Sunday, July 10, 2016

No Other Will Do by Karen Witemeyer

She Trusts Him for the Job, But Can She Trust Him With Her Heart?

Men are optional. That was the credo Emma Chandler's suffragette aunts taught her and why she established Harper's Station, a women's colony that offers a fresh start to females in need. But when a dangerous and shadowy assailant tries repeatedly to drive the women out, Emma is forced to admit they might need a man after all. One who can fight. And there is only one man she trust enough to ask.

Malachi Shaw has finally earned the respect he's always craved by becoming an explosives expert for the railroad. Yet when Emma's telegram arrives, he rushes back to Texas to repay the girl who once saved his life. Only she's not a girl any longer. She's a woman with a mind of her own and a smile that makes a man imagine a future he doesn't deserve.

As danger intensifies, Emma, Mal, and the ladies of Harper's Station must choose safety or whether to risk everything to fight for their future.

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I enjoy Karen's writing so much. She is wonderful at character development. I always fall in love with the characters. These two have a relationship that seemed very unique to me. Malachi starts out rough and tough as a youth because he has had a very hard life and to the outsider, he seems like that same tough guy as an adult. When he is around Emma he isn't at all. You can tell right away he would do anything for her. Emma was a spunky little girl and carried that spunk into adulthood but at the same time was so caring towards others. I love the story of Emma and Malachi as children. That is what got to me. Then to watch their adult relationship grow...at times I was worried they would let their misgivings about themselves or the needs of the other get in the way. They each take the other's best interest and put it first above their own to a fault. 

Harper's Station and it's ladies are great. Being from Texas myself, it was fun to see these women building a life for themselves and working together to make it work. I look forward to the rest of the series to find out more about the other ladies and see how their stories unfold. This series is great for any age. I think even as young as pre-teen would enjoy it. Five Stars for sure!

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After growing up in California, Karen moved to Texas to attend Abilene Christian University where she earned bachelor and master's degrees in Psychology. It was also there that she met and married her own Texas hero. He roped her in good, for she has lived in Texas ever since. In fact, she fell so in love with this rugged land of sweeping sunsets and enduring pioneer spirit, that she incorporates it into the pages of her novels, setting her stories in the small towns of a state that burgeoned into greatness in the mid- to late1800s.

A life-long bookworm, Karen is living her dream by writing novels. Her books have consistently hit bestseller lists and have garnered awards such as the ACFW Carol Award, the Holt Medallion, and the Inspirational Reader's Choice Award. In addition, she is a multiple RITA and National Reader's Choice finalist. Karen is also a sought-after speaker for national writing conferences and regional workshops.

Karen's favorite aspect of her writing life is hearing from readers. Nothing encourages her heart more. She'd love to hear from you. You can contact her here.

To learn more about Karen and her books and to sign up for her free newsletter featuring special giveaways and behind-the-scenes information, please visit www.karenwitemeyer.com 

Her Books

Stand Alone Titles
To Win Her Heart
Head In The Clouds
A Tailor-Made Bride

The Archer Brothers Series
Short-Straw Bride
Stealing The Preacher
A Cowboy Unmatched
A Match Made In Texas

Connected Stories
Full Steam Ahead
Love On The Mend
With All My Heart
The Husband Maneuver
With This Ring
A Worthy Pursuit 

Ladies of Harper Station
No Other Will Do
Worth the Wait Novella 



In compliance with new regulations introduced by the Federal Trade Commission,  as part of every Web or Amazon review that I was provided a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. 


Sunday, June 26, 2016

Forever Safe by Jody Hedlund

Race Point, Massachusetts, 1876

Will she ever be able to stop running, even when she believes she’s finally safe?

Heiress to a vast fortune, Victoria Cole has everything she wants, including the perfect fiancĂ©. Having left  two other men at the altar, Victoria is sure that now she’s found her true love and will finally live happily ever after. As her wedding draws near, however, Victoria’s life is threatened. To keep her safe, Victoria’s father hires a bodyguard.

Tom Cushman’s number one priority is protecting his clients, which means no personal entanglements. But he’s never guarded someone as beautiful and winsome as Victoria. After a near-kidnapping, the wedding is cancelled, and Tom hides Victoria at Cape Cod’s Race Point Lighthouse until her attacker can be found. Appointed as assistant light keeper with Victoria posing as his wife, Tom believes the isolation of the lighthouse will keep her safe.

As Victoria struggles to live without familiar luxuries, her heart betrays her with growing feelings for her protector. Determined to help Tom stop fleeing from his haunted past, can the runaway bride learn to face her own fears? With the attacker closing in, will both of them ever be able to stop running and find the safety they long for?

