Friday, October 28, 2016

My Review: Keep Holding On, plus giveaway!

"But real trust, real belief - it wasn't about what she hoped for . . . but who she placed her hope in.  A faithful God.  A God who never promised perfect circumstances, but who did promise his love."  - Kit Danby

Beckett Walker hasn’t stepped foot in Maple Valley in years. There’s no getting past the painful memories, and there’s every chance he’ll be arrested as soon as he shows his face. Which is exactly what happens when he finally returns. Suddenly his dream of adventure as a military lawyer comes skidding to a halt.

Horticulturist Kit Danby has spent too much time missing home and her childhood best friend—Beckett Walker. Now she might have a shot at reclaiming both. After years of living abroad, she returns to run her family’s apple orchard. She has one season to turn a profit and impress the father she barely knows. But she can’t do it alone.

It should be simple: Beckett needs community service hours. Kit needs a helping hand. But there’s more at stake than either of them planned. With a tangled past and futures that look nothing alike, they’ll have to find a way to weather the storms of the present . . . or risk losing everything.
About the Author:

Melissa Tagg is a former reporter, current nonprofit grant writer and total Iowa girl. She writes romantic comedies in the banter-filled style of her favorite 1930s and 40s classic films. The second book in her popular Walker Family series, Like Never Before, was named by Publishers Weekly to their spring 2016 "Religion and Spirituality" Top 10 list. When she's not writing she can be found hanging out with the coolest family ever, watching old movies, and daydreaming about her next book. Melissa loves connecting with readers at and on Facebook and Instagram.
(Side note: Be sure to check out her blog!  It's where I was first introduced to her writing and fell in love with her characters before ever reading her books!)

My Review: 4.5 stars
Keep Holding On is the third full-length novel in Melissa Tagg’s Walker Family series and I was so excited to be returning to the town of Maple Valley and getting to visit with some characters that have become dear friends. I’ve adored the previous books in the series, so of course, I lunged at the chance to read this book and I can very happily say that I was not disappointed! I’ve been anticipating Beckett’s book since first learning of the prodigal and I quickly fell in love with his passionate, impulsive, all-in character. Returning to Maple Valley is definitely always worth the trip.

As always, Ms. Tagg does an excellent job with the details and descriptions of this book. I could almost smell the apples, feel the leaves crunching under my feet, hear the wind whistling through the trees. The images her words create come to vivid life on the pages and I loved it! My one and only negative comment (and the only reason I’m going with 4.5 rather than 5 stars) is that I became a little frustrated with how much time would elapse between some of the chapters. An important event would happen, then it would suddenly be a week later. Ms. Tagg did fill in the gaps and I do understand that she needed the spacing to allow for certain parts of the story. It just bugged me a time or two. But, it did play out well for Beckett and Kit’s relationship, which I have to tell you is so sweet! Seriously! I caught myself sighing a time or two at the crazy, silly, or romantic moments between them.

Characters are always my favorite part of any story and this one is no exception! I adored Kit and Beckett and their story encouraged me so much! Kit is thoughtful. She’s the “look before you leap” type and not one to take on things or make decisions lightly. But when it comes to her family’s orchard, she can’t let it go. She is kind, caring, also strong, determined, and searching. I loved getting to know her and the way her character resonated with me. She is so realistic and easily relatable that I loved her from our very first meeting.

And Beckett. I couldn’t possibly forget him! He’s the charming one, the sweet talker. The one who seems like he has his life all together, but then finds it crashing around him. He’s the one who takes that first step and worries about the rest later. I loved his zest for life, his determination to make his mom proud and do something worthwhile. And I loved how his character changed throughout the story, as he learned to embrace who he was instead of fighting to become someone different. His family played a huge role in the story and I love how they all challenge, razz, encourage, and hold each other up.

