Thursday, March 31, 2016

Giveaway! Keeping Kate by Lauren Winder Farnsworth in the Fool for Books Giveaway Hop

For this hop I'm giving away my review copy of Keeping Kate by Lauren Winder Farnsworth, which was an interesting twist on Jane Eyre. I rated it 4 stars, you can read my review here!


Orphan Kate Evans is determined to make a life for herself on a Utah ranch, taking care of a little girl named Addie. But when she meets her irritable employer, Kate is forced to confront the past she's been running from—and face a future she never dreamed possible. This latter-day twist on the classic Jane Eyre is a romantic and gripping read.

Review: Rocky Mountain Reunion by Tina Radcliffe

Heidi Reads... Rocky Mountain Reunion by Tina Radcliffe

My rating: 3 stars / I liked it


A Second Chance at Forever 

Nurse Anne Matson's structured life derails when a familiar patient enters her ER—the ex-husband she left ten years ago. Matthew Clark is the last person she expects to see in Paradise, Colorado, especially with a nine-year-old daughter. The single dad is running the town's biggest expansion project, but one thing stands in his way—Anne's Victorian home. When his daughter falls ill, and Anne volunteers to help with her care, Matt recognizes he's never stopped loving the spirited beauty. But how can he get her back when he plans to take all she has left…or can Anne see she has everything to gain—the family she's been denied?

My Review

There are several conflicts of interest in the recently reunited lives of Anne and Matthew. They are trying to help one another while staying at arms length, and ignoring the elephant in the room- the inevitable destruction of Anne's home at the hands of Matthew's company. There is tension throughout the book, which made the characters seem rigid and unable to relax. I felt more about the dilemmas they faced than their romance, and didn't see how on earth it would be resolved... until Anne's geriatric aunt steps up to the plate and brings about a miraculously satisfying happy ending :)

(Thank you to the author for a copy of the book; this is my honest review)

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Review: I'll Be Yours by Jenny B. Jones

Heidi Reads... I'll Be Yours by Jenny B. Jones

My rating: 4 stars / I really liked it


She's the coach's brilliant daughter, clueless about love.
He's the dethroned football star, ready to teach Romance 101.
When dark secrets and sparks collide, there's no playbook for what happens next.

If life were a nerd parade, sixteen-year-old Harper O'Malley would be its grand marshal. This trumpet player's got a laundry list of accomplishments to her credit, but none of them include snagging a boyfriend. When a new guy finally catches Harper's eye, she'll stop at nothing to win his heart, even if it means asking for assistance from an unlikely source.

High school senior Ridley Estes's future depends on playing football for the University of Southern Kentucky. When his past catches up with him, Ridley will need more than just a scholarship to get his ticket to college. He needs the kind of help only a brainiac like Harper can provide.

Harper knows she's insane to agree to tutor Ridley in exchange for love lessons, but these are desperate times. Just when she sees promise with her crush, a national scandal rocks the SEC, and no one is safe from the fallout. Harper's family implodes from the aftershocks, dredging up devastating memories she'd rather keep buried.

Harper suddenly has everything to lose--her family, friends, and even her heart. Who can she trust? When the dust of the scandal settles, nothing will be the same. Including the girl who asked the most popular jock to teach her about love.

Award-winning author Jenny B. Jones returns to YA with a sweet, funny novel about first love and the power of letting go.

My Review

I don't read as much YA as I used to, but there are a few authors whose new books I don't miss, and this one one of them. I love the first person POV of Harper, who is completely overwhelmed by the circumstances of her family life. I thought her character's background of being a foster child adopted into her family as an older child was so interesting, and it explained how vulnerable she is and how that insecurity manifests itself. She definitely is a study in contrasts since she does have a confident persona, especially when standing up for her family and friends... and rescuing random abused dogs and animals. The unusual mannerisms and details of Harper made me completely immersed in the book. The slow revelation that Ridley is not as he seems was brilliant and shifted the dynamics of their friendship throughout the story. They challenged and supported each other in facing fears and overcoming struggles, but it is their fragile hearts that have the biggest obstacle to overcome- trust.

