Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Fit to Be Tied by Debby Mayne

A complimentary review copy was provided to me.
Fall is upon us. It has meant busy weekends and evenings, filled with back to school and fall sports. When I wasn't at one of the schools or the field for a game, I found some time to catch back up with the Bucklin family in the second installment of the Bucklin Family Reunion Series, Fit to Be Tied by Debby Mayne.

Fit to be Tied was a well-written enjoyable story told from the viewpoint of five of the family members, some by birth, others by marriage. I really enjoy this style of writing and how the use of multiple viewpoints can engage the reader and provide additional insight into the family and their tales. The characters were relatable and enjoyable to get to know and the story was filled with a real perspective and a good balance of humor. The multiple points of view led to short chapters, which made it easy to ready in short or long installments.

It seems that everyone outside the family is yearning to go and experience a Bucklin Family reunion, which unlike your typical family reunion, occurs on a multiple times a year basis. What balances that nicely is that it seems sometimes that there is a reluctance of the family to attend the reunion...but not wanting to miss out or be the topic of conversations, brings them all together. They certainly do family reunions on a grand scale, this one was multiple days and included lots of food and even a trip to the hospital.

You can jump right into this second book in the series with no problem, as the author does a great job introducing the characters and building on their stories. But having read the first one, I really enjoyed hearing the continuing stories of the characters I met in the first book, while getting to know more members of the family.

I look forward to the next reunion story in this series to see what new adventures await this family.



Fit to Be Tied
by Debby Mayne
Bucklin Family Reunion series: Book 2


The Bucklin family loves each other too much to stay away. . . but not enough to behave

Being rich is fine, but when wealth comes from striking oil, it's a slippery mess for a family who doesn't know what to do with it. The Bucklin cousins are all together again, and this family reunion is shaping up to be another disaster.

Coralee falls for the police officer who pulls her over. Sally has finally found a guy, but now she's not sure a relationship is even worth the bother. No matter how hard Brett tries to avoid trouble, he somehow stumbles right back into the thick of it. And Marybeth and Bucky continue to fumble and bumble as they learn how to handle being rich.

The Bucklin family is known for drama—and Bucklin family drama knows no bounds.


Meet the Author
Debby Mayne writes family and faith-based romances, cozy mysteries, and women's fiction and is the author of more than 60 novels and novellas-plus more than 1,000 short stories, articles, and devotions for busy women. Debby is currently an etiquette writer for The Spruce.

Debby grew up in a military family, which meant moving every few years throughout her childhood. She was born in Alaska, and she has lived in Mississippi, Tennessee, Oregon, Florida, South Carolina, Hawaii, and Japan. Her parents were both from the Deep South, so Debby enjoys featuring characters with Southern drawls, plenty of down-home cooking, and folks with quirky mannerisms. High Cotton is the first book in the Bucklin Family Reunion series.

Learn more about Debby and her works on her site.


You can purchase a copy here.

No compensation was received for this review. All opinions expressed are my own or that of my family. A complimentary review copy was provided to me.

Saturday, September 8, 2018

Lethal Legacy by Carol J. Post

A complimentary review copy was provided to me.
It's been a while since I sat down and read a whole book in just two days. As a mom of two active kids with a full-time job, simply having that many hours to myself can be a feat. But, when you read a book that has a suspenseful, action-packed, fast-paced story that keeps you wondering what would happen next and it leaves you unwilling to put the book down once you start, it is very easy to do. From the very first page, I was pulled into the story in the recent release from Carol J. Post, Lethal Legacy. The pace of the story never slowed, even as the author provided the details necessary to develop the characters and share the back story.
This book is the second one set in Murphy, North Carolina featuring a group of friends. This book follows Bryce's story. Andi's family has owned the house next door to Bryce's family home for generations and her dad and her would come up and stay when she was a kid. It had been 12 years since they saw one another when she came back following her parent's tragic death. When she arrives at the house, she finds that someone has broken in. Finding a cryptic note from her father in one of his books as she cleans up and then learning that her dad had been planning to visit Bryce to talk to him about something, leaves Andi wondering what the secret was that had been weighing on her dad. There seems to be danger lurking everywhere and she soon realizes that whatever her dad's secret, someone seems to be targeting her as a result. I found myself hoping that she would find more clues and solve the mystery, so that she could be safe. But, did like that with the break-ins and unexplained accidents and Bryce being a sheriff deputy, and generally feeling the need to protect her, they find themselves spending more time together and becoming friends again.

I enjoy the way that Carol brings the characters to life, sharing about them as the story progresses and by telling the story from multiple points of view. The characters in this story are the type of people that I could easily be friends with. The story line was great and with the suspense, intrigue and a touch of love story, it was a very enjoyable read that I simply didn't want to put down.

