Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Broken Dreams by Traci Hunter Abramson #BookReview #Giveaway


Broken Dreams (Dream's Edge #1.5)Broken Dreams by Traci Hunter Abramson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Source:  Received to Review
Genre: Romance

Book Description A lifetime ago, Maggie Alexander’s parents narrowly missed medaling in the Olympics as pairs figure skaters. Now a coach, her father Gordon is living his dreams through the skaters he trains—until Maggie is forced to deliver heartbreaking news: her mother’s battle against cancer will be a losing one. Shattered, her father loses his dreams in an instant—his beloved wife and his will to coach. Left to pick up the pieces, a devastated Maggie finds herself relying on the steadfast support of her childhood best friend, Lance Whitmore.

Despite the fact that Maggie has never seen Lance as more than a friend, his heart has always been hers. Lance does what he can to help Maggie work through her grief, and soon their friendship blossoms into love. But when distance threatens their relationship, Maggie is torn between building a life with the man she loves and helping her broken father rebuild his life.

My thoughts: Oh my goodness, I can't believe this is a novella. Usually, novellas don't feel as complete as this one did. The characters have great development and the story wasn't rushed. It may have helped that I was familiar with the characters in this series.

This story is about Gordon, the coach, and his daughter, Maggie. I knew some of his back story going into this book, but it was nice to understand him better and know what he went through to coming back to coaching. This is not only Gordon's story. It is also his daughter Maggie and her childhood friend Lances' story.

The book takes the reader from heartbreak to healing. I also loved how she has a tie-in to another series of books she wrote through Lance Whitmore. I was so excited when this crumb was offered. It is fun for me in this fantasy world to realize how connected Traci Hunter Abramson's books are.

This is a series that I highly recommend. I can't wait until "Dreams of Gold" is released in February. I feel like the old commercials where the character is looking through the store window on black Friday  saying "open, open, open." That's how anxious I am for the next story.

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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. For more information about Traci, click here: https://linktr.ee/traciabramson

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Tuesday, November 23, 2021

The London House by Katherine Reay #LondonHouse, #HistoricalFiction #BookTour #AustenprosePR

 The London House by Katherine Reay

Rating 4 of 5 stars

Source:  Received to Review

Genre:  Historical and Contemporary Fiction

Book Description: Uncovering a dark family secret sends one woman through the history of Britains World War II spy network and glamorous 1930s Paris to save her family’s reputation.

Caroline Payne thinks it’s just another day of work until she receives a call from Mat Hammond, an old college friend and historian. But pleasantries are cut short. Mat has uncovered a scandalous secret kept buried for decades: In World War II, Caroline’s British great-aunt betrayed family and country to marry her German lover.

Determined to find answers and save her family’s reputation, Caroline flies to her family’s ancestral home in London. She and Mat discover diaries and letters that reveal her grandmother and great-aunt were known as the “Waite sisters.” Popular and witty, they came of age during the interwar years, a time of peace and luxury filled with dances, jazz clubs, and romance. The buoyant tone of the correspondence soon yields to sadder revelations as the sisters grow apart, and one leaves home for the glittering fashion scene of Paris, despite rumblings of a coming world war.

Each letter brings more questions. Was Caroline’s great-aunt actually a traitor and Nazi collaborator, or is there a more complex truth buried in the past? Together, Caroline and Mat uncover stories of spies and secrets, love and heartbreak, and the events of one fateful evening in 1941 that changed everything.

In this rich historical novel from award-winning author Katherine Reay, a young woman is tasked with writing the next chapter of her family’s story. But Caroline must choose whether to embrace a love of her own and proceed with caution if her family’s decades-old wounds are to heal without tearing them even further apart.

My thoughts:   A common phrase comes to mind when I  think about this book.  "Appearances may be deceiving."   All is not as it appears in the Payne family.  A family secret was buried that was scandalous.  A prominent family in Britain had a daughter who was accused of being a traitor in WWII.  Her twin sister decided to tell her son that she died of polio.  As secrets become uncovered a family is torn apart.

The story follows two sisters, Caroline and Margaret, who happen to be twins.  They don't keep secrets from each other, at least that is what they think.  Caroline goes to France before Hitler invaded and is accused of having an affair with a Nazi and being a traitor.  Years later, the accusations come to light, and Caroline's namesake is determined to discover the truth in the middle of the secrets.

I wasn't sure what I was going to think going into this book.  It is fascinating.  I love the genealogy aspects and well as Caroline's research into the past.  She travels from her home in the United States to London to study letters and diaries of the twin sisters.  There is so much more to the story than what she has been led to believe.

