Monday, September 2, 2019

Christian Auther about 9 Pioneer Couples Risk All for Love and Land! 4 Stars!

9 Pioneering Couples Risk All for Love and Land
by Mary Connealy; Darlene Franklin; Ruth Logan Herne; Carla Gade; Pam Hillman; DiAnn Mills; Erica Vetsch; Becca Whitham; Kathleen Y'Barbo
Christian Romance
Nine compelling stories about women who end up as homestead brides.  Each story is different and all of them were well written I did enjoy them.  I’ve always loved reading about the people who lived years back and were those who built houses some made of sod, lived with almost nothing compared to what we all have today and built lives that were strong in faith and love.  These romance stories were all Christian based.  There was no strong language or hot love scenes, these are simpler stories that are sweet and easy to read.  I enjoyed each of the stories in a different way.  I’m not going to rate each story separately. I won’t describe each story as the description is detailed below as found on

I received the collection through in the kindle format.  I like to read books by new authors, several different genres, and I like to post my opinions on the books to be helpful to the authors, the publishing houses and to  I do also post reviews on Facebook, my blog and Amazon.  #TheHomesteadBridesCollection.
Below are the descriptions of the books included in the collection:
Love Stakes a Claim on the Great Plains

Through nine historical romance adventures, readers will journey along with individuals who are ready to stake a claim and plant their dreams on a piece of the great American plains. While fighting land disputes, helping neighbors, and tackling the challenges of nature the homesteaders are placed in the path of other dreamers with whom romance sparks. And God has His hand in orchestrating each unique meeting.

Homestead on the Range by Mary Conneally
Widower Elle Winter meets new homesteader Colin Samuelson on the Nebraska prairie, but the attraction between them is soon dampened by the discovery that they have seven children between them. Soon their children are working against them to bring the two families together.
Priceless Pearl by Darlene Franklin
Rick Eady grew up knowing how to make do with little, while America Barton grew up having plenty. When they secure claims near each other in the Oklahoma Land Rush, Rick often comes to the aide of the inept Barton family and their pretty daughter.
Proving Up by Carla Olson Gade
Elsa Lindquist applies her scientific theories to growing trees on the Nebraska plains, intruding on a handsome homesteader’s hard work and experience. Will their dreams come to ruin, or will love prove their success?
Prairie Promises by Ruth Logan Herne
Jack O’Donnell storms onto the Nebraska homestead determined to take his widowed mother back East with him. But he finds her fit and determined to stay; plus she has taken a pregnant widow—rumored to be crazy—under her wing who wouldn’t survive without his mother’s help.
This Land Is Our Land by Pam Hillman
Caught in an early blizzard, orphan Mollie Jameson is frantic to make it to Lincoln, Nebraska, to claim land her father homesteaded six months ago. If she can’t get there in time, her family will be homeless. Then in steps a foot-loose and fancy-free cowboy willing to help them along the trail, but can they trust him to race for the land office with their deed?
Flaming Starr by DiAnn Mills
Starr Matthews arrives at her Texas homestead only to find it already claimed by a widower and his children, who have been praying for a mother. Starr has money, but she has no skills; while Aaron Conrad has the homesteading skills, but no money for supplies. Can they work as a team?
A Palace on the Plains by Erica Vetsch
Julie Farrington arrives at a Nebraska homestead as hired seamstress for an upcoming wedding. Cyrus Haskell is content being a widowed father and doesn’t need to be distracted by who he considers a high-falutin’ city girl—until a natural disaster puts her worth to the test.
Waiting on a Promise by Becca Whitham
Marta Vogel’s fiancĂ© left over a year ago to claim land in Oklahoma, and she is tired of his excuses that keep her from joining him. Karl Reinhart is locked in a bitter land dispute. When Marta arrives uninvited and unannounced, her presence is more than a trifling distraction. She just may cause him to lose everything.
The Bogus Bride of Creed Creek by Kathleen Y'Barbo
The last thing Iz McBride expects to find when he returns home to his Texas ranch is a pregnant wife. Apparently, his pregnant wife. Yet everyone in Creed Creek seems to love Cora McBride. The only trouble is, she’s an imposter. Now Iz must decide whether to evict the woman or marry her.

Yours Truly Thomas – Christian Author Rachel Fordham – 5 Stars!

For three years Penny Ercanbeck has worked in the dead letter office.  She loves what she is doing…..she has to open others mail if there are no clues to the correct address on the outside of the mail.  She comes across letters from a man who is real pain who writes to his sweetheart, and always signs the letter “Yours Truly Thomas”.  Penny has no idea Thomas had no intention of the letter reaching the recipient.  He just wants to get his pain, anguish and sadness for a sweetheart.  His pain touches Penny so much she actually travels to the town to try and find the recipient.  She finds out there is no way to send the letter on.
She comes up with the idea to track Thomas down.  He isn’t where he planned on traveling to.  He was going out west but he got stuck in Azure Springs.  Penny wants to find this man to tell him why his letters are not being answered.  She has no idea how she’ll be received and she is going against every rule they have at the post office by going to Azure Springs.  She doesn’t know exactly where it is he lives but knows he had to stop and ended up staying in Azure Springs.  Great book fast read, couldn’t put it down.  I loved the ending.  The author developed the characters well and wrote a well-researched story.  I don’t want to put any spoilers in here.
I received this book in kindle format from “I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.”

Description as found on NetGalley -
For three years, Penny Ercanbeck has been opening other people's mail. Dead ends are a reality for clerks at the Dead Letter Office. Still she dreams of something more--a bit of intrigue, a taste of romance, or at least a touch less loneliness. When a letter from a brokenhearted man to his one true love falls into her hands, Penny seizes this chance to do something heroic. It becomes her mission to place this lost letter into the hands of its intended recipient.

Thomas left his former life with no intention of ending up in Azure Springs, Iowa. He certainly didn't expect a happy ending after what he had done. All he wanted to do was run and never look back. In a moment of desperation, he began to write, never really expecting a reply.

