About the book: Hope Irvine always sees the best in people. While traveling on the rails with her missionary father, she attracts the attention of a miner named Luke and a young mine manager. When Luke begins to suspect the manager is using Hope’s missions of mercy as a cover for illegal activities, can he discover the truth without putting her in danger?
Paperback, 352 pages Published April 4, 2017, by Bethany House Publishers
My review: I was an instant Judith Miller fan after reading one of her books. I liked the way her books included strong female characters in situations that showcased their strength. I liked her writing and the way she pulled me into the story and kept me interested in the character’s story. I was hoping The Chapel Car Bride would be a book such as this but unfortunately, it wasn’t.
Now, I’m not saying this is a bad book because it isn’t. It just wasn’t up to par with her other work. I liked the premise of the book and thought it was unique and interesting. I liked the main characters, except for Kirby Finch, and thought they were relatable. I thought the author did a good job of describing the lives of the miners and their families.
So what was wrong with this book? Well, for me the storyline just fell flat. I wasn’t really sure what direction the story was going to take. Also, there wasn’t really a buildup to a climax or really even a climax at all. The story is a nice one and was easy to read but there just wasn’t that “something” Miller’s other books have.
I would recommend this story to readers looking for a nice, clean read. It’s a good book just not what I expected from the author.
I received a complimentary copy from the publisher and was not required to write a review. All opinions are mine.
About the author: Judith McCoy Miller is an award-winning author whose avid research and love for history are reflected in her bestselling novels. Judy and her husband make their home in Topeka, Kansas.
About the book: Disguised as a country miss, Charlotte Devon flees London, desperate to leave her tattered reputation behind. In Scotland, her estranged father’s noble blood will finally make her a respectable debutante. Except she finds herself accidentally wed to a devil-may-care rogue with a sinful smile. He’s the last thing she needs…and everything her traitorous heart desires.
Charming rake Anthony Fairfax is on holiday to seek his fortune…and escape his creditors. When an irresistible Lady Luck wins him in a game of chance—and a slight mishap has them leg-shackled by dawn—the tables have finally turned in his favor. But when past demons catch up to them, holding on to new love will mean destroying their dreams forever.
The single title 2017 release is an expanded “Author Edition” of the story that first appeared in the Scandal’s Daughters anthology.
Kindle Edition, 199 pages Published April 11, 2017
My review: Erica Ridley is fast becoming my favorite author in this genre. Lord of Chance is a perfect example of why. Fun characters, an appealing storyline, and great writing made this an entertaining and quick read.
I enjoyed spending time with the characters in this book. They had great chemistry and I loved the banter between them. They were so easy to like and care about. I really liked the fact there wasn’t a lot of tension between them and they were just two lonely and lost souls that found each other. I loved that they wanted to help each other out. For me, it is so frustrating to read books in this genre where the hero/heroine dislike each other at the beginning or there’s a lot of tension so the fact that the author didn’t follow that route was so refreshing.
Erica Ridley has a writing style that is easy to read. The book flows effortlessly from beginning to end. I enjoyed the pace of the story throughout the book. It was easy to stay engrossed in the story and made for a quick read. I was able to read this book in just a couple of sittings.
This book does contain a couple of adult scenes in it. I thought they were tastefully done and fit in the story well. I was not bothered at all by them.
If you haven’t read any books by Erica Ridley then pick this one up and give it a try. I think you will be pleased with the story and the writing. This is a fun read.
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 author: Erica Ridley is a USA Today and New York Times best-selling author of historical romance novels. When not reading or writing romances, Erica can be found riding camels in Africa, zip-lining through rainforests in Costa Rica, or getting hopelessly lost in the middle of Budapest.
About the book: In the final installment of the Amish Heirloom series, the Fisher sisters learn the mystery behind their parents’ marriage—and about the sibling who has never been spoken of.
Mattie Fisher’s three daughters know that she’s been keeping a secret from them. With each item pulled from the beloved family hope chest, they’ve discovered a new clue about their mother’s past.
But there’s a reason Mattie has been keeping her history hidden, and she’s not sure she’s ready to reopen old wounds. Will dredging up the past change the way her children view her? Or her marriage to their father? And can she handle the pain of revisiting the memories that preceded the last few happy decades?
Mattie’s story is one of grief and learning to love again. But like the best things preserved in a hope chest, it’s a story of love and redemption born out of heartache—and it’s past time to share it.
Paperback, 320 pages Published May 9, 2017, by Zondervan
My review: All throughout the Amish Heirloom series readers have been teased with a secret surrounding a blue onesie. In this final installment of the series, we finally get to learn the story surrounding this tiny garment. And what a story it is!
