Monday, November 26, 2018

TAKE A CHANCE By Shelley Shepard Gray

Take a chance that things will work out if you make a major move. Take a chance that sacrificing for your brother will make his dreams come true. Take a chance that you just might have found the right girl even if she's your brother's teacher. Kurt Holland takes a chance and it's a great romantic read.

Kurt is Sam's big brother and guardian. They've moved from West Virginia to Bridgeport, Ohio, a larger town with a great school system so Sam can have a better chance to earn a scholarship to college. Kurt has put all his savings into a landscaping business that's doing pretty good and a comfortable house but they have left all their friends and their dad who is grieving the loss of his wife and his job. Some days are full of struggles and they aren't sure that it was the right move to take a chance at all.

Sam is having difficulties fitting in at his new school but he has a girl he likes and ends up in trouble defending her honor. Kurt goes to school for a conference with his teacher, Emily Springer. He finds that she is passionate about her students and willing to help Sam succeed. Later, he runs into Emily again, and through their mutual attraction and his loneliness they decide to have a casual dinner date at her apartment.

I really like anything Ms. Gray writes. This is a great 5 star read and part of a series called the Bridgeport Social Club. Thanks to Blackstone Publishing for allowing me to read this book through Netgalley.

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

SOLD ON A MONDAY By Kristina McMorris


This is an exceptional story. It captures your heart from the beginning, that someone would consider selling children and even more so because their straits were so dire as to give them no choice. Struggling newspaperman, Ellis Reed, takes a picture of a scene that strikes a chord with a past of which he hasn't made peace.

Returning to his job he turns in the picture but continues to struggle with his assignments; then Lily Palmer, a single Mom, who has kept it a secret because of the stigma for an unmarried woman and because she was afraid she wouldn't land the job with her boss discovers the picture.

Lily brings it to the attention of her boss who wants Ellis to write a story. He excitedly tackles the job but then discovers the picture has been accidently destroyed. Ellis strikes out to find the boys in the picture again but now they are gone but two other children are there so he poses them with the sign he at retrieved from the original site. His article appeals to the general public and donations for the family beginning pouring in and Ellis, guiltily and secretly deposits them at the family's home.

Lily, in the meantime, wants to become a columnist herself; but her boss doesn't think women capable. She continues to work toward finding opportunities to change his mind. In the meantime, she and Ellis begin a fragile friendship at the same time another reporter vies for her attentions and things slowly become complicated.

Finally, both Ellis and Lily are drawn into corrected the mistakes suffered by the children caused by the false picture. These children had been inadvertently sold because the picture had led the wrong people to them. 

This is a fascinating story drawn from photos and suffering during the depression and War time periods of our country's history. With a little romance and suspense thrown in, you will find a story that tugs at your heart strings and makes it hard to put the book down. Five star recommendation. Thanks to Sourcebooks Landmark for allowing me to read this book through Netgalley. 

Friday, August 17, 2018

THE PATRIOT BRIDE By Kimberley Woodhouse

Part of the Daughters of Mayflower series, The Patriot Bride, is one of my favorites so far. Ms. Woodhouse does a great job incorporating history. In fact, the balance of romance and revolutionary life draws you in so that you feel as if you are part of the action. More than that, you find yourself sympathizing with General Washington and Ben Franklin because of the glimpse of the life they must have led and the sacrifices they had to make which lead you to appreciate them more. I don't think I had ever truly understood. I had learned the facts of history but it is so impersonal. 

It is pure enjoyment to read this book and see what our founding fathers and early american ancestors had to do to ensure the freedom we enjoy. Faith Jackson, a widow, agrees to be a messenger, a dangerous job, and in the process she meets Matthew Weber, a patriot, undercover as a loyalist attempting to gather information and transfer it to Faith to get to the leaders of the cause. 

As war begins to break out around them, they found their feelings for each other escalating and the danger to them both also increasing exponentially. To complicate matters, Faith has an unwanted suitor who is insistent and persistent.

Will their love survive the coming conflagration or will the sacrifices be too great. This book has my 5 star recommendation and can stand alone in the series. Thanks to Barbour Publishing for allowing me to read The Patriot Bride through Netgalley.

Thursday, August 9, 2018

MINDING THE LIGHT By Suzanne Woods Fisher

Minding the Light, is the second book in the Nantucket Legacy series by author, Suzanne Woods Fisher. Ms Fisher puts you right in the middle of early 19th century America with flashbacks to a century before that through the journal of Mary Starbuck. She gives you glimpses of Quaker life as well as that of seafaring men and the women who wait for them at home.

In fact, the opening scene is of Jane Macy as she and her children are hurrying to meet her seafaring Captain husband, Reynolds Macy. But Jane only has a small role in the story although her character has an affect on all the others. The true heroine is her sister, Daphne who must step in and her the widowed Captain with his children whom he has only just met.

Jane leaves Reynolds a dying message to "Mind the Light" from which the book gets it's name. Reynolds, decides his wife didn't only die from sickness but was murdered. He accuses the Doctor because of some medicine he has been treating her with but all may not be as it seems.

Tristam, Reynold's partner also has him deep in debt and then suddenly disappears. A bounty hunter appears to apprehend Reynold's first mate, a black man, whom the bounty hunter wants to return to slavery.

