Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Beyond by Catina Haverlock and Angela Larkin

“Dangerous. Wrong. She could be so close to finding out who I really am, and I don’t want to think about how badly that could damage her. If I have any conscience,
I’ll turn and run. But I can’t let her go.”

Presley Hale has no idea the guy she just told off in the school parking lot died in a drowning accident four months ago. Why would she? It’s not like she knows she can see the dead. Stunned by Presley’s sixth sense, Landon Blackwood rethinks his planned departure and begins tracking her to find answers to their mysterious connection.

When their complicated relationship turns dangerous, they learn that tampering with the boundaries of death comes with consequences. Can Landon save Presley from the insidious spirits who have marked her for death, or was their love doomed from the beginning?

I haven't read a good paranormal/supernatural type romance in a bit so this book felt fresh and new to me.  I loved the mountain setting of Truckee, Nevada.  I drive through Truckee all the time on my way to California.  It's a beast of a place in the winter!!  You sure don't get many books set there but I loved it!

The characters in this book were good.  I liked them and the way they all connected to each other.  Presley has the weight of the world on her shoulders with a special needs sibling that is mostly her responsibility, moving to a new school only to be bullied and having an absentee father.  Presley has a serious disposition to go along with her tremendous responsibility.

I felt that the relationship between Presley and Landon progressed naturally and easily.  I enjoyed their interactions.  The story definitely kept me interested because I honestly wasn't sure how things were going to end.  The build up to the end was fantastic.

The ending left me confused though.  I didn't love it.  After this huge build up with the Vigilum, I guess I was expecting a bit more.  It felt rushed.  I can't say too much without giving things away but the place and time where Presley and Landon ended left me with so many questions.  It didn't really resolve the "how" of things and I was frustrated by it.

Other than that, I really enjoyed this book.  These authors show a lot of promise and I'll be watching to see what comes next from them.  (a sequel in the spring of 2018 which will maybe give me some answers to those unresolved questions?)

Content:  bulling, some kissing

- I received a copy of this book from the publisher.  All opinions expressed are my own.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Yesterday's Promise by Michele Paige Holmes

New from Michele Paige Holmes, Amazon’s bestselling historical romance author and Whitney Award Winner, comes the Hearthfire Historical Romance, YESTERDAY’S PROMISE.

In the Scottish Highlands, 1761:
Nineteen-year-old artist Katherine Mercer dreams of selling her paintings to help support her struggling family. Before she has the opportunity, Katherine learns she is to be sold—or practically so—given in marriage to a lord she has never met or even heard of. In return, a much-needed settlement will be made upon her mother.

Katherine’s situation goes from frightening to surreal when her husband-to-be Laird Collin MacDonald arrives with an entourage of men, each heavily armed and speaking with a thick brogue. As if leaving all she knows behind and traveling to another country with strangers isn’t bad enough, Katherine soon discovers a Scottish heritage she knew nothing of, a brother-in-law who wants her dead, and far more at stake with her paintings than she had ever imagined. Forced to turn to her reclusive husband for answers, comfort, and even her very survival, Katherine begins to unravel the mysteries of her past and what it is to love and be loved.

 * Amazon * Goodreads *

Oh.  Oy.  I wasn't quite ready to stop reading this story.  But I had to.  Because it stopped and there was no more left to read.  <sigh>

I was so caught up in this book.  I was pulled right into the story, invested in the characters and my heart was bursting!  Then it ended and I am a bit sad.  I find I am quite reluctant to move on to another book.  Surely reading one book while thinking of another is a bit like cheating, right?  Book cheating.  Is that a thing?  I feel like it is now.  Because I tried to read another book and that's what it felt like.  I'm still wallowing in Scotland and I'm not ready to leave just yet.  I hope I get over it soon.

The next book?  Fall.  Not too far away, but still.  When you are wallowing, it seems like forever away.  

