About Georgana’s Secret

Georgana's Secret

Georgana Woodall dreams of freedom—freedom from her past and freedom from her secret. She has been living on her father’s ship for years, disguised as a cabin boy named “George.” But hiding her true self is becoming more difficult, and she yearns to break free of her life on the sea. She’s already missed too many seasons in London, and her chances of being welcomed back into polite society and finding a suitable husband are slipping away.

Lieutenant Dominic Peyton has no time in his life for love, not with his dedication to His Majesty’s Royal Navy claiming his full attention. Determined to prove himself to his new captain, he strives to be an exemplary officer and leader. When Lieutenant Peyton sees the captain’s cabin boy being harassed by the crew, he takes the boy under his wing.

Georgana quickly loses her heart to Dominic’s compassion and care, but needing to maintain her disguise as a cabin boy, she is convinced nothing can come of her affection.

Georgana’s Secret is about two hearts yearning to find a safe harbor, and possibly, a lasting love.

My review

I don’t know how Arlem Hawks did it, but the way she wrote this one sucks the reader in from the very first! I loved the uniqueness of the plot. Her characters were fabulous. I almost felt like I was on the high sea on board the Deborah with them.

Let’s start with Georgana. She’s on board the Deborah with her father the captain. Only she goes by the name of George. Her father is trying to save her reputation any way he can. But the way “George” seems to be the captain’s favorite causes her issues with the other ship’s boys. I loved the way Georgana was not afraid to work. She worked as hard as all the boys did. And she was loyal. She showed her loyalty to the very end. Such a well-written character.

Then there’s Dominic. I really liked him as well. He noticed George, something that not very many adults seemed to. Specifically, he noticed that George was picked on by the other boys and tried to help him learn to defend himself. I loved the way that Georgana fell for Dominic little by little during these sessions, even though he had no idea who she was. This was so beautiful!

The plot of this one kept me enthralled from the beginning. I loved the fight scenes, as well as the romance ones. This author did a fabulous job with this book! I can’t wait for more books by her!

I was sent a copy of Georgana’s Secret as a gift from the publisher. All opinions are my own.

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About Melodies and Mistletoe

melodies and mistletoe

She dreams of becoming a famous musician, and he has the ability to make her dreams come true.

When Hailey Grant loses the gig she thought would launch her music career, her hope wanes, and not even Christmas movies have the power to cheer her up. So when her roommate suggests filming a song and posting it on the internet, she agrees. She never expected it to go viral, or that it would launch her into the biggest opportunity of her life. But when that opportunity comes from the smug guy who critiqued her song, will pride get in the way of her career—or her heart?

Ryan Bierman hasn’t posted to his music critique platform in years, but when he hears a song that touches him to the core, he wants to do something to help give the woman a leg up in the music industry. He doesn’t expect her to be angry about his critique, or to put him firmly in the friend zone. But that doesn’t stop him from helping her, or from falling in love.

My review

Christmas books just make me happy! This one read like a Hallmark movie. I loved the way the author wrote it. Her characters are great. The whole thing just felt like it could be real.

I loved Hailey in this book. It was almost like she could have stepped off the pages of the book. She’s a nanny for a super sweet girl. And her life is just good. Except for her dream of performing. But that seems like it could be a reality, if Ryan has anything to say about it. I loved Hailey’s loyalty to Ryan’s sister who she nanny’d for. But sometimes, a girl just has to folow her dreams.

Ryan’s a great guy. I loved the way he goes after what he wants. In this case, a music career for Hailey. He really stuck his neck on the line for her several times in this one.

There were so many great things to love about this book. I really loved the photo shoot scene and the way Hailey saved the day. I’m going to have to read all of the books in this series! But, these stand alone just fine too.

I borrowed a copy of Melodies and Mistletoe using my Kindle Unlimited subscription. All opinions are my own.

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About Snowed in for Christmas

snowed in for Christmas

Three things are to blame for the Christmas Eve chaos:

Easton lost a bet.
Ivy wants a promotion.
And Denver was hit with the biggest blizzard its seen in years.

Now, they’re stuck in a hut for Christmas with nothing but the fire to warm them. Unless, of course, they can warm up to each other.

