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Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Blog Tour: The Pursuit of Lady Harriett by Rachael Anderson

 
The Pursuit of Lady Harriett by Rachael Anderson  

Book Description:

When wills clash and hearts collide, who will reign victorious?

Termed an Incomparable during her first London season, Lady Harriett Cavendish is beautiful, spirited, and confident, capturing the attention of a great many suitors. Unfortunately, they all failed to capture her attention, and she concluded the season as unattached as she’d begun it.

Only weeks prior to her second season, Harriett encounters Lieutenant Christopher Jamison while visiting Tanglewood Manor. Recently returned from war, the lieutenant is everything that Harriett's previous suitors were not. He’s arrogant, ungentlemanly, irritating, and challenges her at every opportunity. When he goes too far, Harriett decides that it’s time to turn the tables on him. But as she sets out to put the lieutenant in his place once and for all, she discovers there is more to him than meets the eye, and when it comes to matters of the heart, she has no control whatsoever. 

 
Andrea's Review:

Rachael Anderson doesn't disappoint with her latest novel, The Pursuit of Lady Harriett. When I first started reading, some aspects felt familiar and I wondered if I'd already read it. But, as it went on I realized that this is the third book in the Tanglewood Series, and I'd read about some of the characters in the first two books, The Fall of Lord Drayson and The Rise of Miss Notley. I would recommend reading those books first (just because they're very good), but you could read this without having read the others.

I really liked the banter between Christopher and Harriett. Their first "meeting" was pretty funny, and I looked forward to what they would come up with to annoy each other. These situations made for a realistic relationship that didn't feel rushed.

The Pursuit of Lady Harriett is a sweet, clean story that I would read again.

Excerpt:

Harriett looked at what remained of the cake. Apparently, he didn’t intend to finish it off after all, so she collected their forks and stood. “Forgive me for saying so, but you look quite done in, Chris. If you do not go up to bed now, you will probably fall asleep here. Only imagine what Mrs. Caddy might say if she discovers you here with the mostly-eaten cake. For your own sake, you ought to retire. I will do my best to tidy things up.”

Before she could move away from him, he grabbed her hand and guided her to sit back down, keeping hold of her fingers. “Not so fast, my lady. I meant it when I said that I’m in desperate need of the distraction that only you can provide. Thus far, all I have done is burden you with my troubles.”

“I do not feel at all burdened, sir.” Indeed, Harriett suddenly felt breathless and somewhat giddy. The effect this man had on her was something of a wonder.

“Sir?” he asked. “I thought we were beyond that.”

“I thought so as well, but you only just called me ‘my lady.’”

He frowned and blinked as though he hadn’t realized he had. “Forgive me, Harry. I fear my exhaustion has muddled my thinking.”

This time, she did not let the name slide. She snatched her hand free and frowned at him. “Obviously it has.”

He laughed—not a tired attempt at a laugh, but a real one filled with the richness that warmed her straight through. Only this time, it did not bother her at all. In fact, it felt wonderful, almost like a compliment.

“I knew you’d come through for me,” he said, leaning close enough to touch shoulders with her. “You have no idea how much I needed to laugh or how good that felt. I could honestly kiss you right now.”

Harriett tried her best not to blush or appear astonished by the suggestion—he had obviously made the comment in jest—but when his smile widened into a devilish grin, she knew she’d failed. He leaned in closer, and his gaze wandered briefly to her mouth before returning to her eyes. She could smell vanilla and lemon and a hint of something else—leather perhaps? A delightful pulse whipped down her arm, and she was hard-pressed not to shiver.

“Admit it,” he said. “You have missed me.”
 
 

About the Author:

Rachael
Rachael Anderson A USA Today bestselling author, Rachael Anderson is the mother of four and is pretty good at breaking up fights, or at least sending guilty parties to their rooms. She can’t sing, doesn’t dance, and despises tragedies. But she recently figured out how yeast works and can now make homemade bread, which she is really good at eating.



 

$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Giveaway:
Ends 10/1/17 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. 

