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

Sunday, August 18, 2019

Review: When Mountains Sing by Stacy Monson


https://amzn.to/2KycfCi

My rating: 3 stars / I liked it

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Synopsis

When the truth cost her everything, she thought there was nothing left to lose.

Mikayla Gordon loves nothing more than sleeping under the stars, reeling in the “big one,” and long hikes in the wilderness. A medical crisis reveals a 30-year-old secret that turns everything she’s known and believed upside down, unraveling her dreams and her identity.

In search of answers, she follows a trail from Minnesota to Colorado and discovers more unwelcome secrets even as she falls in love with the majestic beauty of the Rocky Mountains, and a wilderness camp leader who shares the greatest secret of all.

Knowing her life can never go back to what it was, she must make decisions that will impact far more than just her future.


My Review

I'm torn on this book- there are things I liked about it, and things that bothered me. It was difficult for me to get involved in the story and invested in the characters at first, I think because there was a lot of mundane in the narrative. When Mikayla steals DNA from her family members for a DNA test I thought that was pretty unethical, and then her extreme over the top reaction was off-putting. I thought it was strange that she wanted answers but wouldn't listen to anything from the people who had the answers she was looking for. Once she was off on her adventure, calmed down, and got a job at the camp while she waited for someone to return to Colorado, I felt like the real character building began. I was interested in her friendship with Dawson and how he gently led her to a place where she could open up to her fears and turn to God with them. I didn't feel any romantic chemistry on her end- she seemed ambivalent about developing a long-term relationship with him because she had plans to leave. I appreciated the messages of faith and the way Mikayla enjoys her hands-on job of helping the youth fall in love with the outdoors versus writing about it for a magazine. Overall, I think with tighter content editing and more expression from Mikayla about her feelings for Dawson, this would be a fabulous book.

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


Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Review: Kissing on Third by Heather B. Moore, Rebecca Connolly, Sophia Summers


https://amzn.to/2XlRAsw

My rating: 5 stars / It was amazing

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Synopsis

His past will never go away. Hers has left deep scars. Together, maybe they can build something new.

Levi Cox carved his baseball game out of the dirt. The hard way. Bouncing between foster homes as a kid, and trying everything he could do to protect his kid brother from bullies, Levi backs down from no one and has a record to prove it. Baseball has given him a purpose and a career. A way to provide for his brother. When Levi meets Finley Gray, he finds things happening to his heart that he never thought possible. She has her own broken past, using boxing as her outlet. Yet the more Levi gets to know Finley, the more he’s convinced they belong together. Breaking through Finley’s tough exterior might be Levi’s hardest challenge ever. But he has a feeling it will be more than worth it.


My Review

The tough exteriors of both these athletes hide their vulnerabilities, but together they allow each other to explore their deeper feelings, not just of a romantic nature, but the issues they are struggling with. I appreciated how genuine Levi is with Finley, even with his charming lines- he is sincere about them. He's not a player since he's been so focused on his career and brother, which made me like him even more. He's hesitant to move too fast for Finley, but the advice of his baseball brothers help him see that he shouldn't play it too cool. I admired the determination of both of them to go after what they want. A satisfying conclusion to the Belltown Sixpack series! These books can be easily read in any order- don't miss them!

(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: Just One Kiss by Courtney Walsh


https://amzn.to/2SSepiY

My rating: 5 stars / It was amazing

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Synopsis

He broke her heart. Now, he’s back, and he’s determined to show her what they had isn’t over. . . and he can prove it with just one kiss.

Single mother Carly Collins likes predictability. However, when her son Jaden’s health is threatened, her neatly controlled world is tossed into a tailspin. Nothing is certain anymore, especially her feelings for Josh Dixon, Jaden’s father, her first love and the man responsible for shattering her heart sixteen years ago.

When Josh Dixon walked out of Harbor Pointe, he left behind his only shot at a real family. Now a successful tech mogul, the town rebel has found a cause—ensure his son’s recovery and prove to Carly and Jaden that he’s not the same guy he was back then.

Carly and Josh are forced to wade through messy emotions and questions that have gone unanswered for years, which would be easier if not for the pesky feelings, every bit as strong and impossible to ignore as they ever were.

Will forgiveness win, giving Carly and Josh a second chance at love . . . or will the past prove too much to overcome?

A small town romance about first love second chances and how our most beautiful life might look nothing like we planned.