When Penny's undertaking leads her to the intriguing man who touched her soul with his words, everything grows more complicated. She wants to find the rightful owner of the letter and yet she finds herself caring--perhaps too much--for the one who wrote it.

Sunday, August 18, 2019

Elevator Pitch by Linwood Barclay – 5 Stars!

Honestly if I could give this more I would.  I think this is my favorite book of the season, of those authors I had never read before.  It is a thriller, compelling you to keep reading after the first couple of pages.  The story was well thought out, well timed, no lags, and the characters were well fleshed out and I liked the way they included in the story.  I know I should have figured out how it ended before it did, honestly though I couldn’t figure out which character did it…..and why.  I could see where it was going but couldn’t figure out who fixed those elevators. When reading it really makes you think… I really want to take an elevator?  I’m not including a description of the book as it is shown in Goodreads which you can see below.

I won this book in a Goodreads contest as an Advanced Reader’s Edition.  I love to read these discover new authors and write reviews about their books when I’m done, to help others discover the newest great new book!  #LinwoodBarclay. #ElevatorPitch. #takethestairs. #willammorrowbooks.

Description from Goodreads:
The New York Times bestselling author of A Noise Downstairs and No Time for Goodbye returns with an edge-of-your-seat thriller that does for elevators what Psycho did for showers and Jaws did for the beach—a heart-pounding tale in which a series of disasters paralyzes New York City with fear.

It all begins on a Monday, when four people board an elevator in a Manhattan office tower. Each presses a button for their floor, but the elevator proceeds, non-stop, to the top. Once there, it stops for a few seconds, and then plummets.

Right to the bottom of the shaft.

It appears to be a horrific, random tragedy. But then, on Tuesday, it happens again, in a different Manhattan skyscraper. And when Wednesday brings yet another high-rise catastrophe, one of the most vertical cities in the world—and the nation’s capital of media, finance, and entertainment—is plunged into chaos.

Clearly, this is anything but random. This is a cold, calculated bid to terrorize the city. And it’s working. Fearing for their lives, thousands of men in women working in offices across the city refuse leave their homes. Commerce has slowed to a trickle. Emergency calls to the top floors of apartment buildings go unanswered.

Who is behind this? Why are they doing it? What do these deadly acts of sabotage have to do with the fingerless body found on the High Line? Two seasoned New York detectives and a straight-shooting journalist must race against time to find the answers before the city’s newest, and tallest, residential tower has its Friday night ribbon-cutting.

With each diabolical twist, Linwood Barclay ratchets up the suspense, building to a shattering finale. Pulsating with tension, Elevator Pitch is a riveting tale of psychological suspense that is all too plausible . . . and will chill readers to the bone

Saturday, August 3, 2019

Into The Jungle by Erica Ferencik – I gave this jungle romance 4 Stars!

This book didn’t grab me from the beginning….it was a slow burn.  I would read a few pages, get distracted and put it down.  When I got half way through I found I was reading more and more before I put the book down.  Closer to the end I had to keep reading I was invested in the characters and had to find out how it was going to end.  There are mystical qualities that I didn’t expect to find with this book.  The author did a fabulous job at researching the flora, fauna and people of the Bolivian jungle.  You will learn a lot as you read this book, it’s very interesting, captivating towards the end and you’ll have to finish the book with a better knowledge of what it is like to live in the jungle.  I won’t talk about the characters or story of the book as I’m going to include the description as found on Goodreads.

I won a review copy of this book from #Goodreads, #ScoutPressBooks, and the author #EricaFerencik of #IntoTheJungleBook.  The review includes my own thoughts and I do this review thoroughly willingly…..I like to support authors!
Description as found on Goodreads:
In this pulse-pounding thriller from the author of the “haunting, twisting thrill ride” (Megan Miranda, New York Times bestselling author) The River at Night, a young woman leaves behind everything she knows to take on the Bolivian jungle, but her excursion abroad quickly turns into a fight for her life.

Lily Bushwold thought she’d found the antidote to endless foster care and group homes: a teaching job in Cochabamba, Bolivia. As soon as she could steal enough cash for the plane, she was on it.

When the gig falls through and Lily stays in Bolivia, she finds bonding with other broke, rudderless girls at the local hostel isn’t the life she wants either. Tired of hustling and already world-weary, crazy love finds her in the form she least expected: Omar, a savvy, handsome local man who’d abandoned his life as a hunter in Ayachero—a remote jungle village—to try his hand at city life.

When Omar learns that a jaguar has killed his four-year-old nephew in Ayachero, he gives Lily a choice: Stay alone in the unforgiving city, or travel to the last in a string of ever-more-isolated river towns in the jungles of Bolivia. Thirty-foot anaconda? Puppy-sized spiders? Vengeful shamans with unspeakable powers? Love-struck Lily is oblivious. She follows Omar to this ruthless new world of lawless poachers, bullheaded missionaries, and desperate indigenous tribes driven to the brink of extinction. To survive, Lily must navigate the jungle--its wonders as well as its terrors—using only her wits and resilience.

Primal, gripping, and terrifying, Into the Jungle features Erica Ferencik’s signature “visceral, white-knuckle” (Entertainment Weekly) prose that will sink its fangs into you and not let go.

Saturday, July 27, 2019

Layover by David Bell – 5 Stars!

I loved this book. It was fast paced, interesting, I was invested in the characters and wanted to keep reading to the end to find out what finally happened between Joshua and Morgan.  It was well written and a very compelling read.  The description below gives you the story line. I just want to say, pick it up, you’ll have to read it to the end!  You will love the book, I did!

“I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.” I participated in the June 2019 Goodreads giveaway for “Layover” by David Bell.  #Layover #DavidBell #PenguinRandomHouse

Description as found on Good Reads:
In this high concept psychological suspense novel from the USA Today bestselling author of Somebody's Daughter, a chance meeting with a woman in an airport sends a man on a 
pulse-pounding quest for the truth... 

