Posted in Book reviews

“The Perfect Christmas” by Bell Renshaw ~ Book Review

“The Perfect Christmas” by Bell Renshaw

A Winter, Montana Novella

I own this book; it was not provided for review.

My rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

About the Book:

Will the perfect Christmas be enough to convince Beau that a life with Ansley could be equally perfect? Born and raised in Winter, Montana, Beau Bradley can’t imagine life anywhere else. During the holiday season his coffee shop, Mountain Grounds, is as busy as ever and now that his girlfriend is back in town, things finally seem to be lining up—until he gets a call that could change it all. Ansley Strauss is back in Winter after a nine-month, art intensive in Canada and she’s ready to celebrate the Christmas season in the tried and true Winter-style. There’s only one problem: her boyfriend lacks Christmas spirit. Her solution? Make this Christmas perfect to remind Beau just how special this time of year is. Set on a course for ultimate Christmas joy, Ansley and Beau find that life doesn’t always work out the way they hope it will. Beau faces the reality that plans can’t account for everything and sometimes risking it all is the only way. Ansley will have to come to the realization that no matter how perfect things are, it’s the imperfections in life that make it worth living. It’s another Christmas in Winter, Montana where the coffee is always hot and the mistletoe beckons lovers to share a kiss.

 

My Thoughts:

 

Well, now I would very much like to go back and catch up on book one in this lovely series!
“The Perfect Christmas” is a perfect holiday read. I loved the setting, the characters, the story. I think what was my favorite part was that it wasn’t all ‘perfect’. This romance was a really realistic one with lots of bumps along the way. I loved the restoration story. I related to the characters, and loved seeing their progression through this novella. Which, by the way, for being a novella, the story didn’t at all feel too short or rushed or anything, which I appreciated immensely! Sometimes with novella’s it can leave you feeling like it was rushed and all squeezed in, but this one felt like the perfect length.
And the epilogue definitely leaves us wanting more. :)
A sweet, clean, holiday romance!

(And for a personal note for when I come back to read my own review – yeah, I do that – I will say that I wanted to shake Beau a few times, and may have reprimanded him a couple times…but I also saw myself in him at times, so…yeah. XD But I really liked him -and his hair on the cover, let’s be real – and loved seeing how he grew, and that ending was so perfect! <3)

 

 

Posted in Book reviews

“Like a Winter Snow” by Lindsay Harrel ~ Book Review

Like a Winter Snow (Port Willis)

 

“Like a Winter Snow” by Lindsay Harrel 

A Port Willis Novella

Review ecopy from the author

My rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

About the Book:

In this standalone holiday novella, return to the charming Cornish village readers fell in love with in The Secrets of Paper and Ink.
Women’s counselor Joy Beckman has always been a friend and helper to all. That’s why she’s given up everything to be with her parents as her mother suffers through Alzheimer’s. Joy may not have a thriving career or a love life at the moment, but she’s doing what she does best—taking care of others. And even though it’s difficult, she knows it’s where she is supposed to be.
But life throws a curveball when she has to leave her parents temporarily to travel to Cornwall, England, for the Christmas-time wedding of her best friend. While there, Joy helps Sophia tackle her last-minute to-do list, and in the process, finally meets a man who turns her head—and her heart. The only problem? He lives in snowy London, and her life is with her parents back in sunny Florida.
She tries to resist Oliver Lincoln’s charms, but it’s harder than it should be. With her heart torn in two, Joy is forced to choose between a life she knows she’s meant for and the one she didn’t see coming.

 

 

My Thoughts:

 

I do believe that this was a deliciously perfect winter novella! It was so sweet, with such a beautiful message, and I just connected to the story so much in the short amount of time given! It gave such a warm feeling and winter glow, with the soft touches of the Christmas holiday.Joy Beckman was such a well constructed character, and I felt like we really got to know her a lot better, even though this was a short story. And I loved seeing the familiar characters from The Secret of Paper and Ink! So special to return to Port Willis.If you’re looking for a sweet, but meaningful novella with lovely romance and that warm winter feeling, definitely check this one out! I loved how the  the point was shown that with God nothing is impossible. That message was poignant and beautiful, and I really didn’t want this story to end!