My review

This book hooked me from the very first page! I loved everything about it. The characters, the plot, the author’s writing. It’s all fabulous.

Easton is a bachelor, and he’s being considered for one of those bachelor reality TV shows. Only, he doesn’t want to be on it. The only reason he’s thinking about it is that he lost a bet to his sister. He agrees to do the interview with Ivy, but that’s all he’s promising. I loved Easton. He’s a good guy. But he doesn’t think he can ever love someone because of his parents. And the way he treated Ivy was so great!

Ivy is an assistant to a producer of the bachelor shows. She’s trying to get her last interview before Christmas. She never planned to be stuck in a yurt with Easton for Christmas. But Denver’s weather didn’t cooperate. I loved the way Ivy was. She went for what she wanted, even when things didn’t work out right.

The parts in the yurt with just Easton and Ivy were so great! And that was a lot of the book. But the ending…it was fantastic. I loved everything about this one!

I borrowed Snowed in for Christmas using my Kindle Unlimited subscription. All opinions are my own.

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About Her Hidden Falls Bronc Riding Cowboy

her hidden falls bronc riding cowboy

A small town cowboy. A Billionaire. And the woman who has to choose between them.

Beau Hardman, bronc rider and proud owner of the Hardman Ranch, doesn’t need a woman to make his life complete. Sure, it’s nice for his brothers to settle down and find love but he’s always been the lone cowboy and been just fine with it. Too bad his brother’s best friend is putting the moves on his best friend. Pfft. Beau could care less about the rich billionaire and all of the flowers he’s buying Star. Did you hear that? He doesn’t care a bit.

Star Haven has always been content in Hidden Falls. Content, running the family Inn she was instrumental in restoring. Content, dating here and there and enjoying her small town. Until Richard Chavez shows up and invites her to a ball at his estate. A ball he plans to send a helicopter to pick her up for.

When Beau discovers Star’s thinking of leaving Hidden Falls–for good, he has to come clean about his feelings….or is it too late?

Will Beau and Star be able to dig through complicated pain of the past and make a happily ever after together? Or will Beau be left in the dust by the rich billionaire and his helicopter?

My review

I really loved this book! Not sure if it was the characters, or the plot, or both. But something just combined to make this one great.

Star seemed almost real to me. She’s the kind of girl who works hard for what she has. And she’s able to enjoy it. She happens to spend a lot of time enjoying it with Beau.

Beau is just the boy next door. He’s the type of cowboy that opens doors for women and just wants to take care of everyone around him. I loved how he was always fixing things.

The extra characters in this one are great! I loved all of Beau’s family. And Richard. I’m really hoping for a happy ending for him in another book.

The plot of this one is great. I loved how Star has a hard time knowing who she should choose. But she does gets to ride in a helicopter and go to Paris. Ultimately, she determines who her heart wants. And it just works.

I was sent an e-copy of Her Hidden Falls Bronc Riding Cowboy as a gift from the author. All opinions are my own.

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About His Accidental Bride

his accidental bride

Dorothy Bednar is living a life she despises. Forced to work as a double-dealing saloon girl, Dorothy has finally had enough. The next train out of town is her ticket to freedom, and Dorothy jumps aboard without a thought for where she’s going—until she meets a kind woman aboard the train. Her fellow passenger was originally traveling to Colorado to marry a man she’d never met, but her cold feet offer Dorothy the perfect opportunity to set up roots somewhere new. Dorothy soon finds herself posing as the mail-order bride—after all, marrying a stranger can’t be worse than what she left behind.

Young Colorado lawyer Ronald Smith is astonished when he spies the lovely woman who comes to greet him—the woman who is to be his wife. Dorothy is beyond Ronald’s wildest dreams, a kindhearted partner eager to be a homemaker and mother. To Dorothy, Ronald is the most gentlemanly man she’s ever met—a man who makes her feel safe and cherished. What begins as a deception soon deepens into true love, but too soon, Dorothy’s secret past threatens the beautiful life she’s built—a life that feels truer than anything she’s ever known.

