Monday, July 31, 2017

Top Ten Tuesday: Books with Swoonworthy Leading Men


Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and The Bookish.

The Broke and the Bookish are taking a break until August 15, so I thought I'd come up with my own topics until they're back. This week I'm featuring Books with Swoonworthy Leading Men.

I was going to post a picture of the guy I imagine as the leading man in each book, but as I was going through my list, I realized that over half of the guys are Henry Cavill. So, here's a picture of Henry for your viewing pleasure, lol.

Image Source: Google
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Peter Holstein
from
A Name Unknown by Roseanna White



John Lawson
from
True to You by Becky Wade



Charlie Lionheart
from
The Lady and the Lionheart by Joanne Bischof



Wes Harrison
from
Just the Way You Are by Pepper Basham



Sam Brooks
from
Rescue Me by Susan May Warren



Gage Watson
from
A Matter of Trust by Susan May Warren



Romulus White
from
From This Moment by Elizabeth Camden



Tony “Candyman” VanAllen
from
Beowulf: Explosives Detection Dog (A Breed Apart #3) by Ronie Kendig



Silas Ballantyne
from
Love's Reckoning by Laura Frantz



Captain Stephen Overtree
from
The Painter's Daughter by Julie Klassen



Valek
from
The Study Series by Maria V. Snyder



Tybalt
from
The October Daye Series by Seanan McGuire
(Note: This series contains strong language.)

Review: True to You (A Bradford Sisters Romance #1) by Becky Wade


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.
 


My Review

Five Stars

I feel like anything I say won't be adequate enough to express the sheer greatness that is 'True to You'. It was wonderful, funny, romantic, emotional... everything that is good!

From the very first chapter I knew I was gonna like Nora. She's infinitely relatable and one of the most likeable heroines I've ever read. Her bookish nature, love of PBS historical dramas, her quirky sense of humor and vocabulary. She was so much fun to read about. And John... sigh... John is the definition of swoon-worthy. He's such a multifaceted guy. He's brooding, strong, and a man of great character, who is bravely trying to cope with his recent, tough diagnosis. Nora and John are complete opposites, but their opposites totally compliment one another.

The relationship between Nora and her sisters Willow and Britt was very sweet and genuine. It was nice to read about siblings who were so supportive of each other. Though not featured much and despite her negativity and gruff attitude, Grandma was one of my favorites. I hope she has a bigger role in subsequent books.

The genealogy aspect of this book was fascinating, the searching for clues and those clues leading to more clues. It was like searching for missing pieces in a puzzle and so interesting to read about.

I was expecting this book to be a funny and lighthearted romance and it was (I laughed out loud too many times to count), but then it took a turn for the more serious with a shocking twist that literally stole my breath. It added a completely new layer of depth to the whole story.

I did not want 'True to You' to end! It was a fantastic story that I'm so glad I read! I'm very much looking forward to the rest of this series! Highly recommend!

Favorite Quotes

Shutting her into this room without her phone was akin to shoving Linus into the world without his blanket.

Who had time to watch football when there were so many fantastic books in the world yet unread?

“You don’t fully know yourself and what you’re capable of until you’re faced with the worst. The worst shows you who you are.”

“...the past might be challenging and the future might be unsure. And that’s okay. The present is all we’re given, anyway. When we get to the future, God will be there. He’ll supply whatever we need for each day.”


About the Author



During her childhood in California, Becky frequently produced homemade plays starring her sisters, friends, and cousins. These plays almost always featured a heroine, a prince, and a love story with a happy ending. She’s been a fan of all things romantic ever since.

Becky and her husband lived overseas in the Caribbean and Australia before settling in Dallas, Texas. It was during her years abroad that Becky’s passion for reading turned into a passion for writing. She published three historical romances for the general market, put her career on hold for many years to care for her kids, and eventually returned to writing sheerly for the love of it. She’s delighted to be penning warm, wry, and heartwarming contemporary romances for the Christian market. She’s the Carol Award, INSPY Award, and Inspirational Reader’s Choice Award winning author of My Stubborn Heart, the Porter Family series, and the Bradford Sisters Romance series.

