The Pirate Bride (Daughters of the Mayflower #2) by Kathleen Y’Barbo

The Pirate Bride

About the bookA Former Privateer and a Desperate Heiress Join Forces to Find a Treasure
Jump on board with a brand new series for fans of all things related to history, romance, adventure, faith, and family trees.

One hundred years after her mother’s family came to the New World on the Mayflower, Maribel Cordova has landed in New Orleans to seek the man who holds the key to finding her father’s lost treasure. Attorney Jean-Luc Valmot has buried his past life so deep that no living person will ever find it—or so he hopes as he accepts a position on the governor’s staff. But the daughter of an infamous pirate threatens all he holds dear. Can Maribel and Jean-Luc compromise so they both can hold onto what they most desire?

Publication Date:  April 1, 2018

Publisher:  Barbour Books

 

My thoughts:  I didn’t expect to enjoy this book as much as I did. Pirate stories aren’t really my thing but I decided to give this book a try. Once I started reading the story I was pulled into the lives of Maribel Cordoba and Jean Beaumont, the privateer (no, he’s not a pirate, yes there is a difference between pirate and privateer, but I suppose The Privateer Bride didn’t have quite the same pizazz as The Pirate Bride). This story held my attention from beginning to end.

Maribel is quite the character. When we meet her she is a young girl with a sharp mind (and tongue). I loved the way she held her own on the ship with Jean and was able to capture the hearts of the crew. I was glad to see that as a young woman Maribel still had that spunkiness that endeared her to me from the beginning. I was glad that she didn’t change a lot throughout the book but still matured. And as an avid bookworm, I was delighted by her love of reading. Jean was a great match for Maribel. He may come across as rough and tough but he cares for the people on his ship and demands respect. I liked that I got to see him both as the ship captain and member of the Valmont family. Maribel and Jean have great chemistry and I loved the scenes they shared.

The pace of this book was great. There was always something happening to keep the story moving forward. The author did a fantastic job with descriptions, too. Whether on the high seas, on an island, or in New Orleans it felt like I was there and the scenes were easy to visualize thanks to her descriptions.

While this is the second story in the Daughters of the Mayflower series it totally stands on its own. There is really no need to read the first book before reading this one. (The first book in the series is really good though and I do recommend reading it.) I definitely recommend this book and it is one for my keeper shelf.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.

 

About the authorBestselling author Kathleen Y’Barbo is a multiple Carol Award and RITA nominee of more than eighty novels with almost two million copies in print in the US and abroad.

A tenth-generation Texan and certified paralegal, she has been nominated for a Career Achievement Award as well a Reader’s Choice Award and is the winner of the Inspirational Romance of the Year by Romantic Times magazine.

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The View from Rainshadow Bay (Lavender Tides #1) by Colleen Coble (review by Cathy)

The View from Rainshadow Bay

Book Blurb:

After her husband, Jack, dies in a climbing incident, Shauna has only her five-year-old son and her helicopter charter business to live for. Every day is a struggle to make ends meet and she lives in constant fear of losing even more than she already has.

When her business partner is murdered, his final words convince Shauna that she’s in danger too. But where can she turn? Zach Bannister was her husband’s best friend and is the person she blames for his death. She’s barely spoken to him since. But right now he seems her only hope for protecting her son.

Zach is only too happy to assuage his guilt over Jack’s death by helping Shauna any way he can. But there are secrets involved dating back to Shauna’s childhood that more than one person would prefer to stay hidden.

In The View from Rainshadow Bay, suspense, danger, and a longing to love again ignite amid the gorgeous lavender fields of Washington State.

 

My thoughts:

What a terrific start to this new series by Colleen Coble.  I have read many of her books and still find myself in awe of her work.

Ms. Coble blends the perfect amount of suspense and intrigue with romance.  Her characters are second to none and her story telling keeps me engaged from start to finish.  I loved Shauna and Zach and found their interactions with each other plausible. I also adored Shauna’s little boy, Alex.

As usual, when I read this authors books, I kept saying, “‘just one more chapter” until I was out of chapters. I really couldn’t help myself because I just had to know what was going to happen next and sleep is suddenly unimportant when you’re caught up in a great book with characters that you care about,

Overall, this is one of my favorite books that I’ve read in a while.  The story moves at a great pace and kept me guessing until the very end.  I consider this one to be a must read.

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

 

 

The Pirate Bride (The Daughters of the Mayflower) by Kathleen Y’Baro (review by Cathy)

 

The Pirate Bride

Book Blurb:

A Former Privateer and a Desperate Heiress Join Forces to Find a Treasure
Jump on board with a brand new series for fans of all things related to history, romance, adventure, faith, and family trees.

