Thursday, August 18, 2016

To Love A Stranger by Colleen Coble

  • Book Series: Wyoming Series Book 4
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson (July 5, 2016)
  • ISBN-10: 0529103451
  • ISBN-13: 978-0529103451



Bessie Randall is shocked to discover that, thanks to her sister’s meddling, she is married by proxy to Jasper Mendenhall, a man she’s never met. Believing she has no choice but to honor the marriage, Bessie travels from Boston to Jasper’s military quarters in Fort Bridger, Utah Territory.
Jasper Mendenhall is equally shocked when he meets his wife at the stagecoach and realizes she is not the beauty from the picture he holds. But Jasper has orders to move to Arizona Territory, and he has no choice but to take Bessie with him.
Bessie and Jasper’s mutual distrust is hard enough, but snakebites, Apache raids, and food shortages present even more challenges as they head to the Southwest. A story of quiet commitment despite the odds, To Love a Stranger explores how love can grow in the most difficult land.

To Love A Stranger by Colleen Coble is the fourth book in her Wyoming Series though it certainly can be read as a stand alone book. It also is a re-release with an absolutely gorgeous cover! 

It's a sweet, faith based romance that I thoroughly enjoyed reading.  The story moved smoothly at a steady pace; the characters were realistic and I found myself emotionally attached to them enough to be invested in the outcome of their drama. I also appreciated the morals and faith based portion of the story-line as well.  

All in all, To Love A Stranger is a wonderful historical romance novel that I truly enjoyed reading! 

4.5 Stars

Thank you to Thomas Nelson publishing and Netgalley for the gift of this book in exchange for an honest review. 

Monday, August 15, 2016

The Loyal Heart by Shelley Sheppard Gray

  • Publisher: Zondervan (July 12, 2016)
  • ISBN-10: 0310345391
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310345398


(From Amazon)

Robert Truax, former Second Lieutenant and Confederate officer in the Civil War, made a promise to his comrade Phillip Markham. If anything happened to Phillip, Robert would look after his beloved wife, Miranda. She was his life, his world, his everything. 
After the war, Robert is left to pick up the pieces and fulfill his pact. When he arrives at Miranda’s home in Galveston, Texas, things are worse than he imagined. Phillip’s name has been dragged through the mud, everyone in town believes him to be a traitor, and his widow is treated as an outcast. Even more disturbing is her emotional well-being. Miranda seems hopeless, lost, and so very alone.
Robert had thought his duty would be simple. He would help Miranda as quickly as possible in order to honor a promise. But the moment Robert laid eyes on her, his plans changed. He’s mesmerized by her beauty and yearns to help her in any way he can.
He makes it his duty to protect Miranda, turn her reputation around, and to find some way to help her smile again. But it doesn’t prove to be an easy task—Robert knows something about
Phillip that could shake Miranda to the core and alter her view of the man she thought she knew so well.

Lately I've been reading romance, romance and more romance novels which means I've certainly been enjoying reading this summer! :)

The Loyal Heart  by Shelley Sheppard Gray is historical, Christian fiction at it's best! The characters as well as the story pulled me in and wouldn't let me go. The pace of the story was steady with a few twists and turns that kept me on my toes. 

Overall, I found this novel to be captivating, engaging and a true pleasure to read!  I most definitely will be reading more of Ms. Gray's books in the future. 

4.5 Stars

Thank you to Zondervan  and Netgalley for the gift of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Family Tree by Susan Wiggs

  • Publisher: William Morrow
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062425439
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062425430

Release Date ~ August 9, 2016!

  • Synposis
  • (Amazon)

Annie Harlow knows how lucky she is. The producer of a popular television cooking show, she loves her handsome husband and the beautiful Los Angeles home they share. And now, she’s pregnant with their first child. But in an instant, her life is shattered. And when Annie awakes from a yearlong coma, she discovers that time isn’t the only thing she’s lost.
Grieving and wounded, Annie retreats to her old family home in Switchback, Vermont, a maple farm generations old. There, surrounded by her free-spirited brother, their divorced mother, and four young nieces and nephews, Annie slowly emerges into a world she left behind years ago: the town where she grew up, the people she knew before, the high-school boyfriend turned judge. And with the discovery of a cookbook her grandmother wrote in the distant past, Annie unearths an age-old mystery that might prove the salvation of the family farm.

I love the cover of Susan Wigg's new novel, Family Tree ~ it's gorgeous! Add in the great book blurb and the fact that it included several things I love (Fall, real maple syrup, baking/cooking) ... I simply couldn't resist this book.  

Family Tree has a great plot  with lovable characters and I found the underlying message of this story to be inspirational. The alternating chapters of "past" and "now" made the book a bit choppy for me but that didn't diminish my enjoyment of the book.  

Family Tree is an engaging and heartwarming story that I definitely enjoyed reading!   

3.5 Stars

Thank you to William Morrow publishing and Edelweiss for the gift of this book in exchange for an honest review. 

Friday, August 5, 2016

The Matchmakers of Minnow Bay: A Novel by Kelly Harms

  • Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books (August 9, 2016)
  • ISBN-10: 1250070619
  • ISBN-13: 978-1250070616

Release Date ~ August 9, 2016!


