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

Saturday, October 19, 2019

Review: Hope's Highest Mountain by Misty M. Beller

My rating: 5 stars / It was amazing


Ingrid Chastain readily agreed to accompany her father to deliver vaccines to a mining town in the Montana Territory. She never could have anticipated a terrible accident would leave her alone and badly injured in the wilderness. When rescue comes in the form of a mysterious mountain man who tends her injuries, she's hesitant to put her trust in this quiet man who seems to have his own wounds.

Micah Bradley left his work as a doctor after unintentionally bringing home the smallpox disease that killed his wife and daughter. But his self-imposed solitude in the wilds of Montana is broken when he finds Ingrid in desperate need of medical attention, and he's forced to face his regret and call on his doctoring skills once again.

Micah can't help but admire Ingrid's tenacious determination despite the severity of her injuries, until he learns the crate she brought contains smallpox vaccines to help quell a nearby outbreak. With Ingrid dead set on trekking through the mountains to deliver the medicine--with or without his help--he has no choice but to accompany her. As they set off through the treacherous, snow-covered Rocky Mountains against all odds, the journey ahead will change their lives more than they could have known.

My Review

Whenever I pick up a book by this author I know I'm in for a harrowing wilderness adventure! I grew up camping and backpacking with my family so I savor the epic feeling of being in the mountains, the sense of majesty but also isolation. It helps that I'm not the one going through the trials the characters are though! In this story it seems like a matter of what else could go wrong, but having read several of her other books, there are many other dangers that they didn't face, so it didn't feel like overkill. A fine balance is struck between character development, historical details, inner conflict, external obstacles, sweet romance, and spiritual growth- all throughout the course of the book. The characters feel like real people that come to life and I imagine that they authentically represent the pioneers, explorers, and mountain men and women of the era. Grit, determination, and faith see Micah and Joanna through the heartbreak and grief they endure as they traverse the rugged land, sacrificing to bring relief to the settlers who are suffering.

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

Friday, October 18, 2019

Review: Glass Slippers, Ever After, and Me by Julie Wright

My rating: 5 stars / It was amazing|%20Search-3&variant_id=174407-paperbackhttp://www.bookdepository.com


Can the fairy tale bring Charlotte the happiness she’s looking for, or was he always there to begin with?

A modern, reimagined Cinderella story.

When aspiring author Charlotte Kingsley finally gets published, she thinks all her dreams have come true. But the trouble begins when her publicity firm reinvents her quirky online presence into a perfectly curated dream life. Gone are the days of sweatpant posts and ice cream binges with her best friend, Anders, replaced instead with beautiful clothes, orchestrated selfies, and no boyfriend. Only, that carefully curated fairy tale life is ruining her self-esteem and making her feel like a fraud.

When a bestselling author takes Charlotte under her wing—almost like a fairy godmother—she helps Charlotte see the beautiful person she already is and the worth of being authentic. But is it too late to save her relationship with Anders? The clock is quickly ticking towards midnight, and Charlotte must decide between her fairy tale life and the man she loves, before he's gone forever.

My Review

I loved the fresh approach the author takes in this fun and angsty story about a girl whose dream come true, only it's not exactly right... and it interferes with her new and unexpected dream. The narration of Charlotte's thoughts is highly entertaining, and I loved the balance of humor and depth. Anders is so sweet, and the glimpses into his struggles and vulnerabilities made him all the more real. I absolutely love the neighbor-friends-to-lovers trope, and this one was especially fun. Real world issues and concerns are dealt with in a realistic and flawed way, but the characters learn and grow and apologize and forgive- several times! They handle through new relationship arguments and disagreements in a way that felt authentic- working through pride and regret with love and compassion. It was interesting to see the many people and elements demanding and pulling at Charlotte for her time, attention, and willingness to change and/or stay the same. There are complex family dynamics from both Charlotte and Anders relatives that added depth and perspective. I especially enjoyed Charlotte's stepsister and their interactions. I couldn't put the book down as I read to see how everything would resolve- another midnight finish for me!