One hundred years after her mother’s family came to the New World on the Mayflower, Maribel Cordova has landed in New Orleans to seek the man who holds the key to finding her father’s lost treasure. Attorney Jean-Luc Valmot has buried his past life so deep that no living person will ever find it—or so he hopes as he accepts a position on the governor’s staff. But the daughter of an infamous pirate threatens all he holds dear. Can Maribel and Jean-Luc compromise so they both can hold onto what they most desire?

My thoughts:

This is the second book in, The Daughters of the Mayflower series and can easily be read as a stand alone.  I have to confess to falling in love with this gorgeous cover and couldn’t wait to hold it in my hands and admire it.  Of course, I’m not reviewing the cover, I’m sharing my thoughts on this book.

I found the premise interesting and enjoyable.  I haven’t read a book about pirates/privateers in quite some time and wanted to get acquainted with this type of story..   There were parts of this book that I really liked, especially the care given to 12-year-old, Maribel Cordoba by the privateers.   I found their gentle and friendly treatment to be very touching.

As the years go by and Maribel has grown into a young woman and she is reunited with her family  in New Orleans and eventually with, Jean-Luc, I had hoped to feel a connection to one or both of them.  For some reason, I just didn’t.

Overall, I thought this was an enjoyable and  a sweet book and even though, I didn’t love it as much as I expected to, I’m sure that other readers may find it much more to their liking.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under nor obligation to post a review.  All opinions are my own.

Under Prairie Skies (Prairie Sky Series, Book 2) by Cynthia Roemer (review by Kristi)

under prairie skies

About the book~ Beyond shattered dreams lies a realm of possibilities ~
Illinois prairie ~1855
Unsettled by the news that her estranged cousin and uncle are returning home after a year away, Charlotte Stanton goes to ready their cabin and finds a handsome stranger has taken up residence. Convinced he’s a squatter, she throws him off the property before learning his full identity. Little does she know, their paths were destined to cross again.
Quiet and ruggedly handsome, Chad Avery’s uncanny ability to see through Charlotte’s feisty exterior and expose her inner weaknesses both infuriates and intrigues her. When a tragic accident incites her family to move east, Charlotte stays behind in hopes of becoming better acquainted with the elusive cattleman. Yet Chad’s unwillingness to divulge his hidden past, along with his vow not to love again, threatens to keep them apart forever
.

Publication Date:  April 10, 2018

Publisher:  Mantle Rock Publishing LLC

 

My thoughtsThis book is fantastic! Cynthia Roemer has written yet another wonderful story of life on the prairie with realistic characters and descriptions that made me feel as if I were there. This is a definite must-read.

Charlotte and Chad are two characters you can’t help but like. Charlotte is feisty and independent while Chad is more reserved. The two balance each other perfectly. They are complex and genuine, and I soon forgot they were fictional.

The author’s writing style is wonderful. Her word choices and descriptions make it easy to picture the scenes while reading. Her writing is comparable to Janette Oke and I have thought this since reading her first book. I think it even more so now. She creates stories that you just feel good reading.

Fans of stories about life on the prairie are sure to love this book. While it is the second of the series it can be read as a standalone. I do recommend reading the first book to get a complete understanding of what’s going on in this book. Also, the first book is just as wonderful as this one and you don’t want to miss out on reading it. Cynthia Roemer is on my must-read author list and I can’t wait to read the next book in the series.

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

 

About the authorCynthia Roemer is an award-winning inspirational writer with a heart for scattering seeds of hope into the lives of readers. Raised in the cornfields of rural Illinois, Cynthia enjoys spinning tales set in the backdrop of the 1800s prairie. She writes from her family farm in central Illinois where she resides with her husband and their two college-aged sons.

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Winning Miss Winthrop (Regency Brides: A Promise of Hope #1) by Carolyn Miller (review by Kristi)

winning miss winthrop

About the bookCatherine Winthrop has cried out to God too many times to count. Years ago, the man who stole her heart rejected her–and she’s never recovered. Now tragedy has brought him back into her life. This time it isn’t her heart he’s taking, it’s her home and her family’s good name–and she has no one to share her grief.

Jonathan Carlew’s life may look enviable from the outside–wealthy, handsome, landed–but the mystery surrounding his birth has shadowed his entire life. Now as he ascends to the barony, fresh challenges await, including a scheming mama who wants him to embrace power, even at the cost of losing love. How can he remain the kind, honorable man he strives to be and still meet the demands of his new society responsibilities?

These two broken hearts must decide whether their painful past and bitter present will be all they can share, or if forgiveness can provide a path to freedom for the future.

Set in the sumptuous salons of Bath, Regency England’s royal breeding ground for gossip, Winning Miss Winthrop is the first volume in Carolyn Miller’s new series. Fans of the wholesome and richly drawn first series won’t want to miss this new set of characters.

