Showing posts with label romance. Show all posts
Showing posts with label romance. Show all posts
April 3, 2014

Review - Dancing With Dragonflies



Dancing with Fireflies
A Chapel Spring Romance, book 2
By Denise Hunter
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Pub. Date: March 11, 2014
ISBN: 978-1401687021
Pages: 352
Blog Tour: http://litfusegroup.com/author/dhunter
Buy Link: http://ow.ly/uJ6OD

Review:

Typically when I'm in a bookstore (well, Walmart), I only look for certain authors I have read before and avoid any new authors, but since I have started blogging I have been introduced to many other authors, including Denise Hunter.

In this sequel to last year's Barefoot Summer,  Jade McKinley finds herself returning to her hometown of Chapel Springs, Indiana, as she doesn't have anywhere else to go. She is also completely broke. Plus, she is pregnant!

Jade's family is more than surprised to see her return from the big city after only a year. She doesn't want to them to know about her upcoming bundle of joy.

The Chapel Springs mayor, Daniel Dawson, grew up with the McKinley family and has also had a crush on Jade, whom he has always called "squirt," though she had never thought of him as more than a honorary brother. After running into Jade again, those old feelings for her return.

Review - Maybelle in Stitches



Maybelle in Stitches
Quilts of Love Series, Book16
By Joyce Magnin
Publisher: Abingdon Press
Pub. Date: March 18, 2014
ISBN: 978-1426752803
Pages: 240
Buy Link: Paperback
Blog Tour: http://litfusegroup.com/author/JMagnin

Review:

I have had the privilege to read several installments of the

Quilts of Love Series this year. No, I'm not a quilter, actually I don't even know how to run a sewing machine, but I have plenty of quilters in my family, so I do respect the hobby. I do love reading almost any kind of novel, which is one of the reasons why I first signed up to read the Quilts of Love Series.

The 16th installment, Maybelle in Stitches, is set during WWII and is centered on Maybelle Kazinski. Her husband, Holden, was called off to war, so she finds herself working at the Sun Shipbuilding and Dry Dock in Chester, Pennsylvania as a welderette. A woman working in a shipyard may seem a little odd at first for 1943, but many women during the war had to get jobs to support their family while their husbands were fighting overseas.

March 25, 2014

Review - Wildwood Creek

Wildwood Creek
Moses Lake series, book 4
By Lisa Wingate
Publisher: Bethany House
Pub. Date: February 4, 2014
ISBN: 978-0764208249
Pages: 384

Review:

There are many writers in the Christian market today and, sadly, many of them don't standout of the crowd for me. If I don't recall the author's name, then the book probably didn't leave a lasting effect on me. However, I do recall reading "Never Say Never" by Lisa Wingate when I first started blogging. Though I haven't read very many of her other titles, her name stood out for me when I decided to sign up to review the title, Wildwood Creek, courtesy of Bethany House.

Wildwood Creek centers on two women, Allie Kirkland and Bonnie Rose, from two different times. Allie is a modern day woman who takes a production assistant job on a docudrama set near Moses Lake, Texas. Bonnie Rose is an Irish schoolteacher back in the year 1861.

Allie has been kinda lost. Her still mourns for her late father. Her relationship with her mother, stepfather and her step-siblings is estranged. Her father was a director and she finally has a chance to follow in his footsteps when she takes a job working on a docudrama.

She multitasks by working in the costume department and playing the part of Bonnie Rose. The docudrama is about what happened at Wildwood Creek when the townspeople mysteriously disappeared in 1861. During the production, Allie begins researching the real-life events that occurred in the town, but there is danger just around the corner for her.

March 21, 2014

Review - A Sky Without Stars

A Sky Without Stars
Quilts of Love, Book 15
By Linda S. Clare
Publisher: Abingdon Press
Pub. Date: February 18, 2014
ISBN: 978-1426752797
Pages: 272
Blog Tour: http://litfusegroup.com/campaigns/a-sky-without-stars-linda-clare
Buy Link: Amazon

Review:

Last year, I happen to stumble across the Quilts of Love series from Abingdon Press. Though I don't know how to quilt, I have several family members that do, so I do respect the hobby and is one of the reasons why I signed up to review the newest book in the series, A Sky Without Stars, written by Linda S. Clare.

