Matched and Married by Kathleen Fuller ~ 4⭐

Genre: Amish Romance ~ Releases: September 7, 2021

REVIEW: I just had a very different experience with an Amish book by Kathleen Fuller. It was Matched and Married. It was not really what I was expecting. It was still a worthwhile read in my opinion. 

The couple that is the center of the book is not really matched up that I could tell. Maggie told her mother she was going to her aunt’s town to find a husband to get her mother off her back. The man she meets there is Owen. They become fast friends as neither of them feels ready for marriage. 

The author uses a few of Deutch words. Not to many only a few that you can tell what they are by how they are used. I felt like they were an interruption to the flow of the story. I did enjoy hearing a bit about the Amish faith. I used to live in a community with a lot of Amish families. 

I felt the story was a bit slow moving. Since their lifestyle is slower than ours, I might image that could be the reason for the slow pace of the story. This is the second book in the series and I didn’t feel like much ground was covered in the telling of this part of the series. I am interested to go back and read the first book to see how it compares. 

I received a copy of this book from #Netgalley, #Zondervan and #FirstEditions for a fair and honest review. Thank you! 

SYNOPSIS: Neither Margaret nor Owen has any interest in getting married. But in the small Amish town of Birch Creek, where marriage is on everyone’s mind, their plans don’t stand a chance.

Margaret Yoder can’t seem to catch a break. Even though she’s dedicated to her Amish faith, her wild rumspringa won’t stay in the past, and her mother keeps pressuring her to get married. To placate her mother and get away from former “friends”, she decides to return to Birch Creek to visit family—and pretend to find a husband.

Like Margaret, Owen Bontrager isn’t looking for a spouse, something that’s hard to avoid in Birch Creek, where an ad for brides in the local paper has brought a swarm of single women to the thriving town. When he meets Margaret in an unexpected way, they discover they have more in common than they ever expected. In some ways, they are a perfect match.

Margaret struggles to keep her goal of avoiding romance in order to focus on being a faithful member of the Amish church, and it doesn’t help that she finds Owen intriguing. Knowing they don’t have a future together; she returns home and gives in to her mother’s insistence that she get married.

Can Margaret betray her feelings for Owen and become a dutiful daughter and wife to the man of her mother’s choosing? Or will Owen find a way to free Margaret of her past by giving her the future they both are surprised to find they desire?

The Second Mrs. Astor by Shana Abe’ ~ 3⭐⭐⭐

Genre: Historical Fiction ~ Releases August 31, 2021


The Second Mrs. Astor by Shana Abe’ was not what I was expecting for several reasons. I love historical fiction but, this book didn’t quite hit the mark for me. It was just ok and I found myself taking many breaks and not exactly excited to pick it back up again. 

I have to applaud the author for her diligent research. Because of the depth that she went, she encouraged me to look further into Madeleine’s remaining years. She died rather young. It was reported she died from heart failure at 46 years of age. She went on to have 2 failed marriages after her Jack. 

I found it quite tragic that her parents were supportive of her marriage to a man 29 years her senior. It all boiled down to money and status. She was ripped apart for her marriage and snubbed by high society. Her step son was a year and half older than her and despised her. It was not easy. Jack died during the sinking of the Titanic and left her pregnant, 5 million dollars and his home on Fifth Avenue. She could only keep it if she remained a widow. 

The book went between a letter Madeleine Astor was writing to her infant son and third person narration. There were times when the transition was not as smooth as it could have been. I love the letter and her honesty while writing it. 

I usually lose interest in biographies and maybe this one was closer to a biography than historical fiction. If you love biographies and historical fiction, you’ll love this book.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own. Thank you #Netgalley and #KensingtonBooks!

SYNOPSIS: Perfect for fans of Jennifer Chiaverini and Marie Benedict, this riveting novel takes you inside the scandalous courtship and catastrophic honeymoon aboard the Titanic of the most famous couple of their time—John Jacob Astor and Madeleine Force. Told in rich detail, this novel of sweeping historical fiction will stay with readers long after turning the last page.

Madeleine Talmage Force is just seventeen when she attracts the attention of John Jacob “Jack” Astor. Madeleine is beautiful, intelligent, and solidly upper-class, but the Astors are in a league apart. Jack’s mother was the Mrs. Astor, American royalty and New York’s most formidable socialite. Jack is dashing and industrious—a hero of the Spanish-American war, an inventor, and a canny businessman. Despite their twenty-nine-year age difference, and the scandal of Jack’s recent divorce, Madeleine falls headlong into love—and becomes the press’s favorite target.