I also adored how Ms. Tagg wove the theme of the title throughout the story. It became the foundation for so many things and the basis of the spiritual side of the story. Much of the focus is about continuing to hold on to God during the rough times, but it also plays out in so many ways: Beckett holding on to his dreams, Kit holding on to the orchard, and both of them finally learning how to hold on to one another. I just loved that! And there are so many great quotes throughout the book that I’d love to share, but I don’t want to take away the fun of finding them yourself!

I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys contemporary romance!

If you actually read my review before scrolling down here, I applaud your self control!  I rarely actually manage to do that!  :)

*Drum roll*

I'm giving away an ebook copy of Keep Holding On!  I know, most of us love paper books, but this way international friends can enter!  And . . . I'm on a bit of a budget.  Facts of life, friends.  But, smile anyway!  Because you could win a very awesome book!  There's a Rafflecopter form below to enter and the giveaway will be open until midnight November 4th - so be sure to enter and watch your inbox on November 5th to see if you won!
Also, if you're impatient or would prefer a paper copy, there are purchase links below - thank you so much for stopping by!
Have a delightful day!


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Wednesday, October 26, 2016

The Sound of Silver Blog Tour and Giveaway!

Hello and welcome to The Sound of Silver birthday blog tour! I don’t often participate in blog tours and I’m so excited to share this one with you!

Today we’re celebrating the “birthday” of Rachelle Rea Cobb’s second book in her Steadfast Love series, The Sound of Silver! It’s an inspirational historical romance set in the 16th century! I haven’t had the opportunity to read it yet, but I’m really looking forward to spending some time with these characters soon (does your TBR pile look like mine? I nicknamed it, “The Leaning Tower of Books”).

To add to the fun of the occasion, Rachelle is also having a pretty awesome giveaway, which you’ll find a Rafflecopter form for below. It includes the beautiful necklace pictured below (isn't it beautiful?!) that was created by Baubles, Beads, and Stuff and your choice of any Rachelle’s three books (the series begins in Book One, of course, but in case you have one or two of her books already, Rachelle will gladly send you the next one to read!).

International friends, the paperback & necklace giveaway is open to continental U.S. addresses only (sorry!). But do enter, because one international winner will also be chosen to receive an e-book!

Here's a little blurb about the series overall, with back cover descriptions for each book a little further down:
In 16th-century Europe, the Reformation rages between Protestants and Catholics. Gwyneth, half-Dutch, flees from England to Holland to escape the man who murdered her parents. When he follows her there and insists he came to rescue her, will she trust this man called Dirk? When tragedy strikes, will their steadfast love erode?

More about the lovely author hosting this tour:
Times gone by snatch Rachelle Rea Cobb close, so she reads and writes about years long ago--her passions include the Reformation, Revolutions, and romance. Rachelle wrote the Steadfast Love series during college. Five months after she graduated, she signed a three-book deal with her dream publisher, WhiteFire. She's a homeschool grad, Oreo addict, and plots her novels while driving around her dream car, a pick-up truck. In June 2016, she married a man with the same name as her fictional hero, and they live happily ever after in Small Town, South.(I hope you don't mind my bumming your picture, Rachelle!)

You can find Rachelle on:

Instagram: @RachelleReaCobb
Keep reading to learn more about her books!  Though if you're like me and intending to start the series with book one, then I might suggest foregoing reading about the other two, just in case of spoilers.  If that's you, then just scroll down really fast to the bottom so you can enter the giveaway!

About The Sound of Diamonds (book 1):

Her only chance of getting home is trusting the man she hates.

With the protestant Elizabeth on the throne of England and her family in shambles, Catholic maiden Gwyneth seeks refuge in the Low Countries of Holland, hoping to soothe her aching soul. But when the Iconoclastic Fury descends and bloodshed overtakes her haven, she has no choice but to trust the rogue who arrives, promising to see her safely home to her uncle's castle. She doesn't dare to trust him...and yet doesn't dare to refuse her one chance to preserve her own life and those of the nuns she rescues from the burning convent.

