Autumn Skies by Denise Hunter ~ 5⭐

Genre: Christian Fiction, Romance ~ Release date: October 20, 2020

REVIEW: Warm Fuzzies! That is what Autumn Skies by Denise Hunter brought out in me… the warm fuzzies. Oh my goodness this was such a fulfilling book. It had a several great love stories, a twist that could have only been brought about by the good Lord and just that small hometown feel. I could go on and on. 

Grace is one of the inn keepers at Bluebell Inn along with her brother and sister. Wyatt is an extended stay guest. Maybe you can guess the general direction of this story. I’m not telling you much more than that. You’ll have to find out for yourself. I loved the characters. They were people you would want to know and spend some time with. They were easy to relate to. 

The good news? This is the last part of a three part series and it did really well as a stand alone book. The first two books were picked up by Hallmark and are now movies. We can only assume this one will also be a movie. You know what they say. Read the book first! 

I received a copy of this book from the publisher for a fair and honest review. 

SYNOPSIS: From the bestselling author of The Convenient Groom and A December Bride (now beloved Hallmark Original movies) comes the third and final novel in the Bluebell Inn series!

When a mysterious man turns up at Grace’s family-run inn, it’s instant attraction. But she’s already got a lot on her plate: running the Bluebell Inn, getting Blue Ridge Outfitters off the ground, and coping with a childhood event she’d thought was long past.

A gunshot wound has resurrected the past for secret service agent Wyatt Jennings, and a mandatory leave of absence lands him in Bluebell, North Carolina. There he must try and come to grips with the crisis that altered his life forever.

Grace needs experience for her new outfitters business, so when Wyatt needs a mountain guide, she’s more than happy to step up to the plate. As their journey progresses, Grace soon has an elusive Wyatt opening up, and Wyatt is unwittingly drawn to Grace’s fresh outlook and sense of humor.

There’s no doubt the two have formed a special bond, but will Wyatt’s secrets bring Grace’s world crashing down? Or will those secrets end up healing them both?

Howard Be Thy Name by JoAnn Stevelos ~ 5⭐

Genre: Historical Fiction ~ Release date: March 17, 2017

REVIEW: Heart-wrenching and Gut Twisting. I just finished Howard Be Thy Name by JoAnn Stevelos last night and I can’t get it out of my head. It is a book based on a true story  about the abuse of human beings in the Catholic church. It is not an easy book to read but it is one that screams to be read. 

I loved the history of the families and and their arrival and settling in Albany, New York. I loved the simple times which may have been harsher times to live without all of our modern conveniences. I was brought up in the Catholic church and was taught to look up to and honor the priests and other hierarchy of the church. It tears me up that they used their position to abuse women and young people. It makes me wonder why there wasn’t a man who would stand up and blow the whistle? It was covered up for years. 

I wasn’t going to give this book 5 stars but, I had to! JoAnn Stevelos did her job. She brought this very poignant story to light. This is a must read and is the first book of a trilogy. I know I will be compelled to read the rest of the story. 

SYNOPSIS: Alek and Evie Korli are getting divorced, as first generation Americans with four children their family life is difficult. However, the situation becomes more complicated when a newly ordained handsome priest, Howard Russo, moves into the neighborhood parish. Howard surprised by his feelings for Evie begins to lure her into an affair. Soon the unusual love triangle begins to unravel. Howard and Evie secretly move into together and her four children see up close Howard’s worst traits that drive him to unspeakable acts. Evie has a heartbreaking revelation about Howard that forces her to decide between him and her husband and children. When Evie’s secret is finally out none of their lives will ever be the same.

Howard Be Thy Name is a story rooted in finding reasons for the complicated ways we fail our children in spite of our best intentions and the desire to give them a better life. The story will leave reader utterly changed. It is an immigrant family saga filled with suspense, drama, and compassion.

Mom Boss by Hilary Grossman ~ 4⭐

Genre: Humorous Fiction ~ Release date: October 12, 2020

REVIEW: FUN! FUN! FUN! Mom Boss by Hilary Grossman was just that. I was totally entertained. This book is the third in the series. The first was Go On, Girl followed by Mom Genes and now Mom Boss. Mom Rules is slated to be released August 13, 2020. If your looking for something to take you out of your world, pick up these books and pre- order Mom Rules. You won’t be disappointed. 

