Archive for the 'Romance' Category


Somebody Like You by Donna Alward

Wednesday, February 1st, 2017

SOMEBODY LIKE YOU

By Donna Alward

Description:

A kiss to last a lifetime

Aiden Gallagher was only five years old when he appeared in a photograph on the Kissing Bridge. The town of Darling, Vermont, has used Aiden’s image on the famed bridge—local legend has it that a kiss there results in everlasting love—as part of its tourism campaign. Now, twenty years later, Aiden is asked to recreate the moment with the woman he once kissed: Laurel Stone.

Recently divorced, there’s nothing Laurel wants less than to pretend happily-ever-after with Aiden. As teenagers, their romance was no fairy tale—and Laurel has never quite forgiven Aiden for breaking her heart. But now that she is back in her hometown, and keeps bumping into police officer Aiden, Laurel can’t deny that there’s still a strong flicker between her and her old flame. Could it be that the Kissing Bridge is working its magic on Laurel and Aiden—and that all true love ever needed was a second chance?

My Comments:  This is a fun, sweet read and I can’t wait to read more of these books!

DONNA ALWARD BIO: While bestselling author Donna Alward was busy studying Austen, Eliot and Shakespeare, she was also losing herself in the breathtaking stories created by romance novelists like LaVyrle Spencer, Judith McNaught, and Nora Roberts. Several years after completing her degree she decided to write a romance of her own and it was true love! Five years and ten manuscripts later she sold her first book and launched a new career. While her heartwarming stories of love, hope, and homecoming have been translated into several languages, hit bestseller lists and won awards, her very favorite thing is when she hears from happy readers!

Donna lives on Canada’s east coast with her family which includes a husband, a couple of kids, a senior dog and two crazy cats. When she’s not writing she enjoys reading (of course!), knitting, gardening, cooking…and is a Masterpiece Theater addict.

 

BUY LINKS:

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Macmillan

Books-A-Million

Indie Bound

Powells

 

SOCIAL LINKS

Twitter– @DonnaAlward

Author Website

Facebook– @DonnaAlwardAuthor

Author Blog

 

 

Wedding Cake Murder by Joanne Fluke

Tuesday, March 29th, 2016

wedding cake murder

Everyone in Lake Eden, Minnesota, may have had their doubts, but at long last, Hannah Swensen is getting married!
Hannah is thrilled to be marrying Ross Barton, her college crush. And her excitement only grows when she learns he’ll be able to join her on her trip to New York City for the Food Channel’s dessert chef contest. They get a taste of the Big Apple before Hannah wins the Hometown Challenge and the producers bring all the contestants to Lake Eden to tape the remainder of the show. It’s nerve-wracking enough being judged by Alain Duquesne, a celebrity chef with a nasty reputation. But it’s even more chilling to find him stabbed to death in the Lake Eden Inn’s walk-in cooler—before he’s even had a chance to taste Hannah’s Butterscotch Sugar Cookies! Now Hannah has not only lost her advantage, she’ll have to solve a mystery with more layers than a five-tiered wedding cake…

My Comments: What a great read! I love Hannah and her family. I have to say though I will miss Norman and Mike. Ross is a relatively new character, but I guess that is what it took for Hannah to tie the knot, and he has already endeared himself to me. The food cooking contest was a great idea for this story–something a little different. All of my favorite characters were present and accounted for. I wonder what direction these stories will go in now that Hannah is married?.? I can’t wait to find out!

I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review, which I have given.

 

Love Arrives in Pieces by Betsy St. Amant

Saturday, July 18th, 2015

Love arrives in pieces

About the book: For so long, Stella was known for her beauty. Now, with her heart stripped bare, she must discover who she really is.

Former pageant queen Stella Varland doesn’t trust beauty anymore after her divorce. Her appearance betrayed her and led to brokenness, so instead of being beautiful, now she tries to make beautiful things, but she always falls short. So she keeps her passion for art to herself and focuses on her interior design work. But if she doesn’t get another job soon, she’ll be stuck living with her parents.

Contractor Chase Taylor is determined to live a life of no regrets after losing his fiancée. Now he lives life at full speed, striving to see how much he can accomplish. He knows if he slows down, he’ll fall apart. So he returns home to Bayou Bend to renovate the town’s old theater and is shocked to discover that the designer for the project is his old flame, Stella.

Forced to work together, Chase and Stella battle their chemistry and past as they struggle to compromise and work together on a vision for the theater. Their wills clash as they attempt to hide their brokenness—and their unresolved feelings for each other—until Chase discovers the hidden parts of Stella, while losing her trust in the process.

A near catastrophe, a fire, and a small-town gossip mill finally force Stella and Chase to realize that they have a choice—to hold on to the shards of their pasts, or surrender their fragmented pieces to the One who makes a beautiful masterpiece from their brokenness.

