Thursday, January 30, 2020

Book Beginnings + Friday 56: On Wings of Devotion (The Codebreakers #2) by Roseanna M. White

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 On Wings of Devotion (The Codebreakers #2) by Roseanna M. White, a historical romance that takes place during WWI.

About the Book
All of England thinks Phillip Camden a monster--a man who deliberately caused the deaths of his squadron. But as nurse Arabelle Denler watches the so-dubbed "Black Heart" every day, she sees something far different: a hurting man desperate for mercy. And when their paths twist together and he declares himself her new protector, she realizes she has her own role to play in his healing.

Phillip Camden would have preferred to die that day with his squadron rather than be recruited to the Admiralty's codebreaking division. The threats he receives daily are no great surprise and, in his opinion, well deserved. What comes as a shock is the reborn desire to truly live that Arabelle inspires in him.

But when an old acquaintance shows up and seems set on using him in a plot that has the codebreakers of Room 40 in a frenzy, new affections are put to the test.

Book Beginning
A stranger stalking down the street shouldn't make her hands tremble in anticipation. Arabelle Denler forced her breathing to calm, forced an easy smile to her lips for the soldier whose bandage she'd just changed, and stood with the old bandage balled up in her bowl. "Is there anything else you need, Captain?"

Friday 56
Keep your head. That had never been his forte. He forced air in through his nose, out through his teeth, and stomped over to the window, yanking the blackout curtains away a few inches so he could look down into the dismal winter street.

What have you been reading lately?

Review: Flight of the Raven (The Ravenwood Saga #2) by Morgan L. Busse

About the Book
Selene Ravenwood, once the heir to House Ravenwood, is now an exile. On the run and free of her family's destiny, Selene hopes to find the real reason her family was given the gift of dreamwalking. But first she must adapt to her new life as wife to Lord Damien Maris, the man she was originally assigned to kill.

While adjusting to her marriage and her home in the north, her power over dreams begins to grow. As the strongest dreamwalker to exist in ages, her expanding power attracts not only nightmares but the attention of the Dark Lady herself.

With a war looming on the horizon and a wicked being after her gift, Selene is faced with a choice: embrace the Dark Lady's offer, or search out the one who gave her the gift of dreamwalking. One path offers power, the other offers freedom. But time is running out, and soon her choice will be made for her.
 


My Thoughts

I can't even begin to tell you how much I absolutely loved this book. It's everything I was hoping for and so much more. I didn't think it could top Mark of the Raven, but it did. I'd give it more than five stars if I could.

This story is very much about Selene's journey from the darkness to the light. Fighting her way out the darkness she grew up in, the only way of life she's known, and finding her true purpose in the Light. With the help of her new husband Lord Damien Maris, she's seeing the world in a whole new way. Leaving her home in the Magyr Mountains and going to Nor Esen is such an eyeopener for Selene. The way Damien treats his people with kindness and honor and the amount of respect they show him in return is so different from the fear and terror her mother instilled in her own people. It's such a refreshing change. I loved watching Selene discover her true self.

There was such a beautiful and powerful message in this novel. It took my breath away and brought tears to my eyes. I know it's early in the year to be saying this, but Flight of the Raven will definitely be making my best of the year list. I highly recommend this series to everyone, even if you're new to fantasy. It's beyond amazing.

Five Stars

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Can't Wait Wednesday: The Tea Chest by Heidi Chiavaroli

Can't Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Wishful Endings that spotlights and discusses the books we're excited about that we've yet to read. Generally, they're books that are yet to be released. It's based on Waiting on Wednesday, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

This week I'm featuring The Tea Chest by Heidi Chiavaroli releasing February 4.

About the Book
Boston, 1773
Emma Malcolm's father is staunchly loyal to the crown, but Emma's heart belongs to Noah Winslow, a lowly printer's assistant and Patriot. But her father has promised her hand to Samuel Clarke, a rapacious and sadistic man. As his fiancée, she would have to give up Noah and the friends who have become like family to her--as well as the beliefs she has come to embrace.

After Emma is drawn into the treasonous Boston Tea Party, Samuel blackmails her with evidence that condemns each participant, including Noah. Emma realizes she must do whatever it takes to protect those she loves, even if it means giving up the life she desires and becoming Samuel's wife.

Present Day
Lieutenant Hayley Ashworth is determined to be the first woman inducted into the elite Navy SEALs. But before her dream can be realized, she must return to Boston in order to put the abuse and neglect of her childhood behind her. When an unexpected encounter with the man she once loved leads to the discovery of a tea chest and the document hidden within, she wonders if perhaps true strength and freedom are buried deeper than she first realized.

Two women, separated by centuries, must find the strength to fight for love and freedom. . . and discover a heritage of courage and faith.

Why I Need It
I've heard awesome things about this author's books and am eager to try one. This upcoming release sounds fascinating. I'm intrigued by both timelines. The Boston Tea Party in the past and in the present the lead character trying to be the first woman in the Navy SEALS? Yeah, I'm already hooked.

What upcoming release are you eagerly anticipating?

Review: Severed Signals: A Vincent Chen Novella by Steve Rzasa

About the Book
The enemy of my enemy…
 
Vincent Chen keeps star systems in close communication with each other as he tends to the comms ferry satellites that connect the Realm of Five.

When he responds to small colony’s apparent malfunction, though, he stumbles onto an enslaved people.

The problem is, the enslaved used to be the oppressors.

