Saturday, March 18, 2017

STILL LIFE by Dani Pettrey


Avery Tate worked with Parker Mitchell as a crime scene photographer. Though she loved the work, her feelings for Parker were beginning to shift from friendship to something deeper. Knowing they could never be a couple, she quit working for him to try to forget about him. Parker Mitchell is a crime scene analyst who has a real gift for forensic detail. He worked really well with Avery and liked her a lot but struggled to pursue anything deeper. His heart still belonged to Jenna, whose murder remains unsolved. Avery returns home to support a childhood friend who modeled for a photography exhibit. Her friend never shows up to the exhibit but the picture Avery sees is one of her friend looking the picture of death. She fears something has happened to her friend. In desperation, Avery calls Parker and they, together with Parkers friends, try to figure out what happen to her friend. What they discover, both professionally as well as personally, is whole lot more than they bargained for.


Wow! I loved this story! In 'Cold Shot' you get to know the group of friends and their background but it concentrates on Griffin and Finley. In 'Still Life' you'll find all the same friends but it focuses on Avery and Parker. Parker is a guy you can't help but love. Who doesn't love charming and protective with a beautiful Irish brogue! I was really looking forward to getting to know him better and I was not disappointed. He and Avery work really well together and I loved their interaction together. Especially when he called her love or lass. (sigh) Avery is such a nice person but she struggles with letting go of past mistakes. It made her easy to relate to. Though this has romance in it, it is also very much a suspense/thriller type story that has several unexpected twist and turns with comic relief in just the right places. The spiritual aspect of the story was really well done, though not pushy, and focused on being a new creature in Christ despite your past. Always a good reminder. The underlying mystery concerning Luke (which started in the first book) remains unsolved but some interesting things come to light. The titles for both the first and second books match their storylines really well. Dani Pettrey is a favorite author and in my opinion just gets better and better. I would recommend reading the Chesapeake Valor series in order to help understand the friendships better as well as the background about Luke. 'Still Life' comes highly recommend from this reader. I can't wait for Blind Spot!!!

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

Some favorite moments:

He hadn't realized how strongly, how deeply, he cared for her until she was no longer at his side daily - working together in close quarters, in adrenaline-fueled situations, into the long, late hours of the night. He loved Avery, but he still loved Jenna. Jenna was his first and, until now, only love.

"You're strong and tender, intelligent, and far too witty for me to keep up with. Not to mention beautiful inside and out. Don't be ashamed of your past. You're a new creation in Christ. Focus on that."

Parker and Avery approached, both wearing a nice shade of pink lip gloss on their lips. Griffin chuckled. "What?" they both said. ..."Seriously, what was with the chuckle?" Griffin glanced at the pink sparkly shine on Parker's lips and took pity on the man. "You got a little something..." He pointed to his own lips. "Right there. Nice shade on you, though."


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


Monday, March 6, 2017

AWAKENED LOVE by Regina Tittel


Tara Holden's life is not how she envisioned it to be.  Although she loves being a beautician, she struggles with a husband whose gone a lot and the fact she's not been able to get pregnant.   Her life feels empty and her attitude reflects her dissatisfaction.  Her husband just doesn't seem to care.  But one man seems to be around just when she needs someone and especially when Justin is out of town.  Justin Holden hates being away from home and his wife but his boss has him working way too much.  He knows Tara isn't happy but he's working hard to save money so he can quit.  Creating beautiful furniture to sell is what he'd like to do which would allow him to stay home and still provide income.  He loves Tara but doesn't know how to express what's in his heart.  They just can't seem to talk anymore without fighting.

This story was so good and so inspirational and definitely encouraging!  I have a real heart for hurting marriages so this was a must read for me and I loved it from beginning to end.  I think the author did a wonderful job of showing 'real' people with 'real' struggles.  You could understand and sympathize with both Tara and Justin.  I particularly liked Tara's father and how he used his garden to explain a principle to Justin.  I also appreciated that though Tara and Justin had faith, they still had struggles.  After all, we all have things we deal with.  What really stood out to me was the importance of communication and what can happen when you don't communicate.  It's also really important to do what the Lord wants you to do regardless of what the world is telling you.  Awakened Love is a story I would highly recommend.  It will encourage and inspire you whether you're in a troubled marriage, healthy marriage or even thinking about getting married.

