Monday, April 13, 2015

A HEART'S OBSESSION by Colleen Coble


Sarah Montgomery watched the man she loved ride away. She chose to stay and care for her dying father and little brother, Joel, instead of going with him. When her father finally passes, her wicked brother tries to force her to marry Ben Croftner. Sarah escapes with Joel and joins Jacob and Amelia as they head for Fort Laramie, Wyoming, where Jacob (Rand's brother and fellow soldier) is assigned. It's also where Rand Campbell is stationed. Rand's feelings for Sarah run deep but he doesn't believe he'll ever see her again. When he meets the Major's daughter, Jessica DuBois, he is rather taken with her. Sarah was hoping for a happy reunion with Rand, but that was not to be. Sarah finds he's with Jessica now. Though heartbroken, she decides to stay at the fort and try to win Rand back. Things get complicated however, when Ben shows up and vows to have Sarah one way or another and Jessica will do whatever it takes to keep Rand for herself.

I enjoyed this installment much more than the first. The characters are better developed and I felt the reactions of Rand and Sarah were more realistic than in the first. The author does a great job of building the tension and I found I couldn't read fast enough. These installments are short, about 128 pages or less, so they are easy to read in a sitting or two, which I actually really like. It's done in a serial format, so be sure to read them in order. Also, the ending is left open, leaving you anxious for the next part. So saddle up and head on over to Fort Laramie. Though things are unsettled with the Indians, there just might be an uprising in the Fort. I’m looking forward to A Heart's Danger.

*This complimentary copy was provided by Thomas Nelson in exchange for an honest review*

For more information about this book or other books by Colleen Coble, I encourage you to visit her website at http://colleencoble.com/

Saturday, April 11, 2015

WANTED: ROYAL PRINCESS WIFE AND MOTHER by Anna Dynowski

Sofia Burska is just a normal young woman working as a journalist. She really needs a big story though to gain a promotion to help pay off her mountain of school loans. Her boss decides to give her the assignment of going to Mondoverde to meet with Prince Stefano and get an exclusive story. Prince Stefano Graziani knows who he is and accepts his royal responsibilities, with God's help, of caring and ruling the people of Mondoverde. Knowing it's time to marry and produce an heir has caused him great anxiety. He wants to marry for love but knows that that's impossible, until he meets Sofia. Stefan is immediately taken with Sophia but she's a reporter and Stefan doesn't like or trust reporters. Sophia has never met a man quite as handsome and charming as Stefano. The problem is, he's a prince and she's a commoner. Nothing can ever be between them, or can it?

I loved this story with its charming characters and fairy tale type storyline. You'll find yourself quickly immersed in the lives of Sophia and Stefan. I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know each of them as well as the Graziani family. Though they are royalty, they are a God-fearing family you just enjoy spending time with. Stefan is a swoon-worthy hero. Strong, gentle, romantic – yep – all the things you want in a hero. Sophia was really a great gal to get to know. She was down-to-earth with a genuine sweetness about her that just made you want to be her friend, even if I did want to shake some sense into her sometimes. The romantic tension between them absolutely sizzled, which I loved! Though Sophia and Stefan were believers, they struggled with many of the same issues we struggle with, which I appreciated. We learn that God is always with us so we need not be afraid, that’s encouraging! You will love the ending and find yourself longing for the next installment. Really this story would make a great Hallmark movie. If you enjoy a good romance, one that will carry you away from chores you really don't want to do anyway, then I would highly recommend a trip to Mondoverde. I enjoyed my visit and can't wait to go back.

*This complimentary copy was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review*

For more information on this book or other books by Anna Dynowski, I encourage you to visit her website at http://www.annadynowski.com/.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

VINES OF ENTANGLEMENT by Lisa Carter


Laura Mabry's life didn't turn out the way she dreamed. She's now raising her son alone, after her husbands death and running her little shop called Tapestries Needleworks.  While out one evening running her dog on the Greenway Trail close to her house, her dog sniffs out a dead body.  If that's not trauma enough, the policeman they send to the scene is none other than Jon Locklear; the only man Laura's ever loved and hated.  Jon has spent a lot of years trying to purge Laura from his mind.  Now he finds himself trying to protect her and her son.  Truth and lies, murder and mayhem are all apart of Mimosa Grove, North Carolina.  Can they unravel the truth and figure out whose behind the murders before Laura and her son become the next victims?

