Monday, September 30, 2019

'Twas the Kiss Before Christmas by Susan Hatler {Review}

'Twas the Kiss Before Christmas by Susan Hatler
 ebook, 150 pages
Published September 24th 2019 
Source: I received a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are my own and were voluntarily given.,aps,315&sr=1-1&linkCode=sl1&tag=katcleboocol-20&linkId=dd697153b16b1f228b6317260dcf53bd&language=en_US
Faith Sterling relishes experiencing the great outdoors in style, so her job at Silver Bells Luxury Tours in Christmas Mountain, Montana is ideal. Sure, business has been slow of late, but hopefully the influx of tourists for the holiday season will give them the much-needed boost in sales they need.

Adam Kline is a city-boy who inherited Silver Bells Luxury Tours when his dad passed away. Adam regrets not spending more time with his dad due to his busy work schedule heading a PR firm in Manhattan. Since the store is a painful reminder of that fact, he wants nothing more than to sell it.

But Adam doesn’t count on Faith, who’s determined to show him how fantastic her small mountain town is, and convince him to keep the store and his dad’s dream alive. Soon, Adam is thinking about more than the future of the store—he’s thinking of a future with Faith.

Will the enchanting outdoor excursions be enough to convince Adam to take a chance on keeping the store open? More importantly, will a little Christmas magic help Faith and Adam remember that business is business, but love is what matters most of all?
My Review: 5 Stars
Christmas time is magical and this story portrays that enchantment in a delightful way. Faith returned home to her small hometown to find answers and resolution and instead, discovered herself, while Adam returns home to discard his past and move on. Their worlds collide in the most charming, sweet, and hilarious ways and I just couldn't get enough.
Faith is determined to show Adam (not tell) the reasons why he shouldn't sell the Christmas business his father worked hard to build, but it's definitely not easy and there are some moments of conflict and frustration. But Christmas magic is magical and I loved watching that magic infiltrate the story, causing true selfless feelings to emerge, even amidst betrayal. 
Susan Hatler writes such witty stories with irresistible characters and this Christmas Mountain series is sure to put jingle bells on your toes, a smile on your face, and put you in the Christmas spirit.
Content: mild romance 

Thursday, September 26, 2019

Maybe This Time by Kasie West {Review}

Maybe This Time by Kasie West
Hardcover, 368 pages
Published July 9th 2019 by Point 
Source: Library
One year. Nine events. Nine chances to . . . fall in love?

Weddings. Funerals. Barbecues. New Year's Eve parties. Name the occasion, and Sophie Evans will be there. Well, she has to be there. Sophie works for the local florist, so she can be found at every big event in her small hometown, arranging bouquets and managing family dramas.

Enter Andrew Hart. The son of the fancy new chef in town, Andrew is suddenly required to attend all the same events as Sophie. Entitled, arrogant, preppy Andrew. Sophie just wants to get her job done and finish up her sketches so she can apply to design school. But every time she turns around, there is Andrew, getting in her way and making her life more complicated. Until one day she wonders if maybe complicated isn't so bad after all . . .

Told over the course of one year and following Sophie from event to event, this delightful novel from master of romantic comedy Kasie West shows how love can blossom in unexpected places.
My Review: 4 Stars
Sophie is desperate to leave her small Southern town behind and dreams of New York City. Her job, for now, is working for a local florist and when she meets celebrity chef's son, Andrew, at her different events around town, the sparks fly.
Sophie and Andrew are so opposite and I enjoyed watching them get to know each other gradually through these various events. They each carry an oversized, heavy suitcase full of emotional baggage, but as the story progresses, they each help each other lighten their loads, especially with the help of their mutual friend.
Kasie West is the best at these feel-good teenage love stories and this one was definitely different, as it didn't take place in school and the encounters were so spread out. But it still managed to warm my heart as fast as a bonfire at the beach.
Content: mild romance 

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Tackle Your TBR Read-a-thon Day 2 Update
Phew! My parents' peach tree produced a ton of juicy, delicious fruit and I spent a huge chunk of the day canning, freezing, and eating peaches. What are some other good ideas of things to do with peaches?

