Thursday 8 February 2024

Book Review: A Royal Christmas


From the Back:

Adelaide Smith is too busy for fairy tales. She's been working hard to put herself through law school, and she's determined to stay focused on her goals. Then she receives a letter notifying her that she is a direct descendant of King Maximillian Konig V, the ruler of a small European principality called Montovia.

What? No. That's the stuff of cheesy made-for-TV movies, not real life.

Still, curiosity gets the best of her, leading to a Christmas break trip chock-full of surprises, including a charming village, an opulent palace, family mysteries, royal jealousies, a handsome young member of Parliament, and the chance at a real-life fairy tale romance.

My Reflections:

Melody Carolson's Christmas novel was a lovely twist. Who doesn't love a modern fairytale, for grown-ups? This novel is reminiscent of Princess Diaries and Knotting Hill or a Hallmark movie, and well I love those. This one was tantalizingly sweet with humour and wit thrown in for good measure, a perfect combination for an epic Christmas read. 

A struggling college girl meets royalty, a fantasy come true! 

This is a quick read, very Christmassy and a perfect combination paired with hot cocoa and a warm crackling fire.

If you are looking for a fun, warm and fuzzy book for the Christmas season look no further!

This book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin

 Communications, Inc.

Melody Carlson

Melody Carlson is the award-winning author of more than 250 books with sales of more than 7.5 million, including many bestselling Christmas novellas, young adult titles, and contemporary romances. She received a Romantic Times Career Achievement...

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Book Review: Into The Fire


From the Back:

Instinct only takes you so far. After that, you need proof.
But cunning killers hide their tracks.

As a former smokejumper, arson investigator Bri Tucker knows her way around fires. But after a mysterious blaze takes the life of a former colleague, Bri inherits a curious puzzle from him that raises questions about several fiery deaths. Someone, however, doesn't want her picking up where he left off in search of answers.

When she teams up with ATF Special Agent Marc Davis to solve the puzzle, the case heats up--as does the attraction between them. Sparks fly as the danger escalates, but will they manage to track down the person behind the mysterious deaths before their budding romance--and maybe even their lives--go up in flames?

In this pulse-pounding new series from the bestselling and award-winning queen of romantic suspense, you'll be swept up in a whirlwind of danger, mystery, and romance. Get ready to burn through the pages as Bri and Marc race to solve the puzzle and uncover the truth.

My Reflections:

Irene Hannon always delivers. Her novels are action-packed with both suspense and romance. Who doesn't love that! As always Hannon's characters are easy to relate to and written with depth.

On this novel, I really enjoyed how it was written. I loved getting the opportunity to get into the minds of every character, even the bad guys and... girls!

I enjoyed the sparks between Bri and Marc. Their relationship developed at a nice pace. I like that, some novels are way too quick at "Ohh you are cute, now let's get married"  Marc was such a sweet character, his grandma taught his right on how to treat a lady. 

Both Bri and Marc had instances where their vulnerability really shone. It was refreshing to see how well Hannon was able to bring the reader to these places, and how they were able to reach a degree of healing and redemption.

If you are a lover of romance mingled with suspense don't walk run to get this one!

This book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.

Irene Hannon

Irene Hannon is the bestselling and award-winning author of more than 60 contemporary romance and romantic suspense novels. In addition to her many other honors, she is a three-time winner of the prestigious RITA Award from Romance Writers of America. She is...

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Saturday 25 November 2023

Book Review: The Lost Boys of Barlow Theater

 From the back:

It promises beauty but steals life instead. Will the ghosts of Barlowe Theater entomb them all?

Barlowe Theater stole the life of Greta Mercy's eldest brother during its construction. Now in 1915, the completed theater appears every bit as deadly. When Greta's younger brother goes missing after breaking into the building, Greta engages the assistance of a local police officer to help her unveil the already ghostly secrets of the theater. But when help comes from an unlikely source, Greta decides that to save her family she must uncover the evil that haunts the theater and put its threat to rest.

