Friday, August 28, 2020

Review ~ Bride by Blackmail by Debbie Lynne Costello

Coming Soon!!!

A broken heart, a controlling father, and an intrusive Scot leave Charlotte Jackson reeling. Accused of stealing an heirloom pin, she must choose between an unwanted marriage and the ruin of her family name. With the futures of her three younger sisters at stake, as well as her own reputation, Charlotte must navigate through injustice to find forgiveness and true happiness.

Eager to find the traitor that caused the death of his brother, Duncan Mackenzie comes to America and attempts to fit in with Charleston society. But when the headstrong Charlotte catches his eye, Duncan takes on a second mission—acquiring the lass's hand. After being spurned several times, he uses unconventional ways of winning her heart.


My Review 
4.5 STARS!!!
Costello has penned an intriguing novel. I’ve read marriage of convenience and mail order bride stories but bride by blackmail? That’s a new one. And it’s funny. Not the circumstances surrounding the blackmail but the man doing it. Duncan has a great sense of humor but he’s also an overbearing Scot who runs roughshod over people sometimes. I loved him in the beginning of the book, then disliked him a lot for a while, and eventually came back to liking him because you know he has to find redemption. If there’s one weakness in his story that stands out it was that. I really would like to have been privy to his private confession and repentance before the Lord. The emotional element of that experience was missing. It would have made me fall in love with him all over again. 
(UPDATE: The author expanded Duncan's conversion scene and it's well done!)

Charlotte is the epitome of a  fictional debutante in that she has eyes only for a scoundrel, unbeknownst to her, of course. She is willful and forward-thinking for a woman of her time and yet remains submissive on a certain level. Her family is everything to her and she will go to great lengths to see that her sisters have choices in life, which she feels she doesn’t have, and rightly so. The lessons she learns about herself are brought through a harrowing experience and that is one of my favorite parts of the story. Costello brought me right into, and through the storm with her descriptions.

I enjoyed the cast of characters and see several who need their own books. Hopefully that will be the case. :-) Fans of historical fiction will be delighted with the drama and romance that ensues in 
Bride by Blackmail. It’s an easy, entertaining read.

I was provided an early electronic copy from the author. No compensation has been received.


*As soon as I find out a release date, I will let y'all know. 
This really is a lovely story for Christian fiction fans!

Friday, August 21, 2020

Rebecca Reviews ~ A Life Once Dreamed by Rachel Fordham


Six years ago, a shocking secret sent Agnes Pratt running in search of a new start. She found it in Penance, a rugged town of miners and lumberjacks in the Dakota Territory, where she became Miss Aggie, respected schoolteacher and confirmed old maid. But the past has a way of catching up with people.

When childhood friend and former sweetheart James Harris accepts a position as the town doctor, Aggie's pleasantly predictable days suddenly become anything but. James wants to know why Agnes left behind the life they had dreamed of creating for themselves--but he is the one person who can never know.

In the shadows of the Black Hills, can a healing light be shed on the past? Or will the secret Agnes can't seem to outrun destroy her chance at happiness?

Fan-favorite Rachel Fordham brings to life the dusty streets of an 1880s frontier town in this story that affirms where you come from matters far less than where you're going. 


Rebecca's Review - 3 STARS

"This was her life. Colorful and simple. Comfortable and predictable."

But did it always have to be that way? For, forever is an awfully long time.

Agnes Pratt left her former life behind, including all of its comforts, following a heartbreaking discovery and a long anticipated proposal. Now Aggie spends her days behind a desk in a one room schoolhouse, tucked away in the Dakota Territory mining town of Penance, where no one from Boston could possibly find her. Until he did.

Dr. James Harris could never figure out why his beloved ran away without a trace. Aggie had never even said good-bye. When he learns that the people in Penance desperately need a trained physician, James knows in his heart that he and Aggie have been given another opportunity. If only she believed the same.

