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Monday, November 16, 2020

On the Run by Traci Hunter Abramson



Book Description:

As one of the top investigative journalists in the nation, Elle Jameson has a knack for uncovering the truth. So when a promising lead points to corruption on a German military base, Elle anticipates a straightforward assignment. But then she stumbles upon a deadly conspiracy beyond anything she’s faced before, and her scrutiny does not go unnoticed. She knows too much, and she can’t be allowed to live. With no idea where to turn for help, she does the only thing she can: she runs.

The guardians, an elite team of undercover agents, have one job: safeguard those under their protection. As a new guardian, Nolan has just received his first solo assignment to help a young woman who just survived an assassination attempt. Within minutes of making contact with the beautiful journalist, however, their location is discovered. Thus begins a game of cat and mouse spanning the globe as the two work to stay ahead of a determined assassin. Nolan fights to buy Elle time to complete her investigation, and what she discovers is a plot that threatens the very fabric of America. In a desperate race against evil, Nolan and Elle are the only ones who can prevent global catastrophe.

Rorie's Review:

These books have the perfect mix of suspense, action, and romance. Traci is such a talented storyteller, 
and I always look forward to reading her books. Since it has been a few years since I’ve read a Guardian book, I thought I might feel a bit lost, but we really don't see a whole lot of the other Guardian members in this story, so I was fine. To be honest, I kind of missed my past favorites, but they can’t be in ALL the books. 
 
Elle and Nolan worked together really well - she had just the right amount of stubbornness and tenacity- and since she was relatively familiar with military life, she was pretty good at holding her own when they were in the middle of things. 
 
I was happy for the chance to read this book, and look forward to reading more about the Guardians.

Tarah's Review:

 This was another book that I flew right through because it was well written and I wanted to know what was going to happen next. Nolan and Elle are both written really well, although I wasn't convinced of what Elle brought to the table at the very end of the book. I can't really explain that without spoilers, but even though that bothered me some, I am a stickler for happy endings, so I was satisfied with the happy ending that we did get. It was interesting to me to meet some new guardians, and I was glad for the new blood in the series. Can't wait for the next one.

Andrea's Review:

I’ve enjoyed this series. There is a big emphasis on the members of the Guardian program being incognito and staying out of sight-although that seems to fly out the window often, especially in this book. That didn’t take away from the enjoyment and excitement that the main characters faced as they had to be constantly on the run. They tried to not only stay alive, but solve a crime that would save many lives.

I would read more in this series.




Title: On the Run
Author: Traci Hunter Abramson
Publisher: Covenant Communications, Inc.
Published: October 2020 
ISBN: 1524412481
Source: We received copies from the publisher and Netgalley. All opinions expressed are our own.

 

Friday, November 13, 2020

Blog Tour: The Santa Box Movie

Description:

For Kallie Watts, Christmas is anything but merry. For the last five years, the tinsel-strewn holiday has spelled disaster for her family, so when an apartment fire leaves Kallie and her widowed mother homeless just in time for the holidays, it comes as no surprise. There's only one logical conclusion: Christmas is cursed for Kallie. 

When her mother finds a new job in a small California town, Kallie steps out of the moving van and into her worst nightmare: a real-life version of "Whoville", overflowing with holiday decorations and brimming with Christmas cheer. Forced to navigate the complicated ins and outs of her jolly new surroundings, Kallie is shaken out of her gloom one day when she discovers a curiously crafted wooden Santa box on the porch, addressed to her. The moment she lifts the lid, the young teenagers' life is changed forever as she rediscovers the true magic and meaning of Christmas.

Trailer:


Review:

The Santa Box is a cute "Hallmark-like" movie with a good message. Stereotypes are played up (rich cheerleader is the leader of the mean girls; gossipy, rich mom has her nose in everyone's business and people bow to her wishes; etc.), and those stereotypes drive the message home that you need to get to know people to understand and love them. 

The main character is a teenage girl who has been through a very hard time. When given the opportunity to have a Christmas wish granted (through the Santa Box), she uses the wish to help someone else. Her selflessness leads to her being able to have more wishes granted for others. It really was a great reminder to be selfless and see what others need. 

If you are looking for a cute, family friendly Christmas movie, this is worth checking out.

