Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Review: On the Shores of Tregalwen by Deborah M. Hathaway


Heidi Reads... On the Shores of Tregalwen by Deborah M. Hathaway

My rating: 4 stars / I really liked it

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Synopsis

A Clean, Regency Romance Novella

When her estranged mother beckons her to London, Hannah Summerfield has no choice but to answer her call. Forced to leave behind her peaceful life in Cornwall, she bids farewell to the seaside, her grandparents—and her childhood sweetheart, Thomas. She becomes subdued at once by Society’s rigid rules and her mother’s censure, and when Thomas’s letters unexplainedly stop, she is left to wonder if she ought to embrace her new life in Town after all. But when her mother pressures her to accept an unwanted proposal, Hannah cannot help but flee to the one place she has ever called home—to the only boy she has ever loved.

After three years apart, Thomas Causey has all but given up hope of Hannah ever returning to Cornwall, fearing she has fallen in love with another. But when she appears on his doorstep, soaked through with rain and covered in mud, he allows himself to long once more for a future with the woman he still loves.

However, Thomas quickly realizes that Hannah is not who she was before. She has left London for a reason—a reason he cannot uncover. He longs for the truth they once so easily shared, but Hannah must first find the courage to rediscover herself—and what her heart truly desires.


My Review

This is a sweet romance without much conflict, but it was still a pleasure to read as Hannah follows her impetuous desire to visit Cornwall and leaves her manipulative mother and London society behind. Thomas and Hannah's renewed friendship turned to romance rather quickly, and I would have enjoyed more of them getting to know each other again. It works well as a novella though, and inspired me add Cornwall to my travel bucket list!

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


Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Review: The Ultimate Bachelor Challenge by Annette Lyon


Heidi Reads... The Ultimate Bachelor Challenge by Annette Lyon

My rating: 3 stars / I liked it

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Synopsis

Two singles alone on Valentines Day: one is newly dumped, and the other has something to prove.


When Sam’s long-time boyfriend, Steve, texts that he has something important to ask her on Valentine’s Day, she’s sure that he’s going to propose. Determined to look great for the big day, she hits the all-night laundromat to wash her favorite outfit. When her clothes are chugging away in a machine, Steve calls and pops a question—and not one she’d ever expected.

Reeling with shock, she’s left facing the holiday alone, unless you count the only other person at laundromat, a guy leaning against his own washer, intent on his phone, a guy named Connor. But he had his own plans for Valentines Day—and while they might involve Sam, she’s in for another unexpected situation.

(Originally published in A Timeless Romance Anthology: Valentine's Day Collection)

My Review

Super fun and cute, I really liked Samantha and Connor together as they worked together on a YouTube challenge for Connor's channel in a face-off against his rival. The author did a great job with the set-up, bringing equal parts anticipation and character development. My only issue is that it ended so abruptly! I first read this story in the novella collection it was originally published in, and I remember being let down then by the chopped off ending. I was hoping that the author would develop the story more and finish the Ultimate Bachelor Challenge with Sam and Connor like other authors have done when releasing their novella as a single, but no luck. I would have loved to see more of their romance and the way they would take down Trevor and win the challenge.

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


Review: The Flight of a Butterfly by Rachel Ward


Heidi Reads... The Flight of a Butterfly by Rachel Ward

My rating: 4 stars / I really liked it

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

Synopsis

Lucy Simpson just survived the worst day of her life. Rather than stick around to deal with the fallout of losing her accounting job and the betrayal of her longtime boyfriend, she makes a split-second decision to pull up roots and move to Hawaii.
 

She arrives with a suitcase, a reservation at a cheap hotel, and a whole lot of hope. Relieved to be an ocean away from her overbearing father, Lucy creates a list of experiences to help her explore what she really wants from life. Her new friends from the singles ward become her cheerleaders and help her cross items off the list one by one. As she does, she learns a little bit more about herself, about life and about love. But when a family emergency calls her home, will she be forced to choose between her old life and a new love?