Set in 1951, the fifteenth installment centers on a Lakota woman, Frankie Chasing Bear, who finds herself raising her son, Harold, alone after husband is suddenly killed. To honor their heritage, she is trying to pass down the Lakota ways to her son, but it is difficult for her to do with her son uninterested in his past.

Lakota decides the only way to help her son respect their ancestors is to make a Lakota Star-pattern quilt, something that can be passed down to him one day and become a reminder of his heritage.

March 5, 2014

Review - The Descent by Alma Katsu

The Descent
Book Three of the Taker Trilogy
By Alma Katsu
Publisher: Gallery Books
Pub. Date: January 7, 2014
ISBN: 978-1451651829
Pages: 352
Buy Links: Paperback, Kindle

Review:

I haven't been more exciting about reading a book than I have been with The Descent; book three of The Taker Trilogy. There was almost a year and a half gap between the second (The Reckoning) and the third book, The Descent, so I was patiently waiting on pins and needles for the release, which finally arrived back in January. Gallery Books kindly sent me a free copy to read and review, but, sadly, a few other books arrived before The Descent did; therefore it sat in the TBR pile longer than I wanted it to. I finally got around to reading it in late February.

There are have not been many books that have grabbed a hold of me within the first few pages, leaving the characters still in my mind years later. Alma Katsu has created a beautiful trilogy full of love, revenge, sacrifice and redemption. There has been an overload of vampire and werewolves books over the years and Alma Katsu gives us a refreshing supernatural love story without blood-sucking demons or shape-shifters.

The Taker Trilogy centers on Lanore "Lanny" McIlvrae, who fell in love with the charming, rich and older, Jonathan St. Andrew, at a young age during the 1800s. After becoming pregnant, her family sends her away to Boston to have the baby (which results in a miscarriage), but within minutes of arriving in Boston she meets the charming Adair, whom forever changes her life, introducing her to a world of immortality.
March 4, 2014

Review - Princess Ever After

Princess Ever After
The Royal Wedding Series
By Rachel Hauck
Publisher: Zondervan
Pub. Date: February 4, 2014
ISBN: 978-0310315506
Pages: 368
Buy Link: Paperback, Kindle
Blog Tour

Review:
 
There have been a huge surge of wonderful books being released this year, especially sequels. Last month, Rachel Hauck released the second installment in The Royal Wedding Series titled Princess Ever After. Yes, I know this is a romance novel, but if you have followed my blog regularly, then you would know I do like reading romances.

Princess Ever After is a modern day fairy tale, which centers on a simple small-town girl, Regina Beswick. (Isn't Regina the name of the wicked mayor/queen on ABC's Once Upon a Time?)  She is living an ordinary life working at classic auto restoration shop. Let doesn't know that she is actually a real life princess.

Tanner Burkhardt is the Minister of Culture for the Grand Duchy of Hessenberg, who has been assigned the task of hunting down the heir to Heseenberg - the-long-princess, Regina Beswick. It seems Regina's ancestors fled Hesseenberg in the early 1900s and she was never told about her heritage, until now.

February 21, 2014

Review - Hopeful by Shelley Shepard Gray

Hopeful
Return to Sugar Creek, Book One
By Shelley Shepard Gray
Publisher: Avon Inspire
Pub. Date: February 4, 2014
ISBN: 978-0062204462
Pages: 256
Buy Link: http://ow.ly/tacpd
Blog Tour: http://litfusegroup.com/author/sgray

Review:

I grew up reading Goosebumps, Fear Street and other horror novels. Plus, I watched countless horror films, but for some odd reason one of my guilty pleasures is reading Amish fiction. I can't explain it, but it started thirteen or fourteen years ago when I first read a Bethany Lewis novel, who was one of the few authors writing Amish romances at the time. Fast forward to the present day and you can find dozens of Amish fiction titles in the bookstores. It is practically becoming its own genre.

At first Bethany Lewis was the only author I would read writing the genre, but I slowly began reading other authors, whom have all put their own spin on the Amish life. Another one of my favorite authors of the genre is Shelly Shepard Gray, so when I had a chance to review her newest book "Hopeful" through Liftfuse Publicity Group, I instantly signed up to review it.

