Reviews

Destination Christmas by Chautona Having, Sarah Monzon, Cathe Swanson, Jaycee Weaver

♥ This Christmas, pack your bags for a holiday away from home. ♥

Join the Christmas Lights Collection authors as we travel to Colorado, New Mexico, Wisconsin, and New Cheltenham for warm and wonderful stories of love and Christmas cheer.

Kiss Me on Christmas by Sarah Monzon

Single mom Kaitlyn Stafford has never considered Christmas a balancing act, but when her sister calls with the news that she’s getting married in less than two weeks—on Christmas Day—that’s exactly what the holiday looks like becoming. Helping with the out-of-state wedding will be fun. The challenge will be doing so while accommodating her neurodivergent son’s need to keep every single one of their Christmas traditions while they’re away from home. It’ll be tricky, but she can do it.

At least, that’s what she thinks before her son’s favorite YouTuber, Beckett Walsh, shows up on the scene, knocking her world off-kilter with his speaking glances and knowing smiles. How on earth is she supposed to pull off her balancing act when her world’s just tilted on its axis?

Christmas Camp by Cathe Swanson

Julia is eager to prove herself in her first job as project manager for the family’s charitable foundation, but she expected it to be something more meaningful than creating a winter wonderland Christmas vacation for snow-deprived southerners. Why is this project so important to her grandmother?

Tom doesn’t understand why anyone would want to renovate his uncle’s broken-down Wisconsin deer camp, either, but if it will save the old man’s home and business, he’ll help the ambitious city girl put together the most cliché-filled Christmas ever.

Not Another Christmas by Jaycee Weaver

The palm trees and beaches of Florida are far from her chaotic family as Cindy Sinclair can get. Her anticipated promotion is the perfect excuse not to come home for the holidays… until she’s passed over and the job is given to none other than her childhood nemesis.

This far from New Mexico, Nick Hoover never imagined he’d beat Cindy out for a job. Again. He’s messed up her plans since the day they met, but this time, Nick is determined to prove he never wanted to be her enemy. If only she’ll let him.

When their reignited adolescent rivalry gets out of hand, their boss insists they both go home, face the hurts of their pasts, and bury the hatchet once and for all. With help from her meddling family, this could be the Christmas they quit clashing and give love a fighting chance.

The Hearts of New Cheltenham by Chautona Havig

The only way not to break her best friend’s heart is to get someone else to steal it.

Jarod doesn’t need a month off and certainly not halfway across the country. His best friend doesn’t agree. She’s been researching places for him to go and has found him a perfect match on a dating website who just happens to live in New Cheltenham. It’s a match made online until she begins to wonder if she’s made a mistake trying to offload him on someone else.

A novella of love and friendship that defies a love triangle to interfere.

Destination Christmas offers a stress-free travel experience without traffic, delayed flights, or forgotten toothpaste. Instead, you’ll enjoy wonderful destinations, delightful new friends, and a heartwarming experience! 

I so enjoyed this entire collection. Not one story was better than another; each was unique and heartwarming. These authors are all skilled storytellers, and you will love each destination that you travel to as you read these.

If you’re looking for Christmas stories that will make you smile then I highly recommend this selection of standalones.

Beneath His Silence by Hannah Linder

Will Seeking Justice Lead to Her Own Demise?

A Gothic-Style Regency Romance from a Promising Young Author

Second daughter of a baron—and a little on the mischievous side—Ella Pemberton is no governess. But the pretense is a necessity if she ever wishes to get inside of Wyckhorn Manor and attain the truth. Exposing the man who killed her sister is all that matters.

Lord Sedgewick knows there’s blood on his hands. Lies have been conceived, then more lies, but the price of truth would be too great. All he has left now is his son—and his hatred. Yet as the charming governess invades his home, his safe cocoon of bitterness begins to tear away.

Could Ella, despite the lingering questions of his guilt, fall in love with such a man? Or is she falling prey to him—just as her dead sister?

Debut author Hannah Linder pens a story that will keep you reading. Lies, Mystery, Intrigue, Murder and even Romance. It’s all there!

The characters in this gothic style book are strong, determined, and well developed. Remembering how different things were, I can see how Ella could pretend to be a governess that her brother in law wouldn’t know. That adds to the suspense and gives a twist to a good plot. Anything more will be a spoiler so….If you enjoy Regency era books then grab a copy of this one..

I received a complimentary copy of this book but was not required to leave a review.

