Monday, November 13, 2017

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? #272

Hosted by: The Book Date

Here is what I finished three weeks:
Three amazing novels! Two series endings and one series beginning!

What I am currently reading:
I have a lull in review books so I dived into this book I've been dying to read! It's so good!

What I hope to read this week:
If I don't get any new review books I think this will be the next book from my TBR I'll be reading!

Hope you have a great reading week, thanks for taking the time to check out mine!
Leave your link below and I'll be sure to stop by!

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Vanishing Point by Lisa Harris

About the Book
During Garrett Addison's first week on the job as a criminal investigator for the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, his team is called out to a murder scene of a young girl. She's the third victim in a string of disappearances with one thing in common--a Polaroid photo of each victim left behind at the crime scene.
The FBI is pulled into the case to help, and Garrett finds himself working with Special Agent Jordan Lambert, the woman he once loved. When yet another girl dies--number six--Garrett blames himself and believes he doesn't have what it takes to be an agent. What he'll discover is that, while he may be done with the killer, the killer is not done with him--or Jordan.

Bestselling and award-winning author Lisa Harris unveils an unforgettable story of a case that has haunted the public and law enforcement for more than a decade. Fans of the Nikki Boyd Files will thrill to finally discover what actually happened to Nikki's sister, Sarah. New readers will become instant fans after devouring this chilling tale.

My Thoughts
This book was amazing and I couldn't devour it fast enough and was picking it up every spare second. Despite a non-stop schedule I had this book finished in around 24 hours and it kept me up way later than I intend even though I was exhausted. I loved the three Nikki Boyd novels and the story of the Angel Abducter and what had happened to Sarah had intrigued me immensely. I loved getting to see the case from almost the beginning and even though I knew they wouldn't solve it for many years I was still on the edge of my seat as they chased down leads and raced against the clock. We got some answers in the previous books but with this one we got details in more of a first hand manner and we finally got the whole story with an ending. The story is spread out over the course of more than a decade picking up each time a girl was abducted and leaving off when the case began to grow cold. Initially I wouldn't expect that kind of writing to work but it did and it all flowed brilliantly. It never felt chopped up and it ended and began at the right times.
I really liked both Garrett and Jordan's characters. Garrett had his priorities straight and didn't let money change his values. Instead choosing the hard path that allowed him to actually do good in the world. He was that guy always quietly doing what needed to be done, seeing even unspoken needs, and never wanting any recognition for it. Jordan was extremely smart and hard-working, doing whatever necessary to get a job done. She was very focused on her job but she still had a close relationship with her family that I admired. They had once been in a serious relationship until the FBI called Jordan away and they slowly lost touch. The Angel Abducter case brought them together again but with Jordan living in another state they didn't really get the chance for anything to fully develop between them. But there were definitely moments and it was obvious to everyone around them that they were meant for each other. Unfortunately life and their own stubborness kept pulling them apart. And normally that would drive me a little crazy but the way the author did it made it make sense and it didn't even really bother me.
In short this book was fantastic, wonderfully written, and I absolutely loved it! This is technically Nikki Boyd #4 and I loved reading it after the first one but it also could be read stand-alone or even before the others. But that would take away some of the mystery from those stories. But regardless of what order you choose I just recommend that you go get your hands on them!

Meet the Author
Bestselling author LISA HARRIS is a Christy Award finalist for Blood Ransom and Vendetta, Christy Award winner for Dangerous Passage, and the winner of the Best Inspirational Suspense Novel for 2011 (Blood Covenant) and 2015 (Vendetta) from Romantic Times. She has over thirty novels and novella collections in print. She and her family have spent almost fourteen years working as missionaries in Africa where she runs a small non-profit organization that works alongside their church-planting ministry. The ECHO Project promotes Education, Compassion, Health, and Opportunity and is a way to "speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves...the poor and helpless, and see that they get justice." (Proverbs 31:8)

When she's not working she loves hanging out with her family, cooking different ethnic dishes, photography, and heading into the African bush on safari. For more information about her books and life in Africa visit her website at www.lisaharriswrites.com

I received this book free from the publisher in exchange for my review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Friday, October 27, 2017

