Wednesday, December 10, 2014


Kimberley Krey at Amazon
Every once in a while you come across a book that is just a gem of a find by an author you haven't read before.
This story, part of a series, is such a book. Though not a Christian romance, it is albeit, a very clean read; but with spice. It is deliciously romantic.
Jade's Cowboy Crush opens with a hint that the hero and heroine may have a brief history together. It immediately jumps forward into a suspenseful conundrum for Jade. She witnesses a murder and needs to enter Witness Protection with her son.
Enter Gavin, her protector--a hard as nails cowboy, moonlighting as a construction contractor, with a history of his own. Home is not a place Gavin wants to return to; but home is where he's agreed to take mother and son and pretend to be happily married.
Of course this is a recipe for trouble. Ms. Krey writes the best kissing scenes. Just as in real life, the characters must choose the high ground and just when you think you can't turn the page, they make the right choice.
This one has you hanging on the edge of your seat at the end. Gavin's past collide's with the future he hope's to have with his little family. Will the bad guy find them and will Gavin be able to save them and his heart? You have to read to find out.
An excellent, clean, romantic, suspense for your keeper shelf. I plan to read the whole series. Ms. Krey, you've made my list of favorite authors!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

A most unusual treatise for a story. I wasn't sure how the author was going to carry it off. In fact, I wasn't sure that I would  enjoy a story where the person had married someone and then discovered that the person wasn't who they married at all.
But Ms. Jennings uses the culture of that time, integrity, beliefs, and loyalties to make you understand and root for her characters. As you discover the reasons for the misunderstandings and see how the characters deal with what life has thrown their way you find yourself turning the pages because you are so invested in the story.
War wounds, not only those physically involved, but those left behind. An Inconvenient Marriage is thought provoking from several directions. Complicated relationships, life and death issues, and the after effects of war and it's effects on daily living make this story worth your time and investment.  This is one I will want to read again just to see what I missed. 
The romantic encounters were that--romantic. At the climax, the tension was palpable  but things naturally evolved into a very humorous outcome to a serious situation. You have to read to find out.
I received this book from Netgalley for an honest review.


Thursday, November 20, 2014


Margaret Brownley always writes entertaining novels. This is no exception. Her sense of humor shines. Laughter and mystery abound.

Jennifer Layne, alias Amy, is working undercover as a lady of ill repute. Trying to find clues to the gunny sack bandit while not having to entertain "guests" , as Ms. Lillian calls her patrons,  certainly counts as hazardous pay. Amy meets Tom Colton who is trying to clear his brother's name while he discovers who might have murdered him. Both feel the attraction for the other and that complicates matters for both.

Amy  feels she can't blow her cover but hates that Tom thinks she is a bad girl; and Tom, who is really an ex-Texas Ranger, feels drawn to Amy and berates himself while still wishing she could get out of her predicament.

There are so many opportunities for misunderstandings that create humorous situations to keep you laughing and turning pages. In addition, piquing your interest in history are the references to the Pinkerton Agency and female agents. This story makes you want to research that subject further.

 I received this book from Netgalley for an honest review.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

THE AMISH BLACKSMITH By Mindy Starns Clark & Susan Meissner
After a very slow start, "The Amish Blacksmith" picked up steam and was a page turner at the end. You are turning pages to find out if Jake realizes what he's been missing and if he will make the right choice in time.
Besides the slow start, the story is told in first person which I admit is not one of my favorite tools. But Ms. Starns and Ms. Meissner do a good job not to let the story get too bogged down.
In fact, there is a mystery and murder for which the audience as well as Jake think they know the answer but for which  there are some surprise twists.
All in all, this is one read that helps pass the time when you are waiting and it is easy to pick up where you left off. I received this from Netgalley for an honest review.