Purchase here

The Firefighter’s Christmas Promise by Tanya Agler

A Christmas bargain…Becomes a promise of more

Former pro soccer player and single mom Becks Porter finally owns her own soccer complex. But her Christmas dream becomes a blazing nightmare when the building literally goes up in flames—injuring her ex, firefighter Carlos Ramirez. Now Becks and Carlos must choose between old grudges and helping each other out. Sparks have a way of rekindling…but can two people start over without getting burned?

A Christmas story with all the feelings, author Tanya Agler writes a story that will keep you reading and turning pages quickly. Becks and Carlos are great characters who have a backstory. And Beck’s daughter, Pippa, is adorable. Can they have a good Christmas after a fire and injury? Guilt and hurt are a large part of the story, as is divorce and learning to co-parent. And dogs. We can’t forget the cute dogs. It all mixes together for a fun, heartwarming story.

If you enjoy contemporary Christmas stories I can recommend this one.

I received a complimentary copy of this book but was not required to leave a review.

Tomorrow’s Steadfast Prayer by Naomi Rawlings

The one thing she can’t do is fall in love… at least not if she wants to save her sister.

Alejandra Loyola knows she’s going to die. If having information about her uncle and cousin’s illegal cattle rustling operation isn’t enough to get her killed, then snitching on them to the law will surely mean her death—and she’s snitched more than once. The only question is, will she be able to see her younger sister provided for before she dies?

When successful Austin lawyer Harrison Rutherford is called back to his home town of Twin Rivers, Texas, after his father falls ill, he finds himself inundated with the burdens of running a large shipping business. The one surprise waiting for him is Alejandra Loyola. The maid who works for him is quiet and sweet. Now if only she trusted him enough to tell him what leaves shadows under her eyes and a haunted look on her face…

But the longer Harrison stays in Twin Rivers, the more something seems amiss. Rustlers have been wreaking havoc on local ranchers for over a year, and Harrison is starting to wonder if the secrets Alejandra is carrying have more to do with his father and the rustlers than he wants to admit.

As the rustling ring become more dangerous, will Alejandra trust Harrison enough to tell him what she knows? Or will the rustlers prove powerful enough to destroy not just the ranches surrounding Twin Rivers, but any hope for a future between them?

From jagged mountains and green river valleys, to cattle ranches and vivid sunsets, Tomorrow’s Steadfast Prayer offers a powerful story about love, faith, and doing the right no matter the cost.

Fourth in the Texas Promise series, author Naomi Rawlings once again takes us west with all that entails. Horse, dust, creaking saddle leather, good guys, and of course bad guys. She makes the reader see, smell, and hear it all. Strong, well developed characters make this book one that will keep you turning the pages.

Tomorrow’s Steadfast Prayer has a faith theme, as do all of Rawlings books and I really enjoy the way she writes this. It’s just part of their lives; not preachy at all. Add in mystery, intrigue, humor, and clean romance and this is a book for everyone.

I received a complimentary copy of this book but was not required to leave a review.

A Nanny for the Rancher’s Twins by Heidi Main

Returning to small-town Texas was her fresh start.

She never expected a ready-made family.

What could be better than running a rustic wedding venue? Event planner Laney Taylor has it all laid out…except for the serious renovations her inherited property needs. Rancher Ethan McCaw will help—but only if she’ll nanny his toddler twins. Laney’s all about planning weddings for others and shielding her own heart, but Ethan, Zoe and Tori might be just the ones to change her mind…

Oh goodness, what a quandary for everyone. Laney needs help starting her business. She brings emotional baggage from her childhood. Ethan needs assistance with his adorable twins but has trust issues thanks to his ex. Can they learn to work together?

Set in the lovely sounding town of Serenity, I would enjoy a visit there. Author Heidi Main descriptions are that enticing. As are her descriptions of the ranch that Ethan lives on, and the ranch that Laney inherited. The hurt and distrust both characters are dealing with can only be healed by God, as they find out. I appreciated that very much, along with the fact that Main didn’t rush anything in this story.

A cowboy romance with well developed characters, I recommend it.

I received a complimentary copy of this book but was not required to leave a review.

Bones on the Mountain by Mindy Steele

When not working as a first responder for the Milford County Sheriff’s department, single mother, Samantha Quinn runs the seasonal Deer Creek Hunting Lodge, until suddenly she finds herself the one needing rescued.

Henry Quinn’s baseball years are behind him. Now as a Kentucky Fish and Wildlife officer he finds himself called to rescue the last person he ever expected. Can he do his job and not make it personal, or will old ghosts keep him from the only woman he ever loved.

Does Bear Claw Mountain have a serial killer roaming its woods? Worse, could the killer be closer to her than he thinks?