"Hopeful" centers on Miriam Zehr, who spends most of her time working at the Sugarcreek Inn, a popular restaurant of the town residents as well as the many tourists that stop by the Amish town. From one look at Miriam's lovely smile you would have never guessed that she would rather be somewhere else. She has always dreamed of getting married and starting a family, but she has low hopes that that will ever happen.

February 4, 2014

Review - Shadowed By Grace

Shadowed by Grace
By Cara C. Putman
Publisher: B& H Books
Pub. Date: January 1, 2014
ISBN: 978-1433681783
Pages: 352
Buy Link: http://ow.ly/sCIbG
Blog Tour: http://litfusegroup.com/author/cputman

Review:

Many of my readers know I like reading books with a historical setting, but I'm not very found of the WWII era of fiction novels. That being said, I only signed up to review Shadowed By Grace by Cara C. Putman because I liked the cover of the book. Though the author's name does sound familiar, I don't believe I have read any of her books before.

Before there were cell phones, laptop, computers and the internet, journalists and photographers had to put themselves in the actual war to get the firsthand scoop and photographs to send back to the US. Shadowed By Grace centers on on a American photographer, Rachel Justice, who takes a newspaper assignment, which takes her on the front lines of WWII.

During WWII, many of Italy's famous paintings and artifacts were either destroyed, stolen or hidden. A special group of soldiers called the Monument Men were assigned to find these lost treasures. Scott Lindstrom is one of these soldiers, but he has an extra task at hand there, he is assigned to escort Rachel Justice, as his teams advances north.

Many dangers await them on their journey, as Rachel continues her assignments and hopes she will find her long-lost father.

February 3, 2014

Review - A Miracle Of Hope

A Miracle of Hope
The Amish Wonders Series
By Ruth Reid
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Pub. Date: December 31, 2013
ISBN: 978-1401688295
Pages:  352
Buy Link: http://ow.ly/sABNg
Blog Tour: http://litfusegroup.com/author/rreid

Review:

Most of my blog readers know that I love reading Amish fiction, but there are so many authors in the genre, it is hard to keep up with all the new titles every month, so typically I only read the authors I have either previously read or have at least heard of. Author Ruth Reid wrote the Heaven on Earth series, which is an Amish supernatural book series (no vampires, werewolves - just angels). I enjoyed reading the three books in that series, so I quickly agreed to read A Miracle of Hope, book one in the Amish Wonders series, by the author.

The plot of A Miracle of Hope follows a similar clichéd plot found in many Christian novels (Love Comes Softly comes to mind), in which a man (mostly likely a widower and has at least one young child, which happens to be case in this tale) and a woman (most likely pregnant, which happens to be the case for this story) have an arranged marriage.

The mother-to-be is Lindie Wyse who ties-the-knot with widower Josiah Plank, who happens to be the father of a deaf eight-year-old daughter, Hannah. Like I said above, the marriage was arranged. Lindie was shunned by her community and her brother arranged a marriage for her to his best-friend, Josiah.

Josiah loved his late-wife dearly and doesn't believe he can fall in love again, let alone get remarried, but his daughter needs a mother figure, therefore, he agreed to marry Lindie. Of course, Lindie, agreed to the marriage, as she didn't have much a choice or anywhere else to go. Life throws the newly wedded couple several ups and downs, all of which only strengths their relationship and opens their hearts to possibly loving each other as a family.
January 25, 2014

Review - The Headmistress of Rosemere

The Headmistress of Rosemere
Whispers On The Moors, Book Two
By Sarah E. Ladd
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Pub. Date: December 31, 2013
ISBN: 978-1401688363
Pages: 320
Buy Link: http://ow.ly/sgVC4
Blog Tour: http://litfusegroup.com/author/sladd
 
Review:

Yes, I'm a guy who likes to read romance novels, mostly in the historical western genre, anything on Amish and a few Harlequin thrillers. I don't read much of the Victorian type books, but I did read The Heiress of Winterwood by Sarah Ladd last year and I did enjoyed reading, which is one of the reasons why I signed up to review its sequel.