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

Some of my favorite quotes:

"Tara, don't let Satan win.  You're in the midst of a battle, and what you decide to do from here will affect you for the rest of your life."

"Tara, I know your pain is very real..." Tara blinked to cool her eyes.  "And so does God.  But you need to understand that trials are given to us for growth and the more we fight against them, the longer it takes to move on."

"Christ's sacrificial death on the cross was a gift to us.  Your forgiveness to others is a gift to them.  And like Christ's gift, it's even greater if the one who's done wrong hasn't asked for it."

Monday, February 13, 2017

HER GUARDIAN RANCHER by Brenda Minton



 Daron McKay was a soldier in the army.  When his buddy gets hit and is dying he made Daron promise to look after his wife and child.  It's been three years now that he's been doing just that, mostly behind the scenes.  Emma Shaw is having a hard time keeping up with ranch duties, taking care of her grandfather and little girl.  She knows Daron is always around, watching, but she doesn't really want a guilt-ridden hero.  However, when Emma's brother-in-law starts coming around begging Emma for drug money and even throwing some threats her way, Daron steps in to help.  On top of that, her little girl is going to need a serious surgery very soon and her grandfather's health is declining.  Daron seems to be there for her at every turn.  Emma's marriage was not what she hoped it would be and she doesn't want to try again.  But time after time, Daron always seems to be there when she needs him.  Can he convince Emma that guilt has nothing to do with how he feels about her?  Will Emma open her heart enough to give love a chance?

This is a very sweet story of love and second chances.  Daron was the kind of hero I love in a story.  Strong, tender and patient.  Emma, though, was a bit frustrating.  I understood why she was cautious but there were times she just got on my nerves with how she behaved.  That said, toward the end I really warmed up to her and ended up really liking her.  I was a little confused about the relationship she had with her husband and even her in-laws but that didn't distract at all from the story.  On thing I really enjoyed was the friendship between Daron and Boone.  The interplay between them was so much fun!  I love how the author brings in some familiar characters from previous books, that's always a plus for me.  I  thoroughly enjoyed visiting Martin's Crossing and grabbing a bite to eat at Duke's No Bar and Grill!

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

Some favorite quotes:

The last thing she needed was Daron McKay in her home and in her business.  But there he'd been, standing in the shadows like some avenging superhero, ready to rescue her.

 "You're just worried about her, right?"  Boone winked as he said it.  "You know, some people think you're charming.  I don't get it," Daron shot back.  "It's the dimples and the pretty eyes.  I'm taken, though."  "I feel sorry for her,"  Daron shot back.  Boone laughed, loud and long enough to draw some attention to the two of them.  Happiness could be so annoying.

"What would my faith be if I didn't trust that God could handle this?  Yes, I worry.  I am sometimes afraid.  But in the end, I have to trust.  I can either trust or fall apart.  I choose faith."

Friday, January 27, 2017

A CONVENIENT CHRISTMAS WEDDING by Regina Scott


Nora Underhill has been under her brother's thumb since their parents died.  Not wanting to continue to be a servant to him and his wife, she makes a bold proposition to Simon Wallin.  If he would marry her, in name only, to get her out of her brothers house, she would give him some prime farmland that she inherited.  Simon Wallin doesn't need or want a wife but his family does need the land.  After much contemplation he agrees to the deal.  Both Nora and Simon think that life as they know it won't change; she'll continue to sew in town and he'll live on his land.  But circumstances arise that force Nora to head for the Wallin Farm with Simon.  As they work together, along side Simon's family, they discover new things about each other that they admire.  But just as life seems to becoming somewhat normal, trouble lands on their doorstep.

