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About A Tangled Ruse

A Tangled RuseAfter a failed abduction attempt, Lady Rachel is sent into hiding on her uncle’s estate near the sleepy village of Rockcliffe on the shores of Scotland. As she struggles to cope with the nightmares of her past, she unwittingly stumbles into even greater danger than she left behind. And this time, Shadow isn’t around to save her.

Luke Beckett, the Marquess of Downshire, was content running his stud farm in solitude, far from the scheming of the devious women of Society. That is, until his neighbor’s infuriatingly contrary niece rides into his life. Hiding behind the guise of a common horse trainer, he begins to form a peculiar friendship with Lady Rachel, without the constraints of his title. However, the longer the ruse continues, the more Luke realizes there is much more at stake than just their friendship.

With the looming threat of a French invasion, Luke and Rachel must work together to stop the tangled web of treachery before it is too late. When the truth is finally revealed, will they have the strength to trust each other with their hearts, or will the fear of rejection destroy their relationship before it has a chance to begin?

My review

This book grabbed my attention from the very first page. There is so much going on in it plot wise. There’s always a character in peril and I didn’t want to put it down! I finished it in one day. It was so great!

This one is about Lady Rachel, she was Eliza’s friend from Saving Shadow. I’m just realizing that if I say any more than that, I’m going to give away the plots of several of the other books. So, I’m going to give you an assignment. Go read all of the other books! I put links to them in my What to read next section. 

Anyway, Lady Rachel. I love her! She’s a bit of a bluestocking. In the Regency time period, that means that she likes to read and she does things that a lot of ladies would never do. Rachel wants to be an author, something most ladies would never imagine themselves doing. But due to circumstances beyond her control, she’s being sent to her uncle’s home in Scotland for her own protection. I love the way Rachel is not content to sit idly by doing things ladies should be doing, like embroidery. Rather she’s out riding astride on horses and trying to figure out what’s wrong with her cousin Emmett.

Then she meets Luke…er… John. This is part of what makes this book so fun! Neither Rachel or Luke admit to the other who they really are. Luke is a Marquess. But when he meets Rachel, she appears to be stealing his horse. And he decides not to tell her who he really is. As you can imagine this ends up getting him into tons of trouble with all kinds of people. But he’s actually a great guy, no matter how gruff and closed off he seems to be.

Luke is Eliza’s brother. That means that she plays a huge role in the plot later on. She’s probably one of my most favorite characters ever and this book only reinforces that! I love her cool head in peril.

The plot, as I said earlier is filled with danger and twists and turns that I didn’t see coming. I loved every minute of reading this one!

I was sent an e-copy of A Tangled Ruse as a gift from the author.

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About The Matchmaker’s Match

The Matchmaker's MatchEliza Woodhouse has everything a girl could want: a delightful little beachside flower shop, a loving family, and the best friend a girl could ask for. And while she suffers a chronic lack of romance in her own life, the bohemian beauty is a self-proclaimed matchmaker extraordinaire, as evidenced by her recent successes. Having found a fiancé for her sister and a boyfriend for her best friend, she is now taking her lovelorn new employee under her wing. Yes, life is working out quite nicely for Eliza. Until Parker Knightley walks back into her life.

After three years in Hong Kong, Parker is in town for his brother’s upcoming wedding to Eliza’s sister. They’ve all known each other their whole lives, and Eliza will never be anything but Little Liza Belle to her handsome childhood tormenter. So the fact that their siblings are getting married simply puts Parker one step closer to becoming the big brother he and Eliza have always joked about him being. But the more time they spend together, the more confused Eliza’s feelings become. Because she has come to the shocking realization that the role of brother is the last role she wants Parker to play in her life . . .

My review

I’m always happy when I get to read a new book by an author that I’ve read and enjoyed reading before! I really enjoyed the two books I’ve read by Brittany Larsen Pride and Politics and Sense and Second Chances. I liked The Matchmaker’s Match just as much! 

Eliza is a great character. I was really amazed by how much she tried to do for everyone around her. She takes care of her dad, because he has a bit of mental illness and she doesn’t want to leave him alone. Eliza works hard on her sister Caroline’s wedding, and she does the same planning for her best friends wedding. And she’s always giving people jobs in her flower shop. Even to the point of losing money instead of making it. She really has a big heart. The big thing with Eliza is that she doesn’t know when to stop taking care of everyone around her, and take care of herself instead.

Then there’s Parker. He’s the brother of Caroline’s husband. I liked him, but I didn’t feel like I “knew” him because the whole story is from Eliza’s point of view. One thing about Parker is that he never seems to feel as though Eliza is good enough. There seems to be a running list of what she does wrong from him. I really wish that I knew what he was thinking through some of this book. 

