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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Where the Fire Falls by Karen Barnett

Series: A Vintage National Park Novel

Publication Date:  June 2018

Waterbrook

ARC  from Waterbrook and Netgalley.com

 “For three years he’d explored Yosemite and the High Sierra, hoping for a word from God about his failed calling. Nothing so far.”

                                                                   –Thoughts from Clark Johnson

Three years wandering through Yosemite and the adjoining area as a guide had certainly given Clark Johnson plenty of time to think about his situation. As his time as a guide draws to an end, Clark’s last guided tour includes Olivia Rutherford, a beautiful young artist hired to paint scenes from the park for Scenic Magazine, a national publication and Marcus and Sophie Vanderbilt, friends of the artist.

Clark, a nature loving solitary man, and Olivia, a polished social butterfly, couldn’t possibly have anything in common. However, as they begin working together they find that opposites often attract. Each of them has secrets they are keeping to themselves and until they find a way to be honest with each other, their friendship will go no further.

An appealing tale filled with adventure, a few unconventional characters, and some interesting twists will hold your interest! Once again the national park setting and the unique features of Yosemite add an additional dimension to the story. Karen Barnett finds a beautiful way to weave faith and inspiration into the story. An enjoyable read you won’t want to miss!

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

#Netgalley  #WhereTheFireFalls

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Cottage by the Sea by Debbie Macomber

Publication Date: July 17, 2018

Ballantine Books

ARC from Ballantine Books and Netgalley.com

 

Excerpt: “Still, the cottage by the sea was the one place she could remember where she’d been completely happy. She didn’t know if she’d ever find that sense of peace again, but Annie was determined to try.”

In search of peace, Annie Marlow packs her bags and moves to the tiny beach town of Oceanside. As a physician’s assistant, Annie could have chosen from a vast array of locations, but she was searching for peace and a place to rebuild her life after a terrible tragedy. Going back to a familiar spot from childhood, Annie moves back into a cottage her family rented for many years.

This novel is all about the characters and their eccentric range of personalities. Seth Keaton, a gentle giant of a man, paints rooms and houses by day and quietly paints beautiful murals around town when no one is looking. Soft spoken, awkward and shy his crush on Annie has lasted for years unbeknownst to her. Melody Johnson, rude, ill-mannered and extremely anti-social, never leaves the old house behind Annie’s cottage. As Annie’s landlord, Melody and Annie have an uncomfortable working relationship which Annie is determined to better. A cast of minor characters play a role in Annie’s life and her battle to find her happy place again at Oceanside.

I enjoyed the quirkiness of the characters as well as the comfortable pace of the story. The book is one to read and enjoy slowly in spite of its rather serious tone and nature. Travel Annie’s journey with her to find her serenity and her happy place. Good beach read for the summer for those who want a little depth to their story!

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

#CottageByTheSea #NetGalley

 

 

 

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Filed under Book Reviews, Clean, Contemporary, Contemporary, Realistic Fiction

Sons of Blackbird Mountain by Joanne Bischof

Series: Blackbird Mountain, Book 1

Publication Date: July 3, 2018

ARC from Thomas Nelson Publishers and Netgalley.com

“The Lord does not test His children beyond what He thinks they can manage—with His strength. We will pray for the Lord’s strength now.”

This story touches chords deep in one’s soul with its setting, its characters, and its deep, personal struggles. A beautiful, haunting story of one woman and three brothers living deep in the mountains of Virginia! This profound tale and its lyrical dialogue will engage you until you turn the last page.

Arriving on Blackbird Mountain in August of 1890, Aven Norgaard, a quiet, shy and very capable young woman of twenty-one, is greeted by a surprise when she meets the three Norgaard brothers, Jorgan, Thorald, and Haakon. Arriving upon invitation from Aunt Dorothe to help care for the Norgaard brothers, she is expecting young boys in need of childcare only to find that the Norgaard brothers are grown men. Not only are the brothers grown men, but Aunt Dorothe died while Aven was en route.

As a widow of their cousin, Benn, the men take on Aven as a member of their family until she can figure out what to do with her life. The story follows Aven and the brothers’ day to day life on the farm where they raise apples for the making of alcohol, a business that creates great unrest in Aven’s soul and a deep, unquenchable thirst for one of the brothers.

Aven attracts the attention of two of the brothers; Thor, the middle brother who lives in his own silent world, and Haakon, the youngest and most charming of the three. Even though Aven has no intention of pitting brother against brother, the inevitable happens. In the midst of their personal turmoil, the three brothers struggle with conflicts regarding their business, their neighbors, and their beliefs. Ultimately, their choices have consequences that will set them against many of their own and endanger them and their loved ones.

Begin the journey to Blackbird Mountain and read this beautiful story interwoven with threads of faith and family.

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

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The Hope of Azure Springs by Rachel Fordham

Publication Date: 3 July 2018

Publisher: Revell

ARC Copy from NetGalley.com and Revell

 

“My little friend, prayers are funny like that. It is easy to see the times others answer our own prayers, but so often we don’t realize we too are the answer to someone’s prayer.”
-Margaret Anders

The novel begins in Azure Springs, Iowa in the year 1881. Em, a sad, wounded young woman is brought into town and her mysterious circumstances soon have the entire town talking. As she heals at the home of Abraham and Abigail Howell, her story is gradually revealed. The tale of a young girl and her sister sent west on an orphan train depicts a story heartbreaking in its details. As Sheriff Caleb Reynolds, a determined man of integrity, works with Em to untangle the mystery that brought her to this small town, he unexpectedly finds himself drawn to her.

The book reads at a very good pace. I thoroughly enjoyed watching Em heal and her life open up in front of her as she works to resolve her past and its complications. The themes running though the storyline are strong and deep: judging people by their looks can be very deceptive; living life to please others will not make you happy; and kindness is never wasted. Make the time to read this intriguing historical fiction novel and see where life will take Caleb and Em.

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

#NetGalley  #TheHopeofAzureSprings

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