DAY 2/September 24

Books Read: 0
Pages Read: 50
Total Books Read: 0
Total Pages Read: 88
Finished Books: 0

Today's challenge is "Favorite Author." Um...I have way too many to choose from, but I'm going to go with the one I'm currently reading--Susan Hatler. I'm reading her newest release, 'Twas the Kiss Before Christmas and it's so cute! She's a favorite clean read author with darling characters.

Love Sidelined by Tiffany Odekirk {Blog Tour Review and Giveaway}

Love Sidelined by Tiffany Odekirk
Kindle Edition, 312 pages
Published September 1st 2019 by Covenant Communications   
Jason Jennings made a tough call two years ago when he left behind his status as a hard-partying star quarterback in order to serve the Lord. Recently returned from a mission now, he’s ready to get back on the football field at UCAL. But despite turning his life around, his bad-boy reputation is proving hard to shake.

Allie Hollis is everything a cheerleader should be—beautiful, outgoing, and smart—but her brilliant smile hides a devastating secret. So when Jason begins to show interest in her, there’s no question: her answer is no.

Yet, in the face of Allie’s chilly response, Jason’s gentle persistence pays off, and a tentative friendship grows. Their chemistry is obvious, but Allie’s determination to steer clear of a relationship with Jason goes deeper than he realizes. When the truth of her painful history comes to light, the couple must decide whether they will remain on the sidelines or jump back into the game of love.

My Review: 5 Stars

I love a story that really shows how people can grow and change, especially through their life experiences as they come of age and mature. Jason is an up-and-coming football star, yet he turned his life around to serve a mission for his church and in doing so, grew tremendously, which completely turned his life around for the better. But try telling Allie that. A chance encounter was like throwing gasoline on the fire, but Allie just can't get over Jason's reputation. These two characters are opposite in so many ways, but they are grounded in things that matter and I loved watching them discover their true selves.

This author does a fantastic job of crafting an engaging story that was hard to escape from. I savored every interaction and even found myself wanting to give Jason and Allie advice. The little snippets of thoughts and letters at the beginning of each chapter added so much more dimension to the story and I loved how the reader was treated to alternating points-of-view. I was able to discover so many deeper layers to these characters from these tactics.This book played like a movie in my head and I loved it!

There are a lot of instances, situations, and lingo specific to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, and while the story is still very inspiring, it might be a big confusing if you're not familiar with the talk.

At the end of the day, I did not want to leave these characters. I loved being immersed in their lives for a few hours and hope there's more to come.

Content: mild romance (vague talk of past situations); moderate+ religion elements; very mild violence (talk of a past incident)

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Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Tackle Your TBR Read-a-thon 2019 Day 1 Update

I knew this week was going to be a busy one and so far, I was right. I honestly wish I could carve out days at a time where I could sit and do nothing but read, but that's not my life right now, ha ha.

Here's an update on how I've done so far:

DAY 1/September 23

Books Read: 0
Pages Read: 25%
Total Books Read: 0
Total Pages Read: 38 pages
Finished Books: 0

What are you reading??

Give Me a Dream by Zoe Ann Wood {Review}

Give Me a Dream by Zoe Ann Wood (Billionaires Abroad)
Kindle Edition, 95 pages
Published July 21st 2019 by Amazon Digital Services 
Source: I received a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are my own and were voluntarily given.
When in Rome … don’t tell your boss you’re in love with him.

Ava has the perfect job - with one exception. She’s been in love with her boss for years, and she’s finally resigning. If only she could do it without telling Daniel how she feels about him.

Daniel’s billion-dollar empire is thriving, and Ava is crucial to its success. Which is why Daniel absolutely can’t let her know he’s fallen for her. Keeping his distance is key.

