Sunday, July 17, 2016

BEYOND THE SILENCE By Tracie Peterson/Kimberley Woodhouse

This novel was a pleasant surprise. It doesn't grab you in the beginning but the authors laid the groundwork for our understanding of what motivated the heroine, Lillian Porter. Lillian is a young woman on a mission. She braves losing her connections with her grandfather and home to follow the dream of her deceased mother  in going west. She has been corresponding with Woodward Colton in Angels Camp, California who needs a nanny for his seven year old son who hasn't spoken since his mother died.

Woodward Colton needs a nanny and he needs hope again. His wife was murdered and he was arrested and charged for her murder; but then he was let go for lack of evidence. Now he has withdrawn from society through no choice of his own and still grieves finding his wife brutally murdered and his son mute. Now he struggles to continue farming his Olive Farm in the midst of a drought and his neighbors mistrust and accusations.

Other things I liked about this book were the historical setting of Angels Camp and the details about Olive Farming. In addition, I liked how the author depicted the rush to judgement by some but the mercy shown by Lillian. Also, one character who was mentally challenged allowed for demonstrating how society treats these people and how we can value them and allow them to find their place in society.

Lillian must get "Beyond the Silence" of her small charge and that of her estranged stubborn grandfather. You will find it worth the read so get "Beyond the Silence".

I received this book from blogger review for my honest review.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

BACK IN THE SADDLE By Ruth Logan Herne

Colt Stafford returns home but not because he wants to but because he has no choice, broke and in need of a job to regroup and survive, he arrives to an unceremonious welcome as well--the barrel end of a gun. Angelina Morales, knows Colt is coming home but she didn't expect him so soon; and she has her reasons to be on guard.

Colt is one of Sam Stafford's three sons, the oldest, a financial wizard. He's made his own way in the New York world of stocks; but his life has taken a real low turn just like his investments. He left home with bitter feelings and nothing's changed except now his Dad is so sick that the boys have to run the ranch and he's hired a housekeeper and cook named Angelina Morales.

Angelina has other skills too and keeps a glock tucked in the back waistband of her pants and her mother and son hidden in a cabin on the ranch. But even though she has her secrets she knows how to keep the boys in line and teach them manners. And she lives her faith out loud.

Ms. Herne's has a great ability to write about tough subjects and family relationships. She makes you feel for her characters and with them. You find yourself pulling for Colt and Sam and Nick and Angelina and wanting to shake some sense into each one of them.

Her descriptions of ranching life, the people, the animals make a wonderful setting for her story; and Colt is like the prodigal son, Sam needs forgiveness, and Angelina needs to trust. I recommend this as another keeper by Ruth Logan Herne.


The Husband Manuever by Karen Witemeyer, an entertaining read that contains two stories in one in that the heroine loves reading dime novels especially about the man she loves. Daniel Barrett, retired bounty hunter, now ranch foreman has the heart of his bosses daughter,  Etta Hawkins; but he has decided he will move on to a ranch of his own. Etta, loves reading the folk lore novels about Daniel's exploits in his other life if only to get close to the man she loves. Now, she finds she needs to take more drastic measures to convince Daniel that they are meant for each other and to get a proposal out of him. The author slides you so naturally from her story into the one that Etta is reading that you can't not put the book down for wanting to find out what happens in both stories.

Her Dearly Unintended by Regina Jennings opens with the heroine, Katie Ellen struggling with a dilemma and the creek rising. She finds herself trapped with her nemesis, Josiah Huckabee and then a stranger arrives. Josiah convinces Katie Ellen that their survival and reputations depend on pretending they are married. Ms. Jennings skillfully writes humorous dialogue and romantic situations.

Runaway Bride by Mary Connealy quickly finds the heroine rescued by her hero, an ex-Texas ranger ready to escort her and her brother to safety as she flees an unwanted engagement. I usually enjoy Ms. Connealy's books full of humor and amorous adventures but this one was not up to par with her usual work for me.

My favorite of the four stories was  Melissa Jagears, "Engaging the Competition", the story was aptly named, her characters endearing, and the opening attention grabbing. But the ending was an HEA winner. Harrison Gray, visually handicapped without his glasses, pursues tomboyish Charlie Andrews at the height of a storm and finds himself trapped with his old nemesis and schoolboy crush in the depths of her barn's hulled out storm shelter. From there things get even more interesting, when they discover his glasses crushed in the stall with his horse and Charlie volunteers to help him with his school teaching duties until a new pair of glasses can be ordered and delivered to him. In the course of their close, daily encounters they discover that their years of competitiveness have been more to impress each other rather than to out best each other. From the opening storm, Harrison and Charlie struggle to balance what they thought they knew of each other to what they find to be the truth about themselves and the feelings they've kept buried all these years. A truly fun story that leaves you smiling at the end.