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

About the Author

Julie Wright is the author of more than twenty novels, including the Proper Romance® novels Lies Jane Austen Told Me and Lies, Love, and Breakfast at Tiffany’s. She is a Whitney Award winner and a Crown Heart recipient. She is represented by agent Sara Crowe. She loves reading and writing, playing on the beach or hiking with her husband and kids, and watching her husband make dinner.

Saturday, October 12, 2019

Review: Mercer's Belles (Timeless Western Collection) by Heather B. Moore, Teri Harman, Linda Carroll-Bradd

My rating: 5 stars / It was amazing


When Mr. Mercer sends out a call for single women to travel to Seattle for teaching positions and the potential of forming marriages, 45 answer his call, becoming Mercer's Belles.

The following collection is based on based on true events during the 1860s:

ONE DANCE by Heather B. Moore
When Harriet Silverman arrives in Seattle for a fresh start and a new teaching position, the last person she expects is to meet is a fisherman who seems to be every place she turns. As she gets to know Caleb Munns, Harriet discovers they are a perfect match--for friendship. They both have solid reasons for not pursuing marriage. But as their paths continue to cross, Harriet begins to see a completely different future than she imagined.

A JOURNEY TO LOVE by Teri Harman
Cora, a nurse and surgeon's assistant who learned her skills during the war, joins Mercer's expedition in hopes of finding a job in the West. She's a widow and does not want to marry again. When she meets Albert, a surgeon who is traveling on board the Continental, she finds herself intrigued. Yet, Albert's determined to open his own practice in Seattle, make it a success, and has no plans to look for a wife. But the more time Cora and Albert spend together on the voyage, the more they are drawn to each other.

A FARAWAY LIFE by Linda Carroll-Bradd
Teacher Sorcha Geraghty yearns for a fresh start after the death of her beau and a factory accident maimed her hand. Asa Mercer’s call for teachers for Washington Territory provides a new opportunity, and she joins his ocean-going expedition. Upon arrival, she learns of the expectation for the women to become wives to the many bachelors. Sorcha needs a new plan and fast. Logging manager Lang Ingemar wants a teacher to provide basic English instruction to his Swedish-speaking crew and keep them out of trouble when they go to Seattle. When he convinces Miss Geraghty to relocate to the logging camp, he has no idea the ways his life will be changed.

My Review

I really enjoyed the way these authors brought history to life with memorable characters and interesting details. In all three stories the female main characters are not interested in marriage which provides some inner conflict when they develop strong feelings for the men who unexpectedly make their way into their hearts. I loved the plots of all three stories, but the first two were my favorites with the way the characters handled their circumstances and relationships. The last story involved some immature choices and overreactions which didn't seem to fit and threw me out of the story a bit. I did like the setting in the logging camp in the forest though. I appreciated that even though the stories were similar in the history of the voyage, there were differences in the occupations of the men- fisherman, doctor, and logger- and also the ladies- teacher of children, nurse surgeon, and English teacher of immigrants- which provided the needed variety. 

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

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Review: For the Lady of Lowena by Deborah M. Hathaway

My rating: 5 stars / It was amazing


She’s everything he never wanted—until she was everything he needed.

Tired of the smoke, the smog, and the spoiled females of London, Frederick Hawkins leaves the city behind and purchases an estate in Cornwall, longing to escape his mother’s meddling—and to find a wife worthy of his devotion. When he happens upon a barefooted lady asleep on the beach and rescues her from the incoming tide, he believes he has found such a woman. But first impressions can’t be trusted.