I learned what can possibly happen at the PTA. Since I didn’t have children, I was never a member. I already know some women can be hard to work with and just plain disagreeable. These women are over the top. Maybe not!! This book explores women’s relationships in an enjoyable way. The good, the bad and the ugly. 

I received a copy of this book from the author for a fair and honest review. Thank you!

SYNOPSIS: Welcome to Forest River, New York, where perfection is a requirement. The Lululemon-clad moms are perfectly toned, expertly highlighted, and magnificently manicured. The women spend their days practicing Pilates, shopping for shoes, and doing everything in their power to ensure their children never experience a difficult day.

PTA president, Jackie Martin, is the envy off the mothers. She has a loyal and handsome husband, she hosts elaborate parties, and her eldest daughter, Hayley, is the most popular child in the fifth grade. Her life appears flawless, but is life ever what it seems to be?

After receiving a painful blow when Hayley was in kindergarten, Jackie clawed her way into PTA power. She lived her life by the adage, “Proper planning prevents poor performance.” Her attention to detail (okay fine – her control freak nature) served her well until she experiences the ultimate betrayal.

Angry and hurt, old emotional wounds are ripped open as Jackie realizes she doesn’t know who she can trust. Jackie must reevaluate her life, her friendships, and the choices she has made. Will she finally let her guard down and show the world the real Jackie Martin?

A hilarious and heartwarming novel that’s perfect for fans of Class Mom! Mom Boss is the standalone prequel to Go On, Girl and Mom Genes.

Stage Fright by Kate Lloyd ~ 4⭐

Genre: Fiction, Christian Fiction ~ Release date: August 5, 2020

REVIEW: Pleasantly surprised! I answered a request for reviewers for an author I haven’t had the pleasure of reading before. That can always be a toss up! This time turned out to be in my favor. I really liked the book and already plan to read more of her work. The book was Stage Fright by Kate Lloyd.

The story is about a church choir that goes to England for a singing tour. They put on concerts in various churches in the evenings. The trip is a week long and believe me there is a lot going on. The author brings the trip to life with her descriptions of the places they visit. You feel like you are on tour with them. 

The trip is seen through the eyes of Jessica. She is beautiful with a voice to match. She has a terrible case of stage fright and lets the talents of others outshine her. You get to know Jessica the most. There are other characters in the choir and on the tour that we get to know but not as deeply as her. 

The ending is a bit abrupt. I can understand it since they were headed home. I can also see a sequel and this story turned into a series. I recommend this book to anyone who loves music, traveling and a little romance thrown in. 

I received a copy of this book from the author for a fair and honest review. Thank you! 

SYNOPSIS: Jessica Nash loves to sing but is paralyzed every time she gets on stage. After blowing an excruciating audition, she wonders if she should give up on her dream. She’s already committed to a week-long choral tour of England with her church choir, though, and as a single mom with a limited income, this might be her only chance to travel.

The trip gets off to a rocky start when Jessica has to sit next to Martin, a once-famous British tenor whose career plummeted in a scandal, on the flight to London. Is it her imagination, or does he seem to aim his bitterness toward womankind specifically at her? And to make things worse, once they arrive Jessica discovers she has to room with the choir’s thorny lead soprano.

When Nick, their handsome tour guide, takes a special interest in showing Jessica the sights, things finally seem to be falling into place. She starts to relax and let herself be wooed against the backdrop of the charming English countryside. But is she ready to give him as much as he’s asking for?

Things aren’t as simple as they seem. Almost every person on the tour, it seems, is hiding a secret, and before her English holiday is over Jessica will find herself stretched and tested in every direction—including the soloist’s place center stage.

Show Me the Way by Ashley Farley ~ 5⭐

Genre: Fiction, Romance ~ Release date September 29, 2020

REVIEW: FABULOUS! Show Me the Way by Ashley Farley is book two in her new series Hope Springs. Dream Big, Stella was book one. I love book two as much as book one. Can I tell you I CAN’T WAIT for book three? I can’t imagine this series only being three books. 

I love the characters and I want to live with them in Hope Springs and work at the Inn. The employees at the inn have all become family. I’ve worked in a situation like that and I loved it. You can’t wait to go to work. 

