Murder at the Flamingo by Rachel McMillian

Series: A Van Buren and DeLuca Mystery

Publication Date: July 2018

Publisher: ARC from The Fiction Guild and Thomas Nelson

 

Sometimes stories are in the people whose life’s pages no one thinks of turning, his father once told him. Maybe it was time to land straight in the middle of the adventure. Not just peer through a glass and count his heartbeat.”

                                                      –Hamish DeLuca

Hamish DeLuca, a rather quiet young man with a severe case of anxiety, finally has enough of his well meaning parents help and takes off for Boston to spend some time with his rather progressive and wild cousin, Luca Valari. Regina “Reggie” Van Buren, daughter of well to do Connecticut parents, runs off to Boston to remove herself from an unwanted fiancé and a difficult social situation. Reggie and Hamish find themselves working for Luca as he prepares to open his flashy new nightclub, The Flamingo.

The story centers on the opening of the nightclub and all of the undercurrents that come to light when Hamish and Reggie begin to spend time together. Opening night rolls around and a sensationalized murder occurs at the nightclub. The year is 1937 and the undercurrents of illegal business, police on the payroll, and dark mysterious figures controlling things all play a role in this mysterious read. Family, loyalty, and finding oneself all occupy central themes in the story. The characters add depth and heart to the story.

An engaging read for lovers of historical fiction, romance, and historical mystery! I’m ready for another Van Buren and DeLuca book!

This ARC copy was received from Thomas Nelson Publishers and The Fiction Guild in exchange for an honest review. The above thoughts and opinions are wholly my own.

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Filed under Book Reviews, Clean, Historical Fiction, Mystery/Suspense

Mysterious and Complex!

The Clockmaker’s Daughter by Kate Morton

Publication Date: Oct 9, 2018

Publisher: Atria Books

The book, set at Birchwood Manor in England where the heart of the story takes place, begins with Elodie Winslow finding of a sketchbook and a photograph in an old leather satchel. As she examines the items in the satchel, she feels a familiarity with the house in the photo. Elodie slowly gets drawn into the story behind the sketchbook and photo and she finds a familial thread intertwined.

This book weaves an extremely complicated story with more than one mystery at the center of the tale. The story is intertwined with time shifts between the 1860’s and 2017. Not only is the story complicated, but keeping track of the characters required work.

In my honest opinion the book is a challenging read much too complex for a casual, enjoyable read.  I have read the majority of Kate Morton’s other work and very much enjoyed them.

This ARC copy was received from Atria Books and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The above thoughts and opinions are wholly my own.

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The Cumberland Bride by Shannon McNear

Series: Daughters of the Mayflower, Book 5

Publication Date: 1 October 2018

Publisher: Barbour Books

ARC Copy from NetGalley.com and Barbour Books

 

Step back in time to life along the Wilderness Trail in April 1794 in the latest of the Daughters of the Mayflower series. This fifth book in the series by Shannon McNear brings to life the struggles and difficulties our ancestors had to endure as they moved westward.

The story focuses on the Gruener family and Thomas Bledsoe, a solemn, sober young man who will serve as their guide on the move from Virginia to Kentucky. The Gruener family’s oldest daughter, Kate, catches the eye of Thomas, but he’s sworn off getting entangled with a woman that might wind up crying over him. A bit on the rugged side, Thomas spent some time as a captive with the Shawnee tribe and as a result is fairly comfortable in both worlds.

Kate, inquisitive and not overly shy, makes a point of enquiring about everyone’s story. She feels that each person’s story makes them who they are. As a result of her curious nature, she prods Thomas a bit beyond his comfort level. Can these two young people find a common ground and make a life for themselves?

Colorful and filled with historical detail, this novel is a great read. I enjoyed the particulars of travel along the trail as well as the heightened sense of adventure detailed through the use of Indians, the perils of travel, and discontent among the travelers.  Readers who enjoy historical fiction, particularly from the post Revolutionary War era, will enjoy this book.

This ARC copy was received from Barbour Books and Netgalley.com in exchange for an honest review. The above thoughts and opinions are wholly my own.

#TheCumberlandBride #NetGalley

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Filed under American Frontier, Book Reviews, christian fiction, Historical Fiction

Ours for a Season by Kim Vogel Sawyer

Publication Date: Sept 11, 2018

Publisher: Waterbrook Multnomah

ARC copy from Netgalley.com and Waterbrook Multnomah

“And he reminded me that our children aren’t really ours anyway. They belong to God. We have them for one season of life, but then they have to move into their own season.”

–Evelyn Mast

Kim Vogel Sawyer brings to life the lesson of accepting our life the way the Lord gives it to us instead of the way we plan and hope for it to be. Marty and Anthony Hirshler, devout Mennonites raised and married in the faith, live in Pine Hill, Indiana. Their story of heartbreak, disappointment, and new chances is interwoven with that of Brooke Spalding, a close, non-Mennonite friend of Marty’s from childhood, who runs a successful real estate business in Kansas City. This book offers a genuine portrayal of lives planned and changed by circumstances beyond their control.