At Bluebonnet Lake gets off to a slow start but like a butterfly emerging from a cocoon it evolves into a sweet romance wrapped up in some mysterious revelations that the reader has to patiently wait for.
Kate Sherwood meets Greg Vange at the Rainbow's End Resort that her ailing grandmother desires to return to. She mistakes him for the handyman. Greg is definitely volunteering as the resort's handyman but not because he needs the job.
Ms. Cabot does a great job building the relationships in her novel including the secondary one between the grandmother and another gentleman at the resort.
Kate's main goal in life seems to be gaining the promotion that will make her a partner in the advertising business. She has to make choices but will those choices cost her what really matters most?
Greg on the other hand, seems to be running away from something, but spending time with Kate and listening to her advice brings him to a pivotal point in his life as well.
This is a sweet romance easy to read and pick up where you left off as you wait in line or at the Doctor's office. I received this from Netgalley for an honest review.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Most of the time I find I do not like a book told in the First person; but "Playing by Heart” works very well told from the perspective  of  the hero and heroine's point of view. I found myself looking forward to each chapter to see what the other was thinking during a particular incident of the story.

Ms. Lula Bowman, at the turn of the century, has an unusual profession as a University Teacher in Mathematics. Having lost her mother at a young age, her goal has been to achieve what no woman has, a Masters in Teaching Mathematics. But is she doing it for herself or for her Dad?

Suddenly, life throws a curve ball and Lula must return home to help her sister and children survive the tragic loss of her sister's husband. She finds a teaching job but it is in Music with a secondary duty of coaching the girls’ basketball team. The quandary for Lula is that she has no knowledge of basketball.

Chet Vaughn, the Math Teacher also Coaches the boys’ Basketball team. Chet has a passion for his students and for basketball. More importantly, he feels called by God to do what he does. Both he and Lula have something in common. Neither is interested in the opposite sex or marriage. But they both find their views on that subject and others change as Lula seeks Chet out to help her learn the finer art of basketball.

Playing by Heart flows like a beautifully written piece of Music played well. I loved watching Lula's and Chet's goals and needs change as their complicated relationship developed. The plot ebbs and flows and has many surprises. I highly recommend "Playing by Heart" as an enjoyable read that should fast become a favorite on your shelf.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

A BRIDE IN STORE by Melissa Jagears
"A Bride in Store", the second novel, by Melissa Jagears doesn't disappoint.  If you patiently wade through the first third of the book, you'll be rewarded as the story picks up steam.

 It is obvious from the beginning when heroine, Eliza Cantrell arrives fresh off the train a mail order bride without her prospective groom in sight and victim of a train robbery, that sparks will fly between her and the town's want-to-be Doctor, proprietor of the store her missing fiance co-owns , Will Stanton.

Eliza is a strong-willed young woman with just as strong a business acumen. Though she and Will are obviously drawn to each other, Will balks at all her suggestions and struggles with his attraction as she helps him in the store. Meanwhile, her erstwhile fiance, Axel remains missing.

Several interesting characters and subplots make "A Bride in Store" an intriguing read that keeps you wanting to know what happens next. But it is the climax and culmination of the complicated relationship between Eliza and Will that shines.

This is a fine follow-up to Ms. Jagears debut novel, "A Bride for Keeps". Recommended for your kindle or bookshelf.

Monday, September 1, 2014

WITH EVERY BREATH by Elizabeth Camden

With Every Breath
If two people ever bring out the best in each other, it is Trevor and Kate. Both are extremely competitive and passionate people--although Trevor comes across as rude, stubborn, and cold. When Kate agrees to his challenge and begins to dig deeper she discovers a man who is very passionate about the battle he is warring against Tuberculosis and ultimately passionate about her. However, Trevor has a secret he is closely guarding especially from Kate.

 With Every Breath has you holding your breath with each turn of the page as you delve into history. Ms. Camden does a superb job of intertwining her characters with the quirks of their personalities, their begrudging but growing relationship, their pasts, and a mysterious enemy. The unknown enemy stalks them with escalating incidents and bad publicity which threatens Trevor's career and research.

