Tuesday, June 29, 2021

The Determined Miss Rachel by Laura Rollins


The Determined Miss Rachel
by Laura Rollins
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Source:  Received to Review
Genre: Regency Romance

Book Description:  She wants nothing more than to leave.
He wants nothing more than for her to stay.

Change may be the only constant in life, but for Rachel Chant change has only ever meant loss. First her father passed, then she was forced to leave her mother, and now she has even lost her home. Enough is enough and Rachel determines to find a way to be with her mother once again. She is no longer a little girl, dependent on those charged with her care, and she won’t stand by while her mother slips beyond reputable society and further into poverty.

Christopher Dunn has always lived among the comforts of high society, but never as a true member. The son of a musician and now a tutor, he has long since given up on having a home or family. Change and disruption are a way of life for him. He’s a man without roots, and he’s fine with that. That is, until he meets Rachel.

Steady in the face of uncertainty and with a love of music that runs as deep as his own, Rachel first captures Christopher’s interest and soon afterward his heart. However, Rachel’s determination to return home won’t let her rest. But to return home would be to leave Christopher. Life, it seems, is not yet done taking away those she loves, and this time it just might be more than either of them can endure.

As the second stand-alone novel in a new series by author Laura Rollins, The Determined Miss Rachel continues the Daughters of Courage series. This charming story is a light-hearted, clean and wholesome romance set in the Regency era (think: a clean Bridgerton). All books in this series have their own Happily-Ever-After and can be read apart or enjoyed in proper order.

My thoughts: Rachel is on a mission. She is determined to go home and help her mother. Her guardian, her Uncle, has a different mission. His goal is to see Rachel settle and keep a secret about why she can not go home. To say the least, it is complicated.

I loved Rachel's character. She knows what she wants and tries to figure out how to achieve her goals. Lord Fitzwilliam is another favorite character. He provides comic relief. He is also determined not to marry but is curious about the proposal process. I loved that he practiced his proposals on Rachel and asked for feedback about how he could improve. He is a grown man, but still employs a tutor, Christopher. The relationship is one of respect and friendship between the two. He balances out Fitzwilliam and is a confidant and friend to Rachel.

The story does not turn out exactly as you think it will. There is the mystery of Rachel's mother and why she is unable to see her. I didn't have the ending figured out. There were surprises, which was refreshing.

I enjoyed this one and look forward to reading more in this series.

Source: I received a complimentary copy. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.

This book is available for Kindle Unlimited, or is available for purchase.

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About the AuthorLaura Rollins has always loved a heart-melting happily ever after. It didn’t matter if the story took place in Regency England, or in a cobbler’s shop, if there was a sweet romance, she would read it.

Life has given her many of her own adventures. Currently she lives in the Rocky Mountains with her best-friend, who is also her husband, and their four beautiful children. She still loves to read books and more books; her favorite types of music are classical, Broadway, and country; she loves hiking in the mountains near her home; and she’s been known to debate with her oldest son about whether Infinity is better categorized as a number or an idea.

Friday, June 25, 2021

Expiration Date by Mardine Perrins #bookreview #giveaway


On Tour with Prism Book Tours

Expiration Date
By Mardine Perrins
Medical Thriller, Dystopian
Paperback & ebook, 304 Pages
March 4, 2021 by Kat Biggie Press

A conspiracy theory no one would have guessed.

It’s 2168 and expiration dates have been a part of the human genome for the last hundred years. Society has grown accustomed to these birthmark dates, revealing the day you will expire. But suddenly, an exponential number of infants are being born across the globe with very short expiration dates, giving them only hours, days to live.

Elisa Quinn’s cousin’s baby is amongst these born with shockingly short expiration dates. Devastated over the rapid demise of the baby, Elisa begins to search for answers. Not satisfied by the response the global government is providing for the growing number of short expiration dates, she sets out to discover what could be behind this alarming trend. Aided by two scientists, Ashlei Quinn and Claude Monark, Elisa investigates the long-standing gestational supplement of nutriment injections as a potential source in the shortened dates.

While researching, the trio uncover an extremist group, Restituere. They learn of the group’s plot to control the growth of the population, potentially exterminating a large portion in the process.

