Friday, August 3, 2018

My Review: A Defense of Honor

" . . . grace doesn't come because of anything you can do.  Jesus didn't die and rise again so you could crucify yourself with guilt." - Graham, Lord Wharton

When Katherine "Kit" FitzGilbert turned her back on London society more than a decade ago, she determined never to set foot in a ballroom again. But when business takes her to London and she's forced to run for her life, she stumbles upon not only a glamorous ballroom but also Graham, Lord Wharton. What should have been a chance encounter becomes much more as Graham embarks on a search for his friend's missing sister and is convinced Kit knows more about the girl than she's telling.

After meeting Graham, Kit finds herself wishing things could have been different for the first time in her life, but what she wants can't matter. Long ago, she dedicated herself to helping women escape the same scorn that drove her from London and raising the innocent children caught in the crossfire. And as much as she desperately wishes to tell Graham everything, revealing the truth isn't worth putting him and everyone she loves in danger.

About the Author:
Kristi Ann Hunter is the author of the Hawthorne House series and a 2016 RITA Award winner, an ACFW Genesis contest winner, and a Georgia Romance Writers Maggie Award for excellence winner. She lives with her husband and three children in Georgia. Find her online at

My Review: 5 stars
I’m not even sure where to start this review . . . I simply fell in love with this book and the characters!  I’ve been a huge fan of Ms. Hunter’s books since reading her very first one, which was actually a novella to introduce her first series.  And I’ve happily fallen into each of her books, smiling at the end, but also sad that the journey is over, at least for now.  So learning she had a new series beginning made this book addict incredibly happy!  And as expected, I was not disappointed in the least!  I never have a favorite of her books, except for perhaps the one I’ve just finished.  For the moment, this one must be m favorite, until I reread one of the others.

I can’t even begin to describe what makes her writing style different, but there is something that is just distinctly Kristi Ann Hunter.  I’m actually not even typically that much of a fan of the Regency time period, so her books are definitely the exception to my rule.  They are unique, at least to me.  I so enjoy the genuineness.  The characters simply come alive and I often feel as though I’m right there with them.  I adore the humor she weaves into them.  I don’t often read Regency novels that make me laugh like hers do: out loud and often.  I so appreciate the depth in her stories.  They aren’t “preachy,” but at the same time, I often find myself convicted by something one of the characters is struggling with.  I can see myself in them or in the situation and that just deepens how much I’m enjoying the story, lighthearted though it often was.  

I immensely enjoyed getting to know all of the characters in this book, from Graham and his friends (I’m hoping we’ll see more of them!), to Kit and the ladies at the manor, and of course the children that simply stole the show, more often than not!  If you enjoy stories that tug on your heart, but also encourage you to laugh out loud in public places, then I highly recommend this book!

Thanks for stopping by!  I so appreciate the time you take to read my reviews and I hope you enjoyed it! 
As always, links are below!

Thursday, August 2, 2018

My Review: Love's Silver Lining

"No fret, darling - God already knows we're not perfect.  It's certainly no surprise to Him when we falter or fail . . . or even forget how much He loves us."

She tampers with his life.
He tampers with her heart.
Love tampers with them both.

Desperate to escape an arranged marriage to a womanizer, twenty-two-year-old Maggie Mullaney flees New York for Virginia City, Nevada with her Aunt Liberty, two spunky suffragists intent on bettering the lives of women. Fresh out of nursing school, Maggie hopes to devote herself to serving others rather than just one man, a goal quickly affirmed when she encounters Blaze Donovan, a womanizing cowboy who both riles and rouses her pulse. But when Aunt Liberty’s parents' house burns down, she and Maggie are coerced into staying at the ranch of Liberty’s ex-husband, Finn McShane, who just happens to be the uncle of the cocky cowboy Maggie had hoped to avoid.

