Monday, November 6, 2017

Blind Spot by Dani Pettrey



Blind Spot

Chesapeake Valor Series, #3
Bethany House, Baker Publishing Group
10/3/2017
ISBN-13: 9780764212963

FBI agent Declan Grey is in the chase of his life–but isn’t sure exactly what he’s chasing after. Threatened by a terrorist that “the wrath is coming,” Grey fears something horrible is about to be unleashed on American soil. When his investigation leads him to a closed immigrant community, he turns to Tanner Shaw to help him. She’s sought justice for refugees and the hurting around the world, and if there’s anyone who can help him, it’s Tanner.

Tanner Shaw has joined the FBI as a crisis counselor . . . meaning she now has more opportunity to butt heads with Declan. But that tension also includes a spark she can’t deny, and she’s pretty sure Declan feels the same. But before anything can develop between them, they discover evidence of a terror cell–and soon are in a race against the clock to stop the coming “wrath” that could cost thousands their lives.

Check out Dani's page for more fun: http://danipettrey.com/blind-spot/

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My Review: I have never been disappointed with Dani's works. This book is no exception. I absolutely loved Blind Spot from beginning to end. I was quickly and completely wrapped up in the story and would have read it in one sitting if I didn't have a newborn to take care of!

I absolutely loved jumping back into the lives of Declan and Tanner. Seeing their relationship change and grow in the first two books, I was certainly eager to find out what happened in their own story. The tension between the two characters is undeniable. I loved learning more about each character and was surprised by some of the things I learned. It definitely made for a more interesting story. Their faith, though, was inspiring. Both characters have a firm grasp on the role God plays in their lives. I wish, oh how I wish I had that kind of faith!

The story is laid out masterfully. I was fully engaged throughout the entire story and hated getting to the end. I wanted more! I love how Dani also incorporates characters from her other stories in a way that allows us to stay connected to them, but still focuses on the main characters and plot. And talk about SHOCK FACTOR and CLIFF HANGER in the EXTREME! No, I won't tell you what happened.. I don't want to spoil it for you! But I honestly never saw it coming. Now, I have to patiently wait for the next book to come out!

Overall, I loved this book, as I knew I would. Dani Pettrey books are full of suspense, romance, and a hefty dose of faith. If that's what you're looking for in a story, you can't go wrong with any of Dani's works. I highly recommend you add Blind Spot to your reading list!

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.*



Dani Pettrey is a wife, mom, grandma, and the author of Cold Shot, the first book in the Chesapeake Valor series, and the Alaskan Courage romantic suspense series, which includes her bestselling novels Submerged, Shattered, Stranded, Silenced, and Sabotaged. Her books have been honored with the Daphne du Maurier award, two HOLT Medallions, a Christy Award nomination, two National Readers’ Choice Awards, the Gail Wilson Award of Excellence, and Christian Retailing’s Best Award, among others.

She feels blessed to write inspirational romantic suspense because it incorporates so many things she loves—the thrill of adventure, nail-biting suspense, the deepening of her characters’ faith, and plenty of romance. She and her husband reside in Maryland, where they enjoy time with their two daughters, a son-in-law, and a super adorable grandson.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

All This Time by Melissa Tagg



All This Time

The Walker Family, Book 4
Larkspur Press
9/2017
9780997964219

Bear McKinley’s past refuses to let go.
Ten years ago, Bear gave up everything—his freedom and his reputation—for his mess of a family. But after years of distance and too many attempts at starting over, he finally has a new life doing noble work in Brazil . . . until his past catches up to him once again. Suddenly he finds himself back in Maple Valley, charged with the care of his missing brother’s children, convinced he’s out of second chances to make his life count. And yet, with every day that passes, these kids, this quirky town and the woman he never stopped missing help patch the holes in his heart. Maybe this is the fresh start he’s been longing for all along. But as his newfound hope grows, so does the mystery surrounding his brother’s activities—and when the threat reaches into the lives of those he loves, it’s clear he can’t run away this time.

Fear holds Raegan’s future captive.
Raegan Walker is fine. She’s happy working a slew of part-time jobs, still living in her childhood bedroom and rarely venturing from her hometown. At least, that’s what she tells everyone . . . and herself. But she can’t help wondering what might’ve happened if she hadn’t abandoned her art so many years ago—and if Bear McKinley had never left. When Bear returns and she’s commissioned for a painting that just might revive her artistic ambition all in one week, it’s time to finally reach for more than fine. But doing so means facing the fears that have held her back all this time, including admitting the secret she’s kept from Bear and her family. With her dream and her heart on the line, how much will Raegan have to risk to finally chase her happy ending?

