Posted in Bethany House, Book reviews

“A Portrait of Loyalty” by Roseanna M White ~ Review


A Portrait of Loyalty by Roseanna M White

Book Three in the Codebreakers Series

Review copy from the publishers

My rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

About the Book:

Zivon Marin was one of Russia’s top cryptographers, until the October Revolution tore apart his world. Forced to flee after speaking out against Lenin and separated from his brother along the way, he arrives in England driven by a growing anger and determined to offer his services to the Brits.

Lily Blackwell sees the world best through the lens of a camera–and possesses unsurpassed skill when it comes to retouching and recreating photographs. With her father’s connections in propaganda, she’s recruited to the intelligence division, even though her mother would disapprove.

After Captain Blackwell invites Zivon to dinner one evening, a friendship blooms between him and Lily. He sees patterns in what she deems chaos; she sees beauty in a world he thought destroyed. But both have secrets they’re unwilling to share. When her photographs reveal that someone has been following Zivon, his loyalties are called into question–and his enemies are discovered to be far closer than he’d feared. 

My Thoughts:

What a phenomenal conclusion to the Codebreaker series! I have loved each of these books so much,  and I daresay that the hero of A Portrait of Loyalty might just be my favorite. All the characters really are so marvelous though. This author has such a way at weaving historical details into an immensely enriching story with excellent plot and strong characters. I loved this novel,  and it was fascinating to get more of a glimpse into the unrest that was occurring within Russia at the time of WWI. I loved getting to see both Zivon’s and Lily’s roles as part of the Codebreakers – Lily’s skills at photography and aiding in the alteration of photos was so interesting.”A Portrait of Loyalty” held a bit of a plot twist that I wasn’t expecting, but it happened so smoothly, and while it had me rather teary-eyed, it did have purpose in the story.Also can’t neglect to mention how impressive it is that the characters who we are not rooting for got their own POV sections so we were able to really get to know them and see why they believed what they did. Just exceptionally handled, the whole thing.Truly, I loved this book and found it excellent and moving! Brilliantly beautiful, and I highly recommend this entire series!!


I received a copy of this book from the publishers as apart of the launch team. I was not required to write a positive review.

Posted in Book reviews, Revell Reads, Reviews

“Until I Met You” by Tari Faris ~ Book Review

Until I Met You (Restoring Heritage, #2)

“Until I Met You” by Tari faris

Book Two in Restoring Heritage Series

Review copy from the publishers

My rating: 3.5 out of 5 Stars

About the Book:

When she hears that the small town of Heritage, Michigan, is looking for a new librarian, Libby Kingsley jumps at the opportunity. Little did she know the library is barely more than a storage closet stuffed with dusty, outdated books. What the community really needs is a new building. But the only funds available are those being channeled into the new town square, and the landscape architect in charge of the project wants nothing to do with her plans.

All Austin Williams wants to do is get the town square project finished so he can do right by the family business and then extricate himself from the town that reveres the brother who cost him so much. But the local media and the town’s new librarian seem to be conspiring against him at every turn. Will the determined bookworm find her way into his blueprints–and possibly even his heart?

My Thoughts:

I love discovering new authors! This was my first book to read by Tari Faris, though it is the second in the series. I seem to have a habit for doing that…but I do plan on catching up on the first book soon as I can. :) “Until I Met You” tells the story of Libby and Austin, as well as Austin’s brother Nathan, and Libby’s roommate Olivia. I really enjoyed how the novel played out, displaying each character’s story with care and attention. It all read very smoothly, and I enjoyed my visit to their little town of Heritage. ^.^ 

While primarily a light hearted read, Until I Met You also contains a great message of the importance of God’s grace. That was lovely. I think this book stood well on its own, but I think reading them in order would be the best way to enjoy it, as there are return-characters. I like when books interconnect, even if I haven’t had the pleasure of catching up on the first book(s) XD

I liked all the characters, though I’ll admit Austin could frustrate me. I understood his struggle with forgiveness, and appreciated his journey to arrive at that point, but I just had a bit of a hard time with his anger sometimes. But again, we get to see him grow so that was nice.

All in all, a fun, sweet story. :)

Posted in blog tour, Book reviews

“The Secret Place of Thunder” by Alicia G. Ruggieri ~ Blog Tour/Review And Giveaway

About the Series:

The Secret Place of Thunder is part of the Librarians of Willow Hollow multi-author novella collection. Each novella stands on its own but is connected to the others in this historical Christian fiction series set in 1930s Appalachia.

