Tuesday, March 30, 2021

A Gentlewoman Scholar by (Timeless Victorian Collection #6) by Sarah M. Eden, Michele Paige Holmes, & Nancy Campbell Allen

 


Book Summary:

Three women scholars. Three lives changed. And a dash of romance.

Blessing in Disguise by Sarah M. Eden
1858, Dublin
Fred Fitzsimmons will soon graduate Trinity College. With only a few weeks, he must continue safeguarding the enormous secret he’s been keeping throughout his time in Dublin: that he is actually Winnifred, a woman in disguise. The medical degree she is a breath away from claiming would allow her to save her beloved village. But having her secret revealed would land her in jail. So when Liam Rafferty, a fellow student with a reputation for unravelling even the most complicated of mysteries, grows suspicious of “Fred,” more lives than merely hers hang in the balance.

An Unexpected Education by Michele Paige Holmes
Nineteen-year-old Esther Sessions has survived the slums of Liverpool, and her abusive home, by holding onto a promise she made to her dying mother long ago--to keep reading. When a factory explosion frees her from her oppressive life and provides an opportunity to attend Bedford Women's College in London, Esther determines to succeed at school, knowing her education will ensure a future in which she might provide for herself and never be dependent upon any man. From the first moments of her arrival, Professor John Lind begins challenging her beliefs about everything from classical literature to algebra to--men. His kindness is something she has never encountered in a man before, and the generosity of his heart might just reach through the barriers surrounding Esther's.

Good Heir Hunting by Nancy Campbell Allen
Ellie Perkins has achieved her dream of establishing her own Kindergarten school to serve the needs of Liverpool's orphans. As a woman who has graduated from college and pursued a career, she has faced opposition and contention from all sides. Her first year is a success, however, and as she begins the second, she is caught by surprise when her newest hire marries and moves away, leaving a class of orphans without a teacher. Solicitor Graham Lucas, meanwhile, appears on her school doorstep, having narrowed a search for his employer's heir to one of the students in the now teacher-less class. Ellie sees a temporary fix to her problem that will benefit both her and the handsome solicitor. Graham will substitute the kindergarten class, while Ellie searches for a replacement. Unbeknownst to them all, however, is the lurking presence of a jealous relative who covets the young heir's position, and who will stop at nothing to take his place. Also at risk is Ellie's heart and hard-won career. Can she truly take a chance on a handsome substitute teacher bent on winning her love?


My Review:


This Victorian collection of women scholars was so fun to read! Each story was different yet had the theme of an educated woman. Blessing in Disguise by Eden was super fun with Fred/Winnie in disguise as a boy in order to become educated as a doctor. Her story pulled me in and I really felt for her unique situation. An Unexpected Education by Michele Paige Holmes was an emotional journey of hardship and abuse. I cried along with Esther, felt her pain and her joy all while she tried to find her footing. Holmes wrote a stunning and emotional story that is imprinted on my mind. Good Heir Hunting by Nancy Campbell Allen was an unexpected love story I didn't quite see coming. Graham was so sweet and such a good sport when he was thrown into unchartered waters. Ellie was so poised and graceful under any circumstance and I loved her fortitude. This collection was easy to read and perfect for shorter stories when I didn't have a ton of time to read! I received a copy of this book for free; all thoughts and opinions are my own.


Happy Reading!!!

 You can pick up your own copy via Amazon.

Monday, March 29, 2021

Chute Boss (Lost Creek Rodeo #2) by Sophia Summers, Heather B. Moore, & Rebecca Connolly, Book Review

 


Book Summary:

The perfect vacation: Rest. Therapy. And miles away from Reid Browning.

At first Eden thinks she's spending three weeks at Broken Hearts Ranch to heal her head. But the longer she works with Kellie, the more she realizes her head is not the only thing hurting. Images from her tour in Iraq stay hidden but not deeply enough, and she knows she will need to forget or heal or both if she is ever going to move on. As a bonus, the ranch was going to be a good opportunity to avoid the dating scene, and men in general. Or so she thought.

As a world class bareback rider, Reid has given his all to rodeo and does everything he can to forget his law degree and the fast paced life he left in Washington DC. That includes the woman he recently met who got under his skin in all the wrong ways. The trouble is, she got under his skin in the right ways too. When he escapes to Texas to support his college brothers in the Lost Creek Rodeo, he couldn't be more surprised to find her there.

Sparks fly and not always the good kind, but when circumstances throw them together and barriers come down, the two just might find a path to healing and maybe even love.

Welcome to Lost Creek Rodeo!

Best friends at a small college in Texas, six cowboys rise to become pro-rodeo stars. Follow Ryan, Reid, Westin, Ford, Eric and Lars in these six swoony sports romances.


