Friday, April 28, 2017

Review: The Uncloaked (The Uncloaked Trilogy Book 1) by J. Rodes


Summary:

No one stirred in the area—people stayed in their little hovels. Hiding, most likely. From the cold, the helplessness. Maybe from the Party. Staying out of sight, like cockroaches.
I am not a cockroach.


“Apathy is the illness of the overprivileged…” Words laced with fear—and maybe a hint of prophecy. His father’s words. Words Braxton would prefer to ignore.

Braxton Luther is sixteen when the Progressive Reform Party takes over the government. It can’t be that bad. So they don’t want religion in government—that’s constitutional. He can’t understand his church’s hypersensitive reaction or his father’s cryptic warning to stand against the Party’s ultimatums.

But after living under the new government for a year, Braxton faces a choice—conform to the demands of the ungodded in order to protect his best friend, Eliza, or defy the system and go into hiding, ensuring a life of misery. Still certain that life will settle back into normalcy in the near future, Braxton chooses compliance.

Then the killings begin, and the threat to Eliza becomes darker than Braxton had ever imagined. Reality finally sinks in.

Apathy is no longer a choice.

***PG-13 material. Though this book is Christian Fiction, there are dark (but not graphic) scenes that some readers my find disturbing.

My Review:
Five Stars

When the Progressive Reform Party's candidate Kasen Asend wins the latest presidential election, Braxton Luthor doesn't see what the big deal is or why his preacher father has been warning everybody about the dangers of his agenda. Braxton just knows that, like with every other new presidency in the history of the nation, nothing will change and the big campaign promises will never see the light of day. Oh man... was he ever wrong! What follows is a terrifyingly realistic picture of what the future of our country could one day become and a look at when apathy becomes second nature and what danger that can bring.

The Uncloaked is a book that really makes you stop and think. It's something I hope everyone will read because it's so relevant to the world we're living in right now. There were times when I'd want to shake Braxton and tell him to wake up and pay attention to what was happening... how could he not see where everything was leading? But then I stopped for a minute and thought about it... I could see myself in him, in his disbelief. I've been guilty (as has probably almost everyone at one time or another) of seeing/hearing something seemingly outrageous about the way the world is headed and not believing things could ever get that bad or go that far. But sometimes, small things, that we overlook or ignore, can eventually lead to big changes that we feel come out of nowhere because we didn't take it seriously enough. This book also had me wondering if I'd be brave enough to stand against what's wrong even when facing dire consequences for not going along with the so-called status quo.  I'm probably not making any sense and am completely botching what I'm trying to say, but this book has really struck a chord with me.

I don't think I can adequately express how much I absolutely loved The Uncloaked. It was a really fantastic dystopia, one of the best I've ever read. It wasn't a nice, sweet read. It had dark moments and made me do some of my own soul searching. It made me look at the world today in a new way and made me take a hard look at the path we could be headed towards. It made me realize that apathy and complacency are their own forms of evil. I'm so ready for the sequel; it can't come out soon enough! I can't recommend this book highly enough! Seriously... everyone should read it!

I received a complimentary e-ARC from the author and voluntarily reviewed it. All thoughts and comments are my own honest opinion.

For more information on this author, go to her website here.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Book Beginnings: The Fall of Lord Drayson by Rachael Anderson


Book Beginnings is a weekly meme hosted by Rose City Reader that asks you to share the first sentence (or so) of the book you're reading, along with your initial thoughts/impressions. 

This week I'm featuring The Fall of Lord Drayson by Rachael Anderson.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/31696962-the-fall-of-lord-drayson

Miss Lucy Beresford, the late vicar's daughter, had been instructed by her loving parents to always tell the truth.  It was the good and moral thing to do, and Lucy doted on them, so she had striven to follow the wise counsel.

My thoughts:
It's an interesting start and makes me think she's gonna be telling a whopper of a lie soon enough, though.

What's the first line (or so) of the book you're currently reading?  Leave a comment and let me know.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Waiting on Wednesday: The Noble Servant by Melanie Dickerson


Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine that highlights upcoming releases we are eagerly anticipating.

This week I'm featuring The Noble Servant by Melanie Dickerson, releasing May 9.


