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Friday, August 21, 2015

Book Tour: Legally and Lawfully Yours by Anita Stansfield

Legally and Lawfully Yours by Anita Stansfield

Book Description:

Following the revelation of her fiancĂ©’s philandering ways, high-powered New York attorney Shannon Turney’s wedding is off. At a time like this, the last thing she can handle is family drama. But when she learns how far her brother and sister-in-law’s lives have spiraled out of control, the only thought in her mind is the safety of her young niece and nephew. After Shannon is granted custody, she and the children are eager to run long and far from their problems. The end of the road is Sugar City, a place as delightful as its name implies. In the tiny town, Shannon gets much more of a change than she bargained for. Welcomed with open arms by the townspeople, including the handsome local veterinarian, Shannon and the children slowly begin to heal. But when their idyllic existence is threatened by the return of the children’s mother, Shannon has no choice but to return to the courtroom she left behind. She has one last legal battle to fight, and the outcome may mean losing everything she loves . . .

Tarah's Review:

The book started out great, and I got drawn in right away to what was going to happen with Shannon and the kids. However, once they get settled (and by settled I mean they drove for three days straight, and then end up in the same state they left, New York. Seriously? New York is not that big, and if you were trying to get away from people, wouldn't you want to go as far away as possible?) the book changes in its tone, and instead of being in the story and experiencing it, you just get told stuff, and I'll admit I got bored, until right at the end when the tone changed again to like it was at the first.

Phillip is great (I admit I have a thing for Veterinarians). He is super understanding of Shannon's past and the situation at present. Also, he's a nerd, and I'll admit I have a thing for nerds too :) However, sometimes he seemed too great, if you know what I mean. I loved his mom though, she was fun.

Legally and Lawfully Yours is a clean read that handles some disturbing situations in a G rated manner.

Andrea's Review:

My review copy arrived just before I left on vacation. I took it with me sure that I'd have plenty of time to read it. Totally out of character for me, I didn't do a lot of reading while I was gone (which in some ways is sad, but others it's better since I was more actively engaged and communicating with my family). :)

My take on what I've read so far is similar to Tarah's review. I was really held up by the driving with two young kids for three days and not having left the state. Most kids aren't very content in cars for long amounts of time, and not knowing where she was made me question her competency. Yes, she's stressed, and just trying to go where it feels right, but it bugged me. Of course, still being in New York seems to be important for her job as things progress, so I get that.

It's been a clean read so far. I think if I'd been pulled in more, I probably would have finished the book already. As it is, I think it's interesting, but not the type of book I devour.

Rorie's Review:

I'm a bit delayed posting this review, but better late than never, right?

The idea of the book intrigued me, but sadly, the story kind of fell flat. It started out really well, but then the middle really dragged on. I felt almost like it was too happy, too perfect, too easy of a relationship between the main characters. I like stories where the main characters have some conflict between the two of them that they have to work through.

Things got a bit better near the end of the book, but it still wasn't quite enough to make the book an excellent read. As it is, it's a decent story, but lacks depth. 

Blog Tour Schedule:

Tour Giveaway:

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Legally and Lawfully Yours
Title: Legally and Lawfully Yours
Author: Anita Stansfield
Publisher: Covenant Communications Inc.
Published: August 2015
ASIN: B012PON1HM
Source: We received copies from the publisher in exchange for a review.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Blog Tour: Portrait of Lies by Clair M. Poulson

Review * Giveaway
Portrait of Lies by Clair M. Poulson

Book Description:

It was a robbery gone bad, or so they said. For Detective Trey Shotwell, the murder of his mother, a prominent artist, was the catalyst for setting aside his own artistic aspirations to pursue a career in law enforcement—despite the opposition of his father, also a famous painter. When he agrees to attend an art auction featuring his father's work, the cruise ship locale provides the relaxation that Trey needs—and when he meets stunning fellow passenger Ariah Stanton, the undeniable chemistry they share is an unexpected bonus.

