Saturday, January 30, 2016

With This Ring - A Novella Collection of Proposals Gone Awry by Karen Witemeyer, Regina Jennings, Mary Connealy , & Melissa Jagears

While I love reading a full length novel, I thoroughly enjoy reading novellas. They are quick reads that can help tide a reader over until the next novel reaches their hands.

With This Ring?  is a collection of four stories by Karen Witemeyer, Regina Jennings, Mary Connealy, and Melissa Jagears. It is an enjoyable read by four wonderful authors.

"The Husband Maneuver" by Karen Witemeyer is a sweet story about Marietta Hawkins and Daniel Barrett. Marietta has loved Daniel for years and now finds he may be leaving her father's ranch. What will Marietta do to in order to get Daniel to propose? 

This was a sweet story that I would love to see a full length novel to carry on their story. 

"Her Dearly Unintended" by Regina Jennings is the story of Josiah Huckabee and Katie Ellen Watson. While assisting Katie Ellen in trying to get her cows safely across the river, Josiah hadn't anticipated being stranded with her. When a stranger appears, Josiah and Katie Ellen pretend they are newlyweds in order to protect Katie Ellen. Will their fake marriage turn into something real?

Another sweet story with misunderstandings and a happy ending.

"Runaway Bride" by Mary Connealy is the story of Carrie Halsey and Texas Ranger Big John Conroy. Carrie's father has planned an arranged marriage for her but Carrie's sister, Audra steps in and has Big John come to her rescue. 

There was a lot of tension in this novella and I found it quite enjoyable. I would love to see an expanded story though.

"Engaging the Competition" by Melissa Jagears. This is the story of school teacher Harrison Gray and tomboy Charlotte Andrews who goes by the name of Charlie. Charlie's father has died and her mother hasn't accepted he truth yet. A neighboring farm has been stealing her animals and her ranch hands. She decides she must marry one of their family in order to keep her home and help her mom to get over her father's death. She proposes to August Whitaker and he accepts. 

The pastor can see Charlie has only gotten engaged out of convenience and he asks Harrison to go check on Charlie at her ranch. This causes Harrison and Charlie to face their past together. Charlie had embarrassed Harrison in front of his friends and Harrison couldn't get past it. Now they have been given another chance, but it is too late? Can the feelings of the past take them into a future together? And what about August?

I loved the entire collection of novellas but I must admit my favorite was "Engaging the Competion". I fell in love with Harrison and Charlie and would love to see an extension of their story.

I would highly recommend this book of novellas to anyone who loves a good sweet read and who enjoys short reads.

I would like to thank Melissa Jagears and Bethany House for my copy of With This Ring. I received my copy for free in order to read it and give my honest review.

Smiles & Blessings,

Mermaid Moon by Colleen Coble

Anyone who knows me, is well aware of my love for Colleen Coble's books so when I had a chance to read her newest book I jumped at the chance. Her newest book, Mermaid Moon, is the second book in her "Sunset Cove" series.

Mermaid Moon is the story of Mallory Davis, a single mother who finds herself returning to her hometown after fifteen years of being away.  After receiving a mysterious call from her father, she contacts her old boyfriend, Game Warden Kevin O'Connor and asks him to go check on her father. Kevin finds her father dead and lets Mallory know, prompting her to return to her hometown. The question is, did her father die by accident, or was it murder?

Mallory wants to find out what really happened to her father against Kevin's suggestion that she leaves the investigation alone. Kevin, i part s trying to protect his heart from the pain Mallory inflicted upon it fifteen years before.

Ms. Coble takes the reader on an emotional ride filled with twists and turns keeping the reader on the edge of their seat throughout the book. Just when I thought I might have things figured out something happened and I would have to change my mind.

The one thing I really enjoy about Colleen Coble's books is her characterizations. Not only do the people appear very real, her setting is a character in itself. I found myself feeling like I was right there amidst the characters and by the time the book was over, I wished I didn't have to leave. This is definitely a book for my keeper shelf.

I would highly recommend Mermaid Moon to anyone who enjoys a clean story filled with non-stop suspense.

