Tuesday, May 27, 2014

{Book Review:} A Bridge Unbroken by Cathy Bryant

22130167My Review:
Another faith-filled, dramatic romance from Bryant!
We return to Miller's Creek once again watching a new story unfold. I love fictional small towns, and Miller's Creek is no exception. The level of familiarity among residents sets off a warm, homey vibe. I particularly liked how much time we spent inside Miller's Creek Community Church. Instead of the story being one of a character coming to Christ, Bryant made it one of a Christian struggling with forgiveness.

Meet Dakota. Or is it Amy? No, wait, it's A.K. Aston...I think. Haha! Whoever this fiery red-head is, she's a wonderful character and she handles herself well, though sometimes she tends to run away when she's afraid. I loved the fact that she was a writer! I also loved watching her go under a subtle transformation as she spent more time with Chance. Chance is a decent lead/hero. I hated it when he let himself be blindsided by his judgement; however, I liked watching him move past his problems.

As a romance novel, I thought A Bridge Unbroken was great, but compared to other romantic suspense novels I have read, this one falls short. It lacked tension and I didn't feel "on edge" until towards the end. Overall, Bryant does a great job weaving romance and Christianity together without it feeling forced or sounding preachy. I recommend this novel to followers of the Miller's Creek series and those looking for a romance novel to read in an afternoon, fifteen years or older.

A big thank you to Mrs. Bryant for sending me a PDF review copy for free in return for an honest review of my opinions, which I have done. 

Back Cover:
Letting go to build a bridge…
Dakota Kelly wants her painful past to disappear. A plan to start afresh is derailed when she co-inherits her late grandfather’s farm with Chance Johnson, the man responsible for the scars on her heart. But Chance isn’t the only ghost from the past. Someone else is out to get her and will stop at nothing to get what he wants. Will Chance and Dakota lay aside their grudges to restore the old farmhouse and bridge, or will evil forces sabotage their attempt at forgiveness?

Monday, May 26, 2014

{Book Review:} Mark of Distinction by Jessica Dotta

First off, I am getting this review up terribly late. My sincerest apologies to Tyndale and Ms. Dotta!! 

My Review:
18312044A lovely story reminiscent of the classics! 

Mark of Distinction is technically the second in a so-far marvelous series. I have not had the privilege of reading the first, but I will be remedying this. That being said, it did take extra effort to get into the story, but once I was sufficiently hooked there was little stopping me from turning the page. Dotta writes a marvelous story in a fresh, new perspective.

At times, my like for Julia, the main character, swung back and forth like a pendulum. I couldn't figure her out! There were times I wanted to comfort her and times I wanted to shake her. This is probably the trait that makes her a good character, no matter how frustrating. She definitely is indecisive and I didn't like some of the choices she made. 

Nonetheless, I have to gush about Isaac for a moment. Talk about the perfect gentleman! I think it's safe to say I much prefer Isaac as a suitor for Julia over Edward; although I haven't read the first book so maybe that will change my opinion. Isaac is pretty awesome though... Ahem, moving on. 

I am truly impressed and in awe with Ms. Dotta's fantastic piece of art. I cannot believe we must wait until next year for the conclusion!! It seems an eternity to wait after such a ending. Before I close out this review, I will say the story had a dark/depressing atmosphere for the whole novel, adding to the Gothic feel. I highly and easily recommend this novel to readers familiar with Bronte and Gothic fiction at least fifteen or older. 

I received this book from the Tyndale Blog Network in return for an honest review of my opinions, which I have done. Thanks!

Back Cover:
London is said to be the glittering jewel of society, a world unto itself—but to Julia Elliston it is a city of shadows. Her life is swiftly dissolving into scandal. And in Victorian society, even a whisper of scandal—substantiated or not—can be the death of a young woman’s reputation.

When Julia discovers that Lord Roy Pierson, her guardian and one of most influential men in England, is the father she has never met, she begrudgingly accepts his protection. But Chance Macy’s power is far-reaching as well.

