Contemporary Romance: Reunited in the Rockies by Mindy Obenhaus — For widow Kayla Bradshaw, restoring a historic Colorado hotel means a better life for her and her soon-to-arrive baby. But she needs construction help from Jude Stephens, the love she lost through a misunderstanding. Working with Kayla, the police officer finds himself forgiving her—and longing to rebuild her shattered confidence. But can they trust each other enough to forge a future together? (Contemporary Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])
A Man to Trust by Carrie Turansky — After years spent helping manage her family’s Christian bookstore, it’s time for Adrie Chandler to give her own dream of playing her flute with a symphony orchestra a chance. But can she really trust the beloved shop to new manager Ross Peterson? The man is too handsome, too charming….and too much a reminder of another dream Adrie had to let go of – marriage. Yet Ross surprises her by knowing a thing or two about making sacrifices. Suddenly, Adrie is questioning what she really wants. And whether the dreams she once thought unlikely are within reach after all. (Contemporary Romance from Flowing Stream Books)
Fall Flip by Denise Weimer — The tragic death of Shelby Dodson’s husband–her partner in a successful Home Network house flipping business–stole love, status, and career. Now a bungalow redesign thrusts Shelby into the company of a new contractor. Scott Matthews remembers high-and-mighty Shelby from high school, and her prissy, contemporary style goes against his down-to-earth grain. When the house reveals a mystery, will its dark secrets–and their own mistakes–cost them a second chance at love? (Contemporary Romance from Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas)
Listening to Love by Beth Wiseman — Lucas is Amish. Natalie’s Englisch. They are best friends—and friends only. Despite what the gossips say. Besides, they couldn’t be together even if they wanted to be. Lucas would never leave the Amish faith, and Natalie is pursuing a degree in veterinary medicine. But when a terrifying accident happens, Natalie and Lucas are forced to confront their true feelings and decide if they can stay true to themselves and each other. (Contemporary Romance from HarperCollins Christian Publishing)
General Contemporary:The Christmas Portrait by Phyllis Clark Nichols — A family facing their first holiday season without Mama finds a way to celebrate Christmas. (General Contemporary from Gilead Publishing)
Historical:Memories of Glass by Melanie Dobson — 1942. As war rips through the heart of Holland, childhood friends Josie van Rees and Eliese Linden partner with a few daring citizens to rescue Eliese’s son and hundreds of other Jewish children who await deportation in a converted theater in Amsterdam. But amid their resistance work, Josie and Eliese’s dangerous secrets could derail their friendship and their entire mission. When the enemy finds these women, only one will escape. Seventy-five years later, Ava Drake begins to suspect that her great-grandfather William Kingston was not the World War II hero he claimed to be. Her work as director of the prestigious Kingston Family Foundation leads her to Landon West’s Ugandan coffee plantation, and Ava and Landon soon discover a connection between their families. As Landon’s great-grandmother shares the broken pieces of her story, Ava must confront the greatest loss in her own life?and powerful members of the Kingston family who will do anything to keep the truth buried. (Historical from Tyndale Publishing)
Historical Romance: Treasured Christmas Brides by Amanda Cabot, Rebecca Germany, Cathy Marie Hake, Colleen L. Reece, MaryLu Tyndall, and Michelle Ule — Six historical Christmas romances prove life’s most priceless gifts come not in the form of polished gold or silver—but from the vast riches of a loving heart. (Historical Romance from Barbour Publishing)
Thankful for the Cowboy by Mary Connealy — Hero Tom MacKinnon rides up driving a wagon with a second wagon trailing him. He and his sister want to be hired to build windmills. They’ll ask for very little money and, in exchange heroine, Lauren Drummond, newly widowed mother of four nearly grown sons, will help them learn to survive in the Sandhills of Nebraska. What to grow, what to hunt, how to build a sod house.
