Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Giver of Wonders by Roseanna M. White




Title: Giver of Wonders

Author: Roseanna M. White

Pages: 266

Year: 2016

Genre: Historical Fiction

Publisher: WhiteFire Publishing

Format: eBook (also available in paperback)


About the book:


     A miracle once saved her life ~ will another give her a future?


     Cyprus was little more than a child when a fall left her paralyzed…and when the boy known as the wonder-worker healed her. Ever since, she has wondered why the Lord spared her, what he has in store for her. But her pagan father thinks she was spared solely so she could be introduced to the wealthy wonder-worker, Nikolaos.


     Nikolaos has never questioned that his call in life is to dedicate himself to the church and to God. Never, that is, until he and his cousin Petros meet the compelling Cyprus Visibullis. For years he struggles with the feelings she inspires…and with the sure knowledge that Petros loves her too.


     Petros knows he will never be good enough for Cyprus’s father to consider him as a match for his favorite daughter not as long as Nikolaos is there. But when tragedy strikes the Visibullis family, he will do anything to save his beloved. Unfortunately, his beloved is determined to do anything to save her sisters ~ even at the cost of herself.


     As the festival of lights bathes their Greek city in beauty, Cyprus, Petros, and Nikolaos celebrate the miracle of their Savior’s birth together one last time. And in remembrance of their Lord’s greatest gift, one of them will make the ultimate sacrifice for the others…and a centuries-long tradition will be born.


My review:


     This is a wonderful historical fiction Christmas story!


     I was captivated by the first meeting we have with Cyprus Visibullis. She is a spunky girl who gets herself in trouble a few times in this book. It was upsetting to me to realize how daughters were viewed by their fathers. There were a number of times that I wanted to slap her father because of how he spoke to Cyprus and her sisters. I really liked how Cyprus and her two sisters stuck together and supported each other.


     I was fascinated by Nikolaos. He had such a solid relationship with God that I felt encouraged in my own relationship with Him. I had heard that Santa Claus was based on Saint Nicholas before. I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know the real man that evolved into Santa. I liked seeing the beginning of some of the traditions that began in other cultures too.


     I am giving this wonderful story a rating of 5 stars. I highly recommend it.

Saturday, December 12, 2020

Christmas in Winter Hill by Melody Carlson




Title: Christmas in Winter Hill

Author: Melody Carlson

Narrated by: Marisa Blake

Length: 3 hours, 52 minutes

Year: 2019

Genre: Christmas Story

Publisher: Dreamscape Media, LLC

Format: Audiobook (also available eBook and hardcover)


About the book:


     Krista Galloway is not a fan of Christmas. After her rough childhood in multiple foster homes, the holiday season just brings too many bad memories to the surface. But when she accepts a job as a city manager in the mountain town of Winter Hill, Washington, Christmas is part of the deal. The small town is famous for its Christmasville celebration, something that the city manager . . . well, manages.


     As she tries to make her tiny new apartment feel like home for her and her eight-year-old daughter, Emily, Krista begins to wonder if this move was a mistake. She doesn’t always feel welcomed in the close-knit town, and Emily continually wonders, “Where’s the snow?” Can a friendly stranger and his family help restore Krista’s Christmas spirit before the big day?


     Bestselling author Melody Carlson invites you to spend this holiday season in a town you’ll never forget—and never want to leave.


My review:


     This is a charming small town Christmas story.


     I enjoyed getting to know Krista and her daughter Emily. They are working to adjust to their new life in Winter Hill when they move just before Thanksgiving. They have arrived just before the busiest time of the year in the small town. I liked seeing how some of the residents just opened their hearts and welcomed them in, befriending them from the first time they meet.


     I like the fact that Krista is willing to deal with hard issues at work to make things better for the small town and all of the residents. She stands up for what is right even though it brings difficulties for her personally.


     I really like the narrator and will be looking for more books that she has done. She changes her voice for the different characters which helps to follow the story. It isn’t drastic differences but it is noticeable.


     I’m giving this wonderful book a rating of 5 stars and recommending it.

Thursday, December 10, 2020

The Blended Quilt by Wanda E. Brunstetter & Jean Brunstetter




Title: The Blended Quilt 

Author: Wanda E. Brunstetter & Jean Brunstetter

Pages: 288

Release Date: November 1, 2020

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:


     Will pursuing Sadie’s dreams mean leaving a romance behind?


     Sadie Kuhns has a lot happening in her life. She is creating a unique quilt by blending a traditional Amish pattern with a Hawaiian pattern as a tribute to her time spent in the islands, and she is working on a self-published book. But her relationship with Wyman Kauffman has stagnated after six months of courtship. He can’t seem to commit to a profession that would secure a future, and he is jealous of the time Sadie gives to her own pursuits. Is there really any reason to drag this courtship out? Only time will tell in this new novel from New York Times bestselling author Wanda E. Brunstetter, writing with her daughter-in-law Jean Brunstetter.


