Friday, October 28, 2022

Blog Blitz, Excerpt & Giveaway: SCARS by Linda K. Rodante


Welcome to the Blog + Review Blitz for SCARS by Linda K. Rodante, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!




Title: SCARS 
Series: Spiritual Warfare #4 
Author: Linda K. Rodante 
Publisher: independently published 
Release Date: September 2022 
Genre: Contemporary Christian Romantic Suspense

He tried to leave the past behind, but it won’t leave him…

Ex-gang member Garrett Lovett is a new creature in Christ. At least, he’s trying to be. He’s got a wholesome routine, a place on the IronWorks football team, and a pretty woman he wants to know better. But when the old gang resurfaces with the ultimatum to re-up or face consequences, Garrett has tough decisions to make. These guys know how to get to him—his addictions, his fears. When things get life-threatening, Garrett must decide if this God he’s heard about is real or not.

And if so, can he rescue Garrett and those he loves before it’s too late?

PURCHASE LINKS*: Goodreads | Amazon




They rode in silence for a while and finally pulled into Howard Park. A short distance across the causeway, he parked on the far side near the water. Evening was dropping fast. Seagulls called, the wind blew cool and damp, and sea-salt smells filled the air.

After kicking off their shoes, they headed across the sun-warmed sand. When they hit the hard sand along the water’s edge, she turned and headed up the beach at a fast clip. Garrett hesitated a moment then met her stride.

They circled the small island, passing a few other late comers. He wondered if a park service employee would run them off soon. The park closed at dark, and dark was almost on them.

Ryann stopped abruptly and glared at the dark waters. So, did she want to talk anymore, or should he leave it?

A half-moon rose over their shoulders competing with the setting sun. The wash of tangerine, blue and sapphire would be gone soon fading into night. Shallow waves rushed and withdrew, their hush-hush sound background music to his thoughts.

He cleared his throat. “I keep hearing about this forgiveness stuff.”

“Yeah, me too. Only if you forgive, that doesn’t change the other person.”

Ah. There was someone she felt should change. His dad kept acting like Garrett should change, and Garrett was sure his dad should. “What if they don’t feel they need to change?”

Her laugh sounded like a bark. “That’s the thing. They don’t feel they have to. So why should I forgive?”

He was sure she should, but she was getting out of his league now. Pastor Alan or Reece could help with that question. “You should ask someone who knows this stuff.”

Ryann shook her head. The wind tossed her hair across her face, brushing her lips. He swallowed, stared over her head at the Gulf waters.


She huffed. “Maybe.”

“Someone important hurt you. Let you down. They tell me that’s the stuff you gotta deal with.”

She huffed again.

“That guy you were facing off with at the church? He’s one of those that hurt you, right?”

“Matt? Maybe.”

“Lot of maybes here.” He tilted his head, wondering if he should pry anymore. “Come on. Let’s walk.”

She turned, sent him a long look from under her lashes. “You do this often?”

“Walk at the beach? Just started since joining IronWorks. Some of the guys there come out regularly. I like it. Seems the wind blows dust from my mind.”

“Why did you join the gang?”

He said nothing, but watched the wind catch her hair, twirl it. Behind her, across the waters, the sky had turned dark violet. Warmth stirred in him that had nothing to do with physical desire, but everything to do with the pleasure he felt being with her, that she’d wanted to come, that she’d shared something of herself with him. It made her question not so intrusive, and he gave her the condensed version about his mom dying and his father’s descent into alcoholism and abuse.

She stopped. “I’m sorry about that.”

He could feel her concern. “Yeah, me too.”

“How are you and your dad now?”

“Still a long way from where it should be.”

Her chin dipped as if acknowledging that, and she started walking again. He caught up in two steps. Moonlight shimmered on the waves now. The rush and crash from their interplay creating a hypnotic effect.

Ryann wandered near the water, kicked spray into the air. A hundred lights caught the moon’s glow and winked at them—a counterpoint to her frustration.

He drew close, making sure she could hear him over the wind and waves. “So, Matt?”

She glanced his way but didn’t answer.