CFRR 2017 aka The Best Day Ever

**I know this post is beyond late but life has been a bit busy! I almost had it all written less than a month afterwards but somehow it didn't save and I lost all but the first few paragraphs (which if you read this whole thing you'll see was a lot to lose). That was a huge discouragement and I just couldn't find the desire to do it all again. Insert a crazy amount of activities, forgetfulness, and whatever other excuses you can find and you'll have my reasons as to why this post is going up almost 4 months after the fact. But the fact that I still remember everything in such detail is a testament to just how awesome this event was! 
Last year I heard of this wonderful new event called the Christian Fiction Readers Retreat (CFRR). A
one day event for readers and writers of Christian fiction to spend together. It sounded too good to be true but since it was mid-week I knew getting the time off of work would be difficult and my finances weren't the best so I had to skip it. Afterwards I saw everyone's posts about it and it looked like an absolute blast. I knew I had do whatever it took to make it this year so when sign-ups opened up I jumped on it and reserved my spot. I was over the moon excited, the only grey cloud was that I wished my sister (and book bestie) Becky, was joining me, but we didn't think her schedule would allow it.
Months later, after the event was fully booked, she started a plan to come visit from TX and it ended up that she would be here the days I was at the retreat. Then a miracle happened, and four spots opened back up due to cancellations. I immediately sent her a text to call me. We talked, and after working out a few things with her schedule, she booked her spot. Now I was even more excited and the countdown began in earnest.
On Thursday night (at an ungodly hour) I picked Becky up from the airport and we crashed at our parents for the night. We didn't get a whole lot of sleep due to our excited gushing into the wee hours of the morning. We drug our sleep deprived selves out of bed then rooted around the basement for the books she'd had to store there, ran to a couple places that sold books, loaded up on McD's Sweet Tea (our road trip staple) turned the country music up loud (our road trip tradition) and set off on the 5ish hour trip to Cincinnati. The drive was pretty simple and we made good time.
After checking in we wandered around a bit trying to locate the elevator (we were a bit oblivious-lol). The kind Naomi Miller showed us to the one closest to our rooms and while she was giving us directions someone approached us. I thought she looked like Jen Turano but since she wasn't supposed to be there I dismissed it. However as she got closer she looked at me and said something to the effect of "I know who you are!" It WAS Jen Turano and she actually recognized me!! I think I was a little speechless-lol! She hugged me and we chatted a bit! And the whole actual day of CFRR she kept telling people how she named a secondary character in her A Class of Their Own series. Needless to say I was riding pretty high that night!
We played part of a round of Pandemic, grabbed dinner at Smashburger, finished our game, played Phase 10, then watched several episodes of House Hunters, mocking the people buying house. We headed to bed at that point but the excitement of what awaited the next day made getting to sleep a little difficult!
We got up a little after 7 and got ready to go. I was so hyped up that caffeine would have just been redundant! As soon as we were presentable, we gathered our books (to get signed), and headed down to registration. We joined the already long line and while waiting Melissa Tagg walked by, recognized me and actually stopped to give me a hug! After a few minutes of standing quietly I stepped out of my introvert self and said something to the lady in line behind us. It turned out to be the awesome Charity and we had a blast talking
while we were waiting our turns to register. After getting through the line (and getting our jam-packed swag bags) Becky and I found some seats in the middle of the room and started our fangirling as we spotted favorite authors around the room. We also took a quick look through our bags! Debby Giusti talked to us briefly and took a nice pic of us. Then a few minutes later Kristi Ann Hunter (we are both obsessed with her books) came up to where we were sitting and we got to say hi and she gave us her "Good Little Reader" stickers she was giving everyone who had read her books.
Things started to get moving at that point and Annie (one of the Stewards of the event) told us to find the candle in our swag bag and move into groups based on the title of your candle. Thankfully Becky and I had the same one, Currently Reading, and we gathered our stuff to move to the other side of the room. Somehow we ended up with front row seats and Pepper Basham was sitting next to me and Katie Ganshert was next to Becky!
Annie, Bonnie, and Carrie gave the official welcome, Debby Giusti led us in prayer and then the talented Nicole Coley led us all in worship. The perfect way to kick off this event!
Cynthia Ruchti was our first speaker and she had us all in stitches with her tale about the man she sat next to on the plane and the outlandish life story he had to tell. When she was done we played some games where authors from each group competed for team points. Some of them were a wee bit competitive and it was hysterical to watch. Speaker session two was supposed to be Becky Wade and Dani Pettrey but Dani couldn't make it due to health issues. She did FaceTime for a few minutes though and Becky did a great job! They had made a video diary of
