Posted in Clean Wholesome Romance, Historical Fiction, TBR Challenge

With Love, Louisa (2021)

About the Book

Book: With Love, Louisa

SeriesLarkhall Letters #3

Author: Ashtyn Newbold

Release Date: July 14, 2021

Genre: Historical Romance

An innocent letter is only dangerous when it falls into the wrong hands.

Louisa Rosemeyer is a lady with no money, no parents, and, regrettably, no husband. Left with no place to go, she writes a letter to her aunt, Mrs. Irwin, asking for an invitation to live with her. Ever cautious and optimistic, Louisa hopes the trip will bring the new beginning she has been searching for.

After being forced out of his childhood home, Jack Warwick lets Mrs. Irwin’s house, happy to be away from his family and their many squabbles. Haunted by his past, he drowns his loneliness in drink, and with it, his better judgment. When a letter arrives at his new house, addressed to the previous occupant, Mrs. Irwin, from her niece, Jack writes an incoherent reply, inviting the young lady to come stay…an event which his drinking causes him to forget.

When the chaos surrounding Louisa’s untimely arrival at Jack’s house causes a scandal, there is only one way to mend her reputation: Marriage. As Jack’s feelings for Louisa grow, he realizes there is only one way to mend himself: To be loved by Louisa. Devastated to be married to a near stranger, and a scoundrel at that, Louisa closes off her heart. She has always planned to marry for love. But she quickly learns that love has plans of its own.

Click HERE to purchase your copy!

My Thoughts

There is so much to love about With Love, Louisa by Ashtyn Newbold. Each novel in the Larkhall Letters series just keeps getting better and better. In this installment, we get Louisa’s story. Louisa is Alice’s sister, the heroine from book 1, and Bridgette’s best friend and companion, the heroine from book 2. At the start of this story, Louisa is in a predicament. Her sister is newly married and expecting her first child. She is also living on a fixed income and doesn’t have the room to take in Louisa. Bridgette is also newly married and has moved away from Larkhall. This leaves Louisa alone at Larkhall with Matthew, Larkhall’s bachelor owner. While Matthew is like Louisa’s brother in many ways, he isn’t biologically related. As innocent as their relationship is, Society will never accept Louisa’s living in Matthew’s home as anything appropriate as long as she is just Matthew’s sister’s best friend. So, Louisa decides to write to a distant relative in the hopes that this woman has room for her in her home. Louisa receives a letter back from whom she believes is her relative granting her permission to come live with her. Louisa is off on a new adventure. Along the way she encounters Jack Warwick and her life changes in an instant.

As I stated above, there is a lot to love about this book. The plot is excellent. Again, I felt compelled to read this story well into the night. I was highly engaged right from the beginning and hated to have to put it down. The characters are all excellently crafted. I feel like both Louisa and Jack are highly relatable and very endearing characters. What I appreciate the most, though, is the discussion about forgiveness. Jack is a man who lives with bone-crushing and soul-sucking guilt and shame. When he was a teenager an accident occurred on his family’s estate and he has completely and totally blamed himself ever since. Jack has even gone so far as to separate himself from his family entirely, and he drinks and gambles to dull the pain. In a nutshell, at the start of this story, Jack has basically hit rock bottom. Then he meets Louisa and his life changes in an instant too. After a super quick wedding, Jack finds himself married to a woman he does not deserve. Louisa is too good for him and he doesn’t know what to do, how to think, what to tell her, etc. Slowly, he comes to really love Louisa, but the guilt and the shame he carries refuses to abate. He takes two good steps forward in becoming the man he thinks Louisa deserves only to take ten steps back once he allows his guilt and shame to get the better of him. Everything comes to a head, and he finally confides in his wife. She asks him the BEST question, “Have you asked for forgiveness?” I love this question. We humans get so caught up in the idea of being too bad for forgiveness that we often forget that sometimes all it takes to achieve forgiveness is to ask for it. How many of our hurt relationships could be fixed if all we did was open our mouths, admit our feelings and failings, and ask for forgiveness?

With Love, Louisa is a highly engaging, unforgettable love story. I am so glad I took the time to read this book. If you are in the mood for an excellent Regency Romance then I highly recommend With Love, Louisa by Ashtyn Newbold.

I purchased a copy of this novel in eBook form from Amazon.com on July 23, 2021, in order to review. In no way has this influenced my review. The opinions expressed in this review are my own.

Posted in Clean Wholesome Romance, Historical Fiction, TBR Challenge

The Captain’s Confidant (2021)

About the Book

Book: The Captain’s Confidant

SeriesLarkhall Letters #2

Author: Ashtyn Newbold

Release Date: February 27, 2021

Genre: Historical Romance

An accidental letter, a long-lost love, and a slew of secrets.