They’re all former agents of Kesek, the secret police that spent the last century suppressing religion by arresting, torturing, and killing believers—including Vincent’s uncle. But it also includes the children and families of those agents.

Vincent is drawn deeper into the plot against them, until he’s forced to choose the right side…

Whether he can forgive, however, is the most dangerous question.


My Thoughts

Severed Signals is the first book by Steve Rzasa I've read, but it definitely won't be the last. It takes place in the same universe as his Face of the Deep series and even though I haven't read that yet (it's on my TBR list) I still enjoyed this story quite a bit. It did take me a minute to get acclimated to all the science-y stuff but once I did, I could hardly put the book down.

The world building was stellar, all the tech-stuff was fascinating, and Vincent was a great leading man. He's not perfect, but he's flawed in a realistic and relatable way. Dealing with something I think everyone would probably struggle with. Trying to forgive an enemy who has wronged him gravely. Watching him work through the forgiveness process was admirable. It really makes you stop and wonder if you'd do the same in the same situation.

This novella packed a big punch. It was exciting and fast paced. I'm eager to check out the rest of this series. I recommend it to anyone looking for a good sci-fi read.

Four Stars

Monday, January 27, 2020

Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Purple Covers


Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

This week's topic is a book cover freebie. I'm not gonna lie, I always struggle when given a "freebie" topic. I'm just not all that creative and it takes me forever to figure out something to do. This week was no different. I finally decided to just share some of my favorite covers that feature my favorite color purple. 



https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/46045724-now-and-then-and-always


https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/21526843-the-lost



https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35209432-jane-of-austin



https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13599291-dance-of-the-red-death



https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35064610-huntress



https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/11254507-trance



https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/33224718-geekerella



https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/45031221-between-frames



https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/37771905-staff-crown



https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17285247-the-nightmare-affair


Have you read any of these? What did you think about them?

Review: Trained to Defend (K-9 Mountain Guardians #1) by Christy Barritt


About the Book

“Take Buzz and run. Far away.

…and don’t trust the police.”

Framed for her boss’s murder, Sarah Peterson is on the run—with only her boss’s loyal husky, Buzz, for protection. To clear her name and keep her safe, she must rely on her ex-fiancé, former detective Colton Hawk. The police aren’t the only ones searching for Sarah and the brave dog…the real killer is on the hunt, determined to silence them for good.


My Thoughts

I love it when dogs play a big part in a story, so I was sure to enjoy Trained to Defend. Buzz was an awesome dog. He was smart, brave, and such a wonderful protector. His personality reminded me of a couple of my dogs. They're different breeds, but they shared that same loyalty and heart.

Sarah's on the run after being framed for her boss's murder, so there's a constant sense of danger. The breakneck pace hardly let up which made for a quick and fast paced read. The mystery was great and had me guessing until right before the reveal. It's a read that fans of romantic suspense, and dog lovers alike, will greatly enjoy.

I received a copy of this book from the author and voluntarily reviewed it. All thoughts and comments are my honest opinion.

Four Stars

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Book Beginnings + Friday 56: Between Homes (The City Between #5) by W.R. Gingell

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 Between Homes (The City Between #5) by W.R. Gingell . I recently finished this one and LOVED it. The City Between has become one of my favorite ongoing series right now. If you're a fan of urban fantasy, I highly recommend it.

About the Book
G'day. I'm Pet. Not, not Pet--I am a pet.

Well, I was a pet: I used to belong to two fae and a stroppy vampire. Now I'm homeless. I mean, I was always technically homeless, but this time it's different.

I just got used to having some kind of family, and now we're back to everyone wanting to kill each other--and guess who the weak link is?

I'll give you a hint: it's not the vampire, and it's sure as heck not the fae.
 

Book Beginning
They reckon there are two types of people, that there are two ways of seeing the world. You can see it in a glass-half-full kinda way, or a glass-half-empty kinda way.
That's garbage. There are two ways of seeing the world, all right, but they don't have anything to do with glasses - unless someone out there has managed to make glasses that help you see Between, of course.

Friday 56
Could I get away if I needed to? Where could I run? He'd catch me along the road in no time, and there's no way I'd beat him if I dodged into the tempting patch of mossy Between that existed in the stormwater drain just a drop away.

 Hosted by Billy @ Coffee Addicted Writer

Do you talk to strangers about books especially when you see someone reading a book?

Not really. I'm too nervous to do that in person. Occasionally, I will online though.

What have you been reading lately?

Review: Kiss of the Spindle by Nancy Campbell Allen

About the Book
A steampunk Sleeping Beauty story from the author of Beauty and the Clockwork Beast.

Doctor Isla Cooper is cursed. Literally. Each night, at the stroke of midnight she falls into a death-like sleep from which she cannot be awakened for six hours. To make it worse, the curse has an expiration date--after a year, it becomes permanent. And the year is almost up.

In a desperate attempt to find Malette--the witch who cursed her--Isla blackmails her way onto Daniel Pickett's private airship bound for the Caribbean, only to discover she's traveling with three illegal shapeshifters and the despicable Nigel Crowe, a government official determined to hunt down and exterminate every shapeshifter in England. Isla and Daniel must work together to keep the identities of the shapeshifters hidden while coming to terms with their own hidden secrets, and their blossoming attraction to each other.

Filled with suspense, intrigue, and plenty of romance, Kiss of the Spindle is steampunk Sleeping Beauty story. It is a race against the clock as Isla and Daniel try to hunt down the elusive Malette before Isla's death-like sleep becomes permanent.