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Jody has a wonderful way of drawing you in with her characters and settings. The book started out in New York but ended up in a very small Cape Cod town at a lighthouse. I love her lighthouse books so much. I haven't gotten to visit one but they make me want to. The beginning of the book drew me in but I can tell you I got really excited and into it once they got to the lighthouse, so much so I stayed up until 2 a.m. to finish it. At the beginning of the book I thought Victoria was extremely bratty and spoiled. And I suppose she was. But her heart wasn't so she was more open to change that others in her situation. Tom is a guy with major smarts and attention to detail. I find it funny that he only begins to miss some things when his attention is drawn to Victoria. Otherwise, no matter what he is doing, he catches it all, because that is his job. It's just who he is. I love that his a man of honor. 

There was a twist in there that I didn't see coming right away. But all the details about a certain character weren't revealed until later. I loved the mystery and the romance. I give it 5 stars for being well written, strong characters and a good plot. Can't wait for book 5!   

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Jody Hedlund is the author of over ten novels, including Love Unexpected, Captured by Love, Unending Devotion, The Preacher's Bride, and A Noble Groom, winner of the 2014 Carol Award for historical romance. She makes her home in Michigan, not far from the lighthouses she writes about, and loves hearing from readers on Facebook and her blog at JodyHedlund.com


HER BOOKS

The Hearts of Faith Series...
The Preacher's Bride
The Doctor's Lady
Rebellious Heart

The Michigan Brides Collection...
Unending Devotion
A Noble Groom
Captured by Love

The Beacons of Hope Series...
Out of the Storm: A Novella
Love Unexpected
Hearts Made Whole
Undaunted Hope
Forever Safe 

The Noblest Knights Series
The Vow: A Novella
An Uncertain Choice
A Daring Sacrifice
For Love and Honor (March 2017)

Historicals:
Luther and Katharina: A Story of Love and Rebellion
Newton and Polly: A Novel of Amazing Grace (September 2016)



In compliance with new regulations introduced by the Federal Trade Commission,  as part of every Web or Amazon review that I was provided a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. 

Monday, June 20, 2016

The Beautiful Pretender by Melanie Dickerson

AFTER INDERITING HIS TITLE FROM HIS BROTHER, THE MARGRAVE, HAS TWO WEEKS TO FIND A NOBLE BRIDE. WHAT WILL HAPPEN WHEN HE LEARNS HE HAS FALLEN FOR A LOVELY SERVANT GIRL IN DISGUISE? 

The Margrave of Thornbeck has to find a bride, fast. He invites ten noble born ladies who meet the king's approval to be his guests at Thornbeck Castle for two weeks, a time to test these ladies and reveal their true character. 

Avelina has only two instructions: keep her true identity a secret and make sure the margrave doesn't select her as his bride. Since the latter seems unlikely, she concentrates on not getting caught. No one must know she is merely a maidservant, sent by the Earl of Plimmwald to stand in for his daughter, Dorothea.

Despite Avelina's best attempts at diverting attention from herself, the margrave has taken notice. And try as she might, she can't deny her own growing feelings. But something else is afoot in the castle. Something sinister that could have far worse-far deadlier-consequences.

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This is book two in the series. We get to see a few of the characters from The Huntress of Thornbeck Forest and lots of new characters, too. A mystery from book one is finally solved in this book. In this book I have to say Avelina is my favorite. She is smart and stubborn. She is a great judge of character and is quick to see through people's deceptions. She doesn't take no for an answer. When she sets her mind on something, she is going to do it with or without approval, if she feels it is the right thing to do. I love the friendship that develops between Avelina and Magdalen. When things are revealed about her true identity, her friend sticks by her side. That is true friendship.

Reinhart turned out to be different than we saw him as a secondary character in book one. As this book progresses we get to see a bit more of his true self come out. His past and the tragedy in his life has caused him hide within himself. In book one you get to see a bit of it in his actions that seem uncharacteristic of someone so harsh as he appears. But getting to know Avelina brings about a slow change in him. He is still a strong leader but she is able to soften him up around the edges so people know he is worthy of their respect and loyalty.

Melanie is great at description and drawing you into the world of her books. I feel as if I am walking the same path they are. There isn't one of her books that I didn't fall in love with. She knows how to keep the story alive and how to draw you in so you don't want to put the book down until you reach the end. I have stayed up many a night finishing one of her books because of it. This was no exception. All of her books are great for any age. It used to be difficult to find books appropriate for preteens or teens to read but Melanie has provided us with MANY books that I would encourage any young girl who loves to read to add to their library. 5 Stars again!  

