The Dishonorable Miss DeLancey by Carolyn Miller (review by Cathy)

The Dishonorable Miss Delancey

 

About the book:

 

Will a damaged reputation and desire for society’s approval thwart the legacy of grace?
Tainted by scandal and forced to leave London for the quieter Brighton countryside, the Honorable Miss Clara DeLancey is a shadow of her former society self. She’s lost the man she loved to another and, in a culture that has no patience for self-pity, is struggling with depression. A chance encounter brings her a healing friendship with the sisters of an injured naval captain. But Clara’s society mama is appalled at the new company she’s keeping.

Captain Benjamin Kemsley is not looking for a wife. But his gallant spirit won’t let him ignore the penniless viscount’s daughter–not when she so obviously needs assistance to keep moving forward from day to day. Can he protect his heart and still keep her safe?
When they’re pushed into the highest echelons of society at the Prince Regent’s Brighton Pavilion, this mismatched couple must decide if family honor is more important than their hopes. Can they right the wrongs of the past and find future happiness together–without finances, family support, or royal favor?

 

My review (4-stars)

I have thoroughly enjoyed getting to know the Regency Brides in this series, and I am a little sad to see it end.   I was curious to see if Miss DeLancey would be a character that I would genuinely like and after a few pages, I did begin to like her and became interested in her story.  I felt that I better understood her and had a bit of sympathy for her.

There is some dialog that made me smile and I found myself wanting nothing but the best for Clara.   There is a bit of darkness and danger blended in that I didn’t expect to find, but I actually enjoyed it very much.

I’ve loved getting to know the characters and will miss them. I look forward to seeing what Ms. Miller has next for her readers.  This has been a wonderful series and one I highly recommend.  Although, the books could  each be read as a stand alone, I suggest you read them in order to fully appreciate each and every story.

I received this book through Kregel Publishing and was not required to write a positive review.  All opinions are my own.

 

 

 

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Ascension of Larks by Rachel Linden (review by Cathy)

Ascenscion

About the book:
When globetrotting photographer Maggie Henry loses the only man she’s ever loved, she jeopardizes her rising career and steps in to care for her best friends’ three young children on a remote island in the Pacific Northwest.

Free-spirited and fiercely independent, Maggie’s star is rising fast. But she has a secret. She can’t let go of her first and only love, renowned architect Marco Firelli, now married to her best friend Lena.

With the shattering news of Marco’s death, Maggie rushes to the Firelli family’s summer home on San Juan Island and attempts to provide stability for the children as fragile, perfectionist Lena slowly falls apart.

When Maggie is offered a once-in-a-lifetime chance to compete in the world’s most prestigious photography competition, she finds herself unable to leave the only family she has during their time of need. Devastated, Maggie takes a series of photographs documenting their life in limbo.

A mysterious man appears on the island, and Maggie soon realizes there is more to him than meets the eye. Daniel Wolfe, an award-winning Native American poet hiding in exile on the island, is responsible for Marco’s death. Maggie is both drawn to and repelled by Daniel, a sensitive, tortured soul with secrets of his own. Out of their loneliness and grief they form an unlikely friendship.

Maggie develops her recent photographs, and she’s elated to discover that they are good enough for the photography competition. She still has a chance to win. But she must first relinquish the past so that she can move forward and embrace the reality of her unexpected life.

 

My review (5-stars)

A beautifully written and captivating novel!  It’s rare for me to love all of the characters in any book that I read, but that’s exactly what I experienced in, Ascension of Larks.

Maggie is a rock for Lena after the tragic death of Marco.  A man who both of the women loved.   What I found so striking was the strong friendship the two women shared and the selflessness of Maggie.

I loved the setting and could easily imagine the idyllic times the friends shared before Marco died and learning to let him go is the new norm.  I loved the author’s style of writing and her strong character development.  Most of all, I loved finding a new author with a bright and promising career.  If her debut novel is this good, I cannot wait to read her next book.  This is definitely a keeper.

