The Explorer’s Daughter by Kate Renae – Book Review

The Explorer’s Daughter by Kate Renae

Published by Kate Renae October 11, 2021

Genre: Historical Fiction, Suspense, Romance

Pages: 210

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

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Publisher’s Description

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Story Notes

Kate definitely proves her ability to write excellent characters and intriguing suspense with her debut story that I truly enjoyed.

This book could not have arrived in my inbox at a better time. I was wishing for a good suspense to break up the current group of books I’ve been reading and this wonderful book was just what I wanted. If I hadn’t already known this was a debut story for Kate, I would not have guessed it based on the writing. Everything flowed and tied together so very well that I was entirely engaged and involved with the characters of the story from the first chapter. She begins with a young woman named Della (Adeline) who has recently lost her father to death and her sister to a marriage she is positive will be horrendous. Her fears are confirmed fairly soon when her new brother-in-law, Roger, threatens her life and her sister’s life if she doesn’t complete a task he demands of her. An object he desires is at his family;s home and he has ensured that Della will be staying there due to the wedding trip he is taking her sister on immediately. Della must find the object if she is to save her sister’s life and return to her home. But with no leads to go on, Della is terrified of failing. Fairstone Hall is owned by Lord William Wakefield, Earl of Danbury, a man who’s taciturn reputation proceeds him. He is also Della’s new brother-in-law. Does she really have a chance to search the estate or are the secrets of the past so buried there is no hope? A chance encounter with the earl at the inn nearby the Hall leaves Della with a less than ideal impression of the man. Why does he have to be so curt and brusque? Does her mere existence bother him in some great way? Della soon comes to see that the Earl is, in fact, a bit shy around strangers and carries pain from the past that darkens his future. A tenuous friendship forms between them but Della is not yet ready to reveal her true reasons for staying at the Hall. Will has many regrets in his life, not the least of which is failing to protect his mother from his cruel father. He is striving to be a different and better man but despises society and assemblies. Della is a welcome breath of fresh air in his home, though she nearly drives him crazy with her sharp wit and sarcastic responses. She gives him no quarter in his brusqueness and challenges him in ways no one ever has before. But she also carries suffering from her past that she is unwilling to share as yet. Can Will convince her he can be trusted to help her in her quest? Can they puzzle it all out before all their lives are put in even more danger? And can Will convince Della she means much more to him than duty demands? You’ll have to come read to find out! But don’t worry……you’ll love finding out.
I really loved this story from beginning to end. The first chapter draws you in, then the second and third convince you that you just HAVE to find out what will happen. Della, who had always longed to go on an exploring adventure with her father sets out on her own unexpected adventure, requiring her to explore an estate in order to save her sister’s life. She is bold, brash and unapologetic in her defense of those she perceives to be bullied or mistreated and has a great capacity to love others. I loved that she was still brave and strong in the face of one who threatened her very existence. But she still needed to learn that others could love her just as she was and that love could help her in more ways that she ever dreamed. Will was a wonderful character too with his brooding nature and hidden wit. I loved the conversations that he and Della had about books, families and the pain of the past. He taught her to trust again and how to accept help when necessary. Their conversations were real and raw and helped me connect very well with them. I will certainly be recommending this book to others and hope they will be as captivated by it as I have been. This is definitely one you will want to add to your shelves to read more than once to take in all the details and happenings. I know I’ll be reading it again myself.
I received this temporary complimentary E-book from Kate Renae. I am not required by anyone to write a positive review but am very pleased to do so. I will receive no fiscal compensation for this review and the opinions expressed herein are entirely my own.

Copper for the Countess by Sally Britton – Book Review

Copper for the Countess by Sally Britton

Published by Pink Citrus Book October 06, 2021

Genre: Western, Historical, Christian, Romance

Pages: 363

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

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Publisher’s Description

A Victorian countess doesn’t belong on a ranch, and a frosty cowboy knows nothing about raising a family. When the two have no choice but to rely on each other, is there any hope for happiness, let alone true love?

Lady Evelyn Lyon lost her husband and her fortune on the same day. Daughter in hand, she makes her way to the copper mines of Arizona, hoping her husband’s stock in the Bisbee Copper Queen mine will make it possible for her to raise her little girl. Every man she’s known has failed her, and she would far rather be alone than dependent on one. When the stock certificates in her possession prove fraudulent, Evelyn and her little girl are more alone than ever. 

Chris Morgan, known as “Frosty” by cowhands and neighbors alike, never expected to have a family. When his cousin back east dies and leaves Chris with two children to raise, Chris has no choice but to change his plans. But raising children and running a ranch at the same time is a tall order. He’s at his wit’s end when he comes across a British noblewoman who has no business wandering around the desert without protection. When he learns her story, Chris knows they might be the solutions to each other’s problems.

A hasty wedding and dusty ride to Chris’s ranch starts their marriage of convenience off on a bumpy road. With children to raise and cattle to herd, Evelyn and Chris have no choice but to trust each other. But in the west, trust is hard won, and it’s hard to grow anything…especially love.