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Melanie Dickerson is the author of The Healer's Apprentice, a Christy Award finalist and winner of the National Reader's Choice Award for Best First Book, as well as the acclaimed novels The Merchant's Daughter, The Fairest Beauty, and The Captive Maiden. Melanie earned a bachelor's degree in special education from the University of Alabama and has been a teacher and a missionary. She lives with her husband and two daughters in Huntsville, Alabama. 

HER WEBSITE: www.melaniedickerson.com

HER BLOG: www.melaniewrites.blogspot.com   


HAGENHEIM/ FAIRY TALE ROMANCE SERIES
The Healer's Apprentice
The Merchant's Daughter
The Fairest Beauty
The Captive Maiden
The Princess Spy
The Golden Braid
The Silent Songbird (November 2016)


THORNBECK/ A MEDIEVAL FAIRY TALE SERIES
The Huntress of Thornbeck Forest
The Beautiful Pretender

THE REGENCY SPIES OF LONDON SERIES
A Spy's Devotion 


In compliance with new regulations introduced by the Federal Trade Commission,  as part of every Web or Amazon review that I was provided a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. 

Monday, May 2, 2016

The Reluctant Duchess by Roseanna M. White

Will Fleeing The Scottish Highlands Only Leave Her In More Danger?

Lady Rowena Kinnaird may be the heiress to a Highland earldom, but she has never felt good enough—not for her father, not for the man she thought she’d marry, not for God. But after a shocking attack, she’s willing to be forever an outcast if it means escaping Loch Morar and the men who have jeopardized her life.

Brice Myerston, the Duke of Nottingham, has suddenly found himself in possession of a rare treasure his enemies are prepared to kill for. While Brice has never been one to shy away from manor-born ladies, the last thing he needs is the distraction of his neighbor, Lady Rowena, who finds herself in a desperate situation. But when the moody Earl of Lochabar tries to trap Brice into marrying Rowena, Brice finds he’s not as opposed to the idea as he expected to be.

Rowena wanted to escape the Highlands, but she’s reluctant to resort to marrying a notorious flirt just to gain his English home. And when she learns that Brice is mixed up in some kind of questionable business with a stolen treasure, she fears she’s about to end up directly in the path of everything she was trying to avoid.

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The Ladies of the Manor series quickly became one of my favorites starting with book one. Book two did NOT disappoint. I love books that travel to the Highlands. Rowena was a special character in the fact that she had a strong, adventurous spirit but it was buried under the brutality that she grew up with in her teen and young adult years. It was great watching her come out of that shell after she leaves with Brice. I love the faith that Brice has and I also appreciated the fact when he realized he needed to change his approach. He isn't perfect and has room to grow spiritually.

The mystery and danger that was in book one continues in book two. Human nature is to fall prey to doing whatever they have to in order to get what they want. There were multiple angles of that throughout the book and you never really knew who was going to do what. We do learn that loving someone is a choice and what an amazing thing it can be when you are loved and feel that love. We also see how things turn out when someone doesn't feel that love from the person they should the most.

I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys mystery, suspense, and romance that is surrounded by faith and love. I would give this book a higher number than 5 but since that is all it goes up to a 5 will have to do. 

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Roseanna M. White grew up in the mountains of West Virginia, the beauty of which inspired her to begin writing as soon as she learned to pair subjects with verbs. She spent her middle and high school days penning novels in class, and her love of books took her to a school renowned for them. 

After graduating from St. John’s College in Annapolis, Maryland, she and her husband moved back to the same mountains they equate with home.

Roseanna is the author of two biblical novels, A Stray Drop of Blood and Jewel of Persia, the historical romance, Love Finds You in Annapolis, Maryland, and the historical, romantic suspense Culper Ring Series (Ring of Secrets, Whispers from the Shadows, and Circle of Spies). She is also the senior reviewer at the Christian Review of Books, which she and her husband founded, the senior editor at WhiteFire Publishing, and a member of ACFW, HisWriters, and Colonial Christian Fiction Writers.

Her Website: http://www.RoseannaMWhite.com

Her Blog: http://roseannamwhite.blogspot.com/

Ladies of the Manor Series
The Lost Heiress
The Reluctant Duchess
A Lady Unrivaled, Fall 2016

Culper Ring Series
Book 1: Ring of Secrets
Novella 1.5: Fairchild's Lady
Book 2: Whispers from the Shadows
Novella 2.5: A Hero's Promise
Book 3: Circle of Spies

Love Finds You in Annapolis, Maryland

Giver of Wonders: A Story of St. Nicholas
(A Visibullis story)
Coming November 2015

A Stray Drop of Blood
A Soft Breath of Wind

Jewel of Persia

In compliance with new regulations introduced by the Federal Trade Commission,  as part of every Web or Amazon review that I was provided a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. 