sorts over the last year as they both worked on novels to give us a glimpse of the writing process from the beginning idea to finally having the finished copy in hand. They got us involved too by giving everyone a paper and each row a bag of M&M's. For each category, the color of M&M you got matched to one of the options given on the screen. I ended up with: Genre-Speculative, Setting-The Make-believe Land of Holly Brooke, Heroine's Profession-Innkeeper, Hero's Profession-Cowboy. From there we had to figure out what would bring the characters together and what each of their story goals were. And then we wrote a rough draft first sentence and lastly a rewrite of it! I'm no writer but it was still really fun and a clever way to get everyone engaged!
Immediately following that we went right into the first of the author panels. There were two consecutive panels both on the subject of  "Subtle Faith and the Change in Christian Fiction". Becky and I choose to attend the second one which was moderated by Pepper Basham. The authors on this panel were, Elaine Marie Cooper, Kristi Ann Hunter, Meghan M. Gorecki, Rachel McMillan, and Sondra Kraak. They discussed the two trains of thought between the loud and proud Christian message throughout the book and the more subtly woven in and maybe not straightout discussed route. There were points made for both sides and in the end I think we all agreed that we need both and it truly is a matter of what each particular story needs.
Once both panels wrapped up we broke for lunch but Annie made the caveat that you couldn't sit with the person you came with or were super close to so Becky and I had to split up. I made my way out of the room and stopped to say hi Sarah Baker, (who I can't remember how we first met but we've been friends of Facebook for a little while). While we were chatting Melissa Tagg came out and asked if we would want to join her for lunch. I of course said yes and we got in line together. Another girl was there, Reece, and we spent our time in line discussing Melissa's books, including an idea she had for a future story, and other aspects of writing. We got our food and made our way outside to find a table. As we got our seats another lady joined Melissa, Reece, and I, and then Melissa called Susan May Warren over to join us. What followed was one of the greatest hours of my life, getting to just sit and discuss books with two of my absolute favorite authors! We talked about their books, about authors they liked, and we even got to hear about what books will hopefully be coming soon from them! One of the absolute best parts was when Susie educated us on the difference between loincloths and breechcloths using a napkin as a prop. It was one of those had to be there moments but we we're all dying of laughter.
Lunch sadly came to a close and we all gathered back inside for worship once again led by Nicole Coley. Some more games were played one of my favorites of which was a guess that book game where the books were wrapped in paper and a few descripters were listed. The authors then had to try to guess which book was inside! It was clever and entertaining!
Shelley Shepard Gray was our third speaker of the day. My favorite part of her talk was when she was telling us about a character that was refusing to follow the original writing plan and after sharing her frustration with her husband he replied something to the effect of, "Shelley honey you made her up you can make her do whatever you want her to!" It cracked me up and has stuck with me and often makes me smile when I think of it!
Next came the author speed chats. We split up into groups of ten or so and authors would travel from group to group spending a few minutes talking and/or answering questions. Then Annie would call out and they would switch groups. The authors participating were: Becky Wade, Carrie Turansky, Dana R. Lynn, Dawn Crandall, Elaine Stock, Katie Ganshert, Laura Frantz, Rachel Hauck, Ruth Logan Herne, and Gabrielle Meyer. It was a really fun way to get to connect with a lot of authors in a short amount of time! When we ran out of time we had a brief snack break then the second set of author panels.
The first was "Merging the Imaginary and the Real Worlds" with Ann H. Gabhart, Gabrielle Meyer, Karen Barnett, Susan Anne Mason, and Tracy Lyons.
The second, which Becky and I attended, was "Book Boyfriends" with Courtney Walsh, Melissa Tagg, Dawn Crandall, Shelley Shepard Gray, and Susan May Warren and moderated by Melony Teague. This was one of the absolute highlights for me,  not much better than discussing heroes with the people who created them! Shelley shocked and amused us all, talking about her Amish hero who had been in prison and the one scene with him in his heroine that had Susie remarking "Maybe I need to read more Amish fiction!". Susie talked about how when she creates a hero she figures out  the lie he believes and the truth that sets him free. As I thought about it I could clearly see that theme in all of her books (and I have read them all) but it's so versitile that it never feels redundant. Melissa of course talked about Logan (I would have been disappointed if she didin't)! And Courtney and Dawn talking about two of their heroes had me immediately going to the bookseller to by their books! Seriously it was so much fun fangirling about heroes with the authors!!
Everyone gathered back together for one last time of worship and the final round of games. Our group, Currently Reading, won which meant we each got a book! Since Becky and I were in the front and super fast we managed to snag copies of An Inconvenient Beauty by
Kristi Ann Hunter which wasn't even going to release for a few weeks! And my copy got to be the first of this novel that she had ever signed!
There was also a bit of a fashion show where several authors dressed up in period costume from the time periods their books were set!
Annie and Carrie wrapped things up and people who had signed up for personal prayer found their groups and for the rest of us author signing began! It was awesome being able to chat for a few minutes with so many authors whose books I absolutely love and I got to get pictures with almost all of them! Several of them recognized me from my blog or Facebook and it was the coolest thing ever! Getting to meet someone you greatly admire and having them know who you are-best feeling ever!