Story Notes

Sally brings readers a second story from the KB Ranch and this time Frosty is going to meet his match.

What a great idea Sally had to bring England and America together in her stories. I love this unique story idea and its basis in a true working ranch. It reminded me strongly of a series of books I read as a teenager by Kristin Heitzman but mainly because of the people on the ranch. The welcoming nature and the kindness to a “lost soul” were a wonderful addition that Sally really made come to vivid life. Though there are similarities, Sally’s stories are a bit more warm and engaging than earlier series. I’ve not been able to read the first in this series as I’m still waiting on on my hold to be available at my library (rude!), but I was still able to really enjoy this story and the characters. Everyone is seen as an equal in both standing and value on the Ranch and everyone finds a purpose to fulfill. I really liked how each person on the Ranch helped Evelyn learn the various jobs, rather than just brushing her off. And for a woman who had had little purpose before, you could tell how very much it meant to be able to contribute in some way. Her relationship with Frosty/Chris was really wonderful too. Though they married for convenience and help for the other, their journey to love was beautiful to see. They each wanted to ensure the other’s comfort and care but they had a hard time putting their hearts out there. I loved that the reading of books really brought them together. That was a sweet inclusion and really helped them connect with the children too. And when Chris came home injured…..man, did Evelyn get mad fast! It was funny to see how put out she was with him and him try to explain while also being in pain. She was determined that he know that she cared about what happened to him, even if that meant a scolding. Didn’t he know that trusting men came hard for her and she had just decided he was worth trusting? That was a great scene. And then you had the ending of the story that was very well done and set it up just right for the next one. I’m excited to see what will happen with that story as the plot outline is very intriguing. I’m also looking forward to FINALLY getting to read the first book whenever it comes available. I certainly recommend this story and the series and hope that others will enjoy it as well.

I received this temporary complimentary ARC from Sally via BookFunnel. I am not required by anyone to write a positive review but am very pleased to do so. I will receive no fiscal compensation for this review and the opinions expressed herein are entirely my own.

The Forgotten Queen by Kortney Kiesel – Book Review

The Forgotten Queen by Kortney Kiesel

Published by Kortney Kiesel September 27, 2021

Genre: YA, Dystopian, Romance

Pages: 424

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

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Publisher’s Description

She’s trying to remember. He’s trying to pretend. 

Sydria Hasler is a blank slate. After a tragic accident, her images of the past have vanished. All she wants is to get her memory back and return home—wherever home is. But the more she rebuilds her past, the more she wants to fight for a future with King Marx. Too bad it’s all a sham.

King Marx McKane has never cared about anyone or anything, especially being king. When his father forces him to marry a mysterious woman, he starts taking things seriously. The only way out of his arranged marriage is to pretend that he’s falling in love with his wife. This charade might end up being the most reckless thing Marx has ever done. Is he willing to sacrifice his life and his kingdom to set Sydria free?

Can their fake relationship lead Sydria and Marx to their genuine selves, or will deception cost them their freedom?

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Story Notes

Kortney’s fourth book in the brilliant Desolation series once again proves that she knows what she’s doing with her writing and I’m here to shout about it to as many people as I can.

I’ve said it before, I was not a fan of YA literature until I read Kortney’s books. Usually I find YA to be too immature and awkward with little good conversation and characters that bore me with their ridiculous drama. But Kortney has drawn me into her Desolation world and I’m so glad she did. Each story brings more revelations about the complexity of those seeking to undermine the seven kingdoms but each MC couple adds their names to the fight for freedom and fairness in all lands. Cristole is the kingdom of focus here and the couple is King Marx McKane and Sydria Hasler. Sydria has recently come out of a several months long coma and is learning who she is once again. It’s unnerving to be so blank about her past but she’s determined to make the best of things. A chance encounter with a handsome young man while trying to rescue trapped sea creatures causes Sydria to remember what attraction feels like but nothing definite. Who is this guy and why does he seem both annoyed and intrigued by her? She’s given no time to really consider him further when her aunt and uncle make a difficult request of her – marry the king of Cristole to help them alleviate their debts incurred while caring for Sydria. With no real other choices, Sydria agrees, hoping she might figure a way out of this arrangement. Who marries someone they never met before? Is King Marx okay with the idea and, if so, why? Answers come in unexpected ways on her wedding day. Marx is the handsome man she met on the beach and he is definitely not okay with the idea of a forced arranged marriage. But without a clear path out of the wedding, Marx and Sydria agree to find a solution eventually. But neither of them expect the attraction between them that only grows stronger with every moment they spend in each other’s company. Sydria can’t remember her past but begins to hope for a better future with Marx. But Marx refuses to let himself fall for his wife, even if she is the most beautiful and intriguing woman he’s ever met. Can they figure out what happened in Sydria’s past and have a chance at a real marriage? Or will the past and their enemies rob them of their blossoming love?

