Tuesday, May 10, 2022

Review | Turn to Me | A Misty River Romance #3 | Becky Wade


His promise will cost him far more than he imagined.

Guilt has defined Luke Dempsey's life, but it was self-destructiveness that landed him in prison. When his friend and fellow inmate lay dying shortly before Luke's release, the older man revealed he left a string of clues for his daughter, Finley, that will lead her to the treasure he's hidden. Worried that she won't be the only one pursuing the treasure, he gains Luke's promise to protect her until the end of her search.

Spunky and idealistic, Finley Sutherland is the owner of an animal rescue center and a defender of lost causes. She accepts Luke's help on the treasure hunt while secretly planning to help him in return--by coaxing him to embrace the forgiveness he's long denied himself.

As they draw closer to the final clue, their reasons for resisting each other begin to crumble, and Luke realizes his promise will push him to the limit in more ways than one. He'll do his best to shield Finley from unseen threats, but who's going to shield him from losing his heart? 


My Review 3.5 STARS 

'Luke Dempsey was a tragic and thorny case. Many would say he was a lost cause.'

Wade wraps up her Misty River Romance series quite well in Turn to Me. I was delighted to finally read Luke’s story, and at the same time see Ben get his as a small side story in the book.

The redemption thread here for “bad boy” ex-con Luke is phenomenal! Maybe that is why there was so much emphasis put on his physical desire for Finley. It’s pretty descriptive. I appreciated the author repeatedly, through Finley and others, communicating to Luke that he was not beyond redemption. Our past does not have to define us in the present. This message came across very strong. And it was a beautiful thing to see work out in Luke.


The best part of Finley’s story for me was reading about her dad and how she grew up a “free spirit” and dresses sort of Bohemian. But I’m not a dog fanatic or interested in constantly hearing about animal rights etc. so that really put a damper on this part of the story for me.

All in all, fans of Wade will be satisfied with this series and its ending. I know I thoroughly enjoyed the overall story of The Miracle Five. I look forward to whatever she has coming next year!

I was provided an electronic copy of the book from the publisher through Netgalley. No compensation has been received.



Monday, April 25, 2022

Review ~ WILLOW (The Metcalfes #2) by Ronie Kendig



About the Book

To save her, he must become the evil he fights.

Aftercare specialist Willow Metcalfe joined Mission: Liberate Everyone to help trafficking survivors navigate the healing process. When MiLE’s Obioma Compound is attacked by the Nigerian mafia, she’s taken hostage. Against nightmarish odds, she and the victims attempt an escape—and are thwarted.

A decade after leaving his beloved homeland, Chijioke “Chiji” Okorie returns to find his sister and fight for his own country. Believing a global trafficking ring behind her abduction and a string of kidnappings across Nigeria, he goes undercover to find the head of the serpent and his sister. Chiji is stunned to discover among the hostages a familiar face—a friend’s sister, Willow. The woman he vowed years ago to marry.

The man who has interfered with her escape attempts seems … familiar, kind—but Willow knows better. He reeks of the warrior ethos that has devoured many a good man. Engaged in an impossible battle and losing at every turn, Chiji is determined to complete his missions—all of them. Even if it kills him.

Purchase: Amazon

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My Review 4.5 STARS

I’ve been anxiously awaiting WILLOW’s story since STONE came out in January. Kendig does a commendable job expressing the horrific circumstances that these victims are under. It is not for the faint of heart. I'm sure it must take an emotional toll when submerging oneself into the research required to execute a story like this. I know my own emotions were ripped during certain scenes.

Willow was not what I was expecting but she surprised me with a strength and dignity that comes out in remarkable ways. While she seems irrational at times, her heart is kind, compassionate, and truly loving toward others.

Chiji has a remarkably strong and resolute faith in God. He is a warrior in more ways than one and is always challenging Willow, reminding her that she can trust in God. His show of strength and abiding faith during some of the most degrading and horrific times is what spurs her on to explore reclaiming a relationship with Christ. And he’s beautiful. Yep. Beautiful. J

Of course, in fiction there will always be some astonishing things taking place that might not be quite believable but this is a potent novel that needs to be read. And more cameos from other Metcalfes take place, best of all Canyon (of course)! I actually teared up when he appeared suddenly in one scene. Kendig managed, once again, to draw out multiple emotions. I highly recommend WILLOW to anyone who is looking for something with a little more grit than roses.

I was provided an early digital copy of the book from the author. I also purchased my own copy. No compensation has been received.


Tuesday, April 12, 2022

Rebecca Reviews ~ The Catch (US Marshals #3) by Lisa Harris


About the Book

After a harrowing attempt on a judge's life at the courthouse, Deputy US Marshals Madison James and Jonas Quinn are tasked with finding a missing woman and an endangered child in connection to the murder of the judge's wife. What seems like a fairly straightforward case becomes hopelessly tangled when the marshals discover that the woman they are searching for is in witness protection and the Amber Alert put out for the missing child has put two lives in danger.

Madison and Jonas are forced into a race to find the woman and the child before the men who want her dead discover her location. And in a final showdown that could cost her everything, Madison will come face-to-face with the person who murdered her husband.