Author Mindy Steele steps away from her usual Amish fiction genre to write a romantic suspense that will give you a cardiac workout. My attention was kept from page one until the end. And believe me, this book wasn’t what I expected.

Steele’s characters are strong and well developed. You’ll find yourself pulling for them to succeed, to grow, to be happy. She wrote the romantic part of this story very well. Her descriptions of the Kentucky mountains make me want to visit. 

And the suspense side. Oh goodness. I was stunned to find out who dunnit it and I didn’t have a clue. At all. A roller coaster ride, I was glad to discover who the serial killer was, but I didn’t want the story to end. I’m looking forward to book two in The Mountain Protectors Series.

I received a complimentary copy of this book but was not required to leave a review.

The Premonition at Withers Farm by Jaime Jo Wright

The voices of the past cannot stay silent forever.

In 1910 Michigan, Perliett Van Hilton is a self-proclaimed rural healer, leaving the local doctor convinced she practices quackery. It doesn’t help that her mother is a spiritualist who regularly offers her services to connect the living with their dearly departed. But when Perliett is targeted by a superstitious killer, she must rely on both the local doctor and an intriguing newcomer for assistance.

In the present day, Molly Wasziak’s life has not gone the way she dreamed. Facing depression after several miscarriages, Molly is adapting to her husband’s purchase of a peculiar old farm. A search for a family tree pulls Molly deep into a century-old murder case and a web of deception, all made more mysterious by the disturbing shadows and sounds inside the farmhouse.

Perliett fights for her life, and Molly seeks renewed purpose for hers as she uncovers the records of the dead. Will their voices be heard, or will time forever silence their truths?

Author Jaime Jo Wright does it again! A truly spooky, dual time read that will keep your attention, (Wright always has a Christian thread throughout her books. She deals with the subject of seances and does it well.)

The Premonition at Withers Farm has great characters that you will develop a heart for. Present day Molly and her husband struggle with their relationship, due to miscarriage and depression. Wright handles it honestly yet with grace and hope. 1910 Perliett Van Hilton is the target of a killer. Will she survive? Molly digs into records to find out what happened.

Twists and turns, mystery and intrigue, if you enjoy Christian suspense then I highly recommend this one!  

I received a complimentary copy of this book but was not required to leave a review.

Purchase here

Christmas at the Amish Market by Shelley Shepard Gray

Hallmark and bestselling author Shelley Shepard Gray present a Christmas Amish romance

with lots of surprises in store…

Wesley is so busy running his family’s Amish market at the holidays, he barely has time for Liesl, the young woman he’s been courting for years. When she suggests her aunt Jenny could help Wesley out, he agrees to the plan. But Liesl neglected to mention her aunt is only twenty-six years old—and as charming as she is hard-working.

Jenny, still healing after a painful breakup, welcomes the distraction of working at the market. She soon realizes Wesley is everything she ever dreamed a man could be. But how can Jenny even think about romance with the man Liesl expects to marry?

But Liesl’s own feelings are more complicated than she’s willing to admit. With humor, faith, and a little help from their friends in the community, everyone might just find what their hearts are looking for this Christmas at the Amish market.

Author Shelley Shepard Gray writes a charming, sweet Christmas story that will leave you feeling warm and cozy.

Well developed characters offer a few twists and turns you won’t expect, all while trying to find their true love. With life situations affecting decisions and wishes, they’ll find out the person they expected to end up with just might not be the right one for them.

Lots of Christmas feelings along with holiday fun make this a recommended read.

I received a complimentary copy of this book but was not required to leave a review.

The Sergeant’s Christmas Gift by Shelley Shepard Gray

A lonely boy…gets a Christmas miracle!

Christmas in Colorado would be magical…if Canadian Air Force sergeant Graham Hopkins wasn’t missing home. Volunteering as a Santa Tracker with NORAD, he’s able to comfort six-year-old Will Parnell and his widowed mother, Vivian. When Graham receives a gift certificate for a stay at Vivian’s B and B, the warmth between them brightens the holiday season. Suddenly, returning to Canada isn’t as appealing. But will being together take a Christmas miracle?

Author Shelley Shepard Gray writes a heartwarming story that will become a reread each year. I loved the start of this book with the Santa Tracker through NORAD. It brought Christmas magic into the story right away. And six year old Will was so cute. You’ll love him!

Characters Graham and Vivian were true to life and I wanted to go visit. Maybe stay at the B and B. The plot to the story was easy to follow and held my attention. (I loved that Gray wrote about some of the guests. That added to the interest.) Her secondary characters were equally as compelling. I hope Maisie and Clay get their own story in the future.

