Friday, August 28, 2015

BURK'S SURRENDER by Dora Hiers


Deputy City Manager Burk Harmon loves his job and loves his family. He’s always been there for them but they have found love and are doing very well. Lately he’s been thinking about his own future and longing for a love like his brother and sister have found. The person that immediately comes to mind is Lacie Heatherton. She’s the Assistant Director for Parks and Recreation and has worked closely with Burk for the past ten years. Lacie however has a firm ‘no dating’ policy because of a painful past. When opportunity arises for Burk to help Lacie accompany a group of senior citizens on a weekend mountain retreat, he feels this might just be the opportunity he needs to suggest the possibility of being more than friends. Lacie knows that Burk has always been there for her, and her daughter, but will see past her strict ‘no dating’ policy to the potential of having what her heart truly longs for?

This was a great finish to the series. I loved getting a closer look at Burk Harmon and he is just a genuinely nice guy. I loved how he interacted with Lacie, her daughter and even her grandmother (who was a bit rough around the edges). The daughter was so lively and fun with all her retro sayings, she just worms her way right into your heart. Lacie had a sweet and funny personality and although I totally understood why she felt the way she did about men, I didn’t understand her reservations about Burk. She had known him for ten years and he’s always been a good friend. However, I realize that everyone handles things differently. I appreciated Burk’s strong faith and convictions and what an impact that had on those around him. That’s a good thing to remember in our own lives. People watch to see if we are who we say we are. It was great catching up with Rori and Graham as well as Beck & Savvy. I have thoroughly enjoyed the whole Harmon Heritage Series (Rori’s Healing, Beck’s Peace and Burk’s Surrender) and would highly recommend all of them!

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

Some Favorite Quotes:

“Being with a man doesn’t make you happy.” … “You’re right, sweetheart. It’s not just being with a man. The happiness should come from knowing a person, enjoying spending time with them, feeling comfortable enough to share your dreams, your worries…”

His gaze dropped to her lips, full and red, and totally kissable, which he wanted to do right now. He didn’t even care that there were fifty seniors in the room to witness their first kiss.”

“God’s love never fails. Unlike our earthly parents, He will never give up on you and no matter what you do or what you’ve done, He never considers you a failure.”

For more information about this book or other books by Dora Hiers I recommend you visit her website at dorahiers.com/.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

WOLF CREEK WIDOW by Penny Richards


Meg Thomerson's life has been difficult. First because of her mother's behavior growing up and second with the abusive man she married. Now she finds herself a widow and needing help getting back on her feet. The help comes from Ace Allen (the man who made her a widow) and his mother. Ace wants to help Meg heal mostly because of guilt but also for another reason, one he's not willing pursue. Meg fears men, thanks to her husband. She finds herself jumpy and on edge when Ace is near. But his gentle and patient ways slowly teach her how a real man should treat a woman. Ace is half-breed and has always been the subject of talk, so he's stayed mostly to himself. Meg however, has gotten under his skin and makes him long for all the things he never thought he could have. He doesn't want Meg and her kids to deal with what he dealt with growing up. Does love really conquer all?

I thoroughly enjoyed Wolf Creek Widow. It was an easy going story that had a gentle pace so you just enjoyed the journey. The characters were very well drawn and fully fleshed out. Meg was someone your heart went out to. She was very sweet but life had dealt her an awful hand. Ace was a the kind of hero that you just can't get enough of. I loved the way he was with Meg and how he gently handled her. Definitely a swoon worthy guy! I also appreciated Ace's mother. She was such a wise woman who seemed to know just what to say. This was an uplifting story but it also tackled some tough subjects like abuse, racism and taking someone life. All of which were handled very well. The message that God is always with us was woven throughout but we also see that although we go through difficult, sometimes unthinkable things, that God uses those circumstances in our lives for a purpose. That to me was encouraging. My one disappointment was in how the ending was handled. To me it was such a great build-up only to end abruptly. I was really left wanting more, perhaps an epilogue or something just to make it feel more complete. Other than that, it was great story. This is book 4 in the Wolf Creek series yet I didn't feel lost. It actually made me want to read the other stories in the series because the secondary characters were very endearing. I'm a cover person and this cover really made me want to read the story.