Summary

She lost everything to an evil conspiracy . . . but that loss may just give her all she ever wanted.

Since meeting Steffan, the Duke of Wolfberg, at Thornbeck Castle, Lady Magdalen has not been able to stop thinking about him. She knows—as a penniless lady with little to offer in terms of a dowry—she has no real hope of marrying such a highly titled man, so it comes as a great surprise when she receives a letter from him, asking for her hand in marriage.

But all is not what it seems at Wolfberg Castle. Steffan has been evicted by his scheming uncle, and his cousin has taken over the title of duke. Left for dead, Steffan is able to escape, and disguised as a shepherd, hopes to gain entry to the castle to claim the items that will prove he is the true Duke of Wolfberg.

Journeying to the castle, Magdalen has no idea what awaits her, but she certainly did not expect her loyal maidservant to turn on her. Forcing Magdalen to trade places with her, the servant plans to marry the duke and force Magdalen to tend the geese.

Without their respective titles—and the privileges that came with them—Steffan and Magdalen are reunited in the shepherd’s field. Together they conspire to get back their rightful titles. But they must hurry . . . or else they risk losing it all to the uncle’s evil plan.


Why I need it...

I've loved every single one of Melanie Dickerson's books and am always eager to see what she comes up with next.  The Noble Servant sounds like another great fairy tale retelling!


What book are you waiting on?  Leave a comment below and let me know.


Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Review: Just the Way You Are (A Pleasant Gap Romance Book 1) by Pepper Basham



Summary:

Single mom, Eisley Barrett, prefers to keep romance housed within a centuries-old mystery, but when she travels to England to unearth the secret, an actor with a sordid past offers her heart a very different type of discovery.

Wes Harrison has a past he's ashamed to confess. Suspicious and cynical, he's managed to avoid romantic entanglements since a tragedy upended his career and life, that is until American Eisley Barrett comes along. Her authenticity and kindness upend his bitter assumptions and send his heart into unscripted territory.

When his past threatens to ruin a second chance at love, can some Appalachian matchmaking and letters from the grave salvage their unexpected romance?

Humor, love, mystery, cute kids, crazy families, and culture clashes make this Britallachian Romance a unique and delightful romantic comedy sprinkled with adventure.


My Review:
Five Stars

Believe the hype, y'all! Just the Way You Are was fabulous! Sometimes there are books that I love so much, words fail me and the only coherent thing I can say is, “Read this! Now! You must!” This is one of those times, but I'm gonna try my best to get my thoughts in order.

It's a hilarious romantic comedy, but with many poignant moments and faith sprinkled all throughout. It also has one of the best opening chapters I have ever read. There was a really fascinating historical mystery to solve, too. And the settings were wonderful. The descriptions of Britain and Appalachia came to full vivid and colorful life. I caught myself with a big smile on my face, practically, throughout the entire novel.

Eisley's clumsy and sometimes her mouth can get her into trouble (saying whatever pops into her head out loud), but she's infinitely endearing. She describes Wes as 'Ghirardelli in human form' (which is so true, lol). He's kinda standoffish at first, “Mr. Frosty-and-Fabulous”, but once the ice starts to thaw around him... oh man!... watch out! Swoon alert! This whole cast of characters were so great, real and likable, from Eisley and Wes (of course) to Mr. and Mrs. H. and Lizzie to Eisley's parents, Nate and Kay, Uncle Joe, her siblings and her adorable kids, Nathan, Peter and Emily. Nate is a hoot! The first time him and Wes meet?... lol... priceless!

One of my favorite quotes from this book was: “I’ve learned over these many years of my life that letting go of our fears is difficult, but when we do, God brings more than we imagined possible. We can’t grasp what God has for us if our hands are holding to fear, can we?” Oh my goodness, how true is that? This spoke to me so much!

Just the Way You Are is a modern day, real life fairy tale that should not be missed. I can't recommend it highly enough!