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

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Review: Back in the Saddle by Ruth Logan Herne

Heidi Reads... Back in the Saddle by Ruth Logan Herne

My rating: 4 stars / I really liked it


It’s been a long time since Colt Stafford shrugged off his cowboy legacy for shiny Manhattan loafers and a promising career on Wall Street. But when stock market manipulations leave him financially strapped, the oldest son of legendary rancher Sam Stafford decides to return to the sprawling Double S ranch in Gray’s Glen, Washington. He’s broke, but not broken, and it’s time to check in with his ailing father, and get his legs back under him by climbing into the saddle again.

He doesn’t expect to come home to a stranger pointing a loaded gun at his chest— a tough yet beautiful woman that Sam hired as the house manager. Colt senses there’s more to Angelina Morales than meets the eye and he’s determined to find out what she’s hiding...and why.

Colt’s return brings new challenges. Younger brother Nick has been Sam’s right-hand man at the ranch for years and isn’t thrilled at having Colt insert himself into Double S affairs. And the ranch’s contentious relationship with the citizens of Gray’s Glen asks all the Stafford men to examine their hearts about what it truly means to be a neighbor.  And as Wall Street recovers, will Colt succumb to the call of the financial district’s wealth and power—or finally the courage to stay in the saddle for good?

My Review

I've always enjoyed the stories of Ruth Logan Herne. She has a certain way of writing her characters that make me feel like it's easy to get to know them. I absolutely loved the setting of the ranch amid the mountains of the Pacific Northwest. It gave a great foundation of peace and beauty for the conflicts and hard work Colt and Angelina endure.The family relationships are shifting throughout the novel as the family transitions and adjusts to changing circumstances. Angelina plays a role in the family that goes much deeper than housekeeper and cook, which makes her hesitate to return to her former life. The older cowboys that work on the ranch also help Colt find his footing in the new dynamics of the ranch and provide stability. I liked the theme of redemption as Colt's father Sam tries to run his ranch and interact with the community is a way that reflects the values of his new faith.

(Thank you to Waterbrook Multnomah and Litfuse Publicity for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review)

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Hoppy Easter Giveaway Hop!

Happy Easter! This is one of my favorite holidays. It reminds me of the gift of the Atonement and resurrection from our Savior Jesus Christ, and it gives me hope that I will be reunited with my loved ones who have passed on, especially my dad who I miss more than I can say. 

Enter below for a chance to win a copy of The Daughter of Highland Hall by Carrie Turansky! I rated this book 4 stars- I really liked it- and you can read my review here.

Eighteen-year-old Katherine Ramsey travels to London with her family to make her debut into society and hopefully find her future husband. Her overbearing aunt insists she must secure a proposal from a wealthy young man who is in line to inherit his father’s title and estate. But Katherine questions her aunt’s plans when she gets to know Jonathan Foster, a handsome medical student and strong Christian who is determined to protect the poor and vulnerable in London’s East End. When a family scandal puts a damper on Katherine’s hopes for the season, she has time to volunteer with Jonathan, caring for children in one of London’s poorest areas, and romance blossoms. Katherine’s faith grows and she begins to envision a different future with Jonathan. But when Katherine’s work in the East End puts her in danger, Jonathan distances himself from Katherine to protect her. A wealthy suitor reappears, and Katherine must choose which path to follow.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Review & Kindle Fire Giveaway: The Imposter by Suzanne Woods Fisher

Heidi Reads... The Imposter by Suzanne Woods Fisher

My rating: 5 stars / It was amazing


Katrina Stoltzfus thought she had life and love all figured out: she was going to marry John and live happily ever after. Those plans started to crumble when her father moved the family to Stoney Ridge, then completely collapsed when John decided to marry someone else. Katrina is devastated. How could she have felt so loved, yet been so deceived?

As she struggles to face a future without him, a widow asks for her help to start a new business and Katrina quickly agrees. She needs time to heal her broken heart, to untangle her messy life, to find a purpose. What she doesn't need is attention from Andy Miller, a farm hand who arrives at the widow's farm just when help is most needed--and who always seems to say the right thing, and be in the right place, at the right time. Is Andy for real, or too good to be true? Deceived once before, Katrina is determined to keep her feelings in check.

When a cascade of events is set in motion by some surprising information, the little Amish church is turned upside down. Soon, everyone has a stake in the outcome, and the community struggles to find the best response to an imposter in their midst. Can they forgive even the most deceitful deeds?