Purchase Links:


Giveaway:

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Tuesday, November 3, 2020

Blog Tour: The Gentleman and the Thief by Sarah M. Eden

Book Description:

LONDON 1865

From the moment Hollis Darby meets Ana Newport, he's smitten. Even though he's from a wealthy, established family and she isn't, he wishes he could have a life with her by his side. But Hollis has a secret: the deep coffers that have kept his family afloat for generations are bare, so he supports himself by writing penny dreadfuls under a pseudonym. If not for the income from his novels, he would be broke.

Ana Newport also has a secret. Though she once had a place in society thanks to her father's successful business, bankruptcy and scandal reduced his fortune to nothing more than a crumbling town house. So Ana teaches music during the day, and at night she assumes the identity of the "Phantom Fox." She breaks into the homes of the wealthy to reclaim trinkets and treasures she feels were unjustly stolen from her family when they were struggling.

When Hollis's brother needs to hire a music tutor for his daughter, Hollis recommends Ana, giving him a chance to spend time with her. Ana needs the income and is eager for the opportunity to get to know the enigmatic gentleman. What neither of them expects is how difficult it will be to keep their respective secrets from each other.

When a spree of robberies rocks the city, Ana and Hollis join forces to solve the crimes, discovering that working together deepens the affection between them. After all, who better to save the day than a gentleman and a thief?

Rorie's Review:

Ah, good old Fletcher. I know he’s not the main character of this story, but he’s still one of my favorite characters, and he stole the scene just about every time he was in one. That being said, I really enjoyed getting to know Hollis and Ana’s story this time around. It was fun to see them figure out each other’s deep, dark secrets. 
 
Just like with the first book in this series, I really enjoyed the Penny Dreadful stories. I’m looking forward to getting to know more of the Dread Penny Society - and I really want to know who the Dread Master is!! I highly recommend this series.

Andrea's Review:

I love the Robin Hood type story that Sarah M. Eden has woven. Such a fun and interesting cast of characters. I really liked Hollis. He had such a good heart and an important role to play in the Dread Penny society. Very entertaining. Sometimes the swapping back and forth between the DP stories and the main story is a distraction/confusing, but still enjoyable overall.

Tarah's Review:

 This is seriously one of my favorite series! All of the characters are painted so vibrantly you can see them all in your head and the main ones I really would love to have as friends. Hollis' and Anna's story is one you can jump into right away. I loved that Anna is the thief, and that Hollis is the one that catches her. That was a fun twist (I mean, you know it by reading the back of the book, but I felt it was a novel idea). I loved getting the backstory for Hollis (as he was one of my favorites in the last book), and meeting Anna's family. I loved that Fletcher and the gang were all back, and I can't wait to see the other members of the Dread Penny Society get their own books as well. 

The Gentleman and the Thief is a story that I read really quickly and couldn't put down. It is also a story that I will pick up again and again and enjoy it every time I reread it.

Tour Schedule:

Nov 03 Getting Your Read On (Review)

Nov 03 Literary Time Out (Review)

Nov 03 Storybook Reviews (Review)

Nov 04 Heidi Reads (Review)

Nov 04 Encouraging Words from the Tea Queen (Spotlight)

Nov 05 Library of Clean Reads (Review)

Nov 06 Relz Reviewz (Review)

Nov 07 Probably at the Library (Spotlight)

Nov 08 The Christian Fiction Girl (Review)

Nov 09 So Little Time… (Spotlight)

Nov 09 Captivated Reading (Review)

Nov 10 Among the Reads (Review)

Nov 10 Bookworm Lisa (Review)

Nov 11 For Where Your Treasure Is (Spotlight)

Nov 11 Christian Chick's Thoughts (Review)

Nov 12 Books, Teacups & Reviews (Spotlight)

Nov 12 Fiction Aficionado (Review)

Nov 13 Randi Loves 2 Read (Spotlight)

Nov 14 The Book Diva's Reads (Spotlight)

Nov 15 My Jane Austen Book Club (Excerpt)

Nov 16 Gwendalyn's Books (Review)

Nov 17 Book Bustle (Review)

Nov 18 Jorie Loves a Story (Review)

Nov 18 An Historian About Town (Review)

Nov 19 Lu's Reviews (Review)

Nov 20 Reading with Emily (Review)

Nov 20 Books and Socks Rock (Review)

Nov 21 Bringing Up Books (Review)

Nov 21 Bookish Rantings (Review)

Nov 22 The Bibliophile Files (Review)

Nov 23 Impressions in Ink (Review)

Nov 23 A Bookish Way of Life (Review)