For as long as Bridget Northcott can remember, she has loved her brother’s closest friend, Colin Foster. She loved him long before he grew up, became Captain Foster, and long before he left her behind for a life at sea. Although she knows her feelings will never be returned, Bridget cannot help but turn away every suitor in the hopes that one day Colin will come back to Larkhall and see her for what she has grown up to be—refined, elegant, and the precise opposite of the silly girl he once knew.

When winter brings Colin’s unexpected return, he too has changed. Once carefree, he is now cold, hard, and distant. Determined to unravel the mysteries of Captain Foster, Bridget writes her thoughts in a note, one she never meant to send. As a hesitant friendship grows between them through their letters, Bridget determines to keep her heart uninvolved. But when her facade begins to break, she realizes the childhood silliness she abandoned might just be precisely what is needed to pull him back to shore.

Faced with a choice between loyalty and selfishness, love and letting go, Bridget must find the strength to confide her own secret in Captain Foster before the man she loved is lost forever. But there is only so much she can do when she discovers a match between them is what she has always feared—forbidden.

Click HERE to purchase your copy!

My Thoughts

OH. MY. WORD … this book is FANTASTIC! I loved every second I spent reading The Captain’s Confidant by Ashtyn Newbold. Everything about this story is so good, and it is truly a book I did not ever want to put down. In book one, The Ace of Hearts, readers meet Bridget, her brothers, Bridget’s companion and best friend, Louisa, and Miss Tabitha Terrell. We learn in book one from Bridget that her heart belongs to Captain Colin Foster and always will, which is an important fact that allows the heroine in book one the go-ahead to seek after the man who holds her heart. We also learn that Miss Tabitha Terrell is rather horrible. In fact, she is Bridget’s nemesis. This is important info that comes into play big time in The Captain’s Confidant. Because of this, I highly recommend reading book one first before reading The Captain’s Confidant. As much as I loved book one, I could not wait for Bridget and Colin’s story. I knew it would be excellent, but I was totally unprepared for just how deeply this book affected me emotionally. The chemistry and romantic tension between Bridget and Colin took my breath away. Their heartaches wrecked my heart and made me cry a few times. And as far as heroes and heroines go, Bridget and Colin are excellently written. I love their friendship, their deep loyalty towards one another, and their respect for each other’s present circumstances. I love how they always try to do the best thing, or what they perceive as the right thing, for one another. They are great examples of what it means to be a selfless friend. I also appreciate how they are not afraid to confront one another when issues arise and speak the truth when it needs to be heard. Bridget and Colin make each other better people — something we should all strive to have in our own lives: people who make us want to be better. My most favorite aspect of this novel is the amazing letters Bridget and Colin secretly pass to each other. I loved this! I would get as excited as the characters when another letter was waiting in their various secret hidey spots. I know this sounds goofy but I really found it super sweet and super fun, and I loved how it made me excited to get back to the story when I did have to put the book down for a minute or two.

I could go on and on gushing over this book, but then I definitely would spoil the story. I don’t want to do that because The Captain’s Confidant is an experience and I don’t want to ruin a single second for anyone. Suffice to say, this Historical Romance is outstanding. It is one I will not soon forget. If you are in the mood for an excellently written Romance with endearing and unforgettable characters then this is the book for you!

I purchased a copy of this novel in eBook form from Amazon.com on March 11, 2021, in order to review. In no way has this influenced my review. The opinions expressed in this review are my own.

Posted in Clean Wholesome Romance, Historical Fiction, TBR Challenge

The Ace of Hearts (2020)

About the Book

Book: The Ace of Hearts

Series: Larkhall Letters #1

Author: Ashtyn Newbold

Release Date: April 14, 2020

Genre: Historical Romance

A secret venture, a regrettable love letter, and a heart he can’t afford to lose.

Faced with her stepbrother’s betrayal and an unwanted marriage, Alice Rosemeyer accepts an invitation to the estate of Larkhall. Determined to earn her future security without a husband, she begins operating as the anonymous Ace of Hearts, writing love letters on behalf of the men eager to secure a match at the close of the London season. If she can manage to keep her identity secret, her reputation intact, and avoid the arrogant house guest, Mr. Thomas Herring, she might just call herself successful.

When Thomas Herring’s sister marries an indebted man because of a love letter, he has no choice but to marry into money himself. Invited to stay at Larkhall, he sets his sights on the wealthy sister of his host. When she appears indifferent, he stumbles upon an advertisement: a gentleman offering assistance in matters of the heart. An ace, so he is called. But when he turns out to be she, and also a guest at the same house, his task is further complicated—especially as Alice proves herself to be as captivating as she is clever.

With reputations, secrets, and more than one heart at risk, Alice and Thomas become trapped in a game with no rules, a game neither intended to play. Had they been wrong to play love for a fool?

Click HERE to purchase your copy!