Armed with their new revelations, Elisa and Claude travel to Boston seeking help from the one person they thought they could count on, only to find themselves fighting for their lives. Unable to trust anyone, they venture out on their own to interrupt Restituere’s plot. They soon find themselves in the middle of a deep global conspiracy, and in the crosshairs of those who would stop at nothing to see this plot through.

Unless they can prevent this deadly group’s plans, their loved ones will be lost and the human race altered forever.

If you love Dan Brown’s, Deception Point; Michael Crichton’s, The Andromeda Strain; and A.G. Riddle’s, The Atlantis Gene, you will love Expiration Date.

My thoughts:  Expiration Date is a unique Dystopian novel. I have read several and found this concept to be original. Imagine a future where each new baby comes with an expiration date. Everyone has one and when they read the date, they die. It's a freaky and morbid idea that works well in this story.

From the beginning, the reader knows who some of the villains are, but the identity of the mastermind is concealed. He is known as Mr. P. A supplement that expectant mothers receive is the reason there is an expiration date. It has been this way for years and is accepted by the populace. When babies start to die within 72 hours after birth, it causes concern, and a select group of medical workers and scientists begin to question its origins and research if it is a naturally occurring phenomenon.

The book is very fast-paced. There is a lot to take in. Once the action starts, it doesn't let up until the conclusion. I enjoyed this novel and found it to be fascinating.

There are a few content warnings. The book contains fade to black intimacy and the use of the "f" bomb.

Source: I received a complimentary copy. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.

My Rating:  3.5 of 5 stars

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About the Author

Mardine Perrins is a writer and a Registered Cardiovascular Invasive Specialist in a Cardiac Catherization lab in upstate New York. Forever fascinated by the unknown and questioning the unexplored, you’ll find her curiosities displayed throughout her work. Her imagination is driven by anomalies in nature; bizarre creatures that live beneath the sea; underground caverns teaming with undiscovered prehistoric life. She’s captivated with the complexity of the human DNA, mind and body and is drawn to natures ability to overcome, adapt and persist. She investigates why these things exist and how she can bring them to their potential through her stories. She currently lives in East Greenbush, NY with her husband, children and two cats.

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Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Book One in a Series by Traci Hunter Abramson ~ An Unlikely Pair #BlogTour #Giveaway #ContemporaryRomance


An Unlikely Pair (Dream's Edge, #1)An Unlikely Pair by Traci Hunter Abramson
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars
Source: Received to Review
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Book Description:  After a family tragedy, aspiring ballerina Amaliya Marcell is adrift. When she is forced to leave behind everything she knows, the lost young woman struggles to build a new life in an unfamiliar city. But when she meets a handsome world-class figure skater, she finds a glimmer of hope.

After his sister’s unexpected retirement from figure skating, Tyler Linden is devastated to give up his shot at the US national championships. His only hope is to find a new partner, a task that proves nearly impossible—until he observes a beautiful young woman at the local ice rink.
Struck by her grace and poise, Tyler takes an unthinkable risk and asks Amaliya to become his new partner. To both of their surprise, she agrees. The path to the championship won’t be easy, but Amaliya and Tyler quickly establish a solid partnership and a profound connection—both on and off the ice. But competition at the championships is fierce, and when the time comes, they will be forced to put everything on the line if they hope to achieve their dreams.

My thoughts: Thank heavens this is the first book in a series! That means that will be more to come.

It took me about two seconds to figure out that An Unlikely Pair is about the daughter of the characters in the novella Dancing to Freedom. It made this book bitter-sweet for me.

Amaliya's life has been turned upside down after her parent's accident. She leaves her life behind; her friends, home, and aspirations to continue with ballet. Fortunately, her parents have fantastic support for her in their best friends who are willing the help them by taking care of Amaliya.

I loved the point that Amaliya was able to take elements from both parents and incorporate them into a new passion for herself. The pairing of Tyler and Amaliya was quite frankly, beautiful. The way they could work together on the ice and build a relationship was enjoyable to read about.

The book is one about triumph in the face of adversity and learning to adapt to new situations. This book is so positive and inspiring. Traci Hunter Abramson is one of my favorite authors. She has proven to be versatile in her writing. She writes amazing action books and is very good at creating a story of romance.