Joshua Fields takes the same flights every week for work. His life is a series of departures and arrivals, hotels and airports. During yet another layover, Joshua meets Morgan, a beautiful stranger with whom he feels an immediate connection. When it's time for their flights, Morgan gets up to leave, leans over and passionately kisses Joshua, lamenting that they'll never see each other again.

As Morgan slips away, Joshua is left feeling confused by what just happened between them. That's when he looks up and is shocked to see Morgan's face flashing on a nearby TV screen. He's even more shocked when he learns the reason why--Morgan is a missing person.

What follows is a whirlwind, fast-paced journey filled with lies, deceit, and secrets to discover the truth about why Morgan is on the run. But when he finally thinks every mystery is solved, another rears its head, and Joshua's worst enemy may be his own assumptions about those around him...

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Invisible As Air by Zoe Fishman - 4 Stars

I did find the story believable and well written.  The author has her characters written in such a way that you become invested in them and have to keep reading to find out how things are going to end.  It is one that many have had to do, fight the fight of addiction, after sinking as low as they can go.

I received the book from the Author through Good Reads. She gave away only so many copies and I was lucky enough to have my name drawn for one.   I gave this book four stars.  I enjoyed reading it.  My review was of my own volition I do this to help the authors.  #InvisibleAsAir 

Description as found on Good Reads:
Sylvie Snow a Mother of a twelve-year-old son, a Mother, A Wife, A career woman, she wears many hats.  She has been repressing her sorrow and guilt over carrying a child full term and then having to deliver a still born baby who hadn’t been kicking in the last week.  She’s sure it’s her fault but she talks to no one and she keeps her grief hidden.  On the 3rd anniversary of Delilah’s death Sylvie takes one of the oxycodone pills meant for her husband who broke his ankle.  He’s not taking them.  She just wants   to see if it will help her cope with the day.  She becomes that day, happier, more calm, nicer, more patient and then she decides she needs another pill and another….This book is about Sylvie’s journey into addiction of pharmaceutical grade oxycodone.

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

The Escape Room by Megan Goldin (Goodreads Author) - 5 Stars - This is a thriller!

Wow this book pulls you in almost immediately!  I received it and started reading as soon as I was able.  The story is about a woman who graduates from school and gets herself a job at a very influential and powerful finance group in the world of Wall Street finance.  The book talks about the Escape Room and the four people who are struggling to solve with the problems given so that they can get out of the elevator.  Every other chapter is about Sara Hill and what happened to her, then it switches and is back to talking about the Escape Rom, which is the elevator.  I would read a chapter about Sara, then look so forward to the next chapter that tells about the people stuck in the elevator. 
I had to find out if they were able to get out alive!

The book was sent to me as a part of the early reader campaign for the book, “The Escape Room”, written by Megan Goldin, published by St. Martin’s Press.  This was a physiological thriller.  I couldn’t put the book down until I was finished with it.  You will start with a suspicion of what happens to the occupants of The Escape Room, but by the end you will find yourself tearing through to the ending to see what happens. #TheEscapeRoomBook #MeganGoldin #St.MartinsPress

Description as found on Good Reads:
Vincent, Jules, Sylvie, and Sam are ruthlessly ambitious high-flyers working in the lucrative world of Wall Street finance where deception and intimidation thrive. Getting rich is all that matters, and they'll do anything to reach the top.

When they are ordered to participate in a corporate team-building exercise that requires them to escape from a locked elevator, dark secrets of their team begin to be laid bare.

The biggest mystery to solve in this lethal game: What happened to Sara Hall? Once a young shining star—”now gone but not forgotten”.

This is no longer a game.
They’re fighting for their lives. 

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

The Things I Know by Amanda Prowse – NetGalley – 4 Stars

This book was really hard to get into. It was a slow starter for me and I kept with it in spits and spurts.  It was a pick me up, put me down book.  I was so glad I kept with it.  The main character is disabled and lives on her family farm. She is cared for but has a cousin who makes her life worse by being incredibly mean. She so longs for love, travel, the things other people take for granted.  Her brother leaving the farm for a life in the US on a ranch really is hard on her.  Then a visitor comes to stay at their B&B and her life is to change in all the best ways possible.  This book does unfold to become a really great romance that tugs at your heart strings as you go through the hurdles with these two as they find each other.  Stay with the book it’s worth it in the end!

Description From NetGalley:
From bestselling author Amanda Prowse comes a heartwarming tale of first impressions and lasting love.
Thomasina ‘Hitch’ Waycott loves living and working on the remote family farm and B&B. But she also wants more. To see the world. To own her own home. To fall madly in love.
But those are fairy tales, and if her life is a fairy tale, then she’s the ugly duckling. Her deformed lip, her crooked limbs and her weak heart have kept her from taking chances. But that’s about to change.
When Grayson Potts comes to stay, he’s unlike anyone Thomasina has ever met. He’s aloof, eccentric and exceptionally kind. He’s also totally unconcerned with the physical flaws that have always defined Thomasina.
The two form a bond that neither has had before. It’s possible that it could become something more, but Thomasina also wonders if it’s too good to be true. By putting her heart on the line, Thomasina may open herself to heartbreak. But she may also open herself to so much more.

A Note From the Publisher
Amanda Prowse likens her own life story to those she writes about in her books. After self-publishing her debut novel, Poppy Day, in 2011, she has gone on to author twenty-one novels and six novellas. Her books have been translated into a dozen languages and she regularly tops bestseller charts all over the world. Remaining true to her ethos, Amanda writes stories of ordinary women and their families who find their strength, courage and love tested in ways they never imagined. The most prolific female contemporary-fiction writer in the UK, with a legion of loyal readers, she goes from strength to strength. Being crowned ‘queen of domestic drama’ by the Daily Mail was one of her finest moments. Amanda is a regular contributor on TV and radio but her first love is, and will always be, writing. You can find her online at, on Twitter @MrsAmandaProwse, and on Facebook at

Texas Summer by Leslie Hachtel (Goodreads Author) - 4 Stars

This was more of a murder mystery with hot fast romance thrown in.  The romance was kind of at an unbelievable pace into sex rather than a nice slow burn romance which is more to my taste.  The murder mystery part was interesting.  The book did hold my attention I was able to read it fairly quickly but it wasn’t one of my I can’t put this book down types.  I give this one 4 stars.