 

 

**I was provided an ecopy of this book by the publisher. All opinions in this review are my own.  

 

 

Posted in Book reviews

“Shanty by the Sea” by Kelli Pizarro

 

Shanty by the Sea

“Shanty by the Sea” by Kelli Pizarro

Novella

Review copy from the author

My rating: 4 out of 5 stars

About the Book:

Scarlett Cooper’s goals in life up to this point have been simple enough: run The Little Latte coffee shop by day and finish a novel-in-the-making by night. When her creative writing juices dry up, she visits the local bookstore for inspiration and leaves with a flier promoting an upcoming writer’s retreat in Cape Cod.
When announced as a winner, Scarlett crosses the state line from New Hampshire into Massachusetts. What she doesn’t realize is the retreat is themed The Great Writers of History, and she has been selected to play the part of starving artist Charles Dickens.
Hilarity ensues as Scarlett dresses in costume and competes against two fellow writers playing the parts of Jane Austen and William Makepeace Thackeray, spends her nights in a tiny shack on a cliff overlooking the sea, and finds herself developing feelings for a local man hired to tend to the retreat pet: a decrepit donkey named Janet.
Although things at the retreat don’t run as smoothly as Scarlett had hoped, and the competitive nature of the other writers tests her in a way reminiscent of Job who lost half his donkeys (one of which was probably named Janet), she learns that no amount of adversity is worth letting go of one’s dreams.
 

 

 

 

My Thoughts:

 

I loved how this book was written. It was very witty, and fun, and easy to follow along with. I was already laughing by the first page, and I really liked the main character, Scarlett! The plotline of her going to a writer’s retreat was great fun and I felt indignant against some of the things that happened to her too – got rather involved. ^.^

The only thing that I wasn’t quite as in love with was the romance – I admit I was expecting a different ending, and while this ending was sweet, I had hoped for a different result (aka, love-interest). The romance was written well and I did like it, I just was kind of surprised by the turn it took in the second half when I rooted for a different turn. :) But yes, very fun, clean story, and I really liked the author’s writing style – would love to read more by her in the future!  Plus the cover is beautiful!!

Posted in Book reviews

“The Accident” by A.M. Heath ~ Book Review

The Accident

“The Accident” by A.M. Heath

An Epistolary novella

Review ecopy from the author

My rating: 4 out of 5 stars

*

 

About the Book:

Can a wrong number bring true love or only heartache? 
Ashlyn Conner’s life is spiraling out of control. She’s already lost her father, and now that her mom is battling thyroid cancer, she fears being orphaned at fifteen. When a friendly stranger texts the wrong number, Ashlyn finds a confidant she didn’t realize she needed. The more Ashlyn gets to know Chris Knowles, the more she’s convinced he could be the caring husband and loving father the Conner women so desperately need.
If only she’d been honest and hadn’t made him believe he was texting her mother, Danielle.
When the truth comes out, will she lose her friendship with Chris and damage her relationship with her mother? Or can God make something beautiful out of her lie?
Told through text messages and Ashlyn’s journal entries, The Accident is a heartwarming, family-centered story.

 

 

My Thoughts:

 

My favorite thing about this little novella is the way it is written – completely through text messages and journal entries! I could read books in that format all day long. ;) It reminds me of my near-obsession of reading the Dear America books growing up. So fun!
The storyline was cute, and I thought Ashlynn was a very good character, and I understood her motives behind her actions. I didn’t really “bond” with the mother all that much; to be honest she kind of annoyed me at times. I felt for her in her illness, but her character just wasn’t one I loved. There was also a ton of LOL’s which felt a little overused, however that is coming from a person who never uses LOL, so. ;)
And of course, this is just my personal opinion. :)
I enjoyed this read though, and as I’m quickly coming to find, I definitely enjoy this author’s writing style! Very fun, engaging, and well-done!
Posted in Book reviews

“Enchanting Nicholette” by Dawn Crandall ~ Review

Hullo! Yesterday was the release day of the “Timeless Love” collection, of which “Enchanting Nicholette is apart!  Did you pre-ordered Timeless Love? If so, you now have the pre-Whitaker House edition of Enchanting Nicholette in your hands to read and enjoy which is quite fun. :) And if you don’t, there’s still time to order your copy to your kindle right now! It’s only 99cents and all royalties go to the Livestrong Foundation.
https://www.amazon.com/Timeless-Love-Romantic-Stories-th…/…/

 

And now I shall share my review of the dear story, “Enchanting Nicholette”…

 

 

“Enchanting Nicholette” by Dawn Crandall

A novella apart of The Everstone Chronicles

 

Review ecopy from the author

My Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5 stars

 

 

About the book:

In this captivating novella by Dawn Crandall, Nicholette Everstone is already a widow at the age of twenty-two: her husband was murdered on their wedding day. She has just returned to Boston after two years of mourning in Europe. Although her husband was loving, the marriage was an arranged one, and Nicholette would like to wed again–this time for love…and to someone safe

As she acclimates to life in Back Bay again, Nicholette meets someone she can’t help but fall for. But when she learns of the danger and sacrifices Cal Hawthorne takes on for the safety of others, will her heart be strong enough to keep her fears of “what if” at bay?

