Wednesday, July 5, 2017

The Writing Desk by Rachel Hauck

Tenley Roth’s first book was a runaway bestseller. Now that her second book is due, she’s locked in fear. Can she repeat her earlier success or is she a fraud who has run out of inspiration?

With pressure mounting from her publisher, Tenley is weighted with writer’s block. But when her estranged mother calls asking Tenley to help her through chemotherapy, she packs up for Florida where she meets handsome furniture designer Jonas Sullivan and discovers the story her heart’s been missing.

A century earlier, another woman wrote at the same desk with hopes and fears of her own. Born during the Gilded Age, Birdie Shehorn is the daughter of the old money Knickerbockers. Under the strict control of her mother, her every move is decided ahead of time, even whom she’ll marry. But Birdie has dreams she doesn’t know how to realize. She wants to tell stories, write novels, make an impact on the world. When she discovers her mother has taken extreme measures to manipulate her future, she must choose between submission and security or forging a brand new way all on her own.

Tenley and Birdie are from two very different worlds, but fate has bound them together in a way time cannot erase.

Tenley is struggling to write her next best seller.  Actually she is struggling to write anything.  So she packs up and goes to FL to take care of her mother.  She has left her Christian roots behind and struggles with her choices.

Birdie is from the Gilded Age.  It's appalling how she was treated and not given any choice in who she will marry.  It was quite an eye opener.

Rachel never disappoints in her books and this time she didn't either.  I highly recommend it.

I was given this book by the publisher for an honest review.  I was not compensated in any way.

Christmas at Carnton by Tamera Alexander

Amid war and the fading dream of the Confederacy, a wounded soldier and a destitute widow discover the true meaning of Christmas - and of sacrificial love.
Recently widowed, Aletta Prescott struggles to hold life together for herself and her six-year old son.With the bank threatening to evict, she discovers an advertisement for the Women's Relief Society auction and applies for a position - only to discover it's been filled. Then a chance meeting with a wounded soldier offers another opportunity - and friendship. But can Aletta trust this man?
Captain Jake Winston, a revered Confederate sharpshooter, suffered a head wound at the Battle of Chickamauga. When doctors deliver their diagnosis, Jake fears losing not only his greatest skill but his very identity. As he heals, Jake is ordered to assist with a local Women's Relief Society auction. He respectfully objects.Kowtowing to a bunch of "crinolines" isn't his idea of soldiering. But orders are orders, and he soon discovers this group of ladies - one, in particular - is far more than he bargained for.
This story shows the sacrifices that were made by not only the men during the Civil War but by the women as well.  This is Aletta's story.  She lost her husband in a battle and now she has her son to raise as well as a baby on the way.  By God's grace she survives.  
As always Tamera rights a good story.  I'm looking forward to the next installment in this series.
I was given this book by the publisher for an honest review.  I was not compensated in any way.


Beloved Hope by Tracie Peterson

Hope Flanagan survived the massacre at the Whitman Mission, but at terrible personal cost. Safe now in Oregon City, she lives with her sisters, Grace and Mercy, and Grace's new husband, Alex. As she spends her days tending their flock of sheep, Hope's mind and soul are slowly healing. Yet, though she was once surrounded by suitors, she has no interest in giving her heart again after the man she loved died in her arms.

Hope's precarious new peace is shattered when those responsible for the massacre are captured and put on trial. She is asked to testify against them, but she's not sure she can bear to relive the events of those horrific days.

As Hope struggles to free herself from the pain of her past, Lance Kenner, an Army lieutenant, brings an unexpected ray of light into her life. But what will Lance think of her if he learns the truth behind her anguish? And what secrets lie in his past?

This is Hope's struggle with healing from the attack at the mission and the aftermath of her kidnapping.  She has hate in her heart for what was done to her.  Lance helps bring about the healing and self worth of Hope. Hope doesn't feel that any man will want anything to do with her after what was done to her. She has to rely on God to help her through this time in her life.

I was given this book by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.  I was not compensated in anyway.

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Heart on the Line by Karen Witemeyer

Grace Mallory is tired of running, of hiding. But when an old friend sends an after-hours telegraph transmission warning Grace that the man who has hunted her for nearly a year has discovered her location, she fears she has no choice. She can't let the villain she believes responsible for her father's death release his wrath in Harper's Station, the town that has sheltered her and blessed her with the dearest friends she's ever known.

