Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Four Winds by Lisa T. Bergren

Four Winds picks up where Three Wishes left off. It seems that Zara Ruiz is now permanently stuck in 1840 with Javier de la Ventura and his family. Just as she is becoming aware of her love for Javier she is kidnapped by pirates! Javier will stop at nothing to get Zara back and Zara will stop at nothing to become free. Will this experience show Zara and Javier that their love is not meant to be and that Zara must return to her own time?

From the very beginning of the book the reader is taken on a fast-paced adventure! I was transported to 1840 along with Zara and felt her struggles. I love her character. She is strong, young and vibrant. And Javier? Oh my! They are perfect for each other. I love the passion that they both have, not just for each other(although there is plenty of that!), but their passion for life, their passion to preserve their faith and their family and their land. It was fun to be taken to another era where danger and chivalry abounded! I'm definitely part of the River Tribe fandom!

Saturday, December 3, 2016

One Fateful Christmas Eve by Holly Schindler

Mallory is an editor for Bib Books, a metaphysical publishing house. But her dream job is working for one of the Big 5 publishing houses. This Christmas Eve she has an opportunity to land that job. It seems that fate, which Mallory doesn't believe in, has other ideas for her though.

Graham Kendall's book is the first book that Bib has had on the best-seller list. He and Mallory have worked hard to make it there. Mallory has worked at keeping their relationship professional even though there is something about Graham that seems to touch a part of her heart.

From the moment Mallory leaves work on Christmas Eve it seems that fate is against her. Or so it seems to Mallory. Through a series of mishaps and disasters Mallory finally sees what has been right in front of her all along.

One Fateful Christmas Eve was a sweet Christmas read and I enjoyed it very much. I loved the lessons that Mallory learned throughout her evening. I enjoyed her eyes slowly being opened to the idea that people are more than what they wear or what their circumstances are. If you are looking for a quick, thought provoking, sweet read for Christmas then definitely check this one out!

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Forever Finley Finale by Holly Schindler

The final two stories are in this installment of the Forever Finley Short Story Cycle. The first story is Pale November. In it Patricia Steele has just found out some terrible news. It seems to Mark though that nobody is interested in what is happening to Patricia. Has all that Mark has done to help promote the legend of Amos and Finley been for nothing? Not only is Mark feeling the change that is coming to Finley, others are feeling it too. There is a sense of doom coming to the town of Finley and those that sense its coming don't know what to do about it.

So exciting to be closing in on the finale of Amos and Finley's story! I loved Pale November! It seems that the town has forgotten the hope that believing in Amos and Finley's story used to produce. Mark seems especially disgruntled by this. He is determined to revive the town spirit once again and show Patricia that people in Finley care about what happens to each other. I love that message of everyone coming together to support someone in need. Amos and Finley are still trying to unite in the afterlife, but in Pale November you can feel them coming closer together. We also see in Pale November that miracles still do happen and that Finley is still working her magic.

The last story in the series, December Bells, had so many "feels" in it for me!!! Certain people in Finley are hearing noises. For each one it is different, but the feeling that the noises bring is the same...something bad is going to happen soon! It is just a few short weeks to Natalie and Damien's wedding. Will the town be able to put everything together for their wedding? And what about Finley's lace shawl that Natalie wanted to wear for her wedding? Will it ever be found? And will Amos and Finley ever be reunited in the afterlife? We find out all of the answers by the end of the story, and believe me I sighed a happy/sappy sigh when it was all over! The perfect ending for the perfect magical couple. I absolutely loved the whole Short Story Cycle.

While I enjoyed reading one story per month throughout the year, The Forever Finley short stories now are available all in one book in either paperback or for your Kindle. You can purchase it from Amazon.

If you enjoy stories set in small towns, if you enjoy magical/mystical stories, if you enjoy a romance that goes beyond this lifetime, if you enjoy stories of people helping out their neighbors, then step into the town of Finley and be carried away by the legend of Amos and his love Finley.