After Becky and I got all of our books signed we were kind of just standing around and almost went back to our room but for some reason we deceided to stick around a little more and boy am I glad we did! I went to use the restroom and when I came out Becky told me that Charity (who we had met in line at the beginning of the day) invited us to join her, Kristi Ann Hunter, and some others out for dinner! Of course we said yes and after a bit of coordinating we dropped our stuff off in our room
then went back to the lobby to meet up with the super sweet Kat who had offered us a ride. We all got to the resturant, LaRosa's Pizeria, and there were 11 of us in total. It was me and Becky, Charity, Kristi Ann Hunter, Dawn Crandall, Debra E. Marvin, Winnie Thomas, Denise, Jessica, Sarah, and Kat. We had such a fun time and had the most fantastic server that handled our craziness like a pro! After dinner we loaded back up into the cars and went to United Dairy
Farmers for ice cream! All of us were a bit sleep deprived and may or may not have been a little giggly and loopy! We finally took pity on the poor employees and went back to the cars saying our goodbyes before we all headed in different directions. When we got back to the hotel I figured we'd just head to bed but as we passed the hotel resturant we saw Jen Turano with a bunch of ladies and they invited us to join them. We got to have some awesome conversations and meet even more people including Rebecca and Michaela. We all finally admitted our various states of exhaustion (I'm pretty sure it was either close to midnight or beyond at thie
point) and Becky and I headed back to our hotel room. We were both beyond tired but I was still riding high from everything that had happened and it took me forever to fall asleep.
We got up bright and early, got ready, packed up, checked out, got gas and sweet tea, and began the road trip home. The whole way we kept discussing everything that had happened the previous day and already started making plans to attend CFRR 2018! To say that it went above and beyond our expectations is a great understatement and this day will forever go down as one of my favorite days ever! I can't say thank you enough to all those who worked so hard to make this event a reality!





Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Hometown Girl by Courtney Walsh

About the Book
Beth Whitaker isn’t supposed to be a small-town girl. She’s always dreamed of leaving Willow Grove, Illinois, for the big city, but she feels trapped, struggling to make up for a mistake that’s haunted her for years. Just when Beth is finally ready to break free, her sister impulsively buys a beloved but run-down farm on the outskirts of town, and she begs Beth to help with the restoration. Reluctantly, Beth agrees to help—and puts her own dreams on hold once again.
Drew Barlow hasn’t been back to Fairwind Farm since he was a boy, and he’s spent all these years trying to outrun the pain of a past he thought he buried long ago. When he learns that the owner has passed away, his heart knows it’s finally time to do the right thing. Returning to Willow Grove, Drew revisits the old farm, where he attempts to piece together his memories and the puzzle of the crime he witnessed so long ago.
Both on a journey to find peace, Beth and Drew are surprised when they begin to experience a restoration of their own. But when long-buried secrets break through the soil and the truth unfurls, will it threaten their budding relationship—and the very future of the farm?