 A sweet read that educates and inspires one with just the right taste of romance. Above all this is a story  of faith and courage about the kind of people we all aspire to be. I highly recommend this book.

I received this book from Bethany House for an honest review.

Sunday, August 17, 2014


Carla Capshaw
Carla Capshaw's prologue to Second Chance Cinderella sets the stage for her characters, allowing us glimpses of their foundational traits. In addition, I felt more forgiving of Samuel Blackstone's abusive treatment of Rose when he meets her again because of this early flashback at Sam’s true nature and childhood relationship with Rose.  Later, one can read between the lines and see his ulterior motives of protectiveness towards Rose and notice how he always seems to be in the right place at the right time.

 Rose Smith embodies all that we find admirable about a single mother struggling to raise her child against all odds. The years since Rose and Sam parted have not been kind to Rose. And, Sam's harsh and unjust accusations only serve to fuel her mistrust and hoarding of secrets even more.

 Most of the book revolves around the second chance that presents itself to the hero and heroine to redeem their relationship. It becomes a discovering of the events that have transpired since, the righting of misunderstandings by both, and the identity and true parentage of Rose’s son. Wrapped around the historical romance package are the elements of mystery and suspense.

 Ms. Capshaw does a fantastic job of winding sinister characters and plots around the main premise of a "second chance" with spiritual insights and surprise twists at the end.

 I highly recommend this novel as being well worth your time to read and enjoy. Ms. Capshaw remains one of my all-time favorite authors.


Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Ruth has always been my favorite Book and story of the Bible. No matter how many times I read it, it never gets old. Most of all, it is forever a part of my Wedding memories. Even without having asked him, my Pastor chose to read from the Book of Ruth as a part of the ceremony.

So, it was with high anticipation, that I approached reading Tessa Afshar's fictionalized version of Ruth. I was not disappointed. Tessa took many liberties and interpretations of events but her descriptions of Boaz and Ruth are spot on. Beginning with Ruth in Moab and telling the story from her point of view and having her meet first Naomi and then her future husband, Mallon gave a unique perspective of how the Moabitess Ruth cultural and religious upbringing might have molded her character.
The Old Testament does make clear that Boaz was much older than Ruth but Ms. Afshar paints a humble but sensual and strong picture of the man Boaz might have been and accounts for the age difference to be acceptable and believable.

From the beginning page you are riveted to Ruth's struggle to survive and her spiritual struggles as she comes to know and serve the Hebrew God.

Ms. Afshar's account teaches us the customs of the time and the history leading us to understand how and why the account could have unfolded as it did. Lastly, she gives us a taste for how the legacy of Ruth and Boaz touch successive generations.

Tessa Afshar has a gift for telling Biblical Romance novels. All her work deserves superb accolades and belongs on your keeper shelf.

Monday, June 16, 2014

CAPTURED BY LOVE by Jody Hedlund
An interesting historical read, Captured by Love, covers much of the history of Mackinac Island, Michigan during  the War of 1812. You follow the characters through their struggles to survive and through their tangle of relationships. Angelique is obviously in love with Pierre but promised to his brother Jean. However, she depends on her abusive stepfather for protection, a roof over her head, and substenance. She strives to help her friend, Miriam, mother of Pierre and Jean,  who has become blind and has no one to tend her farm with both sons away. Pierre returns and now finds himself caught in the middle as a double agent.

The story would be a tough read but Ms. Hedlund's descriptions of living conditions, clothing, the Indians, and strategy's of war add to the plot involving the romance of Angelique and Pierre. Angelique's love for Pierre is complicated by her desire to be an honorable woman. Pierre endures many hardships and comes to realize that he wants to be a better man and do what is right even if it means losing the woman he loves. Jean's return forces them all to face the truth and make tough choices.

Ms. Hedlund has written a story in which her hard work is revealed in the details and is a very realistic but satisfying read.

