#BookReview: Courting Mr. Emerson by Melody Carlson

25 Mar

With a penchant for quirky characters, Melody Carlson once again treats readers to an entertaining story with an eclectic cast. The uniqueness of Courting Mr. Emerson is not only found in its characters, but also in their stories. While I would have appreciated a bit more depth in some aspects of the storyline, I did find it to be an enjoyable read overall.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. No review was required, and all thoughts expressed are my own.

 

About the book:

When the fun-loving and spontaneous artist Willow West meets buttoned-up, retired English teacher George Emerson, it’s not exactly love at first sight. Though she does find the obsessive-compulsive man intriguing. Making it her mission to get him to loosen up and embrace life, she embarks on what seems like a lost cause–and finds herself falling for him in the process.

A confirmed bachelor, George vacillates between irritation and attraction whenever Willow is around–which to him seems like all too often. He’s not interested in expanding his horizons or making new friends; it just hurts too much when you lose them.

But as the summer progresses, George feels his defenses crumbling. The question is, will his change of heart be too late for Willow?

Learn more about the book and the author.

#BookReview: Almost Home by Valerie Fraser Luesse

25 Mar

Almost Home is a tender tale that transports readers to Blackberry Springs, Alabama, amid World War II. The time period and setting are vividly portrayed, as is the community that surrounds Dolly Chandler’s family home. The cast of characters is delightfully engaging, and I was moved by their individual stories and struggles. Their heartache and healing bring emotional depth to this sweet, southern story, and its lyrical writing makes it a pleasure to read. I thoroughly enjoyed Almost Home and look forward to reading more from Valerie Fraser Luesse.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. No review was required, and all thoughts expressed are my own.

 

About the book:

With America’s entrance into the Second World War, the town of Blackberry Springs, Alabama, has exploded virtually overnight. Workers from all over are coming south for jobs in Uncle Sam’s munitions plants–and they’re bringing their pasts with them, right into Dolly Chandler’s grand but fading family home turned boardinghouse.

An estranged young couple from the Midwest, unemployed professors from Chicago, a widower from Mississippi, a shattered young veteran struggling to heal from the war–they’re all hoping Dolly’s house will help them find their way back to the lives they left behind. But the house has a past of its own.

When tragedy strikes, Dolly’s only hope will be the circle of friends under her roof and their ability to discover the truth about what happened to a young bride who lived there a century before.

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#BookReview: Tomorrow’s First Light by Naomi Rawlings

25 Feb

I loved Sam and Ellie’s story! Rawlings handily captured my attention and swept me away to Twin Rivers, Texas, as trail dust rose from the pages. The details and descriptions were vivid, and the storyline delighted me with elements of drama, intrigue, and romance. A distinctive marriage of convenience tale, Tomorrow’s First Light is one for my keeper shelf!

I received a complimentary copy of this book. No review was required, and all thoughts expressed are my own.

 

About the book:

Nervous about meeting her fiancé for the first time, Ellie Spritzer’s lifelong hope of finding love is about to end—or rather, begin. She never imagined her quest for love would take her to the other side of the country with all eight of her siblings in tow, but after her mother dies unexpectedly, what choice does she have? At least the man she’s been writing for the past year is still willing to marry her and take in her siblings… or so she thinks until she arrives in the dusty town of Twin Rivers, Texas.

Growing up an orphan, Sam Owens never had a place to call home or a family to love. So if his wife-to-be needs to bring three of her siblings with her, he has no complaints about having a ready-made family. But his mail-order-bride doesn’t arrive with three. She arrives with eight.

Sam can’t make himself turn away children in need. But as a beginning rancher, he doesn’t have the resources to care for so many people. When sinister forces threaten the things Sam and Ellie both hold dear, can they figure out how to keep their fledgling family together, or will they lose the very things they cherish most?

Learn more about the book and the author.

#BookReview: The Sky Above Us by Sarah Sundin

22 Feb

The Sky Above Us is a wonderful wartime tale! Sundin once again weaves fact and fiction together beautifully to create a compelling narrative. Brimming with emotion, Adler’s and Violet’s journeys are poignant and stirring, and I enjoyed reading about their experiences.
Having read The Sea Before Us prior to this novel, I was eager to continue the Sunrise at Normandy series. For those who have not read Book 1, plenty of background information is included, allowing The Sky Above Us to also be enjoyed as a stand-alone story.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. No review was required, and all thoughts expressed are my own.