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

 

 

 

The Dishonorable Miss DeLancey by Carolyn Miller (review by Kristi)

The Dishonorable Miss Delancey

About the book Will a damaged reputation and desire for society’s approval thwart the legacy of grace?
Tainted by scandal and forced to leave London for the quieter Brighton countryside, the Honorable Miss Clara DeLancey is a shadow of her former society self. She’s lost the man she loved to another and, in a culture that has no patience for self-pity, is struggling with depression. A chance encounter brings her a healing friendship with the sisters of an injured naval captain. But Clara’s society mama is appalled at the new company she’s keeping.
Captain Benjamin Kemsley is not looking for a wife. But his gallant spirit won’t let him ignore the penniless viscount’s daughter–not when she so obviously needs assistance to keep moving forward from day to day. Can he protect his heart and still keep her safe?
When they’re pushed into the highest echelons of society at the Prince Regent’s Brighton Pavilion, this mismatched couple must decide if family honor is more important than their hopes. Can they right the wrongs of the past and find future happiness together–without finances, family support, or royal favor?
The Dishonorable Miss DeLancey is full of the captivating, flawed characters, fascinating historical details, and masterful writing that Carolyn Miller’s fans have come to know in The Elusive Miss Ellison and The Captivating Lady Charlotte. If you love Lori Wick, Georgette Heyer, and other clean, wholesome Regency romance, you’ll love this third book in the Regency Brides: A Legacy of Grace series.

Published October 24, 2017, by Kregel Publications

 

My reviewWhat a fitting ending to this series! The Dishonorable Miss DeLancey was everything I was hoping it would be…and more. Characters written from the heart in a story that was full of despair and hope, this was a book I couldn’t put down.

From the beginning of the story I liked Clara DeLancey. I didn’t find her to be all that bad of a person even though she had made some mistakes in the past. Clara is going through a tough time and feels alone and the way the author wrote of Clara’s emotions it was easy to understand her pain and sympathize with her. Now, Clara’s mom on the other hand…I found this character grating on my nerves. It seemed as if all she cared about was their station in life and how accepted they were by the ton and the amount of money they had. Clara’s dad came across as a bit meek and unable to stand up to her mother.

The Kemsley family was so down-to-earth and genuine. They were a great balance to Clara’s family and it was easy to see the differences between the two and why Clara felt as ease with them. I felt as if Mattie and Tessa could easily be friends of mine and they were people I wanted to read more about. I loved the contrast between the two families.

I really enjoy this author’s writing style. I love her attention to detail and her ability to get the reader fully immersed in the story. Her descriptions made it easy to imagine myself right there alongside the characters. Carolyn Miller has definitely earned the top spot as my favorite Regency romance author.

This book (and the rest of the series) are must-reads for fans of the genre. While this book can be read as a standalone I would recommend reading the entire series in order. All three books are wonderfully written and are quick, easy reads. This series is definitely on my keeper shelf and I am eagerly awaiting the next series from Carolyn Miller.

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 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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The Angel’s Share by James Markert (review by Kristi)

the angels share

About the book:  Some believed he was the second coming of Christ.

William wasn’t so sure.

But when that drifter was buried next to the family distillery, everything changed.

Now that Prohibition has ended, what the townspeople of Twisted Tree, Kentucky, need most is the revival of the Old Sam Bourbon distillery. But William McFee knows it’ll take a miracle to convince his father, Barley, to once more fill his family’s aging house with barrels full of bourbon.

When a drifter recently buried near the distillery begins to draw crowds of pilgrims, the McFees are dubious. Yet miracles seem to come to those who once interacted with the deceased and to those now praying at his grave. As people descend on the town to visit the “Potter’s Field Christ,” William seeks to find the connection between the tragic death of his younger brother and the mysterious drifter.

But as news spreads about the miracles at the potter’s field, the publicity threatens to bring the depth of Barley’s secret past to light and put the entire McFee family in jeopardy.

The Angels’ Share is a story of fathers and sons, of young romance, of revenge and redemption, and of the mystery of miracles.

Published January 17, 2017, by Thomas Nelson

 

My review:   This book isn’t the typical type of story that I would read. I found it both interesting and difficult to read. At one point I even considered not finishing the book. I kept on reading though and slowly my interest in the story grew.

I liked most of the characters in the book yet I never really felt connected to any of them. I did enjoy the budding relationship between William and Polly, one of Asher Keating’s followers. One of the most interesting parts of the story was discovering who Asher Keating was through the stories of the people who knew him.

