RCR: Loyally Luke by Pepper Basham

RCR: Loyally Luke by Pepper Basham

It’s another month our challenge: Unlocking Ecclesiastes 3. I’m so excited to join you again this year with guest reviews from our reading challenge participants. If you want to submit a review for upcoming months, feel free to email me using my contact form. If you are looking for reading suggestions, I’ve cultivated a page just for that. (Note that it is still being updated throughout the year, so feel free to message me with suggestions.) I recommend you also checking Inspirational Historical Fiction Index or the Facebook Group Avid Readers of Christian Fiction or my Facebook group Crystal Caudill’s Reading Friends. I’ll also include a short list at the bottom of this post.

Don’t forget to comment at the bottom of the post for your chance to win a book off my prize shelf. *The list of prizes available from my prize shelf can be found here.*

Unlocking the Past: Ecclesiastes 3

Just as Ecclesiastes has two opposites in each verse, most months will leave you with two options to choose from.

“For everything there is a season,
a time for every activity under heaven.”


May Verse: A time to cry and a time to laugh.
Challenge Theme: A RomCom or a book that makes you cry

June Verse: A time to grieve and a time to dance.
Challenge Theme: A book with a funeral or with a character who is a dancer.

Loyally Luke

by Pepper Basham

Review by: Crystal Caudill

Hallmarky RomCom’s are not usually my thing, but this rough year has brought me to read a slew of them just because of how light and funny they can be. This one, though, took the cake. I got a kick of how pointedly this book played off of and lovingly made fun of the Hallmark movies. From the “Hallmark chime” that showed up at particular points in the story, the blatant pointing out and playing with famous Hallmark tropes, and Luke groaning over how his life had become a Hallmark movie, I couldn’t stop laughing (and cringing in a good way). What I loved most about this book, however, was how the characters dealt with life and each other in a realistic and soft way. Luke may have been a little too perfect, but what good Hallmark guy isn’t? LOL I loved Ellie’s arc and how Luke perfectly complimented her and helped her grow into the person she needed to be despite her past. So yeah, I’d recommend it. 🙂 Especially if you are a fan of the Hallmark channel, or even if you are more like me and roll your eyes at the Hallmark channel. 

Genre: RomCom

Plot Overview:

Sometimes love means embracing the good, the bad . . . and even the impossible.

Dear Reader,

My name is Luke Edgewood, and there are few things in life that I require. Mainly black coffee. And flannel. And lots of solitude. And my dogs, Chewy and Indie. What I don’t need is romance, so I have no plans to change my thirty-year-old bachelor status anytime soon.

But my youngest sister thinks that by accepting a short-term construction job in the small European country of Skymar, I’m going to follow along in her footsteps and discover my own romantic adventure. Nope. Bah humbug. The End. This time, her rom-com-movie senses are totally wrong.

Or maybe not. Because I’ve met a Grace Kelly look-alike who is annoying . . . until she isn’t. But she is impossible. As in, nothing can happen between us because she is a literal princess. Even though that’s easy to forget when we’re working together to restore a castle-like orphanage in a secluded mountain town and “forced proximity” includes a small closet, a secret one-hundred-year-old journal, and the tactile memory of an off-limits royal in my arms.

Basically, the whole situation has turned into an ooey gooey magical snow globe of romantic tropes complete with cute kids and an actual ball. Now, even my sentences are starting to sound like mush. Ugh. Send high levels of testosterone my way—I’m going to need it.



Purchase Links:

Amazon  |  Baker Bookhouse  |  Barnes & Noble  |  Christianbook.com


For your chance to win a print copy, comment with what book YOU read for this month. Use the Rafflecopter below for extra entries and to mark that you left a comment. Entries end on the 7th of each month at midnight EST, and the winner will be drawn sometime that week and notified by email. The winner will be announced on the Rafflecopter widget.

*Open to all residents of the contiguous USA, legally able to enter, and an e-book format or Amazon Gift Card will be awarded to those outside that range who are legally able to enter.

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Recommendations for June:

  • A Midnight Dance by Joanna Politano
  • Hidden Current by Sharon Hinck
  • The Dancing Realms trilogy by Sharon Hinck
  • Until the Leaves Fall in Paris by Sarah Sundin
  • The Italian Ballerina by Kristy Cambron

What did you read for the challenge? What were your thoughts on it? Would you recommend it?

The Mistletoe Countess by Pepper Basham

The Mistletoe Countess by Pepper Basham

The Mistletoe Countess

by Pepper Basham

I have been in a season of reading books by audio only, and I have to say, this one had me laughing so hard that I had to stop listening while I ran an archery tournament because I was afraid of disturbing the kids with sharp pointy arrows. This was my first Pepper Basham book and I will definitely be reading more. I’ve known her reputation as the kissing queen for a really long time, and well, she deserves that title. I’m a girl who can’t watch cartoons kiss, and this book had me blushing or laughing out loud pretty much the whole time. Grace is a girl who lives life by the books–fictional books, and the ways it affects her thinking and her actions result in probably one of the funniest stories I have ever read. Add in Fred’s sweet way with Grace and his own view of her exuberant personality and it’s a knock out winner of a story. It will definitely be a rereader for me. In fact, there were some scenes so funny, I pulled family and friends aside from Thanksgiving festivities to share because I couldn’t keep the enjoyment just to myself.

I recommend ANYONE who loves romantic comedies, marriages of convenience, mystery, danger, and romance, go and pick this book up immediately. It will have you laughing until you can’t breathe or cry, or maybe both!

Genre: Historical Romance, Blue Ridge Mountains/England, 1913

Plot Overview:

Will the magic of Christmas bring these two newlyweds closer together, or will the ghosts of the past lead them into a destructive discovery from which not even a Dickens’s Christmas can save them?

Mistletoe is beautiful and dangerous, much like the woman from Lord Frederick’s Percy’s past, so when he turns over a new leaf and arranges to marry for his estate, instead of his heart, he never expects the wrong bride to be the right choice. Gracelynn Ferguson never expected to take her elder sister’s place as a Christmas bride, but when she’s thrust into the choice, she will trust in her faithful novels and overactive imagination to help her not only win Frederick’s heart but also to solve the murder mystery of Havensbrook Hall before the ghosts from Frederick’s past ruin her fairytale future.

What I loved: All the bookish love and imagination in this story combine with the humor created a story I will never forget and will probably reread every Christmas season.

Favorite Character and Why: Grace was the absolute best. Her sweet demeanor, vivid imagination, and naivety were a combination that leaves me smiling just thinking about her.

Who would like this? I recommend ANYONE who loves romantic comedies, marriages of convenience, mystery, danger, and romance, go and pick this book up immediately. It will have you laughing until you can’t breathe or cry, or maybe both!

Rating and Why: Five stars. It was HILARIOUS and the characters absolutely perfect.


Amazon     Barnes & Noble      Books-a-Million      Book Depository      Bookshop.org      Christianbook.com     Indiebound.org

Have you read it yet? What books are your absolute must rereads every year?

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