My review:


     This is a wonderful Amish fiction book.


     I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know both Sadie Kuhns and Wyman Kaufman. They each have some personal problems that they need to work through. At the same time they are trying to figure out how to make a relationship with each other work. 


     The biggest question that they had to work out individually was sorting out their own priorities. Once they had that answered then they just needed to make each decision they were faced with based on that answer. This is a universal question that everyone has to deal with. I loved watching their growth as they processed it and figured out what mattered most in their lives.


     They each have a number of people surrounding them helping them grow. Some of them were only providing listening ears as they wrestled with their problems. I loved seeing the variety of people that were supporting them even while dealing with their own problems. This is truly what being part of a community is all about.


     I am giving this incredible book a rating of 5 stars. I definitely recommend it. Though it is not listed anywhere as a series. I think that it should be read after the 2 books in the Hawaiian Series: The Hawaiian Quilt and The Hawaiian Discovery. I wish that I had done so myself.


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.*

Tuesday, December 8, 2020

To Steal a Heart (The Bleeker Street Inquiry Agency #1) by Jen Turano




Title: To Steal a Heart (The Bleeker Street Inquiry Agency #1)

Author: Jen Turano

Pages: 361

Release Date: November 17, 2020

Genre: Historical Romantic Comedy

Publisher: Bethany House

Format: eBook (also available in paperback)

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


About the book:


     After spending her childhood as a street thief, Gabriella Goodhue thought she’d put her past behind her until a fellow resident at her boardinghouse is unjustly accused of theft. Using her old skills to prove her friend’s innocence, Gabriella unexpectedly encounters Nicholas Quinn, the man she once considered her best friend—until he abandoned her.


     After being taken under the wing of a professor who introduced him into society and named him as his heir, Nicholas is living far removed from his childhood life of crime. As a favor to a friend, Nicholas agreed to help clear the name of an innocent woman, never imagining he’d be reunited with the girl he thought lost to him forever.


     As Gabriella and Nicholas are thrown together into one intrigue after another, their childhood affection grows into more, but their newfound feelings are tested when truths about their past are revealed and danger follows their every step.


My review:


     This is a delightfully funny historical romance.


     I really enjoyed getting to know Gabriella Goodhue. She is a remarkably strong woman. She had a very difficult past that is presented throughout the book. I loved meeting her friends, most of whom are her fellow boarders at the boarding house on Bleeker Street.


     It was fun getting to know Nicholas Quinn too. I was really amused to see the relationship between Gabriella and Nicholas as it went through many changes over the course of the story.


     The cast of characters was large and the personalities were very different. There were a number of them with very different quirks that kept me entertained. The numerous antics came from the four legged characters as much as from the humans.


     I’m giving this wonderful book a rating of 5 stars. I highly recommend it. It will be fun to see what is coming next for the ladies of Bleeker Street.


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.*

Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Wrapped Up in Christmas Joy by Janice Lynn


 







Title: Wrapped Up in Christmas Joy

Author: Janice Lynn

Narrated by: Rachel Jacobs and Alexander Cendese

Pages: 336

Length: 8 hours 17 minutes

Release Date: October 27, 2020

Genre: Christmas Romance

Publisher: Hallmark Publishing

Format: Audiobook (also available in paperback and eBook)

Note: I received a complimentary copy of this audiobook 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:


     When Sophie Davis sorts through a box of donated books to her church, she’s surprised to discover a soldier’s journal. As the daughter of a veteran who watched her father struggle over the years, she feels a deep connection to the man who wrote the emotional entries.


     Former Marine Cole Aaron battled to find peace after returning to civilian life. He’s always needs to protect others. Now, fighting fires in Pine Hill, Kentucky helps him put out the demons within him. When Sophie shows up at the fire hall with his journal from when he’d first returned stateside, Cole can’t believe it was in the box he’d donated. Not wanting to face painful memories, he tells her to trash it.


     Sophie and Cole are drawn together as they both volunteer for their community, but it’s hard for Cole to let down his guard, and he doesn’t need anyone’s pity. After all he’s been through in the past, can he find faith in a more hopeful future. . .one touched by joy?


     This heartwarming romance includes a free Hallmark original recipe for Dilly Duchess Potatoes.


My review:


     This is a delightful Christmas romance!


     I love both of the main characters. Cole and Sophie and incredibly well developed and easy to connect with. I love the fact that they were connected by veterans. Cole is a veteran with huge emotional wounds from his time in the military. Sophie on the other hand has many memories of her father, who was a veteran with huge emotional wounds.


     I loved seeing how their friendship developed. Sophie was doing all she could to befriend Cole while he was doing everything to prevent becoming her friend. There were many moments that had me laughing out loud while I was listening to this audiobook.


