Lana’s War by Anita Abriel


Publication Date: 12 January 2020

Publisher:  Atria Books, Division of Simon and Schuster

ARC copy from Netgalley and Atria Books

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Traumatic, life altering events change Lana Antanova’s life forever as she witnesses the deadly work of the Gestapo in Paris. As a result, Lana, the daughter of a Russian countess, goes to work for the Resistance in southern France along the Riviera posing as the mistress of a very wealthy Swiss businessman, Guy Pascal.

The unique setting for WWII definitely got my interest as well as the lifestyle of the German officers and the Russian émigrés which highlights the distinction between people during the war. As Lana and Guy work together to save as many Jewish people as possible, they find themselves drawn together in spite of the difficult times. One of the most personable characters of the story is the taxi driver, Pierre, who is much more than what he seems to be on the surface.

When Guy disappears one night, Lana must take charge of her life and alter her plans. Follow Lana as she travels to Switzerland and reinvents her life. The story sets a good pace and kept my interest most of the time. However, the ending is too farfetched for this reader.

This ARC copy was received from Atria Books and Netgalley. The above thoughts and opinions are wholly my own.

#LanasWar #NetGalley

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Filed under Book Reviews, Historical Fiction

The Children’s Blizzard by Melanie Benjamin

Publication Date: 12 January 2021

Publisher: Delacorte Press

Rating: 4 out of 5


This poignant and emotional story begins one beautiful, sunny day in January of 1888 on the plains of the Dakota Territory. The story introduces us to Gerda and Raina Olsen, sisters and schoolteachers working in different parts of the territory. Both girls are faced with decisions that will alter their life and that of their students forever when a blizzard unlike anything they have ever seen hits the prairie.

Gerda and Raina each choose a different path to follow as the storm hits. One becomes disgraced over her actions and the other becomes a heroine. The story follows not only the girls, but several of their students and their paths forward. Intertwined in the story is Gavin Woodson, a disgraced writer, trying to make a new way forward for himself. Gavin’s impact on one of the sisters and her student will be felt for years to come.

The story is a rich mingling of history and drama.   Touching on complex issues of the prejudice against immigrants, the difficulties of life on the plains in the 1800’s, and of the complications faced by  young women on their own during this time, the book weaves an engrossing tale that readers of historical fiction will find well worth their time!

This copy was received from Delacorte Press and Netgalley. The above thoughts and opinions are wholly my own.

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Filed under Book Reviews, Historical Fiction

Tidewater Bride by Laura Frantz

Publication Date:  January 5, 2021

Publisher: Revell

ARC Copy from and Revell

Rating: 5 out of 5

Laura Frantz has outdone herself with this excellent story portraying a complex time in the settling of our country. Journey back in time to 1634 James Towne in the Virginia Colony! Meet Xander Renick, thriving tobacco planter, widower, and prominent council member who resides at Rose-n-Vale, his beautiful plantation property set along the James River. Make the acquaintance as well of Selah Hopewell, a spirited twenty-six year old young woman whose father owns the local mercantile. Both of these colonists understand well the distinctions and complexities of living on the frontier.

Xander’s life is dedicated to growing his tobacco plantation, serving the community as a council member, and helping to keep a path of communication between the native people and the English. Selah’s life is extremely busy; she works at the family store and she has been charged with overseeing the new brides that have arrived in James Towne. In a life filled with worrying about survival and day-to-day living, neither Selah nor Xander have had time to focus on finding a mate.

This tension-filled tale highlights the volatility of life in early colonial times. Filled with adventure, a genuinely evil person, adorable youngsters, handsome, hardworking heroes, and a romance as sweet and light as the breeze off the James River, this book is perfect for readers who enjoy good, solid historical fiction with well done, subtle romance.

This ARC copy was received from Revell and The above thoughts and opinions are wholly my own.

#TidewaterBride #Revell #NetGalley

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The Thief of Blackfriars Lane by Michelle Griep

Publication Date:  1 January 2021

Publisher: Shiloh Run Press, an imprint of Barbour Publishing

ARC from Netgalley and Shiloh Run Press, an imprint of Barbour Publishing

Meet Kit Turner, a lovely young, female Robin Hood lurking about the streets of London and implementing her own form of social justice by collecting “donations” in a most unusual way. Meet Constable Jackson Forge, brand new constable set on making a success of his new career in London; however, he can’t even make it to work on time for his first day!  These two unlikely characters find themselves thrown together to solve Constable Forge’s only chance to redeem himself by finding a missing hack driver.

