Friday, September 30, 2016

Book Review: The Sheriffs of Savage Wells by Sarah M. Eden 

Book Description:

Paisley Bell knows the eccentric people of Savage Wells. From the absentminded shopkeeper who always thinks she's been robbed to the young man who has returned shell-shocked from the war, Paisley has compassion for them all. When the sheriff up and leaves town, Paisley steps up and assumes the responsibility, partly because she loves the work, but also because she needs the income to take care of her sick father. So when the town council decides that the position of sheriff should really go to a man, Paisley finds herself fighting to prove that she's the perfect candidate for the job, even though she wears a skirt.

Cade O'Brien is heartily sick of shooting people. In his many years as a lawman, Cade has seen his share of blood and violence. So when he answers an advertisement for a sheriff job in the sleepy town of Savage Wells, he believes he's found the peace and quiet he's always desired. But when he discovers that his biggest competition for the job is a woman, he begins to question his decisions.

Tension between the two begins to sizzle when both Cade and Paisley realize the attraction they have for each other, but when Paisley's former beau shows up in town, along with a band of bank robbers, the blossoming relationship between the two sheriffs is tested. They will have to work together to thwart the bank robbers and keep the town safe.

Rorie's Review:

I used to be pretty enamored with the Wild West, but it has been a while, plus I've kind of gotten used to the Regency-era proper romance books, so I wasn't sure what to think of the setting for this book. But I love Sarah Eden, and this story not only didn't disappoint, but it reminded me why I used to like the Wild West.

Paisley is the kind of woman I want to be. Strong, resilient, capable of handling whatever life throws at her. Minus the strong self-doubt that she has, of course. I was definitely on Cade and Gideon's side when they kept getting on her about that.

I loved Paisley and Cade's relationship, right from the start. Their bantering was so entertaining to read. And I could always picture Cade calling Paisley "love." Heartwarming, even before their relationship started to grow.

The author does a great job not only with the main character's relationship, but also bringing to life all of the eccentric townspeople. They really help make this story jump from good to great.

This was one of those books where all I did was sit on the couch and read for an entire day. Thankfully books like this don't come along too often, otherwise I'd never get anything done!

Tarah's Review:

I've already read this one twice, and let me tell you, it gets better with each reading. There is just something about small towns and the crazy people that live in them. Sarah captured that perfectly, and she makes you want to pack up and move there to become one with the eccentric people.

My heart just breaks for Paisley and all she has to go through, but I admire her for being able to handle it all (minus the self-doubt, which only makes her more real in my book).  I love how her relationship with Cade grows, and while I was satisfied with the ending, I did want more. I wasn't ready to leave Savage Well's yet. I'm hoping the next book is about Gideon, because he is awesome and someone that I want to read more and more about, with Paisley and Cade as minor characters because I'm not ready to leave them behind yet either.

Andrea's Review:

I love Sarah M. Eden's books. My favorites are her Regency books, but her other books all have great characters and are fun stories.

Her latest novel, The Sheriffs of Savage Wells, is an entertaining addition to my Sarah M. Eden collection. I didn't realize sheriff was plural initially (I hadn't really paid attention to the book description-I just knew I wanted to read it because Sarah wrote it), so the multiple candidates for the position made for a fun story-especially since one of them was a woman.

I liked Paisley. She's not your standard western girl. It was funny picturing her with her gun belt over her dress and her picking locks.

This didn't have a cliff hanger ending, although I wouldn't have minded knowing what's in store for Paisley and Cade. But a note just before the story started said something about writing the next book, so hopefully we will get more of their story. 
Title: The Sheriffs of Savage Wells
Author: Sarah M. Eden
Publisher: Shadow Mountain
Published: September 2016
Source: We received copies of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.  

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Blog Tour: Ella's Will by Jessilyn Stewart Peaslee

Book Description:

Will Hawkins is just a simple stable boy. How can he hope to woo Ella, his once-wealthy childhood friend who is stubbornly independent, especially when his competition is the prince? Without any magic or fairy godmothers, Will must show Ella that he is her true prince charming in this perspective twist of the Cinderella story.

Andrea's Review:

Excellent story. I really enjoyed that it was told from Will's perspective. Most romance novels I've read are from the female's point of view and this difference really made the story for me. Will and Ella are both great characters.

This can be read as a stand alone book. It's been quite awhile since I read Just Ella and although I knew how it would end I really enjoyed this.

I love the twist to this story. I love how much Will loves Ella-to the point he'll give her up if that means she can be truly happy.

Rorie's Review:

I loved Ella, so I was really excited to have a chance to read Ella's Will. 

Will is such an amazing person. He is thoughtful, kind, and just a genuinely good guy - maybe a little bit too good, in that he is so concerned with what he thinks would be best for Ella that he almost takes himself out of the picture. It was kind of heartbreaking to read his point of view, knowing how much he cared for Ella.