The Headmistress of Rosemere is set in Darbury, England in the early 1800s and centers on twenty-five-year-old Patience Creighton, whom finds herself as the headmistress of Rosemere School for Young Ladies. She grew up living at the school her family ran and after her father's death, she steps up to run the school. Neither her mother, who is suffering from depression and her brother, whom headed off to London to settle a few "family affairs" six-months ago, can handle the responsbility of running Rosemere, therefore everything lies on Patience's shoulders.

Rosemere doesn't exactly belong to Patience's family. It, along with the surrounding land, actually belongs to the Sterling family. Over the years the Sterling family have been wonderful landlords, but William Sterling is not like his father or grandfather. He has been going through somewhat of a rough patch, mostly gambling. He owns a hefty sum to creditors and is assaulted by the creditor's henchmen while returning home from a local tavern. Wounded with no other choice, he ends up at the doorsteps of the Rosemere School.

January 17, 2014

Review - My Name Is Rapunzel by KC Hilton

My Name is Rapunzel
By KC Hilton
Publisher: CreateSpace
Pub. Date: November 23, 2013
ISBN: 978-1492863007
Pages: 322
Buy Link: Print, Kindle

Review:

I believe almost everybody has read or has at least heard of the Grimms' fairy tale called Rapunzel, but many people probably don't know that the Grimm's version isn't the original. It is actually remake of Persinette by Charlotte-Rose de Caumont de La Force. The fairy story has become more popular thanks to Disney's recent computer-animated film, Tangled.

Author KC Hilton recently published a modern day version of the classic tale, titled My Name is Rapunzel. I enjoyed reading the author's children novels, The Magic of Finkleton and Return to Finkleton, so I was eagerly agreed to review her take on Rapunzel.

The book's narration is from Rapunzel herself, as she explains how she was cursed with immortality by the witch, Gretta, when she was a child. In 1763, she fell in love with a young man named Henry and they became engaged, but Gretta intervenes and their happily ever after bliss never occurs.

With Henry gone, Rapunzel has to accept that she will never find love, though her parents have tried to help her find another love, she can never fully forget Henry. Years fly by, her parents age, but she never does; she even outlives her mother. She moves with her father to the family's castle, but old age has caught up with him too, but he make sure Rapunzel is always protected by leaving the witch Gretta as her guardian.

November 27, 2013

Review - A Bride For Keeps

A Bride For Keeps
By Melissa Jagears
Publisher: Bethany House
Pub. Date: October 1, 2013
ISBN: 978-0764211683
Pages: 336

Review:

It looks I'm finally catching up on a few book reviews. I have read several titles over the last few years with a mail-order bride plot, so I wasn't looking forward to reading another one. I sometimes make my book decisions by either the author's name or the cover of the book. I liked the book cover to A Bride For Keeps, so I signed up to review it, but little did I realize it involved a mail-order bride plot.

In A Bride For Keeps, Everett Cline has used the mail-order bride service three times and three times he has been jilted, leaving him very little faith in ever finding love. A nosy neighbor, Rachel, with well-meaning intentions wants him to have a bride and brings a mail-order bride to town.

To escape her violent past in Massachusetts and start anew, Julia Lockwood joins the mail-order marriage faraway in Kansas. Her husband-to-be, Everett, isn't exactly thrilled to see her, as he only learned about her minutes before her train arrived in town.

Everett has no choice but to marry Julia, but he is unaware of her excess baggage. She thinks of marriage as companionship only and there will be no children. It will take a miracle for the both of them to fall in love.
November 18, 2013

Review - Adoring Addie

Adoring Addie
The Courtship of Lancaster County, Book 2
By Leslie Gould
Publisher: Bethany House
Pub. Date: May 1, 2013
ISBN: 978-0764210327
Pages: 352

Review:

I've been fascinated with Amish fiction for over ten years, well, ever since I read my first Beverly Lewis novel. Any time there is an opportunity to review an Amish books, I eagerly sign up. This year has been a little rocky, with a family emergency and a few other things, therefore Adoring Addie got shoved aside for six months, but I finally got around to reading it last month.