Tom’s windmills will save her ranch. Lauren needs three windmills on this drought year or her growing herd of cattle is going to die of thirst. She agrees to teach him the ways of the Sandhills, and to give him fifteen head of cattle. She’s not ready to think of another man. But Tom changes her mind. His little sister and one of her sons find love together before Tom and Lauren do. (Historical Romance, Independently Published)
The Return of the King’s Ranger by Angela K. Couch — The war is over…for everyone but him. The war for American freedom is over, and the British have gone back to England. Not knowing what has become of his family since he was forced into the Continental Army nine years earlier, Myles Cunningham wants to go home as well. He returns to the Mohawk Valley with the understanding that he is believed to have been shot for deserting—fiction that might be made real if anyone recognizes him as the son of a Tory and a King’s Ranger. Everything is wonderful in the growing community along the Mohawk River, except Nora Reid is still alone. With her brother happily settled and both her younger sisters starting families of their own, Nora feels the weight of her twenty-four years. A long walk leads her to the overgrown rubble of the Cunningham homestead where a bearded stranger begins to awaken feelings she’d lost hope of ever experiencing. With secrets abounding—including whether Myles even cares for her—Nora must determine what she is ready to give up and how far she will go to secure his affections. She begins to break through his defenses, but Myles can’t risk staying. Not if he loves her. (Historical Romance from White Rose Publishing [Pelican])
Christmas Next Door by Susan Page Davis and Vickie McDonough — Visit an Old West Texas town where a mysterious benefactor leaves gifts each Christmas, but also where four pairs of neighbors battle over hearsay, secrets, and mysteries. (Historical Romance from Barbour Publishing)
Under Moonlit Skies by Cynthia Roemer — Esther meets Stewart, her brother-in-law’s ranch hand, when helping her sister recover from childbirth. Any interest she may have in the cowboy is hopeless, since she must return home to Cincinnati and the man her overbearing mother intends her to wed. till reeling from a hurtful relationship, Stew is reluctant to open his heart to Esther. But when he faces a life-threatening injury with Esther tending him, their bond deepens. Heartbroken when she leaves, he sets out after her and inadvertently stumbles across an illegal slave-trade operation, the knowledge of which puts him, as well as Esther and her family, in jeopardy. (Historical Romance from Mantle Rock Publishing)
Mail-Order Misfire by Davalynn Spencer — Preacher Bern Stidham is a peacemaker—when he’s not carrying one on his hip. His little girl wants a helper for her widowed father and a mama for herself, so she writes for a mail-order bride. Without telling him. Recently widowed dressmaker Etta Collier is a half-step ahead of the banker who carries a lustful eye for her as well as the note on her home. When her pastor encourages her to answer an unusual letter from a little girl, hope opens an unexpected door. Running from one man’s lecherous pursuit into the home of another she knows nothing about, Etta may have to risk everything to ease a little girl’s loneliness and find a second chance at love. (Historical Romance, Independently Published)
The Witness Tree by Denise Weimer — Past betrayal has turned John Kliest’s passion to his work as a builder and surveyor in the Moravian town of Salem, North Carolina. Now, to satisfy the elders’ edict and fulfill his mission in Cherokee Territory, he needs a bride. But the one woman qualified to record the Cherokee language longs for a future with his younger brother. Clarissa Vogler’s dream of a life with Daniel Kliest is shattered when she is chosen by lot to marry his older brother and venture into the uncharted frontier. Can she learn to love this stoic man who is now her husband? Her survival hinges on being able to trust him—but they both harbor secrets. (Historical Romance from Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas)
Romantic Suspense: Don’t Give Up On Me by Jodi Artzberger — When Cragge Automotive Group’s heiress, Amanda Cragge is left for dead, the only man she’s ever loved finds her. As the threats continue, will she accept help from the man who left her eight years ago without explanation? When Ryker Scott returns to Otter Bay, he is brought face to face with his past. He thought he could handle coming back but he might have been wrong. As a trained Army Ranger, he’s going to have to use his skills if he wants to keep the only woman he’s ever loved alive.