Born into wealth, Sophia Rosewall is offered everything on a silver platter. That is, until her father reveals he has lost their fortune and can now no longer fund their affluent living. Even worse, the intriguing gentleman who’d rescued Sophia on the beach is no one else but the pretentious man now taking possession of her home. Uprooted from everything she has ever known, Sophia relocates to Lowena, a small cottage at the edge of the sea. She clings to her former life, but when Society rejects her, nothing will ever be the same.

As their paths continually cross, Frederick begins to see glimmers of the carefree Sophia he’d first met on the beach, and he cannot help but hope that there is more to the woman than a love of wealth and attention. He does what he can to help her find confidence in her new life and allow her true self to shine forth, but only Sophia can stop attempting to change her circumstances, and instead, change her heart.

My Review

It's always a risk when the main character of a story is flawed in a way bordering on unlikeable, but the author skillfully played with that line to show the beautiful redemption of Sophia as her world is upended in a most humbling manner and her values and priorities shift. Frederick plays a vital role in helping her understand what's really important in life and finding purpose in her days. I was as happy as Frederick to see her true self emerge that he glimpsed that first day on the beach. She still goes through many obstacles as her confidence takes a battering and she often feels lost and adrift, hovering between the upper and lower classes. Frederick has great hopes for her and their blossoming relationship, but still struggles with trust because of experiences in his past. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this lovely book with an amazing Regency setting on the coast as Frederick and Sophia learn to reconcile their fears and grasp hold of what they most desire.

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

Don't miss the other books in the Cornish Romance series . . .

Monday, October 7, 2019

Review: Foremost by Jody Hedlund

Book Two in The Lost Princesses series

My rating: 5 stars / It was amazing


A second princess. Another key to the treasure. And a cruel king desperate to squelch the growing rebellion.

Raised in an isolated abbey, Lady Maribel desires nothing more than to become a nun and continue practicing her healing arts. She’s carefree and happy with her life…until a visitor comes to the abbey and reveals her true identity as one of the lost princesses.

When he was a young boy, Edmund Chambers helplessly watched King Ethelwulf murder his family. Edmund escaped and has lived in the abbey ever since, uniquely trained to work with wild animals. Secretly, he loves Maribel and desperately hopes she doesn’t complete her holy order vows.

When King Ethelwulf’s army arrives at the abbey to capture Maribel, she flees with Edmund across the desolate Highlands in an attempt to reach Adelaide’s rebel army. Edmund can no longer hide his love, but can Maribel give up her dreams of becoming a nun to love him in return?

My Review

This series keeps getting better! The author draws the reader in immediately and I felt like the characters really came to life. There is quite a bit of adventure in this one with hidden passages, caves, mazes, dangerous creatures, and as always the king's soldiers on their heels. Poor Edmund has quite the unrequited love for Maribel, and it was sweet to see her become aware of his deeper feelings and have her own awaken as well. She's a bit stubborn with her thinking that her only path is to be a healer and nothing else, but fortunately her sister the queen helps open her eyes and opportunities. Maribel is full of compassion for those she helps and she's easy to like, even when she is being a little frustrating ;) I felt satisfied with this story as a part of the whole, and eagerly anticipate the final book in the series!

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

Be sure to read the other books in The Lost Princesses series . . .

Prequel Novella

Book One

Book Three
Releases October 29, 2019

Friday, October 4, 2019

Review, Excerpt & Giveaway: My Fair Spinster by Rebecca Connolly

My Fair Spinster Blog Tour

About the Book

My Fair Spinster

Series: The Spinster Chronicles
Genre: Adult, Historical, Regency, Romance
Publisher: Phase Publishing
Publication date: October 1, 2019

The spinster next door…

Grace Morledge is a failure. Or so her father believes, as she is unmarried despite her advantages. In his mind, Grace must have significant flaws to be a spinster and something must be done about them. To her mortification, he demands she be fully examined and all flaws recorded. And the man he chooses is the worst possible candidate of all.