On a 5-Star scale = 5 Stars!!!!!

I would like to thank LitFuse Publicity and Thomas Nelson for my copy of Mermaid Moon. I received my copy for free in order to read it and give my honest review.

Smiles & Blessings,

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Thin Ice by Irene Hannon

I absolutely love books written by Irene Hannon, especially if it is a suspense novel. Her newest novel, Thin Ice, is the second novel in her "Men of Valor" series, following the first novel, Buried Secrets (read my review here).

From the back of the book:

If Ginny Reed is still alive-who is the woman buried in her grave?

After losing her parents and her sister, Christy Reed has been mired in grief. Now, life is finally starting to feel normal again-until an envelope addressed in her sister's handwriting arrives in the mail. And the note inside claims she is still alive. 

FBI Special Agent Lance McGregor, a former Delta Force operator, is assigned to reopen the case ... but he's coming up with more questions than answers. Is Christy a pawn in a twisted cat-and-mouse game - or the target of a sinister plot? As Lance digs deeper, one thing becomes clear; someone in the shadows has a deadly agenda.

I found Thin Ice to be a wonderful addition to Ms. Hannon's "Men of Valor" series. While it is book two, it can definitely read as a stand-alone book. 

I am a big fan of good characterization and that is one thing that has always drawn me to an Irene Hannon novel. While the story lines are always well woven, the characters are what make her stories come to life. Christy Reed and Lance McGregor could easily walk right off the written page but instead, they reach out and grab the reader, leading the reader into their world. Well done, Ms. Hannon.

I would highly recommend Thin Ice to anyone who enjoys a good clean romantic suspense novel. Ms. Hannon takes her readers on a suspense filled roller coaster ride that keeps the reader on the edge of their seat until the final page has been turned.

On a 5-Star Scale = 5 Stars!!!!!

I would like to thank Revell, a division of Baker Publishing for my copy of Thin Ice. I received my copy for free in order to read it and give my honest review.

Smiles & Blessings,

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Back in the Saddle by Ruth Logan Herne

The last book I read in 2015 was without a doubt the best contemporary novel I read last year. Ruth Logan Herne's book, Back in the Saddle, is the first book in her "Double S Ranch" series for Multnomah Books. It is a contemporary western, set in a small town in Washington state.

It is on a rare occasion when I pick up a book to read and the author's words paint such a beautiful picture I feel like I am watching a movie unfold before my eyes. That is exactly the experience I had when I read Back in the Saddle. I had a clear and vivid image of each of the characters and the ranch and town. It was a wonderful experience seeing the story as well as reading it.

This is the story of Colt Stafford. As the story begins, he has just left his career on Wall Street due to some stock market issues that have hurt him financially. He has come home to the family ranch in Gray's Glen, Washington to help out as his father is ill. As he enters the house, he encounters the ranch house manager, Angelina Morales. Angelina is a 'spitfire' that takes her job seriously and Colt finds himself at the other end of a gun questioning which of his father's gun it just might be and who is on the other end of it. 

Colt has personal issues he needs to deal with and a relationship he needs to mend with his father and brothers. Angelina has a secret she is hiding and only Sam, Colt's father, is aware of it until Colt starts snooping around. Can Colt get over the past hurts from his father and make amends or is it too late? Will Angelina let down the walls she has built around her heart to let Colt see who she really is? 

This is a story about forgiveness, trust and growing beyond the hurt and pain.  I thoroughly enjoyed watching the characters develop and open up to each other. I hated to say goodbye to them. I can hardly wait for the next book in the series.

Back in the Saddle is a sweet story that I would highly recommend to anyone who enjoys a good read. I absolutely loved this book and as I said at the beginning, it is without a doubt the best contemporary book I have read in 2015. Be sure to pick up a copy when it released on March 15, 2016.

On a 5-Star Scale - 5 HUGE Stars!!!!!

I would like to thank the author, Ruth Logan Herne, for my copy of Back in the Saddle. I received my copy for free in order to read it and give my honest review, which I have done.

Smiles & Blessings,