Showing posts with label 5 stars. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 5 stars. Show all posts

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Review: Valley of Dreams by Sarah M. Eden



My rating: 5 stars / It was amazing

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Synopsis

She's come to build a future. He's running from his past.

Patrick O’Connor has seen far too much of the cruel and unforgiving world. Life has beaten him down relentlessly. Out of hope and out of options, he makes the terrifying and desperate decision to return home to the family he has lied to for years, the family he knows will never forgive him.

Widowed and nearly unable to care for her tiny daughter under the weight of extreme poverty, Eliza Porter jumps at the opportunity to leave behind the slums of New York City for the promise of a new life and a new beginning in the frontier town of Hope Springs.

Fate tosses the two of them together more and more often, while the burden of his tightly-held secrets and the ache of her abandoned dreams pull them further and further apart. Clinging to the whispered possibility of something more than the pain life has offered them thus far will require every bit of hope they can find in this peaceful but precarious valley of dreams.


My Review

I fall more in love with this family with each book! I'm so happy that Patrick turned up alive, especially since we got to know him before the war in My Dearest Love. It's heartbreaking to see what he's gone through and how he's changed. I love that even though he struggles with his family, Eliza and her toddler daughter are able to bring the lighter side of him to the surface with their friendliness and acceptance. The O'Connor and Archer family members from the previous books don't just make an appearance, but their personalities shine through as they interact with Patrick and Eliza. Ian and Patrick especially struggled with their reconciliation, which made it all the sweeter when they finally overcame the hard feelings. There is plenty of teasing banter, especially with Tavish around, and Eliza fits in the family perfectly in that way. She and Patrick share a sense of humor which is a good foundation when their feelings and attraction grows stronger with time. Conflicts and self-doubt make their relationship road a bit bumpy, but it's a wonderful journey of redemption and forgiveness with strong family bonds and sweet romance.

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



Don't miss the previous books in the Longing for Home / Hope Springs series . . .

https://amzn.to/33hQPBfhttps://amzn.to/38NFM46

https://amzn.to/2QgshDrhttps://amzn.to/2U5QzBi

https://amzn.to/2Qhz002








Review: Hothouse Flower by Taylor Dean


Book Three in the Sound of Silence series

Heidi Reads... Hothouse Flower by Taylor Dean

My rating: 5 stars / It was amazing

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

Synopsis

I loved Jace Faraday with all my heart. I loved everything about him, from his huge smile to his fabulous laugh. Another man never caught my eye. It was always Jace and Shay, together forever.

Until it wasn’t.

He devastated me, he ruined me. I’ve never gotten over it.

But, I’m a survivor. I’m not a precious flower that can only thrive if kept safe from the perils of the outside world.

Except now Jace has returned home. He’s just across the street from me, so close I swear I can actually feel his presence.

I can’t avoid him forever. At some point I have to face him. And when I do, I know sparks will fly.

To redeem himself for his past actions, I need major remorse. I need a profuse apology and maybe even a little begging for forgiveness. I won’t settle for anything less.

However, when the truth behind our break-up is revealed, I’m stunned. It leaves me reeling—and yearning for the six years that have been lost to us.

The thing is, once the truth is known, there’s nothing to keep us apart.

Absolutely nothing.


My Review

This series has ALL THE FEELS! I love the emotion and passion the characters feel and how the author draws me into their world. As soon as I finished Hothouse Flower I went back and re-read the first book in the series, Stone Silence. I gave each book in the series 5 stars and I recommend reading them in order.

I thought I knew what this book would be about, but the author managed to surprise me and incorporated a twist that was completely unexpected and brought a sense of vulnerability and determination. Shay has a difficult past that has given her trust issues, and having Jace back in her life since they are now connected by siblings' marriages has her repressed and unresolved emotions in upheaval. Jace has his own secrets, but I admired how upfront he is with Shay about his feelings for her. There is plenty of tension and angst as they learn to communicate again and the difficult past and secrets come to light, and the chemistry between them is both sweet and strong. It was wonderful to see them come together like puzzle pieces once there is nothing more coming between them, and the way they supported and fought for each other.