I was so glad to finally be able to read Mattie’s story. I think it was perfect that her story was the last of the series. Some of the items mentioned in previous books are in this book and we get to discover the entire history of these items and for me, that was really fun and interesting. Readers really get to know Mattie and Leroy in this book. The characters are well-developed and complex. They have flaws and are realistic. It was so easy to forget they were fictional.
The storyline itself was heart-wrenching and romantic at the same time. It is an emotional read for sure. It was easy to sympathize with Mattie as her story was told and to also feel for Leroy. I found myself still thinking about their story long after I put the book down. The story is told at a perfect pace and there isn’t one thing I would change. This story was perfection.
Amy’s writing, as usual, is second to none. It is so easy to see that she pours her heart into every story she tells and wants to give readers the best story possible. I love the way she creates characters and describes scenes that just automatically pull me into the story and make me forget I’m reading. I actually feel as if I’m part of the story and am witnessing everything first-hand.
This book is a must-read for fans of the genre or anyone looking for a well-written book. Amy is, in my opinion, the BEST author of Amish fiction and her books are to be not only read but treasured. Thank goodness she shares her wonderful ability with us book lovers. This is a book for the keeper shelf.
I was provided a free copy of this book from the publisher and was not required to write a review. All opinions are mine.
About the author: Amy Clipston has been writing for as long as she can remember. Her fiction writing “career” began in elementary school when she and a close friend wrote and shared silly stories. She has a degree in communications from Virginia Wesleyan College and is a member of the Authors Guild, American Christian Fiction Writers, and Romance Writers of America. She is the author of the bestselling Kauffman Amish Bakery series and Hearts of the Lancaster Grand Hotel series with HarperCollins Christian Publishing. Amy works full-time for the City of Charlotte, NC, and lives in North Carolina with her husband, two sons, mother, and three spoiled rotten cats.
About the book: Didi O’Brien is engaged—at least she was an hour ago. Now she’s not so sure. Her fiancé, the suave Kevin Cabot, has just revealed that he’s been unfaithful, and he’s not the least bit sorry. Reeling from the betrayal, with her plans for a happily-ever-after life in doubt, she prays for direction. The answer comes as a complete surprise. God has someone better in mind.
Middle school teacher, Jake Montgomery, is struggling with some issues of his own. Sadly, a year previously his fiancée had been killed in a car crash. Battling anger and despair, in a mountain-top experience, Jake wrestles with the Almighty, and is ready to live again. In his youth, he’d felt an unmistakable call to the ministry but, like the prophet Jonah, since then, he’s been running hard in the wrong direction.
Through a crisis of faith, and glimpses of mercy, Didi and Jake find each other. But can they find the strength to resolve the many obstacles that conspire to keep them apart?
Kindle Edition, 311 pages Published September 1, 2016, by Prism Book Group
My review: I like reading about characters who are so realistic that you soon begin to think of them as neighbors and friends. I also like storylines that are believable and authentic. Loves, Lies, and Fireflies fit the bill for these characteristics and this book was one I couldn’t put down.
From the beginning, I liked the two main characters in this book. It was so easy to sympathize with Didi when her jerk of a fiance admitted that he had cheated and it was really no big deal. I think every woman who reads this book will be able to sympathize with Didi whether this has happened to them or not. Jake is equally as easy to like and sympathize with as he is dealing with moving on after the death of his fiance. Both of these characters were genuine and complex and I just found it impossible not to like them. Just as impossible to like was Kevin, Didi’s former fiance. He was a jerk and was creepy. Not a bad thing though as this shows the author’s ability to create characters we can love and hate.
I thought this book was just going to be a typical romance novel but it is so much more. There is a lot going on in the story and there are many themes throughout such as betrayal, abuse, and grieving. Some of the subject matter in the book is very serious but the author lightened up the story with the antics of a couple of felines and found a great balance between all of the themes.
This is a well-written book and it made me think of the early works of Debbie Macomber. Fans of hers are sure to love the writing style of Jan Elder as they are very similar. These are everyday characters living their everyday lives and we are just along for the ride. This is definitely one of those hard-to-put-down books so grab your favorite beverage and find a comfy reading spot and dig into this great read.
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 author: Jan Elder is a Christian romance writer with a zeal for telling relatable stories. She strives to write the kind of book that will strengthen the reader’s faith, while also providing an entertaining and engrossing love story.
Besides writing romance, she enjoys the occasional hazelnut cappuccino while watching Turner Classic Movies. Always an avid reader, she devours books voraciously, both Christian and secular. She was born a cat-lover and all books will, no doubt, feature a feline in some way or another.
Happily married for thirteen years to loving (and supportive) husband, Steve, the two live in central Maryland along with Jamie (a chubby tuxedo cat), and Shu-Shu (a svelte tortoiseshell cat who likes to lord her slender physique over the chubby one.) On the weekends, Jan and Steve comb the nearby countryside in search of the perfect ice cream flavor.