 

My Thoughts:

A sweet, enchanting (see what I did there? ;)) novella! Admittedly it took be a tiny bit to really get into the story, but I think that is mostly because I wasn’t entirely familiar with the characters; I’ve only read one book of Dawn Crandall’s (which I loved!), and that was quite a while ago. However, once I kept reading, it all worked itself out and it can be read as a stand alone since it is Nichollete’s story.
And Cal’s, of course. I loved Cal so much. He made such an excellent hero, and I fell in love with him immediately. I very much liked Nicholette but I didn’t really bond with her as much; not quite sure why. I certainly didn’t dislike her – that is far from it. She was a good character, and I felt for it, just didn’t deeply connect. I loved their relationship, though, and how it was all accomplished in a short amount of time. Of course,  I would’ve loved a full-size novel from this story, but I just love full-sized novels. XD “Enchanting Nicholette” was written very well and didn’t feel like it was lacking anything at all.
The kissing scenes got very heated though, which did make me a little uncomfortable, especially when they weren’t married… I don’t mind reading about a kiss here or there in fiction, because frankly there are few books that don’t contain kissing, but these scenes were a bit much in my  opinion.
But I know that is a personal-preference thing.
Otherwise, I thoroughly enjoyed this novella and look forward to reading more of her books!!
*You can find this novella in the Timeless Love Collection for a short while longer, otherwise EN will be available on its own in both ebook and paperback this October. :)
I received a complimentary ecopy of this book from the author/publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are mine alone.
Posted in 1940's, Book reviews

“Finding the Magic” by Jack Lewis Baillot ~ Book Review

Finding the Magic

 

“Finding the Magic” by Jack Lewis Baillot

A Novella Retelling of Beauty and the Beast

My rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

 

 

About the Book:

 

Belle’s father has always taught her to see the magic in the world around her, but when war comes it suddenly becomes harder to find. During the bombings of London, Belle is sent to live with Adam Prince, a bitter gentleman who has lost much and has therefore locked himself away in his mansion. When Belle meets Mr. Prince she decides she will show him the magic her dad told her not to forget, but it isn’t as easy as she thought it would be.
Aided by her new friend, Belle begins to break down Mr. Prince’s wall. But, just as she is helping him find laughter again sorrow strikes too close to home and Belle herself begins to lose hope.

 

 

 

My Thoughts:

This was super sweet and super good! The writing alone was excellent, and the story-line was positively adorable. It was just a short novella sort of story, but it held great meaning, and was a superb Beauty and the Beast retelling. I love how it started out with an excerpt of the original tale.
It has a beautiful and gentle faith-strand that glitters sweetly.
And the fact that it was set in Winter, with the snow and all the happy feelings that creates… <3
I definitely have a soft-spot for Beauty and the Beast stories, and this one was extra delightful! I love the author’s writing talent, and look forward to more of her penned creations!
*I received a complimentary ecopy of this book from the author/publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are mine alone.
Posted in blog tour, Books

Blog Tour: “‘Tis So Sweet” by Faith Blum

Trusting God is hard when nothing seems to go right. In Faith’s new book, Eleanor Miller learns that. But will she finally trust God in the end?

About the Book

Trusting God is hard

Eleanor Miller has never lacked for anything, but she wanted to become a schoolteacher anyway to instill the love of learning into other children. Unlike what happened with her brother, Grover.

Grover hated school and authority. He rebelled any change he could. When he almost killed a man, their family was torn apart and he was disowned.

Eleanor understands her father’s decision, but she worries she will never see Grover again. Will she find out how sweet it is to trust Jesus in everything no matter what happens or will she stop trusting Him completely?

Buy on your favorite eBook platform: http://books2read.com/TisSoSweet Continue reading “Blog Tour: “‘Tis So Sweet” by Faith Blum”

Posted in Book reviews, Christmas

“One Enchanted Noel” by Melissa Tagg

 

One Enchanted Noël: A Novella (Enchanted Christmas Collection Book 3) by [Tagg, Melissa]

“One Enchanted Noel” by Melissa Tagg

Book Three in the “Enchanted Christmas” Collection

Review ecopy from the author

My Rating: 4.5 out of 5 Stars

 

About the Book:

Secrets, Sparks and Second Chances…a Heartwarming Holiday Romance

Seb Pierce isn’t exactly a cowboy, but after fifteen years on a ranch in Texas, he might as well be. And he’d do just about anything to keep the rancher who took him in so many years ago from losing his land…including returning to the wealthy roots he’s long since abandoned. Seb agrees to work for his stern grandfather for one year in return for an early draw on his inheritance. But he never expected the agreement to land him in a quirky small town in Iowa at Christmas-time, renovating a dilapidated theater…and running into a woman he never thought he’d see again. She might not remember him, but he remembers her.
After too many years away from her hometown—and too many failures to count—Leigh Renwycke is finally back in Maple Valley and living the stable life she used to wish for. If only she could shake the old restlessness that used to get her into trouble. When Seb Pierce waltzes into her world and begs for her help planning the theater’s holiday reopening, it could be the solution to her discontent. If she pulls it off, it might be enough to jumpstart a new career…and to prove once and for all that the new-and-improved Leigh is here to stay. 
But between old secrets and new sparks, restoring a town treasure in time for Christmas may not be as easy as it seems…especially once Leigh learns the truth about Seb. 