The USA and Canada meet in this contemporary Christmas romance. Grab a copy, a mug of hot chocolate, and get ready for Christmas.

I received a complimentary copy of this book but was not required to leave a review.

The Lost Melody by Joanna Davidson Politano

When concert pianist Vivienne Mourdant’s father dies, he leaves to her the care of a patient at Hurstwell Asylum. Vivienne had no idea the woman existed, and yet her portrait is shockingly familiar. When the asylum claims she was never a patient there, Vivienne is compelled to discover what happened to the figure she remembers from childhood dreams.

The longer she lingers in the deep shadows and forgotten towers at Hurstwell, the fuzzier the line between sanity and madness becomes. She hears music no one else does, receives strange missives with rose petals between the pages, and untangles far more than is safe for her to know.

But can she uncover the truth about the mysterious woman she seeks? And is there anyone at Hurstwell she can trust with her suspicions?

Joanna Davidson Politano casts a delightful spell with this lyrical look into the nature of women’s independence and artistic expression during the Victorian era—and now.

If you’ve never read anything by author Joanna Davidson Politano, you are missing out. This would be a great book to start with. I can’t write a review that does it justice but can say this book was amazing and will stay with me for a long time.

The Lost Melody is poignant from beginning to end. Your heart will break, learning about the Hurstwell Asylum and its inmates; how they’re treated and cared for. There is a very dark side to this story, yet hope is threaded throughout as relationships are built within this harsh system.

Mystery and intrigue abounds, along with love and expectation. Music is the theme of this story and it adds such depth to the story. It’s incredible. I highly recommend this book!

I received a complimentary copy of this book but was not required to leave a review.

Purchase here

Her Favorite Wyoming Sheriff by Cari Lynn Webb

She keeps finding trouble…He keeps finding her

Adele Blackwell Kane can’t seem to not get arrested. In fact, the pretty widowed mom of twin girls might be Sheriff Grady McMillan’s favorite not-quite-a-criminal. But keeping Adele out of trouble is hard work—especially when Grady wants out of Wyoming for good. When Adele decides to rescue the town from developers, Grady wonders if his quirky felon might be stealing his heart, too…

Oh my. This book had me chuckling and sighing. Poor Adele just wants to make things right and instead keeps managing to get arrested. And Grady is tired of arresting her and just wants to take care of her. Sometimes. I loved it!

I did enjoy getting to know Adele and Grady, and especially the adorable twin girls. They gave so much to the story. Adele tries so hard to please people and Grady tries so hard to uphold the law. They make for a troublesome twosome.

Her Favorite Wyoming Sheriff is part of a series, but I had no trouble following the story or the characters. For me, it worked well as a standalone. But I may backtrack and read the other books. And I definitely need to read the next one because…well I won’t tell you why. No spoilers!

If you enjoy contemporary fiction set in a small town then I highly recommend this book.

I received a complimentary copy of this book but was not required to leave a review.

An Amish Christmas at the Apple Blossom Inn by Debra Torres and Tracy Fredrychowski

Two sisters. Two stories. One great Amish Christmas read.

Orphaned just weeks before Christmas, the Beiler sisters suddenly discover they could lose their home and what’s worse—each other. To make ends meet, sisters Sadie and Katie are plunged into working at Willow Spring’s Apple Blossom Inn.

But will their efforts be enough?

Sadie -Struggling with pride, Sadie yearns to bake scrumptious treats in the inn’s kitchen instead of cleaning floors and toilets. But when she makes the mistake of her life, can Sadie and the inn’s handsome maintenance worker Jubal King create a plan to help save her family and maybe even the Apple Blossom Inn?

Katie – On the cusp of a family tragedy, Katie must put her trust in the Lord and step into a mostly English world. When Jeremiah Hershberger returns to Willow Springs looking for answers, Katie sets out on a journey to help him discover secrets of his past.

Can these young women find a way to bring the joy of Christmas back to their family and to Willow Springs?

Authors Debra Torres and Tracy Fredychowski did a great job with this Christmas book of two stories. Both were heartwarming and pulled me in.

The characters in these stories were strong and true to life, the mark of a good story. I so badly wanted to help this family find their way. Ups and downs, hurts and disappointments, yet not sad stories. There were moments of joy and laughter and of course happy ever afters.

If you enjoy Christmas stories, or Amish stories then I highly recommend An Amish Christmas at the Apple Blossom Inn. It will make you smile.