My Review

I think I've finally recognized why Suzanne Woods Fisher is my favorite author of Amish fiction. She focuses on family relationships, her characters are realistically flawed, and despite the imperfections and conflict they experience, there is an undercurrent of hope and a message of peace found in submitting to God. All these elements are woven together so seamlessly in The Imposter. It is not obvious who in the small Amish community fit the title, and by the end of the story there are some unexpected outcomes.

My favorite character was Katrina's father, David. As the minister he has a grounded perspective on Amish life, and a special compassion and concern for the members of the church. He struggles with the changes the new bishop is implementing, but receives support from an unlikely source in the bishop's sister Birdy. She is another favorite with her cheerful and thoughtful personality full of hidden depths.

We get to know the children of David's family and several members of the community, but I never felt overwhelmed. Each character in the cast moved the story forward in a lovely balance of various points of view. While the book wrapped up nicely, there are continuing story lines that will draw us in to the next book in the series, The Quieting. I already can't wait to read it!

(Thank you to Revell Publishing and Celebrate Lit Publicity for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review)

About the Author

Suzanne Woods Fisher is an award-winning, bestselling author whose most recent novels include Anna’s Crossing and The Inn at Eagle Hill series, as well as nonfiction books about the Amish, including Amish Peace and The Heart of the Amish. She lives in California. Learn more at and follow Suzanne on Twitter @suzannewfisher.


Suzanne is graciously giving away a Kindle Fire 7! Click below to enter!

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Spring Cleaning Giveaway Hop!


The road to true love never did run smooth, but a few bumps along the way make it all the more thrilling. This timeless truth is showcased in Three Little Words, a charming compilation of short stories written by a trio of popular LDS romance novelists. Readers are invited to follow the journeys of three young women as they encounter love where they least expect it.

Rescuing Bailey by Jennie Hansen
For as long as she can remember, Bailey has loved the boy next door. But despite her feelings, his schedule and his little brother keep getting in the way. Will her childhood crush finally blossom into something real, or will she discover that true love is waiting just around the corner?

Three Little Words by K.C. Grant
The bet is simple: Elizabeth, a speech therapist, has three days to teach a country bumpkin with a drawl as thick as molasses how to speak like a gentleman. But as she gets to know her charming student, it soon becomes clear that there may be more to him than meets the ear.

A Crying Shame by Aubrey Mace
Cassidy is in love with the idea of love, though after her most recent breakup, the possibility of finding Mr. Right seems hopeless. But when she meets a handsome classmate in her painting class, she may end up learning more about chemistry than about art.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Review: If We Were a Movie by Kelly Oram

Heidi Reads... If We Were a Movie by Kelly Oram

My rating: 4 stars / I really liked it


Music meets Movies in this sweet college romance from the bestselling author of Cinder & Ella. NYU freshman Nate Anderson is a triplet who is desperate to escape his wild and crazy brothers. After they screw things up for him one too many times, Nate flees his housing situation and takes the first available room for rent as far from his brothers as he can get. Enter his new roommate Jordan--a quirky LA girl who believes that everything in life has already been done in the movies. In this heartfelt tale of love, friendship and family, Nate learns how to deal with his new adult life using Hollywood films as a guide.

My Review

I didn't realize for the first couple pages the first person POV was a male... which made me laugh when I got confused enough to figure it out. Nate has plenty of the typical guy in him- he appreciates good-looking girls and likes goofing off with his brothers- but he stands out with his compassion for the feelings of others and his passion for music. His girlfriend Sophie is cast as the villain of the story, but I thought she came off pretty obvious and two-dimensional. It didn't reflect well on Nate that he was still with her, but as he encounters Jordan with the help of the matchmaker Pearl, he redeems himself by recognizing and treasuring her individuality and kindness. I loved their friendship with the banter, film references, and unconditional support. The gay sidekick was a character I could have done without- I found him annoyingly stereotypical of a tired trend. Nate's shifting relationship with his brothers on the other hand had depth and really showed some of the difficulties of growing up and choosing something different than what your loved ones preferred; trying to balance being true to yourself with family love and loyalty. While reading, the story played in my head just like a movie, and I thinks it's fitting of the title and theme that it would easily translate to the big screen.

