Romancing the Rogue by Erica Ridley (review by Kristi)

romancing the rogue

About the book:  When the new earl inherits, poor relation Miss Rebecca Bond must wed immediately or be out on her ear. The only man she’s ever loved is summoned to hear the will—but he already rejected her so soundly that they haven’t spoken in years. Yet who better than a rakish Viscount to teach her how to snare a gentleman who appreciates her charms?

Daniel Goodenham, Lord North Barrows, regrets nothing more than the lost friendship with the one woman who treated him like a man, not a title. Fate has given him the perfect pretext to win her forgiveness—even if it means having to matchmake her to someone else. But now that she’s back in his life, he’ll do anything to convince her to choose him instead…

This story was first featured in the Vexed anthology.

Kindle Edition, 188 pages                  Published March 21, 2017, by WebMotion

 

My review:  I don’t know how anyone could give this book less than 5 stars. I would give it 10 if I could….and hearts not stars because that’s how much I loved this story!!! Erica Ridley has written the perfect romance story. Rebecca and Daniel will steal your heart.

One of my favorite things about this story is Rebecca and Daniel don’t hate each other. (Sorry but the two main characters hating each other is overdone in this genre.) Daniel hurt Rebecca years ago and she has never really forgiven him but he wants her forgiveness more than anything. I liked that the two had a history of friendship. For me, it added to the story and made the romance that much more special.

I don’t recall cheering on a character in a book as much as I did Daniel. I really liked this character and thought he and Rebecca complimented each other well. I loved their interactions with each other and the way their relationship seemed so natural. Oh and are there every plenty of swoon-worthy moments thanks to Daniel. ❤ They are one of my favorite book couples of the year.

This is a sweet, romantic read and the perfect way to spend a few hours with characters you will love and a story that will make you smile. This story is easy to read and will make your heart happy. This is my favorite Erica Ridley story, so far. A must-read for fans of the genre.

I was provided a complimentary copy of this book from the author 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.

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If Only by T.K. Chapin (review by Kristi)

if only

About the book:  How far will one mother go to find her child?

A full year after a painful divorce, Elizabeth’s seventeen-year-old daughter Lillian decides to visit a friend over the Fourth of July weekend but never returns home. With the help of her neighborhood friend Cole, Elizabeth tries to make sense of what really happened and hopefully bring her daughter home.

Kindle Edition, 176 pages                  Published April 11, 2017, by Kindle Press

 

My review:  This story started a bit slow but once it got going it really picked up the pace. I was pulled into the story and couldn’t put the book down. This was a fast and easy read for me.

I loved the changing POV throughout the story. The story is told from both the mother and daughter. The daughter’s story is told both before and after she is missing. The mother’s story is told in the “after” time period. I really liked the way each chapter began with the timeline of when it was taking place.

I thought the author did a great job in telling the story from both points of view but especially the mothers. He did a great job relaying to the reader how she felt. It was so easy to forget that it was a man that was writing the book because the emotions were so real as to what a mother would feel and think as she went searching for her daughter.

This wasn’t my first book by this author but it is my favorite. He does a great job writing in the thriller genre and he kept me guessing until the end. I would highly recommend this book.

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

 

About the author:  T.K. CHAPIN writes Christian Romance books designed to inspire and tug on your heart strings. He believes that telling stories of faith, love and family help build the faith of Christians and help non-believers see how God can work in the life of believers. He gives all credit for his writing and storytelling ability to God. The majority of the novels take place in and around Spokane Washington, his hometown. Chapin makes his home in the Pacific Northwest and has the pleasure of raising his daughter with his beautiful wife Crystal.

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Rule of Law by J.L. Brown (review by Kristi)

rule of law

About the book:  FBI Special Agent Jade Harrington finds herself holding the line in a case that hits a little too close to home, personally and professionally. A bullied boy in a Washington, DC suburb commits suicide after being beaten. Within days, the bodies of his classmates start turning up—with injuries similar to the victims of TSK. But Jade knows TSK is dead.

Meanwhile, massive protests erupt across the country. President Whitney Fairchild must quell them while dealing with an obstructionist Congress and a long-kept secret, all of which threaten to destroy her and sink her presidency before it has really begun.

Vengeance. Betrayal. Justice. Duty. The thrills of Don’t Speak continue with Rule of Law.