I think that you really need to read Ella before reading this book, simply because you don't get as much detail about what Ella goes through in this book as you do in the first one, so it's not as easy to understand why Will is so protective of her. 

This book is definitely a keeper though, and now I want to go back and re-read Ella again.   

Tarah's Review:

couldn't wait to read this book, and let me just say that it did not disappoint.  I love getting everyone's point of view in the story, so the repeat stuff didn't bother me. Actually, there wasn't much that repeated. Obviously there are somethings, but I was pleased with the lack of repetition.  Right after I was done I went back and reread Ella, just to enjoy it all again :)

There are just two things that bothered me just a little.  Will's friend is great, and I actually really liked him, but I'm not satisfied at all with his ending. Please, please, please tell me there will be more, or some happy clarification. It just can't end that way for just can't. And then there was Will. He's great, right? You gotta love Will. But maybe sometimes he was just a little too perfect. Not enough for me to not like him, or really be hugely bothered by it, but it is there.

I loved this book, and will reread it and recommend it to my book-reading friends. 

About the Author:

Jessilyn Stewart Peaslee graduated with a BA in English from Brigham Young University in 2004. She loved taking creative writing classes, and was particularly fond of the works of Shakespeare, Jane Austen, and the Bronte sisters. She also studied French and the humanities. Jessilyn grew up in the beautiful deserts of Southern California and now resides in the shadow of the Rocky Mountains in Saratoga Springs, Utah, with her husband and five boys.

Tour Schedule:

September 12: Crossroad Reviews
September 13: Cami Checketts | Geo Librarian | My Love for Reading Keeps Growing
September 14: Hardcover Feedback
September 15: Getting Your Read On
September 16: Live to Read | Reidhead Random-ness
September 17: Singing Librarian Books
September 18: The Power of Words
September 19: Bookworm Lisa
September 20: Diane Strinham Tolley | Two Kids and Tired Books
September 21:
September 22: Hello Happy | Rockin’ Book Reviews
September 23: Mel’s Shelves
September 24: Blog Critics
September 25: Blooming with Books
September 26: Katie’s Clean Book Collection
September 27: Bookworm 2 Bookworm | Inklings and Notions
September 28: Reading for Sanity | Literary Time Out
September 29: Kindle & Me | Making Life a Bliss Complete
September 30: My Book a Day | Wishful Endings

Ella's Will 
Title: Ella's Will
Author: Jessilyn Stewart Peaslee
Publisher: Sweetwater Books
Published: September 2016
Source: We received copies of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. 

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Book Review: Gears of Revolution by J. Scott Savage

Gears of Revolution by J. Scott Savage

Book Description:

After finding a compass and clues left by Kallista's father, Leo Babbage, Trenton and Kallista head west aboard their homemade mechanical dragon to search for the missing inventor. The two teenagers hope to find answers about their mountain city of Cove, but instead, they find only a blackened forest, ruined buildings, and a small underground city

Almost immediately, Trenton and Kallista are caught up in a civil war between a clan of scavengers called Whipjacks and the Order of the Beast, people who believe that dragons are immortal and divine.

Stranded in a new city, the two friends meet Plucky, a Whipjack girl with mechanical legs, and Ander, a young member of the Order who claims humans are able to communicate with dragons. Can they trust anyone, or have they unknowingly stepped into a trap?
And high above in the sky, the dragons are gathering . . .

Rorie's Review:

J. Scott Savage does it again with this latest installment in the Mysteries of Cove series. As soon as I got the book in the mail, my oldest son took it from me and didn't give it back until a few days later when he finished reading it. So first, I'll start with his review: "I really like how the author makes it intense. Also, they put in some really funny parts. I also love how much description there is. If you took away 50% of the description, there would be at least 30 less pages. I'd like to say one more thing: Leo Babbage is crazy! (and funny.)"

It didn't take me long at all to get caught up in this story. Trenton and Kallista are just like a brother and sister - constantly bickering, but they always have each other's back. When they got to Seattle, I was a bit confused at the description of building the new city on top of the other one - and that led me to get a bit frustrated that I couldn't tell what time period the story was taking place in. Is it supposed to be in the past? Modern day? Future? I know that it really doesn't matter to the story at all, but I just really like to know when stories are taking place.

Aside from that very minor frustration, I really enjoyed this book. And talk about cliff-hangar at the end! The author definitely needs to hurry up and write the third book, because this mom (and her son) really needs to know what is going to happen to Trenton, Kallista and all of their friends. And where the dragons came from. And why. And, and, many questions...

I'll end with a quote from the book that I liked enough to mark on the page, because it is perfect for real life, not just this story: "Because if you only try the things you believe you can do, you'll only accomplish the things you already knew you could do. But if you give yourself permission to fail, you're free to try the things that seem completely beyond your reach. And that's when magic happens." I love that quote.