I received a complimentary copy of this book but was not required to leave a review.

The Christmas Switch by Zoey Marie Jackson

Keeping this secret gets complicated with the family she wished for right next door.

Swapping places with her identical twin over the holidays sounds easy enough to Chanel Houston. But playing the role is trickier than expected when it comes to maintaining frosty relations with her sister’s neighbor and nemesis—especially since he has an adorable little girl and a rowdy puppy. Ryder Frost’s supposed to be grumpy and rude…so why does Chanel find the single dad so irresistible?

Author Zoey Jackson’s Christmas story was a fun read. Imagine switching places with your twin and everything you want is next door. And you’re not supposed to get along with him. I had a lot of chuckles and awwww moments from beginning to end. And the end came too fast!

Both Chanel and Ryder are strong characters that I fell in love with. Both have strengths and weaknesses, just as if they were real people. The mark of a good story, right? And both have hurts they try so hard to overcome both separately and together. 

Add a cute little girl and a naughty but cute puppy and you have a story with something for everyone. If you enjoy sweet, clean Christmas romance then I highly recommend The Christmas Switch.

I received a complimentary copy of this book but was not required to leave a review.

An Alaskan Christmas Promise by Belle Calhoune

A Christmas to cherish…And a secret to protect.

This needs to be the best Christmas Kit O’Malley has ever seen—because she may not be able to see another. Diagnosed with failing vision, it takes all her determination to stay focused on what makes her happy: her daughter, her service-puppy-in-training and the puppy’s trainer, Leo Duggan. But they can’t reach their Christmas joy together until Kit’s secret comes to light…

In An Alaskan Christmas Promise, we meet Kit and Leo. Both are hiding secrets that have caused hurt. Both think they want to be left alone. Both are wrong. But can their friendship survive an incredibly painful secret? I enjoyed watching both of them grow in trust of others. Calhoune shows how destructive secrets can be, and how to deal with them, and she writes it gently and with grace.

I always love returning to Owl Creek, Alaska. Author Belle Calhoune has created a beautiful town that I wish I could visit. While the town itself is charming, the people are the real treasures. So kind and caring. And human, with all the flaws of being real.

If you enjoy Christmas stories that include cute dogs and the sweetest of little girls, then I highly recommend this book.

I received a complimentary copy of this book but was not required to leave a review.

Falling for the Cowgirl by Jody Hedlund

Years ago, he shattered her heart. Now she must trust him with her life.

As the only girl in her family, and with four older brothers, Ivy McQuaid can rope and ride with the roughest of ranchers. She’s ready to have what she’s always longed for–a home of her own. She’s set her heart on a parcel of land south of Fairplay and is saving for it with her winnings from the cowhand competitions she sneaks into–but her dream is put in jeopardy when the man she once loved reappears in her life.

After two years away, Jericho Bliss is back in South Park as an undercover Pinkerton agent searching for a war criminal. He has no intention of involving a woman in the dangerous life he leads, but one look at Ivy is all it takes for him to question the path he’s set out for himself.

Even though Jericho tries to resist his longtime attraction to the beautiful and vivacious Ivy, he finds himself falling hard and fast for her. In the process, his worst fear comes true–he puts her smack-dab in the middle of danger. With Ivy’s life in the balance, will Jericho give her up once again, or will he find a way back to her, this time forever?

Author Jody Hedlund does it again in this western. I enjoyed reading Ivy and Jericho’s story. Both of them have definite plans for life that don’t include each other. Talk about sparring partners. Sometimes I shook my head, other times I laughed, but always I kept reading.

If you enjoy historical fiction, with clean romance, mystery and intrigue then I highly recommend giving this one a read. (While this is book four in the series, it can be read as a stand alone.)

I received a complimentary copy of this book but was not required to leave a review.

Purchase here

A Bride for Christmas by Jill Kemerer and Brenda Minton

Coming home for Christmas

The Rancher’s Mistletoe Bride by Jill Kemerer

Wedding planner Lexi Harrington needs a manager for her inherited Wyoming ranch. Clint Romine would be the perfect man for the job, if the ruggedly handsome cowboy wasn’t such a distraction. For former foster kid Clint, opening up to Lexi means revealing a secret that could jeopardize everything he holds dear. This Christmas, can Clint learn to trust Lexi with the truth…and with his heart?

The Rancher’s Christmas Bride by Brenda Minton

After she was jilted at the altar, fleeing to Bluebonnet Springs to care for her ailing grandfather seems like the perfect solution for Marissa Walker. When her limo breaks down, neighboring rancher Alex Palermo comes to her rescue. Alex can’t turn his back on the spirited city girl, and soon his priority becomes convincing her to stay. Because Christmas—and his future—would be much merrier with Marissa by his side.

