Thursday, May 31, 2018

A Daring Venture

A Daring Venture by Elizabeth Camden

After her parents died of cholera, Rosalind Werner dedicated her life to eradicating the disease through water purification. Now, as a scientist, she and her research supervisor, Dr. Leal, have 90 days to convince a judge that chlorine, not more filtration systems, is the answer.
Nicholas Drake, Commissioner of Water for New York is on the opposing side--he wants clean water as much as Rosalind does, but he doesn't want chlorine in his water until it has been thoroughly tested.
 When Rosalind meets with Nick to try to sway him, the attraction is instantaneous, and they hope that their professional work won't get in the way of a personal relationship. But when Rosalind discovers her supervisor has decided to start chlorinating water without getting approval, she must choose between doing what she knows will save thousands of lives and being upfront with the man she's fallen hard for. 

Loved it, loved it, loved it. Nick is awesome--because he's so real. He is passionate about his beliefs--including protecting his family and others--but he also has a temper and he gets out of line and he has to apologize, and I love him for it because he's such a realistic character. Rosalind is so smart and determined and yet wary of the limelight--but I loved seeing her put Nick in his place a time or two when he needed it. Who knew water and diseases would make for such an interesting story line? It was awesome. Highly recommend this one--and I can't wait to read the next book in the series.

5 stars! One of my picks for best of 2018!

I read an ARC via NetGalley. All opinions are my own.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

More Than Meets the Eye

More Than Meets the Eye by Karen Witemeyer

Logan Fowler is finally going to get justice. He's spent years preparing to face the man who cheated his father in a card game, winning the deed to the Fowler farm, which led Logan's father to kill himself. Now Logan has purchased the land next to his former home and he's ready to force Zacharias Hamilton to play another round of cards. What Logan isn't ready for is Zach Hamilton's sister, Evangeline, who is friendly and cheerful and brings sunshine and laughter into his life.
Evie isn't used to being accepted--with one brown eye and one blue, she's viewed as odd or even evil--so when Logan doesn't seem to mind her eyes and enjoys her company, she's happily surprised. She knows he has secrets and has been hurt in the past, but she also knows that God's grace can help him, if Logan will only let Him.

I love this book! Eva is terrific--so spunky and cheerful and fun. The attraction between her and Logan, who has a great mixture of good characteristics and flaws, is well-developed and believable. Zach might have stolen the show a little bit, though--I'm a sucker for a man who is tough on the outside but a softie on the inside, so I can't wait for his book! There were so many laugh-out-loud moments in this book, as well as swoon-worthy sweet romantic moments, and good reminders about God's grace. I thoroughly enjoyed this book--there wasn't anything I dislike other than the fact that now I have to wait awhile until Karen Witemeyer's next book comes out.

5 stars! This is one of my picks for Best of 2018!

I read an ARC via NetGalley. All opinions are my own.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Cover Reveal! Timeless Regency Collection: Wedding Wagers

I'm excited to share the cover of the latest Timeless Regency Collection. Wedding Wagers comes out in three months, so mark your calendar! Authors Donna Hatch, Heather B. Moore, and Michele Paige Holmes are all terrific writers, so I'm sure this will be a fantastic collection!

Pre-order on Amazon here! Amazon: 
Mark it to-read on Goodreads here.

Who else is super excited to read this?

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

A Defense of Honor

A Defense of Honor by Kristi Ann Hunter

While someday Graham., Lord Wharton, will inherit his father's earldom, for now, he doesn't really have a purpose and he's bored with what society has to offer. So when he spots a woman hiding behind a potted plant at a ball, he decides to go meet her. But Kit can't give him anything more than her nickname; too many people are depending on her. She has spent years trying to help women who have been ruined--hiding them away until they can give birth and return to society--and their illegitimate offspring, providing them a home at Haven Manor and preparing them for the future. If she has to resort to blackmailing the men who fathered the children to get them to provide funds for the children, so be it. She doesn't expect to ever see Graham again, but when he sets out to help a friend, he winds up finding Haven Manor--and Kit.

This book started out a little slowly for me, but it picked up and I loved it. There are so many endearing characters, from Graham to Kit to the children. The plot is so interesting and fresh--it's set in the Regency Era but instead of the glittering of balls and high society, readers get to see the struggles and the triumphs of those who don't have the advantages of the gentry. I really want to see how things play out in the rest of the series for other characters in the book. I enjoyed the themes of God's grace and mercy, forgiveness, trusting in God to help with trials, etc.

4 stars.