This was a terrific story that keeps you entertained and turning pages.  I loved getting to know Nora.  I thought she had a good head on her shoulders as well as a tender heart.  Her faith made a difference in her life as well as Simon's. Simon was a tortured hero but I really liked him.  He was reasonable and kind to Nora. The Wallin family had great dynamics and there are a couple of them highlighted in previous stories which I now want to go back and read.  And though this book in a series I didn't feel lost not having read the other two.  It also takes place around Christmas but you can enjoy it anytime.  I love marriage of convenience stories and A Convenient Christmas Wedding is no exception.  This is my first book by Regina Scott but it will not be my last.

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

A couple favorite quotes:

"But marriage is about more than enlarging one's holdings, no matter the need," Catherine protested.  "It is about two people becoming one, in goals, in values, in love."

Nora could only smile in answer.  She knew the Lord would care for her - He always had.

For more information about this book or other books by Regina Scott, I encourage you to check out her website at http://www.reginascott.com.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

SHIELDING HIS CHRISTMAS WITNESS by Laura Scott


Kari Danville witnessed a bank robbery and murder and is now under protective custody until she can testify in court.  She finds herself running for her life when someone breaks into the safe house where she's staying.  Marc Callahan is an FBI agent who's assigned to protect Kari.  With the safe house now compromised, he suspects someone in law enforcement might be involved.  Knowing he can't ask for help from his colleagues, he calls upon his brothers for help.  He's determined not to lose another witness.  Especially Kari, who is slowly cracking the armor around his heart.  Kari knows that Marc would never be interested in someone like her, someone pregnant with another mans child.  But life and death situations have a way helping you sift through what's really important.

What a terrific start to Laura Scott's newest series; Callahan Confidential.  The suspense starts on the first page and continues to the very last.  I loved being introduced to the Callahan family.  The way they interact with each other is awesome.  Our lead couple had issues but I like that they encourage each other.  There is some great chemistry between them.  You feel the tension building both in the story and with our lead couple which keeps you reading long past your bedtime.  This story has great balance of mystery, action, suspense and of course, romance.  There is a conclusion to this story but there is also an underlying mystery concerning their father which I imagine may carry through the series. Just a hunch.  There is a faith element but it feels very natural not just thrown in.  Though this takes place around Christmas it can be enjoyed anytime, especially if you love a fast-paced story.  Now I am really looking forward to 'The Only Witness' which will be Miles Callahan's story.  I just love those brothers!

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

A few favorite quotes:

Two people working together and loving one another is the only way to make a marriage work.

"Thanks for coming," Marc said, opening the door for Miles and Mitch to enter.  "No biggie," Mitch said with a shrug.  "You'd do the same for us." He would, and was thankful for the Callahan legacy of family that their parents had instilled within them.

Marc's embrace made a mockery of the intimacy she'd shared with Vince.  Making her wish all over again that she hadn't allowed him to sway her from her beliefs.

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

Thursday, January 5, 2017

WILD MONTANA SKIES by Susan May Warren


Kacey Fairing, a search and rescue helicopter pilot, returns home to Mercy Falls, Montana on leave from the military to spend time with her daughter, Audrey.   While on leave she takes a job as the pilot for Peak Rescue.  What she doesn't know is Ben is home too.  Ben King is a big name in country music now but it wasn't always that way. He grew up in Mercy Falls and now finds himself back home to help his dad recover from an accident and manage Peak Rescue.  Ben and Kacey have a deep connection that time hasn't been able to erase.  Now that they're working together, their long buried feelings begin to bubble to the surface.  Will they set aside mistakes and misunderstandings of the past to perhaps forge a future neither of them anticipated?

This was a great start to a new series.  I loved getting the know the folks of Mercy Falls.  The author brings you into the story and doesn't let you go until you've turned the last page.  I appreciated the fact that the people are realistic and flawed just like we are but there are also some great encouraging nuggets of truth sprinkled along the way.  I loved the secondary story going on between Sierra and Ian which I think might carry over into the next book.  There is also a mystery going on concerning Ian's niece which remains open-ended.  This story however, had a very satisfying conclusion.  I now look forward to 'Rescue Me', the next book in the series and I have put the prequel, "If Ever I Would Leave You" on my reading list.  If you love stories about life, love and second chances, along with a some hold-your-breath moments then I would totally recommend a trip to Mercy Falls to experience for yourself the Wild Montana Skies!