My Review

I love Hawaii for the setting in a book, and this one was unique in that it showed the non-touristy part and some gritty situations that can be found in all parts of the world. It takes a lot of guts to up and move at a moment's notice, with no plans at the other end for housing or employment... either that or desperation. It's so out of character for Lucy, yet she perseveres and follows through with her new circumstances, even though it would be easier to run home. I liked learning about all the friends she made along the way, and thought it was interesting who she chose to be judgemental about; some cases were surprising. Her friendship that eventually developed into romance with Ben was my favorite part of the book, he was so patient with her. *Awesome first kiss* I appreciated that the main characters are members of the church I belong to, but was disappointed that there was little to no faith mentioned. I think it's too bad when authors avoid opportunities to share the faith of their characters which misrepresents how integral prayer and worship are in the real lives of the members of the church, as well as how we feel about God. In this book Lucy completely relied on herself instead of trusting God, and her interactions with the church were purely social. I could understand if there was a progression in her spiritual growth, but there really wasn't any, she just continued to struggle and basically ignore God. The main lesson she learned was to stop running from her problems and face her emotions.

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

About the Author


Rachel grew up reading every book she could get her hands on and spending time with her cat. At least, that was the report in every annual Christmas letter. The humiliation was enough to spur her into action, and she began writing and she never stopped. Rachel studied English at Brigham Young University-Idaho and then wrote and blogged in between the births of her six children. She currently lives in West Jordan with her family, and while she no longer has a cat, she still reads every book she can get her hands on.




Review: Healing Hearts by Sarah M. Eden






Heidi Reads... Healing Hearts by Sarah M. Eden
 
My rating: 4 stars / I really liked it

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Synopsis

Wyoming Territory, 1876

As the only doctor in the frontier town of Savage Wells, Gideon MacNamara knows his prospects for a bride are limited. The womenfolk in town are either too young, too old, or already spoken for. So, being a practical man, he decides to take advantage of the matchmaking service of the day—mail-order brides—and sends away for a woman with nursing experience.

When Miriam steps off the stagecoach in Savage Wells, she sees a bright future in front of her. But when the town—and Gideon—meets her, ready for a wedding, her excitement quickly turns to horror. Somehow Dr. MacNamara's message had gotten turned around. He didn’t want a nurse, he wanted a wife. When she refuses to marry him, she finds herself stranded in Savage Wells with some very unhappy townspeople.

But Gideon is not like the other men Miriam has met. Embarrassed by the misunderstanding, he offers her a job, and the two begin an awkward—and often humorous—dance of getting to know each other as they work to care for the people of their town. Romance blossoms between the two, but when a former medical associate of Miriam’s arrives in town, Gideon and the other townsfolk must rally around Miriam to protect her from a dangerous fate. Gideon and Miriam must decide if they are willing to risk their hearts for each other even as buried secrets are brought to light.


My Review

It was wonderful to return to the setting of the isolated Western town of Savage Wells! I quickly grew to love Miriam and Gideon, and enjoyed how they worked so well together as doctor and nurse. Miriam has major trust issues because of her past rejection from her family and the doctors that took advantage of her vulnerable circumstances. It was eye-opening to learn some of the history of asylums and made me thankful for the brave individuals who sacrificed and risked to expose the abuse. Gideon has been unlucky in love, but proves himself throughout the book that he is reliable and worthy of Miram's trust and affection. There are still several obstacles for them to overcome, especially when Miriam's secret come to light and an unwelcome visitor comes to town. I loved the loyalty the town had to Miriam and they way her new friends supported her during her trials. It was fun to have Paisley, Cade, and Hawk from the first book play significant roles in this second book, and I'm looking forward to more! (Fingers crossed) :)

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

Don't miss the first book in the Savage Wells series . . .

Heidi Reads... The Sheriffs of Savage Wells by Sarah M. Eden


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Synopsis

He's the most fearsome sheriff in the West. A force to be reckoned with. The stuff of legend.

So is she. . . . May the best sheriff win.


Paisley Bell knows the eccentric people of Savage Wells. From the absentminded shopkeeper who always thinks she's been robbed to the young man who has returned shell-shocked from the war, Paisley has compassion for them all. When the sheriff up and leaves town, Paisley steps up and assumes the responsibility, partly because she loves the work, but also because she needs the income to take care of her sick father. So when the town council decides that the position of sheriff should really go to a man, Paisley finds herself fighting to prove that she's the perfect candidate for the job, even though she wears a skirt.