The author did a good job of providing descriptions and details to make me feel like I was there in Twisted Tree. There is a lot of detail in the book about distilleries and the process of making bourbon. While I found the details to be interesting after awhile it just became too much and I don’t think it really added anything to the story. In fact, I think it kind of bogged down the story just a bit.

If you’re looking for a different type of story pick up this book. It starts out a bit slow but stick with it because it gets better and is an enjoyable read.

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

 

About the author:  James Markert is a novelist, screenwriter, producer, and USPTA tennis pro from Louisville, Kentucky, where he lives with his wife and two children. He has a history degree from the University of Louisville. He won an IPPY Award for The Requiem Rose, which later became A White Wind Blew. He is the writer and co-producer of the new feature film and tennis comedy, 2nd Serve, starring Josh Hopkins from Cougar Town.

 

Inherited: Unexpected Family (Little Falls Legacy, #2) by Gabrielle Meyer (review by Cathy)

Inherited

About the book:

After arriving in Minnesota Territory with her sisters to claim their late father’s hotel, Elizabeth Bell is shocked to learn her inheritance comes with a handsome co-owner. After too long working for a domineering boss, Elizabeth yearns to be in control–of the hotel and her life. But Jude Allen won’t sell his share, and Elizabeth refuses to leave.

Rescuing soiled doves and giving them hotel jobs is Jude’s way of redeeming his past. He’s counting on rough frontier life driving his new business partner away before she learns the scandalous truth and demands he stop his mission. But he may have underestimated Elizabeth…and the power of love to turn a complication into a bright new beginning.

 

My review (4-Stars)

I love it when I am fortunate enough to find a new to me author that has a writing style that I thoroughly enjoy.   I knew from the beginning that Ms. Meyer had crafted strong characters and developed a storyline that was very much to my liking.

There are some surprises in store for Elizabeth when she arrives to claim the inheritance of her father’s hotel.  First of all, she discovers she has a co-owner named Jude and secondly, Jude has a ministry that she doesn’t approve of.   I liked Jude immediately and started to like Elizabeth more than I thought I would.   The secondary characters are very interesting and I hope to read their stories soon.

I loved this heartwarming story and recommend it to readers of clean, historical fiction.

 

 

 

Beneath Copper Falls(Rock Harbor,#6) by Colleen Coble(review by Cathy)

Beneath Copper Falls

About the book:

USA TODAY bestselling author Colleen Coble returns to her beloved Rock Harbor—but both danger and romance hide in this idyllic small town.

Dana Newell has just moved to Rock Harbor to take a job as a sheriff’s dispatcher and is settling in next door to Bree and Kade Matthews. The abusive relationship she left behind seems a distant memory in this perfect place.

Her first day on the job, Dana receives a call from her friend Allyson who screams “He’s going to kill me too” before the phone goes dead. Dana immediately dispatches a deputy, but it’s too late. Allyson’s death is ruled an accident, but Dana just doesn’t believe it. She knows Allyson—an investigative reporter—was researching a new story. Did someone want to keep her quiet?

Dana continues to look into the accident with the help of Bree and also Allyson’s cousin Boone. Romance quickly blooms between Dana and Boone but the game is much more complex than either of them imagined. When Dana’s ex-fiance locates her, she’s caught in the middle. It’s a game of cat and mouse as she and Boone fight to catch one killer while evading another.

 

My review (5-stars)

I know when I open a book by Colleen Coble, I’m going to be  treated to a heart pounding, sitting on the edge of my seat, suspenseful, wonderful time.  Beneath Copper Falls went beyond my expectations,  luckily, I’m not a nail biter because I’d have no nails left to bite.

I feared for Dana’s life and applauded her decision to end her abusive relationship.  It was nice to see  her happy and safe, faraway from her ex-fiance.  That is until the ex-fiance finds her in Rock Harbor!    She has a strong support system, but friends and family can only do so much to help when you have a maniac out to kill you.

I became so engrossed in the story that I read it in two days.  The story moved at a great pace and the suspense blended with romance was perfect.

I already know that this will be one of my top ten  favorite books this year.  If you like suspense and great characters, I think it will be one of your favorites, too.

