Tuesday, March 31, 2015

A Heart's Disguise: A Journey Of The Heart Series By Colleen Coble

I received this book from Litfuse Publicity for no charge in exchange for my honest review of this book. The opinions expressed here are my own. 

Book Description:  

 In the aftermath of the Civil War, a young woman searches for her lost love at the edge of the West.

The Civil War has destroyed Sarah Montgomery's marriage before it's even begun.

After Sarah receives word that her fiance, Rand Campbell, has been killed fighting for the Union, her brothers and ailing father persuade her to pledge herself to Ben Croftner--despite her strong misgivings. But when Sarah finds out that Rand is in fact alive--and that Ben Croftner knew it--she indignantly breaks off the engagement and goes in search of Rand.

But Ben Croftner does not take rejection lightly--and a single woman with a sick father makes an easy target. When Sarah is abducted by her treacherous fiance, Rand finally comes to her aid . . . only to reveal that he has been posted at Fort Laramie, Wyoming, and intends to take her there as his wife. But could Sarah leave her dying father's side for the love of her life? And what plans are forming in the jealous heart of Ben Croftner?



My Thoughts:  


A Heart's Disguise: Journey of The Heart Series Book One is the first book Colleen Coble wrote and it is a great story so far.  As a fan of Christian Historical Fiction and of Colleen Coble I was very interested in this story, except for the fact that it is one book but being released in six installments. I typically stay away from these types of books, just a personal preference but I really wanted to read this book so I figured it was time to give it a try.  A Heart's Disguise takes place right after The Civil War ended. Sarah Montgomery was set to marry Rand Campbell until they received word from the military and a "friend" Ben Croftner, that Rand was injured and died. Rand gave this Ben letters for Sarah and his family explaining what had happened but Ben made sure these letters didn't get to them. Ben had been in love with Sarah for as long as he could remember but she had always loved Rand, but everyone believed Rand was out of the picture, he had a real shot. With the help of his brother, Ben made sure that Rand and Sarah would never be together. When Rand shows up back home and has now ruined all of Ben's plans, Ben abducts Sarah to force her to marry him. Rand shows up in time to save Sarah and stop Ben from going through with his plans.  Sarah finds out that Rand has been posted in Wyoming and he intends to marry Sarah and take her to Wyoming but with her father sick Sarah is at a crossroads.

A Heart's Disguise is part one of a six part book that was Colleen Coble's first book she had written and it is great.  A little background to this book: The Journey of the Heart series came to her after receiving a call that her brother was killed while serving this country Her brother is the  inspiration for the hero. The story is the re-imagining of what her brother might have experienced in his beloved Wyoming if he'd lived there as a frontiersman in the 19th century. Colleen writes with authority about The Civil War and it's effects on our whole county, life during this time, Wyoming during the rebuilding after the war,  and living in the conditions in the frontier. I enjoyed the characters in this book but I think my favorite is William, Sarah's Dad. He is a sweet man who has done what he could to take care of his family even after his wife died and left him with 2 children and a newborn.  He is ill but pushes through to do what he needs to for his family. He is a special man.  I found that I was done with book one very quickly because it is definitely hard to put down. I really felt like I was there watching the events unfold. This story kept me guessing and definitely had the element of surprise in a few cases.  I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Christian Historical Fiction and even though its six parts, give it a chance, I know I was surprised! I give this book 4 STARS.                                      



 In the midst of end-of-war celebrations, Sarah discovers her betrothed was keeping a devastating secret in Colleen Coble's A Heart's Disguise. Will Sarah leave her dying father’s side for the only man she’s ever loved? And what plans are forming in the jealous heart of Ben Croftner?

Celebrate book one in Colleen's A Journey of the Heart series by entering to win a Kindle Fire and RSVPing to her May 5th author chat party!

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One grand prize winner will receive:
  • A Kindle Fire
  • A copy of A Heart's Disguise
  • A copy of A Heart's Obsession (blog tour coming in April)
  • A copy of The Inn at Ocean's Edge (blog tour coming in April)
Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on May 7th. Winner will be announced May 8th on Colleen's website. Plus be sure to clear your calendar on the evening of May 5th because Colleen is hosting an author chat party on Facebook to celebrate her A Journey of the Heart series and the release of The Inn at Ocean's Edge! RSVP here!

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RSVP today and spread the word—tell your friends about the giveaway via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on May 5th!

