Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Can't Wait Wednesday: Elysium Tide by James R. Hannibal

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 Elysium Tide by James R. Hannibal releasing June 7.

About the Book (From Amazon)
Dr. Peter Chesterfield is one of the Royal London Hospital's top neurosurgeons. He is also a workaholic, ordered by his boss to take a week off to attend a medical symposium at the luxurious Elysium Grand on the island of Maui. While there, Peter pulls a woman with a skull fracture from the water. Though he is able to revive her in the ambulance, she eventually dies in his arms, leaving him with only one clue to what happened to her: the word "honu."

Increasingly obsessed with discovering the cause of his patient's death, Peter becomes entangled in an ongoing investigation of a brazen luxury auto theft. He also becomes a source of deep irritation to detective Lisa Kealoha, who has jurisdiction over the case.
But when the two join forces, they begin to uncover a destructive plot that runs far deeper than either of them could have imagined. And if they're not careful, they're both going to end up dead.

Award-winning author James R. Hannibal whisks you away to the deadly beauty of Hawaii for a story of greed, violence, and justice that will leave you breathless.


What upcoming release are you eagerly anticipating?

Monday, May 16, 2022

Review: What Darkness Fears: An Anthology

About the Book
LIGHT DAWNS IN DARKNESS

Even in the darkest night, there is hope. This collection of stories and poems portrays light in the darkness. Multiple authors in various genres take you on a journey from shadow to sunrise, from despair to hope.

Within these pages, you’ll discover a ghost wandering the woodlands, a young man on an adventure choosing the worst sort of companion, a writer facing her own phantasmic characters, a bickering couple beset by a dubious hitchhiker in the middle of the desert, a woman fighting an ominous monster on the high seas, a Headless Henwoman carrying souls to their afterlife, the god of mischief visiting the underworld, and other tales to stir your spirit. So, keep the light on if you wish, but these stories are sure to shine bright enough on their own.


MY THOUGHTS

This was such a great anthology. It features short stories and poems from many different authors, some I was familiar with, but most were new to me. These tales ranged from terrifying to hilarious, but they all followed the same theme. Each story or poem showed that no matter what, the Light can break through even the deepest darknesses.

I'm happy to say that there wasn't a bad story in this bunch. With anthologies like this, there's usually an equal amount of hit or miss for me. Not here. I genuinely enjoyed them all. Some of my favorites were The Headless Henwoman and the Kissing Curse by Kristiana Sfirlea, Trickster Rising by Savannah Jezowski, The Guardian of Maelstrom by Maseeha Seedat, Nightfall by D.A. Randall, and The Night Walkers by Emily Barnett. But really, like I said, every story and poem here was great.

If you're looking for a collection of spooky stories filled with hope, this is a must read. Perfect for Halloween!

FOUR STARS

Thursday, May 12, 2022

Book Beginnings + Friday 56: Give Your Heart to the Barrow (Bluebeard's Secret #3) by Sarah K.L. Wilson

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. I'm also linking up with Carrie at Reading is My Superpower for First Line Friday.

This week I'm featuring Give Your Heart to the Barrow (Bluebeard's Secret #3) by Sarah K.L. Wilson

About the Book (From Amazon)
A LOSS UNBEARABLE. A DESPERATE PLAN. A WOMAN DETERMINED NOT TO LOSE.

GIVE YOUR HEART TO THE BARROW is the third book in the Bluebeard's Secret series following the eerie and romantic story of DANCE WITH THE SWORD.

Alone and with her hopes dragged to the bottom of the sea, along with the husband she just realized she loves, Izolda finds herself in the mortal world as princess and counselor to her brother Svetgin, now king of Pensmoore.

But Izolda is not the practical girl she once was who would have been happy for a home and a place. Instead, she's willing to make any bargain and offer any sacrifice if it will just get her back into the Wittenhame with a chance to win back the life of the man she loves, the man she once feared, the man destined to change everything - Bluebeard.

Can Izolda out-bargain the bargainers, out-trick the tricksters, and out-dare everyone else in her desperate bid to get back everything she's lost?

Warning: There are four books in this dark romantic fantasy series. Read at your own risk.

Book Beginnings / First Line Friday
The Law of Greeting stole me away. The machinations of man brought me back, torn from the Wittenhame and dragged - ragged and bloody - back to the washed-out world of mortals. 

Friday 56
"Speak to my riddle, wife. What keeps the foe at bay and the fool from trying his luck? What precaution ends a fight before it begins?"

What have you been reading lately?

Review: Iced Over (Barks & Beans Cafe Cozy Mystery #2) by Heather Day Gilbert

About the Book
Welcome to the Barks & Beans Cafe, a quaint place where folks pet shelter dogs while enjoying a cup of java...and where murder sometimes pays a visit.

Black Friday turns fatal when an armored security truck hits an icy patch and runs over an embankment near the cafe. With one driver dead and the other in a coma, police are baffled by the discovery that $500,000 is missing from the truck's cache.

When strangers show up at Barks & Beans asking nosy questions about a young cafe employee, Macy's mama bear instincts kick in. She can't ignore what her gut is telling her—that things aren't all they seem on the surface—and with a little help from her brother, Bo, and her Great Dane, Coal, Macy follows up on a few leads of her own. But if the ruthless thief beats her to the stash, the thin ice she's been skating on might just crack.

Join siblings Macy and Bo Hatfield as they sniff out crimes in their hometown...with plenty of dogs along for the ride! The Barks & Beans Cafe cozy mystery series features a small town, an amateur sleuth, and no swearing or graphic scenes.

(Available in Kindle Unlimited at time of posting)

MY THOUGHTS

I really enjoyed visiting Macy, Bo, and Coal again, and solving another mystery alongside them. I loved the first book, so I was eager to read this sequel. It was just as good as its predecessor.

I loved seeing Macy's caring nature towards her employees. It was nice to read about a boss who actually cares and goes the extra mile for their staff. I was also happy to get to know Titan a little better. I really like him. Plus, I find it so funny that Macy is a Hatfield and Titan is a McCoy.

Coal's such a lovable doggie. So protective and sweet. And I've gotta say, I LOVED Waffles. What a hilarious, crazy, and endearing dog! She reminded me of a combination of a couple of my dogs. Such a troublemaker, but so adorable.

The mystery kept me guessing until the reveal. I was shocked with how things turned out. I didn't see that coming at all. I love being surprised like that.

If you're a fan of cozy mysteries, I highly recommend this series. It's so much fun! I'm very much looking forward to checking out book three.

4.5 STARS

Tuesday, May 10, 2022

Can't Wait Wednesday: Sunburst (Sky King Ranch #2) by Susan May Warren

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 Sunburst (Sky King Ranch #2) by Susan May Warren releasing June 7.

