Saturday, June 25, 2016

WANTED: ROYAL PRINCESS MIRACLE BRIDE by Anna Dynowski


Jana Landowski is a freelance photojournalist and single mom.  She’s been hired by a magazine to travel to Mondoverde and do a story on Prince Lorenzo, also known as the brooding prince.  She’s supposed to show the world, through pictures, who the Prince really is.  Prince Lorenzo pours himself into his prize horses and avoids anything ‘royal’ and hates being in the limelight.  He has a lot of female admirers but Prince Lorenzo isn’t interested in his royal responsibility to marry.  When Jana shows up at Mondoverde both Lorenzo and Jana are surprised to see each other.  They have a bit of a history together but it’s that history that causes sparks to fly between them.  Lorenzo vows this woman, though he’s very attracted to her,  will not get under his skin, again.  Jana can’t believe how handsome Lorenzo is and is drawn to him but he knows all about her one big mistake and can’t forget it.  Being with him would definitely be a fairytale come true but he isn’t looking for marriage and she isn’t princess material.  

I have fallen in love with Mondoverde and it’s royal family.  Each book has been a royal treasure to read and that includes this latest installment.  I love the family and most especially the the parents, so wise yet down-to-earth.  It was fun getting to know Prince Lorenzo better.  He’s really a great guy who was dealing with hurt he had been harboring.  Jana experienced some big hurts growing up that caused her to make bad choices that changed her life forever.  Watching these two deal with all their feelings and emotions was encouraging.  I appreciated that although they had faith, they still questioned what the Lord might be doing. Don’t we do that too?  To me, that made these characters very realistic.  Also the fact that just because you’re royal and have everything you want, doesn’t mean you’re happy.  This is a fun story but it also dealt with some very serious and relatable subjects like self-doubt, drinking, forgiveness and trusting the Lord, just to name a few.  I would definitely recommend this to anyone who loves a good adult fairytale with a few life lessons thrown in.  Each of the stories in this series can be read as a stand alone but I think it’s best enjoyed if you read them in the order they were written.  So…are you looking for a summer get-away?  Why not visit Mondoverde and check out what the royal family is up to?

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

Some favorite quotes:

She genuinely didn’t think she had it in her to love anyone.  Just look at her parents.  What a fiasco their marriage turned out to be.  Just look at her own past.  One mistake carry long-term consequences.  Some things, like, maybe, screwing up one’s life, though completely forgiven by God, would not be so easily overlooked by…others.

He [Lorenzo] made a commitment, there and then, to pray for God to raise His right hand of healing toward her [Jana] and pour down upon her pain His healing and restoring balm.  And heal her memories.  All of the ugly, hateful memories.  God did not design their physical bodies to live with anger or bitterness or resentment.

“We sizzle when we are together.  We always have.”  “Sizzle.”  Jana snorted the word.  “Sizzle means nothing.”  “Tell that to God.”  Incredulity crossed her countenance.  “Excuse me?”  “Cara mia,” Lorenzo began, trying to tamp down his growing alarm.  Would she be snatched from him again?  Never!  “Allow me to explain.”  “Please do,”  Jana invited him, a dry note to her tone.  “The Almighty, He created sizzle.”

For information on this book or other book by Anna Dynowski please visit her website at http://www.annadynowski.com.

Monday, June 6, 2016

HER RANCER BODYGUARD by Brenda Minton


Kayla Stanford needed protection so her father hired Boone Wilder.  Boone is not real excited about looking after the politician’s flashy daughter who seems to have a penchant toward trouble.  When a threat occurs on her life, Boone takes Kayla back to the Wilder Ranch where he, his partner, Daron McKay, and his family can keep a close watch on her.  Kayla is a city girl and doesn’t want to be at the ranch but she soon finds herself enjoying Boone’s family and even the ranch activities.  As she helps out, Boone begins to see another side of her.  Although they are very drawn to each other, past experience causes each of them to guard their heart.  Will they learn that sometimes there is something more important than guarding ones heart?

This was a great addition to the Martin’s Crossing Series.  I enjoyed returning to the familiar place and seeing, again, folks I’ve come to know.  The Wilder family was fun and very protective of one another.  Boone has known the Martin’s all his life and you see his interaction with Brody Martin, Kayla’s half brother.  That was fun. Boone deals with guilt as well as a wound left behind from his Military service.  I thought that was well done.  Kayla also deals with hurt from the past that makes her bitter. It was interesting watching these two deal with each other.  Boone’s mom is a sweet, wise woman and it was sweet to see how she handled and influenced both Boone and Kayla.  There was a bit of a danger which I thought was a good addition to the story.  The verse listed in the beginning fit very well.  Romans 8:35 - Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?  Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword?  This could be read as a standalone and you wouldn’t feel lost but reading them in order gives great continuity to the series.  I enjoyed my time in Martin’s Crossing and think you will too!