My Review:

Move over regular romance and make room for rodeo romance! Once you start the Lost Creek Rodeo series you will not want to stop reading! You will want to buy yourself a hat, some boots, and find yourself a cowboy of your own while you snuggle up with this book! I loved Reid and Eden's story of opposites attracting and clashing. They came from such different worlds and when they collided sparks were flying all over the place. The nod to veterans and all that they experience was heartwarming and thought provoking. Addressing concussions and the affects of them made this book and the characters come to life in a real and raw way. If you haven't started this series yet then run and one-click your copy, you will not regret it! I received a copy of this book for free; all thoughts and opinions are my own.


Happy Reading!!!

You can pick up your own copy via Amazon.

Friday, March 26, 2021

Come Sweet Day by Julianne Donaldson, Book Review


Book Summary:

Bestselling romance author Julianne Donaldson has written deeply emotional, sweeping love stories in Edenbrooke and Blackmoore, often commenting that her characters were a reflection of what she wanted a woman’s life to be: happy, secure, unconditionally loved, and fulfilled. But in reality her own life was far more marked by difficult challenges and disappointments. In her new book, Donaldson reveals her thoughts and feelings from that unsettled time of despair and suffering so women can know they are not alone and that there is hope even in the hard times.

Compiled from years of inspirational words of encouragement to herself on social media—and even bits and pieces of random musings written on scrap paper, this is a unique writer’s journey through a life passage marked by cancer, a bitter divorce, legal battles with her ex-husband, mental illness, and persistent feelings of rejection and abandonment which also rendered her unable to pick up her career as a writer to support herself and her family. Overwhelmed by sadness and almost paralyzed into inaction by despair, she slowly finds her way back to her writer’s toolbox, unpacking the pain and sharing her innermost feelings as if revealing a character’s thoughts in a novel. In her writing she begins to find rays of understanding and acceptance and eventually finds strength from knowing that God’s love and His grace and guidance give greater meaning to our suffering and light the way to hope.

 

 

About the author:

 

Julianne Donaldson grew up as the daughter of a U.S. Air Force fighter pilot. She learned how to ski in the Italian Alps, visited East Berlin before the wall came down, and spent three years living next to a 500-year-old castle. After earning a degree in English, she turned her attention to writing about distant times and places. She lives in Utah with her five children. You can find her online at www.juliannedonaldson.com

 


My Review:

This inspirational book connected to my spirit and soul. I felt like Donaldson spoke to where I have been before when I felt like I could not go on. She connects struggles to her faith in God and it was beautifully done. The pictures in the book portrayed the written words perfectly. This is a truly inspirational book that made me feel like it is okay to struggle, there is hope through our Savior. God has my back and He is asking me to grow through it. Thank you to Donaldson for helping me remember that the Lord loves me through the hard times and that there is hope and light at the end of the tunnel. Thank you for helping me feel like someone else understands difficulties. Anyone who reads this book will feel uplifted. Perfectly poetic, I have read it twice and will doubtless read it again and again. I received a copy of this book for free; all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Happy Reading!!!

You can pick up your own copy via Amazon.

Thursday, March 25, 2021

His Accidental Bride by Carolyn Twede Frank, Book Review

 


Book Summary:

Dorothy Bednar is living a life she despises. Forced to work as a double-dealing saloon girl, Dorothy has finally had enough. The next train out of town is her ticket to freedom, and Dorothy jumps aboard without a thought for where she’s going—until she meets a kind woman aboard the train. Her fellow passenger was originally traveling to Colorado to marry a man she’d never met, but her cold feet offer Dorothy the perfect opportunity to set up roots somewhere new. Dorothy soon finds herself posing as the mail-order bride—after all, marrying a stranger can’t be worse than what she left behind.

Young Colorado lawyer Ronald Smith is astonished when he spies the lovely woman who comes to greet him—the woman who is to be his wife. Dorothy is beyond Ronald’s wildest dreams, a kindhearted partner eager to be a homemaker and mother. To Dorothy, Ronald is the most gentlemanly man she’s ever met—a man who makes her feel safe and cherished. What begins as a deception soon deepens into true love, but too soon, Dorothy’s secret past threatens the beautiful life she’s built—a life that feels truer than anything she’s ever known.


My Review:

Dorothy's story started off with action right out of the gate and what a whirlwind the beginning of the story was. I couldn't believe her daring actions but her grit and determination got her away from her horrible and abusive brother. It seemed crazy that she pretended to be the sweet lady who helped her on the train, I kept waiting for her to come clean. Ronald was sweet and a character I enjoyed from his quirks and practical ways. The story fell a little flat for me, I felt like there were some parts in the middle where it was just biding time. The action picked up again at the end and overall it was a nice read. I have read the other books in the series but this can be read as a standalone. I received a copy of this book for free; all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Happy Reading!!!