USA Today bestselling author Lisa Harris concludes her thrilling US Marshals series with this breathless tale of secrets kept, lies exposed, and ultimately, justice prevailing.

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Rebecca's Review - 3.5 stars

"Four months ago Madison had been shot in her own home. He'd found her lying on the kitchen floor in a pool of blood . . . . . But the most puzzling part of her injuries had the been the partial amnesia. . . she still didn't know who had pulled that trigger."

Now U. S. Marshals Madison James and Jonas Quinn are tasked with finding the killer of another woman shot in her own home; a local judge's wife . . . . except when confronted with video evidence of who had been in his home, Judge Saylor insists that his young mistress could never have pulled the trigger. But case gets even more curious; not only has Becca Lambert gone on the run, but the woman tasked with baby-sitting her newborn son is missing . . . along with the infant.

Being thrown into a new case wasn't exactly how Madison and Jonas had expected to be re-united after Jonas' lengthy absence. They had missed each other during the weeks Jonas underwent rigorous training for a Special Operations Group, and yet Madison was still struggling with the same underlying circumstances; until she solved her husband's murder, she wasn't willing to put someone else that she loved (yes, loved) in the cross-hairs of a killer . . . . and Madison knew without a shadow of doubt that she was being watched.

"I'm learning there is a point where I have to simply let go and let God take over . . . . I'm tired of living as if I died that day as well."

Nearly entirely plot driven, this series conclusion oozes with multiple layers and endless amounts of surprising connections . . . . giving the reader, as well as the characters . . . plenty of reasons to "catch up" to the truth.

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



Wednesday, April 6, 2022

'Where in the World is'...Stuff & Nonsense??

Good afternoon, Friends!!! 

It's a lovely spring day here today. Windows are open, a gentle breeze ruffles the newly budding leaves, birds are flitting around singing pretty songs while building their nests, and in the distance a lone donkey can be heard braying. Such a glorious time of year. 

Remember that TV show back in 1991? Where in the World is Carmen San Diego? Our daughter loved watching it. Then they had a video game and a music sound track. Goodness, we knew the whole thing by heart. When I came on here to mention a book that just released today, I saw that it has been almost 6 weeks since I posted anything!!! I didn't fall off the face of the earth. LOL I have a MOST excellent reason for not posting. Our fifth grand child (a boy) was born on Feb 24th!! Since his parents live with us right now, I've been completely and utterly enjoying my time as Nonna! Arms filled with a little bundle of joy and sweetness every day instead of books has been one of the greatest blessings in my life!!

I'd love to share pictures but they're not doing the whole "put our baby on public social media so some creepo can steal the images and use them for evil" thing. A lot of folks don't realize that's how sleezy people get some of those images. But it is! So this is my warning...Please don't make photos of your children and grandchildren public!!!

As y'all know, I've paired back my own schedule of reviewing, not just because of the baby but because I've started a different creative activity, slow stitch sewing. My hope is to share more of what I'm working on in that arena as I get some projects figured out and start sewing on them. My brain is FULL of ideas although I'm not sure my hands can keep up. Arthritis, you know.  

Book posts are coming soon. I have two fiction and a non-fiction that I'm reading for review purposes, and I know for a fact that Rebecca has read some amazing books while I've been "off-grid". I'll share photos of the books I'm currently reading so you can see what peaked my interest. Let me know in the comments what you've been reading.

NEW RELEASE!!!

Purchase:

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COMING JULY 2022!!!!

Purchase:

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Publication Date: 12/01/2021

Purchase:

https://bakerbookhouse.com/products/280463

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Sewing wise, I'm working on a stitch journal but not ready to show any pictures yet. LOL So here's another little slow stitch project I'm currently working on as well. (Sorry about the poor lighting)


This will be a small wall hanging for a special girl. I'm in the process of completing all the butterfly beading, and designing the back piece of fabric. I'm really enjoying this hobby I started back in spring 2020! 
Do you slow stitch? Or sew at all? 

Any good books on your to-be-read list for this spring? Or maybe you're a gardener and you're excited about some new plants!! Leave a comment and let's encourage one another!



Wednesday, February 23, 2022

Rebecca Reviews ~ In Search of a Prince by Toni Shiloh

Paperback352 pages
Published February 1st 2022 by Bethany House Publishers

Brielle Adebayo is fully content teaching at a New York City public school and taking annual summer vacations with her mother to Martha's Vineyard. But everything changes when her mom drops the mother of all bombshells--Brielle is a princess in the kingdom of Ọlọrọ Ilé, Africa, and she must immediately assume her royal position, since the health of her grandfather, King Tiwa Jimoh Adebayo, is failing.


Distraught by her mother's betrayal, Brielle is further left spinning when the Ọlọrọ Ilé Royal Council brings up an old edict that states she must marry before assuming the throne or the crown will be passed to another. Uncertain who to choose from the council's list of bachelors, she struggles with the decision along with the weight of her new role in a new country. With her world totally shaken, she must take a chance on love and brave the perils a wrong decision may bring.