It’s so hard to write a good review and not spoil things for others. I can’t tell you how much I loved reading this excellent story. Everything flowed well together and really enjoyed watching the journey to love for Marx and Sydria. Forced proximity/marriage could have been a very bad situation but they chose to work things out and keep things friendly (more than friendly, at times *winky face*). We got to see them grow into better and stronger people through their situation and how they handled things together. Their conversations were real, frank and refreshing to read. I loved hearing them try to flirt with each other and yet keep from falling for each other. I can’t say too much more or I’ll spoil things so I’m just going to leave you with some teaser phrases: Closet conversations; Illegal clothes; Kissing Lessons; Cameos by previous characters; a fabulous ending. There you go, that’s all I’m giving you. Now, if you’re wanting to read this book, you need to do something else first: go read the other three books before you start this one, or you will be totally lost reading this story. They all weave together so well that you will definitely miss all the necessary information you need for this story. So, go buy the whole set thus far, if you haven’t already (honestly, you should have already bought the others) and dive into this amazing series that will leave you just exactly where the rest of us who have read it are – hoping the next book comes out sooner rather than later and that these stories just keep getting better.

I received this temporary complimentary E-book from Kortney Kiesel via BookFunnel. I am not required by anyone to write a positive review but am pleased to do so. I will receive no fiscal compensation for this review and the opinions expressed herein are entirely my own.

A Convenient Escape by Penny Fairbanks – Book Review

A Convenient Escape by Penny Fairbanks

Published by Penny Fairbanks September 24, 2021

Genre: Historical Fiction, Romance

Pages: 208

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

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Publisher’s Description

She’s a romantic who failed to fall in love in her first Season. He likes a friend who sees him as nothing more. When life doesn’t go how either of them planned, they strike a convenient deal.

With so many examples of true love to look up to, Miss Elizabeth Waynford is certain that her future holds the same. Her parents, grandparents, and aunts and uncles all have such wonderful love stories that have inspired her own dreams. Beth has known since she was a girl that she wanted to fall in love and marry during her first Season. Her rose-colored lenses are challenged after one Season passed and now her second Season has almost come to a close without that precious spark of love. At least she has her good friend to rely on and commiserate with about their struggles in the marriage mart—until his struggles threaten to saddle him with a miserable future. How can Beth stand by and let that happen?

Mr. Weston Quincy, future Baron of Shawberry, is in his fourth Season without any luck at finding a wife. Since his charms are more friendly than romantic, most ladies don’t see him as suitor material—including his friend, the lovely and beautiful Miss Waynford. Though he’s been smitten with her since they met, he knows she hasn’t considered him seriously. Weston is just happy that they can share the ups and downs of the Season together. His parents have other plans, though. Eager to secure the family line and confident that Weston won’t find a bride on his own, they offer him an arranged marriage to a less than pleasant woman. When Miss Waynford offers him an escape in the form of a marriage to her, Weston can’t refuse.

Together, as husband and wife, Beth and Weston must navigate a future neither of them expected and the complex emotions that come with such a lifechanging decision. Will they discover along the way that love was there all along?

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Story Notes

Penny is taking us back into the world of the Harcourts to meet their children and watch them fall in love.

I loved all of the first series about the Harcourts and was very glad to see Penny was going to return to this delightful family with a second-generation series. This first story focuses on the oldest child of Noah and Anna Waynford, Beth, who is in her second season and losing a bit of hope at finding the kind of love she sees her parents share. Each suitor she considers doesn’t seem to come up to the mark she had set but she has a good friend to commiserate with in Weston Quincy, a fellow searcher for love. But their friendship will become more than they expected when Weston’s parents try to arrange a marriage for him with a bitter and spiteful older woman. In an effort to help her friend avoid such a terrible fate, Beth offers to marry Weston herself. At first he balks, not wanting to take away her chance at finding true love with someone else. But Beth is determined and tells him she would rather marry him and choose to love than wait around for someone else that may not ever actually appear. Thus, they agree to a marriage of convenience with the possibility for more as time goes on. But while they first believe that love is impossible in their situation, they will soon come to realize that everything they had ever looked for in a marriage partner is to be found right in front of them. If they can just open their eyes to the reality that is love right before their eyes, they just might find themselves falling into the most beautiful love they could have ever imagined.
I loved this quiet but truly lovely story. It was a bit “shy” at first, just like the characters but as the pages went on, I found that both the book and the characters became bolder and better as they inspired each other. Beth had her ideals that she had once believed could only be found in a certain type of person and marriage but she came to see that there is more than one way to fulfill one’s ideals. And Weston found that while others might not have seen his suit as desirable, he is a man that anyone would be most pleased to know and be married to. Penny made her characters both real and flawed and it really helped me connect with them. I found myself thinking some of the same thoughts about others that they did which made me smile as I read along. Although, I did really find Beth to be a bit sharp with Weston which made me think her a bit spoilt when it came to getting what she wanted. That made me a bit mad but she recovered herself with a wonderful apology to Weston and really appeared to learn her lesson. Like most new couples, they truly had to work on being honest in their conversations and communication about what they thought and felt. Thankfully, they seem to have figured that out fairly quickly though I’m sure it will prove to be a concern at future times, as with all marriages. I will certainly be recommending this story to others and am very much looking forward to the next in the series. I’m excited to see more of the older Harcourts in the coming stories and see what shenanigans the other children will get into as they search for love themselves.
I received this temporary complimentary ARC copy from Penny Fairbanks via BookFunnel. I am not required by anyone to write a review but am pleased to do so. I will receive no fiscal compensation for this review and the opinions expressed herein are entirely my own.