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My Review:
I am SO, SO, SO sad that the Walker series has ended…but BOY what a way to end it! I absolutely loved this story from start to finish! Melissa pulls you in from the very beginning with Bear’s emotional turmoil and doesn’t let you go until the very end. I enjoyed every single page!

I definitely related to Reagan’s character throughout this story. Trying to find the words to describe what she’s dealing with, without giving the story away is tough. The secret she has kept from everyone is something many people deal with, including myself. Bear’s story is just heartbreaking! I can’t even imagine going through what he did. Their relationship had me happy, sad, frustrated, and FINALLY happy again right along with them. (By the way, I think it’s one of the things Melissa does best, makes a character’s emotions and feelings come alive inside the reader!)

The messages portrayed throughout this book, especially to Reagan, hit me on such a personal level. Dealing with fear, anxiety, and feelings of not being enough are something that I have to overcome regularly. As John tells Bear, “You either believe God can redeem your pastyou’re your regrets and your pain…or you don’t.” Kinda sums up the lesson I learned nicely.

Overall, this is definitely a book and series I will re-read forever and ever. I loved them all that much! Melissa Tagg is an excellent author and I look foreward to reading many more wonderful stories from her!

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author in exchange for my honest review.*



About the Author: Melissa Tagg, author of Made to Last, is a former reporter and total Iowa girl. In addition to her homeless ministry day job, she is also the marketing/events coordinator for My Book Therapy, a craft-and-coaching community for writers. When she's not writing, she can be found hanging out with the coolest family ever, watching old movies, and daydreaming about her next book. She's passionate about humor, grace, and happy endings. Melissa blogs regularly and loves connecting with readers at http://www.melissatagg.com/.

Connect with Melissa: Facebook | Twitter | Google+

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Heart on the Line by Karen Witemeyer



Heart on the Line

Ladies of Harper Station, #2
Bethany House, A Baker Publishing Group
June 2017
ISBN

Grace Mallory is tired of running, of hiding. But when an old friend sends an after-hours telegraph transmission warning Grace that the man who has hunted her for nearly a year has discovered her location, she fears she has no choice. She can't let the villain she believes responsible for her father's death release his wrath in Harper's Station, the town that has sheltered her and blessed her with the dearest friends she's ever known.

Amos Bledsoe prefers bicycles to horses and private conversations over the telegraph wire to social gatherings with young ladies who see him as nothing more than an oddity. His telegraph companion, the mysterious Miss G, listens eagerly to his ramblings every night and delights him with tales all her own. For months, their friendship--dare he believe, courtship?--has fed his hope that he has finally found the woman God intended for him. Yet when he takes the next step to meet her in person, he discovers her life is in peril, and Amos must decide if he can shed the cocoon of his quiet nature to become the hero Grace requires.

Read an excerpt.
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My Review:
I loved, loved, loved being back in Harper’s Station with some of my favorite women! Karen Witemeyer writes another refreshing book with unexpected heroes and heroines, plot twists you won’t see coming, and a sweet romance that captures you from beginning to end.

This book is refreshing because the hero and heroine are not your typical male/female leads. Amos Bledsoe is not your typical male lead. Sure, he’s confident, intelligent, sweet, funny, and kind… but he’s not in the least broad shouldered, big muscled, or “macho man.” I loved him more for the fact that he didn’t bemoan this fact; he accepted what God gave him and that, to me, makes him very attractive. Grace Mallory obviously agrees with me! Her character is strong in a reserved kind of way. She is loyal, funny, caring, and witty. I loved getting to know them through their “instant messages” on the Western Union telegraph line!

I also loved the fact that they both accepted their limitations, and relied on God and others to do what they knew they couldn’t do on their own. Neither one of them tried to do more than what they were capable of doing. They prayed, they planned, and they involved people who could help them. During that time, they had an old fashioned courtship. Amos’ rushing to Harper’s Station because he knew Grace was in trouble is all sorts of sweet. He didn’t even know what kind of trouble there would be! And let’s not forget about Helen…broken, angry, and bitter Helen (don’t worry, I won’t give anything away!).

If you couldn’t tell, I really, really, really LOVED this story. My heart was on the line from beginning to end. I couldn’t wait to see what happened between Grace and Amos, I enjoyed catching up with Emma, Malachi, Victoria, Ben, and the rest of Harper’s Station, and I was not disappointed at the plot: fast moving, romantic, and faith filled. It’s a great book! I promise you’ll enjoy it.