 I received a review copy from the publisher via NetGalley. All opinions are my own.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

A Tiger Called Tomás

A Tiger Called Tomás
By Charlotte Zolotow

Tomás has moved to a new town, and while his mamá encourages him to reach out to those around him, Tomás is afraid they won't like him and doesn't talk to anyone. When Halloween comes, Tomás, in his tiger costume, sets out for a night of trick-or-treating--and finds that his neighbors know who he is, even in his costume, and that they really do like him.

I don't think I've read the earlier versions of this story (this is the fourth version), but I really liked this book. The text wasn't too heavy-handed, and the illustrations were absolutely beautiful. Really nicely done.

4 stars.

 I read an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley. All opinions are my own.

How to Catch a Mermaid

How to Catch a Mermaid
By Adam Wallace

Two friends and a dog try to catch a mermaid, but their best-planned traps aren't enough to catch the elusive creature.

With simple rhyming text and bright, colorful illustrations, this is a great summertime picture book. The illustrations are as vivid as the narrator's imagination. This book is really adorable and lots of fun.

4 stars.

I read an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley. All opinions are my own.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018


Grump: The (Fairly) True Tale of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves by Liesl Shurtliff

Most dwarves want nothing to do with the Surface or with humans--they love their lives deep underground, where they work in teams to mine. Borlen, however, is born near the Surface, rather than deep down like most dwarves, and as a result, he can't stand depths and can't rid himself of the desire to see the Surface and all the wonders that are above ground.
Borlen's parents help him to join a mining crew, hoping that will help him to find his place among the dwarves. He doesn't fit in, though, and soon earns the nickname "Grump." One day, Grump finally has the chance to go to the Surface and he takes it--and soon finds himself embroiled in a mess.

Being a bit grumpy myself, I loved the chance to read Grump's version of the Snow White story. This story was so much fun to read; now I'm going to have to go read the author's other books. Totally great choice for fans of middle grade fantasy, fairy tale retellings, and awesome books!

4.5 stars.

I read an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

The Love Letter

The Love Letter by Rachel Hauck

Chloe Daschle wants to finally be cast in a role where she doesn't die--she's tired of being the actress who is always killed. When she reads a script about a love story from the 1700s, she desperately wants to play Esther Longfellow, a young woman who desperately loves Hamilton Lightfoot. When she meets the screenwriter, Jesse Gates, who wrote the movie script based on a letter from his ancestor, Hamilton, to Esther, Chloe finds herself wondering if Jesse just might be the man she's been hoping to find. But Jesse is haunted by tragedy, and while he cares for Chloe, if he can't forgive himself for his past, they'll have no chance at a future.

This novel is interesting because it has four narrators in two time periods--we get to see Chloe and Jesse in the present and Esther and Hamilton in the past. It can be difficult to straddle two time periods and keep the reader engaged, but Rachel Hauck does a great job with that. There are some unexpected twists and turns, meaningful themes (redemption, love, and even letting go), and the awesome element of real, handwritten letters combine to make a great story.

4 stars.

I read a copy from the publisher via NetGalley. All opinions are my own.

Road to Gretna Green

Road to Gretna Green (Timeless Regency Collection)
This collection features three historical romances:

Saving Grace by Lucinda Brandt
When a family wedding brings Royston Meredith face to face with Helen, Lady Dysart--the woman he had planned to marry until she married someone else. He is still drawn to her, but he also doesn't know how to speak to her. Helen wants to know why Royston broke her heart. As they cautiously start to explore their history, Royston's younger sister Grace heads off to Gretna Green with the steward's son, and Royston and Helen must work together to keep her from creating a scandal.

Fools Rush In by Julie Daines
Eliza Barnes will do just about anything to avoid marrying Mr. Barrington--including accepting a fake proposal from Richard Arden who needs a wife in order to collect his inheritance--his younger sister Lucy. As Richard and Eliza set out to save his sister, Mr. Barrington follows after them, and as they face unexpected obstacle and adventures, they find themselves reluctant to end their fake engagement.

A Lady of Scandal by Heather B. Moore
Bridget's husband died only four hours after their wedding--which actually brought relief to Bridget, who never wanted to marry the rake in the first place. As her year of mourning ends, she is focused on helping her sister make her debut in society, but that brings her face-to-face with her former husband's cousin, Lord Hugh Wilde. Hugh initially blames Bridget for his cousin's death, but when his other cousin sets off for Gretna Green with Bridget's sister, the two become allies in stopping the couple--and begin to see past their animosity toward one another.

This was another great Timeless Regency Collection. I really liked the Gretna Green theme, and the stories were a lot of fun. They're all clean, sweet romances reads, with great characters and story lines. Although Gretna Green ties the stories together, they are all distinct and they all feel fresh. There were some really great lines and moments that totally made me sigh. If you're looking for something quick and fun to read, this is a terrific choice.