For more information on this author, go to her website here.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Review: Royal Design [Kindle in Motion]: A Royals of Monterra Novella by Sariah Wilson


Summary:

Bellamy Sullivan’s life is hardly regal. She’s a waitress from Ohio who’s been on her own since she was sixteen, working several jobs while her dreams of being a fashion designer stay just that. But everything changes when PR maven and soon-to-be-royal Lemon Beauchamp drops in to announce that Bellamy is a princess. Unfortunately, Bellamy’s newly assigned bodyguard is the last man she wants to see.

A year ago, the royal family of Monterra tasked Enzo Rannalli with confirming Bellamy’s heritage, which meant he had to get very close to her. Enzo got the confirmation he needed, but he didn’t expect their connection to be so meaningful. And he didn’t expect his sudden departure to break the young princess’s heart.

In exchange for a once-in-a-lifetime chance to kick-start her fashion career, Bellamy agrees to star on a royal reality show that will match her with the world’s most eligible bachelors. But after a series of disastrous dates make her even more grateful for Enzo’s company, she wonders if her fairy-tale ending is waiting to happen off camera.




My Review:

Four Stars

Bellamy Sullivan has just learned that she's a Princess of Monterra... shocking! And then in exchange for a chance to achieve her dreams of launching a career in the fashion industry, she agrees to be a part of a reality show setting her up on dates with fabulous eligible bachelors and showcasing her new life. She also gets a bodyguard... Enzo, the man who recently broke her heart. What follows is an adorable and oft times funny romance.

Bellamy has her whole life upended, but she handles herself really well, even on those disastrous and public dates she's set up on. And then there's Enzo... what can I say except, so dreamy!

Royal Design was my first 'kindle in motion' book. I didn't think I'd like it and at first, I didn't. I thought the movies were kinda distracting, but the longer I kept reading and the further I got into the book, I found that I was really enjoying it. It added a new and exciting layer to the whole reading experience.

This was also my first Sariah Wilson book. I loved it so much that I'm definitely going to be checking out the earlier books in this series. It was a quick read that is sure to be a favorite for anyone who likes their romance injected with a royal flavor.

I won this in a Goodreads giveaway. All thoughts and comments are my own honest opinion.


Other books in this series:

To learn more about this author, go to her website here.


Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Waiting on Wednesday: Firstborn (Descendants of the House of Bathory Book 2) by Tosca Lee


Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine that highlights upcoming releases we are eagerly anticipating.


This week I'm featuring Firstborn by Tosca Lee, releasing May 2.


Summary

From New York Times bestselling author Tosca Lee comes the much-anticipated, high-speed sequel to The Progeny.

Face-to-face with her past, Audra Ellison now knows the secret she gave up everything—including her memory—to protect. A secret made vulnerable by her rediscovery, and so powerful neither the Historian nor the traitor Prince Nikola will ever let her live to keep it.

With Luka in the Historian’s custody and the clock ticking down on his life, Audra only has one impossible chance: find and kill the Historian and end the centuries old war between the Progeny and Scions at last—all while running from the law and struggling to control her growing powers.

With the help of a heretic monk and her Progeny friends Claudia, Piotrek, and Jester, Audra will risk all she holds dear in a final bid to save them all and put her powers to the ultimate test. Love, action, and stunning revelation reign in this thrilling conclusion to The Progeny.


Why I need it...

The Progeny was such a fantastic thrill ride of a book and ended in such an 'oh my goodness' way, that I've been anxiously awaiting Firstborn.  I can't wait to read it!


What book are you waiting on?  Leave a comment below and let me know.



Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Review: The Bull Rider's Homecoming (Blue Thorn Ranch) by Allie Pleiter


Summary:

Healing the Cowboy's Heart


When Luke Buckton left Blue Thorn Ranch, he'd hoped to return in a blaze of rodeo glory; instead, he's limping home with a busted leg. To get back on the circuit he'll need physical therapist Ruby Sheldon's help. Six years ago, he left Ruby behind, convinced she was too innocent for such a public life. Now his high school sweetheart is stronger, tougher and even more captivating. A high-profile success story like this could make Ruby's career. All she has to do is rein in Luke's bullheadedness, heal his injuries—and hope his reckless charm doesn't trample her heart again…

My Review:
Five Stars

The Bull Rider's Homecoming was my first Allie Pleiter book and even though it's book four in the Blue Thorn Ranch series, I was not lost at all. It can totally standalone.