Will their past become their future or will their futures be destroyed forever?(Romantic Suspense, Independently Published)
Breaking Point by Marji Laine — Ever since her father’s death, Alynne Stone has had a series of strange “accidents.” Police Lieutenant Jason Danvers believes her father was murdered. He tries to connect the attempts on Alynne’s life, but things just don’t add up. Even in a small town, the mere rumor of treasure can change lives, end friendships…maybe even kill? Still dealing with the pain of his own wife’s death, he can’t allow an innocent woman’s life to be snuffed out on his watch. Especially one who shines as bright as Alynne. (Romantic Suspense, Write Integrity Press)
Fatal Strike by DiAnn Mills — FBI Agents Leah Riesel and Jon Colbert team up to track down a killer on the loose in Galveston, targeting law enforcement officials and using a fatal injection of snake venom to take them down. (Romantic Suspense, Tyndale House)
Thriller: The Gryphon Heist by James R. Hannibal — Talia Inger is a rookie CIA case officer assigned not to the Moscow desk as she had hoped but to the forgotten backwaters of Eastern Europe–a department only known as “Other.” When she is tasked with helping a young, charming Moldovan executive secure his designs for a revolutionary defense technology, she figures she’ll be back in DC within a few days. But that’s before she knows where the designs are stored–and who’s after them. With her shady civilian partner, Adam Tyler, Talia takes a deep dive into a world where only criminal minds and unlikely strategies will keep the Gryphon, a high-altitude data vault, hovering in the mesosphere. Even Tyler is more than he seems, and Talia begins to wonder: Is he helping her? Or using her access to CIA resources to pull off an epic heist for his own dark purposes? (Techno-thriller from Revell – A Division of Baker Publishing Group)
Hello fellow bookies! I’m traveling the country in an RV with my family this month, so I thought I’d make it easy on myself and do book lists with various topics this month, and first up is CHRISTMAS IN JULY!!!
It seems everyone has their own version of Christmas in July, and I figured why not? Some of these I have reviewed and the links are included, and some are just on my TBR pile. Links to those lead to Amazon. If you have a favorite, list it in the comments so I can add it to my TBR pile!
London, 1853: Innkeeper’s daughter Mina Scott reads and dreams of someday becoming a real lady—and catch the eye of William Barlow, a frequent guest at the inn. William’s bachelor uncle will soon name an heir—either him or his scheming cousin. William asks Mina to be his pretend bride. When the truth is finally discovered, more than just money is lost.
A Match of Sorts by Lucette Nel – As Christmas approaches, widowed Reverend Caleb Brennan needs a wife, or his vengeful father-in-law will take his young daughters. Bounty hunter Grace Blackwell refuses to owe a debt to any man, especially one as charming as Reverend Brennan. To repay him for saving her life, Grace agrees to pose as his mail-order bride. If their ploy is discovered, Caleb could lose his daughters. But in their pretense, the reverend and the bounty hunter might just both lose their hearts.
The Widow’s Captive by Lucette Nel – On the run with two small children and a third due within weeks, Adeline Spencer seeks refuge in an abandoned cabin. Sheriff Jonah Hale is determined to prove himself worthy of his badge, even if it means riding into a blizzard to check on a crazy miner. When Jonah reaches the cabin, he’s caught off guard by a pretty and very pregnant young woman wielding a skillet. Bound to a chair while the storm rages, and as Christmas settles in around them, he must find a way to earn Adeline’s trust…and perhaps her heart.
The 12 Brides of Christmas Collection – Enter the heartland of historical America at Christmastime through twelve inspiring romance novellas from acclaimed Christian authors. Meet Alma, Lucy, Esther, Marilee, Polly, Deborah, Annabelle, Sophie, Maddie, Karen, Arabella, and Kate who are surprised by how God brings them the desires of their hearts. Watch as faith, romance, and heartfelt gifts open each of their hearts to love.
3 Talented Seamstresses, 3 Christmas Romances Return to Christmases of yesteryear with three seamstresses who use their talents to succeed in the late 1800s. But can love also be stitched into their lives?