My Thoughts

I admit that I purchased The Ace of Hearts by Ashtyn Newbold because of its cover. It’s really pretty and it called to me. Then I read the back cover and knew I had to read this book ASAP. Unfortunately, life hit me hard and I completely forgot about this book until about a week ago when I was cleaning out my Kindle. I am sorry it took me so long to get to because The Ace of Hearts is a great story — a total Historical Romance #mustread! The Ace of Hearts is a great Historical Romance where the pages simply fly by! I hated when I had to put this book down. The enemies-to-lovers trope is not typically my favorite, but I really love how it’s utilized in this story. My issue with the trope stems from the harshness of the characters when they are enemies. It’s usually so in-your-face harsh that I struggle to believe when the hero and heroine finally fall for one another. But in The Ace of Hearts, the hero and heroine do something amazing — they actually communicate. And, not just at the 3/4 mark. They have genuine conversation and get to the bottom of their initial issues pretty early on in the story. Yes, there is still conflict and struggles they have to deal with as the story progresses, but the initial “enemy” feelings dissipate efficiently. It’s nice to read a story where the characters act like adults and clear the air early rather than drag out the hate through most of the plot. In fact, if more authors utilized the enemies-to-lovers trope as Ashtyn Newbold does in this book I would be inclined to read more of those types of books. There’s nothing more annoying than to read almost an entire book where the characters don’t communicate well and act immaturely towards one another only to find out their reason for hating one another is just a simple misunderstanding that could have been cleared up early on in the narrative. Another aspect that I loved about this story is how well Alice and Thomas problem solve together as friends. I know that sounds like a goofy thing to like, but for me it really works well in this story and adds to their friendship and romantic chemistry. Both Alice and Thomas have serious financial issues. They never whine or gripe about it. They vent to one another their concerns, but they never whine. I LOVE it! Instead, they act as friends and listen to each other. They come up with potential solutions. They talk things out. When things seem like they won’t work out, they encourage each other to not give up. Alice and Thomas’s relationship is a good illustration of what a great relationship looks like.

There is actually quite a bit more I could say about this lovely story, but instead I’m just going to highly recommend you pick up a copy of this novel ASAP if you haven’t already done so. If you enjoy a solidly good Historical Romance then The Ace of Hearts is definitely the book for you!

I purchased a copy of this novel in eBook form from Amazon.com on April 15, 2020, in order to review. In no way has this influenced my review. The opinions expressed in this review are my own.

Posted in Christian Fiction, Christian Romance, Historical Christian Fiction, Inspirational, RomCom, Suspense, TBR Challenge

The Mistletoe Countess (2021)

About the Book

Book: The Mistletoe Countess

Author: Pepper Basham

Genre: Historical Fiction, Historical Romance, Suspense, Christmas Lit, Historical Rom-Com

Release Date: September 1, 2021

Will the magic of Christmas bring these two newlyweds closer together, or will the ghosts of the past lead them into a destructive discovery from which not even a Dickens’s Christmas can save them?

Mistletoe is beautiful and dangerous, much like the woman from Lord Frederick Percy’s past, so when he turns over a new leaf and arranges to marry for his estate, instead of his heart, he never expects the wrong bride to be the right choice. Gracelynn Ferguson never expected to take her elder sister’s place as a Christmas bride, but when she’s thrust into the choice, she will trust in her faithful novels and overactive imagination to help her not only win Frederick’s heart but also to solve the murder mystery of Havensbrook Hall before the ghosts from Frederick’s past ruin her fairytale future.

Click HERE to purchase your copy!

My Thoughts

The Mistletoe Countess by Pepper Basham is a wonderfully delightful story. This book has everything a reader could love: a fast-paced and highly engaging plot, realistic and endearing characters, excellent literary allusions and mentions, tons of romantic chemistry, and intrigue and suspense. This story is also hilarious. There are so many moments I chuckled out loud. The Mistletoe Countess is a story the reader will not want to put down. I hated it when pesky chores and sleep got in the way of my reading, so you will definitely want to make sure you secure plenty of reading space in your schedule in order to enjoy and devour this lovely read.

He tipped his head toward her, breathing in the life she brought into these dead rooms. ‘You think I’m strong enough for this?’

‘Of course I do, but not only I. God doesn’t go about placing people haphazardly into their stories. He must think you are strong enough too.’