Just look at this cover. It puts you right in the mood for Christmas reads. You can’t ask for more; cowboys and Christmas.

I found both stories to be exactly what I expect from Love Inspired Christmas stories. All the Christmas wrappings, and people who are struggling through life and need helped. Just like so many of us. That’s what makes these stories so enjoyable; real people with real life situations.

The settings were perfect. The towns and ranches were places I wanted to visit. These books had it all and of course endings to sigh over. I highly recommend them for your Christmas reading.

I received a complimentary copy of this book but was not required to leave a review.

Rachel’s Reunion by Susan Mathis

Summer 1904

Rachel Kelly serves the most elite patrons at the famed New Frontenac Hotel on Round Island. She has wondered about her old beau, Mitch, for nearly two years, ever since he toyed with her affections while on Calumet Island, then left for the high seas and taken her heart with him. Now he’s back, opening the wound she thought was healed.

Mitch O’Keefe returns to claim his bride but finds it more difficult than he thought. Returning to work at the very place he hated, he becomes captain of a New Frontenac Hotel touring yacht, just to be near Rachel. But his attempts to win her back are thwarted, especially when a wealthy patron seeks her attention. Who will Rachel choose?

I enjoyed returning to author Susan Mathis’ beloved Thousand Islands. (While part of a series it can be read as a stand alone.)

Mathis gives us the early 1900s, the Gilded Age, and does it well. I can picture the clothing, the food, the everything that the wealthy had. We see how the staff is treated and thought of. It just all comes to life in Rachel’s Reunion.

Characters Rachel and Mitch are at odds most of the time but on occasion we get a glimpse of their feelings for each other. Will they end up together? Or not? There’s some intrigue that will have you wondering if there truly is a happily ever after. I suggest reading this clean romance to find out!

I received a complimentary copy of this book but was not required to leave a review.

Something Good by Vanessa Miller

When three women find their lives inextricably linked after a terrible mistake, they must work together to make the most of their futures.

Alexis Marshall never meant to cause the accident that left Jon-Jon Robinson paralyzed—but though guilt plagues her, her husband hopes to put the past behind them. After all, he’s in the middle of selling a tech business—and if Alexis admits to texting while driving, the deal could collapse and cost them millions. Meanwhile, Alexis’s life is not as shiny and perfect as it may seem from the outside. She has secrets of her own. As she becomes consumed with thoughts of the young man she hit, can she reconcile her mistake with her husband’s expectations?

Trish Robinson is just trying to hold it together after the accident that left Jon-Jon dependent and depressed. As the bills pile up, Trish and her husband, Dwayne, find themselves at odds. Trish wants to forgive and move on, but Dwayne is filled with rage toward the entitled woman who altered their lives forever. Trish can’t see how anything good can come from so much hate and strife, so she determines to pray until God intervenes. Then one afternoon Marquita Lewis rings their doorbell with a baby in her arms and changes everything.

Wow. This book starts with a punch right away and doesn’t let up until the end. Author Vanessa Miller kept me reading to see what would happen next. While there was a lot of telling instead of showing that didn’t take away from the story. A story of injury and pain in multiple ways, it’s also a story of family, of trust, and of faith.

Miller shows us potential consequences of distracted driving and I appreciated that. It happens too often. We also have a story of women bonding together over tragedy and new life; women you would never imagine becoming friends. I loved seeing women of different ethnic groups, different walks in life, and different ages, become a strong community.

If you like contemporary Christian fiction with diversity, then I highly recommend Something Good.

Purchase here

The Red Door Inn by Liz Johnson

Marie Carrington is running from a host of bad memories. Broke and desperate, she’s hoping to find safety and sanctuary on Prince Edward Island, where she reluctantly agrees to help decorate a renovated bed-and-breakfast before it opens for prime tourist season.

Seth Sloane didn’t move three thousand miles to work on his uncle’s B&B so he could babysit a woman with a taste for expensive antiques and a bewildering habit of jumping every time he brushes past her. He came to help restore the old Victorian–and to forget about the fiancée who broke his heart.

The only thing Marie and Seth agree on is that getting the Red Door Inn ready to open in just two months will take everything they’ve got. Can these two wounded souls find hope, healing, and perhaps a bit of romance on this beautiful island?

I like reading about life on Prince Edward Island, and this was no different. Author Liz Johnson helped me to see the island that I’ve never visited and I enjoyed my time there.