Meet Me Under the Kissing Bough by Josi S Kilpack, et al

Meet Me Under the Kissing Bough by Josi S Kilpack et al

Published by Covenant Communications September 01, 2021

Genre: Historical Fiction, Christmas, Romance

Pages: 268

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

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Publishers Description

We wish you a merry Christmas and a happily ever after! This special holiday historical romance anthology featuring three heartwarming novellas proves that no matter the obstacles, ’tis the season for love.

  • Meet Me under the Kissing Boughby Josi S. KilpackDeborah Winfrey hasn’t had the heart to host a holiday party since her husband’s death. But this Christmas, it’s time to move forward. The festivities bring renewed life to her home, and the attentions of two very different men promise a chance at new love.
  • Healing Hearts for the Holidaysby Anneka R. WalkerJulia Hunt is strictly forbidden from associating with the family in the nearby manor—including the handsome younger son, Esmond, who quickly steals her heart. With Christmas around the corner, an old bundle of hidden love letters may be the key to her own happily ever after. 
  • A  Christmas Correspondenceby Sarah L. McConkieIn this novella inspired by the timeless tale A Christmas Carol, John Charleston finds himself on an unexpected journey in the company of the insufferable Lady Carolyn Morleigh. But the magic of the season has a way of softening even the hardest of hearts.

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Story Notes

A trilogy of Christmas novellas by some wonderful authors will have you wishing for winter temperatures, hot cocoa and a blanket to snuggle under as you enjoy stories of finding love even in the face of difficulty. Christmas is certainly my favorite holiday with all its magical moments, delicious food and memories that seem to last longer than any others. This set of stories was my first Christmas “book” of 2021 and I thoroughly enjoyed each of them.

Meet Me Under the Kissing Bough by Josi S. Kilpack This was a story of finding love again after loss. I loved Deborah and her kind nature. She had been well loved by her husband and never expected to find love again. The quiet but good love journey for her and Phillip was exactly right for them and inspired both of them to be brave again. While some might have pulled them apart, their love brought them together to overcome any naysayers and blend into a lovely and boisterous family.

Healing Hearts for the Holidays by Anneka R. Walker Definitely my favorite of the the three, this was a story about fighting for family and love in the face of bitterness and loss. Julia was determined to bring her family back together in spite of her father’s hatred that was keeping them apart. Together with Esmond, they solve the mystery of the disagreement between their families and found love along the way. I loved their conversations and flirting…..it was entirely sweet but fun at the same time.

A Christmas Correspondence by Sarah L. McConkie A reverse telling of A Christmas Carol by Dickens, this story finds the main character to be female, and one who has been greatly injured by her early life. Caroline Morleigh has known little love in her life given the harsh treatment of her father after her mother’s death. She learned early to build up walls against hurt and has mastered the ability to cut people down with a perfectly timed sharp word. Enter one John Charleston, a man sent by her now deceased father to fulfill his last requests – but she will have to follow all the instructions if she is to inherit her fortune. Her journey will take her to all the favorite places of her memory and teach her to love again – in more ways that one. This one was interesting and though not my favorite, I liked the unique telling of a beloved classic. The essential elements were there but it was still a fresh take. My only complaint was it was a bit short to really develop well and might do better as a longer story.
I received this temporary complimentary E-book from Covenant Communications via NetGalley. I was not required to write this review but have done so willingly. I will receive no fiscal compensation for this review and the opinions herein are entirely my own.

Trace of Doubt by DiAnn Mills – Book Review

Trace of Doubt by DiAnn Mills

Published by Tyndale House Publishers September 07, 2021

Genre: Mystery/Suspense, Christian

Pages: 354

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

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Publisher’s Description

Bestselling and award-winning author DiAnn Mills delivers a heart-stopping story of dark secrets, desperate enemies, and dangerous lies.

Fifteen years ago, Shelby Pearce confessed to murdering her brother-in-law and was sent to prison. Now she’s out on parole and looking for a fresh start in the small town of Valleysburg, Texas. But starting over won’t be easy for an ex-con.

FBI Special Agent Denton McClure was a rookie fresh out of Quantico when he was first assigned the Pearce case. He’s always believed Shelby embezzled five hundred thousand dollars from her brother-in-law’s account. So he’s going undercover to befriend Shelby, track down the missing money, and finally crack this case.