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

Some Favorite Quotes:

“You have a dog.” He laughed.  “Yeah, I have a dog.  And I have Daron McKay.  Both of them shed, smell and leave messes.”

“She stepped into the circle of his embrace and he pulled her close.  It was a brotherly, comforting hug, but it included his strength, his scent, his warmth.  Before he let her go he kissed her near her temple.  She drew in a breath at the gesture, so sweet.  “You’re dangerous, Wilder.”  “No, ma’am, I’m about as dangerous as a newborn puppy.”  She laughed at that.  “Yes, exactly.  Everyone wants a puppy.”





Saturday, May 28, 2016

TRACES OF GUILT by Dee Henderson



Evie Blackwell loves her job as an Illinois police detective but what she really likes to do is solve puzzles.  That makes her the perfect person for heading up a new task force that will focus on unsolved crimes across Illinois.  She’ll be working closely with Sheriff Gabriel Thane in Carin County.  Gabe grew up in Carin when his dad was Sheriff and wanted to follow in his footsteps by upholding the law and protecting the citizens.  As they begin taking a closer look at the unsolved cases they discover that they’re just might be a connection.  As they work together, Gabriel and Evie begin forming a friendship that just might last longer then the end of the cases.

Traces of Guilt was a good story.  It had to do with cold cases so it was the mystery of what happened in those cases rather than any suspense.  I really liked the Thane brothers and am hoping that there will be other books to further their stories.  They’re a close knit family and well respected in their community.  I loved their camaraderie and the way they cared for each other.  Ann Falcon (from Full Disclosure) was very much a part of this story.  She’s good friends with the Thane family and also with Evie.  I really didn’t like Ann in Full Disclosure but found I liked her better in this story.  Gabriel and Evie want to find that certain someone and have the type of relationship that Anne and Paul Falcon have.  I felt like there was chemistry between Gabriel and Evie but nothing romantic developed.  That was disappointing to me.  However, the door is left open for something more in the future.  Actually, there was no romance to speak of in this story other than what was spoken about between Will Thane and Karen.  I really missed that aspect.  Overall it was a good story and would recommend it to those who have enjoyed this author’s most recent work.

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

A couple of quotes:

“God loves my son, and He loves Karen.  I’ve come to accept the fact that God understands better than I ever will how to seek and save Will.”

“But just remember one thing.  You want peace with a man’s mother, you bring him to church every Sunday, and when the kids come along, you bring them too.”

For more information about this book or other books by Dee Henderson I recommend you visit her website at http://www.deehenderson.com



Friday, May 13, 2016

THE STRONGHOLD by Lisa Carter


 FBI Agent Alex Torres and Apache tribal police officer Pilar To-Clanny have a long history together of ups and downs.  After being gone for years, Alex returns to Arizona when young girls come up missing from New Mexico and the reservation in Arizona.  Alex wants to help find them but, because of his faith, he also wants to make things right with Pilar.  When Manny (a boy they both love) goes missing, Pilar and Alex reluctantly work together risking their lives to rescue the boy.  What they discover along the way is not only more sinister than they ever imagined but it will also change their lives forever.

I have read several Lisa Carter books and really like her stories and The Stronghold is no exception. I will say though that this was not an easy read because of the nature of the story.  It deals with some dark subject matters.  Some scenes are pretty intense and graphic which is why it’s difficult to read.  Aside from that, I thought the story was very good.  The dynamics between Alex and Pilar were interesting, complex and edgy.  Their history together was about great love and deep hurt which you learn about through a series of flashbacks.  Pilar felt unclean and unloveable because of what happened to her so she holds everyone at arms length. I appreciated seeing Alex’s faith in action and the ways he expressed it especially to Pilar.  But I also saw the way he still struggled with certain things.  To me, that’s real life.   God never promised we would never have trouble, pain or heartache but He did promise to walk through all of it with us.  For me, the beginning of the book seemed a bit confusing but when you get to the end of the story it all makes sense and the author brings everything together in a very cohesive way.


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

A favorite quote:
“The only thing I’ve managed to cling to, Pia, is the great love of God for his children.  A love that desires a real relationship.  The kind of relationship that offers a choice.  To love or not to love.”  Alex’s chest heaved.  “And not to love Him, I realized, was the first step on the path toward evil.  Because real love, like His, loves enough to let us choose Him or the darkness.  To make our own mistakes.  But He’s also there to pick up the pieces of our brokenness when we cry out to Him.”