Okay then…

He lifted a hand to her cheek. The moonlight glinted on her hair, across her nose. Her lips pulled in, and he felt her studying him, felt her hesitation. He slipped his hand down her jaw, under her hair, to the back of her neck.

How long had it been since he’d wanted to kiss a woman, nothing more on his mind? Since he was fourteen? Sixteen? In the gang, women were objects. To be used. Yet right now all he wanted was to continue this closeness that had suddenly developed between them, to get to know her.

He pulled her gently forward, his gaze searching hers. Lowering his head, turning it, he pressed his mouth against hers, feeling its softness. She didn’t pull away. He dropped his hand down her back, let his arm draw her close, felt the length of her against him.




Linda K. Rodante is a Florida transplant now living in Tennessee. She loves sweet tea, apple butter and both the mountains and the oceans. Her work with crisis pregnancy centers and anti-trafficking groups gave her a heart for women struggling in today’s society, while still respecting the role God has given men.

She writes Christian romantic suspense novels. Her books wrap sweet romance in real-life issues women face today with an edge of mystery and suspense. She desires to entertain and encourage women in their walk with the Lord. Her books can be found on Amazon She’s a past finalist of ACFW's Genesis contest and a member of Word Weavers International.

Connect with Linda by visiting to follow her on social media or subscribe to email newsletter updates.




(1) winner will receive a signed copy of WARRIOR (Spiritual Warfare Series #1) and $25 Amazon Gift Card!

Full tour schedule linked below. The giveaway begins at midnight October 26, 2022 and will last through 11:59 PM EST on November 2, 2022. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. US only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.


Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!

JustRead Publicity Tours

Thursday, October 27, 2022

Review: Christmas Baggage by Deborah M. Hathaway

My rating: 5 stars / It was amazing


If there is one thing she has learned in England, it's that not all Englishmen are created equal.
Because this guy was turning out to be a real pill.

Tired of spending the holidays throwing up on cruises with her parents and, you know, being dumped by ex-boyfriends, Claire Frost is determined to change her luck this Christmas. Taking time off from her flower shop, she follows her friend to London, ready to enjoy all-things England. And boy, does she. The frost-covered flowers. The frozen green hills. The bright red telephone boxes. The festive Christmas markets.

Also the men. Definitely the men.

Except, of course, her friend's cousin. Liam Everhart is super attractive, super swoony, and super English. Too bad he's also a super jerk. A super jerk whom she now has to spend every minute with. What a blessed, blessed relief that his Darcy/Poldark looks are overshadowed by his Darth Vader/Malfoy personality. She had enough Christmas baggage to deal with, so why would she ever add a swoony Englishman to the mix?

This is a clean, sweet, wholesome romance set in present-day London, England that features the enemies-to-lovers and forced proximity tropes, with a guaranteed happily-ever-after.

My Review

Oh what fun! I am so excited for this series! It starts off strong with Christmas Baggage, bringing the Christmas cheer with a dose of bad first impressions and plenty of opportunities to overcome them. I appreciated that Liam and Claire are flawed, yet still likeable, especially when they allow their walls to drop and really get to know each other. It takes time for them to reconsider their first impressions, which felt realistic. The London setting is wonderful as Liam reluctantly takes Claire sightseeing, and their funny quirks begin to be endearing. Claire's bestie Melody was an interesting friend- opposite by nature, but they are loyal to each other despite their differences. With Claire's parent issues, she is the type to create her own family with those around her who don't let her down... often. It also gives her a greater tolerance for putting up with stuff. Liam has his own inner conflict with his career and grief, and I appreciated the depth their struggles brought to the story to balance out the light-hearted moments. I loved the friendship and chemistry that developed into an unexpected romance for them both!

Disclosure statement: A complimentary copy of this book was provided from a tour group, publisher, publicist, or author, including NetGalley, OR was borrowed from the library, including OverDrive, OR borrowed from Kindle Unlimited, OR purchased. A review was not required and all views and opinions expressed are unbiased and my own.

Don't miss any of the books in the Christmas Escape series . . .

