Ever Faithful by Karen Barnett


Series: A Vintage National Park Novel #3

Publication Date:  18 June 2019


ARC from Waterbrook and Netgalley.com

 “If you don’t believe in yourself, who will?”

–Elsie Brookes

Join me for an adventurous tale that takes the reader on a ramble through another of our nation’s great national parks, Yellowstone, for a peek at park life during the 1930’s. Karen Barnett once again constructs a unique novel set during a trying time in our nation’s history, the Great Depression, and integrates faith, fiction, and historical background and detail into the core of the story.

April 1933 finds Nate Webber, a young man from Brooklyn, New York, headed west to Yellowstone to fulfill his six month obligation to the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). Although not exactly voluntary, Nate finds himself grateful for the opportunity to provide for his mother and siblings back home. He and his fellow CCC members, all city boys, have much to learn upon their arrival at the park. Some lessons are harder to learn than others for the boys, but they pull together and perform their jobs better than most would have expected.

Over the course of the summer their adventures lead them everywhere from snow covered hills for logging to fighting forest fires to save the majestic forests and hotels of the park. Along with the more serious side of their jobs, the evenings offered entertainment and good times with some of the female staff at the park. Nate finds a special place in his heart for one of the young ladies, Elsie Brookes, who just happens to be his ranger boss’s daughter. Can two people from such varying backgrounds have anything in common?

Filled with a cast of characters that are dynamic and believable, the story brings to life the camaraderie and the ups and downs of life in a summer national park setting. Ms. Barnett takes on some serious topics in the book such as mental health issues, learning disabilities, anger and forgiveness, as well as the standard park issues of conservation and wildlife management. I thoroughly enjoyed the characters and the story. A perfect summer read that will get you in the mood for a trip to one of our beautiful national parks!

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

#EverFaithful #NetGalley


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The Noble Guardian by Michelle Griep

Series:  The Bow Street Runners Trilogy, Book 3

Publication Date: June 01, 2019

Publisher: Barbour Publishing, Inc.

ARC from Netgalley.com, the author, and Shiloh Press, an imprint of Barbour Publishing

“Life is more than good ideas. It’s the risks that return greater results.”

–Samuel Thatcher

 Michelle Griep finishes off the Bow Street Runners Trilogy with her best hero yet, Captain Samuel Thatcher.  Be still, my beating heart!! A dark, silent man, scarred and a bit short on conversational skills, Samuel has little time in his busy life as an officer of the law to escort women and babies all over the countryside. However, he finds himself doing just that.

Abigail Gilbert, a lovely young woman from a relatively well-off family, departs on a journey to marry a virtual stranger in order to escape her unhappy family life. Little does Abigail dream that her life will take on the twists and turns she encounters along the way. Abby finds herself on the adventure of a lifetime. The bride-to-be finds herself a kidnap victim, a babysitter, and nursemaid before the trip comes to an end.

Packed with action, adventure, extremely bad guys, sweet babies, dark, handsome heroes, and romance, this book entertained me right from the start.  Can these two damaged people find a way to make a life for themselves? Don’t miss this last book in the trilogy. It is an excellent read that I highly recommend for people who enjoy historical fiction, Regency fiction, and Christian fiction.

This ARC copy was received from Netgalley.com and Shiloh Press, an imprint of Barbour Publishing. The above thoughts and opinions are wholly my own.

#TheNobleGuardian  #NetGalley  #amreading  #amreviewing


Filed under Book Reviews, christian fiction, Historical Fiction, Regency, Romance

It’s Release Day: The King’s Mercy by Lori Benton

Publication Date: June 2019

Waterbrook Multnomah Publishers

ARC copy from Author and Waterbrook

“In every ending,” Alex said, “there’s also a beginning. That’s a thing I’ve learned.”

–Alex MacKinnon


Impeccably written and well developed, The King’s Mercy is complex and filled with descriptive detail. I loved the book’s depth and voice and the way the story stays in my head.  This sixth novel from author Lori Benton brings together an unlikely pair; Alex MacKinnon, a bitter young man exiled from his native Scotland and sold into indenture and Joanna Carey, a hard working young woman  dedicated to doing the right things in life while living amidst slavery at her stepfather’s plantation in North Carolina.

The book begins in 1747, a complex and changing time during our nation’s history.  The story offers a vivid portrayal of early life in the Piedmont of North Carolina. The setting brings the reader right into the working world of the plantation alongside the characters and eventually travels to the Native American world of the Cherokee as well.  The primary characters are sincere, strong, and memorable, and in addition, the secondary characters have depth and add much to the story.

The book does not hesitate to tackle some deep issues like child abuse, slavery, the loss of personal freedoms, and the struggle of faith during difficult times.  Explore the themes of grace and mercy woven through this book as Alex and Joanna show resiliency and ingenuity to overcome their difficulties and move on to a different way of life.

I highly recommend this book to readers of historical fiction and inspirational fiction.  The book is truly an amazing read.

I received this book from Waterbrook and the author. The above thoughts and opinions I have expressed are wholly my own.

#TheKingsMercy  #NetGalley

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Murder in the City of Liberty by Rachel McMillian

Series: A Van Buren and DeLuca Mystery

Publication Date: May 2020

Publisher: ARC from Thomas Nelson

Review Title: More Murder, Mystery, and History!


“Murder is a by-the-way when there are so many bigger things at play.”