Friday, March 20, 2015

The Promise of Palm Grove: Book One of Amish Brides of Pinecraft By Shelley Shepard Gray

 I received this book from Litfuse Publicity for no charge in exchange for my honest review of this book. The opinions expressed here are my own.

Book Description: 


A young Amish woman finds herself torn between the man she’s pledged to wed and the man her heart desires in this heartwarming story of chance, duty, and choice in the face of love—the first volume in the beloved New York Times bestselling author’s new Amish Brides of Pinecraft series.
Amish bride-to-be Leona is thrilled to be in Florida, on a mini-vacation in the pretty town of Pinecraft. Her girlfriends think she’s happy because she’s away from the stress of wedding planning. They have no idea that Leona’s real joy is in being away from her fiancĂ©.
Edmund is a good man, and will make a decent husband . . . just not for Leona. The more time she spends with him and his overbearing ways, the less she wants to be his wife. Her cousins are sure Edmund is the right man for her-and their certainty makes Leona begin to doubt herself. But when a chance encounter with a wayward cat brings her face-to-face with a handsome, fun-loving Amish man named Zachary Kauffman, Leona’s faced with two vastly different futures.
Leona must decide: Does she follow the path set out before her? Or take a chance with only the promise of what could be to guide her?

My Thoughts:  

The Promise of Palm Grove is the first book in Shelley Shepard Gray's latest series Amish Brides of Pinecraft and it is a great read.  As a huge fan of Amish Fiction and Shelley Shepard Gray, I was very excited for the chance to read this book.  Leona and two of her cousins make the trip from Walnut Creek, Ohio to Pinecraft, FL for two weeks, as sort of a getaway before Leona marries Edmund, the Amish man she is engaged to.  Leona is so happy to be away from the stress of the wedding plans and Edmund's overbearing ways.  Everyone but Leona are so sure that Edmund is the one and that once they are married Leona will help calm Edmund's overbearing ways but Leona has serious doubts about the whole situation. So the girls stay at The Orange Blossom Inn that is owned by Beverly Overholt, a one time resident of Sugar Creek, Ohio who came to Pinecraft after her wedding was called off.  Leona and her cousins are a welcome sight for Beverly, and really help brighten up the Inn and Beverly.  As Leona and her cousins start to explore, Leona finds herself having a chance meeting with an Amish man named Zachary Kauffman. A kind, fun man who takes care of his disabled sister and his family. Leona finds herself at a crossroads and must decide the best path for her despite everyone's opinions.

The Promise of Palm Grove is a great book by Shelley Shepard Gray. As a huge fan of both Amish Fiction and Shelley Shepard Gray I couldn't wait to read this new series. Shelley Shepard Gray writes with authority about The Amish Faith, Amish rules, the different Amish communities especially in Ohio and Pinecraft, Florida, and running of an Inn. I found myself taken in with this book right away and found it hard to put down. I enjoyed "taking" the trip from Walnut Creek,OH to Pinecraft, FL with Leona and her cousins. I enjoyed "seeing" Pinecraft through the eyes of Leona and the other characters in this book The characters are well developed and really great. I enjoyed all of them but my favorite had to be Zachary Kauffman. His love and devotion not only to his sister but his family was heartwarming, along with his strong faith. This book kept me guessing until the end and kept my interest from start to finish. I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Amish Fiction, you will not be disappointed. I look forward to reading more books in the wonderful series. I give this book 4 STARS. 

 Don't miss Shelley Shepard Gray's new series, Amish Brides of Pinecraft, and the first book in the series, The Promise of Palm Grove! Romantic Times said, "Vibrant descriptions and details bring the plot to life in this heartwarming tale of new beginnings and renewal." Does Leona follow the path set out before her? Or take a chance with only the promise of what could be to guide her?

Enter to win a copy of The Promise of Palm Grove—five winners will be chosen! The winners will be announced March 30 on Shelley's blog!

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How To Catch A Prince Royal: Wedding Series Book 3 By Rachel Hauck

 I received this book from Litfuse Publicity for no charge in exchange for my honest review of this book The opinions expressed here are my own.

Book Description:  


Behind him, beside him, before him, the synchronized cathedral bells began to ring out.
One, two, three . . .
Then she said it first. The words his heart burst to share. I love you, Stephen. You are my true prince.
An American heiress and a crown prince seem destined to be together. Will the devastation of war keep them apart forever?