If there’s one thing twenty-nine-year-old Blaze Donovan can’t abide, it’s respectable women who spout piety and prayer, so when he butts heads with perky Maggie Mullaney at St. Mary Louise Hospital, he wants to stay as far away from her as he possibly can. Unfortunately, she now lives in the bedroom next to his in his uncle’s ranch house, a revolting development that sends Blaze to The Ponderosa Saloon more than usual. But when Maggie interferes in Blaze’s life by converting his favorite “disrespectable” girl, Blaze is determined to make her pay. Only problem is—the price HE has to pay may be a little too steep for his heart.

About the Author:

Julie Lessman is an award-winning author whose tagline of “Passion With a Purpose” underscores her intense passion for both God and romance. A lover of all things Irish, she enjoys writing close-knit Irish family sagas that evolve into 3-D love stories: the hero, the heroine, and the God that brings them together. Author of The Daughters of Boston, Winds of Change, Heart of San Francisco, and Isle of Hope series, Julie was American Christian Fiction Writers 2009 Debut Author of the Year and has garnered over 18 Romance Writers of America and other awards. Voted #1 Romance Author in Family Fiction magazine’s 2012 and 2011 Readers Choice Awards, Julie’s novels also made Family Fiction magazine’s Best of 2015, Best of 2014, and “Essential Christian Romance Authors” 2017, as well as Booklist’s 2010 Top 10 Inspirational Fiction and Borders Best Fiction. Her independent novel A Light in the Window was an International Digital Awards winner, a 2013 Readers' Crown Award winner, and a 2013 Book Buyers Best Award winner. Julie has also written a self-help workbook for writers entitled Romance-ology 101: Writing Romantic Tension for the Sweet and Inspirational Markets. Contact Julie through her website and read excerpts from each of her books at

My Review: 4 stars
Julie Lessman has been one of my favorite authors for several years now, so this review may be a tad biased.  I just so enjoy her stories!  This book (series) is very different from anything else she’s written.  I’m quite enjoying how she’s trying different time periods and genres, and was especially excited for this one, knowing it was going to be a bit of a lighter read and more humorous.  Though I’ve found her other books pretty amusing as well, particularly her San Francisco series.  I tried to start this book without many expectations.  I knew it would have a dual storyline (one of my favorite things in her books) and a strong spiritual element (my very favorite thing about her writing), but other than that, I was just looking to enjoy the ride.  And she had me hooked from the opening page!  I’m not going to spoil it, but it is very interesting!

Ms. Lessman is one of those authors that I’m fairly confident that someone could hand me a random page from one of her books and I could tell you right away that it was one of hers.  Her writing style is quite distinct and vivid.  I so enjoy getting pulled into one of her stories and seeing life through the characters’ eyes.  They are sometimes rather dramatic in their telling, but that’s also part of the fun!  And I appreciate how honest her writing is - I’ve rarely, if ever, read stories with characters that were more realistic than hers.  Even in the midst of the lighthearted moments and fun, she tackles a few more difficult topics, specifically commitment and trust.  Along with a healthy dose of God and the gospel, which I find to be such an encouragement.  Her books always include wisdom that seems as though it’s directed straight at me, or something that I know I needed to hear at the time.  I enjoy rereading her books for that same reason.  

If you’re looking for a rather lighthearted read about stubborn cowboys and possibly more stubborn women, then I would highly recommend this book!

Hello fellow reader friends!  Goodness!  I hadn't realized how long it's been since I've been on here!  I've rather missed it - though I do have a good excuse for my absence:  I'm getting married in right about a month and a half!!  So I've been doing wedding things and enjoying time with my fiancĂ©, so there's that.  :)

As always, links are below.  And please leave me a comment about what's been going on with your summer!

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

My Review: Falling For You

"Fake perfection was tiring.  The mistakes you didn't confess accumulated more and more mass over time.  No one ministered to you because you were busy broadcasting the fact that you didn't need ministering to."  - Willow Bradford

Famously beautiful model Willow Bradford is taking a temporary break from her hectic schedule to work as the innkeeper at her family's small-town bed-and-breakfast. She was enjoying the peace of her hometown, Merryweather, Washington, right up until she came face-to-face with Corbin Stewart, the man she loves to hate. A thoughtful rule-follower by nature, Willow threw caution to the wind four years ago when she entrusted her heart to Corbin--and suffered the consequences when it all fell apart.