Whether scampering around the sewer tunnels or waltzing at the Lord Mayor’s ball, the pair seems to have a knack for finding trouble as they hunt for the missing driver. Intrigue, murder, and chaos seem to follow them wherever they go! Will they make it out of the dark streets of London alive? Is there time in their complex, vastly different worlds for a bit of romance? Read this adventurous tale of Kit and Jackson to see if they can solve their mystery and figure out a path for their divergent lifestyles!

Fun book! Readers of historical fiction, particularly the Victorian era, and Christian historical fiction will enjoy this well- paced story.

This ARC copy was received from Barbour Publishing and Netgalley. The above thoughts and opinions are wholly my own.

#TheThiefOfBlackfriarsLane  #NetGalley

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Filed under Book Reviews, Historical Fiction

Aunt Ivy’s Cottage by Kristin Harper

Publication Date: 07 December 2020

Publisher:  Bookouture

ARC copy from and Bookouture

Rating: 4 out of 5

Zoey Jansen settles in for a quiet summer with her great-Aunt Ivy in her rather large, old beach house in the historic little town of Benjamin’s Manor on Dune Island. Little does Zoey realize her summer will be anything but quiet. This emotional contemporary family drama introduces us to Zoey, Aunt Ivy, Cousin Mark, and Zoey’s niece, Gabi.

The family members are each unique and a bit broken in their own way. Their family dynamic is complex and becomes even more so as the summer wears on and family rumors and secrets begin to surface. Can the truth be discovered? Will the truth do some good or just create more turmoil? Join Zoey as she works to uncover the real truth

With a surprise ending well worth the read, readers of contemporary women’s fiction and chick lit will enjoy this family drama. A great beachy read to put you in a warm frame of mind during this chilly winter season!

This ARC copy was received from Netgalley and Bookouture. The above thoughts and opinions are wholly my own.

#AuntIvy’sCottage #NetGalley #Bookouture

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Filed under Book Reviews, Clean, Contemporary

A Castaway in Cornwall by Julie Klassen

Publication Date: 01 December 2020

Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group

ARC Copy from and Bethany House

Rating: 5 out of 5

Welcome to the coast of Cornwall!  Shipwrecks, smugglers, and strange men are all part of the intrigue in this latest tale by Julie Klassen. Lovely Laura, a kind young woman with a melancholy heart, lives with her guardian, her Uncle Matthew Bray, the local minister, and his family. When a shipwreck deposits a wet, bedraggled man on the beach at her feet, Laura immediately sets out to heal the man and uncover the mystery surrounding his identity.

Alexander Lucas, the mysterious man from the shipwreck, slowly begins to heal and begins a search for a cryptic object that he needs to take home with him. The story unfolds as Alexander’s past gradually gets exposed to Laura. Is he a good guy or a bad guy? Nothing is quite as black or white as it seems.

Read this appealing story to uncover the mystery behind the shipwrecked man and his unforeseen connection to Laura! I thoroughly enjoyed this book; the intrigue, the understated romance, the unique characters, and the discovery of the real meaning of family.

This ARC copy was received from Bethany House Publishers and Netgalley. The above thoughts and opinions are wholly my own.

#ACastawayInCornwall  #NetGalley

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Filed under Book Reviews, Christian Fiction, Historical Fiction, Regency

Joy to the World: A Regency Christmas Collection by Carolyn Miller, Amanda Barratt, and Erica Vetsch

Publication Date: October 2020

Publisher: Kregel Publications

Purchased Copy

Rating: 4 out of 5


Who doesn’t love a heartwarming Christmas story? Put three of these Regency gems in the same book and you’ll be absolutely gifted with Christmas cheer!

Heaven and Nature Sing by Carolyn Miller

Grantley House, 1813

When Christmas festivities draw Edith Mansfield and George Bannerman, one of the most eligible bachelors of the season, to Lady Grantley’s estate for the holiday, can they put their past history behind them and make it through the Christmas holidays? Read this delightful story of pride and pretenses, second chances, and grace and forgiveness under the Christmas kissing ball!