My Thoughts

I loved the first book in this series, Beauty and the Clockwork Beast, so I was beyond excited to start Kiss of the Spindle. And I've gotta say, it was just as good as it's predecessor. There's just something so fun about combining a steampunk setting with a fairy tale retelling. I can't get enough of it.

Isla was a kick-butt heroine. Strong, independent, determined, courageous. She knew exactly what she wanted and stopped at nothing to get it. Daniel was a bit closed-off, so it was hard to get a feel for him in the beginning, but it wasn't long before he showed himself to be an infinitely likable guy with a heart of gold. They made such a great team and I really liked the fact that they started off as friends. There was no insta-love here which I was so grateful for. The romance slowly developed over the course of the book.

I always liked Sleeping Beauty so to see it retold in this way was a joy. I was fully and completely engrossed in it and didn't want it to end. I highly recommend it and am so ready for book three!

Five Stars

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Can't Wait Wednesday: Winterborne Home for Vengeance and Valor by Ally Carter

Can't Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Wishful Endings that spotlights and discusses the books we're excited about that we've yet to read. Generally, they're books that are yet to be released. It's based on Waiting on Wednesday, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

This week I'm featuring Winterborne Home for Vengeance and Valor by Ally Carter releasing March 3.

About the Book
New York Times best-selling author Ally Carter’s middle grade debut is full of mystery, mayhem, and friendship, and it will keep you guessing until the very end. 

April didn’t mean to start the fire. She wasn’t even the one who broke the vase.

She had absolutely no intention of becoming the only person who knows that Gabriel Winterborne, the missing-and-presumed-dead billionaire, is neither missing nor dead and is actually living in the basement of Winterborne House, sharpening his swords and looking for vengeance.

Now that April knows Gabriel Winterborne is alive, it’s up to her to keep him that way. But there’s only so much a twelve-year-old girl can do, so April must turn to the other orphans for help. Together, they’ll have to unravel the riddle of a missing heir and a creepy legend, and find a secret key, before the only home they’ve ever known is lost to them forever.

Why I Need It
It's been way too long since I've read anything from Ally Carter. I loved her Gallagher Girls and Heist Society books, so I'm excited to check this one out. I saw that it was pitched as what would happen if little orphan Annie went to live with Batman. How awesome does that sound?

What upcoming release are you eagerly anticipating?

Monday, January 20, 2020

Top Ten Tuesday: Most Recent Additions to My TBR List


Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

This week I'm sharing the ten most recent additions to my TBR list. I debated about whether to list the three books I've preordered since I don't technically have them in my hands yet, but I decided to any way. Why not? :)

_______________________________________


https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/43580447-belinda-blake-and-the-wolf-in-sheep-s-clothing
Belinda Blake and the Wolf in Sheep's Clothing (Exotic Pet-Sitter #2) by Heather Day Gilbert

About the Book
Exotic pet-sitter Belinda Blake is nervous about her new job at the White Pine Wolf Preserve, but it turns out that the care and feeding of wild carnivores may be the least dangerous part of the gig . . .
 
Pet-sitter Belinda Blake is no stranger to dealing with wild animals, but she’s wary when the owner of the Greenwich, Connecticut, preserve asks her to help out with her “fluffy darlings.” Her caution seems justified on her very first day, when she discovers a tour guide—dead, bloodied, and surrounded by wolves in the enclosure.

Was it death by predator or something more sinister? The body count rises, but something’s not adding up. As she gets to know the rescued wolves and wolf-dog hybrids better, Belinda realizes that her human colleagues are not above suspicion. With help from her own “pack”—her pregnant sister, Red the chauffeur/bodyguard, and hunky farmer Jonas—Belinda is hot on the killer’s tail, but if she doesn’t find him soon, he’ll do more than muzzle her to keep the truth from escaping.


_______________________________________


https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/48749375-midnight-strike

About the Book
Terrorists are targeting Dallas, Texas. Nora Brooks and Randall Goodwin have until midnight to stop an unprecedented cyber attack.

Who would want to bring about the collapse of the nation’s ninth largest city? And if they succeed, what is their next target?

Nora Brooks has a new partner--Randall Goodwin is young, confident, and a computer genius. He thinks he wants out from behind the desk at the agency’s headquarters, and so he joins Nora in pursuing cyber terrorists. When Dallas, Texas is hit with a coordinated attack, Nora and Randall board a C-20 Gulfstream Naval Jet bound for the Lone Star state. At risk are four different sectors--transportation, utilities, medical, and infrastructure. If allowed to proceed, the toll on the 1.3 million population will be devastating. Nora and Randall arrive at the Dallas command center to discover they’re facing a coordinated attack from four different cyber terrorists, and at least one of them is on the inside.

Midnight Strike is book 2 in Vannetta Chapman’s Cyber Terror series. The journey begins with Fading Into the Night, a novella set in the Amish community of Shipshewana which first appeared in the Summer of Suspense Anthology.
 

_______________________________________


https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/50392194-line-of-duty

About the Book
Jaxon Wilder didn’t plan on returning home to Fog Lake, Tennessee, following his tour of duty in Iraq. But after a gut-wrenching failure during his stint in the Army, he now faces a new challenge: his family.

Abby Brennan always did her best to be the good girl and to live by the rules. When a wrong decision changes her entire life, she tries to hide from the world. However, a madman known as the Executioner is determined to find her and enact his own brand of justice.