(Thank you to the author for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review)
What readers just like you are saying about If We Were a Movie...

"WOW! This book is great! The concept is so inventive, and the writing is brilliant."

"I thought Cinder & Ella jerked with my emotions too much but this one might have it beat."

"I finished reading If We Were a Movie yesterday. I loved it! I fell hard for Nate. Jordan was amazing! And Pearl's timing was perfect! "

"Amazing concept with movies as chapters, and fantastic storyline."

 "I loved this story and was humming along to the songs from the book whilst reading. I can see this book becoming the movie it was written to be."

"If We Were a Movie made me want to binge watch movies, listen to old playlists and re-read it all at once."

“So this is what a Pearl-approved guy looks like.” She shook her head once and cracked a smile. “She’s got good taste, I’ll give her that. You’re an odd mix of sexy and adorable. Don’t see that often.”
I was a little taken aback by the compliment, if that’s even what it was. She may have just been stating what she considered to be fact. She laughed at my surprise and held out her hand to me. “Nice to meet you. I’m Jordan Kramer.”
I’d been afraid of that. “You’re a girl.”
Jordan laughed. “That’s what it says on my birth certificate, but I’m really glad you were able to figure it out without needing to read it.”
Nope. I definitely didn’t need that.

I handed Jordan the electric guitar that I’ve had since I was twelve, and laughed when her eyes got really big. “You play the electric guitar, too?” “Music major,” I teased, picking up my keyboard. “I play this, too. A little. And the bass guitar.” “Awesome.” She examined the electric guitar with awe. “Why do you seem so surprised?” She looked at me as if the answer to that question should be obvious. “Hello. Have you met yourself? You with an acoustic guitar singing soft songs around a campfire or in a coffee house makes perfect sense. But I can’t picture you up on a stage, jamming on your electric guitar like a rock star.” She studied me a moment, then shook her head. “You’ll have to play for me, or I’m not going to believe it.”
Kelly OramAbout the Author

Kelly Oram wrote her first novel at age fifteen--a fan fiction about her favorite music group, The Backstreet Boys, for which her family and friends still tease her. She's obsessed with reading, talks way too much, and likes to eat frosting by the spoonful. She lives outside of Phoenix, Arizona with her husband, four children, and her cat, Mr. Darcy.
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Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Review: Change of Heart by Courtney Walsh

Heidi Reads... Change of Heart by Courtney Walsh

My rating: 5 stars / It was amazing


A Colorado senator’s wife, Evelyn Brandt seems to have it all. But her carefully constructed life comes toppling down when the FBI crashes her society brunch with news that her husband has been arrested for embezzlement, and he’s far from repentant. It turns out this was only the start of his indiscretions―for which he has little regret.

As the weeks following the scandal turn into months, Evelyn withdraws, even shirking her duties with the philanthropic Valentine Volunteers. The inquisitive women of the group are determined not to let Evelyn’s divorce destroy her. They have big plans for her to use her long-forgotten artistic talent to reimagine the city’s iconic lamppost hearts. But doing so will force Evelyn to work closely with Trevor Whitney, her ex-husband’s former best friend. Though she and Trevor used to be close―and he’s been letting her hide in his guesthouse―his gruffness conveys his unease with the situation.

Amid the beauty of Trevor’s farm and the comfort of a paintbrush, Evelyn starts to reclaim the dreams she sacrificed to become the perfect politician’s wife. And as creativity inspires them both, Whit begins to see the girl he fell in love with before his friend―and his own mistakes―stole his chance. Possibilities for a new beginning emerge, but long-kept secrets threaten to ruin everything. After so much time, is a change of heart too much to hope for?

My Review

I was hooked to this story from the start. Evie and Trevor are written in a way that just draws you in, and I was totally invested in their outcome. Unrequited love has such a potential for passion and angst, which was fully tapped without crossing the line into melodramatic. I loved the themes of rediscovering your dreams and reinventing yourself as Evie realized that it was time for her to focus on herself and not her self-absorbed husband. The ladies that befriend her in her time of need each have their own quirks but provide support and help as Evie gets her feet back under her. I also enjoyed Trevor's aunt who gardens on his farm and gives him a little push when he needs it. It was quite the journey as Evie and Trevor's relationship ebbs and flows, shifts and changes, but always moving toward something special.

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