Nov 24 Bookfoolery (Review)

Nov 24 Wishful Endings (Excerpt)

Nov 25 Chicks, Rogues and Scandals (Review)

Nov 25 Joy of Reading (Review)

Nov 26 From Pemberley to Milton (Excerpt)

Nov 27 Fire and Ice (Review)

Nov 27 Austenesque Reviews (Review)

Nov 28 Impressions in Ink (Review)

Nov 28 Book Confessions of an Ex-Ballerina (Review)

Nov 29 Laura's Reviews (Review)

 
Title: The Gentleman and the Thief
Author: Sarah M. Eden
Publisher: Shadow Mountain Published: November 2020 ISBN: 1629727905 Source: We received copies from the publisher. All opinions expressed are our own. 

Thursday, October 29, 2020

Dragon Watch: Champion of the Titan Games by Brandon Mull

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Book Description:

Who will win the battle between Dragons and Giants?
As the war with the dragons intensifies, all eyes are turning to Titan Valley for help. A dragon sanctuary unlike any of the others, this one is home to enslaved dragons ruled by the powerful Giant Queen, one of the five monarchs of the magical world. In addition, it houses the arena for the Titan Games, a series of gladiator-style battles presided over by none other than Humbuggle, the demon who stole Seth’s memories!
Seth is seeking for his memories. Kendra is seeking for Seth. And everyone is seeking to stop the dragons from taking over the world—everyone but Ronodin, the dark unicorn, who has his own devious agenda. In the monstrous battle between giants and dragons, who wins? In the race to retrieve a magical talisman that could help win the war, can Kendra trust Seth? Will they find the answers they desperately need in a realm of trolls and titans? Or are more betrayals imminent?

Caden's Review:  (*contains spoilers*)

Dragon Watch Champion of the Titan games: A long awaited book and finally it's here  and in my opinion, it's one of the best! I liked how there is a story within the story. Legend of the Dragon Slayer was a fun addition that provided some background to the story, and if I'm not mistaken the next. I was very relived that Seth got his memories back. And while it took the majority of the book to get there it was worth while and solved one of the main problems in the book.  I personally have trouble reading series where a character loses his/her memory.

I enjoyed several of the side characters such as Merek, Virgil and Reggie. Not only were they funny, but they also provided a newer flare to the story. New sanctuary new characters! I was shocked to see that the fairy realm had fallen in control of Ronodin, and that the fairy king helped with it!  But as always Mull set it up nicely for the next book. 

This book has begun tying all of the loose ends together for the 5th book to take over and I love where it's going! I'm very pumped for the final book in case you where wondering :) Dragon Watch Champion of the Titan Games was exiting, fun to read, and had just the right mix of old and new characters to make this book a big hit.

Rorie's Review:

It is so much fun seeing how excited my older two kids get when the newest Dragonwatch arrives at our house. In fact, with this book, as soon as I opened the package, my oldest son grabbed it and hid it in his bed, so that his younger brother wouldn't take it from him until he was able to read the whole thing. (His brother was not so happy when he found out that we'd had the book for several days before he got a chance to read it.) 

My younger two recently discovered the Fablehaven books, so I think it won't be too long before I have 4 huge Dragonwatch fans in this house. My oldest, Joey says this about the book: "I look forward to the next book. Mull has been able to keep fresh ideas coming. He manages to fit so many details into only a few hundred pages." My next oldest, Braden, says this: "Champion of the Titan games is a great book. Newel and Doren keep their humor, along with the wonderful hermit troll, Hermo." OK, they're not the wordiest reviews out there, but they both really do love this series, and I love that my kids can rely on Mull to provide them with clean, uplifting, entertaining literature.

Collin's Review:

I have been eagerly waiting for this next book in Brandon Mull's Dragonwatch series to come out.  I was pleased that this book didn't disappoint.  Seth and Kendra and their cousins, Tess, and Knox continue to get in to all sorts of magical conundrums and challenges.  Along with their friends and other magical creatures, they continue to try and save the day.  The dangers they face, together, and individually kept me turning page after page until the end of the book.

The Giants that run this dragon preserve don't seem to care too much about helping the rest of the world survive.  Can Kendra convince the Giant Queen to help?  Can Seth regain his memories lost in the previous books?  Will he continue to be an unwitting aid to Ronodin in helping yet another magical preserve fall?  Will The Dragon King destroy this last remaining magical sanctuary?  What are Ronodin, the Dark Unicorn's plans?  Other than helping the Dragons take over the world, what are his plans?