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

A few favorite quotes:

"See, God can fix even the worst disasters, make something new and whole out of them."

But in fact, having faith is the bravest thing we can do.  It's the unwavering confidence that God loves us.  That although we can't see the road ahead, we can see God.  A God we know, a God that loves us - so much that he won't give up on us.  Won't let us get lost even when we think we are.  Real faith takes everything you have- throwing your life, your heart, everything you are with complete abandon into the embrace of God."

And maybe that's his MO - using the debris of our mistakes to show us how he can save us, rescue us from our dark places.  We just have to have that crazy faith that he'll do it, despite our mistakes, our fears, even our pride."

For more information about this book or other books by Susan May Warren I encourage you to visit her website at http://www.susanmaywarren.com




Friday, December 23, 2016

THE SHERIFF'S CHRISTMAS TWINS by Karen Kirst


Allison Ashworth will be spending the holidays in Gatlinburg.  That means she'll be seeing Sheriff Shane Timmons; the man Allison has been in love with since childhood.  Shane feels the same way about Allison but doesn't feel worthy of her love.  When Allison finds herself caregiver to a set of motherless twins, Shane feels like he should help her out.  The time Shane and Allison spend together taking care of the twins is sweet and makes each of them want more than friendship, but Shane is determined not to let it go any farther.

This was a sweet story that I enjoyed but it had a bit more angst than I care for; mostly on Shane's part.  There was some good romantic tension but felt it was a bit overshadowed by all the angst. Although I will say that I know there a folks that feel the way he did.  I enjoyed seeing familiar folks you've come to know and liked the whole Christmas atmosphere. I appreciated the author's note at the end explaining her intention behind the story and I think she accomplished that.  Karen Kirst is a favorite author and though I enjoyed this book I didn't enjoy it as much as her other books I've read.  That said, if you've read the other books in this series you should definitely pick this one up.

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

A few favorite quotes:

The O'Malleys aren't like you, an insidious voice inside his head reminded.  They're worthy of God's love.  You aren't.  The O'Malley's were people with strong, abiding faith that didn't waver no matter what their circumstances.  They weren't perfect, and neither were their lives, but they live to serve God.

"You were able to accept that God, who knows you better than you know yourself, loves you.  Why is it so impossible to believe my sister would?

"I've been married a long while," he continued.  "It's not about making the other person happy.  It's about putting their needs above your own.  It's a partnership.  I love my wife in a romantic sense, but she's also my best friend.  There's no one else I'd rather have at my side through good times and in bad."

For more information about this book or other books by Karen Kirst I encourage you to visit her website at http://www.karenkirst.com.



Monday, November 28, 2016

THE CAPTIVE HEART by Michelle Griep


Eleanor Morgan is an English governess who likes her job until her boss makes unwelcome advances.  She finds herself with a little money and a ticket to Charles Town.  When she arrives, the family she thought she was going to work for wasn’t there to pick her up.  That left her with no choice but to marry a man she didn’t know and one who looks almost dangerous.  Samuel Heath is a tracker and trapper who lives in a humble cabin in the woods, mostly to escape the town and bad memories.  He really needs a mother to help raise his young daughter but he has no expectations about having a true wife.  Their agreement is a marriage in name only.  But Eleanor surprises Samuel with her determination to adapt to her new life and Samuel’s heart begins to stir.  Samuel surprises Eleanor with his caring and protective ways and Eleanor finds herself drawn to him.  But there are things Eleanor doesn’t know about her new husband.  Things that could challenge her growing feelings.

WOW!  I absolutely loved this story!  From beginning to end I devoured every page.  (and isn’t the cover gorgeous?) I found myself quickly immersed in action, suspense, danger and drama balanced with some humorous and tender moments.  The romantic tension between Samuel and Eleanor totally sizzled, which I love, and the dialog was amazing.  It keeps you completely engaged.  I was totally captivated as I was taken back in time to life in the late 1700s.  I will say there was one thing I had mixed feelings about that happened toward the end but it was also realistic. You have to read the story to know what I mean.  I fell in love with Samuel.  He was strong and wise yet very guarded.   Eleanor had a good heart but there were times I got a bit frustrated with her.  I loved the interaction between them.  I’ve read other books by this author that I really liked but this by far is my favorite and has earned a rightful place on my keeper shelf.  This would make an excellent Hallmark movie.  The Captive Heart is one I HIGHLY recommend.  Once you pick it up you won’t want to put it down.