Far as the Curse is Found by Amanda Barratt

London, 1816

When a man in a black mask and cape saves Jenny Grey and her tiny daughter, Anna,  late at night on a dark London street, little does she know the changes that will take place in her life as a result of that meeting. A deeply touching Christmas story of grief, forgiveness, faith, and grace will play on all of your emotions in this poignant, slightly sad tale that was my very favorite out of the trio!

Wonders of His Love by Erica Vetsch

Oxfordshire, 1814

Lady Priscilla Haverly, widow and sister-in-law of the Duke of Haverly, lives a quiet, resigned life with her mother-in-law the Dowager and her baby daughter. When Hamish Sinclair, a ruggedly handsome Scottish painter, arrives to pain the Duke and Duchess, Lady Priscilla’s orderly world is turned upside down with possibilities. Will she receive the gift of her life this holiday season? Delightfully romantic!

This copy was purchased for my personal reading. The above thoughts and opinions are wholly my own.


Filed under Book Reviews, Christian Fiction, Christmas, Historical Fiction

A Christmas Resolution by Anne Perry

Publication Date:  3 November 2020

ARC copy from Netgalley and Ballantine Books

Rating: 4 out of 5


Seth Marlowe, middle age widower, chooses the wrong woman to try and intimidate when he begins threatening Celia Hooper, wife of Detective John Hooper. When Celia’s best friend, Clementine, unexpectedly becomes engaged to Seth, controversy erupts in a multitude of ways in the small village in Victorian England. As Seth blames Celia for his troubles, John Hooper begins his own search for answers to the mysterious death of Seth’s first wife.

Will John and Celia be able to find their way through the tangled web of Seth Marlowe’s life and find an answer before it’s too late for Clementine? Sprinkled with Christmas kindness and lessons on forgiveness, the story unwinds with a satisfying answer to everyone’s questions on Christmas Eve no less!

This ARC copy was received from Ballantine Books and Netgalley. The above thoughts and opinions are wholly my own.

#AChristmasResolution  #NetGalley 

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

Gentleman Jim by Mimi Matthews

Publication Date: 10 November 2020

ARC Copy from Netgalley and Perfectly Proper Press

Rating: 4 out of 5

Mimi Matthews gives us an engaging Regency tale filled with romance and an intriguing mystery surrounding the identity of the dashing John Beresford, Viscount St. Clare. Maggie Honeywell, a lovely, rather frail young woman, spends ten years of her life wondering what happened to her best friend, a young man named Nicholas Seaton who is the illegitimate son of one of the maids. Just as she resigns herself to marrying her unpleasant guardian, the son from a neighboring estate, she accidentally meets John Beresford, Viscount St. Clare, who bears a startling resemblance to Nicholas. As Maggie tries to uncover the mysterious identity of St. Clare, she finds herself in precarious circumstances more than once trying to unravel the clues. Could a scruffy, fun loving stable boy turn into an educated, well-mannered aristocrat? An intriguing little romance that ends in an absolutely delightful way!

This ARC copy was received from Perfectly Proper Press and The above thoughts and opinions are wholly my own.

#GentlemanJim  #NetGalley

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Filed under Book Reviews, Christian Fiction, Historical Fiction, Regency

A Solitude of Wolverines: A Novel of Suspense by Alice Henderson

Series:  The Alex Carter Series

Publication Date: 27 October 2020

ARC copy from and William Morrow


Rating: 5 out of 5

This fast paced novel quickly drew this reader in with atmosphere, suspense, and adventure. When Dr. Alex Carter receives a call from an old professor at Berkley for a field job in northwest Montana, she jumps at the opportunity. Alex, a wildlife biologist, is more than ready to leave Boston and all its drama behind. The adventure begins when she is dropped off at the desolate, abandoned ski resort on the reserve where she is supposed to headquarter alone for the winter while she tracks and studies wolverines.

Alex quickly finds that she is not welcome; not at the ski resort and not in Bitterroot, the nearest town. As the story unfolds, the suspense builds as cameras are destroyed, wild animals break in to the lodge, and mysterious wounded men disappear. With a dial phone for communications and an old Willys Wagon for transportation, Alex’s options for help are limited when situations escalate. Who can be trusted?

This enthralling, suspense filled novel is excellent.  Not only is the suspense and drama captivating, but I learned an amazing amount of information about wildlife, particularly wolverines. Great read for going into the winter months!

This ARC copy was received from William Morrow Books and Netgalley. The above thoughts and opinions are wholly my own.

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Filed under Book Reviews, Contemporary, Mystery/Suspense