Vines of Entanglement is the perfect title for this story.  You'll find within its pages, lies, deceit, anger, hatred and murder but you'll also find love, encouragement, hope, forgiveness and a God who is with you through everything.  The characters were very complex and fully fleshed out.  I did get a bit frustrated with Laura and Jon, but like us, they had to learn some hard lessons.  The author did a good job keeping you guessing who was behind all the treachery, which I always enjoy.  A quote about the book from the authors website sums it up very well, No matter how fast you run, the past has a way of catching up with you.  If you enjoy romantic suspense, loaded with twists and turns, I recommend Vines of Entanglement.

*This complimentary copy was provided by Abingdon Press through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

For more information about this book or other books by Lisa Carter, I encourage you to visit her website at www.lisacarterauthor.com.

 


Saturday, March 21, 2015

COAST GUARD COURTSHIP by Lisa Carter


Braeden Scott is a coast guard officer who loves his carefree lifestyle and his sailboat: 'The Trouble with Redheads'.  He's recently been assigned a post in a quaint little town on the Eastern Shore of Virginia.  It's an assignment he's not looking forward to, until he meets up with Amelia Duer.  Amelia has sacrificed a lot for her family; caring for her dad, keeping the family business going, as well as parenting her nephew, Max.  She's set aside her dreams for their sake.  When Braeden and Amelia first meet sparks fly.  She knows what coasties are like and she is not getting involved again.  Braeden knows red heads are trouble, as his boat name implies.  Marriage is not for him.  But as Braeden spends more time with Amelia, he begins to realize there is more to her than meets the eye.  He begins to picture hearth and home with this special lady.  He also begins to see why she loves this little village and the folks in it so much.  As Amelia spends time with Braeden she begins to see how Braeden cares and interacts with her and Max; his kind, gentle and teasing ways make her think that dreams maybe can come true.  She begins to realize he's not like the other coasties.   But troubled waters lie ahead.  Will their faith and relationship be strong enough to see them through?

I thoroughly enjoyed this story.  I felt like I was by the sea and could hear the waves crashing against the shore.  The folks you'll meet quickly find their way into your heart.  Braeden was my favorite kind of hero.  A self-confident guy with a heart of gold, yet not perfect.  Amelia was likable but very frustrating.  She had some real issues with self-esteem and fear, but as frustrating as Amelia was, I could totally understand why she was like that and easily relate to some of the things she dealt with.  I thoroughly enjoyed the interaction and romantic tension between Amelia and Braeden.  There were plenty of sigh-worthy moments.  Max is a boy who will definitely win your heart with his antics.  The story is a great reminder that we need to have faith instead of fear; trust that God knows best.  Alright then, grab your deck shoes and suntan lotion and sail away to Virginia's Eastern Shore and see for yourself, what the Coast Guard Courtship is all about.

*This complimentary copy was provided by Harlequin through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

For more information about this book or other books by Lisa Carter, I encourage you to visit his website http://www.lisacarterauthor.com/


Friday, March 13, 2015

A HEART'S DISGUISE by Colleen Coble


Sarah Montgomery's life will never be the same. Her fiancĂ©, Rand Campbell, was killed in the war (or so she thought). She smiles and goes about her daily life but her heart is empty and so is her faith. Her father is dying and requests that she marry Ben Croftner because he would like to see her settled before he dies. Sarah thinks Ben is handsome but he's not Rand. After much contemplation, she agrees to marry Ben to please her father. Ben thinks he's won and he will finally have Sarah for his own. But Ben knows something Sarah and the rest of the town folks don’t. What will happen when the supposedly dead Rand shows up very much alive?

