Sunday, January 26, 2014

Fun Historical Fiction -- Dare to Love Again

I've seen Julie Lessman's name in Christian fiction circles, but had never read a book by her before Dare to Love Again.  If this book is a good representation of her storytelling, I certainly look forward to reading more.

From the very first page, the characters were fun and interesting -- all the way from Allison and Nick to sweet little La-di-da.  The romance and plots twists kept the interest level high throughout the story.  

Historical fiction has recently become one of my favorite genres, and I really enjoyed this first-time look at the Barbary Coast as a setting.

Although this was the second book in a series, I had no problem jumping into the storyline or getting to know the characters.  I do look forward, though, to reading more in this series by checking out the previous book.

Thanks to Revell for providing a copy of Dare to Love Again in exchange for my honest review.

About the Book

She's a sassy socialite burned by love. He's a jaded cop burned by the upper class.  When sparks fly . . . will love catch fire again? 

Spunky Allison McClare is determined to be a fearless, independent woman. But when she takes a notion to explore the wild Barbary Coast, she quickly discovers she's no match for the unsavory characters that haunt the dark streets.

Detective Nick Barone would rather do almost anything than teach this petite socialite self-defense, but it seems he has little choice. Sparks fly every time the two meet until a grudging friendship develops into something deeper. But is he just a fraud like all the rest of the men Allison's cared for? Or is he the one who will let her dare to love again?

Award-winning author Julie Lessman brings the glamour of Gilded Age San Francisco to vibrant life in this journey to find a love that never fails.

About the Author

Julie Lessman is an award-winning author of The Daughters of Boston series and the Winds of Change series The recipient of 14 Romance Writers of America awards, as well as many other accolades, Lessman was chosen as the #1 Romance Fiction Author of the Year in the Family Fiction magazine 2011 and 2012 Readers' Choice Awards. She resides in Missouri with her family. You can contact Julie through her website at

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

A Delightful Amish Story -- Huckleberry Hill

Huckleberry Hill  -- what a delightful, fun read!  If you're a fan of Amish fiction and want to enjoy a refreshing, entertaining story, Jennifer Beckstrand's first book in her Matchmakers of Huckleberry Hill series is just the thing for you.

Lia and Moses are a couple of young Amish adults whose connection is enjoyable from the very beginning.  Annie and Felty are grandparents who would be an absolute joy to meet.  And Rachel is a spoiled Amish brat.  As I read their story, I found myself smiling, close to laughing out loud, and then wanting to shake some sense into some of the characters.

I don't know how many books Jennifer intends to write in this series -- Annie and Felty have lots of grandchildren who would benefit from their matchmaking -- but I certainly look forward to reading them all!

Thanks to Jennifer Beckstrand for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

About the Book

Lia Shetler is resigned to being a spinster. She’s too tall and sturdy to ever be marriageable–so says her overbearing dat. Instead, she’s helping her pretty, spoiled sister Rachel secure the perfect husband–the Helmuth’s grandson, Moses Zimmerman. But the more Lia sees of Moses’s gently teasing ways and quiet understanding, the more she wishes he could be hers alone.

Moses knew his grandparents couldn’t resist trying to find him a wife. But he never expected it would be the graceful, sensible Lia–a woman who is tall enough to look him in the eye and honest enough to make him question a promise holding him to his past. Now both will need the kind of miracles only faith and courage can bring to finally reach for a lifetime of happiness.

About the Author

About Jennifer, from Jennifer . . .

I grew up with a steady diet of William Shakespeare and Jane Austen. After all that literary immersion, I naturally decided to get a degree in mathematics, which came in handy when one of my six children needed help with homework. After my fourth daughter was born, I started writing. By juggling diaper changes, soccer games, music lessons, laundry, and two more children, I finished my first manuscript—a Western—in just under fourteen years.

I have always been fascinated by the Amish way of life and now write Inspirational Amish Romance. I am drawn to the strong faith of the Plain people and admire the importance they put on enduring family ties. I have visited and studied Amish communities in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin where I met with a bishop and a minister as well as several Amish mamms, dats, and children. It has always impressed me at what salt-of-the-earth people they are. My interactions with these kind people have been some of the most rewarding experiences of my life. I have a dear Amish friend with whom I correspond in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. She helps me keep my facts straight and gives me inspiration for my stories.

My goal is to write uplifting, inspiring stories with happy endings and hopeful messages. If my books make readers want to give themselves a big hug or jump up and down for joy, I’ve done my job. I am a member of Romance Writers of America and American Christian Fiction Writers and am represented by Mary Sue Seymour of The Seymour Agency.