Andrea's Review:

It has been quite awhile since I read the first book in this series, and I wondered if I should try to re-read it before starting Gears of Revolution. I didn't end up having time to squeeze that in though, so I just plowed right in.

I was surprised that there wasn't a prologue or any backstory to start this book out. It just took up where the last book left off (from what I remember anyway). So, if you are looking for a stand alone novel, this isn't it. But, if you enjoyed the first book, I think you'll enjoy this second book. It has a cliff hanger ending, so if you are the type that needs closure you may need to wait a bit while the rest of the series is written and published. :)

Although it's over 300 pages, the font size and spacing is consistent with middle grade books, and goes pretty quickly. I appreciated that everything really moved the story along (no excess details or wordy descriptions), and I enjoyed the addition of the new characters that Trenton and Kallista found in Seattle.

There were also some twists and turns that kept things interesting, and I liked the message about giving yourself permission to fail so you can accomplish things you've never done before. Gears of Revolution
Author: J. Scott Savage
Publisher: Shadow Mountain
Published: September 2016
ISBN: 1629722235
Source: We received copies of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. 

Purchase: Amazon | Deseret Book

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Blog Tour: Infected by Gregg Luke

Book Description:

Mother Nature: the world's most innovative killer.

Deep in the jungles of Venezuela, mycologist Dr. Julia Fatheringham is engrossed in her study of native fungi. But what begins as a standard research trip quickly spirals into chaos when her associate's erratic behavior results in his horrifying death. Soon, Julia makes a startling discovery: her partner was contaminated by an organism found only in insects. It alters the victim's mind in alarming ways, with an invariably deadly outcome. Julia is baffled by her discovery—this organism has never appeared in humans. It shouldn't be possible. There is only one terrifying conclusion: The infection has jumped species.

Now, in this remote corner of the world, a contagion of unparalleled horror rests in Julia's hands. But even as she works to contain the organism that could spell devastation of apocalyptic proportions, there are others with a different agenda. They've learned of her discovery and will go to any lengths to acquire a sample—there is good money to be had in eco-terrorism.

Armed only with her strength of mind and what courage she can gather, Julia prepares to battle the devastating scourge—and the terrorists determined to unleash it on humanity.

Book Review:

Before I started this book I had to mentally prepare myself :) Most of what I read is in the Romance genre. The last book I read by Gregg Luke I was expecting a romance (the back of the book was totally misleading) and I was unable to enjoy that story because it wasn't what I was expecting. So before I started this book I had to make sure I understood that this was in no shape or form a romance, and then I was able to enjoy it :)

It grabbed my attention right away, and I stayed up all night finishing it. Julia was an interesting character, and I loved her accent. That isn't something I see much in the novels I read, and it was entertaining. I will admit that part way through I thought, "Wow...this just keeps going". One suspenseful thing after another.

The minor characters were maybe not my favorite of all time, but it didn't slow down the read at all. I will also admit to being surprised by some of the content, given the publisher. There is a sleazy girl in this book, and she and a guy have sex. It's all implied, not explicit or descriptive, but it is there and that wasn't expected.

If medical suspense novels are your thing, Gregg Luke does a great job giving you the willies :) I will never look at a mushroom the same again.

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Blog Tour Schedule:


Title: Infected
Author: Gregg Luke
Publisher: Covenant
Published: September 2016
ISBN: 9781524400644
Source: I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Review: The Fall of Lord Drayson by Rachael Anderson

The Fall of Lord Drayson  
The Fall of Lord Drayson by Rachael Anderson 

Book Description:

Who is he really? A high and mighty lord or a lowly servant? 

When Colin Cavendish, the new earl of Drayson, informs Lucy Beresford that she and her mother need to vacate the house they've called home for the past two years, Lucy is fit to be tied. They have no money, no relations they can turn to for help, and nowhere to go. How dare the earl break the promise his father had made to the Beresfords without so much as a twinge of conscience? 

Fate plays her hand when Lucy discovers the earl unconscious and injured in the middle of the road. When he awakens with no recollection of who he is, Lucy seizes the opportunity to teach the earl a much-needed lesson in humility and tells him that he is nothing more than a mere servant. Her servant, in fact. 

And thus begins the charming tale of a pompous lord and an impetuous young woman, caught together in a web so tangled that it begs the question: Will they ever get out?

Andrea's Review:

I was pulled into this story right away. Lucy was such a fun, spunky character that doesn't fit the mold of a vicar's daughter (my favorite characters are those who don't fit the mold of their station in life, or the time period).

When I told the premise of the story to a friend she compared it to the movie "Overboard". I hadn't come to that realization yet but it is similar in an opposite sort of way.