When Jaxon and Abby are thrown together in the killer’s crosshairs, they’re forced to depend on one another to survive. Will Jaxon’s sense of duty be enough to help keep Abby safe? Or will deadly secrets lead to the penalty of death?

_______________________________________


https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/45886444-cry-of-the-raven
Preorder: Releasing February 4.

About the Book
Lady Selene Ravenwood has come into her full power as a dreamwalker just as the war with the Dominia Empire begins. Working with the other Great Houses, Selene and Damien use their gifts to secure the borders and save those devastated by the war. But conflict, betrayal, and hatred begin to spread between the Great Houses, destroying their unity as the empire burns a path across their lands. At the same time, Damien Maris starts to lose his ability to raise the waters, leaving the lands vulnerable to the empire's attacks.

The only one who can unite the houses and restore her husband's power is Selene Ravenwood. But it will require that she open her heart to those who have hurt her and let go of her past, despite the one who hunts her and will do anything to stop her power.

Will Selene survive? Or is she destined to fall like the dreamwalkers before her?

_______________________________________


https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/47563043-on-wings-of-devotion

About the Book
All of England thinks Phillip Camden a monster--a man who deliberately caused the deaths of his squadron. But as nurse Arabelle Denler watches the so-dubbed "Black Heart" every day, she sees something far different: a hurting man desperate for mercy. And when their paths twist together and he declares himself her new protector, she realizes she has her own role to play in his healing.

Phillip Camden would have preferred to die that day with his squadron rather than be recruited to the Admiralty's codebreaking division. The threats he receives daily are no great surprise and, in his opinion, well deserved. What comes as a shock is the reborn desire to truly live that Arabelle inspires in him.

But when an old acquaintance shows up and seems set on using him in a plot that has the codebreakers of Room 40 in a frenzy, new affections are put to the test.

_______________________________________


https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/46408652-the-tea-chest
Preorder: Releasing February 4

About the Book
Boston, 1773
Emma Malcolm’s father is staunchly loyal to the crown, but Emma’s heart belongs to Noah Winslow, a lowly printer’s assistant and Patriot. But her father has promised her hand to Samuel Clarke, a rapacious and sadistic man. As his fiancée, she would have to give up Noah and the friends who have become like family to her—as well as the beliefs she has come to embrace.

After Emma is drawn into the treasonous Boston Tea Party, Samuel blackmails her with evidence that condemns each participant, including Noah. Emma realizes she must do whatever it takes to protect those she loves, even if it means giving up the life she desires and becoming Samuel’s wife.

Present Day
Lieutenant Hayley Ashworth is determined to be the first woman inducted into the elite Navy SEALs. But before her dream can be realized, she must return to Boston in order to put the abuse and neglect of her childhood behind her. When an unexpected encounter with the man she once loved leads to the discovery of a tea chest and the document hidden within, she wonders if perhaps true strength and freedom are buried deeper than she first realized.

Two women, separated by centuries, must find the strength to fight for love and freedom. . . and discover a heritage of courage and faith.
 

_______________________________________


https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/49951771-the-land-beneath-us
Preorder: Releasing February 4

About the Book
In 1943, Private Clay Paxton trains hard with the US Army Rangers at Camp Forrest, Tennessee, determined to do his best in the upcoming Allied invasion of France. With his future stolen by his brothers' betrayal, Clay has only one thing to live for--fulfilling the recurring dream of his death.

Leah Jones works as a librarian at Camp Forrest, longing to rise above her orphanage upbringing and belong to the community, even as she uses her spare time to search for her real family--the baby sisters she was separated from so long ago.

After Clay saves Leah's life from a brutal attack, he saves her virtue with a marriage of convenience. When he ships out to train in England for D-day, their letters bind them together over the distance. But can a love strong enough to overcome death grow between them before Clay's recurring dream comes true?

_______________________________________


https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/48066996-no-space-like-home

About the Book
If life were only as simple as following a yellow brick road.

Gail’s quiet life among the Kansa Station turbines ends with a hug, a prayer, and a shove… into space.

She thinks she knows who she is, but she’s wrong.  Who is she really?  She’s about to find out.

Of course, landing on the wrong planet is complicated enough without crashing into things. Add to that spybots, waspbots, and cyberwolves and it’s no wonder Gail just wants to go home. Back to a life without this interplanetary circus and its flying monkeys.

Intrigue, secrets, and more than a little danger turn a “simple mission” into a hair-raising adventure as Gail—and three friends she meets along the way—accept a mission to save O-Zoras.

In the end, Gail wants nothing more to go home. She’s just not sure where that is anymore. “I’ve decided that home is more about who than where.” Well, that’s a good thing, Gail, because you’re not on Kansa anymore. It’s The Wonderful Wizard of Oz meets Firefly in this fresh, a little zarbi, but totally licit YA space adventure.

_______________________________________


https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/42800656-midnight-on-the-river-grey

About the Book
Abigail Wilson returns to Regency England with another tale of murder, mystery, and romance.

After her elder brother’s mysterious death, Rebecca Hunter vows to expose the man she believes responsible—Mr. Lewis Browning—known by the locals as the Midnight Devil and by Rebecca as her new guardian. He alone was on the bridge that fateful night and openly admits striking her brother with his horse, but he claims he remembers little else.