Monday, October 24, 2022

Excerpt: Godmersham Park by Gill Hornby


A richly imagined novel inspired by the true story of Anne Sharp, a governess who became very close with Jane Austen and her family by the #1 International bestselling-author of Miss Austen.

On January 21, 1804, Anne Sharpe arrives at Godmersham Park in Kent to take up the position of governess. At thirty-one years old, she has no previous experience of either teaching or fine country houses. Her mother has died, and she has nowhere else to go. Anne is left with no choice. For her new charge—twelve-year-old Fanny Austen—Anne's arrival is all novelty and excitement.

The governess role is a uniquely awkward one. Anne is neither one of the servants, nor one of the family, and to balance a position between the "upstairs" and "downstairs" members of the household is a diplomatic chess game. One wrong move may result in instant dismissal. Anne knows that she must never let down her guard.

When Mr. Edward Austen's family comes to stay, Anne forms an immediate attachment to Jane. They write plays together and enjoy long discussions. However, in the process, Anne reveals herself as not merely pretty, charming, and competent; she is clever too. Even her sleepy, complacent, mistress can hardly fail to notice.

Meanwhile Jane's brother, Henry, begins to take an unusually strong interest in the lovely young governess. And from now on, Anne's days at Godmersham Park are numbered.


“This is a deeply imagined and deeply moving novel. Reading it made me happy and weepy in equally copious amounts…I read it straight through without looking up.”— Karen Joy Fowler, author of The Jane Austen Bookclub

Hornby’s skillful mix of fact and fiction captures the complexities of the Austens and their era, and her crisp, nimble prose sparkles throughout. Best of all, Hornby genuinely channels the sentiment of 19th-century English literature. Janeites aren’t the only readers who will relish this smart, tender tale."— Publishers Weekly, starred review 
“…a well-written and delightfully observant novel…an excellent read.”— The Historical Novel Society

Excerpt from Godmersham Park

‘Miss Sharp!’ Fanny burst into the Godmersham attic. ‘Look!’ She brandished a letter. ‘All that time, I was expecting to hear by the morning post, and it came by the evening.’

They both studied the paper, weighed up its width and its quality, ran their eyes over it to judge the length of what was written upon it. ‘In my mind’s eye, I had seen myself receiving it at breakfast and reading it there, just as Mama does. I mean, like a proper young lady.’ She wor- ried at her lip. ‘But now is just as good, is it not?’

‘I should say it is a fine time for the reading of letters,’ Anne reassured her. ‘A lovely end to the day. And remem- ber, my dear, if this is to be a full correspondence, you can look forward to more in the future . . .’

Fanny breathed out. ‘You are so right. I am beginning to think, Miss Sharp, that you are in the habit of being right on all matters. So, what happens now?’

Anne was becoming a little concerned by her pupil’s over-keen sense of deference. If they went on like this, Fanny would soon be incapable of putting one foot in front of the other without appealing for guidance. ‘I sug- gest that you read it?’

‘Oh,’ Fanny gave a little laugh. ‘Of course! Shall we do so together?’

‘No, my dear,’ replied Anne, though she was not un- intrigued. ‘This is to you.’

Fortunately, Fanny – who was one of the world’s great- est sharers – chose to read it out loud:

My dear Fanny,

Your letter occasioned such joy among all in your Bath family – but in me, in particular. I cannot imagine what I have done to deserve such an honour – and nor can your superior aunt, my dear sister. When the post came for me, there was a danger that she might drop dead from sheer jealousy, but I quickly revived her with my shrewd observation – Cassandra is harder to spell and consumes too much ink. God bless my short, simple name!

We all marvelled at hearing your Godmersham news, and you have the advantage of me. How can my dull existence compare with the revelation that you have a new governess? It is clear she is a woman of substance for your pen was clear and the contents quite perfect. If you are so kind as to reply to me now, please do us the favour of addressing the following concerns. We all long to know what books you are reading – in particular, which poets? Your grandfather desires that you acquire a sound basis in Shakespeare and, as always – he cannot be helped – issues a plea on behalf of the Classics. Is your Miss S. – among her other perfections – strong in the Classics? If so, then she is truly a paragon.