Decades later, Kit Boyd's best friend vanishes during a ghost walk at the Barlowe Theater, and old stories of mysterious disappearances and ghoulish happenings are revived. Then television ghost-hunting host and skeptic Evan Fisher joins Kit in the quest to identify the truth behind the theater's history. Kit reluctantly agrees to work with him in hopes of finding her missing friend. As the theater's curse unravels Kit's life, she is determined to put an end to the evil that has marked the theater and their hometown for the last century.

From the back:

Jamie Jo Wright never does me wrong. 

Are you up for a good ghost story? Do you love Ghost Busters, Scooby-Do? If so this book is for you my friends! The fist couple of chapters I kind of thought, "ugh, what have I got myself into?" the dark paranormal aspects I have to admit creeped me out at first. I was not sure where the story was going, but by then I was all in, there was no turning back!

This dual timeline was executed with perfection, it moved seamlessly between present day and 1915.

(1915) Greta Mercy's story drew me in instantly. Her struggle to keep her brother and herself out of the poor house had my heart strings pulled taunt. When Greta witnesses a lady in white throw a baby from the balcony of the Barlow theater things start to really get twisted. Thing is no one else actually saw a baby fall other than Greta. Then comes the disappearance of her brother and two other local boys who went into the theater, but never came out. 

(present-day) Kit Boyd's best friend disappeared in the very same theater decades later while taping a show called the psychic and the Skeptic. They have just scratched the surface of the theatre past, the lost boys the woman in White. What is behind this disappearance an ages-old curse or a perfectly sane explanation?

Delving into the injustices of the 1915 period really had me thinking. The struggles of the less fortunate the stigma of mental illness, and the disparity of the classes made me ponder about how nothing has actually changed in all those years. It's sad really. Anyway, I digress.

It's funny how during the whole novel I was sure there would be a non paranormal explanation for all of the sightings and disappearances but as I read, I seriously could not figure out the clues! This is such a fun story, abet a little creepy. I always find that when I get to the last page of a novel penned by Jamie Jo Wright, I feel a little bit let down. Not because I didn't love the story, but because I came to the end of the book and would have to wait for her next addition!

This book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.

Jaime Jo Wright

Jaime Jo Wright ( is the author of ten novels, including Christy Award and Daphne du Maurier Award-winner The House on Foster Hill and Carol Award winner The Reckoning at Gossamer Pond. She's also a two-time...

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Thursday 17 August 2023

Book Review: Cold Pursuit


From the Back:

Ex-FBI profiler River Ryland still suffers from PTSD after a case went horribly wrong. Needing a fresh start, she moves to St. Louis to be near her ailing mother and opens a private investigation firm with her friend and former FBI partner, Tony St. Clair. They're soon approached by a grieving mother who wants them to find out what happened to her teenaged son, who disappeared four years ago. River knows there's almost no hope the boy is still alive, but his mother needs closure, and River and Tony need a case, no matter how cold it might be.

But as they follow the boy's trail, which gets more complicated at every turn, they find themselves in the path of a murderer determined to punish anyone who gets in his way. As River and Tony race to stop him before he kills again, an even more dangerous threat emerges, stirring up the past that haunts River and plotting an end to her future.

My Reflections:

Ahh, Nancy Mehl has done it again!

Book One in the Ryland + St. Clair series is the newest novel by Mehl. I can't wait to read the next edition, as I never tire of Mehl's writing style. Her no-nonsense approach to getting right to the plot gets me every time!

In this novel, we follow River Ryland and Tony St. Clair as they search for answers in a cold case involving the disappearance of a young teenager. Their journey leads them to unexpectedly dark places.

The duo, who both experienced serious trauma, worked together using their strengths to crack the case. The troubled and twisted villain with synesthesia fascinated me, leading me down a rabbit hole of investigation. 

This book's unexpected plot twists kept me glued to the pages. If you are a fan of Nancy Mehl, you certainly will not be disappointed with this one!

This book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.

Nancy Mehl

Nancy Mehl ( is the author of more than fifty books, a Parable bestseller, and the winner of an ACFW Book of the Year Award, a Carol Award, and the Daphne du Maurier Award. She has also been a finalist for two Carol Awards and the Christy Award....

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Monday 1 May 2023

Book Review: Remember Me


From the Back:

From the Yukon to Seattle, the hope of a new beginning waits just around the corner.