But as Denton gets closer to Shelby, he begins to have a trace of doubt about her guilt. Someone has Shelby in their crosshairs. It’s up to Denton to stop them before they silence Shelby—and the truth—forever.

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Story Notes

DiAnn creates a story that is incredible in its complexity and beautifully tragic in its telling.

This is one of THOSE books. You know, the ones that keep you thinking about them after you finish it. And you feel like you need to read it twelve times to really get all that it had in it into your brain? Yeah, this is one of THOSE. The premise is simple: Shelby Pearce confessed to killing her brother-in-law fifteen years ago and went to prison. She has been released and is trying to find a new life in the small town of Valleysburg, Texas. But her past doesn’t bring with it an overwhelming recommendation of her to others so she quickly finds herself the target of unkind people. Thankfully she has some new friends willing to believe in her profession of faith in Jesus and offer her both friendship and a job. But Shelby’s release is just the beginning of the nightmare that is coming for her and she will need all the help she can get to make it out alive. Denton McClure is positive that Shelby Pearce stole $500,000 at the time that she killed her brother-in-law. But he couldn’t prove it 15 years ago without more evidence. Now that Shelby is out of prison, maybe he can get her to tell him what happened. So he inserts himself into her world as a friendly neighbor, never guessing that prison had taught Shelby well not to trust the face that others present to you. She quickly guesses his real intent and thus puts them at odds given she insists that she never touched the money. As Denton spends more time with Shelby, much to her consternation, he discovers much that seems different from his perception of her before. Can she really be that changed from a cold-blooded killer into a woman of such kindness and a forgiving spirit? Nothing adds up as he planned and as the threats against Shelby begin to escalate, he will find himself drawn into plans to keep her safe. Now if only he can keep his heart from falling for this broken but strong woman out to prove that she can overcome anything.
I had a fantastic time reading this story. It was perfectly paced and excellently written. Everything flowed well from chapter to chapter and I had just enough information to suspect certain things but not know for sure until they were revealed. I was glued to my reader from the time I started the first page and read the last one at midnight the same day. I just couldn’t sleep until I knew what all was going to happen. I’m still thinking about it days after I finished it and I definitely will be adding it to my shelves to read again. There’s too much good plot to give away any more of it and spoilers would destroy the suspense so I will simply tell you to add this one to your TBR as one that you will not want to miss out on. It’s probably one of my absolute favorites of DiAnn’s and as I’ve read all of her other excellent books, that’s saying something!

I received this temporary complimentary E-book from Tyndale House Publishers via NetGalley. I am not required to write a review but do so willingly. I will receive no fiscal compensation for this review and the opinions expressed herein are entirely my own.

The Mistletoe Countess by Pepper Basham – Book Review

The Mistletoe Countess by Pepper Basham

Published by Barbour Publishing September 01, 2021

Genre: Historical Fiction, Mystery, Romance, Christian

Pages: 320

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

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Publishers Description

Will the magic of Christmas bring these two newlyweds closer together, or will the ghosts of the past lead them into a destructive discovery from which not even a Dickens’s Christmas can save them?

Mistletoe is beautiful and dangerous, much like the woman from Lord Frederick’s Percy’s past, so when he turns over a new leaf and arranges to marry for his estate, instead of his heart, he never expects the wrong bride to be the right choice. Gracelynn Ferguson never expected to take her elder sister’s place as a Christmas bride, but when she’s thrust into the choice, she will trust in her faithful novels and overactive imagination to help her not only win Frederick’s heart but also to solve the murder mystery of Havensbrook Hall before the ghosts from Frederick’s past ruin her fairytale future. 
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Story Notes

Pepper Basham brings readers a book that will engage your heart, soul, mind and body (with happy dances) in a beautiful and inspiring story of marriage. 