But a work trip to Rome threatens to shatter their carefully constructed defenses. Spending time together in the beautiful ancient city brings out feelings they can no longer hide. Their careers and their happiness will crumble if they refuse to open their hearts.
My Review: 4 Stars
There's nothing more delicious than a romance where both characters are in love with each other, but they have no idea what the other one is feeling. Ava has a fantastic job, but feels she has to quit after this one last business trip to Italy...because she's desperately in love with her boss. Meanwhile, Daniel just can't stop thinking about his vivacious, gorgeous, and efficient employee.
I loved exploring Rome, Italy along with Ava and Daniel and the romance was as exciting as the setting and history of this beautiful, ancient place. While short and sweet, this novella gives the reader a delightful taste of culture and love that can be enjoyed in the amount of time one savors a decadent dessert. 
Content: mild+ romance (a little steamy clean kissing, some innuendo)  

Monday, September 23, 2019

Don't Kiss Your Enemy by Victorine Lieske {Review}

Don't Kiss Your Enemy by Victorine E. Lieske
Kindle Edition, 122 pages
Published September 15th 2019 
Source: I received a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are my own and were voluntarily given.   
He's had a crush on her forever. The only problem? She now hates him.
Cole likes Amanda, but it never seemed to be the right time. Now he has a chance to finally make his move, at the Halloween dance. Unfortunately, there’s a problem. Amanda finds out his father is the one destroying the opera house, the building she's trying to save.

Cole tries to lighten the situation by sending Amanda an anonymous text during class. One thing leads to another and he finds himself getting to know her through her texts, something he hadn’t planned on.

And she starts to warm up to him.

But what will she say when she finds out her enemy is the one she’s been texting, and baring her soul to?

My Review: 4 Stars

I love the Rockford High series, but I struggled with the main character, Amanda, in this one. Amanda is very passionate about her causes and fails to see other sides to the issues, which drives a wedge between her and Cole, the guy who's been crushing on her forever.

Cole comes across as more mature and light-hearted than Amanda, and he totally captured my heart. I loved the anonymous texts he sends and the way he connects with Amanda through them. I also loved the way Amanda was with this mysterious texter--how she loosened up and let go. The service aspect was great and a good way to think outside of one's self, especially when it's easy to be self-absorbed at this age.

However, this is a well-written and cute opposites attract story and I enjoyed the time I spent with these characters at Rockford High.

Content: mild romance

Sunday, September 22, 2019

Tackle Your TBR Read-a-thon 2019 

It's that time of year to once again tackle your TBR list!
2019 has been a very chaotic year for me and I would love for
nothing more than to sit and read this whole week long,
but alas! It's not going to happen (*insert crying face*).

If you'd like to participate in this challenge,
go HERE to sign up. 

Here are my goals for this challenge:

  • A daily update in this format:
    Books Read:
    Pages Read:
    Total Books Read:
    Total Pages Read:
    Finished Books:
  • Visit each participant
  • Read 3 books 


Wow. I totally bombed the challenge this year! This was one of the busiest weeks I've had in awhile and I failed all of my goals, haha.

  • I didn't do a daily update.
  • I read TWO books.
  • I only read 249 pages.
  • I didn't visit any participants.
  • I hardly made a dent in my pile, but...there's always next year!

How did you do?

Friday, September 20, 2019

When Everything Changes by Michelle Pennington {Review}

When Everything Changes by Michelle Pennington
Kindle Edition, 141 pages
Published August 29th 2019 
Source: I received a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are my own and were voluntarily given.  
I know everything about boys—except how to kiss one. This summer has been weird.

All my friends are finding love and I'm the last one who still hasn't been kissed. Now I have a bet with my friend Piper to see who can meet someone new and get a kiss. I thought it might motivate me because I hate to lose. 

The problem is I'm not exactly what guys are looking for—unless they're looking for someone to shoot hoops or play soccer with. When they want a girl to date, well, that's a different story.

Maybe if I wore skirts or flirted and pouted my lips at them. 

But I don't know how.

I'm counting on Cooper to help me figure this out. He's my best friend so I know he'll help me.

I just wish I knew why he was acting strange and why everyone seems to know something I don't.
My Review: 5 Stars

I love this series! The books should be read in order to get the full scoop on the story line and characters, and it's a fun set. Most of the girls in a group of friends hasn't ever been kissed and they're out to get their first one before they all set off for college.