There are so many fun characters in this one. Hailey, Elton, Taylor, Nancy, Jami, Blake. I really want to know what happens to each and every one of them! 

I liked the beach town vibe this one has. It’s set in Orange County, California. There’s tons of outdoor ocean and beachy fun. It made me want to head to the beach, get out a chair and read by the ocean. 

This one is really a fun one! I can’t wait to read more by this author!

I was gifted a copy of this book by the publisher. All opinions are my own.

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About The Forgotten Road

the forgotten roadThe second novel in the bestselling trilogy from Richard Paul Evans about a man on an inspirational pilgrimage across Route 66 to find his way back to himself.

Chicago celebrity and successful pitchman Charles James is supposed to be dead. Everyone believes he was killed in a fiery plane crash. But thanks to a remarkable twist of fate, he’s very much alive and ready for a second chance at life—and love. Narrowly escaping death has brought Charles some clarity: the money, the fame, the fast cars—none of it was making him happy. The last time he was happy—truly happy—was when he was married to his ex-wife Monica, before their connection was destroyed by his ambition and greed.

Charles decides to embark on an epic quest: He will walk the entire length of Route 66, from Chicago to California, where he hopes to convince Monica to give him another shot. Along the way, Charles is immersed in the deep and rich history of one of America’s most iconic highways. But the greater journey he finds is the one he takes in his heart as he meets people along the road who will change his perspective on the world. But will his transformation be enough to earn redemption?

My review

I usually like to read Richard Paul Evans’ books. I don’t have any that I’ve bought, but I’ll borrow them from the library. It’s been almost exactly a year since I read the first book in this series, The Broken Road.

I kind of have mixed feelings on this one. This book seems a lot like this author’s The Walk Series. But the main character in this one isn’t nearly as likable. He seems a bit like a sleazy used car salesman. At least he does at the beginning of the book. By the end of this one, he’s growing on me a little bit. But I still can’t say that I like him.

In this book you see everything through the eyes of Charles James. He was supposed to be on a flight that ended up crashing and he spends a good chunk of his time at the beginning of the book trying to get out of his home town of Chicago without being seen or recognized by anyone. He figures since he’s supposed to be dead that it’s as good a time as any to disappear. And he really takes no thought for anyone besides himself. I was kind of appalled by the conceited way that he went to his own funeral. He went expecting it to be full of mourners that would go nuts when he went to the microphone and showed them all he had survived after all. What he found was about 6 other people. And at least some of those people didn’t like him anyway.

The plot of this one is fine. Like I said earlier, it really reminds me of The Walk series by that same author. I don’t think I’ll go out of my way to read the third book in this series. For me to want to read more, I’d have to care about the character enough to want to know what happens to him. And I’d have to think there would be something in the plot of the next one that’s really interesting. I don’t on either count.

I borrowed this book from my local library.

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What to read after The Forgotten Road

 

About Waiting for You

waiting for youUSA Today bestselling author Heather B. Moore welcomes you to Pine Valley! 

WAITING FOR YOU is Gwen & Seth’s story.

Gwen Robbins loves her job waitressing at the Pine Valley resort restaurant, and as a single woman, she has no trouble turning down any offers of dates from the restaurant patrons. Even when her boss, Seth Owens, shows interest in her, she’s not tempted in the least, no matter how strong their attraction. 

But when Seth helps her through a crisis, she begins to see him in a different light. He’s not the rich and privileged business owner she first makes him out to be, but a man who’s making huge sacrifices to follow his own dreams. As Seth encourages Gwen to mend her own divide with her family, she realizes her heart is slowly opening toward a better future.

My review

I always love reading books in a series. It’s so much fun to see how life turns out for characters that you’ve grown to know and love. Heather Moore’s Pine Valley novels are that way. I love that you can read them in any order and they’ll still make sense. And her characters are some of my very favorites.

Waiting for You  features Seth and Gwen. Gwen is pretty much an amazing woman. She was raised in a wealthy family. But when she realized how much suffering was in the world, she gave that life up. She traded her life of privilege for serving others, a small apartment, a car that doesn’t run always and a job as a waitress. Gwen inspires me with the way she’s always volunteering at the homeless shelter. She wants the best for those people. Including Fourth of July cupcakes.

That’s where Seth comes in. When Gwen’s cupcake order falls through, he’s quick to offer to help her bake them. Something I thought was really fun about Seth was that he is actually a man who went to a fancy cooking school. That’s something his wealthy parents are actually ashamed of. I loved watching as Seth and Gwen really learned about each other. And as they fell in love over good food and spending a lot of time together. 