Monday, February 29, 2016

A Daring Sacrifice by Jody Hedlund

In a reverse twist on the Robin Hood story, a young medieval maiden stands up for the rights of the mistreated, stealing from the rich to give to the poor. All the while, she fights against her cruel uncle who has taken over the land that is rightfully hers. Forced to live in the woods and hide with the poor people she’s grown to love, she works to save and protect them, but she never anticipates falling in love with the wealthy knight who represents all she’s come to despise.

For three years, the Cloaked Bandit has terrorized Wessex, robbing the nobility by the point of a well-placed arrow. But little does anyone know, this bandit is in fact Juliana Wessex, the rightful ruler of the land, and a girl her uncle--the current Lord Wessex--believes is a dead as her father.

Juliana has become skilled at hiding in the forest, stealing from the nobility in order to provide the peasants with food and shelter. But when she robs Collin Goodrich one day, her red hair betrays her true identity. Lord Collin remembers Juliana from when they were children--and forces her to stay on his estate after she is injured. Juliana is intrigued by Collin and his charms, but only time will tell if he can overcome her distaste of the nobility and win her heart.

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What a fun story! It is great how the book goes from his point of view to hers. Different type face is used for each one so it was easy to tell who's point of view it was right away. This series takes place in the late 1300's. During that time there were some very cruel people who had authority over others. Their types of punishments for things were extreme. And they were sometimes extreme in deciding how far to take their punishment depending on the person, not necessarily the actual "crime".  Jody writes it in a way that while, yes, it is terrible, it isn't so bad that you can't see past it to the adventure and romance. It shows just how brave these characters really have to be to go to the lengths they do to survive and to help their friends.

This book has just the right amount of everything, romance, adventure, danger and suspense. I love the relationship between Collin and Juliana. They have a competitive spirit, mostly with each other. This book also gives you a glimpse into what it was like to have much and to have little or nothing. It is easy to take that for granted, like it is today. I love how it opened their eyes to both sides and showed compassionate ways to do something about it.

Great series for teens and adults alike. I highly recommend this series. Another 5 star book!

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Jody Hedlund is the author of over ten novels, including Love Unexpected, Captured by Love, Unending Devotion, The Preacher's Bride, and A Noble Groom, winner of the 2014 Carol Award for historical romance. She makes her home in Michigan, not far from the lighthouses she writes about, and loves hearing from readers on Facebook and her blog at JodyHedlund.com


HER OTHER BOOKS

The Hearts of Faith Series...
The Preacher's Bride
The Doctor's Lady
Rebellious Heart

The Michigan Brides Collection...
Unending Devotion
A Noble Groom
Captured by Love

The Beacons of Hope Series...
Out of the Storm: A Novella
Love Unexpected
Hearts Made Whole
Undaunted Hope
Forever Safe - June 2016

The Noblest Knights Series
The Vow: A Novella
An Uncertain Choice
A Daring Sacrifice



In compliance with new regulations introduced by the Federal Trade Commission,  as part of every Web or Amazon review that I was provided a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. 

Monday, February 1, 2016

Undaunted Hope: Beacons of Hope Book 3 by Jody Hedlund

1871 EAGLE HARBOR, MICHIGAN

In a Town Mire in Darkness, She May Shine the Light They Need

Running from the mistakes of her past, Tessa Taylor heads to the uppermost reaches of Michigan, planning to serve as the new teacher to the children of miners. She quickly learns the town had requested a male teacher, but Percival Updegraff, superintendent and chief mine clerk, says she can stay through winter since it's too late to replace her. Tessa can't help but thank him and say she is in his debt. 

Determined to make herself irreplaceable once spring thaw arrives, Tessa throws herself into her work, and soon two students have decided Miss Taylor is the right match for their grieving father. At the same time, charming assistant lightkeeper Alex Bjorklund makes his interest known, surprising Tessa, who has never had men fight for her hand before. But not all is well as she feels that someone is tracking her every move, and she may not be able to escape the trap that has been laid for her. 

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We meet Tessa in Hearts Made Whole. In that book we see how much she hates the life she lives and feels she is trapped in the lighthouse and taking care of her siblings. She has lost so many people she loves and blames the sea and the lighthouse for it. She makes some pour choices to try to get away from that life. In this book we see she does start fresh in a new town, but one that is also on the sea and has a lighthouse of it's own. She is compassionate and strong. She cares so much about the kids she teaches and the families. The quirky relationship Tessa and Alex have is so fun. They are always joking around and coming back with sarcastic comebacks for each other. Tessa is trying so hard NOT to fall for him because she wants to teach and teachers can't be married. The town has no secrets from the one who runs everything. He is a man out for his own good and he doesn't care who he hurts. 