Strong, determined character Marie and Seth both have hurts that need healed. And Jack, the owner of the inn, is trying to prove his love for his deceased wife. Johnson’s story puts all of them on a collision course as they try to run from the past. 

Please note there is mention of a sexual assault and the emotional pain of it as well as the healing that can come. It was handled with care but could be a trigger.

Definitely worth reading if you enjoy clean, contemporary romance. I’m heading off to read book 2!

Purchase here

The Mistletoe Favor by Jill Kemerer

It will take one special cowboy to make this season bright.

After gaining guardianship of his half sister, wealthy rancher Mac Tolbert hopes a part-time job during the holidays will help the grieving teenager. New coffee shop owner Bridget Renna has been on her own since sixteen and is immediately drawn to the shy orphan—and her handsome brother. But as Bridget grows closer to the siblings, will her troubled past ruin their chance at a Christmas together?

What a story of confusion. Mac doesn’t know how to raise a teenager. Bridget is hiding the truth of her past from Mac. Kaylee doesn’t know how to grieve and move ahead after the loss of her mother. But somehow they all end up together, trying to work things out. I really enjoyed these characters!

Loss and shame is part of real life, making these characters relatable. To see growth and healing gives hope for all of us. 

Reading a story of second chances with a Christmas theme is so relaxing to me. I just kept turning the pages on this one, and enjoying each one.I highly recommend this book!

I received a complimentary copy of this book but was not required to leave a review.

The Courtship Plan by Kathleen Fuller

Finding a husband is serious business. And serious business requires serious planning.

Charity Raber is one of many single women who came to Birch Creek, Ohio, with one goal in mind: secure a husband from among the desperate bachelors a newspaper advertisement claimed inhabited the town. Even though that claim proved to be nothing more than a cruel prank, Charity is still hopeful that her happy ending might be within reach when she’s set up on a date with Jesse Bontrager. That is until Jesse not-so-gently shares that he has no interest in a relationship with anyone—and especially not with her.

One year later, Charity is working as a caretaker for a kind, elderly English woman in the nearby town of Marigold. She’s also working hard on a brand-new courtship plan. A plan that absolutely does not involve Jesse Bontrager. But when he moves next door and is made aware of her scheming, Charity vows to prove that her plan is foolproof. Meanwhile, Jesse is sure she’ll make a fool of herself. And for some reason he’s not willing to let that happen.

This stubborn bachelor and determined bachelorette will soon learn that their plans rarely work out as expected—but God’s plans always will.

I thoroughly enjoyed this story and couldn’t put it down. I had to see what came next!

Charity is awkward and desperate. Jesse is a confirmed bachelor who pulled a dirty trick. They part ways and I thought it was over. That each would find another. But fate, or was it God, brought them back together and I really liked how it happened.

Sometimes I felt bad for each of the characters. Sometimes I wanted to shake them. A good story pulls you in and makes you feel emotions. This one did just that as I laughed, sighed, and even shed a tear or two. If you enjoy Amish fiction I highly recommend this one. Author Kathleen Fuller never disappoints.

I received a complimentary copy of this book but was not required to leave a review.

Purchase here

Jeanette’s Gift by Blossom Turner

This life wasn’t the one she dreamed of, but happily ever afters don’t always come when and how we expect.

At twenty-nine, Jeanette Williams has watched each one of her four sisters marry and start families of their own. It’s hard not to believe God has forgotten the desires of her heart, especially when most people refer to her as Spinster Williams. Without the beautiful children she teaches, life would be unbearably lonely.

When the handsome widower, Theo Wallace, and his six children move into the Shenandoah Valley, every available woman is atwitter—except for Jeanette. She has no such aspirations that someone as plain as her could draw even a smattering of interest.

As life throws this unlikely couple together, Jeanette can’t help but fall in love with Theo’s children and their soul-wrenching plight. Before she knows it, her heart is far more invested than she could’ve ever imagined. And not just with the children, but with their handsome father as well. Is she headed for another heartbreak, or is it possible God had a beautiful plan in the works all along?

This book by author Blossom Turner kept my attention from page one. Strong, well developed characters pulled on my heart the entire time. To watch Jeanette think so little of herself was very sad, but seeing her grow was wonderful and painful, all at the same time. Theo also brought baggage and a protected heart with him. And the six children were simply delightful. Most of the time. After all, kids will be kids.

The story line was compelling, humorous, and kept me reading quickly to see what happened. If you enjoy historical fiction please do read this one!

I received a complimentary copy of this book but was not required to leave a review.

