Showing posts with label review. Show all posts
Showing posts with label review. Show all posts

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Review: The Crossing at Cypress Creek by Pam Hillman


https://amzn.to/2IMRhxL

My rating: 4 stars / I really liked it

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Synopsis

Sailing and soldiering around the world has taken Caleb O’Shea far from his native Ireland, so he never imagined that a promise to see a fellow crewman safely home would practically land him on his brother’s doorstep. After spending years away from his family, Caleb isn’t certain what kind of reception he will receive when he steps foot in Natchez, Mississippi. The one thing he knows for sure is that he won’t stay long.

Since her sister was kidnapped by river pirates six months ago, Alanah Adams has taken special care to avoid drawing attention to herself. Those living in the rough-and-tumble settlement of Cypress Creek might even think she’s addled. But when she stumbles into Caleb and his friends in Natchez, she appears to be the picture-perfect lady.

Caleb only catches glimpses of the mysterious and beautiful Alanah before she disappears. But a chance encounter with her at his brother’s logging camp near Cypress Creek leaves him uncomfortable at the thought of the young woman traversing the dangerous area alone. At a crossroads in his life, Caleb must decide whether he wants to give up the worldly adventures he’s been seeking for one closer to home.


My Review

I loved that we got to see Caleb's story and discover where he went after leaving his brothers in Ireland. He's had a life of turmoil, but he's thrived in the treacherous environment on the seas. He appears in Natchez at the perfect time to assist his family defeat the river pirates that are plaguing the communities. I loved Alanah's grit as she carves out a life for herself in Cypress Creek foraging for medicinal herbs and apprenticing to the local healer. It would be hard for me to live in such a dangerous area, but Alanah is at home there, even as she grieves her sister's kidnapping. Caleb shows her that not all men are evil, but there are those out there that respect women, and he is one of them. The author shares so many great historical details of the setting, including logging and transportation on the river. Quinn (the brother from the second book) is pretty stubborn and has a hard time with Caleb's appearance, but Caleb has a hard time with him too. It was good to see them clear the air and slowly rebuild their relationship. I enjoyed this last installment in the Natchez Trace series!

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


Monday, June 17, 2019

Review: Flirting With First by Sophia Summers, Heather B. Moore, Rebecca Connolly


https://amzn.to/2RgsExb

My rating: 4 stars / I really liked it

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Synopsis

Trista’s movie star status keeps her from the one guy she’s ever really wanted—professional baseball player, Ryker Stone.

Ryker Stone, one of the famed Belltown Six Pack loves what no one else notices in Trista McKinney. But when co-star and heart throb, Trevor Dayton, starts a social media campaign, competing for her attention, and Ryker’s baseball schedule and pressures amp up, Ryker lays it all on the line to win her over forever.

Trista McKinney doesn’t need winning. She’s been Ryker’s from the very beginning, but her movie’s production schedule and her dreams of one day winning an Oscar make it almost impossible for things to progress between the two.

With feelings high, both of their careers in the balance, can Trista and Ryker find a path to professional success without losing what they’ve found in each other?

My Review

It was so fun to see the continuation of a meeting that happened between two people in one of the previous Belltown books! Ryker fills in for Cole when he decides to ditch the famous actress his agent set him up with, and Ryker's friendship with Trista moves to the next level in this book. It was interesting to see Trista's insecurities and secret passion for math that makes acting and modeling just another job for her. Ryker is a good friend to her, but he's trying to play it cool so that she'll stay interested in him. I love the perspective of the guys and realizing how differently they think and perceive things. I enjoyed the personal side of their relationship, but the media side of their lives was not only frustrating and exhausting to them, it was to me as a reader. But that really drove the conflict and the plot, so I kept reading and appreciated the way Ryker and Trista handled the hype and obstacles along the way as they grew closer together. The dynamic of the Belltown Sixpack was as always a highlight of the book for me, it really makes this series stand out!

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



Welcome to Belltown! Six baseball players meet in the college town of Belltown, Massachusetts, becoming best friends, their lives intertwining as they each get called up to the Major Leagues.


https://amzn.to/2EEdT2m

Follow Sawyer, Cole, Axel, David, Ryker, and Levi in these six swoony sports romances.

Belltown Six Pack Series:
 

Hitching the Pitcher
Falling for Centerfield
Charming the Shortstop
Snatching the Catcher
Flirting with First
Kissing on Third







Review: B is for Barista by Brenna Jacobs


https://amzn.to/2IhPNwf

My rating: 4 stars / I really liked it

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Synopsis

Ivy Morehouse loves her hourly-wage job at the funky punk-rock-themed Velvet Undergrounds coffee house. Bentley Hollis grew up in a wealthy family and has a Harvard business degree. The only thing they have in common is an appreciation for ironic branding and great pastry.

When Bentley shows up at the Velvet Undergrounds as an employee, Ivy’s certain he’s just another overconfident, rich, handsome jerk—a type she’s unfortunately familiar with. And he’s clearly keeping a secret. Why else would he be working in a coffee shop? But as she overcomes her first impressions, will they both learn that they could be the perfect blend?