The Mistletoe Countess

One of my most favorite topics of discussion in this story is the idea that we are all placed in the exact right story. God doesn’t make mistakes. If He places us somewhere that’s where He wants us. It’s reminiscent of Esther 4:14 — we are all where God wants us “for such as time as this.” The thing is though sometimes it feels like maybe we’re not cut out for the place God put us. Maybe we feel too cowardly or too small or too insignificant or too unqualified. Yes, we can accept that God put us where we’re at because He is God and we respect Him, but sometimes it takes a minute or two to understand why He put us where we’re at. Grace is an American who comes from New Money. She is the second daughter, so expectations for her are less stringent at the moment than they are for her beautiful elder sister. Her sister, Lillias, is engaged to Lord Frederick Percy. She appears to be the ideal woman for British Society — she is poised, elegant, and refined. She knows the latest fashions, has impeccable taste, and knows what to say and when to say it. All things considered, Lillias is perfect for Frederick. But, as life would have it, a hiccup happens and Grace finds herself taking her sister’s place and becoming Lady Astley. Grace is an awesome character. Her heart is golden and she is all compassion and kindness. She always considers the feelings of others and loves to bring the best out of them. But, she’s not 100% certain at first that she is qualified to be part of the British aristocracy or a good wife for Frederick, and she does wonder what God is doing especially since this is putting a wrench into her life plans. Grace, however, fully trusts that God has her where she belongs, but it is going to take her a moment to figure out her place in her new world. What I love so much about Grace is that she never doubts God. Never. She is an excellent example of what it looks like to trust God in every facet of one’s life — especially in those moments that don’t go according to our plans. I admit that The Mistletoe Countess came into my life at just the right time. One, I needed this reminder that God doesn’t make mistakes when He places us where He does. And, two, I really needed an illustration of what it looks like to trust God no matter what. I love when a book comes into your hands just when you need it most!

There are like 7,458 more reasons to love The Mistletoe Countess — it’s that chock full of awesomeness. I highly, highly recommend this novel. If you are in the mood for an excellent Historical Romance filled with great characters, tons of fun chemistry, and lots of suspense then you’ve got to put The Mistletoe Countess on the top of your TBR list today!

I received a copy of this novel in eBook form from the publisher, Barbour Fiction, via NetGalley in order to review. In no way has this influenced my review. The opinions expressed in this review are my own.

Posted in Christian Fiction, Christian Romance, Contemporary Christian Fiction, Inspirational, TBR Challenge

Before I Called You Mine (2020)

About the Book

Book: Before I Called You Mine

Author: Nicole Deese

Genre: Contemporary Romance, Women’s Lit

Release Date: March 31, 2020

Lauren Bailey may be a romantic at heart, but after a decade of matchmaking schemes gone wrong, there’s only one match she’s committed to now–the one that will make her a mother. Lauren is a dedicated first grade teacher in Idaho, and her love for children has led her to the path of international adoption. To satisfy her adoption agency’s requirements, she gladly agreed to remain single for the foreseeable future; however, just as her long wait comes to an end, Lauren is blindsided by a complication she never saw coming: Joshua Avery.

Joshua may be a substitute teacher by day, but Lauren finds his passion for creating educational technology as fascinating as his antics in the classroom. Though she does her best to downplay the undeniable connection between them, his relentless pursuit of her heart puts her commitment to stay unattached to the test and causes her once-firm conviction to waver.

With an impossible decision looming, Lauren might very well find herself choosing between the two deepest desires of her heart . . . even if saying yes to one means letting go of the other.

Click HERE to purchase your copy!

My Thoughts

I do not have adequate words to do this book justice. Before I Called You Mine by Nicole Desse is absolutely amazing. I loved every minute with Lauren and Joshua and I am so sad my time with these characters is over. I can say with great sincerity, this is a story I will never forget.

There is SO much to love and appreciate about this story, but here are my top-three reasons this book should be read immediately (if you haven’t read it yet):