In a Romeo and Juliet-type plot, the Cramers and Mosiers families have been bickering back and forth for as long as anybody can remember, which causes a bit of a problem for Addie Cramer, who has fall in love with Jonathan Mosier, whose family just returned to the county. Addie's parents are insisting that she marries the bishop's son, Phillip Eicher, as Amish daughters are suppose to honor their parents' wishes, but Addie doesn't love Phillip at all. Her heart is with Jonathan.

The only chance of any kind of a future for Addie and Jonathan is for them to come up with a scheme to get their families to forgive each other and start anew.

November 14, 2013

Review - Her Eternal Rogue



Her Eternal Rogue
By Gina Danna
Publisher: To The Better End Publishing
Pub. Date: June 30, 2013
ISBN: 978-0615836348
Genre: Historical Paranormal Romance
Pages: 284
Buy Links: Amazon, B&N

Review:

At first glance Her Eternal Rogue looks like a Harlequin Regency romance novel at sea, but author Gina Danna puts a twist on the genre by adding a paranormal theme.
The heroine is Lady Lavina Sinclair who has been kidnapped by French pirates, whom plan on selling her into the prostitution trade, but luckily for her, a handsome stranger happens to rescue her.

His name is Captain Alexander Sword (Barrington), who had escaped his controlling uncle in exchange to living on the high seas, but now finds himself known as a ruthless pirate. He was to be hanged for his crimes, but he accepted a deal to rescue Lady Lavina from the French pirates and return her to her betrothed (Nicholas) in England.

The rescue mission seemed to be easy thing to get done, but Alexander didn't plan on falling for the Lady Lavina, who returns his affections. Little does she know that he has cursed - he is actually a vampire.
November 4, 2013

Review - Snow on Tulips

Snow on the Tulips
By Liz Tolsma
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Pub. Date: August 6, 2013
ASIN: 978-1401689100
Pages: 336
Buy Link: http://ow.ly/q92YR
Blog Tour: http://litfusegroup.com/author/ltolsma

Review:

It seems like there have been many WWII themed books being released, in which I have read several romance novels with a WWII background this year. Snow on the Tulips had an interesting cover, so I decided to sign up to review it. At first glance, I thought this would be another cliché Christian romance novel, but I was completely wrong, instead I got an intense war drama, though there is some romance in it.

Set in the Netherlands near the end of WWII, Corneal de Vries has already loss her husband to the war, but she plans on doing anything she can to protect her younger brother, Johan, just as the Nazis are invading their country.

Johan isn't a little boy anymore; he is a twenty-year-old who is more than willing to sacrifice his life to save his country. He sneaks outside late one night to put a Dutch flag on a fallen soldier's body, but he finds a wounded Dutch Resistance member, Gerrit Laninga. Not knowing what else to do, he brings Gerrit to his sister.
November 1, 2013

Review - Gunpowder Tea

Gunpowder Tea
The Brides Of Last Chance Ranch Series
By Margaret Brownley
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Pub. Date: October 8, 2013
ISBN: 978-1595549723
Pages: 328
Buy Link: http://ow.ly/pS1iy
Blog Tour: http://litfusegroup.com/author/mbrownley

Review:


In the third installment in The Brides of Last Chance Ranch series, Gunpowder Tea finds the Pinkerton agent Miranda Hunt taking on one of the biggest cases of her career - tracking and capturing the notorious outlaw called the Phantom, who has been spotted near the Last Chance Ranch.

Luckily, she finds a way to sneak onto the ranch when she discovers a classified ad for an heiress at the Last Chance Ranch! This is the prefect cover she has been waiting for. She takes the identity of Annie Beckman and begins her investigation, which isn't as easy as she first thought. She doesn't know exactly what the Phantom looks like, so every man she comes across is a suspect.

Unknowing to Miranda, a Wells Fargo detective, Jeremy Taggart, is also undercover, using the name Branch and he is also searching for the Phantom. He is unaware of whom Miranda is and that he is on her suspect list.

October 29, 2013

Review - Beloved

Beloved
Where The Heart Lives
By Robin Lee Hatcher
Publisher: Zondervan
Pub. Date: September 24, 2013
ISBN: 978-0310257776
Pages: 304
Buy Link: http://ow.ly/qb0G2
Book Tour: http://litfusegroup.com/author/rhatcher

Review:

I'm well aware of author Robin Lee Hatcher, but I missed out in reading the previous books in the Where The Heart Lives series, Belonging and Betrayal, but the Beloved seems to more of a standalone novel.