But the tranquil voyage quickly turns into a nightmare at sea. The Shotwell paintings have disappeared, and amidst the chaotic hunt for the thief, a murderer is free to roam the halls of the ship. Ariah finds herself in the wrong place at the wrong time, and miraculously escapes the murderer—for now. But another victim is not so lucky...

The crime is eerily reminiscent of the death of Trey's mother so many years before. But this time, the young detective has the resources he needs to track the killer. As the pieces of the puzzle begin to come together, they paint the chilling picture of a sinister plot years in the making. In a manhunt that takes him from the high seas of the Pacific to the wilderness of Australia, Trey will stop at nothing to solve the crime and protect the woman he loves.

Rorie's Review:
 
I have always wanted to visit Australia and New Zealand, so I enjoyed that parts of this book were set in those countries, even though most of the story took place on the cruise ship.

My favorite character was probably Trey's friend, Hans. He was so energetic and fun-loving, you just couldn't help but like him.

Finding out who the bad guy was at the end was a complete shock to me. I always try to figure it out before it's revealed to the reader, but there was no way I would have guessed this one.

The romance between Trey and Aariah fell kind of flat for me. There just didn't seem to be a whole lot of emotion involved. I do wish that part of the book had been developed a bit better.

Tarah's Review: 

I've got to admit that most of this story fell pretty flat for me. The dialogue just wasn't there, and while I really enjoyed the premise of the story I felt like I was just being told a bunch of stuff. I didn't lose myself in the story. Instead, because of how many bad guys there are, I felt like I was constantly trying to figure out who was who, and not in a "who-done-it" way.

I did, however, enjoy the parts about Australia. There is a scene in the book with kangaroos and snakes, and if it was portrayed correctly the animal behavior was interesting.

Tour Schedule:

August 10th: http://mybookaday.blogspot.com/, http://gettingyourreadonaimeebrown.blogspot.com/
August 11th: http://booksaresanity.blogspot.com/, http://www.wishfulendings.com/
August 12th: http://lisaisabookworm.blogspot.com/, http://www.bonnieharris.blogspot.com/, http://littlelightdesigncollective.com/
August 13th: http://ldsandlovinit.blogspot.com/, http://melsshelves.blogspot.com/, http://heidi-reads.blogspot.com/
August 14th: http://katiescleanbookcollection.blogspot.com/, http://ilovetoreadandreviewbooks.blogspot.com/, http://www.rockinbookreviews.com/, http://www.rockinbookreviews.com/

Tour Giveaway:

a Rafflecopter giveaway
 
http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/81Iu5DBiEbL.jpgTitle: Portrait of Lies
Author: Clair M. Poulson
Publisher: Covenant Communications Inc.
Published: August 2015
ISBN: 1680472445
Source: We received copies from the publisher in exchange for a review.

Purchase: Amazon | Deseret Book

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Blog Tour: Marrying Christopher by Michele Paige Holmes

Marrying Christopher by Michele Paige Holmes

Book Description:

Having seen both his sisters Grace and Helen happily married, Christopher Thatcher is free to pursue his dream of life in America. With adventure in his heart and mind, he boards one of the first steamships set to cross the Atlantic in the record breaking time of only twenty-five days. Within the first two of those, his resolve—to avoid women and the complications they often bring to a man’s life—falters when he meets Marsali Abbott, a young woman with a past even more troubling than his own. Whether from years of habit protecting his sisters, or simply because he feels drawn to Marsali, Christopher chooses to help her and becomes her friend. As the truth about what awaits Marsali in America becomes evident, he is faced with a more difficult choice, one that will impact their lives far beyond four weeks together at sea.

Review:

It took a couple of chapters before I was drawn into this story. I wondered if I'd skipped something between the first and second chapters. I also struggled with the main female character's unusual name (names can really hold me up when reading). But I did get pulled in.

Life on a steam ship crossing the Atlantic was quite interesting. And the small group of passengers and crew with their varying personalities made for an entertaining journey.

As the story progresses it becomes somewhat of a soap opera-lots of drama and miscommunication. I'm not typically in the mood for that, but if you like drama, this could be the historical fiction novel for you. It is clean and has a sweet love story with a happy ending.

