Showing posts with label Karen Witemeyer. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Karen Witemeyer. Show all posts

Saturday, December 26, 2020

Review: The Kissing Tree: Four Novellas Rooted in Timeless Love by Karen Witemeyer, Regina Jennings, Amanda Dykes, Nicole Deese



My rating: 4 stars / I really liked it

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Synopsis

Bestselling novelist Karen Witemeyer joins award-winning authors Regina Jennings, Amanda Dykes, and Nicole Deese for this Texas-sized romance novella collection. Each of the authors' unique voices is on display in stories where courting couples leave a permanent mark of their love by carving their initials into the same oak's bark.  

In Regina Jennings' Broken Limbs, Mended Fences, a small-town teacher has her credentials questioned by a traveling salesman.

In Karen Witemeyer's Inn for a Surprise, two opinionated collaborators with conflicting visions must turn a doomed business venture into a successful romantic retreat.

From Roots to Sky by Amanda Dykes follows a young WWII naval airman who heads to Texas to meet the sister of a lost compatriot.

Heartwood 
by Nicole Deese is a modern-day romance about the groundskeeper of a historic inn who's reunited with someone from her past while she fights to save a town landmark.

My Review

I love beautiful old trees, so the theme of a tree connecting four generations really appealed to me. Because of the variety of eras and the authors writing the different stories, each was unique and incorporated the Kissing Tree in a different way. While each story and couple was interesting, I connected the most with the emotions of the first, by Regina Jennings. A dream-killing injury, a challenge to her job, a wager, and unrequited love lead to an unlikely friendship between Bella and a schoolmate from her past. I appreciated how Bella does her best to forgive and look for the good in Adam. He is back in the town he grew up in to sell the latest technology in harvesting, yet his former community has difficulty believing his promises. He and Bella both have something to prove, and the support they give each other goes a long way to make them both successful in their endeavors and relationship. They feel strongly and are compelling as they earnestly seek for solutions to their quandary.

Inn for a Surprise brings the gentle humor author Karen Witemeyer brings to all her books, and the conflicting opinions on what would please the clientele of a hotel brought fun banter as the competition between Phoebe and Barnabas teaches them to listen and compromise in order to make the inn its best. 

I most enjoyed in Roots to Sky was the long correspondence between Hannah and Luke, and the way they grew to know each other before ever meeting. The healing and slow-developing sweet romance when they finally meet is lovely.

Heartwood was a little heartbreaking, since the great old tree is coming to the end of its days. I was fascinated with Griffin's occupation of arborist and all the skills and knowledge it involves. Abby's grief over her father bleeds into her lifestyle and the way she can't leave behind his work on the grounds of the inn and move on with her own life choices. Griffin's return resurrects old hurts for both of them that they must face and resolve in order to take risks again and heal.


Disclosure statement: A complimentary copy of this book was provided from a tour group, publisher, publicist, or author, including NetGalley, OR was borrowed from the library, including OverDrive, OR borrowed from Kindle Unlimited, OR purchased. A review was not required and all views and opinions expressed are unbiased and my own.



Saturday, July 18, 2020

Review: At Love's Command by Karen Witemeyer



My rating: 5 stars / It was amazing

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Synopsis

Haunted by the horrors of war, ex-cavalry officer Matthew Hanger leads a band of mercenaries known as Hanger's Horsemen who have become legends in 1890s Texas. They defend the innocent and obtain justice for the oppressed. But when a rustler's bullet leaves one of them at death's door, they're the ones in need of saving.

Dr. Josephine Burkett is used to men taking one look at her skirts and discounting her medical skills. What she's not used to is having a man change his mind in a heartbeat and offer to assist her in surgery. Matthew Hanger's dedication to his friend during recovery earns Josephine's respect, and when she hears of her brother's abduction, he becomes her only hope for rescue.

Matt has stared down ruthless outlaws, betrayal, and injury, but when a bossy lady doctor crawls under his skin, his heart is tempted to surrender. And when she is caught in the crossfire, he may have to sacrifice everything—even his team—to save her.


My Review

I'm a fan of those larger-than-life cowboy hero types, and this book sure delivered! Adventure, danger, romance, and subtle humor set in the rustic western wilderness. Matthew and Josephine are an interesting couple, and despite their very different backgrounds, they share some important things in common. They have compassion for others, keep calm under pressure, and have the determination to accomplish what they set out to do. Josephine's very proper and intelligent manner of speech took a little getting used to, but it quickly became an endearing mannerism in Matthew's eyes. They are quick to admire each other in their intense circumstances, and I enjoyed reading as they worked together to save her brother from the unsavory characters he has fallen in with... and from himself. Matthew's crew of Hanger's Horsemen has a variety of characters and I'm looking forward to more adventures with them!