My Thoughts
I lost count of how many times someone told me I should read a Courtney Walsh book but I just hadn’t gotten around to it. Then I met Courtney at CFRR and after hearing her talk about one of her heroes I immediately bought one of her novels. Sadly review books took precedence and it just mocked me from my shelf. But then the was an opportunity to be an influencer for this book and I jumped at the chance!
And boy was everyone right about this author! I was totally sucked into the story from the very first sentence and it held me in its grasp until the very last! I hated putting this book down and quite often found myself thinking about it whenever I was forced to return to reality.
Beth was a heroine I could relate to in many ways, her desire to play everything safe, trying to do everything perfect, and her fear of failure. For a lot of her life she has let these things paralyze her and keep her from really living. I loved seeing her blossom as she let go and gave things over to God, finding her true self in the process.
As for Drew, I loved everything about his character! What he'd had to experience as a child, and the horrendous way the adults in his life handled it, broke my heart and it turned him into basically a shell of a man. The past held him captive and kept him from having any meaningful relationships in the present. But despite all that he was still an amazing guy! He was definitely the strong and silent type but he was also incredibly kind, fiercely protective, and the hardest worker you will ever find.
Both of their journeys to reconcillation with their pasts were hard and beautiful at the same time. The author wrote every heart-rending emotion in such vivid detail that you were feeling them with the characters.
I also loved Beth siblings, Molly and Ben, and would love to get more of both of their stories as well as the mysterious Seth we never got to meet! And the whole small town settting with the farm and orchard was charming and perfect for this story!
The beauty of this book honestly stole my breath at times, it was brilliantly crafted from start to finish and I absolutely adored it! This was my first Courtney Walsh book and it definitely won't be my last, she has fast-tracked her way onto my favorite authors list!

Meet the Author
Courtney Walsh is a novelist, artist, theater director, and playwright. Change of Heart is her fifth novel and is set in the same town as Paper Hearts. Her debut novel, A Sweethaven Summer, hit the New York Times and USA Today e-book bestseller lists and was a Carol Award finalist in the debut author category. She has written two additional books in the Sweethaven series, as well as two craft books and several full-length musicals. Courtney lives in Illinois where she and her husband own a performing and visual arts studio. They have three children.Visit her online at www.courtneywalshwrites.com.

I received an e-book copy of this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Top Ten Clever Book Titles

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish


#1. Dear Mr. Knightly by Katherine Reay

#2. Everything's Coming Up Josey by Susan May Warren

#3. Hollywood Nobody by Lisa Samson

#4. The Bachelor Girl's Guide to Murder by Rachel McMillan

#5. A Fool and His Monet by Sandra Orchard

#6. Fancy Pants by Cathy Marie Hake

#7. Once Upon A Prince by Rachel Hauck

#8. Chasing Jupiter by Rachel Coker

#9. The Cubicle Next Door by Siri Mitchell

#10. Lock, Stock, and Over a Barrel by Melody Carlson

Monday, October 23, 2017

Deadly Proof by Rachel Dylan

About the Book
In the biggest case of her career, attorney Kate Sullivan is tapped as lead counsel to take on Mason Pharmaceutical because of a corporate cover-up related to its newest drug. After a whistleblower dies, Kate knows the stakes are much higher than her other lawsuits.
Former Army Ranger turned private investigator Landon James is still haunted by mistakes made while serving overseas. Trying to forget the past, he is hired by Kate to look into the whistleblower's allegation and soon suspects that the company may be engaging in a dangerous game for profit. He also soon finds himself falling for this passionate and earnest young lawyer.

Determined not to make the same mistakes, he's intent on keeping Kate safe, but as the case deepens, it appears someone is willing to risk everything--even murder--to keep the case from going to trial.

My Thoughts
I tried so hard to love this book and I made it about 80 pages before I finally had to accept that this was not the book for me. I had a hard time connecting to either of the main characters and even after 6 chapters there seemed to be zero romantic connection between them. The author had a good writing style but all of the legal aspects were slowing the story for me and I just couldn’t stay hooked. Honestly for the right reader I can see this being a favorite book and I know several people who have loved it, but for me it just wasn’t my cup of tea!

Meet the Author
Rachel Dylan writes Christian fiction including legal romantic suspense. Rachel has practiced law for over a decade and enjoys weaving together legal and suspenseful stories. The Atlanta Justice Series which features strong, female attorneys in Atlanta kicks off with Deadly Proof. Lynette Eason described Deadly Proof as "a legal thriller that will keep you turning pages late into the night." In addition, Rachel writes the Danger in the Deep South including Lethal Action and Devoted Defender which appeals to fans of edge of your seat romantic suspense. Rachel also writes the Windy Ridge series including Trial & Tribulations and Fatal Accusation. These legal thrillers with elements of spiritual warfare are great for fans who enjoy books by Peretti or Dekker. Trial & Tribulations was a Selah finalist in 2016. Rachel lives in Michigan with her husband and five furkids--two dogs and three cats. Rachel loves to connect with readers. You can find Rachel at www.racheldylan.com.