If you didn’t read Think Big, Stella, you may want to. I think Show Me the Way would do well as a stand alone. The series is so good, I can’t imagine missing out on one word. So, you have some time to read both of these books before Mistletoe and Wedding Bells comes along. We don’t want to miss a Christmas wedding! Now, you know why I CAN’T WAIT for the last book. 

I received a copy of this book from the author for a fair and honest review. Thank you! I’ve been so blessed to read this series. 

SYNOPSIS: When two lost souls meet by chance, their worlds collide in an explosive tale of romance and suspense.

Presley Ingram has often wondered about her birth parents. Yet her 23andMe test kit remains unopened in her bedside table drawer. When she finds an address on a torn envelope in her adoption file upon her adoptive mother’s death, she makes an impulsive decision to travel to the mountains of Virginia in search of answers. In the charming town of Hope Springs, she discovers her dream job as event planner at the prestigious Inn at Hope Springs Farms and the potential for romance with a ruggedly handsome bartender. Presley has an uncanny knack for reading people. While she suspects Everett has a genuine heart, she’s convinced he’s hiding something from his previous life.

Everett Baldwin is on the run from his past. He’s hiding out under an assumed name and working as a bartender while his dreams of becoming a country music star slip away. When opportunity knocks, Everett is forced to face his demons in order to move on with his life. Secrets are revealed and chaos ensues. Will Everett be able to salvage his relationship with the woman of his dreams?

Don’t miss this intriguing second installment of the Hope Springs Series.

A Borrowed Life by Kerry Anne King ~ 5⭐

Genres: Women’s/ Contemporary Fiction ~ Release date Sept 22, 2020

REVIEW: TRIUMPHANT! A Borrowed Life by Kerry Anne King was engaging, emotional and triumphant. I totally loved this book. It’s about time I finally read a book by this author because checking my library, I have five books by her! This one was my first book by her that I’ve read and I don’t know what took me so long! 

Her characters were so well developed. Liz had to be the most difficult to write. She was a suffocated wife to a pastor and suddenly widowed. I could identify with her because I left home when I married and was suddenly widowed myself. I experienced the same feelings she did of having a life with endless possibilities and being a little paralyzed by it. I loved how the author developed her character along the way. Lance was another character that changed a lot during the story along with her daughter Abigail. Just like real life, it changes you.

If you love stories with a little religion, great characters with a love story to tell, you will want to pick up a copy of A Borrowed Life. I highly recommend it!

I received a copy of this book from the publisher and Netgalley for a fair and honest review. Thank you!

SYNOPSIS: From the Amazon Charts bestselling author of Whisper Me This comes an emotional and sharply witty novel about how life’s unexpected detours can ultimately bring you home.

For thirty years Liz has perfectly played the part of Mrs. Thomas Lightsey, exemplary pastor’s wife and mother. But maintaining appearances for the congregation and catering to her demanding husband takes a toll, and she’s lost herself in meeting the expectations of others. When Thomas suddenly dies, Liz feels shock, grief, and, to her surprise, the siren song of freedom. Dare she dream of a life to call her own?

Despite the resistance of her daughter, Abigail, to even the smallest changes, Liz lands a role at the community theater. Inspired by new friends and the character she plays, she explores life’s possibilities, including an unexpected—and steamy—relationship with her leading man.

Just when Liz thinks she might be winning, life hits her with an unthinkable shock. She’s pregnant at forty-nine. Torn between conflicting loyalties to her daughter, her lover, her unborn baby, and herself, can Liz find a way to rebuild her dream life one more time?

Tools of Engagement by Tessa Bailey ~ 4⭐

Genre: Romance Comedy ~ Release date September 22, 2020

REVIEW: That was FUN! Tools of Engagement by Tessa Bailey was laugh out loud funny. I don’t often giggle when I’m reading but, I couldn’t help it with this book. A word of caution, if you don’t like sex scenes, this book won’t be one for you. I think they were handled with care. They weren’t what I would call vulgar. This is after all a Rom-Com.

