Thursday, October 1, 2015

Review, Excerpt & Giveaway: Lord Fenton's Folly by Josi S. Kilpack

Heidi Reads... Lord Fenton's Folly by Josi S. Kilpack

My rating: 5 stars / It was amazing


Lord Fenton is a gambler, a dandy, and a flirt—and he must marry or else he will be disinherited, stripped of his wealth and his position. He chooses Alice Stanbridge for two simple reasons: he once knew her as a young girl, and she is the least objectionable option available to him.

However, Alice has harbored feelings for Fenton since their first meeting ten years ago, and she believes his proposal is real. When she discovers it is not, she is embarrassed and hurt. However, a match with the most-eligible bachelor in London would secure not only her future but that of her family as well.

Determined to protect herself from making a fool of herself a second time, Alice matches Lord Fenton wit for wit and insult for insult as they move toward a marriage of convenience that is anything but a happy union. Only when faced with family secrets that have shaped Fenton’s life does he let down his guard enough to find room in his heart for Alice. But can Alice risk her heart a second time?

My Review

For a book with a dandy for the hero, I was surprised by how much I enjoyed it! The backstory to Alice and Lord Fenton's connection is seriously sweet, but their reunion leaves much to be desired... Their struggles with each other, family, and society are so real and because we learn the motivations behind their choices, it's easier to understand their characters. The way Alice and Fenton finally bond and let go of antagonizing each other is worth the wait. Their romance is then allowed to flourish amid personal tribulation and surprising revelations. I don't want to give anything away! Really, what made this story come alive for me is how the mannerisms, strength, and compassion of both Alice and Fenton is shown through their actions rather than described in the narrative. Moments of humor and heart touching scenes round out the balance for a highly recommended read!

(Thank you to Shadow Mountain Publishing and Ebooks for Review for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review)

Lord Fenton's Folly (1)


Fenton groaned and put his saucer back on the tray, making an instantaneous decision that eased his mind quite a lot. To look at every woman he met as a potential wife was irritating, and after only two weeks he was quite tired of it. Perhaps the solution was to orchestrate a match that would not lay all aspects of matrimony at his feet all at once. Perhaps treating it as a business arrangement would help it to be exactly that, thereby freeing him from all the discomfiting realities he was not yet prepared to face. "I leave for Fentonview on Tuesday and shan't be back for a week. Courting is such a boring prospect, and you yourself said that to become infatuated with anyone might become a complication." He paused, considered one last time what he was going to say next, and decided he felt as good about it as could be expected. "You like Alice Stanbridge and feel she would make a good wife for me?" Lady Chariton looked confused and perhaps a bit concerned. "I do, but-" "Then that is good enough for me," Fenton said, rising to his feet and smiling broadly at his mother, who stared back at him in surprise. "I do find her appealing and what's more she is not a silly little thing without a practical thought in her head." His mother's eyes widened and her eyebrows rose upon her forehead. Fenton struck a pose of consternation, with his thumb and forefinger on his chin as he looked toward the window a moment, then nodded crisply and turned back to his mother who still looked shocked by his pronouncement. "Yes, I think that Alice Stanbridge is exactly what I should like in a wife, and so I shall see to it before I leave for Hampshire-I see no reason to wait until Michaelmas and might as well get it over with." He leaned in and kissed his mother's hand. "Thank you for your help, Mama. I shall let you know how she responds to my proposal."

Josi Author Josi Kilpack
Josi S. Kilpack hated to read until her mother handed her a copy of The Witch of Blackbird Pond when she was 13. From that day forward, she read everything she could get her hands on and credits her writing “education” to the many novels she has “studied” since then. She began writing her first novel in 1998 and never stopped. Sheep's Clothing won the Whitney award for Mystery/Suspense in 207 and Wedding Cake, book twelve in the Sadie Hoffmiller Culinary Mystery series won in 2014. Josi was also the Best of State winner in Fiction for 2012. Josi currently lives in Willard, Utah, with her husband, children and super-cute - but not very friendly - cat.

