Thursday, March 31, 2016

Quarterly Round-Up: January-March

        Here is my quarterly round-up of all of the books that I have read the past three months. It’s actually a pretty impressive number, 32 to be exact, but I’ve also listed the books that are in my pictures but I either never got a chance to read or didn’t finish. Also, if you click on any of the green-colored titles, it will take you to my full review of that book. So, without further ado, let me get this long post underway.

Betting on Hope
        Betting on Hope is the first book in Debra Clopton’s Four of Hearts Ranch Romance series, and was also the first book I had ever read by her. I have to say, I really enjoyed this novel; in fact I couldn’t get enough of it. 

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

My Bookshelf: Love Arrives in Pieces by Betsy St. Amant

For so long, Stella was known for her beauty. Now, with her heart stripped bare, she must discover who she really is.
        Former pageant queen Stella Varland doesn’t trust beauty anymore after her divorce. Her appearance betrayed her and led to brokenness, so instead of being beautiful, now she tries to make beautiful things, but she always falls short. So she keeps her passion for art to herself and focuses on her interior design work. But if she doesn’t get another job soon, she’ll be stuck living with her parents.
        Contractor Chase Taylor is determined to live a life of no regrets after losing his fiancée. Now he lives life at full speed, striving to see how much he can accomplish. He knows if he slows down, he’ll fall apart. So he returns home to Bayou Bend to renovate the town’s old theater and is shocked to discover that the designer for the project is his old flame, Stella.
        Forced to work together, Chase and Stella battle their chemistry and past as they struggle to compromise and work together on a vision for the theater. Their wills clash as they attempt to hide their brokenness—and their unresolved feelings for each other—until Chase discovers the hidden parts of Stella, while losing her trust in the process.
        A near catastrophe, a fire, and a small-town gossip mill finally force Stella and Chase to realize that they have a choice—to hold on to the shards of their pasts, or surrender their fragmented pieces to the One who makes a beautiful masterpiece from their brokenness.

Top Ten of My Most Recent 5 Star Reads

Today’s Top Ten Tuesday is all about my most recent 5 star reads. Fortunately for me, I’ve read TONS of books I’ve loved in the past few weeks, though that makes my decision all that much harder. So I’ve just gone down the list of books I’ve read and added the last ten books I’ve read that I gave five stars to. If you want to see my full reviews of each novel, just click the coral-colored titles in my descriptions. So, here we go…

Love Arrives in Pieces by Betsy St. Amant
Love Arrives in Pieces comes after All’s Fair in Love and Cupcakes.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Must-Have April Releases

        Can you believe it is already almost April?! I don’t know how this happened; in my mind I’m still on winter break! However, before we know it—at least for me—school will be out and we’ll have the whole summer stretching before us. Just think how much reading we’ll be able to do then! So, here are the new novels I’m so excited to see release in the coming month!

Hope in the Land

        When Henry Edison turns up in Lancaster County to survey farm women about their domestic contributions during the 1930s, the last thing Amish housewife Gloria Grabill has time for is the government agent’s unending questions. Gloria’s hands are already full with a farm to run alongside her husband, a houseful of children, and an English neighbor, Minerva Swain, how has been trying Gloria’s patience for forty years. Gloria’s oldest daughter, Polly, wants nothing more than the traditional path of an Amish farmer’s wife, but everything she does seems to push Thomas Coblentz further away. While the Great Depression shadows the country in gloom, can Amish and English neighbors in Lancaster Country grasp the goodness that will sustain hope?

Friday, March 25, 2016

Crazy Little Thing Called Love by Beth K. Vogt

        Paramedic Vanessa Hollister has put her adolescence behind her, including the unwanted label of being the new kid in town over and over again, thanks to her father’s military career. She’s overcome what her mother called “the biggest mistake of her life” and is planning an elegant destination wedding in Destin, Florida, with her new fiancé. But will the reappearance of her first husband from her what-were-you-thinking teenage elopement disrupt her dream of an idyllic beach wedding?
        As a professional storm chaser, Logan Hollister is used to taking risks. However, a reckless decision during the last tornado season has him questioning the future of his team, the Stormmeisters. Coming face to face with his ex-wife eight years after their divorce compels him to confront his greatest regret: losing Vanessa. Does their past give him the right to interfere with her future?

