Friday, February 28, 2020

The Dear Wife (More Than a Wife #3) by Jennifer Peel {Review}

The Dear Wife (More Than a Wife #3) by Jennifer Peel
Kindle Edition, 354 pages
Published February 12th 2020 
Source: I received a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are my own and were voluntarily given.   
She’s been holding on for dear life, now she must learn to let go.

Marathon runner and quintessential wife and mother Avery Decker appears to have it all together. But don’t let her smile fool you. Since the death of her daughter four years ago, she’s been trying to fake her way through life.

So far, it hasn’t worked out so well.

Avery is overwhelmed not only with the grief of losing her daughter, but with the fear that she’ll lose someone else she loves—her husband James. This time not to death, but to the secret demons he’s been using to cope with the loss of their little girl. Day after day she’s been privately battling to save him and their marriage, but it’s only left her exhausted and lonely. Tired of pretending, she turns to the strongest women she knows. Together they help her face the truth and realize that the only person she can save is herself. But will it cost her the person she loves the most? Or will James remember who he is and hold on to the person he holds most dear?

Content warning: This book contains sensitive subject matters including pornography addiction and the loss of a child.  
My Review: 5 Stars
Some couples seem to be perfect, but there's the key word--seems. No one is ideal and everyone has their demons to face and battles to wage--even fictional characters. Jennifer Peel manages to peel the layers back and exposed the real and raw pain and hurt that secrets can cause, allowing for a deep reader connection with these realistic protagonists.
It's not a secret that I HATE to cry, but this book turned me into a blubbering pile of goo...and more than once. Although there are some heavy and sensitive topics within these pages, I felt the glimmering threads of hope streaming throughout. I had no idea how this story would end, but I had a strong desire to see it conclude how I wanted it to. Alas, life doesn't always go as we would like or how we would plan, but how God sees fit. 
My whole world revolved around this book and these characters from start to finish and Peel tackles these tough issues in a tactfully refreshing way. I feel like a better person for reading this book and would like to think that my compassion for others has expanded because of it. This story was worth every tear in my eye, sniffle sniffed, and crack in my heart. While this may not be a book for everyone, and especially not for younger readers, I would highly recommend it.
Content: moderate romance/sexual elements (no sex, but innuendo and talk of porn, affairs, vague talk of sex--no details); moderate language; moderate religion elements; loss of a child

Thursday, February 27, 2020

To Love Every Season by Stacy Henrie {Blog Tour Review and Giveaway}

To Love Every Season (A Romance Collection) by Stacy Henrie

ebook, 250 pages
Published February 18th 2020 by Mirror Press 
Source: I received a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are my own and were voluntarily given.

Her Winter Suitor
If Callie doesn’t attract the interest of a suitor by the Patriarch Ball, she’ll be shipped off to England to find a husband. Unwilling to let that happen, Leo, the son of Callie’s favorite chocolatier, volunteers to pretend to be her secret admirer. In return, Callie will ensure his family’s shop provides chocolate favors for the ball—in hopes of keeping the shop from closing. But when their arrangement deepens into real feelings, the two must decide if a humble maker of chocolate and a wealthy heiress can find more than temporary happiness together.

An Unlikely Spring Courtship
Tempest and Bram are both eager to have the most successful mercantile in town. But there are only enough customers to support one store, and neither Tempest or Bram are willing to concede defeat. In spite of their initial competition, the two can’t help but admire the tenacity of the other and eventually they form a bond of friendship. When disaster strikes the town, the pair will have to choose what matters most—success in business or in following one’s heart.

A Summer for Love
When circumstances thwarted their young love, Wyatt and Loralee promised to meet in eight years if neither of them had found someone. This time Loralee isn’t returning to the beach resort as a lowly hotel maid, though—she’s become a renowned singer, performing across the country. Wyatt’s situation has also changed. He’s become a father to his orphaned niece and wishes to provide her with a stable home. But when Wyatt and Loralee see each other again, they begin to wonder if their love hasn’t lessened with time but has deepened instead into something lasting.

Romance in Autumn

Once the daughter of a servant, Phoebe is now an heiress with enough funds to provide herself and her mother with a home of their own. And she knows exactly which house she wants to buy—the mansion at the seaside where she and her mother once worked in the summers. However, James, the son of their former employer, has been tasked to sell the mansion at auction for a price much higher than Phoebe can likely afford. Still hopeful, she volunteers to help James return the neglected mansion to its former glory, and the two become good friends. Yet as the auction draws nearer, they will need to determine which dreams are worth pursuing and which are worth changing.