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


Thursday, May 5, 2016

CLOSE TO YOU by Kara Isaac


Allison Shire thought she had found her happily ever after, that is until she finds out her husband already had a wife she knew nothing about.  In an effort to escape the whole ugly situation, she travels to New Zealand to work as a tour guide, guiding Lord of the Rings and Hobbit fans to the well know sites from the movies.  Jackson Gregory was at the top of his game.  He was about to make it big in business and had the girl of his dreams, that is until she left him to be with his biggest competitor, taking with her all his business secrets.  Left with nothing and feeling responsible for losing his investors money and wanting to someday return it to them, his only chance seems to be with his great uncle who has money enough to invest in another of his ideas.  In order to do that he volunteers to be his uncle’s assistant spending three weeks trying to convince him he’s a total Lord of the Rings and Hobbit fan.  The problem? He doesn’t have a clue about any of it.  When Allison and Jackson first meet sparks fly.   She pegs him for a fake right away but as they continue to get thrown together on various outings, they begin to see a different side of each other.  The attraction between them is strong but both have things they have to get past.  Will they be able to work through those things and perhaps find something neither of them expected?

This was such a great story and I enjoyed every minute I was involved in it.  There was lots of great humor (which I love) but there was also a seriousness about it that dealt with real-life issues like love, loss, guilt, anger and family relationships, just to name a few.  There were a lot of things relating to The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit which I was not familiar with because I’ve never read the books or seen the movies (I know, I know).  However, I didn’t feel like that was a distraction at all from the story itself.  I loved getting to know Allison and Jackson and seeing how they each grew and changed throughout the book.  I appreciated Jackson’s great uncle and how he handled Jackson and the whole trip with wisdom and love.  One thing I really wished was that there would have been an epilogue.  I longed for just a little more but that’s partly because I hated to see it end.  This is the author’s debut novel but it sure didn’t read that way.  If you enjoy books by Jenny B. Jones then I definitely think you should give Kara Isaac a try and keep this “Close to You” until you finish.  Loved the cover, loved the story, highly recommended

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

A couple memorable quotes:

Allie pressed the phone against her ear, leaning her head against the leather seat.  “What if I’m not supposed to be doing this?  What if I’m messing up God’s plan?” Kat laughed. “You can’t mess up God’s plan.  He’s a whole lot bigger than that…”

But you changed me.  You helped me understand that God doesn’t want me to live a life that’s defined by my mistakes.  And I’m so grateful for that.”

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




Saturday, April 23, 2016

PROTECTING HER DAUGHTER by Lynette Eason


After losing her husband, Zoe Collier and her daughter, Sophia, have lived a nice quiet life in Knoxville, Tennessee.  Then the unthinkable happens; someone tries to kidnap her daughter.  Wanting to keep her safe, a friend sends her to house sit for a ranch in Wrangler’s Corner, Tennessee.  It’s an out-of-the-way place so she should be safe.  Unfortunately, it appears the kidnappers have followed her.  Aaron Starke, Zoe’s handsome neighbor and town veterinarian, wants to get to know Zoe better but finds himself in midst of danger trying to protect her and her daughter.  Whose behind the attacks and why?  Will they figure it out before it’s too late?

This is definitely one you want to read when you have some extra time because it was a hard one to put down.  Lots of action and suspense combined with a sweet romance will keep you turning pages until the very end.  There are several twists and turns and just when I thought I had things figured out, I found I was wrong.  I loved returning to Wrangler’s Corner again (except for the fact that someone was try to kill Zoe and kidnap her daughter) because folks are so friendly and caring toward one another.  Zoe was someone you couldn’t help but like and even admire.  Aaron was a great hero and one you would want in your corner.  The faith element of the story seemed very natural and didn’t feel like an after thought, which I like.  This is the third book in the series and could be read as a stand alone but reading them in order is really a plus.  (The Lawman Returns, Rodeo Rescue & Protecting Her Daughter) If you enjoy a good edge-of-your-seat type story that keeps you turning pages, then head on over to Wrangler’s Corner and see just how difficult Protecting Her Daughter turns out to be.

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

Some memorable moments:

“She met his gaze, thinking how kind his eyes were.  Deep blue and filled with an ocean of compassion, caring…and strength.  To match the rest of his well-muscled physique.  He really was a handsome man.”

“How could I not trust you?  You’ve put your own life ahead of mine.”  “Just like you did with Sophia.”  “Of course.”  “So if you would do that for your child, then don’t you think God would do that for you?”  She paused.  Then nodded.  “Yes, he would.  He did.  He sent his only son to die for me.”  “Exactly.  So don’t bash yourself.  You are made in His image, and He felt you were worth dying for.  That makes you amazing.”