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.*



Christy Award finalist and winner of the ACFW Carol Award, National Reader's Choice Award, HOLT Medallion, and Inspirational Reader's Choice Award, CBA bestselling author Karen Witemeyer writes Christian historical romance for Bethany House, believing the world needs more happily-ever-afters. She is an avid cross-stitcher and makes her home in Abilene, TX with her husband and three children.

Monday, June 19, 2017

A Match Made in Texas: Novella Collection



A Match Made In Texas: A Novella Collection

Bethany House, Baker Publishing Group
January 2014
9780764211768

There's a secret matchmaker at work in frontier Texas!

In the small town of Dry Gulch, Texas, a good-hearted busybody just can't keep herself from surreptitiously trying to match up women in dire straits with men of good character she hopes can help them. How is she to know she's also giving each couple a little nudge toward love?

A Cowboy Unmatched
Neill isn't sure who hired him to repair Clara's roof--he only knows Clara desperately needs his help. Can he convince this stubborn widow to let down her guard and take another chance on love?

An Unforeseen Match
Hoping to earn an honest wage on his way to the land rush, Clayton ends up on Grace's doorstep, lured by a classified ad. He may have signed on for more than he expected though--and he may have found the one woman who can keep him from moving on.

No Match for Love
Andrew can't fathom how refined Lucy ended up as the caretaker to his dotty aunt, and somehow her arrival has prompted even more bizarre occurrences around the ranch. When they join forces to unearth the truth, will the attraction between Andrew and Lucy develop into more?

Meeting Her Match
When the tables are turned and a tenderhearted meddler becomes the beneficiary of a matchmaking scheme, her world is turned upside down. As her entire life changes, will she finally be able to tell the banker's son how much she cares for him?

Read an excerpt.
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My Review:
A Cowboy Unmatched by Karen Witemeyer: I was first introduced to the Archer Brothers in Short-Straw Bride and Stealing the Preacher, so I was very excited to get back to their family in this story. Karen Witemeyer did not disappoint. I love her writing style and the fact that she could condense what could be a novel into a novella without losing quality is amazing. Neill and Clara’s story is swift, sweet, and action packed from beginning to end. It’s a great start to the novella collection!

by Regina Jennings: What a unique story! I’ve not yet read a novel by Regina Jennings, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. I wasn’t disappointed! I wish this was a full length novel because there is so much more the author could have gotten into. Two very vulnerable people meet, overcome what seems insurmountable, and fall in love… all in the space of 100+ pages. The author does a great job, though, of creating such a believable story in such a short space of time. I was very impressed!

No Match for Love by Carol Cox: Even though this is not my favorite story of the collection, I still enjoyed it. The mystery around the ranch was enough to keep me turning page after page. I really think this might have been better as a full length novel, but I do enjoy how the story ended with every wrapped up in a nice, neat bow.

Meeting Her Match by Mary Connealy: This is such a sweet story. Like all of Mary Connealy’s books, I expected witty rapport, love that almost never takes the easy way in coming, and faith that grows throughout the story. I wasn’t disappointed. I just wish it were longer! Mary did an exceptional job of getting the point of the story across without seeming rushed and I know that’s got to be hard to do in a novella!

Overall, I highly enjoyed this sweet collection of novellas. I highly recommend them to anyone looking for a quick, romantic read with a good dose of faith mixed in.


Karen Witemeyer
Winner of the HOLT Medallion and the Carol Award and a finalist for the RITA and Christy Award, bestselling author Karen Witemeyer writes historical romance to give the world more happily-ever-afters. Karen makes her home in Texas, with her husband and three...Continue reading about Karen Witemeyer.

Mary Connealy
Mary Connealy writes "romantic comedies with cowboys" and is celebrated for her fun, zany, action-packed style. She has more than half a million books in print. She is the author of the popular series Wild at Heart, Kincaid Brides, Trouble in Texas,...Continue reading about Mary Connealy.

Regina Jennings

Regina Jennings is a graduate of Oklahoma Baptist University with a degree in English and a history minor. She is the author of A Most Inconvenient Marriage, Sixty Acres and a Bride, and Caught in the Middle, and contributed a novella to...Continue reading about Regina Jennings.
Carol Cox

Carol Cox Native Arizonan Carol Cox has an abiding love for history, mystery, and romance. The author of more than 25 books, she believes in the power of story to convey spiritual truths. Carol lives with her husband and daughter in northern Arizona, where deer and...Continue reading about Carol Cox.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Behind The Scenes by Jen Turano



Behind the Scenes

Apart from the Crowd, #1
Bethany House, Baker Publishing Group
April 2017
9780764217944

Start of a Delightful New Series from Historical Romance Author Jen Turano

Miss Permilia Griswold may have been given the opportunity of a debut into New York high society, but no one warned her she wasn’t guaranteed to “take.” After spending the last six years banished to the wallflower section of the ballroom, she’s finally putting her status on the fringes of society to good use by penning anonymous society gossip columns under the pseudonym “Miss Quill.”