Former NFL quarterback Corbin is forceful, charming, and accustomed to getting what he wants . . . except where Willow Bradford is concerned. Unable to forget her, he's never stopped regretting what happened between them. When their paths unexpectedly cross again, he's determined to make her give him a second chance.

When a decades-old missing persons case finds Corbin and Willow working together, they're forced to confront their past and who they've become--and whether they can risk falling for one another all over again.

About the Author:
Becky Wade is a native of California who attended Baylor University, met and married a Texan, and now lives in Dallas. A favorite among readers of Christian contemporary romance, Becky has won a Christy Award, a Carol Award, an Inspirational Reader's Choice Award, and an INSPY Award. Learn more at

My Review: 5 stars
I’m not sure where to even start this review!  I have a completely biased opinion, because I always greatly enjoy Becky Wade’s books.  She’s one of my very favorite authors and I love diving into any of her stories (usually multiple times) and this one is certainly no exception!  I’ve been anxiously awaiting Willow’s book since getting a glimpse of her and Corbin’s story in “True to You,” (you can read my review for it hereand it definitely surpassed any expectation I may have had.

Corbin and Willow are characters that I could so easily identify with, even if I hadn’t walked in their shoes, directly.  I was pulled into their story from the first page and didn’t want to put it down!  The relationships are always one of my favorite things in Ms. Wade’s books and that is true of this one, too.  I loved the quick dialogue and comebacks between Corbin and Willow, as well as the bantering between the sisters, and the teasing with Charlotte (who is definitely one of my favorite secondary characters!).  They had me laughing out loud more than once and earned me a couple interesting glances from anyone sitting nearby.  And the mystery!  I’m always a sucker for a mystery and having this unlikely team searching for answers to a cold-case was excellent!  More fun banter, as well as questions needing answered?  Yes, please!

"Love was an intensely powerful emotion,
but it wasn't always the smartest of entities.
Was it possible to control whom you loved?
Perhaps in part.  But not fully.
Sometimes, you just loved."

I also so appreciate that even though this book was a lot of fun to read, it also dealt with some deeper topics: loss, grief, perfectionism, expectations, and relationships in general.  The story was never weighed down by them, but rather I found she hit precisely the right note with each one.  And I needed the truth the characters come to find.  Willow struggles with perfectionism, so the message of grace and love in the midst of our failings was exactly what she (and I) needed.  Corbin’s struggle was as equally, if not more personal for me.  I don’t want to spoil anything, but I was almost crying at the end, knowing the pain a fictional character was going through.  And if that doesn’t say something about this author’s writing skills, then I’m not sure what does.  Before I make the ending sound like a downer, it wasn’t.  I was alternating dreading reading the last line and smiling as I did, because it was a fantastic ending!  Though I now want to demand Britt’s book!  I have to know what happens with her and Zander!  

Overall, I greatly enjoyed this book and would highly recommend it!

Welcome back fellow book and chocolate addicts!  Goodness, I haven't done this in 5 months!  Where did the time go???  And I hadn't written a review in that long, so please, bear with me.  I think I need to do a life catch up post at some point, maybe.  Until then, please leave me a comment and let me know how you've been doing!

As always, links and such are below!

Have a beautiful day, friends!

Thursday, January 18, 2018

A Song Unheard Blog Tour and Giveaway

"You can spend your life regretting what you've lost.  Or you can thank the Lord for what He's given."  - Barclay Pearce

Willa Forsythe is both a violin prodigy and top-notch thief, which makes her the perfect choice for a crucial task at the outset of World War I—to steal a cypher from a famous violinist currently in Wales

Lukas De Wilde has enjoyed the life of fame he’s won—until now, when being recognized nearly gets him killed. Everyone wants the key to his father’s work as a cryptologist. And Lukas fears that his mother and sister, who have vanished in the wake of the German invasion of Belgium, will pay the price. The only light he finds is meeting the intriguing Willa Forsythe.

