Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Plum Tea Crazy (Tea Shop Mystery #19) by Laura Childs














Title: Plum Tea Crazy (Tea Shop Mystery #19)

Author: Laura Childs

Pages: 318

Year: 2018

Genre: Cozy Mystery

Publisher: Berkley Books

Format: eBook (also available in paperback)

Note: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher, through NetGalley. I was not required to write a positive review. All of the opinions expressed are my own.


About the book:


     Theodosia Browning investigates a Charleston steeped in tradition and treachery in the latest Tea Shop Mystery from New York Times bestselling author Laura Childs.


     While viewing the harbor’s Gaslights and Galleons Parade from the widow’s walk of Timothy Neville’s Charleston mansion, local banker Carson Lanier seemingly tumbles over a narrow railing, then plunges three stories to his death. But a tragic accident becomes something much more sinister when it’s discovered that the victim was first shot with a bolt from a crossbow.


     At the request of the mansion owner, Theodosia investigates the tragedy and is soon neck deep in suspects. An almost ex-wife, a coworker, a real estate partner-all had motives for killing the luckless banker, but one resorted to murder to settle accounts.


My review:


     This is a great cozy mystery.


     I love each of the main characters. Theodosia, Drayton, and Detective Pete Riley come to my mind as the main ones. I really liked seeing how Theodosia is quick to  get involved in dangerous situations. Her mind is sharp and she has a wonderful ability in getting people to open up and talk to her.


     The plot of this mystery is incredible. There is a huge list of suspects that have to be kept track of. It was a lot of fun going on the journey with Theodosia as she tried to figure out who the culprit was.


     I have decided to give this wonderful book a rating of 5 stars. It’s a great cozy mystery and I do recommend it.


Disclaimer: *Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a copy of this book for free in the hope that I would mention or review it on my blog. I was not required to give a positive review, only my honest opinion - which I have done. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.*

Saturday, September 18, 2021

My Heart Belongs in San Francisco, California: Abby's Prospects by Janice Thompson



Title: My Heart Belongs in San Francisco, California: Abby’s Prospects

Author: Janice Thompson

Pages: 256

Year: 2018

Genre: Historical Romance

Publisher: Barbour Books

Format: eBook (also available in paperback)

Note: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher, through NetGalley. I was not required to write a positive review. All of the opinions expressed are my own.


About the book:


     Journey now to San Francisco, California, of 1853 where an English socialite finds more treasure than expected on her trip to the American West.


     When Abby Effingham becomes stranded in the middle of the California gold rush, her money depletes quickly even while her prospects for marriage increase daily. But Abby is on a mission to find her mother—not romance. Will a ridiculous scandal keep her from traveling on, or will it wake up an aloof innkeeper to the treasure right under his roof?


     Samuel Harris runs a moderately priced hotel where Abby and her family’s elderly butler find shelter. He is looking forward to when she—and her parade of suitors—move on, though he concedes to let her work in his restaurant. When the sassy socialite is in trouble, will Samuel come to her rescue or find himself alone?


My review:


     This is a wonderful historical romance!


     I love the whole cast of main characters. They are an incredibly diverse group of people. I liked finding out the stories of how each of them came to be in San Francisco. I didn’t expect to find so many of them but I can’t even start to leave any out. There are Abigail, Neville, Sam, Cookie, and a few others. I thoroughly enjoyed seeing how much scripture is quoted and how the Lord is relied on.


     The plot kept my attention as I saw Abigail’s journey into being a truly mature young woman. It amazes me to think about the fact that most of us consider ourselves adults long before we are truly ready to make mature decisions for our lives.


     I’m giving this wonderful book a rating of 5 stars. I definitely recommend it. It had an extra measure of interest for me since I live in the San Francisco Bay Area.


Disclaimer: *Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a copy of this book for free in the hope that I would mention or review it on my blog. I was not required to give a positive review, only my honest opinion - which I have done. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.*


Saturday, September 4, 2021

An Uncommon Courtship (Hawthorne House #3) by Kristi Ann Hunter









Title: An Uncommon Courtship (Hawthorne House #3)

Author: Kristi Ann Hunter

Pages: 352

Year: 2017

Genre: Historical Romance

Publisher: Bethany House

Format:  eBook (also available in paperback)


About the book:


     Life for Lady Adelaide Bell was easier if she hid in her older sister’s shadow—which worked until her sister got married. Even with the pressure of her socially ambitious mother, the last thing she expected was a marriage of convenience to save her previously spotless reputation.


     Lord Trent Hawthorne couldn’t be happier that he is not the duke in the family. He’s free to manage his small estate and take his time discovering the life he wants to lead, which includes grand plans of wooing and falling in love with the woman of his choice. When he finds himself honor bound to marry a woman he doesn’t know, his dream of a marriage like his parents’ seems lost forever.