Aubrey Flint, Lord Ingram, has known Grace since childhood, but he never anticipated Lord Trenwick demanding he examine her for flaws. How can perfection have faults? Reluctantly, he accepts the assignment, and finds far more than he bargained for, and perfection becomes more and more tempting.

About the Author

Rebecca Connolly writes romances, both period and contemporary, because she absolutely loves a good love story. She has been creating stories since childhood, and there are home videos to prove it! She started writing them down in elementary school and has never looked back. She currently lives in the Midwest, spends every spare moment away from her day job absorbed in her writing, and is a hot cocoa addict.


"They were smart to include you."  

Grace jerked slightly to look at him again. "What?"  

He nodded fervently. "I mean it. Georgie is no fool, Grace, and I have no doubt she made a study of the other unmarried women in Society. You are the best of the lot. It was only natural they should choose you."  

Her heart leapt for joy and seemed to be burning within her. "You don’t know the rest of the lot, Aubrey." 

"Don’t have to," he quipped. "I know you." 

Oh, but the look in his eyes made her feel like a lovesick girl of twelve again, and it was all she could do to keep from smiling an accompanying lovesick smile that would have been entirely too obvious.  

 Not that she was lovesick. She was simply touched. And embarrassed. And perhaps a bit feverish.  

That was all.  

Aubrey blinked and the look was gone. He slapped his thighs and rose fluidly, running a hand through his hair and disheveling it in a way that reminded her of the boy she had known in Derbyshire, and her heart lurched. 

"Well, I suppose that’s enough for today," he rambled, his words not quite as crisp as normal. "I will see you tomorrow at the Sterlings’, and I will assess your interaction with various people at that point."  

Grace slowly rose, watching Aubrey curiously. "Very well. Miranda will be there, you know. We could confront her."  

"Yes, yes, excellent thought," he replied absently. "I’ll bring my suit of armor for whatever she tosses in retaliation." 

Grace laughed at the image that brought, and Aubrey seemed to shudder at it.  

"Right," he said, turning to her and bowing. "Good day, Grace."  

"Good day, Aubrey." He left before she finished, and she stared after him, still curious. 

What in the world?  

Then her mother crossed the corridor, casting another knowing look at Grace. All curiosity and delight evaporated swidftly, and Grace snapped back into discontent, moving quickly towards the music room. 

He was not good for her.  

He couldn’t be.


My rating: 5 stars / It was amazing

Another fun installment of the Spinster Chronicles! I love how the author shows the variety of personalities of the different young ladies and their relationships with each other through the dialogue and banter they share. The books don't have to be read in order, but readers will definitely want to get to all of them at some point because the friendships they share make the characters from the previous books more than just a cameo appearance, but rather a strong supporting cast. I've been excited to read Grace's story and see how she manages to find love in spite of her overbearing, over-managing, somewhat tyrannical father. The fact that Aubrey is a family friend from Grace's childhood made me love the story even more, I'm a sucker for the friends-to-lovers theme. But since this one was more like reunited-friends-to-lovers, we get to see them get to know each other again and develop a more meaningful friendship that blossoms into romance. A story that was so enjoyable to read and savor! 

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


MFS Tour Gieaway

Giveaway ends October 4 at 11:59pm MT. Giveaway is subject to policies HERE.

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Tour Schedule

Check out the tour schedule HERE.

Friday, September 27, 2019

Review: The Aftermath by Amy Matayo

My rating: 5 stars / It was amazing


According to Riley Mae Floss, life is a ten-page menu of possibilities. As the owner of a cupcake shop in small-town Missouri, she thrives on candies and rainbows and spreading joy every chance she gets. Even her hair is the color of bubble gum. Life is just the way she likes it, so why would she want anything to change now?

