, so he’s the perfect person to ask for feedback on her first major film. But even as their friendship begins to blossom into something more, a lawsuit surfaces, jeopardizing both Ben and Silvia’s jobs—as well as their fledgling romance. Audrey Hepburn once said: “The most important thing is to enjoy your life—to be happy—it’s all that matters.” Silvia agrees. Or she used to. It’s one thing to risk her job and her heart, but can she really risk Ben’s, too? Does she have the right to make decisions for her own happiness when they affect so many other people?

The Breakfast
With everything to lose, Silvia meets Ben for breakfast at his favorite diner, Tiffany’s, for one last conversation before the credits roll on true love.


My Review

This book is a hoot! And with wonderful depth! Isn't that a great combination? First of all, I will forever remember the unique main character- Silvia had cancer as a five year old which left her with inner scars as well as outer- she lost her eye and has a glass eye she named Audrey (the little details about her vision and glass eye as an adult are fascinating!) Her fears stemming from her experiences in the hospital influence her relationships and priorities. I loved that she is strong and ambitious in a cutthroat Hollywood career, but also struggles with vulnerability and confidence at times. Ben is pretty awesome, and unrequited love (that is eventually rewarded) is one of my favorite tropes! He and Silvia have a comfortable friendship, fun banter, and quirky mannerisms that really made them come to life. It was interesting to see Ben as the vulnerable one as he shares his long-time angst over his romantic feelings and sadness when they had drifted apart. Their chemistry is amazing and only grows as Silvia sorts through her feelings for Ben. She has a loyal friend in Emma and her grandmother, and I enjoyed the dynamic they each brought to Silvia's life. She learns important lessons through the obstacles she faces and grows as she begins to model her life into one of compassion like the real-life Audrey Hepburn. This is a book not to miss!

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


Review: Ellie Claire Art Journals




Heidi Reads... Faith & Lettering Journal by Krystal Whitten
My rating: 5 stars / It was amazing

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Synopsis

The perfect resource to discover and develop your own personal style for lettering and illustrating your faith.

New from professional letterer Krystal Whitten! With guides, instructions, and tutorials, this is a fun and inspiring way to create beauty with words. It is the perfect place for journalers to practice Bible journaling, lettering quotes and verses, or decorating a page with original thoughts and plans. Exploring your God-given creativity has never been so rewarding.

My Review

This was definitely my favorite of the three journals because I really love modern calligraphy. I was super impressed with the quality of the book construction, the hardcover designs are embossed and the title is gold. The spine of the book is cloth covered with an elastic to hold a pen, and when the book is opened it can lay flat for a much easier way to draw and write. The two-page introduction is inspiring and encourages the reader/journaler to build faith through rediscovering creativity. Throughout the blank, lined, or dot grid pages for journaling, there are beautiful creations by the artist (full page and smaller ones in the corners), practice pages for tracing and freehand copying art lettering examples, and practice pages for basic serif and sans serif letters, script, swashes, flourishes, and banners. The paper is sturdy and smooth. I loved the fresh style and the lovely balance between energy and simplicity. Highly recommend! This would make a lovely gift.

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

Heidi Reads... The Illustrated Word: An Illuminated Bible Coloring Journal

My rating: 5 stars / It was amazing

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Synopsis

Just as medieval monks brought the Scripture to life through intricate inked illustrations in handwritten manuscripts, you can now create your own masterpiece of color and design. Copy Scripture as a spiritual exercise or record your own thoughts and prayers on the pages. Your words and art will unite to create a keepsake that will be a treasure for years to come.

My Review

Fans of adult coloring books will enjoy this journal inspired by artwork from ancient Bibles. The color images throughout the journal come from the Museum of the Bible in Washington D.C. and the 40 black and white line drawings for the journaler to color are derived from those medieval designs. I appreciated that there is a source citation for each piece. The quality of the book construction is excellent, with an embossed hardcover and cloth covered spine which allows the book to lay open flat for easier writing. The pages are cream colored and sturdy with a slight texture that is ideal for using colored pencils. This is not a thin book, there are plenty of pages, yet it somehow doesn't feel heavy. This would make a great gift for those who enjoy ancient art and traditional designs.

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



Heidi Reads... Illuminate Your Story Journal

My rating: 5 stars / It was amazing

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Synopsis

Use this almost-lost art of illuminating letters to enhance your writing, Bible journaling, or sermon note-taking. Rich illustrated manuscripts in the Museum of the Bible’s collection inspired these gorgeous letters. Easy to follow instructions, practice pages, and encouragements guide you through the creation of amazing start letters, flourishes, and more.

HIGHLIGHTS
• Cloth spine opens 180ยบ—takes lay-flat journaling to a new level
• Elastic pen loop on spine
• High-quality, non-bleed paper
• Uplifting, inspirational quotes sprinkled throughout
• Drawing guides, grid background practice pages, plus lined pages for journaling
• Ribbon marker, pocket, elastic band closure.
 
My Review

This creative journal is one that will be enjoyed by artists and fans of creative lettering. The introduction includes 4-5 pages of the history of illumination through the ages, described the process, and included a supply list for the reader. The creation of the traditional designs are shown in a step-by-step method which I found to be very helpful. There are designs for each letter of the alphabet, with two designs for many of the more used letters, as well as step-by-step practice for flourishes, birds, and other artistic elements. There are journal pages in between each layout of lettering with inspirational quotes that I found enlightening and appreciated that they were from a wide variety of sources. The construction of the book is obviously high quality with an embossed hardcover, a cloth spine that makes the book lay flat when opened, an elastic pen loop on the spine, and a keepsake sleeve inside the back cover with a ribbon bookmark and and elastic band to hold the book closed. The paper is sturdy and perfect for drawing and coloring as well as writing. This would make a fine gift for ages as young as 12 if they are interested in art and drawing.

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






Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Review & Giveaway: The Truth About Miss Ashbourne by Joanna Barker



Heidi Reads... The Truth About Miss Ashbourne by Joanna Barker

My rating: 5 stars / It was amazing

http://www.amazon.comhttp://www.amazon.comhttp://www.barnesandnoble.comhttps://deseretbook.com/p/truth-about-miss-ashbourne?variant_id=169348-paperbackhttp://www.goodreads.com

Synopsis

Governess Juliana Ashbourne has dreams reaching far beyond the confines of her current position, hoping to someday establish her own school for girls. When she inherits a fortune from her late grandfather, she is shocked to learn that “someday” may soon be within reach. However, there is one condition: she must spend a month at the estate of Havenfield—with the very family who disowned her mother. Intent on securing the money she needs to start her school, Juliana accepts the invitation, vowing to guard her heart against those who shunned her all her life. But Havenfield is far from what she expects. She discovers a grandmother seeking forgiveness, a cold and disapproving aunt, and a painfully shy cousin. And then there is Mr. William Rowley. Though the heir to the estate is a merciless tease, Juliana finds in him a friend and confidant—and perhaps something more. As she struggles to make sense of her new place in the world, her stubborn independence clashes with a yearning to belong and the even more confusing desires of her heart.

My Review

Everything I love about Regency and romance came together beautifully in this debut novel. Juliana is strong but also vulnerable, and tries to protect herself from potential hurts by holding herself back. William is so fun and charming, I loved their banter and the friendship and romance that eventually develop. There are family dynamics that Juliana needs to learn to navigate, and she learns valuable lessons from them and her new circumstances. I loved the subtle humor that gave a lighter feel to the story and the relationships especially. Looking forward to reading more from this author!