I did get a bit impatient when Colin left for awhile. I thought their feelings were pretty clear and the story definitely slowed down while things were being figured out.

The Fall of Lord Drayson is a clean and fast read.

Rachael Anderson is an excellent author. I would recommend this book, and look forward to reading her next novel. 

Tarah's Review:

What a fun story! Rachael Anderson does it again, but this time in a different genre than normal. She should definitely write another Regency (and keep with her Contemporary) because she nailed it with this one.

Lucy and Colin are great characters. The more you get to know them and why they act the way they do the more I appreciated the story. Although I'm totally torn about whether or not I liked that Colin never tells her when he figured things out. Is it sweet of him, or should she know? Anyway, besides that part I have no hesitations in recommending this book. I will definitely be rereading this one again...and soon. 


He stared at her incredulously, as though she had escaped Bedlam. “Are you in your right mind, woman?” 

Lucy leaned forward and planted her palms on his bed so that her eyes were level with his. “My name is Lucy Beresford. I have lived in Askern all my life. I’m the sole daughter of a vicar and a seamstress who lived most happily despite their differences in station. When my father passed away, I came here, to this dower house. So yes, I am in my right mind. It is you who are not.” 

The earl’s jaw clenched, and Lucy took some pleasure at the sight. Perhaps he would come down off his high horse and show at least a small amount of kindness or respect. 

“I may not know who I am or where I came from,” he finally said, “but at least I do not feel the need to tell tales.” 

“Tell tales?” Lucy gaped at him. Was he accusing her of telling untruths? Her, of all people? What untruths? How dare he! 

Lord Drayson glanced down at his fingers, frowning when he spotted grime under his nails. He began to scrape it out as he spoke. “Claiming to be the daughter of a vicar and seamstress is all very romantic, but it cannot possibly be the truth.” 

“And why not?” she asked. 

His gaze returned to hers. “In my experience, the daughter of a vicar would behave with more decorum, would know how to make a palatable broth, and would never allow herself to be alone in a room with a man who is not her relative. If there is one thing I know with absolute certainty, it is that you are no relation of mine.” 

Lucy’s jaw clenched as she fought to control the rage building inside her. Ever so slowly, she pushed herself up to standing and glared down at the earl. “You are correct in thinking I am no ordinary vicar’s daughter. I do not love unconditionally. I show decorum only when I wish to. And I despise those who care for no one but themselves. But I do not tell tales.” 

He actually chuckled, but it was more of a scoff than a show of humor. “Did you learn those traits from your father?” 

“Do not speak of my father.” 

“I would prefer to speak of myself, but you do not seem to share that preference, so perhaps we should speak of your father instead. Where is he, by the by? I would very much like to meet him.” 

Lucy’s fingers became fists while her conscience became a battleground between all that was good and evil inside her. It was a short battle, with evil making a quick triumph. 

Ever so slowly, her body still trembling with anger, she lifted her chin. If he was going to accuse her of telling tales, then tell them she would. “Very well, Collins. If you must know, I am your employer. And though you may not remember me, or this house, or your position in it, or the fact that you are perfectly susceptible to coming off a horse, just like any other human, I still expect some kindness and respect from you.” 

“What on earth are you talking about? What position?” 

There was not a hint of hesitation in her voice when she answered. “You are a servant in this house.” 

About the Author:

RachaelA 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.

The Fall of Lord DraysonTitle: The Fall of Lord Drayson
Author: Rachael Anderson
Publisher: HEA Publishing
Source: I received an eCopy in exchange for an honest review.

Purchase: Amazon

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Blog Tour: The Second Season by Heather Chapman

The Second Season by Heather Chapman

Book Description:

Eleanor Hopkins has lived in disappointment for far too long believing that her husband only married her for fortune, and she determines to protect her own daughters from such misery by scheming to secure offers for both Lucy and Caroline based on mutual rank and reputation. When Caroline finds that the handsome and reputable Lord Searly desires her as his wife, she finds that no amount of planning or pretending can convince her to accept him. Instead, she is confronted with an unexpected and reluctant suitor in the respectable shoemaker Thomas Clark.

Tarah's Review:

There are a lot of points of view in this book, and I can't decide if I liked it or not. However, I read the book really quickly and was interested in what happened to everyone.

The parental dynamics in this novel were different, and I wasn't sure what to make of the mother. Her choices for her daughters, and her relationship with her husband had me wondering if I liked her or not, or if I felt sympathy for her, or if I wanted to shake her and tell her to stop it :)

I would like to know what eventually happens to some of the characters at the end. There is sort of closure, but I feel like one of the stories didn't get wrapped up as much as I'd have liked.

Rorie's Review:

This book had the makings of being a good story, but sadly, it just didn't do it for me. The first chapter seemed completely unnecessary to the story, and it wasn't until several chapters later that I realized this book was going to go from the past to the present several times. That helped the first chapter make more sense, but I'm not sure that it was necessary for the story.

