Showing posts with label reading challenge. Show all posts
Showing posts with label reading challenge. Show all posts

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

#TFBRC One Word Title




Heidi Reads... Willowkeep by Julie Daines

My rating: 5 stars / It was amazing

http://www.amazon.comhttp://www.amazon.comhttp://www.barnesandnoble.comhttps://deseretbook.com/p/willowkeep?autocomplete=true&variant_id=135961-paperbackhttp://www.bookdepository.comhttp://www.goodreads.com

Synopsis

Charlotte Darby’s ship is sinking. Penniless and alone, she is struggling to care for herself and her young sister in the harsh seaport town of Kingston upon Hull. When a solicitor from London brings news that she is the heir to a vast estate in Kent, it seems her days of rough seas are over. Willowkeep is prosperous and grand, far too much for a shipping merchant’s daughter to manage, and she quickly comes to rely on the help of Henry Morland, the estate’s kind and handsome steward.

Henry has worked hard his entire life, but all the money he’s saved won’t be enough to get his father out of debtor’s prison. Henry’s fondness for Charlotte and her sister is only another reminder of his low status and lack of money. Though he is willing to do whatever it takes to keep Charlotte happy and looked after, as the county’s wealthiest lady, she can never be his.

Courted by a charming man of the ton, threatened by those desperate to get their hands on her money, and determined to keep her sister safe from the same fate that cost her the rest of her family, Charlotte turns to the ghost of the beheaded queen, Anne Boleyn, for help. But no matter the size of the fortune, life—and love—are never smooth sailing.


My Review

I've been on a Regency kick lately and Willowkeep totally satisfied as another great reading experience. It really stood out with the main character Charlotte being raised in a fishing village as a commoner, and the author did an excellent job portraying the difference in her upbringing, especially through her speech and expressions. Another unique aspect of the story is her care for her younger sister who has developmental disabilities. Her loyalty and compassion shine through her protectiveness of Susie. Henry's easy acceptance of both girls, but especially Susie, make him a trusted friend of Charlotte's and a source of comfort and strength in her new home and world where society can be difficult and judgemental. Charlotte's thoughts about Anne Boleyn brought a historical perspective to the story which was fascinating, usually any references to the history of the time in similar books are limited to the Napoleonic War or the current royal family. For Charlotte to feel a connection to a historical figure from before her time was fascinating. I loved Charlotte's journey from a life of physical harshness and desperation to a more emotionally and mentally trying environment. Henry identifies her as anomalous, but in a more positive way than her aunt; he finds her to be exceptional while others see her as irregular. Even with his own set of personal problems, his dedication to Charlotte and Susie's well-being is endearing and I couldn't help but wish for a happy ending for them both. I highly recommend Willowkeep to fans of Julie Klassen and Sarah  E. Ladd.

(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

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

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)




Friday, November 23, 2018

#TFBRC Black & White



Wow, there really aren't many covers in black and white out there! Luckily I found one on my Goodreads 5 star ratings list, a sweet novella that is only 99 cents! Reading my review below made me want to read the story again, and I hope you will want to also ;)

https://amzn.to/2r1MSya

My rating: 5 stars / It was amazing

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

Synopsis

1907, England
Lucien Baxter’s best and most incorrigible friend, Will, dies unexpectedly, leaving behind his new bride and unborn child the week before Christmas. Will’s last request is that Lucien watch over Cora, not just as a benefactor, but as a husband. When Lucien does his duty and proposes to Cora, he’s turned down flat. Over the course of the next twelve months, Lucien discovers that marrying Cora wouldn’t be any sort of duty after all, but a matter of following his heart.

*Note for readers: A YEAR OF LOVE was previously published in A Timeless Romance Anthology: Silver Bells Collection, as TWELVE MONTHS.


My Review

This is a perfect example of a novella that quickly draws the reader in, makes it easy to connect emotionally with the characters, builds the anticipation of what will happen next, and offers toe-curling romance with a satisfying resolution. I loved how Lucien supports Cora during her first days of mourning, and that she lets him and draws strength from him. Even though Lucien was good friends with Will, he is different from Will in all the right ways, and a true friendship naturally blossoms as he and Cora are genuine with each other. This is a story that put a smile of my face as I read and finished it :)

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




Thursday, November 22, 2018

#TFBRC Grateful



The type of story the prompt "Grateful" made me think of is second-chance love. Love in the Details by Becky Wade is the "Year of Weddings" novella set in November *and* a second chance love story, so it was perfect for my pick for today! The e-book is only $1.49, so if you haven't read it yet, get yourself a little reading treat ;)

https://amzn.to/2zoXtrE

My rating: 5 stars / It was amazing

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

Synopsis


She left him to save his future, but they’ve never gotten over each other.