This second-chance-at-love story includes numerous pit falls, for we all know that secrets distort the very truths they seek to hide. In spite of a good number of stops and starts, coupled with some fairly awkward conversations, the plot finally zeroes in on one critical truth; every life has significance, for "the least of these" should not be judged on their beginnings, but rather afforded every opportunity to be loved unconditionally until their end. Readers will appreciate this author's ability to write a sweet, satisfying story.

I received a copy of this book from Baker Publishers through Interviews and Reviews.

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 over 30 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".

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Review ~ A Dazzle of Diamonds | Georgia Coast Romance 3 | Liz Johnson

Paperback352 pages
Published August 4th 2020 by Fleming H. Revell Company

Best friends Penelope and Tucker have faced their share of challenges. But finding a lost treasure in time to clear his family's name and win him an election may uncover something they never expected.




My Review

5 STARS!!!

He was such an idiot. How had he never noticed PJ when she was right in front of him?

I was completely dazzled by A Dazzle of Diamonds! It will be on my top reads list for 2020 because Liz Johnson is a fabulous word weaver. Everything I love in a story is contained within the pages; angst, humor, mystery, and romance. Penelope and Tucker have been inseparable since childhood and go together like peanut butter and jelly. They’re best friends supporting one another through thick and thin. When a client of Penelope’s misunderstands their relationship and assumes Penelope and Tucker are a couple, the friends-to-more trope takes off like a rocket into outer space.

In the course of Penelope and Tucker searching for a lost Civil War treasure, they’re given a dairy written by one of Tucker’s ancestors, Caroline, who lived back then. These passages are just wonderful. It’s a two-for-one love story in A Dazzle of Diamonds. I recommend it to all who enjoy a funny yet emotional love story that will bring laughter and perhaps a tear or two. This is only the second book by Liz Johnson that I’ve read but now I must go back and read the first two in the series.

I received a copy of the book from the publisher. No compensation has been received.


Have you read any books by Liz Johnson? If so, I'd love to hear about them in the comments.

Have a blessed day!

Monday, August 10, 2020

COMING SOON!!! A Portrait of Loyalty | The Codebreakers 3 | Roseanna M White

  Image may contain: 1 person, text that says 'EXCLUSIVE SNEAK PEEK COMING SOON! Newsletter Subscribers only PORTRAIT LOYALTY ROSEANNA WHITE Sign Up Today! WWW.ROSEANNAMWHITE.COM'

A Portrait of Loyalty

The Codebreakers, 3

Zivon Marin was one of Russia’s top cryptographers, until the October Revolution tore apart his world. Forced to flee after speaking out against Lenin and separated from his brother along the way, he arrives in England driven by a growing anger and determined to offer his services to the Brits.

Lily Blackwell sees the world best through the lens of a camera–and possesses unsurpassed skill when it comes to retouching and recreating photographs. With her father’s connections in propaganda, she’s recruited to the intelligence division, even though her mother would disapprove.

After Captain Blackwell invites Zivon to dinner one evening, a friendship blooms between him and Lily. He sees patterns in what she deems chaos; she sees beauty in a world he thought destroyed. But both have secrets they’re unwilling to share. When her photographs reveal that someone has been following Zivon, his loyalties are called into question–and his enemies are discovered to be far closer than he’d feared. 


Christian Book

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(Sneak Peek releases Aug 14)

Review ~ Covert Cover-Up (Mount Shasta Secrets) by Elizabeth Goddard


Paperback224 pages
Expected publication: September 8th 2020 by Love Inspired Suspense

Rescuing a neighbor lands her in a killer’s sights…

Private investigator Katelyn Bradley rushes to help when she suspects a burglary at her neighbor Beck Goodwin’s house—and arrives just in time to save him. The widowed dad is convinced the attack is linked to his wife’s mysterious death, and now Katelyn is a target, too. Trapped in someone’s crosshairs, can Beck and Katelyn uncover his late wife’s lethal secrets…and keep each other alive?


*I'm not affiliated with any vendors. Links are provided as a courtesy only.


