About Come Sweet Day

come, sweet day

Bestselling romance author Julianne Donaldson has written deeply emotional, sweeping love stories in Edenbrooke and Blackmoore, often commenting that her characters were a reflection of what she wanted a woman’s life to be: happy, secure, unconditionally loved, and fulfilled. But in reality her own life was far more marked by difficult challenges and disappointments. In her new book, Donaldson reveals her thoughts and feelings from that unsettled time of despair and suffering so women can know they are not alone and that there is hope even in the hard times.

Compiled from years of inspirational words of encouragement to herself on social media and even bits and pieces of random musings written on scrap paper, this is a unique writer’s journey through a life passage marked by cancer, a bitter divorce, legal battles with her ex-husband, mental illness, and persistent feelings of rejection and abandonment which also rendered her unable to pick up her career as a writer to support herself and her family. Overwhelmed by sadness and almost paralyzed into inaction by despair, she slowly finds her way back to her writer’s toolbox, unpacking the pain and sharing her innermost feelings as if revealing a character’s thoughts in a novel. In her writing she begins to find rays of understanding and acceptance and eventually finds strength from knowing that God’s love and His grace and guidance give greater meaning to our suffering and light the way to hope.

My review

It’s not often that I pick up a book of poetry. In fact, I don’t think I really ever have. But I’ve seen people all over talking about this new one by Julianne Donaldson. And I wanted to read it to check it out.

I loved this book! I loved the way the author shared things about her life lately that would have been hard to share. As well as the poetry that she’d written. This book is so comforting. We are all going to have hard times. And reading through the author’s experiences, as well as her poetry will be helpful. It’s like someone reached out to give the reader a hug.

This book is beautiful too! I love the happy cover. But inside is filled with beautiful images to go along with the poetry. It’s so well done. I loved everything about it.

Hope is something we can all use more of. This would be a great gift for someone going through a hard time. Or just your mom for Mother’s Day.

I was sent an e-copy of Come, Sweet Day as a gift from the publisher. All opinions are my own.

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About Stay with Me

stay with me

A mysterious letter alluding to a secret in her parents’ past brings Genevieve Woodward back to her Blue Ridge Mountains hometown, but she’s also in need of a break from a high-profile career that has left her dangerously burned out and concealing a powerful secret of her own. When she wakes inside an unfamiliar cottage to find the confused owner staring down at her, she can no longer ignore the fact that she needs help.  

Sam Turner has embraced his sorrow and his identity as an outsider. The solitary, disciplined life he lives on his historic farm is the life he’s chosen for himself. The last thing he wants is to rent his cottage to a woman as troubled as she is talkative. Yet, he can’t force himself to turn her away right when she needs him most. 

As Genevieve researches her family’s history and her and Sam’s emotions deepen, they will have to let go of the facades and loneliness they’ve clung to and allow light to illuminate every hidden truth.

My review

I had heard good things about Becky Wade for a while, so I was excited to win this book in a giveaway on Instagram. I really enjoyed it. There were some things the author did that really made this one work. She had a unique story.

I liked the characters in this one first of all. Genevieve in particular was really well done. She has an addiction to oxycontin. And that makes her do things that are a little crazy. Like sleep in a strangers cottage. But she works through this and gets herself clean, with the help of Sam. I really liked that she had the mystery of what her parents had done to work on. It gave her a focus and kept the story moving.

Sam was a good guy. He really didn’t want to let Genevieve stay in his cottage. But he wouldn’t have been able to live with himself if she had died from her addiction, like a previous love. What was great about him was watching him heal and move on. He had to forgive himself and realize that what had happened was not his fault.

I really liked the little flashbacks to the earthquake in Genevieve’s youth. I liked the way those kind of showed why some of the characters were the way they were.

This is a great book. I’m going to have to read the rest of the series soon!

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About Pining for Lord Lockhart

pining for lord lockhart

Charity watches each of her sisters make plans to marry, one by one, and she is overjoyed for their happiness, but she doubts she will ever feel much of the same. She is busy in her causes, in her book groups, in her thinking bluestocking ways, but she has a secret. And no one knows, not even the man himself. But through all of her forward thinking ways, she is pining for Lord Lockhart.

Lord Lockhart is the wealthiest man of any of their acquaintance. He recently received yet another inheritance when an old eccentric uncle passed on and he seeks for ways to use his money responsibly. Charity is a good resource for him in this regard. And he just might have secrets of his own where she is concerned.

My review

I know, every time one of these books comes out by Jen Geigle Johnson, I say that character is my favorite. Charity might very well be my very favorite of the sister of Sussex. I love how she lives up to her name. She is one of the most charitable women I’ve read about in this time period. And I loved that about her!

