You’re Gonna Love Me by Robin Lee Hatcher (review by Kristi)

You're Gonna Love Me

About the bookSamantha Winters lives her life the way a good accountant should—measured, deliberate, and safe. After watching her father die in a tragic skiing accident, she decided never to allow risk into her life again. But she didn’t count on falling for Nick Chastain, who embodies everything she doesn’t want in her safely constructed world.

Against Samantha’s warnings, Nick plans a dangerous kayaking trip over spring break. Furious that he’s so careless with his life, she ends their fledgling relationship with harsh words.

Two years later, Samantha is desperately in need of a change. When she learns her grandmother has had an accident and is in need of a caretaker, Samantha quickly packs her bags and heads to Thunder Creek, Idaho. But nothing could prepare her for the surprise awaiting her in her grandmother’s hospital room . . . Nick.

With the charming backdrop of small-town friends, beloved cousins, and a whole church congregation rooting for them, can they set aside the disastrous ending of their first try at love? Has Nick changed enough to meet Samantha in the middle—and can she realize that a risk in love might be worth taking?

Publication Date:  December 12, 2017

Publisher:  Thomas Nelson

 

My reviewI liked the first book in this series which also happened to be my first read by this author. I was cautiously optimistic that I would like this book as much as the first. After reading just a few pages though I knew this was a book I was going to enjoy. Robin Lee Hatcher has created a town you can’t help but enjoy spending time in.

The main focus of this story is Sam and Nick who meet up again unexpectedly in Thunder Creek. Much has happened in the years since the two have seen each other. They have a bit of a rocky past and it is soon understood that a lot of their troubles are due to a lack of communication. The two attempt to put the past behind them and form a friendship but old feelings keep getting in the way. I liked how the author portrayed the relationship between these two characters. There was just enough tension in the relationship without being over-the-top and distracting.

My favorite character in the book isn’t really even a main character but a strong secondary character. Ruth Johnson is someone I would enjoy spending time with. She’s friendly and welcoming and there for the people she cares about. I love how she opens her home for Sunday dinners for whoever wants to attend. I would like to see a book with Ruth as the main character and the story centering on the people who attend the dinners and the struggles they are going through. Ruth is wise and it would be fun to see what wisdom she dished out along with the food.

This book was very easy to read. I am very fond of the author’s way of telling a story that just draws me in. Her descriptions make it easy to visualize the scenes in the story. She keeps the story going at just the right pace and adds just the right amount of detail. Nick’s job is in the irrigation field and she adds just enough detail to make it realistic without it feeling like a lesson in irrigation installment. There is a nice balance between serious subject matter and lightheartedness that keeps the story entertaining and a light read.

I definitely recommend this book to those who enjoy stories set in small towns. This story definitely has that small town vibe that makes me want to return again and again.

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

 

About the authorRobin Lee Hatcher discovered her vocation as a novelist after many years of reading everything she could put her hands on, including the backs of cereal boxes and ketchup bottles. Recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award from both American Christian Fiction Writers and Romance Writer of America and the winner of the Christy Award for Excellence in Christian Fiction, the RITA Award for Best Inspirational Romance, and numerous other awards and recognitions, Robin is the author of over 75 novels/novellas. Her books have been translated into Dutch, French, and Chinese (to name a few).

Robin enjoys being with her family, spending time in the beautiful Idaho outdoors, reading books that make her cry, and watching romantic movies. She and her husband make their home outside of Boise, sharing it with a demanding Papillon puppy named Boo and a persnickety tuxedo cat named Pinky.

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Imperfect Justice (Hidden Justice #2) by Cara Putman (review by Cathy)

Imperfect Justice

Book Blurb:

THE POLICE SAY THE WOMAN WAS A MURDERER. EMILIE WESLEY KNOWS THEY CAN’T BE TALKING ABOUT HER CLIENT . . . CAN THEY?

To the world it seems obvious: Kaylene Adams killed her daughter and then was shot by police. Attorney Emilie Wesley knows a different story: Kaylene would never hurt anyone and was looking for a way out of a controlling, abusive relationship. Her death shakes Emilie’s belief that she can make a difference for women in violent marriages. Self-doubt plagues her as she struggles to continue her work in the wake of the tragedy.

Reid Billings thought he knew his sister—right up until he learned how she died. He discovers a letter from Kaylene begging him to fight for custody of her daughters if anything should happen to her. No attorney in her right mind would support an uncle instead of the father in a custody case, but Kaylene’s letter claims Emilie Wesley will help him.