Daphne's mother despises Reynold's and his children but she had already turned her back on Jane before she died. Now she pushes Daphne and Tristam into a betrothal neither, secretly, seems to want.

Minding the Light is a very interesting character study and a lesson in humility, redemption, and forgiveness. It is a historical romance but the romance rolls very gently through the story.

It makes for an interesting summer read. Thanks to Revell for allowing me to read Minding the Light through Netgalley

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

THE HOPE OF AZURE SPRINGS By Rachel Fordham

Rachel Fordham is a new young author but, already, I suggest you add her to your list of authors for your reading lists. This is an excellent start for her. From the opening paragraph to the final page, I was hooked. Em, the heroine, truly warrants that title. She is a young woman who has survived adversity knock after knock. She survives an attempted murder that succeeded in taking the life of her guardian, who turns out to not be much of a guardian. She is brought into Azure Springs where she meets Sheriff Caleb Reynolds who vows to find the perpetrators.

Sheriff Caleb Reynolds mistakenly treats Em as a child to start with until she corrects him and then he realizes she is just half starved to death. He thinks she's plain, not much to her, and not much to look at; but slowly she transforms and he finds that her beauty shines from within and makes her a hidden treasure. 

Caleb is determined to solves Em's case and protect all those under his care especially Em. He feels he has to prove himself to his parents as the only living son since his three brothers all perished in the war. 

Em doesn't trust easily and holds her past close to her vest. Her greatest desire is to find her little sister lost to her when they were separated off the Orphan Train.

Slowly, with out trying, Em begins to steal Caleb's heart and in turn he begins to share bits of himself with her as she does with him. Things escalate when Em is kidnapped by the bad guy. That is not the end of the surprises in the story. The ending is a true happily ever after, one a princess would appreciate. You'll know what I mean if you read the book.

Thanks to Revell for allowing me to read The Hope of Azure Springs through Netgalley. 

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

WHERE THE FIRE FALLS By Karen Barnett

Karen Barnett is a new author for me but she will go on my list of authors to read and recommend. This is part of a series but the stories are meant to stand alone. They are a series because of the setting which is one of our great National Parks.

Ms. Barnett does a great job setting a scene and describing the views. You can almost hear, feel, and smell as well as visualize the surroundings. It is spectacular and I've never been. It is on my bucket list, however. But I digress. The story of an avant-garde artist and a Park Ranger Guide meeting and falling in love, though quite unusual, is very romantic. Clark Johnson is every woman's rugged hero even as he is a man of faith. Olivia has many flaws but don't we all. She slowly sheds her facade and the woman underneath is a sweet and trusting soul who needs a champion.

Olivia has come to Yosemite on contract for Scenic Magazine to paint scenes of Yosemite National Park. She doesn't really want to come but she has two sisters to support and get to college. She has a dark secret in her past that still haunts her--her father has murdered in this very park.

Clark Johnson is the guide the Magazine has contracted to show her around Yosemite. He knows the park almost better than anyone as he came here to escape his own dark past. Clark is a former Pastor who lost his church due to false accusations. He has an opportunity to become an official Park Ranger but feels God may have other plans.

As the relationship between Clark and Olivia heats up, they encounter many obstacles. The rich husband of the couple who accompanied her on her assignment accosts Olivia; and when she refuses his advances, he destroys some of Olivia's paintings. Later someone she trusted kidnaps her and plans her demise. Will Clark get to her in time?

This is an excellent book that I highly recommend especially to those who enjoy books of faith and romance combined. Thanks to Waterbrook and Multnomah for allowing me to read Where the Fire Falls through Netgalley.

Sunday, July 8, 2018

STORM FRONT By Susan May Warren

Susan May Warren is at the top of my all time favorite authors list. Her series are suspenseful, romantic, realistic, and fun. I've not found a series by her that I didn't love and want all for my keeper shelf; but enough of that. Suffice it to say, Storm Front is another keeper. It can stand alone but works better with the series because you come to love all the characters and want to know their stories.

In Storm Front, you meet Ty Remington and Brette Arnold. From the opening scene you are catapulted into the world of storm chasers as Brette and Jonas chase one down. Brette taking pictures at the risk of her life almost gets killed right off the bat; however, you soon find out why she doesn't care. She has survived the ravages of breast cancer--a double mastectomy, and chemo. She's afraid the cancer will come back as her mother's did, so she ran from Ty who wanted a relationship because she didn't want to hurt him and drag him through her suffering and because he always wants to rescue her.

Ty works for the Peak rescue team.  When a tornado hits close to home, among the missing is his mentor and friend Chet. Ty is a helicopter pilot but one who doesn't want to fly anymore. He has his own issues but he's still part of the Peak Team and he pushes them to follow his hunches which often are right.

Circumstances bring Brette and her team home to Minnesota and sparks fly because Ty still wants to rescue her and she doesn't feel she can trust anyone not even God. But trusting and loving Ty may be the medicine she needs.

The novel is chock full of angst, romance, rescues, and a great cast of supporting characters. I give it 5 stars and recommend it for your keeper shelf. Thanks to Revell for allowing me to read Storm Front through Netgalley.