Thursday, February 4, 2016

Mermaid Moon

Book description:  "Mallory’s mother died fifteen years ago. But her father’s last words on the phone were unmistakable: “Find . . . mother.”
Shame and confusion have kept Mallory Davis from her home for the last fifteen years, but when her dad mysteriously dies on his mail boat route, she doesn’t have any choice but to go back to Mermaid Point.
Mallory believes her father was murdered and childhood sweetheart Kevin O’Connor, game warden in Downeast Maine, confirms her suspicions. But Kevin is wary of helping Mallory in her search. She broke his heart and left—without a word—years ago.
When Mallory begins receiving threats on her own life—and her beloved teenage daughter, Haylie—their search intensifies. There’s a tangled web within the supposed murder, and it involves much more than what meets the eye.
As answers begin to fall into place, Mallory realizes her search is about more than finding her father’s killer—it is also about finding herself again . . . and possibly about healing what was broken so long ago with Kevin. She just has to stay alive long enough to put all the pieces together."
My review: Colleen Coble never disappoints! Just when I think her books can't get any better, she publishes another one. Mermaid Moon is the second book in her A Sunset Cove series. It is not necessary to read the first book, but I highly recommend it. Ms. Coble's books are not ones you want to miss. The only thing I didn't like about this book was that it ended. The characters became like family. The story kept me on the edge of my seat and kept me guessing until the end. The romance was not overdone and the suspense kept me up late at night. I am already looking forward to the third book in this series.  I received a complimentary e-copy of this book from the publisher through the Booklook Blogger Program in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions are my own.

Amish Sweethearts

Book description:  "For years Zane Beck and his Amish neighbor Lila Lehman were best of friends. But just as Zane gathered the courage to discover if their friendship could develop into something more, her controlling father arranged for her to be courted by their bishop's son. Zane, heartbroken and frustrated, joined the Army, running away from his shattered dreams.

The passing of time and the distance between Zane and Lila haven't been enough to halt their--now completely hidden--feelings for each other. Any hope for their love grows even more impossible though as Zane's service takes a dangerous turn when he's deployed to Afghanistan. Being on the frontline, confronted with the hard choices of war, has him questioning everything, including whether he can continue to serve or not. But all choices have consequences, and with Lila preparing to marry another, will these one-time sweethearts ever find the life together that they both still long for?"

My review:  While I did thoroughly enjoy reading this book, it was a bit unrealistic for me. Trying to combine the Amish and English world is not an easy task. I think that Leslie Gould is a very good story-teller, and this book definitely kept me on the edge of my seat at times. I was kept guessing until the very end even though I knew how it was supposed to end. I loved the characters and will look forward to reading more books in this series.  I received a complimentary e-copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions are my own.

The Painter's Daughter

Book description:  "Sophie Dupont assists her father in his studio, keeping her own artwork out of sight. In private, she paints the picturesque north Devon coast, popular with artists--including handsome Wesley Overtree, who seems more interested in Sophie than the landscape. 

Captain Stephen Overtree is accustomed to taking on his brother Wesley's responsibilities. Near the end of his leave, he is sent to find his brother and bring him home. Upon reaching Devonshire, however, Stephen is stunned to learn Wesley has sailed for Italy and left his host's daughter in serious trouble. 

Stephen feels duty-bound to act, and strangely protective of the young lady, who somehow seems familiar. Wanting to make some recompense for his own past failings as well as his brother's, Stephen proposes to Miss Dupont. He does not offer love, but marriage "in name only" to save her from scandal. If he dies in battle, as he fears, she will at least be a respectable widow.

Desperate for a way to escape her predicament, Sophie finds herself torn between her first love and this brooding man she barely knows. Dare she wait for Wesley to return? Or should she elope with the captain and pray she doesn't come to regret it?"

My review:  This was a book that I didn't want to put down. Sophie was one of those characters that you could continue to read about and never get tired. There was plenty of tension between the two brothers and a few twists along the way. Ms. Klassen gave plenty of detail and did a great job developing her characters. She is a great story teller and is quickly becoming an author that I look forward to reading. This is a book that certainly did not disappoint. I received a complimentary e-copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Money Making Mom

Book description:  "When it comes to finances, many of us feel strapped and stressed, buried under bills, worried about an uncertain future. Even if money is plentiful, we long for greater wisdom to manage it well. 

In Money-Making Mom, finance and family blogger Crystal Paine shares real-life stories, practical tips, and hard-won wisdom from the failures and successes that have carved her family's path to financial freedom. 

Paine blends insight with inspiration as she shares creative ways to manage money, generate income and--most importantly--live a life of deeper meaning, fulfillment, and generosity than you might have ever imagined possible."

