Saturday, November 30, 2019

Valley of Dreams

Valley of Dreams (Longing for Home/Hope Springs #6)
By Sarah M. Eden
Published by Mirror Press
Publication Date: February 4, 2020

Patrick O'Connor has spent over a decade letting his family think he died in the Civil War, knowing it would hurt them more to know the truth than to assume he had died. However, when he receives a letter from his mother, he decides to seek out his family, even if they can never forgive him for things in his past. On the stagecoach west, he meets Eliza Porter and her daughter. Despite his appearance and his grumpy demeanor, Eliza seems determined to befriend him--and when it turns out she's heading to the same town he is, Patrick finds himself in Eliza's company time and time again--and he finds himself unable to resist her cheerfulness and determination to make the best of life. In each other, they find companionship, but can Patrick let go of his past in order to embrace a brighter future?

Oh, this book was lovely. This entire series is fantastic, and this book captured my heart as it continued the story of one of my favorite fictional families. Patrick's struggle was so heartrending, as he wants to be with his family but also doesn't believe he can ever truly belong again. He's so tender-hearted and I just couldn't help but adore him. Eliza was such a bright spot, with her big dreams and her determination, which inspired Patrick in turn. Besides delightful characters, the plot is so good--I love how this series deals with hard issues. Even though it's painful to see the characters go through their trials, it makes the books realistic and gives them a depth that makes them so much more than just a historical romance (which isn't to discount the romance--each love story in this series has been terrific!). That depth, along with well-developed, lovable characters, is what makes Sarah Eden my favorite author. Definitely put this on your to-read-as-soon-as-possible list!

5 stars and one of my picks for the best books of 2020!

I read an ARC provided by the author/publisher. All opinions are my own.


Faceoff (Northbrook Hockey Elite #1)
By Rebecca Connolly, Heather B. Moore, and Sophia Summers

She isn’t supposed to want him. He isn’t supposed to want her. But wanting each other is inevitable. Clint McCarthy has finally achieved his dream of playing for a professional hockey program, and is eager to make his mark with his new team. While getting settled in his new city, he happens across Bree Stone, whom he has known for years, with their respective brothers both being in the famed Belltown Six Pack. But for the life of him, he can’t remember Bree ever looking so attractive. Or being so captivating. Or taking over his every waking thought.
In the middle of her graduate degree, Bree has no time or desire for working on her dating life, or lack thereof, but the impossibly handsome Clint McCarthy coming back into her life makes everything complicated. She shouldn’t be focusing on him, or on them, not when her professional future hangs in the balance. But once she hears about Clint’s past with the Northbrook Hockey Elite program, and where that program stands now, Bree just might find a way to make her career, and a future with Clint, come to life.

Welcome to Northbrook Hockey Elite! Six professional hockey players used to play on an elite club team together, but have all separated and now play in the pro-hockey leagues. Not all of them were friends, yet circumstances bring them together, and for the greater good, maybe they can put aside their differences.

Review: This is a strong start to a new series that definitely leaves me wanting to read the rest of the books. There's not really much conflict, but the romance is a ton of fun. I love the banter between Clint and Bree. The story moved along at a good pace and was well-written. Even not being a hockey fan, I still found the story to be really enjoyable. It's a quick read that has enough depth to keep it interesting. Great choice for those looking for a clean contemporary romance.

I read an ARC provided by the publisher. All opinions are my own.

Visit us on Facebook: Swoony Sports Romances

Northbrook Hockey Elite Series:


About the Authors

Rebecca Connolly

Rebecca Connolly writes romances, both period and contemporary, because she absolutely loves a good love story. She has been creating stories since childhood, and there are home videos to prove it! She started writing them down in elementary school and has never looked back. She currently lives in the Midwest, spends every spare moment away from her day job absorbed in her writing, and is a hot cocoa addict.

