Tag Archives: romance

A Life Once Dreamed by Rachel Fordham

Publication Date: 4 August 2020

Publisher: Revell

ARC Copy from NetGalley.com and Revell

Rating: 5 out of 5


“But as you ponder what it is you want most in life, remember most things fade away with time. Only love, pure love, remains in the end. ”

                                                                      -Catherine Pratt

Step onto the rugged streets of Penance in the Dakota Territory in the year 1880 and meet the diverse and entertaining citizens of this small mining and logging town. The story focuses on the town’s schoolteacher, the upstanding Miss Agnes Pratt, who came out six years ago from Buffalo, New York to teach the youngsters of Penance.

Life is good in Penance and relatively predictable for Agnes until the new doctor arrives in town. Dr. James Harris, a fine young doctor newly graduated, arrives in town from none other than Buffalo, New York. Six years after Agnes disappeared from his life, James is finally face to face with her again. As they struggle to keep their shared history a secret, they find that their unsettled past continues to haunt them. Agnes unexpectedly finds herself with an orphaned baby to raise and the challenges of the child’s background bring unexpected memories back to disrupt her life.

As Agnes and James are forced to confront their history, they must figure out what is really important in life. They each must learn that where we come from doesn’t dictate who we are nor does it change the person we are. As Agnes and James explore the seasons of their life, their growth as individuals helps them make the right choices bringing a beautiful ending to this story.

Begin the journey to Penance and read this engaging story interwoven with threads of friendship, family, faith, and community. Everyone loves a genuine “feel good” story that ends leaving us feeling all is right with the world at that moment. Great read for lovers of historical fiction, historical romance, and Christian fiction!

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

#ALifeOnceDreamed #NetGalley


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

South of the Buttonwood Tree by Heather Webber

Publication Date: 30 Jul 2019

Publisher: Forge Book

ARC copy from Netgalley.com and Forge Book

Rating: 5 out of 5


“In the book of life, everyone has chapters they don’t like reading out loud.”


 South of the Buttonwood Tree is a quixotic blend of mystical and down t0 earth rolled up into one delightful story.  Filled with both serious and insightful characters as well as an ample cast of quirky ones, the story draws us straight in with the finding of a mysterious baby girl by a young woman named Blue Bishop.

The picturesque small town of Buttonwood is well known for its namesake, the buttonwood tree, a tree that offers cryptic guidance to the citizens of the town. When Blue discovers the baby, guidance from the tree indicates that the baby should belong to her. The story follows Blue’s journey after finding baby Flora and working to solve the mystery of her birth.

Full of southern charm with tidbits of wisdom sprinkled through, the story reads like a modern fairytale. Explore the importance of family and friends in a person’s life as Blue comes to understand what family really is and the role they play in her life. I thoroughly enjoyed this magical book. Readers of Sarah Allen Addison will absolutely love this book as will readers of women’s fiction.

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

#SouthOfTheButtonwoodTree  #NetGalley

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Filed under Book Reviews, Contemporary, Magical Realism, Romance

The Lies That Bind by Emily Giffin

Publication Date: 02 June 2020

Publisher: Ballantine Books

ARC copy from Netgalley.com and Ballantine Books


Rating: 3 out of 5


“We are all living in tragedy of Shakespearean proportions while pretending we don’t know the inevitable ending. . .”

–Excerpt from Grant’s email

An interesting read set a few months prior to  9/11/2001 that dissects the natural weaknesses of human nature when people make mistakes and tell lies! In a story that contains a few too many coincidences, the reader meets Cecily Gardner, a reporter from New York City and Grant Smith, a financial consultant on Wall Street. Cecily and Grant meet in a bar in New York City like many other young adults.

As the story unfolds, a web of lies is woven by Grant and Cecily that will eventually affect many of the people in their lives.  In the months after 9/11, the lies will begin to unravel.  Is one lie worse than another? How important is the truth? The story explores the issues involved and lives affected when a good person makes mistakes and the complexities of how one lie often leads to another even when we tell them to ourselves.

A thought-provoking contemporary read exploring morals and the ramifications of telling less than the truth! The story also explores the theme of unconditional love, forgiveness, and the importance of listening to our head as well as our heart. I definitely recommend this book for readers of women’s fiction, contemporary fiction, and romance. A good start to your summer reading!

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

#TheLiesThatBind #NetGalley

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Filed under Book Reviews, Contemporary

Masquerade at Middlecrest Abbey by Abigail Wilson

Publication Date: May 26, 2020

Publisher: Thomas Nelson

ARC from Netgalley.com and Thomas Nelson

Rating: 4 out of 5


 “Trust is personal and dangerous and terrifying…”


Who doesn’t love good Regency filled with handsome highway men, a bit of espionage and intrigue, an adorable baby, and a distressed lady? A mistaken identity in carriages sets a course of events in action that will drastically change Elizabeth Cantrell’s future plans.