American heiress Corina Del Rey caught her prince once. But the tragedy of war kept her too long in a fog of grief. Now she’s shifting her life forward, reigniting her career as a journalist. Still, nothing can relieve her of the secret and the love she carries in her soul.
Prince Stephen of Brighton is one of the world’s most eligible bachelors and a star rugby player, trying to make sense of his life. His days in Afghanistan with the Royal Air Command will mark him forever. And he can’t shake their dark shadow.
But when his brother, King Nathaniel, confronts him with a document the prince thought long buried and forgotten, Stephen is forced to face the pain of his past and the love he left behind.
With a little heavenly help, Prince Stephen and Corina embark on a journey of truth. But when the secrets are revealed, can they overcome, move forward, and find love again? 


My Thoughts:    

How To Catch A Prince is the third book in Rachel Hauck's Royal Wedding Series and it is fantastic. I have had the pleasure of reading all of the books in this series and each one just gets better. In Book 3 we meet Corina Del Rey, an American Heiress from Georgia who is working in journalism for a friend after losing her twin brother Carlos in Afghanistan with the Royal Air Command. Corina is also married to Prince Stephen of Brighton but they were married in secret. Stephen and Corina have not seen each other in 5.5 years, when her brother died and Stephen was injured in the same explosion.  When Stephen's brother, King Nathaniel comes into possession of the marriage license and insists that Stephen go to Corina to get an annulment, Stephen and Corina are forced to face some grim realities of their lives. They also find out the truth with some heavenly intervention.

How To Catch A Prince is a fantastic read. I loved the first two books and I think I loved each one a little more each time. Rachel Hauck writes with authority about Brighton, England, journalism, Royal Air Command, royalty, and life after a war. I loved reading about royalty and the inside of the life of a royal family. This book grabbed a hold of me from the beginning until the end. I found myself feeling like I was right there with the characters experiencing their experiences. As I read this book, I felt the emotion of the characters. I enjoyed all the characters but my favorite had to be Corina. Her ability to rely on her faith to carry her through and trusting God are commendable. Also her attitude and spunk really gave her a well rounded personality. I had a very hard time putting this book down. I found myself laughing in parts and crying in others (tears of joy and sadness).  While this book is the third in the series I think it can be read as a stand alone. Rachel does a wonderful job of making sure new readers aren't lost in details and that those of us who read the first two don't lose interest.  I highly recommend this book and this series to anyone who enjoys Christian Fiction Romance and Modern Princesses, it does not disappoint. I cannot wait to read more from Rachel Hauck she is definitely in my Top 10 Authors. I give this book 5 STARS.

An American heiress and a crown prince seem destined to be together. Will the devastation of war keep them apart forever? Find out in Rachel Hauck's new book, How to Catch a Prince. True love has a destiny all its own. With a little heavenly help, Prince Stephen and Corina embark on a journey of truth. But when the secrets are revealed, can they overcome, move forward, and find love again?

Enter to win a "royal" prize pack! 

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One grand prize winner will receive:
  • A royal-themed Brighton charm bracelet
  • 2 tickets to see the new Cinderella movie
  • The Royal Wedding series (Once Upon a Prince, Princess Ever After, and How to Catch a Prince)
Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on March 23rd. Winner will be announced March 24th on Rachel's blog.

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{NOT ON FACEBOOK? ENTER HERE.}

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Mist of Midnight:Book One of Daughters of Hampshire By Sandra Byrd

I received this book from Howard Books for no charge in exchange for my honest review of this book. The opinions expressed here are my own.


Book Description: 

In the first of a brand new series set in Victorian England, a young woman returns home from India after the death of her family to discover her identity and inheritance are challenged by the man who holds her future in his hands. 
     Rebecca Ravenshaw, daughter of missionaries, spent most of her life in India. Following the death of her family in the Indian Mutiny, Rebecca returns to claim her family estate in Hampshire, England. Upon her return, people are surprised to see her… and highly suspicious. Less than a year earlier, an impostor had arrived with an Indian servant and assumed not only Rebecca’s name, but her home and incomes.
      That pretender died within months of her arrival; the servant fled to London as the young woman was hastily buried at midnight. The locals believe that perhaps she, Rebecca, is the real impostor. Her home and her father’s investments reverted to a distant relative, the darkly charming Captain Luke Whitfield, who quickly took over. Against her best intentions, Rebecca begins to fall in love with Luke, but she is forced to question his motives–does he love her or does he just want Headbourne House? If Luke is simply after the property, as everyone suspects, would she suffer a similar fate as the first “Rebecca”?