 

About the book:

Numbed by grief and harboring shameful secrets, Lt. Adler Paxton ships to England with the US 357th Fighter Group in 1943. Determined to become an ace pilot, Adler battles the German Luftwaffe in treacherous dogfights in the skies over France as the Allies struggle for control of the air before the D-day invasion.

Violet Lindstrom wanted to be a missionary, but for now she serves in the American Red Cross, where she arranges entertainment for the men of the 357th in the Aeroclub on base and sets up programs for local children. Drawn to the mysterious Adler, she enlists his help with her work and urges him to reconnect with his family after a long estrangement.

Despite himself, Adler finds his defenses crumbling when it comes to Violet. But D-day draws near. And secrets can’t stay buried forever.

Learn more about the book and the author.

#BookReview: Never Let Go by Elizabeth Goddard

21 Feb

Never Let Go is a suspenseful tale that kept me guessing until the end! Willow and Austin are interesting characters, and I cheered them on as they raced to solve a kidnapping cold case. Their story is filled with twists and turns, and a rekindled romance adds emotional depth to the mix. I enjoyed this introduction to the Uncommon Justice series and look forward to Heath’s story in the second book.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. No review was required, and all thoughts expressed are my own.

 

About the book:

As a forensic genealogist, Willow Anderson is following in her late grandfather’s footsteps in her quest for answers about a baby abducted from the hospital more than twenty years ago. The case may be cold, but things are about to heat up when someone makes an attempt on her life to keep her from discovering the truth.

Ex-FBI agent–and Willow’s ex-flame–Austin McKade readily offers his help to protect the woman he never should have let get away. Together they’ll follow where the clues lead them, even if it means Austin must face the past he’s spent much of his life trying to forget. And even if it puts Willow’s tender heart at risk.

Learn more about the book and the author.

#BookReview: Mending Fences by Suzanne Woods Fisher

20 Feb

Mending Fences is a heartwarming tale! Suzanne Woods Fisher never fails to delight me with her endearing characters and unique storylines, and this latest story is no exception. Luke’s and Izzy’s journeys are complex and emotional, and I reveled in the wisdom they shared and the lessons they learned. I thoroughly enjoyed this first Deacon’s Family novel and look forward to continuing the series!

I received a complimentary copy of this book. No review was required, and all thoughts expressed are my own.

 

About the book:

Luke Schrock is a new and improved man after a stint in rehab, though everyone in Stoney Ridge only remembers the old Luke. They might have forgiven him, but nobody trusts him.

Amos and Fern Lapp allow Luke to live at Windmill Farm under two conditions. First, Luke must make a sincere apology to each person he’s hurt–a four-page, single-spaced list. Second, he must ask each victim of mischief to describe the damage he caused.

Simple, Luke thinks. Offering apologies is easy. But discovering the lasting effects his careless actions have caused . . . that isn’t so simple. It’s gut-wrenching.

And his list keeps growing. Izzy Miller, beautiful and frustratingly aloof, also boards at Windmill Farm. Luke’s clumsy efforts to befriend Izzy only insult and annoy her. Eager to impress, Luke sets out to prove himself to her by locating her mother. When he does, her identity sends shock waves through Stoney Ridge.

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#BookReview: A Bound Heart by Laura Frantz

7 Jan

A Bound Heart captivated me from beginning to end! The imagery is vivid and the setting, which spans the globe, is easily imagined. I loved Magnus and Lark, and their characters brought to mind those of Ross and Demelza Poldark. This sweeping story is one that slowly unfolds allowing the reader to savor its beauty and lyricism. Inspired by her own heritage, Laura Frantz has crafted a heartfelt historical romance.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. No review was required, and all thoughts expressed are my own.

 

About the book:

Though Magnus MacLeish and Lark MacDougall grew up on the same castle grounds, Magnus is now laird of the great house and the Isle of Kerrera. Lark is but the keeper of his bees and the woman he is hoping will provide a tincture that might help his ailing wife conceive and bear him an heir. But when his wife dies suddenly, Magnus and Lark find themselves caught up in a whirlwind of accusations, expelled from their beloved island, and sold as indentured servants across the Atlantic. Yet even when all hope seems dashed against the rocky coastline of the Virginia colony, it may be that in this New World the two of them could make a new beginning–together.

Learn more about the book and the author.