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

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

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 »