Publication Date:  March 27, 2018

Publisher:  Kregel Publications

 

My thoughtsI started reading this book during my work week and had a bit of trouble really getting into it. I’m going to blame that on both life and the book itself. Life kept interfering with my reading time and the author writes for this time period so well that it took me a bit to settle in and get used to the word choices she used. Ah, but when the weekend arrived there was no stopping me. Once I had a chance for some uninterrupted reading that’s exactly what I did. Read almost the entire book in one sitting.

I liked both the main characters in this book. Catherine, while not a young debutante, seemed to have more on her shoulders than a woman of her station should. When Catherine and her mother face a major life-changing event Catherine almost seems like the parent while her mother takes on an almost childlike attitude. It was easy to feel sorry for Catherine because her mother grated on my nerves. Jon was also easy to like as he was put in a situation that was not only awkward but one I don’t feel like he really wanted. There is a history between Jon and Catherine and I loved how the author slowly revealed all the details. It seemed like it took forever to find out even the slightest detail but this just added to the story for me. It definitely kept me interested.

In addition to the main characters, I also liked Drusilla and General Whitby. These two lightened up the story a bit with their personalities. I also liked Julia, Jon’s sister. And while I didn’t care for his mother, Lady Harkness, at first by the end of the book I had changed my mind about her. I love when an author can change my mind about a character. What a sign of great writing and character development! It was also nice to see Lavinia and the Earl of Hawkesbury again. These two are favorites of mine and I’m always glad to see them.

As to the story itself, I loved it! While the pace was a bit slow at the beginning once it picked up it was wonderful. There was just the right build-up to the climax and the ending was perfect. The author does a great job of writing for the time period with word choice and descriptions that will soon have readers picturing themselves at Winthrop Manor, The Dower Cottage, or all the locations in Bath. And I was so happy that there wasn’t the obligatory kidnapping of the heroine. I find this overused in many Regency books.

For me, Carolyn Miller had a lot to live up to with this book. I had rated all of the books in her Regency Brides: A Legacy of Grace series 5 stars and had high expectations for this series. I am happy that this book exceeded my expectations, and I can’t wait to read the next book in the series.

I received a free copy of this book from the publisher and was under no obligation to write a review. All opinions are mine.

 

About the authorCarolyn Miller lives in New South Wales, Australia, with her husband and four children. A longtime lover of Regency romance, Carolyn’s previous novels have won several contests, including the 2014 RWA “Touched by Love” and 2014 ACFW Gensis contests. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and My Book Therapy.

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His Risk (The Amish of Hart County #4) by Shelley Shepard Gray (review by Cathy) +5 Book Giveaway

His Risk

About the Book:

An undercover English DEA agent will do anything to protect the Amish girl he loves.
Calvin Fisher left the Amish community at fourteen and never looked back. Only his brother’s illness can bring him back to Hart County. Now, as Calvin works to make amends, he meets Alice, a local nursery school teacher, and falls hard for her. But he has a secret that could threaten the happiness he’s finally found.
Alice shouldn’t like-or want-Calvin. He’s English, has a questionable past, and an even more questionable job. Still, she can’t help being intrigued. Though Calvin assures Alice that he’s worthy of her, she’s torn between surrendering to her growing feelings and steering clear of him.
When a sudden surge of criminal activity alarms the community and even targets Alice, Calvin fears that his double life has put everyone he loves at risk. As for Alice, she can’t help but wonder if the brave and honorable man she’s lost her heart to is far more dangerous than she could ever imagine.

 

My thoughts:

With her descriptive storytelling, the author once again had me caught up in the lives of her characters.  I have enjoyed this series and wasn’t sure that I would have a favorite, until I read this one.

I thought the premise was very interesting with Calvin returning to his Amish community and family with the intention to help his brother who is ill, especially since he is an undercover English DEA.  I loved the unique storyline, although at times I was sitting on the edge of my seat and stress eating like crazy!    When Calvin and Alice become friends it was natural and their storyline moved at a great pace.

As much as I liked Calvin and Alice, I liked Irene and West a little more. I was very surprised by their friendship, although I could see how she would respond to his caring about her.

Overall, His Risk is a wonderful addition to this series.  It’s a fast read filled with suspense and romance and one that I highly recommend for more mature readers.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through Litfuse Publicity and was not required to give a positive review.  All opinions are my own.

 

About the author:

SSG

Shelley Shepard Gray is a “New York Times” and “USA Today” bestselling author, a finalist for the American Christian Fiction Writers prestigious Carol Award, and a two-time HOLT Medallion winner. She lives in southern Ohio, where she writes full-time, bakes too much, and can often be found walking her dachshunds on her town’s bike trail.
Find out more about Shelley at http://www.shelleyshepardgray.com

Enter to win a copy of His Risk.  Five winners will be chosen.  Click the link below to enter to win.