My Review

This story is pretty cute! The coffeehouse setting is fun as well as Bentley's secret identity. I found his vulnerability and self-consciousness in Velvet Undergrounds surprising since he's at home in the much more intimidating setting of a corporate boardroom. Ivy really catches him off guard and makes him curious about what makes her tick. The chemistry wasn't all there for me, but I enjoyed their interactions and the anticipation of what would happen when his identity was revealed. The mannerisms of the characters really brought them to life. I'm excited for more from this promising series!

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



Don't miss the novella that kicks off the series and the first book, A is for Author . . .

https://amzn.to/2Wg6Lj2

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Synopsis

Can he persuade her to see him as something more than just her best friend?

Allie Carmichael is dating the wrong kind of man. To help Allie out of her dating rut, Allie’s sister, Cassie, challenges her to date 26 new men, all that have 26 different careers—one for every letter of the alphabet.

When Eric’s neighbor, Allie, asks him for help with her new dating challenge, he’s reluctant to get involved. Mostly because he’d really like Allie to fall in love with him. She’s determined to finish out her dating challenge, but he’s a veterinarian. And V is at the end of the alphabet.

Can Eric persuade Allie to abandon the list and see him as something more than just her best friend?

(Previously titled The ABC's of Dating) 

https://amzn.to/2TpCJwa


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Synopsis

He’s the guy she loves to hate.
 
Emma Lindsor writes beautiful books adored by literary critics, even if readers don’t exactly line up for them. Aidan Maxwell writes heart-pounding thrillers with explosions and car chases. And thanks to his handsome face, readers line up for blocks to buy his novels.

Aidan Maxwell stands for everything Emma loathes, and when professional circumstances throw them together, sparks fly—angry ones. But as their paths keep crossing, will they see past their own hardwired ideas to star in a love story all their own?






Thursday, June 13, 2019

Review & Giveaway: Tate by Susan May Warren


 

Welcome to the Blog + Review Tour & Giveaway for Tate, the second book of The Montana Marshalls series by Susan May Warren, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

ABOUT THE BOOK

https://amzn.to/2WJiL0Y Title: Tate 
Series: The Montana Marshalls, Book 2 
Author: Susan May Warren 
Publisher: SDG Publishing 
Release Date: July 9, 2019  
Genre: Christian Romantic Suspense

What will it cost this bodyguard to save the woman he loves?

Bodyguard, Tate Marshall, has always been the family troublemaker. Maybe it’s his impulsive propensity to get into the middle of problems that don’t belong to him. But once in, he can’t stop himself from trying to solve them and that includes his recent dilemma. He’s in love with the woman he’s supposed to protect, the beautiful Gloria, “Glo” Jackson, daughter of US Senator and presidential hopeful Reba Jackson. A member of the country band, the Yankee Belles, Glo was targeted in a recent terrorist attack designed to deter her mother from running.

Glo is as stubborn as her mother, and Glo isn’t about to hide from threats, at least the kind that won’t cost her heart. Because she’s already paid a terrible price for the war on terror, and she can’t let herself love a man who might die, especially because of her.

As the campaign heats up and the threats deepen, so does the attraction between Tate and Glo. But when they’re discovered, and Tate is fired, what will he do to protect the woman he loves?

And what will Glo do to keep from losing another man to the costs of war?

The gripping second installment of the Marshall Family series.


Knox & Tate Sale_JR_1

  MY REVIEW

My rating: 5 stars / It was amazing

Another amazing story in the Montana Marshalls series! The previous book Knox provided a great lead in to the suspenseful plot as well as introducing readers to both Tate and Glo, but only hinting at the things they have gone through, increasing curiosity and anticipation for this book. I loved the strong yet vulnerable personalities of Tate and Glo, and the chemistry and attraction they share. I've been interested in the Marshall siblings since reading Reuben's story in the third Montana Fire book, Burnin' For You. The brothers and sister have a strong family bond, but also some drama in their history and it's been great to get to know the dynamic they share and look forward to more being revealed with each book. The siblings are finding their own way in life, but have a haven in the family ranch where their mother keeps the homefire burning. The swift pace and exciting action kept me glued to the pages and the angst between Tate and Glo as they figure out their relationship was heartwrenching. Highly recommend to fans of contemporary romance and suspense! 

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

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

 

Susan May Warren is the USA Today bestselling, Christy and RITA award-winning novelist of over sixty-five novels. An eight-time Christy award finalist, a three-time RITA Finalist, she’s also a multi-winner of the Inspirational Readers Choice award, and the ACFW Carol Award.

A seasoned women’s events speaker, she’s a popular writing teacher at conferences around the nation and the author of the beginning writer’s workbook: The Story Equation.

She is also the founder of MyBookTherapy.com, and Novel.Academy, a school for aspiring novelists.