Thrust into society as the Emerald Heiress, Julia is the toast of London, a celebrated curiosity. But in reality she’s trapped between the clutches of two powerful men. Aided only by a gentleman whose intentions she prays she can trust, Julia must finally take control of her own fate—but outwitting one’s foe rarely goes according to plan.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

And the Winner is...

Happy Saturday, everyone! I hope you're enjoying Spring as much as I am. :-) Well, today's the day! Are you ready to find out who won a copy of Silenced by Dani Pettrey? Thought so. Before I reveal the winner's name, I want to remind you all that there's still time to enter her Rugged Romance Giveaway!

Enter the RUGGED ROMANCE Sweepstakes from Author Dani Pettrey

All right, it's time for the big reveal. Drum roll, please! 

Lydia M.

Congrats, Lydia!! I've already sent an email to the email address you provided for Rafflecopter. You have until Monday evening to get back to me. If I haven't heard from you, I'll pick another winner Tuesday. 

Thank you all so much for participating!! Perhaps they'll be another giveaway soon. ;-D Have a great weekend!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Fatal Exchange by Lisa Harris {Revell Blog Tour!}

18637160My Review:
A thrilling, captivating mystery!

What a roller coaster ride! Once you start reading Fatal Exchange the pace picks up and never slows. I loved that. There's nothing quite like curling up on a rainy day with an awesome mystery book and Fatal Exchange fit the bill. I was completely enthralled into the story and was lost in its pages for a couple hours, hardly able to set the book down.

I did not read the previous book in this series, nonetheless, I didn't feel like I was missing anything. It can definitely be read as a stand-alone. I will say, after I tore through Fatal Exchange, I'll be going back to find Dangerous Passage for certain. Harris writes in a fluid style that leaves you turning pages.

I really, really, liked Emily and Mason. I felt I could relate to certain aspects of their character. They felt so real! I was so thankful for how accurately Emily's emotions were portrayed after everything she went through. I cringe when I read about characters who breeze through life having unrealistic reactions to traumatic events. I also felt Mason's internal struggles were justifiable. I found myself thankful again that his growing relationship with Christ wasn't stilted or forced, rather the opposite. I appreciate Godly characters so much.

The "mystery" and thrill in and of itself was fantastic and different for me, personally. I will definitely be looking up more of Harris's works and digging into Dangerous Passage when I have time. Why, oh, why must we wait until Spring '15 for the next book?? I highly recommend to fellow readers of mystery/thrillers. There really wasn't much romance in the story, but if there had been more than there was, it wouldn't have flowed. I recommend to readers fifteen or older due to the nature of the story. Things to know: There are at least ten murders either mentioned or presented in the story, though not given in grotesque detail. There is a drug cartel. 

I received this book from Revell in return for an honest review of my opinions, which I have done. Thanks!

Back Cover:
Emily Hunt might come from a family of cops, but she never goes looking for an adrenaline rush. She lives the quiet–well, relatively quiet–life of a teacher and thrives on making a difference in the lives of her students. But she’ll have to draw on a well of strength and savvy she didn’t know she had as student Rafael Cerda takes her class hostage for ransom money to save his brother’s life.

Undercover cop Mason Taylor has been working with Rafael to find his brother and bring the cartel thugs who hold him to justice. Can he talk Rafael down from his impulsive actions? And is there something more sinister at work here than he realizes?

Fatal Exchange draws readers into a complex matrix of intertwining lives and unraveling secrets, where every answer creates more questions. Romantic suspense fans will hardly want to come up for air.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

{Book Review:} Until That Distant Day by Jill Stengl

My Review:
An emotional, intriguing, historical!

Stengl swept me away to 1792 and, in my opinion, accurately captured the unrest and turmoil surrounding the French Revolution. I have not had the privilege of reading any of her previous works, but I am doubly impressed with Until That Distant Day. Her characters, her setting, and her plot all weave together like a beautiful tapestry and I adore it.