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


Thursday, June 6, 2019

Review: More Than Words Can Say by Karen Witemeyer


https://amzn.to/2Wkc7ce

My rating: 5 stars / It was amazing

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Synopsis

After fulfilling a pledge to a dying friend, Zacharias Hamilton is finally free. No family entanglements. No disappointing those around him. Just the quiet bachelor existence he's always craved. Until fate snatches his freedom away when the baker of his favorite breakfast bun is railroaded by the city council. Despite not wanting to get involved, he can't turn a blind eye to her predicament . . . or her adorable dimples.

Abigail Kemp needs a man's name on her bakery's deed. A marriage of convenience seems the best solution . . . if it involves a man she can control. That person definitely isn't the stoic lumberman who oozes silent confidence whenever he enters her shop. Control Zacharias Hamilton? She can't even control her pulse when she's around him.
 

When vows are spoken, Abigail's troubles should be over. Yet threats to the bakery worsen, and darker dangers hound her sister. Can she put ever more trust in Zach without losing her dreams of independence?

My Review

Warning: extreme gushing ahead...

Another top favorite of 2019!!! I absolutely adored every part of this book! While I've enjoyed every book by this author, I have two favorites that I just love to re-read- To Win Her Heart and Short-Straw Bride. More Than Words Can Say has now been added to that elite list- it gave me that special reading experience I crave- great characters and (I don't often use this word) *swoony* romance full of crackling chemistry, romantic tension, and longing for each other.

Zach is a hero that sacrifices for others, he's a protector. He has a troubled past but has redeemed himself, even though he still struggles with forgiving himself. He's a bit like Mr. Darcy in that he's quiet and standoffish, but personable and charming with those closest to him. He and Abby were genuinely adorable when they engage in a little flirting and teasing. I loved seeing them warm up to each other so quickly and the laughter and delight they take in each other. A marriage of convenience that is affectionate from the start, they don't rush their boundaries but also don't keep their growing feelings a secret. Zach shows his love through actions more than words (although the scene where he uses his words is, again- adorable!) and Abigail recognizes that. Abigail also struggles with a trauma in her past and the way her former BFF and current archenemy is still punishing her for it. There is a strong message of forgiveness and healing through relying on faith in God to provide answers to our challenges that they learn together. I loved Abigail's grace and compassion, which make her a perfect match for our sacrificial hero. This is a story I'm already itching to re-read, and I highly recommend it!!! It works perfectly well as a standalone, but if you can, read the first book in the series since Zach is such an important character in that story and it will add to your understanding of him when you read this one.

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



Don't miss the first book in the Patchwork Family series . . .

Heidi Reads... More Than Meets the Eye by Karen Witemeyer


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Synopsis

Many consider Evangeline Hamilton cursed. Orphaned at a young age and possessing a pair of mismatched eyes--one bright blue, the other dark brown--Eva has fought to find her way in a world that constantly rejects her. Yet the support of even one person can help overcome the world's judgments, and Eva has two--Seth and Zach, two former orphans she now counts as brothers.

Seeking justice against the man who stole his birthright and destroyed his family, Logan Fowler arrives in 1880s Pecan Gap, Texas, to confront Zach Hamilton, the hardened criminal responsible for his father's death. Only instead of finding a solitary ruthless gambler, he discovers a man not much older than himself with an unusual family. When Zach's sister, Evangeline, insists on dousing Logan with sunshine every time their paths cross, Logan finds his quest completely derailed. Who is truly responsible for his lost legacy, and will restoring the past satisfy if it means forfeiting a future with Evangeline?



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)


Monday, November 26, 2018

#TFBRC Novella



I absolutely love novella collections!!! One of my favorites to re-read is A Match Made in Texas. Three of the stories are by some of my favorite Christian fiction authors, and if you buy the novella e-books individually they are only $1.99! (I included the links to the individual novellas in the synopsis). An Unforeseen Match by Regina Jennings has one of my most favorite first kiss scenes ever!

https://amzn.to/2zp72Hh

My rating: 5 stars / It was amazing

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Synopsis

In the small town of Dry Gulch, Texas, a good-hearted busybody just can't keep herself from surreptitiously trying to match up women in dire straits with men of good character she hopes can help them. How is she to know she's also giving each couple a little nudge toward love?

A Cowboy Unmatched
Neill isn't sure who hired him to repair Clara's roof--he only knows Clara desperately needs his help. Can he convince this stubborn widow to let down her guard and take another chance on love?

An Unforeseen Match
Hoping to earn an honest wage on his way to the land rush, Clayton ends up on Grace's doorstep, lured by a classified ad. He may have signed on for more than he expected though--and he may have found the one woman who can keep him from moving on.

No Match for Love
Andrew can't fathom how refined Lucy ended up as the caretaker to his dotty aunt, and somehow her arrival has prompted even more bizarre occurrences around the ranch. When they join forces to unearth the truth, will the attraction between Andrew and Lucy develop into more?

Meeting Her Match
When the tables are turned and a tenderhearted meddler becomes the beneficiary of a matchmaking scheme, her world is turned upside down. As her entire life changes, will she finally be able to tell the banker's son how much she cares for him?