This is such a fun series! Make sure you read them all!

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

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What to read after Waiting for You

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About Model Mormon: Fighting for Self-Worth on the Runway and as an Independent Woman

model mormonWhen sixteen-year-old Rosemary Card left Salt Lake to become a model, she had no idea what awaited her in New York City. As her career took her around the globe over the next two years, Rosie experienced the highs and lows of the fashion industry and learned firsthand the strength found in being true to yourself, listening to guidance from the Spirit, and discovering confidence as a single LDS woman. Now retired from modeling, Rosie shares her inspiring true story of how focusing on developing her mind and heart in the process of becoming more like Christ blessed her with opportunities and challenges she could never have imagined! 

My review

I love reading books about people that make up our world. I’ve followed Rosemary Card and her QNoor account on Instagram for a long time. Not only does she have a beautiful line of Temple dresses, she’s just an amazing person. She’s been a lot of places and has a lot of stories to tell. That’s one thing that makes this book work so well!

I loved the way she writes about her life. Her life has not been the standard Mormon girl life by any means. But it’s worked for her. It’s gotten her through hard times and to the amazing woman that she is now. I loved reading the things she’s learned through her own experiences as a model, as a missionary, as an LDS Church employee, entrepreneur and also as a single adult woman. She’s had so many experiences that she is able to not only tell you about, but use to teach you a lesson that you otherwise wouldn’t have known. 

I especially loved reading the part where she talked about wanting to hear more of woman’s voices during LDS General Conference. Not only did she talk about this issue on her social media, but she also took the time to write to our Church leaders about it. That shows an amount of courage that not many possess. There are so many things we can learn from women like Rosemary Card! 

I was sent this book as a gift by the publisher. All opinions are my own.

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What to read after Model Mormon

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Pretty Much PerfectAbout Pretty Much Perfect

pretty much perfectCamille Weston, a recently returned missionary, anticipates returning to college for her degree and perhaps to meet a nice guy. A sensible young woman with her future mapped out, Camille would never do something dangerous—like pick up a stranger on the side of the road. And yet, inexplicably, she does just that. This is one split-second decision that changes everything.

Determined to lend assistance, Camille gets more than she bargains for when she is roped into helping Liam, a handsome British man, with more than just a ride. As they are thrown together over the coming days and their mutual attraction grows, they realize they just…click. That is, until she makes a shocking discovery: the mysterious stranger is William “Liam” Jones, lead singer of the popular band Gear. Camille has never been one to swoon over a celebrity, and she knows her and Liam’s lifestyles could never be compatible. But how can she convince her heart to listen to logic?

My review

I’ve read Sally Johnson’s books before and really liked them, so I was really excited to get to read Pretty Much Perfect. And don’t you just love that cover?!

This book starts off in such a great way, with Camille finding Liam on the side of the road half dressed. It made me want to keep reading until I figured out why he was on the side of the road in that state. And the reader doesn’t figure that out for a really long time. That makes this book so much fun!

I loved Camille. She’s just a down to earth girl, recently returned from her mission. Camille’s wanting to be a person who sets up fund-raisers for others. I loved the way she’s always trying to help someone else. She’s just a great girl. And that’s a good thing, because she’s the sole point of view of this book. I love the way the author did that with this particular book. It makes the plot a lot more fun, because, like Camille, the reader doesn’t realize who Liam is. And that was a lot of fun!

I liked Liam too! The way he was willing to respect Camille and all of the things she wasn’t willing to do, makes the reader realize that he is a good guy. I realized that way before Camille did, but then again, I had figured out a little more about him than she had too. 

It was fun to have Sophia from The Skeleton in My Closet Wears a Wedding Dress and Worth Waiting For make a small appearance in this one! I love getting a glimpse into the future lives of the characters I’ve grown to love in other books. 

This one has a fun plot. Camille never imagines all of the things that are going to happen to her before she meets Liam, but that’s all part of the fun of this one. Dating a superstar is never “normal.” There’s always going to be a little craziness. And it’s just a matter of whether Camille wants to deal with the craziness or not. What would you do?

Anyway…for me this book was “Pretty Much Perfect.” I know that’s a bit cliche, but wow, I really loved it!

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

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Kiss of the Spindle

About Kiss of the Spindle

kiss of the spindleA steampunk Sleeping Beauty story from the author of Beauty and the Clockwork Beast.