Paperback, 470 pages                      Published March 11, 2017, by JAB Press

 

My review:  First a disclaimer that this is not a “clean read”.  There is graphic violence and language in this book.

J.L. Brown is back with the second book in her Jade Harrington series. After reading Don’t Speak last year, and it being my top read of 2016, I had high expectations for this book. I have to say that Rule of Law is an awesome book!!!!!

Rule of Law follows the same formula as Don’t Speak. It has the perfect mix of crime and politics. Jade Harrington is busy working two cases and has time to help out the President when called upon. The book goes back and forth between cases of teenage bullying deaths and the cybertheft of money on the West Coast. All of this is going on while the President is trying to pass a bill that will become her legacy. While the book goes back and forth between Washington D.C., Virginia, and Seattle, it is all done in an organized way and is easy to follow. The pages of this book are action-packed and I was hooked from the opening scene.

I liked the author’s choice of words and phrases throughout this book. The way she puts words on the page makes it easy to picture what is going on and makes the reader feel as if they are part of the team trying to solve the cases right along with Jade. Jade herself is a complex character and remains a bit of a mystery throughout this book. She’s even a bit of a mystery to her best friend, Zoe. This made the story even more interesting.

This is a fantastic book and can be read as a standalone, but I would recommend reading Don’t Speak first. Some of the storylines will be clearer if you do. Both are books you don’t want to miss out on. J.L. Brown is on my must-read list and I am anxiously awaiting the next Jade Harrington novel.

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

 

About the author:  J. L. Brown is the author of the Jade Harrington novels, Don’t Speak and Rule of Law.

Brown lives with her family in Seattle, where she is working on the third book in the series.

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A Trail of Crumbs: A Novel of the Great Depression by Susie Finkbeiner (review by Cathy)

A Trail of Crumbs

 

About the book:

“I believed it would have been a sin to stay inside when God had sent us such fine weather. According to Pastor Ezra Anderson, sin was the reason we’d got in the dusty mess we were in. The way I saw it, that day was God’s way of letting us know He wasn’t mad at us anymore. Just maybe He’d seen fit to forgive us.”

Pearl Spence has been through more in her young life than most folks could handle. But through it all, her family has been by her side. They may not be perfect, but they love her and they all love each other, come what may. That’s one thing Pearl no longer questions.

But the end of her beautiful day signals the beginning of the end of her secure life.

Now her family is fleeing their Oklahoma wasteland. Pearl isn’t sure she’ll ever see home or happiness again. Are there any crumbs powerful enough to guide her back to the dependable life she once knew?

The strong narrative voice of Finkbeiner’s young protagonist from A Cup of Dust returns in this gritty yet hopeful sequel, sure to please her many fans.

My review (5 stars)

A Trail of Crumbs is truly  a compelling novel and one that I didn’t want to put down even when my eyes were letting me know that I needed to give them a rest.
I’ve loved Pearl Spence and her family since I first met them in, A Cup of Dust. Their story is pretty bleak yet somehow they get by and manage to share what little they have with others in the their Oklahoma town. The family takes what happiness that comes their way and makes the reader anxious to share it with them.
The resilience of the characters was one of the things that piqued my interest not just in this book but also in the first one.

There finally comes a day when Pearl and her family  decide to leave Red River and start over, away from the dust and the hardships they have faced.  I was so happy that Pearl’s best friend, Ray went on the journey with them.  I admit to being sad at the friends they had to leave behind and hope to see them in the next book in the series.

The author is a masterful story-teller and the story she tells is through the eyes of 10 year, Pearl. The excitement she feels as they travel seeing sites that she’d never dreamed of and the promise of hope warmed my heart and made me want everything to be alright for this family.  When the family arrives in Michigan I couldn’t wait to share in their new experiences and to find out what’s in store for them.

I liked the introduction of new characters, especially Uncle Gus and Aunt Carrie in this book and can’t wait to read more about them and everyone else in town in, A Song of Home the next book in this series.
This is a book that I’ll want to read again and one that I highly recommend to readers historical fiction and readers looking for a well written book.

I received this book through Kregel Blogger Tour, and was not required to give a positive review.

Dangerous Testimony (Pacific Coast Private Eyes #4) by Dana Mentink (review by Cathy)

dangerous testimony

About the book:

Four weeks before she’s set to testify at a gang murder trial, someone is determined to make sure that Candace Gallagher Andrews never takes the stand. When nowhere is safe for the private investigator or her little girl, Candace turns to the only person she can trust, longtime  friend and former navy SEAL Marco Quidel.

