Showing posts with label 3 stars. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 3 stars. Show all posts

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Review: Welcome to Wishing Bridge by Ruth Logan Herne

My rating: 3 stars / I liked it


Kelsey is on her way to a life do-over. And it’s not the first time. Abandoned by her drug-addict mother as a teen, she landed in a foster-care group home where she experienced faith and community—and met her best friends, Jazz and Theadora. The trio stuck together like sisters and vowed to make their lives mean something.

Now Kelsey’s pushing thirty, and her life has taken a wrong turn. Pregnant and alone after loving the wrong man, she’s on her way to making another life-changing decision when a wicked blizzard strands her outside the sleepy town of Wishing Bridge.

After being rescued from a snowbank by a handsome cop, she’s embraced by the welcoming village, but she still feels upside down. Fortunately, her frantic SOS brings her besties rushing to help sort things out. They soon find that Wishing Bridge has as many secrets as Kelsey does—and she’s connected to it in ways she couldn’t have imagined.

My Review

This is a quintessential small town story, with three friends from the city who serendipitously land in Wishing Hollow and have their hearts healed with the peace and friendship they find in the small community on the verge of revitalization. The book is strong on dialogue and faith-filled words of wisdom, especially from Maggie, the sweet woman who takes Kelsey in. I didn't have much of a connection to the characters or feel much chemistry between Hale and Kelsey- I felt more removed as an observer rather than in the middle of the emotion. Thea and Jazz are focused on almost as much as Kelsey which made me invested and looking forward to reading their stories in the next books. 

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

Don't miss the other books in the Wishing Bridge series . . .

Saturday, February 15, 2020

Review: Seasons of an Amish Garden by Amy Clipston

My rating: 3 stars / I liked it


Enjoy a year of beautiful seasons in this new story collection, as young Amish couples manage a community garden and harvest friendships and love along the way.

Spring Is in the Air
As the young people of Bird-in-Hand, Pennsylvania, plant a garden in memory of their friend, Katie Ann begins to worry that her older brother, Ephraim, is dating her best friend. What if she somehow loses them both? But Christian, a new boy in the community, also works in the garden—and falling for him may be exactly the distraction, and lesson, that Katie Ann needs.

Home by Summer
Clara Hertzler is surprised when Jerry Petersheim, her old friend, comes to the garden to drop off his younger sister—especially because Jerry has been gone for years, and now seems to be living as an Englisher. As the friends get to know each other again, Clara pushes Jerry to examine why he abandoned his Amish beliefs. Will Clara help Jerry renew his faith in God, and will they find love beneath the summer sun?

The Fruits of Fall
Tena Speicher has come to live in Bird-in-Hand after her fiancĂ© left her for an English woman. When a homeless veteran comes to the fruit stand one day and asks for food, Tena is not sure how to respond—but Wayne intervenes and offers to let him stay in the barn. Afraid to trust Englishers, Tena must learn, with Wayne’s help, that everyone is a child of God and deserving of kindness.

Winter Blessings
Ephraim and Mandy have dated for some time and now have plans to marry. But after a series of unexpected events and misunderstandings, they wonder if they should go their separate ways. What will happen when their friends at the Amish garden conspire to bring them back together?

My Review

This collection of stories is based off the novella the author wrote in An Amish Christmas Love, The Christmas Cat. A group of Amish youth are stranded at a widow's home during a storm and they enjoy getting to know her more and reminiscing about her husband. He had a special place in his heart for the local homeless shelter, so the youth decide to raise money to donate in his honor. In this book are four stories revolving around the garden and the young people who come together to take care of it. I love the concept, but some of the relationship drama seems immature and contrived. My favorite parts were with the widow, Emma, and her wisdom that she shares with her young friends.