     Already starting their marriage on shaky ground, can Adelaide and Trent’s relationship survive the pressures of London society?


My review:


     This is a delightful historical romance novel!


     I fell in love with both Trent and Adelaide. They are incredibly well developed characters. They both had terrible lapses in their education about how men and women were to develop a relationship with each other. That left them fumbling along trying to figure things out. It made them very easy to connect with. I loved how Trent’s family was willing and able to support them throughout the story.


     I really loved the way that the bible was turned to to help Trent understand how to love his wife. It should be the place we all turn to for wisdom and guidance when we are confused and have questions. So many times though we think that we can come up with our own answers.


     I’m giving this marvelous book a rating of 5 stars. I highly recommend it. I do believe that it will be enjoyed more if the series is read in order since the main characters from the three previous stories play a very important role in this one.

Monday, August 30, 2021

Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate


 







Title: Before We Were Yours

Author: Lisa Wingate

Pages: 342

Year: 2017

Genre: Dual-time novel

Publisher: Ballantine Books

Format: eBook (also available in paperback)

Note: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher, through NetGalley. I was not required to write a positive review. All of the opinions expressed are my own.


About the book:


     Memphis, 1939. Twelve-year-old Rill Foss and her four younger siblings live a magical life aboard their family’s Mississippi River shanty boat. But when their father must rush their mother to the hospital one stormy night, Rill is left in charge—until strangers arrive in force. Wrenched from all that is familiar and thrown into a Tennessee Children’s Home Society orphanage, the Foss children are assured that they will soon be returned to their parents—but they quickly realize the dark truth. At the mercy of the facility’s cruel director, Rill fights to keep her sisters and brother together in a world fo danger and uncertainty.


     Aiken, South Carolina, present day. Born into wealth and privilege, Avery Stafford seems to have it all: a successful career as a federal prosecutor, a handsome fiancĂ©, and a lavish wedding on the horizon. But when Avery returns home to help her father weather a health crisis, a chance encounter leaves her with uncomfortable questions and compels her to take a journey through her family’s long-hidden history, on a path that will ultimately lead either to devastation or to redemption.


     Based on one of America’s most notorious real-life scandals—in which Georgia Tann, director of a Memphis-based adoption organization, kidnapped and sold poor children to wealthy families all over the country—Lisa Wingate’s riveting, wrenching, and ultimately uplifting tale reminds us how, even though the paths we take can lead to many places, the heart never forgets where we belong.


My review:


     This is a heartbreaking dual-time novel!


     I was caught up in the story from the very beginning. I loved the main characters and my heart broke for the situations that they were in. I can’t imagine people treating each other the way that Georgia Tann treated both the children and their birth parents. She was completely cruel and heartless. I completely understood why Rill did the things she did to try and protect herself and her siblings.


     In the present day portion of the book Avery Stafford was caught by the expectations of others and trying to figure out what her own life was supposed to look like. I thoroughly enjoyed the fact that she was willing to go against what was expected of her and try to help May as well as her Grandma Judy. She is an incredibly strong woman with a heart for helping other people.


     I liked going on the journey with Avery and Trent to find out how the people in the present were connected with each other and learning each one’s history.


     This is the first book I have read by Lisa Wingate. I loved it and am giving it a rating of 5 stars. I highly recommend it. I look forward to reading more of her books.


Disclaimer: *Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a copy of this book for free in the hope that I would mention or review it on my blog. I was not required to give a positive review, only my honest opinion - which I have done. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.*

Sunday, August 29, 2021

Sit. Stay. Forever. by Angela Hunt



Title: Sit. Stay. Forever

Author: Angela Hunt

Pages: 36

Year: 2020

Genre: Remembrance Book

Publisher: Hunthaven Press

Format: eBook (also available in hardback)

Note: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher, through NetGalley. I was not required to write a positive review. All of the opinions expressed are my own.


About the book:


     From the author:


     Dogs do speak. But only to those who know how to listen.


     This little book came to me in a flash while I was vacuuming. When I began to weep, I shut off the vacuum and hurried to my computer, where I typed out a draft of the work that became Sit. Stay. Forever. I posted a copy to my Facebook page, and when the reaction of readers equalled my own, I knew I had to publish those verses as a book.


     Sometimes small books can have the biggest emotional impact, because the emotion isn’t in the words, it’s in the heart of the reader. The words and illustrations on the page remind us of the precious relationships in our lives and bring us back to an awareness of and appreciation for those beloved friends.