If you like to watch fixer uppers, design shows and whatnot, you will be drawn to this book like I was. Her characters were flawed and wonderful at the same time. I got a kick out of Wes. He called Bethany Baby and Darlin. His nod to being from Texas and living and working in Long Island, NY. Bethany is a messed up perfectionist. The two were partners in a TV flip show. There were lessons to be learned from her characters. It wasn’t all fun and games for them. 

This was the third book in a series and I didn’t realize it when I picked it up. There were a couple of spots I wondered if I missed something but, when I finished the book, I noticed it was part of a series. That explained everything. It didn’t really detract from the book. Read the whole series if you have time. I think it will be worth while. 

I received a copy of this book from the publisher for a fair and honest review. 

SYNOPSIS: In Tessa Bailey’s latest rom-com, two enemies team up to flip a house… and the sparks between them might burn the place down or ignite a passion that neither can ignore! 

Hair, makeup, clothing, decor… everything in Bethany Castle’s world is organized, planned, and styled to perfection. Which is why the homes she designs for her family’s real estate business are the most coveted in town. The only thing not perfect? Her track record with men. She’s on a dating hiatus and after helping her friends achieve theirdreams, Bethany finally has time to focus on her own: flip a house, from framework to furnishings, all by herself. Except her older brother runs the company and refuses to take her seriously.

When a television producer gets wind of the Castle sibling rivalry, they’re invited on Flip Off, a competition to see who can do the best renovation. Bethany wants bragging rights, but she needs a crew and the only member of her brother’s construction team willing to jump ship is Wes Daniels, the new guy in town. His Texas drawl and handsome face got under Bethany’s skin on day one, but the last thing she needs is some cocky young cowboy in her way.

As the race to renovate heats up, Wes and Bethany are forced into close quarters, trading barbs and biting banter as they remodel the ugliest house on the block. It’s a labor of love, hate, and everything in between, and soon sparks are flying. But Bethany’s perfectly structured life is one kiss away from going up in smoke and she knows falling for a guy like Wes would be 

Christmas Wishes by Tammy L Grace ~ 5⭐

Genre: Romance ~ Release date: October 8, 2020

REVIEW: I’M STILL LOVING THIS SERIES! Christmas Wishes by Tammy L Grace is the third book in the Soul Sisters at Cedar Mountain Lodge series. I love all of the books I’ve read by her so, I expected I would love this one too. I did! 

This book is about Jo. She was the oldest girl that Maddy adopted. Again this book starts 15 years after their first Christmas together. We learn about Jo’s journey in life and what kind of person she has become. I really like that the books are from the same time when they are at the Cedar Mountain Lodge together but, they have time to themselves and that is where each book becomes different. Plus, the times they have together is told from a different perspective. It is a great premise for a series.

I have fallen in love with each of the characters all over again as adults. Some of the characters from the town weave in and out of the books and you learn a little more of them along the way. If you like to read at least one Christmas story, why not try this series? It is so full of holiday spirit. 

I recieved a copy of this book from the author for a fair and honest review. Thank you Tammy. What an awesome opportunity! 

SYNOPSIS: Random circumstances brought them together. Love made them family.

With Jo O’Malley’s busy career as a lawyer in Chicago, she rarely gets home to Idaho, but this year is different. Her little sister is getting married on Christmas Eve and she has two whole weeks to spend in the snow-covered mountains, with the three foster sisters she loves and Maddie, the woman who made them a family fifteen years ago.

Things get off to a rough start when the wedding is canceled, but Maddie asks them to enjoy their holidays together at the festive lodge as planned, in order to console their sister. It’s straight forward enough until Jo, through a chance encounter with a gorgeous golden retriever, runs into Luke, a boy she knew from her early childhood when she spent all her time at the local library.

Jo’s not sure how to handle the unexpected attraction and her new feelings for Luke, who is all grown up now, handsome, and as kind as ever. He’s set on staying close to his family in Granite Ridge and she has a plane ticket back to her life in Chicago after the new year. Are the sparks between them merely due to the nostalgia of the season, or will Luke open Jo’s heart to the prospect of passion for something beyond her career?

If you’re a fan of small towns, heartwarming holiday stories, and second chances, along with a few furry friends, you’ll fall in love with Jo and her soul sisters in CHRISTMAS WISHES, Book 3 of Soul Sisters at Cedar Mountain Lodge, from USA Today bestselling author, Tammy L. Grace. 