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

Friday, February 14, 2020

Review: Gambling on a Gentleman by Brenna Jacobs

My rating: 3 stars / I liked it


A society gentleman with a secret. An art expert who can expose him. An attraction neither of them can deny.
Alice Donnelly prefers paintings of medieval people to actual people, and classical art to the nonsense coming from contemporary artists. She also has a healthy disdain for the rich and ignorant who hire her to curate their collections, obsessed with valuing their financial worth without ever understanding the art. But her family depends on her paychecks, and so she reluctantly accepts a commission to assess the collection of one of Britain's most venerable aristocratic families.
When she meets the handsome and charismatic Geoffrey on her flight to London, she makes it clear she's immune to his charms. She has no time for romance. Not when she's starting the biggest job of her career.

Except it turns out that it's Geoffrey's family who has hired her, and now she must spend all her working hours trying not to fall for his charms. But much like a master painting, Geoffrey's layers draw her in against her better judgment.

As Geoffrey's secrets unravel, can Alice trust the privileged aristocrat with an artist's soul to see past her own baggage? Or is she just another way for him to rebel against his family?

My Review

First of all, isn't that the cutest cover?? I'm an art major so I enjoyed the plot and details about curating and discovering masterpieces. The setting in England was my fave! I traveled abroad for the first time last summer and now I enjoy books with European settings even more. The meet-cute seemed too coincidental for me, but it made for a fun setup as Alice and Geoffrey embark on restoring his family's financial situation and saving the estate. For some reason the chemistry fell flat for me- I think it had to do with not enough anticipation and romantic tension. There was also more telling than showing when it came to analyzing and reassessing their feelings for each other. Overall it was a pleasant diversion to read and see how the complicated family dynamics throw wrenches into both their relationship and professional goals.

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

Be sure to check out the other books in the ABC's of Love series . . .

Friday, January 17, 2020

Review: Rebound by Sophia Summers, Rebecca Connolly, Heather B. Moore

My rating: 3 stars / I liked it


He's all in. She's all in. Nothing stands in their way--until their families get involved.

Summer Davis, small town librarian, PHD candidate, wants to fall in love.
Rocco De Luca, pro hockey player, didn’t know he was looking for love until he met Summer.

Now they try to navigate getting to know each other around his home game schedule with both their families vying for attention and meddling in ways only big families can. It’s a wonder they can go on a few dates at all once Summer’s brothers learn a pro hockey player is interested in their sister.

But the closer they become, the harder it will be when Summer is offered the chance of a lifetime…far away from their small town in Wyoming.

My Review

As much as I love this series and the sports romances this trio of authors writes, this one sadly fell flat for me. I liked Summer and Rocco, but the relationship didn't have any depth and seemed to move forward on attraction only before they really got to know each other or spent much time together. They had good chemistry, but I didn't feel an emotional connection to them. There also wasn't much of a plot- each time a conflict arose it was diffused in an anti-climactic way. The supporting cast had so much potential with the brothers, the parents, and the Wyoming teammates, but I felt like it was kept surface-level and they were way under-utilized. There was quite a bit of name dropping from the previous books in this series and then also the Belltown Sixpack series, but with no substance to the encounters. I would have rather there been more of a focus and development on a few characters that are close to Rocco and Summer instead of spreading it thin explaining so many connections that aren't really vital to the story. Overall, Summer and Rocco are totally sweet together, but the only memorable thing about them is the way they met (which was a great scene). I'm still looking forward to what comes next for this band of hockey brothers!

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

Welcome to Northbrook Hockey Elite

Six professional hockey players used to play on an elite club team together, but have all separated and now play in the pro-hockey leagues. Not all of them were friends, yet circumstances bring them together, and for the greater good, maybe they can put aside their differences.

Visit us on Facebook: Swoony Sports Romances

Northbrook Hockey Elite series:

About the Authors

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.

Heather B. Moore

Heather B. Moore is a USA Today bestselling author of more than fifty publications. Her historical novels and thrillers are written under pen name H.B. Moore. She writes women's fiction, romance, and inspirational non-fiction under Heather B. Moore. This can all be confusing, so her kids just call her Mom.