For Marco, protecting Candace is not just another duty. As the trial date nears and the killer stalks ever closer, Marco knows fear for the first time the fear of losing Candace and her daughter. But while Marco begins seeing Candace as more than just a friend, her late husband’s memory is never far from her mind.

So he must keep Candace alive—and not get emotionally involved—long enough to put away a killer.

My review (5-stars)

When you’re in the mood for suspense, romance, danger, and fantastic characters you read an LI suspense novel by Dana Mentink. At least, that’s what I do and I encourage more readers to  do the same.

This is the 4th book in the series and I have to say they just get better. What I loved about, Dangerous Testimony is the constant action and being kept on the edge of me seat.  I loved Candace and Marco and found their storyline to be of the best I’ve read in some time.

I can’t say enough good about this book and since I don’t have anything bad to say, I’ll finish by highly recommending reading this book.

I received a complimentary of Dangerous Testimony and have given my honest opinion.

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Home by Ginny L Yttrup (review by Kristi)

home

About the book:  Melanie runs away. From conflict. From pain. From reality. 

When novelist Melanie Vander faces a looming deadline, she decides it’s time for an escape to an inspiring, novel-worthy locale. She’s not running away. Really. She just needs time to focus. But as she disappears into her writing, she encounters a man whose tenderness leaves her reeling. Engaging and wise, psychologist Elliot Hammond tempts Melanie to question everything, including her marriage.

But that’s ridiculous. Dr. Hammond isn’t even…real.

Melanie’s husband, Craig, has his own problems, including a recession that’s threatening his business. Waning finances, a looming home foreclosure, and a wife who’s checked out emotionally, has Craig feeling as though he’s carrying his burdens alone. When his client, the beautiful and single Serena Buchanan, offers him a solution to his financial woes, he’s tempted by more than her offer of a business solution.

At a crossroads, Melanie and Craig seem headed in opposite directions.

As Melanie runs away from her problems by escaping into her own fictional world, Craig dives into his struggles, seeking God for strength and healing for his marriage. Ultimately, Melanie must choose whether she’ll check out completely, or allow her characters to lead her home.

Paperback, 320 pages            Published April 1, 2017 by Shiloh Run Press

 

My review:  This was my first Ginny Yttrup book and I quite enjoyed it. The story was very different from any I’ve read and her writing style just made everything seem so real and authentic. This was a book that was easy to read yet, at times, difficult to read. It wasn’t a light, airy read but one that is relatable.

From the beginning I could see the detachment between Melanie and Craig. The two have been married for twenty-three years and it was easy to see that they were perhaps stuck in a rut. It was almost as if both had given up on their marriage and were just going through the motions. Melanie, an author, lives more in a fictional world than her husband, Craig, who builds houses. Craig is the one who lives in reality and is more of a take-charge kind of person. It was easy for me to see his frustration with his wife. There was so much that seemed real to this story that it left me wondering if the author was using her own life as inspiration for parts of the story. I did enjoy the way the author went back and forth and told the story from both characters point-of-view. It kept the story feeling more authentic and also less confusing since the reader also gets to read snippets of the book Melanie is writing.

The next-door neighbors were a nice addition to the story and especially the struggles of Jill. Jill is a freelance editor and works with Melanie. It is hard to say the two are close friends at the beginning but it is easy to see the shift in their relationship as the story progresses. Jill is facing her own battles and the chapters dedicated to her and her problems were a unique addition to the story.

As a lover of books and someone who enjoys reading about the writing process, I loved the way the author incorporated the process of writing a book into the story. This is another one of those things that made the story that much more real. Some of the terms she used were familiar to me and lent another layer of reality to the story.

If you are looking for a light read then don’t pick up this book. This is a heavier read so if you are looking for a book that is full of emotion then this would be a great book to pick up. This would be a terrific book club selection.

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

 

About the author:  Ginny L. Yttrup is the award-winning author of Words, Lost and Found, Invisible, Flames, and Home which released April 1, 2017. She writes contemporary women’s fiction and enjoys exploring the issues everyday women face. Publishers Weekly dubbed Ginny’s work “as inspiring as it is entertaining.” When not writing, Ginny coaches writers, critiques manuscripts, and makes vintage-style jewelry for her Esty shop, Storied Jewelry. She loves dining with friends, hanging out with her adult sons, or spending a day in her pajamas reading a great novel. Ginny lives in northern California with Bear, The Entitled Pomeranian.