Mr. Asher Rutherford has managed to maintain his status as a reputable gentleman of society despite opening his own department store. While pretending it’s simply a lark to fill his time, he has quite legitimate reasons for needing to make his store the most successful in the country.

When Permilia overhears a threat against the estimable Mr. Rutherford, she’s determined to find and warn the man. Disgruntled at a first meeting that goes quite poorly and results in Asher not believing her, she decides to take matters into her own hands, never realizing she’ll end up at risk as well.

As Asher and Permilia are forced to work together and spend time away from the spotlight of society, perhaps there’s more going on behind the scenes than they ever could have anticipated. . . .

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My Review: This was such a delightfully refreshing read. I was intrigued with the “wallflower” aspect of the story since we don’t often get to read stories regarding ladies on the fringe of society. With Jen Turano’s customary wit, hilarious dialogue, and daring plot lines, this book is sure to please all of her fans.

The characters were so different from any that I’ve read in her previous novels. Permilia Griswold is not what one would consider a “high society miss.” Her charm lies within the fact that she knows she’s not ever going to attain a proper lady status, and she doesn’t care. I also liked Asher Rutherford immediately. He is different from any of her other heros, but just as charming and endearing. Their courtship follows what Jen is known for and is extremely entertaining. The ending took me by surprise, though! (I won’t spoil it for you, don’t worry!)

Sprinkled liberally with a message of God’s will and timing, this book is entertaining from beginning to end. I highly recommend it to any of Jen’s fans, and anyone who enjoys a light-hearted, hilarious historical Christian romance.

(P.S. I can’t wait until November for Gertrude’s story!)



A USA Today Best-Selling Author, Jen Turano has written the critically acclaimed Ladies of Distinction series, and A Class of Their Own series, published through Bethany House Publishers. Her novel, After a Fashion, was chosen as a top pick from Romantic Times, as well as being named a top ten romance of 2015 from Booklist. It is also a nominee for Romantic Times 2015 Reviewers’ Choice Award. Her book, A Most Peculiar Circumstance, was chosen as a top ten romance by Booklist in 2013. Her seventh book, Playing the Part, released in the spring of 2016, and will be followed by a new four-book series, Apart from the Crowd. When she’s not writing, Jen spends her time outside of Denver with her husband and neurotic Cattle Dog, enjoying herself as an empty-nester since her son recently abandoned her for the college life. She can be found on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/jenturanoauthor/ or visit her on the web at www.jenturano.com. She is represented by the Natasha Kern Literary Agency. Her books may be found in fine bookstores, or follow the Baker House Publishing link to find additional places to purchase her work – http://bakerpublishinggroup.com/authors/jen-turano/1761

Monday, June 12, 2017

In Good Company by Jen Turano



In Good Company

A Class of Their Own, #2
Bethany House Publishers, A Baker Publishing Group
July 2015
9780764212765

After spending her childhood in an orphanage, Millie Longfellow is determined to become the best nanny the East Coast has ever seen. Unfortunately, her enthusiasm for her job tends to bring about situations that have employers looking askance at her methods. After her most recent dismissal, Millie is forced to return yet again to an employment agency.

Everett Mulberry has suddenly and quite unexpectedly found himself responsible for three children he barely knows. Attempting fatherhood while also pacifying the less-than-thrilled socialite he intends to marry is made even more complicated when the children scare off every nanny he hires. About to depart for Newport, Rhode Island, for the summer, he’s desperate for competent childcare.

At wit’s end with both Millie and Everett, the employment agency gives them one last chance—with each other. Everett is wary of Millie’s penchant for disaster, and she’s not entirely keen on another snobby, grumpy employer, but they’re both out of options. As Millie falls in love with her mischievous charges and tries to stay one step ahead of them, Everett is more focused on achieving the coveted status of society’s upper echelons. As he investigates the suspicious circumstances surrounding the children’s parents’ death, will it take the loss of those he loves to learn whose company he truly wants for the rest of his life?