My review

I think it’s so fun when an author writes about the same city, containing the same people over and over. That’s the case with Carolyn Twede Frank. She has written several in the city of Craig, Colorado. If I were you, I’d start with Heart of the West. It made me happy to see characters again that I’d already grown to love. And add new characters to them.

I loved the characters in this one! Dorothy was a great character, so strong. She seemed to be stuck in a terrible situation, forced by her brother to do his bidding. But she changed her life by running away and hopping on a train. I loved the scene when she ran into Wilhelmina. A kind soul who believed that Dorothy was a good person. When she gave her a chance, Dorothy’s confidence grew. And that started her growth that continued through the whole book.

Ronald Smith has advertised for a mail-order bride. He thought he was getting Wilhelmina Cooper. And he’d made all kinds of plans. Ronald is a make a list and stick to it guy. I think that works in some things. But he needed to learn a lesson about not having to stick so closely to his own plans. Something I really liked about Ronald is that he really is like all of us. We make plans, but sometimes they just don’t work out the way we think we will. And we need to learn to adapt to whatever we end up being given.

I loved the plot of this one! Dorothy ends up pretending to be Wilhelmina. That lands her in some really funny and sticky situations. And, of course, she ends up in danger and needing to be saved. Will she save herself or will Ronald become her hero and save her just when she needs him.

I loved this book!

I was sent a copy of His Accidental Bride as a gift from the publisher. All opinions are my own.

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About Widows of Somerset

widows of somerset

Rules of the Secret Society of Young Widows:
Rule 1: Be a widow.
Rule 2: Have an impeccable reputation.
Rule 3: Don’t fall in love again.

AN HEIR TO SPARE by Rebecca Connolly
Widowhood has changed much for Anna—Lady Lyndham—but an unconventional heir to the estate was not something she had anticipated. Nor had she anticipated that he would have no intention of forcing her out, although he has every right to. And she certainly did not anticipate finding him handsome, charming, and unfailingly generous. But Ned Richards, the new Lord Lyndham, has a world of surprises in store for her, and not anticipating them will become quite the adventure.

THE WIDOW OF LAVENDER COTTAGE by Jen Geigle Johnson
As a widow, Lillian Hunter has never been in love and plans to never marry again, so the rules of the Secret Society of Young Widows suit her just fine. Her days are spent attempting to transform her newly inherited Lavender Cottage into a livable space until Oliver Wentworth shows up, asking for her late husband. Anxious to establish himself as a landed gentry in Somerset, Oliver is none too pleased to discover that a widow lives alone in a tiny run down cottage bordering his new property. The fact that she’s young and attractive only adds frustration to his sense of responsibility over her. And confound her, she challenges his every attempt to help manage her affairs.

A PROMISE FORGOTTEN by Heather B. Moore
Charlotte Ashford never thought she’d marry a vicar, and she never thought she’d find herself widowed with a young child to care for on her own. She certainly never thought she’d return to Somerset to live with her mother again, and Charlotte never thought she’d see him again. But Lord Wilshore has never forgotten her, and he has never forgotten their promise made long ago. Charlotte would love nothing more than for Lord Wilshore to forgive her, but too much heartache and too much time might make that impossible. Friendship is all she can hope for, but that hope may be dashed as well.

My review

Book collections like this make me happy. I love having short books by several authors to read. It makes things fun. And I loved the common denominator of the Secret Society of Young Widows in this one.

First up is An Heir to Spare by Rebecca Connolly. I liked Anna. I also liked that she was the introduction to the Secret Society of Young Widows. She kind of showed us what it was and how it worked before she moved on. This one was kind of funny with Anna versus Ned. She was Lady Lyndham, and he was Lord Lyndham, but they weren’t married. Which seemed kind of awkwardly funny. But these two grew close through living life the way they did. And it was sweet to watch. I loved it!

The Widow of Lavender Cottage is the next story in the book. Jen Geigle Johnson did a good job with this one. I loved the independent way Lillian plans to live her life. Only Oliver shows up and basically throws her plans on the ground and stomps on them. One of my very favorite scenes was the rooftop scenes where Oliver has to save the day. And it’s hilarious when the Secret Society of Young Widows comes calling unexpectedly. Such a great story!