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If Not for You by Debbie Macomber (review by Kristi)

if not for you

About the book:  An emotionally stirring novel that shows how obstacles can be overcome, differences can be strengths, and sometimes a choice can seem wrong even though it’s absolutely right

If not for her loving but controlling parents, Beth Prudhomme might never have taken charge of her life and moved from her native Chicago to Portland, Oregon, where she’s reconnected with her spirited Aunt Sunshine and found a job as a high school music teacher. If not for her friend Nichole, Beth would never have met Sam Carney, although first impressions have left Beth with serious doubts. Sam is everything Beth is not—and her parents’ worst nightmare: a tattooed auto mechanic who’s rough around the edges. Reserved and smart as a whip, Beth isn’t exactly Sam’s usual beer-drinking, pool-playing type of woman, either.

But if not for an awkward setup one evening, Beth might never have left early and been involved in a car crash. And if not for Sam—who witnessed the terrifying ordeal, rushed to her aid, and stayed with her until help arrived—Beth might have been all alone, or worse. Yet as events play out, Sam feels compelled to check on Beth almost daily at the hospital—even bringing his guitar to play songs to lift her spirits. Soon their unlikely friendship evolves into an intense attraction that surprises them both.

Before long, Beth’s strong-willed mother, Ellie, blows into town spouting harsh opinions, especially about Sam, and reopening old wounds with Sunshine. When shocking secrets from Sam’s past are revealed, Beth struggles to reconcile her feelings. But when Beth goes a step too far, she risks losing the man and the life she’s come to love.

Kindle Edition                                  Published March 21, 2017 by Ballantine Books

 

My review:  This book was everything I expected from Debbie Macomber. Down-to-earth characters, a believable storyline, and great writing combined to make this a quick and easy read for me. If Not for You is classic Debbie Macomber.

While the premise of this book could be seen as very cliche for romance, upper-class woman meets rough-around-the-edges guy, Debbie keeps the story fresh and real. I like her writing style and the way she writes about everyday people. She keeps the story interesting and keeps the reader engaged from beginning to end.

There is a great mix of characters in this book that adds to the realness of the story. All of the characters are well-developed. I liked the chemistry between the two main characters and how their relationship went from awkward to friends to more. There is a natural progression to their relationship that adds to the story and makes it that much more realistic.

Fans of Debbie Macomber are sure to enjoy this story. This would also be a great introduction to the author and her writing. I like to think of this author’s work as “comfort reads”. A nice, cozy read for a lazy afternoon.

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

 

About the author:  Debbie Macomber is a #1 New York Times bestselling author and one of today’s most popular writers with more than 200 million copies of her books in print worldwide. In her novels, Macomber brings to life compelling relationships that embrace family and enduring friendships, uplifting her readers with stories of connection and hope. Macomber’s novels have spent over 990 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list. Sixteen of these novels hit the number one spot.

In 2016, Macomber’s all-new hardcover publications include A Girl’s Guide to Moving On (February), Sweet Tomorrows (August), and Twelve Days of Christmas (October) and an adult coloring book, The World of Debbie Macomber: Come Home To Color (April). In addition to fiction, Macomber has also published two bestselling cookbooks, numerous inspirational and nonfiction works, and two acclaimed children’s books.

Celebrated as “the official storyteller of Christmas”, Macomber’s annual Christmas books are beloved and five have been crafted into original Hallmark Channel movies. Macomber is also the author of the bestselling Cedar Cove Series which the Hallmark Channel chose as the basis for its first dramatic scripted television series. Debuting in 2013, Debbie Macomber’s Cedar Cove was a ratings favorite for three seasons.

Macomber owns two businesses in Port Orchard, WA, the town which inspired the Cedar Cove Series. These include The Grey House Café, formerly the Victorian Rose Tea Room, featured in the Cedar Cove Series, and A Good Yarn Shop, introduced in her popular Blossom Street novels. They are located on the Village Square campus, which also serves as Debbie’s corporate headquarters.

She and her husband, Wayne, serve on the Guideposts National Advisory Cabinet, and she is World Vision’s international spokesperson for their Knit for Kids charity initiative. A devoted grandmother, Debbie and Wayne live in Port Orchard, Washington and winter in Florida.

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