Sunday, April 10, 2016

Review: The Dandelion Field by Kathryn Springer

Heidi Reads... The Dandelion Field by Kathryn Springer

My rating: 5 stars / It was amazing


This handsome firefighter makes a living coming to the rescue, but Gin doesn't need a man to fight her battles.

After Raine's dad walked out, Ginevieve Lightly never lived in one place too long, a rambling lifestyle that defined her daughter's youth. When their car dies in Banister Falls, Wisconsin, Gin promises Raine they can stay until she finishes her senior year of high school. Gin will do anything to make sure her daughter has a bright future . . . a future that's compromised when Raine reveals she's pregnant.

Dan Moretti has only ever called Banister Falls home. After losing his best friend in a tragic accident, Dan devoted himself to responding to fires, rescuing the helpless, and guiding Cody Bennett, his best friend's son, through life. With Cody being the epitome of the good kid, it was an easy job. Until he says four little words: The baby is mine.

Knowing gossip of Raine's pregnancy will erupt sooner or later in the small town, Gin's reflex is to grab the suitcase and escape to a new city, a new life. But with each passing day, Gin's feet stay rooted in Banister Falls, and she falls a little more for this local firefighter who shows her not all men abandon women at the first sign of smoke.

As Gin and Dan do the best they can to guide the two teenagers through their early entry into adulthood, they discover together that romance can bloom in the rockiest of situations. And God can turn the pieces of a broken past into a beautiful new beginning.

My Review

I loved the themes in this story of accepting consequences, looking for the good in others, and unconditional love and friendship. I got to know the characters in this book when I read the sequel first (I seem to be doing that a lot lately...) so reading this was like visiting old friends and discovering new stories about them. I would recommend reading them in order if you can, though ;) I liked seeing how Gin's upbringing directly influenced her attitudes but she was willing to change and try for the sake of her daughter. The steadiness of Dan's character is huge for both Gin and Raine, and as they become included under the shelter of his protective nature, he is an example of Christlike love to them. It was interesting to have the younger perspective of Cody and Raine as well as the adults; it made for a richer and more rounded telling of the story and all the emotions from various perspectives. The changing point of view never felt unbalanced and was skillfully woven as the plot unfolded. A heartfelt story of choices, consequences, and blessings.

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

Friday, April 8, 2016

Amazing e-book sale TODAY ONLY!

What an amazing deal! I love Denise Hunter's contemporary stories, and for today only you can get all four books in the Chapel Springs series for under $8!

Since losing her twin, Michael, in a drowning incident, Madison has rejected the faith he lived by. Instead, she’s devoted her life to fulfilling Michael’s dream—winning the River Sail Regatta in their small Indiana town, Chapel Springs.
As she trains for the regatta, Beckett O’Reilly is teaching Madison to swim. But he’s keeping a painful secret from her—and as they grow closer, that secret threatens to upend their lives . . . and the lives of both their families.

Creative and complicated, Jade McKinley felt like a weed in a rose garden growing up in Chapel Springs. When she left, she thought she'd never look back. But now, pregnant, alone, and broke, she has no other choice but to return.
The mayor of Chapel Springs, Daniel Dawson, has been an honorary member of the McKinley family for years. While his own home life was almost non-existent, Daniel fit right into the boisterous McKinley family. He's loved Jade for years, but she always saw him as a big brother. Now that she's back, his feelings are stronger than ever.
As Jade attempts to settle in, nothing feels right. God seems far away, she's hiding secrets from her family, and she's strangely attracted to the man who's always called her "squirt." Finding her way home may prove more difficult than she imagined.

Spirited PJ McKinley has the touch when it comes to food. Her dream of opening her own restaurant is just one building short of reality. So when a Chapel Springs resident offers her beloved ancestral home to the applicant with the best plan for the house, PJ believes it’s a contest she was meant to win.
Contractor Cole Evans is confident, professional, and swoon-worthy—but this former foster kid knows his life could have turned out very differently. When Cole discovers the contest, he believes his home for foster kids in transition has found its saving grace. All he has to do is convince the owner that an out-of-towner with a not-for-profit enterprise is good for the community.
But when the eccentric philanthropist sees PJ and Cole’s proposals, she makes an unexpected decision: the pair will share the house for a year to show what their ideas are made of. Now, with Cole and the foster kids upstairs and PJ and the restaurant below, day-to-day life has turned into out-and-out competition—with some seriously flirtatious hallway encounters on the side. Turns out in this competition, it’s not just the house on the line, it’s their hearts.

Ryan McKinley has tried to move on from his ex-wife, Abby. He’s sulked, he’s gotten angry, and ultimately he bought her dream house. Big mistake. Living alone in the massive 2-story has only made him miss her more. When her parents call him out of the blue about their anniversary party in Summer Harbor, Maine, Ryan believes God has dropped a golden opportunity straight in his lap.
Abby McKinley never exactly told her parents about the divorce. A strained relationship with her dad has culminated in a distant relationship with her parents, but she’s finally succumbed to her mom’s pressure to make the drive for their 35th-anniversary party.
Then Ryan shows up on her doorstep, looking as devastatingly handsome as ever. When he insists he’s going to Seabrook, with or without her, Abby knows she can’t say no. Her parents still think they’re married and now Ryan knows it too. Besides, he only wants to check in with his best friend from college—her cousin Beau, who just lost his dad. It’s just a one-week road-trip with the man who broke her heart. What could possibly go wrong?

Friday, April 1, 2016

Giveaway! Change of Heart by Molly Jebber in the Raining Romance Giveaway Hop

 Welcome to my stop on the Raining Romance Giveaway Hop! I'll be giving away my review copy of Change of Heart by Molly Jebber. Enter in the Giveaway Tools widget below for a chance to win!


A modern new century brings a young Amish woman an unexpected new life—and a chance to discover love's true way home…
Ohio, 1899. Soft-spoken midwife Becca Yost lived by her Amish faith's strict rules—until her fiancĂ© jilted her before their entire community. She's never been away from home, but the bustling Englischer town of Massillon, Ohio, is a welcome unexpected refuge. Especially when she goes to work for Dr. Matt Carrington, who shares her passion for healing those in need. His outgoing spirit and gentle strength show Becca a surprising new world of choices—and irresistible love. But there is one formidable obstacle: Matt's wealthy mother is determined her son will marry a society woman.

With her newfound resolve challenged, Becca decides that she and Matt must not be destined for each other after all. She accepts that she will have to forge a life alone—until a wrenching crisis and life-changing revelations teach her that true faith lies in all things, especially impossible second chances. . .

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!