Blogiversary multi-book giveaway!!!!

 

Here it is…..the final giveaway celebrating our 2nd blogiversary.  This giveaway includes three books, an ink pen, a luggage tag, and several bookmarks from authors we love.  One bookmark is autographed but we’re not going to tell you which one. We are going to let that be a surprise!

 

So what books are you going to get?  From left to right the books are:

Love on Assignment (Ladies of Summerhill) by Cara Lynn James

Girl From the Train by Irma Joubert

The Heiress by Susan May Warren

 

Since we are always recommending books to you, we want you to recommend books to us.  So, to be entered in the giveaway, just tell us the name of a book you think we should read.  This giveaway will run through Saturday, January 28, with the winner being announced on the 29th.

We can’t wait to see what books you recommend.  Good luck to you all and as always…..Happy reading!!!

 

Cathy and Kristi

 

An Uncommon Courtship (Hawthorne House #3) by Kristi Ann Hunter (review by Cathy)

an-uncommon-courtship

About the book:

When her mother’s ill-conceived marriage trap goes awry, Lady Adelaide Bell unwittingly finds herself bound to a stranger who ignores her.

Lord Trent Hawthorne, who had grand plans to marry for love, is even less pleased with the match.  Can they set aside their first impressions before any chance of love I lost?

My review (5-stars)

Okay, so first I fell in love with the gorgeous cover.   After I started reading the book, I fell in love with the story.  This is the third book in the series and if you haven’t read the others, I think this would be okay as a stand alone. 

  As Adelaide and Trent find themselves in a marriage that they weren’t emotionally prepared for or expected we get to see a more realistic approach to marriage of convenience stories.  I appreciated the uncertainty they faced and how they dealt with it. 

Adelaide is possibly one of the most endearing characters I’ve read about in a while.  She’s very inexperienced in pretty much everything that other young ladies are.  As attention has been focused on her older sister, she’s been kind of ignored by her mother. Until her older sister gets married that is! 

Trent is such a sweet, kind and funny character!  I loved how his older brother helped him work through this new and unfamiliar stage in his life.  I loved watching him fall in love with his wife.

The unique  relationship between Trent and his staff is rather amusing as they played card games with the newly married couple. 

One of my favorite parts in the book is when Trent realizes that Adelaide doesn’t have calling cards so he orders them for her so she can call on people.  I have an odd fascination with calling cards by the way and I liked seeing him become more aware of her needs and trying to make her happy.

There is a slow build up in their relationship which results in an Uncommon Courtship indeed.

I know that this will be one of my favorite books in 2017.  If you haven’t read it, I think you most definitely should.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher and have given my honest opinion.  

 

 

 

 

A Moonbow Night by Laura Frantz (review by Cathy)

a-moonbow-night

About the book:

After fleeing Virginia, Temperance Tucker and her family established an inn along the Shawnee River. It’s a welcome way station for settlers and frontiersmen traveling through the wild Cumberland region of Kentucke–men like Sion Morgan, a Virginia surveyor who arrives at the inn with his crew looking for an experienced guide. When his guide appears, Sion balks.

 He certainly didn’t expect a woman. But it is not long before he must admit that Tempe’s skill in the wilderness rivals his own. Still, the tenuous tie they are forming is put to the test as they encounter danger after danger and must rely on each other. 


With her signature sweeping style and ability to bring the distant past to vivid life, Laura Frantz beckons readers to join her in a land of Indian ambushes, conflicting loyalties, and a tentative love that meanders like a cool mountain stream.

 

My review (4-stars)

A fantastic story that takes the reader back to 1777 and life on the frontier.   Admittedly, this story was a bit difficult for me to get interested in at first, but once I did, it was interesting and wonderfully written. 

The authors details of the characters and their surroundings were wonderful and I could easily imagine them.  I didn’t have a favorite character which is unusual for me because I manage to connect with at least one or two in most books.

I would recommend A Moonbow Night to readers of historical fiction,

I received a complimentary copy from publisher and have given my honest opinion.

 

 

Paws for Love by Dana Mentink (review by Kristi)

paws-for-love

About the book:  The Only Thing Sweet About Jellybean Is His Name
Jellybean the terrier is about to unleash some serious mayhem on the unsuspecting town of Albatross.

There’s no quiet on the set when over-the-hill screen star Lawrence Tucker brings his naughty terrier, Jellybean, on location to the beachside town of Albatross, California. When Jellybean develops a rapport with Tucker’s violin tutor, the painfully shy, socially awkward Misty Agnelli, her arm is twisted into minding the obnoxious animal. Trailing Jellybean leads Misty into the candy store of Bill Woodson, a handsome chocolatier with a painful secret and a three-year-old niece to raise.

Misty must deal with the unstable Tucker, a temperamental Jellybean, her budding feelings for the mysterious Bill, and the high-pressure atmosphere on the set. Though she wants nothing more than to flee, how can she tell her Grandma, Lawrence Tucker’s biggest fan, that she abandoned the star and his dog?

It’s actors, animals, and antics galore when Jellybean gives his own heartwarming performance.

Published February 1, 2017, by Harvest House Publishers

 

My review: This was a nice, sweet read with the perfect balance of funny and serious. The story was nice, the characters were real, and then there was Jellybean. This dog just completely stole the show.

Jellybean is quite the character. (I think perhaps he is loosely based on Dana’s own little mischief maker, Junie.) His antics had me smiling and even laughing out loud. On the other hand, he is a sweet little guy who is tuned into the feelings of others and provides love and comfort when needed. Dana did a great job of bringing this character to life and really showing the soul of a dog. The scenes with Jellybean and Fiona were really sweet.