Luke's rather surly after reluctantly coming back home after suffering a bad injury. He's bristly and has a bad temper, but hiding behind that facade are his fears and insecurities. I didn't know what to think about Luke. He's not super likable in the beginning, but I did completely understand his frustration with his current situation. Ruby's a strong woman. I admired her ability to stand up to Luke when he was being a bit of a jerk. They were high school sweethearts until he abruptly left town and left her behind. So, you could say they have a complicated history, but their chemistry was still great. I really liked the whole Buckton clan and am really interested in reading the first three books in this series.

I absolutely loved this book! I read it as fast as I could and didn't want to put it down. I was instantly sucked into these character's lives and sad to leave them behind when I finished. I'm definitely going to be checking out Allie Pleiter's other books! I highly recommend this book for anyone who loves swoonworthy romances!

I received a complimentary copy of this book and voluntarily reviewed it. All thoughts and comments are my own honest opinion.


Books in this series:

For more information on this author, go to her website here.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Review: If I'm Found by Terri Blackstock


Summary:

In this riveting sequel to the USA TODAY bestseller If I Run, evil lurks, drawing Casey out of the shadows . . . but there is light shining in the darkness.

Casey Cox is still on the run, fleeing prosecution for a murder she didn’t commit. Dylan Roberts—her most relentless pursuer—is still on her trail, but his secret emails insist he knows the truth and wants to help her. He’s let her escape before when he had her in his grasp, but trust doesn’t come easily.

As Casey works to collect evidence about the real murderers, she stumbles on another unbearable injustice: an abused child and a suicidal man who’s also been falsely accused. Casey risks her own safety to right this wrong and protect the little girl from her tormenters. But doing so is risky and may result in her capture—and if she’s captured, she has no doubt she’ll be murdered before she ever steps foot in a jail cell.


My Review:
Five Stars

With the way If I Run ended, it's sequel, If I'm Found, has been one of my most anticipated reads of 2017. It starts off almost immediately where book one stopped and switches POV between Casey, Dylan, and occasionally Keegan. I'd definitely recommend reading If I Run first to better understand everything that goes on in this book.

Casey's still on the run after being wrongfully accused of brutally murdering her best friend. I really admired her courage to stand up and do what's right for people around her (and even strangers), even though it put her at risk of exposure. I, also, really enjoyed watching her faith grow stronger.

And then there's Dylan. I don't know what to say that won't sound like gushing, lol. He's just such a great guy and I thought Blackstock did a really good job at realistically portraying a person suffering from PTSD.

If I'm Found was a super action-packed novel filled with so many twists and turns that had me glued to the pages, reading as fast as I could. There were even a couple of times when I had to set my kindle down and take a breath or two because things got so stressful. I highly recommend this to anyone who enjoys edge-of-your-seat suspense. I'm super eager for the next book!


Other books in this series:

To learn more about this author, visit her website here.


Friday, April 14, 2017

Book Beginnings: If I'm Found by Terri Blackstock


Book Beginnings is a weekly meme hosted by Rose City Reader that asks you to share the first sentence (or so) of the book you're reading, along with your initial thoughts/impressions. 



https://smile.amazon.com/If-Im-Found-Run-ebook/dp/B01HAKH212/ref=sr_tnr_p_1_8917427011_1_twi_kin_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1492125927&sr=8-1&keywords=if+i%27m+found+terri+blackstock

This week I'm featuring If I'm Found (If I Run #2) by Terri Blackstock

The police lights in my rearview mirror almost destroy me.

My Thoughts:

Uh oh!  Remembering how If I Run, book one, left off... this makes me very nervous for Casey and super eager to find out what's going on! 


What's the first line of the book you're reading?


Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Waiting on Wednesday: True to You (A Bradford Sisters Romance Book #1) by Becky Wade

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine that highlights upcoming releases we are eagerly anticipating.

This is my first time participating and I'm really excited!  I'm featuring Becky Wade's upcoming release of True to You, the first novel in the Bradford Sisters Romance series releasing May 2!