Learn more at her website.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Edge of Your Seat Suspense -- No One to Trust

If you go to Lynette Barker Eason's facebook page or her website, you will see the following slogan pasted across her banner -- Infinite Suspense, Welcome to the Edge of Your Seat.  And if you read her newest release -- No One To Trust -- you will definitely see that the slogan fits!

I read this book in a couple of sittings -- only because other obligations called me away did I not finish it in one.  From the first paragraph to the last word, I was absorbed in the story, anxious to turn the page and see the mysteries solved, but still not wanting the story to end.  Each time I thought I had something, or someone, figured out, there was a new twist, a new question of who were the "good guys" and who were the "bad guys."  No One to Trust is an awesome story of suspense, relationship, trust, and faith.  I can't wait for the next book in the Hidden Identity series!

Thanks to Revell Publishing for providing a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

About the Book

Hidden Identity – Book 1

Summer Abernathy wakes up one morning to find her husband missing, three men in her home intent on finding him, and the life she’s been living based on a lie. Which Kyle Abernathy did she marry? The computer programmer she met in line at the bank? Or the one who was apparently using that image as a cover story?
The search for her husband–and answers–takes Summer ever deeper into a world of organized crime where people are used one moment and discarded the next. And with her deepest relationship of trust already shattered, Summer doesn’t know who to believe.

Always thrilling, Lynette Eason outdoes herself in this taut, breakneck story of lies, loyalties, and love that will have readers up all night to discover the truth hidden in the shadows.

About the Author

Lynette Eason grew up in Greenville, SC. Even as a young girl, she knew she wanted her life to reflect the love of Jesus Christ.

After graduating from the University of South Carolina with a Business Degree she used for a very short time (sorry Mom and Dad), she moved to Spartanburg, SC to attend Converse College where she obtained her Masters degree in Education. During this time, she met the man she would marry—the boy next door!
She is married to Jack Eason, who speaks, leads worship, and consults ministries around the country. They have two children.

Lynette’s books have appeared on the ECPA and CBA bestseller lists and have won several awards.

Learn more about Lynette at her website.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Winter of Wishes

Hold onto your seat, because things move "fast and furious" in Charlotte Hubbard's Winter of Wishes!  (If you haven't already done so, you'll probably want to read the first two book in the Seasons of the Heart series before you start this one.  You can check out my reviews for Summer of Secrets and Autumn Winds.)

The Lantz women are back, in as formidable a fashion as any Old Order Amish females could be.  Rhoda's adventures drive this story as she looks for and finds some purpose in her life -- although things become pretty complicated very quickly.  And then there are lots of other folks -- Amish and English -- who make Sweet Seasons Cafe and Willow Ridge, Missouri, sound like great places to visit.  But always casting a shadow over the relationships and plans of the Plain people in Willow Ridge is the intolerant, power-grabbing bishop, Hiram Knepp, whose secrets and plots seem very unfitting for a man chosen to lead these God-fearing people. 

I plan to make another visit to Willow Ridge soon through An Amish Country Christmas and certainly hope Charlotte takes us back at least once more by finishing out her seasons with a spring story!

Thanks to Charlotte Hubbard for providing me a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

About the Book

Snow is falling, cookies are baking, and Christmas is just around the corner in Willow Ridge, Missouri, where a new season marks fresh beginnings for the residents of the tranquil Amish town…

As another year draws to a close in Willow Ridge, life seems to be changing for everyone but Rhoda Lantz. Her widowed mother is about to remarry, her sister is a busy newlywed, and soon Rhoda will be alone in her cozy apartment above the blacksmith’s shop. An ad posted by an Englischer looking for someone to help with his mother and children may offer just the companionship she’s looking for, but if she falls for the caring single father, she may risk being shunned by her community. Certain she can only wish for things she cannot have, Rhoda must remember that all things are possible with God, and nothing is stronger than the power of love.

About the Author

Drawing upon her experiences in Jamesport, the largest Old Order Amish community west of the Mississippi, longtime Missourian Charlotte Hubbard writes of simpler times and a faith-based lifestyle in her new Seasons of the Heart series. Like her heroine, Miriam Lantz, Charlotte considers it her personal mission to feed people—to share hearth and home. Faith and family, farming and food preservation are hallmarks of her lifestyle, and the foundation of her earlier Angels of Mercy series. She’s a deacon, a dedicated church musician and choir member, and when she’s not writing, she loves to try new recipes, crochet, and sew. Charlotte now lives in Minnesota with her husband and their border collie.