About the Book
When former Navy Seal and lifelong bachelor Ranger Kingston is called upon to take part in a rescue mission to save his brother Colt, who has been kidnapped by terrorists in Nigeria, he is shocked to find among the hostages a woman he knows and could never forget.

Noemi Sutton was attempting to return a young girl to her family in Boko Haram territory when she and the girl found themselves taken hostage, along with several others.

And while Ranger Kingston may be able to get the hostages away from their captors, he'll need Noemi's help if he ever hopes to get out of Nigeria alive.

Her solution? Pose as husband and wife. But when her uncle discovers the union, he insists on a traditional Nigerian wedding--binding Noemi to a man destined to break her heart. Worse, she's discovered the real reason she was kidnapped, and anyone around her is bound to be caught in the cross fire. Including her so-called new husband.

She'll need to figure out a way to leave the man she loves if she wants to save his life.

USA Today bestselling author Susan May Warren throws you into the thick of the action in this high-stakes, globe-trotting romance.


What upcoming release are you eagerly anticipating?

Monday, May 9, 2022

Review: Cold Clay (Shady Hollow #2) by Juneau Black

About the Book (From Goodreads)
The past won’t stay buried…

Deep in the forest is a place where woodland creatures live together in harmony. Moose and mice, owls and bears, and many more call Shady Hollow home.

When autumn comes to the village, thoughts turn to harvest time and the glorious feasts ahead. But in a far corner of Cold Clay Orchards, a rabbit reaps a more grisly crop: the bones of a moose.

Soon enough, the owner of Joe’s Mug is dragged out of his coffeeshop to the police station to answer questions about the long-ago night his wife disappeared. Joe always said she walked out, but now it looks more like murder.

Foxy reporter Vera Vixen can’t believe gentle Joe is a killer. She sets out to find the truth before Shady Hollow loses its favorite coffee-slinger. To get to the bottom of the matter, she has to dig into the past, and into the many secrets her neighbors would rather leave buried forever…


MY THOUGHTS

This is such a fun series. Shady Hollow is a charming place filled with wonderful, vibrant characters. I didn't enjoy this story quite as much as the first one. For some reason, that tends to happen to me with sequels. I guess my expectations are always just a little off. That's not to say this was a bad book, though. I had a lot of fun with it. I just felt like it was missing some of that special and enchanting spark from the first one.

In the first book, I wondered what the deal was with Joe's wife. Where was she? What made her leave? Well, come to find out, she was murdered! Joe's looking like the prime suspect, but this gentle giant couldn't possibly be capable of such violence, could he? I did figure out the killer pretty early on, but the motive remained elusive for quite some time.

I'll definitely be checking out the next book. I'm invested in these characters' lives and am curious about what crime will pop up next. I recommend this series to people looking for a slower paced, whimsical mystery.

3.5 STARS

Thursday, May 5, 2022

Book Beginnings + Friday 56: Iced Over (Barks & Beans Cafe Cozy Mystery #2) by Heather Day Gilbert

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. I'm also linking up with Carrie at Reading is My Superpower for First Line Friday.

This week I'm featuring Iced Over (Barks & Beans Cafe Cozy Mystery #2) by Heather Day Gilbert. I can't get enough of this series. I'm loving it!

About the Book
Welcome to the Barks & Beans Cafe, a quaint place where folks pet shelter dogs while enjoying a cup of java...and where murder sometimes pays a visit.

Black Friday turns fatal when an armored security truck hits an icy patch and runs over an embankment near the cafe. With one driver dead and the other in a coma, police are baffled by the discovery that $500,000 is missing from the truck's cache.

When strangers show up at Barks & Beans asking nosy questions about a young cafe employee, Macy's mama bear instincts kick in. She can't ignore what her gut is telling her—that things aren't all they seem on the surface—and with a little help from her brother, Bo, and her Great Dane, Coal, Macy follows up on a few leads of her own. But if the ruthless thief beats her to the stash, the thin ice she's been skating on might just crack.

Join siblings Macy and Bo Hatfield as they sniff out crimes in their hometown...with plenty of dogs along for the ride! The Barks & Beans Cafe cozy mystery series features a small town, an amateur sleuth, and no swearing or graphic scenes.

Book Beginnings / First Line Friday
If ever there were a perfect anchor for our Thanksgiving table, it was Great Aunt Athaleen's blue Carnival glass bowl. Cradling its weighty base, I carefully set it on the runner I'd smoothed out earlier. Thanksgiving this year would be so different with Auntie A gone, but I took a moment to be grateful my brother Boaz and I would be celebrating it here in the family home.

Friday 56
It didn't take long for Waffles to live down to Summer's low expectations. After spending one blissful hour playing contentedly with the ball, she became aware that people were coming into the cafe - lots of people. She began yipping and jumping higher than the divider wall, trying to get the cafe customers' attention. If there were an award for doggie high jump, she would've earned it.

What have you been reading lately?

Review: Willow (The Metcalfes #2) by Ronie Kendig

About the Book
To save her, he must become the evil he fights.

Aftercare specialist Willow Metcalfe joined Mission: Liberate Everyone to help trafficking survivors navigate the healing process. When MiLE’s Obiora Compound is attacked by the Nigerian mafia, she’s taken hostage. Against nightmarish odds, she and the victims attempt an escape—and are thwarted.

A decade after leaving his beloved homeland, Chijioke “Chiji” Okorie returns to find his sister and fight for his own country. Believing a global trafficking ring behind her abduction and a string of kidnappings across Nigeria, he goes undercover to find the head of the serpent and his sister. Chiji is stunned to discover among the hostages a familiar face—a friend’s sister, Willow. The woman he vowed years ago to marry.

The man who has interfered with her escape attempts seems … familiar, kind—but Willow knows better. He reeks of the warrior ethos that has devoured many a good man. Engaged in an impossible battle and losing at every turn, Chiji is determined to complete his missions—all of them. Even if it kills him.


MY THOUGHTS

Wow! This wasn't the easiest read. It deals with some hard topics and really broke my heart. Tears were flowing quite heavily at times. Though, I really appreciate the fact that author Ronie Kendig is shining a much needed light on the horrors of human trafficking.

I will admit this was, at times, incredibly painful to read. While there was never any graphic details, things weren't sugarcoated. There was one moment where I didn't know if I could finish this story. The absolute evil that occurred was just unspeakable. And to think, to know, that this is actually happening all around the world? Heartbreaking isn't a strong enough word. But despite the heaviness and tragedy, this story is one that needs to be told. Needs to be read.