His Risk

https://promosimple.com/ps/cc84

Landing Page

http://litfusegroup.com/author/SGray

 

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3/11
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Their Amish Reunion (Amish Seasons #1) by Lenora Worth (review by Cathy) and Q&A with Lenora

Their Amish Reunion

 

Book Blurb:

Return to Lancaster County Love blooms in the Amish Seasons series

Widowed single mother Ava Jane Graber can’t believe her eyes. Her first love is back in Lancaster County. Years ago, Jeremiah did the unthinkable: left the Amish–and her–for the Navy SEALs. Now the prodigal hero wants redemption from his community, his family and from the woman he never forgot.

For the ex-soldier, becoming Ava’s husband is his ultimate mission.

 

My thoughts:

Honestly, my first thought when I saw this book, was one of genuine surprise and pure happiness.  I have been a fan of the authors work for a few years and look forward to her new releases.  Amish fiction is one of my favorite genres, so win-win, right?  In this case it really is a win, for readers and the author.

I loved the storyline of Jeremiah Weaver returning to his family and community in Lancaster County after having been a Navy SEAL. This isn’t the usual career choice for an Amish man, which added to my enjoyment of the book.  I adored Ava Jane Graber, a young widow with two children.  She is sweet, kind and a person I would like to know.

We go on a journey with the characters as Jeremiah returns home to his family and most importantly, his faith.  We are with Ava Jane as she faces struggles of her own. This is an emotional story of pain and forgiveness and one I highly recommend.

I voluntarily reviewed a copy of this book. All opinions are my own.

Now for the really good part!  Meet Lenora Worth

Lenora Worth photo NY Times, USA Today and PW Bestselling Author.  Currently she is writing both Love Inspired, Love Inspired Suspense and Tule Publishing.  You can connect with Lenora on her website

http://www.lenoraworth.com/

Let’s get started:

Cathy: Can you tell us why you decided to write this particular genre?  How many books will be in this series?

Lenora: I had never planned to write Amish, but after several ideas didn’t seem to hit the mark, my husband took me for a walk on the beach and I blurted out my premise to him. Then I came home and immediately sent the idea to my editor.  Soon, I had a new multi-book contract.  I’m working on the second book Campton Creek book now.  I plan to write a third one and an Amish suspense.

Cathy: Can you tell us a little bit about this new series?

Lenora:  Yes.  It’s set in the fictional town of Campton Creek in Lancaster County, Pa.  It’s called Amish Seasons since the stories span all four seasons.

Cathy:  Did you find the research for this book/series more challenging than other books you’ve written?

Lenora:  Yes.  I’d read a lot of Amish books but writing one was challenging.  My good friend Marta Perry who lives in Pennsylvania and writes Amish and Amish suspense, guided me through getting the idea on paper.  I did a lot of research, watched a lot of videos, studied photos and even started an LI Amish Loop for LI authors who write Amish.  We brainstorm back and forth and ask questions when we need help.  

Cathy:  Are you still writing for the Love Inspired Suspense line?  I hope so Because they are fantastic, too.

Lenora:  Thank you and yes.  I love writing suspense.  I have a military continuity story coming out in August (Rescue Operation) and I have a Texas suspense coming out next year (Undercover Memories)

Cathy:  How long have you been writing and what was your first published book/

Lenora:  I’ve been writing for twenty-five years but I started writing in grammar school.  This is my dream job!

Cathy:  How exciting is it when you open your author copies books and see your hard work come to fruition?

Lenora: That never gets old!  Each story is special to me and while some of them have been tough to write, I always try to put my heart into each story.  So seeing the books in print is so amazing since I wasn’t sure I’d ever get  one book published.  (I’m close to eighty books published now)

Cathy:  What is a typical writing day like for you?

Lenora:  My schedule has changed since my children are grown and my husband has retired.  I usually get into my office around ten or so and then I check my emails, answer anything urgent, do research and then I get started writing around eleven or so and usually work off and on until around five or six PM.  That includes a quick lunch and chocolate breaks, of course.

Cathy:  What do you like to do for relaxation after you’ve turned in a book?

Lenora:  I love to walk on the beach.  We live on the Gulf Coast so it’s a quick drive to several beautiful beaches.  I like to read and I like to bake and cook when I have time.  I also like to shop for shoes!

Cathy:  Lenora, it’s been such a pleasure getting to know you better and thank you so much for being on our blog today!

Lenora:  Thank you for hosting me.  I appreciate my readers so much!