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

 

 

Sweetbriar Cottage by Denise Hunter (review by Kristi)

Sweetbriar Cottage

About the book:  When Noah and Josephine Mitchell discover their divorce was never actually finalized, their lives are turned upside down.

Following his divorce, Noah gave up his dream job, settling at a remote horse ranch in the Blue Ridge Mountains of northern Georgia, putting much-needed distance between himself and the former love of his life. But then Noah gets a letter from the IRS claiming he and Josephine are still married. When he confronts Josephine for the first time in months, they discover that she missed the final step in filing the paperwork and they are, in fact, still married.

Josephine is no happier about the news than Noah. Maybe the failed marriage—and okay, the botched divorce—was her fault, but her heart was shattered right alongside his, more than he would ever believe. The sooner they put this marriage behind them, the better for both of their sakes.

But when Josephine delivers the final paperwork to his ranch, the two become stranded in his cottage during the worst spring snowstorm in a decade. Being trapped with Josephine is a test of Noah’s endurance. He wrestles with resentment and an unmistakable pull to his wife—still beautiful, still brave, and still more intriguing than any woman he’s ever known.

As they find themselves confronted with each other and their shared past, old wounds surface and tempers flare. But when they are forced out into the storm, they must rely on each other in a way they never have before. Josephine finally opens up about her tragic past, and Noah realizes she’s never been loved unconditionally by anyone—including him. Will Noah accept the challenge to pursue Josephine’s heart? And can she finally find the courage to trust Noah?

Published June 13, 2017,  by Thomas Nelson

 

My review:  At the back of this book, the author talks about writing the story of Noah and Josephine. She explains how the story practically wrote itself and how the words wouldn’t quit spilling out of her. After reading the story and the author’s note I have to say that for me the book read the same way. The words kept leaping off the page and these characters wouldn’t leave my mind. In fact, this book basically read itself.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher and was immediately drawn to it. The cover is so pretty and calming and inviting. I could easily imagine myself in the cottage or outside in a nice spring breeze with the soft, new grass under my feet. However, a lot of this book takes place during a snowstorm. Hardly what is pictured on the cover. Not a big deal for me but just know the story doesn’t necessarily match the cover.

As far as the story itself this is what I would consider a comfort read~realistic, flawed characters in a realistic setting. Nothing about this couple felt contrived or fake. At times I forgot they were fictional characters as I was so engrossed in their story. The story goes back and forth between the present day and a few years ago when Noah and Josephine met. These flashbacks are how we really get to know the characters and what shaped them into the people they are today and how they got to the place they are. I thought the author did a fantastic job in creating Josephine’s history and telling it little by little so the reader could connect with her and have sympathy for her situation growing up. As we learn more and more about her past it is easy to understand her in the present day. Noah was down-to-earth and it was easy to understand his feelings for Josephine and how he still loved her while being frustrated with her for some of the events that happened in the book. While reading it was easy to imagine this couple as being anybody’s neighbors in any neighborhood. This made it enjoyable to read about them. They reminded me of characters one of my favorite authors, Debbie Macomber, creates-real. These are the type of people I like to read about. Characters I can form an emotional attachment to.

The pace of this book is wonderful. The story flows easily from chapter to chapter and makes it easy to get lost in the story. I set down to read “for just a bit” and ended up reading over half the book. When I got to the end of a chapter I just had to keep reading to find out what happened next. And the descriptions were so well written that I found myself grabbing a blanket and covering up while reading about the snowstorm in the story.

This book, from cover to cover, is great! I would love to read more about these characters and their family and friends. This book would be a perfect introduction to this author. If you’ve already read books by Denise Hunter then you already know what to expect and will enjoy this book from beginning to end. Definitely a book for the keeper shelf.

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:  Denise Hunter is the award-winning author of 30 novels, including “The Convenient Groom” and “A December Bride”, which have been made into Hallmark movies.

Denise writes heartwarming, small-town romances. Her readers enjoy the vicarious thrill of falling in love and the promise of a happily-ever-after sigh as they savor the final pages of her books.

Denise and her husband live in Indiana, where they raised three sons, and are currently enjoying an empty nest. In 1996, Denise began her first novel, writing while her children napped. Two years later it was published, and she’s been writing ever since. Her books contain a strong romantic element, and her husband says he provides all her romantic material, but Denise insists a good imagination helps too!

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