This story will leave a lasting impact. I know I'll be thinking about it for a long time to come.

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

FOUR STARS




GIVEAWAY: ENTER ON INSTAGRAM (1) winner will receive a copy of Stone and Willow, O.U.R. Freedom Flag tee, and O.U.R. drawstring backpack. (US only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics. Instagram is not affiliated with nor responsible for this giveaway. Giveaway ends at 11:59 PM EST on May 11, 2022.) 

Tuesday, May 3, 2022

Can't Wait Wednesday: Vivid (The Color Theory Book 1) by Ashley Bustamante

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 Vivid (The Color Theory Book 1) by Ashley Bustamante releasing May 17.

About the Book
DANGER LURKS BEHIND EVERY COLOR

Ava Locke dives into the mysteries of forbidden Yellow magic and discovers a dark path filled with secrets and injustice.

When Ava Locke was five years old, she began a journey to join the Benefactors—the leaders of the magical continent of Magus. Twelve years later, she unwittingly started down the road to betray them.

On Magus where colors fuel magical abilities, yellow is banned in an effort to protect people from its mind-controlling capabilities. When a rogue Yellow magic-user named Elm escapes imprisonment Ava becomes innocently fascinated with his story. Once this mysterious Elm shows up at her school, Ava pushes her interest to the next level by helping him evade the Benefactors. Ava grows increasingly conflicted as her intrigue leads her down a dark road of secrets about her world. As she learns more about Yellow magic’s potential to control its victims, Ava now must question whether her rash decisions are all her own or if someone else is pulling the strings.


What upcoming release are you eagerly anticipating?

Review: The Bone Bride: A Raven King Short Story by Merrie Destefano

About the Book
A high-born girl learns she’s been sold as a bride to a dead goblin prince.

Being betrothed to a goblin prince is bad enough—they’re all ugly and horrid and live in dark tunnels underground. But being betrothed to a dead goblin prince? That’s an immediate death sentence!

Nineteen-year-old Rowan attempts to flee when she learns about her arranged marriage. But there’s no escaping a contract signed by the dreaded Goblin King.

Now, all the dark magic in the Realm is against her. The gruesome King of Death himself will be looking for her soon.

Rowan’s only hope is to convince the fair Nicholas—the boy she planned to run away with—to destroy her marriage contract. But it must be done before the sun rises.

And already, the sky is brightening with light.

This enemies-to-lovers 30-minute short read is set in the same world as the upcoming RAVEN HEART series.


MY THOUGHTS

I absolutely loved this story! I was just going to read for a few minutes before bed, but I couldn't put it down. I had to finish it. This quick read had me fully engaged. I loved the eerie vibe and beautiful, vivid writing style that made everything come to life. I slipped into this world and, despite the haunting atmosphere, didn't want to leave. Seriously, the world building was spectacular. I never knew what to expect next. I loved the surprise of it all, the unpredictability of what was gonna happen next. If you enjoy dark fantasy, you're sure to love this story. I highly recommend it!

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

FIVE STARS

Monday, May 2, 2022

Review: Written on the Wind (The Blackstone Legacy #2) by Elizabeth Camden

About the Book
He carries a dangerous secret, but can he survive long enough to expose it?

Count Dimitri Sokolov has been charged with overseeing construction of the legendary Trans-Siberian Railway, but during this work, he witnesses an appalling crime, the truth of which threatens the Russian monarchy. In an effort to silence him, the czar has stripped Dimitri of his title, his lands, and his freedom . . . but Dimitri has one asset the czar knows nothing about: his deep and abiding friendship with Natalia Blackstone.

Natalia is the lead analyst for her father's New York banking empire and manages their investment in the Trans-Siberian Railway. Her bond with Dimitri has flourished despite the miles between them, but when Dimitri goes unexpectedly missing, she sets the wheels in motion to find him. Once they join forces, they embark on a dangerous quest in which one wrong move could destroy them both.

From the steppes of Russia to the corridors of power in Washington, Dimitri and Natalia will fight against all odds to save the railroad while exposing the truth. Can their newfound love survive the ordeal?


MY THOUGHTS

Written on the Wind was another epic historical romance from Elizabeth Camden. It's the sequel to Carved in Stone, but could easily be read as a standalone. It follows Natalia Blackstone, who's helping fund the Trans-Siberian Railway while working at her father's bank, and Count Dimitri Sokolov, who's been stripped of everything for just trying to do the right thing.

I loved Dimitri from the very beginning, just from Natalia's correspondence with him. But when we actually met him? Oh man, swoon alert! I fell hard for him. You could tell right off the bat that he was a man of stand up character with tons of grit, determination, and courage. He was also hilarious, and a bit of a snob, but an absolutely charming one, nonetheless. His and Natalia's banter was one of my favorite parts of the book. They were so good together!

Like I always say with an Elizabeth Camden novel, the history was fascinating. I didn't know a whole lot about the Boxer Rebellion or the Trans-Siberian Railway beforehand, so I really enjoyed learning more about that.

All in all, this was a wonderful read that I enjoyed a great deal. If you're a fan of historical romance, pick up a copy of this book. You won't be disappointed.

I received an advanced copy of this book via NetGalley and voluntarily reviewed it. All thoughts and comments are my honest opinion.

FIVE STARS

Thursday, April 28, 2022

Book Beginnings + Friday 56: Cold Clay (Shady Hollow #2) by Juneau Black

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. I'm also linking up with Carrie at Reading is My Superpower for First Line Friday.

This week I'm featuring Cold Clay (Shady Hollow #2) by Juneau Black. I LOVED the first book, so I was excited to check out the sequel. I'm enjoying it, though not quite as much as the previous one. It's still good though. I think my expectations were just a little too high, lol. 

About the Book (From Goodreads)
The past won’t stay buried…

Deep in the forest is a place where woodland creatures live together in harmony. Moose and mice, owls and bears, and many more call Shady Hollow home.

When autumn comes to the village, thoughts turn to harvest time and the glorious feasts ahead. But in a far corner of Cold Clay Orchards, a rabbit reaps a more grisly crop: the bones of a moose.

Soon enough, the owner of Joe’s Mug is dragged out of his coffeeshop to the police station to answer questions about the long-ago night his wife disappeared. Joe always said she walked out, but now it looks more like murder.

Foxy reporter Vera Vixen can’t believe gentle Joe is a killer. She sets out to find the truth before Shady Hollow loses its favorite coffee-slinger. To get to the bottom of the matter, she has to dig into the past, and into the many secrets her neighbors would rather leave buried forever…

Book Beginnings / First Line Friday
As might be expected from its name, the village of Shady Hollow is nestled deep in the woods, covering a wide valley between two mountains. What might be less expected is the fact that the village residents are all animals representing many species and temperaments. Just how can a rabbit live and work alongside a fox? Why do a sparrow and a bear read the same newspaper? On a more practical level, where are the rabbit and fox working, and what is the headline on the paper?