A Wreath of Snow by Liz Curtis Higgs – As warm as a woolen scarf on a cold winter’s eve, A Wreath of Snow is a tender story of love and forgiveness, wrapped in a celebration of all things Scottish, all things Victorian, and, especially, all things Christmas.
Siblings forge new paths and find love in three stories filled with the wonder of Christmas. Turn back the clock to a different time, listen to Bing Crosby sing of sleigh bells in the snow, as the realities of America’s involvement in the Second World War change the lives of the Turner family in Lafayette, Indiana.
Reviewing collections has always been a little different. This is a novella collection I actually read a while ago and forgot to post about, so it’s been sitting in my draft box for months. I enjoyed having a print version in my hands, just because I’m not a huge e-book fan. Each novella is the kick off for a different series and whets your tongue for other reads.
“Three of Christian historical fiction’s beloved authors come together in this romantic and humorous collection of novellas featuring prequels to their latest series. New and loyal fans alike will enjoy these novellas previously released only as ebooks. Connealy’s The Boden Birthright journeys to the Old West, where ranch hand Chance Boden’s determination to be his own boss is challenged by his employer’s pretty daughter. Hunter’s A Lady of Esteem follows a Regency-era young lady whose chance at love and reputation in society are threatened by a nasty rumor. Turano’s At Your Request tells of a young woman who is humbled at her newly lowered status in society when she is reunited with the very man whose proposal she rejected.” – Amazon Blurb
The first novella, The Boden Birthright, kicks off The Cimarron Legacy with the father’s love story and the hint at a secret that threatens the life of Chance and his children during the series that follows.
“After the death of his wife, prosperous businessman Chance Boden heads west along the Santa Fe Trail with his son to escape the powerful control of his in-laws. He has plans to establish his own ranch, but instead he finds work with Frank Chastain, owner of a vast amount of land.
Chance doesn’t want to work for anyone, but Frank’s beautiful daughter, Veronica, gives him reason to delay buying his own holdings. With winter coming, no home in which to live, and Veronica’s offer to care for young Cole while Chance learns the ways of ranching in the desert, Chance has little choice but to accept the Chastains’ offer to stay on.
When Frank is attacked, his last wish is that Chance marry his daughter, but after dealing with his in-laws, Chance doesn’t want anyone coming between him and his son. Then, before Frank dies, his precarious hold on the land he received as part of an old Spanish Land Grant forces him to make a desperate choice to save Veronica’s inheritance–and also gives the men who attacked Frank a reason to come after his legacy.” — Amazon
The second novella A Lady of Esteem introduced me to a new-to-me author, Kristi Ann Hunter. I enjoyed the story and the lovely twists. I am definitely intrigued enough to check out the Hawthorne House series and follow the brothers and sister I met in A Lady of Esteem.
“Miss Amelia Stalwood may live in London at her absent guardian’s townhouse, but she’s never actually met any nobility; instead of aristocrats, her closest friends are servants. Quite by happenstance, she’s introduced to the Hawthorne family and their close family friend, Anthony, the reformed Marquis of Raebourne. They welcome her into their world, but just as she’s beginning to gain some confidence and even suspect that she may have caught Anthony’s eye, she’s blindsided by an unexpected twist in her situation accompanied by nasty rumors. Will she lose her reputation when the world that has only just accepted her turns its back on her, or will she rest in the support of the friends who’ve become like family and the man who’s shared his faith and captured her heart?” – Amazon Blurb
The final story, At Your Request was a bit shorter than I expected it to be and was a cute story typical of Jen Turano fashion. I haven’t yet read the Apart from the Crowd Series, but it was nice to be introduced to the upcoming characters and get a feel for what the stories will be like. ‘
“After her father lost the family’s fortune, Wilhelmina was cast out of the fashionable set and banished to the wallflower section. Taking a position as a social secretary to help support her family, she’s mostly come to terms with her new status. But when her old friend Edgar returns to New York society for the first time since she rejected his marriage proposal, she’s newly ashamed at how far she’s fallen–and how hastily she dismissed him years ago. Her strategy is to avoid a face-to-face encounter at all costs, but he seems to have other plans. Will Edgar take advantage of their now reversed positions and make her regret her refusal, or is there still hope for a friendship between them–or something more?