I received this book from Bethany House Publishers through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

A MOMENT IN TIME by Tracie Peterson
A moment in Time is another quality read from Ms. Tracie Peterson. She introduces us to another generation of Barnett’s, Reid’s, and Atherton’s from her Land of the Lone Star Series. This is actually the second book in The Lone Star Bride Series. There are two story lines to keep your interest. The main plot centers on Alice Chesterfield, a young woman with a physical scar on her face, and emotional scars within. She has lost both parents and a younger brother and serves as an assistant to Marty Wythe. Alice follows Marty to Texas, in order to escape a stalker among other reasons. She meets Robert Barnett, a young rancher, who never seems to notice her scar and treats her with the utmost respect. But Robert is engaged, according to everyone, since a child to Jessica Atherton.

A Secondary plot revolves around Marty Wythe, younger sister to Hannah Barnett whom we met in the Lone Star Series. Marty is married to Jake, whom she met through mail order process. They are separated for a time while Jake seeks work in Texas and Marty remains behind not completely trusting his decisions.

I will not break down the complex plots here but suffice it to say the many twists and turns have one gasping, sniffling and laughing. There are many nuggets of humor, pathos, and spiritual truths. You won't want to miss this one and you catch a glimpse of the hero and heroine from the final book to come in the Lone Star Bride series. A Moment in Time serves up many moments of enjoyment.

I received this book from Bethany House for an honest review.


Sunday, June 8, 2014

FULL STEAM AHEAD by Karen Witemeyer

Full Steam Ahead

If you like action and drama along with your romance, then FULL STEAM AHEAD!  Karen Witemeyer has another quality read under her belt. I have most all her novels on my keeper shelf and this one doesn't disappoint.
From the opening salvo where we meet Darius Thornton until the very satisfying epilogue, Full Steam Ahead draws us in and keeps us swimming page after page.

 The energetic opening introduces us to the hero Darius Thornton dealing with the tragedy and grief of a steamboat boiler explosion. Next, we meet the heroine , Nicole Renard in the midst of a traumatic attack of her parents requiring her courageous intervention.

Darius obsession to find a solution to steamboat boiler explosions and his ultimate goal to save countless lives and Nicole's mission to protect her loved ones and incur her father's favor provide the gist of Ms. Witemeyer's plot. Darius is an eccentric young man, not your usual hero. He remains focused on his goal to the detriment of his general appearance and health until Nicole, his new secretary has to come to his aid during one of his experiments gone awry.

 Nicole remains just as adamant in her pursuit of concealing the Lafitte Dagger which she sees as her Father's legacy  and obtaining a husband and heir for her father's shipping empire. She risks her life again and again mostly for failure of realizing that her true value rests with her heavenly father.

 I highly encourage you to read the author's notes at the end as they lend much to the historical perspective and reveal how much of the story revolved around the history of steamboats and the pursuit of public safety in America.
This one is joining the other Karen Witemeyer novels on my Keeper shelf!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014


Gathering Shadows by Nancy Mehl

Gathering Shadows told in first person heralds the tale of Wynter Evans aka Emily Erwin, a newspaper reporter, in search of her brother abducted as a child. She travels to the Mennonite Town of Sanctuary looking for a young man accidentally captured in a picture who resembles her long lost brother. Accompanying her is Zac, her photographer. In Sanctuary she meets, Ruebin King, the Mayor of Sanctuary, but a farmer by trade. Rueben becomes her love interest--another thing that bothered me because they discuss their mutual attraction way to soon for the thesis of this story, in my opinion. But Reuben is an integral character for connecting other characters and moving the storyline along.

If you like stories told in first person, you may be delighted with this one; but I didn't enjoy it and found the first half to be rather slow. However, after getting into the story, the good points are that the mystery and the solution are quite entertaining. Ms. Mehl does a fine job of going back over her clues and showing how they entertwined and then reveals how they fit her puzzle.
In the end, I found myself enjoying the read and would recommend it for those who like suspense and mystery reads; but it would not be one for my keeper shelf.