  • Lauren and Joshua’s relationship — I love everything about these two characters and their path to love. How they meet is super cute and super hilarious. Joshua is an excellent hero and I love how instantly attracted he is to Lauren. I love how he truly sees who she is right from the very beginning. Because of her standing with the international adoption agency, Lauren is not able to date. Joshua accepts and respects this, so he and Lauren become good friends. I’m talking really good friends. This may actually be my favorite aspect to their relationship. Yes, the chemistry between the two is fierce, but the foundation they create as friends is everything. It’s what gets them through some really tough moments and eventually allows them to get to their happily ever after. Lauren and Joshua’s relationship makes my heart so, so happy.
  • Motherhood (in God’s time) — Being a mom is hard. I mean really hard. The mom-guilt, the sleepless nights, the worry and anxiety, the constant second-guessing — and that’s just the emotional aspect. There’s also the physical aspect — working a full-time job all day then coming home to make dinner, checking homework, chauffeuring to practices, doctor appointments, and/or school events, and the whole bedtime routine. A 24-hour day can sometimes feel endless. But, it is all 100% worth it. I have wanted to be a mom since I was four-years old. It took me a long time to be a mom, and I often struggled in the waiting. There were many nights where I wrestled with God begging Him to make my dreams come true. Years would go by and still no husband and still no baby. I got to the point where I was ready to give up. Clearly, God didn’t want me to be a mom. Wouldn’t you know it, when I stopped trying to force the matter God put my husband into my life and then my daughter came several years later. What I appreciated, perhaps the most, about this story is Lauren’s impatience. I appreciate this because her impatience is SO relatable. Lauren wants to be a mom but it’s just not working out. The men she has been on dates with are NOT husband material. It’s been years and years of awful first dates that lead to nowhere. So, she applies for international adoption thinking that maybe she is meant to be a single mom, but even that is taking forever and seems to lead to a whole lot of nothing. In all the waiting — the constant waiting — Lauren sees moms everywhere and it hurts. Why can’t she have her dreams? Lauren wrestles with God (and His timing) and gets to a point where she kind of wants to give up. And then life happens BIG time and she has to make hard choices. What Lauren goes through is SO realistic it makes her a very life-like character who is super easy to root for and love. And, Lauren’s story proves that God’s timing truly is perfect.
  • Fangirling over a popular education guru — So this may be something only teachers get, but Lauren’s adoration for Joshua’s father (the educational guru) made me laugh out loud. There are several real-life education gurus I would love to meet, specifically Kelly Gallagher. How this man has informed my teaching over the years is incalculable. I know for a fact that if I ever met him I would be tongue tied. I know cause I got to meet two of my FAVORITE poets — Billy Collins and Seamus Heaney — and it was like my mouth and brain stopped functioning. Anyway, I love how passionate a teacher Lauren is because of the strong teachers who came before her. I love how Deese illustrates the good-heartedness and nerdiness of teachers. It was fun to see a representation of myself and so many teachers I know and love through Lauren’s character.

I’m sorry it took me so long to get to this book, but I am seriously glad I did finally read this lovely story. Before I Called You Mine is an exceptional story that made me laugh and cry and cheer. I’m leaving this story filled with heartwarming hope. If you haven’t read this book yet, I highly recommend you do ASAP. Before I Called You Mine is a story you will not want to miss.

I received a copy of this novel in eBook form from the publisher, Bethany House Publishing, via NetGalley in order to review. In no way has this influenced my review. The opinions expressed in this review are my own.

Posted in Christian Romance, Historical Christian Fiction, Inspirational, TBR Challenge

My Dear Miss Dupre (2021)

About the Book

BookMy Dear Miss Dupre

SeriesAmerican Royalty, #1

Author: Grace Hitchcock

Release Date: March 2, 2021

Genre: Historical Romance, Christian Historical Romance

Willow Dupré never thought she would have to marry, but with her father’s unexpected retirement from running the prosperous Dupré sugar refinery, plans changed. The shareholders are unwilling to allow a female to take over the company without a man at her side, so her parents devise a plan–find Willow a spokesman king in order for her to become queen of the empire.

Willow is presented with thirty potential suitors from the families of New York society’s elite group called the Four Hundred. She has six months to court the group and is expected to eliminate men each month to narrow her beaus until she chooses one to marry, ending the competition with a wedding. Willow reluctantly agrees, knowing she must do what is best for the business. She doesn’t expect to find anything other than a proxy . . . until she meets Cullen Dempsey, and she must discover for herself if his motives are pure.

Click HERE to purchase your copy!

My Thoughts

I absolutely enjoyed My Dear Miss Dupre by Grace Hitchcock, and now cannot wait for book 2 in this series. I had so much fun getting lost in this fabulous storyline. I wasn’t sure how I would feel about a 19th century-version of The Bachelorette because I’m not a fan of the modern television series, but I feel Hitchcock knocked this plot-line out of the park! I was engaged the entire time and felt like the pages flew by. I found the main conflicts — Willow’s immediate need for a husband and her father’s failing health — to be compelling and quite realistic for her time period. The characters are well-written, unique, and relatable over all. Cullen Dempsey is the BEST hero: he’s thoughtful, he pays attention, he’s cognizant of his failings and desires to better himself, and he’s got a heart the size of Texas. I love how he is willing to sacrifice himself for the sake of what is right. And, I love how strong, capable, and manly he is. Cullen is the full package and the perfect hero to Willow’s heroine. As far as secondary characters go, Willow’s best friend, Flora, is my favorite. I actually wish she had a larger role in this story, but I’m hoping she will get more time in future installments of this series. My favorite aspect of Flora’s character is how supportive she is to Willow, but also how she keeps Willow grounded — she says the things Willow needs to hear and she refuses to sugarcoat things. Flora is a testament to true and honest friendship.