Source: I received a complimentary copy. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.

Online Purchase Links:

(Amazon affiliate link included.)

Seagull Book has autographed copies available.  I had to snag one for myself!

About the Author:  Traci Hunter Abramson was born in Arizona, where she lived until moving to Venezuela for a study-abroad program. After graduating from Brigham Young University, she worked for the Central Intelligence Agency for several years, eventually resigning in order to raise her family. She credits the CIA with giving her a wealth of ideas as well as the skills needed to survive her children's teenage years. She is a seven-time Whitney Award winner and has written more than thirty bestselling novels. Follow Traci on BookBub at shorturl.at/ewDJ5

Read an excerpt!

Washington, DC

January 1982

Frigid air, skates scraping against the ice, the scent of stale popcorn. Amaliya Marcell sat in one of the twenty thousand seats of the Cap Centre and laced up her figure skates before she tugged her leg warmers into place and watched while twenty hockey players worked through their last drill.

As soon as they finished, they joined her father at center ice.

The great Robert Marcell. Amaliya still missed watching her father compete, but his transition from player to assistant coach to head coach had allowed her to enjoy her routine of spending time with her dad at work. She could hardly remember a Saturday when the Washington Capitals were home and she hadn’t been here with him.

Travis, the goalkeeper, stepped off the ice and gave her a disapproving shake of his head. “You’re wearing the wrong skates again.”

“You sound like my dad.”

“Coach knows what he’s talking about,” Travis said.

“Maybe for you, but I don’t think I’m going to be joining a hockey team anytime soon.” Amaliya stepped past him. “Figure skates are more my style these days.”

“Too bad. With a bit more practice, maybe you could score on me.”Amaliya’s eyebrows lifted. “I scored a goal on you last week.”

“That was a lucky shot.”

“That’s what he always says,” her dad said as he joined them.Amaliya grinned. “Yeah, I know.”

“Travis, get some rest. It’s the kid’s turn to play.”

“Kid?” Amaliya stepped onto the ice and twirled to face her dad. “I hate to break it to you, but I’ll be an adult next week.”

“Don’t remind me,” Robert groaned.“Good luck, Coach.” Travis started toward the locker room.

“Thanks. I’m going to need it.” Robert turned his attention to Amaliya and spoke in French, his preferred language, thanks to his upbringing in Quebec. “Are you going to play a little one-on-one with your old man?”“Don’t you have to check on your players?”

“I can spare a few minutes.” He tapped his stick against the ice. “Show me what you’ve got.”

“Okay.” Amaliya combined her years of ballet training with growing up on the ice and executed a spin that resembled a pirouette.

“When you skate like that, you look like a ballerina on the ice.”Amaliya laughed. “I am a ballerina on the ice.”

“Honey, I hate to break it to you, but most ballerinas can’t do that once they put on ice skates.”

“If you say so.” She skated backward so she could still see her dad. “You’re going to let me skate while you’re in your meetings, right?”

Robert grabbed an extra hockey stick and held it out. “Play a little hockey with me first, and I might be persuaded.”Amaliya made a quick stop and returned to her father. She took the offering and grinned. “Deal.”


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Thursday, June 17, 2021

Inventing Vivian by Jennifer Moore #VictorianRomance #giveaway


Inventing Vivian by Jennifer Moore

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Source:  Received to Review

Genre: Victorian Romance

Book Description:  Ladies of London’s High Society are known for their social graces and poise. Vivian Kirby boasts neither of these enviable qualities, though she does offer impressive conversation on chemical compositions. Unfortunately, it appears that not many men want a brilliant wife. So it is that Vivian finds kinship with a group of young women who embrace each other’s differences: The Blue Orchid Society.

After an extended stay in China, Lord Benedict has returned transformed to his family’s estate, where an encounter with Vivian, whose scientific knowledge he once undermined, leaves him determined to make amends. He arranges to help forward her research—anonymously, of course. Through letters, Vivian establishes a warm friendship with her secret benefactor, even as she’s unexpectedly drawn into a murder investigation that forces her to work alongside Benedict to unearth the truth. Soon, Vivian fears she may be falling in love with two men, never suspecting that they are one and the same.