My Review

A perfect second chance romance! A wonderful balance of character development, angst, humor, and romance. I loved the way the details of the characters were revealed little by little as the story unfolded. It provided a sense of anticipation as I read and I couldn't wait for the next little twist that propelled Carly and Josh closer together again. Their son Jaden was a strong element with not only his amiable personality and health dilemma, but his faithfulness and willingness to encourage his parents to seek a relationship with God. There is a powerful theme of forgiveness and grace, not just for others but for oneself. I always appreciate the depth in this author's stories!

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


Review: Timeless Regency Collection: A Week in Brighton by Jennifer Moore, Annette Lyon, Donna Hatch


https://amzn.to/2YFPOik

My rating: 5 stars / It was amazing

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Synopsis

Every woman dreams of love, but is a week in Brighton long enough to find happily ever after?

THE GRANDE HOTEL BY THE SEA by Jennifer Moore
After years of planning, Arthur Grande’s vision for a luxury hotel in Brighton is finally becoming a reality. But unlike the rest of the town, Daphne Dayley isn’t taken in by the newcomer’s cheerful smile or generous nature. She sees only a wealthy opportunist threatening to close her parents’ bakery. With the lease expiring in one week, the two clash in a battle of wills and wits. But they both come to discover that ambitions which had once seemed so clear may evolve when hearts are softened.

SIGNS OF LOVE by Annette Lyon
When the Hughes family vacations in Brighton, Julia goes exploring for fossils along the Undercliff path—a hobby she’s developed thanks to her curiosity in science. Instead of finding fossils, she stumbles upon Silas Hayward, a handsome wine smuggler, and one of his crew. She slips away undetected but is intrigued by Hayward and drawn to him later at a ball held at the Royal Pavilion. Her long-time friend Andrew is in love with Julia and declares his heart to her at the ball. She’s stunned and doesn’t know how to answer, but right then, Mr. Hayward conveniently takes her away to the dance floor. The distraction is brief, however; Julia quickly learns that the Hayward is far more than a harmless wine smuggler: he’s a traitor to the nation. If she can’t stop his plot with Andrew’s help, the country will fall to Napoleon.

THE RELUCTANT HEIR by Donna Hatch
Angry and grieving over his brother’s sudden death, Rowan turns his attention to finding his late brother’s long-lost love so he can personally inform her of the tragedy. One problem: he only has a lock of her hair, a miniature painting of her eye, and the name “Ann” as clues to her identity. With far-reaching dreams of being a renowned artist, Isabella has one shot at becoming one of the few women to be accepted as a student under a local art master. But when she encounters a mysterious gentleman searching for his late brother’s love, her heart tugs on her to help the lost soul. Helping him may mean sacrificing her dreams, and worse—falling in love with a man she cannot have.


My Review

I loved the seaside setting of Brighton in these sweet stories! They were each unique and drew me in quickly. The characters were compelling and I enjoyed their emotions as they interacted with each other and fell in love.

The first story, The Grande Hotel by the Sea, is an enemies to lovers story, with Arthur charming Daphne against her will. I liked how they became unlikely friends, even as she felt set adrift by the closing of her bakery thanks to his hotel. I loved the way he had to let her go in order for her to come back to him.

Signs of Love was full of intrigue and suspense, and Julia's impulsive nature leads her to discover a treacherous plot that she feels compelled to derail. Andrew is so sweet and I felt bad that he had to wait until Julia was done sleuthing before receiving an answer to his declaration of love, but the rewards of their service made it worth the wait.

I especially enjoyed The Reluctant Heir as I learned about a new snippet of history- that if someone had a secret love, they would carry a picture of just their eye so they would not be identifiable. Rowan and Isabella follow clues together to solve the mystery and they develop a lovely friendship that turns to more.

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


Review: Brentwood's Ward by Michelle Griep


https://amzn.to/2LLh0KN

My rating: 3 stars / I liked it

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Synopsis

“I suppose I can’t expect to keep you under lock and key. You’re hardly a criminal.  .  . are you?”   

It takes a criminal to catch one, and Nicholas Brentwood is just the man for the job. Reformed in more ways than one, the rough-around-the-edges Brentwood is a member of the Bow Street Runners, London’s early nineteenth-century fledgling police force. There’s none better than Brentwood at catching the felons who ravage the city’s streets, and there’s nothing he loves more than seeing justice served.  Beautiful and beguiling, Miss Emily Payne is not the sort of miscreant Brentwood usually hunts down. When he is assigned as her bodyguard, he vows to protect her from her father’s enemies, who will stop at nothing to carry out their mission fueled by greed and revenge.
       