Mixing faith, fertility issues, medical crises, and family issues together creates an intriguing novel that draws the reader in right from the beginning of the story. I enjoyed the interweaving of Marty and Anthony’s Mennonite faith and way of life with that of Brooke’s modern lifestyle. Timing is critical and Brooke and Marty find in each other some much needed support. As Anthony brings Marty and his construction crew to Eagle Creek to work for Brooke on a restoration project, he finds that more than his buildings are being restored.

Don’t miss this emotional story by Kim Vogel Sawyer. Readers of Amish fiction and Christian fiction will truly enjoy this unique story.

This ARC copy was received from Waterbrook Multnomah and Netgalley.com in exchange for an honest review. The above thoughts and opinions are wholly my own.

#OursForASeason #NetGalley

 

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Filed under Amish, Book Reviews, christian fiction, Clean, Contemporary, Contemporary

Daughter of a Daughter of a Queen by Sarah Bird

Publication Date: September 4, 2018

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

ARC copy from St. Martin’s Press and NetGalley.com

Secular Fiction

 

General Phillip Sheridan, Union general, turns Cathy William’s world upside down the night he takes her as contraband to serve on his cook staff. This rough, spunky young slave woman has the grit and fortitude to survive this difficult period of the Civil War. From a long line of proud African women, Cathy Williams carves a place out for herself on Sheridan’s staff and makes her skills known. She listens and learns about the ways of military life during her time with the general and puts them to use.

With the end of the war, Cathy Williams becomes William Cathay, an enlisted Buffalo soldier with the Union Army. For two years she poses as a male soldier undergoing some harrowing treatment and brutal conflicts while shielding her gender. Along the way she falls in love with a fellow soldier and their story takes some interesting turns.

This novel is based on a real woman who joined the Army and served for two years. The storyline is intriguing and definitely keeps the reader’s interest. As with most historical fiction based on a real character, the author has taken some license in spinning her own version of Cathy William’s life during that time. Don’t miss this spirited, historical tale of a real flesh and blood woman who managed to pose as a woman for two years without discover.

This ARC copy was received from St. Martin’s Press and Netgalley.com in exchange for an honest review. The above thoughts and opinions are wholly my own.

#DaughterOfAdaughterOfAqueen #NetGalley

 

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A Tale of Two Hearts by Michelle Griep

Publication Date: 1 September 2018

Series: Once Upon a Dickens Christmas

Publisher: Barbour Publishing

ARC Copy from the author, NetGalley.com and Barbour Publishing

 “You see, my dear, real joy is not found in the best moments of life, but in trusting that God is making the best of every moment…even those as dreadful as death.”

–Miss Whymsy

A delightful Christmas tale that centers around two engaging young people living in Victorian London in 1853! William Barlow, a young law clerk with a bit of a wild past, crosses paths with Mina Scott, a free thinking young woman who loves to read Dickens when she’s supposed to be waiting on tables at her father’s inn.

As Mina waits on William day after day, her romantic imagination gets the best of her. When Will needs to come up with a bride quickly, who better to ask than his friend Mina who waits on him! As Mina and Will begin their journey along a path twisted with tall tales and some outright lies, they find their situation more complex than they planned. This story confronts the dilemma of whether or not it is ever okay to lie, even if you are doing it for the best of reasons.

The short novel is charming with an interesting cast of secondary characters to entertain the reader. Some of the characters you will like and some you will find to be perfect villains. Get an early jump on your Christmas spirit with this quick holiday read!

This ARC copy was received from the author, Barbour Publishing and Netgalley.com in exchange for an honest review. The above thoughts and opinions are wholly my own.

#ATaleOfTwoHearts #NetGalley

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Filed under Book Reviews, christian fiction, Christmas, Clean, Historical Fiction, Romance

Feared by Lisa Scottoline

Series: Rosato & DiNunzio Series, book 6

Publication Date: August 14, 2018

ARC copy from Netgalley.com and St. Martin’s Press

 

Book six in the Rosato and DiNunzio series finds Mary DiNunzio and her partner, Benny Rosato, being sued for reverse discrimination by a group of three unfamiliar men. As Mary digs deeper into the case, Nick Machiavelli’s name begins to appear in the background.

The case gets complex quickly when Rosato and DiNunzio’s lone male employee turns up dead. To complicate matters, Judy, the quieter partner of the firm, has been secretly dating him. The twists and turns begin.

The South Philly gang is all back to help Mary and Benny out particularly now that Mary is about to give birth.  An interesting read–fast paced and filled with suspense, mystery, and drama! Perfect summer read!

This ARC copy was received from St. Martin’s Press and Netgalley.com in exchange for an honest review. The above thoughts and opinions are wholly my own.

#Feared #NetGalley

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