Friday 56
Just as Vera was about to leave, the owl spoke again. "There is one more thing Miss Vixen," he said slowly, gathering his thoughts. "Julia Elkin was not the only strange creature whom I spotted wandering around the woods. By strange, I am of course referring to those animals who are not nocturnal, the ones who don't belong in the woods in the middle of the night."

What have you been reading lately

Cover Reveal: MAGIC HUNTERS: THE JOURNEY BEGINS by Brad and Jill Williamson


I’m thrilled to celebrate with @jill_williamson_author and her husband Brad on their cover reveal for MAGIC HUNTERS: THE JOURNEY BEGINS, book 1 in their new middle grade fairytale mash-up trilogy.


This cover was a compilation of two talented artists. The character sketch was done by @hannahprewettauthor, and Emilie Hendryx of @createexploreread used Hannah’s sketch in the cover design. Here is the back cover description:
 
 
✨✨✨

Hunter, the son of the huntsman who nearly killed Snow White, is tired of the shame that labels his family. Tricked into making a wish upon a magic mirror, he accidentally unleashes a curse that banishes magic from the Story Realms.


In order to right this wrong, Hunter sets out to find a wizard who might be able to help. Along the way he meets Izzy, a girl with no memory. Together, the pair embark upon an epic quest to restore the magic—and memories—that have been lost. Do Hunter and Izzy have what it takes to bring magic back to the Story Realms? Or is magic is lost forever?

✨✨✨


From now until release day on June 23, you can preorder signed paperback copies of MAGIC HUNTERS on Jill’s author website with FREE shipping. On release day (June 23), the free shipping deal ends, and the book will go on sale in the regular places along with the ebook version. For more information, to pre-order the paperback, or to add the book to your Goodreads page, visit jillwilliamson.com/magic-hunters.


Now, are you ready to see the cover? 




So cute! Right?

Review: Olive (Rainbow Falls #2) by Heather Gray

About the Book
Rainbow Falls…where life is filled with vivid color.

Olive Green’s world has turned upside down. The future she thought she was building is gone. Now she’s an unemployed CPA forced to move back home and sleep on an air mattress at her sister’s while picking up temp work to survive. Only, this latest temp job requires an NDA before she even goes to the interview. And the man who opens the door? Yeah, he’s not at all what she expected.

Damien Rhoades had it all – or so he thought. His voice was on every country music station, and he had the bank account to prove it. When reality crashed in on him, though, he ran from the bright lights of fame and from the God he’d once promised to serve. Isolation has become his self-inflicted punishment, his way of atoning for past sins too numerous to count and too dark to face. Then Olive bursts into his life driving her muscle car and lighting up his home with laughter.

Can a woman who feels adrift in her life be a guiding light? Will a man barricaded behind walls fortified with shame be strong enough to let the light in?

(Available in Kindle Unlimited at time of posting)

MY THOUGHTS

You have no idea how excited I was about this new book from Heather Gray. There's just something so uplifting and special about them. Something so fun and yet heartfelt, poignant and deep. Something infinitely inspiring. Olive is all those things and more. It's my favorite of hers yet.

These characters sure tugged at my heartstrings. Country music star Damien Rhoades has been in hiding for the past few years. Ever since the accident, he's pretty much isolated himself from the world and wants as little human interaction as possible. He's dealing with a lot of guilt and self-loathing, and I just really felt for him. I was rooting so hard for him. Olive was super likable. There was something so endearing about her and her purple hair, fun sense of humor, quirkiness, and kindness.

I really loved the message of faith, of trusting God and His will. And the great reminder of His grace and the fact that anything is possible with Him.

I can't say enough good things about this novel. If you're a fan of inspirational contemporary romance, you'll love this story. I highly recommend it!

FIVE STARS

Tuesday, April 26, 2022

Can't Wait Wednesday: Shadowed Loyalty by Roseanna M. White

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 Shadowed Loyalty by Roseanna M. White releasing May 2. I'm a big fan of this author, so anytime she releases a new book, I get really excited. This one sounds a little different than her usual ones, but still oh so good. I can't wait to dive into it.

About the Book
Sabina Mancari never questioned her life as the daughter of Chicago’s leading mob boss until bullets tear apart her world and the man she thought she loved turned out to be an undercover Prohibition agent. Now she sees how ugly the underworld can be. Ambushes, bribes, murder, prostitution—she thought her beloved Papa was above all that, but clearly he isn’t. What does that mean, though, for her and their family? Maybe Lorenzo, the fiancĂ© who has barely paid her any attention in the last two years, has the right idea by planning to escape their world.

All his life, Lorenzo’s family assumed he would join the Church, but he has different ideas—marrying Sabina and pursuing a career in the law. But despite his morals, he knows at the core he isn’t so unlike his father and brothers, which has always terrified him. Has he, in trying to protect Sabina from his flaws, in fact harmed her? It sure seems that way when he realizes he all but forced her into the arms of the Prohibition Agent now bent on tearing her family apart at all costs. But how can they rebuild what has so long been neglected…and do it in the shadow of the dark empire of the Mafia?

Shadowed Loyalty, set amid the glitz and scandal of the Roaring Twenties, examines what love really means and how we draw lines between family and our own convictions, especially when following the one could mean losing the other.


What upcoming release are you eagerly awaiting?

Review: The 80s Rom-Com Club by Mikal Dawn, Teresa Tysinger, Bell Renshaw, Betsy St. Amant, Jennifer Rodewald, & Jaycee Weaver

About the Book
Is there, like, anything more totally awesome than the fun, feel-good rom-com blockbusters of the 1980s? The women who make up the online Just Another 80s Rom Com Lovers Club don't think so. Join these digital friends as they each live out their own swoon-worthy love stories, minus teased bangs and mini skirts, reminiscent of some your favorite romantic comedies from the most righteous decade.

The Fix Up by Mikal Dawn: Henley Morris and Not-the-Movie-Star Brad Pitt are teamed up on a home renovation show with tools, limited time, and a budget. The home they're assigned to renovate is a money “pitt” and they’re sure it’s out to get them. So is the general contractor. And don’t even get them started on the family of squirrels living in it…

Falling For a Price by Bell Renshaw: Amie Lewis prefers writing about the escapades of others, but when a mysterious note arrives, it’s time to start her own adventure. Hiring Malcom Price, a handsome but obnoxious guide, is her first mistake. Being caught in the middle of his feud with Russian treasure hunters is the second. The third? Falling for him.