Addie Bryant is haunted by her past of heartbreak and betrayal. After her beau, Isaac Hanson, left the Yukon, she made a vow to wait for him. When she's sold to a brothel owner after the death of her father, Addie manages to escape with the hope that she can forever hide her past and the belief that she will never have the future she's always dreamed of.

Years later, Addie has found peace in her new life as a photographer, training Camera Girls to operate and sell the Brownie camera. During the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Expo in Seattle, Addie is reunited with Isaac, but after the path her life has taken, she's afraid to expose the ugliness of her former life and to move toward the future they had pledged to each other.

When her past catches up with her, Addie must decide whether to run or to stay and face her wounds in order to embrace her life, her future, and her hope in God.

My Reflections:

Tracie Peterson's newest book "Remember Me" is book one of her new series Pictures of the Heart.

In this novel, we are introduced to Addie Bryant, a remarkably resilient lady who has lived her share of heartache and betrayal. After the mistreatment from the men in her life, Addie pledges to herself that she will make it on her own, without the confinement of any man. Addie settles into a quiet life with her landlords Otis and Pearl Fisher. With Addies help they set off on an ambitious business venture to sell Brownie cameras at the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Expo. 

Trouble is brewing on the horizon as her no-good brothers Shep and Hiram are released from jail. They are released early in return for working on the maintenance crew at the Expo. Shep and his not-so-bright brother Hiram are on the hunt for an easy life. They hope to find their sister who they believe is the ticket to the good life.  

Addie is always looking over her shoulder the last thing she wants is to become a pawn in the grips of her brother's dark schemes. Having escaped their dominion once she is not willing to risk them keeping her hostage and selling her to the highest bidder again. Unfortunately by a twist of fate, their paths cross again. Will Addie find herself at the mercy of her brothers once again?

Isaac Hanson has dreamed of Addie Bryant since he left the Yukon as a young man. Having pledged himself to her he intends to keep his promise even after all these years. When he stumbles across her one day at the Expo, he is determined to keep his decade-old promise. 

Addie however is not so sure about where their relationship could go, she is not the same girl he left many years ago. Her life has taken her down some dark paths, and she doesn't feel worthy of his pledge any longer.

Will Isaac be able to convince Addie of her worth? Could they have a future after all these years? Can she overcome her past hurts and shame? Will Addie's brothers finally get the money they want, once again using her to their own advantage?

If you are looking for a novel that weaves family drama, faith, love and history together in a neat and tidy 295-page novel this may just be the book for you. I quite enjoyed the storyline the flow and the characters. I can't wait to see what book two brings!

This book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.

Tracie Peterson

Tracie Peterson ( is the bestselling author of more than 100 novels, both historical and contemporary, with nearly 6 million copies sold. She has won the ACFW Lifetime Achievement Award and the Romantic Times Career Achievement Award....

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Wednesday 15 February 2023

Book Review: What Happens Next


From the back:

"An uplifting story of faith, hope, and healing."--Booklist

"Everyone has a story, and maybe everyone needs a little help toward healing."

Popular podcaster and ex-reporter Faith Byrne made a name for herself telling stories of greatness after tragedy--but her real life does not mirror the stories she tells. While her daughters spend the summer in Hawaii with her ex-husband and his new wife, she must manage life on her own. All of that changes when she's asked to spotlight her childhood best friend's missing person case on her podcast.

Dora Crane has never accepted that her younger daughter could be dead, keeping her home looking the same as when her daughter disappeared. But when her husband leaves her and her older daughter intervenes, she agrees to counseling and to pack up her missing daughter's belongings under one condition: Faith Byrne comes to Deep Valley and sheds light on the cold case.

As the long-abandoned investigation moves forward, old wounds and long-buried secrets are exposed. Will these two women, whose lives have never been the same, finally get the answers they need to reconcile the past and the future?

My Reflections:

Christina Nelson pens another profoundly moving novel with her newest book titled "What Happens Next" This author never disappoints. She writes about issues that matter, digs deeper into the complexities of life, teasing out truth and the courage of the human heart.

