Saturday, March 31, 2018

A Loyal Heart by Jody Hedlund + A GIVEAWAY


About the Book

  
Title: A Loyal Heart  

Author: Jody Hedlund  

Genre: Adult medieval romance  

Release Date: March 6, 2018

He’s taken her as his prisoner. But she’s holding his heart captive. In gaining their freedom, will they lose what matters most? 

When Lady Olivia’s castle is besieged, she and her sister are taken captive and held for ransom by her father’s enemy, Lord Pitt. Loyalty to family means everything to Olivia. She’ll save her sister at any cost and do whatever her father asks—even if that means obeying his order to steal a sacred relic from her captor. 

As Lord Pitt’s commander, Sir Aldric is in charge of the beautiful but feisty new prisoner. He has his hands full attempting to keep Lady Olivia out of trouble. When Lord Pitt throws her in the dungeon and threatens to hang her for stealing, Aldric conceives a plot to save Olivia’s life—betrothal to him. 

Can Olivia give up the prestigious match her father has arranged with a wealthy marquess in order to marry a lowly knight like Aldric? And can Aldric move beyond his past mistakes to embrace love again? When loyalties are tested, they’re thrust into danger that could cost them their love and their lives.

Click here to purchase your copy!

My Review

This is an absolutely fantastic medieval romance!

Both of the main characters are incredible! They each have lessons to learn about how to treat others. Their journeys intersect and seem to be a odds with each other multiple times.

This tale is filled with sword fights, captures, and escape attempts. The cast is full of lords, ladies, and knights in shining armor. All the things to make a girl’s heart go pitter pat.

I thoroughly enjoyed this story. I really hope that this isn’t the last medieval romance Jody Hedlund writes. She is a master at them. I’m giving this wonderful book a rating of 5 stars and highly recommending it.


I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author. I have chosen to write this review to express my personal opinion.

About the Author


Jody Hedlund is the author of over twenty historicals for both adults and teens and is the winner of numerous awards including the Christy, Carol, and Christian Book Award. 

Jody lives in central Michigan with her husband, five busy children, and five spoiled cats. Although Jody prefers to experience daring and dangerous adventures through her characters rather than in real life, she’s learned that a calm existence is simply not meant to be (at least in this phase of her life!). 

When she’s not penning another of her page-turning stories, she loves to spend her time reading, especially when it also involves consuming coffee and chocolate.

Guest Post from Jody Hedlund

The Growing Need for Sweet Young Adult Romances By Jody Hedlund

This past year my youngest daughter turned twelve and entered seventh grade. And she decided that she wanted to read my books. 

Of course I was thrilled that she was taking an interest in my writing. But since my adult historical romances are more intense and contain some mature themes, I handed her the young adult series I’ve written. 

As she started the first book, I peeked in her room a time or two to ask her how she liked it. 

“It’s the best book you’ve ever read, right?” I teased. 

“It’s okay,” she replied, teasing me right back. 

The true test for how much she liked the series came when she couldn’t put the book down. She hid away in her room and read all day. Then she read the second book the next day and the third book the day after that. 

She never did gush over the series. But she didn’t need to. Her serious reading marathon told me all I needed to know! Then when I was writing the fourth book in the series, she asked me if she could read it early before it was published which was another testament to how much she enjoyed the series. 

“As long as you promise to say that I’m your favorite author,” I said, teasing her again. 

I’m happy to say that she finished A Loyal Heart just as quickly as the others. Although I’m not sure that I’m her favorite author, I’m satisfied that she loved the series. 

Even more, I’m thrilled that I could hand her sweet romances full of chivalrous qualities—like courage, sacrifice, honor, and loyalty. As she’s being entertained, she’s learning lessons about character traits that are important in relationships. 

My daughter, like other young teens I’ve talked to, really enjoys medieval settings and stories. In some ways, those kinds of stories connect them to the princess fairy tales they used to love when they were little. Let’s face it, even adult readers still love stories about knights and castles and daring damsels! 