But when a tornado rips into Riley Mae’s southern town and destroys nearly everything in its path, her happy little life changes in less than forty-two seconds. Buildings gone. Homes carried away. People missing or even dead. Her bakery a shell of what it once was; also her life. Riley Mae’s picture-perfect world is shattered, and everyone she cares about has been hurt in the process.
According to insurance adjuster Chad Gamble, life always works out exactly the way it’s supposed to…for other people. As for him, life is a bit of a crapfest—one where he never wins the prize, makes the starting team, or gets the girl. He’s straight-laced, suit-and-tie, all-business, and sees the world for the color it is: muted gray with a little black around the edges.

So when Chad Gamble walks into Riley Mae’s ruined bakery to “assess the damages”—his words, not hers—he has no intention of getting bogged down by sentimental nonsense. Sparks immediately start to fly, and not the good kind. Who does this pushy, pink-haired chick think she is, treating him like an outsider when all he came to do was help? He can’t figure out why the locals like her so much.

Or worse, why he can’t stop thinking about her.

My Review

There's a special bond that can form between people who have been through a disaster or traumatic event together. Chad doesn't show up until immediately after the tornado, and it's almost as if he's seeking that feeling in his volunteering and work. He and Riley form that bond as an unlikely pair as they share in helping the people and community recover. With large catastrophes the statistics can sometimes lose meaning, but Riley and Chad find purpose in "rescuing" one person at a time, and to those individuals their efforts mean the world. I loved how the random meeting between Chad and Riley develops into friendship and deepens throughout the story, despite their initial hang-ups. The narration of their inner reflections is more thoughtful and profound than your usual contemporary romance, and this is something I love about this author's writing style.

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

Don't miss the first book in the Love in Chaos series . . .


Dillon Hayes is twenty-eight and single, an unfortunate status her overbearing family is determined to fix. So when she’s stuck on a cruise ship for a seven-day reunion with the lot of them, she's desperate for any escape she can find, even if it means partnering with a sketchy stranger for an off-the-beaten-path snorkeling excursion. After her mother's last matchmaking attempt, Dillon is more than willing to trade all her good sense for a few hours of solace.

Liam Gamble is stuck in the middle of family vacation hell. The worst part: it's not even his family. This will be the last time he ever accepts a free-vacation invitation from his best friend. At this point, he'd be willing to hand over his life savings to get off this crazy ship. So when he catches one of his friend's cousins sneaking off board, he decides to join her, hijacking her private excursion and nearly blowing her cover. If she gets to leave, so does he.

But what starts off as a secret escape turns into a very real nightmare when their shady tour guide leaves them stranded on an uninhabited island with nothing but the clothes on their backs and no idea how to keep themselves alive.

As hours turn into days, and the weather proves as threatening as their need for food and water, Dillon and Liam must join forces and rely on each other if they have any hope of seeing their families again. Funny thing: sometimes in life, the end of the rope is when you discover everything you value has been in front of you all along.

Review: By Hook or by Rook by Rebecca Connolly

My rating: 5 stars / It was amazing


The most dangerous journeys...

Jeremy Pratt is a spy for the Crown, and one of the best. He had been in more dangerous situations than he can admit, and has always come out unscathed. But escorting his colleague's cousin home to her family, even in disguise, just might be beyond his skills, and the temptation beyond his ability to withstand.

May be ones of the heart...

Helen Dalton is convinced there is more to this man escorting her than meets the eye, and something familiar about him, as well. There is only one man in the world who looks at her so intensely, banters with her so easily, and makes her blush so furiously. And when he manages a daring and heroic rescue, she wonders if she ever knew him at all.

My Review

I loved the dynamic between Helen and Jeremy! It's a bit complicated and being caught up in the middle of a dangerous mission doesn't exactly help iron things out. Helen and Jeremy both have a deeper personality than they portray to each other during the Season, and while they shared a mutual attraction and pleasant rapport, it isn't until they discover new aspects of each other on their journey that they truly fall in love. The banter is oh-so-fun to read and the pace of the plot is kept steady with the action and adventure. Another fabulous addition to the London League series!

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

Don't miss the previous books in the London League series . . .