Amos Bledsoe prefers bicycles to horses and private conversations over the telegraph wire to social gatherings with young ladies who see him as nothing more than an oddity. His telegraph companion, the mysterious Miss G, listens eagerly to his ramblings every night and delights him with tales all her own. For months, their friendship--dare he believe, courtship?--has fed his hope that he has finally found the woman God intended for him. Yet when he takes the next step to meet her in person, he discovers her life is in peril, and Amos must decide if he can shed the cocoon of his quiet nature to become the hero Grace requires.

What a refreshing book.  Amos was not your typical hero material.  He wore spectacles and was not brawny.  He wasn't a great shot or horseman either.  But he made a great hero.  He leaves his job and family to rescue the woman that he loves, Grace.  Grace doesn't seem to mind that Amos isn't the traditional hero.  She finds herself falling for him.  When Grace finds herself abducted it is Amos to the rescue.

I really enjoyed reading more about the ladies of Harper's Station. I would highly recommend this book.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Sandpiper Cove by Irene Hannon

Hope Harbor police chief Lexie Graham has plenty on her plate raising her son alone and dealing with a sudden rash of petty theft and vandalism in her coastal Oregon hometown. As a result, she has zero time for extracurricular activities--including romance. Ex-con Adam Stone isn't looking for love either--but how ironic is it that the first woman to catch his eye is a police chief? Yet wishing for things that can never be is foolish.

Nevertheless, when Lexie enlists Adam's help to keep a young man from falling into a life of crime, sparks begin to fly. And as they work together, it soon becomes apparent that God may have a different--and better--future planned for them than either could imagine.

This is an unusual romance in that a police chief falls in love with an ex-con.  The pitfalls and public opinion are against them.  There's also the crime spree that has hit town.  As Lexie tries to solve the crimes she enlists Adams help in mentoring a young teen.  Along the way Adam helps Lexie find her lost faith.

I really enjoyed the book and would recommend it to anyone.

Behind the Scenes by Jen Turano

Miss Permilia Griswold may have been given the opportunity of a debut into New York high society, but no one warned her she wasn't guaranteed to "take." After spending the last six years banished to the wallflower section of the ballroom, she's finally putting her status on the fringes of society to good use by penning anonymous society gossip columns under the pseudonym "Miss Quill."

Mr. Asher Rutherford has managed to maintain his status as a reputable gentleman of society despite opening his own department store. While pretending it's simply a lark to fill his time, he has quite legitimate reasons for needing to make his store the most successful in the country.
When Permilia overhears a threat against the estimable Mr. Rutherford, she's determined to find and warn the man. Disgruntled at a first meeting that goes quite poorly and results in Asher not believing her, she decides to take matters into her own hands, never realizing she'll end up at risk as well.

As Asher and Permilia are forced to work together and spend time away from the spotlight of society, perhaps there's more going on behind the scenes than they ever could have anticipated. . . .

I never knew what a snobbish bunch of people "Society" people could be.  Wallflowers weren't even considered to have feelings.  They were shunned and if someone had anything to do with them they were too. 

I found the story to be delightful.  Asher and Permilia don't want to admit they have feelings for each other as they work to solve the mystery of who wants to do away with Asher.  I highly recommend this book.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Beneath Copper Falls by Collee Coble

Dana has already learned that love isn’t safe . . . but could it be different in Rock Harbor?

As a 911 dispatcher, Dana Newell takes pride in being calm in tough circumstances. In addition to her emotionally-charged career, she’s faced enough emergencies in her own life. She recently escaped her abusive fiancĂ© to move to tranquil Rock Harbor where she hopes life will be more peaceful.

But the idyllic town hides more danger and secrets than it first appeared. Dana is continually drawn to her new friend Boone, who has scars inside and out. Then she answers a call at her job only to hear a friend’s desperate screams on the other end. Soon the pain in her past collides with the mysteries of her new home—and threatens to keep her from the future she’s always wanted.

Dana is afraid of making the same mistakes as before and Boone can't trust his own judgement when it comes to women.  They are drawn to each other as they try to find out who murdered Boone's sister and other women by the serial killer the press has named the Groom Killer.

I enjoyed visiting Rock Harbor again and seeing how Bree and Kade were doing.  I thought I had it figured out several times who the Groom Killer was.  But I was wrong.  I found myself reading when I should have been doing other things.  I highly recommend this book to anyone who likes a good mystery.