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My Review: This book was laugh out loud funny, action packed, and kept me “in good company” throughout its entirety. I loved catching up Abigail, Lucetta, and hearing more about Oliver and Harriet. While the plot didn’t have quite the dramatic flair I expected it to, it was still fast moving and entertaining.

I loved Millie from the moment I met her in After A Fashion. Her charming innocence, faith in herself and the Lord, and her eagerness to learn and impart knowledge is endearing and one of a kind. She is the perfect match for the presumptuous and sometimes arrogant Everett Mulberry. Millie’s interactions with him frequently make him question everything he’s known his entire life. He’s been opened up to a whole new world, essentially, because of his crazy nanny!

With the antics of Rose, Thaddeus, and Elizabeth, along with the plotting and scheming of Abigail, this book is entertaining from beginning to end. I highly recommend any of Jen Turano’s works if you’re looking for light-hearted fun and entertainment, with a touch of faith. Jen’s unique way of telling a story with witty characters, crazy antics, and faith filled messages keeps me coming back for more.



A USA Today Best-Selling Author, Jen Turano has written the critically acclaimed Ladies of Distinction series, and A Class of Their Own series, published through Bethany House Publishers. Her novel, After a Fashion, was chosen as a top pick from Romantic Times, as well as being named a top ten romance of 2015 from Booklist. It is also a nominee for Romantic Times 2015 Reviewers’ Choice Award. Her book, A Most Peculiar Circumstance, was chosen as a top ten romance by Booklist in 2013. Her seventh book, Playing the Part, released in the spring of 2016, and will be followed by a new four-book series, Apart from the Crowd. When she’s not writing, Jen spends her time outside of Denver with her husband and neurotic Cattle Dog, enjoying herself as an empty-nester since her son recently abandoned her for the college life. She can be found on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/jenturanoauthor/ or visit her on the web at www.jenturano.com. She is represented by the Natasha Kern Literary Agency. Her books may be found in fine bookstores, or follow the Baker House Publishing link to find additional places to purchase her work – http://bakerpublishinggroup.com/authors/jen-turano/1761

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

You're The One That I Want by Susan May Warren



You’re the One That I Want

Christiansen Family, Book 6
Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.
2016
ISBN: 9781414378466

Owen Christiansen has been in a downward spiral since an injury ended his NHL career. But a job on an Alaskan crabbing boat offers a fresh start . . . maybe even a shot at romance with Elise “Scotty” McFlynn, the captain’s daughter.

Used to being one of the guys, to never relying on anyone, Scotty doesn’t believe in happily ever after—especially with someone like Owen. Her instinct is confirmed when Casper Christiansen arrives to drag his prodigal brother home, bringing with him a truckload of family drama—and even worse, the news that Casper is wanted for questioning in connection to a crime back in Minnesota.

But Owen is more than the sum of his mistakes, a truth both he and Scotty discover when she escorts both brothers to Deep Haven as part of her new job on the Anchorage police force. Thrust into an unfamiliar world of family, faith, and fresh starts, Scotty begins to see potential for a happy ending . . . if she’s brave enough to embrace it.

FREE PREVIEW
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My Review: I don’t even know where to begin in reviewing this fantastic book… From start to finish, I was caught hook, line, and sinker. What I like best about Susan May Warren’s books are the depth of emotions, love, loyalty, faith and family dynamics that make the characters jump off the page. They seem so real (I secretly want to be a part of the Christiansen clan!).

Oh, Owen! Watching him struggle to accept that grace that God has given him so freely through the book is so hard! I just wanted to hug him. Warren did an amazing job showing us how complicated and messy his life was, giving us glimpses of the “old” and “new” Owen. Then there’s Scotty. Boy, she is one complicated woman! But her fierce loyalty to Owen is exactly what’s needed to begin an awesome romance.

I’m so glad that Owen’s story was last. I don’t think Susan May Warren could have ended an amazing series any better (but I really hope this isn’t the end!). She brought the prodigal home, restored the family relationships that were broken, and most importantly taught each character about embracing their past, their faith, and putting their trust in God. I loved this series and would highly recommend it to anyone!



Susan May Warren is the USA Today bestselling, Christy and RITA award-winning novelist of over fifty novels. An eight-time Christy award finalist, a three-time RITA Finalist, she’s also a multi-winner of the Inspirational Readers Choice award, and the ACFW Carol Award.

A seasoned women’s events speaker, she’s a popular writing teacher at conferences around the nation and the author of the beginning writer’s workbook: The Story Equation.

She is also the founder of www.MyBookTherapy.com, and Novel.Academy, a school for aspiring novelists. You can find her online at www.susanmaywarren.com.