In a book market for teens that has grown increasingly dark, jaded, and sexual, I only wish I had more to offer my daughter and other young women. It’s my passion to continue providing wholesome, clean romances for teens, books I know will encourage and uplift as well as entertain. 

How about YOU? Is there a teen reader you know who needs an alternative to what’s available in the market? I encourage you to gift them with A Loyal Heart. And make sure to enter the giveaway for a chance to win the entire series that you can read, pass along, or even gift to your library. 

Jody Hedlund is the best-selling author of over twenty historicals for both adults and teens and is the winner of numerous awards including the Christy, Carol, and Christian Book Award. She lives in central Michigan with her husband, five busy children, and five spoiled cats. Although Jody prefers to experience daring and dangerous adventures through her characters rather than in real life, she’s learned that a calm existence is simply not meant to be (at least in this phase of her life!). When she’s not penning another of her page-turning stories, she loves to spend her time reading, especially when it also involves consuming coffee and chocolate.

Blog Stops

Among the Reads, March 27




books n baubles, March 28


By The Book, March 29


Genesis 5020, March 29






Book by Book, March 31




Mary Hake, April 1



Novels Corner, April 2

Remembrancy, April 3







Carpe Diem, April 5







Simple Harvest Reads, April 7 (Guest post from Mindy Houng)

Pursuing Stacie, April 8

Bigreadersite, April 8

margaret kazmierczak, April 8 (interview)

Henry Happens, April 9


Joy of Reading, April 9

Giveaway



To celebrate her tour, Jody is giving away a grand prize of 
An Uncertain Choice, A Daring Sacrifice, For Love & Honor, and A Loyal Heart!!

Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post 
before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! 

Friday, March 30, 2018

The Pirate Bride (Daughters of the Mayflower #2) by Kathleen Y'Barbo













Title: The Pirate Bride (Daughters of the Mayflower #2)
Author: Kathleen Y’Barbo
Pages: 251
Release Date: April 1, 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 have chosen to write this review to express my personal opinion.

About the book:

     A former privateer and a desperate heiress join forces to find a treasure.

     Jump on board with a brand new series for fans of all things related to history, romance, adventure, faith, and family trees.

     Pasts collide in New Orleans when a treasure goes missing.

     The last time New Orleans attorney Jean-Luc Valmont saw Maribel Cordoba, a Spanish nobleman’s daughter, she was an eleven-year-old orphan perched in the riggings of his privateering vessel proving herself as the best lookout on his crew. Until the day his infamy caught up with them all and innocent lives were lost. Unsure why he survived but vowing to make something of the chance he was given, Jean-Luc has buried his past life so deep that no living person will ever find it—until a very much alive and very grown up Maribel Cordoba arrives on his doorstep and threatens all he now holds dear.

My review:

     This is an exciting historical romance!

     I adore Maribel! She is delightful and so fun to keep up with. As a bookworm myself I immediately connected with her love of reading.

     Jean-Luc seems to be hiding something from the very beginning. It was quite entertaining to follow through the story and figure out what it was and all the twists to this wonderful character.

     This book is packed with a lot of action and adventure. I wasn’t at all surprised by that though given the title. Then there were a few really great surprises that caught me completely off guard. It was fun learning what the difference was between pirates and privateers.

     I absolutely loved this second installment in the series. I have to give it a 5 star rating. I am definitely highly recommending it. I’m looking forward to seeing what happens the next time I look in on the Lytton family descendants.


Disclaimer: *Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a copy of this book for free in the hope that I would mention/review it on my blog. I was not required to give a positive review, only my honest opinion - which I've 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, March 17, 2018

Out of the Ordinary (Apart from the Crowd #2) by Jen Turano













Title: Out of the Ordinary (Apart From the Crowd #2)
Author: Jen Turano
Pages: 346
Year: 2017
Genre: Historical Romantic Comedy
Publisher: Bethany House
Format: Paperback (also available in eBook)
Note: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author. I have chosen to write this review to express my personal opinion.