Summary

Exciting Start of a Brand-New Series by a Contemporary Romance Fan Favorite

After a devastating heartbreak three years ago, genealogist and historical village owner Nora Bradford has decided that burying her nose in her work and her books is far safer than romance in the here and now.

Unlike Nora, former Navy SEAL and Medal of Honor recipient John Lawson is a modern-day man, usually 100 percent focused on the present. But when he's diagnosed with an inherited condition, he's forced to dig into the secrets of his past and his adoption as an infant, enlisting Nora to help him uncover the identity of his birth mother.

The more time they spend together, the more this pair of opposites suspects they just might be a perfect match. However, John's already dating someone and Nora's not sure she's ready to trade her crushes on fictional heroes for the risks of a real relationship. Finding the answers they're seeking will test the limits of their identity, their faith, and their devotion to one another.

Why I need it...

I read the free prequel novella Then Came You  and absolutely adored it.  Then I read the excerpt for True to You that was in the back... and well... you know how it goes...  I wanted to read the rest of it right then and there and I'm not a patient person, lol.


What book are you eagerly anticipating?


Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Review: Love at First Bark: A Novella for Dog Lovers (Love Unleashed) by Dana Mentink



Summary:

There's Just Something About Jackson

When Marcy Deveraux's romance series catapults to the top of the New York Times bestseller list, no one is more surprised than Marcy herself. After all, she barely passed high school, flunked the driving test four times, and fell into a pool at her sister's wedding.

Marcy is keen to continue her literary success, but she cannot think of a single idea for her next book. Hounded by her agent, family, and friends, she decides to sequester herself in a rustic cabin in the mountains. There, she finds herself face-to-snout with a surprise visitor—a rascally black dog who must have escaped from his owner at a nearby campground.

Enter hunky cowboy Jackson Parker, who runs the stables for the campground and helps Marcy survive the antics of the ill-behaved, zany dog. There's something tender and gentle about this man, who could easily grace the cover of any romance novel. Soon Jackson has Marcy rethinking her own beliefs about what heroes are really made of...and what God intends for her life.

It's cowboys, canines, and capers galore in this charming novella for animal lovers.



My Review:
*****
Five Stars
*****

Marcy's a bestselling author struggling to come up with an idea for her next book, so she secludes herself in a cabin hoping an idea will come to her, but a rascally dog keeps interrupting her. Handsome cowboy Jackson shows up and makes Marcy question all of her preconceived notions of what a hero really is.

It says on the cover 'A Novella for Dog Lovers' and that is absolutely true. I count myself as a dog lover, well animal lover in general, and fell in love with the mischievous dog featured in this story. He's a wonderful little fella'. There was a really great quote in here that I loved so much because it's so true: “That's the great thing about dogs, isn't it? They look at you like you're a hero just for loving them.”

Love at First Bark was a great, short novella that can be read in one afternoon. Highly recommend!


For more information on this author, visit her website here.


Monday, April 10, 2017

Review: Sophia's Leap-Year Courtship (Timeless Romance Single) by Kristin Holt



Summary:

From the publisher of the USA TODAY bestselling & #1 Amazon bestselling Timeless Romance Anthology series in Clean & Wholesome Romance, comes the Timeless Romance Singles line.

SOPHIA'S LEAP-YEAR COURTSHIP: A brand new historical romance novella from USA Today bestselling author Kristin Holt.

Union Pacific Station Agent Chadwick Hughes has everything in a state of readiness to welcome his mail order bride…everything but the bride. The woman he’s corresponded with for a year didn’t change her mind or miss her train in Omaha—she never existed. Chadwick’s mortified to discover he’s been swindled by a fraudulent matrimonial agency in Chicago. He needs a lawyer if he’ll ever recover a dime of the fortune he spent on worthless membership fees and the nonexistent bride’s transportation west.

Sophia Sorensen, Attorney at Law, is a spinster on the edge of propriety. The good people of Wyoming Territory are open to a lot of things, including Lady’s Privilege during Leap Years, but some aren’t fond of her day-to-day behavior. Why, the woman rides her bicycle hither and yon, showing her petticoat ruffle and ankles. She might be the least ladylike specimen beneath Wyoming skies, but it’s entertaining to watch her court the U.P. Station Agent, Chadwick Hughes, the most-eligible bachelor in the county.