My Comments: I heard a lot of good things about this book – good romance, great beach read, and I saw it on many TBR lists for the summer. Stella, who grew up in a pastor’s home, is not a typical pastor’s daughter. She won beauty contests, she’s been married and divorced, and now she was just about ready to move back to live with her parents until her mother finds her a job in her field of interior design. What neither she or her mom knows, however, is that she would be working closely with an old boyfriend, who just happens to have history with both Stella and her sister.

The book is good. It includes a nice southern flair. I like the exploration of complicated relationships which we see in several parts of this book. It IS a great summer, beach read.

I am giving my honest opinion in exchange for a free copy of the book from the publisher.

Wanda Brunstetter’s – The Decision

Sunday, April 5th, 2015

the decision

Discover along with Jonah Miller how life can begin anew in the prairie state of Illinois. Moving from Pennsylvania, finding rewarding work, and leaving heartbreak behind is the best decision Jonah ever made. But is he ready to consider love again when he meets Elaine Schrock? Will his scarred heart mend when she chooses family loyalty over love?

See video on Wanda’s website below:

http://www.wandabrunstetter.com

My Comment: This book had a lot of things going on and not too many of them were happy, but they WERE real to life. I read this book almost all the way through because it kept me wondering what was going to happen next. The main characters, Jonah and Elaine had some major issues to work through, and although I didn’t always agree with how they handled these issues, I had to admire their choices. They were definitely not choices I would make. This is one reason I love reading about the Amish. I can’t wait to read the rest of this new series and find out what happened to all of the characters I became bonded with.

The Matchmaker by Sarah Price

Thursday, February 12th, 2015

the matchmaker

About the book:  When Emma’s interference in her friends’
lives backfires, will the consequences
be more than she bargained for?

Emma Weaver is twenty-one years old and has found a passion for playing
matchmaker with her friends. Her neighbor, Gideon King, warns her about
interfering in people’s lives, but she disregards his advice and plans to set up
Paul, the son of the bishop, with her friend Hannah.

But when Paul misinterprets Emma’s attention, believing she has feelings
for him, he begins asking her to ride in his buggy after Sunday singings and
shows up at her house for Friday evening visits. As she tries to repair the
damage that’s been done and mend the hearts that have been broken, she
finds herself in trouble with the community. Will she learn her lesson and
stop meddling in the affairs of others? Will she find a love of her own?

My Comments:  This book was quite engaging. I read it in just a couple of days. I loved Emma Weaver and her care for others. I loved her daed, and I loved Gideon King. Oh my, the gossip amongst the Amish amazed me. It’s been quite a while since I read Emma by Jane Austin, the book this story is based on, but this book definitely made me want to see the movie again. There are a few twists and turns which kept the story moving, and I loved the Amish slant on the story. I found out about some prejudices the Amish hold.

It seemed like Emma could have had any man she wanted, but she didn’t even wish to marry. She just wanted to marry everyone else off.  This was a great book to read around Valentine’s Day – love was definitely in the air in surprising ways—

I received a free e-copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion, which I have given.

Sarah Price bio – The Preiss family emigrated from Europe in 1705, settling in Pennsylvania as the area’s first wave of Mennonite families. Sarah Price has always respected and honored her ancestors through exploration and research about her family history and their religion. At nineteen, she befriended an Amish family and lived on their farm throughout the years.

As a masterful storyteller, Sarah Price prides herself on presenting an authentic Amish experience for her readers. Many of her stories are based on actual people she has met and her own experiences living among the Amish over the years. Sarah now resides in Morris County, New Jersey with her family.

While she started out as an Indie author, she signed on with Realms, an imprint of Charisma House and Waterfall Press, an imprint of Brilliance Publishing. Her first book, First Impressions: An Amish Adaptation of Pride and Prejudice was released in May 2014.

Get the latest news about Sarah Price on Facebook, Twitter, and sarahpriceauthor.com.

matchmaker bio

Where Treetops Glisten

Saturday, November 1st, 2014

treetops

The crunch of newly fallen snow, the weight of wartimeSiblings forging new paths and finding love in three stories,
filled with the wonder of ChristmasTurn back the clock to a different time, listen to Bing Crosby sing of sleigh bells in the snow, as the realities of America’s involvement in the Second World War change the lives of the Turner family in Lafayette, Indiana.In Cara Putman’s White Christmas, Abigail Turner is holding down the Home Front as a college student and a part-time employee at a one-of-a-kind candy shop. Loss of a beau to the war has Abigail skittish about romantic entanglements—until a hard-working young man with a serious problem needs her help.