Don't you love when you find a book that makes you truly happy to read? This latest story from Pepper Basham might just have edged out a number of previously loved books for the leading competitor for my favorite book of the year. I've read her books before and knew to expect wit and swoony romance but this story is truly exceptional. She begins with a fabulous character named Grace Ferguson who is an avid reader and proponent of romance. Her sister is soon be be married to Fredrick Percy, Lord Astley and she is very excited about joining them at his estate in England, Havensbrook Hall. She imagines she'll finally find the adventure she's always longed for and get a chance to see some of the places she's only thus far visited in her imagination. Scandalous circumstances befall Grace's sister, leaving her unable to fulfill the marriage contract so Grace musters her courage to become the requisite bride. Determined to make her new life both pleasant and an adventure, Grace makes it her mission to teach her husband to love and trust her. Frederick has long mis-trusted women after a tragic relationship in his past. But he cannot help but be drawn to his new wife and her imaginative tendencies. With her love of books and her enthusiasm for all situations, Frederick is a little bit overwhelmed and a whole lot interested in what Grace will say or do next. Though they agreed to become friends first before becoming lovers, both Frederick and Grace soon find that being apart from the other is a sad state. Thus their romance grows steadily as they spend more time together. But there is much mystery surrounding the death of Frederick's brother and his father. Can they sort everything out before further tragedy befalls the residents of Havensbrook Hall? And will their love be strong enough to face the trials and betrayals that come to light as they dig deeper into the mystery? Come read and find out if you really want to know!!
Gosh, I loved this book! It was funny, engaging, beautiful and, at times, heartbreaking. It provides such an inspiration for marriage and how to encourage your spouse in the very best ways. Mind you, it wasn't  a fluff piece of only sappy love story moments. It was a boots-on-the-ground deep dive into a love story that could have been really terrible if the couple had not been so determined to succeed. Grace is a fabulous character with all the best parts of a book lover and a romance enthusiast all wrapped up in a fiery haired explosion of imagination. Her book references were epic and so apropos for all situations. She grabs life and its happenings with both hands and wrings out all the joy and good she can and in turn showers both on those around her. Her faith is incredible and encouraged by her father, a man wholly concerned with the good of his family. Frederick was a marvelous marriage partner for her. His more staid and decidedly English personality comes from a past littered with loss and betrayal. From the moment he meets Grace his world is upended in the most wonderful way. He doesn't even realize he's falling for her as he enjoys her joy of life and makes the best out of every bad situation. Frederick has never had someone love him so willingly and completely without strings. I loved seeing him fall for Grace and enjoyed his reactions to her imaginative solutions for solving the mysteries. This book gives me very great hopes for a future marriage where both people are committed to doing and giving their upmost for the good of the other. More people should read this book and apply it to their own lives and relationships. I have no doubt that the world would be better for it. I will most certainly be recommending this delightful read to others and hope that I can encourage as many people as possible to have this book in their lives and hearts. 

I received this temporary complimentary E-book from Barbour Publishing via NetGalley. I am voluntarily offering this review and am not required by anyone to write it. I will receive no fiscal compensation for this review and the opinions expressed herein are entirely my own.

Brides and Brothers Blog Tour and Giveaway

About Brides and Brothers:

A modern retelling of Seven Brides for Seven Brothers.

Camille Kelly is in real danger of becoming an old maid—at least by Cherish, Montana, standards. She has all but given up on finding Mr. Right—until her broken laptop leads her to Aiden Peterson, a tall, dark, and handsome computer genius. Camille would never have believed her magic moment was right around the corner, but after two whirlwind weeks, she has a ring on her finger and has happily ever after in sight. However, she soon discovers Aiden is part of a daunting package deal . . .

As the eldest of seven brothers, Aiden has never had a problem living under the same roof as his rambunctious siblings. When he falls for Camille, he is confident she’ll fit right into his family’s already bursting home. He thought wrong. Aiden and Camille’s storybook romance comes to a screeching halt when she discovers her new living situation. Not willing to submit to a life mothering a bunch of grown men, Camille has only one option: she embarks on a campaign to improve her new brothers-in-law and marry them off. And what better candidates for wives than her own best friends? 

My Review of this wonderful Story:

Anneka Walker brings readers a wonderfully modern retelling of a beloved story and invites us to watch seven guys and gals fall in love despite mishaps and assumptions.

I’ve been watching musicals of all sorts from the time I was very young. My parents as well as my great-aunt are classic movie fans so I’ve seen the majority of the major releases from 1930 – 1960. And then Anneka releases the blurb that she is taking the fun and hilarious “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers” and turning it into a modern book for us to enjoy! How could I not be over the moon excited for this story to come into being? And then to find out that I would be able to be on her launch team for it……happy dancing for days! For those that don’t know the premise, here’s a glimpse of it: Camille Kelly thinks she’s past the age when she will successfully find a husband. She’s nearing twenty-seven and has no prospects for a boyfriend. She’s online teaching for the college but student housing allowance ends on her next birthday. What’s a girl to do? A chance meeting with Aiden Peterson due to computer malfunction begins a fledgling friendship and romance that quickly grows deeper. Each of them feel a connection that they’ve never had before and can’t wait to explore. And when Aiden finds out that Camille is soon to lose her home, he proposes a crazy idea – that they get married. Though a bit shocked, Camille is not opposed to the idea. Aiden is everything she ever wanted in a guy, stable in his career, has a home and is a strong Christian. So they decide they will have a Christmas wedding – until Camille’s mother throws their plans awry. Given she only has one weekend available until next summer, they will have to get married in two weeks or she won’t come. Scrambling to make it work, they pull it together. But Aiden doesn’t have time to tell Camille the biggest news about marrying him: that all six of his brothers live with him. When they return after a short honeymoon to a house filled with rough and tumble bachelors, Camille is both overwhelmed and bit angry. How can she and Aiden have time alone together with a houseful of people? However, she soon comes up with a brilliant idea to get all these guys out of the house and quick – She will get them to fall in love with her friends and be eager to have their own space. Her plan gets a rocky start but everything begins to smooth out as the guys and girls spend more time together. What follows in a hilarious journey to love for not only the brothers but also for Camille and Aiden. Can they all figure out this love thing or will it fall apart before they can? What will they all be willing to give up in order to find the love they all desire?