My Review:
****
Four Stars
****

Sophia's Leap-Year Courtship was a sweet and clean historical romance that I really enjoyed.

As the only “lady lawyer” in Evanston, Wyoming Territory, Sophia is an unconventional woman blazing her own trail. But with no clients and the gossiping newspaper constantly maligning her, things haven't been easy. When her first client, Chadwick, shows up asking her for advice when his mail order bride never shows up, things get interesting.

I'd never heard about the Lady's Privilege during leap year, so that was very interesting to read about and watch it unfold. I really appreciated the inclusion of the newspaper articles. Even though they were malicious in spirit, it was good to be able to read exactly what was being said about Sophia and Chadwick.

This was the first time I've read anything by Kristin Holt, but won't be the last. I'm sure anyone who enjoys sweet historical romances set in the Victorian American West will love this novella!

I won this book in a giveaway and voluntarily reviewed it. All thoughts and comments are my own honest opinion.


For more information on this author, go to her website here.


Saturday, April 8, 2017

Review: Time Search (The Time Counselor Chronicles Book 3) by Danele J. Rotharmel



Summary:

In the wake of a recent wave of violence, TEMCO employees are left reeling. While some of the staff are put into hiding, others are left behind to discover the true identity of the mysterious nemesis who is determined to destroy them all. While Crystal, Marc, and Zeke search for clues to unravel the mystery of his real name, their enemy is lurking in the shadows searching for TEMCO’s missing leaders. It’s a race against the clock! And as the hours and seconds tick away, it’s anyone’s guess whose search will be completed first. It’s a classic battle of good versus evil, and the stakes couldn’t be higher!


My Review:
*****
Five Stars
*****

Time Search was another awesome read from Danele Rotharmel! This book has everything you could want in a great read: heart stopping suspense, thrilling action, sigh worthy romance, hilarious moments that will have you literally laughing out loud, and great messages of faith woven seamlessly all throughout. When I picked up this book and started reading it, I felt like I was visiting old friends. I love this series so much and can't wait for the next one!

For more information on this author, go to her website here.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Review: When Tides Turn by Sarah Sundin



Summary: When fun-loving glamour girl Quintessa Beaumont learns the Navy has established the WAVES program for women, she enlists, determined to throw off her frivolous ways and contribute to the war effort. No-nonsense and hoping to make admiral, Lt. Dan Avery has been using his skills to fight German U-boats. The last thing he wants to see on his radar is a girl like Tess. For her part, Tess works hard to prove her worth in the Anti-Submarine Warfare Unit in Boston--both to her commanding officers and to the man with whom she is smitten. When Dan is assigned to a new escort carrier at the peak of the Battle of the Atlantic, he's torn between his lifelong career goals and his desire to help Tess root out a possible spy on shore. The Germans put up quite a fight, but he wages a deeper battle within his heart. Could Tess be the one for him?

With precision and pizazz, fan favorite Sarah Sundin carries readers through the rough waters of love in a time when every action might have unforeseen world-changing consequences.






My Review:

*****
Five Stars
*****

Feeling like people only see her as a pretty face with nothing underneath and no substance, Tess wants to do something significant and meaningful, so she joins the WAVES. Lieutenant Dan Avery is a no nonsense, practical guy married to his job in the Navy who has no time for frivolities or romance.

I'm a huge Sarah Sundin fan. I've loved every single one of her books and When Tides Turn is no exception. This was another stellar and impeccably researched World War II read from Sundin. She always amazes me with the level of detail and the amount of research she puts into her books. I always learn something new, which I completely love. I really liked Dan. I've been intrigued by him from the beginning of this series and so I enjoyed getting to see the many layers beneath the often brusque man. I was surprised by Tess. I didn't know if I'd like her very much considering some of her previous actions, but no worries. Just like with Dan, Tess had many hidden depths and great qualities. There was, also, a bit of a mystery, which kept me guessing until the reveal.

When Tides Turn is a book that I'm adding to my favorites shelf. Highly, highly recommend and can't wait to read whatever comes next from this amazing author!