In addition to the fabulous storyline and wonderful characters, I appreciate the timely themes discussed in My Dear Miss Dupre. The topic that resonated the most with me is that of following my will versus God’s will. Cullen is the character who struggles with this issue the most and I appreciate how he deals with this. Cullen is sure he is on the right track — he has prayed about his situation, he’s made the “right” choice, but then things go wrong. Then he questions: “I thought I was obeying You … was it only me again? Trying to force my will?” What excellent self-reflection, and so relatable as I do this myself. I think I’m doing the right thing and I feel I’m on God’s right path. I pray all the time about all the things happening in my life. Things seem to be going well, and then, “BAM!,” I’m walloped up the side of the head and left wondering if it’s cause I’m forcing my will over God’s or if it’s just Life throwing a wrench into my existence. Regardless, I like that Cullen kept praying especially when things looked really dark. It’s a great illustration of the type of relationship we should all strive to have with God.

My Dear Miss Dupre is a truly wonderful Historical Romance that I wholeheartedly recommend. If you have not yet read this excellent story, you’ll want to as soon as possible as it’s a real gem.

I received a review copy of this novel in eBook form from the publisher, Bethany House Publishers, via NetGalley in order to review. In no way has this influenced my review. The opinions expressed in this review are my own.

Posted in Christian Fiction, Christian Romance, Contemporary Christian Fiction, Inspirational, TBR Challenge

Still the One (2021)

About the Book

Book: Still the One

Series: Deep Haven Collection #1

Author: Rachel D. Russell

Release Date: January 12, 2021

Genre: Contemporary Romance

It’s never too late to finish a love story…

Cole Barrett, former Army Ranger, has a new mission objective. Sell his grandfather’s house and put Deep Haven, a place that holds too many hurts, in his rearview mirror as fast as possible. Recently divorced, single, and unattached, Cole just wants a new life as a US Marshal. One where he can forget the past and start new.

Unfortunately, there’s a tenant in the garage apartment who’s refusing to move. Even worse? It’s his childhood crush, Megan Carter, and her son.

Wedding planner and single mom Megan Carter loves Deep Haven. To her, it’s the place where she makes dreams come true—at least, everyone else’s. Her big dream is to purchase the Black Spruce Bed & Breakfast to turn it into a premier event venue and, if she can stay booked for enough weddings over winter, she’ll have the needed funds to buy the inn, move out of Grandpa Barrett’s garage apartment, and finally give her nine-year-old son, Josh, the life he deserves. She just needs four thousand dollars in the next thirty days.

Still, she’s oh, so close…until Cole Barrett returns to Deep Haven. Even if he’s not back to fulfill a silly childhood promise to marry her, but she never expected him to evict her! The last thing she needs is more expenses. Or for another man to walk into her heart…and break it.

When a blizzard strikes Deep Haven, and Megan is overrun with wedding catastrophes, it takes a former Ranger to step in and help. Besides, the more he comes to her rescue, the sooner she’ll be able to move out…and he can move on. And that’s what they both want, right?

Return to Deep Haven with this magical tale about the one who got away…and came back.

Click HERE to purchase your copy!

My Thoughts

I devoured Susan May Warren’s Christiansen Family series in nanoseconds many years ago and have often missed the characters and charming town of Deep Haven. When I heard about the Deep Haven Collection series and that the Christiansens were making cameo appearances I knew I had to get my hands on this new series. I’m so glad I read Still the One by Rachel D. Russell. It was so much fun revisiting Deep Haven and seeing so many familiar characters again. I love how wonderfully and seamlessly integrated these familiar characters are within the narrative of Still the One. To me, it made the story all the more fun and engaging.

Still the One is a great read for so many reasons. The plot is engaging and I turned pages well into the night. Thank goodness it was my spring break last week and I could stay up so late! I LOVED the characters. Megan is a wonderfully endearing heroine. My heart hurt a bit for her and I really related to her soul struggle. And, I love what a great mom she is to her young son. She is so sacrificial and present — a true testament to motherhood! Cole is a good hero. He did frustrate me a little with his knee-jerk reactions when it came to his relationships with others. He’s such an organized, focused, thoughtful man, and he does have a heart the size of Texas, but when it comes to emotions at the first supposed sign of potential heartache he’s gone and leaves those he’s with in the lurch. I do appreciate his character growth over the course of the story as he does address this run-away tendency. My favorite aspect of this lovely story is the discussion on forgiveness. Many Christian novels deal with the topic of forgiveness, but this novel feels unique in that it acknowledges the anger, the injustice, caused when the person who should do the apologizing can’t. How do we get to that point of true forgiveness when the party who hurt us can’t ever validate our hurts and feelings? It’s a great question that had me thinking on things for sure. I appreciate Darek’s comment that, “Forgiveness isn’t about justice. It’s about freedom.” Brilliant! Forgiveness isn’t about the bad guy getting his comeuppance. It’s about the hurt person letting go of the hurt and anger and the frustration, and accepting that God has it all under control. There is true freedom in releasing all that negative and giving it over to the One who can actually do something about it. This was a great reminder I didn’t even know I needed!