Thrown together in a race to save Kaylene’s surviving daughter, Emily and Reid pursue the constantly evasive truth. If they can hang on to hope together, can they save a young girl—and find a future for themselves in the process?

 

My review:

I had been eagerly anticipating the second book in this series and wondered if it would be as good as the first book and it definitely is!

Ms. Putman writes a legal thriller perfectly as she blends real life situations,  female friendships, a bit of romance and some heart pounding moments.  Emilie and Reid are characters that I liked and admired.  I felt sorry for Reid as he desperately tries to carry out his sisters last wishes to gain custody of her surviving daughter.  I admired Emilie for her determination to prove that Kaylene wasn’t the monster that her husband is saying she was.

This book will have you turning pages as fast as you can and show that there are people willing to fight for justice no matter what.  The bad guy doesn’t always win!

I received a copy a complimentary copy from the publisher and was not required to write a favorable review. All opinions are my own.

 

 

 

The Celebration (Amish Cooking Class #3) by Wanda Brunstetter (review by Cathy)

the celebration

About the book:

Lyle and Heidi Troyer have taken in a brother and sister, who were orphaned when their parents were killed in a car accident. Hoping to help the children adapt and make friends, Heidi decides to hold a series of cooking classes for kids. But kids are always accompanied by an adult—and that is where the trouble arises.

Miranda Cooper is living the life of a single mom to her two kids while separated from her husband, but Trent is trying to worm his way back into her heart.

Denise McGuire’s life as a wife, mom, and real estate broker is full and spilling over.

Darren Keller, single dad and firefighter, and Ellen Blackburn, single mom and nurse, find a few things in common.

Will hearts be healed over plates of Amish food?

This is the third book in The Amish Cooking Class series.
Book #1: The Amish Cooking Class – The Seekers
Book #2: The Amish Cooking Class – The Blessing

 

My review:

As soon as I saw that the third book in the  Amish Cooking Class would be for kids, my first thought was, “Heidi is one brave lady”!   I couldn’t wait to see how she would manage teaching children of different ages how to cook.

The first class got off to a rocky start with kids not wanting to be there, shy kids and a bratty kid.  Oh, that smart mouthed, spoiled, bratty kid was too much and I confess to laughing at her mishaps.

The parents were dealing with some pretty difficult situations in their lives.  There is a widower with his son, a single mother with her adopted daughter, a couple that have separated with two kids, a couple with one daughter and a later addition of a young girl from a less fortunate family.

I don’t normally have a favorite character in this series other than Heidi and Lyle, but in this book, Velma won my heart.  New to the area, she and her family have very little and she wants to give her daughter the opportunity to make new friends. I loved that Heidi gave her that opportunity and I respected Velma’s drive and determination to work hard  as payment towards the class.

I can always count on Wanda to write books from the heart, but this one went beyond my expectations.  I never expected to care about all of the characters as much as I did and I will miss them.

I recommend the whole series even though this can be read as a stand alone.  Remember  to check out Heidi’s recipes at the end of the book.

I received a free copy from the publisher and was not required to write a review.  All opinions are my own.

 

 

 

The Mayflower Bride by Kimberley Woodhouse (review by Kristi)

the mayflower bride

About the bookMary Chapman boards the Speedwell in 1620 as a Separatist seeking a better life in the New World. William Lytton embarks on the Mayflower as a carpenter looking for opportunities to succeed—and he may have found one when a man from the Virginia Company offers William a hefty sum to keep a stealth eye on company interests in the new colony. The season is far too late for good sailing and storms rage, but reaching land is no better as food is scarce and the people are weak. Will Mary survive to face the spring planting and unknown natives? Will William be branded a traitor and expelled?

Publication date:  February 1, 2018

Publisher:  Barbour Books

 

My reviewI know a book is good when I read half of it in one sitting. This is what happened when I sat down to begin The Mayflower Bride. The story was captivating and soon had me swept away into the world of Mary Elizabeth Chapman and her experience on the Mayflower and in the New World.

I liked the mixture of fictional characters and historical figures. It lent a believability to the story and made it interesting. The author lets the reader know at the beginning of the book that there is a mixture so the reader doesn’t have to guess who is real and who isn’t. All the characters soon seemed real to me and it was easy to have empathy for them as they made a not-so-pleasant journey to a new life. I liked Mary Elizabeth and William and really enjoyed reading the natural progression of their relationship. I also enjoyed Mary and Dorothy’s friendship and how they were always there for each other and were almost like sisters.

