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.


Thursday, October 27, 2016

HIGH SPEED HOLIDAY by Katy Lee


When Ian Stone finds out his true identity he heads for Norcastle, New Hampshire to claim what is rightfully his, as Luke Spencer.  But shortly after his arrival he finds himself being shot at and thinks it’s his siblings (Wade and Roni) not wanting him to have his inheritance.  Sylvie Laurent, Police Chief of Norcastle, is convinced that Wade and Roni would not try to kill him.  As they work together to unravel the mystery of who the shooter is, both Ian and Sylvie find themselves not only protecting each other but also discovering they have a very strong attraction.  What they finally discover is more than they bargained for.  Can they stay alive long enough to take down the bad guy and perhaps experience the Merriest Christmas Ever?

High Speed Holiday is certainly an appropriate title for this book, because from beginning to end you are definitely moving at high speed!  I enjoyed going back to Norcastle and seeing all the familiar folks once again.  I loved meeting Ian (Luke).  He is such a great hero yet realistically flawed, which to me, made him all the more appealing.  Sylvie was harder for me to like.  She’s tough and very principled which came across as being kinda of cold.  She did grow on me and I think Ian was a good influence on her. I loved the chemistry Ian and Sylvie had together. The verse at the beginning of the book was really brought to life throughout the story.  It was Genesis 50:20 “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.”  A great reminder that regardless of what we might think, God is working all things together for good, so hang in there.  This is the third book in the Roads to Danger series but can be read as a stand alone.  Katy Lee is a favorite author who consistently delivers a page-turning adventure with an uplifting message.

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

A few favorite quotes:

“Family isn’t always about blood.  They’re the people your heart claims.”

“So I guess it’s no father for me, then.”  “There’s God.”  Ian dropped his head back.  “He’s the most important Father to have, I know that now.  I wish I had known it when I was growing up.  Life was hard…and lonely.”

Did Sylvie want him to stay?  The thought of her desiring him in her life felt like what a gift under the tree might feel like.  Joyful. Exciting. Special.

For more information about this book or other books by Katy Lee I recommend you visit her website at http://www.katyleebooks.com.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

CAN'T HELP FALLING by Kara Isaac


Emelia Mason is a fierce reporter who manages to dig up dirt on well know people.  She is also a huge fan of Narnia and loves climbing into every wardrobe she comes across looking to see if the back opens to the mystical land.  When one of her stories causes tragic results she heads for Oxford, England to try and make amends.  Peter Carlisle is a rower for Great Britain and was working toward making it to the Olympics until an injured shoulder prevents him from doing that. He wants to try and make a come-back to make up for letting down his biggest supporter but doing so just might permanently injure his shoulder.  From their unusual first meeting to the planning of an important fundraiser, Emelia and Peter find themselves strongly attracted to one other.  But will that attraction be strong enough to endure some hard truths that will rise to the surface?

I thoroughly enjoyed Close to You but I have to say I loved Can’t Help Falling!  The characters were fun, full of life and realistically drawn.  Peter was a great guy who loved the Lord but definitely was not perfect.  Emelia was someone you can’t help but love.  She’s down to earth and kind but also has a bit of sass, which added great humor to the story.  I also liked the secondary characters of Jackson and Allie.  Both were really great people and good friends to have.  There was a neat lesson having to do with a tea cup that I just loved.  You’ll have to read the story to see what I mean but it’s something that will definitely stay with me.  If you enjoy stories by Jenny B. Jones, I’m sure you’ll enjoy this book.  So, sit back, relax and take a trip to Oxford, England where you Can’t Help Falling for this story.

*This complementary copy was provided by Howard Books through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

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

Monday, October 3, 2016

Wanted: Royal Princess Shock and Awe by Anna Dynowski


Prince Maximillian is known as the playboy prince and has been perfecting that image since he was 16 years old. Always the charming, smooth talking prince with the playful personality, makes him popular with the ladies. The Graziano family feels it’s time for him to settle down but Max refuses to give up his single status, that is until Adrianna Danek enters his life. Adrianna works for the Christian Youth Network and loves her work of training youth leaders. She’s asked by the royal family to come to Mondoverde to help set up a CYN group there. She accepts the assignment, knowing she’ll be working closely with Max. She’s familiar with his reputation and refuses to succumb to his charming ways. But both are surprised by the strong attraction they feel. Max is puzzled by the fact that Adrianna is not easily charmed by him and Adrianna is stunned to find there is more to Max than meets the eye. Can a royal prince and an ordinary girl ever find common ground?