I won the book through Good Reads I believe; the contest was there.  I got it in the mail along with a nice note from the author.  I have a blog and regularly post reviews there to help out the author and the publishing house.

Description as found on Good Reads:
Greed. Lust. Murder...just another day in Snakewater Texas.

When Wylie Nichols's car breaks down just outside of Snakewater, the last thing he expects is for his life to irrevocably change. Nothing in the sleepy little Texas town is what it appears, and neither is the pretty, enigmatic Kennedy, who he can't seem to get out of his head.

Kennedy has been named the beneficiary to her late father's fortune, and her two half-sisters are none too happy. Seems their father was murdered, and her half-sisters are certain Kennedy had something to do with it. Then one of Kennedy's half-sisters turns up dead, and a third body is found as well. The entire town seems to think Kennedy's to blame, and who better to have as an accomplice than that strange newcomer, Wylie Nichols?

Kennedy can't keep Wylie out of her thoughts either, and something about the mysterious stranger makes her wish she could change the past. But when a fourth body is found, the evidence implicating Wylie and Kennedy seems unshakable. Wylie knows they're being framed, and if it’s the last thing he does, he's going to prove Kennedy's innocence. But when Kennedy disappears, it's all Wylie can do to stay free—and alive—long enough to find her... 

A Highlander Walks into a Bar (Highland, Georgia #1) by Laura Trentham – 5 Stars

 At first, I couldn’t figure out where she got the title, the highlander did come to town and did meet Isabel Buchanan, but when he did actually walk into the bar there was an entire scene that happened that was so real, I was wishing I was there to see the action.  It was a real moment that kept me thinking about it and wishing it would happen to me even though I’m married.  She wrote a fun book.  A great romance with a spin to it.  It was a fast read and I really enjoyed it. 

I won the book through Good Reads, and I always write reviews to help promote the author and the publishing house.  They need help so the we keep getting great books!

Description as found on Good Reads:
The timeless romance, soaring passion—and gorgeous men—of Scotland comes to modern-day America. And the rules of love will never be the same…

Isabel Buchanan is fiery, funny, and never at a loss for words. But she is struck speechless when her mother returns from a trip to Scotland with a six-foot-tall, very handsome souvenir. Izzy’s mother is so infatuated by the fellow that Izzy has to plan their annual Highland Games all by herself. Well, not completely by herself. The Highlander’s strapping young nephew has come looking for his uncle…

Alasdair Blackmoor has never seen a place as friendly as this small Georgia town—or a girl as brilliant and beguiling as Izzy. Instead of saving his uncle, who seems to be having a lovely time, Alasdair decides he’d rather help Izzy with the Highland Games. Show her how to dance like a Highlander. Drink like a Highlander. And maybe, just maybe, fall in love with a Highlander. But when the games are over, where do they go from here?
“Laura Trentham creates a romance that is both extremely sensual and phenomenal.”
Fresh Fiction

Saturday, June 22, 2019

Sweet as Honey (The Honeybee Sisters #1) by Jennifer Beckstrand (Goodreads Author) - 5 Stars!

I loved this book! I do like to read about the Amish and their ways.  The author sure did her research I learned more about bee keeping than I would have ever imagined.  Also, the rules on courting.  The girls lost their parents and their Aunt has cared for them for years.  She is quirky and different.  She only follows the rules of the Amish in order to raise her sisters’ daughters in the way she wanted them raised.  Paul thinks he has Lily all sewn up for a wife and then Dan Kanagy comes back to the community and he’s been in love with Lily since they were young and she was a gawky teenager.  He wanted to get her attention so he called her names, he thought all of that was an affectionate way to get her attention.  So he starts in when he returns to Wisconsin.  Lily still feels like that teenager who was always really hurt when Dan called her names.  Paul is worried when Dan starts working to be forgiven by Lily so that he may gain her interest.  Paul tells lies and may get caught up in them.  His Father has taught him no better.  Dan would do anything to make Lily happy even step aside but he doesn’t believe Paul for a minute.  Who will win her hand?  It’s a fairly simply romance with the usual doubts and times of being insecure by the men and the women but it is made more interesting by those that are trying to stay true to their Amish faith at the same time.  I did really enjoy this story and read it all in one day. 

Description as found on Amazon:
“Sweet as Honey is a warm, wonderful book filled with delightful characters, humor and tenderness. Jennifer Beckstrand writes lovely stories, sure to touch your heart.”--RaeAnne Thayne, New York Times bestselling author

Smart, kind, and good-hearted, the three Christner girls are affectionately known as The Honeybee Sisters in the beloved Wisconsin Amish community where, under the care of their aunt, they've grown into skilled beekeepers--and lovely, sought-after young women. . .

Though she has blossomed into a beauty, Lily Christner doesn't really believe it. Deep down, she still feels like a lonely, gawky teenager. Maybe that's why she's all but promised herself to Paul Glick, the one boy who never teased her in her awkward girlhood--unlike Dan Kanagy, whose creative name-calling left her in tears many a time. Now he's back in town after two years away--and being surprisingly sweet, suspiciously attentive--and making Lily unsettlingly yet deliciously nervous. It seems Dan wants Lily's forgiveness--and her heart. But can he convince her--not to mention her protective schwesters and aendi--that despite the past, her future lies with him?...

 Praise for Jennifer Beckstrand and her Matchmakers of Huckleberry Hill series

"Full of kind, sincere characters struggling with the best ways to stay true to themselves and their beliefs." --Publishers Weekly

"Readers will treasure this series and put the first outing on their keeper shelf." --RT Book Reviews

"A delightful voice in Amish romance. Sweet and funny." --Emma Miller 

Friday, June 21, 2019

A Reluctant Bride by Jody Hedlund – Five Stars!