Christmas Kisses by Judith Keim ~ 5⭐

Genre: Romance ~ Release date: October 1, 2020

REVIEW: I LOVE THIS SERIES! Christmas Kisses by Judith Keim is the second book of the Soul Sisters at Cedar Mountain Lodge series. It follows the free prequel Christmas Sisters. This story is from Hailey’s point of view. I’m just going to tell you right now, if you liked the prequel, you will love the series.

We follow each of the sisters that are in the prequel. The books start out fifteen years later so, we catch up with each of them as adults. I thought I was going to be disappointed not to see them all grow up with Maddy but, I’m not. I love that we get to know them again as grown women and see what having a loving home did for them. 

There is only one problem with this series! We have four more books and it ends. I’m hoping and praying that there will be a few more series as they age and have families of their own. They do have a family tradition to gather during the holidays…so maybe my Christmas wish will come true. 

I received a copy of this book from the author for a fair and honest review. Thank you so much for letting me in on the fun! 

SYNOPSIS: Random circumstances brought them together. Love made them family.

Hailey Kirby plans to spend a wonderful Christmas holiday at the Cedar Mountain Lodge with her family, celebrating her sister’s wedding as Maid of Honor. Things go awry when the wedding is called off. Hoping to comfort her sister, her mother and three sisters decide to go ahead with their winter vacation plans at the Lodge.

Hailey works in town as the children’s librarian, and under the pen name of Lee Merriweather is secretly the author and illustrator of picture books. Young children adore the stories of Charlie and his dog, Zeke, including Regan, the niece of Nick Hensley, a rock star musician who’s recently moved back to Granite Ridge. When he reaches out to the author to seek permission to write songs to go with the stories, Hailey is forced to confess who she is and the painful reason why she’s been hiding behind a pseudonym.

As Hailey and Nick put their creative minds together, they form a friendship that quickly grows to much more. Hailey learns to trust and discovers some chances in life are worth taking.

If you’re a fan of small towns, heartwarming holiday stories, and second chances, along with a few furry friends, you’ll fall in love with Hailey and her soul sisters in CHRISTMAS KISSES, Book 2 of Soul Sisters at Cedar Mountain Lodge, from bestselling author Judith Keim.

Don’t miss a Soul Sisters book – download them all today!

My Husband’s Secret by Kiersten Modglin ~ 5⭐

Genre: Psychological Suspense ~ Release dare: September 15, 2020

REVIEW:

Flabbergasted! Kiersten Modglin’s new novel My Husband’s Secret left me just that…FLABBERGASTED! I don’t know how she keeps cranking these books out. They are so unique and you never feel like you’ve read something like this before. She doesn’t have a formula. The only formula she has is to keep you guessing until she slaps you in the face at the end. You close the book and you wonder what hit you. It’s a simple as that. If you don’t believe me, try one of her books! 

A friend of mine who is also reviewing her book challenged me to message her when I was fifty percent done and tell her my guess on how it would end. Of course, I was wrong. I think I may have had ten percent correct. The book starts out with Luke’s funeral so, I knew he was going to die. That’s it. That’s the only thing I got right. What else would you think could happen to a guy who has a wife, a fiance’ and a girlfriend? 

Don’t worry. I’m not going to ruin it for you. You’re going to have to buy this book and figure it out for yourself. I’d say I was done reading Kiersten Modglin books but, I can’t. I’m anxiously waiting for the next one.

SYNOPSIS: On the day of Lucas Martin’s funeral, his wife, Naomi, learns he was hiding a devastating secret. 
One that may have cost him his life. 

When two strangers approach her, Naomi realizes they could be hiding important clues as to what actually happened the day her husband died. 

Was it an accident? Or something more sinister? 

Determined to learn the truth, Naomi initiates another meeting with the strangers, in hopes that she’ll uncover the missing puzzle piece from the mysterious last day of her husband’s life.

As more secrets and lies begin to become clear, Naomi and the strangers find out they’re in a much more tangled web than they could’ve ever imagined. If she can trust them, she may be able to find the answers she so desperately seeks. 

The only problem? Any one of them could be lying…just like Lucas was. 

The biggest question is: who?