Lake Shore Wandering by Jennifer Rodewald: Hazel Wallace is working on a plan to keep her peaceful, remote life. When Bennet Crofton shows up pretending to be something he’s not, she knows she’s running out of time. Luckily for her, he hit his head and can’t remember a thing. With a sudden inspiration thanks to an 80’s RomCom, she’s got a whole new plan.

Evie Tyler's Day Off by Betsy St. Amant: When Evie Tyler plays hooky on her 30th birthday to complete the remaining 9 items on her “30 Before 30” bucket list with her best friend, she never expected her childhood crush—her BFF’s brother—to tag along. Red convertibles, impromptu concerts, and a hilarious comedy of errors collide into one day off Evie will never forget.

Just Like That by Teresa Tysinger: New York City-based influencer Jane Holland is about to reel in the biggest partnership of her career. Life takes an unexpected turn when she’s needed in North Carolina to care for her niece. Will Jane find where she truly fits in her rural hometown—and with Andrew, her all-grown-up crush? Or, will opportunity draw her back to the life she always thought she wanted?

Sure About You by Jaycee Weaver: Editor, foodie, and 80s movies lover Isley Bradford lives by her trusty planner. Securing her dream job means traveling to a conference with the too-charming coworker she loathes. But with each bump in the road—some literally—he challenges her perceptions and makes her laugh. She'd had her future perfectly planned. Now? She's not so sure.


MY THOUGHTS

What an awesome collection of modern day 80s romcom-inspired novellas! I was only familiar with two of the movies these stories were based on, but that didn't hinder my enjoyment one bit. I enjoyed every single story. They were all so good and I can't recommend it highly enough!

Just Like That
by Teresa Tysinger

I loved this one! I liked seeing Jane back in her hometown of Cades Hollow, North Carolina. It's such a departure from the NYC lifestyle she's been living. I thought it was really interesting getting a peek at what an influencer does too. Jane and Andrew were so cute together, and I loved the fact that they didn't let misunderstandings linger for long. All in all, a really sweet story that I enjoyed a great deal.

Sure About You by Jaycee Weaver
I love a good enemies to lovers story and this one was great. I enjoyed the first-person narration from both Pax and Isley. Pax was charming from the get-go, but I didn't know what to think about Isley at first. Then, I realized she and I are a lot alike, lol, so I couldn't help but root for her. I thought the road trip was a ton of fun and loved all their "getting to know you" games. I also really loved seeing Pax's strong faith. So inspiring!

Evie Tyler's Day Off by Betsy St. Amant
This was such a fun take on Ferris Bueller's Day Off. There were lots of laughs and some hilarious, sometimes awkward, situations while Evie was marking off items on her "30 Before 30" bucket list. Evie was super likable, relatable, and so brave in facing some of her fears. Gemma was a great friend, and Colin was such a sweet and swoonworthy guy. I can't say enough good things about this novella!

Falling for a Price by Bell Renshaw
I enjoyed the fact that this story had a little mystery and suspense added to it. Amie was completely out of her element, but I admired her tenacity in trying to find her sister. Malcom's motives seemed a little questionable at first, but there was something so charming about him that I just knew there had to be more to his story. They didn't get off to the greatest start and things kinda went downhill from there for a little while, lol, but that led to some funny moments. This ended up being quite a fun read.

The Fix Up by Mikal Dawn
It was so fun watching the characters compete on a home renovation show. I enjoy those types of shows, so it was great to kinda get an "inside" look at what that might be like. The house that Henley and Brad "Not-the-Movie-Star" Pitt are tasked with renovating is a complete and total disaster. Anything that could go wrong did go wrong. I kept wondering what sort of (hilarious) calamity they'd encounter next. So entertaining!

Lake Shore Wandering by Jennifer Rodewald
This was a super fun gender-swapped remake of Overboard. Hazel was very much an outdoorsy country girl, while Bennet was very much a fancy city boy. Polar opposites, to say the least! So, you can just imagine the sparks that fly, right? There were so many hilarious, laugh-out-loud moments, but this was also a surprisingly sweet and tender read. I loved every second of it and didn't want it to end.

I received an early copy of this book and voluntarily reviewed it. All thoughts and comments are my honest opinion.

4.5 STARS

Thursday, April 21, 2022

Book Beginnings + Friday 56: Olive (Rainbow Falls #2) by Heather Gray

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. I'm also linking up with Carrie at Reading is My Superpower for First Line Friday.

This week I'm featuring Olive (Rainbow Falls #2) by Heather Gray.

About the Book (From Goodreads)
Rainbow Falls…where life is filled with vivid color.

Olive Green’s world has turned upside down. The future she thought she was building is gone. Now she’s an unemployed CPA forced to move back home and sleep on an air mattress at her sister’s while picking up temp work to survive. Only, this latest temp job requires an NDA before she even goes to the interview. And the man who opens the door? Yeah, he’s not at all what she expected.

Damien Rhoades had it all – or so he thought. His voice was on every country music station, and he had the bank account to prove it. When reality crashed in on him, though, he ran from the bright lights of fame and from the God he’d once promised to serve. Isolation has become his self-inflicted punishment, his way of atoning for past sins too numerous to count and too dark to face. Then Olive bursts into his life driving her muscle car and lighting up his home with laughter.

Can a woman who feels adrift in her life be a guiding light? Will a man barricaded behind walls fortified with shame be strong enough to let the light in?

Book Beginnings / First Line Friday
Olive Green stared, mouth hanging open, as her longtime friend slid a document across the desk to her.
Ruby nodded once. "It's a mostly standard non-disclosure agreement, but read it before you sign it."

Friday 56
Olive's eyes were almost closed when movement in her doorway tugged her back from the brink of sleep.

What have you been reading lately?

Review: Shadow Angel: Book Three by Leia Stone & Julie Hall

About the Book
I didn’t think there were any more surprises, but I was wrong.

My mission hasn’t changed, defeat Apollyon and free the souls trapped in the Netherworld, but everything just got a lot more complicated. I have a sister, my boyfriend’s a shifter controlled by my enemy, and now it’s not just my life that’s in danger, but my soul as well.

As the ruler of the Netherworld amasses an army, my to-do list gets stranger by the day.

Sneak into Shade City.
Get my boyfriend wings.
Find a lost realm.

But even if I manage to pull all that off, one burning question remains. How do I defeat an enemy I can’t kill without dying?


