Tuesday, June 30, 2015

NOW AND FOREVER By Mary Connealy

"Romantic comedy with cowboys" that's what it says on Ms. Connealy's website and that is what you get with what she writes. It's always a fun read.  Now and Forever finds her at the top of her game. I really loved this story. It starts out at rip roaring speed with both hero and heroine in a tremendous pickle of a fix. That claims your interest and it doesn't stop there.
 Having been trapped together for an indiscriminate amount of time, due to no fault of their own, the couple finds no choice but to marry. From here, Matt Tucker and Shannon Wilde, now Tucker,  find themselves in the middle of a mystery with someone burning barns and mutilating animals; and it looks like the women's lives may be in danger.
This is a sweet romance with some serious spots mellowed with humor. I give it my highest recommendation as a book that should appeal to everyone except the hard core non-romanticists. Thanks to Netgalley for providing me an e-copy in exchange for an honest review.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

A WORTHY PURSUIT By Karen Witemeyer

A Worthy Pursuit, by Karen Witemeyer lives up to its title. A tough Bounty Hunter who calls himself a Retriever, Stone Hammond has lived a hard life since being orphaned young. He has lived and survived on his own the best he's known how and his desires and dreams don't include a family. At 35 years he's on perhaps his life retrieval of an abducted child he intends to return to her grandfather.

Charlotte Atherton has also lived a hard life and lost both parents from an early age. She has sought redemption and survival through education for herself and then in turn providing education to other special children.  After being informed that the school she works for will close, she finds she must take some drastic measures to insure the safety and continued thriving of the charges in her care. She leaves by dark of night with two boys and a girl.

When Stone finally catches up with his quarry, he finds that all is not as it seemed when he took the job. Whom should he believe, the grandfather who hired him or the beautiful and stoic school teacher whose integrity is hard to question? Should he change his direction and head in another more worthy pursuit?

Ms. Witemeyer's novel is thraught with mystery, mayhem, and romantic tension along with shots of humor. Both hero and heroine are stubborn but strong characters. Even the children and other supporting cast have much depth and believability in their characterizations . Her description of the emotional storm churning within Charlotte as she struggles with whether to trust Stone or not plays out through Charlotte's piano venting of "The Tempest" and "Moonlight Sonata" by Beethoven and should draw even those who have no understanding of music. For those who do, it is awe inspiring and well worth the read.

What I liked best was the resolution. Her story builds slowly and steadily with many nuances and reaches a thrilling climax; but she doesn't only give an epilogue. The finish gives us a look at the relationships between all her characters as if we haven't left them at an end but a continued life story as would be the case in real life.

I find Ms. Witemeyer's succeeding novels to be even better each time she releases a new one. She should be at the top of anyone's favorite author list.

 I received this novel through Bethany House for an honest review.




Leslie Gould's new series beginning with Amish Promises is off to a great start. Families, relationships, friendships, and faith play a prominent role. Eve Lehman portrays loyalty and faithfulness to the highest degree. She has made a promise to a friend that has died to help see her children raised even if she never marries and has a family of her own. Her brother, still grieving, remains a hard task master. He doesn't want to allow his family to have anything to do with the englisch as he blames them for his sister's supposed indiscretions of the past.

The English family consists of a pregnant wife who works as a nurse, her husband who has a physical disability and suffers from PTSB due to his service in Iraq, and a 12 year old son who just needs friends his age to escape the stress at home.

Two families, one English and one Amish, each struggling with their own issues and losses and each finding common ground exists between them.

Eve Lehman develops a friendship that slowly becomes something more with the English friend of her neighbors, Charlie. Charlie's kindness and loyalty go far to help the healing for both families. Eve and Charlie's relationship forms the catalyst for all that transpires within this story.

I highly recommend this book. It is worth your reading time and might deserve a spot on your keeper shelf. I am looking forward to more of this series.

I received this book for an honest review from Netgalley.


Sunday, June 7, 2015


Together With You has a beautiful romantic cover that calls to you to read this book. It is a great read for non-believers and Christians alike as it depicts the struggles of hero and heroine with genuine feelings but philosophical differences that could be a deal breaker for either--yet they have much in common.