Faith a former investigator turned podcaster is recently divorced and at odds with what to do with herself as her daughters spend the summer with their dad and his new wife. When she is asked out of the blue to shed light on the disappearance of her childhood friend she is shaken. Having been left in the dark about her friend Heather's disappearance gives Faith the determination to find out what truly happened that summer 36 years ago.

This novel also delves into the lives of Dora, Heather's mother. Dora has held onto the belief that Heather will return, so much so that it has ripped at the very fabric of her remaining family. 

Lastly, the book shares the life of young Heather at the age of 10, the summer before her disappearance. We get a glimpse into this sweet funny and outspoken girl full of life and promise. Faith and Heather become fast friends that summer and share many adventures and memories together. 

I enjoyed all aspects of this gripping story. It made me take a sobering look at those around me and the consequences of our actions. Healing is messy business, with many ups and downs, it is fraught with emotions and choices. I am slowly learning (I must be really slow because it's taken a while) that I need to stop, take a breath, step back, assess the mess then lean into it and trust in the journey God has set before me. 

Nelson is a master writer her ability to pen characters with depth and substance makes her novels stand out. I am always drawn into the lives of her characters and feel a special connection which leaves me wanting more when the last page has been turned. 

This book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.

Christina Suzann Nelson

Christina Suzann Nelson ( is an inspirational speaker and Christy award-winning author. Her first novel, If We Make It Home, was honored as one of Library Journal's top five inspirational novels of 2017, and her 2021...

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Book Review Yesterday's Tides


From the Back:

In two world wars, intelligence and counterintelligence, prejudice, and self-sacrifice collide across two generations

In 1942, Evie Farrow is used to life on Ocracoke Island, where every day is the same--until the German U-boats haunting their waters begin to wreak havoc. And when special agent Sterling Bertrand is washed ashore at Evie's inn, her life is turned upside down. While Sterling's injuries keep him inn-bound for weeks, making him even more anxious about the SS officer he's tracking, he becomes increasingly intrigued by Evie, who seems to be hiding secrets of her own.

Decades earlier, in 1914, Englishman Remington Culbreth arrives at the Ocracoke Inn for the summer, never expecting to fall in love with Louisa Adair, the innkeeper's daughter. But when war breaks out in Europe, their relationship is put in jeopardy and may not survive what lies ahead for them.

As the ripples from the Great War rock Evie and Sterling's lives in World War II, it seems yesterday's tides may sweep them all into danger again today.

My reflections:

"Yesterday's Tides" is a slow savoury read. White takes her readers on a journey along duel timelines one set in 1914 and the other in 1942. Both are on the same American island of Ocracoke. This idyllic small island is home to a small number of locals who are close-knit and deeply woven together. 

1914 we become acquainted with Louisa, a down-to-earth kinda soul. She was inventive and able to do the work suited for a man in that era. I was pretty impressed at her get-it-done attitude. Louisa being the innkeeper's daughter usually doesn't pay too much attention to the guests at the inn, that is until a very handsome well-to-do guest comes to stay on the island for the entirety of the summer. 

Remmington never expected to fall in love with a commoner, but that he did. Knowing that their relationship would not bode well in his world due to her ancestry and social standing, Remington tries to talk himself into keeping their relationship friendly, but his heart has other plans. 

1942, Evie is a wickedly smart woman with a grieving heart. She plods along each day with purpose and determination. She however leads a secret life helping the British crack enemy codes with the means of the telegraph as her way of communication. When Sterling, a British spy washes up on her shores, burnt and battered Evie finds herself strangely drawn to him as she nurses him back to health. Within his delirious mumbling, she learns tidbits of his true identity. 

Sterling has a mission and it doesn't include Evie. Still weak and unable to complete his assignment he must lean on Evie to regain his strength and track down a certain German spy. Can he trust Evie? Who is she really, and why does he find himself falling deeper and deeper for her?

I found myself thoroughly invested in both stories, I do however have to admit it got a little confusing at times, as there are so many characters to keep track of. 

Both stories offered well-paced plots with relatable characters. If you are looking for something with a little more substance this would be a good choice to sink your teeth into.

 This book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.

Roseanna M. White ( is a bestselling, Christy Award-nominated author who has long claimed that words are the air she breathes. She pens her novels beneath her Betsy Ross flag, with her Jane Austen action figure watching over her. When...

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