Heather B. Moore

Heather B. Moore is a USA Today bestselling author of more than fifty publications. Her historical novels and thrillers are written under pen name H.B. Moore. She writes women's fiction, romance and inspirational non-fiction under Heather B. Moore. This can all be confusing, so her kids just call her Mom. Heather attended Cairo American College in Egypt, the Anglican School of Jerusalem in Israel, and earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Brigham Young University in Utah. Heather is represented by Dystel, Goderich, and Bourret.

Email list:

Sophia Summers

Sophia Summers is an award winning author who just wants to relax a little and enjoy a great beach read. She lives in a quiet southern town brimming with an extra dose of hospitality and a whole lot of charm.

She writes historical romance under a different name. You can follow her on Be SURE to join her Newsletter for freebies and fun. 

Monday, November 25, 2019

On Wings of Devotion

On Wings of Devotion (Codebreakers #2)
By Roseanna M. White
Published by Bethany House
Publication Date: January 7th, 2020

Nurse Arabelle Denler knows there's more to Phillip Camden than meets the eye. While most of England has branded him as a monster who intentionally caused the deaths of several of his fellow pilots. Ara isn't convinced that's true, though, especially as she comes to know him and realizes that he's fiercely loyal to those he cares about and not at all the Black Heart he has been labeled by society. Knowing the power of God in her own life, Ara wants to help Phillip find God's forgiveness as well as his own.
Phillip is waiting for the day when the military decides to execute him, knowing he deserves it. When he realizes that his actions have left Ara attracting the attention of men who only want her vast inheritance, he appoints himself her guard dog, and in so doing, finds that maybe his heart isn't as dead as he thought. But as he comes to care for Ara, through his work as a codebreaker for the Admiralty, he finds himself mixed up in a plot that could put Ara in danger and must find a way to distance himself to keep her safe.

Okay, I read this in November 2019 but I'm already willing to say this is one of my picks for Best Books of 2020. It was phenomenal! The plot was so interesting, with details about WWI that really take the reader to England during the war. There were some good twists but not so many to make the story feel contrived. Beyond that, the characters were amazing! I'm a character-driven reader, so a book that has a good plot but the characters are meh won't do it for me; I'm thrilled to say that both Ara and Phillip are characters who I will be thinking about for a long time. They are both so well-developed. Ara has a kind heart and a sincere desire to help others, mixed with her insecurities about her appearance and whether anyone can truly love her and want to stay with her, while Phillip is so torn up by his own poor choices and thinks he's beyond redemption but finds himself desperately wanting it and, despite his poor opinion of himself, reaches out to others more than he even realizes. Both of these characters had so much depth and were so relatable. I just adored them both! There are terrific themes of healing and redemption, and there was some terrific dry humor. All in all, just a fantastic read! An easy 5 stars.
I read an ARC provided by the publisher via #NetGalley. All opinions are my own.

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

The Heart of the Rebellion

The Heart of the Rebellion
By Sian Ann Bessey
Published by Covenant Communications

Rhys ap Tudor, having served King Richard II for three years, now returns home to Wales. With the new king, Henry IV, increasing taxes on the Welsh people, however, Rhys's homecoming is anything but peaceful. When his cousin proclaims himself the Prince of Wales and calls on him to be one of his marshals in the fight against Henry, Rhys answers the call and battles against the king.
Lady Catrin Buckley is the daughter of a Welshwoman and Englishman who serves Henry as the constable of a castle in Wales. Although she hasn't interacted much with the Welsh people, when she meets Rhys ap Tudor, she finds herself more fully embracing her Welsh heritage and the Welsh people--and caring most especially about Rhys himself. With the battles raging around them, however, is there any way for them to be together?

This was a really interesting historical fiction novel. I don't know anything about the Welsh rebellion, so it was really cool to learn more about this time period through this novel. Although I'm not typically a fan of battle scenes, the writing of the battles in this book kept my interest. The romance between Rhys and Catrin was sweet, and I really enjoyed reading this book.
4 stars.

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