Colette, whose lovely head we're in, is relatable in her many struggles and wondering. I can easily imagine myself feeling the same way had I lived back in 1792 Paris, France. This does not mean there were not times I wanted to shake her, or point out the obvious; however if she didn't have her problems, would I like her as much? Not really. In contrast, her brother Pascoe's problems made me dislike him. Now, I don't have a brother, but I did find their relationship interesting. They seemed almost too close, but in the end everything was sorted out.

Moving on, another element of the story I admired was the use of French in dialog sprinkled over the pages. There was never too much that I could not decipher and the glossary at the back was incredibly helpful. For me the language added authenticity and added depth to both the story and characters. I even picked up a few phrases to add to my small knowledge of French. ;-)

All in all, I was thoroughly enjoyed Stengl's return to the fiction scene, and I look forward to seeing what she releases next! The emotion, realism, and twists make it a favorite in my books. Things to know: the majority of the story is set somewhere in the middle of the Revolution, thus there is bloodshed, though nothing extreme. A woman is impregnated outside of wedlock though we do not specifically read about the event. I recommend this novel to historical readers ages fifteen and older for readability and content.

I received this book from Anne Stengl in return for an honest review of my opinions, which I have done. Thanks!! 

Back Cover:
Colette and her brother Pascoe are two sides of the same coin, dependent upon one another in the tumultuous world of the new Republic. Together they labor with other leaders of the sans-culottes to ensure freedom for all the downtrodden men and women of France.

But then the popular uprisings turn bloody and the rhetoric proves false. Suddenly, Colette finds herself at odds with Pascoe and struggling to unite her fractured family against the lure of violence. Charged with protecting an innocent young woman and desperately afraid of losing one of her beloved brothers, Colette doesn’t know where to turn or whom to trust as the bloodshed creeps ever closer to home.

Until that distant day when peace returns to France, can she find the strength to defend her loved ones . . . even from one another?

Friday, May 9, 2014

Until That Distant Day by Jill Stengl {Blog Tour + Giveaway!}

Hey everyone! I have another fun post for you all! Not to mention another giveaway. ;-D

Book Blurb:
Colette and her brother Pascoe are two sides of the same coin, dependent upon one another in the tumultuous world of the new Republic. Together they labor with other leaders of the sans-culottes to ensure freedom for all the downtrodden men and women of France.

But then the popular uprisings turn bloody and the rhetoric proves false. Suddenly, Colette finds herself at odds with Pascoe and struggling to unite her fractured family against the lure of violence. Charged with protecting an innocent young woman and desperately afraid of losing one of her beloved brothers, Colette doesn’t know where to turn or whom to trust as the bloodshed creeps ever closer to home.

Until that distant day when peace returns to France, can she find the strength to defend her loved ones . . . even from one another?


About the Author:
Jill Stengl is the author of numerous romance novels including Inspirational Reader's Choice Award- and Carol Award-winning Faithful Traitor, and the bestselling novella, Fresh Highland Heir. She lives with her husband in the beautiful Northwoods of Wisconsin, where she enjoys her three cats, teaching a high school English Lit. class, playing keyboard for her church family, and sipping coffee on the deck as she brainstorms for her next novel.

She blogs at Books, Cats, and Whimsy. Do stop by and follow her to keep up with all her writing and reading-related activities!

I was offered the opportunity to ask Jill a question about her new story. So I asked her, "What do you want readers to take away from Until that Distant Day?" Below is her answer. :-) 

I've been thinking a bit about this question—thank you for asking, Rosie.

The main thing I hope readers will take away from Until That Distant Day is that indefinable blend of euphoria and sorrow I feel after reading my very favorite books. I hope my characters will remain in a reader’s thoughts as if they were real people, along with their desire for purpose, hope, and a future. I hope the scenes and setting will remain like memories of personal experience in a reader’s mind. I hope these characters and their relationships will not blend in with those of a dozen or a hundred other books.

In short, I hope readers will remember my story and wish to read it again. Isn't this every author’s desire?

A lovely answer. Thanks, Jill! 