Summoned to his reclusive country estate to await her London season, Rebecca plans her own secret investigation. Yet, Lewis Browning is not as she once imagined, and his motivation is horribly unclear. Recurrent nightmares and Rebecca’s restless feelings are further complicated by the shadow of her mother’s prior descent into madness and whether she too will follow the same heartbreaking path.

Even as midnight rides, strange injuries, and further murders lead back to Lewis, Rebecca can’t ignore the subtle turn of her heart. Has she developed feelings for the man she swore to see hanged? And moreover, can she trust him with her uncertain future?

_______________________________________


https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/43888380-a-glitter-of-gold

About the Book
Anne Norris moved to Savannah, Georgia, for a fresh start. Now her pirate-tour business is flagging, and paying the rent requires more than wishful thinking. When she discovers evidence of a shipwreck off the coast of Tybee Island, she knows it could be just the boon she needs to stay afloat. She takes her findings to local museum director Carter Hale for confirmation, but she runs after a disastrous first meeting.

Carter has been searching for the location of the wreck detailed in the worn pages of an 18th-century diary, the discovery of which could open the door to his dream job at a prestigious museum. But convincing Anne to help him fill in the missing pieces of the puzzle is no easy task. And working with Carter means that Anne will have to do the one thing she swore she'd never do again: trust a man.

Finding a monetary backer and sticking with a search that's turning up nothing will take all their dedication--and every secret they've tried to hide. If they can find the lost ship, they may discover a treasure worth more than all the pirate gold in the world--love.


_______________________________________

What are some of the most recent additions to your TBR list?

Review: Their Wander Canyon Wish by Allie Pleiter

About the Book
Can two little girls find their mom a match?

Their mother needs a fresh start…Could he be what they’ve been waiting for?

Back in her hometown with her twin daughters, widow Marilyn Sofitel is set on never falling in love again. She’s sure her heart is safe spending time with Wyatt Walker as he works to fix the carousel her girls love. Everyone knows he’s handsome, charming…and trouble. But as they grow closer, might their unlikely friendship to develop into something deeper?

Wander Canyon


My Thoughts

Their Wander Canyon Wish was another wonderful story from Allie Pleiter. I've loved everything I've read from her and this is my favorite one yet.

It was deep and meaningful. I hurt for the characters and rejoiced with them. I laughed with them and shed a tear right alongside them. It spoke to me on so many levels. The pain of harsh and unfair judgments, the untrue labels others place on you, can be so hurtful, but there is always hope and love in the Lord. What a wonderful reminder!

This was a quick read that I enjoyed immensely. I sped through it in just two days. I didn't want to leave these characters, but when I did have to set it down to tend to other things, they were always on my mind. It's a sweet and inspirational read that's sure to delight fans of contemporary romance. I can't wait to visit Wander Canyon again!

I received a copy of this book from the author and voluntarily reviewed it. All thoughts and comments are my honest opinion.

Five Stars

Thursday, January 16, 2020

Book Beginnings + Friday 56: Flight of the Raven (The Ravenwood Saga #2) by Morgan L. Busse

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.


About the Book
Selene Ravenwood, once the heir to House Ravenwood, is now an exile. On the run and free of her family's destiny, Selene hopes to find the real reason her family was given the gift of dreamwalking. But first she must adapt to her new life as wife to Lord Damien Maris, the man she was originally assigned to kill.

While adjusting to her marriage and her home in the north, her power over dreams begins to grow. As the strongest dreamwalker to exist in ages, her expanding power attracts not only nightmares but the attention of the Dark Lady herself.

With a war looming on the horizon and a wicked being after her gift, Selene is faced with a choice: embrace the Dark Lady's offer, or search out the one who gave her the gift of dreamwalking. One path offers power, the other offers freedom. But time is running out, and soon her choice will be made for her.
 

Book Beginning
Dark.
So dark.

Friday 56
Was Selene using her dreamwalking gift on others around the castle? Was there more to her gift than either of them realized?
Were his people in danger?

Hosted by Billy @ Coffee Addicted Writer

Do you think that readers make better employees, as opposed to non-readers? Why or why not?

Hmm. I don't know. I've never thought about it. I think it just depends on the type of person they are, not necessarily if they're readers or not.

What have you been reading lately?

Review: Diamond in the Rough by Jen Turano

About the Book
To save her family from financial ruin, Miss Poppy Garrison accepts an unusual proposition to participate in the New York social season in exchange for her grandmother settling a family loan that has unexpectedly come due. Ill-equipped to handle the intricacies of mingling within the New York Four Hundred, Poppy becomes embroiled in one hilarious fiasco after another, doomed to suffer a grand societal failure instead of being deemed the diamond of the first water her grandmother longs for her to become.

Reginald Blackburn, second son of a duke, has been forced to travel to America to help his cousin, Charles Wynn, Earl of Lonsdale, find an American heiress to wed in order to shore up his family estate that is in desperate need of funds. Reginald himself has no interest in finding an heiress to marry, but when Poppy's grandmother asks him to give etiquette lessons to Poppy, he swiftly discovers he may be in for much more than he bargained for.


My Thoughts

Diamond in the Rough is another laugh-out-loud funny romance from Jen Turano. I always have a huge smile on my face when I'm reading one of her books. There's just something so special and uplifting about them. This is one of my favorites.

Poppy's entrance into New York high society doesn't get off to the best start. It's full of mishaps, slips of the tongue, social miscues, and embarrassing snafus, but that doesn't stop Poppy from having an upbeat attitude about it all. I loved that about her. She's so cheery and optimistic despite it all. Wouldn't it be nice to be more like her in awkward situations? She's exactly who she is. No airs. No apologies. Just her awesome, mishap-prone self.