Dirk Godfrey is determined to restore his honor at whatever cost. Running from a tortured past, Dirk knows he has only one chance at redemption, and it lies with the lovely Gwyneth, who hates him for the crimes she thinks he committed. He must see her to safety, prove to the world that he is innocent, prove that her poor eyesight is not the only thing that has blinded her, but what is he to do when those goals clash?

The home Gwyneth knew is not what she once thought. When a dark secret and a twisted plot for power collide in a castle masquerading as a haven, the saint and the sinner must either dare to hold to hope...or be overcome.

Find The Sound of Diamonds on…
(Click on the name of the website to open the page)



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About The Sound of Silver (book 2 and guest of honor for our tour):

The stalwart saint and the redeemed rebel. One fights for faith, the other for honor…

After Dirk rescues Gwyneth from the Iconoclastic Fury, she discovers that faith is sometimes fragile—and hope is not as easy as it may seem. Gwyneth continues her quest to learn more about the love of God preached by Protestants she once distrusted.

Meanwhile, Dirk’s quest is to prevent his sullied name from staining hers. Will his choice to protect her prove the undoing of her first faltering steps toward a Father God? Once separated, will Dirk and Gwyneth’s searching hearts ever sing the same song?

Find The Sound of Silver on…



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About The Sound of Emeralds (book 3):

What once was blazing hatred has turned to lasting love, but could the union of a wild heart with that of a lady ever result in more than heartache?

With the help of an old friend with uncertain loyalties, Dirk inches ever closer to clearing his name. Gwyneth throws her faith into good tidings and the promise of a future as a family. But an old evil comes to call, just as tragedy rips apart a fledgling truce. Enemies from the past and grief for the future threaten to tear asunder what God had brought together…

As the date of Dirk’s trial approaches, his fate and his family hang in the balance. Will he be proven innocent of Gwyneth’s parents’ murders or separated from her forever? How much pain does it take to erode a love steadfast?

Find The Sound of Emeralds at . . .



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And that's all she wrote!  Haha!  I've always wanted a reason to use that.  It may not been appropriate at the moment, but I had to give it a shot.  :)
The Rafflecopter form to enter should be just below these words.  The giveaway will run until October 30th, so be sure to watch your inboxes after that to see if you won!  Have a fantastic day!


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Friday, October 21, 2016

My Review: Can't Help Falling

"Why on earth would she believe in a God who forgives when you won't?"  - Allie Gregory

Emelia Mason has spent her career finding the dirt on the rich and famous. But deep down past this fearless tabloid-reporter façade, there’s a nerdy Narnia-obsessed girl who still can’t resist climbing into wardrobes to check for the magical land on the other side. When a story she writes produces tragic results, she flees to Oxford, England—home to C.S. Lewis—to try and make amends for the damage she has caused.

Peter Carlisle was on his way to become one of Great Britain’s best rowers—until he injured his shoulder and lost his chance at glory. He’s determined to fight his way back to the top even if it means risking permanent disability to do so. It’s the only way he can find his way past failing the one person who never stopped believing in his Olympic dream.

When Peter and Emelia cross paths on her first night in Oxford, the attraction is instant and they find common ground in their shared love of Narnia. But can the lessons from a fantasyland be enough to hold them together when secrets of the real world threaten to tear them apart? Cobblestone streets, an aristocratic estate, and an antique shop with curious a wardrobe bring the world of Narnia to life in Kara Isaac’s inspiring and romantic story about second chances.

About the Author:
Kara Isaac is an award-winning writer who lives in Wellington, New Zealand, where her career highlights include working in tourism as Private Secretary for the Prime Minister. She loves great books almost as much as she loves her husband and her two Hobbit-sized children.
You can learn more at her website

My Review: 4 stars
I’ve always heard that you can’t judge a book by its cover, but in this case, I definitely can! I fell in love with the cover of this book the very first time I saw it and what’s between the covers is equally wonderful! I adored Ms. Isaac’s debut novel, Close to You (click the title to see my review) and have been eagerly anticipating this book for months and I can very happily say that I was not disappointed!