     Sit. Stay. Forever is the perfect book for anyone who loves dogs. The hardback comes with a dust jacket and makes a wonderful fit for dog lovers. There’s even a page for the recipient to paste a picture of their beloved canine.


     A little book with a powerful impact . . . just like the big little lives that leave their paw prints on our hearts.


My review:


     A very sweet remembrance book for dog owners.


     This is a very short book. The pictures are what really make it stand out in my mind. I read this as an eBook. It is absolutely going to be better in print. It starts with a page to put a picture of your own special fur baby and this can’t be accomplished in an eBook. I like the fact that it has a page covering each stage of a dog’s life. By the end of it I was in tears.


     I’m giving this wonderful book 5 stars. I believe that all dog lovers would love it.


Disclaimer: *Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a copy of this book for free in the hope that I would mention or review it on my blog. I was not required to give a positive review, only my honest opinion - which I have done. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.*

Saturday, August 28, 2021

The Brides of the Big Valley by Wanda E., Jean, and Richelle Brunstetter



Title: The Brides of the Big Valley

Author: Wanda E., Jean, and Richelle Brunstetter

Pages: 448

Year: 2019

Genre: Amish Romance

Publisher: Shiloh Run Press

Format: eBook (also available in paperback)

Note: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher, through NetGalley. I was not required to write a positive review. All of the opinions expressed are my own.


About the book:


     In an area of Pennsylvania called The Big Valley, a uniquely blended Amish community thrives in which 3 distinct groups of Amish identify themselves by the colors of their buggy’s top—white, black, or yellow. Join New York Times Bestselling Author Wanda E. Brunstetter, her daughter-in-law, and granddaughter in experiencing the stories of three young women who search for faith and love within this special place. Deanna is a widow who sees her second chance of love slipping away. Rose Mary is at a point in life where she must choose the path of her faith and the right man to walk with her on it. Leila is burdened with family responsibilities and wonders when she will ever start a family of her own.


My review:


     Three incredible Amish romances!


     Each of the three authors wrote a separate story. They are set in the same town though the main characters are in different Amish communities. I was fascinated by seeing the differences among the communities. As I went through the stories I loved the fact that in the latter two there was at least a mention of a character from the previous ones.


     All of the authors developed wonderful characters. I loved all of the main ones. The stories are each unique and captured my interest very quickly. I thoroughly enjoyed seeing how each person dealt with the difficulties that they faced. Each main character had wonderful people supporting and encouraging them along the way.


     I’m giving this wonderful book a rating of 5 stars. I highly recommend it. I’m really looking forward to reading anything else these ladies write.


Disclaimer: *Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a copy of this book for free in the hope that I would mention or review it on my blog. I was not required to give a positive review, only my honest opinion - which I have done. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.*

Friday, August 13, 2021

To Write a Wrong (The Bleecker Street Inquiry Agency #2) by Jen Turano


Title: To Write a Wrong (The Bleecker Street Inquiry Agency #2)

Author: Jen Turano

Pages: 264

Release Date: August 3, 2021

Genre: Historical Romantic Comedy

Publisher: Bethany House

Format: eBook (also available in paperback)


About the book:


     Miss Daphne Beekman is a mystery writer by day, inquiry agent by night. Known for her ability to puzzle out plots, she happily works behind the scenes for the Bleecker Street Inquiry Agency, staying well away from danger. However, when Mr. Herman Henderson arrives on the doorstep of the agency, desperate for someone to investigate numerous attempts on his life, Daphne soon finds herself in the thick of a case she’s determined to solve.


     Mr. Herman Henderson is also a mystery writer, but unlike the dashing heroes he pens, he prefers living a quiet life, determined to avoid the fate of his adventurous parents, who perished while searching for the Lost City of Gold.


     As the list of suspects grows and sinister plots are directed at Daphne, the situation quickly deteriorates, and a revealed secret jeopardizes their newfound affection. Only time will tell if Daphne will be able to regain Herman’s trust and save both their lives.


My review:


     This is an incredibly funny historical romantic comedy!


     I startled my husband a number of times while reading this book by laughing out loud. I have never been disappointed by a book written by Jen Turano. She has a remarkable talent for developing quirky characters that I fall in love with. This is very true of both of the main characters in this book. The verbal interactions between Daphne and Herman are great. For both of them to be writers it is fun to see how they confuse each other with their words.


     The plot of this story is very well crafted. I was very confused a number of times by the twists and turns that the story took. I thoroughly enjoyed seeing how many different red herrings popped out at me. It was fun to try and figure out which things were actually important to the case and which ones weren’t. There were plenty of humorous moments along the way.


     I’m giving this wonderful book a rating of 5 stars. I highly recommend it.