When Josh returns to his hometown of Martinsburg, Texas, to help his best friend get married, he didn’t intend to run into church wedding coordinator—and ex-girlfriend—Holly. He can’t help but pine after the girl he never got over.

Holly broke up with Josh years ago in an attempt to ensure his future success. But she loved him then and still loves him now. As she helps him plan his best friend’s wedding, she can’t help but feel horrible for the pain she caused him. And even though she longs to be with Josh, she doesn’t feel worthy of his big-time lifestyle when she is more comfortable in her small town world. Will Josh and Holly be able to keep things as they are when their true feelings threaten to surface at every turn?


My Review

There's something about a hero longing for the woman he's always loved but could never have that gets me every time! Josh wasn't planning to pursue Holly but after their first encounter since years of separation he just can't help himself. The clincher is that Holly never wanted to lose him but outside forces compelled her to set him free- against both their wills, and she didn't tell him why- which seriously ups the angst factor. I love how Josh conspires to spend more time with Holly and they fall back into their friendship and banter despite the palpable undercurrents of attraction and yearning. The novella is definitely character focused and was such a pleasure to read!

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



Wednesday, November 21, 2018

#TFBRC Holidays





My rating: 5 stars / It was amazing

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

Synopsis

Come explore Regency London with Carla Kelly! This collection features four stories that will warm your heart with Christmas cheer: “The Christmas Ornament,” “Make a Joyful Noise,” “An Object of Charity,” and “The Three Kings.” Filled with romance and a touch of humor, these stories are sure to find a place in your heart and remind you that Christmas is a time for love.

My Review

Carla Kelly is one of my favorite Regency authors because of the unique perspective she offers by focusing on the lower/middle class and military instead of the more popular ton. She has a subtle and sometimes dry sense of humor that brings a lightness to the often desperate circumstances of her characters. The romance stands out because of the little details and mannerisms that make it endearing and so sweet. I loved this collection of Christmas-themed stories and will definitely be reading it again!

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

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

#TFBRC Favorite Trope




There are many tropes I enjoy, but one that I *adore* is friends-to-lovers. Truth or Dare by Julie Coulter Bellon is a great example of this, and even better... the e-book is on sale for only 99 cents  Thanksgiving week! Don't miss this extended novella that I have on my go-to re-read list ;)

https://amzn.to/2DQ5mKM

Read my 5 star review here
http://www.amazon.comhttp://www.amazon.comhttp://www.goodreads.com

Synopsis

After a year of recovery, wounded war veteran Jonah Harrison comes home for Christmas. No longer the outgoing high school track star, he just wants to be left alone, away from well-meaning friends and neighbors. But when a blizzard strands him with Kami Jackson—the girl who once knew him best—he can’t hide anything from her, no matter how much he wants to. Kami has a wounded heart of her own, though, and it might take a miracle---or at least two matchmaking dogs---for them to find the healing they both long for and the courage to reach for a chance at love.

Monday, November 19, 2018

#TFBRC First Line



"Matt Tucker could take people for only so long and then he had to get up in the mountains, all the way up where he was more likely to run into a golden eagle than a man."

Heidi Reads... Now & Forever by Mary Connealy

My rating: 5 stars / It was amazing

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

Synopsis

Matthew Tucker survives a grizzly attack by jumping over a cliff into a rushing river. Unexpectedly, Shannon Wilde takes the plunge with him. Going through a series of waterfalls and rapids turns into a bonding experience.

By the time they battle their way back to civilization, Shannon has been thoroughly compromised, and only a wedding will do. A mountain man who loves to wander in the wilderness far from other people finds himself hitched to a young woman with a passel of relatives, a homestead, and a flock of sheep to care for.

As they learn to live with each other, strange things begin to happen on Shannon’s land. Someone evil clearly wants to drive them off, but whoever it is apparently didn’t count on Tucker. Trying to scare Matthew Tucker just makes him mad–and trying to hurt the woman he’s falling in love with sets off something even Matthew never expected.