My review:  This is a great book!  What woman doesn't want to have a way to make more money. Crystal Paine has written a complete guide to help women do just that. Money Making Mom is full of practical advice with questions along the way to help you start thinking. She has written in a very easy to understand way and has given plenty of personal examples from her own journey in establishing her own business.  This is a book that will challenge you and get you motivated to take the next step in starting your own business. What I also like is that this book is not only about making money, but giving and being generous with your money. This is one of the most practical books I have ever read. I highly recommend it. I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through the BookLook Blogger Program in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

A Refuge at Highland Hall

Book description:  "Penny Ramsey has always considered Highland Hall her home, but when Britain becomes involved in World War One she travels to London to assist her sister Kate with the eight orphan children she and her husband Jon have taken into their home. Doing her part for the war effort takes priority over Penny’s dreams of romance until she meets Alex Goodwin, a Royal Naval Air Service pilot in training.

Alex is determined to prove his worth and do his part to defend his country. Knowing he is heading off for the dangerous assignment of  chasing Zeppelins across the front line in France, he feels it’s unwise to form any romantic attachments. But he can’t help admiring the pretty, warmhearted Penny and wondering what it would be like to find her waiting when he returns home from the war.

As Penny writes to Alex, their friendship blossoms, and she becomes his tie to home and normalcy as he faces the hardships war. But being an RNAS pilot means confronting the enemy, and the fallout form those experiences push Alex beyond Penny’s reach. Can God mend the brokenness left by the losses of war? Will faith and forgiveness bring them together again?"

My review:  This is another great book in the series Edwardian Brides.  I would definitely recommend reading the first two books in the series before starting this one.  A Refuge at Highland Hall is another page-turner in a series you don't want to miss.  The author is able to transport the reader to another time and place. The emotions are as real as the struggles and triumphs. While this book concluded the series quite satisfactorily, I will miss Highland Hall and all who live there.  I received a complimentary e-copy of this book from the publisher through the Blogging for Books program in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions are my own.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

All is Bright

Book description:  "As manager of the Tidewater Inn, Delilah Carter has been planning a spectacular Christmas wedding for her friends at the grand hotel overlooking the ocean. While picking up still more twinkly lights and some last-minute groceries for the reception dinner, a huge truck runs her off the freezing, wet roads into the dark night. Her car stops just short of an enormous tree and the truck speeds off into the night. Delilah escapes with her life and has almost convinced herself the whole thing was an accident, but then she begins to receive threatening phone calls. With the wedding just hours away, she’s distracted and anxious. Then Sheriff Tom Bourne stops by the inn and volunteers to help.

Tom has always had a soft spot for Delilah, and he’s determined to protect her. But he is pulled away by a bizarre Christmas stunt that has the neighborhood reeling, and Delilah is attacked again.
Will Delilah have to cancel the Christmas wedding at Tidewater Inn? And will Tom’s protection be enough to save Delilah from the shadowy figure looming in the background?"

My review:  Even though this was a novella, I think the author, Colleen Coble, did a great job developing the story-line and characters.  All is Bright is set in Hope Beach, which is the setting for 3 previous novels.  It is not necessary to have read those novels, but it was fun to check in with characters that I had already met. I love to read books by Colleen Coble, and this novella had another great mystery and romance that is signature of her books.  This is a fun quick read that I highly recommend.  I received a complimentary e-copy of this book from the publisher through the Booklook Blogger Program in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions are my own.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Ties that Bind

Book description:  "Twenty-year-old Ariana Brenneman loves her family and the Old Ways. She has two aspirations: open a café in historic Summer Grove to help support her family’s ever-expanding brood and to keep any other Amish from being lured into the Englisch life by Quill Schlabach. 

Five years ago Quill, along with her dear friend Frieda, ran off together, and Ariana still carries the wounds of that betrayal. When she unexpectedly encounters him, she soon realizes he has plans to help someone else she loves leave the Amish.  

Despite how things look, Quill’s goal has always been to protect Ariana from anything that may hurt her, including the reasons he left. After returning to Summer Grove on another matter, he unearths secrets about Ariana and her family that she is unaware of. His love and loyalty to her beckons him to try to win her trust and help her find a way to buy the café—because when she learns the truth that connects her and a stranger named Skylar Nash, Quill knows it may upend her life forever." 

My review:  This book was amazing!  After reading the first chapter, I knew this was going to be a book that I couldn't put down.  It left me on the edge of my seat until the last chapter, and I will continue to be on the edge of my seat until the next book in this series comes out.  Reading this book will leave you emotionally wrung out as you experience the emotions of each of the characters. While this book is mainly about Ariana, there are several characters with stories all their own and as you read you want to know as much about each of them as you can.  Ms. Woodsmall has started an amazing new series with plenty of stories to tell.  While I can't wait to see what happens with Ariana and Quill, I would love to follow the stories of other members of Ariana's family as well.  Although not your typical Amish fiction, if you enjoy reading books about the Amish, this is a must read!  I received a complimentary e-copy of this book from the publisher through the Blogging for Books blogger program in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions are my own.