And then there's Reginald who I have to admit I fell for the moment he first appeared on page. There's just something about a broody Englishman that I can't seem to resist. His attempts to teach Poppy proper etiquette were quite amusing. There was never a dull moment when those two were together.

I absolutely loved this story and highly recommend it to anyone looking for a sweet romance and a good laugh. I can't wait for the next book.

Five Stars

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Can't Wait Wednesday: Dead End (Kaely Quinn Profiler Book #3) by Nancy Mehl

Can't Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Wishful Endings that spotlights and discusses the books we're excited about that we've yet to read. Generally, they're books that are yet to be released. It's based on Waiting on Wednesday, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

This week I'm featuring Dead End (Kaely Quinn Profiler Book #3) by Nancy Mehl releasing March 31.

About the Book
When a body is discovered in a field in Iowa, the police uncover fourteen additional corpses ranging from 20 years old to recent. The remains point to a serial killer with an MO the authorities have seen before--Ed Oliphant, a man who has been in prison for over 20 years . . . and is Special Agent Kaely Quinn's father. After several failed interview attempts to discover if Ed has been training someone to be a copycat killer, the police turn to Kaely in St. Louis.

Kaely promised herself she would never step foot in her hometown or set eyes on her father again. She's always refused to confront her past, but if she wants to prevent any more deaths, she must come face-to-face with the man she's hated for years.
As more bodies are discovered, Kaely races against time and her own personal turmoil to uncover the killer. Will this most personal case yet cost Kaely her identity and perhaps even her life?

Why I Need It
I've really been enjoying this series. It sounds like Kaely's gonna have to face some troubling things in this book and revisit the past. Should be an intense and thrilling read.

What upcoming release are you excited about?

Monday, January 13, 2020

Review: The Way of the Brave (Global Search and Rescue #1) by Susan May Warren

About the Book
Former pararescue jumper Orion Starr is haunted by the memory of a rescue gone wrong. He may be living alone in Alaska now, but the pain of his failure--and his injuries--has followed him there from Afghanistan. He has no desire to join Hamilton Jones's elite rescue team, but he also can't shirk his duty when the call comes in to rescue three lost climbers on Denali.

Former CIA profiler and psychiatrist Jenny Calhoun's yearly extreme challenge with her best friends is her only escape from the guilt that has sunk its claws into her. As a consultant during a top-secret mission to root out the Taliban, she green-lighted an operation that ended in ambush and lives lost. When her cathartic climb on Denali turns deadly, she'll be forced to trust her life and the lives of her friends to the most dangerous of heroes--the man she nearly killed.

Her skills and his experience are exactly what's needed to prevent another tragedy--but in order to truly set Orion free from his painful past, Jenny will have to reveal hers. They'll have to put their wounds behind them to survive, but at what cost?

Leap into action with this high-octane, breakneck new series from bestselling author Susan May Warren.
 


My Thoughts

The Way of the Brave is the exciting, adventure-filled opener to Susan May Warren's new Global Search and Rescue series. Loaded with all the goodness I've come to expect in a Warren novel, wonderful characters, a descriptive setting, heart-racing suspense, and a strong spiritual thread, it was hard to put down.

It did get off to a slow start for me, but the pace picked up quickly and it wasn't long before I could hardly catch my breath from all the excitement. It seemed like anything and everything that could go wrong for these climbers, did go wrong which made for a nerve-wracking read.

I don't know much at all, or really anything, about climbing mountains, so there were times when I was a little lost and overwhelmed by all the terminology. But once I got my bearings, I learned a lot about it and found it really interesting.

If you're a fan of romantic adventures, you're sure to enjoy this adrenaline-fueled read. I'm super anxious for Aria and Jake's story coming up next.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley and voluntarily reviewed it. All thoughts and comments are my honest opinion.

Four Stars

Thursday, January 9, 2020

Book Beginnings + Friday 56: Kiss of the Spindle by Nancy Campbell Allen

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 a steampunk retelling of Sleeping Beauty, Kiss of the Spindle by Nancy Campbell Allen.

About the Book
Doctor Isla Cooper is cursed. Literally. Each night, at the stroke of midnight she falls into a death-like sleep from which she cannot be awakened for six hours. To make it worse, the curse has an expiration date--after a year, it becomes permanent. And the year is almost up.

In a desperate attempt to find Malette--the witch who cursed her--Isla blackmails her way onto Daniel Pickett's private airship bound for the Caribbean, only to discover she's traveling with three illegal shapeshifters and the despicable Nigel Crowe, a government official determined to hunt down and exterminate every shapeshifter in England. Isla and Daniel must work together to keep the identities of the shapeshifters hidden while coming to terms with their own hidden secrets, and their blossoming attraction to each other.

Filled with suspense, intrigue, and plenty of romance, Kiss of the Spindle is steampunk Sleeping Beauty story. It is a race against the clock as Isla and Daniel try to hunt down the elusive Malette before Isla's death-like sleep becomes permanent.

Book Beginning
Isla Elizabeth Cooper extended her hand toward the airship ticket agent. "If you don't have any flights leaving for the Caribbean immediately, return my passport and I'll find another way."