Cade O'Brien is heartily sick of shooting people. In his many years as a lawman, Cade has seen his share of blood and violence. So when he answers an advertisement for a sheriff job in the sleepy town of Savage Wells, he believes he's found the peace and quiet he's always desired. But when he discovers that his biggest competition for the job is a woman, he begins to question his decisions.

Tension between the two begins to sizzle when both Cade and Paisley realize the attraction they have for each other, but when Paisley's former beau shows up in town, along with a band of bank robbers, the blossoming relationship between the two sheriffs is tested. They will have to work together to thwart the bank robbers and keep the town safe.


Review: Brunch at Bittersweet Café by Carla Laureano


Heidi Reads... Brunch at Bittersweet Café by Carla Laureano

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

Baker and pastry chef Melody Johansson has always believed in finding the positive in every situation, but seven years after she moved to Denver, she can't deny that she's stuck in a rut. One relationship after another has ended in disaster, and her classical French training is being wasted on her night job in a mediocre chain bakery. Then the charming and handsome private pilot Justin Keller lands on the doorstep of her workplace in a snowstorm, and Melody feels like it's a sign that her luck is finally turning around.

Justin is intrigued by the lively bohemian baker, but the last thing he's looking for is a relationship. His own romantic failures have proven that the demands of his job are incompatible with meaningful connections, and he's already pledged his life savings to a new business venture across the country--an island air charter in Florida with his sister and brother-in-law.

Against their better judgment, Melody and Justin find themselves drawn together by their unconventional career choices and shared love of adventure. But when an unexpected windfall provides Melody with the chance to open her dream bakery-café in Denver with her best friend, chef Rachel Bishop, she's faced with an impossible choice: stay and put down roots with the people and place she's come to call home . . . or give it all up for the man she loves.


My Review

There are several elements in this book that make it stand out. The romance is always my favorite of course, but I also appreciated the focus on all types of relationship dynamics- family, friends, and co-workers. Melody's semi-estranged mother, her two well-meaning best friends, and Justin's sister and her husband all play important roles in the story. It was interesting to see the details involved in the food industry, and all the creativity and planning it takes to open a new restaurant. The descriptions of the food and desserts are divine, and almost convinces me that I need to become a foodie ;) I really enjoyed the chemistry between Melody and Justin, especially the adventure they go on in the mountains, but throughout the book their relationship is overshadowed by the temporary nature of their time together and each of their self-doubts in romance. There is a strong theme of God's influence in our lives and Melody and Justin both have their faith challenged with the situations they find themselves in. I assumed that there would be a happy ending, but Melody and Justin both go through so much on their way there that at times I was nervous that the book wouldn't end the way I hoped! Recommend to fans of contemporary romance and Christian fiction.

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

Don't miss the first book in the Supper Club series . . .

Heidi Reads... the Saturday Night Supper Club by Carla Laureano


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Synopsis

Denver chef Rachel Bishop has accomplished everything she’s dreamed and some things she never dared hope, like winning a James Beard award and heading up her own fine-dining restaurant. But when a targeted smear campaign causes her to be pushed out of the business by her partners, she vows to do whatever it takes to get her life back … even if that means joining forces with the man who inadvertently set the disaster in motion.

Essayist Alex Kanin never imagined his pointed editorial would go viral. Ironically, his attempt to highlight the pitfalls of online criticism has the opposite effect: it revives his own flagging career by destroying that of a perfect stranger. Plagued by guilt-fueled writer’s block, Alex vows to do whatever he can to repair the damage. He just doesn’t expect his interest in the beautiful chef to turn personal.

Alex agrees to help rebuild Rachel’s tarnished image by offering his connections and his home to host an exclusive pop-up dinner party targeted to Denver’s most influential citizens: the Saturday Night Supper Club. As they work together to make the project a success, Rachel begins to realize Alex is not the unfeeling opportunist she once thought he was, and that perhaps there’s life--and love--outside the pressure-cooker of her chosen career. But can she give up her lifelong goals without losing her identity as well?


Monday, February 4, 2019

Forever Yours Event: Author Rebecca Connolly & Giveaway

 

  

 A Tip of the Cap by Rebecca Connolly  

With Cap in hand... 