Monday, September 18, 2017

Book Review: The Two of Us by Victoria Bylin

The Two of Us
Book Description:

After two broken engagements, nurse practitioner Mia Robinson is done with dating. From now on, she only trusts herself and God, and she's focused on her eighteen-year-old sister, Lucy, and caring for patients. Just as she applies to work for an international aid organization, a phone call from Lucy, who's pregnant and running off to marry her twenty-one-year-old boyfriend, throws a wrench into all of Mia's plans.
Jake Tanner may have recovered from the physical injuries he sustained on the job as a police officer, but his heart has yet to heal from losing his former partner in the tragedy. He's poured himself into starting a camp for the sons of fallen officers and mentoring Sam, the adult son of his deceased partner, who's asked him to be his best man at his wedding.
Mia is expecting a mess when she arrives to sort out the situation with Lucy, but she wasn't expecting Jake. And Jake, who can't help envying Sam and Lucy, doubts he'll ever experience their happiness for himself. But maybe Jake's courage and Mia's caring spirit are just what they need to bring them a lifetime of healing and a forever kind of love. . . .


Book Review:

It's good to get back into contemporary romance. I've been spending a lot of time in the Regency era lately, and I do enjoy a good contemporary novel. Victoria Bylin is a new author to me. I haven't read anything else she's publish so honestly I was hesitant to start this novel. New to me authors always make me leery just because I don't know what to expect content wise. Coming from Bethany House I knew it was Christian fiction, but that doesn't always guarantee a clean read.  But back to the story at hand.

There is a lot going on in this novel. I think my biggest complaint about this book is that a lot of it revolved around Sam and Lucy. Don't get me wrong, you had an interesting story there, but I personally don't like two stories within one story. I want my main characters and I want good supporting characters, but if you are going to do two stories...write another book. To be fair, I will say that Sam and Lucy were need for Mia and Jake to meet and to stay in contact with each other. I get why the author did what she did, but I didn't want a story about Sam and Lucy, I wanted a story about Jake and Mia and every time it switched I felt abruptly pulled my my story into a place that I didn't care about traveling.

The romance between Jake and Mia was sort of already decided. We didn't get to watch the characters fall in love, we got to watch them decide what they were going to do about it. And I'm not sure how I feel about that. I think it was okay. Not typically what I look for when I read, but the emotions and decision were so honest and well written that I didn't feel cheated in the romance department.

Content wise there is premarital sex (not described) which results in a pregnancy. Kissing, lots of talk about being a virgin, talk about sex within marriage, and vandalism.


The Two of Us
Title: The Two of Us
Author: Victoria Bylin
Publisher: Bethany House
Published: August 2017
ISBN:  0764217380
Source: I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Blog Tour: Mind Games by Stephanie Black


Book Description:

Psychologist Natalie Marsh's dream is now reality: her mental health services clinic has opened and is housed in an elegant, newly renovated nineteenth-century building. Unfortunately, not everyone is happy with the clinic's presence, including Heather Osbourne, a troubled young woman who wholly objects to the occupation of the building. Heather has spent years wandering the halls of the abandoned structure, convinced she's communing with her ancestor's ghost. When Natalie thwarts Heather's attempt to leap from a window, the shaken psychologist soon realizes Heather's failed jump is merely one piece of a disturbing puzzle. Greed and deceit are weaving a web around Natalie, and someone will stop at nothing—not even murder—to get what they want. Stretched to her breaking point, Natalie struggles to learn the truth, but only one thing is clear: nothing is as it seems.

Review:

I was a little concerned for the first few chapters because there were so many characters introduced and I was getting them confused already. Thankfully, after justa few more chapters, we get to know the supporting characters better, so it was easier to keep them straight.

As I was reading this book, I kept getting the feeling that I've read another book with Natalie and Gideon in it. I need to go look up the author's previous books to see what else of hers I've read.

I got really caught up in this story, and even though I haven't quite finished it yet (I'm so close! But my bed is calling my name, so I'll have to finish tomorrow) I can't wait to find out who the bad guy(s) are, because so far I haven't been able to figure it out! It takes a really good author to keep the reader guessing up until the end, and this author has done that with me.

Tour Dates:
Sept. 11th: http://bonnieharris.blogspot.com/, http://ldswritermom.blogspot.com/

Giveaway:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/91cy8iucbhL.jpgTitle: Mind Games
Author: Stephanie Black
Publisher: Covenant Communications, Inc.
Published: September 2017
ISBN: 1524404373
Source: I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. 