As part of the launch tour, Jill is offering her new book, Until that Distant Day, on Kindle for only 99 cents through May 12th! Get your ebook copy here!! 

Now to the part you have all been waiting for, the special giveaway!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Lastly, don't forget to check out the other stops on the tour!


Until That Distant Day
Launch Tour Schedule

May 5







May 6





May 7




May 8




May 9





May 10





May 11





May 12





May 13 – Giveaway Winner Announced

Monday, May 5, 2014

Silenced by Dani Pettrey {+Rugged Romance Sweepstakes!}

Hello, all! I have some fun, exciting things for you today! We'll start off with my review of Pettrey's awesome new release, Silenced.

My Thoughts:
WOW!

With each new release, I fall more and more in love with the McKenna family. After reading Stranded last fall, I was eager to read Kayden and Jake's story and I was not disappointed! The suspense combined with many unanswered questions pulsed the story onward at a fast clip. In the few times I had to put the book down, it left me feeling like I was going to miss something, as if the story would go on without me.

Silenced - Book 4 - Alaskan Courage series by Dani PettreyI try not to pick favorites, but Kayden has intrigued me from the first book, Submerged. I wondered what she guarded under her tough, stubborn exterior. Her character is simply intriguing. Jake equally so, once his past was revealed in the previous book. The reason, I think, that Jake and Kayden work well together, both as romantic interests and lead characters, is that they battle inner demons. They're realistic. They aren't perfect. They don't have it all figured out. They struggle just like the rest of us.

The mystery and suspense was well paced and the road to the end was twisty and full of sharp curves. I never felt bored. I will say I had figured out the murderer, but I never anticipated... Oh. You'll have to get your hands on your own copy. ;-)

I really, really, enjoyed this time spent with Kayden and Jake. We also spent some considerable time with Reef and Kirra, which I loved, given their story is next and the last in the Alaskan Courage series (something I have yet to fully admit to myself). Oh, and the best part about Silenced? We get to witness Cole and Bailey's wedding AND Landon and Piper's!! Gah! So much cuteness. I loved Silenced and now I eagerly await the unannounced title for the conclusion in Pettrey's brilliant series. Things to know: There's talk of murder. There are two or three accidents- neither of which are described great detail. Two characters dislocate their thumbs to escape handcuffs and then relocate them.... OUCH. I recommend to readers who don't mind a bit of minor "violence."

I received a complimentary review copy from the author, Dani Pettrey, through Bethany House, in return for an honest review of my opinions, which I have done. Thank you!! 


Book Summary:
In SILENCED, Book 4 of author Dani Pettrey’s award-winning Alaskan Courage series, a relaxing day of rock climbing takes a dark turn when Kayden McKenna’s route brings her face-to-face with a dead climber. Was the climber’s death a terrible accident or something more sinister?

When the case is handed to Yancey’s overburdened sheriff, he turns to Jake Westin for help. With the truth of Jake’s past now revealed, Jake agrees to use his investigation skills for this one case–but nothing could prepare him for where the case will take him.

As Kayden and Jake work together to uncover the truth, will they also find a refuge in each other? Or will the deadly plans of a killer destroy their chance at love?

Enter the RUGGED ROMANCE Sweepstakes from Author Dani Pettrey

To celebrate the novel, Dani and Bethany House Publishers are pleased to present the RUGGED ROMANCE SWEEPSTAKES, and your chance to win one of three marvelous prizes, all closely connected to the story. This giveaway starts May 1, 2014 and ends May 21, 2014 @ 11:59 pm (PST).
Entry is open to US residents only, age 18 and over. Winners will be selected Friday, May 23, 2014, and announced at DaniPettrey.com. You can view the prizes and enter the sweepstakes by going here.

One more thing before you go! I've arranged a giveaway of Silenced! You can enter via the Rafflecopter below. The giveaway is open to US residents 18 and older, the winner will be announced Saturday the 17th here on the blog, and everything else you need it know is on the widget. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway