Monday, May 16, 2016

Read-a-thon Wrap-up

In between my review books I've been reading as many Kindle Unlimited books as I can before my free trial expires tomorrow (thanks to my toddler for signing me up when playing with my Kindle). Here's what I got read during the read-a-thon:

Review & Giveaway: Her One and Only by Becky Wade

Heidi Reads... Her One and Only by Becky Wade

My rating: 5 stars / It was amazing


Gray Fowler, star NFL tight end, is being pursued by a stalker, so his team hires a protection agency to keep Gray under the watch of a bodyguard at all times. When Gray meets Dru Porter, an agent assigned to him, he's indignant. How can an attractive young female half his size possibly protect him?

But Dru's a former Marine, an expert markswoman, and a black belt. She's also ferociously determined to uncover the identity of Gray's stalker. And she's just as determined to avoid any kind of romantic attachment between herself and the rugged football player with the mysterious past. But the closer they get to finding the stalker, the closer they grow to each other. As the danger rises, can Dru and Gray entrust their hearts--and their lives--to one another?

My Review

The Porter Family series is one of my favorites in the contemporary genre! The characters are realistically flawed, yet their strengths help them overcome the trials they face. In the beginning of this book, I didn't relate to Dru and Gray at all, didn't even like them much... so it's a real indicator of the author's skill that I began to care about them and for them, and was emotionally involved enough by the end to shed a few tears. Details of Dru and Gray's pasts and personalities were revealed slowly throughout the story, layer by layer, and I followed right along and connected with them as they connected with each other and appreciated the deeper aspects of their characters as they discovered them within each other. Not to mention their amazing chemistry!

I loved the attention to detail when describing the procedures of the security team. It was realistic and reassuring, and made Dru believable as a "executive protection agent". The author didn't leave gaping holes that have bothered me when reading other books. The element of suspense balanced the pacing of the book with the development of their feelings for each other. The secondary plot of Meg and Bo's struggles add another dimension without derailing the main plot. Those scenes will be most enjoyed by those who have read the whole series, but this book also does well as a stand alone. It made me want to go back and read the whole series all over again :) Highly recommend!

(Thank you to Litfuse Publicity and Bethany House Publishing for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review)

Meet Dru Porter, former Marine, expert markswoman, and black belt—who also happens to be assigned as a bodyguard to star NFL tight end Gray Fowler. Don't miss the final Porter family novel by Becky Wade, Her One and Only. Gray starts receiving death threats from a stalker, and Dru is determined to find his stalker. Every secret that leads Dru closer to the stalker also draws her closer to Gray. As the danger escalates, they’ll survive only if they can learn to trust their lives—and their hearts—to one another.

Join Becky in celebrating the release of Her One and Only by entering to win her Porter prize pack and $100 cash card giveaway!

her one and only - 400 

One grand prize winner will receive:
  • A copy of Her One and Only
  • A $100 cash card
  • Follow Your Heart tote bag
  • 24 oz Tervis Wonder Woman Tumbler
  • The Blind Side DVD
  • Necklace with star charm
  • Porter Family navy jersey
her one and only - prize collage 

Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry! The giveaway ends on May 31st. The winner will be announced June 1st on the Litfuse blog.


Thursday, May 12, 2016

Bout of Books Read-a-thon Update


I might not be able to post a progress update every day but I'll account for the days since my last update post. Here's how I did the first few days of the read-a-thon...

Monday 5/9
 Finished the last two novellas in the Heart of a Cowboy collection
Tuesday 5/10 

Wednesday 5/11
Started Her One and Only by Becky Wade

Five Favorites Challenge

Since I just finished a great Regency romance, I'm going to share my top five in that genre. These are books I've rated 5 stars, have read more than once, and highly recommend!



Pembrooke Park

Seeking Persephone

Pride and Prejudice

Fabulous e-book sales and a freebie!

Check out these great deals! 

Rebellious Heart by Jody Hedlund- 5 stars! One of my favorite historical authors!

Take a Chance on Me by Susan May Warren- 5 stars! This is the first book in the Christiansen Family series, one of my favorite contemporary series!