Abigail’s brother Pete is a fighter pilot hero returned from the European Theater in Sarah Sundin’s I’ll Be Home for Christmas, trying to recapture the hope and peace his time at war has eroded. But when he encounters a precocious little girl in need of Pete’s friendship, can he convince her widowed mother that he’s no longer the bully she once knew?

In Tricia Goyer’s Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, Meredith Turner, “Merry” to those who know her best, is using her skills as a combat nurse on the frontline in the Netherlands. Halfway around the world from home, Merry never expects to face her deepest betrayal head on, but that’s precisely what God has in mind to redeem her broken heart.The Turner family believes in God’s providence during such a tumultuous time. Can they absorb the miracle of Christ’s birth and His plan for a future?
My Comments:  

The cover of this book did not grab my interest or cause me to necessarily want to open it and begin reading, but in this case “don’t judge a book by its cover” applies to my feelings about this book. Once I began reading, I could hardly put it down, and wouldn’t have except I need to go to school every day and teach first graders.  The three stories set during World War II, feed off of each other. We are talking about three main characters – siblings – each one mentioned in the other stories, but each a star in her/his own story.  I love that – as well as the three different voices of the three different authors. The setting, World War II adds a different dimension as well – fear (what will happen to my loved ones?), faith (where does GOD fit in throughout all of this?), and family (closeness, especially at the holidays). The characters are strong as is the family. We read of multi-generations under one roof. This book definitely sets a holiday mood, and even though I was born years after World War II, brings back memories of a simpler time.
I would like to recommend this book to Christian fiction readers – especially if you are like me and can never get enough holiday reading. It’s a great read!
I agreed to read and review this book and give my honest opinion.  Thank you WaterBrook Multnomah for the free copy!

Angels Walking by Karen Kingsbury

Saturday, August 30th, 2014

About the book:angels walking

When former national baseball star Tyler Ames suffers a career-ending injury, all he can think about is putting his life back together the way it was before. He has lost everyone he loves on his way to the big leagues. Then just when things seem to be turning around, Tyler hits rock bottom. Across the country, Tyler’s one true love Sami Dawson has moved on.

A series of small miracles leads Tyler to a maintenance job at a retirement home and a friendship with Virginia Hutcheson, an old woman with Alzheimer’s who strangely might have the answers he so desperately seeks.

A team of Angels Walking take on the mission to restore hope for Tyler, Sami, and Virginia. Can such small and seemingly insignificant actions of the unseen bring healing and redemption? And can the words of a stranger rekindle lost love? Every journey begins with a step.

It is time for the mission to begin…

http://youtu.be/h-PyPGV2PMw

My Comments: Karen Kingsbury has done it again! After the Baxter series I didn’t think a series of books could be better, but this one is just as good if not even better. Normal, struggling people involved in living life to the fullest despite huge problems. Sometimes Kingsbury is a little too sentimental for me and this book has some of that, but not everything turned out happily every after in the traditional sense. We see God definitely working in lives and I love that as well. People have choices and Tyler Ames displays both bad and great choices in his life, with the consequences shown for each.

Even though I don’t really like angel books, the difference in this story is that even though they are an integral part of the story, they are not the main characters. I’m sure they will continue for continuity as the series goes on, but as long as they are not the main characters, I will definitely continue reading this series. I loved this book! I wept, I laughed, and I could relate to the characters! Thank you Karen Kingsbury for great thought-provoking entertainment!

I received a free review copy of this book from Howard books in exchange for my honest opinion, which I have given.

Great Short Stories – Four Weddings and a Kiss

Sunday, August 24th, 2014

 

Four Weddings and a Kiss

Four best-­selling romance novelists bring tales of feisty heroines, stubborn heroes, and unlikely
love in the Wild West. Get lost in Four Weddings & a Kiss today.

“Spitfire Sweetheart” by Mary Connealy
Maizy MacGregor is an unruly tomboy. When she causes an accident, injuring neighbor Rylan Carstens, she becomes his unlikely caregiver. Rylan has never noticed how pretty his infuriating neighbor is, and he never expected to fall in love.
“Love Letter to the Editor” by Robin Lee Hatcher
Molly Everton is the outspoken daughter of the town newspaper’s owner. When her father brings in an outsider to be editor, she tries to drive him out of town. But Jack Ludgrove is not intimidated. He’s resolved to change Molly’s mind about him–as an editor and as a man.
“A Cowboy for Katie” by Debra Clopton
Katie Pearl is uninterested in men and love. But she needs help on her ranch and hires Treb Rayburn, a wandering cowboy looking to make a buck. Will Treb change Katie’s mind?
“Courting Trouble” by Margaret Brownley
Grace Davenport is either the unluckiest woman alive–or a killer. When her third husband is found dead, Grace is arrested. Attorney Brock Daniels isn’t interested in the case–until he meets Grace. Only a miracle will prove her innocence, but the joining of two lonely hearts may be their saving grace.