Tomboy Liv has no idea what guys want, but is determined to find out. This author does a great job of bringing the awkward stage of a first love to life. This group of friends is one I would want to be a part of and I love reading each of their stories, but I really loved Liv's character and personality, as I watched her navigate this tricky time of life, but I especially loved watching her figure herself out.

This series is such a fun, sweet romance, carefree collection and makes me long to be a teen in a beach town, enjoying the simpler times of life, hah!

Content: mild romance

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Deborah: Prophetess of God by H.B. Moore {Blog Tour Review and Giveaway}

Deborah: Prophetess of God by H.B. Moore
Kindle Edition, 232 pages
Publication: September 1st 2019 by Covenant Communications 
Source: I received a complimentary copy from Netgalley, through the publisher. All opinions are my own and were voluntarily given.

After years of mistreatment, the Israelites prepare to defend themselves against the oppressive Canaanites. Readying for war not only takes secret military training but also an Israelite leader who is willing to both stand against generations of oppression and follow God.

Deborah, a young Israelite woman, lives a quiet and isolated life with her father and brothers. As a shepherdess in the hills near her home, she knows well the perils of her work. But when faced with incredible danger, she witnesses a series of remarkable events that preserve her life. The hand of the Lord is apparent, and it is clear that hers will be no ordinary life.                

Years later, Deborah is a faithful wife and mother when she learns that the Third Judge of Israel has died--and she has been called to take his place. It is a tumultuous time in history, and soon, Deborah--prophetess, judge, and military leader--faces a seemingly insurmountable task: alongside the commander of the Israelite army, Deborah must lead ten thousand soldiers in their final campaign against their Canaanite oppressors with only her faith in God to guide her. 
My Review: 5 Stars

I'm always fascinated by H.B. Moore's biblical fiction books because they bring these people to life, allowing me to visualize them as real people with real struggles, strengths, and weaknesses. 

Deborah definitely has gifts, as all of us do, but she's humble, living a quiet life with her father and brothers. I loved watching her fall in love, rise to accept her calling in life, and becoming the woman she was meant to be, all while maintaining her dignity, faith, and gentleness. She's a legend and it's easy to see why, as her greatness is clearly obvious in this story.

The setting and characters are vivid and I felt transported to another time and place. A big thanks to this author for helping me understand this story better, making it real and relatable.
Content: mild romance (fade to black between a married couple); mild+ violence (times of war and self-defense); mild+ religion (as this is a Christian biblical story) 

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Monday, September 16, 2019

The Aftermath (Love in Chaos Book 2) by Amy Matayo {Review}

The Aftermath (A Love in Chaos Novel) by Amy Matayo
Kindle Edition, 182 pages
Published September 12th 2019 by SYG Productions 
Source: I received a complimentary copy from the publisher. All opinions expressed are my own and were voluntarily given.
According to Riley Mae Floss, life is a ten-page menu of possibilities. As the owner of a cupcake shop in small-town Missouri, she thrives on candies and rainbows and spreading joy every chance she gets. Even her hair is the color of bubble gum. Life is just the way she likes it, so why would she want anything to change now?
But when a tornado rips into Riley Mae’s southern town and destroys nearly everything in its path, her happy little life changes in less than forty-two seconds. Buildings gone. Homes carried away. People missing or even dead. Her bakery a shell of what it once was; also her life. Riley Mae’s picture-perfect world is shattered, and everyone she cares about has been hurt in the process.
According to insurance adjuster Chad Gamble, life always works out exactly the way it’s supposed to…for other people. As for him, life is a bit of a crapfest—one where he never wins the prize, makes the starting team, or gets the girl. He’s straight-laced, suit-and-tie, all-business, and sees the world for the color it is: muted gray with a little black around the edges.
So when Chad Gamble walks into Riley Mae’s ruined bakery to “assess the damages”—his words, not hers—he has no intention of getting bogged down by sentimental nonsense. Sparks immediately start to fly, and not the good kind. Who does this pushy, pink-haired chick think she is, treating him like an outsider when all he came to do was help? He can’t figure out why the locals like her so much.
Or worse, why he can’t stop thinking about her.
My Review: 5 Stars 
Riley Mae hasn't been handed the best cards in life, but she's sweet to the core and I loved the descriptions of her creative cupcakes at her bakery. This sugar-laden world came to a screeching halt when a massive tornado rips through town and I must say, I was chilled to the bone. Matayo does a great job of describing the fallout and I was swirled away and transported smack in the middle of Springfield, MO. My sister doesn't live far from there and I found myself getting upset, thinking about what my sister must be facing, only to realize--this is just a book! But it was that realistic
As an insurance man, Chad follows disaster, but the trail of help, hope, and light he leaves behind makes him one super amazing man! He goes above and beyond with his job responsibilities and his personality makes him perfect to diffuse any situation...except for those involving Riley Mae...because of his awkward compliments.
You'd think with all the devastation around, there would be no time for sparks, but that's completely wrong. A complete, yet subtle, attraction is fueled with good intentions, misunderstandings, a darling little girl, and lots and lots of cupcakes. 