I received this free from Netgalley for review.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

SILENCED by Dani Pettrey

Silenced by Dani Pettrey
What I like best about Ms. Pettrey’s novels is the way she builds her suspenseful themes around family and includes descriptive passages of the Alaskan landscape that are familiar as your own hometown visages. You feel at home as much as her characters, the McKennas.

In, Silenced we reach the climax of the mystery that has been building since the first book in the series, Submerged.  Kayden and Jake are thrown together to solve the murder of a local climber and having reached the solution to that mystery a bigger and more serious one evolves.  Jake, the catalyst for a demented murderer, finds himself racing against time to save the woman he loves. Having lost his wife and child to this, mad individual, he doesn’t want to lose another.

 There is plenty of romance with two weddings, resolution of stories from earlier books in the series. Two more siblings seem bent for their own marital end; and the foundation is laid for younger brother Reef and long- time nemesis, Kirra to have their storyline.

Dani Pettrey’s books are full of action, history, romance, strong family relationships, and a nugget of spiritual truth thrown in. She has a gift of writing romantic edginess with the boy or girl next door feel. I enjoy how she helps you to know what both the hero and heroine are feeling and thinking. Her scenes are rife with sexual tension but her characters handle it truthfully and honorably. I have this series on my keeper shelf because they are such fun to read.  Though each could stand alone, I recommend reading them in order for the information you gain on the siblings and their personalities and relationships.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

ONE MORE LAST CHANCE by Cathleen Armstrong

One More Last Chance
One More Last Chance is about relationships, family, and small hometown life. It speaks to something that matters to most of us. Sarah Cooley’s deepest need is to find herself again. Striving to leave a relationship with a controlling boyfriend she returns home to her greatest comfort--Life that never changes or does it. Her grandmother is there and she moves just two houses down from her. But Elizabeth's declining health reminds her how fragile life can be. A stop at her favorite home town restaurant, the Dip ‘n’ Dine reveals new management. The new owner, Chris Reed, can't seem to take his eyes off her; but Sarah isn't interested. She wants nothing to do with men in general much less someone who wants to change the menu. Chris, has not had a place to call home, he's been responsible for his sister especially since she became a single Mom. Now, he becomes the single Dad when, his sister, Katelyn drops off her child, Olivia with Chris and leaves town. Now he gets his change in more ways than one.
Author, Cathleen Armstrong , does a good job of slowly building the relationships in her novel. You find yourself cheering with the accomplishments, cringing with the losses and scares, booing for the bad guy, wanting to slap some sense in the heroine, and rooting for the strong, faithful, yet imperfect hero; and most of all, wanting to stay awhile in Last Chance and taste some of the best cuisine in the southwest at the Dip ‘n’ Dine.

This is a slow sweet read, relaxing and entertaining, and worth your time.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

A PLACE IN HIS HEART by Rebecca Demarino

A Place in His Heart
Very aptly named, "A Place in His Heart" touches places in all of us especially the desire to be loved. Ms. DeMarino, with her debut novel, strikes a resounding cord. For historical depth, APIHH reveals the author's hard work and painstaking research through the passages that make one feel as if they are on the streets of an English Hamlet smelling home baked bread and wearing lavender laced clothes.
Her descriptions of crossing "the Pond" on a vessel similar to what the puritans traveled in are vivid with remarkable details of what these early American travelers might have deemed valuable enough to take with them and of the living conditions they had to endure.

As for her characters, both Barney and Mary are flawed but likeable people. Mary marries Barney knowing he grieves the loss of his first wife still and needs a mother for his sons.  Barney, vows to cherish her and protect her; however, he hasn't been as forth coming. Knowing he and his brothers plan to embark for the New World as soon as they can to escape religious persecution, he fails to share this very important piece of information until his brother lets it slip at the wedding celebration.
One can't help but have admiration for Mary and Barney as they travel to the New World leaving family and all they've known. Surviving the ocean voyage and missing their original destination by miles, Mary must endure several more moves before they find a final place to call home. Each time, she faces her disappointment determined to support Barney, love him, and trust that one day he will love her back. Failure to provide more children haunts both of them and Barney keeps even deeper hurts and sorrow from Mary not allowing her the place in his heart that she deserves.
Barney, always an honorable man, works hard to provide, care for, and protect his family. A devout man, he sets an example for his family of how to worship God through actions. His faith guides them to trust that God will see them through many hardships. Be sure to read the Author's Note at the end of her book for some insight into her personal heritage that she weaved into her story.