These days Becky can be found failing but trying to keep up with her housework, sweating at the gym, carting her kids around town, playing tennis, hunched over her computer, eating chocolate, or collapsed on the sofa watching TV with her husband.

Connect with Becky on her website, Facebook page, Twitter, Goodreads, Instagram, Pinterest, and blog.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Week in Review: July 24 - July 28, 2017


I thought I'd start a new feature on my blog with Week in Review where I recap what's been posted this week and give a little sneak peek about what's coming up next week.

Monday, July 24



Tuesday, July 25



Wednesday, July 26



Thursday, July 27



Friday, July 28




Coming Next Week

I've got THREE reviews going up for some awesome books, two contemporary romances and one romantic suspense. My Top Ten Tuesday will feature Swoonworthy Leading Men and, of course, I'll have my weekly Waiting On and Book Beginning/Friday 56 posts.


What have you read this week? Leave a comment below and let me know.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Book Beginnings & Friday 56: Titanis: A Quiet Professionals Novella by Ronie Kendig

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.

Friday 56 is hosted by Freda's Voice and asks you to grab a book (any book), turn to page 56 or 56% in your ereader and share a non-spoilery sentence or two.

This week I'm featuring Titanis: A Quiet Professionals Novella by Ronie Kendig.


Book Beginning

ViCross Yacht, Cape York, Australia

The territory of being a soldier came with being assaulted. By the enemy. But when one of your own did the betraying, it carved a cruel mark.


Friday 56 (56% on my Kindle)

"Who's next, Corporal Straider? You do know that I have men hunting down the princess."


About the Book

Never Again.
A vow written in the blood of the fallen is threatened in Australia’s rugged Top End.

Eamon “Titanis” Straider left the military and civilization behind after betrayal cost the life of a teammate. Living on this super yacht, the ViCross, Eamon reluctantly agrees to host an event for his parents, who are part of the Australian political machine. When an attractive woman arrives with his mother, Eamon is furious—and determined to find out what she is hiding.

Lady Ellis Rostov-Leclair has never felt so threatened as she does by the infamous “Beast of Cape York,” a man notorious for removing people—by force if necessary—from his yacht. His uncanny perception endangers not only her reason for being aboard the ship, but a secret she’s held for twenty years.

When the yacht is seized by a man with one goal: make those responsible for his brother’s death pay—the Beast of Cape York must live up to his name and protect those under his charge, or die trying.


What have you been reading lately? Leave a comment below and let me know.

Review: A Name Unknown (Shadows Over England #1) by Roseanna M. White


Summary

Edwardian Romance and History Gains a Twist of Suspense

Rosemary Gresham has no family beyond the band of former urchins that helped her survive as a girl in the mean streets of London. Grown now, they concentrate on stealing high-value items and have learned how to blend into upper-class society. But when Rosemary must determine whether a certain wealthy gentleman is loyal to Britain or to Germany, she is in for the challenge of a lifetime. How does one steal a family's history, their very name?

Peter Holstein, given his family's German blood, writes his popular series of adventure novels under a pen name. With European politics boiling and his own neighbors suspicious of him, Peter debates whether it might be best to change his name for good. When Rosemary shows up at his door pretending to be a historian and offering to help him trace his family history, his question might be answered.

But as the two work together and Rosemary sees his gracious reaction to his neighbors' scornful attacks, she wonders if her assignment is going down the wrong path. Is it too late to help him prove that he's more than his name?


My Review

Five Stars

I'm a big fan of Roseanna White's, having read and loved many of her books. I was so excited when I first heard about her new series. I couldn't wait to delve right into 'A Name Unknown'. And oh my goodness, was it good or what? I didn't think it was possible, but 'A Name Unknown' is her best book yet!

At the brink of World War I, Peter Holstein is constantly looked at with suspicion and is accused of espionage because of his last name, his German heritage. Even though he's an Englishman through and through, having lived in Cornwall his whole life, some people wish for him to go back to Germany. Rosemary Gresham, thief extraordinaire, is sent on a mission by the mysterious Mr. V to discover the loyalties of Peter Holstein, going undercover as a librarian to uncover the truth.

I instantly fell for Peter. He's such a lovable and utterly endearing guy. He's a gentleman in the truest sense of the word and just an all around good guy. The strength of his faith and the way he handles himself amidst such harsh judgments is truly admirable. I liked Rosemary despite the... unconventional way she supports herself and her family. I wasn't sure I would, but she's just doing the only thing she can think of to care for her loved ones. I was totally rooting for her.

This was a pretty big book, but it never dragged. It kept me engaged throughout the entirety of the story. It started out great and just kept getting better and better the further I got into it. I seriously can't recommend 'A Name Unknown' highly enough! Any lover of historical fiction is sure to be captivated by this wonderful novel. I cannot wait for the sequel 'A Song Unheard'. It's going to the top of my TBR list as soon as it's out!

I received a copy of this book from the publisher. All thoughts and comments are my own honest opinion.


To learn more about Roseanna M. White, visit her website,Facebook page, Twitter, and blog.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Waiting on Wednesday: The Lacemaker by Laura Frantz

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

This week I'm featuring The Lacemaker by Laura Frantz releasing January 2018. 



Summary
When colonial Williamsburg explodes like a powder keg on the eve of the American Revolution, Lady Elisabeth "Liberty" Lawson is abandoned by her fiance and suspected of being a spy for the hated British. No one comes to her aid save the Patriot Noble Rynallt, a man with formidable enemies of his own. Liberty is left with a terrible choice. Will the Virginia belle turned lacemaker side with the radical revolutionaries, or stay true to her English roots? And at what cost?

Historical romance favorite Laura Frantz is back with a suspenseful story of love, betrayal, and new beginnings. With her meticulous eye for detail and her knack for creating living, breathing characters, Frantz continues to enchant historical fiction readers who long to feel they are a part of the story.


Why I need it
Laura Frantz's Ballantyne Legacy Series are still some of my favorite books of all time. So when there's anything new from her, I'm always eager to check it out!


What book are you eagerly anticipating? Leave a comment below and let me know.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Top Ten Tuesday: Cozy Mysteries I'm Dying to Read


Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and The Bookish.

The Broke and Bookish are taking a break until mid-August, so I thought I'd come up with my own topics until they return. This week I'm featuring Cozy Mysteries I'm Dying to Read.

by Nancy J. Parra


by Diane Vallere

by Julie Chase


by Ellery Adams


by Sharon Farrow


by Bailey Cates

by A.H. Gabhart


by Kathi Daley

by Bethany Blake

by Maia Chance

by Meera Lester

by Laura Morrigan

by Laura Bradford

by Krista Davis


by Jenny B. Jones


What are some cozy mysteries you're dying to read? What's your favorite cozy mystery? Leave a comment below and let me know.

Review: Love's Unfading Light (Eagle Harbor #1) by Naomi Rawlings


Summary

Tressa Danell is finished with men—from the wastrel who left her a widow, to the smelly trapper who keeps proposing, to the banker who wants to repossess her bakery. Every hour is spent working to pay off her late husband’s debt and keep a roof over her son’s head, though it’s doubtful she can do both for very long. But one thing’s certain—she’ll never be beholden to a man again.

Tired of living in a small town that blames him for actions his father committed ten years ago, Mac Oakton is scheduled to leave Eagle Harbor. So why does the pretty widow at the bakery keep tugging at his heart? He can’t get involved in her predicament when he’ll only be around for two more weeks.

But when Tressa’s burdens overwhelm her, they both face a decision. Can Mac set his own plans aside to help? And can Tressa accept his support if that means giving up her independence ... and being obligated to a man again?


My Review

4.5 Stars

Love's Unfading Light was a nice and refreshing read. From the very first paragraph, I was immediately drawn into the story.

Tressa's had it rough and doesn't ever want to have to rely on a man ever again. Her cheating husband died with many debts she needs to take care of. It seemed like things just kept getting worse and worse for her and I kept wondering how in the world everything would get sorted out. I was really rooting for Tressa. She's a very admirable, determined, and caring woman. Mac's a generous and kind hearted man. It was wonderful watching him connect with Collin, Tressa's son. And the first (and second) meeting between Mac and Tressa was... I'll just say... quite memorable! They had such great chemistry and I loved their interactions. I did get super mad with the way they were treated by some of the townsfolk. Both were judged terribly and unfairly for things they didn't do, wrongs committed by those who were close to them.