If you enjoy suspense stories, you should definitely check out this book and the others by Carol J. Post.
About the Book:
Someone wants her family secrets buried

He’s her only chance to survive

Andrea Wheaton thought her parents’ tragic deaths were accidental—until she’s attacked during a burglary at their home. Now she’s also being targeted. Her ex-sweetheart Sheriff Deputy Bryce Caldwell insists on protecting her, though she refuses to trust him again. But with a killer closing in, can she and Bryce uncover her family’s secrets before it’s too late for them both?



About the Author:
From medical secretary to court reporter to property manager to owner of a special events decorating company, Carol's resume reads like someone who doesn't know what she wants to be when she grows up. But one thing that has remained constant through the years is her love for writing. She started as a child writing poetry for family and friends, then graduated to articles which actually made it into some religious and children's publications. Several years ago (more than she's willing to admit), she penned her first novel. In 2010, she decided to get serious about writing fiction for publication and joined Romance Writers of America and her local RWA chapter.

Carol lives in sunshiny Central Florida with her husband of thirty-two years, who is her own real-life hero, and writes her stories under the shade of the huge oaks in her yard. Besides writing, she works alongside her music minister husband singing and playing the piano and holds the position of church treasurer. She enjoys sailing, hiking, camping, almost anything outdoors. Her two grown daughters and grandkids live too far away for her liking, so she now pours all that nurturing into taking care of three fat and sassy cats and one highly spoiled dog.

You can learn more about the author on her blog.


No compensation was received for this review. All opinions expressed are my own or that of my family. A complimentary review copy was provided to me.


Saturday, September 1, 2018

Her Fear by Shelley Shepard Gray

A complimentary review copy was provided to me.
As summer winds down, I have found myself back into the full swing of school and fall sports. On days where practice is short, I tend to stick around and read rather than driving back home. Which allowed me to read the newest from Shelley Shepard Gray, Her Fear this past week. Her Fear is the 5th in the Amish of Hart County series. Even though it is the fifth book in the series, you could easily jump in to the series with Her Fear. Some of the characters from the other stories are included, but are only minor characters.

Sadie is the main character and her back story is sad. When she becomes pregnant and her boyfriend denies that he is the dad, rather than supporting her, her parents send her to live with her odd extended family that she hasn't met. As we learn more about her home life, it is clear that even with all the strangeness with her relatives, she is better off on her own than with her parents.

The characters that Gray develops are like most of us, they are Amish, but fully relatable. The thread of suspense in this novel is not as suspenseful as in some of the other stories, but with the tense living situation, the unplanned pregnancy and scares she has there is plenty of uncertainty on how things will turn out. Her Fear is a story of hope. Sadie finds her self in a tough situation, but through her strength she finds hope and learns about the life she can have. The thread of an emerging love makes a nice balance to the suspense and gives the reader hope for Sadie's finding happiness.

I look forward to reading more books by Shelley Shepard Gray in the future. I recommend Her Fear to readers looking for a good story.


About the Book:
In New York Times bestselling author Shelley Shepard Gray’s latest novel of suspense in her Amish of Hart County series, an EMT falls for a woman with ties to an Amish community where people are dying similar, suspicious deaths.

Sadie Detweiler never imagined she’d move to Kentucky, yet here she is: a pregnant, unmarried Amish girl banished by unforgiving parents to live with kin she barely knows. The men are gruff and her cousins are secretive. Worst of all, elderly matriarch Verba becomes mysteriously ill shortly after Sadie moves in. When EMT Noah Freeman arrives, Sadie immediately notices he’s unlike any other Amish man she’s met. Noah is warm, confident, and has an easy way with practically everyone in the community, both Amish and English. Though Sadie is drawn to him, she has little hope he will reciprocate her feelings once he learns she’s with child.

Noah can’t understand how a girl as sweet and lovely as Sadie ended up sleeping on a cot in Verba Stauffer’s kitchen. He also senses Sadie is terrified of something. Concerned, he checks up on her. Eventually they strike up a friendship and soon their attraction is undeniable. When Verba later dies at the hospital and her death is followed by two others, Noah’s boss wants him to dig around the Amish community for clues. He agrees—for Sadie’s sake—because only the truth will keep her safe and by his side.

Learn more and purchase a copy.

About the Author:

Shelley Shepard Gray is a "New York Times" and "USA Today" bestselling author, a finalist for the American Christian Fiction Writers prestigious Carol Award, and a two-time HOLT Medallion winner. She lives in southern Ohio, where she writes full-time, bakes too much, and can often be found walking her dachshunds on her town's bike trail.
Find out more about Shelley at http://www.shelleyshepardgray.com.


No compensation was received for this review. All opinions expressed are my own or that of my family. A complimentary review copy was provided to me.

Friday, August 24, 2018

A Defense of Honor by Kristi Ann Hunter

A complimentary review copy was provided to me.
Where has summer gone? The kids returned to school this week and we are back to our busy school time lifestyle. As summer wound down, I wrapped up the newest book by Kristi Ann Hunter, A Defense of Honor.