But danger presses in from every side, and Willa knows what Lukas doesn’t—that she must betray him and find that cypher, or her own family will pay the price as surely as his has.

You can purchase a copy here!

About the Author:
Roseanna M. White is a bestselling, Christy Award nominated author who has long claimed that words are the air she breathes. When not writing fiction, she’s homeschooling her two kids, editing, designing book covers, and pretending her house will clean itself. Roseanna is the author of a slew of historical novels that span several continents and thousands of years. Spies and war and mayhem always seem to find their way into her books…to offset her real life, which is blessedly ordinary. You can learn more about her and her stories at

My Review: 5 stars
This is the second book in a series by one of my favorite historical authors, so of course I was super excited to hold a copy, admire the beautiful cover, and dive into it.  I’ve been anxiously anticipating Willa’s book since finishing the first book, “A Name Unknown,” and was not at all disappointed!

As always, Rosanna M. White weaves a compelling story, this one set in 1914, during The Great War in Europe.  I so enjoy the history in all of her books, as well as her writing style.  She brings her stories to vivid life, drawing me in until it seemed as though I could heard the orchestra, see the Stradivarius, and feel the autumn wind.  And this cast of characters she’s created - they began to feel like dear friends, after a while.  I’m very anxious for Barclay’s book, which I’ve just learned will be the next one.  Though if you’re not able to read the books in order, she’s written them to stand alone just as well.  This family of thieves though . . . .there’s something about them.  It seems like such a novel concept, though not entirely, if I think about it.  The way she portrays them has me cheering them on, rather than being appalled at their audacity.  I have to appreciate their ingenuity and quite liked learning how such things might play out 100 years ago, without all of the technology we have now.  I also really appreciated the balance she found in the morality of the story.  Especially in the context of the German soldiers, I thought she did an excellent job of showing them to be human as well.  And allowing for a debate over how they handled the War.  She never condones their actions, but tries to show a bit of both sides of the story.

Willa Forsythe has undoubtedly become one of my very favorite characters from Ms. White’s novels.  She is strong, stubborn, straightforward, more than a little blunt at times, a wonderfully talented musician, and so very broken.  I couldn’t not love her.  Or Lukas De Wilde.  Both he and his precocious sister, Margot, made sure they took up residence in my affections, as well.  I enjoyed how the story came from all three perspectives, giving me an insight into each situation and character.  Though I don’t believe I could choose a favorite, Margot would definitely be near the top of the list.  With her sharp wit, need for order, and incredible intelligence, she may have started out a secondary character, but she quickly became a leading lady.  I also couldn’t resist smiling at the relationship Lukas and Willa slowly form.  Particularly his persistence in loving her.  And by extension, showing God’s love.  The author so seamlessly weaves faith throughout the story, giving space to questions so often unvoiced, but not overwhelming the rest of the narrative.

I would highly recommend this book, as well as the first in the series, to anyone who enjoys historical fiction and desires an introduction to a rather unorthodox family of thieves.

To celebrate her tour, Roseanna is giving away a Grand Prize Package of a signed copy of the book as well as a lovely album of soothing songs based on the Scriptures called Hidden in My Heart (winner’s choice of CD or digital download)!!
Click the link below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries!  And pop over to the other stops (listen below) to gain more entries!