I liked Caroline and Thomas, and really did not like Lord Searly and Charles. I didn't understand Caroline's mother, and I spent the first half of the book thinking her father was an ogre, only to suddenly find out that he was more on Caroline's side than anyone else in the family was. I think that was the main issue I had with this story. It was really hard to follow at times - I even had to re-read passages a few times because I wasn't sure what just happened.

The story did finally get better at the end, but it was a bit too little, too late for me.

Andrea's Review:

I really like the clean Regency genre, so I was excited to read The Second Season. I did not find myself pulled in right away (which typically does not bode well for a book on my to-read list). The first part was a little confusing, and in all honesty I had so many other books to read that I forgot about it. That sounds horrible, but I am glad that I remembered it and decided to give it another try.

This was different from many Regency novels, but in the end it was different in a good way. In The Second Season the marriage mart is in full swing; however, the two main characters (Caroline and Lucy) weren't just looking to better their social standing and fortune. Perhaps they didn't feel as much of a need to do so since they already had wealth, but they both really just wanted to find love. Their journeys had quite a few ups and downs, and the look into their parents' relationship was quite interesting. It was also sad, but I was glad that they eventually communicated.

I didn't care for a couple of the suitors in the novel, but even as awful as they were at times, I couldn't help but wonder how things ended for them.

This was an interesting story with a handful of flashbacks and I couldn't help but enjoy Caroline for her lack of fitting the mold. 

Blog Tour Schedule:

September 13: Live to Read | Bookworm 2 Bookworm
September 14: Rockin’ Book Reviews | Robyn Echols Books
September 15: Bookworm Lisa | Fire and Ice
September 16: Megan Linski
September 17: Literary Time Out
September 18: Jorie Loves a Story
September 19: Katie’s Clean Book Collection | Julie Coulter Bellon
September 20: Geo Librarian | Jorie Loves a Story | The Dragon’s Nook
September 21: Mel’s Shelves
September 22: Getting Your Read On
September 23: The Things I Love Most | Singing Librarian Books
September 24: Hardcover Feedback | A Bliss Complete
September 25: Inklings and Notions | Blooming With Books
September 26: Storyweaver
September 27: Novel-ties
September 28: My Book a Day
September 29: Wishful Endings | The Story Sanctuary
September 30: Writing Worm

The Second Season: Even the Perfect Match May Not Be Enough to Win Her Heart Title: The Second Season
Author: Heather Chapman
Publisher: Sweetwater Books
Published: September 2016
ISBN: 1462118844
Source: We received a copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. 

Friday, September 16, 2016

Blog Tour: Southern Charmed by Melanie Jacobson

Southern Charmed by Melanie Jacobson

Book Description:

Lila Mae Guidry is a Southern girl through and through. As a fourth-generation Latter-day Saint in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, she’s proud of her heritage as both a Southerner and a Saint—and she doesn’t take kindly to people who disparage either. Ten years ago, Max Archer was just that kind of jerk. As the mission president’s son, Max spent his entire three years mocking the South . . . and teenage Lila. After Max’s family moved away, Lila forgot about her sworn enemy. Almost.

When a new job brings a grown-up Max back to Baton Rouge, Lila is less than thrilled with his reappearance, especially since everyone seems intent on throwing her together with this old adversary. Yet fight as she may, Lila soon realizes resistance is futile—their connection is undeniable. Max embodies everything she wants in a man—except perhaps the most important thing—her life is rooted in the city she loves, but his dreams are bigger than Baton Rouge. With such mismatched visions of the future, Max and Lila are faced with a life-altering decision: jeopardize their aspirations or risk losing love.

Rorie's Review:

This was a fun, enjoyable book to read. I really like Melanie Jacobson's books, and this one did not disappoint. I do have to say that it wasn't my favorite, but it was still good. I think this book was missing some of the snarky humor that I love from her other books.

Lila and Max's relationship is intriguing from the get-go. I love how her mother keeps trying to throw the two of them together, even though Lila is less than enthusiastic to begin with. It was really nice to see how their relationship grew, especially after Lila learns that Max has changed and she can trust him, as well as trust her feelings about him.

One thing that was kind of hard for me to swallow was Lila's insistence that no matter what, she would not leave Baton Rouge. I guess I've never lived anywhere that I loved that much, but I can't imagine choosing a place to live over someone you love.

Tarah's Review:

Such a fun read. I devoured it in no time, and I can't wait to read it again. I loved the Southern culture. I loved Lila passion and talent for her job. Her mom is the best lady ever. Max is a sweetheart, and it has a beautiful cover :)

I'm not sure I totally loved the ending. I mean, I liked the happiness and everything, but without giving away anything it just seemed that the stubbornness that caused all the problems made one person compromise. I guess the other person was willing to as well, but I guess since I've never loved a place or a job like these two did, I couldn't really relate.