Malcolm Colerain, Earl of Montgomery, needs a wife. He has four children, a peerage, and a demanding secret occupation as a member of the London League; all of which give him a fulfilling life, so a proper marriage of convenience is all he seeks. But when he meets Elizabeth Owens, things begin to change. Distance becomes difficult, convenience becomes rather inconvenient, and his exciting life as a spy turns on its head. 

 …Love comes to call... 

Beth Owens seizes the chance to marry the handsome and striking Earl of Montgomery, marriage of convenience or not. Her heart is his for the taking, and she is determined that he eventually will. But the more she learns about her husband, the more he puzzles her. He has secrets, she is well aware, but just how many and how deeply do they run? And when she finds a few secrets of her own, will they ever have a chance at love?

    


    


 


“I hope you don’t mind that I asked Mrs. Granger to introduce us, Miss Owens,” he said, somehow smiling in his tone but not with his mouth.

Beth shook her head quickly. “Not at all, my lord, I am grateful for the opportunity.”

He opened his mouth to reply, then closed it, cocking his head in confusion. “Were you, indeed?”

She nodded meekly. “Yes, my lord.” She opted not to say more, trying to remember how to be demure and polite when faced with a powerful man who could give her a desperately-needed position.

Impertinence would not be appreciated, nor would rambling. Beth tended to be inclined towards both.
Lord Montgomery propped his elbow on the arm of the sofa, hand positioned in a thoughtful pose against his face. “Tell me about yourself, Miss Owens, if you please.”

Beth straightened up, praying her hands would remain gracefully clasped in her lap. “I am from Oxfordshire, my lord, near Abingdon. My godparents sent me to finish at Mrs. Rampton’s School in Berkshire where I received an excellent education, giving me all the skills and knowledge that a competent and capable governess ought to possess. I am learned in French, German, and Latin; I have skills in penmanship, arithmetic, as well as prominent literature. I can teach deportment and manners, as well as…”

“Miss Owens,” Lord Montgomery interrupted, a deep furrow between his brows, “I don’t wish to engage you as a governess.”

Beth stared at him for a moment, then sighed heavily and let her shoulders droop a little. “No, of course, you don’t.” She was not entirely sure if she were disappointed or relieved, but she suspected it was an odd mixture of both. In truth, she would have to admit that arithmetic made her itch, and her German accent sounded as though she were ill. Her aggrieved headmistress had maintained that Beth’s skills in deportment bordered on ‘just enough to not be shocking’, so she really would have been quite hopeless.

Her reaction seemed to amuse him. “Why would you think that was why I asked Mrs. Granger for an introduction?” he queried, that sort-of smile returning to his face.

She stared at him rather blankly. “Why else would you want to meet with me, my lord?”

“That… is an excellent question,” he said slowly, his thumb grazing his jaw absently as his gaze fixed on her.

It was all she could do to not fidget under such a gaze. “Yes, sir?” she prodded, smiling nervously.

His lips quirked with an ironic tilt. “I haven’t yet decided, Miss Owens.”

Beth smiled in earnest now, laughing at the bizarre twist of their conversation. “Will you tell me when you have?”

Lord Montgomery gave a slow nod. “Most assuredly.”

    


  


 

I went into this book knowing that I was going to like it, but not thinking that I was going to love it. But I was SO into this book. I loved the characters and just had no idea where the story was going-which I loved. I love how this book really seemed to connect the previous London league books with what’s to come. There are so many questions in my head after reading this that I’m dying for the rest of this series! And to find out more about the rest of the London league! I truly think this is my most favorite of all Rebecca Connolly’s stories!!! I love it when I can laugh and cry in the same story. This has the perfect balance of all the feelings here. Seriously. I cried twice. And laughed much more. Of course. I am still in my happy place after reading that amazing book:} It was pretty near perfect:} I loved it so much. 

  
    


 

Author Rebecca Connolly 


Rebecca Connolly writes romances, both period and contemporary, because she absolutely loves a good love story. She has been creating stories since childhood, and there are home videos to prove it! She started writing them down in elementary school and has never looked back. She currently lives in the Midwest, spends every spare moment away from her day job absorbed in her writing, and is a hot cocoa addict. 

    




 


    



  

 

Giveaway Details $25 Amazon Gift Code or $25 in PayPal Cash Ends 2/25/19 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by Rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner may be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, BookBub, Instagram, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. This giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader & Clean Wholesome Romance and is sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.