And last in this book is Heather B Moore’s A Promise Forgotten. This one started off sad with Charlotte leaving her husband’s grave for the last time with her young daughter. But then she finds out that Brand, the man she was promised to didn’t die the way she thought he did. And that’s when things become fun! I loved this second chance type story. The author did a fabulous job with the characters. And the plot was cute.

If you haven’t read any of these collections, you should read this one!

I was sent a copy of Widows of Somerset as a gift from the authors. All opinions are my own.

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About A Reluctant Bride

a reluctant bride

Living in London’s poorest slum, Mercy Wilkins has little hope of a better life. When she’s offered an opportunity to join a bride ship sailing to British Columbia, she agrees. After witnessing so much painful heartache and loss in the slums, the bride ship is her only prospect to escape a bleak future, not only for herself but, she hopes, someday for her sister.

Wealthy and titled Joseph Colville leaves home and takes to the sea in order to escape the pain of losing his family. As ship’s surgeon, he’s in charge of the passengers’ welfare aboard the Tynemouth, including sixty brides-to-be. He has no immediate intention of settling down, but when Mercy becomes his assistant, the two must fight against a forbidden love.

With hundreds of single men congregating on the shore eager to claim a bride from the Tynemouth, will Mercy and Joseph lose their chance at true love, or will they be able to overcome the obstacles that threaten to keep them apart?

My review

I’ve read several of Jody Hedlund’s books lately. And I really like them. I like the way she puts her characters in real situations. And the way she has them think about God, the way they would have. Especially in historical times. She just makes these characters and plots jump off the page for me. And I love it!

This one features Mercy. Mercy’s life at the beginning of the book made me so sad. She lived in the slums of London. Death was no stranger to her. And her family was really messed up. The saddest thing was her sick sister at the factory. So when Mercy gets the chance to go to Victoria, Canada on a boat, she takes it. And makes her sister promise to be on the next ship. But…Mercy doesn’t realize that she’s on a bride ship. Each of the women is supposed to go and get married.

Joseph is the male lead. He’s a doctor and asked to go on the ship by the captain. He longs for adventure. And to have something. His whole family had died, leaving him alone. I liked the way he was kind to Mercy and the other girls like her. Many weren’t, including the pastor who went with them to be their chaperone. He was awful!

I loved the setting of this one. Victoria is one of my very favorite cities. And I was really excited to get to see a little of how it came to be. That part was one of my favorites. The author did such a great job with her settings, London, the ship and Victoria were all almost real to me.

I loved this story! Can’t wait to read more of this series.

I bought my own copy of A Reluctant Bride. All opinions are my own.

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About River: Where Faith and Consecration Converge

River: Where Faith and Consecration Converge

When the settlers from the Muddy River Mission, including the Davis Family, move to Long Valley in Utah, they establish the town of Orderville, the most successful and longest-lasting attempt at living the United Order. River is the story of these idealistic settlers who devoted themselves to living this order with “no rich or poor among them.” As they strive to live this order, however, Morgan, Angeline, Ruth, and the other settlers struggle to balance individual freedom with community cooperation.

On top of this challenge and the struggles of settling a new town, Morgan and his wives must face the increasing demands of living the principle of plural marriage as their family expands and anti-polygamy pressure from the U.S. Government becomes intense. How will the Davis family face these new pressures and challenges? They’re about to find out.

My review

You can’t go wrong when you pick up a historical fiction book by Dean Hughes! I knew when I read Muddy last year, that I’d need to read River this year. And I’m glad I did. This book is set in a really turbulent period of history for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. And it’s kind of important to me to learn more about it.

I love the characters in this book. They’re familiar and beloved from Muddy. Angeline, Morgan and Ruth. Now they live in Orderville and they’re helping establish a town of order. But…sometimes when things are so tightly regimented there are problems. And that’s the case with Orderville. Some things worked really well. And some things worked not so well. That’s when the community had to band together and figure out just what would work for them.

I’m not sure I would have wanted to live the way they do in this book. Polygamy would have been hard. The United Order where they shared everything would have been even harder. It’s really interesting to me to see how things would have been. I had ancestors in Orderville and they would have lived this way. I wonder how they did it. How they made everything work and were happy with their lot in life. That’s why historical fiction is so interesting to me. I like to know how people tick. If you have thoughts on this, leave me a comment, I’d love to hear what you think.