At Your Request is an e-only novella that gives an exciting introduction to Jen Turano’s new Gilded Age historical romance series, Apart From the Crowd! Includes an extended excerpt of the first full-length novel in the series, Behind the Scenes.” – Amazon
Overall, I really liked the collection for the ability to get introduced to three new series and to have physical copies of books I wouldn’t have had otherwise. All the e-book are free to purchase individually.
*I was provided a copy of this collection by the publisher. The opinion above is my own and not influenced in any way.*”
Hi guys! This is my first Review tour for JustRead Publicity Tours, but you will find my review is just the same. There is a GIVEAWAY associated with this review so please read through to the bottom and feel free to follow all the other review posts for the Accidental Guardian on other blogs that will be going up every day for the next two weeks.
On to the Review!
The Accidental Guardian
by Mary Connealy
Genre: Historical Romance, 1867 – Lake Tahoe, Nevada
Plot Overview: Deb is the only eye-witness of a wagon train attack that left her and her sister responsible for two young children in the mountains of Nevada as winter sets in. With no other choice, she must rely on Trace, a stranger known as the Guardian, to get them to safety and protect them from the dangers of winter and the criminals still on the loose.
What I loved: I enjoyed the humor of a situation where a man who’d been on his own in the wilderness since he was fifteen is thrown into caring for two women and two young children. He seems adept at is while still bumbling and suffering through several funny challenges of early morning potty screams and how to talk to women.
Favorite Character: I enjoyed all the characters, but to be honest, Wolf was my favorite. Half wolf, half domesticated dog, he is quite the companion for Trace and his wards. He can go from determined defender to puddle of goo begging for a belly rub at any moment. I love how he had his own personality.
Who would like this: Anyone who enjoys stories of survival in harsh conditions, stories of justice, light romance, light danger, and adventure.
Rating and Why: I gave this a four-star rating because for me the pacing felt slow compared to her other stories. It was an enjoyable read, but it took until the last quarter of the book before the danger became evident and built up the tension. The romantic tension was light, and the motivations for the characters were okay, but it just didn’t pull me in like some of her other stories. This is still a story I would recommend to others to read and I will enjoy reading the rest of this series.
Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher/author. I was in no way required to leave a review, and the above review is my honest opinion.
ABOUT THE BOOK
Title: The Accidental Guardian Series: High Sierra Sweethearts, Book 1 Author: Mary Connealy Publisher: Bethany House Publishers Release Date: April 3, 2018 Genre: Historical Romance / Western +To Read:Goodreads
She’s the Only Witness to a Wagon Train Attack. Keeping Her Safe, Though, Means His World Is about to be Turned Upside Down.
When Trace Riley finds the smoldering ruins of a small wagon train, he recognizes an attack by the same group who left him as sole survivor years ago. Living off the wilderness since then, he’s finally carved out a home and started a herd–while serving as a self-appointed guardian of the trail. He’d hoped the days of driving off dangerous men were over, but the latest attack shows otherwise.
Deborah Harkness saved her younger sister and two toddlers during the attack, and now finds herself at the mercy of her rescuer. Trace becomes an accidental guardian when he offers the only shelter for miles around and agrees to take them in until they can safely continue their journey. His simple bachelor existence never anticipated kids and women in the picture and their arrival is unsettling–yet enticing.
Trace and Deborah find themselves drawing ever closer as they work together to bring justice to the trail and help the group survive the winter–but every day closer to spring means a day closer to leaving the mountains forever.
The next book in the series, THE RELUCTANT WARRIOR will be released later this year in October, 2018!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Photo courtesy of Ginger Murray Photography
Mary Connealy writes “romantic comedies with cowboys” and is celebrated for her fun, zany, action-packed style. She has more than half a million books in print. She is the author of the popular series Wild at Heart, Kincaid Brides, Trouble in Texas, Lassoed in Texas, Sophie’s Daughters, and many other books. Mary lives on a ranch in eastern Nebraska with her very own romantic cowboy hero.
