Monday, May 30, 2022

In Honor's Defense by Karen Witemeyer


In Honor's Defense (Hanger's Horsemen #3)
 By Karen Witemeyer
Published by Bethany House
Publication Date: June 7, 2022 

Description from publisher:
He's faced countless perils on the battlefield, but nothing so dangerous as falling in love. 

Luke Davenport has been fighting all his life—for respect, for country, and for those unable to fight for themselves. But now that his Horsemen brothers are domesticated, he's left alone to battle the wildness within. When an opportunity arises to take a job on his own, tracking down a group of rustlers, he jumps at the chance. 

Damaris Baxter has mastered the art of invisibility. Plain and quiet, she hides in books and needlework, content to be overlooked. Until her brother dies suddenly, leaving her custody of her nephew. She moves to Texas to care for Nathaniel, determined to create the family for herself that she never thought she'd have and to give him the family he desperately needs. 

When Nate finds himself knee-deep in trouble, Luke's attempt to protect him leaves Damaris feeling indebted to the Horseman. But suspicions grow regarding the mysterious death of Damaris's brother. And the more questions they ask, the more danger appears, threatening the family Luke may be unable to live without. 

Oh, man, Luke Davenport is exactly my type of hero, with the rough past that makes him not quite believe in himself, combined with the heart of gold who will do anything to protect those who he cares about. I LOVED him so much. And I'm thrilled to say I loved Damaris just as much and found her to be a perfect match for him. She also has her insecurities but she pushed herself to do and be her best, to be stronger than she thought she was, and I really liked her. I loved their interactions with one another, how they supported and helped each other so much. Besides characters who stole my heart, this book also has fabulous plot--I really enjoyed the mystery element and seeing what was going to happen and who was really behind everything. I just devoured this book...and while I've loved the previous books in the series, this one just slightly edged them out as my very favorite of the three. This is definitely one of my choices for the best books of 2022. 

5 stars. 

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

Monday, May 9, 2022

Places We've Never Been by Kasie West


Places We've Never Been 
By Kasie West 
Published by Random House Children's, Delacorte Press 
Publication date: May 31, 2022 

A sweet and swoony contemporary Young Adult novel about a cross-country family road trip that puts one girl and her childhood best friend on an unexpected road to romance! 

Norah hasn’t seen her childhood best friend, Skyler, in years. When he first moved away, they'd talk all the time, but lately their relationship has been reduced to liking each other’s Instagram posts. That’s why Norah can’t wait for the joint RV road trip their families have planned for the summer. 
But when Skyler finally arrives, he he’d rather be anywhere else. Hurt and confused, Norah reacts in kind. Suddenly, her oldest friendship is on the rocks. 
An unexpected summer spent driving across the country leads both Norah and Skyler down new roads and to new discoveries. Before long, they are, once again, seeing each other in a different light. Can their friendship-turned-rivalry turn into something more? 

This was such a cute book! It totally hooked me, and I just wanted to read more and more! Norah was a really fun narrator--I liked how she was both driven and nervous. She knew what wanted (especially with regards to her college/career plans), but also worried about how she came across to other people, which I think made her feel totally realistic and relatable. This book was just lots of fun to read. although the ending was a little more abrupt than I would have liked. I highly recommend this to those looking for a quick, upbeat escape. 
4 stars.
I read an ARC provided by the publisher via NetGalley. All opinions are my own.