This book is one that I am grateful that I read.  It helped me envision France before they were pulled into WWII.  I can't imagine the amount of research that Katherine Reay put into this story.  I am glad that she did!  This book felt authentic and that the characters could have come from the early 20th century.

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About the Author:   Katherine Reay is the national bestselling and award-winning author of Dear Mr. KnightleyLizzy and Jane, The Brontë Plot, A Portrait of Emily PriceThe Austen Escape, and The Printed Letter Bookshop. All Katherine’s novels are contemporary stories with a bit of classical flairKatherine holds a BA and MS from Northwestern University, graduating Phi Beta Kappa, and is a wife, mother, former marketer, and avid chocolate consumer. After living all across the country and a few stops in Europe, Katherine now happily resides outside Chicago, IL.



“Carefully researched, emotionally hewn, and written with a sure hand, The London House is a tantalizing tale of deeply held secrets, heartbreak, redemption, and the enduring way that family can both hurt and heal us. I enjoyed it thoroughly.”— Kristin Harmel, New York Times bestselling author of The Forest of Vanishing Stars and The Book of Lost Names


“An expertly researched and marvelously paced treatise on the many variants of courage and loyalty . . . Arresting historical fiction destined to thrill fans of Erica Roebuck and Pam Jenoff.”— Rachel McMillan, author of The London Restoration and The Mozart Code

“Reay’s fast-paced foray into the past cleverly reveals a family’s secrets and how a pivotal moment shaped future generations. Readers who enjoy engrossing family mystery should take note.”— Publisher’s Weekly  

Tuesday, November 16, 2021

An Alleged Rogue by Sian Ann Bessey #Giveaway #RegencyRomance #BookReview


An Alleged Rogue (Georgian Gentlemen, #3)An Alleged Rogue by Sian Ann Bessey
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Source:  Purchased by me
Genre: Regency Romance

Book Description: Lord Adam Dunsbourne is a tyrant. At least, that’s what everyone says. The tales are shocking: accounts of a man who gambled away the family fortune and keeps his younger sister, Emily, captive in their home at Dunsbourne Manor. So when Adam and his sister make an unexpected appearance at a dinner party, the scandalized whispers cannot be contained. New to the town, Phoebe Hadford hears the condemning rumors and determines to do all she can to help the baron’s oppressed sister. Upon entering Dunsbourne Manor, however, she quickly
discovers that all is not what she has been led to believe.

Adam, unsure of whether he can trust the intentions of his beautiful neighbor, is quickly drawn in by Phoebe’s genuine nature. But even as Adam and Phoebe’s connection deepens, a dangerous enemy from Adam’s past reemerges. For years, Adam has hunted for the man who betrayed him, not realizing he had only to wait. His foe has returned, and this time, he will threaten everything Adam cherishes most—including the woman he loves.

My thoughts: How do I write this review without gushing about the book? I don't know if it is possible because I loved this book!

Lord Adam Dunsbourne is an honorable man. He will do what he has to protect the name of the people he loves, even if he becomes the one who takes the blame. He is trying to save his estate from ruin and introduce his younger sister into society. He realizes it is time to stop living and a recluse and give his sister a season.

Phoebe Hadford is not one to give a lot of attention to the whims of society. She is intrigued by Lord Dunsford and his sister and is determined to make up her own mind about them.

This book has so much to offer. It is entertaining, morally correct, contains romance, and a very bad man. The hunt is on to find the villain, but then the hunted becomes the hunter. It is very intriguing how the story plays out. There was not one line that did not play into the ultimate ending. This book is a page-turner. Romance and intrigue, one of my favorite combinations.

Source: I received a complimentary copy, but read the one that I purchased for myself.

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About the Author: Sian Ann Bessey was born in Cambridge, England, but grew up on the island of Anglesey off the coast of North Wales. She left her homeland to attend Brigham Young University in Utah, where she earned a bachelor's degree in communications with a minor in English.
She began her writing career as a student, publishing several magazine articles while still in college. Since then she has published historical romance and romantic suspense novels, along with a variety of children's books. She is a USA Today best selling author and a Whitney Award finalist.
Although Sian doesn't have the opportunity to speak Welsh very often anymore, she can still wrap her tongue around, "Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch." She loves to travel and experience other cultures, but when she's home, her favorite activities are spending time with her family, cooking, and reading.