All her life, Emily has longed for love, but it remains beyond her grasp. This season she’s determined to find a husband, which is quite the undertaking with a hound-dog guardian like Brentwood watching her every step. If he would just give her some measure of freedom, she is sure she could win the heart of society’s most eligible bachelor.

Emily’s headstrong persistence challenges Nicholas in ways he doesn’t expect but of one thing he’s certain—of all the cunning criminals he’s dealt with in the past, this time he’s met his match.

My Review

An exciting story with two characters who drive each other crazy... until they don't ;) I had a difficult time with Emily in the beginning because of her attitude, but as her past was slowly revealed, I grew to understand her a bit more. I enjoy stories set during the Regency era but delve into the lives of those not placed high in Society. It's always a little more gritty, but also interesting and eye-opening to the way of life back then.

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



Don't miss the following books in the Bow Street Runners series . . .

https://amzn.to/2SJOfPlhttps://amzn.to/2ymNja0



Friday, August 9, 2019

Review & Giveaway: A Lady's Maid by Jen Geigle Johnson



https://amzn.to/2YGSd1u

My rating: 3 stars / I liked it

http://www.amazon.comhttp://www.amazon.comhttps://deseretbook.com/p/a-lady-s-maid?variant_id=179365-paperbackhttp://www.goodreads.com

Synopsis


Molly O’Malley, lady’s maid to the progressive Lady Amanda Halloway, is determined to continue the life’s work of her lost love, killed in the Peterloo Massacre. But when her efforts and a trip to Lady Halloway’s charitable orphanage culminate in her own abduction, Molly’s eyes are opened to the horrifying crimes transpiring in the city’s slums. Despite the risks, she broadens her mission and is drawn ever closer to the peril all around them.

Thomas Flaherty, a footman in the Halloway household, has been with Molly from the beginning, but he fears she will never trust him with her heart. Even though her cause and happiness are of foremost importance to him, his loyal patience is tested by the fears that keep her at a distance. But with their safety on the line, Thomas is resolved to sacrifice everything for the woman he loves.

Risking their lives and their love, Molly and Thomas and a team of nobles on their side will stop at nothing to empower the powerless, no matter the personal cost.


My Review

There is amazing history in this book. The kind that I am so grateful for as a woman and try not to take for granted the sacrifices of those who paved the way for suffrage. I was glad to learn about the historical details that were new to me. Even though this book has a slow beginning as it introduces a bevy of characters, the action and suspense picks up the pace with quite a few dangerous situations- much of it due to Molly's naive recklessness. I had an overall feeling of anxiety and stress as I read, and had a difficult time connecting with the emotions of the main characters. The narrative is split between several characters, and I felt like it divided my focus. I thought the romantic moments between Molly and Thomas were wonderful, but the ones between Chloe and Annesley fell flat. Perhaps if I had read the preceding book, A Nobleman's Daughter, I would have been drawn in more.

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

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Thursday, August 8, 2019

Review: Wally's Misadventure by Chrys Wimer


https://amzn.to/2GU3q3u

My rating: 2 stars / It was okay

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Synopsis

Wally had been cooped up all winter and was ready for a great adventure! His chores came first, then after his father reminded him of the rules, Wally was off. The first rule was to never go exploring alone, but when none of Wally’s friends could go, he was determined to go anyway. Look inside to find out what Wally faces on his adventure!

My Review

I'm a huge fan of children's books and love collecting my favorites- current releases and those from my own childhood, especially those with remarkable illustrations. I enjoyed the forest setting of Wally's Misadventure and the variety of creatures he interacts with on his journey. 44 The overall feelings I got while reading the book were first of disappointment as Wally's friends are each too busy to play with him, and then of anxiety as he ventures into an unknown part of the forest alone and encounters some dangerous animals and situations. The narrative is a bit stilted, but the book is obviously written to be used as a teaching tool with children to open discussions of what to do in similar situations. Several elements of the digital illustrations are amateurish and distracted me from the story. I especially think the landscapes were too dark/intense and prevented the animals from standing out from the background.