Purchase: Amazon Deseret Book

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Blog Tour: Love Remains by Sarah M. Eden

Love Remains by Sarah M. Eden

Book Description:

From Sarah M. Eden, the USA Today Bestselling author of the Longing for Home series, LOVE REMAINS is a new romance novel set in the beloved world of Hope Springs.

For nearly a year, Tavish O’Connor has carried the crushing weight of his family’s future on his shoulders. He has taken on the care of his youngest brother, Finbarr, who lost his eyesight in a terrible accident. But the lad needs more than Tavish can provide. Finbarr needs hope.

Cecily Attwater specializes in hope. As a tutor to the newly blind, she has dedicated her life to helping others overcome the obstacles she herself has conquered. Her new assignment in a remote corner of Wyoming proves trickier than usual: Finbarr refuses to learn. To make matters worse, his family—and the other Irish townspeople—are less than thrilled to discover an Englishwoman in their haven.

Cecily’s only hope lies in securing the cooperation of her pupil’s brother Tavish, who happens to be her harshest critic and quite possibly the most frustrating man she’s ever known.

For Finbarr’s sake, Tavish and Cecily forge an uneasy alliance that, as the weeks pass, tiptoes toward something deeper than either dares admit or face, and toward a future they know to be impossible. There can be no hope of a happy outcome for an Irishman and an English woman amongst a people reeling from violence and centuries of hatred between their two homelands.

 

Andrea's Review:

Wow-Love Remains is amazing! Sarah M. Eden really knows how to write a story that will capture and hold your attention. Her characters are deep and I couldn't help but become emotionally attached to them. I was heartbroken for how Cecile was treated (seriously, tears were shed on multiple occasions). And then there's Tavish. He really carried a lot on his shoulders with his entire family depending on him for their happiness and well being. Both characters dealt with so much, but it said so much about them that they kept on moving forward.

This is a clean story that I read very quickly, and one that I'd read again. I'm looking forward to re-reading the other Hope Springs books.

Tarah's Review:

I love Sarah Eden's books, but I will say that I had to reread the Hope Springs novels to really get into them. They definitely improved on the second reading. Love Remains, however, was moving. The amount of emotion that I felt while reading this book was incredible. The prejudices and treatment of others makes you think. Especially if you've read the other books in this series, because you love this family, and to have this family that you love treat someone who is there to help their son the way they treated her is heart-wrenching. If the book was only about that it would have been good, but then it also deals with blindness and how that affects Finbar, Cecile and all of the family. There are so many aspects of this book that just make it great. The love story is definitely up to Eden's usual standard, as is the story in general. I like the hope that you find in Eden's stories. It doesn't matter what the characters are going through, you are going to find hope in her stories, and I love it. I will be rereading this (already have gone back and reread my favorite parts) and will definitely recommend this to others.

Tour Schedule:

September 11: My Book A Day, Smiling Book Reviews, Peggy Urry

September 12: Bookworm Lisa, Wishful Endings, Getting Your Read On

September 13: LDS Writer Mom, Min Reads and Reviews

September 14: Literary Time Out, Heidi Reads, Singing Librarian Books

September 15: Katie's Clean Book Collection, Why Not? Because I Said So!, Mel's Shelves

Tour Giveaway:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Other Books by Sarah M. Eden:

Other Books in the Hope Springs Series:
Longing for Home
Hope Springs
My Dearest Love

Regency Romances:
The Kiss of a Stranger
Glimmer of Hope
An Unlikely Match
For Elise
All Regency Collection
British Isles Collection

The Jonquil Brothers series:
Friends and Foes
Drops of Gold
As You Are
A Fine Gentleman

The Lancaster Family series:
Seeking Persephone
Courting Miss Lancaster
Romancing Daphne

Title: Love Remains
Author: Sarah M. Eden
Publisher: Mirror Press
Published: September 2017
ISBN: 1947152025
Source: We received an eCopy from the tour host in exchange for an honest review.

Purchase: Amazon | Kindle

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Review: Yesterday's Promise by Michele Paige Holmes

Yesterday's Promise by Michele Paige Holmes

Book Description:

In the year 1761--Scottish Highlands:

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.