Follow Author Michele Paige Holmes:

Website | Twitter | Goodreads | Amazon

Tour Schedule:

August 10: http://ldswritermom.blogspot.com/, http://katiescleanbookcollection.blogspot.com/, http://www.readingisoneofmypassions.blogspot.com/

August 11:  http://melsshelves.blogspot.com/, http://literarytimeout.blogspot.com/

August 12: http://www.wishfulendings.com/, http://rachellewrites.blogspot.com/, http://ilovetoreadandreviewbooks.blogspot.com/

August 13: http://empowermoms.net/, http://www.lindzeearmstrong.com/

August 14: http://www.whynotbecauseisaidso.blogspot.com/, http://singinglibrarianbooks.weebly.com/, http://mybookaday.blogspot.com/, http://www.bubblebath-books.com/

Friday, August 7, 2015

Blog Tour: Eleanor and the Iron King by Julie Daines

Review * Giveaway
Eleanor and the Iron King by Julie Daines

Book Description:

Eleanor de Lacy is forced into an arranged marriage with her father’s greatest enemy, Brac Goch, the Welsh king. All Eleanor knows of Brac is that he is a ruthless, war hungry man.

Eleanor arrives at the Welsh castle of Bryn Du already expecting the worst. When the ghost of Brac Goch’s first wife appears and warns her that the Welsh king is not to be trusted, all of Eleanor’s fears are confirmed.

As the countdown to her wedding day approaches, Eleanor must figure out who is lying, who is telling the truth, who is loyal, and who is the traitor--and most of all, if she can love an enemy king.


Tarah's Review:

I love reading a book where the minute it's over, I want to start reading it again. That's how I felt with this book. I've already recommended it to my reading friends, and like I said, I can't wait to read it again.

Brac Goch is awesome. Gotta love a strong male lead like him. Sometimes Eleanor made me want to shake her, but really, with everything she's gone through how she reacts to things is completely believable. Overall, I liked her as well.

Some of the mystery I was able to guess at, but I was surprised by some parts. I don't read a lot of Welsh literature (I find the names really distracting :) so this historical fiction was a new one for me, but it was very well done. I especially appreciated the pronunciation guide at the front of the book.

Content wise it has some blood and some...dark magic? People think Eleanor is a witch, which she isn't, but there is a witch in the story and some darker elements, so if you are sensitive to that you need to be aware that it's there. Otherwise, there is no swearing or sex. I'd give it a clean rating (if I rated things like that).

Rorie's Review: 

I really liked this book. So much so that it was my nightly reward for working hard each day. I am once again reminded how blessed I am to be living in this time and this country where I am free to make my own choices. I can't even imagine how horrible it would be to be given in marriage to the enemy, all for the sake of peace. I kept thinking that I would probably just run away if I had been put in the same situation.

While my heart ached for Eleanor and her situation, she was unbelievably stubborn and pig-headed in her attitude towards Brac Goch. No matter how nice he was to her, she would only rarely return the favor.

The characters were all really well developed and I finished the story wanting a whole lot more. Maybe a sequel in the future? :)

I am also eternally grateful to the author for putting the Welsh pronunciations in the beginning of the book. I always struggle reading books with Welsh names, because I have no clue how to pronounce them, so that really helped.

Blog Tour Schedule: 

Blog Tour Giveaway:

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Eleanor and the Iron King Title: Eleanor and the Iron King
Author: Julie Daines
Publisher: Covenant Communications Inc.
Published: August 2015
ISBN: 1680472372
Source: We received copies from the publisher in exchange for a review. 

Purchase: Amazon | Deseret Book

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Blog Tour: Love on a Whim by Aubrey Mace

Review * Giveaway
Love on a Whim by Aubrey Mace

Book Description:

Six months out of law school, Rachel Pearce is completely disillusioned by her job hunt. Despite pounding the pavement with her Ivy League degree in hand, her job prospects are no brighter than the day she graduated. Then in a chance meeting with a former acquaintance, eccentric young millionaire Henry Walker, Rachel finds an unexpected opportunity: Henry is looking for a personal secretary. Swallowing her pride, Rachel sets aside her law firm aspirations for what she envisions as secretarial work—mountains of paperwork and filing. But when she finds her most demanding duty to be daily cookie runs for her new boss, she’s baffled by her unconventional job responsibilities.
 