Blog Stops

Fiction Aficionado, January 11

Genesis 5020, January 11

Bookworm Mama, January 11

Blogging With Carol, January 12

Multifarious, January 12

Faithfully Bookish, January 13

Karen Sue Hadley, January 13

Mary Hake, January 13

A Greater Yes, January 13

Remembrancy, January 14

Texas Book-aholic, January 14

A Reader’s Brain, January 15

Cordially Barbara, January 15

Pursuing Stacie, January 15

Bigreadersite, January 16

Mommynificent, January 17

Baker Kella, January 17

allofakindmom, January 18

Pause for Tales, January 19

Just Commonly, January 19

Radiant Light, January 20

The Power of Words , January 20

Book by Book, January 20

CAC Devourer, January 20

Splashes of Joy, January 21

Neverending Stories, January 21

The PhD Mamma, January 22

Cafinated Reads, January 22

Daysong Reflections, January 22

Purposeful Learning, January 23

Carpe Diem, January 23

Henry Happens, January 24

Joy of Reading, January 24

Strains of Silence Blog Tour & Giveaway

Music was her driving passion and the truest expression of her faith, but three months before her wedding, twenty-year-old Kasia Bernolak can’t even pick up her guitar. Feeling like a fraud who will ruin her dad’s pastoral reputation, she can barely meet his eyes. When Kasia finds the strength to break off her engagement, she still doesn’t realize the dangerous truth: Blake Hamilton isn’t ready to say goodbye. And he’ll do whatever it takes to keep her.

Alexander “Zan” Maddox has seen what a domineering man can do to an unsuspecting woman, and Zan is sick of injustice. He gave up a college baseball scholarship so he could protect his sister from her abusive husband. When he rescues Kasia from her ex-fiancĂ©, he instinctively appoints himself her personal bodyguard. Now, all he has to do is keep from falling for her himself.
Kasia and Zan become fast friends, but true healing and justice might cost more than either of them is willing to pay.

You can purchase a copy here

About the Author:
Bethany loves a home filled with family and friends. Word gets around that—at the Kaczmarek house—food is abundant, conversations are real, and anything is up for discussion. She and her clan are fans of laughter, indie music, sonic screwdrivers, and superheroes. Home is wherever in the world they’re all together.

My Review: 4 stars
I’m honestly not entirely sure where to start.  Though it took a chapter or two, I found this story so utterly compelling.  It kept me up much too late more than once and the further I read, the less I wanted to put it down.  I had to know how everything was going to work out!  I believe this is Bethany Kaczmarek’s debut novel and I will be anxiously awaiting the opportunity to read any future releases!

There’s a quality of authenticity within Ms. Kaczmarek’s writing that I so appreciated.  I found the characters came to life on the page and invited me into their stories.  I don’t know how she did it, but they quickly became dear friends, and I had to pause more than once and remind myself that they were fictional.  This story isn’t a light, easy read.  More than once I had to pause and wipe tears from my face, at the pain the characters were experiencing.  Much of the story focuses on the topic of physical abuse and while I’ve never faced that situation myself, I trust she portrayed it accurately.  So much so, that I actually found myself becoming frustrated with Kasia’s behavior toward the guy abusing her, though I understand that it’s most likely true.  And my heart just broke for her and others like her.

I also really enjoyed getting to know Alexander “Zan” Maddox and especially how Ms. Kaczmarek portrayed his faith journey.  The honest questions he asked, the debates and struggles.  Again, so very authentic.  I confess that I didn’t quite like Zan much, at first.  But he definitely grew on me as the story progressed.  I felt as though I knew Kasia and Zan quite well, but the other characters remained a bit one-dimensional, which was a little disappointing, because I would’ve so enjoyed getting to know their friends much better.  Though I do realize it probably would’ve made the book even longer, and it was tipping at over 400 pages (which flew by for me!).  I so enjoy stories that challenge me or pull me out of my world and into the characters’ lives, both of which this book did easily.  It isn’t a perfect story, with perfect characters, but there is so much of the author’s heart on each page and I appreciate the hope I found within a tale that could have otherwise been so very dark.

Now, onward to what you're actually looking for - the giveaway info!

To celebrate her tour, Bethany is giving away a grand grand prize a signed book, a Polish pottery mug with two of the main character’s favorite kinds of teas, 4 of her favorite albums (Josh Garrels, Waterdeep, The Gray Havens, and Andrew Greer), a box of chocolate butter cookies, and a $50 Amazon gift card!!

Click the link below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries!  And pop over to the other blog stops (listed below) to enter there as well! 

