Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Bride of a Distant Isle: The Daughters of Hampshire Book #2 By Sandra Byrd

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

Book Description:

 An unforgettable romance set in Victorian England, Bride of A Distant Isle is the engrossing story of Annabel Ashton, who fights to save her family home and her mother's honor while trying to figure out if the man she loves wants her—or just wants to use her to achieve his own ambitions.

Miss Annabel Ashton is a teacher at the Rogers School for Young Ladies in Winchester when she takes a brief visit to her family home, Highcliffe Hall at Milford-on-Sea. She believes her stay will be short but soon learns that she will not be returning to the safety of the school. Instead, she remains at Highcliffe, at the mercy of her cousin, Edward Everedge.

Annabel protests, but as the illegitimate daughter of a woman who died in an insane asylum, she has little say. Edward is running out of money and puts the house up for sale to avoid financial ruin. He insists that Annabel marry, promising her to a sinister, frightening man. But as the house gets packed for sale, it begins to reveal disquieting secrets. Jewelry, artifacts, and portraits mysteriously appear, suggesting that Annabel may be the true heir of Highcliffe.

She has only a few months to prove her legitimacy, perhaps with assistance from the handsome but troubled Maltese Captain Dell’Acqua. But does he have Annabel’s best interests at heart?

And then, a final, most ominous barrier to both her inheritance and her existence appears: a situation neither she nor anyone else could have expected. Will Annabel regain her life and property—and trust her heart—before it’s too late?

My Thoughts: 

Bride of a Distant Isle is the second book in Sandra Byrd's latest series, The Daughters of Hampshire and I love it! I loved the book and this series!  As a fan of historical fiction and a huge fan of Sandra Byrd's writing, I was drawn to this book especially after having read the first book in this series and really enjoying it. In  Bride of a Distant Isle is a Christian Historical Fiction Book with some romance, mystery, and crime.  Sandra Byrd writes with authority about the 1800's, England and the U.S., art, hierarchy, social manners, arranged marriages, illegitimate births, mental health issues of the time, and mental hospitals.  I found myself unable to put this book down, there was so much happening that I didn't want to miss anything! I also took every extra minute I had to read it.  I found all of the characters very interesting in this book but my favorite was Annabel. She was a very, very strong woman who understood her reality and accepted what she had to but did everything in her power to change what she could. All of the characters in this book including Annabel were human and were not perfect. They all had their flaws and their messy lives. I have always enjoyed Sandra Byrd's writing and that has NOT changed. I love reading her books, I feel like I am there watching the events unfold right in front of me. I truly feel transported to that time and place. This story was a pretty serious book but definitely had some moments that made me smile and chuckle but others that made me cry, just ache. I truly enjoyed this book from start to finish and I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Christian Historical Fiction, you will NOT be disappointed! I cannot wait for the next book in this great series!! I give this book 5 STARS.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

The Jazz Files: Poppy Denby Investigates Book 1 By Fiona Veitch Smith

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:

Introducing Poppy Denby, a young journalist in London during the Roaring Twenties, investigating crime in the highest social circles!

In 1920, twenty-two year old Poppy Denby moves from Northumberland to live with her paraplegic aunt in London. Aunt Dot, a suffragette who was injured in battles with the police in 1910, is a feisty and well-connected lady.

Poppy has always dreamed of being a journalist, and quickly lands a position as an editorial assistant at the Daily Globe. Then one of the paper's writers, Bert Isaacs, dies suddenly--and messily. Poppy and her attractive co-worker, photographer Daniel Rokeby begin to wonder if it wasn't a natural death, but murder.

After she writes a sensational exposé, The Globe's editor invites her to dig deeper. Poppy starts sifting through the dead man's files and unearths a major mystery which takes her to France--and into deadly danger.

My Thoughts:

The Jazz Files is the first book in Fiona Veitch Smith's latest series, Poppy Denby Investigates and its fantastic. This is the first book by Fiona Veitch Smith that I have had the pleasure of reading and it left me wanting to read more!  The Jazz Files is a combination of some of my favorite genres, Christian Historical Fiction and Suspense. Fiona Veitch Smith writes with authority on all parts of the newspaper industry, journalism, London in the 1920's, the suffragette movement in London, the war and its effects on soldiers, the prison system, the mental health system,  and the social hierarchy in the 1920's. I found myself taken with this book, from start to finish. I found that I could not put it down once I got going. I enjoyed all of the characters in this book but I absolutely LOVED Poppy Denby. She is a great character with a natural curiosity and instinct to find out the truth. She struggles with what is right and wrong, making choices to honor her beliefs. Poppy loves her Aunt Dot and is motivated by Dot's confidence in her. All of the characters in this book are real, their lives are messy, trouble happens, people get hurt, good people do bad things to try to help, and good can triumph over evil. I enjoyed the writing in this book, Fiona Veitch Smith uses the terms for common items in London in English(UK), other times its English (USA) with a southern touch, and of course the terminology used in the newspaper business. As I read this book I found myself laughing out loud in some parts, crying in some pars, and holding my breath in anticipation in most parts not knowing what would happen. This book had me on the edge of my seat, guessing until the end.  I HIGHLY recommend this book for anyone who enjoys Christian Historical Fiction and Suspense, you will not be disappointed. I cannot wait to read more of this series and other books from Fiona Veitch Smith.  I give this book 5+ STARS.

The Egyptian Princess: A Story of Hagar By KD Homberg

I received this audiobook for no charge from the author and Celebrate Lit Blogger Program in exchange for my honest review of this audiobook...