Other books in the Librarians of Willow Hollow series:

A Strand of Hope by Amanda Tero

I Love to Tell the Story by Faith Blum

Hearts on Lonely Mountain by A.M. Heath

Come along as four packhorse librarians find adventures outside the books they carry!

The Secret Place of Thunder (Librarians of Willow Hollow, #4)

The Secret Place of Thunder by Alicia G. Ruggieri

Librarians of Willow Hollow #4

My rating: 4.5 out of 5 Stars

About the Book:

The mountains have imprisoned her long enough…

Edna Sue O’Connell came back to the Kentucky hills out of duty and can’t wait for the chance to escape again. Her work as a horseback librarian in rural Appalachia provides enough income for her invalid father to survive in the midst of the Great Depression, but it affords her with little else.

When an opportunity arises for Edna to take on an additional book delivery area, she spies a glimmer of hope that she might find a way out of Willow Hollow after all… and that she might actually make something of her life apart from the tragedy that has filled it thus far.

But the new routes give Edna more than she ever bargained for. Slowly, she finds that the mountains contain many valuable secrets – if she has the grit to meet them.

My Thoughts:

It’s been too long since I picked up a story by this author (entirely my fault!), and so returning to her writing was a true delight.

The Secret Place of Thunder is the fourth novella in the HorsebackLibrarians of Willow Hollow series, but I confess I read it first, and am now planning on catching up on the others. ;)

Edna Sue’s story is one of rawness and struggle, but also full of poignant truth. Dear Edna Sue is a bit rough – and in this story we get to understand why. I felt for her. And enjoyed seeing her journey unfold, and her inner battle find completion.

Cecil was an excellent character as well, and I really liked how he complimented Edna Sue and didn’t give up on her.I loved Mr. Ravenhill too! He was such a great character.I really enjoyed this story as a whole, and think this collection is a wonderful idea. :)

Purchase the Book: — Available in e-book and softcover

Author’s Website:

Author’s Facebook Page:

Author’s Instagram: The Secret Place of Thunder on Goodreads:

About the Author:

Alicia G. Ruggieri grew up breathing in the salty air of coastal New England. She now writes grace-filled, Christ-centered fiction from her home in Wisconsin, where she lives with her husband and sweet second-hand mutt. She loves old graveyards, dusty libraries, and excellent cannolis ~ not necessarily in that order.


To celebrate this release, Alicia is giving away an Appalachian music CD, a mini Appalachian Breakfast soy candle, and a set of whimsical bronze bookmarks! (Due to shipping costs, the giveaway is limited to the continental U.S.) You can enter by clicking on the giveaway image or ENTER HERE!

Blog Tour:

9/15 Welcome to the Tour at A Brighter Destiny –

Amanda @

Raechel @

9/16 Kaitlyn @

J.E. Grace @

9/17 Rebekah @

9/18 Jane @

9/19 Connie @

9/20 Abigail @

9/21 Tara @

Ryana @

9/22 Wrap-up & giveaway winner announced @

Posted in Uncategorized

“The Haunting at Bonaventure Circus” by Jaime Jo Wright – book review

The Haunting at Bonaventure Circus

The Haunting at Bonaventure Circus by Jaime Jo Wright

A Split-time Novel

Review copy from the publishers as apart of the Launch Team

My rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

About the Book:

In 1928, Bonaventure Circus outcast Pippa Ripley must decide if uncovering her roots is worth putting herself directly in the path of a killer preying on the troupe. Decades later, while determining if an old circus train depot will be torn down or preserved, Chandler Faulk is pulled into a story far darker and more haunting than she imagined.

My Thoughts:

While not matte like the previous books by this author, the cover for The Haunting at Bonaventure Circus certainly is gorgeous! I’ve been eagerly anticipating this novel since the author began letting out pieces of information about it. :)

I loved Pippa’s story. Her part of this split-time story is set in 1928, and I became enthralled immediately. Pippa was such a tender-hearted, dear character. Insecure, and struggling to find her worth, but also strong and growing in her strength. It might be needless to say that her portion of the story was definitely my favorite ;) I loved the elephant aspect of it as well. 