The Beloved centers on Diana Brennan, who at young age was separated from her siblings and was put on an orphan train heading west, where she was adopted by a loving couple. At age seventeen, she fell in love with the handsome Tyson Applegate, the son of a wealthy mine owner. What started out as friendship, lead to courting and then marriage.

Settling down at a young age wasn't what Tyson really wanted and he eventually leaves Diana to seek out adventures in far off lands, which involved fighting alongside the Rough Riders in Cuba. During this time, he makes no attempt to send letters to his wife.

Years past by and Diane is ready to get on with her life and plans on having Tyson declared legally dead by the courts, so, hopefully,  she will get another chance at finding love and maybe get married again.

October 9, 2013

Review - A Christmas Gift for Rose

A Christmas Gift for Rose
By Tricia Goyer
Publisher: Zondervan
Release Date: September 24, 2013
ISBN: 978-0310336785
Pages: 192
Buy Link: http://ow.ly/pfhBl
Blog Tour: http://litfusegroup.com/author/tgoyer

Review:

You'll know it is getting closer to the holiday season when you start to see books with Christmas is in the titles. Author Tricia Goyer released her newest novella A Christmas Gift for Rose last month, and, as you can probably guess, it is set around Christmastime.


Inspired by a true story, the main Amish character is named Rose Yoeder, who lives in Berlin, Ohio in 1945. She was engaged to Jonathan, but to respect her family’s wishes, she had to breakup with him because he had enlisted in the military to serve his country in WWII, working side-by-side with the Englisch, something that is frown upon in the Amish community.

The holiday season should be a time of happiness, but not for Rose, as she uncovers a startling secret - she was born Englisch!

October 8, 2013

Review - Promise to Return

Promise to Return
The Promise of Sunrise
By Elizabeth Byler Younts
Publisher: Howard Books
Pub. Date: 320
ISBN: 978-1476735016
Pages: 320


Review:

In the debut novel Promise to Return by Elizabeth Byler Younts, Miriam Coblentz is looking forward to her upcoming marriage to Henry Mast, but then the unthinkable occurs - the United States enters WWII! On the very day they are to meet with the bishop about their vows, Henry receives his draft papers. Being in combat and killing other is against his Amish faith, therefore he assigned to a Civilian Public Service camp, where he is assigned various tasks, such as digging trenches.

With Henry away, Miriam's life isn't easy, as her mind is always on her future husband, wondering if he is alive or not. Days turn into months, and Miriam starts working as a maid to help new mothers after their babies were born.

When Henry returns, he has surprising news for Miriam and the entire Amish community. He has decided to enlist in the Army and fight for his country as he believes God has told called upon him to do so.

Henry is not exactly the same man Miriam once knew. He has seen the horror of war and it has begun to take its toil on him. Will there love survive the rest of the war?  Will their love survive the test of time?
October 3, 2013

Review - The Courier of Caswell Hall

The Courier of Caswell Hall
An American Tapestry series
By Melanie Dobson
Publisher: Sumerside Press
Pub. Date: September 1, 2013
ISBN: 978-0824934262
Pages: 336
Buy Link: http://amzn.to/1aLxC9s
Blog Tour: http://litfusegroup.com/author/mdobson 

Review:

During 1781, the Continental and British armies are at war, a war that pits father against son, brother against brother, and neighbor against neighbor. In Virginia, Lydia Caswell only wants the two sides to have peace, unlike her Loyalists parents or even her friend Sarah Hammond, who might just grab a gun and join the fight.

By chance, Lydia finds a wounded man near a riverbank on a snowy night. This happens to be the same night the British made plans on sailing up the James River and raiding the capital. The man is named Nathan, who changes her life forever, introducing her to a world of coded messages, disguises, couriers and spies.

As Lydia starts to fall in love with Nathan, she starts to question her beliefs. She must choose between the loyalty to her family and having freedom. Meanwhile, her friend Sarah is put in a similar position when love and war collide.

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