My Review

I loved the first story by Karen Witemeyer! I was anxious read about Neill Archer, the youngest brother from her book Short-Straw Bride (which was wonderful). A sweet relationship developed quickly between Neill and the strong Clara, and the action from the plot was non-stop. There was a nice balance between moments of character development and romance, and the excitement really moved the story forward.

The second story by Regina Jennings turned out to be my favorite. The unusual premise was so interesting and the main characters so vivid. Again, several sweet moments between them as their relationship developed, and the personality clashes kept things lively. Great romantic tension and chemistry!

The third story by Carol Cox was okay, but the characters were not developed enough for me to feel an emotional connection to their story. There didn't seem to be any reason for the main characters to fall in love other than that they were there and convenient. The attraction was stated, and then all the focus was on the mystery. A three star rating for me on this one, but the other stories were strong enough to carry the five star overall rating.

The last by Mary Connealy was a story of unrequited love full of emotion and tempered with a huge dose of humor, as usual. It was fun to read the story of the matchmaker and how the town conspired to make her match.


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




Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Review: More Than Meets the Eye by Karen Witemeyer


Heidi Reads... More Than Meets the Eye by Karen Witemeyer

My rating: 5 stars / It was amazing

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

Synopsis

Many consider Evangeline Hamilton cursed. Orphaned at a young age and possessing a pair of mismatched eyes--one bright blue, the other dark brown--Eva has fought to find her way in a world that constantly rejects her. Yet the support of even one person can help overcome the world's judgments, and Eva has two--Seth and Zach, two former orphans she now counts as brothers.

Seeking justice against the man who stole his birthright and destroyed his family, Logan Fowler arrives in 1880s Pecan Gap, Texas, to confront Zach Hamilton, the hardened criminal responsible for his father's death. Only instead of finding a solitary ruthless gambler, he discovers a man not much older than himself with an unusual family. When Zach's sister, Evangeline, insists on dousing Logan with sunshine every time their paths cross, Logan finds his quest completely derailed. Who is truly responsible for his lost legacy, and will restoring the past satisfy if it means forfeiting a future with Evangeline?


My Review

I love when an author can draw me right into the story and setting and make me feel like I'm there! Evie's background as an orphan on the orphan train is tragic, yet she uses her trials to strengthen her faith and stays optimistic. She has such a fun and funny personality, it was a pleasure to read about her mannerisms and special way of warming up even the most recalcitrant cowboy. Her insecurities about her eyes and the way many of the townspeople respond to her difference sharply contrasts with the young woman that Logan gets to know, and he provides encouragement and support. Logan has his own spiritual journey as he struggles with the concepts of justice and vengeance, and his blossoming relationship with Evie. I liked seeing the interactions between Logan and Evie's overprotective brothers and the way they slowly began to trust each other. The discovery of an abused young woman shakes up the plot and adds mystery and danger as Logan and the siblings protect her and themselves against a ruthless and conniving villain. Secrets, family loyalty, and romance all complicate the decisions Logan and Evie have in front of them, and I was completely immersed in the story the whole time. Highly recommend!

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


Monday, February 5, 2018

Review: Hearts Entwined: A Historical Romance Novella Collection by Karen Witemeyer, Mary Connealy, Regina Jennings, Melissa Jagears


Heidi Reads... Hearts Entwined: A Historical Romance Novella Collection by Karen Witemeyer, Mary Connealy, Regina Jennings, Melissa Jagears

My rating: 4 stars / I really liked it

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Synopsis

The path to love is filled with twists and turns in these stories of entangled romance with a touch of humor from four top historical romance novelists! Includes Karen Witemeyer's The Love Knot, Mary Connealy's The Tangled Ties That Bind, Regina Jennings's Bound and Determined, and Melissa Jagears's Tied and True.

My Review

I always look forward to the next novella collection from these four authors! Hearts Entwined is especially fun because the main characters in each story are connected in some way to a full-length novel. I love seeing secondary characters get a happy ending, like in Karen Witemeyer's story, the last of her Ladies of Harper's Station series. Claire is reconnected with a sweetheart from her past that she doesn't quite know how to handle and another surprise bundle of joy.

In Mary Connealy's story, it is two of the children from her Kincaid and Stone families that are reunited as adults and quickly fall back in love. Connor follows Maggie to the city as she follows her dreams of becoming a doctor. I loved seeing them work together in the doctor's office and the crazy action they encountered there. I am definitely grateful for the advances that have been made in medicine!

Regina Jennings's story was full of humor and action as camels are transported from Kansas to Texas in the midst of brutal heat and an even more brutal outlaw gang. The sweet romance that developed between cavalry soldier Bradley and officer's daughter Ambrosia was full of sparks and it was fun to read their interactions.

The story by Melissa Jagears had an entitled socialite in love with a mere secretary and going to work in a factory to prove that she could live the life he could provide. I admired her determination in new and difficult circumstances, and the compassion she had for those in poverty she connected with. He fought so much against the relationship that she came across as desperate and I missed the romance until the end.

Overall I enjoyed each of the stories with the fascinating history and sweet romance, although it wasn't as toe-curling as some of the previous collections.

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