I had a blast reading Still the One and very much look forward to the next installment in this series. If you are in the mood for a delightful, well-written, highly engaging Contemporary Romance then I highly recommend Still the One by Rachel D. Russell. I loved every minute of this story and I think you will too!

I purchased a copy of this novel in eBook form from Amazon.com on January 11, 2021, in order to review. In no way has this influenced my review. The opinions expressed in this review are my own.

Posted in Christian Fiction, Christian Romance, Contemporary Christian Fiction, Inspirational, TBR Challenge

To Love a Prince (2020)

About the Book

Book: To Love a Prince

Series: True Blue Royal #1

Author: Rachel Hauck

Release Date: August 11, 2020

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Daffodil Caron is not a princess, even though she once dreamed of being one. After all, she grew up as a playmate to royal princes, running through the halls of Perrigwynn Palace and dining with the queen. But the day she stumbled upon a royal secret, everything changed.

Flash forward eighteen years, and Daffy’s living a sweet, non-royal life. A skilled art curator for the Royal Trust, she has friends, a flat in the heart of the city, and a handsome, successful fiancée. The last person on her mind is Gus, a prince she once called her best mate.

HRH Prince Augustus is no longer “Prince Pudgy,” as caricaturized by the press, he’s charming and gorgeous, possessing a world-famous smile. But when he’s jilted at the altar by an American heiress as millions of people around the world watched, the spare heir to Lauchtenland’s ancient House of Blue escapes, finding solace on a Florida beach. A year as a regular bloke allows him to rethink his purpose. He’s half decided his calling is to pour pints at a tiki bar, rather than serving his country and the Family.

Until an accident on the beach with a Frisbee changes his course.

Despite his long hair and beard, Daffy recognizes her prince, and their childhood friendship is renewed. She assures Gus Lauchtenland needs him, giving him the courage to return home. When Daffy and Gus find themselves on assignment to Hadsby Castle in preparation for his brother’s wedding, their friendship blooms into affection. But Gus cannot, will not, trust his heart again. Daffy’s engaged. And she also remains a royal family outcast because she knows the Queen’s secret.

When affection grows into love and secrets are exposed, trust is destroyed. Gus must choose which is stronger: the lies of his past or the hope of his future. And Daffy must face every fear to prove she will forever love a prince.

Click HERE to purchase your copy!

My Thoughts

I absolutely LOVED everything about To Love a Prince by Rachel Hauck. This was the perfect escape story that I needed this past weekend. I love that this story is fast-paced, highly engaging, and unputdownable, but I’m also a little sad cause I didn’t want this book to end. I really liked how magical this story feels — like I walked right into a fairy tale. It’s been a while since I’ve read a story that’s made me feel like this! Lauchtenland is a wonderful setting, and I wish it were a real place to visit. The characters are pretty excellent. Gus is my new favorite hero. Yes, he ran away and hid for a little while so he could lick his wounds, but I don’t see this as a negative and I don’t think it makes him a weak hero. In fact, being able to self-access and take the time to heal are admirable qualities we should all try to do better at. What I really appreciate about Gus is that he knew when to go back home and get back to his responsibilities as brother, son, and Prince. If I had to boil down to one word what I liked the most about Gus it’s his maturity. Daffy is a wonderful heroine. She is so strong, pragmatic, and capable. She is a little clueless about her own true feelings, but it’s definitely fun watching as she grows into her truth. My favorite quality of Daffy’s is how she is constantly thinking 2-3 steps ahead of anyone else. She isn’t a run-into-things-with-her-eyes-closed kind of gal. And, I also appreciate her humility. She is the beautiful girl who doesn’t really get that she is beautiful. Yes, it sort of gets her into trouble when she tries to compare herself to others, but not comparing herself is one of the things she sort of has to learn along the way. All in all, I love Gus and Daffy as individual characters, but I especially love them as companions for each other. They are just meant for one another! Their friendship is sweet and their romance is excellent. In addition to this, I have to say the supernatural element to this story is my most favorite part, and it’s what makes this story a true 5-STAR story to me. I won’t go into any sort of detail on the supernatural element, but I will say this single item has left me with such a tremendous sense of hope. To Love a Prince is a lovely story and I am going to miss my time in Lauchtenland and with these characters. If you are a fan of beautifully written Contemporary Romances that feel like Fairy Tales, or you just need a great story to escape into, then I highly recommend you read To Love a Prince ASAP if you haven’t already.

I purchased a copy of this novel in eBook form from Amazon.com on September 8, 2020, in order to review. In no way has this influenced my review. The opinions expressed in this review are my own.

Posted in Christian Fiction, Christian Romance, Contemporary Christian Fiction, Inspirational, TBR Challenge

A Single Spark (2019)

About the Book

BookA Single Spark

SeriesThe Spark Brothers, #1

Author: Liwen Y. Ho

Release Date: November 2019

Genre: Contemporary Romance

He’s a pop singer running from his past. She’s a deejay who’s given up on men. Little do they know divine intervention has a plan for them.