Even though there are some serious situations the characters find themselves in, the goodness, selflessness, and light radiating through these pages warmed my heart and slapped a smile on my face. 

PS Can Teddy's story be next?

Content: mild romance with some light innuendo; mild-moderate moments of peril, danger, violence; mild+ language (mostly at the beginning)

Friday, September 13, 2019

The Marquess Meets His Match by Julie Coulter Bellon {Blog Tour + Review}

A traitor with a deadly plan. Two agents sent to expose his identity before he strikes. But danger is closer than they think . . .

Lord Christian Wolverton―known as Wolf in a covert group operating during the war against Napoleon―has been called home from his military duties. For the moment, his family responsibilities require him to suspend his more clandestine activities. But information falls into his hands that a traitor will soon try to tip the scales back into French favor and Christian doesn't have much time to stop it from happening.

Going to the one person who can help him, the powerful Duke of Huntingdon, Christian comes face to face with Lady Alice. She's a beautiful member of the ton with a very big secret―she's also a trained agent and already on the case. Forced to partner with her to lure the traitor out of hiding, Christian wants to quickly close the case himself, before Lady Alice is more closely involved. But Lady Alice has ideas of her own and she's going to prove her theories correct―with or without him.

Danger is closer than they think, however, and it's a race against time to expose the traitor's identity before British lives are endangered. Both Christian and Alice have strong opinions on who he is, but which one will be proven right and can they catch him before it's too late?
My Review: 5 Stars
Sometimes I hold a story to high standards and expect it to be realistic. However, this book, with a lady of the ton who is also a spy in the Regency times, was the perfect element of fiction to top off a wonderfully delicious tale.

Alice is a delightful character. Under the tutelage of her father, she's the perfect spy to infiltrate the organization to unearth the traitor in their midst. She's sweet; she's tough; she's demure, with near perfect manners, and she's terribly good at what she does. When "The Wolf," otherwise known as Christian, comes into the scene, well...the match has been met and the sparks fly in all the ways imaginable.

The adventure, danger, romance, and mystery were wrapped up in an entertaining plot that sucked me right in and I couldn't put it down. The swoon is strong with this one, and there were times when I couldn't help but to smile, laugh, and squirm in some of the uncomfortable situations. I'm looking forward to the next book!

Content: mild romance; mild violence/moments of danger

*I received a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are my own and were voluntarily given.*  

Author Bio
Julie Coulter Bellon is the author of nearly two dozen romantic suspense books. Her book All Fall Down won the RONE award for Best Suspense, Pocket Full of Posies won a RONE Honorable Mention for Best Suspense and The Captain was a RONE award finalist for Best Suspense. Most recently, her books The Capture and Second Look were both Whitney finalists for Best Suspense/Mystery.

Julie loves to travel and her favorite cities she's visited so far are probably Athens, Paris, Ottawa, and London. In her free time she loves to read, write, teach, watch HawaiiFive-O, and eat Canadian chocolate. Not necessarily in that order.

If you'd like to be the first to hear about Julie's new projects and receive a free book, you can sign up to be part of her VIP Readers Group at

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

The Redgrave Murders by A.L.Sowards {Review}

The Redgrave Murders by A.L. Sowards
ebook, 272 pages
Published July 2019 by Covenant Communications 
Source: I received a complimentary copy from the publisher through Netgalley. All opinions expressed are my own and were voluntarily given.