Misty and Bill were also easy to like characters. They seemed real and have issues of their own that they were trying to deal with. There was a bit of a surprise in the storyline that kept me wondering and I won’t say what it was but just that it was very well written. Dana handles the issue with respect and understanding, and I thought she did a fantastic job of writing it into the story.

Paws for Love is a book that will make you smile, laugh, and perhaps shed a tear. Jellybean is a character that you won’t soon forget. If you love dogs then this book is a must-read and definitely one for the keeper shelf. Two paws up!

I received a free copy of this book from the author. I was not required to write a review and all opinions are mine.

 

About the author:  Dana Mentink enjoys writing in many different capacities. She currently writes for Harlequin’s Love Inspired Suspense, Harlequin Heartwarming and Harvest House Publishers.

Dana is the recipient of a Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice Award and an ACFW Carol Award as well as a Holt Medallion Merit Award winner.

Dana loves feedback from her readers.

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Amy Clipston Prize Pack Winner Announced!!!!!

 

And the winner is………….

 

Angela

 

Congratulations!!!!!!  You are the winner of the Amy Clipston prize pack!!!!  Please email your address to us so we can get your prize pack mailed out to you.  If we don’t hear from you by 5 p.m., Wednesday, January 25 another name will be drawn.

Thank you to all who entered this giveaway and be on the lookout as we will be posting another giveaway later today.

 

Again, congratulations to you, Angela.  We hope you enjoy your Amy Clipston prize pack!!!  And as always…..Happy reading!!!!!!

 

Cathy and Kristi

House of Silence by Sarah Barthel (review by Kristi)

house-of-silence

About the book:  Oak Park, Illinois, 1875. Isabelle Larkin s future like that of every young woman hinges upon her choice of husband. She delights her mother by becoming engaged to Gregory Gallagher, who is charismatic, politically ambitious, and publicly devoted. But Isabelle s visions of a happy, profitable match come to a halt when she witnesses her fiance commit a horrific crime and no one believes her.
Gregory denies all, and Isabelle s mother insists she marry as planned rather than drag them into scandal. Fearing for her life, Isabelle can think of only one escape: she feigns a mental breakdown that renders her mute, and is brought to Bellevue sanitarium. There she finds a friend in fellow patient Mary Todd Lincoln, committed after her husband s assassination.
In this unlikely refuge, the women become allies, even as Isabelle maintains a veneer of madness for her own protection. But sooner or later, she must reclaim her voice. And if she uses it to expose the truth, Isabelle risks far more than she could ever imagine.
Weaving together a thread of finely tuned suspense with a fascinating setting and real-life figures, Sarah Barthel’s debut is historical fiction at its most evocative and compelling.”

Published December 27, 2016, by Kensington Press

 

My review:  I made a mistake with this book. I began reading it close to bedtime and became so engrossed in the story that I didn’t want to put the book down and go to bed. And then the next day all I could think about was getting back to reading the book after work. Ever read a book that has you wondering what the characters are up to while you are going about life? That’s how this book was for me.

This book has a good solid storyline and a main character I could easily sympathize with. Isabelle had a hard time with a mother she couldn’t confide in and rely on. I thought it was horrible that she had no other choice to protect herself than to fake a breakdown to be put away in a sanitarium. But as horrible as it was for Isabelle to have to do this it was also smart of her to realize what she needed to do. Isabelle wasn’t a weak character but one who found herself in a bad situation with nobody to go to for help. Even her friend, Lucy, was fighting a battle with her mother about who she would marry. Women during this time were very limited as to what they could do and really had no rights of their own as they went from their parent’s control to their husband’s. I instantly liked Dr. Deston (Samuel) and thought he would be an ally for Isabelle.

The author did a wonderful job of writing in the character of Mary Todd Lincoln and doing it in a most respectful way. I know this is historical fiction but I feel like I have a better understanding of Mrs. Lincoln and at the same time want to read more about her. She seemed like a kind person and she had a unique friendship with Isabelle.

This is an interesting and fast-paced read. I like the author’s way of telling a story and including a real historical figure that makes the story seem authentic. I especially liked the romance that blossoms between two of the characters. It happened so slowly and naturally and left a smile on my face at the end of the book. A great story with a wonderful ending made this book a perfect read. This was my first book by this author but it definitely won’t be the last.

I received a free copy of this book through Netgalley and was not required to write a positive review. All opinions are mine.

 

 

Gillian’s Heart by B. J. Bassett (review by Cathy)

gillians-heart

About the book:

Gillian Grant, abandoned by her alcoholic parents, is raised by her grandmother in a beach house in California. As a tribute to Gram’s memory, Gillian restores the house and hires Dusty to help her. Dusty shares the apartment above the garage with Gillian’s childhood friend, Josh. Gillian and Dusty have nothing in common, except the restoration of the house.

Gillian suffers from anorexia and is in denial. While she has a strong faith in God, Dusty is an unbeliever. Betsy, Gillian’s mother, returns and announces the house was left to her, not Gillian, and she plans to sell it. Gillian always dreamed of her wedding in her grandmother’s garden overlooking the Pacific.

Will there be a wedding? Who will capture Gillian’s heart—stable Josh or can she trust Dusty, a new Christian, who has kept secrets from her? And who holds the deed to the house?
My review (4-stars)

This is a new to me author and I was pleased  with the opportunity to read this book.

The author took this story in a great direction and it moved at a very nice pace.

Gillian is grieving the loss of her grandmother and battling anorexia. Her faith and her friends are important to her and I liked that she relied on them. The friendships seemed to be natural and real.

The wholesome characters  and faith they had was well written and much appreciated.

There were times when I had to remember that the characters were young professional adults because the four of them at times seemed a bit immature and more in their teen years.  This had a YA feel to me which I liked and would recommend to readers of all ages.

I received a copy of the book from the author and have given my honest opinion.