You can pick up your own copy via Amazon.


Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Refining the Debutante by Anneka R. Walker, Blog Tour , Excerpt, & Giveaway!!





Book Summary:

Miss Miranda Bartley is in love with the Honorable Ethan Roderick, their engagement all but official. But as she basks in the success of her London Season, her joy is cut short when Ethan ends their courtship, claiming she is too insensitive. In the wake of her heartbreak, Miranda is dealt yet another blow, one that changes everything. In a harsh twist of fate, she quickly falls from Society darling to servant in her uncle’s home.

Believing he will never see Miranda again, Ethan is shocked when he encounters her by accident. Even more surprising is her dramatic change; she is no longer the self-centered young woman he left behind. Her eyes now open to the plight of poverty surrounding her, Miranda has become every bit the lady Ethan once imagined her to be. As he helps the woman he once loved, their tattered relationship returns to familiarity. But Ethan is determined to protect his heart and begins a courtship with his neighbor, who is predictable and safe—everything Miranda is not. Forced to perform a delicate dance, Miranda and Ethan must choose—follow the rules of Society or the longing of their hearts.


My Review:

Refining the Debutante was a regency read I could not put down! Lately I have been in a reading funk and this was just what I needed to pull me out of it. I loved Miranda's character from this first moment Ethan met her at the dressmaker's store. She was vibrant, outspoken, and bold. Watching her fall from her once elevated status was emotional, painful, and tear-inducing. Walker made me ache right along with Miranda and had me guessing how her story would turn out. Her metamorphosis was gradual, fragile, and beautiful.  Refining the Debutante made me self reflect and hope that I am being the kind of person that I want to be. A truly good story makes you think about your own life, and that is what this story did for me. I received a copy of this book for free, all thoughts and opinions are my own.


Excerpt:

EXCERPT: (ONLY to be used in the Blog posts - do not use anywhere on social media)
London, January 1816
What exactly was a man supposed to do in a dressmaker’s shop? His mother’s headache, brought on by his sister Jane’s sour temper, necessitated an early return home. This left Ethan to retrieve Jane from her appointment.
He suddenly felt envious of his youngest sister, who remained home at their country estate, and even his younger brother, who was at school. Ethan would rather be anywhere else. With a fortifying breath, he entered the narrow building of the most popular modiste in London and removed his beaver hat. He grimaced at the rainbow of colors before him. His sister had better hurry. To say he was out of his element, with the crowded bolts of fabric and the framed sketches of women’s attire, was an understatement.
Jane was in the adjoining room, standing on a raised platform. Her back was to him, but through the doorway, he could see her staring at the reflection of her new gown in the long gilded mirror in front of her. He stepped closer to gain her attention but paused when he saw her expression. She looked as if she might cry. Was this dress the reason for his mother’s headache? Eyeing the gown, he wondered what part offended his sister. It seemed nice enough to him.
The shop’s front door opened to let in a woman. He shuffled to the side of the small vestibule and dipped his head in a polite greeting. The woman curtsied and smiled up at him. Ethan did not easily get his head turned by a pretty face, but when she boldly met his gaze, he could not look away. She wore a jonquil-yellow redingote with a brown velvet collar. She did not remove her heavily trimmed bonnet, but it did little to hide the goldenbrown curls framing her large eyes, small nose, and full lips. While he had no intention of speaking to her, his mouth opened of its own accord. No sound emitted, and he floundered for a moment to close it again.
She looked away before he did, breaking the strange spell her presence had cast over him. He was still thinking about his reaction to this perfect stranger when she spoke in a near-whisper. “You really ought to tell your wife how wonderful she looks in her new gown.” “Pardon?” Ethan stole a glance at the stranger. Had he imagined her soft words? “It would do her a world of good,” she whispered again. He looked at her. “Are you speaking to me?” Her eyes snapped to meet his. “Who else would I be speaking to?” She motioned to Jane. “Look at your darling little wife. She is terribly insecure. She needs you to buoy her spirits with a compliment or two.”
He raised his brows in disbelief. Sisters did not care what brothers thought of their dresses, and he was nobody’s husband. “You are mistaken.” “There is no mistake. Don’t be hurt that you cannot see what I can. A woman senses this sort of thing.” She gave him a look of pity. “It isn’t your fault. You were born a man; it is harder for you. But I do not mind helping. Go ahead. Look at her. See the way she stares in the looking glass? See the worry line between her eyes?” She leaned near him as if doing so would allow him to see what she did.He had never met a more impertinent woman. “Why would she be worried? That dress cost a fortune.”
A sigh emitted from her mouth. “She needs to feel beautiful. Only you can do that for her. Tell her.” “I don’t think—” “Do it. Go on.” Why had he agreed to come here in the first place? He cleared his throat, anxious for the woman to let him be, and stepped across the threshold of the adjoining room. “You look well,” he said to Jane. “What are you doing in here?” Jane swiveled on the platform to face him. She batted at a dark ringlet by her face, then dropped her hands to her hips. “Wait outside. I am embarrassed you would speak to me in such a place.” He shuffled backward.
The strange woman tsked her tongue. “You did a very poor job of it. A husband must learn the best way to compliment his wife. Let me demonstrate." The woman stepped past him. She looked back at him once, shaking her head as if he’d disappointed her, then waltzed into the room as if she were the proprietor. “Excuse me, but I mustn’t stay silent for another moment.” “What is it?” Jane asked.
“It’s your dress. It’s exquisite. I must have an exact replica.” “You? But why? Your dress is far superior.” “Nonsense. You can barely see it beneath my redingote. You are far too kind.” The woman put her hand out as if she were stroking the fabric of Jane’s dress but was not actually close enough to touch it. “This muslin is some of the finest I’ve seen so far this Season. You are a natural beauty, but do not underestimate the power of a beautiful gown.”
“You think so? It is rather pretty, I guess. I am not sure about the fit.” The woman looked her over as if she were the mantua-maker. “You’re right. Madame Gillespie? A half inch at each shoulder.” The dressmaker pinned the material in the place where the stranger told her to. “Your shoulders are slender indeed. What do you think now?” She turned to Madame Gillespie before Jane could answer. “Fetch that gold shawl on the table.” The woman accepted it and draped it over Jane’s shoulders. “Stunning. Wear it a little lower. Just there.”
Then she crossed to a table and selected a green feather. She placed it in Jane’s hair. “Sometimes the little accents give a dress greater personality.” Ethan stared. A little charm made the personality of a woman shine too. He turned his gaze from the vexing but delightful woman to see Jane’s reaction. His sister’s cheeks flushed with pleasure. “It’s far lovelier with your adaptions. I never would have been able to put this combination together.” Jane turned and preened in front of the mirror. “Thank you.” Madame Gillespie clasped her hands together in front of her chest. “Miss Bartley has excellent taste. She sometimes sketches designs inspired by her travels.” “I am most impressed,” Jane said.
Ethan was too. Miss Bartley. He would remember her name. “I am happy to share one with you, although my skills pale compared to Madame Gillespie’s,” Miss Bartley said. She pulled out a sketch from her reticule. “I happen to have one I did just this morning. What do you think of this? Oh, forgive me; I don’t even know your name.” “This is Miss Roderick,” Madame Gillespie supplied. “May I?” Jane took the picture and gasped. “It’s like a Grecian princess.”
“I think an English lady like yourself could do it justice, too. It’s yours. I believe a soft blue would do well with your coloring.” “Thank you, Miss Bartley,” Jane cooed. Miss Bartley smiled at her and stepped back into the vestibule. Jane returned to studying her reflection in the mirror, her eyes sparkling. Ethan chuckled. “You’ve made my sister feel very beautiful.” “She seems most deserving.” “You were right about her insecurity and the worry lines on her face. You have done something in minutes that my family hasn’t managed in two years.”

“Well, I—” Her eyes widened. “Your sister? She is not your wife?” “Jane is my sister. But don’t worry. When I marry, I will be sure to compliment my wife just as you’ve instructed. I will insist on having an exact replica of her dress made to fit me. I will select her shawls and feathers. And I will sketch all the designs for her gowns.” “Oh . . .” She sputtered. “That would be most extraordinary of you.” She took a step backward. “Perhaps I should return for my appointment when your sister is through.” “I’m disappointed. You cannot be finished instructing me on my behavior already,” he teased. “Instructing?” She looked perfectly bewildered—as innocent as a dove. “Why would I do that? We have not even been properly introduced. I wouldn’t dare speak with a stranger.” He bit back a grin. “Heaven forbid.” “My thoughts exactly.”

Happy Reading!!!

You can connect with  Author Anneka R. Walker here.

You can pick up your own copy via Amazon. 

 a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

In Harm's Way by Traci Hunter Abramson, New Release Blog Tour & Giveaway!