About the book:

     Working as a paid companion may be quite commonplace, but Miss Gertrude Cadwalader’s eccentric employer makes her job unpredictable, to say the least. She finds herself carrying out an array of highly unusual tasks, including wearing peculiar outfits and returning items the woman pilfered. But when the wealthy Mrs. Sinclair catches Gertrude sneaking around the Sinclair yacht with some of the missing items in her possession, she immediately jumps to the wrong conclusion.

     Shipping magnate Harrison Sinclair is caught in the middle of a misunderstanding between his mother and Gertrude, but he can’t help coming to his friend’s defense. Even as he hopes their friendship might become something more, Harrison is unprepared for the outlandish escapades that seem to follow the lovely, anything-but-ordinary Gertrude at every turn.

My review:

     This is a hysterical historical romance!

     This story stands alone within the series. The main characters from the first book are present in supporting roles. It was fun to check in and see how their lives had progressed.

     Many times throughout the book I was laughing out loud at the conversations and antics of these wonderful characters. At times I was concerned that I was disturbing others in the house with my laughter.

     I love the main characters! The variety of quirks that come out is amazing. One of the things that truly captured my attention was seeing how childhood emotional wounds shaped the way Gertrude behaved with others as an adult. We had hints of those wounds throughout the book. 

     Then over halfway into the book there was a major, heartbreaking, truth revealing session. So many of the odd behaviors were explained and my heart truly ached for all the pain and suffering that Gertrude and others had gone through.

     I have to give this charming book a rating of 5 stars. I am definitely highly recommending.


Disclaimer: *Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a copy of this book for free in the hope that I would mention/review it on my blog. I was not required to give a positive review, only my honest opinion - which I've 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, March 14, 2018

Murder in the Mystery Suite (Book Retreat Mysteries #1) by Ellery Adams













Title: Murder in the Mystery Suite (Book Retreat Mysteries #1)
Author: Ellery Adams
Pages: 304
Year: 2014
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Publisher: Berkley
Format: eBook (also available in paperback)

About the book:

     First in a new series!

     WHO WOULD RESORT TO MURDER?

     Tucked away in the rolling hills of rural western Virginia is the storybook resort of Storyton Hall, catering to book lovers who want to get away from it all. To increase her number of bookings, resort manager Jan Steward has decided to host a Murder and Mayhem week so that fans of the mystery genre can gather together for some role-playing and fantasy crime solving.

     But when the winner of the scavenger hunt, Felix Hampden, is found dead in the Mystery Suite, and the valuable book he won as his prize is missing, Jane realizes one of her guest is an actual murderer. Amid a resort full of fake detectives, Jane is bound and determined to find a real-life killer. There’s no room for error as Jane tries to unlock this mystery before another vacancy opens up…

My review:

     This is an incredible cozy mystery!

     I love the main characters in this book. They are extremely well developed and a pleasure to get to know. The variety is wonderful. The way that they interact with each other is fun and entertaining. I especially enjoyed the antics of Jane’s twin boys. 

     One of my favorite parts of the book was Storyton Hall itself. I would love to find a resort like it. It would be a delight to explore the different public rooms and libraries. Along with that I had a blast trying to see how many book, character, and author references there were in the naming of the actual places and characters in this fun book.

     The mystery and how it was plotted was fantastic. I was completely drawn into it and caught up in trying to figure out “who-dun-it” once the murder had occurred. There were plenty of twists and turns that kept me guessing. I changed my mind a few times as to who the culprit was a few times.

     One of Jane’s friends is very vocal about her preference for “steamy” romances. That description pushed my limits for a clean read a little. That was the only down side to this wonderful book for me. I just kept reminding myself that we can’t control our friends and their tastes either.