My Review



Covert Cover-Up is an easy, fast-paced read with a decent suspense hovering in the shadows. I didn't care for some of the finer points in the relationship between Beck and Katelyn though. He was overbearing to the point of completely disregarding her sound advice as a former cop turned PI. In that regard, I thought Katelyn was weak and should have had the wits to dump him as a client. But, they have this electric connection so they stick together while they solve who killed Beck's wife. Figuring out the mystery surrounding her was what I enjoyed the most.

I received an electronic review copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley.

Thursday, August 6, 2020

Review ~ Vying for the Viscount (Hearts on the Heath) by Kristi Ann Hunter

  • 352 pages; Bethany House Publishers

When a strange man appears to be stealing horses at the neighboring estate, Bianca Snowley jumps to their rescue. And when she discovers he's the new owner, she can't help but be intrigued--but romance is unfeasible when he proposes they help secure spouses for each other. Will they see everything they've wanted has been there all along before it's too late?


My Review


Vying for the Viscount is a strikingly descriptive story that fans of historical fiction, especially Regency, will want to read.

I’m a huge fan of Kristi Ann Hunter and always look forward to her stories but while I liked Vying for the Viscount, I didn’t love it. The beginning seemed slow and tedious to me. Hudson didn’t come across as a very strong character. He was raised in India and although he kept saying he had been prepared his whole life to take over the role as Viscount, it didn’t seem like it when he got to England. I found him sort of ‘soft’ for lack of a better word. Bianca is a smart, horse-loving woman in a kind of sad situation at home. Each morning, she goes next door to help exercise the Viscount’s horses. Their first meeting is sort of funny but I was hoping for a bit more spunk and spark between her and Hudson.

Aaron, on the other hand, is the character whose story I wanted to hear most. He’s an emotionally wounded man, not in an overt manner but you can tell he’s experienced deep hurt at the hands of others. He has a familial connection to someone in the story but it’s a bit before we find out who it is. I’m really hoping his story is next.

I was provided an electronic copy from the publisher through Netgalley. All opinions are my own.

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Review ~ Minutes to Die (Homeland Heroes | Book Two) by Susan Sleeman


Paperback384 pages
Published August 4th 2020 by Bethany House Publishers

It's the intel every agent fears--terrorists have been smuggled into the country, intent on unleashing the most deadly attack since 9/11. With the threat imminent, FBI Agent Kiley Dawson and ICE Agent Evan Bowers are charged with taking down this terrorist cell. The only problem is Kiley blames Evan for the death of her former partner, and she can barely be in a room with him. But with millions of lives on the line, she has no choice.

If it wasn't for a bad call Evan made, Kiley's former partner would still be alive, and Evan has to live with that guilt for the rest of his life. When he starts falling for her, the agent's death seems an impossible obstacle--but it's also the last thing he needs to think about. As the terrorist plot targets Kiley's family, the two are pushed to the breaking point in a race to save countless lives.

I am not affiliated with Christian Book and make no money if you use the link to purchase. 

My Review
4 STARS!!!

If I let it go, God, then what?

I'm a slow reader and for once I was glad about that. It gave me more time to embed myself with Kiley, Evan and the RED team. They're on an adrenaline-laced assignment with very little time to figure out the logistics of who, what, when, and where a monumental terrorist attack is going to occur. Time is ticking and the big question is will they save millions of lives or not?

The analytical and problem-solving techniques incorporated in this type of investigation boggled my mind. I had a hard time keeping up with the ins-and-outs and everyone involved (there are a lot of characters) but still gained a new appreciation for what our federal law enforcement officers might go through and the sacrifices they make to keep us safe. I can't imagine having to coordinate something like this and the immense pressure each team member is bound to be under while optimally performing their duties. Sleeman has created a dynamic atmosphere that kept me completely ‘on the scene’.

I'm looking forward to Mack's and Addison's story in Hours to Kill and the conclusion to the ongoing Montgomery Three case that began in book one, Seconds to Live. If you enjoy contemporary romantic suspense incorporated with faith themes of trust and forgiveness, I definitely recommend Minutes to Die.

I received a complimentary copy of the book from the publisher. All opinions are my own. 

~ Happy Reading ~