Lily Stewart has reached a crossroads in her life. Her painting career hasn't taken off, her best friend has changed beyond recognition, her relationship is a constant disappointment, and now she can't keep up with the rising cost of living in the city. With no one to turn to, Lily is forced to move from her beloved apartment, but while packing she comes across a piece of mail that had slipped to the back of her junk drawer: a letter detailing further action needed to finalize the annulment of a quickie Vegas wedding. From ten years ago!
Lily decides it's time to gather up the pieces of her life, and the first item on her list of things to fix is that annulment... but you can't just send a text ten years later reading, "Hey BTW we are still married." This is something that must be addressed in person, so Lily decides to track down her husband - the charming, enigmatic man she connected with all those years ago.
Ben Hutchinson left a high-profile dot-com lifestyle behind to return home to his family and the small lake town he loves, Minnow Bay. He's been living off the grid with the express purpose of making it hard to be found―so the last thing he expects is a wife he didn't know he had making her presence known.
By chance, Lily finds her way to the magical Minnow Bay Inn. There she will discover not just a place to lay her head, but new friends, new inspiration, and maybe even a new chance to fall in love.
Kelly Harms lights up the page in this story of the surprising beauty of past mistakes and the unexpected pleasures of correcting them.

I finished The Matchmakers of Minnow Bay in less than 24 hours as I found I just couldn't  put it down (except when life and family needed to be attended to).  I was a bit confused with the first chapter but upon further reading, my doubts fell away. As I read on I felt a rainbow of emotions ~ laughter, joy, happiness, sadness, indignation, worry ... just to name a few.  

The Matchmakers of Minnow Bay is a very well written story with characters that are deep, realistic and well meaning but humanly flawed (which made me love them so much more). The story-line just draws you in and won't let you go! I can honestly say that I not only read this book but experienced it each step of the way. I definitely was sad to have the story end. 

So yes, I absolutely enjoyed this book! I loved the story and found it heart-warming, endearing and inspirational. Ms. Harms is a new-to-me author but I am sure going to check out her other books.

5 Stars!

While I can't remember the person's name or blog, I wish to thank the blogger who posted about this book via Waiting on Wednesday weekly meme. I would not have found this novel if it hadn't been for you! 

I also would like to thank Thomas Dunne Books and Netgalley for the gift of this book in exchange for an honest review. 

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Sweet Tomorrows by Debbie Macomber {Rose Harbor series}

  • Series: Rose Harbor (Book 5)
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books 
  • ISBN-10: 0553391836
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553391831

Release Date ~ August 2, 2016!

(From Amazon)

Nine months ago, Mark Taylor abruptly left Cedar Cove on a perilous mission to right a wrong from his past. Though Mark finally confessed his love for her, innkeeper Jo Marie Rose is unsure if he’s ever coming back. The Rose Harbor Inn barely seems the same without Mark, but Jo Marie can’t bear to lose herself in grief once more. Determined to move forward, she begins dating again, and finds companionship when she takes on a boarder who is starting a new chapter herself.
Recovering from a twice-broken heart, Emily Gaffney, a young teacher, is staying at the inn while she looks for a home of her own. Having given up on marriage, Emily dreams of adopting children someday. She has her eye on one house in particular—with room for kids. Although Emily’s inquiries about the house are rudely rebuffed, her rocky start with the owner eventually blossoms into a friendship. But when the relationship verges on something more, Emily will have to rethink what she truly wants and the chances she’s willing to take.
The inn seems to be working its magic again—Emily opening herself up to love, Jo Marie moving on—until Jo Marie receives shocking news.
With Debbie Macomber’s trademark charm and wisdom, Sweet Tomorrows brings to a close the journeys of cherished characters who feel like old friends. Macomber has created an enchanting place in the Rose Harbor Inn that readers will never forget.

Sweet Tomorrow's by Debbie Macomber  - the fifth and final book in the Rose Harbor Series is a stunning conclusion to The Rose Harbor series. This book can be read as a stand alone book and if you enjoy it, please check out the whole series.     

While I loved reading this book, it was a bittersweet experience. I found it so hard to say goodbye to this series - it was almost like saying goodbye to a dear, sweet friend. 

Grab the tissues, Sweet Tomorrows and enjoy this wonderful conclusion to The Rose Harbor series by Debbie Macomber!

5 Stars

Thank you to Ballentine Books and Netgalley for the gift of this book in exchange for an honest review.  

Monday, August 1, 2016

365 Family Dinners and Devotions Cookbook by Kathleen Y'Barbo

  • Publisher: Barbour Books; Gld edition (August 1, 2016)
  • ISBN-10: 1630586110
  • ISBN-13: 978-1630586119

Releases Today!


This daily, family - faith and food-themed devotional is delightfully unique!  For every recipe (one for every day of the year), there is a family-friendly dinnertime devotional as well. Each reading is themed to appeal to your family--with topics like priorities, prayer, encouragement, love, and dozens more. 

Bonus material includes creative ideas and inspiration for getting the entire family around the dinner table each night of the week, plus a categorized recipe index will help you easily locate your family's favorite dishes. 

365 Family Dinners and Devotions Cookbook is truly a celebration of  family, faith and food! 

My first reaction upon reviewing the recipes in this book was, "Wow, there is something in here for everyone!"  The recipes range from appetizers to salads, main course dishes, side dishes and desserts. They are all simple, homey recipes that just invite you to sit down and enjoy them time and again. They are definitely recipes my family and I will enjoy!

The devotionals that accompany the recipes for each day of the year are well written, to the point and provide a wonderful opportunity for a family to share and explore God's love and plan for each of us. The devotional topics are family oriented and able to be discussed during dinner time. The initial reading of the daily devotional for all the family to hear takes less than five minutes. 

Another bonus are the family dinner time tips interlaced throughout this book. I found them to be practical, helpful and very informative!

This book is a wonderful resource for bringing faith, fun and meaning to the family dinner table. 365 Family Dinners and Devotions is wonderful gift for yourself and your family and would make a fantastic gift for others as well!

5 Stars

Thank you to Barbour Publishing and Netgalley for the gift of this book in exchange for an honest review.