Tag Archives: Texas

#BookReview: Love Held Captive by Shelley Shepard Gray

24 Oct

Love Held Captive is a compelling story! The two storylines that converge tackle some tough issues, and Gray handles them with care. The occasional flashbacks provide readers with background information and details, and I really enjoyed these glimpses into the past. Ethan and Devin each face their own struggles, and they once again work together to seek justice and healing. An engaging blend of mystery and romance, I thoroughly enjoyed this historical Texas tale, as well as the preceding Lone Star Hero stories!

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

 

About the book:

Major Ethan Kelly has never been able to absolve himself of the guilt he feels for raiding a woman’s home shortly before he was taken prisoner during the Civil War. He is struggling to get through each day until he once again crosses paths with Lizbeth Barclay—the very woman he is trying to forget.

Life after the war is not much different for former Captain Devin Monroe until he meets Julianne VanFleet. He knows she is the woman he’s been waiting for, but he struggles to come to terms with the sacrifices she made to survive the war.

When Ethan and Devin discover that their former colonel, Adam Bushnell, is responsible for both Lizbeth’s and Julianne’s pain, they call on their former fellow soldiers to hunt him down. As the men band together to earn the trust of the women they love, Lizbeth and Julianne seek the justice they deserve in a country longing to heal.

Learn more about the book and the author.

#BookReview: A Stolen Heart by Amanda Cabot

27 Mar

A Stolen Heart is a delightful blend of mystery and romance! Amanda Cabot takes readers to the Texas Hill Country where Cimarron Creek residents are less than welcoming to Northern newcomer Lydia Crawford. Their resentment is not the only surprise that awaits her, and an engaging tale of mystery and secrets soon unfolds. Well-told with great characterization, I thoroughly enjoyed this sweet story and look forward to returning to Cimarron Creek as the series continue!

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

 

About the book:

From afar, Cimarron Creek seems like an idyllic town tucked in the Texas Hill Country. But when former schoolteacher Lydia Crawford steps onto its dusty streets in 1880, she finds a town with a deep-seated resentment of Northerners–like her. Lydia won’t let that get her down, though. All will be well when she’s reunited with her fiancé. But when she discovers he has disappeared–and that he left behind a pregnant wife–Lydia is at a loss about what to do next. The handsome sheriff urges her to trust him, but can she trust anyone in this town where secrets are as prevalent as bluebonnets in spring?

Purchase a copy.

Visit the author’s website.

#BookReview: An Uncommon Protector by Shelley Shepard Gray

8 Feb

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This lone star hero’s love story captivated me from beginning to end! Laurel Tracey and Thomas Baker are strong characters and the challenges they faced kept me turning the pages to find out what would happen next.

The occasional flashbacks to 1865 Johnson’s Island provide readers with background information about Thomas, and I really enjoyed these glimpses into his past. The friendship between Thomas and his band of brothers is inspiring, as is their fierce loyalty. While Thomas is an uncommon protector for Laurel, he proves to be an exceptional hero.

An engaging blend of mystery and romance, I loved An Uncommon Protector and can’t wait to continue this wonderful series!

 

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About the book:

Overwhelmed by the responsibilities of running a ranch on her own, Laurel Tracey decides to hire a convict—a man who’s just scary enough to take care of squatters and just desperate enough to agree to a one year post.

The years following the war have been hard on Laurel Tracey. Both her brother and her father died in battle, and her mother passed away shortly after receiving word of their demise. Laurel has been trying to run her two hundred acre ranch as best she can.

When she discovers that squatters have settled in her north pasture and have no intention of leaving, Laurel decides to use the last of her money to free a prisoner from the local jail. If she agrees to offer him room and board for one year, he will have to work for her to pay off his debt.

Former soldier Thomas Baker knows he’s in trouble when he finds himself jailed because he couldn’t pay a few fines. Laurel’s offer might be his only ticket out. Though she’s everything he ever dreamed of in a woman—sweet and tender-hearted, yet strong—he’s determined to remain detached, work hard on her behalf, and count the days until he’s free again.