Book Summary:

For years, Troy has lived in the shadows as a Guardian. As part of this secret government taskforce, he has agreed to oversee the team’s base of operations on a remote private island in Maine, replacing fellow agent Ace and his wife, Kristi, for a year. When Troy steps in to hold down the fort, however, he does not anticipate company. So when Kristi’s sister, Jocelyn, appears on the island looking for a getaway, Troy is unnerved by her presence—hiding his top-secret work from the beautiful visitor is a recipe for disaster.

It’s been years since Jocelyn has been able to relax, and the family island is the clear antidote to the chaos of the business world. Expecting solitude, she is taken off guard by the presence of the handsome house sitter living in her sister’s home. Though she and Troy fall into an easy friendship, beneath his calm demeanor, he is an enigma. It’s clear the man who is quickly stealing her heart has a secret, but the truth is beyond Jocelyn’s widest imaginings: Troy is involved in stopping a political coup, and their relationship threatens to place Jocelyn squarely in the crosshairs of a deadly assassin.

Connect with Traci here.

My Review:

This new installment in The Guardian series was everything I wanted and more! It never ceases to amaze me how Abramson’s stories are flawless and I never want to put them down. Never. In Harm’s Way is no exception. Troy’s story drew me in and held me there the entire time. When I was down to the last few pages I kept wondering how it could already be over. I could have read a few hundred more pages! Abramson puts together a story full of action, suspense, mystery, intrigue, and just the right amount of romance! If you have not read The Guardian series then you need to remedy that right now! Run to your nearest bookstore or one-click in a hurry!  This series is on fire! I received a copy of this book for free; all thoughts and opinions are my own. 

EXCERPT:

Senator Walter Royce didn’t pay attention to the posted menu outside the busy restaurant in Montmartre as he walked through the entrance. He had one purpose for being here, and it had nothing to do with the food.
“Un,” he told the host, holding up one finger to make up for his complete lack of a French accent. On the surface, his trip to Paris was nothing more than a quick family getaway, but in reality, it was a much-needed excuse.
The host said something in French, and Walter shook his head apologetically. “I’m sorry. I don’t understand. Do you have an English menu?”
The younger man nodded and showed him up a half flight of stairs to the dining area. Walter took his seat at a table in the center of the room, and the host handed him a menu.
“Merci.” Once alone, he glanced around the establishment. Through the windows, he could see the tables filled with patrons lining the sidewalk and waiters breezing in and out of the kitchen. In contrast, the indoor dining area was nearly empty. Four locals chatted in French over the remnants of their lunch, and on the far side of the room, an older couple studied their menus.
Walter glanced furtively at each person. Everywhere he looked, he expected to see someone staring at him, someone noticing why he was really here. He had spent the morning with his wife and daughters at the Eiffel Tower, taking the appropriate photos to make sure everyone would see him as the tourist he claimed to be. He had bowed out of their shopping plans, but he doubted he would be able to sneak away again without raising suspicions.
His stomach jumped with nerves, and he struggled to focus on the menu before him. When the waiter arrived to take his order, Walter indicated his choice by pointing.
Out of the corner of his eye, he saw the party of four stand up to leave at the
same time the host approached to seat another guest. Anticipation snaked through him. Was that him? The infamous Gavrie Morozov? A well-known Russian opera- tive, the man was a chameleon. He also had the skills needed to solve Walter’s problems and put him back on track to his destiny.
A moment after the host left, a heavily accented voice carried to him. “Why am I here?”
Walter started to turn around to see the man now seated behind him. “Don’t look at me,” the man commanded. “Just answer the question.”
Walter forced his gaze to stop at the window. Trying to focus on two women seated outside, he willed his heartbeat to slow. “I need help.”
“What kind of help?”
“My former bank notified me that someone was looking into my old account information,” Walter said. “Someone knows I’m working with your people.”
“Who knows?”
“I’m not sure, but I think it’s the guardians.” Walter lowered his voice further. “And I think I know who’s helping them.”
“It sounds like you need someone eliminated.”
Walter’s stomach curled. He had killed a man himself only a few weeks before. The nightmares from that moment still haunted him, and now here he was, negotiating to take another life. When his alliance with the Russians started more than a decade ago, he never anticipated he would be in this position now.
Silence stretched for several seconds before Walter said, “I don’t know if there’s another choice.”
“My associates need something in return.” “What?”
“Access to the detailed budget.”
Walter sucked in a deep breath. The requests from the Russians in the past had been more subtle, but complete access? If they knew where the money was going, they would know everything, including military plans and intelligence objectives. Walter was supposed to be the key to balancing the volatile relationship between the two superpowers, not the gofer giving one a significant leg up on the other. What would the Russians do if he refused? Would they cut off his funding? Or eliminate him in the most final sense of the word?
“Even if I give you access, what good would that do?” Walter asked. “I can’t make changes significant enough to make a difference.”
“You’re on the Senate Intelligence Committee. You have access to information we need.”
The noose around his neck tightened. He didn’t have any other option. “I’ll make it happen.”"
“Good,” the man said, his accent thickening. “While you’re at it, I suggest you propose to trim expenditures in a few places, especially anything that might be providing funding to the guardians.”
“I tried that before.”
“Try again.” The voice was low but firm. “Now, where do I find this problem of yours?”
“In Washington, DC,” Walter said. “You’ll find him on Capitol Hill.” Walter pulled a folded envelope from his back pocket and dropped it to the floor. He looked down as though noticing its presence for the first time, then cleared his voice. “I think you dropped something.”