As she’s pulled into Henry’s delightful whims, caught in a whirlwind of private jets and fancy dinners, Rachel finds herself inexplicably drawn to this handsome and charismatic man. But reality always has a way of intruding, and logic tells her that this adventure can’t last. When real life inevitably comes calling, Rachel must decide if she’s willing to trade in her dream of success in the courtroom for a chance at love.

Rorie's Review:

This is my kind of romance book. It wasn't too rushed or sappy or cheesy. Both of the main characters were likeable, in spite of - or probably because of - their quirks. (Ok, most of the quirkiness came from Henry, but I found his character very amusing because of it.)

I finished this book in record time, and even though I really enjoyed it, I was left wanting at the end. I'm not sure if it's due to how things happened, or if I just wanted more. Probably the latter. It's hard to let go of characters when you've enjoyed them so much.

All in all, this was a very enjoyable read, and I look forward to reading more from the author.

Andrea's Review:

This book totally hit the spot for me! I can't really put my finger on why I enjoyed it so much, but I devoured it.

I suppose I can start with the outside and work my way in. I think the cover is super cute. I'm not sure that it really tells much about the story, but I guess the two main characters run into each other in a bakery, so maybe that's the inspiration. Whatever the reason, I think it's cute and it would catch my eye on a shelf.

And now to the guts of it. This wasn't really your typical romance novel. Rachel and Henry are a funny pair. There is so much tension between them-Rachel's doing. Their meetings and then working relationship are comical. Except for the times when it's a little frustrating, and then the times when it's . . . swoon worthy? Well, that might be a poor description. But, the outings that only a millionaire could arrange on a whim are the stuff of fairy tales.

Henry did some of the sweetest things for Rachel. She was a bit of a stinker, but I liked how it all worked together.

I'd recommend this book and would read more by Aubrey Mace.

Tarah's Review:

I love Aubrey Mace, and love reading her books over and over again. In fact, after finishing Love on a Whim I had to go back and read Before the Clock Strikes 30 and Santa Maybe (even though it's July...because who doesn't love a Christmas story in the middle of summer?). I was very excited to hear that Rachel and Henry got their own book. After reading 30  I thought those two should get together, because they are both great characters.
Blog Tour Schedule:

*July 27th: http://mybookaday.blogspot.com/, http://www.bonnieharris.blogspot.com/, http://iamareader.com/
*July 28th: http://ilovetoreadandreviewbooks.blogspot.com/, http://gettingyourreadonaimeebrown.blogspot.com/, http://www.wishfulendings.com/
*July 29th: http://katiescleanbookcollection.blogspot.com/, http://ldsandlovinit.blogspot.com/, http://literarytimeout.blogspot.com/
*July 30th: http://lisaisabookworm.blogspot.com/, http://www.rockinbookreviews.com/, http://littlelightdesigncollective.com/
*July 31st: http://fireandicereads.com/, http://melsshelves.blogspot.com/, http://minreadsandreviews.blogspot.com/, http://www.ldswomensbookreview.com/wordpress/


Tour Giveaway:

a Rafflecopter giveaway
 
Title: Love on a Whim
Author: Aubrey Mace
Publisher: Covenant Communications Inc.
Published: July 2015
ISBN: 1621086216
Source: We received copies from the publisher in exchange for a review.

Purchase: Amazon | Kindle | Deseret Book




Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Blog Tour: Annette Lyon Collection



Book Description:

The ANNETTE LYON COLLECTION contains brand new contemporary romance novella OUR SONG, as well as five hand-picked readers’ and reviewers’ favorites of Annette’s popular Timeless Romance Anthology novellas. Readers will love this selection of three contemporary and three historical romance novellas.