As usual, I enjoyed another one of Mary Connealy’s stories. One word of warning about this book though, don’t try to read it before reading No Way Up. While Mary does a good job of filling in details you would have missed, the very first sentence picks up where the last book ended. Immediately where it left off.
I enjoyed getting to know Justin a little more – especially the rivalry between him and Cole. The love he showed for his annoying big brother, the rest of his family, and Angie makes him a hero in my book. He is a hard-working man that any woman could swoon over.
Angie was a heroine that grew on me. I never disliked her, but she took some getting used to. I loved watching her grow to become an independent woman capable of taming the West. She moves forward from her past to become a woman I cheer for and envy.
The Cimarron Ranch is still in trouble throughout the book, and the mystery behind what is really going on begins to unravel.
I am looking forward to reading the third and finding out what the real story behind the trouble is. Not to mention Cole and Mel are the hero and heroine – Squee!!!
“The Boden clan thought their problems had ended with the death of a dangerous enemy, but have they truly uncovered the real plot to take their New Mexico ranch? Rancher Justin Boden is now in charge. He is normally an unshakable and rugged man, but with his brother, Cole, shot and in mortal danger, even a tough man faces doubts. And it doesn’t help that Angie DuPree, the assistant to the doctor trying to save Cole, is as distracting a woman as Justin ever laid eyes on.
With her and the doc’s timely skills, Cole looks to be on the mend, and Justin and the rest of the Bodens can turn their attention back to the dangers facing them. It’s clear now that everything that’s occurred is part of a much bigger plot that could date back to a decades-old secret. Can they uncover all the pieces before danger closes in on them, or is the threat to the ranch even bigger than any of the Bodens could imagine?”
For the next bit, you will find a number of Mary Connealy books reviewed. One of my assignments to grow as a writer is to study the writing of a writer I admire, and she is one whose books have been lining my shelves long before God called me out of my four walls.
So here we go, Book # 1 in the Lassoed in Texas series.
Petticoat Ranch by Mary Connealy
“Sophie Edwards is doing just fine, until a strange-yet oddly familiar-man rides into her life, insisting on rescuing her and her four daughters. Can she find a way to love a headstrong mountain man? When Clay McClellan discovers his brother has been murdered, he’s bent on finding the killers and seeing them properly hung. But first his Christian duty demands that he marry his sister-in-law. After all, Sophie needs someone to protect her – right? Faith and love help unruly wed newlyweds find common ground and a chance at love on the Texas frontier.”
– Amazon.com Blurb
The book starts right off the bat with action and suspense, making it a difficult task to lay down the book when your children start asking, “When’s dinner?”
There were lots of twists and turns in the book that I didn’t expect and although there were instances of what seemed to be coincidence, they were put together in a very believable way. Even a miracle of God appeared throughout the story, one I particularly loved and believe is plausible even in today’s world.
I loved how strong and independent Sophie and her girls were, and especially in how sweet she was in letting Clay think that he was teaching her and the girls new skills when, in fact, they had already mastered them years ago. As a reader, I wanted to be Sophie and think that I could defend my family the way she did.
Clay was a hoot, too! Mr. Macho had no idea how to deal with women, but he was all too willing to step in and fulfill his Biblical brotherly duties to marry his brother’s widow. His take charge attitude was met with some hilarious results. Some parts of the romance seemed to happen too quick for me, but it didn’t keep me from enjoying the story.
The plot was not straight-forward either. Mrs. Connealy did a marvelous job of bringing in all sorts of ties from unexpected places. Every single detail had its place and even when things seemed part of a different plot they all came together to make one cohesive story. I really marvel at how she did that and am specifically breaking down each chapter to discover just exactly how she did that.
I would recommend anything she writes, but I would definitely recommend reading this series first. So many of the people in this first series appear in later series. Mrs. Connealy does a magnificent job of creating a cohesive story world across series. So meet the characters first in this series.