Going from housekeeper to becoming the esteemed Lady Elizabeth Torrington literally overnight, Elizabeth Cantrell must decide what type of man she married. Working together to uncover a mystery in their midst, Adrian, Lord Torrington, and Elizabeth must play the roles of their lives in order to expose the bad guy. The masquerade behind which they hide allows them some interesting insights into each other. Can they learn to trust each other when so much is at stake?

Read this intriguing tale to find out if trust is indeed dangerous and terrifying or if the truth will free both of them from their pasts to forge a promising future. A delightful read and my first book from this author! I am looking forward to reading the rest of her books. I highly recommend for people who enjoy historical fiction, Regency fiction, and Christian fiction.

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


#MasqueradeAtMiddlecrestAbbey #NetGalley

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

The House at the End of the Moor by Michelle Griep

Publication Date:  1 April 2020

Publisher: Shiloh Run Press, an imprint of Barbour Publishing

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


Filled with intrigue, mystery, a ruby necklace, and a shadowy house at the end of the moor, this story will captivate the reader’s interest immediately. Maggie Lee, a well-known opera star, is evading her former life to hide a few mysteries of her own when she comes across a mysterious stranger lying wounded on the moor near her home. Little does Maggie know that she is taking in a man wanted by the authorities.

As Maggie realizes the implications of what she has done, she must decide if she has indeed taken in a dangerous criminal or a man wrongfully blamed. As the mystery unfolds, the pair finds themselves linked together in ways neither could imagine. Can they find a way out of their complicated situation and resolve both their issues at once? Read this intriguing story filled with silky romantic undertones as well as the ever-present message of grace and faith.

Great book! Readers of historical fiction, particularly the Victorian era, and Christian historical fiction will love this story. I personally can’t wait for her next book.


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

#TheHouseAtTheEndOfTheMoor  #NetGalley









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

The Solid Grounds Coffee Company by Carla Laureano

Series: Supper Club Series, Book Three

Publication Date: 04 February 2020

Publisher: Tyndale House

ARC copy from NetGalley and Tyndale House

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars


Coffee, friendship, and romance blend to create a delectable read. Carla Laureano takes us back to Denver and the trio of young women who are the best of friends; Ana, Rachel, and Melody. This third and final novel in the series wraps up their story quite neatly, centering on Ana Sanchez, the high powered executive of the group.

Bryan Shaw, the bad boy climber and close friend of Rachel’s fiancé, is back in town. Desperate to turn his life around, Bryan purchased a coffee farm in Columbia and plans to start a roasting business in Denver. With coffee beans on the way, a plan to buy a used roaster, and a fair amount of knowledge on roasting, he begins to try and put together a plan. Ana, marketing executive genius, unexpectedly finds time on her hands and pitches in to help Bryan achieve a chance at success. Can these two very different people work together to come up with a viable plan?

This book is a delightful story filled with witty dialogue, heartfelt moments of friendship, and second chances. Don’t miss this great read. This book works well as a standalone.

 This ARC copy was received from Tyndale House and the author.  The above thoughts and opinions are wholly my own

#NetGalley #TheSolidGroundsCoffeeCompany


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Filed under Book Reviews, christian fiction, Contemporary, Romance

The Land Beneath Us by Sarah Sundin

Series: Sunrise at Normandy, Book #3

Publication Date: 4 February 2020

Publisher: Revell

ARC copy from Revell and Netgalley.com

Rate: 5 out of 5

What motivates Clay Paxton, a handsome young man from Texas, to risk his life and change his future? The reasons are actually more complex than they seem on the surface. A powerful, recurring dream of his death influences Clay to join the U.S. Army Rangers in 1943. While doing his Ranger training at Camp Forrest in Tennessee, Clay meets a lovely young woman, Leah Jones, a new librarian on the base.

Clay struggles with his inclination to heal and a strong interest in medicine with his need to fulfill his mysterious dream. Leah, raised in an orphanage, fights a battle of self-worth and personal identity and works continually on an ongoing search for her twin sisters from whom she was separated at a very young age. A traumatic event conspires to bring about a marriage of convenience for Clay and Leah before he leaves for Europe. Can the friendship they had and the shared letters and hopes they share during the war bring them into a lasting relationship?

The Land Beneath Us is an outstanding historical fiction story interspersed with real people and events from this dramatic time during the war. The author’s detail of the war and the specific battles she details is impressive. She gives personality and depth to the characters bestowing them with a very real, unique presence in the story. The themes of unrelenting courage, forgiveness and reconciliation, the meaning of family, faith, hope, love, and friendship all play strong roles in this story. The book is an excellent read for people who enjoy inspirational historical fiction or any reader of historical fiction.