The Chicago World's Fair Mystery series by Shelley Gray- I've only read the last book which was amazing, and I'm so glad to be able to get the first two books at such a steal :)

I recently read A Twist of Faith by Pepper Basham and enjoyed it, 4 stars!

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Review & Giveaway: The Earl's Betrothal by Karen Tuft

Heidi Reads... The Earl's Betrothal by Karen Tuft

My rating: 4 stars / I really liked it


Out of the war and into another, Captain Lord Anthony Hargreaves finds the politics of romance to be as uninviting a battle as the one that nearly cost him his life in Badajoz, Spain.

Wounded both mentally and physically from the Peninsular War in 1812, Anthony returns home to find that his older brother has died, placing Anthony next in line to inherit the estate. But he’s not ready for such responsibilities. And when Anthony’s dying father pleads with him to marry and produce an heir to preserve the family title, it nearly sends Anthony over the edge; nevertheless he dutifully faces a long line of hopeful young ladies who await him. No one grabs his attention, though, like Amelia Clarke, his mother’s stunning companion, who is off-limits for the earl. But when Anthony unwittingly puts Amelia in a compromising situation, he dedicates himself to protecting her reputation.

But the horrors Anthony faced while away from home have left him feeling broken and tormented. And Anthony finds himself drawn to Miss Clarke, the only one who can chase away his demons, but he must overcome the hostility of a society driven by class, a jealous duke bent on revenge, and himself—for could Amelia ever really love a haunted man?

My Review

If you're in the mood for a Regency sweet romance with depth- in characters and in content, then The Earl's Betrothal is a book I recommend for you! Amelia is kind and compassionate, feeling grief not only for her own losses but the more recent losses of the family she now serves. I admired the strong foundation of faith that sustained her and helped her stand up in the face of society's disdain.

Anthony struggled with the darker aspects of war- the abuse of the citizens of Spain by his own soldiers, especially the women who suffered at their hands in the aftermath of battle. He has a soft heart for the women in his life and Amelia's presence in the family allows her to slip right under his defenses and offer what he needed most- acceptance.

I particularly enjoyed Anthony's friend Lucas, who shared wartime experiences with him and was in the unique position of providing support simply by knowing what he had been through and encouraging him to work toward forgiving himself.

The story doesn't follow a typical timeline for the developing relationship which was a bit refreshing, and kept me on my toes to see what twists would keep the plot moving forward. There are pleasing details of some fashion and dresses, balls and society gatherings, but it never distracted from the drama- instead the author used them as opportunities to develop and show the personalities of her cast.

Without revealing any spoilers, one particular twist in the story seemed out of place and incongruous with the rest of the book, adding a level of melodrama I didn't think was necessary.

Overall, the exchanges between Amelia and Anthony as they seek to protect each other are the best parts that stand out and had me reading swiftly to reach their next interaction :)

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Thursday, May 5, 2016

May I Suggest... Giveaway Hop

May I suggest... The Golden Gate Chronicles series by Karen Barnett!

This series of books is set in turn of the century San Fransisco, including the infamous earthquake, its aftermath, and reconstruction. There is a focus on the medical research and advances of the time with unforgettable characters. The third book, Through the Shadows, just released this month!

I will be giving away a hardcover copy of the second book in the series, Beyond the Ashes, which can be read as a stand alone. Enter to win in the Giveaway Tools widget below!

Beyond the Ashes by Karen Barnett


Where better to rebuild and face one's fears than in 1906 San Francisco, a city rising from the ashes? Ruby Marshall, a young widow, is certain she'll discover new purpose assisting her brother Robert with his cancer research, but she doesn't anticipate finding new love. Dr. Gerald Larkspur dreams of filling his empty home with family, but he'd always hoped it would be a wife and children. In the aftermath of the great earthquake, the rooms are overflowing with extended family and friends left homeless by the disaster. When Robert's widowed sister arrives, the close quarters seem close indeed. Ruby and Gerald's fledgling romance is put at risk when Gerald develops symptoms of the very disease they're striving to cure. Together they must ask--is it worth a second chance at love when time might be short?