On their extended honeymoon in Egypt, the newlyweds finally find a measure of peace from photographers and journalists. Madeleine feels truly alive for the first time—and is happily pregnant. The couple plans to return home in the spring of 1912, aboard an opulent new ocean liner. When the ship hits an iceberg close to midnight on April 14th, there is no immediate panic. The swift, state-of-the-art RMS Titanic seems unsinkable. As Jack helps Madeleine into a lifeboat, he assures her that he’ll see her soon in New York…

Four months later, at the Astors’ Fifth Avenue mansion, a widowed Madeleine gives birth to their son. In the wake of the disaster, the press has elevated her to the status of virtuous, tragic heroine. But Madeleine’s most important decision still lies ahead: whether to accept the role assigned to her, or carve out her own remarkable path…

The Heart of Splendid Lake by Amy Clipston ~ 5⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Genre: Small Town Contemporary Fiction ~ Releases: September 14, 2021

REVIEW: Love, love, loved this book! The Heart of Splendid Lake by Amy Clipston was just the kind of book I love to relax with and get swept away. This is a story of family and friends with a clean romance. 

I loved the characters and could identify with them in many ways. The mom lost her husband to a sudden death and then suffered her own health scare. The daughter had the weight of taking care of mom and the family business on her shoulders. My heart actually ached for them. I fell in love with the man who came along and helped with everything he could out of love. 

I love a book that gives me the warm fuzzies after I’ve read Psychological Thrillers and crime books. Those are some of my favorites but, I find I sometimes need to ease back on that kind of heart pounding fun and find a different kind of heart throb. 

The Heart of Splendid Lake had its share of problems to conquer in the story but Amy Clipston created characters that handled problems with grace, dignity and love. It reminds us in our often stressed out world how to be kind people. 

I recommend this book for someone that needs these reminders or just wants to relax with a good story. I devoured this book. 

I received a copy of this book from #Netgalley/#ThomasNelson for a fair and honest review. Thank you! 

SYNOPSIS: Bestselling author Amy Clipston transports readers to a picturesque lakeside town in this heartwarming contemporary romance.

Brianna is the youngest of the three Porter sisters and the only one who chose to stay in the small town of Splendid Lake, North Carolina. She followed in her father’s footsteps and became an expert boat mechanic, helping him run their small resort with cabin rentals, a convenience store, and a marina. 

When Brianna’s father unexpectedly dies, Brianna is steeped in grief and guilt—then left alone to clean up the mess. To make matters worse, a constant stream of real estate brokers begins marching through her property, offering to buy the family land. In particular, she keeps running into handsome real estate mogul Scott Gibson. 

As Brianna struggles to keep it all together, Scott finds his way into her heart. And as the two fight against their feelings, they just might find themselves forging a surprising and exciting new love at Splendid Lake.

The Gold in These Hills by Joanne Bischof ~ 5⭐

Genre:Contemporary Christian Fiction ~ Releases: August 31, 2021

REVIEW: I’m in awe! I just finished a beautiful book by Joanne Bischof called The Gold in These Hills. It is classified as Contemporary Christian Fiction. Please don’t let that scare you away. It is not in your face Christian. Joanne Bischof is a new author for me and as soon as I finished this book, I was looking to see what else she has written that I could read. She did a phenomenal job with this book. 

There were two timelines in this story that took place on the same piece of property. How awesome is that? The first timeline took place a hundred years ago when property was part of a ghost town. The modern timeline includes the house that was built for the town founder that still stands and was recently used as a museum. My only problem with the book was that I loved both timelines and since the each chapter went forward and backward, I found myself not wanting to leave the time period I was reading. I wanted more of each one!  

Bischof’s writing had a nice and easy flow. It was a piece of art. The characters were well developed and not one dimensional. I fell in love more than once with a character or two or four in this book. 

The Christian parts of the book only made you think of blessings and hardships and how all our lives go through them. It made you think a little bit.

I would highly recommend this book to my best friend. It was entertaining and thought provoking. If your looking for a read that will give you all the feels, this book is it. I’m looking forward to reading more from Bischof.