MY THOUGHTS

What a conclusion! I don't even know where to start! I was worried that there wouldn't be enough time to fit everything in here that needed to be. No need to worry, though! I'll just say that I wasn't disappointed in that regard. In fact, I was quite impressed with the flow of it all and the setup for a spinoff series. So exciting!

There was never a dull moment. There were surprising twists and turns, tons of action, lots of laughs, and even some tears. I seriously did not expect to get so emotional!

This is a series that definitely needs to be read in order, so if you're a fan of this genre, grab the first book and be prepared to get completely sucked into this world.

I received an advanced copy of this book and voluntarily reviewed it. All thoughts and comments are my honest opinion.

FOUR STARS

Tuesday, April 19, 2022

Can't Wait Wednesday: The Emperor’s Aeronaut (The Regent's Devices, #1) by Shelley Adina & R.E. Scott

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 Emperor’s Aeronaut (The Regent's Devices, #1) by Shelley Adina & R.E. Scott releasing May 4. I'm always on the lookout for new steampunk and this sounds like it could be really good.

About the Book
Napoleon is determined to conquer the world with his steam-powered weapons. Nothing in England can stop him … except two young lady inventors.

In 1819, France is surrounded by armies. With Russia in the north, the Karlsruhe Confederacy in the east, and a pirate kingdom in the south, Napoleon cannot break out, nor can the English Navy seem to break in. Europe teeters on the edge of a sword. Whichever side rules the air will win.

Celeste Blanchard, daughter of the Emperor’s disgraced Air Minister, is running out of time to develop an air ship that can carry his armies to England and restore her mother to glory. But on a daring and desperate test flight, she is blown off course … and washes up, half drowned, on the shores of Cornwall, in the heart of enemy territory.

Loveday Penhale, cosseted daughter of gentry, has her own inventions to build, even as pressure mounts to behave like a proper young lady and seek a husband instead of a design for a high-pressure steam engine. But when Arthur Trevelyan, heir to the neighboring estate, Gwynn Place, asks for her help in rescuing an unconscious young woman on the beach, Loveday discovers an aeronaut and an inventor as skilled as she is. Between them, a friendship blossoms, and Loveday wonders if they might even pull off the impossible and invent an air ship that will catch the eye of the Tinkering Prince Regent, who has offered a prize to anyone who can help England break the impasse. Celeste’s loyalties are torn in two. If she is caught working secretly for France, she will lose her friend, the love of an honorable man—and her life. But if Napoleon learns she has betrayed him, she will be executed on sight.

Can friendship prevail in the face of war? Or is there a third solution—one where everything hinges on the bravery and daring of a Cornish debutante and the Emperor’s aeronaut?


What upcoming release are you eagerly anticipating?

Cover Reveal: Dream of Kings by Sharon Hinck


I'm super excited to join in the cover reveal of Dream of Kings by Sharon Hinck releasing from Enclave Publishing in October 2022! This is a standalone fantasy and is available to preorder in Limited Edition Hardcover!


About the Book

The Future Never Sleeps

In the glacial nation of Norgard, Jolan the dream teller serves every seeker, whether peasant or high lord. Though she loves using her gift, she struggles to navigate the corrupt and dangerous court and the jealousies of the Guildagard.

When an old man’s nightmare imparts a dire warning, Jolan realizes her entire nation is in danger. But before she can sound the alarm, she is betrayed by the guilds and sold into slavery in a rival kingdom far to the south. As a slave in a foreign land, at first Jolan can’t see beyond her singular focus: return home to warn Norgard of the coming calamity. After facing new dangers, making new friends, and forgiving old wrongs, she must fulfill the purposes the Provider has set before her.

Only then can she face a decision that could cost her the man she loves, her calling, and her freedom—all to save a people who abandoned her.

Link to Preorder the Limited-Edition Hardcover: https://amzn.to/3LAQKxs


Monday, April 18, 2022

Review: Lights Out (The SNAP Agency #1) by Natalie Walters

About the Book
CIA analyst Brynn Taylor developed a new program to combat terrorism, and she invited members of foreign intelligence agencies to America to foster cooperation between countries. Now one of them, Egyptian spy Remon Riad, is missing.

Jack Hudson has been working for the Strategic Neutralization and Protection Agency (SNAP) for almost nine years and takes the lead in hunting down the missing spy. But he isn't at all pleased to find out Brynn is involved. It's hard to trust a woman who's already betrayed you.

Every lead they follow draws them dangerously deeper into an international plot. Kidnapping, murder, explosions, poisoning--the terrorists will do anything to accomplish their goal of causing a digital blackout that will blind a strategic US military communications center and throw the world into chaos.

Can Brynn surrender control to a man who doesn't trust her? And can Jack ever get over what she did to him? The fate of the world--and their hearts--hangs in the balance.


MY THOUGHTS

I loved this book! I really enjoyed the prequel novella and was eager to dive into this first full-length book about the SNAP Agency. It was every bit as good as I expected it to be. Incredibly compelling and fast paced, this was a book that was hard to set aside and tend to real life things. There was this great sense of urgency that had me flipping through the pages as fast as I could. It wasn't all nonstop action and suspense, though. There were nice breathers and a good deal of humor that helped to lighten things up.

There were a lot of characters, but they were all distinct. I never got anyone confused, which tends to happen to me when there's a big ensemble cast. I thought all the SNAP agents were great, but Kekoa was by far my favorite. I'm so excited that the next book centers around him.

This was a really good romantic suspense that I highly recommend. Fans of Ronie Kendig and Lynette Eason are sure to love it.

FOUR STARS

Thursday, April 14, 2022

Book Beginnings + Friday 56: Lights Out (The SNAP Agency #1) by Natalie Walters

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. I'm also linking up with Carrie at Reading is My Superpower for First Line Friday.

This week I'm featuring Lights Out (The SNAP Agency #1) by Natalie Walters.

About the Book
CIA analyst Brynn Taylor developed a new program to combat terrorism, and she invited members of foreign intelligence agencies to America to foster cooperation between countries. Now one of them, Egyptian spy Remon Riad, is missing.

Jack Hudson has been working for the Strategic Neutralization and Protection Agency (SNAP) for almost nine years and takes the lead in hunting down the missing spy. But he isn't at all pleased to find out Brynn is involved. It's hard to trust a woman who's already betrayed you.

Every lead they follow draws them dangerously deeper into an international plot. Kidnapping, murder, explosions, poisoning--the terrorists will do anything to accomplish their goal of causing a digital blackout that will blind a strategic US military communications center and throw the world into chaos.

Can Brynn surrender control to a man who doesn't trust her? And can Jack ever get over what she did to him? The fate of the world--and their hearts--hangs in the balance.