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

My Bookshelf: The Hearts We Mend by Kathryn Springer

For young widow Evie Bennett, moving forward will mean deciding what to leave behind…and what to keep.
        Widowed at the age of twenty-five when her firefighter husband was killed in the line of duty, Evie Bennett has spent the last thirteen years raising their son, Cody, in the close-knit community of Banister Falls. As the women’s ministry director of her church, Evie encourages women to boldly pursue God’s plan for their future…while she is content with her memories of the past. But Evie’s well-ordered life begins to change when she meets Jack Vale.
        As Evie gets drawn into Jack’s world—a world that isn’t as safe and predictable as the one she’s worked so hard to create—he challenges her to open her eyes to the problems in the community…but will Evie open her heart to love again?
        Because even though Jack isn’t anything like her late husband, he just might be everything she needs.

I Definitely Don’t Talk About These Enough

Today’s Top Ten Tuesday is all about books that I really love but feel like I haven’t talked about enough or in a while. I picked books I haven’t reviewed yet either, and I’m honestly not sure if I’ve ever even mentioned these books on my blog. They’re definitely all books that I love, as I pulled them from my all-time favorites list, and I hope you’ll eventually love them as much as I do.

Love Lifted Me by Sara Evans & Rachel Hauck
The third book in Sara & Rachel’s Songbird series, coming after The Sweet By and By and Softly and Tenderly.

Monday, March 21, 2016

The Creole Princess by Beth White

Torn between loyalties to family and flag, one young woman is about to discover that her most important allegiance is to her heart.
        It is 1776, and all along the eastern seaboard the American struggle for independence rages. But in the British-held southern port of Mobile, Alabama, the conflict brewing is much quieter—though no less deadly.
        Lyse Lanier may be largely French in heritage, but she spends most of her time in the company of the ebullient daughter of the British commander of Mobile. When a charming young Spanish merchant docks in town, Lyse is immediately struck by his easy wit and flair for the dramatic. But is he truly who he makes himself out to be? Spies abound, and Spain has yet to choose a side in the American conflict. Is Lyse simply an easy mark for Rafael Gonzalez to exploit? Or are his overtures of love as genuine as Spanish gold?

Thursday, March 17, 2016

The Wood’s Edge by Lori Benton

At wood’s edge cultures collide. Can two families survive the impact?
        The 1757 New York frontier is home to the Oneida tribe and to British colonists, yet their feet rarely walk the same paths.
        On the day Fort William Henry falls, Major Reginald Aubrey is beside himself with grief. His son, born that day, has died in the arms of his sleeping wife. When Reginald comes across an Oneida mother with newborn twins, one white, one brown, he makes a choice that will haunt the lives of all involved. He steals the white baby and leaves his own child behind. Reginald’s wife and foundling daughter, Anna, never suspect the truth about the boy they call William, but Reginald is wracked by regret that only intensifies with time, as his secret spreads its devastating ripples.
        When the long buried truth comes to light, can an unlikely friendship forged at the wood’s edge provide a way forward? For a father tormented by fear of judgement, another by lust for vengeance. For a mother still grieving her lost child. For a brother who feels his twin’s absence, another unaware of his twin’s existence. And for Anna, who loves them both—Two Hawks, the mysterious Oneida boy she meets in secret, and William, her brother. As paths long divided collide, how will God direct the feet of those who follow him?

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

My Bookshelf: The Goodbye Bride by Denise Hunter

She only remembers loving him. But he can’t forget the way she left.
        Following a concussion, Lucy Lovett can’t remember the last seven months of her life. She doesn’t remember leaving her fiancé Zac Callahan weeks before their wedding or moving to Portland, Maine. And she sure doesn’t remember getting engaged to another man. All she remembers is loving Zac more than life itself.
        It’s taken Zac months to move on after Lucy left him with no explanation. He’s thrown himself into his family’s farm and his restaurant business in Summer Harbor. Now Lucy’s back, vulnerable, homeless, and still in love with him. She needs his help putting the pieces together, but letting her back into his life is a risk—and the stakes are high. If he follows his heart he’ll win back the love of his life. But if her memory returns he’ll lose her all over again.

Spring Reads

Spring is here!!! I can feel it in the air and I absolutely couldn’t be more excited! Fortunately for me, today’s Top Ten Tuesday is the perfect way to celebrate. It’s all about the books on my spring TBR, and believe me, there’s plenty. The problem will be limiting it to just ten! So, I’ll give it a try! Here goes…

Back in the Saddle by Ruth Logan Herne
The first book in Ruth’s Double S Ranch series, Back in the Saddle is one of the many books I am fortunate enough to have the chance to review through the Litfuse Publicity Group.