Charity thought there was no way she would marry. She’s a bluestocking, after all. But she was very obviously in love with Lord Lockhart. And from the start, I thought these two were perfect for each other. They each worry about those in a lower class. And they work to make things better for those people. I loved that.

Another thing about Lord Lockhart that I loved was that he was not afraid to be the only man involved. He showed up to the bluestocking meetings and he took part. He gave his input and even did readings of books when he needed to. One thing I didn’t like about him was the way he felt so honor bound to another young woman who he really shouldn’t have. I didn’t like that or her at all!

But I think Charity learned something through this. It seemed as though she learned even more strongly to be herself. And that she was okay just the way she was. We need to not be afraid to be strong ourselves. But we also need to know that it’s okay when someone else is.

I loved this book! I can’t wait for the last in the series. Though I know I’m going to be sad to see these characters go.

I was sent a copy of Pining for Lord Lockhart as a gift from the author. All opinions are my own.

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About The Crown of Rosemund

Anduron, 1498

The king and queen are dead, murdered by one who will stop at nothing to rule. But the young princess—Rosemund—has survived, spirited deep into the forest by her parents’ most trusted advisor. There, she finds refuge in a small cottage and a new life, one in which she must play a role that will ensure her survival. Soldiers are combining the countryside, searching for the lost princess, and they will not rest until she is found—and executed.

Rosemund’s strength grows as she trains for battle and endures the hardships and dangers of peasant life. When chance brings Maxwell, a young man from the nearby village, into her life, Rose finds in him an ally and a friend. As her eighteenth birthday approaches, the time has come for Rose to reclaim her birthright, and in a court controlled by a vengeful new ruler, she must play a deadly game of politics in order to seize the throne that is rightfully hers.

My review

I can’t even imagine waking up one morning to find your parents had been killed in their sleep. But that’s what happens to Rosemund in the very first chapter of this book. I loved that she had an advisor to help her along the way, Jacob. The relationship between these two was one of my favorite things about this book. They become Grandfather and Grandson to each other as Rosemund hides to make sure she isn’t next to be killed.

Rosemund becomes Silas. And she is taught the art of defending herself. I loved these scenes, especially once Maxwell comes into the picture. A girl… or a guy can never have too many friends or people they trust. Maxwell becomes that, even though he has no idea that Silas is really Rosemund.

The author, Michele Ashman Bell, did such a great job with the plot of this one. I loved every bit of it, from the danger of the first day to hiding in the forest to the big wrapping up scenes. This book kept me wanting to know what would happen to Rosemund and if she would ever be who she was supposed to be.

Rosemund truly was a Warrior Queen.

I was sent a copy of The Crown of Rosemund as a gift from the author. All opinions are my own.

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About Until Vienna

Until Vienna

Georgina Ballard has been disappointed in love more than a few times, a fact that she is uncomfortably aware of amid her sister’s wedding preparations. When her elderly aunt Rowena bids Gigi to accompany her on an art tour across Europe, Gigi hesitates but eventually resigns herself to the train journey alongside a group of aged art connoisseurs, if only to mollify her aunt.

Once aboard the Orient Express, Gigi is pleased to discover that not everyone on the tour is in their twilight years: Clyde Haskins, an energetic young art professor from the University of London, will serve as the group’s tour guide. Clyde is equally intrigued that a young lady has joined the tour, and Aunt Rowena and her friends immediately set out to play matchmaker. Clyde and Gigi both find humor in Aunt Rowena’s antics despite knowing that each is determined to keep their heart carefully guarded. Yet, the enchantment of their European exploration weaves an undeniable spell between them. When their journey ends, can their holiday love story endure the obstacles of real life?

My review

I’m loving these Romance on the Orient Express books. The feeling of being swept back in time to a far more elegant time just makes me happy. The authors have done an amazing job with their characters. And their settings.

This one was written by Heather B Moore. I love the way she wrote Georgina’s character. The whole story is told through her eyes and she does a great job of it. Georgina, aka Gigi, is a young woman with no current marriage prospects. Her aunt asks her to go with her on a European art tour. And they get to go on the Orient Express. I love how she meets professor Clyde Haskins on that tour. He was a great surprse.

Gigi’s aunt has many surprises up her sleeves during this book. Some good and some not as good. But through it all, Gigi remains true to herself.

I loved getting to see Nicholas again. Seeing little details like his character throughout this series really make each book fun.

Make sure you read this whole series. There is only one left after this one. That’s so sad!

I was sent a copy of Until Vienna as a gift from the publisher. All opinions are my own.