 

 

My Thoughts:

Surprise! Another darling novella from the amazing Melissa Tagg! I don’t think it’s possible for her to write an un-darling story. (Also I’m pleased with myself for using ‘darling’ twice already, because…well, read the story to find out. ^.^)
As usual, the characters were so life-like, so real. And each one so unique. As this is the third novella (and final novella to the Enchanted Christmas Collection), we finally got the chance to read Leigh’s story! We’ve witnessed parts of her life and struggles through the first two novellas, but finally here, we get to see her life as a whole, see her get her own Happily Ever After. That doesn’t always come easy though. But that only adds the depth and reality of the story.
The hero, Seb, was quite nice. ^.^ He had his own bit of struggles, too, and they both had to find peace through it all.
The whole feeling of the novella was charming. The snow, the movie theater, the festivals that Maple Valley comes up with! I love it.
If you’re in the mood for a sweet and charming Winter Novella, pick this one up! You won’t regret reading a Melissa Tagg story. :)
Posted in Book reviews

Book Review: “Dying for Love” by Cara Putman

Dying for Love (Hidden Justice) by [Putman, Cara]

“Dying for Love” by Cara Putman

A novella/prequel to Hidden Justice series.

Review copy from the author

My rating: 3.5 out of 5 Stars

 

 

About the Book:


Things were business as usual for family law attorney Ciara Turner, until she walked into her mentor’s office to find the judge had been murdered. To make things worse, the emotional moments were witnessed by Ciara’s nemesis, opposing counsel David Evans—the man she once thought she’d spend the rest of her life with.

David can’t walk away from the murder investigation. Judge Palmer was the only one who believed in him enough to give the boy from the wrong side of the tracks a fighting chance. But his amateur sleuthing keeps him crossing paths with Ciara and he can’t help but admire her passion for her clients, even if they are often at odds across the judgment table.

As David and Ciara get closer to discovering who killed Judge Palmer, their old feelings reignite. But the investigation takes an unexpected turn, can they trust each other enough to push for the truth? And will their rekindled relationship survive the aftermath?

 

My Thoughts:

This was an enjoyable novella, centered around the relationship between family lawyers, Ciara and Daniel, with a bit of a murder mystery woven between the pages.
The romance was sweetly done, and the mystery of the murder tied up swiftly in the short 9 chapters.
To be honest, I was a bit relieved that the main focus was on the romance and not the lawyer side of it, as I had recently finished a legal book that was a miss for me. But this novella kept my attention, and it was nice to see how their relationship wrapped up at the end! :)
Posted in Book reviews

Book Review: Saguaro Sunset by Debra Marvin

Saguaro Sunset (American State Flower novella Book 32) by [Marvin, Debra E.]

“Saguaro Sunsent” by Debra E. Marvin

I won a copy from the author

My Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

 

About the Book:

No ice cream sandwich is as sweet as a long-delayed sunset kiss.

Friday night’s first phone call was the answer to Teresa Scott’s career dreams. Before she can celebrate, a second call informs her of her sister’s accident and puts Teresa in ‘the driver’s seat’ of Frosty Fingers Food Truck during the Tucson Festival of Books. Determined to keep her sister’s business out of the red, Teresa hides the painful disappointment of giving up her dream.

Fellow accountant Alan Davis sticks his do-gooder nose in, hanging around to help Teresa, the woman he’s adored since forever, not knowing the coveted board position he’s just accepted is the one she had to give up.

Nice Guy Alan isn’t really Teresa’s type, but she’s won over by his humor, adorable smile, and ice cream scooping skills. As his presence become irreplaceable, she sheds the hardened layers of her heart. Just when it’s clear she needs him in her life, Alan has to face his biggest regret and honor an old promise. Will losing this chivalrous knight in a snowman costume break Teresa’s vulnerable heart?

My Thoughts:

I can count on finding a good novella when it’s written by Debra Marvin. I’ve read three of hers so far, and have enjoyed each one. Usually, I’m a novel kind of gal, but I enjoy novella’s for a break – and Debra writes some good ones. :)
This was her first contemporary, and she handled it fantastically in my opinion!
The setting was unique – I don’t think I’ve ever read a book where the character runs (or in this case, helps run) an ice cream food truck! I found that a great setting – one to stand out. And the characters were each well-constructed and you got to know them even in a ‘short’ amount of time of a novella.
I enjoyed the splash of faith too.
There was one scene towards the end that was a bit more…passionate (just kissing) than I usually read, but otherwise, I didn’t skim any of the book – it was a good, sweet read, one I enjoyed. :)