But when cattle start dying and the squatters damage a barn, Thomas realizes more than just his freedom is on the line. Laurel needs someone to believe in her and protect her property. And it isn’t long before Laurel realizes that Thomas Baker is far more than just a former soldier. He’s a trustworthy hero who’s survived a terrible past. He needs more than just his freedom, he needs her love and care too.

Purchase a copy: http://amzn.to/2kJN4kp

Visit the author: http://www.shelleyshepardgray.com/

 

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

#BookReview: Seven Brides for Seven Texans Collection

3 Jan

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Seven Brides for Seven Texans is a top-notch collection, with each novella perfectly complimenting the next! From their famous names to their strong personalities, each of the seven Hart brothers boasts an undeniable charm, as does their father, GW. I absolutely delighted in the dashing heroes, the lovely heroines, and their unique love stories!

These dynamic Texans lassoed my heart, and I loved spending time with them on the 7-Heart Ranch. The Seven Brides for Seven Texans Collection is one of my favorites, and if you enjoy historical romance, I think you’ll love it too!

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

 

About the book:

seven-brides-for-seven-texans

Meet the seven Hart brothers of the 7-Heart ranch in central Texas. Each man is content in his independent life, without the responsibilities of a wife and children—until their father decides 1874 will be the year his grown sons finally marry, or they will be cut from his will. How will each man who values his freedom respond to the ultimatum? Can love develop on a timeline, or will it be sacrificed for the sake of an inheritance?

 

Purchase a copy: http://amzn.to/2i7Zs9n

Visit the Seven Brides for Seven Texans blog: http://7bridesfor7texans.blogspot.com/

#BookReview: What Matters Most by Kellie Coates Gilbert

21 Jul

What Matters Most- cover

What Matters Most by Kellie Coates Gilbert

Purchase a copy: http://bit.ly/2adgnGE

Just when she can’t take it anymore, Leta finally catches a break. But when things seem too good to be true, they often are.

Finding her dream job went right out the window when Leta Breckenridge had to quit school to help care for her mother suffering from dementia. When a delinquent account may force her mother into a less desirable facility, Leta is thrilled to land a high-paying job at an Austin public relations firm. But her seemingly ideal job turns into a nightmare when she learns the firm is a front for a political opposition organization–and that the research she’s been collecting will be used against Nathan Emerson, the handsome senator she’s swiftly falling in love with.

Nathan is a rising political star being pressured to run a bid to unseat the current governor of Texas. He’s already in a relationship with a woman much better suited to be a politician’s wife, but he’s never met anyone like Leta. Could this feisty woman hold the key to his heart–and his future?

My thoughts:

What Matters Most is a relevant, ripped-from-the-headlines story that charmed me from beginning to end! From the struggles associated with dementia to the drama of the political arena, Kellie Coates Gilbert deftly brings her characters and their emotional stories to life.

Leta Breckenridge is a heroine readers will champion, and her Cinderella story warmed my heart and left me smiling. Rife with drama, deception, and romance, What Matters Most is a must read for fans of compelling women’s fiction!

I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an unbiased review. All thoughts expressed are my own.

 

Kellie Coates Gilbert

As a former legal professional, Kellie Coates Gilbert spent nearly twenty-five years working in courtrooms and behind the scenes of some of the largest and most well-known cases in America. She was one of the lead paralegals in the Jack-in-the-Box litigation, where uncooked hamburger resulted in the deaths of several toddlers and made many more critically ill, which is the subplot of Where Rivers Part, the second novel in a collection of contemporary women’s fiction stories all set in Texas. Her books not only explore the heart issues that matter most to women, but often allow readers an inside peek into her former legal world.

To learn more about Kellie and her books, please visit her website.

#BookReview: The Loyal Heart | Facebook Chat Party

19 Jul

The Loyal Heart

The Loyal Heart by Shelley Shepard Gray

Purchase a copy: http://bit.ly/2ae3eOX

Robert came to Galveston to fulfill his promise to a dying man and look after his widow. He didn’t expect to find love in the unlikeliest of places.