A Long Winter Kiss
Once the best of friends, with the promise of being something more, Samantha and Rex have seen little of each other since Rex returned home from the war. Samantha is still hurt over Rex eventually asking her not to write him anymore while he was away, and Rex is certain Samantha doesn’t deserve to be with a man who bears the emotional scars of a soldier. However, the two of them are thrown together again when Samantha’s father is unable to deliver his annual Christmas Eve gifts. As Samantha and Rex perform the task, the walls between them start to crumble, making them both hope in the miracles of the season.
My Review: 5 Stars
It's true that I complain about winter--it really isn't my favorite season because I despise being cold and the long, dark nights. However, I really do enjoy living in a place that has different seasons because there are reasons to celebrate each and every one (yes, even winter). I adored this collection by Stacy Henrie for those very reason--any season is a good season for falling in love and there's something to be found within each one. Each of these novellas does a great job of detailing a sweet, tender union, while embracing the season and transporting the reader right into the story. As with all novellas, these offerings are short, yet Henrie manages to fully develop the characters and plots, earning this collection a spot in my heart.
Content: very mild romance; mild+ Christian religious elements 

Tour schedule To Every Love a Season

Feb 24: Heidi Reads / The Bibliophile Files
Feb 25: Empower Moms
Feb 26: Literary Time Out / Wishful Endings
Feb 27: Katie’s Clean Book Collection
Feb 28: My Book a Day / Peggy Urry


a Rafflecopter giveaway

About the Author:

A USA TODAY bestselling author, Stacy Henrie graduated from Brigham Young University with a degree in public relations. Not long after, she switched from writing press releases and newsletters to writing inspirational historical romances. Born and raised in the West, where she currently resides with her family, she enjoys reading, road trips, interior decorating, chocolate, and most of all, laughing with her husband and kids. Her books include HOPE AT DAWN, a 2015 RITA Award finalist for excellence in romance.

One Summer Day by Heather B. Moore {Blog Tour Review}

One Summer Day (A Prosperity Ranch Novel) by Heather B. Moore
Kindle Edition, 166 pages
Published January 28th 2020 by Mirror Press 
Source: I received a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are my own and were voluntarily given.
She’s desperate to start over. He represents the past she wants to leave behind. But falling in love is never about logic.

USA Today bestselling author Heather B. Moore welcomes you to Prosperity Ranch!

Macie’s divorce has left her at rock-bottom, and she uproots everything and takes her young daughter to visit Prosperity Ranch for the summer. Every kid deserves to know her grandparents, right? Macie hopes for some healing time, even if she is staying at her ex in-laws ranch. What she isn’t expecting is her ex-husband’s brother, Holt Prosper, to fit every ideal she’s ever hoped for in a man. 
My Review: 5 Stars
Some relationships are very tricky to navigate, but nothing seems as sticky as an attraction to your ex-husband's handsome brother. To clarify, Macie met Holt first, but suave and outgoing Knox stole her right from under his brother's nose. 
This author does a fantastic job of portraying the broken parts of Macie and her heart, as she struggles to give her young daughter, Ruby, a family support system, and in spite of the loyalties her child's grandmother shows towards her ex. There's a hazy mist of hope whirling throughout Macie's trials, but man, that woman is as tough as nails and willing to swallow her pride to do right by Ruby. 
I was kind of mad at Holt and Macie for trying to hide their true feelings at first, but given the complicated nature of the family dynamics, I could understand. And wowza! Those true feelings were quite explosive, so naturally, trying to hide dynamite doesn't last for long.  
I've decided that this author could write the phone book and I would love it. I'm looking forward to guzzling this new small-town Texas series.
Content: mild+ romance (kissing, swoony, implied cheating); mild language 

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

A Note of Change (A Timeless Romance Anthology) by Esther B. Hatch, Nichole Van, and Annette Lyon {Review}

A Note of Change by Esther Hatch, Nichole Van, and Annette Lyon
ebook, 320 pages
Published February 25th 2020 by Mirror Press 
Source: I received a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are my own and were voluntarily given.'
Can a single note can change a life, start a romance, or drive two people apart?

Waiting for the Post by Esther Hatch
Now that Harrison Chase has finally made his fortune as a working man, he will risk it all to save his factory workers from starvation. In the middle of his charge to reverse the Corn Laws, his housekeeper helpfully mails a letter she finds languishing amongst his things. A six-year-old love letter. With no other choice, he rushes back to his childhood home on Christine Stone’s estate. If he can’t get his hands on that letter before she does, Christine will discover what a pitiful and pretentious fool he had been. The one thing he hadn’t counted on was the mail being delayed. Now Harrison must decide which is worse—waiting with Christine as he not-so-slowly falls back in love with her, or leaving, knowing once she reads his letter he can never return.