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



Check out the other books in the Sound of Silence series . . .
(The author recommends reading them in order)

Book One
Heidi Reads... Stone Silence by Taylor Dean


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

Book Two
Heidi Reads... Jailbird by Taylor Dean


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

Thursday, March 12, 2020

Review: The Runaway Bride by Jody Hedlund



My rating: 5 stars / It was amazing

http://www.amazon.comhttp://www.amazon.comhttp://www.barnesandnoble.comhttps://www.bookdepository.com/The-Runaway-Bride-Jody-Hedlund/9780764232961https://bookshop.org/a/1059/9780764232961http://www.goodreads.com

Synopsis

Wealthy Arabella Lawrence flees to British Columbia on a bride ship still wearing the scars of past mistakes. One of the few single women in the boomtown, she immediately has suitors, but she is determined not to find herself trapped again by a poor choice.

Vying for her hand are two very different men. Lieutenant Richard Drummond is a gentleman in the Navy and is held in high esteem. Peter Kelly is the town's baker and has worked hard to build a thriving business. He and Drummond not only compete for Arabella's affections, but clash over their views of how the natives should be treated in the midst of a smallpox outbreak.

As Arabella begins to overcome her fears, she discovers someone in dire need—a starving girl abandoned by her tribe. Intent on helping the girl, Arabella leans on Peter's advice and guidance. Will she have the wisdom to make the right decision or will seeking what's right cost both her and Peter everything?


My Review

What a match this was! Arabella is caught between the expectations and standards of her social class and being able to accept truly wonderful relationship with someone who doesn't fit. I was rooting the whole time for her eyes to be opened to the possibilities, freedom, and fulfillment in working for herself and not having to only rely on a husband for security. She has a wonderful character arc as she meets new people from all walks of life who challenge and reform her perspectives. I appreciated and admired her humble and compassionate nature, even though it made it easy for some to take advantage of her kindness.

Peter is a force to be reckoned with! Charming and confident, he sets a seemingly unattainable goal for himself when he decides that Arabella is the one for him. His pursuit of her turns into a humbling experience for him when she proves to be just as hard to catch as he anticipated. I loved the way they develop a friendship while baking together and caring for the native girl Arabella rescues. There's something about a hero who is a baker that is appealing- Peter has a strong work ethic and has made something of himself without the advantages that other men have had. He's not afraid of Drummond even though the officer holds more power in the community, and their personal war with each other has more layers than Arabella can see.

Overall this book has a wonderful balance of character development and spiritual growth, sweet romantic chemistry and tension, and just the right amount of intrigue and drama. This series just keeps getting better and I can't wait for the next book!

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



Don't miss the other books in The Bride Ships series . .

https://amzn.to/3aHfHVI

https://amzn.to/2Tz4cK5

https://amzn.to/334uFlT



Review: Always You by Jennifer Rodewald



My rating: 5 stars / It was amazing

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

Synopsis

They made a pact of friendship. Love was not supposed to be part of the deal.

Lauren is desperate to escape the massive shadow of her father’s and sister’s political careers.

Matt is running from the biggest disappointment of his life.

After a messy meeting in a snowbound airport, they launch a new friendship, founded on a mutual love for the Lord and an agreement of respect. They find themselves working together at the Lake Shore Resort, thankful to have each other as they each carve out a fresh start. But as the winter season wears on, and through a few interesting predicaments, one begins to feel more, and the other... well. Maybe neither knows what they really want. Already wounded from the things they’ve left behind, Matt and Lauren wrestle with what comes next. Afraid to move forward. Not wanting to go back.

Each must face a dilemma that only the hand of the Potter can smooth into a hopeful, promising future. Can they surrender past hurts, as well as their future hopes and plans and trust the good intentions of the God they both love?


My Review

What an unforgettable meet-cute! I loved the instant rapport Matt and Lauren have with each other, and friendship looks good on them. They are each at a crossroads in their lives, and the respite they find at the lodge and with each other allows them to step back and reevaluate their lives. The chemistry between them is strong, but with Matt's dysfunctional unrequited love between them, they struggle with moving forward int heir relationship. There is plenty of self-reflection, angst, and spiritual awakening as they each learn to choose the path that God has in store for them. This is a fun story with depth and great dynamics!

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


Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Review: Engaging Sir Isaac by Sally Britton



My rating: 5 stars / It was amazing

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

Synopsis

She swore she would win the baronet’s heart in order to break it, never dreaming she would lose her own in the process.

Millicent Wedgwood will never obtain her rightful place in Society, which means she will never have an advantageous reputation, marriage, or fortune. All because Millie's sister eloped years before. But there is a chance to rise above that disgrace if Millie will take part in a dare. If she can win the baronet who insulted Lady Olivia, and then shatter his heart, she will earn back her position in Society with Lady Olivia’s sponsorship.