I can’t decide what I most enjoy about Kara’s writing: maybe it’s her fantastic descriptions and the way she pulls me right into the chilly night in the first couple pages and through all of the seasons from there. Or maybe how the dialogue makes me laugh and feel like I’m a part of the story. Or possibly her quirky characters, with their literary obsessions and ability to make me fully invested in their happy ending. It’s probably a combination of all of the above and everything else that makes Kara’s writing so amazing. I loved how she incorporated quotes from C.S. Lewis and his novels, and drew me into the setting of Oxford and the surrounding areas. I do have to confess that I’ve never read any of C.S. Lewis’ books, nor have I seen The Chronicles of Narnia films, though now I really want to do both! Another thing about Kara’s books is that they make me so curious about Tolkien and Lewis, and I can’t wait to find out what her next book is about! I was also so excited to realize that Allie and Jackson were coming back! That was an awesome surprise and led to me quickly flipping back to the first book, so I could enjoy the ending to their story again (if you haven’t read it yet, it was sigh-worthy). My only negative comment is that the last few chapters felt a bit choppy, but that may have been intentional, and it’s a little hard to avoid it, especially when the chapters are fairly short and the author’s working to bring everything back together quickly.

Now for the characters (my favorite part!). Emilia Mason. There are so many things I could say about her. At first, I didn’t love her. Her attitude is more than a little prickly and it took a bit for her to firmly settle in my mind, but once she did, I had to love her. She’s such a broken heart and mine ached for her and the pain she carried. I enjoyed seeing her slowly come out of her shell and fall in love with England (and a certain rower), as well as rediscovering the magic of the Narnia she loved, and meeting a God she‘d never known.

As for Peter Carlisle, I just couldn’t resist loving him, especially since he isn’t the usual tall, dark, and handsome, or blond-surfer type romance novel hero. I loved that Kara chose to move away from that cliché and created Peter, the oh-so pale, red-haired, and lanky rower. Speaking of, I very much enjoyed learning more about rowing and appreciated how the author explained it, so that even someone as oblivious as me could understand what was going on. I loved getting to know Peter, with his kind heart, determination, faith, English accent and rowing obsession. He’s the perfect hero for Emilia and I adored their relationship: the sweet moments that made me sigh, the awkward moments that inspire a cringe, the funny moments to keep the story a little lighter.

Overall, I adored this book and would highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys contemporary romance, with some well-known literary favorites and English accents.

This is one of those books that you think about after you've finished it and just sigh.  Such a good book!  And that cover!  It totally qualifies for the title of "cover candy"!  I can't wait to learn what Kara is writing next!  :)

As always, purchase links are below!  Thanks for stopping by!  Have a day filled with laughter!


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Friday, October 14, 2016

My Review: Where Two Hearts Meet

"But I don't think there's anything easy about grace. It's a call to not carry your hard stuff- your grief, your regret -alone, right?  . . . .Giving that up - that's hard.  Asking for help - that's not easy.  But it's worth it, don't you think?  Because once you realize you've been forgiven, you can forgive yourself."  - Caden Holt

In her kitchen at the Red Door Inn, executive chef Caden Holt is calm, collected, and competent. But when her boss asks her to show off their beautiful island to impress a visiting travel writer and save the inn, Caden is forced to face a world much bigger than her kitchen--and a man who makes her wish she was beautiful.

Journalist Adam Jacobs is on a forced sabbatical on Prince Edward Island. He's also on assignment to uncover a story. Instead he's falling in love with the island's red shores and Caden's sweets.

When Caden discovers Adam isn't who she thought he was, she realizes that the article he's writing could do more than ruin the inn's chances for survival--it might also break her heart.

About the Author:
Liz Johnson fell in love with Prince Edward Island the first time she set foot on it. When she's not plotting her next trip to the island, she works as a full-time marketing manager. She is the author of several novels including The Red Door Inn, a New York Times bestselling novella, and a handful of short stories. She makes her home in Nashville, Tennessee.