A Ring of Gold by Nichole Van
Viola Brodure longs for something more from her life. So when that something more arrives in the form of a letter from the renowned Highland Poet, Ethan Penn-Leith, she seizes her chance. After all, Mr. Penn-Leith merits every swoon-worthy adjective Viola can muster. What woman wouldn’t want to be in her shoes? But after journeying to Scotland and meeting the poet himself, Viola faces a difficult question: What happens if you don’t want the thing you thought you did?

A Rose by Any Other Name by Annette Lyon
As an orphan whose only home has been the Foundling Hospital, Rose is tasked to work in the fine houses of Bloomsbury. She knows her duty—take care of the family upstairs and never forget her place. But her traitorous heart won’t follow the rules, and she falls in love with Oliver Withey, a man far above her station. Though she feels like she’s found a home in Oliver’s arms, his mother has other plans for her oldest son—and marrying a servant isn’t one of them. She’ll do anything to keep Rose and Oliver apart, including making a devil’s bargain that ensures they’ll never see each other again. When a mysterious old woman appears, she seems to have answers to Rose’s past. Could those long-held secrets hold the key to the future with Oliver that Rose longs for?
My Review: 5 Stars
Ooh, notes are such a intriguing premise! Although I obviously didn't live in the Victorian age, handwritten messages take me back to my younger years, when friends would pass notes in class or secret love notes were discovered in random places, causing all kinds of elation. I love how each one of these stories is tied by a time period and a note of some kind, although each book is completely different, yet equally beloved and entertaining.
The collection starts out with a bang with a tale of a note mistakenly posted to a childhood crush and a mad rush to intercept it. My heart melted with the tenderness and sweet love found within these pages.
The reader is then treated to a delightfully charming story set in Scotland, where hearts are changed after notes are exchanged and true love is found.  
The wrap-up book is a forbidden love full of secrets, desire, and an undiscovered past, which played upon my emotions.
This set proves true to the Timeless Romance Collection in that it delivers reliably sweet and wholesome entertainment that is well worth the reading time.
Content: mild romance in each one 

Saving Grace by Jennifer Youngblood and Amelia C. Adams {Review}

Saving Grace (Jackson Hole Firefighter Romance #3) by Jennifer Youngblood and Amelia C. Adams
Kindle Edition, 155 pages
Published February 19th 2020 by Ditch Lily Press 
Source: I received a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are my own and were voluntarily given.   
He’s fire. She’s Ice. Sparks will fly, and her greatest source of irritation might just become her saving grace …

Ian Douglas is tired of being set up on blind dates. It seems that everyone wants to go out with a firefighter-paramedic, but no one wants to settle down and get serious. He's looking for something lasting, a woman who will be by his side for the rest of his life. Children, grandchildren, dogs running around in the yard—he wants the whole package, and he's not willing to settle for anything less.

Alicia Teague gave up on romance a long time ago. She's much more comfortable in her laboratory poring over her microscope. Science makes sense in a way people never will, and she appreciates the organization and logic of facts and figures. When her sister Tammy calls from Jackson Hole and tells her about a family emergency, she drops everything and flies out there—but she's less willing to comply with Tammy's second request, to go out with one of the guys from the nearby fire station.

He may be hunky and heroic, but who has time for yet another broken heart?

When Ian and Alicia meet, however, sparks begin to fly. Their chemistry is undeniable, but so is their annoyance with each other. They both want what's best for Tammy, but their goals are completely opposite. It's going to take a whole lot of conversation and compromise to bring this fire under control.
My Review: 4 Stars
There's something pretty exciting about a big, tough firefighter, especially when he can't seem to put out the sparks of romance, try as he might.
Ian is hesitant to be set up on yet another blind date, but when he catches a glimpse of Alicia, he's whipped. She feels the same connection, but feels they're too different to make things work, and that's exactly when hard work and effort, which these characters are no stranger to, comes into play.

It was a treat to watch the romance unfold in the midst of a traumatic situation, as well as the minor day-to-day of Ian's job. I love the Jackson Hole area and was delighted to be able to vividly picture the setting, which was an added bonus to this sweet romance. In fact, my husband and I spent many hours hiking around this area while we were busy falling in love, so I was definitely cheering Ian and Alicia on for the same fate.

As entrancing as this sweet romance was, I wanted just a tad more. I felt there were a few gaps in developing feelings and events, and while it was easy to piece together, obviously, I wanted to savor it. 

This was my first in this series and could definitely stand alone. And it won't be my last!

Content: mild romance; mild violence/peril

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Shoes by Yvette Cragun, Illustrated by Myra Romano {Blog Tour Review}

Follow the tour HERE.