One of my favorite things about this book though was the character development. These characters change and grow throughout the story and the author did an excellent job of expressing these changes. Mary goes from a girl to a young woman who is much stronger than she ever thought she was. Watching this occur was an enjoyable part of the story for me.

I like this author’s writing style and her way of describing events that made me feel as if I were there with the characters experiencing everything along with them. The story has a good pace to it and I didn’t find any parts to be boring. I’m glad that she didn’t use the language of the day and bog down the story with a lot of “thee’s and thou’s”. (She explains at the beginning of the book she wrote it in modern day language and that we could thank her later so her is her thank you from me.)

This was a really well-written book about a time in history that I don’t see much about in books. This is a book with characters that I won’t soon be forgetting. I’ll definitely be adding this author to my must-read list.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher and was not obligated to write a review. All opinions are mine.

 

About the authorKim is a devoted wife and mother, and a third generation Liszt student. She has passed down her love of the arts to hundreds of students over the years, recorded three albums, and appeared at over 700 venues.

Her quick wit, enthusiasm, and positive outlook through difficult circumstances have gained her audiences at conferences, retreats, churches, military functions, and seminars all over the country.

The Woodhouse family’s story has been on the front page of newspapers, in magazines, articles, medical journals, and most recently featured on ABC’s Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. They were also asked to share their story on The Montel Williams Show and Discovery Health Channel’s Mystery ER.

Kim has been writing seriously for fifteen years. Songs, plays, short stories, novels, picture books, articles, newsletters – you name it – she’s written it. It wasn’t until a dear friend challenged her to “do something with it”, that she pursued publication. She now has multiple books to her credit, with more on the way.

Kim lives, writes, and homeschools in Colorado with her husband and their two children in a truly “Extreme” home.

 

The Celebration by Wanda E. Brunstetter (review by Kristi)

the celebration.jpg

About the book Return to Holmes County, Ohio, for Amish style cooking class.

Lyle and Heidi Troyer have taken in a brother and sister, who were orphaned when their parents were killed in a car accident. Hoping to help the children adapt and make friends, Heidi decides to hold a series of cooking classes for kids. But kids are always accompanied by an adult—and that is where the trouble arises.

Miranda Cooper is living the life of a single mom to her two kids while separated from her husband, but Trent is trying to worm his way back into her heart.

Denise McGuire’s life as a wife, mom, and real estate broker is full and spilling over.

Darren Keller, single dad and firefighter, and Ellen Blackburn, single mom and nurse, find a few things in common.

Will hearts be healed over plates of Amish food?

Publication Date:  February 1, 2018

Publisher:  Shiloh Run Press

 

My review: I have really enjoyed this series and was anxious to get my hands on the third installment. When I read the blurb I was a bit concerned about how much I would like the story. The newest cooking class participants are kids and I wasn’t sure how this aspect would stay within the recipe Wanda has created for the series. No worries though because the story is just as well written and entertaining as the rest. And maybe, just maybe, this is my favorite of the series.

I love how Wanda takes everyday happenings and goings-on and puts them into her books. It makes the stories seem so real and authentic. Wanda has a way of drawing me into the story and keeping the pace just right to hold my interest. With so many characters in this book, there is a lot going on and that kept the story fresh and interesting.

As to the characters in the book, there are a lot. At first, I had a bit of trouble keeping track of which kids belonged to which parents. That is for all except Kassidy and her mom. Kassidy was such a brat that I had absolutely no trouble remembering her mom was Denise because I felt so sorry for her. While Kassidy was a character on the low end of the like spectrum I really enjoyed Velma. Nothing goes right for this poor woman and in a way she was the easiest to relate to. I liked the natural way a friendship formed between Velma and Heidi.

This was a really enjoyable read. If it were a dish I would classify it as a comfort food. It’s just a nice read about everyday people and their lives as they are all brought together by a cooking class. It is a nice conclusion to the series (I hope it’s not the end of the series but it sounds like it from the epilogue). This book can be read as a standalone though so even if you haven’t read the other two grab a drink, find a cozy spot, and enjoy this book!

I received a free copy from the publisher and was not required to write a review. All opinions are mine.

 

About the authorNew York Times bestselling and award-winning author, Wanda E. Brunstetter is one of the founders of the Amish fiction genre. She has written close to 90 books translated in four languages. With over 10 million copies sold, Wanda’s stories consistently earn spots on the nations most prestigious bestseller lists and have received numerous awards.