Saturday, March 12, 2016

The Pelican Bride by Beth White

She’s come to the New World to escape a perilous past. But has it followed her to these far shores?
        It is 1704 when Frenchwoman Genevieve Gaillain and her sister board the frigate Pelican bound for the distant Louisiana colony. Both have promised to marry one of the rough men toiling in this strange new world in order to escape suffering in the old. Genevieve knows life won’t be easy, but at lease here she can establish a home and family without fear of persecution for her outlawed religious beliefs.
        When she falls in love with Tristan Lanier, an expatriate cartographer-turned-farmer whose checkered past is shrouded in mystery, Genevieve realizes that even in this land of liberty one is not guaranteed peace. Trouble is brewing outside the fort between the French colonists and the native people surrounding them. And an even more sinister enemy may lurk within. Could the secret Genevieve harbors mean the undoing of the colony itself?

Friday, March 11, 2016

A Love Like Ours by Becky Wade

        Former Marine Jake Porter has far deeper scars than the one that marks his face. He struggles with symptoms of PTSD, lives a solitary life, and avoids relationships.
        When Lyndie James, Jake’s childhood best friend, lands back in Holley, Texas, Jake cautiously hires her to exercise his Thoroughbreds. Lyndie is tender-hearted, fiercely determined, and afraid of nothing, just like she was as a child. Jake pairs her with Silver Leaf, a horse full of promise but lacking in results, hoping she can solve the mystery of the stallion’s reluctance to run.
        Though Jake and Lyndie have grown into very different adults, the bond that existed during their childhood still ties them together. Against Jake’s will, Lyndie’s sparkling, optimistic personality begins to tear down the walls he’s built around his heart. A glimmer of the hope he thought he’s lost returns, but fears and regrets still plague him. Will Jake ever be able to love Lyndie like she deserves, or is his heart to shattered to mend?

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Meant to Be Mine by Becky Wade

        Ty Porter has always been irresistible to Celia Park. All through high school—irresistible. When their paths cross again after college—still irresistible. This time, though, Ty seems to feel exactly the same way about Celia. Their whirlwind romance deposits them at a street-corner Las Vegas wedding chapel.
        The next morning they wake to a marriage certificate and a dose of cold reality. Celia’s ready to be Ty’s wife, but Ty’s not ready to be her husband. He’s a professional bull rider, he lives on the road, and he’s long planned to settle down with the hometown girl he’s known since childhood.
        Five and a half years pass. Celia’s buried her dreams so that she can afford to raise her daughter. Ty’s achieved all of his goals. Or thought he had, until he looks again into the eyes of the woman he couldn’t forget and into the face of the child he never knew he had.
        How much will Ty sacrifice to win back Celia’s trust and prove to her that their spontaneous marriage can still become the love of a lifetime?

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

My Bookshelf: Undeniably Yours by Becky Wade

        When Meg Cole’s father dies unexpectedly, she’s forced to return home to Texas and to Whispering Creek Ranch to take up the reins of his empire. The last thing she has the patience or the sanity to deal with? Her father’s Thoroughbred racehorse farm. She gives its manager, Bo Porter, six months to close the place down.
        Bo knows he ought to resent the woman who’s determined to take from him the only job he ever wanted. But instead of anger, Meg evokes within him a profound desire to protect. The more time he spends with her, the more he longs to overcome every obstacle that separates them and earn her love.
        Just when Meg realizes she can no longer deny the depth of her feelings for Bo, their fragile bond is broken by a force from Meg’s past. Can their relationship—and their belief that God can work through every circumstance—survive?

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

My Bookshelf: Until I Found You by Victoria Bylin

Finding each other was only the beginning…
        When Kate Darby swerves off a mountain road to avoid hitting a California condor, she ends up trapped in her car, teetering on the edge of a cliff. Terrified, she breathes a prayer that changes her life.
        It’s Nick Sheridan who comes to Kate’s rescue. Nick is handsome and confident, and he seems to develop a habit of rescuing her, but Kate is in town only until her grandmother recuperates from a stroke. She’s not planning to get involved with one of the locals.
        Nick is a reformed veteran of life in the fast lane, a new Christian, and a travel writer. When he sees a car dangling on the edge of a cliff, the daredevil in him jumps into action. He doesn’t expect to be swept off his feet by the car’s occupant. He’s made a vow—no dating for a year—but keeping that vow is going to be a lot more difficult now that he’s met Kate Darby…

Need a Laugh?

Today’s Top Ten Tuesday is all about the ten book to read if in the mood for x, y, or z. I chose my category to be—you guessed it—the ten best books to read if in the mood for a good laugh. I’m picking some of my favorite novels that have the best banter, the cleverest quips, and the funniest characters to give you a list that will always supply something good to read if looking for a story that will make you laugh till your sides hurt. I’m always reluctant to list more than one book by the same author, but on this list, I made one exception just because I couldn’t decide which of the two books was better to add to the list. Which is a good problem to have.

All’s Fair in Love and Cupcakes by Betsy St. Amant

 Check out my review of this book here.