As you know, your Grandmama has been most unwell and the worry and fear has kept us at home more than is usual. But I am here to report she is now well on the mend, and her spirits returned to their usual height. It cannot be long before we return to the social round. Though I am relieved that the illness is over, I cannot rejoice at being turned out of doors. The streets of Bath are made so dirty by this dreadful wet weather – it keeps one in a perpetual state of inelegance.

We all look forward to hearing from you again, and pray you send our love to all of the Godmersham family.

Your fond Aunt, Jane Austen.

Each expressed their delight in tones of great rapture and agreed it to be one of the greatest – possibly the best – letter yet to be written. Fanny read it twice more, so as to be thoroughly sure, before disappearing down to the library to share it anew. Anne, at last, was able to pick up her own pen, and then Sally came in.

The sullen maid of Anne’s first evening had warmed into a garrulous creature and now, while Anne sat alone working, Sally would work alongside her. Her clear phi- losophy was that, while the hands toiled at tidying and cleaning, the tongue should not idle.

‘What is it you’re up to there, miss?’ She was sifting through Fanny’s drawers and refolding the inexpertly folded. ‘Another letter, is it? You do write a lot of let- ters and no mistake.’ She came and looked over Anne’s shoulder. Anne covered her page. ‘Don’t worry about that, miss. All scribbles to me.’

‘You cannot read or write, Sally?’ Anne felt that glori- ous, prickling anticipation of a new project. ‘Would you like me to teach you? When is your afternoon off ? I am sure I could spare a few hours every week.’ She was quite magnificent in her own generosity.

‘Ta, miss, but I’m right as I am.’ Sally went back to her work. ‘My afternoons off are my afternoons off, thank- ing you very much. I go out on the gad, then, with Becky.’ Anne picked up her pen again, crushed. Suddenly intrigued, she put it back down. ‘You must be most expert gadders to find any gadding to be had in Godmersham, surely?’ The village did not even have a shop, let alone a High Street. Anne had found no amusements beyond solitary walks. How does one even begin to gad in a field? ‘You’d be surprised, miss. There’s some new lads down at the tithe barn.’ Sally gave a little shriek. ‘Ooh, but we do like a laugh with them.’

‘And Mrs Salkeld does not object?’ Anne herself could never be so brave as to incur the wrath of the housekeeper.

Sally shrugged her thin shoulders. ‘If she does, she daren’t say so. We’re still young, miss. Got to enjoy your- self, haven’t you? It’s only a job, after all. If they stopped me, I’d tell them to stick it.’

Anne paused to reflect on their relative positions. She was certainly paid more, but Sally – with her uniform and its upkeep provided – had fewer expenses. Sally enjoyed hours off in the day and the companionship of life in the servants’ hall; Anne belonged neither to staff nor family, was almost always on duty and, when not, entirely alone. It appeared that a maid could make an exhibition of her- self abroad and it was tolerated, yet if a governess were to attract even the eye of a gentleman, she would face instant dismissal. The comparison provided food for thought on the question of privilege and the cost of its benefits.

About the Author

Gill Hornby is the author of the novels Miss Austen, The Hive, and All Together Now, as well as The Story of Jane Austen, a biography of Austen for young readers. She lives in Kintbury, England, with her husband and their four children.

Thursday, October 20, 2022

Guest Post: The Danger with Diamonds by Traci Hunter Abramson & Sian Ann Bessey

The Danger With Diamonds JustRead Blog + Review Tour 

Welcome to the Blog + Review Tour for The Danger with Diamonds by Traci Hunter Abramson & Sian Ann Bessey, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!



The Danger with Diamonds Title: The Danger with Diamonds 
Series: Falcon Point Suspense #1 
Authors: Traci Hunter Abramson & Sian Ann Bessey 
Publisher: Covenant Communications 
Release Date: October 10, 2022 
Genre: Clean & Wholesome Romantic Suspense

Some secrets are worth keeping. Others are not.

When Lars Hendriks arranges to meet Marit Jansen in Vienna, he is hoping their friendship will blossom into romance. What he doesn’t expect is a surprise visit from his cousin Cole or the loose diamonds he brings with him.