I loved this story! It whisks you away once again to the land of Mondoverde where you visit a royal family who loves the Lord and wants to rule with integrity. Who wouldn’t want to go there? It was so nice to get to know Max on a deeper level. He’s so much more than his reputation implies. I loved the dynamics of the Graziano family. They all help each other and are playful with each other but they also are very protective of each other too. I loved the romantic tension between Max and Adrianna; Ooh-la-la, lots of spark and sizzle. I love the way Max defended Adrianna to Aaron (a friend of Adrianna’s). Very gallant but also humorous. (you’ll have to read the story to see what I mean and you will love it!!!). I also appreciated the way the author painted a picture, throughout the story, of what love is and what a marriage should look like if you do it God’s way. This is the last book in the Royal Hearts of Mondoverde series and it was a great ending but I am so sad to see it end. I will certainly miss this royal family. You could read this as a stand alone and be fine but you would be missing out of some really great stories if you didn’t read the whole series. The Graziano family has definitely found a place in my heart and also on my bookshelf!

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

Some favorite quotes/moments:

“God is never late and never early. He’s always exactly right on time - His time.”

“You have your father’s eyes.” “And my mother’s nose,” Prince Maximillian said, grinning. “You, cara, have the rest of me.” Adrianna realized, in that moment, the only way to safeguard herself from caving to his charm, was to treat the prince like the boy child he portrayed himself to be. “A pity all the good parts have already been claimed,” she told him, her voice dry.

“Adrianna, he murmured, “the Lord has been guiding every incident in our lives past and present, to stitch together the apparent dissimilar threads of our lives and create a complementary harmonizing tapestry of love.”

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

Sunday, September 18, 2016

THE RANCHER'S TEXAS MATCH by Brenda Minton


Tanner Barstow is an area rancher who is also Vice President of the Lone Star Cowboy League. He helps out the troubled kids who live at the Boys Ranch.  Macy Swanson finds herself in Haven when she becomes guardian of her nephew, Colby. Colby is currently living at the Boys Ranch trying to deal with the loss of his parents and accepting his Aunt Macy as his new guardian.  Macy is unsure whether she would be the right person to raise Colby or whether she’d ever fit in to the small community of Haven, since she came from Dallas.  Tanner and Macy are attracted to each other but Tanner thinks Macy will eventually take Colby and head back to Dallas.  But the more time Macy spends in Haven the more she’s feeling at home. Will Tanner be able to convince Macy that being a mom to Colby and staying in Haven just might be the best option, for both of them.

This was a very enjoyable story.  I love the idea of a ranch where troubled kids can go and learn some ranching skills and have folks that love them through their problems.  There are three different series having to do with the Lone Star Cowboy League.  There is the ‘Lone Star Cowboy League’, the ‘Lone Star Cowboy League: The Founding Years’ and ‘Lone Star Cowboy League: Boys Ranch’.  This book falls in the Boys Ranch series.  The books have connective threads so reading them in order is probably best, but that said, I still enjoyed this story without reading the other books in the series.  It did make me want to read the other books though.  I really enjoyed all the folks in Haven.  It’s a close-knit community where everyone helps each other out. Macy and Tanner were both great.  You could understand Macy’s hesitation about assuming the roll of mom and living in the house her brother and sister-in-law lived; that would be really difficult.  Tanner was a great guy but wasn’t really interested in a relationship, until Macy that is!  Although you kinda know how things might turn out with them, there are other things going on that remain unresolved and carry through to the next book.  I look forward to returning to Haven and catching up with all the happenings.

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

A couple favorite moments:

He didn’t know Macy very well, but he had to admire how she could calm a group of rowdy boys with a story  If he was being honest, there were other things to admire, things a man couldn’t help but notice.  He sure didn’t mind admiring or noticing.

“I know you’re afraid you can’t do this.  We all feel that way when we are looking a problem head-on and thinking that this is our future.  In time you come to a place where you realize you’ve survived it, and that, through it all, God made you a little stronger.”