Friday 56
Something roared and split the night behind him, a shell shooting into the sky and setting his pulse racing along with it. Without thought, he wrapped Isla and took her to the ground, monkey and all, and shielded them with his body.

Hosted by Billy @ Coffee Addicted Writer

Do you have a reading challenge for 2020?

I'm participating in the Goodreads Reading Challenge. I'm hoping to read at least 100 books. I might up the number if I see that I'm gonna hit that number early though.

What have you been reading lately?

Review: Collateral Damage (Danger Never Sleeps #1) by Lynette Eason

About the Book
Honorably discharged from the Army after an explosion nearly killed her, former military psychiatrist Brooke Adams has set up shop to help others--but her days of helping military personnel are over. She's got her own battles to fight from her time overseas, and she's not equipped to take on more. Former Army Special Ops Sergeant First Class Asher James could handle anything that war sent his way--terrorists, bombs, bullets. The only thing that scares him now is sleep. As the shadows close in, the nightmares begin.

Finally convinced that he needs help, Asher makes an appointment with a counselor, and Brooke is pressed by her boss to take him on. When he arrives at her office she isn't there--but a dead body is. Brooke is devastated when she walks in, and Asher is a conveniently strong shoulder to cry on. But she can't take him on as a client after sharing such an intimate and unprofessional moment, can she? And he's not sure he can handle sharing his deepest fears with such a beautiful woman.

When it becomes clear that Brooke was the real target of the attack--and that her secrets go even deeper than his own--Asher vows to protect her no matter what.

Bestselling author Lynette Eason is back with a new series that spans the globe and
will have your heart working overtime.


My Thoughts

Collateral Damage was an action-packed and exciting start to Lynette Eason's new Danger Never Sleeps series. It starts off with a bang and the lightning-fast pace doesn't let up until the end.

There's a big cast of characters, so it took me just a little while to get everyone straight and to figure out how all the different storylines connected. But once I did, I became even more invested and couldn't read it fast enough. There were quite a few shocking reveals I didn't see coming which made things even more intense. Dealing with a serious topic, it was disturbing, and quite chilling at times, but a very compelling read, nonetheless. I'm excited for the next book in the series.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley and voluntarily reviewed it. All thoughts and comments are my honest opinion.

3.5 Stars

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Can't Wait Wednesday: The Vault Between Spaces by Chawna Schroeder

Can't Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Wishful Endings that spotlights and discusses the books we're excited about that we've yet to read. Generally, they're books that are yet to be released. It's based on Waiting on Wednesday, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

This week I'm featuring The Vault Between Spaces by Chawna Schroeder releasing February 11.

About the Book
Every legend must start somewhere...

No prisoner who enters the gates of HopeWell ever leaves. But from the moment Oriel sets foot inside Anatroshka’s most formidable prison camp, she unsettles both commandant and prisoner alike with eyes that see beyond the surface and music that trails her everywhere.

Petite and delicate though she appears, Oriel bows before neither threat nor punishment. Moreover, she makes no attempt to hide her intention: Oriel plans to escape the inescapable HopeWell.

But when facades are stripped away and myth becomes clothed in flesh, what begins as a prison break becomes a mission to stop the invasion of evil itself.

Why I Need It
When I first saw this book it immediately caught my attention. I want to read more fantasy this year and am super intrigued by this one. Will Oriel escape HopeWell? Just what kind of evil is invading? I need to know!

What upcoming release are you eagerly anticipating?

Review: End Game (Capital Intrigue #1) by Rachel Dylan

About the Book
When elite members of the military are murdered on the streets of Washington, DC, FBI Special Agent Bailey Ryan and NCIS Special Agent Marco Agostini must work together to bring the perpetrator to justice. Unfortunately, all evidence points to a Navy SEAL sniper whom Bailey refuses to believe is guilty.

When Bailey and Marco start to connect the dots between the victims, including a link to a powerful defense contractor, they wonder if there's a deeper cover-up at play. Then Bailey is targeted, and it becomes clear that someone is willing to kill to keep their dark secrets.

With the stakes getting higher by the moment in a twisted conspiracy, there's a rush against the clock to determine whom they can really trust. As allies turn to enemies, the biggest secret yet to be uncovered could be the end of all of them.


My Thoughts

End Game is an exciting thrill ride from start to finish. An intriguing conspiracy and possible cover-up made it unputdownable. I was feverishly turning the pages to find out just what exactly was going on. I couldn't read it fast enough. There were lots of twists and turns I didn't see coming. It kinda reminded me of an episode of one of those really good TV crime shows.

There was a full cast of likable characters with Bailey and Marco taking the lead. They were a great pair. So different in their approaches to things, but I think that's what made them such a good team.

End Game is exactly the type of suspense that I love. Lots of action, a good mystery, and a side dose of romance. I highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys romantic suspense. I can't wait for book two!

I received a copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley and voluntarily reviewed it. All thoughts and comments are my honest opinion.

Four Stars

Monday, January 6, 2020

Review: Dark Divide by Carrie Vaughn

About the Book
In brand-new stories spun off from the New York Times Bestselling Kitty Norville series, dark mysteries push the bounds of sanity. Cormac Bennett, ex-con and former bounty hunter, is a paranormal investigator with an edge: his partner is the disembodied spirit of a Victorian wizard, Amelia Parker. Together, they solve problems no one else can.