                                                                       -Hamish DeLuca

Welcome back to Boston! Hamish DeLuca, a handsome upright young man who works as an investigator and part-time attorney, and his perky well-bred partner, Regina “Reggie” Van Buren, are now running their own firm in the historical part of town. Although the office is a bit slow, the two are always on the lookout for any type of investigative business that looks the least bit interesting and mysterious. When Reggie takes a call from someone who won’t give his name, their lives become extremely interesting.

The shadowy figure of Luca Valari, Hamish’s flamboyant, troublesome cousin, seems to lurk in the background of their current problems along with Dirk, one of Reggie’s old friends who works at the architecture firm of her good friend and sometimes boyfriend, Vaughn Vanderlaan. As Hamish and Reggie increasingly find themselves drawn in to multiple situations that seem to be tied together, their investigative work takes them to the baseball field, Fiske’s Wharf, and other shadowy places.

The characters in this novel continue to develop and add even more personality to the series. Once again the suspense pulls the reader in and draws them through the story. Love, loyalty, prejudice, and honor all play into the heart of this tale. A captivating, suspenseful read that will take the reader right into the heart and soul of Boston with an entertaining mix of historical fiction, mystery, and romance!  Bring the next one on!!

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



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Filed under Book Reviews, Historical Fiction, Mystery/Suspense

The Inn at Hidden Run by Olivia Newport

Publication Date: 01 May 2019

Publisher: Shiloh Run Press

ARC from Shiloh Run Press and Netgalley


The author uses a unique premise in this first book of a series called the Tree of Life. She incorporates genealogy as a means of introducing a second timeline to the novel. The time shifts between current day in Canyon Mines, Colorado and the year 1878 in Memphis.  The connection is not initially clear as to how the two storylines will blend and it created a bit of a disconnect for me when reading, particularly early in the story.

The characters in the novel are a bit on the interesting and quirky side, and they seem to add personality to the story. Nolan Duffy, an attorney and professional mediator, lives in Canyon Mines with his daughter the genealogist, Jillian Parisi-Duffy. A great deal of the story centers around Meri Davies, a young college graduate who wanders in to town and accepts a job at Jillian’s friend, Nia’s bed and breakfast. Jillian, Nolan, and Nia take on Meri and her life and personal troubles as their next project to solve. Jillian utilizes her best genealogical skills to uncover Meri’s family tree and in doing so hopes to answer some of the girl’s unresolved issues.

The historical portion of the novel is based on actual historic notes, and real historic characters are incorporated in to the storyline. I actually enjoyed the historic portion much more than I did the contemporary part of the story The central themes in the book dwell on independence, forgiveness, and family. Readers of contemporary and historical fiction may enjoy this book.

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

#TheInnAtHiddenRun  #NetGalley  #amreviewing  #amreading

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Filed under Book Reviews, christian fiction, Clean, Contemporary, Historical Fiction

The Golden Bride by Kimberley Woodhouse

Series: Daughters of the Mayflower, Book 8

Publication Date: April 2019

Publisher: Barbour Books

ARC Copy from NetGalley.com and Barbour Books

            “It all boiled down to the fact that God wasn’t done with any of them yet. He was a God of second chances.”

The Daughters of the Mayflower series continues with book eight written by Kimberley Woodhouse. The lineage of the Lytton family whom we met in book one of the series continues across the country in the year 1849 during the California gold rush.

San Francisco was a filthy, crime ridden city filled with the worst of humanity all striving to strike it rich. Olivia Brighton, a resilient young woman, finds herself widowed outside San Francisco and on her own only six weeks after a hurried marriage to a strange man. In order to find her older brother, Daniel, she must get herself into the city of San Francisco and locate his thriving restaurant.

In the midst of beginning a new life with her brother, a decent man who feels compelled to do good for his fellow man, Olivia meets Joseph Sawyer, her brother’s best friend and another man of faith and personal integrity who works with him to bring some much needed stability and faith to San Francisco.  Olivia and the two men encounter criminals, prostitution, and a variety of other vices in their challenge to help stabilize the new city. Read this interesting, faith filled adventure to see what surprises life has in store for Olivia, Joseph, and Daniel.

The book contains some very interesting historical notes at the end and includes real historical figures sprinkled through the story. I love the history woven through this story as well as the very satisfying epilogue that draws the book to a close. Readers of historical fiction and inspirational historical fiction will enjoy this story very much!

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

#TheGoldenBride #NetGalley


Filed under Book Reviews, christian fiction, Historical Fiction, Inspirational Fiction

Sweet On You by Becky Wade

Series: A Bradford Sisters Romance, #3

Publication Date: April 30, 2019

Bethany House Publishers

ARC copy from Netgalley.com and Bethany House Publishers


“Loving her was his greatest blessing. But it was also his greatest curse…”

                                                         -thoughts from Zander Ford

Two of the three Bradford sisters are now married and residing close to home. This third book centers on Britt, the youngest of the three sisters. Her life revolves around her chocolate shop, Sweet Art and Britt is all about chocolate. Up until a year and half ago, Zander Ford had been her most reliable and best friend in the world. However, becoming a bestselling author changed Zander’s life and he departed to broaden his horizon and give himself some space.

When an unexpected death in the family brings Zander home early, he finds that he cannot go back to his old way of life with Britt. As the two struggle with their own personal concerns, can they find their way back to what they had or move forward to a different life? As they explore their options, Britt and Zander work to solve a unexpected mystery that comes to light while balancing family and relationship issues.

I enjoyed the characters very much because they are all so familiar from the previous novels in the series.  A very good contemporary read filled with drama, romance, mystery and faith!

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

#SweetOnYou #Netgalley

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Filed under Book Reviews, christian fiction, Contemporary, Romance