Sunday, September 11, 2016

TWILIGHT AT BLUEBERRY BARRENS by Colleen Coble


Kate Mason has dealt with so many difficult things in her life recently.  Now the family farm she’s caring for doesn’t seem to be producing its usual crop of fruit.  With the need for additional income, she decides to fix up the small cottage on her farm and rent it out.  Although that won’t cover all the expenses, it will help.  Before she’s even done fixing it up, an unexpected renter comes along.  Drake Newman is now responsible for his two nieces since his brother and sister-in-law died.  Not believing the story local law enforcement is telling him, Drake, along with his nieces, head for Maine where he intends to find the truth about what happened to them.  Before he gets to town he runs across this cute little cottage and decides to stop and check it out.  Kate is thrilled when Drake wants to rent the place but then finds out he also needs a nanny to care for the girls while he investigates.  He hires her and sparks fly between them but there’s also an undeniable attraction.  Things become complicated though when Kate learns her uncle has escaped from prison and to make matters worse, a stalker is relentlessly pursuing her.  Kate and Drake are determined to find the truth and settle all these matters, but it won’t be easy with danger lurking around every corner.

Colleen Coble takes you on another thrill ride in Twilight at Blueberry Barrens.  This is the third installment in the Sunset Cove series and we once again find ourselves in beautiful Maine. Be prepared, however,  for a bumpy road, unexpected twists and turns and several nail-biting moments along the way.  I throughly enjoyed the fact that it was loosely connected with Denise Hunter’s Summer Harbor Series; that was fun.  You’ll find all the folks you’ve come to know from the previous two books as well as meeting Drake Newman.  I enjoyed getting to know him although I must say, at first I wasn’t sure I liked him, but as in real life, first impressions aren’t always accurate.  Kate is a lovable person and your heart goes out to her for all she’s been through, yet through it all, she has not become bitter, which I greatly admired.  Her faith remained strong, but like us, she questioned, at times, what God was doing.  The story was a great blend of suspense and romance and you are kept guessing, until the end, just how it all turns out; which I love.  I wish though, that there would have been an epilogue or just a glimpse into the future.  You could probably read this as a stand alone and enjoy it but I encourage you to read the previous two books first (The Inn at Ocean’s Edge and Mermaid Moon) not only because they’re good but it makes for a richer reading experience.

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

Some Favorite moments:

His hand came around her waist, and a shiver raced up her spine at his touch.  It took all her strength not to turn and shift closer.  What was it about this man that moved her?  she’d thought she was immune to attraction this overpowering.  For the first time she realized how strong physical attraction could be.

“I think your family has made you feel like you don’t deserve to be happy, to enjoy life and to be loved by others.”  …What good is life if you’re always turning away from a gift God wants to give you?  You think he’s like your real dad and will pull a bait and switch on you by offering you a blessing, then snatching it away at the last minute?”  She licked her lips and still didn’t look at him.  “Of course not.  I know God is always giving me blessings.”

He reached over and took one of her tightly clenched hands.  “Look at me.”  For a long minute he thought she wouldn’t meet his gaze, but she finally looked up.  “Is it your past illness that makes you afraid to live?  Every day is a gift, Kate.  None of us knows when one day is our last.  But that’s all the more reason to take hold of every day we're given and live it to the fullest.  That usually means risking yourself.” 

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



Monday, August 29, 2016

JUST A KISS by Denise Hunter


Riley Callahan has been in love with Paige Warren for years. Although they are best friends, he’s never even hinted at his real feelings. When it seemed like Paige was falling for his brother Beau, he decides to join the military to get away from the whole situation. He soon learns however, that Paige and Beau are no longer a couple. After his tour in Afghanistan is over, he plans to tell Paige exactly how he feels. But all that changes when he loses part of his leg. Paige deserves so much more than the broken man he’s become. His plan to put some space between them quickly derails when he finds out he’ll be recovering at Paige’s house. Paige is a born caregiver and loves the Callahan family. She’s looking forward to caring for her best friend and helping him get back on his feet. For all that’s happened, it seems like Riley is doing really well but as time passes Paige begins noticing that it’s more of an act than anything else. She’s also noticing that her ‘best friend’ feelings toward Riley are not so ‘best friend’ anymore. Both want more than friendship but will they have the courage to reveal their true feelings and the faith and strength to see where it takes them?