With this Ring, is a great group of novellas to spend a free afternoon engrossed in. It has my recommendation for your reading list.

Friday, June 3, 2016

Montana, a beautiful state and the setting for a wonderful story by Tracie Peterson. Her book is aptly named for the more you read, the more you find to keep you turning pages. Her descriptive opening reveals the heroine, Emily Carver; and we are at once, intrigued to find out more about how she survives in a mostly male environment. She and her parents live near a small mining settlement where her Dad continues to chase his dreams of finding a gold treasure. Her mother is dying of an unknown illness; and Emily finds pleasure in the few friends she has, her animals, and her garden.

Enter our hero, Caeden Thibault, a geologist on assignment for the government. Emily's dad invites him home for a meal and a place to stay and sends him up to the cabin, where he walks in on Emily, having just finished her bath and clad only in her underlings. From this unceremonious beginning, they begin a fragile but budding relationship complicated by the pronouncement by Emily's Mom, that Caeden is the man God means for her daughter.

This is a thoroughly entrancing read, peopled with interesting characters, and a plot with many twists and turns. You will find there is more than one treasure to be discovered. I recommend this book as worth your time to find "A Treasure Concealed". I received this book through Bethany House's Blogger Review program for an honest review.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

I have loved the whole Porter series by Ms. Wade. They keep getting better and better. The Porter boys were great but Dru can keep up with the boys. Gray Fowler needs protecting, but, he is the typical all testosterone athlete who thinks he needs to do the protecting. He lets Dru know right up front her services are not needed unless she follows his rules.

Dru has reasons of her own for going by the book and putting Mr. Football in his place--the fun begins. But, the threat is real and Dru takes her job seriously; however she soon realizes that her heart might be in danger as well. In the meantime, Gray ends up making a bet with a team mate that he just might be sorry for later. 

Things get complicated along the way and Gray's past has a lot to do with the man he's become. Dru, on the other hand, finds more than she bargained for with Gray.

Ms. Wade's books flow very well. Her plots make sense without you being able to figure all the angles out ahead of time. Her descriptions paint beautiful pictures and though her intimate scenes are clean, you still feel the passion. More importantly, for those who need to see how faith works in the lives of hero and heroine, she fits that in without being preachy to those who don't believe.

This whole series belongs on your keeper shelf. 

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

DEADLOCK By Diann Mills

If you love suspense and mystery, then you will enjoy Deadlock by Diann Mills. FBI agents Bethany Sanchez and Thatcher Graves must work together to find a serial killer. Both have different styles and definitely, different personalities. Right off the bat, they begin to but heads about how to go about solving their mystery; but as days roll on, they become the hunted themselves, clearly targeted by an unknown killer. In the crosshairs, their survival instincts kick in and they begin to see the positives in each other's styles and how they can benefit from acknowledging these as strengths, even while, they both fight mutual attraction. Survival depends on staying emotionally unattached, never mind professional careers. `Candle declares Deadlock a very enthralling read.


Matt Wilmot is a widower and workaholic father struggling to raise his three boys and dig his family out of debt. He remains mad at God for the death of his wife but brings his children to church to appease his former mother-in-law who has threatened to take the children from him. In steps Elle Drake, a divorcee, independent career oriented woman and talented artist. Elle sees Matt's efforts with his children and has compassion on him and defends him with the gossips in the community. 

Even though, Elle is a successful artist, she suffers from self-esteem issues the residual effects of her marriage and subsequent divorce. She mourns not being able to have children. 

Matt's biggest issue is being able to trust. He is a "Lone Ranger" type trusting only himself to handle his problems; however, when one of his sons gets on a piece of Dad's construction equipment and loses control onto next door neighbor, Elle's lawn, destroying property and endangering his life, Matt must defer to Elle's common sense discipline to rectify things.

Things come to a head when tragedy strikes and circumstances lead to a unique solution, marriage between Matt and Elle. Will marriage strengthen or destroy them.

Ms. Herne always writes about everyday dilemmas with grace and skill. You find yourself rooting for her characters as they struggle and grow through real life issues. She manages to throw curves and twists in to thicken the plot and you find yourself turning page after page until you reach the end, always a satisfying ending. This one is another one for your keeper shelf.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

CALICO SPY By Margaret Brownley

Katie Madison, Pinkerton Agent, works undercover as a Harvey Girl to find a killer. She needs to work with Sheriff Branch Whitman who has a very low regard for Pinkerton agents. Harvey Girls and Pinkertons are a real part of our history and Margaret Brownley writes with a warm blend of humor, history, romance, and suspense to steal our imaginations and our hearts. "Calico Spy" is part of Brownley's Undercover Ladie's Series and a fun and excellent read.