I received a copy of this book from #Netgalley/#FirstEditions/#ThomasNelson for a fair and honest review. Thank you! 

SYNOPSIS: One wild and mysterious ghost town. Two second-chance love stories. And the century-old legacy that binds them together. 

Upon arriving in Kenworthy, California, mail-order bride Juniper Cohen is met by the pounding of the gold mine, an untamable landscape, and her greatest surprise of all: the kind and loving man who awaits her. But when the mine proves empty of profit, and when Juniper’s husband, John, vanishes, Juniper is left to fend for herself and her young daughter in the dwindling boomtown that is now her home.

Juniper pens letters to her husband but fears she is waiting on a ghost. Perhaps worse, rumors abound claiming the man she loves could be an outlaw. Surviving in a ghost town requires trusting the kindness of a few remaining souls, including the one who can unlock the mystery of her husband’s disappearance—and Juniper’s survival depends not only upon these friends but also the strength of heart she must fight to maintain.

Present day. Trying to escape the heartache of his failed marriage, Johnny Sutherland throws himself into raising his children and restoring a hundred-year-old abandoned farmhouse in what was once known as Kenworthy, California, in the San Jacinto Mountains. While exploring its secrets he uncovers Juniper’s letters and is moved by the handwritten accounts that bear his name—and as a love story from the past touches his own world, Johnny might discover yet that hope and resilience go hand in hand.

With The Gold in These Hills, acclaimed and beloved author Joanne Bischof returns with an absorbing masterpiece of faith, perseverance, and love that changes the course of history.

Lost and Found by J.S. Ellis ~ 5⭐

Genre: Phycological Literary Fiction ~ Released: June 8, 2021


Lost and Found by J.S. Ellis is my first book by this author. I’ve been following her for quite a while and hadn’t taken the plunge yet. I’m certainly glad I did! She was looking for a few reviewers for the sequel to this book and I answered the call. She graciously provided the first book for my enjoyment and boy did I ever enjoy it. 

Her writing flows well. I was never lost and found the plot easy to follow. Some of her characters were likable and a few (ok… several) were sketchy. Even though the character were a lot younger than I am, they were written as adults and not immature teenagers. I wasn’t bored or uncomfortable reading the book. You know how it is when tons of slang are used and you don’t understand half of the book? That was not the case with this book and I feel like it will lend itself well to many age groups. 

The second book was sent to me at the same time so, I read the books back to back. I was so engrossed in the story. If you have a chance, I highly recommend picking up Lost and Found along with Hide and Seek. You will be in for a few days of exceptional entertainment.

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

SYNOPSIS: Despite being polar opposites, Phoebe and Adele’s friendship has stretched on for years. One a bubbly blonde, the other raven-haired and studious. They seem to have nothing in common, yet the bond between them is unbreakable.

Or so Phoebe thought. 

She never believed Adele would hide anything from her until she sees her sneaking off with her handsome neighbour. Feeling betrayed, Phoebe begins to see cracks in their friendship she never noticed before. 

Then, Adele vanishes. 

Fearing for Adele’s safety, Phoebe searches for clues about her disappearance. However, the deeper she digs, the more she realizes she didn’t know Adele as well as she thought. Yet as revelations come to light, one mystery remains. What happened to Adele? And how is her 

Hide and Seek by J.S. Ellis ~ 5⭐

Genre: Phycological Literary Fiction ~ Releases: August 24, 2021

REVIEW: Here we go! The sequel to Lost and Found. 

I don’t have a lot more to add to my review of Lost and Found. This may just be the shortest review I’ve ever written! Of course you know that this is a continuation of the story. It feels like this wraps up the story line and is the finale. 

If you read The first book you’ll want to read the second. I’ve based my rating on my enjoyment of the books and the writing style. I’ll be on the lookout for more from J.S. Ellis. Luckily, she has more books already published for us to read while we’re waiting for a new book. 

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

SYNOPSIS: Hope is waning with Phoebe no closer to finding her best friend, Adele. Her suspicions involving her neighbour, Alan, have been cleared, leaving her no other hunches to pursue.

Until the letter arrives.

A message, written in Adele’s hand, paints a picture of a side of her friend’s life Phoebe never knew. Renewed with optimism that she is still alive, Phoebe launches back into the investigation. Among the pages of Adele’s communications Phoebe finds evidence pointing to an unlikely suspect…

And yet another connection to Alan.