To find out more about her books visit her webpage at:  sianannbessey.com

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Monday, November 8, 2021

Every Word Unsaid by Kimberly Duffy #BookTour #HistoricalFiction #romance #InspirationalFiction #AustenprosePR


Every Word UnsaidEvery Word Unsaid by Kimberly Duffy
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars
Source:  Received to Review
Genre: Historical Christian Fiction

Book DescriptionAugusta Travers has spent the last three years avoiding the stifling expectations of New York society and her family's constant disappointment. As the nation's most fearless--and reviled--columnist, Gussie travels the country with her Kodak camera and spins stories for women unable to leave hearth and home. But when her adventurous nature lands her in the middle of a scandal, an opportunity to leave America offers the perfect escape.

Arriving in India, she expects only a nice visit with childhood friends, siblings Catherine and Gabriel, and escapades that will further her career. Instead, she finds herself facing a plague epidemic, confusion over Gabriel's sudden appeal, and the realization that what she wants from life is changing. But slowing down means facing all the hurts of her past that she's long been trying to outrun. And that may be an undertaking too great even for her.

My thoughts: Gussie is an adventurer. She loves to go and explore new places. Her passion for adventure translates into the written word as light and fun-loving. She writes for a woman's column in the late nineteenth century under the pen name of Miss Adventuress. The railroad takes her from place to place as she runs from her family and the disappointment that she finds each time she is found.

Every Word Unsaid takes the reader from the US Great Plains to India. With each stop in her travels, Gussie begins to understand more about herself, her life, and her family. The book didn't shine for me until she reaches India and is reunited with childhood friends.

In India, Gussie finally realizes what it means to belong. She sees real suffering and neglect during a Bubonic Plague. The people of India are dying and not left with dignity in their passing. At the same time, she sees resilience and some pretty amazing people. It is India where she "finds" herself and understands courage and friendship. She also finds her voice and her passions.

I really enjoyed this story. Kimberly Duffy showcased India in a very positive light. I could picture the places Gussie visited and the people she met. Her friends, Specs and Catherine, show her the culture and beauty of the country. It sounds amazing.

There is romance in the book too. Gussie has always considered Specs to be like a brother. The grown-up Specs is not the gangly boy she remembered and she realizes that there is a lot more to the man. She remembers his care and compassion from their time as children. They have a few volatile moments and they navigate their relationship as adults.

I loved the book. I loved the story. I loved the characters. I'm grateful that I read this book.

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

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About the Author Kimberly Duffy is Long Island native currently living in Southwest Ohio, via six months in India. When she's not homeschooling her four kids, she writes historical fiction that takes her readers back in time and across oceans. She loves trips that require a passport, recipe books, and practicing kissing scenes with her husband of twenty years. He doesn't mind.


Friday, November 5, 2021

A Love Unexpected by Leah Brunner #giveaway #booktour #bookworms


On Tour with Prism Book Tours

A Love Unexpected
(Under Kansas Skies #1)
By Leah Brunner
Contemporary Romance
Paperback & ebook, 224 Pages
May 21, 2021, by Leah Brunner Publishing
Ranting: 4 out of 5 stars
Source:  Received to Review

Book Description:  My one and only goal have always been to make it to congress. I’ve got it all: the looks, the brains, the connections… Except I missed one glaring requirement: a wife.

The conservative voters of Kansas don’t trust an unmarried man. Which means I need a bride. Immediately.

The lovely Odette Hastings seems to fit the bill. She’s a wholesome small-town girl, and most importantly, in need of cash. I’ll give her the money to take care of her elderly parents, and she’ll be the political arm candy I need.

The only problem is Odette is a little too beautiful, a little too intelligent, and much too distracting. I have to keep my eye on the prize. Even when I’m starting to think there might be something I’d rather have more…

My thoughts: For some reason when I read the female character's name my thoughts went immediately to "The Swan Princess".  This Odette does not turn into a swan, but she is graceful, beautiful, and intelligent.  She is also loyal to family and friends.

Madden is very career-oriented.  He has political aspirations which killed a previous relationship. He will do what it takes to get to Congress, even if he has to enter into a temporary marriage.  Even though this description makes him sound shallow, he has a lot of depth.  I was surprised by how much I liked his character.

Odette is the anchor to Madden's ambition.  Her presence helps him to see clearly and figure out which goals he cherishes the most.  There were a few times when I felt Madden could have been hit over the head, but that's what happens when a character is clueless to what I would like them to do.  It does help make a good story.  It makes the ending a little sweeter when heads are pulled out of the sand.