$25 Blog Tour giveaway

 $25 Blog Tour Giveaway $25 Amazon eGift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 10/29/15 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an eGift Card 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 will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.  
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Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Review: Marrying Christopher by Michele Paige Holmes

Heidi Reads... Marrying Christopher by Michele Paige Holmes

My rating: 4 stars / I really liked it


Having seen both his sisters Grace and Helen happily married, Christopher Thatcher is free to pursue his dream of life in America. With adventure in his heart and mind, he boards one of the first steamships set to cross the Atlantic in the record breaking time of only twenty-five days. Within the first two of those, his resolve—to avoid women and the complications they often bring to a man’s life—falters when he meets Marsali Abbott, a young woman with a past even more troubling than his own. Whether from years of habit protecting his sisters, or simply because he feels drawn to Marsali, Christopher chooses to help her and becomes her friend. As the truth about what awaits Marsali in America becomes evident, he is faced with a more difficult choice, one that will impact their lives far beyond four weeks together at sea.

My Review

It took me a while to get into this story because of some repetition in thoughts and uninteresting depictions of the steam ship, but about halfway through, things really pick up and get interesting. It's hard to describe the last half of the book since I don't want to spoil the twists and they are not mentioned in the official book synopsis. Suffice it to say that there is action, miscommunications, longing, romance, and a few more villains thrown in. Throughout all the unfortunate circumstances awaiting in America, Christopher and Marsali's love strengthens in the face of adversity and I had to keep quickly reading to see how it would all play out. Christopher's siblings from the first two books make appearances and the outcome of those books is explained, so if you plan on reading them as well I recommend reading them in order. Otherwise, this novel can be read as a stand alone just fine.

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

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Review: Falling Like Snowflakes by Denise Hunter

Heidi Reads... Falling Like Snowflakes by Denise Hunter

My rating: 5 stars / It was amazing


When the Christmas season finds Eden in Summer Harbor, Maine, she's on the run from trouble. Romance is the last thing on her mind.

Riding in a bus in the thickly falling snow, Eden Davis wonders how it ever came to this- fleeing under cover of night with young Micah sleeping fitfully in the seat beside her. When a winter storm strands them in Summer Harbor, Maine, Eden wonders if what might have been the end could be a new beginning.

Beau Callahan is a habitual problem-solver. He's recently left his job with the sheriff's department to take over the family Christmas tree farm to save it from insolvency. But he's flummoxed. During the busiest season of the year, he's shorthanded. Then Eden shows up looking for work, and Beau believes he's been rescued. Competent, smart, and beautiful, Eden's also guarded and quiet. He soon figures out she comes with a boatload of secrets. But Beau can't seem to help himself from falling for her.

As Christmas Eve approaches, Beau discovers he'll do anything to keep Eden safe. But who's going to protect his heart from a woman who can't seem to trust again?

My Review

Such a great story! I seriously don't know how Eden kept it together in her dire circumstances. She is the consummate survivor and mama bear, doing whatever it takes to keep her son safe. Her past is revealed in bits and pieces so there is a feeling of suspense involved. Beau has a lot on his plate with his work, his family, and his love life. Even though it seems like he rescues Eden, she is also rescuing Beau's family during their own crisis. Their relationship is platonic since Beau is her employer and has a girlfriend (that his younger brother is suffering unrequited love for), but as they rely on each other their friendship grows and attraction flares. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this complicated story and seeing how things worked out. Beau and Eden are great together and I also can't wait to read the stories of his brothers since we got to know a little about their past and see the direction of their paths...

(Thank you to BookLook Bloggers and Thomas Nelson Publishing  for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review)

Monday, September 28, 2015

Tackle Your TBR Read-a-thon Wrap-up

I didn't get all 11 of my books read- a little ambitious for life with a toddler ;) but I was happy to get the following read during the read-a-thon...