What makes A Place in His Heart such a wonderful read, is the very thing that gives it its title. Mary so desires to have a place in her husband's heart that you find yourself striving with her to gain that prize. The story flows and keeps you wanting to turn the page because Ms. Demarino simply makes you feel you are living along with her characters the founding of America.

 I can't wait for the next installment, Rebecca--Hear, Hear!

Sunday, May 18, 2014

UNTIL I FOUND YOU by Victoria Bylin

Until I Found You

Do you believe in divine appointments? It seems the moment Nick Sheridan roars to the top of a California mountain in the middle of a rain storm and rescues Kate Darby that he made one.

He scrambles to Kate's rescue, risking his life as the car is ready to tumble further down the steep mountain side. Kate having found herself in this predicament from swerving to avoid a Condor on the road, must put her faith in a complete stranger. She has no time to decide. She must jump and trust.

Nick Sheridan fresh from a life altering experience of his own has made a vow to himself and to God that he won't date for a year. Now he meets Kate Darby and his promise is sorely strained.

Kate has come to care take for her beloved grandmother who has suffered a stroke. And, coincidentally Nick works for "The Clarion" the paper her grandparents founded. Kate has taken a leave of absence from her job to keep "The Clarion" going for her grandmother.

Over time, Nick and Kate acknowledge their mutual attraction and a relationship begins to grow. Nick is honest with Kate from the beginning telling her of his Vow. He explains that he is a new believer and why. She struggles against wanting to have faith. She believes that only she can determine her own way and destiny. Meanwhile, her grandmother, journals about her marriage with her deceased husband and her faith. She uses her experience with the Condors to share with Kate very important life lessons.

Ms. Bylin does a beautiful job describing the natural temptations for Nick, his thought processes, and choices to deal with them honorably. Kate can't help but be drawn to a strong but sweet hero as Nick. But without spiritual eyes, she cannot comprehend his life choices. She chooses to believe in what she can see and feel and in her own strength to make her way. She desires to be the one in control of her life.

To complicate matters, Kate's job obligations call her back to a relationship with a client who sees Kate to be someone she can mold into her likeness and dependence on power, money, beauty and selfishness.

Nick puts up with a lot from Kate once they determine to go to the next level of their relationship. I can't believe how much she asks of him and he keeps giving and giving. Kate has Nick on a pedestal; and of course, he, being human falls off.

Finally, Kate must make a choice between her life and future as she sees it or the man she loves but doesn't understand. Will she let him walk out of her life or will she push through her greatest fears to obtain the prize?

Ms. Bylin tells her story with feeling and descriptive nuances that seem like the real life situations and feelings we've all had--making one want to say I know how the characters feel, I've been there.

Well done, Ms. Bylin!

MEANT TO BE MINE by Becky Wade

Meant to be Mine
Celia holds a crush on Ty from high school but Ty has a habit of getting Celia’s hopes up and then quashing them. She finds herself irresistibly drawn to him again. This time he convinces her to a Las Vegas wedding and she naively trusts her heart and soul. The next morning, Ty wakes up with regrets, wanting to continue his pursuit of his long-time hometown girlfriend and his rodeo career. Extremely hurt and disappointed, Celia walks out and home to carry on but instead, finds herself with child.
Her choice to raise her child alone makes sense until Ty returns 5 and half years later. Ty finally realizes how bad he hurt Celia and only wants to look her up apologize and clear his conscience; however, he is surprised to discover he has a daughter.

Ty finds himself confused and angry with Celia and yet understanding that much of the blame for Celia’s failure to inform him of his apparent fatherhood falls squarely at his feet. He calls a truce and insists on paternal visits once it is confirmed by blood tests he is indeed the father.
Celia and Ty’s child is a darling and precocious little girl stealing their hearts as well as ours. In the meantime, Ty and Celia both find that neither has sought a divorce all these years.  Ty begins to forge a relationship with his daughter and in the process finds more about Celia he likes.

A career ending injury for Ty forces the issue for them all. They must decide how best to move forward and what kind of relationship they will have. Can they forgive and learn to trust? Can love conquer all? Ty finds it difficult to shift life direction, becomes addicted to pain killers, and remains conflicted as to which woman he wants. Once he finally decides that he wants the mother of his child to remain his wife, he has a lot of ground to make up.  Celia, in the meantime, craves independence and insists on making her own way. She finds herself drawn to Ty once more but can she trust him? Addie, their little girl, remains caught in the middle,  and just wants a daddy.
We all crave a love “meant to be mine”...this one is well worth the read!

STEALING JAKE by Pam Tillman

Stealing Jake
A turn of the Century historical novel, Stealing Jake, weaves a wonderful story told from both the protagonists’ points of view. Immediately we realize the conundrum facing the heroine as she must choose to rescue a street urchin from the gentleman he has just pickpocketed; and she must do this using her once erstwhile skills. Even more troubling, the gentleman is a Sheriff’s Deputy.
Livvy O’Brien has come to Chestnut, Illinois hoping to start clean and fresh. In her former life, she had been a street orphan stealing to survive. Rescued by the compassionate Mrs. Brooks for whom she now works maintaining an orphanage, and having become a new Christian, she struggles to trust anyone especially the law—and with good reason.

Jake Russell eventually discovers that Livvy helped the children by returning his pickpocketed item without him being able to prove it had disappeared in the first place. He also harbors disdain for the very children she sympathizes with and strives to protect. They both have trust issues. Livvy also fears childbirth because, as a child, she watched her sister and new born infant die under her care.
Both Jake and Livvy have lost significant people in their lives due to tragedy. Jake, not only lost Father and brothers in a mining accident; but he was trapped with their dead bodies for days and now suffers from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder—unable and unwilling to find himself trapped in a dark hole again. He needs his deputy job to support the rest of his family and has a loan hanging over his head that could cost the family farm.

There are many wonderful facets to Stealing Jake including children caring for children, those children being used and abused, good lawmen versus bad lawmen. Neither Livvy nor Jake is totally wrong in how they see the issues confronting them. Areas are grayer than black and white. Each needs to listen to the other’s heart and begin to understand their fears in order to help each other.
Characters, like old Gus and Luke, along with a multitude of plot twists make for a fascinating read.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014


Forgotten Past by Mary Alford

Excellent mystery and suspense writing. I loved the plot. The author kept us guessing and on the edge of our seats. One could sense the fear along with Faith/Rachel. J. T. was an awesome hero with sensitivity and vulnerability. I ecourage you to read "Forgotten Past".

In light of J.T's tragic past one could see why he would be drawn to Faith and desire to help her. He sensed a damsel in distress, one who was in a lot of trouble even though he wasn't sure if he believed her or not.

Even though under J.T's  protection, someone kept coming after Faith; but her description of her stalker and the man J. T. fought off were two different men. How could that be? Trying to solve the mystery was like finding a needle in a haystack with Faith's amnesia. J. T. definitely found himself attracted to Faith but should he trust her?

He couldn't help but admire this strong woman for surviving an ordeal for the past two years. After his wife's tragic death was he able to move on? But then was Faith who she seemed to be or a woman capable of murder. And when the evidence began to point to Faith being her friend Rachel whom they all thought was dead, what then?

This supense thriller has Mary Alford off to a good start. Disclaimer: the Author provided this book for free in exchange for a review on my blog and elsewhere.

