Friday, May 26, 2017

WED BY NECESSITY by Karen Kirst


Caroline Turner's family is a prominent one in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. But lately there has been some trouble brewing concerning her father's reputation. In order to protect him she's been paying hush money to a blackmailer with her inheritance money. If that isn't bad enough, her father goes and hires a new stable manager. Caroline's life is full of complications and it's about to get worse. Duncan McKenna has been kind of drifting around and decides to hire on as the Turner's stable manager. Sparks fly when they first meet but nothing will prepare them for what's ahead. When Caroline loses her temper she takes off on her horse full speed. Duncan followers her to make sure she and the horse are okay. But it isn't long before Caroline and the horse are injured. Duncan cares for both of them but now they've been together all night alone. When they return they are forced into a marriage neither of them wants. Caroline hates that Duncan is demanding she give up all her luxeries for a modest lifestyle. Duncan is upset that he got stuck with a society girl. However, as life settles in they begin to see the good in each other. But they each have things they're keeping from the other. Will those things destroy their tenuous relationship or will they find that the unwanted marriage was the best that every happened to them.

I always enjoy Karen Kirst's stories and Wed by Necessity is no exception. I love marriage of convenience stories so this was a 'must read'. I thoroughly enjoyed my time in Gatlinburg and getting to know Caroline and Duncan. Both had issues they had to deal with and I think the author did a good job in presenting that in a realistic way. I loved how Duncan was really mindful of the Lord's direction. You can see how that made a difference in his life as well as Caroline's. Your heart breaks for Caroline as you learn about her upbringing and how that affected her. When I finished reading, the first thing that came to mind was the verse about God working all things together for good. Sometimes we sure don't see it that way but he always knows what's best. The story has a nice steady pace with a few tense moments along the way. And as you probably already guessed, you'll find a 'happily ever after'. So head on over to Gatlinburg and see what happens when Duncan and Caroline are Wed by Necessity.

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

Some favorite moments:

"Look around, Caroline. Everything has changed. This is your home and I'm your husband. As such, your money is now mine to use as I see fit. And we're not hiring someone else to do what's your place to do." Fear left an acrid taste in her mouth. If Duncan garnered control of her money, how would she meet the blackmailer's demands?

"What if I said it's because I want to spend time with my wife?" Her eyes grew round, the initial surge of wonder eclipsed by suspicion. Concern filled him. Why would she doubt him? The wounds of her upbringing must be more serious than he'd thought. Right then and there, he prayed for wisdom in how to proceed. If they were ever going to reach a state of mutual respect and, dare he hope, affection, they had to build a foundation of trust.

My father's favorite Burns quote is 'There is no such uncertainty as a sure thing.'

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



Saturday, April 29, 2017

RESCUE ME by Susan May Warren


Willow is a pretty unconventional person but she's very good with the youth group kids at church and would like the job of Youth Leader.  But because of an incident that happened, they are not considering her for the job.  However, she wants to take the kids on one last trek.  The parents agree, only if Deputy Sam Brooks goes along.  Willows been in love with Sam Brooks for a very long time but Sam has his sights set on Willow's sister, Sierra.  When the unexpected happens they all must work together if they hope to survive.  Sam begins to see Willow as something more than Sierra's crazy little sister.  Can a life and death situation as well as a forbidden kiss change the course of the future?

This was a great addition to the Montana Rescue series and you'll find a lot happening in Mercy Falls.  Though the focus is on Sam and Willow, you also have the secondary story of Pete (Sam's brother) and Jess going on as well.  I had no issue keeping up with everything that was going on but I did feel that some parts were just a little too drawn out.  That said, there were some tense moments which certainly kept me furiously flipping pages.  Ian and Sierra are also in this story as Ian continues to look for his niece and it seems like that might carry through to the next installment as well.  I really enjoyed watching the growth of each person in the story both personally and spiritually.  No matter where you came from or where you are now, God is right there with you.  That is a great encouragement!  This is the second book in the series and I would recommend reading the first book before reading this one so you understand the background.  I am really looking forward to "A Matter of Trust" as we continue the adventure!

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

Some favorite moments:

"Jess," he said quietly.  "I don't know what you're not telling me.  But I do know this.  Jesus is Lord.  Full stop.  That means he knows the past, the future, and the now.  And he wants you to live in the truth, trusting him to fix it.

See, when we're stuck in our everyday troubles, we can get focused on them, and that's all we see.  We don't see God at work in our lives, just the darkness around us.  But if you turn it around, look up, start finding a way to thank God, even praise him, you'll discover a different view." "A different view can also show you the truth of your situation.  And the path out.  Just remember, God has this view all the time.  No detail of your life is unseen by him.  He is your guide and your protector through life's journey.  The great part is that he says 'don't worry'.  He'll take care of us.  All we have to do is be still and know that he's God."

He glanced again at Willow.  Maybe teenagers weren't the only ones in need of curbing their impulses.  Because his current impulse had to do with Willow, and the fact that he couldn't get his mind-or gaze-off her.

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



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




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 »