Saturday, September 26, 2015

Review: Love's Every Whisper by Naomi Rawlings

Heidi Reads... Love's Every Whisper by Naomi Rawlings

My rating: 5 stars / It was amazing


Victoria Donnelly is, as always, a failure. With five years of failed courtships behind her and the calendar inching closer to another birthday, Victoria's determined to redeem herself and snag a proposal from a wealthy childhood acquaintance, Gilbert Sinclair. But returning to Eagle Harbor stirs up long forgotten memories. And worse, old affection for her betrothed's enemy.

Elijah Cummings has loved Victoria for fifteen years. But fishermen's sons don't marry shipping barons' daughters. He knows it. She knows it. The entire town knows it. Resolved to keep his distance from Victoria, Elijah focuses on establishing a much needed life-saving station, risking his own life by rescuing sailors stuck aboard shipwrecks.

He knows how to save drowning sailors, but how is he to save a woman from the biggest mistake of her life—without destroying both their hearts in the process?

My Review

This is one of those rare occasions where I loved the second book in a series more than the first! What stood out to me the most was how much action was depicted with the scenes of Elijah and his crew rescuing sailors and passengers from boats that hit rocks or sandbars during frigid storms on Lake Superior. I loved Elijah's passion for saving lives that otherwise would have been needlessly lost. His love for Victoria seems hopeless, but they continue to encounter each other and their restrained affection creates a palpable romantic tension. Every character in the story is flawed (some more than others) but all came to life because of their determination through the struggles each faced. I was sad for the emotional abuse Victoria endures from her family and Gilbert and how each attempt at expressing herself was met with contempt and manipulation. Thankfully she forms an unlikely bond with Elijah's defiant sister Rebekah and through her example learns of the true source of strength and confidence- relying on the Lord. Elijah and Victoria each focus on certain scripture verses for help as they struggle to follow their hearts amid pressure and conflict from family and the community.

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

E-book sale: $1.99 for Tried and True by Mary Connealy

Tried and True

Only $1.99 for the e-book of the first book in Mary Connealy's current series Wild at Heart. I loved the first two books Tried & True and Now & Forever, rating them both 5 stars. (Read my review for Tried & True here and Now & Forever here). The third and final book, Fire & Ice will be released on October 6th.
(Be sure to check the price since e-book sales are for a limited time)


Saddle up for a wildly fun ride with the Wilde sisters!

Kylie Wilde is the youngest sister—and the most civilized. Her older sisters might be happy dressing in trousers and posing as men, but Kylie has grown her hair long and wears skirts every chance she gets. It’s a risk—they are homesteading using the special exemptions they earned serving in the Civil War as “boys”—but Kylie plans to make the most of the years before she can sell her property and return to the luxuries of life back East.

Local land agent Aaron Masterson is fascinated with Kylie from the moment her long hair falls from her cap. But now that he knows her secret, can he in good conscience defraud the U.S. government? And when someone tries to force Kylie off her land, does he have any hope of convincing her that marrying him and settling on the frontier is the better option for her future?

Friday, September 25, 2015

Review: Love's Unfading Light by Naomi Rawlings

Heidi Reads... Love's Unfading Light by Naomi Rawlings

My rating: 4 stars / I really liked it


Tressa Danell is finished with men—from the wastrel who left her a widow, to the smelly trapper who keeps proposing, to the banker who wants to repossess her bakery. Every hour is spent working to pay off her late husband’s debt and keep a roof over her son’s head, though it’s doubtful she can do both for very long. But one thing’s certain—she’ll never be beholden to a man again.

Tired of living in a small town that blames him for actions his father committed ten years ago, Mac Oakton is scheduled to leave Eagle Harbor. So why does the pretty widow at the bakery keep tugging at his heart? He can’t get involved in her predicament when he’ll only be around for two more weeks.

But when Tressa’s burdens overwhelm her, they both face a decision. Can Mac set his own plans aside to help? And can Tressa accept his support if that means giving up her independence . . . and being obligated to a man again?