Robert Truax, former Second Lieutenant and Confederate officer in the Civil War, made a promise to his comrade Phillip Markham. If anything happened to Phillip, Robert would look after his beloved wife, Miranda. She was his life, his world, his everything.

After the war, Robert is left to pick up the pieces and fulfill his pact. When he arrives at Miranda’s home in Galveston, Texas, things are worse than he imagined. Phillip’s name has been dragged through the mud, everyone in town believes him to be a traitor, and his widow is treated as an outcast. Even more disturbing is her emotional well-being. Miranda seems hopeless, lost, and so very alone.

Robert had thought his duty would be simple. He would help Miranda as quickly as possible in order to honor a promise. But the moment Robert laid eyes on her, his plans changed. He’s mesmerized by her beauty and yearns to help her in any way he can.

He makes it his duty to protect Miranda, turn her reputation around, and to find some way to help her smile again. But it doesn’t prove to be an easy task—Robert knows something about Phillip that could shake Miranda to the core and alter her view of the man she thought she knew so well.

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My thoughts:

The Loyal Heart is a compelling story! Shelley Shepard Gray sweeps readers away to the post-Civil War era, where Galveston provides a wonderful backdrop for this historical Texas tale. Robert Truax is a dashing hero and staunch protector of his fallen comrade’s wife, Miranda Markam. Their story, steeped in mystery and laced with romance, intrigued me from the first page until the last. I thoroughly enjoyed The Loyal Heart and am eager to continue the Lone Star Hero series!

 

The Loyal Heart Chat Party

Join Shelley on her Facbook page for a special chat party, TOMORROW, July 20th at 7:00 pm Eastern.

 

Shelley Gray

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.

 

Connect with Shelley:
Website | Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest

 

The Loyal HeartI received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an unbiased review. All thoughts expressed are my own.

#BookReview: Jilted by Varina Denman | Sweet Summertime #Giveaway

22 Jun

Jilted

Jilted by Varina Denmna

Purchase a copy: http://bit.ly/237iWMF

Lynda Turner has struggled with depression since her husband abandoned her and their young daughter fifteen years ago.

Yet unexpected hope awakens when a local ex-convict shows interest. As long-hidden secrets resurface, Lynda must fight for her emotional stability and for a life where the shadow of shame is replaced by the light of love.

Jilted tells of a woman who has lost the joy of living, a man determined to draw her back toward happiness, and a town that must—once and for all—leave the past where it belongs. It is a gentle reminder that all things can work together for good.

 

My thoughts:

Once again, Varina Denman deftly tackles tough topics as she brings the residents of Trapp to life and shares Lynda Turner’s journey. Fans of this series are sure to delight in the opportunity to revisit this west Texas town and the characters they’ve come to know through the first two books, Jaded and Justified. Although Jilted can be read as a stand-alone story, reading the trilogy in order will offer a greater understanding of the characters and their stories.

I enjoyed delving deeper into Lynda’s story and appreciated the inspirational messages it offered. While the novel’s pacing is a bit slow, it does befit the nature of the narrative. Jilted is a well-written and satisfying conclusion to the Mended Hearts series!

 

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Celebrate the release of Varina’s Jilted by entering to win a $50 gift card.

One grand prize winner will receive:

  • A copy of Jilted to kick off a summer of reading
  • A $50 Kohl’s gift card to make your summertime sweet

The giveaway ends on July 1st. The winner will be announced July 5th on Varina’s website.

 

Varina Denman

Varina Denman is author of the Mended Hearts series and a native Texan. She spent her high school years in a rural town and now writes stories about the struggles women face in similar small town settings. She and her husband live near Fort Worth, where they enjoy spending time with their five mostly grown children.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest

 

Jilted

I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an unbiased review. All thoughts expressed are my own. Click here to read what other bloggers are saying about Jilted.