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Mission Stories

About Mission Stories

Experience the power of Christ’s mercy this spring! Mission Stories is an upcoming anthology film based on true stories from the mission field. ✨ Highlighting three conversion accounts, these stories will remind us of our Heavenly Father’s loving invitation to be healed through the Atonement of Jesus Christ.

Chuck

Stealing a Book of Mormon from a roadside motel (along with other items), becomes the catalyst for one man to radically transform his life as he learns to trust in Christ’s redemptive love.

Full Circle

A friend, a convert, and a missionary are tethered together through Christ’s love and compassion in this story of intertwined struggles with self-doubt an addiction, but finally redemption. Redemption that comes after decades of wrestling with God and themselves. In Full Circle we recognize that Christ never gives up on us.

Hermanos

Two missionaries are “stood up” by a family on the family’s baptism day. A decade later, one missionary is transferred to the Spanish-speaking area of his mission with only weeks until his homecoming. He could never imagine how God would use him and his meager language skills to bring that same family to Chris

Message from the director

When I initially approached Mission Stories I thought I may not be the best choice to direct because I did not serve a mission. However, as I developed these stories I recognized how much missionary work has touched my life. In fact, in one of these stories a character is based on me. Through this experience I’ve learned just how powerful love, faith, and forgiveness are and that redemption is available to all of us no matter the circumstances of our lives. Everyone has a story to tell and I believe in the power of sharing stories. I hope that audiences will be touched by the themes of mercy and redemption in these stories.

– Bryce Clark

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About Billionaire’s Sons

Four love stories, Six brothers, and the Inheritance that tears them apart.

The esteemed businessman, Nicholas Cohen, attempts to win the heart of his childhood sweetheart, Adele, despite his older brother ruining their wedding.

Meanwhile, his younger brother, Sam, impatiently waits for the girl of his dreams, Leanne, to finish her master’s degree hoping to whisk her away to a far-off land to complete her PhD.

Their younger brother, Jacob, falls for the captain’s daughter, Maryam, on a superyacht bound for the Caribbean, much to their parents’ dismay. Their son, Emanuel, elopes with a not-too-much-older woman, Aloise, three months after high school, less than 24-hours after they meet only to discover he’s married to enemy.

My review

I really enjoyed the different take of this one. It’s loosely based on a story that I’m very familiar with. I liked how the author set this in a totally different time period than the original. It was an interesting idea to see what starts out as a historical book moved into modern times. I really liked that aspect.

I also liked that there were several different characters with their own points of view. The story is moved along by using different characters some even in a different time period. There are four different love stories in this one. That made the book really interesting. I wanted to know what each of the characters thought and felt. And how the whole thing was going to end.

I am going to be honest and say that there was more talk of sex in this one than I would be comfortable with if I were going to have my teenager read this one. There wasn’t anything shown to the reader, it was all just talk. This one is not squeaky clean. But I wasn’t offended by it for myself.

Bottom line, I thought this was a good story. I liked the way the author wrote it.

I was sent an e-copy of Billionaire’s Sons as a gift from the author. All opinions are my own.

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About A Haunting at Havenwood

a haunting at havenwood

Nothing will keep Louisa from searching for an ancient fortune. Except perhaps a phantom who turns out to be a most eligible bachelor. 

When Louisa Banner’s mother announces they are poor, she cannot help her misgivings when her mother sends her away to live with her great aunt in a tiny, Northumberland village. Louisa’s aunt also happens to live near the ruins of an ancient castle. Although Louisa insists she is not the least bit superstitious, tales of lost treasure and ghosts intrigue her. 

When Louisa stumbles upon a forgotten graveyard, and a man whose name comes directly from a tombstone, she isn’t certain whether to run away in terror or stay and get to know the handsome spirit.

Erasmus Grey is cursed, and not only because he sometimes hears the voices of ghosts claiming to be his dead grandparents. While most men would count it a blessing to be a wealthy, eligible bachelor, Ras has no hope of finding a bride who will tolerate his stammer or his passion for writing Gothic novels. 

Rather than succumb to the matchmaking mothers of London, he retreats to an old family estate at the behest of the ghostly voices. Though he manages to keep his presence in the country a secret, coming upon a lovely young woman during one of his rambles nearly undoes all his careful work. But when he realizes Miss Banner thinks him a ghost, Ras wonders if he might have found someone who truly understands him.

Treasures, castles, and ghosts combine in an autumn romance in a haunted wood.

My review

The haunting in this book was not quite what I expected, but it was delightful! I loved the way the author had Erasmus’ (or Ras as he was called to distinguish him from his great-grandfather) ancestors spend time talking to him and helping him through the things he was doing. It kind of made me think, what if our own ancestors were as invested in our lives as his were. Maybe they are and they’re just not as visible. Anyway…

I really liked Louisa. When she went to Harbottle, I think she thought that her life as she knew it was over. But her Aunt Penrith was kind. She had more freedom than she was used to. And there were kind people to meet. People like Ras. I really enjoyed how she thought he was a ghost for a bit. And there was the treasure to search for. It was really fun how she got interested in that and spent time searching.