So until book two. . .  Katie and Collin, I will dream of you.  In Scotland.  <grand lovey sigh>

Content:  mild violence, a rape attempt, kissing

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Lies and Letters by Ashtyn Newbold

After a season in London, Charlotte Lyons is still regrettably unattached. With her family's finances in peril, she is sent away with her sister to a bleak coastal town where she is expected to pursue a wealthy Earl. Beautiful and talented, how could she possibly fail? But when her heart is captured by someone entirely unexpected, Charlotte finds herself caught up in a web of lies and intrigue. Between hardship and sorrow, she finds more than she bargained for, forced to choose between the life she once wanted and a new love she never imagine.

I have to admit that in the beginning of this book I was a bit worried.  I didn't like any of the characters- the horrible mother, the selfish, bullying older sister or the vapid younger sister.  When a book starts off like this where I don't like or connect with any of the characters, I really do worry.  It's hard to come back from that.  BUT.  Ashtyn Newbold did it.  She created characters who struggle and are challenged but who redefine themselves and become something better.  It was fantastically satisfying and I really enjoyed the journey.

Charlotte is awful.  Honestly awful.  It's no wonder that I didn't like her for a good part of the book.  She is selfish and treats others with absolutely no respect- especially those supposedly below her station.  Charlotte's transformation is a bit slower coming but fortunately her sister is more adaptive and begins to grow a backbone rather quickly.  Clara has a sweet disposition and is gentle.  It was good to see her good qualities begin to shine when she was out from underneath Charlotte's tyranny.  

This is definitely a character driven book.  The supporting characters were really good and provided a solid foundation of kindness that both Charlotte and Clara needed in order to see the world differently.

It's fantastic when, as a reader, your perceptions are changed.  I went from dislike to sympathy to like and rooting for the characters.  My emotions were obviously involved and that is always what I'm looking for as a reader.  

Content:  mild peril, a couple instances of kissing.  Clean.

- I received a copy of this book from the publisher.  All opinions expressed here are my own.

Ashtyn Newbold discovered a love of writing early in high school. Inspired by regency period romance, she wrote her first novel at the age of sixteen. Because she can't vacation in her favorite historical time periods, she writes about them instead. When not crafting handsome historical heroes, she enjoys baking, sewing, music, and spoiling her dog. She dreams of traveling to England and Ireland. Ashtyn is currently studying English and creative writing at Utah Valley University. She lives in Lehi, Utah with her family.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Just Look Up by Courtney Walsh

After tirelessly climbing the ranks of her Chicago-based interior design firm, Lane Kelley is about to land her dream promotion when devastating news about her brother draws her back home--a quaint tourist town full of memories she'd just as soon forget. With her cell phone and laptop always within reach, Lane aims to check on her brother while staying focused on work--something her eclectic family doesn't understand.

Ryan Brooks never expected to settle down in Harbor Pointe, Michigan, but after his final tour of duty, it was the only place that felt like home. Now knee-deep in a renovation project that could boost tourism for the struggling town, he is thrilled to see Lane, the girl he secretly once loved, even if the circumstances of her homecoming aren't ideal.

Their reunion gets off to a rocky start, however, when Ryan can't find a trace of the girl he once knew in the woman she is today. As he slowly chips away at the walls Lane has built, secrets from his past collide with a terrible truth even he is reluctant to believe. Facing a crossroads that could define his future with Lane and jeopardize his relationship with the surrogate family he's found in the Kelleys, Ryan hopes Lane can see that maybe what really matters has been right in front of her all along--if only she'd just look up.

 * Goodreads * Amazon *

I was hearing some good things about this book and so I decided that I should pick it up and give it a read too!  I'm sure glad I did.  This book tackles some important issues of today and I felt like Courtney Walsh did a great job of making everything feel real.

Lane is an interesting character.  In the beginning of the book we see Lane as she is now- fully engrossed in her work and locked up tight in herself.  She is her own island.  As the book progresses and Lane's story begins to fill in, we understand Lane a bit better, even if we don't agree with her choices.  Lane lives her life with something to prove.  She works hard and is one determined girl.  (Determined is a nice word for stubborn.  We use it a lot in my house.)  Her transformation is gradual and slow but thanks to some persistent people, love really does conquer all.