I received this book free from the publisher in exchange for my review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? #271

Hosted by: The Book Date

Here is what I finished in the last six weeks:
I have been remiss in blogging this last month and a half but I've been getting some reading in! And these books were all amazing! Seriously some of my favorites for the year! Reviews are either up or will be coming in the next few days!

What I am currently reading:
Just about to start this one and I'm looking forward to it!

What I hope to read this week:
Not sure what's next, I think Too Far Down is my last review book so unless I get another one in the mail soon maybe I'll be able to get to some of my non-review TBR!


Hope you have a great reading week, thanks for taking the time to check out mine!
Leave your link below and I'll be sure to stop by!

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Blind Spot by Dani Pettrey

About the Book
FBI agent Declan Grey is in the chase of his life--but isn't sure exactly what he's chasing after. Threatened by a terrorist that "the wrath is coming," Grey fears something horrible is about to be unleashed on American soil. When his investigation leads him to a closed immigrant community, he turns to Tanner Shaw to help him. She's sought justice for refugees and the hurting around the world, and if there's anyone who can help him, it's Tanner.
Tanner Shaw has joined the FBI as a crisis counselor . . . meaning she now has more opportunity to butt heads with Declan. But that tension also includes a spark she can't deny, and she's pretty sure Declan feels the same. But before anything can develop between them, they discover evidence of a terror cell--and soon are in a race against the clock to stop the coming "wrath" that could cost thousands their lives

My Thoughts
Declan and Taylor were both intriguing characters in the previous books and I was very excited to get their story!
As the story starts they both are already falling for each other but are afraid that the other person doesn’t share the same level of feelings so they hold back. Then they are put together on a case and get to spend non-stop time with each other, and the truth about how strongly they feel emerges. I absolutely loved Declan and Tanner together! Declan is the strong analytical type and Tanner is about feelings, but their personalities complement each other beautifully despite their differences.
There were two cases being worked in this book, Declan and Tanner’s terrorist case and another that was being worked by the rest of the group (who I loved spending more time with). Both mysteries kept me on my toes with twists I didn’t see coming! And the author did a fabulous job of orchestrating everything to flow smoothly and the multiple cases was never confusing or overwhelming!
Honestly everything about this book was amazing and I absolutely hated putting it down! And now I am desperate to read book four which I know is going to blow my socks off!!

Meet the Author
Dani Pettrey is the bestselling author of the Chesapeake Valor series and the Alaskan Courage series and winner of the 2014 Daphne du Maurier award for Inspirational Novel, the 2014 Christian Retailing's Best Award for Suspense, and the 2013 Holt Medallion for First Novel. She and her husband reside in the D.C. Metro area. She can be found online at www.danipettrey.com.

I received this book free from the publisher in exchange for my review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

All This Time by Melissa Tagg

About the Book
Bear McKinley's past refuses to let go. 
Ten years ago, Bear gave up everything--his freedom and his reputation--for his mess of a family. But after years of distance and too many attempts at starting over, he finally has a new life doing noble work in Brazil . . . until his past catches up to him once again. Suddenly he finds himself back in Maple Valley, charged with the care of his missing brother's children, convinced he's out of second chances to make his life count. And yet, with every day that passes, these kids, this quirky town and the woman he never stopped missing help patch the holes in his heart. Maybe this is the fresh start he's been longing for all along. But as his newfound hope grows, so does the mystery surrounding his brother's activities--and when the threat reaches into the lives of those he loves, it's clear he can't run away this time.
Fear holds Raegan's future captive. 
Raegan Walker is fine. She's happy working a slew of part-time jobs, still living in her childhood bedroom and rarely venturing from her hometown. At least, that's what she tells everyone . . . and herself. But she can't help wondering what might've happened if she hadn't abandoned her art so many years ago--and if Bear McKinley had never left. When Bear returns and she's commissioned for a painting that just might revive her artistic ambition all in one week, it's time to finally reach for more than fine. But doing so means facing the fears that have held her back all this time, including admitting the secret she's kept from Bear and her family. With her dream and her heart on the line, how much will Raegan have to risk to finally chase her happy ending?