He seemed so concerned about the investigation, wanting to help in any way he could. Was the man next door a genuine ally? Or working to protect the real culprit?

Our Little Secret by Kiersten Modglin ~ 5⭐

Genre: Phycological Thriller ~ Releases: August 24, 2021

REVIEW: Whenever I get a new book by Kiersten Modglin, I’m excited. Our Little Secret wasn’t any different. I have to put it on my schedule because often I have deadlines to meet before I can read her new book. Do you have any idea how hard that is for me? It’s like eating a whole box of Cracker Jack to get to the prize at the bottom! 

This book grabbed me on the first page and was like a roller coaster. Everyone had a Secret but, who was going to pay the price? I went back and forth trying to figure out what everyone’s Secret was. The whiplash came as she was laying out who was responsible for what. The final OMG comes when you find out who pays the price. Do you feel the consequences of sins and lies goes on for centuries? I think they just might! 

If you have not read a Kiersten Modglin book yet and you love Psychological Suspense or Thrillers, take my advice and pick up Our Little Secret! She is phenomenal. I always know she’ll provide a great reading experience. 

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

SYNOPSIS: Bad things don’t happen in Cason Glen.
The locals make sure of it.

So, when the residents of the town’s most exclusive subdivision discover one of their own is missing, it sends a wave of panic and discord throughout the neighborhood.
They are supposed to be safe.
But they quickly realize not everything is as it once seemed in their idyllic world.
Slowly, the cracks have begun to show, revealing the dark and devious truth behind their home, their neighbors, and the lengths some people will go to protect their secrets.

Someone’s missing.
Someone’s dead.
Everyone’s lying.

In a town full of masterfully woven webs, these six friends are about to watch their world unravel. And, if they’re not careful, one of them might be the next to disappear…

When everyone you know is a liar, how do you decide whom to trust?

The Steal by C.W. Gortner and M.J. Rose ~ 4⭐

Genre: Romantic Suspense ~ Releases: August 10, 2021

REVIEW: What a fun book! The Steal by C.W. Gortner and M.J. Rose made me feel like I was in a 1950’s movie. The book was not very long which lent itself to a movie script feel. I had fun imaging all of this in my head. I have to tell you that I love old movies. This was a new book but it felt like a blast from the past! 

There was a jewelry heist right as the Cannes Film Festival was too begin. Ania was the beautiful daughter who took over the famous jewelry store. Jerome was the investigator from the insurance company. They work together to solve the theft. Do you see a romance happening?

I liked the characters. Ania was hard as diamonds and Jerome was a hard nose investigator who smokes. This book is so typical of an old movie but, that is what made it fun for me. 

The writing was spot on. The cadence and length of the book were well planned. If it was any longer, it would have reached the boring point. It didn’t! I think it ended just where it needed to. I was still having fun! 

If you like old movies or anything that takes place in the 50’s, you might like this book as much as I did. I think the authors had fun with The Steal too. I can just picture them working all the fun details out. 

I received a copy of this book from #Netgalley/#BlueBoxPress for a fair and honest review. Thank you! 

SYNOPSIS: They say diamonds are a girl’s best friend—until they’re stolen.

Ania Throne is devoted to her jewelry company. The daughter of one of the world’s most famous jewelers, she arrives in Cannes with a stunning new collection. But a shocking theft by the notorious thief known as the Leopard throws her into upheaval—and plunges her on an unexpected hunt that challenges everything she believes.

Jerome Curtis thinks he’s seen it all, especially when it comes to crime. Until he’s hired to investigate the loss of Ania Thorne’s collection, his every skill put to the test as he chases after a mysterious master-mind responsible for some of the costliest heists in history—and finds himself in a tangled web with a woman he really shouldn’t fall in love with.

From the fabled Carlton Hotel to the elegant boulevards of Paris, Ania and Jerome must race against time to catch a thief before the thief catches them. With everything on the line, can they solve the steal or will the steal take more than diamonds from them?

Set in the late 1950s, THE STEAL is a romantic caper by bestselling authors C.W. Gortner and M.J. Rose.