The contemporary portion held its own great characters and I appreciated Chandler having health complications that were very real and shown with care. I don’t have Lyme, but I am familiar with energy-loss and health problems, so it was nice to see such things represented in fiction.

It’s hard for me to find the words for this review because I really liked the book, but there were a couple aspects that I had a bit of a hard time with.I feel like the topic of ghosts was a lot stronger in this book than the others, and was never really resolved in the end. I expect some talk of ghosts in these books, but in the past, it always resulted in being concrete evidence of the occurrences and not encouraged to be dealing with ghosts. This book wasn’t really that way. That was one of the reasons I didn’t like the contemporary thread quite as much, because it was very heavily influenced by “the other side” and there was a character who was connected to that realm, and while the character even said that ‘whether its ghosts or demons, they’re still not to be trifled with’, the characters definitely trifled with them. I know views on ghosts and all are very different but I believe that the spiritual realm does exist, in demonic ways, and by playing around with them, it is opening a door, so it’s a serious thing. The characters didn’t take it seriously, and if it was just that one character I could let it go because yes, in life there are all sorts of people and representation of them is realistic, but the whole message of “maybe it was a ghost for real”  at the end was disconcerting to me. I’m only pointing this out for readers who share my same beliefs and would want to know this content as well. I’m in no way attacking the author or how it is written – just stating my opinion of it so others can be aware too.

The mystery of both stories was very well done, and kept you intrigued and curious till the very end. The Watchman was eerie and the deaths sad, but it was all tied together in such a compelling manner.

As I said, I really liked Pippa’s story, and I loved Jake. He and Pippa were my favorite characters for certain! And Lily the elephant <3 Pippa struggled to ever feel like she was enough, so while it was mainly just from a human perspective, I’m glad she was able to find some reassurance on that in the end! The message of God being our true worth was there as a sweet undertone. I think it could’ve been shown with more power, but it was still nicely done.

All in all, I did really enjoy this novel, and think it was written beautifully as usual.

I also had the pleasure of dressing up “as Pippa” for an Instagram challenge prompt. Below is one such picture, but you can check out my instagram: @vikinglady10 to see more. :)

*I received a copy of the book from the publishers.

Posted in Book reviews

“Hearts on Lonely Mountain” by A.M. Heath ~ Book Review


“Hearts on Lonely Mountain” by A.M. Heath

Third Novella in the Librarians of Willow Hollow Collection

My rating: 4.5 out of 5 Stars


About the Book:

Can two lonely people find more than a fleeting friendship or will a prejudiced town keep them apart?
When Ivory Bledsoe left the city to minister to the people of the rural mountain town of Willow Hollow, she never expected to be shunned rather than welcomed. Seeing the town as a lost cause, she’s eager to return home, but when the bridge leading out of town is washed away during a flood, she finds herself stranded in the last place she wants to be.
Ben Thrasher was content with his quiet life until he met the new librarian. He can’t help but be drawn to the friendly and lively Ivory Bledsoe, despite her being at the center of the town’s latest superstition. It’s only a matter of time until she captures his heart, turning his world upside down in the process.
Has Ivory gotten God’s plan for her all wrong or is there still a way she can serve these people? And can Ben ask her to stay in a place where so few are willing to embrace her?



My Thoughts:


I started this Story Collection of the Librarians of Willow Hollow backward, which meant I was first introduced to Ivory Bledsoe through Edna Sue’s story in The Secret Place of Thunder. Edna Sue was not overly keen on Ivory at first, and that made me all the more curious to read Ivory’s own story. They are very different characters, but both have such individualistic stories and backgrounds!

I loved getting to know Ivory. She is such a bubbly, happy character, and very eager to help the town of Willow Hollow. However, her efforts are thwarted as the people aren’t the most welcoming of her…Her first real friend is little Gerrit – just a child, but oh so precious! I fell in love with him completely through this story.^.^ Such a cutie. And so open-hearted towards Ivory which is exactly what she needed.

And Gerrit’s uncle, Ben Thrasher. A very worthy hero, I must say. He is complex, and well…very grumpy XD But he has such depth and I loved getting to see from his perspective. And see how vastly different Ivory viewed him, as he kept so much internal! This was a fun story to watch unfold, and I was reluctant to ever put it down.I loved the message, and the ending was super sweet. <3


Hearts on Lonely Mountain1

Hearts on Lonely Mountain2

Hearts on Lonely Mountain3

Hearts on Lonely Mountain4