Showing posts with label Victoria Bylin. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Victoria Bylin. Show all posts

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Review & Giveaway: Someone Like You by Victoria Bylin

Heidi Reads... Someone Like You by Victoria Bylin

My rating: 3 stars / I liked it


Julia Dare is trying to run her own business, raise her young son, Max, and help her widowed mother. Her biggest worry, though, is keeping Max's father from being a bad influence while still allowing the boy to spend time with his dad. When an account from her event-planning business sends her to Caliente Springs resort, she's shocked to encounter Zeke Monroe, her college sweetheart.

Zeke is determined to keep Caliente Springs running despite financial trouble. When Julia walks back into his life, he's surprised at the feelings she stirs up. As they work together on an important client's wedding, the fate of the resort soon depends on their success. With Zeke and Julia both pushed to their limits, will their history put up walls between them or bring them together?

My Review

I have mixed feelings about this one. The characters are well-developed and the setting well-described, but there was an intense feeling of anxiety that I felt as I read about Julia's conflicts with her ex, Zeke's struggles with his faith, and the precarious state of the resort. The highlights for me were the rekindling romance between Julia and Zeke as well as some humorous moments involving Ladybug, the resident goat with attitude problems. A secondary romance involving Julia's mother felt distracting and I found myself skimming through those sections. There is a strong theme of God's love getting us through hard times, but I was disappointed that with Zeke's issues of the shame of falling short of perfection, the healing power of repentance and forgiveness through Christ's atonement wasn't brought into the narrative.

(Thank you to Litfuse Publicity and  Bethany House Publishing for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review)

About the Author

Victoria Bylin writes contemporary and historical romances known for their realistic, relatable characters. Her work has finaled in contests such as the Carol Awards, the RITAs, and the RT Reviewers' Choice Award. A native of California, she and her husband now make their home in Lexington, Kentucky.

Click the image below to enter the author's giveaway for five copies of Someone Like You!

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Review: Together With You by Victoria Bylin

Heidi Reads... Together With You by Victoria Bylin

My rating: 4 stars / I really liked it


When a Lost Child warning blasts over the mall's PA system, toy store manager Carly Mason finds the little girl playing with a stuffed rabbit. Something about five-year-old Penny Tremaine is different. An ex-social worker, Carly recognizes that Penny suffers fetal alcohol effects, and a piece of Carly's own past suddenly confronts her. Never again will Carly become involved with a client. The risks are far too great. But something about Penny--and Penny's handsome father--tugs at Carly's heart. Before she has time to think it through, she agrees to a much-needed job as a nanny. 

Dr. Ryan Tremaine knows he messed up his life. But this summer he will redeem himself. With his ex-wife remarried and on a trip far away, his two teenage sons and Penny are living under his roof full time. Ryan is dedicated to his sink-or-swim list, a plan to reconnect with his children. The first step: recruiting Carly Mason to be Penny's nanny. 

Ryan never anticipated being so drawn to Carly, an attraction Carly seems to fight as much as he does. Could Carly be the missing piece that helps his family stay afloat, or will their blossoming romance only complicate things further?

My Review

My attention was grabbed right off the bat when the background to Ryan's daughter Penny was explained. I didn't expect his character to be so flawed, but at the same time I admired his resolve and determination to be a better father and improve his family dynamics as best he could. I also didn't expect there to be such a huge focus on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. I definitely learned some new things in that regard. It was a brilliant move by the author to have a few scenes from Penny's point of view since it gave me a deeper understanding of her thought process. Carly could have come across as too happy and perfect, but instead she showed depth, compassion, intelligence, and even inner conflict. I felt like the emphasis on the relationship and interactions between the children and adults overshadowed the romance, and the foundation of friendship Ryan and Carly built was glossed over during the time lapses. That's not to say I didn't enjoy it, because I did- this book is excellently written, but I did miss that aspect of Ryan and Carly's relationship. The drama is somewhat gritty but the characters' reactions and struggles come across as realistic and true-to-life.

(Thank you to Bethany House Publishing for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review)

Friday, November 7, 2014

Free e-book: Until I Found You by Victoria Bylin

Until I Found You by Victoria Bylin

TODAY ONLY! Download Until I Found You by Victoria Bylin for FREE!
(Be sure to check the price before purchasing since e-book sales are for a limited time)


Contemporary Romance to Make You Laugh, Cry, and Fall in Love

When Kate Darby swerves off a mountain road to avoid hitting a California condor, she ends up trapped in her car, teetering on the edge of a cliff. Terrified, she breathes a prayer that changes her life: "God, if you're real, I want to know you."

It's Nick Sheridan who comes to Kate's rescue. Nick is handsome, confident, and seems to develop a habit of rescuing her, but Kate is in town only until her grandmother recuperates from a stroke. She's not planning to fall in love with one of the locals.

Nick Sheridan is a reformed veteran of life in the fast lane, a new Christian, and a travel writer. When he sees a car dangling on the edge of a cliff, the daredevil in him jumps into action. He doesn't expect to be swept off his feet by the car's occupant. He's made a vow: no dating for a year. And it's a vow he intends to keep in spite of his attraction to Kate Darby...