Ryan is really a hero.  Solid, kind and ever so patient.  It's interesting to see the difference between Ryan and Lane, both of whom suffered with hurt, heartache and betrayal but because of choices they ended up in very different places.  Lane hardened her heart and Ryan opened his up.  

My take away feelings from this book?  Put down the electronic devices and enjoy the moments you have with the people you love.  Forgive.  Be kind.  Love well.  

Content:  mention of alcoholism, child neglect and abuse with no details, bullying, Christian Fiction

- I received a copy of this book from the publisher.  All opinions expressed are my own.

Monday, July 17, 2017

A Matter of Trust (Montana Rescue #3) by Susan May Warren

Champion back country snowboarder Gage Watson has left the limelight behind after the death of one of his fans. After being sued for negligence and stripped of his sponsorships, he's remade his life as a ski patrol in Montana's rugged mountains, as well as serving on the PEAK Rescue team. But he can't seem to find his footing--or forget the woman he loved, who betrayed him.

Senator and former attorney Ella Blair spends much of her time in the limelight as the second-youngest senator in the country. But she has a secret--one that cost Gage his career. More than anything, she wants to atone for her betrayal of him in the courtroom and find a way to help him put his career back on track.

When Ella's brother goes missing on one of Glacier National Park's most dangerous peaks, Gage and his team are called in for the rescue. But Gage isn't so sure he wants to help the woman who destroyed his life. More, when she insists on joining the search, he'll have to keep her safe while finding her reckless brother, a recipe for disaster when a snowstorm hits the mountain.

But old sparks relight as they search for the missing snowboarder--and suddenly, they are faced with emotions neither can deny. But when Ella's secret is revealed, can they learn to trust each other--even when disaster happens again?

I absolutely love this series by Susan May Warren.  Well, this and the Montana Fire series.  They are both so good.  They have cross over characters that really give you a sense of community and family.  Each book feels like coming home.

Just like previous books in this series, this book is full of danger and adventure set in the great outdoors.  I loved the forward momentum in this story and how I was on the edge of my seat, holding my breath and white knuckled gripping my kindle for half the book.  

Gage is a snowboarding magician- the greatest back country boarder of his time.  He's known for his no fear attitude and love for the thrill of danger.  Then something went wrong and that hotshot life he knew was wiped away.  You can't help but feel sympathy for Gage who got the raw end of a deal.  While trying to be the hero, he was made out to be a villain.  Now he's rebuilding his life and finding value in helping other people.  I thought Gage was savvy and an all around solid character.  I really liked him.

The other thing I love about these books are the side stories going on around the main story.  It sets the stage for future books by giving you a prequel of sorts.  I cannot wait for the next book!

Content:  mild peril, kissing, mild Christian fiction elements

- I received a copy of this book from the publisher.  A positive review was not required and all opinions expressed are my own.

Friday, July 14, 2017

The Song of Copper Creek by Kristen McKendry + $25 and Book Giveaway!

It's been more than a year since she lost her family - a tragedy that has left Grace Whitaker a shadow of her former self. Unable to move on surrounded by so many memories, she makes the desperate decision to return to her childhood home in Port Dover, Ontario, Canada. There she hopes to salvage the broken pieces of her life - but what she finds is the promise of peace and healing in an unlikely place.

Copper Creek Farm is part of a Canadian historical museum, offering glimpses into 19th-century pioneer life. Yet the farm offers much more than that - it is a place of second chances. For Grace, the opportunity to work the land alongside the loving Whelan family is the first step toward healing. But she isn't the only broken soul seeking hope on the farm. Grace is joined by a young man in trouble with the law, as well as the Whelans' son and grandchildren, who are struggling through their own heartbreak. Together, these survivors discover the strength that can be found in friendship. But when faced with the uncertainty of the future, will they have the courage to move beyond the past to forge new lives for themselves?

This story is so gentle and honestly, slow moving.  It reminds me of a small creek in the mountains- trickling and meandering it's way down.  There is nothing heart pounding or intense about it.  It follows one woman and her journey from broken and barely living to healing and light again.  This is not a romance.  It's more what I would call LDS women's fiction.