A captivating Gothic love story set against a backdrop of intrigue and danger, Mist of Midnight will leave you breathless.



My Thoughts: 

Mist of Midnight is the first book in Sandra Byrd's latest series, The Daughters of Hampshire. As a huge fan of Sandra Byrd's previous series, Women in Waiting, I was excited to have the opportunity to read this book.  Rebecca Ravenshaw has spend most of her life in India with her missionary parents. Rebecca lost her parents in in the Indian Mutiny and she is faced with having to make her way back to claim her families estate in Hampshire,England as the only living heir.  When she returns to Hampshire and tells people who she is they are surprised and suspicious because less than a year before someone impersonating Rebecca and her Indian maid took Rebecca's whole life.  The impersonator died months later and her maid is no where to be found. Her cause of death was suicide but many had their doubts, thinking someone killed her including Captain Whitfield, a distant cousin who took over the Ravenshaw estate, money and all.   Rebecca fights to not only prove who she is but who the person in the grave is and how she died. 

Mist of Midnight is the first book in The Daughters of Hampshire series and I loved it! I had the privilege of reading Sandra Byrd's series, Women in Waiting and they were awesome. So when I saw this latest one I had to request it and I am glad I did! As a fan of Historical Fiction, this book did not disappoint.  Sandra Byrd writes with authority on Missionary life, India in 1858, England in 1858, the state of world during the 1800's, the faith and religions of these places at this time, and how estates worked at this time.  I enjoyed all of the characters in this book, they were well written and very real. I have to say that my favorite character is Rebecca Ravenshaw. Her integrity and her perseverance were just amazing and she relied on her faith to help her through all of these troubled times. She was a kind person who was not out for revenge but wanted to lay to rest whomever this impersonator was.  Just a beautiful character. I found myself immersed completely in this book and had a very difficult time putting it down. This book is well written and it really keeps you guessing until the end. I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Christian Historical Fiction, you will not be disappointed. I give this book 5 STARS.
 

Monday, March 9, 2015

The Babylon Contingency By Clifford Longley

I received this book from Kregel Publications for no charge in exchange for my honest review of this book. The opinions expressed here are my own.


Book Description: 

A riveting international adventure-mystery

Investigating a burglary at an English country house, Detective Chief Inspector Robbie Peele comes face to face with one of the most mysterious objects in world archaeology, the Phaestos Disk—and with the Middle Eastern terrorist cell determined to steal it.
The vital clue is a long abandoned Muslim village in Crete, where a Victorian gentleman explorer witnessed horrors that were meant to be secret and recorded what he saw in coded diaries. Seeking the truth about the Phaestos Disk, Peele and his assistant, Sarah Shipton, are on the cusp of solving the mystery when they are caught in an ancient Egyptian burial chamber during an earthquake.
In the end Peele has to ask far harder questions than simply who committed the original burglary. The origins of the Phaestos Disk are inextricably bound up with the Middle East peace process in ways that frustrate and astound him.
Certain to draw readers into a world of ancient secrets and international intrigue, The Babylon Contingency is a riveting read from experienced journalist and broadcaster Clifford Longley.


My Thoughts: 

The Babylon Contingency is the first book I have read by Clifford Longley and his first fiction novel. Detective Chief Inspector Robbie Peele investigates a burglary at a country house, thinking it would be a simple investigation but it is anything but. As the investigation gets under way they become face to face with a room full of archaeology finds that a Middle Eastern terrorist cell is trying to steal. The only clues are the ones written in a journal that is in code by a man who is dead. As DCI Peele and his team works to solve this burglary they find themselves involved in more than meets the eye. 

Clifford Longley is an experienced journalist and broadcaster who has been writing for years, mainly non fiction. I liked this book, it is a mix of mystery, suspense, and history. At first I had a hard time getting into this book, but I am glad I stuck with it because I found that as I read it got better and better. This book really taught me a lot about archaeology, the history of Crete, and history of different religions/beliefs.  I liked all the characters in this book but I really enjoyed Sarah Shipton, DCI Peele's assistant in this investigation. I enjoyed her honest banter and her integrity throughout this book.  Once I got into this book, I found it hard to put down and it kept me guessing all the way to end. As a side note, this book did have some language and sex in it so if that is not your kind of book, you might not like this one. I did like this book and hope to read more from Clifford Longley in the future. I give this book 3 STARS.