I would definitely recommend this LDS fiction to my friends. (If you have no background in the LDS culture, you might be a little lost sometimes). I will be re-reading this one again soon.

Andrea's Review:

I'm a big fan of Melanie Jacobson's books, and was very excited for the chance to review her latest novel, Southern Charmed. Just before receiving my review copy I saw a post by the author about how part of the proceeds from the sale of the book through Seagull Book were going to help with flood relief in Louisiana. This helped me appreciate the book even more knowing that it was helping a great cause.

This had a bit of a different feel from a lot of Melanie's other books. It wasn't bad different, but I wasn't totally sure how I felt about it.

The premise was fun-enemies (of a sort) meeting again, and then seeing if they could overcome their past to be friends (or more) with mom pushing for a relationship. The first re-meet was awkward for Lila but very enjoyable as a reader.

I got a bit caught up on how a lot of focus went toward what had happened at a dance many years before. When the details finally came out, I was surprised that Lila had already forgiven Max. Of course, that was good, but it was strange since it seemed like she still dwelt on it and then the matter was suddenly over.

The ending was very sweet. I liked Lila's role as a teacher. She was very good and definitely went the extra mile. I'm not sure that I liked Max. He did make up for his career driven-ness at the end though.

About the Author:

Melanie Bennett Jacobson is an avid reader, amateur cook, and champion shopper. She lives in Southern California with her husband and children and a series of doomed houseplants, and is currently pursuing a Masters degree in writing for children and young adults.

Website | Facebook

Tour Schedule:

Tour Giveaway:

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Title: Southern Charmed
Author: Melanie Jacobson
Publisher: Covenant Communications, Inc.
Published: September 2016
ISBN: 1524401013
Source: We received copies from the publisher in exchange for a review.

Purchase: Amazon | Seagull Book | Deseret Book

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Blog Tour: Her Fateful Debut by G.G. Vandergriff

Her Fateful Debut: A Regency Romance
Book Description:

Classic Regency romance with a dash of suspense . . .
Beautiful Miss Penelope Swinton wants to live out her life as a spinster in her beloved Northamptonshire, but with an ailing father and an entailed estate, she must come to London and enter the Marriage Mart. And if she must marry, she is determined to marry for love.
In a brief respite from the social whirl of the season, she retreats from the restrictions of the ton to sketch in the park and stumbles over a French spy. When Penelope finds her life in danger, Viscount Beau Wellingham steps up to protect her, however he has secrets of his own. Wellingham leads a clandestine life as an agent for the Foreign Office trapping spies. In defending her life, he unwittingly puts her reputation at risk.
In order to save Penelope from society’s scorn, Beau presses for a betrothal. Though she resists, he insists. Soon Beau is unable to deny the attraction he feels towards her. Before he can act on his feelings, danger rises again. This time, his life is on the line.
With a desperate spy closing in, Penelope must choose the safety of what she has always known or a chance for love. But will she be too late?

Andrea's Review:

Her Fateful Debut is entertaining and a quick read. I liked how the spy aspects of the story kept things very interesting.

I liked Penny's character. She didn't fit the mold and was a good match for Beau. It was unusual for this genre that he went by his first name to everyone, but it made him more likable than someone who just goes by a title. Other than his past, he seemed like a good, moral character.

I prefer what some would call squeaky clean books, and this wouldn't fit in that category, but it is fairly clean. There was a swear word, casual mention of affairs, and some passionate kissing.

Tarah's Review:

I'm going to admit right up front that my view of this book was probably skewed by the last book I read by this author. I will also say that this book was a whole lot better than the other one I read of hers, but because of that other one I went into this with maybe not the right perspective. 

It was cute. It was quick, and other than me not really liking Beau (I'm not really one for rogues) I finished it with no problems at all. I'm not sure why I'm "eh" about it. Maybe because the characters didn't feel very deep to me (although, with the Ton being a factor was anyone really deep? But that is beside the point). I don't know. There just wasn't really anything for me to really sink my teeth into.

Tour schedule:
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Her Fateful Debut: A Regency Romance 
Title: Her Fateful Debut
Author: G.G. Vandergriff
Orson Whitney Press
Published: August 2016
Source: We received eCopies in exchange for an honest review. 

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Blog Tour: God Bless Us Every One by Eva Marie Everson

God Bless Us Every One
Book Description:

Charlene Dixon--called Charlie by family and friends--is devastated at the recent loss of her job. For the last five years, the twenty-seven-year-old has blossomed as the activities director of an exclusive all-girls school. But when a misunderstanding with the headmistress leads to a pink slip right before the holidays, Charlie packs up her dreams and returns to her grandmother, Sis, who raised Charlie as her own in the mountains of North Carolina.