I had such a fun time reading this delightful story. I loved the original musical and the time period in which it was set worked with what happened then. But given this more modern time, I was really interested to see how Anneka would pull it off. It really worked well and I loved how she kept all the fun elements of the story that made it unique but gave them a new spin. All my favorite parts of the story were included and the characters were written just right. I loved the love story of Camille and Aiden and how she made the brothers her project to ward off her loneliness. And her friends and sister brought in such great conversations and hilarious situations that kept me turning pages way past my bed time. I cannot recommend this book enough for its beautiful story and the wonderful characters. If you have any love for the musical, you will be intrigued and entertained with this new version of that classic. Add this one to your TBR now and get ready to laugh your way through a sweet story. I hope this is not Anneka’s only foray into rewriting musicals because I would totally be in for any future ones.

I received a complimentary ARC of this story from Covenant Communications. My review for this book was not required but I am pleased to offer it fairly and honestly. I will receive no fiscal compensation for my review and the opinions expressed herein are entirely my own.

Purchase Links:

https://deseretbook.com/p/brides-and-brothers?queryID=e01b82283df9ef622e385b511f1faa06&variant_id=194140-paperback

https://www.amazon.com/Brides-Brothers-Anneka-R-Walker-ebook/dp/B093RDRVK3/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/brides-and-brothers-anneka-r-walker/1139454029?ean=9781524409203

Preview the first few chapters here:

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Undercurrent of Secrets by Rachel McDaniel – Book Review

Undercurrent of Secrets by Rachel McDaniel

Published by Barbour Publishing September 01, 2021

Genre: Historical Fiction, Suspense, Romance, Christian

Pages: 256

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

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Publisher’s Description

Two women, a century apart, are bound by a haunting secret aboard a legendary steamboat.

Walk through Doors to the Past via a new series of historical stories of romance and adventure.

As wedding coordinator for the 100-year-old steamboat The Belle of Louisville, Devyn Asbury takes pride in seeing others’ dreams come true, even though her engagement had sunk like a diamond ring to the bottom of the Ohio River. When the Belle becomes a finalist in the Timeless Wedding Venue contest, Devyn endeavors to secure the prestigious title with hopes to reclaim some of her professional dreams. What she hadn’t planned on was Chase Jones showing up with a mysterious photo from the 1920s.

A century earlier, Hattie Louis is as untamable as the rivers that raised her. As the adopted daughter of a steamboat captain, her duties range from the entertainment to cook. When strange incidents occur aboard the boat, Hattie’s determined to discover the truth. Even if that means getting under First Mate Jack Marshall’s handsome skin.

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Story Notes

Its pretty clever to write both a dual time line and historical fiction book. That’s what Rachel McDaniel does here with this incredible engaging read and I was honestly sad when I got to the last page. She begins with with a fabulous first line that succeeds in ensuring you don’t walk away until you have all the answers. Devyn Asbury is a wedding planner aboard the Belle of Louiville and she loves her job. Having suffered a devastating and very public broken engagement the year prior, she is blessed to have found something to love again. Her faith has grown stronger than ever through everything and while she is not quire ready for love she is ready to help others have wonderful events. Her boss lets her know that the Once Upon a Wedding magazine contest they entered has confirmed that the Belle is a finalist for the “Timeless Wedding Venue” Award. Thrilled but also terrified, Devyn determines to make their Benefit Ball, which is also the event the judges of the contest will attend, the event of the season. They need a headliner for the event to make it stand out and the theme will need to showcase the Belle to it’s finest. In the middle of her ponderings comes the appearance of one Chase Jones, a handsome and mysterious man who offers to help Devyn with her event in exchange for her help with a mystery he’s trying to solve about his family. Little does Devyn know that this quest will teach her more about herself and her own family than she ever dreamed of learning. Plus, she just might get a chance at love she never hope to have again. Now they just have to find out who Hattie is and how she’s connected to the Belle, or as it was first named, the Idlewilde

1926 – Hattie Louis has lived aboard the Idlewild since her adopted father and ships’ captain, Duffy, found her as an infant on the docks. Faced with the last season of the riverboat’s tours, Hattie will soon have to find a new life on shore. But not before she gives her all until that time. When Duffy hires a new first mate, Hattie is somewhat put out since she’s always served in that role, unofficially. Jack Marshall is a handsome young man with a mysterious air around him. His large size belies his kindness but Hattie isn’t eager to trust this man until he proves himself. He’s too fastidious about the cargo they carry and, though always polite, doesn’t seem too willing to tell too much about himself. What could Jack be hiding and what does it have to do with the Idlewild? Searching out this mystery and others that come up along the way will bring Hattie and Jack closer. Will they both be willing to sacrifice what once was for what could be?