Check out my reviews of the other installments of this book:

Come December
January Thaw
Forget February
Dearest March
April's Promise
Mayday Mayday Mayday
Chasing June
A Hundred Julys
Under The August Moon
Song For September
October Omen


Miles Left Yet where the town of Finley is introduced.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Cowboy Christmas Homecoming by Various Authors

Last Chance Christmas by Julie Lessman

Grace O'Malley is in Last Chance, California hoping to start a new life. Hoping that her old friend will welcome her in her home Grace arrives unannounced and in for a surprise.

Newly widowed Pastor Colton McCabe is in need of some serious help. When Grace arrives on his doorstep he takes it as the miracle it is and gives Grace a home in exchange for her caring for his motherless children and his aunt who is none too happy to have Grace in her home.

If Colton knew when Grace arrived that she had no experience running a household he may have changed his mind. But Grace loves his children even if she burns every meal! Grace is eager to leave her past behind and find love with Colton, but Colton has a promise to fulfill for his first wife and doesn't think he can love another woman.

Last Chance Christmas is the first novella in this collection. And the author is one of my favorites! So of course it made me excited to read it. In true Julie Lessman style there is drama abounding in this novella. There is even a bit of danger which caused me some heart palpitations! With a bit of humor to lighten the mood and the "Happily Ever After" that I crave in all my reading, Last Chance Christmas was a wonderful beginning to this Four Historical Novellas read.

A Cowboy For Christmas by Ruth Logan Herne

A fire has ripped through the community that June Harper and many other poor people were living. Widowed, June must now provide for herself and two young daughters. Joining with two other women June goes to work on a local farm picking potatoes. When she is assaulted by the foreman June stands up to him and brings the plight of her homeless community to the attention of the boss of the farm she is working on.

Hugh Stackman may have turned his back on God long ago, but he still has a heart and responsibility to his fellow neighbors. Hugh and his brother Jacob come up with a plan to provide for June and the rest of the homeless community through the winter while their town and businesses are being rebuilt.

Hugh and June are attracted to each other from the start, but June has already been married to a man that had no faith and she refuses to be involved with another. Hugh cannot put on a false faith just to please June, will he be able to surrender his bitterness and anger to a God he feels let him down?

I thought this was a sweet story. Of course being a novella the attraction between June and Hugh happens quickly. I loved how Hugh jumped right in to help those less fortunate than himself. Even though his heart was hardened towards God, throughout the story we could see that his heart wasn't hardened towards people. I loved June's ability to stand firm in her faith even when her heart was breaking. Great addition to this novella compilation!

Longhorn Christmas by Mary Connealy

Netty is on her own raising her son Jeremiah and trying to eke out a living by capturing wild longhorns and selling them to provide for her and her son.

Roy came back from war to find his family and farm gone. The girl he was engaged to moved on to greener pastures so Roy is now wandering not sure what he is looking for.

Roy comes upon Netty just in time to save her from one of the longhorns she is trying to round up. Roy agrees to stay and help Netty gather up longhorns until Christmas. The problem is that Roy is a wandering man and Netty just might capture his heart.

I enjoyed Longhorn Christmas. There were several scenes that had me laughing out loud. I loved Netty teaching her son Jeremiah about the Nativity, and I especially enjoyed how Netty and Roy seemed to be the perfect match to help each other heal and start a new life.

Connie's Christmas Prayer by Anna Schmidt

Connie and her mother have moved to Arizona Territory when Connie's father dies and leaves them in debt. Connie's mother is now the owner of the local diner and Connie works with her to help make ends meet. Connie's one desire is to be able to move back to St. Louis her former home.

Isaac knows the moment he lays eyes on Connie that she is "the one" for him. He now has to persuade Connie. He enlists the help of Connie's mother who is all for the match. Can Isaac hope to win Connie's heart and change her desire to return to St. Louis?

Connie's Christmas Prayer is the last story in Cowboy Christmas Homecoming. I thought it was a sweet addition and enjoyed reading it.I liked the characters of Connie and Isaac. I enjoyed how independent Connie was even though she didn't seem to know exactly what she wanted in her life. I also liked Isaac's character in how he was decisive and intuitive and went after what he wanted. A cute story.