When Charlie arrives--broken and confused--Sis immediately puts her granddaughter to work behind the scenes of the local school's Christmas play, A Christmas Carol. Charlie doesn't always like working with Dustin Kennedy, the drama teacher, but Sis encourages her to take a deeper look at why the book by Charles Dickens had been written in the first place and what it could teach Charlie about the needs of people in their own community.

Book Review:

I love a good Christmas book at anytime during the year :) It doesn't have to be the Christmas season for me to enjoy it, so I was really looking forward to God Bless Us Every One. The cover is pretty and peaceful, and I'm a fan of A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens so what could go wrong?

Well, the story seemed really disjointed to me. While this is a stand-alone novel (there are more to this series I guess) I felt lost a lot, and not because there are more books either before or after, but because some things just kind of got skipped over. I read a review that said this was a novella, which would explain the pacing of the story, but at 224 pages it seemed long enough for a full length novel, and I didn't think it flowed well.

The romance, while there, was not the main point of this story. That bummed me out a little bit. Everything just fell into place. No conflict between the characters, they just reunited and that was that.

I did enjoy learning more about Charles Dickens and A Christmas Carol. The theme of forgiveness is always good to read about as well.

Do I see myself reading this again or recommending it to my book reading friends? Sadly, no.

Blog Tour:
Sarah | Running Through The Storms
Susan | Susan Heim on Writing
Laura | Lighthouse Academy
Jalynn | A Simple Life, really?!

Billy | Ramblings of a Coffee Addicted Writer
Elisha | Rainy Day Reviews

Megan | Pursuing Intentional Living
Rachel | Smiling Book Reviews

Victor | Vic's Media Room
Carole | The Power of Words
Carla | Working Mommy Journal

Pam | Southern Gal Loves to Read
Becky | Christian Chick's Thoughts
Erin | For Him and My Family

Lisa | A Rup Life

Julie | More Of Him
Tressa | Wishful Endings
Hallie | Book by Book

Tima | Book Reviews by Tima
Beth | Beth's Book-Nook Blog

Wendy | Wall-to-wall books
Amanda | Inklings and Notions
Tarah | Literary Time Out
Kathleen | Reviews From The Heart
Annie | Just Commonly

Mark | Thoughts of a Sojourner
Rachel | EmpowerMoms
Lori | Morning glories and moonflowers
Vera | Chat With Vera
Laura | Harvest Lane Cottage
Lizzie | A Dusty Frame
Nicki | Confessions of a Teenage Bookworm
Ashley | Loving Mommahood
Wendy | Life at Rossmont
Kav | Best Reads
Carrie | Reading Is My SuperPower
Stacey | Books,Dreams,Life
Jennifer | Adventures in Unsell Land

Cheryl | cherylbbookblog
Janelle | Milk and honey meadows
Mackenzie | Spreading His Grace
Marissa | The Review Stew
Amy | Pause for Tales

Angela | A Holland Reads

Amanda | amandainpa
Missica | Through the Open Window

Kerrie | comfy reading

Julie | One Book Shy of a Full Shelf
Bethany | Perfect Beginnings
Jeremy | Christian Fiction Addiction
Lydia | Noveltea
Carrie | Farming On Faith
Amelia | Rejoice Evermore
Andi | Radiant Light

God Bless Us Every One 
Title: God Bless Us Every One
Author: Eva Marie Everson
Abingdon Press 
Published: September 2016
Source: I received a copy from LitFuse Publishing in exchange for an honest review. 

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Book Review: Resist by Ilima Todd
Resist by Ilima Todd

Book Description:

Having been rescued, Remade, and returned to Freedom, Theron must now face a life without Nine. Though he's chosen to be a healer, he uses all the vices Freedom affords to try and dull the pain of losing Nine. But he can't find the peace he so desperately needs. Until he meets Catcher, a man who shows him the dark truths behind Freedom's Batcher program. From him, Theron learns what it means to be a leader and a father. When he falls in love with a captured rebel named Pua, Theron must choose: Freedom and its easy pleasures, or a life that is truly free but full of hardships and decisions.

Andrea's Review: 

I was wondering if I'd need to re-read Remake before reading Resist. I didn't have time, and I wasn't really lost, but I do think it would have been good to read it again. I think you could read Resist on its own but it wouldn't mean nearly as much.

I liked that this is told from Theron's POV. He is a great character. He's very smart and compassionate. The feelings were a little tricky at times to distinguish, since most books only focus on romantic love and not familial love.

This is deep in some ways. Family is so important and it's hard to imagine a society where everyone can be remade however they want. In some ways that's seeming to be more prevalent in our society, but to have had their hormones suppressed so they couldn't even have the feelings that are God given is just messed up.

I loved Theron's enlightenment about family and how he was able to quickly realize what was missing.