I loved reading both of these amazing love stories. They played well off of each other and every chapter drew me deeper into the situations. I was mad, excited, happy dancing, crying and cheering as I read each page and loved how it all turned out. I don’t want to give any spoilers but I’ll tell you that this is for sure one story you should read and soon. The true history that was woven into the pages and the marvelous characters will stick with you long after you finish the story. You might even find yourself rereading parts of it immediately to spend a little more time with it. So, go grab your copy now and settle in for a story that will hold you captive from beginning to end. Well done, Rachel!!

I received a complimentary ARC copy of this book from Barbour Publishing via NetGalley. I am not required to write a review but am most pleased to do so. I will receive no fiscal compensation for this review and the opinions expressed herein are entirely my own.

Brides and Brothers by Anneka R. Walker – Book Review

Brides and Brothers by Anneka R. Walker

Published by Covenant Communications September 1, 2021

Genre: Romance, Drama, Christian

Pages: 280

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

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A modern retelling of Seven Brides for Seven Brothers.

Camille Kelly is in real danger of becoming an old maid—at least by Cherish, Montana, standards. She has all but given up on finding Mr. Right—until her broken laptop leads her to Aiden Peterson, a tall, dark, and handsome computer genius. Camille would never have believed her magic moment was right around the corner, but after two whirlwind weeks, she has a ring on her finger and has happily ever after in sight. However, she soon discovers Aiden is part of a daunting package deal . . .

As the eldest of seven brothers, Aiden has never had a problem living under the same roof as his rambunctious siblings. When he falls for Camille, he is confident she’ll fit right into his family’s already bursting home. He thought wrong. Aiden and Camille’s storybook romance comes to a screeching halt when she discovers her new living situation. Not willing to submit to a life mothering a bunch of grown men, Camille has only one option: she embarks on a campaign to improve her new brothers-in-law and marry them off. And what better candidates for wives than her own best friends? 

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Story Notes

Anneka Walker brings readers a wonderfully modern retelling of a beloved story and invites us to watch seven guys and gals fall in love despite mishaps and assumptions.

I’ve been watching musicals of all sorts from the time I was very young. My parents as well as my great-aunt are classic movie fans so I’ve seen the majority of the major releases from 1930 – 1960. And then Anneka releases the blurb that she is taking the fun and hilarious “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers” and turning it into a modern book for us to enjoy! How could I not be over the moon excited for this story to come into being? And then to find out that I would be able to be on her launch team for it……happy dancing for days! For those that don’t know the premise, here’s a glimpse of it: Camille Kelly thinks she’s past the age when she will successfully find a husband. She’s nearing twenty-seven and has no prospects for a boyfriend. She’s online teaching for the college but student housing allowance ends on her next birthday. What’s a girl to do? A chance meeting with Aiden Peterson due to computer malfunction begins a fledgling friendship and romance that quickly grows deeper. Each of them feel a connection that they’ve never had before and can’t wait to explore. And when Aiden finds out that Camille is soon to lose her home, he proposes a crazy idea – that they get married. Though a bit shocked, Camille is not opposed to the idea. Aiden is everything she ever wanted in a guy, stable in his career, has a home and is a strong Christian. So they decide they will have a Christmas wedding – until Camille’s mother throws their plans awry. Given she only has one weekend available until next summer, they will have to get married in two weeks or she won’t come. Scrambling to make it work, they pull it together. But Aiden doesn’t have time to tell Camille the biggest news about marrying him: that all six of his brothers live with him. When they return after a short honeymoon to a house filled with rough and tumble bachelors, Camille is both overwhelmed and bit angry. How can she and Aiden have time alone together with a houseful of people? However, she soon comes up with a brilliant idea to get all these guys out of the house and quick – She will get them to fall in love with her friends and be eager to have their own space. Her plan gets a rocky start but everything begins to smooth out as the guys and girls spend more time together. What follows in a hilarious journey to love for not only the brothers but also for Camille and Aiden. Can they all figure out this love thing or will it fall apart before they can? What will they all be willing to give up in order to find the love they all desire?

I had such a fun time reading this delightful story. I loved the original musical and the time period in which it was set worked with what happened then. But given this more modern time, I was really interested to see how Anneka would pull it off. It really worked well and I loved how she kept all the fun elements of the story that made it unique but gave them a new spin. All my favorite parts of the story were included and the characters were written just right. I loved the love story of Camille and Aiden and how she made the brothers her project to ward off her loneliness. And her friends and sister brought in such great conversations and hilarious situations that kept me turning pages way past my bed time. I cannot recommend this book enough for its beautiful story and the wonderful characters. If you have any love for the musical, you will be intrigued and entertained with this new version of that classic. Add this one to your TBR now and get ready to laugh your way through a sweet story. I hope this is not Anneka’s only foray into rewriting musicals because I would totally be in for any future ones.

I received a complimentary ARC of this story from Covenant Communications. My review for this book was not required but I am pleased to offer it fairly and honestly. I will receive no fiscal compensation for my review and the opinions expressed herein are entirely my own.