Ghosts by Dolly Alderton ~ 3⭐

Genre: Humorous Literary Fiction ~ Released: August 3, 2021

REVIEW: Ghosts by Dolly Alderton was my first experience with this author. For me the book was just okay. I was excited to read it because the blurb told me it was a wickedly funny laugh out loud romantic comedy. I didn’t find it any of those things. I think I chuckled once. 

There was nothing wrong with her writing. There were words and sayings I had to guess at because I’m not totally familiar with those used in the UK. Her characters were well developed and I liked the voice of the narrator. 

For me a lot of the book was sad and not necessarily funny. I admit I’m am of the older generation. I still have had experience with dating apps as I was widowed and I know younger folks who use them. I think some of those experiences could be fun and hilarious but, I just didn’t get that from this book. 

All in all, it was a decent story. It just was not what I expected. I’m sure this book would be better suited to the younger generation of young adults. 

I received a copy of this book from #Netgalley/#Knophpublishing for a fair and honest review. Thank you. 

SYNOPSIS: Nina Dean is not especially bothered that she’s single. She owns her own apartment, she’s about to publish her second book, she has a great relationship with her ex-boyfriend, and enough friends to keep her social calendar full and her hangovers plentiful. And when she downloads a dating app, she does the seemingly impossible: She meets a great guy on her first date. Max is handsome and built like a lumberjack; he has floppy blond hair and a stable job. But more surprising than anything else, Nina and Max have chemistry. Their conversations are witty and ironic, they both hate sports, they dance together like fools, they happily dig deep into the nuances of crappy music, and they create an entire universe of private jokes and chemical bliss.

But when Max ghosts her, Nina is forced to deal with everything she’s been trying so hard to ignore: her father’s Alzheimer’s is getting worse, and so is her mother’s denial of it; her editor hates her new book idea; and her best friend from childhood is icing her out. Funny, tender, and eminently, movingly relatable, Ghosts is a whip-smart tale of relationships and modern life.

Dark Roads by Chevy Stevens ~ 4⭐

Genre: Women’s Crime Fiction ~ Releases: August 3, 2021

REVIEW: My first book by Chevy Stevens was Dark Roads. It was an entertaining, thrilling and  enjoyable read. I have to admit when I first started reading the book, I thought Chevy Stevens was a man. I had to quit reading and check it out. Chevy is indeed a woman. Parts of the book felt like it was written by a man and some a woman. Now you’re wondering why that was important. I tend to lean toward women authors. Some men have a hard time getting into a woman’s head and it doesn’t come off well. Just my opinion. 

I enjoyed the book, the background story and the author’s imagining of what has been going on for years. There were several tense moments in the book when I was in a hurry to see how they survived. There were a few instances that seemed hard to believe the women could survive what they were going through or had the actual strength to pull them out of certain situations. That is my only reason for giving this book four stars. 

I would recommend Dark Roads to my best friend. I think it is a book that will sit well with both men and women. I’m looking forward to checking out more books from Chevy Stevens. Some of them look pretty good! If you like a story with survival skills, a few thrills along the way and trying to solve a mystery, you’re sure to love this book. 

I received a copy of this book from #StMartinsPress/#Netgalley for a fair and honest review. Thank you! 

SYNOPSIS: The Cold Creek Highway stretches close to five hundred miles through British Columbia’s rugged wilderness to the west coast. Isolated and vast, it has become a prime hunting ground for predators. For decades, young women traveling the road have gone missing. Motorists and hitchhikers, those passing through or living in one of the small towns scattered along the region, have fallen prey time and again. And no killer or abductor who has stalked the highway has ever been brought to justice.

Hailey McBride calls Cold Creek home. Her father taught her to respect nature, how to live and survive off the land, and to never travel the highway alone. Now he’s gone, leaving her a teenage orphan in the care of her aunt whose police officer husband uses his badge as a means to bully and control Hailey. Overwhelmed by grief and forbidden to work, socialize, or date, Hailey vanishes into the mountainous terrain, hoping everyone will believe she’s left town. Rumors spread that she was taken by the highway killer—who’s claimed another victim over the summer.

One year later, Beth Chevalier arrives in Cold Creek, where her sister Amber lived—and where she was murdered. Estranged from her parents and seeking closure, Beth takes a waitressing job at the local diner, just as Amber did, desperate to understand what happened to her and why. But Beth’s search for answers puts a target on her back—and threatens to reveal the truth behind Hailey’s disappearance…