As a CIA operative, Cole Bridger is used to uncertainty, but when his work takes him back to Vienna, he looks forward to reconnecting with Isabelle Roberts, the fellow agent he dated briefly before duty took him away from Austria. Unfortunately, his silence over the last few months has created a chasm that he can’t cross without help. He barely takes a step toward repairing the damaged relationship when a brazen jewel heist seemingly links Cole, Lars, Marit, and Isabelle to the crime. The group is drawn into a deadly mystery, and once again, the treasures of Falcon Point are threatened. It doesn’t take long for them to realize they have stumbled upon something far bigger and more dangerous than a simple robbery. And someone on the inside knows it.

PURCHASE LINKS: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble



If you were to ask any two co-authors how writing a book together worked, each pair would probably give you a different answer. When Traci and I wrote Heirs of Falcon Point with Paige Edwards and A. L. Sowards, we learned that our writing styles are remarkably compatible. We also enjoy a close friendship. Those two things made all the difference as we took on the task of writing this new book together.

We live on opposite sides of the country, so plotting for this book involved many Zoom calls. In general, we took it in turns to write the scenes, but occasionally the order shifted as we discussed which character’s POV was best suited for a particular scene. We each created two main characters and wrote from their points of view. The author who created the character had final say on the character’s actions and speech, no matter who wrote the scene. Interestingly, we hardly ever needed to make any of those types of changes because we both understood each other’s characters well enough to know how they would act and what they would say.

Neither of us creates detailed, overarching story plots when we write, so our plotting was done in 6-10 scene increments. Traci rarely knows who her bad guy is before she’s three-quarters of the way through writing her books, but after some friendly persuasion on my part, she discovered him a little earlier than usual in this novel. By the time we reached the latter part of the story, our focus turned to making sure we pulled all the threads in the story together to create a satisfying conclusion.

As far as the location for this book goes, we both enjoy traveling, and felt that Vienna was the perfect place to set this story. The fact that we’ve both visited the city made it easier to describe the specific locations mentioned in the book, along with the food and the Austrian culture. Admittedly, neither of us has actually attended a ball at Schonbrunn Palace, but we loved doing it vicariously through our characters, and hope our readers will enjoy the experience too.




Traci Hunter Abramson Sian Bessy

Traci Hunter Abramson was born in Arizona, where she lived until moving to Venezuela for a study-abroad program. After graduating from Brigham Young University, she worked for the Central Intelligence Agency for several years, eventually resigning in order to raise her family. She credits the CIA with giving her a wealth of ideas for suspense novels as well as the skills needed to survive her children's teenage years. She has gone on to write a number of bestselling suspense novels that have consistently been nominated as Whitney Award finalists. She considers shoes an optional accessory which became evident when she won her first three Whitney Awards in 2013 (Code Word), 2014 (Deep Cover), and 2016 (Failsafe). Safe House won Whitney Awards for both the mystery/suspense category as well as 2017 Adult Novel of the Year. She added two additional awards in 2019 (Mistaken Reality - best mystery/suspense and Sanctuary - Adult Novel of the Year.) She currently lives in Virginia with her family where she enjoys sports, travel, writing, and recently retired from coaching high school swimming.

Connect with Traci by visiting to follow her on social media or subscribe to email newsletter updates.

Sian Ann Bessey was born in Cambridge, England, but grew up on the island of Anglesey off the coast of North Wales. She left her homeland to attend university in the U.S. and earned a bachelor's degree in communications with a minor in English. She began her writing career as a student, publishing several magazine articles while still in college. Since then she has published historical romance and romantic suspense novels, along with a variety of children's books. She is a USA Today best selling author, a Foreward Reviews Book of the Year finalist, and a Whitney Award finalist. Although Sian doesn't have the opportunity to speak Welsh very often anymore, she can still wrap her tongue around, "Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch." She loves to travel and experience other cultures, but when she's home, her favorite activities are spending time with her family, cooking, and reading.

Connect with Sian by visiting to follow her on social media or subscribe to email newsletter updates.