Just a Kiss was a wonderful conclusion to the Summer Harbor Series. Don’t get me wrong though, this was not easy read. My emotions were in turmoil watching Paige and Riley deal with all the things happening in each of their lives. The story touched of several subjects like PTSD, losing a limb, secrets, anger, rejection and hurt, just to name a few. I appreciated seeing how Paige, Riley and the rest of the family dealt with all these things and as in real life, it’s messy. I loved watching too, how they grew from their experiences. I admit there were times during the story when I wanted to smack both Riley and Paige but that’s good writing when the characters seem so real you want to do that! You’ll find out what finally happens with Aunt Trudy and the Sheriff. I really liked that each book had all the familiar characters. The ending was very well done but I found myself wanting an epilogue; just a glimpse of a few years down the road, but other than that, everything was just as I would have expected from a Denise Hunter book. I truly hated to see it come to an end! I am going to miss the Callahan's. You can always count on this author to bring you books that are full of life-like characters, great romantic tension and good life lessons. This book can be read as a stand alone but I would highly recommend you read the whole Summer Harbor Series. I'd like to say too, that the book covers were beautifully done!

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

A Couple Favorite Moments:

Their breath mingled between them. His heart kicked against his ribs, his good judgment evaporating in a flood of want. He lowered his mouth to hers one more time. Her lips were soft and yielding. Responsive. A thrill shot through him and he brushed her lips again.

“Don’t you think it’s about time you told her?” His eyes flew to Aunt Trudy. She was giving him one of those looks. Her lips tight, one of her sparse brows cocked at an angle. He made himself settle casually back in his seat. “Told her what?” “I may be old, but I’m not blind.” “I don’t know what you’re talking about.” “Don’t you give me that. I’ve watched you pine away for her for years. Watched you die a thousands while she was with your brother. Now’s your chance, young man, and you’re wasting it. You know you Callahan men only love once. It’s proven true for generations.”

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



Friday, August 19, 2016

THE LOYAL HEART by Shelley Shepard Gray


After the Civil War, Robert Truax is determined to keep the promise he made to his comrade, Phillip Markham.  The promise that he would look after his beautiful wife, Miranda, should anything happen to him.  When he receives word that Miranda is experiencing difficulties, he heads for her home in Galveston, Texas.  He’s surprised to learn how dire things really are.  Phillip’s name has been soiled by rumors that he was a traitor and now everyone is shunning Miranda because of it.  On top of that, she is receiving cruel, threatening letters.  Miranda is overwhelmed emotionally and at the end of her rope.  Robert doesn’t understand how the town (as well as Phillip’s mother and sister) can treat this beautiful, gracious lady so badly.  He vows to protect her and change her reputation.   But Robert’s simple promise to Phillip becomes much more difficult when he finds himself attracted to Miranda.

What a wonderful story!  From beginning to end you will find yourself entranced with it’s intriguing characters and rich history.  It was one of those stories that when you have to put it down, you find yourself thinking about it until you can pick it up again.  I like how the author allowed us to get to know Phillip and see the camaraderie, and closeness, between him and the guys in his unit.  They had each other backs both in the war and after.  Robert Truax was someone who thought very little of himself but truly had the heart of a hero.  I actually felt that way about the other guys too.  They were very endearing and realistic.  Miranda Markham was someone I admired.  I can’t imagine going through all she went through.  I  liked that we got to to see this gracious lady’s not-so-gracious moments and how the Lord cared for her in several different ways.  That’s encouraging to those dealing with difficult situations.  Watching the spark between Robert and Miranda turn into a flame is so satisfying and loaded with great anticipation.  There is actually a secondary story going on between the sheriff and Miranda’s maid, which was fun.  I didn’t want it to end.  A Loyal Heart is a complex story of the post Civil War era that’s loaded with unforgettable characters who quickly find their way into your heart.  It’s a tale you’ll find yourself thinking about long after you close the book.  Looking forward to the next story in this series.

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

A couple favorite moments:

“I’m sure we’ll take care of everything in time, ma’am” he replied, his voice gentle.  “And don’t you worry none.  Fact is, I don’t need very much at all.  Why, I’d bet a three-cent piece you’ll hardly know I’m here.”  When he left the room to find her housekeeper on his own, she sat back down.  As she sipped the rapidly cooling tea, Miranda knew one thing for certain.  it was extremely unlikely that she would forget Robert Truax was there.

“It’s going to be all right Miranda,” he murmured as he approached her.  “You are not alone any longer.  I will not leave you to face everything by yourself,” he said as he carefully wrapped his arms around her.  “I, too, have suffered, but I got stronger.  You will get stronger too” he whispered as he brought her into his embrace and held her close.

For more information about this book or other books by Shelley Shephard Gray I encourage you to visit her website at http://www.shelleyshepardgray.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 »