The Bride of Blackfriars Lane by Michelle Griep

The Continuing Adventure of Jackson and Kit!

Detective Jackson Forge can hardly wait to marry the street-sly swindler who’s turned his life upside down. Kit Turner is equally excited to wed the handsome detective, and what better way to show her love than providing him with a gift any man of the law would love? She determines to bring to justice the men who years ago maimed his brother—despite Jackson’s warning to leave the past in the past. As she digs into the mystery of what happened, she unwittingly tumbles into her own history and endangers her future happiness with Jackson.

The saga of Jackson and Kit continues! While you probably could read this as a stand alone, I highly recommend reading The Thief of Blackfriars Lane first. The Bride will make more sense, and be a richer read for it. Plus The Thief is a great book you won’t want to miss.

Griep takes us on more adventures through the back alleys and streets of London. The places “typical” people don’t go. You’ll meet pickpockets and thieves, people who run soup kitchens and street urchins. With the fabulous historical detail Griep is known for, you won’t want to miss this escapade.

Kit is strong and determined. Too determined for her own good. Jackson wants to protect her, to care for her. Will she let him? Not easily, I can assure you. An inability to communicate well with each other only adds to the mess as their wedding day approaches.

Murder and intrigue, suspense and mystery, with romance interwoven throughout makes this a great read if you enjoy historical fiction. I highly recommend it!

I received a complimentary copy of this book but was not required to leave a review.

The Secrets of Emberwild by Stephenia H. McGee

A gifted trainer in a time women are not allowed to race, Nora Fenton prefers horses to men. They’re easier to handle, they’re more reliable, and they never tell her what to do. After her father’s passing, Nora is determined to save her struggling horse farm, starting with entering her prize colt into the harness races at the 1905 Mississippi Fair. If she wins, she may have a chance at independence. But when a stranger arrives and starts asking disconcerting questions, she suspects he may have other motives than unseating her in the training job that is rightfully hers.

Silas Cavallero will do whatever it takes to solve the mystery of his father’s death–even if it means training an unwieldy colt for Nora, who wants nothing more than to see him gone. But when mysterious accidents threaten their safety and circumstances shrouded in secrets begin unlocking clues to his past, Silas will have to decide if the truth is worth risking ruining everything for the feisty woman he’s come to admire.

Author Stephenia McGee never disappoints. The Secrets of Emberwild will delight lovers of historical fiction with its well researched history. McGee is one of the best at historical integrity. Lovers of horses won’t be able to resist reading about Arrow and Ember. Enjoy mystery and intrigue? It’s here, as is clean romance.

Well written characters, Nora is ahead of her time with her desire to train and race horses. Strong willed and determined, she bucks against any man who gets in her way as she tries to prove her worth. Silas is haunted by the past and is trying to solve a secret that drives him. McGee shows God can bring good from what was meant for evil. It’s done in a natural way so it’s not preachy. Yet it’s evident that God is Who is needed in life. The book is so well done it’s sure to become a favorite.

I highly recommend The Secrets of Emberwild!

I received a complimentary copy of this book but was not required to leave a review.

Purchase here

Cicada Season by Mindy Steele

The Miller’s Creek matchmakers are multiplying, and they aren’t done with the Milford half dozen yet.

Hannah Troyer thinks she can do it all, but it’s clear the young woman needs help with the apple harvest this year. The local bakers have an idea on how to remedy that. Throw in a handsome, overly confident, Leon Milford and let the sparks fly.

It will be the craziest summer ever to hit Miller’s Creek, but who doesn’t like a good challenge?

Author Mindy Steele has become a favorite of mine. And Cicada Season may be my favorite book of hers. Steele knows how to write humor, and I laughed from beginning to end. 

Fun, quirky characters bring this story to life. Matchmakers and the Milford half dozen are quite the combination. Crazy things happen, but I’m not going to tell you what. You’ll need to read it for yourself.

Hannah and Leon are at odds. One is serious, and one is very sure of himself. It makes for a great story as we watch them begin to trust and understand each other through the Cicadas. Warm, sweet, and humorous, as well as healing, there is something for everyone in this story.

While Cicada Season can be read as a stand alone, I highly recommend the first two books in the series, To Catch a Hummingbird and The Butterfly Box. Both are equally as good and they will bring an extra depth to Cicada Season.

I received a complimentary copy of this book but was not required to leave a review.

Check out past reviews!

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2020

2 Responses to Reviews

  1. Kathryn Voss says:

    I really enjoyed Marrying Mr. Wrong!

    Like

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