Shoes by Yvette Cragun, Illustrated by Myra Romano
Paperback, 32 pages
Published January 20th 2020 by Pink Umbrella Books LLC
Source: I received a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are my own and were voluntarily given.
Flip-flops for the beach, sassy flats for shopping or black heels for a night out on the town--Mom's closet has the perfect pair of shoes for any occasion. Playing dress-up for a while can be fun, but at the end of the day, one little girl learns that she doesn't need to be in a hurry to fill her mom's shoes.
My Review: 5 Stars
Shoes. I think it's safe to say that most little girls love shoes and each pair can drum up a vivid playtime, full of creativity and fun. These shoes can transport a girl to a myriad of settings and events, allowing for a fun-filled romp through the imagination. 
From the very first page, I was carried back in time to when I was a child and the worlds I created through shoes. I loved how each page introduced a new type of shoe with a rhyme that relates to the way this young girl feels when she wears each pair. Of course, they're her mother's shoes, and while each has a purpose, she realizes when she wants to be herself and to be carefree and young, she doesn't need them--at least, not quite yet.
This is an enjoyable read for anyone who loves shoes.

Monday, February 24, 2020

Best Friends with a Royal Billionaire by Sophia Summers {Review}

Best Friends with a Royal Billionaire by Sophia Summers
Kindle Edition, 106 pages
Published February 10th 2020 
Source: I received a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are my own and were voluntarily given.
Being the Prince's best friend had its perks. Being his Gardener did not.

Prince Arlo just wants to date and marry Amara, but she pushes him away every time he tries. She knows what the press would say. She's already seen what his parents think about the match.

They agree to spend a month of the summer together at the annual prince's yacht party, anchored on a sand bar in the Mediterranean but everything becomes that much more complicated when a family of royals show up, with the daughter Arlo is expected to date. But everything comes to a stand still when the hurricane of the decade slams into Arlo and Amara's home country.

Will Arlo's parents finally see that Amara is the perfect queen for their country? Will Amara herself accept that fact?

Read this third book of friendship, loyalty and service as two best friends find their way into love.

Get to know more of the men in the royal prince society, the perks of the wealthy, their games as royals, and their adventures on the Mediterranean.
My Review: 4 Stars 
Mingling with a bunch of royals on a yacht with a storm brewing sounds like the perfect way for Amara to spend her summer break, especially when Prince Arlo, her best friend, extends her a personal invitation. 
I've always had a fascination with royals and I love reading a story about one who seems so normal. I kept picturing Harry and Meghan, although Arlo and Amara don't resemble them at all in my mind. They just seem like that type of couple--very much into volunteering and service, kind, humble, down-to-earth, and definitely in the spotlight.

I enjoyed spending time with these characters and absolutely loved the setting. There were a few unexpected twists and turns that kept me entertained, but I would have loved for the story to be longer, adding more detail to a few parts.

I haven't read the others in this series and felt that this one could stand alone. This easy, breezy romance was a delicious escape for a cold, wintry day!

Content: mild romance; mild moments of peril

Friday, February 21, 2020

All's Fair in Love and Cupcakes by Betsy St. Amant {Review}

All's Fair in Love and Cupcakes by Betsy St. Amant
Paperback, 313 pages
Published September 2nd 2014 by Zondervan
Source: I received a copy through Netgalley, which didn't affect my thoughts and opinions in any way.

Kat inspected rows of the same old cupcakes. They seemed to blink back at her, as if they knew she was capable of so much more.

Kat Varland has had enough of chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry. At twenty-six years old, Kat is still living in the shadows of her family in Bayou Bend, Louisiana. Still working shifts at her Aunt Maggie's bakery. Still wondering what to do with her passion for baking and her business degree. And still single.

But when Lucas Brannen, Kat's best friend, signs her up for a reality TV bake-off on Cupcake Combat, everything Kat ever wanted is suddenly dangled in front of her: creative license as a baker, recognition as a visionary . . . and a job at a famous bakery in New York.

As the competition heats up, Lucas realizes he might have made a huge mistake. As much as he wants the best for Kat, the only thing he wants for himself, her, is suddenly in danger of slipping away.

The bright lights of reality cooking wars and the chance at a successful career dazzle Kat's senses and Lucas is faced with a difficult choice: help his friend achieve her dreams . . . or sabotage her chances to keep her in Louisiana.

My Review: 4 Stars

A cupcake competition is just what is needed to spur Kat and Lucas to explore the idea of moving from friends to lovers, but much like a piping bag overfull of buttercream frosting, things become a huge, sticky mess instead.

Kat and Lucas have an unusual best friendship because they seem to keep so many secrets from each other and things seems skewed more to one side, which drove me a little batty at times. All it takes is a little communication to keep the friendship from turning into a battlefield, people.