The author did a wonderful job on writing this book as well as doing background historical research!  When reading the book, you can almost imagine things like the way London looked in the slums back during that time it is written with such great description prose.  I loved the characters in this book and loved reading the after story about how the author came to read this book. I couldn’t just put it down I had to read all of it.  That in and of itself should make you wish to read this book!

I received this book from NetGalley.  I do this review for the benefit of the author of my own volition. It came in the kindle format. #AReluctantBride #JodyHedlund

Description as found on
Living in London's poorest slum, Mercy Wilkins has little hope of a better life. When she's offered an opportunity to join a bride ship sailing to British Columbia, she agrees. After witnessing so much painful heartache and loss in the slums, the bride ship is her only prospect to escape a bleak future, not only for herself but, she hopes, someday for her sister.
Wealthy and titled Joseph Colville leaves home and takes to the sea in order to escape the pain of losing his family. As ship's surgeon, he's in charge of the passengers' welfare aboard the Tynemouth, including sixty brides-to-be. He has no immediate intention of settling down, but when Mercy becomes his assistant, the two must fight against a forbidden love. 

With hundreds of single men congregating on the shore eager to claim a bride from the Tynemouth, will Mercy and Joseph lose their chance at true love, or will they be able to overcome the obstacles that threaten to keep them apart?

Sunday, June 9, 2019

The Reluctant Brides Collection – 6 Historical Stories of Love that Takes Persuasion by Rosey Dow; Cathy Marie Hake; Susannah Hayden; Yvonne Legman; Collen L. Reece; Janet Spaeth

The Reluctant Brides Collection – 6 Historical Stories of Love that Takes Persuasion by Rosey Dow; Cathy Marie Hake; Susannah Hayden; Yvonne Legman; Collen L. Reece; Janet Spaeth
Christian Historical Romance

I so enjoyed reading these stories of women who were put into the position of mail order bride, in this Christian historical romance collection of stories.  Each one was well written and an easy enjoyable read.  They were well thought out, well researched, and fun to read.  Each story was very different than the last as each was written by a different author.  If you like this type of romance, these stories will transport you to a different time and place.

I received this collection of stories from NetGalley.  I willingly am writing a review as I believe these stories are well written enjoyable and wish to help the authors by writing a review in my own words.  #TheReluctantBridesCollection #NetGalley.

Six Historical Stories of Love That Takes Persuasion

Take an adventurous ride along on the bumpy trail to love as six independent women of yesteryear are cautiously courted into matrimony by men, they have both intrigued and hurt. Will troubles douse the sparks of love before anyone can become a bride?

An Unexpected Surprise by Rosey Dow, a writer and motivational speaker from Delaware.
Angie McDonald has placed an ad for a mail-order bride—for her widowed brother-in-law and his motherless daughter. But when the beautiful Saundra arrives, Angie wonders if she’s made a mistake and woven a very tangled web. When will Angie learn to leave matters in the hand of God?

Ribbon of Gold by Cathy Marie Hake, a retired nurse and bestselling author from Southern California.
Carter Steadman recently inherited ownership of the Steadman Mills. He is shamed when Isabel Shelly, one of his workers, boldly informs him of the inhuman working conditions at his mill. Carter is inexplicably drawn to this woman who has so little, yet gives so much. Her mere presence is forcing him to make a decision beyond his wildest imaginings.

Light Beckons the Dawn by Susannah Hayden, a writer and editor from Colorado.
Percy Morgan has hidden her past and stifled her future with a gruff exterior and immersed herself in work at a remote lumber camp. Faced with friendships offered by the few women in camp and the attentions of the camp doctor, Percy must decide if she can take a risk and reopen the pain of the past so that healing can begin.

Reluctant Schoolmarm by Yvonne Lehman, a multi-published author and writers’ conference speaker from North Carolina.
When Christa Walsh steps off a train in the backwoods of  North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains and reluctantly into the role of teacher, she finds the job more rewarding than she expected, winning the hearts of the children—and along the way, warming the heart of the man whose deception landed her the position.

School Bells and Wedding Bells by Colleen L. Reece, an author from Washington state with over six million books in print.

Freshly jilted and ready to take on the world, Meredith Rose Macrae enters an isolated Idaho hamlet with the force of a tornado. Neither she nor Last Chance will ever be the same. And Brit Farley, rugged head of the local school board, faces the challenge of exchanging the new teacher’s school bells for wedding bells.

Rose Kelly by Janet Spaeth, a bestselling author from North Dakota.
Rose believes a woman can do any job just as well as a man. But moving to Dakota Territory for six months to write articles on the homesteaders, she suddenly realizes that she may have taken on more than she can handle when trampling upon Eric Johansen private past

Jenna - The Outback Brides of Wirralong - by Barbara Hannay - 5 Stars

I thoroughly enjoyed this book I read it in one day!  I could just feel the sparks flying between Jenna and Sam Twist.  A great romance that has of course many obstacles, just written so real, no explicit sex, yet you can almost feel the sparks flying between the two people as you read about their interaction with each other.  I really enjoyed this book!

I received this book through NetGalley.  The review is my own as I enjoyed the book and want to assist the author in promoting her book because I enjoyed it so much.  I received it in a kindle format. #Jenna #NetGalley.

Can she keep a safe distance? Jenna Matthews is a city girl, no question. Despite a childhood spent in the Outback, she’s committed to her fast-paced life and the competitive world of corporate law. When her best friend asks her to be bridesmaid, Jenna finds herself in Wirralong and wildly attracted to the best man. A fling? Why not? Dangerously sexy Sam Twist runs his vast family sheep property and is as keen as Jenna to keep their relationship at fling status. Then the authorities turn up on his door step and Jenna jumps in to help despite Sam’s protests. She soon learns that after years of drought, there are others in the district who need her skills. Her dilemma? Spending too much time around Sam is perilous. He could rob a girl of her heart.

Window On The Bay by Debbie Macomber – 5 Stars! A very real romance times two!