I enjoyed all of the stories in Cowboy Christmas Homecoming and look forward to reading other stories by these authors.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Haunting Joy 2 by Lena Goldfinch

Joy is very startled when another ghost makes his appearance known to her. This time the ghost is a boy named Kyle. He doesn't remember how he died. There are other differences as well that unsettle Joy. For one thing it seems that Kyle is able to communicate better with Joy than Beth(her former haunting) was.

Joy is all set to get Kyle to the afterlife and quit being haunted. But it isn't so easy to figure out what has kept Kyle tied to this earth.

One of the first things I loved about this book was that even though Kyle is dead the story isn't a downer. There are definite amusing parts that had me laughing out loud. Now, don't get me wrong, there are some poignant moments that also had me in tears. I loved that even though Joy got exasperated with Kyle she was still willing to help him figure out why he was still here even though he had died. I also loved all of the teen angst that Joy was going through in her life. Almost 18 and still no cell phone, are her and Nick a couple or not, when will her parents quit nagging her about cleaning her room, and most importantly of all, which college will she choose to go to? All in all Haunting Joy 2 was a sweet haunting that I definitely enjoyed reading(two times in a row!). If you haven't read Haunting Joy I definitely recommend remedying that, it is well worth the read!

Check out my review of Haunting Joy

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Christmas Conspiracy by Susan Sleeman

First Response Commander Jake Marsh is on the scene to help childcare owner Rachael Long when a masked man breaks into the daycare and tries to kidnap one of Rachael's children. Determined to keep the man from taking the child and also determined to identify the man, Rachael rips off his mask! Now Rachael is in danger and Jake is determined to do all he can to keep her safe.

Both Rachael and Jake have lost people in their lives that have left them feeling guilty and unworthy to be loved again. Both have thrown their energy into their work. Now that Jake is protecting Rachael they both feel the attraction that they instantly have for one another, but neither one is ready to open their heart to love.

Christmas Conspiracy is the last book in the First Responders series and it definitely kept this reader on the edge of my seat! Christmas Conspiracy starts off with heart-pounding action and that action continues throughout the whole story. I love Jake's character. He is protective and tender with Rachael and willing to give up his life in order to keep her safe. We are able to catch up with the rest of the team and see how the other relationships have developed. Although I am sad that the series is over I have enjoyed each of the team members stories. If you are a romantic suspense fan like I am then don't miss out on this fantastic series!

My Reviews of the First Responders Series:
Silent Night Standoff
Explosive Alliance
High-Caliber Holiday
Emergency Response
Silent Sabotage

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Redeeming Grace by Ward Tanneberg

Image result for redeeming grace by ward tanneberg

Seven years ago Grace Grafton experienced the worst night of her life. Set to graduate from college Grace and two of her friends are having a weekend away. When offered the chance to spend an evening with one of the richest men in the world and several of his friends, no strings attached, the girls are excited and ready for the adventure. What happens while with these men will change Grace's life forever.

Now 7 years later, Grace's old life is about to catch up with her. The only problem is that not only is Grace in danger, but those she loves most have been kidnapped. The men that have taken her loved ones will stop at nothing to ensure Grace's silence. Will Grace be able to save her fiancé and his children while taking down the most powerful men in America before it's too late?

I thought this was a good story although it was rather long, 597 pages long to be exact! That would be my only complaint about this book. I thought that the story line moved along at a good pace, but there were several elements of the story that I think could have been removed to shorten the book. I think that the author managed to keep the reader engaged in Grace's plight and had enough action to keep the reader turning the pages in order to find out what happened next. I found that I was invested in what happened in the characters lives even though at one point I was getting confused because too many other characters got introduced. Everything was tidily wrapped up and left me with a sense of peace about the future of the characters. If you don't mind a long book and you enjoy a good suspense then I definitely recommend this one for you.