I have to admit that there were a few times where I was crying my eyes out. It grabbed my heart and didn't let go until the very end. I love this series. I love all of her books. Jody is a wonderful writer and draws you into the story very easily. I recommend this book to teens and adults alike. It shows how we can make bad choices but strive to do better and move forward from them. Real friendship is more powerful than the evil that abounds in the world. This is another 5 star book. 

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Jody Hedlund is the author of over ten novels, including Love Unexpected, Captured by Love, Unending Devotion, The Preacher's Bride, and A Noble Groom, winner of the 2014 Carol Award for historical romance. She makes her home in Michigan, not far from the lighthouses she writes about, and loves hearing from readers on Facebook and her blog at JodyHedlund.com


HER OTHER BOOKS

The Hearts of Faith Series...
The Preacher's Bride
The Doctor's Lady
Rebellious Heart

The Michigan Brides Collection...
Unending Devotion
A Noble Groom
Captured by Love

The Beacons of Hope Series...
Out of the Storm: A Novella
Love Unexpected
Hearts Made Whole
Undaunted Hope
Forever Safe - June 2016

The Noblest Knights Series
The Vow: A Novella
An Uncertain Choice
A Daring Sacrifice - March 2016



In compliance with new regulations introduced by the Federal Trade Commission,  as part of every Web or Amazon review that I was provided a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. 



Friday, January 1, 2016

The Golden Braid by Melanie Dickerson

PictureTHE ONE WHO NEEDS RESCUING ISN'T ALWAYS THE ONE IN THE TOWER

Rapunzel can throw a knife better than any man. She paints beautiful flowering vines on the walls of her plaster houses. She sings so sweetly she can coax even a beast to sleep. But there are two things she is afraid her mom might never allow her to do: learn to read and marry.

Fiercely devoted to Rapunzel, her mother is suspicious of every man who so much as looks at her daughter and warns her that no man can be trusted. After a young village farmer asks for Rapunzel's hand in marriage, Mother decides to move them once again--this time, to the large city of Hagenheim.

The journey proves treacherous, and after being rescued by a knight--Sir Gerek--Rapunzel in turn rescues him farther down the road. As a result, Sir Gerek agrees to repay his debt to Rapunzel by teaching her to read. Could there be more to this knight than his arrogance and desire to marry for riches and position?

As Rapunzel acclimates to life in a new city, she uncovers a mystery that will forever change her life. In this Rapunzel story unlike any other, a world of secrets and treachery is about to be revealed after seventeen years of lies. How will Rapunzel finally take control of her own destiny? And who will prove faithful to a lowly peasant girl with no one to turn to?

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This has got to be my favorite Rapunzel story to date. I love the way Melanie turns fairy tales into stories that could really happen. Rapunzel is a strong character, she has learned how to take care of herself despite her over protective mother who tried to keep her from learning anything that could make her independent. But there are secrets there that will explain her mother's possessiveness that will rock her world. Sir Gerek is the perfect mix of bravery and humility. Despite his past, he works hard to be the best knight he can be. But he doubts his worth. There is danger and adventure around every corner. 

If you have read her other books you will find familiar characters in this book. You will also find a story inside a story from one of them. Her books are on my favorites list. I love them all. I recommend them to teens and young adults as well as those of us that are older but young at heart. Romance in her books is sweet and pure. They are great for a YA book club or for moms to talk to their daughters about the difficult subject that arise. Another 5 star book for Melanie! 

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PictureMelanie Dickerson is the author of The Healer's Apprentice, a Christy Award finalist and winner of the National Reader's Choice Award for Best First Book, as well as the acclaimed novels The Merchant's Daughter, The Fairest Beauty, and The Captive Maiden. Melanie earned a bachelor's degree in special education from the University of Alabama and has been a teacher and a missionary. She lives with her husband and two daughters in Huntsville, Alabama. 

HER WEBSITE: www.melaniedickerson.com

HER BLOG: www.melaniewrites.blogspot.com   


Her Medieval Fairy Tale Retellings

The Healer's Apprentice
The Merchant's Daughter
The Fairest Beauty
The Captive Maiden
The Princess Spy

The Huntress of Thornbeck Forest
The Beautiful Pretender (May 2016)

The Golden Braid 

A Spy's Devotion (February 2016)


In compliance with new regulations introduced by the Federal Trade Commission,  as part of every Web or Amazon review that I was provided a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.