My Review: 5 stars!
I’ve been so excited to read this book, ever since learning it would be Caden’s story and I can happily say that it didn’t disappoint in the least! I’ve been a big fan of Liz’s books ever since reading her very first Love Inspired Suspense novel and have enjoyed every single one of her books. There’s something about her writing that just draws me right in, alternating making me laugh, sniffle along with the characters, and cheer them on every step of the way, this book certainly not being an exception. I enjoyed each page of the story and was sorry to see it end - though it does have a great ending!

I loved returning to Prince Edward Island and getting to revisit some much loved characters, while also making the acquaintance of new friends. Ms. Johnson does such an excellent job of bringing the island and her fictional inhabitants to life that I often felt I was there with them, breathing in the scent of Caden’s cooking and listening to the waves brush against the beach. I love how her unique descriptions and attention to detail add an extra layer of depth: from the texture of the sand, to the brush of a breeze, to a particular scent, breathes more color into her stories. Though, be forewarned: the descriptions of Caden’s cooking may have you drooling and craving your own sweet treat.

As aforementioned, Caden Holt is the heroine of this novel and she may very well be one of my favorites! I adored her in the previous book as she quickly became Marie’s best friend, so of course, I couldn’t wait to get to know her better. I really loved how she isn’t the stereotypical heroine, appearance-wise - she is a bit more on the curvy side from enjoying her own cooking and struggles a bit with her self image. I’ve rarely read a book where this topic is handled well: the character usually comes across as self-absorbed or dreadfully insecure, but Ms. Johnson handled it with tact. Much more emphasis is placed on her character than on her appearance, and though it is brought up a few times, it only served to make Caden seem more realistic. She is kind, funny, rather awkward at times, and a bit insecure, but also brave and determined to do anything her friends need. She is a character I could easily see myself being great friends with, were she real.
And Adam Jacobs is the perfect hero for Caden, drawing her out of her shell and seeing beyond the preconceived notions of her small-town. He’s at the inn trying to get away from his guilt and find a way through the writer’s block confining his words. I loved him from the first, when he meets Caden, invading her domain, and promptly wheedling a cinnamon roll out of the kitchen on his way through. He’s struggling when he first arrives and his story is one that tugged at my heart, as he deals with painful memories and learning to forgive.

I also enjoyed the new characters I got to meet, including a very sweet couple, Levi and Esther Eisenburg. They are the kind of characters that maybe started out as just extras, but then become so much more until you couldn’t imagine the story without them. I loved their words of wisdom and Esther’s playing matchmaker for Adam and Caden.

Overall, I very much enjoyed this book and am highly anticipating the next adventure at The Red Door Inn!

I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys contemporary romance with an underlying story that makes it so much more!

Thank you so much for stopping by!  I hope you enjoyed my review and will consider checking into Liz's new book further!  And, for those who are already fans of her books, I have to share that the next (and I think probably final) book in the series is already available for preorder!  And I love the title: On Love's Gentle Shore  (click the title to head to Amazon) . . . .  And, if you're curious, like me, there's a little blurb to give an idea of what the next book is about!  Ah!  The excitement! 
As always, purchase links are below!  Have a delightful day!


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Thursday, October 13, 2016

My Review: The Cautious Maiden

I've been so looking forward to this book and seeing the notorious Vance redeemed!

Violet Hawthorne is beyond mortified when her brother Ezra turns their deceased parents' New England country inn into a brothel to accommodate the nearby lumberjacks but when Violet's own reputation is compromised, the inn becomes the least of her worries. In an effort to salvage her good name, Violet is forced into an engagement with a taciturn acquaintance, Vance Everstone. As she prepares for a society wedding, Violet learns that her brother had staked her hand in marriage in a heated poker game with the unsavory Rowen Steele, and Ezra had lost. Now Rowen is determined to cash in on his IOU. With danger stalking her and a new fiance who hides both his emotion and his past, Violet must decide who to trust and who to leave behind.