I had a fantastic time reading Love's Unfading Light and would highly recommend it to everyone who loves historical romance! I'm sure there are many more wonderful stories set in Eagle Harbor and I can't wait to read them! I'm already eager to “visit” Eagle Harbor again!


To learn more about Naomi Rawlings, visit her website and Facebook page.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Book Beginnings & Friday 56: Sprouts of Love: A Garden Grown Romance by Valerie Comer

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.

Friday 56 is hosted by Freda's Voice and asks you to grab a book (any book), turn to page 56 or 56% in your ereader and share a non-spoilery sentence or two.

This week I'm featuring Sprouts of Love: Garden Grown Romance Book One by Valerie Comer.



Book Beginning

"You're Evelyn Felton?"

Whatever that was about. The man filling the entrance to Corinna's Cupboard couldn't be a minute over twenty-five, but that didn't stop him from acting like he owned the place. Eyebrows raised, he assessed her from steely blue eyes.


Friday 56 (56% on my Kindle)

Ben folded the paper around the photo and shoved both inside the envelope. "I don't know what to do with this."


What have you been reading lately? Leave a comment below and let me know.

Review: In His Eyes by Stephenia H. McGee


Summary

Her heart sought shelter. Her soul found home.

Ella Whitaker rescues a newborn from the dying arms of a woman of ill repute and at long last she has someone to love. In need of a wet nurse, she arrives at Belmont Plantation just as Federal soldiers demand to speak to the owner. Thinking quickly, Ella masquerades as a Yankee officer's widow in order to have a roof over her head and a home for the child.

Major Westley Remington has dedicated his life to serving his country. The Civil War has divided his family, torn his thoughts of glory, and left him with a wound that may never heal. Westley returns home on medical furlough to settle his father’s estate at Belmont Plantation, only to find his home is being run by a fiery and independent woman—one many believe to be his wife. Now he is faced with a conflict he’s never been trained to fight, and one she has yet to conquer.


My Review

Five Stars

Oh, how I loved this novel! Civil War era books aren't usually a genre that I gravitate towards, but this year I've been venturing out and trying new things. I am so glad to have read 'In His Eyes'! It's such a gem! It's one of those books that I kept thinking about even when I'd have to set it aside and go do something else. It's one that, I know, will stay with me for a long time. I became completely immersed in the story. The writing was vivid and clear. It felt like I could perfectly picture life in 1865 Mississippi. It, also, brought to light some of the difficulties the south endured.

Ella had endured a lot and felt lacking in many ways, but she had an inner strength and growing faith that was so very admirable. Westley was quite sure of himself before his leg was injured in the war and then he had to reevaluate who he really was. My favorite character, though, was Sibby. She's a tough and strong woman, but so caring with a bit of a mystery surrounding her.

'In His Eyes' completely captivated me. It was the first book I've read by Stephenia H. McGee, but it surely won't be the last! I highly recommend this breathtaking historical romance to everyone!

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


To learn more about Stephenia H. McGee, visit her website and connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Review: The Road to Paradise: A Vintage National Parks Novel by Karen Barnett


Summary

An ideal sanctuary and a dream come true–that’s what Margaret Lane feels as she takes in God’s gorgeous handiwork in Mount Rainier National Park. It’s 1927 and the National Park Service is in its youth when Margie, an avid naturalist, lands a coveted position alongside the park rangers living and working in the unrivaled splendor of Mount Rainier’s long shadow.

But Chief Ranger Ford Brayden is still haunted by his father’s death on the mountain, and the ranger takes his work managing the park and its crowd of visitors seriously. The job of watching over an idealistic senator’s daughter with few practical survival skills seems a waste of resources.

When Margie’s former fiancĂ© sets his mind on developing the Paradise Inn and its surroundings into a tourist playground, the plans might put more than the park’s pristine beauty in danger. What will Margie and Ford sacrifice to preserve the splendor and simplicity of the wilderness they both love?