Monday, May 2, 2016

Review: The Girl Who Heard Demons by Janette Rallison

Heidi Reads... The Girl Who Heard Demons by Janette Rallison

My rating: 5 stars / It was amazing


Shy Adelle Hansen hears demons, but she’s determined to make friends at her new high school by keeping her ability secret. When she overhears supernatural voices celebrating the impending death of the school quarterback, Levi Anderson, she knows she has to do something to prevent it. However, the demons aren’t the ones plotting; they’re just celebrating the chaos, and Adelle must contend with earthly forces as well if she wants to preserve Levi’s life. Handsome, popular Levi doesn't appreciate Adelle’s self-appointed role of guardian angel. As Adelle battles to keep him safe, she’ll have to protect her heart, too. Can she do both?

My Review

This book is so different from what I've been reading lately! The young adult perspective was refreshing, and the story is told from both Adelle and Levi's first person POV. The author skillfully portrayed each voice as distinct to their character and didn't make events overlap and get retold again. While the plot device that Adelle is able to hear demons is supernatural, it is based enough in reality that it didn't seem like fantasy or even paranormal. Her gift is one that makes her feel isolated, especially when she received backlash for trying to do good with what she learns. I appreciated that there is a subtle faith element incorporated so there is a underlying feeling of hope, as well as aligning with my own personal beliefs of relying on God while doing as much as we can to help ourselves and follow His will. The dangerous circumstances provide tension and anticipation leading towards the climax, but the interactions between Adelle and Levi are what I really enjoyed while anxiously reading to see what would happen next.

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

Children's Book Week Giveaway Hop!

I absolutely love children's books! Especially those with great illustrations. My daughter loved reading the Judy Moody books because they are chapter books, but also have color illustrations throughout. The story is fun and easy to read with a large and well-spaced font. To celebrate Children's Book Week we are giving away a hardback copy of Judy Moody & Stink: The Big Bad Blackout. Enter in the Giveaway Tools widget below for a chance to win!


Hold on to your umbrella and stock up on marshmallows — Judy and Stink face wicked weather in their third full-color adventure.

Judy and Stink and the whole Moody family hunker down with beans and batteries, ready to wait out the storm. But along with massive rain and strong winds, Hurricane Elmer throws down ghosts, squirrels, and aliens. Spooky! Just when things couldn’t possibly get any freakier — flicker, flicker, gulp! — the lights go O-U-T out. The Moodys are smack-dab in the middle of a big bad blackout! Grandma Lou proposes musical board games and some good old-fashioned storytelling. Will Hurricane Elmer go down in Moody family history as bad news, a happy memory, or simply an LBS (Long Boring Story)?

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Review: Lost King by H.B. Moore

Heidi Reads... Lost King by H.B. Moore

My rating: 5 stars / It was amazing


Undercover agent Omar Zagouri has been ordered to Giza. A prominent Egyptologist was murdered, and a priceless artifact—the only complete version of the Book of the Dead—is missing. Omar is still reeling from the recent disappearance of his girlfriend, Mia Golding, but he puts his quest to find her on hold to track down the lost piece of history.

Omar’s mission is not just to locate the sacred book; he must also rescue the two archaeologists kidnapped and forced to translate its hieroglyphics under threat of death. Their kidnapper is determined to discover the text’s rumored explosive revelation: that Moses did not receive the Ten Commandments from God but instead copied them from the Egyptians. Though Omar’s need to find Mia grows more urgent, he must focus on finding the enemy who will stop at nothing to ignite a controversy that will change history, and the world, forever.

My Review

I love the thrilling adventure that an Omar Zagouri book will promise! The story is told from multiple points of view, but the plot flows seamlessly and quickly as the mystery is uncovered. Hatshe's ancient story is fascinating and compelling as she feels the role of Pharaoh should be hers but must helplessly witness it fall to another. She is an admirable character who wants to contribute to her country and serve its people with her interest and skills in military strategy and architecture. There is romance and intrigue in her time and in the modern day story arc, as Omar tries to protect his girlfriend Mia in the middle of a dangerous assignment. We see parts told from the villain's perspective as well as some professors that get caught in the middle of an international scandal. The non-stop action that Omar finds himself in is tempered by flashbacks to Hatshe's royal drama and dilemma. Highly recommend!

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