They're asked to investigate a mysterious death in the Sierra Nevadas: a man died of hunger —in a cabin that was fully stocked with provisions. The kicker? The cabin is located near Donner Pass, the site of the gruesomely ill-fated Donner Party, where forty men, women, and children died of exposure and starvation. The event was made famous by reports of cannibalism among the survivors.

Is the Donner site haunted? Is some evil force rising again after a hundred fifty years to wreak destruction? Can Cormac and Amelia learn the truth without being caught in the web? Well, they can try...


My Thoughts

The Kitty Norville books were one of my all-time favorite urban fantasy series. I was so sad when it ended, but there was always some hope that someday we'd get a spinoff series featuring Cormac and Amelia. Well, I'm excited to say that someday is finally here! It was so great visiting these characters again. Cormac was always my favorite part of the original series so you know I loved getting a whole new story with him as the main guy.

Dark Divide takes Cormac and Amelia on a case to Donner Pass where weird, possibly supernatural, things are happening. A man dies of starvation in a cabin that's fully stocked with food. His coworker knows that something sinister is going on and hopes Cormac can figure it out before more harm is done.

I loved this story. It was a quick read that held my undivided attention. It was pretty easy to figure out who the bad guy was, but not so easy figuring out the why or how. I highly recommend it to anyone who loves urban fantasy. It stands alone just fine so even if you haven't read the Kitty Norville series, you should be able to dive right into it without any trouble

NOTE: This book does contain some strong language.

4.5 Stars

Thursday, January 2, 2020

Book Beginnings + Friday 56: Diamond in the Rough by Jen Turano

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 a ridiculously fun historical fiction, Diamond in the Rough by Jen Turano.

About the Book
To save her family from financial ruin, Miss Poppy Garrison accepts an unusual proposition to participate in the New York social season in exchange for her grandmother settling a family loan that has unexpectedly come due. Ill-equipped to handle the intricacies of mingling within the New York Four Hundred, Poppy becomes embroiled in one hilarious fiasco after another, doomed to suffer a grand societal failure instead of being deemed the diamond of the first water her grandmother longs for her to become.

Reginald Blackburn, second son of a duke, has been forced to travel to America to help his cousin, Charles Wynn, Earl of Lonsdale, find an American heiress to wed in order to shore up his family estate that is in desperate need of funds. Reginald himself has no interest in finding an heiress to marry, but when Poppy's grandmother asks him to give etiquette lessons to Poppy, he swiftly discovers he may be in for much more than he bargained for.

Book Beginning
Any smidgen of hope that her entrance into New York high society would be deemed a rousing success died the moment Miss Poppy Garrison's tiara became firmly attached to the sleeve of her dance partner.

Friday 56
Something that felt very much like guilt settled in the pit of Reginald's stomach.


Hosted by Billy @ Coffee Addicted Writer

Do you have any New Year's Blogging Resolutions?

I'm gonna try not to put so much pressure on myself to have a certain number of posts each week and to just have more fun with it.

What have you been reading lately?

Review: When I Come Home Again: A Big Prairie Romance by Jennifer Rodewald

About the Book
When a family crisis calls him back to Big Prairie, will Craig Erikson be able to work through past mistakes and the tragedy that had sent him searching for a new place to call home?

Brenna Blaum had been sure of three things in her life—her brother, her running, and her dad’s star receiver. But in a matter of a year’s time, everything she’d counted on fell apart, leaving her devastated. Seven years later, she’s stable again. She has a supportive boyfriend, fulfilling career, and close friends. She keeps her past heartache where it belongs—in her rearview mirror. Until the man who broke her heart finds his way back to Big Prairie.

Craig Erikson had it all—popularity, success, and the love of his high school coach’s daughter. But after a year of mistakes that ended in a tragic accident, he’d left Big Prairie—the place he’d thought to always call home—hoping that without his antagonizing presence, Brenna would be able to heal. Now his mother desperately needs him, as do two young boys in her care. Craig has little choice but to return for good.

Unsure that she can forgive him, Brenna does her best to avoid him. Irritated that she ignores him as if they’d never meant anything to each other, Craig becomes determined not to allow it.

Life in a small town forces their interaction, making them confront their unresolved issues and igniting emotions that have smoldered for seven years. As Craig and Brenna are pushed together, can they endure the hard places still littering their lives? If so, is it possible to find their way back to love and home again?


My Thoughts

Jennifer Rodewald has done it again! When I Come Home Again is another stellar and poignant masterpiece of a romance. I laughed and cried. Felt joy and sorrow. Hope and despair. I experienced all the up and down emotions of this crazy life in the midst of this book.

Craig Erikson was first introduced in Ordinary Snowflakes. I fell for him then and I fell for him even more throughout the course of this book. He's such a genuinely good guy. He's back home again after many years away. He left for a reason and now that he's back, facing the past hurts. Reliving his mistakes. His regrets. Memories are around every corner. In particular, Brenna Blaum. He can't seem to avoid his former girlfriend in small town Big Prairie. Their paths are constantly crossing. And he doesn't know if that's a good thing or a very bad thing. Watching their journey through all the hurts, misconceptions, and regrets of their past was heart-wrenching at times, but wow, what a journey!

I loved the small town of Big Prairie. There was a very authentic feel to the place and the people. Like I might come across any one of these interesting characters in the next town over.

This was a fantastic story of coming home again. It's my new favorite book from this author. I highly recommend it and am very much looking forward to visiting Big Prairie again in the future.

I received a copy of this book from the author and voluntarily reviewed it. All thoughts and comments are my honest opinion.

Five Stars