Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Review ~ The Kitchen Marriage (Montana Brides #2) by Gina Welborn and Becca Whitham

Paperback, 352 pages
Published September 25th 2018 by Zebra
About the Book

A bright future awaits the women of courage and faith who boldly chase their dreams across the wide-open Montana Territory, prepared to embrace adventure and forge their own destinies . . .

When French immigrant Zoe de Fleur is forced out of her position as household cook for a high society New Yorker, the pretty and talented chef seizes an unexpected chance to head west for a new beginning. She pursues what she thinks is a prestigious job in the frontier's "finest kitchen," but instead finds herself in a matchmaker's agency . . .

Isaak Gunderson is one of Helena, Montana's most eligible bachelors, but he's too focused on running for mayor and his family's business to think about a wife and family. His twin brother, Jakob, is supposed to be too busy as well, yet sends for a mail-order bride anyway. Isaak doesn't want to fuel an ongoing rivalry with his twin, but this tempting newcomer can't be ignored. If only she'd come to Helena a different way and loving her wasn't a betrayal.

CBD (mass market paperback_

My Review
4 STARS!!!

Isaak and Jakob Gunderson are twins who have spent their lives as each other’s best friend in spite of their competitive nature toward one another. They have a great relationship, or so it seems until Zoe de Fleur, a young woman who comes to Montana thinking she is going to have a job as a chef but in actuality is a mail-order bride, enters their lives. It was great fun to watch the word play between the three of them. This is a story of two brothers and a girl, of them coming into their own, realizing what is most important in life and how they ought not to make comparisons between themselves and others. They each have a lot to learn! 

There is a proposal scene (not a spoiler) that I found to be hilarious. I was actually sitting outside at the time, and laughed out loud. Then a few moments later I was engrossed in another scene that had me voicing my thoughts about a certain no-good woman. My neighbors probably think I am crazy since I was the only one on the porch.

Several other characters wormed their way into my heart too and I hope to see them make a cameo in the next book. It was great fun getting a glimpse of Mac and Emilia after their honeymoon. They are the hero and heroine of The Promise Bride (Montana Brides #1). I recommend reading their story first to get the full palate of characters and backstory. 

This is a clean and inspirational read with a light element of faith so I think any fan of historical romantic fiction will enjoy this story. The authors have suffused The Kitchen Marriage with abundant humor, familial bonds that ring true-to-life and a mystery of the most surprising nature. I just closed the book and I am all astonishment at the last line. An identity has been revealed and it is a shocker, at least to me. 

I was provided an advanced uncorrected proof of the book from one of the authors. No review required. No compensation received.

Monday, October 15, 2018

Rebecca Reviews ~ Shelter of the Most High (Cities of Refuge #2) by Connilyn Cossette

Paperback, 352 pages
Published October 2nd 2018 by Bethany House Publishers

About the Book
The daughter of a pagan high priest, Sofea finds solace from her troubles in the freedom of the ocean. But when marauders attack her village on the island of Sicily, she and her cousin are taken across the sea to the shores of Canaan.

Eitan has lived in Kedesh, a City of Refuge, for the last eleven years, haunted by a tragedy in his childhood and chafing at the boundaries placed on him. He is immediately captivated by Sofea, but revealing his most guarded secret could mean drawing her into the danger of his past.

As threats from outside the walls loom and traitors are uncovered within, Sofea and Eitan are plunged into the midst of a murder plot. Will they break free from the shackles of the past in time to uncover the betrayal and save their lives and the lives of those they love?

Rebecca’s Review
5 STARS!!!

"The Almighty Creator spoke your being into existence. How could you be anything less than precious?"

The daughter of a pagan high priest, Sofea feels anything but precious as the life that she has always known near the sea, albeit violent and gruesome at times, is stripped away without so much as a whispered good-bye. Kidnapped by violent pirates, Sofea and her cousin Prezi survive a brutal escape, only to find themselves tossed upon the shores of a distant land. Who are these people who claim to worship the one true God? And what kind of man showers a foreigner with such infinite kindness?

As Sofea and Prezi recuperate within the walls of the Hebrew city of refuge known as Kedesh, Eitan and his family become quite attached to the two young women who have obviously experienced great trauma. His own family has suffered as well, being known as man slayers and thus prohibited from traveling more than a short distance beyond the city gates. Eitan's grief over his mistake as a young boy still shadows his existence, while his uncle's vow of revenge thwarts Eitan's efforts to defend his fellow Israelites. Rather than wielding fine weapons in battle, he is resigned to remain behind in the city to craft them . . . . until a traitor is discovered among those he holds dear, including Sofea.

Captivating from beginning to end, Connilyn Cossette gifts her readers with ancient biblical history, cultural mystery, and the kind of hero who declares with certainty,"I will never stop fighting for you". All within "the shelter of the most high".

I received a copy of this book from the publisher. The opinions stated are entirely my own.

Senior Reviewer, Rebecca Maney

Rebecca is a graduate of Bryan College with a degree in Christian Education, and is currently serving at the First Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church in Gastonia, North Carolina as the Director of Children's Ministry. With nearly 28 years of experience in her field, she has had many opportunities to use her love of reading and writing in creative ways across the generations. A wife, mother of four "nearly" grown children, and grandmother to four beautiful grandchildren, Rebecca has been able to return to her love of reading and more recently reviewing, with a renewed passion for the "beauty of story".