Katie learns a lot about trying to be a Harvey Girl, makes friends and enemies among her co-workers and clients; but finding clues to the killer who has killed two Harvey Girls doesn't seem to be coming easily.

Branch, on the other hand, knows he has a Pinkerton in town he is suppose to work with but is caught off guard when he discovers it's a woman and that the woman is  Katie, whom he finds himself attracted to.  In addition, he is a widower still grieving the death of his wife tragically killed during a tornado 8 years ago, the same as the age of his son. The son he claimed because his wife delivered it that night and saved the infant's life by putting it in an oven.

Both Branch and Katie find themselves struggling with their relationships both working and personal as well as with the complications of the case they are working and the unexpected problems and people that arise along the way to make life even more interesting.

Ms. Brownley stocks her novel full of suspense and surprises and many twists and turns. I highly recommend this for your reading list.

AT LOVE'S BIDDING By Regina Jennings

Ms. Jennings novels always have a down to earth feel to them. You easily get involved with her characters and root for them. In "At Love's Bidding", we begin with a mystery as we meet Miranda Wimplegate and her family who run an auction house in Boston for high end antiques. They accidentally auction off a painting and Miranda and her grandfather find themselves heading for the wilds of Missouri to another auction house  they've purchased in order to get the painting back. It turns out the new auction house is a stock auction barn run by Wyatt Ballentine.

When the painting shows up, it is a mysterious item that arrives off the same train that the Wimplegates arrived on and it is addressed to Wyatt. It comes with a letter addressing his heritage--that of the LeBlanc's of Boston.

Miranda's grandfather begins to act erratically, his memory failing him, and insulting Wyatt at every turn as Wyatt tries to help with his new purchase. In the meantime, despite a bad first impression by Miranda and wrong assumptions by Wyatt, they begin to find themselves strongly attracted to each other.

Surprises at every turn, a mystery to the end, "At Love's Bidding" should definitely be on your reading list.

Monday, February 1, 2016


You're the One that I want opens with dramatic flare as Owen Christiansen and Scotty McFlynn struggle to survive after going overboard during a storm while at Sea on her father's fishing boat. Drawing us into the story, Ms. Warren sets the stage for the developing romance between the hero and heroine. She gives us glimpses of Owen's strained history with his family, his desire to return home but certainty that he cannot. Scotty has her own issues having been raised as an only child by her father after losing her mother at a young age. She thrives at doing a man's job, Captaining a boat and being one of the men and as a police detective on the side. But, a tragic circumstance on her detective job involving family members has her denying a need for faith.

Things get even more complicated when Owen's brother, Caspar shows up to convince him to return home and then has to be arrested and escorted home by Scotty because of a suspected murder charge. Waiting on them, is the woman, Caspar loves and the mother of Owen's child.

This is a great climax to a family saga. It can stand alone as an enjoyable read but many of the characters and their part in the story will be much more meaningful if you have read all the earlier books in the Christiansen series. I highly recommend the whole series for your keeper shelf. Ms. Warren remains in the top 5 of my Christian Romance authors.


If you like romantic suspense, then you will thoroughly enjoy this new novel and series by Ms. Dani Pettrey. She writes masterfully using both third person and first person to tell her narrative. I enjoy hearing clues through the first person thoughts of her villain.

In addition, I am encouraged by the faith depicted through her hero and heroine as they breathe their spur of the moment prayers to God. As a Christian, I do this throughout the day and can relate. If you are offended by those living out their faith, you may not be able to overlook this. However, if you can, you will find a very interesting story that details crime scenes, post-mortem, and ballistics. Ms. Pettrey has obviously done her research.

Our story opens as National Park Ranger, Griffin McCray discovers grave robbers while he makes his rounds. The surprise is that, instead of a violation of a civil war grave, he finds it is modern remains. He calls in forensic anthropologist,  Finley Scott. From here, the mystery grows, the romantic tension smolders, and the  foundation is laid for the rest of her series.

Turns out the victim was killed by a sniper and this leads us to the knowledge that, in his past, Griff was a sniper learning his skills in the military and performing for a police department. Secrets from the past haunt both Griff and Finley. They are both fighting a relationship even though they are drawn to each other. Will the truth destroy them? Will they find the truth before they become the next victim--and they are in the sniper's line of sight.

 Coldshot, actually, a hot suspenseful read that I highly recommend for your reading list which should include looking forward to the rest of the Chesapeake Valor Series.