Book Beginnings / First Line Friday
Ma'adi, Suburb of Cairo, Egypt
3:17 PM Tuesday, January 13
Seif El-Deeb watched the noisy trio of American boys cross the street away from Cairo American College. The international school had just let out for the afternoon, and the sound of privileged children laughing about their day mingled with the horns of waiting drivers and taxis trying to navigate the afternoon congestion.

Friday 56
Ugh. Sliding the phone into the back pocket of her jeans, Brynn answered the door and almost had a heart attack.

What have you been reading lately?

Review: No Filter (Barks & Beans Cafe Cozy Mystery #1) by Heather Day Gilbert

About the Book
Welcome to the Barks & Beans Cafe, a quaint place where folks pet shelter dogs while enjoying a cup of java...and where murder sometimes pays a visit.

Fed up with her go-nowhere job, newly single Macy Hatfield moves back to her small hometown in West Virginia. She joins forces with her brother Bo in his crazy new venture—the Barks & Beans Cafe, which caters to dog lovers and coffee drinkers alike.

When a golf instructor is murdered at the nearby spiritual center, Macy winds up adopting his Great Dane. Just after Macy finds a mysterious message sewn under the dog's collar, her Dane is dognapped. She launches into a relentless search for her newfound canine friend, but along the way, she digs up a cruel and confident killer.

Join siblings Macy and Bo Hatfield as they sniff out crimes in their hometown...with plenty of dogs along for the ride! The Barks & Beans Cafe cozy mystery series features a small town, an amateur sleuth, and no swearing or graphic scenes.


MY THOUGHTS

I've been meaning to read this book for awhile now and was so excited to finally dive into it. And I've gotta say, it was so good! The whole idea behind the Barks & Beans Cafe was great! A coffee shop where you can hang out with rescue dogs? Sign me up! If it were a real place, I'd be a regular visitor.

I loved all of the characters, humans and dogs alike. They were all so realistic and distinct. Macy and Bo had such a sweet sibling relationship. It was nice to read about a brother and sister who actually cared about each other and had each other's backs no matter what. And I can't forget to mention Coal. What an adorable dog! I just wanted to give him a big ol' hug.

The mystery was a good one. While I had an idea of what was going on, I could not figure out who did it. This was not a predictable read. I was surprised on multiple occasions.

This was a fast paced read that I finished in record time. I couldn't get enough of it and am very much looking forward to the next one. I highly recommend it to fans of cozy mysteries.

4.5 STARS

Tuesday, April 12, 2022

Can't Wait Wednesday: When the Day Comes by Gabrielle Meyer

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 When the Day Comes by Gabrielle Meyer releasing May 3.

About the Book
How will she choose, knowing all she must sacrifice?

Libby has been given a powerful gift: to live one life in 1774 Colonial Williamsburg and the other in 1914 Gilded Age New York City. When she falls asleep in one life, she wakes up in the other. While she's the same person at her core in both times, she's leading two vastly different lives.

In Colonial Williamsburg, Libby is a public printer for the House of Burgesses and the Royal Governor, trying to provide for her family and support the Patriot cause. The man she loves, Henry Montgomery, has his own secrets. As the revolution draws near, both their lives--and any hope of love--are put in jeopardy.

Libby's life in 1914 New York is filled with wealth, drawing room conversations, and bachelors. But the only work she cares about--women's suffrage--is discouraged, and her mother is intent on marrying her off to an English marquess. The growing talk of war in Europe only complicates matters.

But Libby knows she's not destined to live two lives forever. On her twenty-first birthday, she must choose one path and forfeit the other--but how can she choose when she has so much to lose in each life?


What upcoming release are you eagerly anticipating?

Monday, April 11, 2022

Review: The Souls of Lost Lake by Jaime Jo Wright

About the Book
To save the innocent, they must face an insidious evil.

Wren Blythe has long enjoyed living in the Northwoods of Wisconsin, helping her father with ministry at a youth camp. But when a little girl in the area goes missing, an all-out search ensues, reviving the decades-old campfire story of Ava Coons, the murderess who is believed to still roam the forest. Joining the search, Wren stumbles upon the Coonses' cabin ruins and a sinister mystery she is determined to unearth.

In 1930, Ava Coons has spent the last several years carrying the mantle of mystery since the day she emerged from the woods as a thirteen-year-old girl, spattered with blood, dragging a logger's ax. She has accepted she will never remember what happened to her family, whose bodies were never found, and that the people of Tempter's Creek will always blame her for their violent deaths. And after a member of the town is murdered, and another goes missing, rumors spread that Ava's secret is perhaps more malicious than previously imagined.

Two women, separated by time, must confront a wickedness that not only challenges who they are but also threatens their lives, and the lives of those they love.


MY THOUGHTS

This was another stellar read from Jaime Jo Wright. I've loved all of her books, but this just might be my new favorite. It's exactly the kind of creepy and atmospheric thriller that I crave. And while this one definitely had some chills, some goosebump-inducing moments, things never got to be too much for me.

I was hooked from the very first page, completely captivated by the campfire ghost story of Ava Coons, wanting to know the real tale behind it because we all know that the very best ghost stories are steeped in at least a little bit of fact. I also quickly became equally invested in the present-day storyline following Wren Blythe. Both timelines were compelling, and I couldn't pick a favorite if you asked me. The mysteries were great and kept me on the edge of my seat for the majority of the book. I did guess some of the twists, but there were still quite a few things that surprised me.

This was a very satisfying read that tugged at all of my emotions. I can't recommend it highly enough.

I received an advanced copy of this book via NetGalley and voluntarily reviewed it. All thoughts and comments are my honest opinion.

FIVE STARS

Thursday, April 7, 2022

Book Beginnings + Friday 56: No Filter (Barks & Beans Cafe Cozy Mystery #1) by Heather Day Gilbert

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. I'm also linking up with Carrie at Reading is My Superpower for First Line Friday.

This week I'm featuring No Filter (Barks & Beans Cafe Cozy Mystery #1) by Heather Day Gilbert. I've been meaning to read this book for a while now and am so happy to finally get to it. It's so good!

My new desktop came in a couple days ago and it seems like it's gonna be a really good one. I'm still getting everything set up and my games downloaded and all that. (That takes forever, lol!) I did have an issue when we were first hooking it up though. My monitor wouldn't work! We tried a different one and it works, but the brightness/contrast and all that stuff is so much different than my old one, so that's taking some adjusting. Any kind of big visual change like that has always been a migraine trigger for me, so I've been struggling with that. 

Here's the weird thing though. My old monitor works on other computers perfectly, just not this new one. We can't figure out why. Any techies out there who might know what the issue could be? We've ordered a different adapter and are gonna try that and see if that works. I'm praying it does, but I think I might just have to get used to this new set up.