My Review

In the setting of the Great Lakes and a lighthouse community is a story of triumph over trials by seeking God's unwavering love during tribulation. There is an overall feeling of tension and despondency as Tressa is struggling just to keep her head above water. I just couldn't see how things were going to work out, but I was rooting for her and Mac the whole time and trusting that a happy ending would come. I enjoyed the few occasions of playful teasing between them which was a surprise and contrasted sharply with the mood of the book. It was difficult to bond with the community since both Mac and Tressa were victims of blatant hostility, gossip and prejudice for the sins of his father and her husband, they each only had one family of friends to turn to. I'm looking forward to reading the newly released second book in the series since this first book introduces the main characters that follow. I would recommend Love's Unfading Light to fans of Jody Hedlund's Beacons of Hope series.

(I purchased a copy of this book; this is my honest review)

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Review: A Match for Addy by Emma Miller

 Heidi Reads... A Match for Addy by Emma Miller

My rating: 4 stars / I really liked it


Spinster Addy Coblentz fears she'll never marry. So her parents hire the new matchmaker who's moved to their Amish community of Seven Poplars. But Addy doesn't just want a match. She wants love. While some of her potential suitors are perfectly fine, only one man catches her eye. Gideon Esch is everything Addy's looking for: strong, kind—and handsome. But he's only a poor hired hand who can never give her family the stability they want. With her future happiness at stake, will Addy follow the rules…or follow her heart?

My Review

I liked the twists in this book. While Addy wants her own family, she is horrified that her parents hired the matchmaker to help her, especially when she is attracted to newcomer Gideon. She has lots of people giving her advice and trying to refine her rougher edges. I had a hard time with her mother who is sharp and seems to be acting in self-interest when she insists Addy marry for wealth so they will be taken care of in their old age. Gideon's thoughts are funny as he doesn't think he's ready to settle down or find a bride... until Addy slowly gets under his skin. They are sweet and fun together, even in their hard moments. A well-rounded story with a nice ending.

(Thank you to Harlequin and Love Inspired Books for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review)

Monday, September 21, 2015

Review & Giveaway: Heart's Journey by Kristen McKendry

Heidi Reads... Heart's Journey by Kristen McKendry

My rating: 5 stars / It was amazing


Adventure is in her blood, so when wealthy eighteen-year-old Rachel Hamilton’s treasure hunting father disappears in the wilderness of British Columbia, she considers only one course of action: she will embark on a quest to find him. But for a well bred woman with little understanding of the world beyond her upper class existence, the harsh realities of the trail quickly become apparent. Woefully unprepared for the hardships of crossing a wild and unsettled continent, Rachel is hungry, lost, and distraught when handsome frontiersman Peter finds her in the middle of nowhere. Taking pity on the downtrodden young woman, Peter promises to escort her to the safety of civilization. Little does he realize he’s taking on a naïve and foolishly brave girl who will test the limits of his patience. But he also discovers the same naïve girl will blossom into a strong, competent, and captivating woman as they undertake an epic journey that will forever alter both their lives.

My Review

Heart's Journey is a wonderful book with characters that come alive and a well-paced adventure through the wilds of Canada. There are some harrowing moments, but what I loved was how Rachel slowly grew as she is exposed to a whole new world and the people in it, both good and bad. Peter is essential in helping her on this journey, not only physically but mentally as she learns to see things from a new perspective and reconsiders the quick judgements she makes based on her limited upbringing. The families they interact and bond with are endearing and create an excellent cast of secondary characters. The various terrains they travel across are easy to visualize and appreciate in their wild beauty, even through their desperate circumstances. I loved how Rachel came to prefer the freedom of the great outdoors after her body grew acclimated to the tough conditions. The book has the vibe of an epic pioneer trek but with a more unique setting and a variety of interesting subplots. The romance was perfect and enhanced the tale of Rachel's journey rather than becoming the focus of the book. There are great moments between she and Peter as their relationship also undergoes a journey of its own. Highly recommend!

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

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