Loss is inevitable, as Evie Hampton knows all too well. But despite losing her mother to cancer and her older brother to a war, she knows she’s one of the lucky ones. After all, she still has her father, a distinguished professor of medieval history. And she has Gary Redhawk, the man she loves despite the emotional scars he carries from the Second World War—and despite her father’s opposition to their relationship.

When a freak accident sends Evie’s car careening off the road, she chalks it up to poor maintenance, or sheer bad luck making another appearance in her life. Little does she know a host of hardships is just beginning—the car was her father’s, and the brake lines were deliberately cut. Someone wants them dead—but why? All fingers point to Gary, a man with a troubled past and no solid alibi, but Evie is unwilling to believe he’s involved. Determined to uncover the truth, she begins to piece together a startling picture of deception and vice. But as she closes in on the truth, it is clear that someone is determined to silence her—and the next attempt on her life may be a deadly success.

My Review: 5 Stars

A.L. Sowards always does a fantastic job of transporting me back in time, creating a world that isn't always common for the era. In this case, post World War II in New York state, Evie and her Native American boyfriend find themselves in the middle of a serious murder mystery. I was captivated from start to finish and loved every minute of trying to figure out this story.

Evie and Gary are great characters, who don't fit the typical mold and relationship that one would picture of the time. They are such a great balance and support for each other, especially as Evie's loved ones start dying. Evie works so hard to prove Gary's innocence when signs show otherwise and I loved how she takes matters into her own hands, showing her incredible strength and determination. Characters like hers are some of my favorites--strong, yet vulnerable, and completely resilient. Honestly, I think I would melt into a puddle of anxiety with what Evie and Gary go through.

The romance is a great supplement to this thriller and I couldn't help but to cheer them on and hope for them to defy society. The climax of the story was chilling and intense and the ending left me completely satisfied. 

Content: mild romance (some implications and light innuendo); mild+ violence (deaths/murders, attacks, kidnapping, etc)   

Monday, September 9, 2019

The Schoolhouse: A Hickory Grove Novel by Elizabeth Bromke {Review}

The Schoolhouse: A Hickory Grove Novel by Elizabeth Bromke
Kindle Edition, 181 pages
Published September 3rd 2019 
Source: I received a complimentary copy through Booksprout. All opinions expressed are my own and were voluntarily given.   
A heartwarming romance about a one-room schoolhouse and the woman who is determined to bring it back to life.
Becky Linden needs a job. After seeing her son off to college, the single forty-something returns home to Hickory Grove, Indiana, where she has a nostalgic notion that things will fall into place. 

They don’t.

Her beloved grandfather is ill, and job opportunities are non-existent. 

Prepared to leave home again, for good, she stumbles across the long-abandoned schoolhouse where she played as a child and had her first kiss as a teenager. The one her grandfather attended in the 1940s. 

Becky sees a passion project and business opportunity, but locals see an eyesore.

Desperate but hopeful, she visits her ex-boyfriend, Zack Durbin, who now works for the school district that owns the run-down building. He has a chance to help her get back on her feet (and save a piece of the past), and his love for Becky never really went away. 

But Hickory Grove is trying to move forward in time, not backward. Is Zack moving on, too?
Becky and Zack can either bury history or embrace it. Find out if second chances prevail in The Schoolhouse, a second-chance romance and sweet women's fiction.

My Review: 5 Stars

Bromke is an author who writes such sweet, heartwarming stories that anchor a nostalgic feeling deep into my soul. THE SCHOOLHOUSE takes place in a small town and although Becky has been gone for over 18 years, this town has claimed a piece of her and she fits right in when she goes back. I love the small town feels--the eccentric characters, the charm of the historical schoolhouse, the memories from the past that assault her, and the love that still awaits.

Becky is the type of character who devotes her entire life to her child and I loved watching her discover what she's truly passionate about and the length she goes to in order to fulfill her dreams. I also enjoyed watching her grow into the person she's meant to be, even though she's a little older, and especially as she struggles through hardships and setbacks. What doesn't kill you makes you stronger, right?