Kat is so determined to stand out in the world like a pumpkin scone cupcake that she can't see that sometimes strawberry is okay. The stress of this baking competition was almost the downfall of something great, but I loved watching the events unfold through the delicious and unique flavors and challenges.  

St. Amant does a great job of blending multiple tropes into a charming, cut-throat story, but do not read this if you're hungry, or you'll be craving a sugary treat (or two or three...) all day long. 

Content: mild romance; moderate religion

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Fall From Trace by Rebecca Connolly {Blog Tour Review and Giveaway}

Fall From Trace Blog Tour Banner
Welcome to the Blog Tour & Giveaway for
Fall From Trace by Rebecca Connolly hosted by SLB Tours!

About the Book

Fall from Trace

Series: London League
Genre: Adult, Historical, Regency, Romance
Publisher: Phase Publishing
Publication date: February 1, 2020

Gone, but not forgotten...

Alex Sommerville should have been dead. To the world, he had been dead for almost five years, and with him, the secrets he had carried as Trace, the most elusive member of the London League. When a chance to escape finally comes, Alex finds just enough life left in him to take it, and races off to return to the woman he loves.

...Back, but at what cost?

The last person Poppy Edgewood ever expected to see suddenly falls into her life again - literally. Alex is a shell of the man he once was, and on the brink of the death she thought him already lost to. What answers will he have for her when he recovers, and can she even bear to hear them?

About the Author

Rebecca Connolly writes romances, both period and contemporary, because she absolutely loves a good love story. She has been creating stories since childhood, and there are home videos to prove it! She started writing them down in elementary school and has never looked back. She currently lives in the Midwest, spends every spare moment away from her day job absorbed in her writing, and is a hot cocoa addict.


Loneliness is a creeping creature, and its pangs were deep and ravaging. In the evenings, when work was completed and she had so much to tell, there was no one to listen. When she missed her sister or her brothers, her parents, or her life, there was no one to commiserate with. When she cried in the night because Alex was gone and no one cared but her, there was no relief. When she felt more alone than anyone ought to feel, there was no one to take away the darkness.

No one to share her burdens with.

The only person she had in her life with any sort of regularity was Stanton, and he would not take kindly at all to her sharing such personal and emotional thoughts with him. It would have made him uncomfortable and gruff, and he probably would have told her to focus on her work and the farm and forget everything else. He had once told her emotions were a nuisance, after all, and that the past was only good for lessons.

Not for visiting and staying for a time.

Poppy was only too prone to spend an extended period of time in her past these days, though she knew it wouldn’t do her any good.

The trouble was that it was too easy.

She scrubbed at the pot harder, her brow furrowing with the effort, and when she stopped, she looked at her hands. Once these hands had been delicate and soft, protected by gloves more often than not, fair and without blemish but for the occasional pricking of an embroidery needle. Her nails had been clean and manicured, the perfect embodiment of a fine lady. Every now and again, there might be a scratch on the skin from getting into mischief with Alex by climbing a tree or racing across their properties, but her hands had been fairly perfect.

Now, they were rough and worn, weathered by hard work and aggressive labor. She had callouses on her palm, on every fingertip, and along the edges of each finger. Her knuckles were often inflamed, and her skin cracked and peeled regularly. Lines and scars and dry patches dotted every surface of her hands, and her nails were almost brutally short, uneven, and usually had something under them, be it dirt or food or feed for the animals.

These hands were not those of a young lady.

Then again, Poppy could hardly be considered young anymore. Twenty-seven was not particularly old, but in those twenty-seven years, she had lived a lifetime, and she was decades older than anyone of her age. Her life did not even remotely resemble what she had thought out for herself, what she had planned, or anything like it once had.

She closed her eyes and set the pot aside, knowing it was far cleaner now than it had ever been with her excessive scrubbing.

This was what her life amounted to now. Scrubbing the pots and plates from her own meals, feeding the chickens and pigs, currying the horses, farming with whatever help she could afford to pay, even grinding her own flour to make her own bread, at times.

Oh, how far she had fallen.

Lonely and cast out, working for every morsel of bread, sweating her days away in the sun, and mourning a man who had never promised her anything.

Poppy’s hands curled into fists and hot tears filled her eyes. It was wrong to resent a dead man, she knew, but resent him she did. If he hadn’t have died, if that was what had truly happened, she would not be in this situation. He could have just broken off their impending engagement, and she would have been with her family now. She should have been wiser, not giving her heart so freely without the official connection between them.

Never mind that they had been in love since she was fourteen and he sixteen. Never mind that they had been planning to marry for years. Never mind that she was so utterly and completely his that she hadn’t been whole in almost five years.

She should have been wiser.

And it was his fault she was so destitute, despairing, and dismal.

