Review: Fetching Sweetness by Dana Mentink

Fetching SweetnessFetching Sweetness was a lighthearted romp of a story with a much deeper underlying message. I must admit that I struggled to connect with the main characters, Rhett and Stephanie. But even though the connection wasn’t very strong for me with these characters, there were still some very sweet and tender moments that I enjoyed reading about which were wrapped up in Fetching Sweetness.

Both Rhett and Stephanie had signifigant journeys to travel both physically and emotionally in this book. Each believed that they knew the plans they had for their futures, and both of them had a lot of growing to do in understanding God’s desire to be part of their lives. Fetching Sweetness was a sweet journey with plenty of lighthearted humor.

(3.5 stars)

I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

ABOUT THE BOOK:

Fetching SweetnessStanding Between Stephanie and Her Dream
Is One Hundred Pounds of Lovable Trouble

It should have been so simple for Stephanie Pink: Meet up with Agnes Wharton in a small town in California, retrieve the reclusive author’s valuable new manuscript, and be promoted to a full-fledged literary agent.

But Agnes’s canine companion, Sweetness, decides to make a break for it before Stephanie can claim her prize. Until Agnes has Sweetness safely back at home in Eagle Cliff, Washington, Stephanie will never set eyes on the manuscript she needs to make her dreams come true.

When Stephanie tracks the runaway mutt to a campground, she meets Rhett Hastings—a man also on the run from a different life and a costly mistake. Rhett agrees to help Stephanie search for the missing dog…thus launching a surprising string of adventures and misadventures.

Once Sweetness gets added to the mix, it’s a recipe for love and loss, merriment and mayhem, fun and faith in the backwoods of the Pacific Northwest.

Purchase your own copy here.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Mentink

Dana Mentink lives in California where the weather is golden and the cheese is divine. Her family includes two little girls (affectionately nicknamed Yogi and Boo Boo.) Papa Bear works for the fire department and he met Dana doing a dinner theater production of The Velveteen Rabbit. Ironically, their parts were husband and wife.

Dana is an American Christian Fiction Writers Book of the Year finalist for romantic suspense and an award winner in the Pacific Northwest Writers Literary Contest. Her suspense novel, Betrayal in the Badlands, earned a Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice Award. Besides writing, she busies herself teaching third and fourth grade. Mostly, she loves to be home with Papa Bear, Yogi, Boo Boo, a dog with social anxiety problems, a chubby box turtle and a feisty parakeet.

Connect with Dana on her website, blog, Facebook, Pinterest, & Twitter.

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Winner of Appalachian Blessings Series

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Melanie Backus is the winner of the three books in the

Appalachian Blessings series by Sarah Loudin Thomas!

Congratulations Melanie!

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Review: Devoted Defender by Rachel Dylan

Devoted DefenderDevoted Defender is a solid addition to the Danger in the Deep South series. It can be read as a stand alone, or enjoyed as part of the series. This story has moments of high intensity action, deep spiritual questions, and the blossoming of a sweet romance. It is a great combination.

I really liked Annie and Caleb. The author did a good job of creating a very compelling back story for Annie. She had a deep-seated distrust for law enforcement that was completely understandable. Annie’s behavior and reaction to events in the story made a lot of sense considering what she went through in her past.

Caleb was also a great character. I liked how he real was devoted to Annie’s protection, just as stated in the title. He worked his hardest to keep her safe and tried to understand her viewpoints on things. There was a great faith message in the book and quite a bit of danger for Caleb and Annie to attempt to avoid. One of the best parts of Devoted Defender was the fact that it was extremely hard for Annie and Caleb to know who they could trust. That added a lot of excitement to the novel.

(4 stars)

I received a compimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

ABOUT THE BOOK:

Devoted DefenderDanger in the Deep South #2

Personal Chef Annie Thomas thought she’d finally found a safe haven from her past. But when her boss is shot in cold blood leaving her as the only witness, she’s forced to go on the run—again. And this time there is an even bigger target on her back.

Navy SEAL turned small town police chief Caleb Winters doesn’t like that danger has come to Maxwell, Georgia. But he vows to protect the innocent woman seeking refuge from an organized crime network that he knows will stop at nothing to tie up loose ends.