You won The Victorian Christmas Brides Collection from Kathy's giveaway here on the blog!

I've already been touch with Joy about winning the book. Needless to say, she is extremely happy as it is going to be a gift for a friend. :-) 

Thanks to all who stopped by to enter the giveaway. Stay tuned for more author interviews/spotlights, book reviews, and giveaways, as well as inspirational posts and photography. 

~Happy Reading~ 

Saturday, October 13, 2018

A Bookish Adventure with Just Reads Tours!

Congrats to all finalists of #TheChristyAward 2018! Come celebrate with them at The Christy Award™ Gala, and don't forget about the 2nd annual Art of Writing Conference. Attend both events on Nov. 7, 2018 in Nashville, TN for just $99. @ChristyAward in collaboration with @JustReadTours is giving away TWO admissions to both events!

Enter at justreadtours.com. Click on The Christy Award™ graphic on the home page and enter away.

Hurry! This giveaway ends on October 20, 2018!  This giveaway and its prize are in no way endorsed by or affiliated with Facebook and its subsidiaries.

#ReadGoodFiction #giveaway #christianfiction #bookawards #2018ChristyAward #justreadtours #ChristyAwardGiveaway #TheArtofWriting #AuthorConference #justread 

Have a blessed weekend!

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Review ~ The Victorian Christmas Brides Collection + Giveaway Link

443 Pages / Barbour Publishing / 2018

About the Collection
Experience a Dickens of a Christmas

Faced with the daily extremes of gluttony and want in the Victorian Era, nine women seek to create the perfect Christmas celebrations. But will expectations and pride cause them to overlook imperfect men who offer true love?

Paper Snowflake Christmas by Vanessa Riley
1837 Framlingham, England
How can widow Ophelia Hanover give her son a perfect Christmas when his guardian, the Earl of Litton, arrives early to take permeant custody of the boy?

One Golden Ring by C.J. Chase
1855 Devonshire, England
Wounded soldier Tristram Nowell returns home to indulge his mother’s wish for a family Christmas—and encounters Marianna Granville. Can he forgive the former heiress who jilted him years before?

Love Brick by Brick by Kathleen L. Maher
1857 Elmira, New York
SarahAnn Winnifred overcomes orphanhood apprenticing with pioneering doctors. Rufus Sedgwick, relocating his English estate, seeks help for his ailing Mum. Christmas reveals the secret wish of both hearts—for love.

The Sugarplum Ladies by Carrie Fancett Pagels
1867 Windsor, Ontario, Canada and Detroit, Michigan
When Canadian barrister Percy Gladstone finds his aristocratic British family unexpectedly descending upon him for Christmas, he turns to American social reformer Eugenie Mott and her fledgling catering crew for help.

Star of Wonder by Susanne Dietze
1875 County Durham, England
This Yuletide, Bennet Hett, Viscount Harwood, offers Lady Celeste Sidwell matrimony and the Star of Wonder diamond necklace, as their fathers arranged. When the diamond disappears, will they find a greater treasure?

Father Christmas by Lorna Seilstad
Chicago, Christmas 1880
Widowed harpist Beatrix Kent believes love can only come once in a lifetime, but this Christmas, carpenter Hugo Sherman hopes to pull on the musician’s heartstrings and prove her wrong.

The Perfect Christmas by Erica Vetsch
1880s London
Melisande Verity might be in over her head trying to create the perfect Christmas window display, but if she succeeds, will she finally attract the attention of her boss, Gray Garamond?

A Christmas Vow by Gabrielle Meyer
London, England, Christmas 1899?
Lady Ashleigh Pendleton is hosting a houseful of guests for Christmas when railroad executive Christopher Campbell unexpectedly arrives from America with a mysterious agreement signed by their fathers before their birth.

The Holly and the Ivy by Rita Gerlach
1900. Small town along the Potomac near Washington DC
A glass ornament. Love letters tied in red Christmas ribbon. Lily Morningstar and British antiquities expert Andrew Stapleton are drawn into a family secret that binds their hearts together.


Always check the price before you buy!
*I am not affiliated with CBD and make NO money if you use the link to purchase. I only post it for your convenience and to support a Christian business.

My Review

(I don't see the need to individually describe the stories in my review as you can see above the synopsis of each one.)

Easy-to-read, these nine novellas drew me into days gone by, leaving me contented and looking forward to the traditions of Christmas. Some of the stories were super quick to read and a couple others I wanted to savor a bit more.  I enjoyed each author’s individual writing style and the way the characters were portrayed.

Reading these collections are a good way to be introduced to an author you may not have read before. I actually discovered a couple of new-to-me authors in this one. I recommend this novella collection to anyone who enjoys historical Christmas themed inspirational stories. The Victorian Christmas Brides collection is perfect for short reading stints or a long, lazy afternoon in front of the fire while sipping a relaxing cup of your favorite beverage.

I was gifted a copy of the book by one of the authors. No review required. No compensation received. 


Author Interview with Kathleen Maher, The Victorian Christmas Brides Collection Blog Tour