Review: An Uncommon Protector by Shelley Shepard Gray

An Uncommon ProtectorAn Uncommon Protector is a great addition to the Lone Star Hero collection. The stories in this series can stand alone. Each story contains a hero who was part of a group of Confederate POW soldiers. These men formed an incredible bond that proved to be strong even after the war was over and these stories took place. The bond between these men provided the common link between the stories. I liked both the main story and the flashbacks to the POW camp. Those flashbacks helped me understand how Thomas viewed himself within the group.

This novel was really enjoyable to read. It had danger, vile characters, sweet and tender romance, and hope. I really liked both main characters. Laurel was a strong woman, yet she learned when to ask for help and rely on others. Thomas had to overcome a lot in his life. Even in this book he had growing to do, yet he was a strong and loyal defender.

This story was a joy to read from start to finish and I definitely recommend it to fans of historical fiction set around the civil war era.

(4 stars)

I received a complimentary copy of this book. All opinions are my own.

ABOUT THE BOOK:

An Uncommon ProtectorOverwhelmed by the responsibilities of running a ranch on her own, Laurel Tracey decides to hire a convict—a man who’s just scary enough to take care of squatters and just desperate enough to agree to a one year post.

The years following the war have been hard on Laurel Tracey. Both her brother and her father died in battle, and her mother passed away shortly after receiving word of their demise. Laurel has been trying to run her two hundred acre ranch as best she can.

When she discovers that squatters have settled in her north pasture and have no intention of leaving, Laurel decides to use the last of her money to free a prisoner from the local jail. If she agrees to offer him room and board for one year, he will have to work for her to pay off his debt.

Former soldier Thomas Baker knows he’s in trouble when he finds himself jailed because he couldn’t pay a few fines. Laurel’s offer might be his only ticket out. Though she’s everything he ever dreamed of in a woman—sweet and tender-hearted, yet strong—he’s determined to remain detached, work hard on her behalf, and count the days until he’s free again.

But when cattle start dying and the squatters damage a barn, Thomas realizes more than just his freedom is on the line. Laurel needs someone to believe in her and protect her property. And it isn’t long before Laurel realizes that Thomas Baker is far more than just a former soldier. He’s a trustworthy hero who’s survived a terrible past. He needs more than just his freedom, he needs her love and care too.

Purchase your own copy here.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Shelley Shepard Gray

Shelley Shepard Gray is a New York Times and USA Todaybestselling 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: The Ringmaster’s Wife by Kristy Cambron

The Ringmaster's WifeThis was a very beautifully written novel! It was the first book that I have read by this author and I really enjoyed her writing style. For the first few chapters, I had to work very hard to keep the dual timelines and characters straight. But after getting to know the characters, it was not a problem to time hop through this dual timeline story. In fact, it kept me reading to find out what would happen next!

The pacing of the story was leisurely. It was slow, but not in a bad way. As I moved through the book, I appreciated the way the author introduced sections of the story in a gentle way and then hopped to the other timeline and did the same. I guess this could frustrate some readers, but I really liked it.

The characters and love stories that developed in both timelines were great. I definitely felt connected to John, Mable, Colin, and Rosamund and hoped for the best for them. The Ringmaster’s Wife kept me turning the pages and invested in the lives of these characters!

(4 stars)

I received a complimentary copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

ABOUT THE BOOK:

The Ringmaster's WifeWhat is revealed when you draw back the curtain of the Greatest Show on Earth?

Rosamund Easling is no stranger to opulence. As the daughter of an earl, she’s grown up with every comfort money can buy. But when hard times befall the family’s Yorkshire estate in the aftermath of the Great War, Rosamund’s father sells her beloved horse, setting the stage for a series of events that would extend beyond even her wildest dreams.

Though expected to marry for a title instead of love, Rosamund feels called to a different life – one of adventure outside the confines of a ladies’ parlor. She abandons all she’s known and follows in pursuit as her horse is shipped to the new owner – an American entertainer by the name of John Ringling. Once introduced to the Ringling Brothers’ circus and knowing she has much to learn, Rosamund agrees to a bareback riding apprenticeship in the shadow of the Ringlings’ winter home—Ca’D’Zan. It is at that mansion, in what would become the last days of the enigmatic Mable Ringling’s life, that Rosamund finds a deeper sense of purpose in the life she’s been given, and the awakening of faith in her heart.

With a supporting cast of characters as mysterious and dazzling as the Ringlings’ big-top world, Rosamund’s journey takes her from the tradition of the English countryside to the last days of America’s Roaring ‘20s—a journey that forever changes what one life might have been.

Purchase your own copy here.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Kristy Cambron

KRISTY CAMBRON has a background in art and design, but she fancies life as a vintage-inspired storyteller. She is the bestselling author of The Ringmaster’s Wife, named to Publishers Weekly Spring 2016 Religion & Spirituality TOP 10. Her novels have been named to Library Journal Reviews’ Best Books and RT Reviewers’ Choice Awards Best lists for 2014 & 2015, and received a 2015 INSPY Awards nomination for best debut novel. The Illusionist’s Apprentice (HarperCollins, 2017) is her fourth novel. Her first Bible study DVD and study guides, The Verse Mapping series, will release in 2018.

Kristy holds a degree in Art History from Indiana University, and has 15 years experience in education and leadership development for a Fortune-100 Corporation. She loves storytelling from the stage and travels to speak about her love for Bible Verse Mapping throughout the year. Kristy lives in Indiana with her husband and three sons, where she can probably be bribed with a coconut mocha latte and a good read.

The last and most important thing? Jesus Christ is everything — let her tell you about Him sometime.

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Review: The Message in a Bottle Romance Collection

by  Joanne Bischof,  Amanda Dykes, Heather Day Gilbert, Jocelyn Green, & Maureen Lang

Message in a Bottle

I enjoyed this novella collection so much! With an overarching theme of hope, each story drew me in and captured my heart as I watched various characters learn to embrace hope regardless of circumstances.

I loved that these stories were all set in different time periods, with characters and situations that varied with each novella. Yet, even still, that theme of hope was woven through each story by way of a bronze bottle as it traveled through history.

I enjoyed every single novella in this book. The prologue and epilogue both started and ended the collection nicely. I truly loved the variety in the different novellas! The fact that the stories covered such a wide range of history, from Viking times to late 1800’s America, made for a very enjoyable experience.

If you enjoy historical fiction, I definitely recommend The Message in a Bottle Romance Collection!

(5 stars)

I received a complimentary copy of this book. All opinions are my own.

ABOUT THE BOOK:

Message in a BottleJoin the journey as one word etched in Latin on an ancient bronze bottle travels through the centuries to reach five young women who are struggling to maintain their faith in God and love. An Irish princess, a Scottish story weaver, a Post-Colonial nurse, a cotton mill worker, and a maid who nearly drowned each receive a message from the bottle just when they need their hope restored. But will the bottle also bring them each to a man whose love will endure?

Purchase your own copy here.

 

 

CONNECT WITH THE AUTHORS:

Joanne-Bischof-Headshot-1

Joanne Bischof

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Amanda Dykes

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heatherdaygilbert

Heather Day Gilbert

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Jocelyn Green

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maureenlang

Maureen Lang

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Review: Then Came You by Becky Wade

Then Came YouGet ready for a brand new series from Becky Wade with this free prequel novella. Don’t be fooled…this novella is packed full of angst, humor, and heart. It’s a peek into the life of a man who made some bad choices, struggled to overcome them, persevered, and eventually found love.

The way the author used letters, journal entries, phone calls, and notes as a way to see into the minds of the two main characters really enhanced the story. It worked so well! I also enjoyed that these characters had a lot to overcome. By the time Garner and Kathleen even met, Garner had experienced so much heartache and carried a hugely heave weight on his shoulders.

This was a story I could hardly set down! I definitely recommend it and I am very excited about the upcoming series!

(5 stars)

Free for Kindle here!

Free for Nook here!

(It will also be released in a print version for $5.99.)

ABOUT THE BOOK:

Then Came You

A leather-bound journal. A single father. A woman in pursuit of freedom.

Garner Bradford, heir to the troubled Bradford Shipping empire, doesn’t know much about babies. But he’s going to have to learn fast because he’s just become a single father to his newborn daughter. As he confesses through his journal entries, he’s not entirely sure how to keep a newborn alive, whether or not he’ll ever patch together his shattered heart, or how to forgive himself for his mistakes.

Career girl Kathleen Burke is wholly uninterested in settling down. She has big dreams, and none of them include Garner and his small hometown in Washington State. Yet she can’t seem to get her handsome boss out of her head or her heart. There’s something extraordinarily tempting about his beautifully sad green eyes. . . .

Told through journal entries, phone conversations, and letters, Then Came You is a unique, heart-stirring romance novella by acclaimed author Becky Wade.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Becky Wade

Becky’s a California native who attended Baylor University, met and married a Texan, and settled in Dallas.  She published historical romances for the general market before putting her career on hold for several years to care for her three children.  When God called her back to writing, Becky knew He meant for her to turn her attention to Christian fiction.  She loves writing funny, modern, and inspirational contemporary romance!  She’s the Carol Award, INSPY Award, and Inspirational Reader’s Choice Award winning author of My Stubborn Heart, Undeniably Yours, Meant to Be Mine,  A Love Like Ours, and Her One and Only.

Connect with Becky:

Website: www.beckywade.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/authorbeckywade

Twitter: http://twitter.com/beckywadewriter

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5298259.Becky_Wade

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/beckywadewriter/

Instagram: http://instagram.com/beckywadewriter

Blog: http://inspiredbylifeandfiction.com/blog/

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Review: For Love and Honor by Jody Hedlund

For Love and HonorI have loved each of the stories in the An Uncertain Choice series. The books can be read as stand alone novels or enjoyed as a collection. They are perfect for teens and adults, alike. As wonderful as each novel has been, For Love and Honor is my favorite of the three!

The way Lady Sabine felt about herself throughout most of the novel really caught at my heart. Not only did she view herself as plain when compared to others, she just knew that no one could ever love her with the terrible skin blemish she hid beneath her glove.

Sir Bennet caught at my heart for completely different reasons! I admired him for his good intentions in trying to help his family recover from devastating financial conditions. I also thought he did an admirable job in trying to get to know Sabine. He was a kind and honorable man and I loved seeing him begin to realize that he cared for Sabine. However, there were a couple of times that he simply did or said the exact wrong thing to Sabine, causing her much angst! How very human and real he was in those moments. These two characters had great chemistry on the pages.

This story reminds us that no one is perfect, except for God, and that the outside appearance is not what is important to Him. An excellent message for everyone to remember. For Love and Honor was truly a joy to read from beginning to end. I could hardly set this book down! I’m looking forward to hearing my teen’s thoughts on it once she reads it.

(5 stars)

I received a complimentary copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

ABOUT THE BOOK:

For Love and HonorLady Sabine is harboring a skin blemish, one, that if revealed, could cause her to be branded as a witch, put her life in danger, and damage her chances of making a good marriage. After all, what nobleman would want to marry a woman so flawed?

Sir Bennet is returning home to protect his family from an imminent attack by neighboring lords who seek repayment of debts. Without fortune or means to pay those debts, Sir Bennet realizes his only option is to make a marriage match with a wealthy noblewoman. As a man of honor, he loathes the idea of courting a woman for her money, but with time running out for his family’s safety, what other choice does he have?

As Lady Sabine and Sir Bennet are thrust together under dangerous circumstances, will they both be able to learn to trust each other enough to share their deepest secrets? Or will those secrets ultimately lead to their demise?

Purchase your own copy here.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

JodyHedlundnew

Jody Hedlund is an award-winning and bestselling historical fiction author. She won the 2011 Inspirational Reader’s Choice Award, the 2011 Award of Excellence from the Colorado Romance Writers and was a finalist for Best Debut Novel in the 2011 ACFW Carol Awards. Currently she makes her home in central Michigan, with her husband and five busy children. She loves hearing from readers on Facebook and on her blog.

Find Jody online:website, Twitter, Facebook

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Review: Incomplete Sentence by E. E. Kennedy

incomplete-sentenceI recently came across a delightful cozy mystery! Incomplete Sentence is the fourth book in the Miss Prentice Cozy Mystery series. I thought that the premise for the book sounded intriguing and decided to give it a try, even though I had not read the earlier books in the series. I found that I did not have a problem learning the characters and diving into the story. It was charming!

Full of humor and wit, along with a definite sense of coziness, Incomplete Sentence was fun to read. The heroine had quirks that made me laugh, such as constantly wanting to correct people’s grammar. The story was also filled with many interesting characters that gave it the “cozy” charm that these types of stories are known for.

The idea that there was a killer on the loose, and perhaps it was someone who had been on the run for two decades, kept me reading. There were several possible suspects and I appreciated that the author kept the story fresh in this way. If you are a fan of cozy mysteries, I definitely recommend Incomplete Sentence.

(4 stars)

ABOUT THE BOOK:

incomplete-sentenceGregory Rasmussen, the infamous Rasputin Killer, never served the sentence handed down in absentia for a particularly brutal murder. He has eluded the law for years, but he is now believed to be in the North Country. When a resident is murdered at the local retirement home, speculation about the killer’s identity fills the headlines. Then another victim is found at Chez Prentice.

Trapped in her snowbound B&B with elderly new friend Hugh Channing, father of the first victim, and her baby, Janet, Amelia Prentice Dickensen and her staff are asking themselves: Where is the murderer? Is he really the Rasputin Killer? Could one of their guests be the infamous psychopath, known for his power to charm and his fine singing voice? Will publicity surrounding the discovery of a dead body in the basement put the B&B out of business?

Interspersed with humor and local Adirondack color, Amelia’s latest murder case is especially chilling.

Purchase your own copy here.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

e-e-kennedy

Ellen Edwards Kennedy (aka EEK) grew up in Miss Prentice’s region of far northern New York State and lived with her husband and children across the South and West. This has given her a deep love for these areas and a sharp ear for regional accents. Before becoming a mystery writer, she was an award-winning advertising copywriter. Along with the Miss Prentice Mysteries, she is the author of a Christian romance novella, “The Applesauce War,” in the anthology, THE FARMER’S BRIDE, from Barbour Books; and ANOTHER THINK COMING, a mystery set in Texas.

IRREGARDLESS OF MURDER introduces high school teacher Amelia Prentice, an ordinary woman thrust into extraordinary circumstances. Book Two in the Miss Prentice series, DEATH DANGLES A PARTICIPLE, follows the further adventures of Amelia as she tries to clear two of her students accused of a brutal murder, and book three, MURDER IN THE PAST TENSE, introduces us to Amelia and friends as teenagers. The fourth book in the series, INCOMPLETE SENTENCE, was released earlier this year. The fifth in the series, THE VILLAGE IDIOM, is in production.

Ellen writes articles at The Wordsmith Journal Magazine, http://www.twjm.com and at the SuspenseSisters website.
In recent months, she has written material for and performed in radio dramas on the Christian Car Guy Show on the Truth Christian Network. You can hear one of the plays here:
http://christiancarguy.com/jimmy-and-the-road-hog/

She is a member of ChiLibris, American Christian Fiction Writers, Christian Author’s Network, Light of Carolina Writers, Sisters in Crime, the Cary Writers’ Circle, Suspense Sisters and MurderMustAdvertise.
She and her husband live in North Carolina, are born-again Christians, and the happy, blessed grandparents of five little answers to prayer.

Website

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Review: How to Lose a Guy in 10 Dates by Lacy Williams

how-lose-guyHow to Lose a Guy in 10 Dates was filled with humor and heart. This sweet story caught me within its pages right away and didn’t let go till the very end.

I loved the way the author included humorous question and answer blurbs from the various online dates that Angela was considering. It was the perfect way to start each chapter.

I really liked Angela’s character. She was a loving mom, a kind person, and she questioned whether she was worthy of love after her failed marriage. Drew was also a wonderful character. He brought a lot of heart to the story. It was hard to watch as he struggled with grief and confusion regarding his feelings for Angela. The author handled these conflicting emotions very well and provided a wonderful second chance to two very likable characters.

(5 stars)

ABOUT THE BOOK:

how-lose-guyWith their ten-year high school reunion on the horizon, four girlfriends make a pact to find the perfect guy—online. But nothing about online dating is simple…

Single mom Angela Hudson thought she was ready to dip her toe in the dating waters again after her marriage imploded, but as dates #1, #2 and #3 turn out disastrous, she wonders if this is really worth it. Especially when she’s more attracted to the handsome coffeeshop barista than any of her dates…

Drew Scheffield is only in town for the summer. He hoped working in his brother’s coffeeshop would distract him from the grief of losing his young wife. But as he gets to know Angela and sees her dating guys #4, #5 and #6, he discovers his heart isn’t as dead as he thought it was…

As Angela’s dates #7, #8 and #9 go wrong, she and Drew get close–even though she knows he’s leaving. Can Drew open his heart to love again, or will Angela lose the perfect guy in 10 dates?

10 Dates is the first of four love stories in the Matched Online anthology

*How to Lose a Guy in 10 Dates by Lacy Williams
*A Package Deal by Robin Patchen
*Rival Hearts by Susan Crawford
*Engaged by Friday by Julie Jarnagin

Purchase a copy here.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

LacyWilliams

Lacy Williams is a wife and mom from Oklahoma. She loves dogs, reading, hiking, and watching movies.

Her debut novel won ACFW’s prestigious Genesis award before being published. She promises readers happily-ever-afters guaranteed.