My thoughts: Isn't it wonderful that first impressions don't have to be last impressions? Lord Benedict and Vivian had a rocky beginning when they were youths. Their story grew from that enemy status to friends to love. I loved reading the progression. The story was written from both viewpoints so I knew the change and growth that each had experienced.

The story is set during the Victorian era. Vivian is a scientist and is not accepted in social circles. Her mind doesn't work like popular young women. She is bored with the genteel conversation and wants to talk about how stained glass is made. It is off-putting to many in society. She is blessed to have a group of friends who support and encourage her. Now, she just needs to find a gentleman who doesn't fit the mold. Lord Benedict proves to be a genuine and forward-thinking young man who is the "yin" to her "yang.

Inventing Vivian is a fun book to read. I stayed up late in the night (or early in the morning) finishing this gem. I love books written where women pave the way for others. The Blue Orchid Society women do not fit the mold but create a new one. This book is part of a series but can be read in any order. I would suggest starting with the first, it is not critical to this one but gives a perspective of the characters and anticipation for what is to come for these women next.

Source: I received a complimentary copy. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.

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About the Author: Jennifer Moore lives with one husband and four sons who produce heaps of laundry and laughter. She earned a BA from the University of Utah in Linguistics, which she uses mostly for Jeopardy. A reader of history and romance, she loves traveling, tall ships, scented candles, and watching cake decorating videos. When she’s not driving carpool, writing, or helping with homework, she’ll usually be found playing tennis. Learn more at authorjmoore.com

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Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Like Unto Moroni by H.B Moore, Rebecca Connolly, Jen Geigle Johnson #Religion


Like Unto MoroniLike Unto Moroni by H.B. Moore
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Source:  Received to Review
Genre:  Religion (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints)

Book Description Faith, Courage, Perseverance

Amid the devastation of political and religious strife, there arose a leader so mighty that even thousands of years after his life, he is still lauded as a stalwart example of faith and fortitude. Captain Moroni’s acts of heroism and faith in the face of adversity are well documented in the Book of Mormon, and his words and actions stand as an example of spiritual heroism. But who are the Moronis of our day? Who are the bold leaders who have the strength and faith to guide us through these tumultuous last days? The answer to this question is beautifully addressed in Like Unto Moroni. It is you, the faithful Latter-day Saints of this dispensation, who are the great heroes of our day. Individuals who, like Moroni, strive each day to progress in testimony and faith. In learning about the life and legacy of this great Nephite leader, you will learn to tap into your own well of spiritual strength as you fortify your home and family.

My thoughts:  Moroni is a favorite hero in the Book of Mormon in my home. He is an inspiration for all and exhibits many favorable qualities. This little book "Like Unto Moroni" has three sections that delve into his characteristics.

This book is perfect to understand Moroni and the ways that we can become more like him. He was a great spiritual leader who did not deviate from his faith in spite of the wars and trials of his day. I loved how the authors were able to illustrate practical applications to grow our own faith.

I have a son leaving for his mission in a few months. This would be the perfect book to get him to read before he goes. It is short, which is a bonus for my son, and quick to read. I need to get back into it and go over the valuable lessons again.

Source: I received a complimentary copy. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.

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Thursday, June 10, 2021

When the Atonement Becomes Personal by Toni Sorenson #bookreview #inspirational


When the Atonement Becomes Personal
by Toni Sorenson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Source:  Received to Review
Genre: Non-Fiction/Inspirational

Book Description:  The Atonement of Jesus Christ is our hope that life can get better . . . that we can get better. To find strength in our struggles, it is vital to look to the One who understands our pains and afflictions, the One who never forsakes us. Christ atoned for our sins, but what does that really mean, and how can we harness the relief He provides? The answer to this question and many others is made simple in When the Atonement Becomes Personal.