Some favorite quotes:

"He'd begun to treat things he'd once considered burdens as opportunities to change his thinking and to grow in faith and trust in God."

"...I never forgot what my father always said about rough times. "When something bad happens to you, lad, it seems to me you've three choices." "...You can let it define you, destroy you or make you stronger."

"One of the hardest things for me is to thank God for the bad things that come my way." "How can anyone do that?" she asked, wide-eyed. "Believe me, it isn't easy," he said in a wry tone, "but I truly believe that things, good and bad, happen for a reason, and I know God sifts us, give us trials, little tests to see how loyal we really are."

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



Wednesday, August 12, 2015

BEYOND THE CHEROKEE TRAIL by Lisa Carter


Linden Birchfield is organizing the 180th commemoration of the Trail of Tears in the Cherokee community of Cartridge Cove.  That's where she runs into Walker Crowe.  Walker is an ex-army sniper whose ancestors hid in the Snowbird Mountains to avoid deportation.  Walker doesn't think any good will come out this commemorative festival but will only dredge up the past.  Even though they seem to be like oil and water, they have an undeniable chemistry.  Walker is strong in his faith but not really looking for love, until Linden.  Linden's past has caused her to lose faith and give up what her heart desires.  She and her Grandma find the diary of a woman who lived during that period and Linden is captivated by her story.  As the festival draws closer so do Walker and Linden.  Linden is finding solace in the Snowbird Mountains but the quiet community is disrupted when they find some don't want to festival to take place.  Will Walker and Linden discover who they are before it’s too late?

I loved this story.  It's really two stories in one.  The author alternates between the modern day story and the diary, which is the historical account of the Trail of Tears.  At first, I wasn't sure if I would like that but I found myself fascinated by both stories.  I loved getting to know all the characters in both stories but especially Sarah Jane (in the diary).  Wow.  I was reminded throughout the story of the strength of the human spirit and the faithfulness of God in the darkest of times.  There was so much emotion, especially in the last half of the book that I found myself grabbing for the tissues.  Linden was a bit frustrating to me the way she kept wallowing in her past but I know any one of us could probably be that way about something.  I loved Walker Crowe. He was one of those heroes that you just can't get enough of, you know, the swoon-worthy type!  This is one of those stories that just keeps you turning pages because you have to know what happens.  The only thing that would have made this story better for me was an epilogue.  I loved the ending but just wished it would have been carried out a little further.  The author's dedication lets you know that though the story is fiction the historical events are not.  That really elevated this book to another level.  You'll understand why it's called The Trail of Tears.  Beyond the Cherokee Trail is a story that will stay with you long after you close the book.  It's a keeper and one I would definitely recommend.

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

Some Favorite quotes:
She made a conscious effort to peel her eyes off Walker Crowe.  And Failed.  Because despite the red flannel shirt and cell phone affixed to the pocket of his blue jeans - all of which he filled out so well - there was something wild and untamed about him.  Exciting and scary, all at the same instant.

"You are all he talked about when he picked me up for our rotation at the dinner - and believe me when I tell you Walker uses words like he has to pay for each one."

"...I discovered my faith had been misplaced."  "What do you mean?"  "My faith in these mountains.  In myself.  In everything that had no power in and of itself to cleanse and heal."

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





Monday, August 3, 2015

BECK'S PEACE by Dora Hiers


Savvy McCord is a burn survivor and feels her scars make her unattractive and unworthy of love and marriage.  What else can she think when Beck Harmon, her best friend and the man she’s loved forever, takes off after only seeing part of her scarring.  He ran away and didn’t return.  Beck Harmon has spent years running and searching for peace.  Now he’s returned home a changed man and finds the connection with Savvy is still very strong.  He has a heart for burn victims and wants Savvy to help him with his idea of how to minister to them.  Savvy wants to help Beck but her feelings for him are still strong and she fears her heart will be broken again if he takes off.  Can Beck convince Savvy that he’s a changed man and that he thinks she’s beautiful inside and out?  Is Savvy willing to risk giving her heart again to the man that broke it apart all those years ago?

Wow!  Beck’s Peace is a wonderful soul-stirring story that you’ll think about long after you close the book.  This is book 2 in the Harmon Heritage series and picks up where book 1 left off.  I wasn’t sure at first if I was going to like Beck.  I mean, he took off and hasn’t had any contact with Savvy at all and you feel her heartache. But the longer you read the more you realize that those years away (and the Lord) really changed him.  I fell in love with Beck.  He was such a neat guy and so romantic.  I loved the way he handled his return and the way he was with Savvy.  The interaction and dialog between them was outstanding.  We got to know Savvy in Rori’s Healing and I thoroughly enjoyed seeing how her story played out.  She is outwardly strong yet she has such a kind and tender heart.  I love the way this story encourages burn victims to remember that who they are hasn’t changed because of their scars.  In fact, we all have scars, it’s just some of us have ones you can’t see.  We are reminded that man look on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.  There are lots of tender moments woven throughout but there are also some humorous moments too, right when you need them.  Beck’s Peace kept me quickly turning pages from beginning to end yet wanting to savor every moment.  I labeled it as a favorite and one I would definitely recommend.

Some Favorite Quotes:

“Why did it always take something catastrophic to make a person long for what could have been?  To make a person take stock of their blessings and realize what they’d given up or taken for granted?”

“Savanna McCord, I have been from one end of this earth to the other.  You are the most beautiful woman on the face of the planet.  Don’t you ever believe otherwise.”

For more information about this book or other books by Dora Hiers I recommend you visit her website at dorahiers.com/.

Monday, July 27, 2015

RORI'S HEALING by Dora Hiers


Rori Harmon loves living on her animal sanctuary where she feels safe. The circumstances surrounding her father's death and the way the media behaved has pushed her into a life of solitude except for her family. She's uncomfortable with men except for her brother and step-father. As much as she dreams of a husband and family she knows it's not in her future. Graham Decker is a racecar driver with a heart of gold. It would seem though that women are not interested in his heart, only in his wallet. He longs for a woman who would love him for the man he is not what he has. In an effort to support the rescue of animals, he shows up at Rori's animal sanctuary, just in time to help deliver a llama baby. Rori mistakes him for the vet and he doesn't feel inclined to correct her until he has a chance to get to know her. He's delighted and surprised to find she doesn't know who he is. Could Rori be the woman who would finally see him for him instead of his wallet? Rori knows there is no way she could ever fall for someone who is constantly in the media. But Graham is a man of his word, just as he told her. Will all things truly work together for good for two hurting hearts?

WOW!!! I absolutely loved Rori's Healing. I kept thinking as I was reading that this should definitely be a Hallmark movie!! I read the story in one setting because I could not put it down. I really enjoyed the fact that it was just a wonderful romantic read. No bad guys, no major crisis, but a story where you savor every page, and I did!! Rori was so thoughtful and giving and you hurt for her because of the things she’s gone through. Graham Decker is an absolutely swoon-worthy hero. I love the way he handled things and the way he was with Rory! (whew!!! Get your fan out ladies). Although Graham suffered hurt his faith shined through to those around him. It's not always easy turning our greatest fears over to the Lord, but we're reminded that he's always with us. One thing that was really fun was reading about the llamas and Graham's dog. Rori's Healing is definitely a favorite and one I will read again. It comes HIGHLY recommended by this reader but I caution you to set aside a block of time because, like watching a good movie, you'll want to see it through to the end!

A couple favorite quotes:
"Rori, God decides when I go home. Whether that's in a racecar or just sitting in my chair in the office." He heard her soft intake of breath, but he had to go on. "You don't need to face this alone. God will walk this path with you, just like He does with me. He can take that fear and replace it with peace."

"We've both lived through pain and suffering and survived, by the grace of God. We survived, Rori, but that doesn't mean we don't carry our scars forever."

For more information about this book or other books by Dora Hiers I recommend you visit her website at dorahiers.com/.

Monday, July 20, 2015

FORGOTTEN MEMORIES by Laura Scott


Shane Hawkins (who’s a SWAT cop) stops by the hospital to pick up evidence for a case he’s working on. Instead of picking it up right away he decides to stop by and see Dr. Gabriella Fielding to once again thank her for saving his life. Imagine his surprise when he sees her walking outside of the hospital at night, alone and then sees two men grab her and put her in a pick-up truck. Shane vows to help Gabby find out who’s after her, but she no idea why someone would want to kidnap her. Shane is not sure what to think but they need to figure out if maybe it’s some kind of repressed memory. As they work together to figure out just who the enemy is, their mutual attraction becomes stronger and stronger. But someone doesn’t want Gabby to remember the past. Will they figure out who it is before it’s too late?

Forgotten Memories is the fourth book in the series and the third book I’ve read in the SWAT: Top Cops series and all of them have been very good. Laura Scott has such a talent for keeping you on your toes and providing the reader with the perfect blend of danger, suspense and romance. I enjoyed the interaction between Gabby and Shane. You meet them in Under the Lawman’s Protection, so it was great to see how their story unfolds. Shane is a really great guy. I liked that he was so open about his faith and lived what he believed, it made Gabby take notice. Gabby was both smart and sweet and someone who always puts others first. I enjoyed that the characters from the previous stories are peppered throughout this story. You could read this as a stand alone and wouldn’t feel lost but the whole series (or the three I’ve read) have been really good and I would recommend any and all of them. If you’re in the mood for a good romantic suspense remember to pick up ‘Forgotten Memories’!
*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 Laura Scott, I recommend you visit her website at http://www.laurascottbooks.com/

Sunday, July 12, 2015

A HEART'S HOME by Colleen Coble


 Coming to terms with her feelings for Isaac, Emmie agrees to marry him.   Things are looking up as Joy and happiness abound.   Emmie, Sarah and Amelia begin plans for her wedding.  Then the unthinkable happens and a friend asks the impossible.  Will Emmie honor the promise she made once to his wife.  The promise that if anything happened to her she would marry her husband and raise their child as her own.  Emmie want's to honor the promise she made but that would mean giving up her own happiness for a loveless marriage.  The Sioux wars have escalated and everyone is on high alert.  Isaac is sent to another fort along with another soldier,  in a blizzard, hoping one of them might make in order to gather reinforcements to fight against the Sioux.  Before he leaves  he talks with Jacob and they make a deal.  What was the deal and what if Isaac doesn't return safely?  Will they all find the happiness they so long for?

This last book was, I think, the most emotional of all the books in the series and really was my favorite.  You'll experience extreme joy and heart-wrenching sorrow right along with these folks you've come to care for.  I was sad to see this series come to a close but I think the author did an excellent job with the ending and the epilogue.  It was completely satisfying.  I enjoyed seeing some of the characters return from the previous books.  Life at a fort was definitely difficult and scary, but the faith of the characters came shining through.  It was realistic in that they were scared, angry and questioning God because of things that happened, just as we would.  Trusting the Lord isn't easy when things don't make sense but we know He is always right there with us.  If you enjoy a good western saga with danger, deceit, love, hate, faith and where you come to really care about the folks you're reading about, then I recommend not only A Heart's Home but the whole series.  It truly is a Journey of the Heart!  I strongly suggest you read them in order as it's in a serial type format.  I would also like to add that I really like the the covers on the books, they just beckon you to read them.

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 Colleen Coble, I suggest you visit her website at http://colleencoble.com/






Saturday, July 11, 2015

A HEART'S PROMISE by Colleen Coble


Isaac Liddle is determined to win Emmie Croftner’s heart.  Emmie’s drawn to Isaac but she’s not sure how he’ll feel about her when he finds out the truth surrounding her pregnancy.  She also has a hard time trusting a man after Monroe.  Then a woman shows up at the fort and sets her sights on Isaac.  Emmie is not sure what to do as this woman is a formidable foe.  Then a friend asks her for a promise that could change everything.  A promise, that if anything happened to her in childbirth, she would marry her husband and raise the child as her own.  When the birth becomes difficult, Emmie fears she just might have to keep her promise.  And then what would happen with Isaac?

This is the fifth installment in the Journey of the Heart Series and we once again find ourselves at the fort.  The pages are full of emotion as Emmie struggles with the idea of love, a good friend asks Emmie for a big promise, two women from the past show up and Isaac is trying his best to get past Emmie’s protective wall.  None of these issues are easy.  I appreciated the genuine faith these folks displayed though.  You again get an idea of how tough life was at the fort and what courage and stamina it took to live there.  I have thoroughly enjoyed this series and by this installment I’ve really come to care about these folks.  This story is part of a serial series so you really need to read them in order as each story picks up where the previous one left off.

*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 Colleen Coble I encourage you to visit her website at http://colleencoble.com/



Friday, July 10, 2015

WANTED: ROYAL PRINCESS OF CONVENIENCE by Anna Dynowski


Prince Cristiano is second in line for the throne so he doesnt carry the pressure his older brother Stefano does, however he works very hard as the Minister of Finance, Tourism and Sports.  He is tall, dark and handsome and considered by women to be a great catch.  Too bad those women only see him for his princely status and the fan-fare that goes along with being royalty.  He longs to find a woman who sees him for the man he really is.  Ciara Janicki is a public relations consultant hired by the royal family to work alongside Prince Cristiano to promote tourism to Mondoverde.  Ciaras not worried about succumbing to any royal charm.  Shes not interested in men, period!  But the more time she spends with him the more she realizes hes not at all as she expected.  His kindness, charm and his wonderful family cause her to yearn for things she can only dream of.  Cristiano is drawn to Ciara because she is not impressed with his title or position.  Knowing Ciara is the answer to his prayers, he proposes a marriage of convenience that would benefit both of them.  But how can Ciara marry a prince when she knows very well she is not princess material.

I thoroughly enjoyed this royal treat!  It was so much fun to return to Mondoverde.  I enjoyed getting to know Cristiano in the first book and was excited to hear his story.  Prince Cristiano will make your toes curl with his romantic ways and quiet strength.  Hes the kind of man every little girl dreams of growing up and marrying.  I must say that I really didnt care for Ciara much in the beginning but as you get to know her, you understand why she is the way she is. You also see how the faith of Cristiano and his family made a difference.   It was so much fun catching up with Stefano and Sofia.  I really like Sofia and I like how she treated Ciara.  I appreciated the whole family dynamic and the way their love for each other is shown in tangible ways.  Their playful banter is a lot of fun too.  The author did a wonderful job weaving Biblical truths naturally throughout the story.  I have been thoroughly enjoying this series and am looking forward to seeing what happens with the next Mondoverde prince.  If you want to get away from it all for just a little while, then I highly recommend a trip to Mondoverde.  I know you will fall in love with the Graziani family, just as I did!

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

A couple favorite quotes:

Prince Cristiano to Ciara
“Listen to me.  Your parents do not define who you are.  Their genes and blood in you do not define your character.  Their mistakes do not define you…”

Princess Cristina to Ciara
“Imagine Ciara, my husband, the ruler of our country, maintains meticulous control at all times, but stuck in the birthing room and he falls apart.”

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


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