Karen Barnett’s vintage national parks novels bring to vivid life President Theodore Roosevelt’s vision for protected lands, when he wrote in Outdoor Pastimes of an American Hunter: "There can be nothing in the world more beautiful than the Yosemite, the groves of the giant sequoias and redwoods, the Canyon of the Colorado, the Canyon of the Yellowstone, the Three Tetons; and our people should see to it that they are preserved for their children and their children's children forever, with their majestic beauty all unmarred."


My Review

4.5 Stars

First of all, how gorgeous is that cover? I'm not gonna lie, that's what first caught my attention about this book, but then I read the synopsis and I knew I just had to read it! There's been so much praise about this book and, I've gotta say, it's well warranted.

I loved learning about the early years of the National Park Service. I've never had the pleasure of visiting Mount Rainier National Park before, but I now feel like I have after reading this novel! The vivid descriptions captured my imagination so well that I felt I could perfectly picture the scenery and smell the scents of the forest. The author did such a great job capturing the beauty and essence of Mount Rainier that it felt like another character, not just the background scenery.

I so enjoyed reading about Margie's love of nature, of God's creation. Seeing the world through her eyes was a bright spot in this novel. Her optimism, despite everything, made her incredibly likable. Ford's a bit gruff at times, but I couldn't help liking him. He had so much pressure on him, which left him feeling quite inadequate. It was great watching both characters grow, experience new things, and conquer fears. The bad guy made my skin crawl. He was slimy and left me with an icky feeling whenever he'd show up on the page.

The Road to Paradise is one of those books to savor. I took my time with it, not rushing through it, but enjoying my time with Ford and Margie, enjoying my time in the National Park. I'm definitely looking forward to the next book in this series. I'd recommend this book to fans of historical fiction and lovers of nature.

Favorite Quotes

“God led me to this place, Ranger Brayden. The beauty of His creation speaks of the Father's love. If I can get one person to see God at work in nature, my mission will be complete.”

“As soon as she stepped foot in Longmire, it's forests had wrapped around her like God's comforting arms, hiding her from the world.”

“Don't think because you're not a man you can't do anything you set your mind to do. You spoke truth - a fragile appearance can mask great strength.”


I received a copy of this book from Blogging for Books. All thoughts and comments are my own honest opinion.


To learn more about Karen Barnett, visit her website, Facebook page, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Waiting on Wednesday: Oath of Honor by Lynette Eason

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

This week I'm featuring Oath of Honor by Lynette Eason releasing January 2, 2018.


Summary
Police officer Isabelle St. John loves her crazy, loud, law-enforcement family. With three brothers and two sisters, she's never without someone to hang out with--or fight with. And she knows they'll be there for her when things get tough. Like when her partner is murdered and she barely escapes with her own life.

Determined to discover exactly what happened, Izzy's investigation sends her headfirst into a criminal organization, possibly with cops on the payroll--including someone from her own family. With her dead partner's handsome homicide detective brother Ryan shadowing her every move, Izzy's head is spinning. How can she secure justice for her partner when doing so could mean sending someone she loves to prison? And how will she guard her heart when the man she's had a secret crush on for years won't leave her side?

With her signature fast-paced, edge-of-your-seat action, Lynette Eason invites readers into a captivating new series where justice is a family affair.

Why I Need It
You can never go wrong with a Lynette Eason suspense! I can't wait to start this new series!

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

Monday, July 17, 2017

Top Ten Tuesday: Books That Need to Be Movies (Part 2)


Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and The Bookish.

The Broke and Bookish are taking a break until mid-August, so I thought I'd come up with my own topic this week. I'm featuring Books That Need to Be Movies. Last week I featured Contemporary and Historical Novels that need to be movies. (You can find that list by clicking here.)

This week I'm featuring Paranormal/Fantasy/Dystopia Novels that need to be movies.

Paranormal/Fantasy/Dystopia

by Julie Hall

by Morgan L. Busse

by Jill Williamson
by Heather Blake

by A.G. Howard

by Bethany Griffin

by Lisa Shearin

by Devon Monk

by Maria V. Snyder

What books do you want to see made into movies?