About the Book
Welcome to the Barks & Beans Cafe, a quaint place where folks pet shelter dogs while enjoying a cup of java...and where murder sometimes pays a visit.

Fed up with her go-nowhere job, newly single Macy Hatfield moves back to her small hometown in West Virginia. She joins forces with her brother Bo in his crazy new venture—the Barks & Beans Cafe, which caters to dog lovers and coffee drinkers alike.

When a golf instructor is murdered at the nearby spiritual center, Macy winds up adopting his Great Dane. Just after Macy finds a mysterious message sewn under the dog's collar, her Dane is dognapped. She launches into a relentless search for her newfound canine friend, but along the way, she digs up a cruel and confident killer.

Join siblings Macy and Bo Hatfield as they sniff out crimes in their hometown...with plenty of dogs along for the ride! The Barks & Beans Cafe cozy mystery series features a small town, an amateur sleuth, and no swearing or graphic scenes.

Book Beginnings / First Line Friday
My nail polish matched the dirt outside my patio. I downed a long sip of sweet iced tea and wiggled my freshly painted toes. What had possessed me to pick up this "Burnt Mesa" shade anyway?

Friday 56
I walked outside the building and into a frantic hubbub. Police officers were taking guests' names and numbers before requesting they clear out. The oyster fire had died down, and guests were clustered in groups, murmuring about the murder. News had spread quickly.

What have you been reading lately?

Review: To Bring You Back (Rhythms of Redemption Romances #1) by Emily Conrad

About the Book (From Goodreads)
He's determined to confront the past she's desperate to forget.
Broke in more ways than one, the last thing Adeline Green can afford is for her now-famous high school crush to descend on her quiet life.

People in the small town of Lakeshore, Wisconsin, think of her as the hard-working church secretary or as the local food truck's lunch-hour cashier. They'd never suspect the shame she's hiding.

She attended high school with both the lead singer and the drummer of the rock band, Awestruck. In fact, she used to play in the band herself, but that was back before Awestruck made it big—and before her relationship with lead singer Gannon Vaughn took a turn that ultimately led to tragedy and heartbreak.

She's living a different life now, but when Gannon shows up, he brings with him a public spotlight that threatens to expose her deepest regret. The closer she gets to him, the more she risks the carefully curated life that's finally brought her a measure of peace.

Gannon Vaughn and his rock band, Awestruck, have conquered the music industry, but he can’t overcome his feelings for Adeline.

She may have been right to cut off contact between them years ago, but thanks to the grace of God, he's a changed man. When he hears Adeline’s struggling, he sets out to turn her life around and win back the love he lost to poor choices eight years ago.

But when Gannon’s fame and their mutual regrets jeopardize their relationship anew, will grace be enough to bring them back to God and each other?

A meaningful Christian romance with a side of fame and fortune for readers who enjoy faith-filled escapes and happily-ever-afters where no one is beyond hope of redemption. Start reading today!


MY THOUGHTS

What a beautiful story! This was a deep and emotional read that dealt with some heavy topics but was brimming full of hope, showcasing the wonder of God's love. I was pulled in right from the very beginning and held captive until the very last word. I know I'll be thinking about it for a long time to come.

It's full of wonderful, authentic, and flawed characters that I couldn't help but root for. I became so invested in their lives. I didn't want to say goodbye. I didn't want the story to end. Thankfully, this is just the first book in a series. I'm so excited to delve deeper into the lives of the other Awestruck band members.

I can't say enough good things about this book. It's one of the best I've read this year. I highly recommend it to lovers of Christian fiction, especially fans of Jennifer Rodewald and Becky Wade.

FIVE STARS

Tuesday, April 5, 2022

Can't Wait Wednesday: The 80s Rom-Com Club by Mikal Dawn, Teresa Tysinger, Bell Renshaw, Betsy St. Amant, Jennifer Rodewald, & Jaycee Weaver

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 80s Rom-Com Club by Mikal Dawn, Teresa Tysinger, Bell Renshaw, Betsy St. Amant, Jennifer Rodewald, & Jaycee Weaver releasing April 26. 

About the Book (From Goodreads)
Is there, like, anything more totally awesome than the fun, feel-good rom-com blockbusters of the 1980s? The women who make up the online Just Another 80s Rom Com Lovers Club don't think so. Join these digital friends as they each live out their own swoon-worthy love stories, minus teased bangs and mini skirts, reminiscent of some your favorite romantic comedies from the most righteous decade.

THE FIX UP by Mikal Dawn: Henley Morris and Not-the-Movie-Star Brad Pitt are teamed up on a home renovation show with tools, limited time, and a budget. The home they're assigned to renovate is a money “pitt” and they’re sure it’s out to get them. So is the general contractor. And don’t even get them started on the family of squirrels living in it…

FALLING FOR A PRICE by Bell Renshaw: Amie Lewis prefers writing about the escapades of others, but when a mysterious note arrives, it’s time to start her own adventure. Hiring Malcom Price, a handsome but obnoxious guide, is her first mistake. Being caught in the middle of his feud with Russian treasure hunters is the second. The third? Falling for him.

LAKESHORE WANDERING by Jennifer Rodewald: Hazel Wallace is working on a plan to keep her peaceful, remote life. When Bennet Crofton shows up pretending to be something he’s not, she knows she’s running out of time. Luckily for her, he hit his head and can’t remember a thing. With a sudden inspiration thanks to an 80’s RomCom, she’s got a whole new plan.

EVIE TYLER'S DAY OFF by Betsy St. Amant: When Evie Tyler plays hooky on her 30th birthday to complete the remaining 9 items on her “30 Before 30” bucket list with her best friend, she never expected her childhood crush—her BFF’s brother—to tag along. Red convertibles, impromptu concerts, and a hilarious comedy of errors collide into one day off Evie will never forget.

JUST LIKE THAT by Teresa Tysinger: New York City-based influencer Jane Holland is about to reel in the biggest partnership of her career. Life takes an unexpected turn when she’s needed in North Carolina to care for her niece. Will Jane find where she truly fits in her rural hometown—and with Andrew, her all-grown-up crush? Or, will opportunity draw her back to the life she always thought she wanted?

SURE ABOUT YOU by Jaycee Weaver: Editor, foodie, and 80s movies lover Isley Bradford lives by her trusty planner. Securing her dream job means traveling to a conference with the too-charming coworker she loathes. But with each bump in the road—some literally—he challenges her perceptions and makes her laugh. She'd had her future perfectly planned. Now? She's not so sure.


What upcoming release are you eagerly anticipating?