Doctor Isla Cooper is cursed. Literally. Each night, at the stroke of midnight she falls into a death-like sleep from which she cannot be awakened for six hours. To make it worse, the curse has an expiration date–after a year, it becomes permanent. And the year is almost up.

In a desperate attempt to find Malette—the witch who cursed her—Isla blackmails her way onto Daniel Pickett’s private airship bound for the Caribbean, only to discover she’s traveling with three illegal shapeshifters and the despicable Nigel Crowe, a government official determined to hunt down and exterminate every shapeshifter in England. Isla and Daniel must work together to keep the identities of the shapeshifters hidden while coming to terms with their own hidden secrets, and their blossoming attraction to each other.

Filled with suspense, intrigue, and plenty of romance, Kiss of the Spindle is steampunk Sleeping Beauty story. It is a race against the clock as Isla and Daniel try to hunt down the elusive Malette before Isla’s death-like sleep becomes permanent.

My review

I read Beauty and the Clockwork Beast  a couple of years ago and I LOVED it! When I saw that Nancy Campbell Allen had a new Steampunk romance coming out, I was so excited! This book is amazing! I might have to say that it’s my favorite I’ve read this year so far, and I almost never pick favorites!

Kiss of the Spindle  introduces us to Isla. I loved her character. She’s spunky and pretty much does whatever she wants, whether it’s smart or not. Plus she knows how to use all sorts of weapons, they come in handy in her job as a Doctor of Shifter Therapy and Human Relations. That’s a big title, but basically she’s a bounty hunter searching for those shifters, werewolves, that attack humans and leave a mess. Isla has a small problem though, she falls asleep at midnight and is literally as if she is dead until 6 am. That messes with her job. And her friend is concerned that after a year of that, she’ll sleep all the time, never to wake again. 

That’s where Daniel Pickett comes in. He owns Pickett Airships and Isla must take an airplane to Port Lucy to see if she can find the witch who cast a spell on her and get it reversed. I loved the way she used all of her resources to blackmail him into taking her on his private airship. But he’s no fool. He knows that there is something she needs and he won’t stop trying to figure it out. I loved the way he cares for her when he realizes her problem. He stays by her side as she sleeps to protect her. 

There is plenty of danger and action in this book! I loved all of the characters, even the shifters. I loved the way the author includes little nods to Disney’s Sleeping Beauty cartoon. Those were so much fun to watch for!

I really loved the whole book. Like I said before Kiss of the Spindle is currently my favorite book from this year! Make sure to get your own copy and see how much fun Steampunk romance can be!

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

Purchase links

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About the author

Nancy Campbell Allen (N.C. Allen) is the author of twelve published novels, which span genres from contemporary romantic suspense to historical fiction. In 2005 , her work won the Utah Best of State award. She has presented at numerous writing conferences and events since her first book was released in 1999. Nancy received a BS in Elementary Education from Weber State University. She loves to read, write, travel and research, and enjoys spending time laughing with family and friends. She is married and the mother of three children.

What to read next

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Just a quick note before we get to today’s book review, with tomorrow being the 4th of July, I’m going to take the day off to spend time with my family. Have an amazing day!

About Unforgettable

unforgettableAs teenagers, Celia and Manny planned their future together in the branches of a mango tree. Soon afterward, Manny leaves Fogo Island for college, expecting to marry Celia and take her to America once he graduates. However, during Manny’s schooling, the volcano near Celia’s village erupts, burying her home. 

They lose contact with each other, and Celia comes to believe that Manny has fallen in love with someone else. When their lives intersect again, too much has changed for their plans to ever become a reality, yet the promises they made and the desires of their hearts persist, becoming unforgettable.

My review

I loved the whole vibe of Unforgettable. Celia and Manny grow up on Fogo Island. It’s just a really laid back and beachy type of place. So everyone knows everyone. That’s good and it’s bad. Sometimes it means that people are kinder and sometimes it means that everyone knows too much about everyone else.

Anyway…the book starts out with a volcanic eruption on Fogo Island that displaces everyone. Including Celia and her mom. Manny is going to college elsewhere. The eruption causes Celia and Manny to lose each other. And Celia marries someone else before he can find her again. 

I liked that Manny was willing to go to great lengths to find Celia. Even after he realized she was married to someone else, he cared about her and wanted to help her. Manny is just the ultimate responsible person. He goes out of his way to get his mom and sister to America, even though he had a job he loved where he was. His sister puts Manny and his mom through some crazy things. I liked how he never gave up.