     I have decided to give this great story a rating of 5 stars. I am definitely recommending it. I look forward to reading future books in this series.

Monday, March 12, 2018

The Mayflower Bride (Daughters of the Mayflower #1) by Kimberley Woodhouse













Title: The Mayflower Bride (Daughters of the Mayflower #1)
Author: Kimberley Woodhouse
Pages: 256
Release Date: February 1, 2018
Genre: Historical Fiction (1620)
Publisher: Barbour Books
Format: eBook (also available in paperback)
Note: I received a free eBook copy of this novel through NetGalley. I have chosen to write this review to express my personal opinion.

About the book:

     Can a religious separatist and an opportunistic spy make it in the New World?

     A brand new series for fans of all things related to history, romance, adventure, faith, and family trees.

     Mary Elizabeth Chapman boards the Speedwell in 1620 as a Separatist seeking a better life in the New World. William Lytton embarks on the Mayflower as a carpenter looking for opportunities to succeed—and he may have found one when a man from the Virginia Company offers William a hefty sum to keep a stealth eye on company interests in the new colony. The season is far too late for good sailing and storms rage, but reaching land is no better as food is scarce and the people are weak. Will Mary Elizabeth survive to face the spring planting and unknown natives? Will William be branded a traitor and expelled?

My review:

     This is an incredible historical novel!

     The author starts by explaining which characters are fictional. I really appreciate that information. I found these characters very well developed and easy to connect with as the story progressed. At times I found myself verbally counseling William, the male lead, in how I felt he needed to deal with situations and people.

     I had learned the story of the Mayflower in school. The story of these brave people came alive in this wonderful book. It is no longer just dry history facts. The people became more real to me.  Their fears and heartaches were easy to take on personally while reading.

     I’m giving this fantastic story a rating of 5 stars. I have to highly recommend it. It is a marvelous way to go back and refresh your mind about history. I am really looking forward to reading the rest of the books in this series.


Disclaimer: *Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a copy of this book for free in the hope that I would mention/review it on my blog. I was not required to give a positive review, only my honest opinion - which I've 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, March 9, 2018

A Most Noble Heir by Susan Anne Mason













Title: A Most Noble Heir
Author: Susan Anne Mason
Pages: 368
Release Date: March 6, 2018
Genre: Historical Fiction (1884, England)
Publisher: Bethany House
Format: Paperback (also available in eBook)
Note: I received a free copy of this book from the author. I have chosen to write this review to express my personal opinion.

About the book:

     When stable hand Nolan Price learns from this dying mother that he is actually the son of the Earl of Stainsby, his plans for a future with kitchen maid Hannah Burnham are shattered. Once he is officially acknowledged as the earl’s heir, Nolan will be forbidden to marry beneath his station.

     Unwilling to give up the girl he loves, he devises a plan to elope—believing that once their marriage is sanctioned by God, Lord Stainsby will be forced to accept their union. However, as Nolan struggles to learn the ways of the aristocracy, he finds himself caught between pleasing Hannah and living up to his father’s demanding expectations.

     At every turn, forces work to keep the couple apart, and a solution to remain together seems further and further away. With Nolan’s new life pulling him irrevocably away from the woman he loves, it seems only a miracle will bring them back together.

My review:

     This is a wonderful historical romance!

     There are many delightful characters in this book. There are even some that it was very hard to like or connect with. All of them were extremely well developed. By the end of the book I had even found some redeeming qualities in those that I didn’t like.

     The story itself was fantastic. I was caught up in the drama of it and at times had to MAKE myself put the book down to deal with real life stuff. The way that the lives of the different characters entwined was fascinating.

     The descriptions of how the nobility relate to their servants was great. It was nice to see the comparison of how two different members of the aristocracy treat those beneath them was great.

     This incredible book is getting a 5 star rating from me. 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/review it on my blog. I was not required to give a positive review, only my honest opinion - which I've 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.*