Window On The Bay by Debbie Macomber – 5 Stars!  A very real romance times two!

I think this was my favorite book of Debbie Macombers!  A clean romance with adults who have grown children.  Two friends find very different men when they really aren’t looking for them.  They have been divorced for a while and dating really isn’t something they are looking forward to.  They want to finally book that trip to Paris they’ve been planning for years and years.  It was just fun to read about the men and women coming together with so many mistakes on each side.  Very real and very interesting!

I received a kindle format of this book to read and review from  My review is totally my opinion which I do willingly to help authors if I like the books!  #WindowOnTheBay #NetGalley

When a single mom becomes an empty nester, she spreads her wings to rediscover herself—and her passions—in this heartwarming novel from #1 New York Times bestselling author Debbie Macomber.
Jenna Boltz’s life is at a crossroads. After a messy divorce from her surgeon husband nearly twenty years ago, she raised her two children on her own, juggling motherhood with her beloved job as a Seattle intensive-care nurse. Now that Paul and Allie have gone to college and moved out, Jenna can’t help but wonder what her future holds.

Her best friend, Maureen, is excited for Jenna’s newfound independence. Now is the perfect time to finally book the trip to Paris they’ve been dreaming of since their college days. But when it comes to life’s other great adventure—dating—Jenna still isn’t sure she’s ready to let love in . . . until an unexpected encounter begins to change her mind.

When Jenna’s elderly mother breaks her hip, Dr. Rowan Lancaster saves the day. Despite his silent, stoic exterior, Rowan is immediately smitten with Jenna. And even though Jenna is hesitant about becoming involved with another surgeon, she has to admit that she’s more than a little intrigued. But when Jenna’s children approach her with shocking news, she realizes that she needs to have faith in love and embrace the unexpected—before the life she has always dreamed of passes her by.

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

The Royal Nanny by Karen Harper – A Goodreads Author – 4 Stars.

I so enjoyed this book. I did not realize when I first started the book that I would learn so much about the background of the royal family.  The book was well written and an easy read.  this was about a nanny who came into service for the royal family and was nanny to all of the children, though most protective and took care of Johnnie the longest as he had seizures and since his Mother and Father didn't seem to spend much time with him or understand the illness.  The older children when they got to a certain age were sent off to boarding school and then military school or service.  This Nanny was not at wanting to give Johnnie up to be sent away. She spent so much time with him that she felt as if this child were her own as protective as she was of him.  She lived in worry that the King would send him away.  She had fallen in love with the groundskeeper Chad who at one point asked her to marry him when his wife died. She refused as she said she couldn't leave the children they needed her so.
She comes to regret not agreeing to marry him, but also still wants to take care of Johnnie.  I wasn't sure how this was all going to work out, would she be able to marry him, would she be able to keep Johnnie.....and what would happen when WWII broke out?  It was really an interesting read for me and I would recommend this one!
I believe I won this book from a Good Reads author.  They are always given on the hopes that one would enjoy it enough to write a review which I have above. I did enjoy the book immensely!
Description as found on Good Reads:
Based on a seldom-told true story, this novel is perfect for everyone who is fascinated by Britain’s royal family—a behind the scenes look into the nurseries of little princes and the foibles of big princes.

April, 1897: A young nanny arrives at Sandringham, ancestral estate of the Duke and Duchess of York. She is excited, exhausted—and about to meet royalty. . . .

So begins the unforgettable story of Charlotte Bill, who would care for a generation of royals as their parents never could. Neither Charlotte—LaLa, as her charges dub her—nor anyone else can predict that eldest sons David and Bertie will each one day be king. LaLa knows only that these children, and the four who swiftly follow, need her steadfast loyalty and unconditional affection.

But the greatest impact on Charlotte’s life is made by a mere bud on the family tree: a misunderstood soul who will one day be known as the Lost Prince. Young Prince John needs all of Lala’s love—the kind of love his parents won’t…or can’t…show him.

From Britain’s old wealth to the glittering excesses of Tsarist Russia; from country cottages to royal yachts, and from nursery to ballroom, Charlotte Bill witnesses history. The Royal Nanny is a seamless blend of fact and fiction—an intensely intimate, yet epic tale spanning decades, continents, and divides that only love can cross.

This Treacherous Journey (Heart Of The Mountain #1) Misty M. Beller - 5 Stars

I really liked this book.  It had much action and romance, and a bit of mystery.  It was well written.  It was spiritual. It’s based in the old west with Indians and men who are men.  It was a fairly quick read and I wanted to keep reading to find out what was going to happen on the next page.  I can’t say that about every book I read but a lot of the books I’ve been getting lately have been excellent in different ways.  It’s refreshing to have a stack of books to read that are all so different and all so excellent. 

I received this book from the author and BookFunnel.  The hope is always that I’ll write a review for the book to help the author and publisher which of course I am as you see it above.  I got the book in the MOBI format so I could read it on my paperwhite kindle.  Thank you #MistyMBeller #ThisTreacherousJourney #BookFunnel the next book in this series has just come out on Amazon for anyone who wants to continue to read the stories from MistyMBeller.

I found the description for this book on Good Reads:
Widowed and with child, Emma Malcom is fleeing from the reward offered for her arrest. She’s innocent of the dirty dealings her deceased husband orchestrated, but the angry townspeople didn’t stop to listen to her defense before she narrowly escaped with her life. Now, she and her twin brother, Joseph, must battle the mountain wilderness of the Rockies to reach Canada and the clean start she craves. But when a fall from the rocky cliff leaves Joseph wounded and weak, could the strange mountain man they encounter be God’s gift to see them to safety?

Simeon Grant makes bad choices. His deceased wife and twin babies are lost to him now because of his reckless decisions, and the penance he pays by living alone in this mountain wilderness is only a small piece of what he thinks he deserves. When a city woman, heavy with child, appears on his doorstep with her injured brother, her presence resurrects the memories he’s worked so hard to forget. And when she asks for his help to travel deeper into the mountain country, he can’t help wonder why God would force him to relive the same mistakes he’s already suffered through. Or maybe taking these two to safety could be the way to redeem himself.