It was his fault she had grown so attached.

It was his fault she still felt the ache within her at the thought of him.

It was his fault that when she looked out of her kitchen window and could see the shadows of Parkerton Lodge in the distance, she still looked for a light in any window.

As she did now.

But there were no lights within, and no lights without, and the crumbling estate looked as foreboding and desolate as it had the day the servants had departed it.

Poppy exhaled slowly, wiping her hands on dry toweling. She couldn’t do this anymore. Couldn’t watch for him, wait for him, ache for him. He wasn’t coming back, and this was the life she had chosen for herself. This was her future, and looking back would not make it any brighter.

She was done.

She had to be.

A knock on her door brought her head around, and she waited for Stanton to enter. When he didn’t, and the knock came again, more firmly, she rolled her eyes as she moved to the door.

"Honestly, Stanton," she moaned loudly. "It’s not so cold that you had to fill your arms to the brim with wood."

She reached for the door handle and pulled the door open, fixing her expression into one of mocking amusement.

The man who stood there stared at her with his dark, sunken eyes, leaning both forearms against the doorframe, his chest heaving wildly, and her amusement faded at once.

She knew that face. She knew the line of that jaw, the dark eyes that were endless in their depths, the nose with a slight crook in the bridge from where her brother had walloped him with a tree branch ten years ago. He was thinner, terrifyingly so, and his face was hollow and gaunt, sickly in color despite being tanned, and covered with a sheen of perspiration. His dark hair was cut brutally short, but it, and the scruff on the lower half of his face, were as dark as his eyes, if not darker still.

All changes aside, she knew that man better than any person on this earth.

"Alex…" she breathed, her voice catching on his name.

His corded throat worked on a swallow. "Poppy."

Her hand lashed out and struck him hard across the face, a weak yet harsh cry ripping from her throat. He stumbled sideways, surprising her with his unsteadiness, and a tremor ran across his once broad shoulders and down to his legs. Slowly, he looked back at her, pressing his left arm against the doorframe again and almost sagging against the wood.

"Please," he whispered, his voice fading with shocking rapidity as his eyes widened.

Then they rolled back, and he collapsed to the ground at her feet.


4 Stars

While I completely enjoyed this story, I feel like I sneaked a peak at my Christmas present sitting under the tree and the surprise of unwrapping it on that joyous holiday was taken away from me. I haven't read this series yet and didn't realize how important reading these books in order is for the reader to get the maximum enjoyment out of them. I've heard so many great things about this series and when this one came up on a blog tour, I jumped at my chance to dive in. So, if you haven't read this set yet, stop now, because there are inadvertent spoilers.
Trace is alive--and I had no idea he was supposed to be dead, which is no one's fault but my own. That said, my heart broke at the things he endured before finally finding his freedom. Can you imagine seeing your lost love suddenly reappear again, years later? My heart also broke for Poppy and the feelings she had to work through in this tough, heart wrenching situation. Being reunited causes for rediscovering connections and feelings. I loved this couple and their resiliency, and I adored the camaraderie with this group of men-turned-spies.

The tensions and action-paced story really propelled the plot of this adventuresome tale and the romance was the icing on the cake (surprise, surprise). I really need to go back and read the rest of this series, as I just know I'll be left feeling extremely satisfied and entertained.

Content: mild romance; mild language; mild-moderate talk/flashbacks of violence (abuse, torture, etc)

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


(1) winner will receive a $15 Amazon GC + an ecopy of Falling for Trace.
Falling for Trace tour giveaway
Be sure to check out each stop on the tour for more chances to win. Link to full tour schedule below. Giveaway will begin at midnight February 10, 2020 and last through 11:59 PM EST on February 23, 2020. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. Giveaway open internationally. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.

Tour Schedule

Follow along at SLB Tours for a full list of stops!

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Promised by Leah Garriott {Blog Tour Review}


Margaret Brinton keeps her promises, and the one she is most determined to keep is the promise to protect her heart.

Warwickshire, England, 1812

Fooled by love once before, Margaret vows never to be played the fool again. To keep her vow, she attends a notorious matchmaking party intent on securing the perfect marital match: a union of convenience to someone who could never affect her heart. She discovers a man who exceeds all her hopes in the handsome and obliging rake Mr. Northam.