Carly Mason and Dr. Ryan Tremaine make an unlikely pair but Ryan's love for his children especially his special needs daughter and Carly's expertise with FADS, making her perfect nanny material, bring them together.

Dr. Tremaine recognizes his mistakes and failures and values his family above all else. He is a good man lacking one necessary thing, according to Carly, a belief in God.

Carly is struggling with self-doubt issues of her own. She also finds herself drawn into Ryan's family and wishing to become a more permanent part but concerned that she and Ryan have too many obstacles to overcome.

Victoria Bylin, one of my favorite authors, I highly recommend adding her to your to read list. She has another thoughtful read here.



Fourth of the Chapel Springs Romance Series, Married Til Monday, is an unusual romance of second chances with an ex-husband and ex-wife. Ryan McKinley knows what he wants and he wants his wife back. He never stopped loving her. He thinks he knows where he made mistakes and is willing to fight for her if he can only get another chance.

Then, suddenly, a chance is dropped in his lap through an unexpected call from his ex-wife's parents inviting him to an anniversary celebration; and obviously, they are unaware of Ryan and Abby's divorce.

Ryan decides to drop by Abby's and suggest they ride together as a couple to her parents. Abby, of course, remains bitter about the breakup and can't fathom a long drive trapped in tight quarters with her ex-husband much less a whole weekend pretending they are still married.

Abby has secrets and those dark secrets affect her relationships and caused the demise of her marriage.  She knows she has feelings for her ex-husband but she just wants to move on with her life. Can love, faith, and Ryan's perseverance  overcome Abby's stubborn bitterness?

I really enjoyed this book as I have all in this series by Denise Hunter. It definitely rates a high recommendation. I received this from Netgalley for an honest review.

UNDERCOVER BRIDE By Margaret Brownley

Margaret Brownley always writes with a sense of humor. Even when her characters get into deep trouble, you realize it's all going to come out ok in the end. In this instance, Maggie Cartwright must go undercover as a mail order bride to Garrett Thomas whom the Pinkerton's suspect of Train robbery and possible murder. This situation creates many delightful twists and turns in this story.

 Garrett Thomas is one of the more serious protagonists that have peopled Ms. Brownley's stories but he is a brooding hero you can't help but be drawn to and sympathize with.

Maggie, the heroine, takes some getting used to. Her job requires her to be sneaky and deceitful--not characteristics I like in my heroine; but in the end, she redeems herself as both she and the reader recognize she has lost her heart to Garrett Thomas; but can she prove his innocence after producing the evidence against him herself.

Then, there are Garrett's aunt and two children who will suffer the consequences if Garrett goes to jail, or worse hangs. The game of chess figures throughout the story and our characters must figure out if they are in a battle or a courtship or both. You must read to find out.

I enjoyed this book thoroughly and highly recommend it for lighthearted reading. I received it for an honest review from Netgalley.


Third in the Porter Family series by Becky Wade, A Love Like Ours, snares the reader from the beginning with a heroine returning home. That is point number one with me for this novel—I like stories about people coming home. The reason Lyndie is coming home grabs your attention and makes you keep turning the pages to see how she is received and if the chemistry remains between her and Jake and if the plan his family has for him, will work.

 To Lyndie and Jake family remains a priority. Lyndie's family especially needs her support with a special needs sister. Jake's family tries to be supportive of him but he has withdrawn since his wartime experience and injuries. He suffers from PTSB and has physical scars as well.

Several things I enjoyed about reading this novel include, how the author takes  you inside the nightmares as Jake relives them and then brings you into the present as you feel his fear and distress. I also delighted in how Lyndie would see or hear something and you would be taken into her imagination and thought process as she would go off on a tangent in her mind about a book she was writing, very cute and funny. The descriptions of the love and stress of long-term caregiving and how it affects a family and takes a toll were true to life. Finally, the descriptions of horse barns, horse training, and horse racing give a glimpse of that world. All of this makes this a neat package.

Jake and Lyndie are human beings with flaws and strengths. As children they had been devoted to each other. As adults, Jake tries to keep his distance but Lyndie's childlike trust and exuberance overwhelm him. Can he overcome his fear for her safety to let their love grow or will the caring and overprotectiveness get in the way? You'll love the climax and epilogue. Each Porter Family story gets better and better. This whole series belongs on your keeper shelf.