When hiding is no longer an option and threats surround them, will Caleb be the devoted defender Annie needs with her life on the line?

Purchase your own copy here.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

rachel dylan

Rachel Dylan writes Christian fiction including inspirational romantic suspense for Harlequin’s Love Inspired Suspense. She is a member of ACFW and RWA.  Rachel has practiced law for almost a decade and enjoys weaving together legal and suspenseful stories. She lives in Michigan with her husband and five furkids—two dogs and three cats. She is represented by Sarah Younger at Nancy Yost Literary Agency.

You can connect with Rachel on her website, Goodreads, Facebook, & Twitter.

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Review: Without Warning by Lynette Eason

Without WarningWithout Warning was an extremely action-packed suspense! Just when Katie Singleton and Daniel Matthews finished dealing with one threat to their lives, another one was upon them.

The romance was nicely woven into the story and believable in the way it developed. I liked these characters and thought that they both had interesting back stories that still emotionally impacted their daily lives. Riley, Daniel’s niece, was a great addition to the book and I enjoyed getting to know her. Without Warning was a good second novel for the Elite Guardians series.

I am now looking very forward to reading the third book in the series. The preview chapter at the end of Without Warning was really good and I am happy that the next installment will be about Maddy and Quinn.

(4 stars)

I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

ABOUT THE BOOK:

Without WarningKatie Singleton, a partner with the Elite Guardians Protection Agency, stumbles upon her next assignment quite by accident. Spotting blue lights at a familiar restaurant, she stops to investigate, only to discover that owner Daniel Matthews has become the target of someone who will go to any lengths to put him out of business.
Daniel might be concerned, but he’s not convinced that a bodyguard–and a female one at that–is necessary. A new attack and his niece’s urgings are enough to make him reconsider. He and Katie must figure out who’s behind the intimidation and threats–before a would-be killer strikes again.

Purchase a copy here.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

LynnetteEason

Lynette Eason is the bestselling author of the Women of Justice series, the Deadly Reunions series, and the Hidden Identity series, as well as Always Watching and Without Warning in the Elite Guardians series. She is the winner of an ACFW Carol Award, the Selah Award, and the Inspirational Readers’ Choice Award. She lives in South Carolina.

You can connect with Lynnette on her website, her blog, Facebook, and Twitter.

 

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Review: The Things We Knew by Catherine West

The Things We KnewThis was such a great book! The author did a wonderful job of making these characters feel real. The Things We Knew is a contemporary novel, yet the author used flashbacks to slowly reveal the truth behind this family and their large Nantucket home.

I loved that there was a primary story and developing romance between the characters of Lynette and her neighbor, Nick. However, there was also a very interesting storyline that captured me about Lynette’s brother, Gray, and what had happened in his life. I thought that the author did an excellent job of introducing all of the Carlisle family members to her readers, showing us where they were in life now, and then allowing us to realize how past events had been affecting each of their futures.

I was completely caught up in this book and could hardly set it down. And once I did, I truly regretted that it was over and that I couldn’t read more about these characters! There was also a ribbon of a faith that wove its way through the book in a very natural and realistic way.

This was the first book that I have read by this author, but I definitely plan to read more! Highly recommended.

(5 stars)

I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Landing page:
About the book:

The Things We Knew
The Things We Knew (Thomas Nelson, July 2016)

A tragedy from the past resurfaces in this tale of family secrets and reignited love.

After her mother’s death twelve years ago, Lynette Carlisle watched her close-knit family unravel. One by one, her four older siblings left their Nantucket home and never returned. All seem to harbor animosity toward their father, silently blaming him for their mother’s death. Nobody will talk about that dreadful day, and Lynette can’t remember a bit of it.

But when next-door neighbor Nicholas Cooper returns to Nantucket, he brings the past with him. Once her brother’s best friend and Lynette’s first crush, Nick seems to hiding things from her. Lynette wonders what he knows about the day her mother died and hopes he might help her remember the things she can’t.

But Nick has no intention of telling Lynette the truth. Besides the damage it might cause his own family, he doesn’t want to risk harming the fragile friendship between him and the woman he once thought of as a kid sister.