There’s only one problem. His meddling cousin, Lord Williams, won’t leave Margaret alone. Condescending and high-handed, Lord Williams lectures and insults her. When she refuses to give heed to his counsel, he single-handedly ruins Margaret’s chances for making a good match—to his cousin or anyone else. With no reason to remain at the party, Margaret returns home to discover her father has promised her hand in marriage—to Lord Williams

Under no condition will Margaret consent to marrying such an odious man. Yet as Lord Williams inserts himself into her everyday life, interrupting her family games and following her on morning walks, winning the good opinion of her siblings and proving himself intelligent and even kind, Margaret is forced to realize that Lord Williams is exactly the type of man she’d hoped to marry before she’d learned how much love hurt. When paths diverge and her time with Lord Williams ends, Margaret is faced with her ultimate choice: keep the promises that protect her or break free of them for one more chance at love. Either way, she fears her heart will lose.


My Review: 4.5 Stars

Spunky characters are a hallmark of a great Regency romance. Margaret is strong-willed and determined to marry for convenience only, as she's been burned by love in the past, but Gregory has other ideas, when it becomes apparent that her sights are set on his rakish cousin.

I was baffled by Gregory's intentions for the first part of the book and was dying at how spiteful Margaret's behavior was, but as the story progressed, my heart was won over with stolen moments, flowers, poetry, and even a donkey, right along with each character's, and I was fascinated and intrigued by the turns of events. This book dabbles in a little of everything, with its moments of mystery, romance, illness, lost love, envy, and humor. It was a darling escape with a concrete, engaging plot and a steady cast of characters.

I loved settling into this charming story and felt this was a solid debut novel from this author. I look forward to more of her works.

Content: mild romance

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


Though she earned degrees in math and statistics, Leah Garriott lives for a good love story. She's resided in Hawaii and Italy, walked the countryside of England, and owns every mainstream movie version of Pride and Prejudice. She's currently living her own happily ever after in Utah with her husband and three kids. Leah is represented by Sharon Pelletier at Dystel, Goderich, and Bourret.

Connect with the Author here:

~ GoodreadsBookBub

"Promising Regency-set debut. Vivid period details and the hero's grand romantic efforts will please fans of historical romance."—Publishers Weekly

"Debut -author Garriott's smooth prose and character-driven story will enthrall readers looking for sweet historicals with Austenesque plots."—Library Journal

"Garriott's impressive debut distinguishes itself with its expertly evoked Regency setting, a cast of realistically flawed yet eminently relatable characters, and a sweetly satisfying love story. Teen fans of Austen-era love stories will fall hard for this impeccably crafted romance."—Booklist

“Promised is a sweet regency romance and one that I recommend to all of you romance fans, especially those of you that enjoy stories inspired by Jane Austen.”—The Book Diva’s Reads

“…a fun, entertaining, and perfect addition to the Proper Romance collection.”—The Readathon

“With an Austen-like focus on minute emotional detail and some amusing secondary characters, Garriott’s gentle novel promises a treat for Regency fans who like their characters well-bred, their interiors comfortable, and the romance no racier than the hero turning up in a wet shirt.”—Historical Novel Society

February 17 My Jane Austen Book Club (Guest Blog)

February 17 Austenprose—A Jane Austen Blog (Review)

February 18 Katie's Clean Book Collection (Review)

February 18 Wishful Endings (Interview)

February 19 RelzReviewz (Character Spotlight)

February 20 Encouraging Words from the Tea Queen (Spotlight)

February 21 The Lit Bitch (Excerpt)

February 22 The Debutante Ball (Interview)

February 23 Adventure. Romance. Suspense (Review)

February 24 A Bookish Way of Life (Review)

February 24 Austenesque Reviews (Guest Blog)

February 24 Half Agony, Half Hope (Review)

February 25 Frolic Media (Excerpt)

February 26 Heidi Reads (Guest Blog)

February 26 The Caffeinated Bibliophile (Interview)

February 27 Wishful Endings (Review)

February 28 Lu Reviews Books (Review)

February 29 KJ's Book Nook (Review)

March 1 My Vices and Weaknesses (Excerpt)

March 2 Bringing Up Books (Review)

March 2 Christian Chick's Thoughts (Review)

March 2 For Where Your Treasure Is (Interview)

March 3 Heidi Reads (Review)

March 3 So Little Time…So Much to Read (Excerpt)

March 4 Romance Junkies (Guest Blog)

March 4 Gwendalyn's Books (Review)

March 5 Laura's Reviews (Review)

March 6 Scuffed Slippers Wormy Books (Spotlight)

March 7 Fiction Aficionado (Review)

March 8 The Christian Fiction Girl (Review)

March 9 Austenesque Reviews (Review)

March 10 Bookfoolery (Review)

March 10 From Pemberley to Milton (Review)

March 11 Faithfully Bookish (Interview)

March 12 Impressions in Ink (Review)

March 13 Robin Loves Reading (Review)

March 13 The Green Mockingbird (Review)

March 14 Inkwell Inspirations (Review)

March 15 The Calico Critic (Excerpt)

March 15 Bookworm Nation (Guest Blog)

Monday, February 17, 2020

Harmony (Destiny #3) by Cindy Ray Hale {Review}

Harmony (Destiny #3) by Cindy Ray Hale
Kindle edition, 297 pages
Published: December 10, 2019, Services, LLC
Source: I received a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are my own and were voluntarily given.   