*This complimentary copy was provided by Barbour/Shiloh Run Press through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

A couple favorite quotes (although there were many)

“I think there is a reason Jesus said He went to prepare a place for us, that His Father’s house has many mansions.  Not that we were not created to fellowship with others, for we are but perhaps the desire to have a space of one’s own is but a shadow of what is to come, what we will experience in eternity.  A place just for us, created by the Creator.  Some, like you, feel it more keenly.”

“I promised you on our wedding day that I wouldn’t touch you.”  His husky voice wrapped around her like a warm embrace, pulling her toward him.  “Do you want that to change?”  A foreign desire ran along every nerve.  She froze, unsure if she could speak or even breath.  Afraid if she did everything would change.  Forever.  “No,” she forced the word past lips she was terrified to open.  “Because if you do” - he brushed his thumb along the curve of her neck, leaving a trail of fire - “all you need to do is ask, Tatsu’hwa.”  His brown eyes held her in place, demanding she understand his meaning - and when she did, the implication stole her last bit of breath.  Want and need charged the thin space between them, but whose? His or Hers?

For more information about this book or other books by Michelle Griep, I encourage you to visit her website at https://michellegriep.com.



Friday, November 4, 2016

A ROYAL CHRISTMAS WEDDING by Rachel Hauck


It’s been five years since Avery Truitt has seen or heard from Prince Colin.  Although she’s tried, her heart just can’t seem to forget him.  She’s recently lost her father and nothing seems the same at home without him.  Then her sister Susanna invites Avery and her mother to Brighton Kingdom for Christmas.  Avery knows she’ll see Colin and is hoping to find out what happened, why he cut her off.  Colin however, appears to have moved on, with a beautiful model at his side.  But all is not what it seems and when Colin and Avery finally see each other again, they find their connection is still very strong.  When a prayer of Colin’s is answered in an unusual way he must decide whether to follow the path of his earthly father or his heavenly father.

I absolutely LOVED this story for its enchanting characters and the whole magic of Christmas in Brighton not to mention that it’s very romantic. Although I’ve enjoyed the entire series, I must confess that this is my favorite.  The Bell Ringing tradition was really fun and I loved how it was integrated into the story.  Prince Colin and Avery were both charming and I LOVED the chemistry between them.  The snappy dialog (which was honest and realistic) had me turning pages at light speed and kept me up way past my bedtime.  I appreciated the sound advice that King Nathanial gave to Colin when he went to talk to him about his dilemma.  This is definitely going on the ‘keeper shelf’.  There really wasn’t anything I didn’t like about the book, except that it came to an end.  So grab you hot cocoa, sit back and relax because you are in for a royal treat.  I highly recommend you attend A Royal Christmas Wedding!

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

A few favorite quotes:

“This is a great charity.  Studies have shown people are more likely to have price in themselves when they can purchase gifts with money they’ve earned.”

“I’m just saying when a man loves a woman he’ll move heaven and earth to be with her.”

“Sad thing about losing your parent is a door to your childhood closes.  One you didn’t even know was open.”

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


Book I've Been Reading...

Sherry's bookshelf: read

Almost Like Being in Love
Wanted: Royal Princess Miracle Bride: Royal Hearts of Mondoverde Series, Vol. 3
Her Rancher Bodyguard
Traces of Guilt
The Stronghold
Close to You
Protecting Her Daughter
The Goodbye Bride
The Rancher's First Love
Reclaiming His Past
Keeper of the Stars
Cold Shot
Mermaid Moon
Thin Ice
Buried Secrets
Murder at Black Lake
Christmas With Miss Austen
Falling Like Snowflakes
Married 'til Monday
Second Chance Hero


Sherry's favorite books »