In OUR SONG, a charming romance novella, Cassie and Matt have been dating in the Yellowstone area for two years, and things are, well, average. When Cassie meets up with two college friends who are visiting, their love lives like sound like fairy tales: rose petals, chocolates, candles on the beach… Cassie goes home feeling like she’s missing out. After all, repeatedly watching Old Faithful erupt and walking through sulfur-smelling gases at Fountain Paint Pot don’t exactly say “romance.” Maybe things with Matt aren’t going anywhere, and it’s time to move on. Then she discovers that perception and reality are completely different things. Now she can only hope it isn’t too late to show Matt how much she really cares.

In the sweet novella GOLDEN SUNRISE, Natalie takes time out of her crazy schedule to fly to Vegas for her best friend’s wedding. Sierra and Jason, high-school sweethearts, are finally getting married. Fortunately for Natalie, her old high-school flame, Adam, has a work commitment and can’t be there as best man. But when she arrives at the wedding rehearsal—late and ragged—Adam is there. When Adam makes a wild suggestion, Natalie just may take him up on it, even though she knows he’s moved on. A single choice may mean Natalie is taking a shot at reclaiming the past—or that she's putting her heart in harm’s way a second time.

FIRSTS AND LASTS, an enchanting novella, begins with Dani’s last week in New York. She’s failed in her dreams to catch a break as an actress and is now ready to return home and dust herself off. As she visits the places on her final to-see list, she meets Mark, another New York City transplant with big dreams. Except Mark hasn’t given up on his. As they spend the day together, Dani realizes that even though she hasn’t hit the “big time” she might be living her dream after all. Only problem: she has a one-way ticket back home.

In the compelling novella WAR OF HEARTS, Anna, a journalist, is desperate to escape the magazine where Pete, her now-former boyfriend, also works. Heartbroken and still in love with him, Anna snags an assignment to cover the Winter War in Finland. She arrives at a snowy Finnish battlefront only to discover that Pete is already there—as her photographer. She’s determined to be professional about the situation until a battle breaks out in camp, putting her and Pete in harm’s way and putting their love to the test.

The captivating novella BETWEEN THE LINES follows Jane Martin, who is intelligent but extremely shy, especially around men. When the Aid and Cultural Society proposes a letter-writing program, Jane signs up, hoping she can find true friendship. The program doesn’t run as smoothly as expected, and unknown to Jane, one of the men in her city becomes her writing friend. Thomas Allred has always known shy and quiet Jane, but reading her letters written to his secret persona, opens his eyes to what an amazing woman she is. The only trouble is, Jane doesn’t know that the man who she is falling in love with through letters is also Thomas, the man who is falling in love with her in person.

In the charming novella A TASTE OF HOME, we meet Claire Jennings, who’s on her way to spend Christmas with her family. As she rides the train with William Rhodes, who grew up across the street, memories of the past flood her mind. He may be twenty-one now, but she can’t forget his torturous teasing from their school years. At the rail station, Claire discovers her home is under quarantine because her little brother has measles. She's stuck in town, away from her family, on her favorite holiday, with William.

Review:

I've read all of the Timeless Romance Anthology collections, so all of the stories in this collection were familiar, except for Annette's new novella, Our Song. This new story is a fun read. It brings out the emotion of thinking what everyone else has is what you want. But, through a cute story, we can see the importance of realizing how great the things are that we already have.

The others stories were fun to read again. I like the characters and the variety of time periods and settings.

If you are looking for some well written, sweet romances, don't miss this collection.

Follow Author Annette Lyon:

Annette's website http://www.annettelyon.com/

Annette's Twitter http://www.twitter.com/AnnetteLyon

Annette's Facebook https://www.facebook.com/annettelyon?fref=ts

Amazon Link http://www.amazon.com/Annette-Collection-Timeless-Romance-Anthology-ebook/dp/B0106WTIMM/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1435080786&sr=1-1&keywords=annette+lyon+collection

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25729345-a-timeless-romance-anthology

Annette's Author Goodreads page https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/899093.Annette_Lyon


Blog Tour Schedule:

July 27th

Katie’s Clean Book Collection http://katiescleanbookcollection.blogspot.com/
Bookworm Lisa http://lisaisabookworm.blogspot.com/
I Love to Read and Review Books http://ilovetoreadandreviewbooks.blogspot.com/