Wanda’s ancestors were part of the Anabaptist faith, and her novels are based on personal research intended to accurately portray the Amish way of life. Her books are well-read and trusted by many Amish, who credit her for giving readers a deeper understanding of the people and their customs.

When Wanda visits her Amish friends, she finds herself drawn to their peaceful lifestyle, sincerity, and close family ties. Wanda enjoys photography, ventriloquism, gardening, bird-watching, beachcombing, and spending time with her family. She and her husband, Richard, have been blessed with two grown children, six grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.

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His One and Only Bride Review (by Cathy) and Giveaway

 

                                        On Tour with  Prism Book Tours

 

His One and Only Bride

His One and Only Bride
(The Business of Weddings #5)
Tara Randel
Contemporary Romance

Paperback & ebook, 384 pages

January 1st 2018 by Harlequin Heartwarming

He never thought he’d see her again!

After being reported missing, presumed dead, globe-hopping photojournalist Mitch Simmons never thought he’d see his estranged wife, Zoe, again. Yet here he is back in their coastal Florida town, where Zoe is mayor. Turns out she isn’t the only one he left behind.

Discovering he has a baby son awakens thrilling new emotions in Mitch. And there are his still-powerful feelings for the high school sweetheart he vowed to love and honor forever. Thankfully, they’ll have the

chance to find the love that was always there…

GoodreadsAmazonBarnes & NobleHarlequin

                        Other Books in the Series

Magnolia Bride                                                    Honey Suckle Bride

The Bridal Bouquet                                                        The Wedding March

 

My review:  

I honestly didn’t expect this book to have as much depth to it that it did, so I was pleasantly surprised.  I couldn’t imagine how Zoe must have felt when her husband Mitch returns home, especially since he was presumed dead, anymore than I could imagine how Mitch must have felt when he found out he was a father.

The two of them have a long history together, but circumstances have changed and both Zoe and Mitch have to decide if they can make their marriage work.   There’s a little mystery, a lot of romance and a precious baby named, Leo that made this an enjoyable read.   This is the first book that I’ve read by Ms. Randel and I was impressed with her writing. I look forward to reading more of her work.  This is a clean romance that can be read in a short time.

I received a complimentary copy and was not required to give a positive review.  All opinions are my own.

About the Author

Tara Randel

USA Today Bestselling Author Tara Randel has enjoyed a lifelong love of books, especially romance and mystery genres, so it didn’t come as a surprise when she began writing with the dream of becoming published. Family values, mystery and, of course, love and romance are her favorite themes, because she believes love is the greatest gift of all. Tara lives on the West Coast of Florida, where gorgeous sunsets inspire the creation of heartwarming stories, filled with love, laughter and the occasional mystery.

 

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Tour Schedule


January 22nd:

Launch

underneath the covers

It’s All About the Romance

Becky on Books

Katie’s Clean Book Collection

January 23rd:

Rockin’ Book Reviews

Book Lover in Florida

A Baker’s Perspective

Heidi Reads…

January 24th:

Locks, Hooks and Books

Bookworm Lisa

Hearts & Scribbles

Remembrancy

January 25th:

Jorie Loves A Story

I Am A Reader

Reading Is My SuperPower

Nicole’s Book Musings

Two Girls and a Book

January 26th:

Thoughts of a Blonde

The Bookworm Chronicles

Inside The Mind of Mind of an Avid Reader

Paulette’s Papers

January 27th: Grand Finale

 

Tour Giveaway

 

– US PRIZE PACK: Signed copies of Rival HeartsThe Bridal Bouquet and The Wedding March, a Harlequin Heartwarming tote bag, a 2018 appointment planner and a $25 Amazon gift card

– US residents only

– Ends January 31

Click here to enter

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Name Unknown (Shadows Over England,#1) by Roseanna M. White (review by Cathy)

A Name Unknown

About the book:

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

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

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

My review:

I loved this book!  I knew that I would as soon as I started reading it, but I didn’t realize how riveting it would be.

I loved Peter immediately with his out of control library, with books and papers piled on every surface.  I even found his stammer endearing.  It took a bit longer for me to warm up to Rosemary, even if she did make me smile a few times before I liked her.

There are twists and turns in the story that I didn’t expect, but ones I enjoyed.  The storyline is very interesting, but it’s a lengthy book and one that took several days to read.  I found the writing to be outstanding and already have the second book waiting to be read.

If you love historical fiction you need to read this one.  I received a copy from Netgalley and have given my honest opinion.