Former boy band hottie, Aiden Spark, distanced himself from everything he valued—faith, family, and fame—when he lost his girlfriend. A decade later, he’s still hiding behind his grief until he accidentally texts a woman who’s all too curious about his identity.

Burned by the men in her life, deejay Abby Dearan has chosen to focus on her newfound faith in God and use her radio presence for good. Her plans are thwarted though when a text message—and the irritating man who sent it—won’t leave her in peace.

Aiden can’t forget the woman who reminds him so much of his first love; Abby can’t remember the last time a man made her feel so beautiful. To make matters worse, it’s impossible to avoid one another when their siblings and friends—not to mention, divine intervention—keep pushing them together. Will the sparks igniting between them end up in flames or romance?

Click HERE to purchase your copy!

My Thoughts

I’ve seen a lot of mention on various SM platforms of Liwen Y. Ho’s novels, but have not read any of her books until now. I’m sorry I waited so long to get to one of her stories! After reading A Single Spark, I definitely plan to read the rest of this series as soon as possible. A Single Spark is a really fun, really sweet Contemporary Romance. I had a ton of fun with this book and loved the escape it afforded me. I found the plot to be highly engaging and super fast-paced. The characters are great. I love Aiden’s and Abby’s bickering-to-friendship-to-romance relationship. The progression is fun and realistic. Nothing moved too fast or too slow in their romance. I quite enjoyed how Abby’s feisty personality awakens Aiden from his decade-long, self-imposed emotional stupor. My favorite aspect of this story, however, is the discussion on coincidences. First, there is no such thing as coincidences, there’s only God; and, boy, does He work hard to grab our attention! In this story, there are A LOT of coincidences. At first, they kind of took me out of the story, and I thought to myself,” How can ALL of this be possible?” But, I got over myself and realized that this is the vehicle Ho is using to make her point: God is the Boss, He orchestrates our lives no matter how much we fight Him or deny Him, and He is looking out for our best interests even when it doesn’t feel like it. This message was a seriously great reminder for me. All in all, I loved A Single Spark, I cannot wait to read book 2, and I highly recommend this super sweet story to anyone interested in reading a well-written, lovely Contemporary Romance with a great message.

I purchased a copy of this novel in eBook form from Amazon.com on July 5, 2019, in order to review. In no way has this influenced my review. The opinions expressed in this review are my own.

Posted in Christian Fiction, Christian Romance, Contemporary Christian Fiction, Inspirational, TBR Challenge

Managing the Rock Star (2019)

About the Book

BookManaging the Rock Star

SeriesNot So Bad Boys #0.5

Author: Emma St. Clair

Release Date: February 4, 2019

Genre: Contemporary Rom-Com

Marrying your rock star crush wouldn’t happen in real life, right?

Reese Montgomery’s family and friends dubbed her a schemer because of her love of strategy and planning. Taking a job as a social media strategist was right up her alley, until her boss sent her on tour with her teenage crush, rock star Sterling James. After a terrible first impression, her job is under threat and Reese needs to be a complete professional. Even when her feelings are anything BUT.

Rock star Sterling James is at a turning point in his career, but his negative image may hold him back. Hiring a social media strategist won’t change his emotional family crisis, but can hopefully help him put on a better public face. But he has little faith in Reese, at least at first. As she continues to prove herself, Sterling has another problem: he is falling hard for the sweet, scheming woman sharing his tour bus.

When his family problems come to a head at the same time as a PR nightmare, both Reese and Sterling will have a crisis of faith and a choice to make: career or love?

Click HERE to purchase your copy!

My Thoughts

My #1, most favorite trope is when the out-of-your-league guy (or gal) falls for the regular Jane (or Joe). This trope is my favorite because I love that moment when the “popular” character finally sees the regular Jane (or Joe) as the truly wonderful person she is. I also love this trope because of the character evolution the “popular” character undergoes in order to become the man/woman the regular character deserves to have in his/her life. The best example of this trope will always be Jane Eyre, but Managing the Rock Star by Emma St. Clair is a pretty close second. Managing the Rock Star has everything I love in a story — a FANTASTIC storyline that’s so engaging, I read this book in one day, characters who are complex and endearing and relatable, and conflicts that kept me turning pages well into the night cause I just had to know how things would work out. If I had one complaint with this book it would be that it ended. Managing the Rock Star is a book I could read again and again. This is a must-read story! If you are a fan of super sweet, excellently written, inspirational Contemporary Romances, then make sure to check out Managing the Rock Star. Truly, this is a book I just cannot recommend enough!

I purchased a copy of this novel in eBook form from Amazon.com on March 1, 2019 in order to review. In no way has this influenced my review. The opinions expressed in this review are my own.