As their father’s failing health and financial concerns bring the Carlisle siblings home, secrets begin to surface—secrets that will either restore their shattered relationships or separate the siblings forever. But pulling up anchor on the past propels them into the perfect storm, powerful enough to make them question all they ever believed in.

Purchase a copy: http://bit.ly/29vkFGh

About the author:
 
 

Catherine West writes stories of hope and healing from her island home in Bermuda. When she’s not at the computer working on her next story, you can find her taking her Border collie for long walks on the beach or tending to her roses and orchids. She and her husband have two grown children.

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Review: To Follow Her Heart by Rebecca DeMarino

To Follow Her HeartTo Follow Her Heart was a book that kept me turning the pages to the very end, wondering what would happen next. These characters did not always do what I wanted them to. They frequently made choices I did not agree with. And things happened in this book that made me upset. But, I was amazed at the realistic feeling of this story. I was totally immersed. To Follow Her Heart is book three in the series, and I think a reader could probably follow along fairly well with this story if they hadn’t read the first two books, but I wouldn’t recommend skipping A Place in His Heart or To Capture Her Heart. The characters found in book three weave their way through books one and two and make To Follow Her Heart that much more meaningful if the reader knows the entire history.

I had a love/hate relationship with the two main characters, Jeremy and Patience. On the one hand, I actually really liked both of them and wanted them to settle together. On the other hand, Jeremy and Patience seemed to be caught up in this dance where Jeremy would claim to want to settle down and then Patience would allow him to place other things above their love. That was hard to watch. But, the author did such a great job of making me really feel the emotions of both of these characters, that I did revel in their journey. I plan to go back and read book one again soon!

(4 stars)

I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

ABOUT THE BOOK:

To Follow Her HeartA Satisfying, Emotionally Rich Conclusion to The Southold Chronicles Series

It is 1664 and Patience Terry is devastated to learn that Captain Jeremy Horton’s ship has been shipwrecked off the coast of Barbados, with no survivors. She had hoped that Jeremy would someday give up the sea and settle down with her in Southold, Long Island.

Unaware his memorial service is being planned, Jeremy is rescued and aboard a British Naval Gunship with secret orders to attack New Amsterdam and claim it for the British Crown. When he makes his surprise return to Southold–and to an overjoyed Patience–it’s not the happily-ever-after his beloved had hoped for.

With a finely tuned sense for authentic historical characters and settings, Rebecca DeMarino plunges readers into the 17th century–a world of high seas and tall ships, daring journeys and yearning hearts.

Purchase your copy here.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

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Rebecca DeMarino is the author of A Place in His Heart, book one of The Southold Chronicles, a series inspired by her ninth great-grandparents, Barnabas and Mary Horton. She inherited her love of baking and gardening from her mother; a love of horses, reading, and writing from her dad; and the wanderlust gene from both parents. Rebecca lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, Tom.

You can connect with Rebecca on her website, blog, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads,Google+, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.

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Review PLUS Three Book Giveaway: A Tapestry of Secrets by Sarah Loudin Thomas

A Tapestry of SecretsOnce again, this author has transported me to the heart of Appalachia. A Tapestry of Secrets is primarily a contemporary novel, yet there are flashbacks to Perla’s youth. Perla is a character that readers met earlier in the series, yet if you have not read the other books, I believe that A Tapestry of Secrets does give enough information to act as a stand alone novel. I have read all of the books in the series and loved reconnecting with several characters from earlier novels.

There are really two main stories taking place in this book. Ella is Perla’s granddaughter and is really trying to find her place in this world. She struggles to understand about having a deep relationship with God, she questions her past judgement in a recent relationship and wonders if romance will ever be a part of her life, she values family and history and keeps both deep in her heart.

Perla’s story is both of the past and the present as she struggles to heal and share the truth about what happened in her life so long ago. I really enjoyed finding out more and more in small snippets throughout the book. I thought that both Ella and Perla’s stories were equally intriguing. I enjoyed this novel.