Review:

I was pulled into Yesterday's Promise from the very beginning. Sometimes prologues don't work for me, but I was definitely intrigued by Collin's situation, and how it was going to tie into Katie's story. My attention didn't wane at all as I was introduced to Katie. I felt for her right away as she was losing her home and everything she held dear. I can't imagine being told that I was going to be married to a complete stranger the next morning, and would be taken far from my home.

I really enjoyed seeing everything unfold, and finding out more about Katie's past. The fighting between clans was so interesting, and I loved the way the relationship between Katie and Collin brought everything together.

This was an excellent story, and I am looking forward to reading the rest of the books in this series.

Content-wise there is fighting and some passionate kissing.

Title: Yesterday's Promise
Author: Michele Paige Holmes
Publisher: Mirror Press
Published: July 2017
ASIN: B072TZQY87
Source: I received an eCopy from eBooks for Review in exchange for an honest review.

Purchase: Kindle

Friday, September 8, 2017

Book Review: Miss Leslie's Secret by Jennifer Moore

Triple Review * Giveaway
Miss Leslie's Secret by Jennifer Moore 

Book Description:

Decorated war hero Conall Stewart has spent ten years envisioning his return to his beloved Scottish Highlands. But now, with the days of battle finally behind him, it seems that his dreams of home have been in vain: the land of his youth lies in ruins, and his family is gone. Though he will never stop searching for his kin, Conall knows he must begin again. But when he takes on a rented farm in a nearby town, he finds far more than the fresh start he was looking for.
 

After catching a mischievous local lad stealing, Conall returns young Jamie to his mother, Aileen Leslie and finds the woman's coddling of the child maddening. What Conall does not realize is that Aileen hides a frightening secret: her devoted protection of Jamie is all that shelters them from discovery by a dangerous man from their past. Drawn together by circumstance, Conall soon develops a fatherly relationship with Jamie as well as romantic feelings for Aileen. But even as the couple accepts their growing affection for one another, time runs out for Aileen and her son: after years of hiding, they have been found. Conall lost his family once he will do all in his power not to let history repeat itself.

Rorie's Review:

Let's get the negative out of the way first. The Scottish brogue. It was kind of distracting. Granted, the story takes place in Scotland, so of course they're going to speak like that. But I find it a lot easier to get lost in a story if I don't have to keep stumbling over pronunciations. But really, that's just a minor complaint. Other than that, I enjoyed this story.

Aileen is a spitfire, and she guards her son Jamie with a fierceness only a mother could understand. Yes, she was way too permissive with him in the beginning, but it's easy enough to understand why, given her history. I loved how Jamie matured with Conall's influence. He was a sweet child and just needed a father figure in his life. I admit, I don't know much (well, anything really) about the whole landowner thing that caused so many people to lose their homes, like in this story. I think it would be interesting to research and learn more about it. I was a little underwhelmed with the climax to the story, but I do like how it was resolved - it just seemed to happen a bit easier than I would have liked. All in all, a great book that I would recommend to others.

Andrea's Review:

I have really enjoyed Jennifer Moore's books, so I was very excited for the opportunity to review Miss Leslie's Secret. I haven't read many books that take place in Scotland, so the historical situation was somewhat eye opening for me. Moore did a good job of making the reader feel for the hardship and heartache the people had gone through.

I can get held up in books when the dialogue or unfamiliar words interrupt the flow, but surprisingly that wasn't really a problem for me with Miss Leslie's Secret. I also appreciated that when Celtic words or terms were used the author usually shared them in a way that also told what they meant.

Moore created a great setting with likable characters. The superstitions added a fun and interesting aspect to the story. The first half was more intriguing to me than the last half, and as such I didn't devour this like some of her other books, but it was worth the read.

Tarah's Review:

My favorite thing about Jennifer Moore's stories is the setting. I love how she takes a time frame and goes somewhere different with it. I know there are a lot of books set in Scotland, but I haven't read many of them, and I loved being taken there with her characters in Miss Leslie's Secret.