About the Author:
Dawn Crandall is an ACFW Carol Award-nominated author of the award winning series The Everstone Chronicles, which consists of four books: The Hesitant Heiress, The Bound Heart, The Captive Imposter and The Cautious Maiden.
Apart from writing, Dawn is also a mom of two little ones and serves with her husband in a premarital mentorship program at their local church in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
A graduate of Taylor University with a degree in Christian Education and a former bookseller at Barnes & Noble, Dawn Crandall didn't begin writing until 2010 when her husband found out about her long-buried dream. It didn't take her long to realize that writing books was what she was made to do.
Dawn is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers, the secretary for the Indiana ACFW Chapter (Hoosier Ink), and an associate member of the Great Lakes ACFW Chapter. She is represented by Joyce Hart of Hartline Literary Agency.

My Review: 5 stars!
The Cautious Maiden is the fourth book in Dawn Crandall’s, Everstone Chronicles series and I have to say that it “might” be my favorite! But then, I do love marriage of convenience of stories and seeing the prodigal redeemed, and while this was more of an engagement of convenience story, I still loved it! I’m really hoping there’s either going to be a fifth book to the series, or perhaps the start of a new one.

Dawn’s writing style is undeniably unique, in that she’s one of the rare historical romance authors that writes from a sole character’s perspective, and pulls it off extremely well! As I’ve stated before, I’m not generally a big fan of this style, but Dawn does it so beautifully, that I found it very compelling! I didn’t want to put the book down and I caught myself musing over what might happen next, while I was supposed to be doing other things (like working). I also loved the historical details and descriptions, as well as reading the story from Violet’s view point and getting to see the world (and Vance!) through her eyes.

Violet Hawthorne is the heroine in this novel and I really enjoyed her and Vance’s story. She’s the kind of character I was easily able to connect with and could definitely see myself being friends with, were she real. She’s rather quiet at first, unsure of herself and what her future will be. I loved seeing her become bolder and stronger as she spent more time with the Everstones and learned to see her worth. That being said, I do have to confess that Vance Everstone was probably my favorite character in this book, solely because I’ve been waiting for his story since the second book! Vance is the perfect example of the prodigal son and I loved getting to know him after he’s been liberated from his past. He’s been more than a bit of a rogue since I first met him, but it’s very evident at the end of third book, The Captive Imposter, that something has changed about him. He’s still a bit rakish, but he’s also learning to trust God, and become a better man, which I was so happy to see! I loved how honest he is with Violet regarding his past, and how he truly wishes to be the new creation God is making him.

For those who were wondering, the romance was also fantastic! I adored Vance and Violet’s relationship, as they go from barely acquaintances, to fiancées overnight! I enjoyed seeing them get to know one another and slowly fall in love with the least likely of people. It’s a bit steamy here and there, after they begin to trust each other, and I really appreciated the emphasis Dawn put on staying pure and waiting, especially after Vance’s past had the exact opposite. It was wonderfully handled, without becoming preachy or trying to sway an opinion. I also liked that she showed some of Violet’s self-doubt regarding everything that was happening, as well as expressing Vance’s questions through her. It added another level of realism to it, which I always enjoy.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys historical romance with incredibly realistic characters, a dose of suspense, and a great romance!

Thanks so much for stopping by!  I hope you enjoyed my review!  I will hopefully be posting a bit more often, so maybe I'll figure out a regular schedule.  Haha!  Yeah, probably not so much.  But do stop by again soon!  I'm plotting a couple giveaways and (hopefully) fun things in the next couple months!
Also, if you'd like to learn more about Dawn's books, you can find links below!  Don't you just love her covers?