Will Destiny finally choose between Isaac and Preston?

In the long-awaited final installment of The Destiny Trilogy, Destiny Clark has anything but harmony in her life.

Destiny is dating Isaac Robinson but is not completely sure she’s made the right decision. Preston Nelson re-enters her life and fights to win her back. Destiny struggles to resist the undeniable chemistry between them and is left feeling more confused than ever.

When Destiny’s school issues a new policy, her family realizes they may have to sacrifice more than they’re willing to stay at the only school they’ve ever known.

Is Destiny’s bond with Isaac strong enough to last, or should she give Preston another chance?

As one thing after another goes wrong, Destiny realizes she must search for harmony in her life before she loses everything.

This clean Young Adult Contemporary Romance is filled with stolen kisses, swoonworthy guys, and a girl learning who she is.

My Review: 4 Stars

What a satisfying conclusion to this coming-of-age young adult romance! There is a lot of emotion and angst riddled among these pages and the continuation of the back-and-forth indecisiveness that Destiny displays, as she tries to choose her true love, was enough to give me inner whiplash. But I loved watching these characters grow up and deal with life-changing situations, while staying true to themselves.

This series must be read in order and be sure to buckle up and enjoy the roller coaster ride of teenage life at its finest. Cindy Ray Hale does a great job of jumping into the minds of these characters and allowing the reader to intimately know them. I love how the characters rotate between a few different characters, as this gives the reader a bird's eye view of thoughts, feelings, and actions. 

Content: mild+ romance (some innuendo, teen pregnancy, kissing, cheating, etc); moderate religion

Saturday, February 15, 2020

Romancing the Rake (Brotherhood of the Black Tartan #2) by Nichole Van {Review}

Romancing the Rake (Brotherhood of the Black Tartan #2) by Nichole Van
Kindle Edition
Expected Publication: February 18th 2020 by Fiorenza Publishing 
Source: I received a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are my own and were voluntarily given.
Lady Sophronia Sorrow considers herself an unlikely heroine. Why, just her name alone proves this. Sophronia Sorrow sounds like a girl from a gothic penny novel—the foolish miss who falls prey to a rake and becomes an object lesson for the true heroine to avoid. No, despite her mawkish name, Sophie refuses to spend her life invisible and unwanted, relegated to the margin of the text. Despite her eccentric, bluestocking ways, there must be a place where she is wanted. If only she could uncover the identity of her natural father, perhaps she would belong there?

But one thing Sophie knows for sure—unlike that foolhardy miss in a novel, she will not succumb to a rake. No matter how thoroughly the rakish Lord Rafe Gilbert may tempt her.

Lord Rafe Gilbert longs for freedom—freedom from his controlling father, freedom to live his life as he chooses. He knows playing the rake keeps his autocratic father in check, but Rafe longs to determine his own destiny. Case in point, he fell in love with Lady Sophie years ago, but his father’s threats and his mother’s health prevent him from pursuing Lady Sophie in earnest. So when Fate thrusts Sophie into his path, Rafe knows he must turn her away and distance himself. But doing the right thing has never been so impossibly difficult.

Sophie and Rafe soon find themselves on a journey together from London to a castle in the Scottish Highlands. Along the way, can two kindred souls heal from past hurts and seize a second chance to write a love story of their own?
My Review: 5 Stars
"Imagine living your life feeling like a cautionary tale." That's just how Sophie has felt and her tendencies towards categorizing nature only serve to contribute to her bluestocking ways. Sophie longs to belong--to feel wanted and loved--and she won't settle for less.
Although Rafe and Sophie come from different backgrounds, they share a commonality, which leads them to embark on the same journey to Scotland. Nichole Van has composed a delightfully beautiful story, full of spellbinding prose that completely enchanted me. The characters thoughts, words, and banter sang a hallelujah chorus to my soul and had me swooning, smiling, and eagerly devouring each and every single page. I love nothing more than immersing myself deep into a story and this one was so satisfying. 
I was captivated with the goings on in London, but Scotland is where my heart was really stolen. I loved the adventures and thought I knew exactly how things would turn out, but never fear--I was surprised. I loved the twists, the plot, the setting, the characters, and really, just everything about this tale.

Although this series can stand alone, there is a spindle of mystery that drifts throughout each of the books and it was gratifying to uncover another layer of it in this book. I'm anxiously awaiting the next story!

Content: mild+ language; mild violence