Heather attended Cairo American College in Egypt, the Anglican School of Jerusalem in Israel, and earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Brigham Young University in Utah. Heather is represented by Dystel, Goderich, and Bourret.

Sophia Summers

Sophia Summers is an award winning author who just wants to relax a little and enjoy a great beach read. She lives in a quiet southern town brimming with an extra dose of hospitality and a
whole lot of charm.

She writes historical romance under a different name. You can follow her on Be SURE to join her Newsletter for freebies and fun. 

Thursday, December 26, 2019

Review: Her Country Christmas Date by Ranee S. Clark

My rating: 3 stars / I liked it


Is ten days, twelve dates, and a little Christmas magic enough for happily ever after?

Dru North has far more substance than the party-boy reputation given to him by the media, which is why a quiet Christmas in Little is just what he needs. From the moment he meets Amber Miller, who’s staying across the hall, sparks fly, and a magical Christmas party leads to an impulsive kiss.

While Dru is eager to get to know Amber during the quiet vacation, she’s wary of his reputation and his riches. She challenges him to take her on twelve dates before she’ll consider their relationship anything more than a holiday fling—a feat given the fact that she’s only in town for ten days.

Amidst the big family holiday Dru has always dreamed of having, Amber finds herself trusting with every “date” that Dru isn’t the bad-boy she thought him to be. But his insistence that this can be more than a holiday fling has Amber worried about the future. Dru’s a famous country star with money to burn, and she’s just a teacher. Are their worlds too far apart for a happily ever after when the Christmas magic is over?

My Review

This was a fun and easy holiday novella, with plenty of Christmas spirit. I rather enjoyed Dru more than Amber- he was interesting with his secret wholesomeness hidden behind his carefully crafted public image. I didn't see the appeal of Amber as much- her character seemed to me more two dimensional and a tad self-centered. It prevented me from connecting with their emotions and feeling invested in their relationship. The impulsive kiss between strangers felt off, also removing any romantic tension/anticipation. My favorite parts were with Dru and his interactions with other secondary characters.

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

Don't miss the first book in the Love in Little River series . . .


The night Tag Turner claimed he loved Roxy Adams and begged her to follow him to Nashville to live his dream, she sent him packing since she knew it couldn't be real. Even if he did insist he’d been singing his love to her for years. 

Eight years later, Tag, now a famous country star, rolls back into small town Little River hoping for one more shot at winning his high school crush. But Roxy loves her quiet, country life on her family’s ranch—a life that doesn’t have room for someone who can’t buy coffee without national media attention.

Not ready to give up, Tag stays in Little River to work on his next album and convince the woman he loves to give him a chance. Will Roxy ever trust his feelings are real and not just lyrics in a song?

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Review: A Pursuit of Home by Kristi Ann Hunter

Book Three in the Haven Manor series

My rating: 3 stars / I liked it


In early 1800s England, Jess Beauchene has spent most of her life in hiding and always on the move in an effort to leave her past far behind her. But when she learns the family she thought had died just might be alive and in danger, she knows her secrets can only stay buried for so long.

Derek Thornbury loves the past, which has led him to become an expert in history and artifacts. He knows Jess has never liked him, but when she requests his help deciphering the clues laid out in an old family diary, he can't resist the urge to solve the puzzle.

As Jess and Derek race to find the hidden artifact before her family's enemies, they learn as much about each other as they do about the past. But can their search to uncover the truth and set history right lead to a future together?

My Review

I have greatly enjoyed this series, but for some reason this last book fell a little flat for me. Jess is such an intriguing character with her mysterious past, and I was excited to learn about her origins and everything she has gone through to bring her to where and who she is. I liked the contrast in personalities between her and Derek, and the way they come to appreciate each other's unique talents and abilities. The vagueness of the mystery they are solving made it hard for me to reason out their choices and visualize their methods. I understood the purpose and end goal, but there was much that was unclear and I felt rather lost along their journey.

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

Don't miss the previous books in the Haven Manor series . . .