Lacy combines her love of dogs with her passion for literacy by volunteering with her therapy dog Mr. Bingley in a local Kids Reading to Dogs program.

Lacy loves to hear from readers at lacyjwilliams@gmail.com . You can find more original fiction (short stories) and giveaways at her website and can be found on social media at www.facebook.com/lacywilliamsbooks and www.twitter.com/lacy_williams .

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Book Winner Chosen – Raging Storm

raging-storm

Congratulations to Maryann for winning the copy of Raging Storm by Vannetta Chapman. Thank you to everyone who entered the giveaway! I have emailed the winner.

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Review – My Heart Belongs in Fort Bliss, Texas: Priscilla’s Reveille by Erica Vetsch

my-heart-fort-blissThis was such an enjoyable story and a fun peek back into history. Elliot and Priscilla were both easy characters to like. Even though they each thought that they knew what would be best for the orphaned twins, it was the journey of watching their hearts grow toward each other that was very special in this story. The twins, Tessa and Timothy, were also great characters and very nicely written.

My Heart Belongs in Fort Bliss, Texas: Priscilla’s Reveille was filled with romance, danger, and many obstacles for the characters to overcome. I enjoyed this trip back in time!

(4 stars)

I received a complimentary copy of this book and was under no obligation to post a review.

ABOUT THE BOOK:

my-heart-fort-blissJourney now to Fort Bliss in West Texas of 1874, where…
A Battle Is About to be Waged Between Two Hearts.

 Fashion artist Priscilla Hutchens has a grudge against the army that has ruined her family and taken the people she holds most dear. When her twin niece and nephew are left orphaned at Fort Bliss, Texas, she swoops down on Fort Bliss to gain custody of them immediately.

There is just one thing standing in the way—Post surgeon Major Elliot Ryder, who is also the twins uncle, also claims the children and thinks he knows what is best for them.

Priscilla and Elliot will cross swords, but each will have to lay down arms if they are to find a lasting peace on which to form the family both are longing for.  Who will win the battle? Or will a truce be called for the sake of love and family?

Purchase your own copy here.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

erica-vetsch

Even though Erica Vetsch has set aside her career teaching history to high school students in order to homeschool her own children, but her love of history hasn’t faded. Erica’s favorite books are historical novels and history books, and one of her greatest thrills is stumbling across some obscure historical factoid that makes her imagination leap. She’s continually amazed at how God has allowed her to use her passion for history, romance, and daydreaming to craft historical romances that entertain readers and glorify Him. Whenever she’s not following flights of fancy in her fictional world, Erica is the company bookkeeper for her family’s lumber business, a mother of two terrific teens, wife to a man who is her total opposite and yet her soul mate, and an avid museum patron.

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Review: A Note Yet Unsung by Tamera Alexander

a-note-yet-unsungA Note Yet Unsung was a wholly satisfying and deeply emotion-filled novel! I enjoyed it so very much! Even though this story is the third in a series, it is also written as a stand alone novel. I did not feel as if I missed any important information, even though I had not read the first two books that are lightly connected to it.

For me, a person who comes from a very musical background, reading a story set around the symphony was simply perfection. The author did an amazing job of making me feel as if I was experiencing and hearing the music, even though I was simply reading words on a page.

I also loved the portions of the story that were set in the Appalachians. Once again, it just felt so real, as if I was experiencing it firsthand. The romance between Tate and Rebekah was beautiful and full of difficulties that had to be overcome. I enjoyed seeing how they started as adversaries, yet grew to respect each other.

This novel also brought tears to my eyes in a couple of spots. I am not a reader who generally cries. I can count four books in the last ten years that have wrought that emotion out of me, and this is one of them. I thoroughly enjoyed this story from start to finish!

(5 stars)

I received a complimentary copy of this book. All opinions are my own.

ABOUT THE BOOK:

a-note-yet-unsungDespite her training as a master violinist, Rebekah Carrington was denied entry into the Nashville Philharmonic by young conductor Nathaniel Whitcomb, who bowed to public opinion. Now, with a reluctant muse and a recurring pain in his head, he needs her help to finish his symphony. But how can he win back her trust when he’s robbed her of her dream?

Purchase your own copy here.

 

 

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

tamera-alexander

Tamera Alexander is a USA Today bestselling author and one of today’s most popular writers in the inspirational historical fiction genre. She and her husband live in Nashville, Tennessee, not far from the Southern mansions that serve as the backdrop for six of her award-winning novels.

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