The other man leaned down and picked it up. “So it seems.”"
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Monday, March 15, 2021

Second Chance (Griffin Force #5) by Julie Coulter Bellon, Book Review -- Books Are Sanity



Book Summary:

A mission to capture the world's most wanted terrorist. A computer tech sent in undercover. And a woman with a secret that could change everything.

Griffin Force tracks the world's most wanted terrorist to Libya, but the only one on their team that can infiltrate his lair is Augie---their computer tech. Their Libyan contact sends in a young man to help protect Augie during the assignment, but he’s hiding something and Augie doesn’t trust him.

When the simple observe-and-report mission turns into a much bigger operation, Augie must figure out how to alert Griffin Force to Atwah’s deadly plans without compromising his cover. But things get complicated when Augie discovers the secret of the young man with him. Now he’ll have to find a way to stop Atwah and keep both of them alive---or he’ll die trying.

My Review:

This latest installment of the Griffin Force series started off with a bang! I was quickly drawn into Augie and Rian's stories. The suspense of terrorists on the loose in war ravaged Lybia kept my heart racing and my blood pumping! Secrets abound and good guys undercover kept me up late reading while my nerves were rattling. With just the right amount of romance thrown in, Bellon does a bang up job with Second Chance! I received a copy of this book for free; all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Happy Reading!!!

You can pick up your own copy via Amazon.

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Treacherous Legacy by Kathi Oram Peterson, New Release & Giveaway!!!


Book Summary:

Anna Braverman comes from a long line of intelligence agents, but her late father insisted she follow a different path and become an accountant. When an urgent summons arrives from her only living relative, Uncle Ezra, Anna drops everything to meet him in a café on the outskirts of Reykjavík, Iceland. Uncle Ezra sweeps her into a decades-old mystery as he explains that her great-grandfather, a famous Jewish artist, was accused of being a Nazi sympathizer. He wants Anna to help him disprove the lie and expose the truth. But they can trust no one. Any skepticism Anna may have harbored disappears when her uncle is shot. Barely alive, he utters one final word: “Run.” 

Though he met Ezra only briefly, journalist Kristofer Tómasson knows the information the old man passed on to his niece is likely the reason he was murdered. Now his niece’s life is also in peril. Despite the danger, Kristofer approaches Anna with an offer to help in exchange for an exclusive story. United by a common goal, as well as an undeniable spark of attraction, Anna and Kristofer race to uncover the mysteries of the past—that is, if they survive.


My Review:

Wow, wow, and another WOW! I cannot believe the twists, turns, and rollercoaster ride that Peterson took me on. I am still reeling from all that Anna went through on her journey throughout the book. Late in the night while I was reading I was just in shock! Peterson shocked me with her curve balls. Plural because there were multiple. This was a wild and crazy ride, hold on to your hat because you will not believe what happens. I loved the history that Peterson included about WWII and the Holocaust, it made the book come alive for me. Especially with the mystery surrounding Anna's great grandparents. This is a romantic suspense novel that you will never want to put down! I received a copy of this book for free; all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Happy Reading!!!

Excerpt:

September 29, 1943
Copenhagen, Denmark
Sweat beaded Joseph Braverman’s forehead. He sat at his desk, where the satchel containing the wireless telegraph machine rested, earphones on his head as he listened for confirmation from the Danish Resistance that they had received his message. He pulled his Waltham watch from his pocket and held it to the dim lightbulb of the desk lamp: 11:30 p.m. A reply shouldn’t take this long. He glanced at his wife.
Hadassah’s anxious brown eyes watched his every move as she stood by their apartment door with her hands grasping each of their ten-year-old twin boys’ hands. A small suitcase crammed with precious photos and clean undergarments for the family rested by her feet. Joseph hoped the skipper of the small skiff wouldn’t mind. The man had said Joseph’s family could hide in the hull but no luggage. Surely, they could make room for one small suitcase.
Benjamin and Bernard’s identical faces were still pale with shock. The entire family had been stunned during their worship at the synagogue only a few hours ago. They had gone to stand before God on Rosh Hashanah, the Day of Judgment, but their beloved Rabbi Melchior had interrupted services and said, “We have news that this coming Friday night, the night between the first and second of October, the Gestapo will arrest every Jew in Denmark. They have our names and addresses. We must leave now.” And then the rabbi had sent the congregation home.
For a small fortune, Joseph had procured a boat on their way to their apartment, but he’d also seen something disturbing at the harbor. Something he shouldn’t have. Something that, if the Resistance knew, could save thousands of lives. He had to report it. While Hadassah had gathered their things, he’d sent the message. What was keeping Command from acknowledging that they’d received it? Joseph didn’t have time for this. Nor did his family. It wouldn’t take the Germans long to triangulate a transmission and know exactly where it had come from. There had been no time to go into the woods, away from their apartment, like he usually did.
He pulled the right earphone away from his head. “Hadassah, you and the boys go on without me. I’ll catch up.” “No!” She stood her ground. “We’ll never find each other again. We’re staying together.” The twins said nothing, just stared at him with haunted eyes. They knew too well the danger around them. Though the Germans had invaded their homeland three years ago, things had grown worse during the last year. His sons had had to watch as German soldiers had hauled away the baker from the corner pastry shop because they’d assumed he was a spy. The boys had witnessed the soldiers beating him, seen the blood covering his face. The twins knew very well that their father was part of the Danish Resistance. The same thing could happen to him. From that day on, they’d grown more solemn.
Joseph had to make Hadassah see reason. “The boat is waiting. I’ll catch up. I promise. Go!” With great reluctance, his beloved picked up the suitcase, opened the door, and gave Joseph a soulful look that said she loved him before ushering the boys out. Joseph prayed with all his heart that they’d be safe.
Cursing under his breath, he jerked the earphones off his head. He wondered if the rumored spy within the Resistance had intercepted his message. The danger Joseph had put his family in could be for naught. He’d find some other way to get word to Command. His gaze shot around the room, searching. It would be too dangerous to carry his coded notes on his person. Besides, he had it memorized. He couldn’t risk burning it and drawing attention. He had to hide it. If he were stopped from getting word to the Resistance, maybe someone would find the message. His eyes locked on The Portrait of Bethsedia that he’d painted years ago. It was worth a fortune. The Nazis might destroy his home, but even they appreciated true art. Joseph’s work was world-renowned. He rushed over and took the painting off the wall. Footsteps thundered up the stairs.
Nazi jack boots. Many of them.
Joseph folded the message to the smallest square, then turned the painting over and slid the paper between the underside wood frame and the stretched canvas that was stapled to it. Barely noticeable. With shaking hands, he hefted the painting onto the wall. “Tur auf!” Thuds shook the door.
The doorknob rattled. Nazis burst in, guns at the ready. They shoved Hadassah and the twins to the floor at Joseph’s feet. Brokenhearted, he gathered his family to him, holding them tight. Would they ever forgive him? And would the message he’d risked everything for ever be found?

You can pick up your own copy via Amazon.

Enter the giveaway here.


Monday, March 8, 2021

Refining the Debutante by Anneka R. Walker, New Release!

 



Book Summary:

Miss Miranda Bartley is in love with the Honorable Ethan Roderick, their engagement all but official. But as she basks in the success of her London Season, her joy is cut short when Ethan ends their courtship, claiming she is too insensitive. In the wake of her heartbreak, Miranda is dealt yet another blow, one that changes everything. In a harsh twist of fate, she quickly falls from Society darling to servant in her uncle’s home.

Believing he will never see Miranda again, Ethan is shocked when he encounters her by accident. Even more surprising is her dramatic change; she is no longer the self-centered young woman he left behind. Her eyes now open to the plight of poverty surrounding her, Miranda has become every bit the lady Ethan once imagined her to be. As he helps the woman he once loved, their tattered relationship returns to familiarity. But Ethan is determined to protect his heart and begins a courtship with his neighbor, who is predictable and safe—everything Miranda is not. Forced to perform a delicate dance, Miranda and Ethan must choose—follow the rules of Society or the longing of their hearts.


My Review:

Refining the Debutante was a regency read I could not put down! Lately I have been in a reading funk and this was just what I needed to pull me out of it. I loved Miranda's character from this first moment Ethan met her at the dressmaker's store. She was vibrant, outspoken, and bold. Watching her fall from her once elevated status was emotional, painful, and tear-inducing. Walker made me ache right along with Miranda and had me guessing how her story would turn out. Her metamorphosis was gradual, fragile, and beautiful.  Refining the Debutante made me self reflect and hope that I am being the kind of person that I want to be. A truly good story makes you think about your own life, and that is what this story did for me. I received a copy of this book for free, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Happy Reading!!!