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

Monday, April 18, 2016

THE GOODBYE BRIDE by Denise Hunter


Zac Callahan fell in love with Lucy Lovett from the moment he saw her.  She felt the same way, or so Zac thought.  Three weeks before their wedding Lucy took off without a word about why she left or where she was going.  Seven months later, Zac is starting to live with the new normal; a life without Lucy.  Then he gets a phone call from her saying she hit her head and could he come and get her.  A brain injury has left her with no memory of the last seven months, of leaving Zac before their wedding or even being engaged to another man where she was currently living.  Lucy can only remember loving Zac with ever fiber of her being.  Zac helps her out by bringing her home where he can look after her while she recovers and hopefully gets her memory back.  Zac hopes that’ll be soon because he’s vulnerable where Lucy is concerned.  Could  this be the second chance he’s so desperately prayed for?  What will happen if he does take a chance and her memory returns, will she leave him again like before?

The Goodbye Bride is one of those stories that just compels you to keep turning pages to see how everything works out.  We met Zac in ‘Falling Like Snowflakes’ and hear about Lucy leaving him so I was anxious to find out what happened. The whole amnesia thing was an interesting twist because Lucy didn’t lose all her memory only the last 7 months.  You sympathize with her knowing how difficult it must have been.  I mean everyone in town, including Zac, are giving her the cold shoulder because she left Zac, but she doesn’t remember why.  I wasn’t sure I liked Lucy at first but must admit I changed my mind as I kept reading.  She really was a  nice person.  Zac is a great guy.  A guy you could easily fall for.  I enjoyed learning a little more about Aunt Trudy and the Sheriff as well as catching up a little with Riley.  Beau and Eden are very much a part of this story, which I loved!  Trusting God with the unknown and forgiveness of things past were both encouraging messages woven throughout the story.  Denise Hunter is a master at writing romantic fiction.  She evokes such emotion with her wording that you just feel it, like it’s happening to you. To me that’s great writing and the reason why her books are always on my ‘must read’ list!  This is the second book in A Summer Harbor Series.  You could probably read it as a stand alone but I highly recommend starting with “Falling Like Snowflakes” to get the whole family background.  Now I will anxiously await Riley’s story.

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

Some favorite quotes:

“I guess we just do the best we can and trust God with the rest.  Life will always have troubles.  It’s what shapes and molds us and makes us into the people He wants us to be.”

“All she knew was she wanted him to keep looking at her that way.  She wanted his mouth on hers more than she wanted her next breath.  She wanted his arms around hers, his ring on her finger.  The plain gold one she’d never gotten to wear.  The one she’d never wear.”

“He was confident, comfortable with himself, but he didn’t wear it with arrogance like so many other handsome men.”

For more information about this book or other books by Denise Hunter, I encourage you to visit her website at www.denisehunterbooks.com/

Friday, April 15, 2016

THE RANCHER'S FIRST LOVE by Brenda Minton


Samantha Martin and Remington Jenkins have a history together.  A summer romance as teenagers that was serious enough for her brothers to send Remington packing and Sam off to her aunts.  Now she’s all grown up and working as a Nurse back in Martin’s Crossing and fixing up a place of her own, she thinks life is pretty good.  That is until Remington walks back into her life.  He now runs the ranch with his grandfather and is also a part-time preacher at their local church.  Rem loved Samantha and wanted to marry her until her brothers sent her away.  Now he has a second chance with her and nothing is going to stop him, especially not her overprotective brothers.  Sam still feels a connection with Rem but is afraid to open her heart again and what will happen when she shares the secret she’s kept from him all these years?

This was a good addition to the Martin’s Crossing series.  I enjoyed seeing all the familiar folks and catching up with how they’re doing.  I liked Samantha but I didn’t really connect with her as a character.  You could understand why she felt the way she did but I kinda felt like she blamed Remington for something that wasn’t really his fault.  Remington was a sweetheart of a guy.  Someone you could easily lose your heart to.  The connection between Remington and Sam was definitely there but I just felt something was lacking.  I appreciated Rem’s strong faith and the difference it made in those around him.  It seemed like there was still tension between him and Sam’s brothers which I didn’t really understand.  Overall this was a good story of putting your past where it belongs; in the past.  It’s part of what shapes who you are but it doesn’t define your future.  That’s a great thing to remember.  You could read this as a stand alone although it does have family from previous books, but I don’t think you’d feel lost.  I’m now looking forward to Kayla’s story.

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

Some favorite parts:

“I know who I am, Rem.  I’m broken.  I’m flawed.  I couldn’t stand next to you and pretend I’m anything more than a person who has made mistakes.  “We’re all broken and flawed, Sam.  That’s the beauty of it.  We don’t have to be perfect.”

“Church is hard, isn’t it?”  Grace said in sympathy.  “It’s the place where we should be loved, forgiven, nurtured.  It’s a place of mercy.  But sometimes it isn’t.  We just have to remember that people are human and they bring all of their human frailties with them to church.”

“I’d like to not live in the past,” he ventured with some caution.  “The past is always with us.  It shapes us.”  “Yes, it shapes us.  It’s doesn’t have to hold us prisoner.” 

Book I've Been Reading...

Sherry's bookshelf: read

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


Sherry's favorite books »