July 28th

Lindzee Armstrong http://www.lindzeearmstrong.com/
Literary Time Out http://literarytimeout.blogspot.com/
Rachel DeVaughn http://empowermoms.net/

July 29th

My Book a Day http://mybookaday.blogspot.com/
Mel’s Shelves http://www.melsshelves.blogspot.com/

July 30th

Wishful Endings http://www.wishfulendings.com/
Singing Librarian Books http://singinglibrarianbooks.weebly.com/
Bubble Bath Books http://www.bubblebath-books.com/

July 31st

Min Reads and Reviews http://www.minreadsandreviews.blogspot.com/
LDS Women's Book Review http://www.ldswomensbookreview.com/wordpress/
Fire and Ice http://fireandicereads.com/
Why Not? Because I Said So http://www.whynotbecauseisaidso.blogspot.com/
Smiling Book Reviews http://www.smilingbookreviews.blogspot.com/

Friday, July 24, 2015

Book Review: Another Time for Love by Lynne Larson

http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51tieOiQ3zL.jpg

Book Description: 

Salt Lake County, Present Day
Sam Carroll is living life in the fast lane--sleek cars, nice clothes, and lovely ladies have replaced the gospel values he grew up with, and he's going nowhere fast. But when a serious car accident brings his fun to a screeching halt, Sam is left comatose, aware only of his older brother reading aloud from the hundred-year-old journal of an LDS bishop, Moroni Chadester. As Sam drifts in and out of consciousness, the words begin to take root in his mind . . .
Alpine, Utah, 1915
Standing on a dusty mountain road, Sam is bewildered. The cars are different. The clothes are different. Where and when is he? The answer comes from an impossible source: Bishop Moroni Chadester. Hurtled back in time by forces he can't understand, Sam finds his memories of modern existence quickly fading as he becomes immersed in a new life and a romance with the town beauty, Laney Williams. But as the pair becomes entangled in a murder mystery, the thrill of courtship is replaced by terror as fate conspires to bring the couple into the path of a killer. Little do they realize that the clock is ticking on more than their lives Sam can't stay in the past forever. As danger looms ever closer, Sam must fight to save Laney. But can their love stand the test of time?

Rorie's Review:

Sam is not a very likeable character for the first part of the book. The author doesn't really go into much detail about the kind of life he's living before his accident, only that he isn't living as he should be. After he ends up in 1915, he frequently has thoughts along the lines of "I'm so much better than you because I come from a time when we have great technological inventions." Thankfully, after time passes and he comes to know the people better, he becomes much more humble and likeable.

Throughout the whole book, I kept wondering how the author was going to end the book. Sam had made a really good life for himself back in 1915, but how could he stay there - and was he really even there to begin with? Without giving away any spoilers, the resolution to that issue came about pretty abruptly. I read the last few chapters not sure that I was liking where the story had gone, but thankfully, near the very end, the author "fixed" things. Even still, the whole ending seemed a bit rushed to me.

All in all, I enjoyed the story, although I would have liked more information on what happened to the bad guy in the end.

Tarah's Review:

How to you mix two different time-lines with people from each time, and still get a happily ever after? It's pretty tricky, and the whole book (it's not a long one, and makes for a fast read) I kept wondering how this was going to get resolved.

I'm going to agree with Rorie on this one. The whole book felt a little rushed and maybe a little choppy, and the ending, while it wasn't an ending per-say (because they still have their lives to live) wasn't as satisfying as I wanted it to be.

I enjoyed the growth that Sam experienced (but like Rorie said, he wasn't a very likeable character in the beginning, which is kind of the point of the story), and I liked way certain things like faith were explained. The Bishops character was a great example and fun to read about. I liked how love was explained not just as attraction, but willing to serve the one you love.

I'm not sure that I would recommend it, but it's a clean faith filled book that you wouldn't go wrong in reading. 

Another Time For Love
Title: Another Time For Love
Author: Lynne Larson
Publisher: Covenant Communications
Published: July 2015
ISBN:  1621086887
Source: We received a copy from the publisher in exchange for a review.

Purchase: Amazon Deseret Book