You can pick up your own copy via Amazon. 

Tuesday, March 2, 2021

A Captain for Caroline Gray by Julie Wright, New Release!



Synopsis:

 

Caroline Gray would rather be daring and intelligent than demure and insipid, which is why she is still unmatched after her third season in London. Her family’s threadbare finances leave Caroline with only one choice to secure her future: sail with the Fishing Fleet to India, where the son of a family friend is willing to consider an engagement to her.

 

Captain Thomas Scott loves the open sea as much as he despises the three-month, twice-yearly trip his ship makes as he ferries young English girls across the ocean. He can’t imagine what family would allow an innocent young woman to be matched up with the Englishmen  of questionable reputation who work and live

in India.

 

But when Miss Gray boards the HMS Persistence, all of Captain Scott’s plans are upended. Miss Gray’s fiery spirit can’t be contained, and he is shocked and secretly delighted at her boldness—and her beauty. But the rest of his passengers aren’t so kind.

Caroline finds herself an outcast among her peers, but Captain Scott becomes an unlikely ally. They share the same passions and interests, creating an undeniable attraction. But they both know any relationship between them is impossible. After all, Caroline has obligations to fulfill in India.

 

Caroline has until the end of the voyage to decide if she is going to marry a man she has never met or be brave enough to love a sea captain who just might break her heart.


My Review:

Caroline's story swept me away like a storm on the sea! Wright has beautifully woven together a story of finding yourself and being true to who you are as an individual. I cannot imagine the situation that Caroline found herself in. To travel across the ocean to India or become a spinster who relies upon her relatives. She was so brave and bold to venture outside of her comfort zone. I felt like I was there on the ship with her and I could visualize her beautiful drawings of the crew and everything that captured her attention. I felt such a build up to the ending and my only complaint is that I needed more from the ending. An epilogue or a book two perhaps, I just needed more! I received a copy of this book for free; all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Happy Reading!!!

You can pick up your own copy via AmazonDeseret Book, or Barnes & Noble.


About the Author:



JULIE WRIGHT was born in Salt Lake City, Utah. She’s lived in LA, Boston, and the literal middle of nowhere (don’t ask). She wrote her first book when she was fifteen. Since then, she’s written twenty-five novels and coauthored three. Julie is a two-time winner of the Whitney Award for best romance with her books Cross My Heart and Lies Jane Austen Told Me and is a Crown Heart recipient. Her book Death Thieves was a Whitney finalist.

 

She has one husband, three kids, one grandbaby, one dog, and a varying amount of houseplants (depending on attrition).

 

She loves writing, reading, traveling, hiking, snorkeling, playing with her family on the beach, and watching her husband make dinner.

 

For author interview requests, please contact Callie Hansen at chansen@shadowmountain.com


Advanced Praise:

 

“Wright follows Glass Slippers, Ever After, and Me with a delightful, not exactly traditional Regency romance. Smart, outspoken, progressive, and beautiful, Caroline just can't stop being true to herself, making it hard to secure a husband. Caroline's unusual forthrightness strikes a chord with Captain Thomas Scott, as does her courage during a storm, and she soon acquires his warm regard as well as an enemy, leading to intrigue and danger after their arrival in Mumbai. Wright weaves in Interesting historical detail, creates unique settings, and orchestrates a romance with an emphasis on shared interests, values, and goals, making for a thoughtful and keenly pleasing love story. Teen readers will enjoy this adventurous journey with its proactive heroine and exotic settings.”

-Booklist, starred review

 

“An unconventional woman finds herself at home at sea in this stirring Regency from Julie Wright.
Caroline is a worthy protagonist, whose forthrightness contrasts with the strict propriety of the women around her. Caroline’s repeated failures to meet the expectations placed on women of the time are endearing and only enhance her relationship with the captain, who similarly struggles to navigate social norms. This adventure is sure to entice fans of historical romance.”

-Publishers Weekly

 

“A ship traveling from England to India becomes a microcosm of Regency society in Wright's touching novel. Thomas and Caroline discuss women's rights and fair trade...their exchanges lead to sparks. They speak their minds and stoke their mutual intellectual attraction. Romance on the high seas may be a high-risk proposition for Caroline, but her discovery of new freedoms makes those risks worth taking. A charming historical romance in which smarts and sass are vindicated.”

-Foreword Reviews