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Saturday, October 8, 2016

My Review: The Captive Heart

Proper English governess Eleanor Morgan flees to the colonies to escape the wrath of a brute of an employer. When the Charles Town family she’s to work for never arrives to collect her from the dock, she is forced to settle for the only reputable choice remaining to her—marriage to a man she’s never met. Trapper and tracker Samuel Heath is a hardened survivor used to getting his own way by brain or by brawn, and he’s determined to find a mother for his young daughter. But finding a wife proves to be impossible. No upstanding woman wants to marry a murderer.

About the Author:
Michelle Griep’s been writing since she first discovered blank wall space and Crayolas. She seeks to glorify God in all that she writes—except for that graffiti phase she went through as a teenager. She resides in the frozen tundra of Minnesota, where she teaches history and writing classes for a local high school co-op. An Anglophile at heart, she runs away to England every chance she gets, under the guise of research. Really, though, she’s eating excessive amounts of scones while rambling around a castle. Michelle is a member of ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) and MCWG (Minnesota Christian Writers Guild). Keep up with her adventures at her blog "Writer off the Leash" or visit

My Review: 2 stars
I’m going to be honest: this wasn’t a book I enjoyed very much. I’ve been a fan of Michelle Griep’s work since stumbling across her blog over a year ago and laughing my way through pretty much every post, so when I saw she had a new book coming out, I was so excited! And it’s a marriage of convenience story? Yes, I most definitely want to read it! Unfortunately, it didn’t quite meet my expectations, much to my dismay. I struggled to get into it, actually looking for excuses to not read, and sighing with relief when I reached a rather suspenseful part and the storyline picked dramatically. I rarely find novels set in Colonial times in America, so I was looking forward to that aspect of it, but found it sounded so much like another series I had read, that I fought to keep the two separate in my mind. I found myself checking the cover a time or two in order to verify the author’s name, otherwise I would’ve sworn it was an addition to the previous series.

Having only read one of Ms. Griep’s previous books I can’t claim to be any sort of expert, but this book sounded nothing like the style I’m familiar with for her writing. It was neatly written, with all of the necessary historical detail and descriptions to bring the scenes to life, but the contrast was so blunt that I had to wonder: was this even her writing? The first few chapters started out with such promise, meeting colorful and quirky characters, but then it just seemed to fall rather flat. I struggled to connect with any of the characters and quickly lost interest in the story. Eleanor often came across as spoiled and easily frightened and too uptight to possibly survive in the wilderness. She doesn’t seem to really adapt much at all to her surroundings, a fact that made the ending rather unbelievable and left me feeling disappointed. Much of the story is spent hoping she’ll accept the challenges of her new life and thrive, but she doesn’t appear to succeed. Samuel is the character I saw the most growth in and I looked forward to the story coming from his perspective, because it is what kept things moving ahead. The suspense and climax of the story are of his doing, so I knew something interesting had to arise whenever it switched to his view point. Several of the chapters seemed to consist of Eleanor left at home, struggling to survive, while Samuel went off somewhere to hunt. I’m sure this may have been reality, but I found it slowed the story down significantly and I really wanted them to spend more time together, to see their relationship grow. It did pick up around three-quarters of the way through the book, but by then I really wasn’t interested in knowing what would happen and simply wanted to reach the end.

I also found it confusing that Samuel called Eleanor by a different name and I actually forgot what her real name was for a while, since the story came from his perspective so often.

Overall, I can say that I finished this book. I didn’t enjoy every second of it and I’m not entirely sure I would recommend it to anyone, but I did finish it.

My thanks to the publisher for my copy of this book! I was not required to write a positive review and all opinions expressed are my own.

It's not often I review a book I don't care much for, but unfortunately this book is one of the rare exceptions.  I always feel like a dreadful person when writing a poor review, because I know how much time, effort, and love goes into writing a book.  So I do apologize for not loving this book, but I've seen many excellent reviews for it, so please don't let my opinion be the only one you read.  There are links below, if you find yourself curious about the story and care to read another perspective.
Thank you for stopping and I hope your day is filled with smiles!


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