CONNECT WITH SUSAN: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

TOUR GIVEAWAY


(1) winner will receive a signed copy of Knox & Tate, plus 2 CDs - Kelsea Ballerini (Unapologetically) and Brett Young (Ticket to LA)

Be sure to check out each stop on the tour for more chances to win. Full tour schedule shown below. Giveaway will begin at midnight June 10, 2019 and last through 11:59 PM EST on June 17, 2019. US only. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize.

 Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.


 
Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!
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*NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.





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?



Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Review & Giveaway: The Heart of a Vicar by Sarah M. Eden




https://amzn.to/2WqF0sa

My rating: 5 stars / It was amazing

http://www.amazon.comhttp://www.amazon.comhttp://www.barnesandnoble.comhttps://deseretbook.com/p/the-heart-of-a-vicar?variant_id=177876-paperbackhttp://www.goodreads.com

Synopsis

Young love is all too fleeting, as Harold Jonquil painfully discovered years ago when Sarah Sarvol, the niece of a neighboring landowner, captured his heart. After an idyllic few weeks in the throes of blossoming love, reality intervened. They could have no future. Following their disastrous parting, Harold attempted to push aside thoughts of love and regret, but Sarah has never left his heart. Now, years later, he has achieved his lifelong aspiration of becoming the local vicar. However, the role proves more difficult than he imagined. He feels hollow and uninspired—until the most important person in his past returns, challenging him as no one ever has.

When Sarah’s ailing uncle summons her back to the family estate in England, there is only one person from her past she is reluctant to see again: Harold Jonquil, the only man who has ever claimed her heart. But when she comes face-to-face with her former beau, she hardly recognizes the aloof and dull man before her. She is determined to help Harold rediscover the passion he once felt toward his chosen profession. Soon, despite their exasperation with each other, they cannot deny the stirring of feelings long buried—but is it too late for second chances?


My Review

Oh my heart! I have a new favorite Jonquil brother! Harry has been portrayed as rather sanctimonious in the previous books in the series, so it was a revelation to see his true character, why he had acted that way (it was just an act) and what his hidden vulnerabilities and struggles are. The author made him so likeable and brought him to life with the fun and supportive relationship he has with his housekeeper, his need for his mother's affection, and his secret pastime that keeps him in better shape than most of his brothers. I absolutely loved reading about his transformation thanks to Sarah's reappearance in his life and her challenge that has him examining what the role of a vicar really is. Sarah is American (though she considers England home) and has an informality about her that is endearing and brings out the best in Harry. I appreciated that she didn't hold on to the bitterness of rejection, but rather rekindled the genuine friendship that brought her and Harry together in the first place. The Jonquils face their share of trials and it was a joy to experience more with Phillip, Sorrel, Layton, Stanley, and the others. The author skillfully wove their lives together with the plot of Harry finding his footing as a brother and compassionate spiritual leader in the family and community. Highly recommend!!!

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

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Monday, June 3, 2019

Review & Giveaway: The Printed Letter Bookshop by Katherine Reay


https://amzn.to/2XnO7GB

My rating: 4 stars / I really liked it

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

Synopsis

Love, friendship, and family find a home at the Printed Letter Bookshop

One of Madeline Cullen’s happiest childhood memories is of working with her Aunt Maddie in the quaint and cozy Printed Letter Bookshop. But by the time Madeline inherits the shop nearly twenty years later, family troubles and her own bitter losses have hardened Madeline’s heart toward her once-treasured aunt—and the now struggling bookshop left in her care.

While Madeline intends to sell the shop as quickly as possible, the Printed Letter’s two employees have other ideas. Reeling from a recent divorce, Janet finds sanctuary within the books and within the decadent window displays she creates. Claire, though quieter than the acerbic Janet, feels equally drawn to the daily rhythms of the shop and its loyal clientele, finding a renewed purpose within its walls. When Madeline’s professional life takes an unexpected turn, and when a handsome gardener upends all her preconceived notions, she questions her plans and her heart. She begins to envision a new path for herself and for her aunt’s beloved shop—provided the women’s best combined efforts are not too little, too late.

The Printed Letter Bookshop is a captivating story of good books, a testament to the beauty of new beginnings, and a sweet reminder of the power of friendship.


My Review

I can't think of a cozier setting than a bookshop! The Printed Letter Bookshop is a beloved community haven just outside Chicago, and the person who makes it that way, Aunt Maddie, has just died at the beginning of the book- it opens with her funeral. Even though she is not alive during the story, she is very much a presence and influence throughout, thanks to Claire, Janet, Madeline, and several others whose lives were touched by her. I always enjoy this author's lovely manner of using words as she brings her characters and setting to life, they are both grounding and lifting. The way the details of the lives of these three women- four, including Maddie- were slowly revealed peaked my curiosity and kept me interested in their struggles and successes, even though romance was not a main focus of the plot. It was more about the relationships they had with Maddie, each other, and themselves, becoming self-aware and changing as they realized the direction they want their lives to take. The literary references are fun and I wish the bookshop was a real place I could visit!

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


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