But when their travels prove more treacherous than he imagined, Simeon finds himself pressing the limits of his ability to keep Emma and her brother safe. Can he overcome the past that haunts him to be the man she needs? Will Emma break through the walls around Simeon’s heart before it’s too late, or will the dangers of these mountains be the end of them all?

The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson - I gave it a fabulous five stars!

A unputdownable work that holds real cultural significance. (Sara Guens quote, author). I couldn’t have said it better!! It tells the story of Cussy Carter, the last blue skinned living female of the rare Blue People ancestry.  This lonely woman, decided to join the historical Pack Horse Library Project of Kentucky and becomes a librarian.  The year is 1936.  The people of Troublesome Creek don’t understand why someone would be dark blue, and they are (many of them) very uncomfortable being around Cussy because of it.  There is much prejudice during that time when it came to “coloreds” and Cussy is thrown into that group even though she isn’t black.  The book is so very interesting, a quick read, very informative before it is over as to what caused the blue people to end up that way.  The book is also interesting in that Cussy goes to such means to bring books to the hill people, her days riding her mule who likes to bite men and many ways cause Cussy problems is a fun read.  Cussy was forced to marry a man much older than her but luckily after he beat the crap out of her, he died.  She was left with only the mule and darn it she was going to keep it.  Anyone who has interest in books, the Appalachian people, or the reason there do exist blue people should pick up this book and read it. You won’t be able to put it down until you finish it.  I loved this book!  Pick It up it’s different than anything I’ve read in a very long while and it is thoroughly entertaining and written in a very knowledgeable way!
I won this book through I’m doing this review of my own volition hoping it will help the author and the publishing house.  I loved the book as you can see from my comments above!
#TheBookWomanofTroublesomeCreek #KimMicheleRichardson

Description as found on Good Reads:
In 1936, tucked deep into the woods of Troublesome Creek, KY, lives blue-skinned 19-year-old Cussy Carter, the last living female of the rare Blue People ancestry. The lonely young Appalachian woman joins the historical Pack Horse Library Project of Kentucky and becomes a librarian, riding across slippery creek beds and up treacherous mountains on her faithful mule to deliver books and other reading material to the impoverished hill people of Eastern Kentucky.

Along her dangerous route, Cussy, known to the mountain folk as Bluet, confronts those suspicious of her damselfly-blue skin and the government's new book program. She befriends hardscrabble and complex fellow Kentuckians, and is fiercely determined to bring comfort and joy, instill literacy, and give to those who have nothing, a bookly respite, a fleeting retreat to faraway lands.

The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek is a powerful message about how the written word affects people--a story of hope and heartbreak, raw courage and strength splintered with poverty and oppression, and one woman's chances beyond the darkly hollows. Inspired by the true and historical blue-skinned people of Kentucky and the brave and dedicated Kentucky Pack Horse library service, The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek showcases a bold and unique tale of the Pack horse Librarians in literary novels — a story of fierce strength and one woman's belief that books can carry us anywhere — even back home. 

The Girl From The Lighthouse – Willard Thompson – 5 Stars

Loved the book – didn’t like the ending. It seemed abrupt and not well thought out like the rest of the book. I guess it had to end somewhere.  Emma Dobbins is raised in a lighthouse by her Father, her Mother left when she was 5.  She never learned all the rules of living with others that most women just know….what they get from their Mothers.  She only attended one year of schooling and she wouldn’t do her studies there.  All she wanted to do was her drawing and her art.  When her Father died she had to leave the lighthouse.  She was headed to Paris with a companion to an Art School, her companion took ill.  She had to leave her in a hospital and go into Paris alone without being able to speak the language.  She was befriended by a young woman working at the railroad when it came in. She was only 17 then.  Although she couldn’t get into an Art School, she lost the paper her companion and written down who she was supposed to contact, so she didn’t know where to go.  The schools she tried all said only men make it into our schools.  Somehow, she learns the language and lives for a long time at the home of the gal she met at the railroad.  She has to leave them as during the outbreak of war no one has enough food or work.  She does eventually meet many of the painters who are a part of the impressionist movement.  Many want to paint her, many want her body, she just wants to paint but she does what she can to make enough money to practice her craft.  The story is well written and well researched.  Much of what happened really happened, Emma was really the only part of the story not based on fact.  The story sucks you in and you really want to finish it.  You learn a lot while following Emma through her story.  It was a really great book and I did enjoy it immensely, except for the last few paragraphs at the end.  It all though has to end somewhere.

I received this book through in the ereader format.  The hope is that I’ll be willing to give the book a review which I have above and it deserved a very favorable review the book was a really good one!! #NetGalley #TheGirlFromTheLighthouse

The Girl From the Lighthouse tells the compelling story of Emma Dobbins. Abandoned by her mother at an early age, she was raised by her father, a lighthouse keeper at Point Conception in California, where early on she discovers her artistic talent. At the age of 17, Emma travels to Paris with a chaperone, to attend art school but is separated from the chaperone when the chaperone becomes ill. Emma arrives alone in Paris with no money, no language skills, and no friends. A chance meeting with a young working girl in the train station becomes her first Parisian friend. The setting is Paris in the 1860s-70s, the start of the Belle poque. France soon is involved in the Franco/Prussian War and the Commune Uprising; difficult times for Emma and all Frenchmen. Initially rejected by art schools, her determination keeps her moving toward her goal in the art world, where the Impressionists are starting to change the world. Frenchmen fall in love with her beautiful face and lustrous dark hair. Some wanted to paint her, others to court her, but either way, she does not abide by the rules they try to impose on her. Emma grows into an accomplished artist but never gives up her own principles... even when someone steals something precious to her. The story is told in the first person, present tense, allowing the reader to enter the story and feel a part of it as it unfolds, sharing with Emma her highs and lows, loves and rejections, all focused in the art world of Paris. The novel is filled with vivid characters, both fictional and real people, and the story unfolds gracefully from the 1870s until 1912, just prior to the start of WWI

The Book Charmer (Dove Pond #1) by Karen Hawkins - 5 Stars!