(1) winner will receive a $25 Amazon Gift Card, a signed copy of The Danger of Diamonds, and book-themed swag (including stickers, bookmark, and postcard).

The Danger with Diamonds JustRead Giveaway

Full tour schedule linked below. The giveaway begins at midnight October 17, 2022 and will last through 11:59 PM EST on October 24, 2022. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. US only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.


Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!

JustRead Publicity Tours

Wednesday, October 19, 2022

Book Tour & Giveaway: Range by Ronie Kendig

Range JustRead Blog + Review Blitz 

Welcome to the Blog + Review Blitz for Range by Ronie Kendig, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!



Range Title: Range 
Series: The Metcalfes #3 
Author: Ronie Kendig 
Publisher: Task Force Press 
Release Date: September 30, 2022 
Genre: Clean with faith elements, Romantic Suspense

He's back and he's out for blood

Fed up with living in the shadow of his brothers, Range Metcalfe struck out to carve a name for himself—one written in the blood of many a terrorist. Now, he’s targeting the notorious Madam of Kandahar, who has trafficked children and women. Finally given the green light, he captures her and quickly finds himself entrenched up in a deadly encounter that forces him into the Afghan wilderness—with the madam. 

Ten years trapped in human trafficking and five of those spent overseeing a compound, Kasra Jazani has little left of her soul. No longer able to live with herself, she takes matters into her own hands and coordinates an escape, a massive coup against the man who has kept her and so many others captive. They flee into the night—right into the fierce and capable hands of American operators, who ruin everything and put lives at risk. Livid, she knows death is coming for them, because she also holds a very dangerous, very powerful secret: the name of the man at the top of the trafficking ring. Now that monster wants her—and her American protector—dead.

PURCHASE LINKS: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble




Arms folded as he propped against the wall outside the interview room, Range trained his focus on the woman sitting on the other side of the one-way glass. “She gave up too easy.”

Pike joined him. “Who cares as long as we have her, and now a couple dozen women and children freed of her.”

Though Range nodded, it still didn’t add up.


“Something’s not right.” He peeled off the wall and faced the onetime master chief. “You’ve seen it—these women are terrified to flee. Yet we infiltrated a heavily fortified compound and find them ... what? Escaping.” He shook his head. “Doesn’t add up.”

Pike studied him for a long second.

“I’m not overthinking it.”

“It’s what you do best.” Laughing, he slapped Range’s shoulder. “Relax. We got them—her. She’s there and she’s not going anywhere.”




Ronie Kendig

Ronie Kendig is a bestselling, award-winning author of over thirty books. She grew up an Army brat, and now she and her Army-veteran husband have returned to their beloved Texas after a nearly ten-year stint in the Northeast. They survive on Sonic runs, barbecue, and peach cobbler that they share--sometimes--with Benning the Stealth Golden. Ronie's degree in psychology has helped her pen novels of intense, raw characters.

Connect with Ronie by visiting to follow her on social media or subscribe to email newsletter updates.



(1) winner will receive a signed copy of Range and an Operation Underground t-shirt.

Range JustRead Giveaway

Full tour schedule linked below. The giveaway begins at midnight October 18, 2022 and will last through 11:59 PM EST on October 25, 2022. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. US only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.


Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!

JustRead Publicity Tours

Monday, October 17, 2022

Review & Giveaway: The Holly and the Ivy by Sarah M. Eden, Esther Hatch, Dana LeCheminant, Anneka R. Walker

My rating: 4 stars / I really liked it


Spend the holidays with four of your favorite historical romance authors, whose stories of Yuletide romance will brighten the season with humor, hope, and the promise of true love.

“The Holly and the Ivy” by Sarah M. Eden

As nursemaid to the eight-year-old Duke of Kielder, Robbie will spend her holidays with her young charge as a guest of Lord and Lady Jonquil. While the couple makes the child’s holiday magical, the handsome gardener works his own magic on Nurse Robbie’s heart.

“Hiding Christmas” by Esther Hatch
Celebrating Christmas in Scotland will only invite persecution. But that never stopped Kirstine’s English grandmother. When they are almost caught, Kirstine is forced to beg for the help of the one man she cannot abide.