This was a good start to what will be a serial series of six installments. It's an updated version of her earlier work. This story takes place in Wabash, Indiana just after the civil war. You'll find within its pages, love, loss, betrayal and even danger. You get a feel for what it must have been like being home and thinking you've lost a loved one but not really knowing for sure. How do you move forward? Poor Rand didn't know what he was going to find when he finally returned home and then he finds out he was betrayed by a friend. I will say, that I felt like some of Rand’s reaction toward Sarah was a little too strong and just didn't seem to fit with my perception of him. A Heart's Disguise is only a little over a hundred pages so it's a quick read but it does make you want to grab the next installment right away to find out what happens next.

*This complimentary copy was provided by Thomas Nelson through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

For more information about this book or other books by this author, I encourage you to visit her website at  http://colleencoble.com/

Thursday, March 12, 2015

AN OCTOBER BRIDE by Katie Ganshert


Emma Tate wants to fulfill her dying fathers wish of walking her down the aisle. Having ended her relationship with her fiance, she's not sure how she'll do that. Then she runs into her long time good friend, Jake Sawyer. He suggests that he could fulfill the roll of her husband and gives her a ring. When they announce their engagement, her parents are thrilled. As they move forward planning an October wedding, they begin to experience a few problems; the Bunco Babes, small town gossip but mainly their true feelings for each other. Will they follow through with their fake wedding for the sake of Emma's father or will it become something real?

What a great story. I loved getting to know Emma and Jake and all the secondary characters. The story itself was really cute and one that was hard to put down because the town and people are so endearing. You'll experience with Emma the emotions of knowing your father has cancer. You'll find yourself smiling when Emma finds out what Patty learned at Bunco. Although this was a novella, it was completely satisfying. I would, however, have loved this to be a full-length novel. This is the third book I've read by this author and have really come to love her easy writing style. She paints realistic characters that just capture your heart, and that, along with witty dialog, makes her stories top-notch and ones that I would highly recommend, including An October Bride.

*This complimentary copy was provided by Zondervan through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*



Sunday, March 8, 2015

REDEMPTION IN BIG FORK LAKE by Mary L. Ball


Robert Turner was quite a party guy until a car accident lands him in the hospital.  Soon he meets up with a fella who steers him in the direction of AA and brings him back to the Lord where he finally begins to turn his life around.  Because of the influence of old friends, he moves away for a completely fresh star, where he finds a job as a reporter with the local paper.  While conducting an interview up at Big Fork Lake, he takes notice of a beautiful girl named Belle.  Things seem to be going pretty well.  Belle is a sweet gal who loves the Lord and finds Robert very interesting.  After a time, Robert shares with Belle about his past, or at least most of it.  When the part left unsaid comes to light, it drives a wedge between them.  Forgiveness is not easy.  Can Belle look beyond Robert's past and see Robert for the man he is today?

Redemption in Big Fork Lake is a tale about the challenge of turning your life around and dealing with the struggles and emotions of being a recovering alcoholic.  You got a good sense of what that might be like. The story also dealt with honesty in a relationship, forgiveness and reliance upon the Lord, all of which I appreciated.  I enjoyed getting to know Belle and Robert as well as all the secondary characters.  They seemed very realistic although there were a couple of places where I felt the reaction of the characters felt unnatural to me.  I do know that everyone reacts to things differently, so it may have been just me.  That being said,  I enjoyed my return visit to Big Fork Lake,  it was a very enjoyable story with likable people and a good message.

*This complimentary copy was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review*

For more information about this book or other books by this Mary L. Ball, I recommend you visit her website at: http://www.marylball.com/

Sunday, February 22, 2015

HOW TO CATCH A PRINCE by Rachel Hauck


Corina Del Rey, an American heiress, found her true prince in Prince Stephen.  With the promise of a wonderful future together, Stephen heads off to serve in the Royal Air Command in Afghanistan (along with Corina's brother).  War can change a man and when tragedy strikes, Stephen returns home an empty, guilt-ridden man who rejects Corina and pours himself into playing rugby.  Now Corina faces a future without her Prince as well as her brother.  What really happened in Afghanistan to change Prince Stephen so much?  A bargain is made between Corina and Stephen and as the truth unfolds and secrets come to light (and with a little heavenly help), Stephen and Corina must learn to put the past to rest and trust in the One who holds their future and loves them well.