Blog Stops

Quiet Quilter, January 6

Fiction Aficionado, January 8

Genesis 5020, January 8

Bigreadersite, January 9

Mommynificent, January 10

Texas Book-aholic, January 11

allofakindmom, January 11

Blogging With Carol, January 12 (Interview)

The Power of Words, January 12

Pursuing Stacie, January 12

A Greater Yes, January 13

Janices book reviews, January 15

Faithfully Bookish, January 16

Carpe Diem, January 18

Remebrancy, January 19

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

My Review: Oath Of Honor

Police officer Isabelle St. John loves her crazy, loud, law-enforcement family. With three brothers and two sisters, she's never without someone to hang out with--or fight with. And she knows they'll be there for her when things get tough. Like when her partner is murdered and she barely escapes with her own life.

Determined to discover exactly what happened, Izzy's investigation sends her headfirst into a criminal organization, possibly with cops on the payroll--including someone from her own family. With her dead partner's handsome homicide detective brother Ryan shadowing her every move, Izzy's head is spinning. How can she secure justice for her partner when doing so could mean sending someone she loves to prison? And how will she guard her heart when the man she's had a secret crush on for years won't leave her side?

About the Author:
Lynette Eason is the bestselling author of the Women of Justice series, the Deadly Reunions series, and the Hidden Identity series, as well as Always Watching, Without Warning, Moving Target, and Chasing Secrets in the Elite Guardians series. She is the winner of two ACFW Carol Awards, the Selah Award, and the Inspirational Readers' Choice Award. She has a master's degree in education from Converse College and lives in South Carolina. Learn more at

My Review: 4 stars
I was so excited to see this book is the first in a new series!  Lynette Eason is one of my go-to authors for suspense and stories that keep me guessing, so a new series from her is always exciting!  The cover was definitely the first thing that caught my eye, and though I’m often told not to “judge a book by its cover,” I honestly think you can with this one.  It definitely lives up to the beautiful and intriguing cover art!    

As always, Ms. Eason did an excellent job with the mystery/suspense!  She kept me me guessing with twists and turns,  loose threads, and more questions than answers, before tying it all together with a unique ending!  I so enjoy how she weaves a story, somehow keeping straight all of the new characters, the mystery, and all of the minute details that goes along with both.  Her details and descriptions pull me right into the story, often making it seem as though I was right there with the characters, chasing down leads, following information, and in Izzy’s case, keeping away from the bad guys.  One of my favorite things about a new series is the chance to meet and fall in love with a whole new cast of characters and I’m so looking forward to getting to know the St. John family even better!  I so appreciated meeting this large family, with siblings that razz one another, but are also only a phone call away.  They had me laughing in a story where laughter wasn’t necessarily expected, and willing each one of them to safety in dangerous professions.  Izzy St. John is strong, willful (something of a requirement in her family), determined, honorable, and a survivor.  Her story isn’t an easy one, but there is grace and hope found within it.  
I also quite enjoyed getting to know Ryan Marshall, despite the circumstances around our acquaintance.  I appreciated how the author decided to handle the romance between them, keeping it mostly in the background, but not so much that it was forgotten or seemed an afterthought.  

Overall, I very much enjoyed this story and would highly recommend it to those who also enjoy mysteries and romantic suspense!

As always, thank you so much for taking the time to stop by!  Links are below, as usual. 
Something personal, this time, as well.   I've been writing reviews for . . . 5 years now, I think (goodness! I didn't realize it's been that long!).  And with the busyness of life and stepping into new seasons with 2018, I'm going to be cutting back tremendously.  I already have been, but other than a couple reviews already set for this month, I have just one book left to read specifically for review.  Wow!  Is it okay to admit that I'm rather excited about that?  I don't know how much I'm actually going to be posting much of anything on here, but perhaps God will see it fit to give me some different things to share this year.  I don't know.  And I'm not going to worry about it..  I'm looking forward to disconnecting from the Internet a bit more in 2018 and just enjoying seeing and focusing on the world beyond the screen.  :)
This isn't farewell, by any means.  More of an "until next time."  Thank you again, for walking this journey with me, such as it's been.
Have a lovely day, friends!