4 stars.

 I received a complimentary copy of the book from the publisher. All opinions are my own.

Cover Reveal: The Promise of Home

Cover reveal! Check out gorgeous cover for Michele Paige Holmes' upcoming novel,
The Promise of Home!

Add to your Goodreads shelves
Pre-order on Amazon

Isn't that a beautiful cover? I can't wait to read the book! Here's the description:

Book description: As Katie and Collin MacDonald prepare to embark on the most perilous journey of their lives—crossing the Atlantic to Nova Scotia—an ocean away Collin’s brother Ian is seeing the coast of Virginia for the first time. Katie and Collin cross the ocean swiftly, with the smaller ship Cleopatra making good time until she encounters a fierce storm near Sable Island. The tempest threatens both the ship and Katie’s fragile health, and their arrival in Halifax brings little relief, but further proof that the dangers of this new continent will equal or surpass the old. Ian’s voyage proves perilous as well, and would have cost Ian his life, except for the courageous and timely aid of Elizabeth Campbell. Yet, Ian plans to return to Scotland as soon as possible. But his unlikely friendship with Eliza makes him reluctant to abandon her to the cruel fate that awaits her. His responsibility as laird propels him to risk his own freedom, and he decides to stay in America for the time being and do what he can to help.

Friday, May 4, 2018

Love Unexpected (Blog Tour)

Love Unexpected by G.G. Vandagriff

When the widowed Lady Marianne Deveridge is invited to spend the season in London with her friend Lady Penelope Wellingham, she has no idea that Penny and Beau have another guest: Captain Ernest Saunders, Beau’s brother. Matchmaking is definitely afoot. However, after having been married to wandering explorer, Marianne has no intention of becoming involved with a wandering sea captain. Her first sight of Captain Saunders in all his robust masculinity brings every one of her senses to attention. She knows then that her resolve will be difficult to keep. Almost immediately upon making the captain’s acquaintance, Marianne becomes the focus of a mysterious villain who is devising a horse racing fraud. What has she seen to endanger a deadly felon? She has no idea. Captain Saunders makes it his business to keep Marianne safe, and the two of them are brought closer by their investigation into the dark side of horse racing. Still, she thinks she is managing to resist his charms. It is not until her very survival is at stake that she realizes how interwoven their lives have become. Will her heart ever recover once she watches another ship put out to sea?

My Thoughts:
The mystery aspect of this book was really interesting; I enjoyed trying to figure out who was involved and who wasn't. I liked Marianne, and Marianne's daughter was delightful; she made me laugh out loud. Ernest was a rogue who wasn't entirely likable early on, but I also enjoy seeing a character mature, so I liked his journey.
I received a copy of the book from the author. All opinions are my own.

Connect with G.G. Vandagriff!
Amazon author page: 
Buy link: 

Blog Tour:
 April 30th - Peggy Urry / Bookworm Lisa
May 1st - Min Reads and Reviews / Literary Time Out
May 2nd - LDS and Lovin’ It 
May 3rd - Singing Librarian Books / Wishful Endings
May 4th - The Bibliophile Files / Katie’s Clean Book Collection

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Tuesday, May 1, 2018


Scarlet by  Jen Geigle Johnson

With the French Revolution in full swing, people are being carted off to the guillotine every day. The Pimpernel can't stand by and do nothing--and so she, along with a league of like-minded people, set out to save as many as they can. A master of disguises, Lady Scarlet Cavendish slips in and out of France, risking her life to save others. While she has various disguises, the one seen most often is the one she wears in polite society--that of a vapid, fashion-obsessed woman. This disguise has served her well, keeping anyone from suspecting her role as the Pimpernel, but when she finds herself falling in love with Matteo Durand, whom she has rescued from France, she longs to be able to share her true self--but can she do so? Or does Matteo have secrets of his own? 

This is sort of a retelling of The Scarlet Pimpernel, which I read twenty years ago and I don't really remember anything about it, other than who the Pimpernel was. Therefore, I can give no opinions on how this compares to the original, what they have in common, or how they are different. But I can say that this is an intriguing story. Scarlet is a strong character, and I liked seeing her various disguises and methods for saving others. I also really liked the fact that she wasn't always successful--simply because it made it more realistic. If she'd been 100% successful, it would have seemed too good to be true. The French Revolution is so horrifying, but Johnson did a great job showing the realities without being overly gruesome; she didn't make it too graphic but also didn't downplay it. Well-written and engaging, this is a great choice for fans of historical fiction.

I received a review copy from the author. All opinions are my own.

4 stars.