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Rebecca's Review 3.5 stars

"You are Brielle Eden Adebayo, daughter of Prince Naade Tayo Adebayo, and heir to the throne of Oloro Ile."

She's who??? To say that Brielle Adebayo is stunned to learn of her true heritage is a massive understatement; even more shocking is the fact that her mother kept something this monumental a secret for so many years. Brielle woke up one morning as an ordinary middle school teacher and finished her day as the princess of an entire African kingdom. Who does that? It appears that Brielle and her best friend Iris have a road trip on their horizon . . . . or in actuality, an international flight.

Meeting her grandfather for the first time, Brielle is both humbled and saddened; sad because the king's health is failing so quickly, and humbled because his fragility puts Brielle in the precarious position of fast tracking her decision on whether or not to accept or reject the throne. Would the royal council even consider approving an American woman who does not even speak their language yet or know anything about their culture? And then . . . . . there is the matter of an historic edit requiring Brielle to marry before assuming the thrown. God help her!

Admittedly, the story seemed so much like a modern day fairy tale that eventually I realized that of course, it was. Thankfully a mighty river of rich spiritual depth flows underneath the "boy meets girl", and the "happily ever after" elements of this entertaining novel. Every decision is preceded by prayer and each person is treated with kindness and respect even when it was hard. And mistakes? Not easily forgotten, but genuinely forgiven. And friendship? What a gift.

Drum roll please . . . . . then along comes a most unexpected blessing, just who a princess-want-to-be needs, but not necessarily what the traditional royals deem appropriate. However, there is this, " . . . . I do believe I love you more than ice cream".

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



Thursday, February 3, 2022

Review ~ Shadows of Swanford Abbey by Julie Klassen + Giveaway

 

About the Book

In pursuit of an author who could help get her brother published, Rebecca Lane stays at Swanford Abbey, a grand hotel rumored to be haunted. It is there she encounters Sir Frederick--the man who broke her heart. When a mysterious death occurs, Rebecca is one of the suspects, and Frederick is torn between his feelings for her and his search for the truth.

Purchase:

Christian Book Distributors

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My Review 4 STARS

Julie Klassen has written an intriguing story laced with much mystery. In classic Klassen fashion, the characters are well-developed, dialogue is engaging, and the plot is interesting enough to satisfy the most discriminating reader. Although at a hefty 403 pages, I did think it was a bit wordy which slowed it down for me.

Fans of historical fiction will enjoy this latest offering by a most beloved author in the Christian fiction genre.

I was provided a copy by the publisher. No review was required. No compensation received.

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I know many of my friends have read this book and others by Julie. Have you read any of her books? If so, do you have a favorite? I think mine would be a toss up between The Silent Governess and The Girl in the Gatehouse, both which are excellent historical romances!!! 

Let's chat in the comments!!! 

I'll send my copy of the book to one person who leaves a comment, along with their email address, and also follows the blog through the GFC widget in the side bar. US ONLY (48 contiguous states) Ends Feb 7th. 





Tuesday, January 11, 2022

Review ~ The Girl Who Could Breathe Under Water by Erin Bartels


When Kendra Brennan moves into her grandfather's old cabin on Hidden Lake, she has a problem and a plan. The problem? An inflammatory letter from A Very Disappointed Reader that's keeping her from writing her next novel as long as its claims go unanswered. The plan? To confront Tyler, her childhood best friend's brother--and the man who inspired the antagonist in her first book--in order to prove to herself that she told the truth as all good novelists should.

What she discovers as she delves into the murky past is not what she expected. Facing Tyler isn't easy, but facing the truth of her failed friendship with his sister, Cami, may be the hardest thing she's ever had to do.

Award-winning novelist Erin Bartels searches the heart with this lyrical exploration of how a friendship dies, how we can face the unforgiveable, and how even those who have been hurt can learn to love with abandon.

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My Review 4 STARS

“Did you ever consider that antagonists have stories of their own? Or that in someone else’s story you’re the antagonist?”

This is the first book by this author that I have read. While this book addresses some pretty gritty subject matter, it is written in such a manner that I had a hard time putting it down. I found myself waking up in the middle of the night, thinking about the story, compelled to read more until I was bleary eyed.

The style the book is written in is quite interesting. I did not find it to be a fast read in spite of the fact I did not want to put it down. It is more slow and steady, taking the reader into past and present, showing the development of friendships, betrayal, abuse, and so much more.

The author did a good job of heightening the tension in the story between Kendra and Tyler, and Kendra and Andreas. There are a couple of extremely well-done twists too! I cannot say that I have ever read a book quite like this one. I was impressed with the writing and fully engaged with the storyline and characters from beginning to end.

If you are looking for an engrossing read that is not your typical cookie cutter story, this is the book. It is not wrapped up in a neat little bow but then most times life is not that way either. I would classify The Girl Who Could Breathe Under Water as more Women’s fiction than Christian fiction. There could definitely be triggers in this story for someone who is a victim of sexual assault or physical abuse but there is also hope for healing. I highly recommend reading the authors note at the end!

I was provided a digital copy of the book from the publisher through Netgalley for review purposes. This is my honest opinion of the story. No compensation received.