The book winds a little magic with a little town that needed saving.  Sarah Dove is a librarian who has grown up with books talking to her.  They tell her when she needs to give someone a book, they tell her when she needs to read a book and they tell her that the new lady in town is going to save the town.  Grace Wheeler comes to town in order to help her Grandmother who lived there before and has come down with dementia.  She does a lot better when she is nearby that which is familiar from her past, it’s the present she forgets easily.  Grace sure has her hands full with her and with her niece, whom she is suddenly mothering as her sister has died from drugs.
Dove Pond desperately needs saving but the books won’t tell Sarah how Grace will save the town just that she must stay more than the year she says she staying in order to save the town.  Grace doesn’t even want to make friends, which makes Sarah’s job even harder.  Grace definitely doesn’t want to find love, but she may find that also if she opens her heart.  As she stays and works for a Mayor who only wants to go fishing, she has her hands full at work and also at home.  A magical and unforgettable story!
I received this book as a free read through in the ereader format.  Of course, it deserves a review for the author and the publisher it’s a wonderful book! I think this book will do very well, thank you NetGalley! #TheBookCharmer #NetGalley #KarenHawkins

I found the description of this book on Good Reads:
New York Times bestselling author Karen Hawkins crafts an unforgettable story about a sleepy Southern town, two fiercely independent women, and a truly magical friendship.

Sarah Dove is no ordinary bookworm. To her, books have always been more than just objects: they live, they breathe, and sometimes they even speak. When Sarah grows up to become the librarian in her quaint Southern town of Dove Pond, her gift helps place every book in the hands of the perfect reader. Recently, however, the books have been whispering about something out of the ordinary: the arrival of a displaced city girl named Grace Wheeler.

If the books are right, Grace could be the savior that Dove Pond desperately needs. The problem is, Grace wants little to do with the town or its quirky residents—Sarah chief among them. It takes a bit of urging, and the help of an especially wise book, but Grace ultimately embraces the challenge to rescue her charmed new community. In her quest, she discovers the tantalizing promise of new love, the deep strength that comes from having a true friend, and the power of finding just the right book.

“A mesmerizing fusion of the mystical and the everyday” (Susan Andersen, New York Times bestselling author), The Book Charmer is a heartwarming story about the magic of books that feels more than a little magical itself. Prepare to fall under its 

Sunday, May 12, 2019

No Ocean Too Wide by Carrie Turansky – 5 Stars

I did enjoy this book.  It told the story of the McAlister family who were so affected after they lost their Father and their Mother became ill and went into the hospital with pneumonia.  The younger children were sent to children’s homes, one boy Garth to the boy’s home and Katie and Grace to the girl’s home in London.  Their older sister, Laura, was away working as a lady’s maid so she could send money home regularly to help out their Mom. By the time she got word, kids were forced into the orphan’s homes and her Mom was at the Hospital and their home was locked out due to no one paying the rent so Laura couldn’t stay there or get to their belongings.  She left her job, and went in search of her sisters and brother.  Laura went about trying to find her siblings, at risk of costing her the job she had, and found the orphan’s home wouldn’t let her see her siblings that she had no say over what happened to them if she wasn’t married or had no legal papers.  Orphan’s at that time were sent often by boat into Canada by the hundreds, where they were sold into homes to work as household staff or farm laborers.  Whether they were truly orphans or not in some cases.  This book is about Laura’s trip across the ocean after visiting the homes and finding her siblings are gone.
Andrew Frasier who is working as an attorney, but is due to inherit the home Laura was working at, and they kind of form an alliance to find her family but at the same time Andrew is looking for the truth, are these children who are sent to orphanages or on to Canada, are they treated well and are they truly better off in the homes they find for them…are they even truly orphans in the first place all of them.  He’s willing to help Laura as much as he can.  The entire book is also about their relationship to each other as they are searching for these children and checking on others who have been placed.  This book also is a lot about Laura’s relationship with God and how he helps her in the rough times.  It is a book that could be easily read in just a day or two. I tried to make it last.  I read so many kindle books and love to have books that I can hold in my hands.  The book was very interesting as the back drop the stories of orphans or children whose parents fall on hard times were truly forced into working for their livelihoods until 18 and many were not treated well in the homes, they were placed in.  There were hundreds that were placed against their will as that was a common practice back then.  The author spent a lot of time obviously reading up on the history of this subject before she tackled this book.  She did a fabulous job telling their stories through this book.  I think it was very well written and very interesting.
I received this book as I was put on the review team for this book through the publishing house Waterbrook & Multnomah and was asked to read the book and to publish an honest review which I have.  #NoOceanTooWide #CarrieTuransky #Waterbrook&Multnomah
Description as found on Good Reads: Between the years of 1869 to 1939 more than 100,000 poor British children were sent across the ocean to Canada with the promise of a better life. Those who took them in to work as farm laborers or household servants were told they were orphans–but was that the truth?

After the tragic loss of their father, the McAlister family is living at the edge of the poorhouse in London in 1908, leaving their mother to scrape by for her three younger children, while oldest daughter, Laura, works on a large estate more than an hour away. When Edna McAlister falls gravely ill and is hospitalized, twins Katie and Garth and eight-year-old Grace are forced into an orphans’ home before Laura is notified about her family’s unfortunate turn of events in London. With hundreds of British children sent on ships to Canada, whether truly orphans or not, Laura knows she must act quickly. But finding her siblings and taking care of her family may cost her everything.

Andrew Fraser, a wealthy young British lawyer and heir to the estate where Laura is in service, discovers that this common practice of finding new homes for penniless children might not be all that it seems. Together Laura and Andrew form an unlikely partnership. Will they arrive in time? Will their friendship blossom into something more?

Inspired by true events, this moving novel follows Laura as she seeks to reunite her family and her siblings who, in their darkest hours, must cling to the words from Isaiah: “Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God”