Sir Isaac Fox returned from war with one less arm and a weight upon his soul. Where once he easily charmed Society, he now prefers to remain quietly alone at home. With a failing estate to manage, Isaac is determined to be more responsible and less foolhardy, which leaves no time for romance. Certainly no time for the infuriatingly enchanting Miss Wedgwood.

When Millie realizes her game has put her own heart in jeopardy, she risks losing everything she has so desperately sought to replace in her life. And though Isaac refuses Millie's advances, he cannot deny her charm. But falling for Miss Wedgwood would mean reentering society and losing the peace he has found since the war. Can they find a way to heal their hearts together? Or will Millie's deception ruin them both?

My Review

I was not prepared for the game that would be played in this story! I don't normally enjoy head games between characters, but this one worked for me- because I could see the conflict in Millie as she is a puppet in the hands of her parents and Lady Olivia. I was rooting for her to make her own choices and yet I could see how she felt like she had no choice, especially when social blackmail is involved. She has a wonderful growth arc in the book as she is befriended by Isaac's group of close-knit friends in spite of his mistrust and learns to be stronger than she knows.

Isaac is going through his own struggles as his wartime experiences have left him a very different man- brooding, grumpy, and tormented. I loved how his sister and friends that in turn starred in the previous books in the series don't just make meaningless appearances, but are an integral part of the story and continue to be the primary supportive relationships in his life. The chemistry between he and Millie ebbed and flowed as they both had hidden or private sides that they had difficulty sharing, but eventually grew to know the genuine person behind the facade.

The tension grows steadily and it really felt like a nail-biter as Lady Olivia gets more ruthless and Millie is torn as she becomes more loyal to her new friends. It was fun to have Olivia's brother Lord Neil befriend Millie in a platonic way and help her surreptitiously, since he played the part of the villain in the first book. It set me up to be thrilled when I learned that he will have his own book!

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



Don't miss the other books in the Inglewood series . . .

https://amzn.to/3aEnW4B

https://amzn.to/3aEnW4B

https://amzn.to/3aEnW4B

https://amzn.to/3aEnW4B



Review: Abraham by Jennifer Beckstrand


https://amzn.to/2ZY9XTq

My rating: 5 stars / It was amazing

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Synopsis

Known as “The Peanut Butter Brothers” for their Wisconsin family business, hardworking Andrew, Abraham, and Austin Petersheim have their plates too full for romance—until their little siblings decide to play matchmaker . . .

With their house full to bursting since Mammi and Dawdi moved back in, the Petersheim twins know the only way to get their bedroom back is to get their older brothers married off. But Abraham is so shy, he’ll barely speak to girls. Still, they’ve noticed how he looks at Emma Wengerd at church. Emma is so talkative, Abraham’s quiet ways wouldn’t matter a bit. Soon, the boys have hatched a scheme that sends Abraham right to Emma’s door—and her chicken coop . . .

Abraham doubts that pretty, popular Emma would be interested in him. Yet when he finds himself by her side, having to straighten out the twins’ mischief—more than once—he can’t help imagining a future with her. And the more time they spend together, the more Abraham realizes that perhaps no matter how many boys buzz around Emma, with faith, it’s only the right one that counts . . .


My Review

The first book in this series was delightful, and I can't believe I loved this one even more! Alfie and Benji, the youngest brothers, are highly entertaining and mischievous in a way that's endearing and makes me laugh out loud. They are on a mission to get their older brothers married off so they no longer have to sleep in the basement, and they are single-minded about it. I love how they make friends with Emma and bring her and Abraham together in situations they wouldn't normally find themselves. It allows Abraham to shine in his own right as he does thoughtful things for Emma and she is able to get to know him on a deeper level. Of course conflicts, self-doubt, and miscommunications arise and muddle up the waters of their blossoming relationship, but this journey with the boys, their illicit secret dog, a girl, and her beloved chickens is one that I'll be reading again! Great chemistry and sweet romance balance perfectly with humor and themes of community and belonging.

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



Don't miss the other books in the Petersheim Brothers series . . .

Book One

My rating: 5 stars / It was amazing

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

Book Three
https://amzn.to/2tzLEyZ

Releases June 2020: Available for pre-order