This is a very cute contemporary romance.  I enjoyed reading it and I will look forward to seeing what else Leah Brunner comes up with.

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

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About the Author

Leah writes romance full of witty banter and lovable characters. She spends most of her time writing... and also petting her Maine Coon. 
Although she's a Kansas girl at heart, Leah is a proud Air Force spouse and currently resides in Northern California with her husband and three children. 
Her parents always told her she lived in her own little world and was oblivious to reality. The real world was simply too boring for Leah, writing is how she enjoys sharing her little world with others.

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Tuesday, November 2, 2021

Love and Laveder by Josi S. Kilpack #RegencyRomance #LoveAndLavender #BlogTour


Love and Lavender
by Josi S. Kilpack
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Source:  Received to Review
Genre: Historical Romance

Book DescriptionHazel Stillman is a woman of rare independence and limited opportunities. Born with a clubbed foot, she was sent away as a child and, knowing her disability means a marriage is unlikely, she devoted herself to scholarship and education.

Now working as a teacher in an elite private girls’ school, she is content with the way her story has unfolded. When her uncle Elliott Mayfield presents her with the prospect of a substantial inheritance if she marries, Hazel is offended. What kind of decent man would marry for her money? Besides, she loves her freedom as a professional, respected woman. When she hears rumors of the school possibly being sold, however, she knows she must consider all her options.

Duncan Penhale has a brilliant mind and thrives on order and process. He does not expect to marry because he likes his solitary life, shared only with his beloved cat. When Elliott Mayfield, his guardian’s brother, presents him with an inheritance if he marries a woman of social standing, Duncan finds it intrusive. However, with the inheritance, he could purchase the building in which he works and run his own firm. It would take an impressive and intellectual woman to understand and love him, quirks and all.

Hazel and Duncan believe they have found a solution to both of their problems: marry one another, receive their inheritances, and then part ways to enjoy their individual paths. But when Uncle Mayfield stipulates that they must live together as husband and wife for one year before receiving their inheritances, Hazel and Duncan reluctantly agree. Over time, their marriage of convenience becomes much more appealing than they had anticipated. At the end of the full year, will they go their separate ways or could an unlikely marriage have found unsuspecting love?

My thoughtsLove and Lavender is an unexpected romance. Two characters who many would determine to be unable to marry find a way to build a life together and find love in the process.

The premise of the series is that Elliot Mayfield bestows an inheritance on his family if they will marry. He did not marry as a young man and has regretted his decision. That is why he decided to "encourage" his family to find love and happiness.

This story is about Hazel and Duncan. They both have been given a "bribe" to marry. Hazel will have a dowery and Duncan will have the building that he works in. He will get the rent money from the tenants. It is unexpected for both of them. Duncan has autism and Hazel has a clubbed foot. Neither plans on accepting the inheritance until Duncan finds his work situation unbearable and hatches a plan that they marry each other as a business transaction.

I found this book to be endearing. Hazel has so much patience with Duncan as she learns his triggers and how he thinks. His pacing would drive me insane, but she is able to carry on a conversation and have meaningful and academic talks with him. Hazel is also ashamed of her twisted foot and has a hard time trusting Duncan with her infirmity.

I loved that two people who wouldn't have been considered marriage material were able to work out a life together and find happiness. This book is deep and not one of ballrooms and extravagance. The characters are humble people who come together in an academic way before they can develop any other bond. This book is worth reading. It helped me think outside of the box and shows illustrates that everyone is worthy of love.

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About the Author Josi S. Kilpack has written more than thirty novels, a cookbook, and several novellas. She is a four-time Whitney award winner, including Best Novel 2015 for "Lord Fenton's Folly, and has been a Utah Best of State winner for Fiction. Josi loves to bake, sleep, eat, read, travel, and watch TV--none of which she gets to do as much as she would like. She writes contemporary fiction under the pen name Jessica Pack.

Josi has four children and lives in Northern Utah.





“What a lovely romance. The historical details, the depth of the authentic characters, and the realistic dialogue all contribute to an immersive story. [A] beautiful and inspirational story about loving people just as they are.”— Katie Jackson, Regency Proofreading

“Phenomenal. This book was phenomenal. The very best in the series.”— Lyssa Armstrong, For Where Your Treasure Is

“This love story was unique and such an uncommon take on a marriage of convenience! [S]weet and well worth the wait!”— Ashley Johnson, Bringing Up Books

“Beautifully written, sensitive, poignant addition to the Mayfield Family series.”— Susan K., The Flipped Page