My Thoughts
In the (paraphrased) words of Audrey Landry in the TV movie Wedding Daze, "As for Raegan and Bear, that's been coming for years!" Finally we get Raegan and Bear's story that has been teasing us since book one! Both of them have been amazing characters but you always knew there was so much more to their stories that we had yet to uncover. Bear was a complete mystery until this book and I loved getting to know him! Every new detail that emerged made me love him more. He was selfless, hardworking, and willing to do anything for those he cared about! Raegan has always been the fun little sister but there were hints along the way that everything was not as fine as she always claimed. As we found out what she had been dealing with and hiding for years my heart broke for her but I also admired her. The strength it took for her to face everything alone and the greater strength it took to eventually let others help her.
I loved having all of the Walkers together again! They are all fabulous on their own but when you get them all in one place it’s the absolute best!
Honestly the way Melissa writes characters is breathtakingly beautiful! They come alive off the pages and take up residence in your heart until you are feeling every emotion they feel! I just want to move to Maple Valley and become an honorary Walker! And every time I think I’ve read the best Melissa Tagg book the next one releases and I’m swept away again with a new favorite!! And once I dive in it’s almost impossible to get me out! I finished this book about 20 hours after I started (it would have been faster but exhaustion and work got in the way a little bit). I cannot rave about Melissa enough and if you have yet to experience her brilliance drop what you are doing and find one of her books now-you won’t be sorry!

Meet the Author
Award-winning author Melissa Tagg is a former reporter, current nonprofit grant writer and total Iowa girl. She writes romantic comedies in the banter-filled style of her favorite 1930s and 40s classic films. The second book in her popular Walker Family series, Like Never Before, was named to one of Publisher's Weekly's Spring 2016 Top 10 lists. When she's not writing she can be found hanging out with the coolest family ever, watching old movies, and daydreaming about her next book. Melissa loves connecting with readers at www.melissatagg.com and on Facebook and Instagram.

I received this book free from the author in exchange for my review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Friday, October 06, 2017

Many Sparrows by Lori Benton

About the Book
Either she and her children would emerge from that wilderness together, or none of them would…
In 1774, the Ohio-Kentucky frontier pulses with rising tension and brutal conflicts as Colonists push westward and encroach upon Native American territories. The young Inglesby family is making the perilous journey west when an accident sends Philip back to Redstone Fort for help, forcing him to leave his pregnant wife Clare and their four-year old son Jacob on a remote mountain trail.
When Philip does not return and Jacob disappears from the wagon under the cover of darkness, Clare awakens the next morning to find herself utterly alone, in labor and wondering how she can to recover her son...especially when her second child is moments away from being born.

Clare will face the greatest fight of her life, as she struggles to reclaim her son from the Shawnee Indians now holding him captive. But with the battle lines sharply drawn, Jacob’s life might not be the only one at stake. When frontiersman Jeremiah Ring comes to her aid, can the stranger convince Clare that recovering her son will require the very thing her anguished heart is unwilling to do—be still, wait and let God fight this battle for them?

My Thoughts
This book is definitely something special! An author friend of mine said it was her favorite book of the year so I knew from the start that I would love it, and love it I did! This author writes in such beautiful and vivid detail that I was completely transported to the 1774 frontier. I several times was a little jarred when I returned to reality because I was so lost in the pages of this book.
My heart broke for Clare and all that she was forced to endure. Set on a path she didn’t want to take, having her husband killed and her son stolen from her, and giving birth in the wilderness with only a stranger to assist. But she never caved to the weight of it, instead choosing to stand up and do all she could to bring her son home. I admired her strength in the face of it all.
Jeremiah was an awesome hero! His life hadn’t been easy to say the least but through all he’d faced he’d found God and His strength and was able to forgive and start anew. And his experiences not only allowed him to help Clare but to truly understand what she was going through.
I loved the message of trusting God that was woven into every part of the story. It came at a timely point in my life when I, like Clare, am needing to let go, trust God, and be still.

This story had me totally enthralled from beginning to end as I journeyed with Clare and Jeremiah through the wilds of the Ohio-Kentucky frontier. Every word was beautifully crafted and I loved it all!

Meet the Author
Lori Benton was born and raised east of the Appalachian Mountains, surrounded by early American and family history going back to the 1600s. Her novels transport readers to the 18th century, where she brings to life the Colonial and early Federal periods of American history, creating a melting pot of characters drawn from both sides of a turbulent and shifting frontier, brought together in the bonds of God's transforming grace.

Lori's debut novel, Burning Sky, earned the 2014 Christy Award for First Novel, Historical, and Book of the Year.

I received this book free from the publisher in exchange for my review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.