Zack is a solid character who complements Becky well and he's no puppet. Although she's love to pull some strings, he has his reasons for contradicting her wishes, which makes for some fantastic romantic tension. I love a great, feel-good, second chance romance and this one has all the feels. I'm looking forward to more amazing stories in this series.

Content: mild romance

Thursday, September 5, 2019

Tailor Made by Annette Lyon {Review}

Tailor Made (The Grand Duchy of Finland Book 1) by Annette Lyon
Kindle Edition, 148 pages
Published September 3rd 2019 by Blue Ginger Books 
Source: I received a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are my own and were voluntarily given.
Two people. An impossible Task. A traitor in their midst.

Sofi’s mother desperately needs medicine, and Sofi will do anything to get it—including a one-month stay at the Brunberg mansion in Helsinki, the capitol. There she’ll spend her days at the Kangas Tailor Shop, knitting silk stockings and other items from sunup to sundown for the biggest wedding of the decade. If she can do it, Sofi will have the ability to get the medicine her mother needs, with money to spare.

But Sofi’s safe world of knitting needles and thread is turned upside down when she finds herself in the middle of political intrigue. Antti, tailor and owner of the shop, Sofi uncover a plot to sabotage the Brunberg daughter’s wedding and threaten to bring Russia’s fist onto the Grand Duchy, removing the Finns’ self-governance, and possibly lead the countries into war.

As Sofi and Antti work together to save their country, she can’t help falling in love with the unassuming and attractive head tailor, though she knows she can’t have him. Her country and her family need her, and when her job is done, she’ll go home to Porvoo, never to see him again.

As they race to stop the traitor, the battle in her heart intensifies, and she fears that the victor won’t be love.
My Review: 4.5 Stars
I was fascinated by the world outfitting a big, royal wedding party through sewing and knitting. Antti, the tailor, runs a successful business, but doesn't quite have the skills to breakdown the workload into manageable bites. Sofi not only knits extremely well, but she has the knowledge to make this overwhelming endeavor possible.
I loved the characters and the way this story alternated points of view, but I especially enjoyed the bits of romantic attraction, mystery, and intrigue. This is a fun story that pulls the reader back in time, while delivering an entertaining and unique tale.  

Content: mild moments of peril; mild romance

Monday, September 2, 2019

A Stronger Version of Me by Cindy Ray Hale {Review}

A Stronger Version of Me by Cindy Ray Hale
Kindle book, 112 pages
Expected Publication: September 2, 2019
Source: I received a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are my own and were voluntarily given.

Can new love heal old wounds?

I want to stop thinking about my ex boyfriend. 

He doesn’t deserve to be remembered. 

For some reason my brother’s best friend, Preston, has been awesome lately. 

He was super supportive after my break up.

I told him I wasn’t looking for another relationship, but I’m not sure he’s listening. 

And I’m starting to think that he might be the key to forgetting about my ex. 

Maybe a fresh start with someone new is exactly what I need. 

Or I’m a heartbroken fool who has no business staring at Preston’s chiseled abs. 

A Stronger Version of Me is the fifth book in a nine-book rewrite of a contemporary sweet romance series called The Destiny Trilogy. In this series you can expect flirting, blushing, and kisses in the woods, but you won’t find any swearing, nudity, or sex.

My Review: 5 Stars

Love triangles. How in the world do you choose between two completely different, yet equally fantastic guys? That's the dilemma that Destiny is facing. Her family would have her choose one guy, because they belong to the same religion, yet her heart can't forget the guy who broke her heart.

This episode in the saga is heart wrenching, to say the least, and is full of longing, swoony exchanges, and big decisions. This series captures the essence of young love, with the added elements of forbidden attraction and coming-of-age angst.

Destiny is a character worth reading about and I can find pieces of my younger self in her, which makes her fun to relate to. I love the added scenes, as they really solidify the plot and character emotions. Stolen looks, secrets, devastating family news, and steamy kisses in the woods will definitely cause for some serious swooning. to choose?

Content: mild romance; moderate religion