“A Twist of Christmas” by Dana LeCheminant

A Christmas house party offers two members of the ton an irresistible opportunity: a weekend of anonymity. But their charade comes with unexpected romantic consequences.

“A Season to Love” by Anneka R. Walker

Alice Hunt is searching for a Christmas miracle: a husband of her choosing. With the threat of an arranged marriage looming, she looks to an unlikely matchmaker for help.

My Review

A lovely collection of stories filled with Christmas spirit in a Regency setting! The first story, The Holly and the Ivy will be enjoyed the most by readers of the author's Lancaster Family series, as it shows Adam from the first book, Seeking Persephone, as a young boy enduring the challenges that shape him as an adult. The parents from The Jonquil Brothers series (who we get to know in depth in the first book of The Gents series, Forget Me Not) play an important role in Adam's life and attempt to stabilize his cracked foundation with unconditional love even though they are not related. I love the message that we choose our family and adopt one another as we forge connections.
My favorite of this collection, Hiding Christmas taught me some fascinating historical details, like Christmas celebrations being taboo in Scotland! Kirstine's quick thinking gets her grandmother and her on the road to England for their celebration, but also gets her into a humorous quandary with a loaf of bread and the neighbor who is living the life she feels her brother should have had. I loved the journey both physical and mental that reconciles Kirstine to Isaac, and the sweet romance that develops when she lets go of the past and embraces a new relationship.
A Twist of Christmas provides a fun if implausible scenario with the main characters both choosing to swap places with another of a lower station in order to avoid their usual experiences at the house party. Of course, they fall in love with each other, but think the other is of the lower station and it won't work out. Some repetitive angst and a predictable outcome.   
A Season to Love brought more humor as Alice prays aloud in an empty church for a husband, and is answered by the local clergyman who sweetly helps her in her quest to find a match. They have lovely chemistry and naturally grow closer together during her time in the village. His sense of humor reminded me of a Henry Tilney, while Alice is awkwardly endearing yet confident in herself. A perfect conclusion to the book that left me with a smile on my face.

Disclosure statement: A complimentary copy of this book was provided from a tour group, publisher, publicist, or author, including NetGalley, OR was borrowed from the library, including OverDrive, OR borrowed from Kindle Unlimited, OR purchased. A review was not required and all views and opinions expressed are unbiased and my own.


Sunday, October 16, 2022

Review: The Marriage Agreement by Renee Ryan

My rating: 3 stars / I liked it


Promoted to Wife?

Always the dutiful daughter, Fanny Mitchell surprised everyone when she broke her engagement. Now she's working at the fancy Hotel Dupree--and falling for the mysterious, handsome owner, Jonathon Hawkins. But when she and her boss are caught in an unexpected kiss at a ball, will her reputation be tarnished forever?

The son of a woman of ill repute, Jonathon knows that gossip can destroy lives in an instant. And he won't allow sweet, lovely Fanny to suffer the consequences. When he proposes a marriage of convenience, Jonathon believes he can keep his heart to himself. But the more time he spends with Fanny, the more he realizes he may just be in love--with his wife...

My Review

I enjoyed the premise of the story, with an unexpected marriage between two people who secretly admire each other in order to save their reputations. However, there is just so much unnecessary drama, especially when it goes against what the characters repeatedly think to themselves. That disconnect removed me from understanding the motivations of Fanny and Jonathan, and their early chemistry dissolved in the midst of the angst. The importance placed on society and society's opinion made Fanny seem shallow, but then she suddenly seemed to not care what society thought, but married in order to prevent her mother from suffering. Jonathan is the one who went through the biggest transformation as he struggled to overcome the stigma of his origins in his own mind. Being the last book in the series, there were plenty of previous characters that were drawn into the scenes, which readers who read the books in order would appreciate.

Disclosure statement: A complimentary copy of this book was provided from a tour group, publisher, publicist, or author, including NetGalley, OR was borrowed from the library, including OverDrive, OR borrowed from Kindle Unlimited, OR purchased. A review was not required and all views and opinions expressed are unbiased and my own.

Check out the previous books in the Charity House series . . .