Ras is a great character too. He put up with his great-grandparents meddling in his life like a champ. And he was a good friend to Louisa when she didn’t seem to have anyone.

I loved this book! Such a great story.

I was sent an e-copy of A Haunting at Havenwood as a gift from the author. All opinions are my own.

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About A Noble Masquerade

a noble masquerade

Lady Miranda Hawthorne acts every inch the lady, but inside she longs to be bold and carefree. Entering her fourth Season and approaching spinsterhood in the eyes of society, she pours her innermost feelings out not in a diary but in letters to her brother’s old school friend, a duke–with no intention of ever sending these private thoughts to a man she’s heard stories about but never met. Meanwhile, she also finds herself intrigued by Marlow, her brother’s new valet, and although she may wish to break free of the strictures that bind her, falling in love with a servant is more of a rebellion than she planned.

When Marlow accidentally discovers and mails one of the letters to her unwitting confidant, Miranda is beyond mortified. And even more shocked when the duke returns her note with one of his own that initiates a courtship-by-mail. Insecurity about her lack of suitors shifts into confusion at her growing feelings for two men–one she’s never met but whose words deeply resonate with her heart, and one she has come to depend on but whose behavior is more and more suspicious. When it becomes apparent state secrets are at risk and Marlow is right in the thick of the conflict, one thing is certain: Miranda’s heart is far from all that’s at risk for the Hawthornes and those they love.

My review

I hadn’t read a book by Kristi Ann Hunter before. I really enjoyed this one. And I’ll be reading more of her books. I’m excited to have found out that this book is the start of a series. So there are more books in this world.

I loved Miranda in this book! I loved the way she latched on to the idea of the Duke of Marshington. And how she wrote to him throughout the years. To the point that she had a whole trunk of letters to him. I like the thought of all of us having someone like this to write to. Someone we can be anonymous with. Or we can tell things that we can’t tell anyone else, the highs and lows. And Miranda is the kind of woman who is not a shrinking pansy. She knows what she wants and she is willing to go after it.

Marlow is Miranda’s brother Griffith’s new valet. Or that’s what he appears to be. He’s really the Duke of Marshington trying to find a spy. And he finds Miranda’s letters to him as he searches things in the home. This part was so funny! Especially when he starts to reply to her current letters.

The plot of this one has romance, and danger. I loved that both of these things were included in this one. The plot kept me interested until the very end. I need to go start reading the rest of this series!

I borrowed a copy of A Noble Masquerade using my Kindle Unlimited subscription. All opinions are my own.

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About Blissfully Wed (Kinda)

blissfully wed (kinda)

If the billboard doesn’t work out, marry Jackson…
That’s what my billboard said, all because I lost a bet I didn’t think I would lose. I mean, who finds true love advertising themselves on a billboard?

My billionaire best friend, that’s who. What started out as a game has quickly become my nightmare. I haven’t dated the same woman for more than a week since high school, and now I’m supposed to get to know and marry someone in a month?
It’s not going to happen.

The only reason I agree to stick it out is because of the unexpected consequences of my playboy persona. When the applicants start rolling in, they aren’t from who I expect. Women I’ve dated and burned in the past are flooding my inbox. They’re on a mission to destroy me. The only thing that can save my reputation is my past, but I’m not sure I’m ready to relive those demons.

My best friend’s intervention had better work, because player is the only label that has successfully protected my heart.

My review

This book is my favorite kind of book! It’s a romantic comedy, fake relationship type. But there’s so much more to it. This is the second book in the series. I had not read the first. And that was okay. But I might have to go back and read the first one soon.

I really liked Jackson in this book. Who doesn’t want to have a website dedicated to how awful they are? And the Easter Egg the creator included was pretty interesting. I loved his friend Edward, that’s the whole reason he ended up on an island in the middle of no where with all the girls he’d hurt, dating them Bachelor style.

Anna was there too, except she was the one who hurt Jackson, not the other way around. I really liked Anna. And her motion sickness made a lot of this book more funny. She was supposed to be the “host” of the Jackson bachelor event. But the host isn’t supposed to fall in love with the bachelor.

The author did such a great job with this one! I loved the characters, the way the plot played out. And the ending. I really do need to go back and read the first one just to see how Edward got his happily every after from a billboard.

I borrowed Blissfully Wed (Kinda) using my Kindle Unlimited subscription. All opinions are my own.

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