(4 stars)

I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

GIVEAWAY

I thought it would be fun to give away one full set of the Appalachian Blessings series! One person will win a set of these three paperback copies:

Miracle in a Dry Season, Until the Harvest, and A Tapestry of Secrets.

Giveaway rules:

US addresses only please due to shipping costs.

Giveaway begins on 8/18/16 and ends on 8/24/16. Winner will be announced on the blog and will also receive an email notifiction. Winner will have a week to respond.

To enter please click on the photograph below to be taken to rafflecopter.

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a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Review: The Loyal Heart by Shelley Shepard Gray

The Loyal HeartThe Loyal Heart was an interesting story. I liked the setting of post-Civil War Galveston, Texas. I also enjoyed reading the flashbacks to the prisoner of war camp. I felt as if these flashbacks allowed me to understand Robert Truax and the men he served with.

I was intrigued with the way Miranda Markham’s good name and standing in the town had been completely dissolved with rumors and innuendo. The mystery of who was behind the rumors and threats kept me reading to discover the culprit. Without going into detail because I certainly don’t want to spoil anything in a book for a reader, I have to say that in real life, I am not sure that the even the events at the end of the book could have truly restored Miranda’s good name after so many had believed and spread the rumors.

Parts of the book moved slowly for me, even though I enjoyed the story. The pace did pick up in the latter half of the book and I enjoyed seeing how things came together. This novel contains mystery and a light romance.

(4 stars)

I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

ABOUT THE BOOK:

The Loyal HeartRobert came to Galveston to fulfill his promise to a dying man and look after his widow. He didn’t expect to find love in the unlikeliest of places.

Robert Truax, former Second Lieutenant and Confederate officer in the Civil War, made a promise to his comrade Phillip Markham. If anything happened to Phillip, Robert would look after his beloved wife, Miranda. She was his life, his world, his everything.

After the war, Robert is left to pick up the pieces and fulfill his pact. When he arrives at Miranda’s home in Galveston, Texas, things are worse than he imagined. Phillip’s name has been dragged through the mud, everyone in town believes him to be a traitor, and his widow is treated as an outcast. Even more disturbing is her emotional well-being. Miranda seems hopeless, lost, and so very alone.

Robert had thought his duty would be simple. He would help Miranda as quickly as possible in order to honor a promise. But the moment Robert laid eyes on her, his plans changed. He’s mesmerized by her beauty and yearns to help her in any way he can.

He makes it his duty to protect Miranda, turn her reputation around, and to find some way to help her smile again. But it doesn’t prove to be an easy task—Robert knows something about Phillip that could shake Miranda to the core and alter her view of the man she thought she knew so well.

Purchase your own copy here.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Shelley Shepard Gray

Shelley Shepard Gray is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, a finalist for the American Christian Fiction Writers prestigious Carol Award, and a two-time HOLT Medallion winner. She lives in southern Ohio, where she writes full-time, bakes too much, and can often be found walking her dachshunds on her town’s bike trail.
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Review: An Amish Harvest

by Beth Wiseman, Amy Clipston, Kathleen Fuller, & Vannetta Chapman

An Amish HarvestIf you are a fan of Amish fiction, An Amish Harvest is a collection of novellas that you won’t want to miss! I really enjoyed these stories. Each and every one of these novellas felt like a full story to me. They were shorter than full length novels, obviously, but each story had characters that felt fully developed and situations that did not feel rushed.

I especially enjoyed the romance between the characters in Beth Wiseman’s novella, Under the Harvest Moon. The situation that Naomi finds herself in, and Brock’s caring and kindness made for a beautiful story. The other novella whose romance really touched my heart was Kathleen Fuller’s story, A Quiet Love. This novella was unlike any I’ve read before.  I knew the character, Amos Mullet, from other books by this author. It was an absolute joy to read about his chance for happiness.

Vannetta Chapman’s novella, Mischief in the Autumn Air, was so fun! The author kept me guessing the entire time concerning the mystery that needed solving and I really enjoyed reading about Martha and Eli. Amy Clipston’s novella, Love and Buggy Rides, had the perfect combination of young love and angst! It was a great peek into family relationships and expectations for the young women and men in Amish families. This was a fun collection of stories.