The characters were great (especially Aileen's elderly neighbor), and I enjoyed the storyline. Things maybe got wrapped up a bit soon at the end, but it was all wrapped up. It is a quick read, and content wise it has a small bit of human slavery in it, and talk of being in a war, oh, and kissing, but sweet kissing not gross :)

Tour Schedule:


*Sept. 8th: http://readingismysuperpower.org/ , http://minreadsandreviews.blogspot.com/, http://gettingyourreadonaimeebrown.blogspot.com/, http://whynotbecauseisaidso.blogspot.com/, http://literarytimeout.blogspot.com/, http://seekingwithallyurheart.blogspot.com/

Tour Giveaway:

 
https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51kkgLlDF7L.jpg Title: Miss Leslie's Secret
Author: Jennifer Moore
Publisher: Covenant Communications, Inc.
Published: September 2017
ISBN: 1524404152
Source: We received copies from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Purchase: Amazon | Deseret Book

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Blog Tour: Safe House by Shannon Symonds

Safe House by Shannon Symonds

Book Description:

In a small coastal town, Amber and Kelly know the deadliest people sleep down the hall. Will they let Grace in?

As a victim’s advocate, Grace James is used to rushing into trouble to save her victims from abuse or assault. And with a handsome officer like Joe Hart at her side, Grace is sure there’s nothing she can’t do. But an ominous storm brewing on the Oregon horizon is about to change everything-and bring with it dangers and revelations Grace and Joe never expected.

Rorie's Review:

I liked this story, and it had me on the edge of my seat at times. It was heartbreaking reading about what each of these families were going through with all of the abuse. It was also kind of eye-opening to see just how much psychological damage can be done by the abuser. It's easy for someone who has never been through it to say "Well, if they're in a horrible relationship, why don't they just leave?" but for someone who has been beaten down so much, that they're worthless, and been made to feel like they are completely dependent on their spouse, they feel like they have no choice but to stay.

I liked Grace and her caring and empathetic manner towards those she was trying to help. It must be pretty emotionally draining to have a career like her, especially knowing that you can't save everyone, no matter how hard you try.

The two complaints I have about this book are that there were so many characters in it, and the chapters were so short, switching back and forth so quickly, that it was really hard for me to keep track of who was who. I had to constantly flip back a few chapters to remind myself who I was reading about. Also, I don't feel like things were resolved with Emily's husband Berk.

Other than those two issues, I did enjoy the story and would read more from this author.

Andrea's Review:

I was pulled into this story right away with the tension and fear in Amber's home. I've taken classes for foster care, and situations like those described in this book really tug at my heart. You can't help but feel for the parties involved (not so much the abusers, but even a little bit for them-they really need help too). It was somewhat eye opening reading about the situations from all sides, and sad to see how the abusers were having their triggers (alcohol, pornography, etc.).

I wasn't expecting so many points of view, and will admit I was distracted when the story moved from Amber, to Grace, to Kelly, to the abusers, to the police, to the school administrator, to the friend, and all around between them. I think it had good potential, but I was torn between too many people vying for center stage. It would have worked better for me if it was all told from one of the perspectives.

Tarah's Review:

I like my mind candy books, but every once in awhile I appreciate a heavier topic. Safe House definitely covered the heavy topics. I don't know much about domestic violence, and to read this knowing that the author was a victim's advocate and had first hand knowledge is just....emotional.

The thing I appreciated most from this book is that it dives into the reasoning behind things, and while some of the reasoning is foreign to me and I don't understand it, these women have genuine reasons for staying in a domestic violence situation.

Each of the characters was interesting, but because there were so many of them it was confusing at times which story you were into because the writing jumped around, a lot.  Grace has her family, there are the police men, then there are the victims and their families plus the parents of the abusers, oh and another family that gets pulled into the story. It's just a lot.

I was disappointed in the romance in this story. It started one way and then ended up another, and I didn't feel satisfied for one of the characters. It sounds juvenile, I know, especially considering the type of book this is, but I want happy endings, and well, I feel like the author mislead me in this department.

Content wise this is a book about abuse, so be prepared for that. There is also drinking, mentions of pornography and infidelity, and an attempted rape. A lot of the characters in this book are LDS and there are church references about that religion. There is praying and talk of God.


Title: Safe House
Author: Shannon Symonds
Publisher: Bonneville Books
Published: July 2017
ISBN: 1462120369
Source: We received copies from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Purchase: Amazon | Kindle