I was sad that this is just a second book and not the conclusion. It was well written and intriguing, but I'm sad it's over and not resolved. It was a bit tough to read about the power hungry, evil people who were masking true freedom and happiness.

Rorie's Review:

I read Remake quite a while ago, and really liked it, so I was very excited to have the chance to read Resist. I do wish I would have re-read the last few chapters of Remake first though, because I couldn't remember what happened between Nine and Theron, which left me pretty confused until it finally came back to me.

This was one of those "drop everything and just read" books. I know I've mentioned this a bunch of times before, but I really enjoy dystopian stories. I can't remember if we were told in the first book where the story takes place, but I appreciate that the location was put into this book. It drives me crazy when I can't figure out where the story takes place.

Definitely a good, engaging story, and one that I wasn't ready for it to end. I am anxiously awaiting the release of the third book in this series. Resist
Author: Ilima Todd
Publisher: Shadow Mountain
Published: July 2016
Source: We received copies from the publisher in exchange for honest reviews. 

Purchase: Amazon | Deseret Book

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Book Blast: Slave Queen by H.B. Moore

Slave Queen  
 Slave Queen by H. B. Moore 

Book Description:

Special Agent Omar Zagouri’s latest case is his most dangerous—and his most personal yet. The discovery of secret sixteenth-century letters unveils a plot between the sultan Suleyman and his chief wife, Roxelane, to change the course of the Ottoman Empire. A descendent of Roxelane, Zagouri learns he has an enemy whose revenge has been centuries in the making. 

Targeted by an antiquities collector who’s also descended from a chief rival for the ancient throne, Zagouri soon uncovers a modern-day conspiracy that threatens the lives of his family and the security of a nation. 

To expose the plot, Zagouri must team up with Naim, the son of his nemesis, who heads an international black-market operation that may have ties to the killings. From ancient Constantinople to the present-day Middle East, Zagouri is on a collision course with history. Time is running out to solve a royal mystery and stop a ruthless killer—one who has Zagouri’s name on his hit list. 

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Chapter One:

Al Karak, Jordan

Rashed Sayid picked up his cell phone and selected his most trustworthy contact. The phone call would take only moments, but the result would teach the entire Sayid tribe what honor meant. He shut his third-floor office window, blocking out the rising heat of the Jordanian desert’s summer morning. He and his only brother owned the bank in the city of Al Karak, having started the bank three decades before, and now they were among the wealthiest in town.

“Yes?” Yamil answered.

“We have proof,” Rashed said into the phone.

“Four male witnesses?” Yamil asked.

Rashed blew out a breath. Yamil was a stickler for rules. An execution couldn’t be ordered unless there were four respected male witnesses to the crime. There were actually no witnesses, but Rashed knew his daughter was guilty. He had plenty of video footage of her leaving her university apartment more than once after midnight, and he also had other, less legal evidence. There was only one reason for his daughter’s midnight forays. Worst case scenario, Aamira was no longer a virgin. Next case scenario, she’d been tainted in some way by having a relationship with a man other than her fiancé. Rashed was still working on trying to find out whom she was meeting. But it was time to put the execution order into motion.

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Praise for Slave Queen:

"Moore does an excellent job of setting the scene of international intrigue, and although this novel is part of a series, it also works well as a stand-alone. The story jumps back and forth between the present and the past as Moore tells the story of Roxelane's capture by the Turkish army and her subsequent love affair with Suleiman. Roxelane is an excellent, strong female character, and Moore brings some obscure players from the Ottoman Empire vividly to life. She even quotes from Suleiman's actual poetry . . . to conjure a complex portrait of this larger-than-life figure. A satisfying historical thriller." --Kirkus Reviews

"From sultans and hierarchies that separate men and women from Poland to Constantinople and beyond to new lives in great cities where mosques and sultans rule, these vivid past and present scenarios contribute to a story fueled by cultural revelations and the long-standing threat a series of letters reveals. The result is a fast-paced, complex, and absorbing adventure saga that crosses time and place to give Omar, Mia (and readers) a run for their money. Warning: once begun, it's nearly impossible to put down the full-flavored, multi-faceted Slave Queen, which reveals many insights about the Ottoman Empire, Süleyman the Magnificent, and the slave girl foreigner who turned out to be his favorite wife." --D. Donovan, Senior Reviewer, Midwest Book Review 

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About the Author:

HB Moore
H. B. Moore is a USA Today bestselling author of more than a dozen historical novels and thrillers, written under pen name H.B. Moore. She writes women's fiction, romance and inspirational non-fiction under Heather B. Moore. This can all be confusing, so her kids just call her Mom. Heather attended Cairo American College in Egypt, the Anglican School of Jerusalem in Israel, and earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Brigham Young University in Utah.

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Ends 9/25/16 
Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an 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.    

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