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

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Filed under Book Reviews, Historical Fiction, Inspirational Fiction

The Thief of Lanwyn Manor by Sarah E. Ladd

Publication Date: 07 January 2020

Publisher: Thomas Nelson

ARC copy from Netgalley and Thomas Nelson Publishers

Genre: Regency Romance, Historical Christian Romance

Excerpt:  Every single lady of marriageable age was eager for security. It was the ultimate goal, whether she chose to acknowledge it or not.”

 With the distinctive flair of Jane Austen and a setting befitting Poldark, The Thief of Lanwyn Manor brings us the story of Julia Twethewey, niece of the well-off Lambourne family. When William Lambourne inherits Lanwyn Manor and its accompanying mine, Bal Tressa, the family relocates to Cornwall and Julia journeys to serve as her cousin Jane’s companion when her adventures begin.

A bold, brave gentleman by the name of  Isaac Blake steps up to rescue Julia, but little does she know how deep into his family drama she will be drawn. Julia quickly meets Matthew Blake, the elder twin brother of Isaac, and the competitive nature of love is challenged. The story shines a light on societal issues of the time; the plight of the working man in the mining industry, the issues of status and rank, and the turmoil of being a young, single woman with minimal resources.

A wonderful Regency novel! The characters, the language, the romance and the mystery are a delight to explore in this tale.

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

#TheThiefOfLanwynManor  #NetGalley

5/5 stars


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

The Bridge to Belle Island by Julie Klassen

Publication Date: December 2019

Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group

ARC Copy from Netgalley.com and Bethany House

A quaint, rather remote island in the Thames River sets the stage for Julie Klassen’s latest Regency tale!  Suspense, intrigue, and romance add to the essence of this captivating story. After getting rather publicly humiliated during a trial, Benjamin Booker gladly accepts the challenge of going to the country and investigating Ms. Isabelle Wilder, purported to be a possible suspect in the death of her guardian, Mr. Norris, the senior partner at Mr. Booker’s law firm.

Benjamin finds himself drawn into life on the island, making his investigation a bit more challenging than he planned. As the story unfolds and more details come to light, the suspect list develops as do the motives. The main characters each have their own distinct issues to deal with adding to the complexity of the story. I thoroughly enjoyed the plot twists that added depth to the intrigue. There were definitely a couple of things I didn’t see coming!

A great read that will draw you in at the beginning and keep your interest all the way through. An intriguing little mystery that will surprise you, followed by a delightful ending filled with family, faith, and romance.

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

#TheBridgetoBelleIsland  #NetGalley


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

Hope’s Highest Mountain by Misty M. Beller

Publication Date: 1 Oct 2019

Publisher: Bethany House Publishers

Series: Hearts of Montana, Book 1

ARC from Bethany House Publishers and NetGalley




“I learned long ago trusting God to help never makes things better. It only makes me weaker.”

                                                                                                -Micah Bradley

 “Relying on God fills me with an inner strength much greater than I could possess on my own.”

                                                                                                   -Ingrid Chastain

The conflict begins. Set in the mountains of Montana in the year 1866, this latest novel from Misty Beller takes the reader on a perilous journey with two amazing people each with differing views on life and faith. The novel centers around the story of Ingrid Chastain, a brave, very determined young woman from Boston who works in the medical field with her father, and Micah Bradley, a reclusive doctor from the mountains who hasn’t practiced in five years.

Ingrid Chastain sets out on a trip with her father, a prominent doctor from Boston, to deliver smallpox vaccine to a colleague in dire need in the wilds of Montana Territory. In addition to Ingrid and her father, they are accompanied by their maid and a guide. As misfortune hits them along the way, Ingrid is left injured and alone in the mountains until Micah comes along to rescue her.

Vivid descriptions of their dangerous journey to finish delivering the vaccine will have you shivering and shaking as you relive the rugged winter they must endure to survive. Filled with adventure and drama, this book holds the reader’s attention from the very beginning. Ingrid, a young woman filled with faith and trust in the Lord, steadfastly refuses to give up as Micah, a haunted man who lost his trust and faith struggles to find healing and God’s will. Can these two people possibly have a future if they can survive the rigors of their trip?

I highly recommend the book to fans of historical inspirational fiction. This novel is the first I have read by the author and I intend to do some catching up on her past works. I thoroughly enjoyed the book. Great read!

I received this copy from Bethany House and NetGalley. The opinions and statements above are my own.

4 out of 5

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Filed under American Frontier, Book Reviews, Historical Fiction, Inspirational Fiction