Monday, March 17, 2014

SUBMERGED by Dani Pettrey


Action and adventure, mystery and suspense, romance and faith--all great qualities rolled into one book. Submerged by Dani Pettrey, the first in a series about a family of siblings living in Alaska. An intriguing setting and extreme occupations form a firm foundation for a great series. In Submerged, we meet Cole Mckenna in the middle of what he does best, rescue diving. He hadn't reckoned on finding his one time love, Bailey Craig in the midst of the stressful situation.

Mckenna Siblings run an Extreme Sports and excursions business. A childhood best friend, Landon Granger, a member of local law enforcement brings an added dimension. A close knit family, having had their share of sorrows, the Mckenna's are a family of faith. Elements of Russian history add a nice touch.

Besides the Hero and Heroine, several side story lines among the siblings are happening at the same time. There is an especially edgy scene with Landon and Piper Mckenna. Piper seems to be clueless to her effect on Landon and He seems very protective of Piper. Sparks are flying.

While Bailey stuggles with guilt feelings and misunderstandings, Cole struggles to overcome the past and finds he wants to forgive Bailey and renew their relationship. Action packed espionage spiked with the fragrance of romance. Take a trip to Alaska with the Mckennas. Like me, you'll be awaiting the next episode with bated breath.

Monday, March 10, 2014

A NEW LIFE by Beate Boeker

A New Life by Beate Boeker

A New Life by Beate Boeker
reminded me of "Three Coins in a Fountain" or "Roman Holiday" with the heroine's description shades of Audrey Hepburn. You are swept away with the story and the vulnerability of Anne. Quickly, the author gets you up to speed as to why Anne must seek a new start. Running from a past, she can't seem to escape, she arrives in Italy already suspicious of everyone and everything.

Peter Grant, the hotel manager is expecting her. He already has preconceived ideas formed from his knowledge of her uncle who is sending her to Peter for a new job in his hotel. However, Peter doesn't know anything about her past.

My favorite scene is when Anne first arrives at the hotel and becomes enthralled by the mosaic terracotta floor. Peter gets his first glimpse and impression of her at this moment and it forms the basis for the foundation of their relationship.

Anne has some early knowledge of Italian but not enough to function well at her job which is frustrating for Peter. Her uncle then insists that Peter make sure she learns Italian so Peter decides he will do the job himself. Of course, he has ulterior motives.

Murder and mayhem begin our story and lead us to the climax as well. With many misunderstandings, the author weaves a very interesting tale that leaves you very satified in the end. Descriptions of the scenery and the people are well done. A delicious read.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

A BRIDE FOR KEEPS by Melissa Jagears

A Bride for Keeps
From the beginning, A Bride for Keeps, not your usual mail order bride story--draws you in. You wait anxiously along with Julia Lockwood to see if Everett Cline, already rejected three times, will show up to marry her. Everett, seeing Julia, can't believe this beautiful woman willing to marry him and live his harsh life.
Both, lacking in social graces, struggle to communicate their deepest needs without revealing their fears and insecurities. Everett strikes a bargain with Julia surprised that she takes him up on it. Julia finds she admires Everett's grudging kindnesses. Everett admires Julia's perseverance in the face of farm chores alien to her sheltered experiences. They both crave one to love them for themselves.
With sweet innocence, Julia comes to Christ through Everett's simple explanation...and her childlike faith and his tender mercies tugs at the heart no matter what one chooses to believe. Once Julia understands that she can be forgiven she divulges to Everett her deepest darkest sin which turns out to be a sin towards her.
Ms. Jagears does an excellent job of describing and explaining something so simple but so complicated for many. Even if you are not a believer, the tender way Everett deals with his wife as she reveals her past should draw and hold any romance fan.
Also, Ms. Jagears has a gift for building a relationship slowly and deeply while making her readers feel they are vested as well.This is definitely one for your keeper shelf and an author to add to your favorites.