Grace has suffered so much heartbreak- honestly, I can't even imagine a scenario such as hers.  Grief and devastation have been her constant companion for eighteen months and now she is taking a huge step outward by moving across the country to try something new- some different that will hopefully help piece back together her broken parts.  Grace is strong and has so much courage.  She is a fantastic character.  Her loss has given her a level of empathy and kindness that cannot be replicated any other way.

The farm setting was serene and the perfect place for Grace.  Hard work and being surrounded by good people gave way to healing for Grace.  The pacing is slow and sometimes I found the very detailed explanations of planting or yarn making to be too lengthy for my taste.  This wasn't a book that sucked me in from the beginning and held me tight, but it was soothing and calming.  Grace's journey is a very satisfying one involving healing and hope.

Content:  LDS fiction- some religious elements

- I received a copy of this book from the publisher.  All opinions expressed are my own.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, July 13, 2017

On Tour with The Renegade's Redemption by Stacy Henrie + $25 and Book Giveaway!

The Renegade's Redemption
by Stacy Henrie
Inspirational Historical Romance
Paperback & ebook, 288 pages
July 1st 2017 by Love Inspired Historical

Refuge for the Outlaw

When Tex Beckett arrives at Ravena Reid's farm, he's eight years too late for the elopement they'd once planned—and it's far too early to win her forgiveness. He's seriously wounded, though, and she can't turn him away, though she knows better than to trust him. Yes, it's wonderful having help with the farm, and with the orphans she fosters, but if she opens her heart, she'll get hurt again when he leaves. And Tex always leaves.

As a notorious bank robber, Tex is used to danger. Yet reuniting with the only woman he's ever loved is the riskiest thing he's ever done. All he wants is to stay with Ravena and the children. But can he build a new start before his past catches up with him?

I had the chance to read the first book in this series, The Outlaw's Secret, and I really loved it so of course I jumped at the chance to read this book!  These two books are about twins- the first book involves a case of mistaken identity and the second, a story of redemption.

Tex has made some mistakes.  Some pretty big mistakes, actually.  Now he has returned home in need of healing not just physically, but emotionally and spiritually too.  He has something to prove to himself and Ravena.

Ravena has the patience of a saint.  Her kindness extends to all those around her- even those who have hurt her.  Lucky for Tex, that includes him.  Ravena is also out to prove something and Tex is right there to help her.  Tex and Ravena work well together and realize that they are better together, helping each other, than apart.  Unfortunately, the past has a way of catching up to you eventually and Tex finds himself in a pickle. 

Tex and Ravena were great characters.  The book flowed gently and easily, weaving in daily life events with the rekindling of friendship and love.  The children in this book were a fantastic addition and really gave the story a feeling of family and love.

Other Books in the Series

The Outlaw's Secret
by Stacy Henrie
Christian Historical RomancePaperback & ebook, 288 pages
February 7th 2017 by Love Inspired Historical

Lawman in Disguise 

Getting taken hostage by a gang of train robbers wasn't in dime novelist Essie Vanderfair's plans, but interviewing these men could make her career soar. Especially since the gang includes legendary outlaw Tex Beckett, better known as the Texas Titan. Tex is famed for his protection of women and children, so she'll be fine…right? 

Keeping the gang in line was hard enough before a stubborn, beautiful writer interfered. Now Tex is scrambling to keep Essie safe, to gather evidence against the gang and most of all to hide his dangerous secrets. First, that he's a detective working undercover. And second, that he's not the Texas Titan at all, but Tex's twin brother, Tate Beckett.

About the Author

Stacy Henrie has always had a love for history, fiction, and chocolate. She earned her B.A. in public relations before turning her attentions to raising a family and writing inspirational historical romances. Wife of an entrepreneur husband and a mother to three, Stacy loves to live out history through her fictional characters. In addition to author, she is also a reader, a road trip enthusiast, and a novice interior decorator.


On Tour with Prism Book Tours
Tour Giveaway

- 1 winner will receive  copies of The Express Rider's Lady and The Outlaw's Secret, and a $10 Amazon e-gift card (US only)
- 1 winner will receive a $25 Amazon e-gift card (open internationally)
- Ends July 22nd