Then there’s Celia. She’s courageous. Her mom goes a little crazy during the volcano eruption. But Celia just keeps going. She works to keep her mom out of the path of the volcano in any way she can. Then when she’s dealing with her abusive husband, she figures out a way out. And by that time she’s in a foreign country. 

Unforgettable has a great story. There’s danger, adventure, and just real life as well. I liked the way I never knew what was coming next. And the ending was really well done!

I was sent an e-copy of Unforgettable in exchange for an honest review.

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What to read after Unforgettable

 

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Price of JadeAbout The Price of Jade

the price of jadeWith its lush rainforests and awe-inspiring ruins, Guatemala has always played a central role in Matt Miller’s life. The stunning land where he once served as a missionary is now a vital part of his importing business, and after years of anticipating a trip tot he exotic country with his wife, Cathy, and teenage daughter, Melissa, it’s finally happening. But what begins as a dream vacation soon spirals out of control as the Millers face every parent’s worst nightmare: their daughter has disappeared without a trace.

Every second counts as Matt and Cathy throw themselves into the most urgent search of their lives—a search that becomes frantic when a ransom note arrives. As Matt traverses dense jungle and remote villages, relying on the help of an unlikely band of Good Samaritans, it is clear that Melissa’s kidnapping was far from random. There is a network of greed and deceit that runs deep, and no one can be trusted. Desperate to protect his family, each step leads Matt closer to a ruthless killer. And what he discovers points to a greater deception than he could have imagined…

My review

This was one of those books that sucked me in from the very beginning. I didn’t want to stop reading for anything until I figured out what happened to Matt, Cathy and Melissa!

I enjoyed the whole premise of the plot in this one. Cathy and Matt are going on a vacation with their 17 year old daughter Melissa to see the Book of Mormon lands in Guatemala. But Matt is kind of a work-a-holic and ends up not being able to leave when Melissa and Cathy do. Little does he know, that Melissa will be kidnapped the very first day of the tour, leaving Cathy frantic and unsure of what to do. I really related to this part of the plot. Mainly because I have my own 17 year old daughter and I know that I would be going crazy if she was taken by someone and I had no idea where she was or who had her.

I loved that there were many layers of intrigue in this one. There was the obvious, Carlos, the boy who was with Melissa when she leaves. But that’s really only the tip of the iceberg in this one. There is one person involved that you don’t find out until nearly the very end of the book when it’s almost too late. Plus all of the people in the middle.

You see this book from so many points of view. Cathy, Melissa and Matt, of course. But there’s also Raul, the tour guard, several of the men on the tour who go out of their way to help, some of the kidnappers, others who are trying to help and the main bad guy. Seeing what’s happening from so many points of view is a big benefit to the reader. The reader can make their own conclusions and guesses and know what’s happening before the characters do.

I loved this suspenseful book! And I hope this author has more books coming!

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

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About Princess and the Pea

the princess and the peaWhen Princess Kyra’s coach is overturned by bandits, she is forced to flee for her very life during a raging storm. Thankfully, Kyra discovers a castle and is hopeful that the kingdom might give her the shelter she desperately seeks. However, as she approaches, a guard arrives with the matching horse from her carriage, Kyra is frightened all over again and cautiously presents herself as a commoner named Marie. 

The queen is not convinced Marie is merely a commoner and commands her son, Prince David, to entertain and woo the girl until the truth comes out. There is intrigue afoot in the kingdom, and the queen is bound and determined to see if this mysterious girl had anything to do with it. 

With Prince David gleaning the truth, what could go wrong? No one could have expected him to fall for the bedraggled princess, least of all Kyra! 

My review

I love the way Jenni James writes her books! She writes fairy tales that are just so much fun to read! It’s fun that she stays true to the original fairy tale, but also adds in her own little twist to the book to make it even better. And she adds just the right amount of romance as well!

Princess and the Pea starts with our heroine escaping from robbers overturning her carriage. She’s unsure what to do, but ends up in a city unsure of who she can trust. It’s not surprising that she doesn’t tell the Queen and Prince of the city her true name so as not to be in any extra danger. But makes things a little sticky when she accidentally falls in love with Prince David.

I liked Kyra. She’s a princess who is quick to think on her feet. Her quick thinking saves her several times. I also liked the way she was able to have fun, even while doing menial chores. She’s almost always cheerful and fun loving.

I also liked Prince David. He was there when Kyra needed him the most. And he was willing to work hard and sacrifice comforts to fix things for her. The sweet romance between Kyra and David was perfect in this book.

I loved everything about this book! Can’t wait to read more of these fairy tale retellings like Princess and the Pea by this author!

I borrowed Princess and the Pea from my local library.

Purchase link

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