     I had never heard of the Quilts of Love Foundation before reading this wonderful story. It is a marvelous organization and Sophie is deeply involved in it. I learned a lot about it and the work that they do.


     The book is written from alternating viewpoints. It goes back and forth from Sophie to Cole. I thoroughly enjoyed the fact that this audiobook has two narrators. They both did a wonderful job making the story come to life.


     I thoroughly enjoyed this story and have decided to give it a rating of 5 stars.


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.*

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Burden of Proof by Davis Bunn


Title: Burden of Proof

Author: Davis Bunn

Pages: 320

Release Date: November 3, 2020

Genre: Intrigue

Publisher: Revell

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:


     Three weeks after his twenty-third birthday, Ethan missed the chance to save his brother’s life when he was murdered on the steps of the courthouse in Jacksonville, Florida. Ever since that fateful day, Ethan has sensed a deep disconnect between the man he should have been and the one he has become. His days play out a beat too slow, his mind replaying the scene of his failure again and again.


     But when his brother’s widow appears, asking for his help in uncovering what was really behind his brother’s death, Ethan is stunned to hear that she and her late husband were involved in a much larger case than he knew—one that threatens the global power structure. As Ethan joins the search for answers, he will enter into his own past—and discover a means of redeeming his future.


     Bestselling and award-winning author Davis Bunn invites you into a world of intrigue as a man held captive by his failure learns how to move forward with hope.


My review:


     Slow start, but captivating once it’s going.


     Ethan Barrett was handed a very hard task to deal with, and to make others understand. He had great motivation to take it on with his displeasure with his own choices and how his life was going. He was living with a ton of regrets and had a chance to change some of them.


     There was a group of characters that he was able to bring in to help him. I enjoyed getting to know them and see how they interacted with each other throughout this book. It wasn’t easy on any of them and they each grew as the story progressed. I really like Hennie. He was very wise and shared his wisdom with Ethan.


     The beginning of this book took a little longer to lay the groundwork for the situation that Ethan was in then I’m used to. The plot was definitely intriguing and kept me engaged once it got going. There were a couple of points in the story when there was a very detailed scientific explanation that totally lost me. I struggled to get through them.


     I have decided to give this great book a rating of 5 stars. I’m sure that if you stick with it you will enjoy the ride. I definitely 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.*

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

The Cul-de-Sac War by Melissa Ferguson; Narrated by Kate Rudd


 







Title: The Cul-de-Sac War

Author: Melissa Ferguson

Narrator: Kate Rudd

Pages: 336

Duration: 8 hours 8 minutes

Release Date: November 10, 2020

Genre: Romantic Comedy

Publisher: Thomas Nelson

Format: Audiobook (also available in paperback and eBook)

Note: I received a complimentary copy of this audiobook 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:


     All’s fair in love and prank wars.


     Bree Leake doesn’t want to be tied down. She’s had more jobs than she can count, and she plans to move as soon as the curtains fall on her less-than-minor stage role at The Barter—the oldest live performance theater in the US. But just when it’s time to move on again, Bree’s parents make her an offer: hold steady for a full year, and they will give her the one thing she’s always wanted—her grandmother’s house. Her dreams are coming true . . . until life at the theater throws her come curve balls.


     And then there’s Chip McBride—her handsome and infuriating next-door neighbor.


     Chip just might be the only person whose stubborn streak can match Bree’s. She would move heaven and earth to have him off her cul-de-sac and out of her life, but according to the bargain she’s struck, she can’t move out of her house and away from the man who’s making her life miserable. So begins Bree’s obsessive new mission: to drive Chip out of the neighborhood—and fast.


     Bree isn’t the only one who’s a tad competitive, and Chip is more than willing to fight fire with fire. But as their pranks escalate, the line between love and hate starts to blur—and their heated rivalry threatens to take a hilarious, heartwarming, and romantic new turn.


My review:


     I loved this wonderful romantic comedy!


     Both of the main characters are extremely well developed. They each have some self doubts. Most of them are connected to family issues. I enjoyed seeing their growth by the end of the book as they dealt with their families.


     Then there is a large dog that throws in a lot of hilarious moments and initiates the conflict between Bree and Chip. The ideas that they both come up with for pranks to pull on each other are amazing. I wouldn’t want to live by either of them and have them decide to prank me.


     Add to that the problems that they are both dealing with in the jobs and I found this book to be very entertaining.


     The narrator did a fabulous job of making the story come to life. She was a lot of fun to listen to because she managed to sound different for each character when they were speaking. Alternating chapters are written from the viewpoint of Bree and Chip. That means that she had to speak from two distinctly different voices for large portions of the book. It was incredible. I will be looking for more audiobooks that she has narrated.


     I’m giving this marvelous book a rating of 5 stars. I highly 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.*