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


Monday, August 5, 2019

Review: The Lady in the Coppergate Tower by Nancy Campbell Allen


https://amzn.to/2ZsME2Z

My rating: 4 stars / I really liked it

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Synopsis

Hazel Hughes has spent her life believing she is a Medium—someone who can talk to ghosts. But as of yet, that skill has remained frustratingly elusive. She is also suffering from a reoccurring childhood dream of someone who looks almost exactly like Hazel, but this dream version of herself is slowly going mad.

Sam MacInnes is a talented surgeon who runs in the highest social circles thanks to his family’s position and history. When Sam hires Hazel to assist him with his medical practice, he is immediately drawn to her intelligence, wit, and beauty.

Their potential relationship is derailed one evening when a mysterious count arrives in London and reveals to Hazel the truth about her past: she was abducted at birth and her twin sister has fallen dangerously ill.

Hazel agrees to travel to Romania with Count Petrescu in order to save her sister, and Sam insists on accompanying her. The count has secrets, though, and the journey grows more sinister with every mile that draws Hazel closer to her homeland. Even as her feelings for Sam become deeper and more complicated, she fears she might not survive the quest to save her sister with her heart intact, not to mention her life. She must learn to draw on gifts she doesn’t know she has if they are going to ever return home again.

Hazel and Sam must fight their way past dark magic, clockwork beasts, and their own insecurities as they try to reach her sister in the impenetrable Coppergate Tower before time runs out.


My Review

The author does a wonderful job drawing the reader into the world of fantasy fairy-tale retelling and steampunk with realistically grounded characters and a mystery to solve. Unrequited love that is secretly not unrequited is one of my favorite tropes and I really enjoyed the developing romance between Hazel and Sam with the tension that holds them back all the while falling more in love with each other. There is a darkness to the suspense as they follow the dubious Romanian uncle to Hazel's sister, and I was anxious to see how they would rescue her. Such creative world-building! Characters and situations from the previous two books are referred to and while I had read the second book in the series, I wish that I had read the first one also, so I would recommend reading them in order for full enjoyment. It definitely works as a standalone though.

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




Sunday, July 28, 2019

Review: This Healing Journey by Misty M. Beller


https://amzn.to/2IfJA42

My rating: 5 stars / It was amazing

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Synopsis

She’s never left her home in the mountain wilderness of the Canadian Rockies—until now. Little did she realize this journey would change her life in every way. 
 
The mountain wilderness of her family’s home in the Canadian Rockies is all Hannah Grant has ever known. Now at the age of twenty-four, she’s on a journey to help her father to find the son he gave up for adoption three decades before. This is Hannah’s chance to discover the life she’s missed out on so far—and hopefully find a husband along the way. But she certainly doesn’t plan to fall for the first man she meets.

Years in the cavalry provided Nathaniel Peak with more than his share of violence and adventure. That life behind him, he wants nothing more than to settle down in the beautiful Montana mountains and raise his own stock—in peace. The last thing he expects is the savagely wounded child who shows up in his barn. Nor the woman he comes to rely on for the girl’s care.

Hannah can’t help but fall in love with the brave Indian child who so desperately needs her, but no matter what, she can’t let herself fall for the man whose past choices go against everything she believes in. As the situation grows worse, Hannah and Nathaniel are forced to make a heart-rending decision to save the girl’s life. Little do they imagine, the choice they make could spell disaster for them all.

My Review

I was surprised and glad the author brought a new element into this final journey story as the Heart of the Mountains series concludes. The reunion of Simeon (This Treacherous Journey, Heart of the Mountains #1) with his son Reuben (The Lady and the Mountain Call, Mountain Dreams #5) is bittersweet since Reuben's adoptive parents didn't share the story of his birth with him, and his mother is suffering from dimensia. On top of that, new neighbor Nathaniel is struggling to establish his ranch and has the burden of caring for a mysterious and wounded Indian girl who cannot be moved. Hannah finds herself to be the perfect solution, finding purpose in nursing the child and helping Nathaniel. A friendship and romance naturally develop, and I appreciated how their combined efforts brought them closer together and also bonded them both to the girl in their care. Danger, adventure, and healed family relationships made this book standout among the others in the series.

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



Don't miss the other books in the Heart of the Mountains series . . .


https://amzn.to/2LLoOMmhttps://amzn.to/2LLoOMmhttps://amzn.to/2LLoOMm

https://amzn.to/2LLoOMmhttps://amzn.to/2LLoOMmhttps://amzn.to/2LLoOMm