Now, the agonizing wait for the final book in the series begins. . .Anybody have a time machine, so that I can read it now??
 
Publication Date: 10/13/20 Hardcover
ISBN: 9781629727882
Retail Price: $19.99 Page Count: 544
Juvenile Fiction / Fantasy & Magic
Book Design: © Shadow Mountain
Cover photo: Brandon Dorman Illustrated by: Brandon Dorman
Art Direction: Richard Erickson
Design: Sheryl Dickert Smith
Source: We received copies from the publisher. All opinions expressed are our own.

Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Book Review: Glass Carriages and Brass Hearts by Nancy Campbell Allen

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Book Description:

A steampunk retelling of Cinderella

Emmeline O'Shea is determined to save the world—single-handedly, if necessary. A strong voice for societal reform, she is the natural choice to deliver a key speech at the end of the International Shifter Rights Organization's week-long Summit in Scotland.

But when a death threat arrives at Emme's home, she is immediately placed into protective custody, watched over by none other than her personal nemesis, Detective-Inspector Oliver Reed. The two have crossed paths many times, with disastrous results, but now they will have to work together in order to reach the Summit before midnight of the last day in order to ensure legislation is passed to protect the Shifter community.

As unseen enemies close in around Emme and Oliver, they struggle to reach Edinburgh by any means necessary, only to find Emme's vindictive stepsister, Oliver's vampire brother, and a dangerous political minefield awaiting them in Scotland.

Even more difficult is their own refusal to admit that the fiery animosity that once burned between them might be turning into the heat of romantic passion. Could a straitlaced policeman determined to uphold the law and an outspoken activist willing to break the rules ever find true love? Or will all their dreams shatter like glass when the clock strikes midnight?

Rorie's Review:

I love the steampunk series by Nancy Campbell Allen. I keep trying to make the characters fit into a Regency-era romance, and that just doesn’t work with this style of novel! Emme and Oliver have quite the tempestuous relationship, he having arrested her numerous times over the years. They get thrown together when he is appointed as her protective detail, and then the fun begins! 
 
I got a kick out of watching the two of them grow in their relationship, as well as navigate all the many obstacles that are thrown in Emme’s path. There are a few similarities to the Cinderella fairy tale, but they're mostly very subtle. 
 
Overall, I really enjoyed reading this book, and look forward to reading it again. I hope that Madeline will get a story of her own in the near future.

Tarah's Review:

I have been curious about Emme and Oliver for quite awhile now, and Oliver's brother. I'm so glad I got to read their story! This can be read as a stand-alone, but I'd highly recommend reading the others because you just get a bigger picture of the world Allen has created. Brass Carriages only adds to this steam-punk world. 

While I had a harder time relating to Emme, I loved Olivers character. Finding out what made him tick was a treat. Emma grew on me, but with all that's been happening in the world lately, her brand of riots and protests just didn't strike the right cord in my world. However, her passion for change and justice for everyone did resonate and I loved that about her.

It's another winner for Allen. I can't wait for the next one in the series.

 Andrea's Review:

I’ve enjoyed this series by Nancy Campbell Allen, even though I wouldn’t typically seek out steampunk. I like fairytale retellings, although this series doesn’t mirror the originals very closely. If I hadn’t read that this was supposed to be a retelling of Cinderella I may have missed it.

The main characters’ relationship is quite entertaining. The idea that most of their initial interactions was him arresting her was quite funny.

I read this a few months ago, and it wasn’t a book that really stuck with me. Granted, I’ve been so busy the last few months that it’s hard to keep book details in mind, so I’m not sure if it’s more of a situation or the story itself.


Title: Glass Carriages and Brass Hearts
Author: Nancy Campbell Allen
Publisher: Shadow Mountain Published: October 2020 ISBN: 1629727377 Source: We received copies from the publisher. All opinions expressed are our own.

 

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Blog Tour: Heart of Gold by Stacy Henrie


Book Description:

They'll have to conquer more than the Klondike Trail to reach her father in time—they’ll have to overcome their past too.

After months of silence from her father in the Klondike, Tava Rutherford finally receives word from him. Only the outdated letter reveals that her father is ill and may be dying. Desperate to discover his fate, Tava resolves to make the journey to the wilds of northwestern Canada. But Jess Lawmen, her ranch foreman and the man who broke her heart, insists she doesn't go alone. Jess intends to keep his promise to look out for her—even if that means traveling thousands of miles with Tava, the woman he claims to feel just friendship for but has never stopped loving.

With their own ragtag group of travelers in tow, Tava and Jess confront one challenge after another as they join the hundreds of stampeders scrambling to reach the goldfields. But as the two of them come face to face with their past hurts and mistakes in their race to reach Tava’s father, they will have to decide whether to cling to safety or risk their hearts for something even greater. 

Review:

Stacy Henrie weaves an entertaining story about a young woman traveling across untamed wilderness to find her father after receiving word that he'd taken ill at his gold claim. This may have been the first book I've read that focused on the Klondike Gold Rush, and I found the travel that people went through to get to there to be quite interesting. 

To make the journey even more interesting, Henrie adds in the complication of Tava's traveling companion being her first love. Jess had made it clear that there could be nothing between them years before, but she still loved him.

Quite a bit of focus was given to Jess's secret past, and when it was revealed I was surprised that there wasn't more to it. But, that didn't detract too much, and I was given the happy ending that I craved.

Links:

Tour Schedule:

Giveaway:

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Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Blog Tour: Forget Me Not by Sarah M. Eden

Book Description:

A Georgian Romance

Nottinghamshire, 1785

Julia Cummings has long been acquainted with loss-her mother, her brother, her sister, her friend, all gone too soon. But the loss that pushed her grief to the limit as a young girl was that of her best friend, Lucas Jonquil, who abandoned her without looking back. Now, eight years later, Lucas has returned to Lampton Park, and Julia has steeled herself-she will never forgive the man who broke her heart.

After losing too many of his friends and family to early deaths, Lucas vowed to live life to the fullest. And after traversing the world, he has returned from his adventures to find his family and home as he left them-except for Julia. The little girl he left behind has blossomed into a captivating lady, a lady who makes it clear she despises him. With little hope of reconciliation, the former friends are blindsided when their parents make a shocking announcement. Lucas and Julia have been betrothed without their knowledge and are to marry immediately. Now Lucas must rely on the help of his closest friends to win the heart of a lady who loathes him-a lady he s coming to love more deeply every day.

Rorie's Review

I finally got to meet Lucas and get to know Julia better. I have loved their boys ever since I first "met" them, and they are some of my very favorite people. Based on how awesome the Jonquil sons are, one would think that their parents have always been equally as awesome, but this story shows us that they were human, and made mistakes just like everyone else. (What is that oft-repeated phrase about Jonquil men being idiots?)

At any rate, a good part of this book was heartbreaking to read. This author definitely knows how to tug at your heartstrings. But there was also plenty of humor, which is another thing I just love about Eden's books. Ah, The Gents. I really can't wait to get to know them all a lot better. 

This book was one that kept me up past my bedtime more than once, and I could have easily finished it in a day if it weren't for all of the real- life stuff I had to get done. Definitely another winner!

Andrea's Review:

I loved this new book from Sarah M. Eden. Being able to read about how the Jonquil family began was wonderful. As always, there was a lot of emotion. I felt so bad for Julia-there were many heartbreaking moments. I really enjoyed meeting the Gents and finding connections with future characters. 

I don’t know how many books this series will have, but I’m very excited to read book two.

Tarah's Review:
 
How does Eden do it on a consistent basis? Seriously, I mean every story is well thought out and the characters just burrow deep into your heart and you want to be a part of their family and lives.  Forget Me Not is one of these stories. The emotions are real and sometimes heart-breaking. The humor breaks up the tension, and the characters are people you want to keep reading about. I'm so excited for this new series The Gents
 
What would it be like to be forgotten and left behind by those you loved, cared for, and needed the most? I think, just like Julia, I would shut down and protect my heart so I didn't get hurt anymore. And what would it be like to be forced into a marriage you didn't know about? I can't imagine living in a time when it was expected and accepted, even if you weren't happy about it. Can you imagine having that responsibility for your children? I really felt for Julia's dad, and the choice he made, and why he made it. 

This Georgian era series will make you laugh, and it will make you cry. Pack some tissues and settle in for another winner by Sarah M. Eden.

Giveaway:

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Title: Forget Me Not 
Author: Sarah M. Eden
Publisher: Covenant Published: September 2020 ISBN: 1524413356 Source: We received copies from the publisher. All opinions expressed are our own.