This is a great book! I loved it.

I bought my own copy of River: Where Faith and Consecration Converge. All opinions are my own.

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About Suits and Spark Plugs

Liv Phelps is a woman on a mission. 
Get a degree, stay independent, save her family, and start a new life far from the small town where she was raised. Love is nowhere on that list. However, the universe has a different idea of what Liv needs, and when dashing Blaine Harris enters the diner where she’s working, she decides to give him a chance.Blaine is world’s away from anyone she’s ever known, and introduces her to things she’s long dreamed about. But when he pushes her to get her beat-down car seen by the local mechanic, a wrench is throw into the works.

Connor Hunt, resident of her same small town, has been at the very top of Liv’s ‘do not disturb’ list ever since she had a front row seat to watching him create his terrible reputation. A magician with cars, he can’t stand to see a machine suffer. He comes up with a plan to fix her car in spite of her inability to pay. But could one simple “yes” throw her life into the type of tailspin that she’d always planned to avoid?

My review

Don’t you just love this cover! I think they did a great job with it. But the thing that really shines is the story inside. I loved it! Aspen Hadley knows how to write a fun book.

The reader gets to see this book through Liv’s eyes. She’s a 20 something going to college online in a super small town. She works at the local diner. I had to give a lot of credit to Liv. She’s doing her nursing program online to stay and help her mom and sister. Liv’s family is kind of messed up. And she feels like she’s needed where she is. Then there’s the nursing program. She’d far rather be doing her art. But she feels like she needs to be able to take care of herself. She’s quite a strong and independent young woman.

Blaine is the guy she’s dating in this book. But…he wasn’t my favorite. He didn’t really understand Liv. And he called her Olivia, something no one did. I think he would have driven me nuts. The one good thing about him was that he got Liv to have her car looked at before it killed her.

That’s where Conner comes in. Liv’s attitude about Conner was really judgmental, I liked that she wasn’t a perfect character. Because, let’s be honest, none of us are perfect. But Conner isn’t who she thinks he is. And that was a beautiful thing as they really got to know each other.

This is such a great book!

I was sent a copy of Suits and Spark Plugs as a gift from the publisher. All opinions are my own.

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About Taste of Memory

A baker, a pyrotechnician, and a truly magical romance.

Sweet contemporary romance with a hint of magic.

If only baker Keira Covington had an ounce of her family’s legendary magic. Desperate to prove she should inherit the Sweet Memories Café when her aunt retires, Keira is pretty sure that burning half the customers’ orders and mixing up the rest is a terrible recipe for a successful business. It doesn’t help when a handsome biker rides into town, distracting her from her work.

On his bucket-list vacation through New England, pyrotechnician Brant Whitbeck can’t seem to leave Hawthorne. Literally. The town won’t let him go. Not that he’s going to complain when it offers him a job, sweet treats, and a woman who makes sparks fly between them.

When Keira stumbles upon an ancestor’s special scone recipe and the unexpected starts to happen, someone double-crosses her and it has to be him. Will their burgeoning romance explode like a firecracker lit too soon or will the chemistry between them fizzle and fade?

My review

I loved the magic of this book by Maria Hoagland and Lorin Grace! The authors did such a great job with that element. This book is set around the holidays, from Halloween until around New Year’s. That was a lot of fun!

Keira is a baker. She works with her aunt Ginger in her diner. Hoping that eventually it will be hers. I loved the way she grows and finds her magic through this story. Her great-grandmother had some magic. So when she found her recipe for special scones, her magic grew. I really loved the idea of those scones that tasted different to everyone. The magic she found helped Brant and those around her.

Brant is a pyrotechnician getting the town of Hawthorne ready for their annual New Year’s Eve celebration. It was interesting to me how Brant didn’t have many memories of growing up. But as he ate Keira’s special scones, he remembered things. Making his life better.

I loved watching these two fall in love. Their story was sweet. And filled with so many special touches. I’m hoping for more in this series.

I was sent an e-copy of Taste of Memory as a gift from the author. All opinions are my own.

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