I thoroughly enjoyed How to Catch a Prince.  From beginning to end, I was totally enchanted with the characters as well as the story.  Corina was so down-to-earth and non-pretentious for being an heiress.  I loved that.  She could easily have been a good friend and I liked how she handled things.  Stephen was a really great guy.  Strong yet gentle, full of heart, romantic, but I will say that I just wanted to give him a good swift kick in the pants a time or two. (I'd say that's good writing when a story makes you feel that kind of emotion).  One of my favorite aspects of the story was the mystique of the Manor as well as Adelaide and Brill.  You'll have to read the story to understand what I mean but I thought it added an interesting element that you don't really find very often.  It's a modern day fairytale with a heavenly twist.  I found the aspect of 'loving well' to be very encouraging.  One quote I highlighted was "If one wanted to love well, learn from the Master.  Corina understood that life was a journey and if she'd trust him, Jesus would carve her way through the wilderness.  Be her light in the dark."   Great reminder that we have a light in the dark!  The whole Royal Wedding Series has been a complete joy to read.  Entertaining and fun with some great thought-provoking lessons.  This installment was a little more serious than the previous two as Corina and Stephen deal with the aftermath of war, but it was also uplifting as well.  So, how do you catch a Prince?  I highly recommend you pick up the book, grab a steamy beverage, cozy up in your favorite chair and find out!

*This complimentary copy was provided by Zondervan through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

For more information on this book or other books by Rachel Hauck, I recommend you visit her website at www.rachelhauck.com/.



Saturday, February 7, 2015

UNDER THE LAWMAN'S PROTECTION by Laura Scott

Isaac Morrison is a SWAT cop and very good at his job.  When his best friend, Hawk, contacts him to say his covers been blown he asks Isaac to protect his sister, Leah, and her son, Ben. Isaac quickly accepts the challenge.   Leah and Ben arrive home and just as Leah steps out of the car someone grabs her.  Isaac arrives in time to help and he realizes he must take them somewhere safe.  Hawk was working undercover with the ATF because illegal guns that were confiscated by the police were ending up on the street and being used for crimes.  Dirty cops are involves but Hawk nor Isaac know who who they are or who they can trust.  Because her dad was killed in the line of duty, Leah has a hard time with the danger of her brother's work and although she's attracted to Isaac, she knows she can't fall for a guy who's a cop. She promised herself she would never fall for guy who had a dangerous job like her dad.  However, Isaac is so caring and wonderful with her son she really can't help herself.  Both Isaac and Leah have experienced great loss.  Will they allow the Lord to heal those inner places and perhaps take a chance on love?   But first they must find out who the dirty cops are before it's too late.


Under the Lawman's Protection is a fast-paced read that grabs you from the beginning and doesn't let you go until the last page is turned.  You'll find yourself reading at light speed to see what happens, while biting your nails watching it all unfold.  Who can they trust!!!  I found Leah and Isaac to be life-like.  Good people with real issues; easy to relate to.  I also thought Ben was such a cute boy; a real heart stealer!    I appreciated that although Leah had a strong faith she also had questions about why God allowed the things He did.  Don't we all do that?  I also liked how her faith had an impact on Isaac.  It's a good reminder to us, that we too can have impact on someones faith, for good or bad.  There were a couple of people in the story that I felt needed closure.  They are mentioned several times and there were things going on but we never found out what happened to them.  Other than that, this is a top-notch romantic suspense and one I would definitely recommend.  This is Book 3 in the SWAT: Top Cops series but you could read it as a stand alone.

*This complimentary copy was provide by Harlequin through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

For more information on this book or other books by Laura Scott, I recommend you visit her website at www.laurascottbooks.com/

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