As one who works with the downtrodden and marginalized, author and therapist Toni Sorenson offers unique insight into the individual nature of the Atonement. Her signature warmth and engaging tone become a powerful catalyst for understanding as she intersperses scripture with personal narrative, not shying away from real problems and solutions. She outlines ways we can reconnect when we feel distanced from our Creator. She sheds light on paths we can take to restore self-worth when life has grown impossibly hard and dark. In this unique and hopeful approach to the gospel's most complex topic, embark on a journey of self-discovery into why the Atonement does not become truly powerful until it becomes truly personal.

My thoughts: I started reading this book almost two months ago. I had good intentions to finish it in a timely manner, but it kept being pushed aside. The tender mercy is that I didn't need the message then, I needed it now. The kindle review copy is marked and highlighted. I will be getting a paper copy of my own and transferring the precious messages from one to the other.

Toni Sorenson has a writing style that engaged my mind and my heart. I have a hard time reading and reviewing non-fiction books. I usually fly through the pages of fiction and comprehend and love the stories. This book is one to be savored. It is not a book to read quickly. I needed the time to ponder and incorporate the message into my mind.

There is one particularly touching story about a boy named Petey. Petey learned for himself his worth and the worth of others. I cried. This book reminded me of who I am and that I am of worth. My scars are part of my story and identify me to my Savior.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who needs a reminder that the atonement is personal, it doesn't just cover sins, but is comprehensive and individual. The book contains scriptural references from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

Source: I received a complimentary copy, but will be purchasing my own soon. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Online Purchase Links:

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About the Author:  Toni is the author or a number of bestselling books for both the national and LDS markets. In 2006, her Covenant novel, Redemption Road, won the prestigious Association of Mormon Letters honor for novel of the year.
She is an avid student of the scriptures and wrote Master after years of research on the life of the Savior.
Toni is the mother of six children, four sons and two daughters. They reside in Utah Valley and love to travel, play, and eat together.

Friday, June 4, 2021

The Nature of a Lady by Roseanna M. White #bookreview #christianfiction


The Nature of a Lady
by Roseanna M. White
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars
Source:  Received to Review
Genre: Christian Historical Fiction

Book Description: 1906
Lady Elizabeth "Libby" Sinclair, with her love of microscopes and nature, isn't favored in society. She flees to the beautiful Isles of Scilly for the summer and stumbles into the dangerous secrets left behind by her holiday cottage's former occupant, also named Elizabeth, who mysteriously vanished.

Oliver Tremayne--gentleman and clergyman--is determined to discover what happened to his sister, and he's happy to accept the help of the girl now living in what should have been Beth's summer cottage . . . especially when he realizes it's the curious young lady he met briefly two years ago, who shares his love of botany and biology. But the hunt for his sister involves far more than nature walks, and he can't quite believe all the secrets Beth had been keeping from him.

As Libby and Oliver work together, they find ancient legends, pirate wrecks, betrayal, and the most mysterious phenomenon of all: love.

My thoughts: This book is beautiful inside and out, just like the main character Libby. She is a young woman who is struggling to find herself. To escape an unwanted engagement, she travels to the Scillies Islands with her maid. I have never heard of the Islands before, but they sound absolutely beautiful and are now on my wish list to visit someday.

Libby is fascinated with nature. In the early 20th Century, it is not something that is considered fashionable. It makes her an outcast from members of society. She is happy to dig in the dirt and draw flowers. Her trip takes an unexpected turn when she is caught up in the mystery of the woman who lived in her cottage who has disappeared. Her adventure leads her to find God and the Vicar Oliver Tremayne.

I loved the descriptions and the love that the people had for their islands. The sense of community and acceptance was wonderful. They took a woman who needed a community and helped her feel at home. The book contains excitement, danger, and intrigue that leads to a search for pirate treasure.

The Nature of a Lady is a story that left me feeling good and edified.

Source: I received a complimentary copy. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.

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About the Author: Roseanna M. White is a bestselling, Christy Award nominated author who has long claimed that words are the air she breathes. When not writing fiction, she’s homeschooling her two kids, editing, designing book covers, and pretending her house will clean itself. Roseanna is the author of a slew of historical novels that span several continents and thousands of years. Spies and war and mayhem always seem to find their way into her books…to offset her real life, which is blessedly ordinary. She and her family make their home in the beautiful mountains of West Virginia. You can learn more about her and her stories at www.RoseannaMWhite.com.