(4 stars)

I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

ABOUT THE BOOK:

An Amish HarvestFaith, hope, and love remain forever in season in this collection of four richly absorbing novellas set amidst the wonder of an Amish autumn.

Under the Harvest Moon, by Beth Wiseman

When Naomi Dienner is suddenly widowed, she never expects to find love again . . . until she meets Brock Mulligan, an English family friend hired at harvest time. As a sinister presence begins to threaten Naomi, Brock seeks to prove himself trustworthy while struggling with growing feelings for Naomi and her children. Will God open Naomi’s heart—and give Brock his own second chance at love?

Love and Buggy Rides, by Amy Clipston

Janie Lantz is a cashier at Lancaster Souvenirs and Buggy Rides, where Jonathan Stoltfuz is a buggy driver. A frightening accident brings Janie and Jonathan together in a blossoming friendship, yet daunting obstacles stand between them and something deeper. Can love kindle into flames that burn away fear and regret—and lead them to a life together?

Mischief in the Autumn Air, by Vannetta Chapman

When items start going above market value at his auction house, Eli Wittmer is first thrilled, and then puzzled. But when the house is broken into, Eli and his new bookkeeper, Martha Beiler track down a trail of clues. Will they solve the mystery before the fall festival ends—and discover an unexpected new love?

A Quiet Love, by Kathleen Fuller

Dinah Hochstetler, quiet and bookish, longs for marriage but hides in her shyness. Amos Mullett, a simple farmer, knows he’s different but aches for a loving wife. As Dinah and Amos navigate a budding romance, will the power of love—and the blessing of God—be enough to overcome their doubters?

Purchase your own copy here.

CONNECT WITH THE AUTHORS:

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Amy Clipston – website, Twitter, Facebook

Kathleen Fuller

Kathleen Fuller – websiteTwitterFacebook

Beth Wiseman

 

Beth Wiseman –  website, Facebook, Twitter.

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Vannetta Chapman –  website, blog, Facebook, Pinterest, TwitterGoodreads.

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Review: A Heart Most Certain by Melissa Jagears

A Heart Most CertainA Heart Most Certain was such a deep and moving story! The author did an amazing job of filling the book with rich, historic details which made me feel that I had traveled back in time to the fictional town of Teaville, Kansas.

This novel was truly a wonderful combination of history, romance, and social commentary. While a piece of historical fiction, the behavior of the church members toward women and children whom society had thrown away, was clearly not in tune with the teachings of the Bible. The hypocritical behavior of these people was very well-written. Watching Lydia and Nicholas attempt to do actual good for the downtrodden while others simply condemned them spoke volumes.

Not only did A Heart Most Certain address the issue of church hypocrisy and the attitudes of the hearts of its members, but there were some fabulously disturbing villains, who seemed almost untouchable. And through it all, there was a heartwarming love story that grew and flourished within the pages, coming to a beautiful conclusion. I am looking forward to future books in this series.

(5 stars)

I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

ABOUT THIS BOOK:

A Heart Most CertainLydia King knows what it’s like to be in need, so when she joins the Teaville Moral Society, she genuinely hopes to help the town’s poor. But with her father’s debts increasing by the day and her mother growing sicker by the week, she wonders how long it will be until she ends up in the poor house herself. Her best chance at a financially secure future is to impress the politician courting her, and it certainly doesn’t hurt that the moral society’s president is her suitor’s mother. Her first task as a moral society member—to obtain a donation from Nicholas Lowe, the wealthiest man in town—should be easy . . . except he flat-out refuses.
Despite appearances, Nicholas wants to help others but prefers to do it his own way, keeping his charity private. When Lydia proves persistent, they agree to a bargain, though Nicholas has a few surprises up his sleeve. Neither foresee the harrowing complications that will arise from working together. When town secrets are brought to light, this unlikely pair must decide where their beliefs—and hearts—truly align.

Purchase your own copy here.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Melissa Jagears

Melissa Jagears is a Carol Award-winning author, a homeschooling mother to three, and an extreme night owl.

You can connect with Melissa on her website, blog, Facebook (author page), Facebook (blog page), Goodreads, and Pinterest.

 

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