My Comments: What a fun read – full of romance between such unlikely characters! I like reading about strong women and men who can handle them! This is a great book for picking up and reading a story in a day or two, or even maybe a couple of hours.  I would have loved to have this book while traveling – one story would last for one plane ride.

The stories are not too terribly detailed or developed, but enough to keep the reader engaged. Each story averages about 100 pages. I think this book would make for good fall reading! The characters are not of traditional age – they are somewhat older. The stories are well written and each story is independent meaning they don’t intersect characters, settings, or events.

I have read three of the authors books before, the only one I hadn’t read was Debra  Clopton.  My favorite writer in this group is Robin Lee Hatcher, but I enjoyed all, and will look for more writing by each of them.

Thank you to Thomas Nelson for my review copy in exchange for my honest review, which I have given.

 

 

Frostfire Inn by

Saturday, March 15th, 2014

frostfire inn

Lauren Endicott is haunted by the injustice of a father sent to prison for a murder he didn’t commit. She never expected the novel she wrote about the case to become a bestseller, one in which a thinly disguised local senator was the actual murderer, and she certainly never expected to face the town’s outrage after the senator committed suicide. Most of all, she never wanted to hurt the senator’s son, Flynn Huntington, the boy she had loved from afar, the one she knew could never be hers. After the senator’s death, the town and the Huntingtons wanted her gone, and truth be told, Lauren was glad to go. She knew Flynn Huntington hated her, and that she would have to make a life for herself elsewhere.

Ten years later when Lauren is forced to come back to town for a short stay, she has no intention of confronting her past. She’s changed her name, colored her hair, and hopes no one will recognize her. To her shock, she immediately finds herself the focus of Flynn’s attention. He’s no longer a boy, and in any other circumstances she’d be dazzled by the handsome and sophisticated man he has become. He doesn’t recognize her, and is under the mistaken impression she is an employee at the local inn. Lauren finds herself right back where she was so many years before, dreaming of someone who can never be hers.

Should Lauren tell him the truth about her identity? Or should she walk away before she breaks both their hearts?

My Comments:  This is a complete short story.  I was completely engaged throughout the short e-copy.  Parts of this story reminded me of  the television program, “Revenge” although without all the violence and deceit.  However, Lauren wanted to find out the truth about who murdered the person her father was accused of murdering.  Her own past is interesting, she is an attorney who wrote a best-selling novel.  She falls in love with a man who cannot find out her true identity.  Lauren is confronted with difficult decisions.  Read to find out what happened and why.  You will be thoroughly entertained.  I recommend this novella.

Thank you to Story Cartel for a free copy to review in exchange for my honest review, which I have given.

When Courage Calls by Janette Oke and Laurel Oke Logan

Thursday, January 23rd, 2014

When Courage Calls

Her courage and her heart will be tested in ways she never expected…

Beth Thatcher has spent her entire life in the safe, comfortable world of her family, her friends, and the social outings her father’s wealth provides. But Beth is about to leave it all behind to accept a teaching position in the rugged foothills of western Canada. Inspired by her aunt Elizabeth, who went west to teach school several years ago, and gently encouraged by her father, Beth resolves to put her trust in God and bravely face any challenge that comes her way.

But the conditions in Coal Valley are even worse than she’d feared. A recent mining accident has left the town grieving and at the mercy of the mining company. The children have had very little prior education, and many of the locals don’t even speak English. There isn’t even a proper schoolhouse. In addition, Beth’s heart is torn between two young men–both Mounties, one a lifelong friend and the other a kind, quiet man who comes to her aid more than once.

Despite the many challenges, Beth is determined to make a difference in the rustic frontier town. But when her sister visits from the East, reminding her of all the luxuries she’s had to give up, will Beth decide to return to her privileged life as soon as the school year is over?

My Comments:  I enjoyed this book, and I was surprised how closely it followed the new Hallmark show When Calls the Heart.  The books seem to follow the women in the Thatcher family with the first name of Elizabeth.  I related to this book for two reasons:  I am a teacher and I have been sickly just as Elizabeth.  We only have so much to give and then when we outlive that we get sick.  Right now, I’m going through a long bout of bronchitis.  Elizabeth got sick whenever she did more than she was able.  Elizabeth, or Beth, had a huge heart.  She fell in love with her new home and the families.  She saw past the poverty to the people.  She wanted everyone treated equally.  As far as romance goes, its a little confusing.  Which man is the one for Beth?  She goes back and forth between a couple of them.

I remember when Janette Oke began writing her fiction books in the 1970s.  She is/was a trailblazer in the historical Christian fiction genre.  She knows how to write a rest story!  I am glad to see she continues to write.

Thank you NetGalley for the advanced reading e-copy.  This opinions are strictly my own.