A Defense of Honor is a piece of Regency Fiction, set in 1816 London and the nearby countryside. This first novel in Hunter's new Haven Manor series was a terrific story, that had a balance of suspense, compassion and love. The author does a great job transporting the reader in time and location, allowing us to feel a part of the story. The author does a great job of developing the characters at the right depth for connection with the endearing, unique characters within the story. In addition, there is a thread of humor which even further endears the reader.

The book opens at a party, Graham is bored with the status quo of the social scene and follows a flash of green that is hiding behind a potted bush, a woman who we later learn is Kit. 'Though why would a woman wear such an eye-catching color if she intended to plant herself behind the potted shrubbery all evening? Plant herself behind the shrubbery. A grin crossed Graham's face as he chuckled at his own cleverness." "His palms started to itch...It was the itch of curiosity..at last, here was something new and unusual."

From there the book takes off at a good pace and never stopped. It kept me fully engaged, as the characters paths cross paths later and the author explores the secrets going on in the book. I had a hard time putting it down, but was glad that it was a longer story that allowed me to be part of the experience for longer because even with that once I reached the end, I wanted it to continue (good thing is it is the first in a series, so another book will be coming).

The story line was more unique than most of the period fiction books that I have read in the past. Even in those stories where the characters have a cause, they are less immersed in it than in this story. The women in this story have created Haven Manor into a world of it's own. The manor is filled with delightful, innocent, charming children, who despite their challenged background, of which they are unaware, they are being raised with love, the benefit of education exposure to art and music and life skills that will allow them to support themselves as adults.

Kit's love and concern for the mothers and children that she helped was sincere, but since it was fueled through guilt she found herself justifying underhanded methods of providing for the children and the manor. It wasn't until the wrongness of the actions were pointed out by Graham that she reflected upon her actions, the way that she had justified the actions and devised a plan to undo the wrongs she had done to redeem herself. The book dealt with forgiveness, redemption, the issue of rejection, the challenges of societal norms and the reliance on God to see you through difficult situations.

Overall, it was a great story. It found balance in the threads of secrets and mystery, friendship and love, and forgiveness and redemption. Hunter writes an engaging story and I can't wait to read more.

About the Book:
When Katherine "Kit" FitzGilbert turned her back on London society more than a decade ago, she determined never to set foot in a ballroom again. But when business takes her to London and she's forced to run for her life, she stumbles upon not only a glamorous ballroom but also Graham, Lord Wharton. What should have been a chance encounter becomes much more as Graham embarks on a search for his friend's missing sister and is convinced Kit knows more about the girl than she's telling.

After meeting Graham, Kit finds herself wishing things could have been different for the first time in her life, but what she wants can't matter. Long ago, she dedicated herself to helping women escape the same scorn that drove her from London and to raising the innocent children caught in the crossfire. But as much as she desperately wishes to tell Graham everything, the risk of revealing the truth may come at too high a price for those she loves.

About the Author:
Kristi Ann Hunter is the author of the Hawthorne House series and a 2016 RITA Award winner, an ACFW Genesis contest winner, and a Georgia Romance Writers Maggie Award for excellence winner. She lives with her husband and three children in Georgia. Find her online at www.kristiannhunter.com.

I have thoroughly enjoyed all of the books that I have read by Kristi Ann Hunter and would highly recommend you check them out. I personally can't wait for book 2 in the Haven Manor series to see what comes next in the lives of the characters that I met and came to know in A Defense of Honor.

No compensation was received for this review. All opinions expressed are my own or that of my family. A complimentary review copy was provided to me.

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Falling for You by Becky Wade

A complimentary review copy was provided to me.
I generally enjoy reading books that I can read quickly because they work well with my busy schedule and in completing them, there is a sense of accomplishment. But, I also enjoy reading longer books, where I can linger and be part of the characters' adventure for a longer stay. I most recently finished reading the great contemporary romance novel, Falling for You by Becky Wade. With the way that Becky Wade develops her characters and lets things unfold naturally, the reader can't help but feel like they know these people and want to spend time with them, experiencing the highs and lows of their emotions. You find yourself pulling for them to find resolution and happiness.
I liked Wade's utilization of phone calls, e-mail, Messenger, and text message exchanges and text from the contents of Josephine's box at the end of each chapter to help transition and provide more context to the exchanges happening in the story. It not only keeps the story moving, but it also provided another way for her to showcase the witty banter and the flirting between the characters (even if it was one sided early on). It also made the book feel very contemporary, as compared to some contemporary books that are relatively 'timeless' in their setting.

Falling for You was an enjoyable story filled with forgiveness, faith and second chances. There is a nice amount of suspense and mystery within the story, an anticipation that pulls the reader in wanting to know what they might learn next and whether there is a connection. It is when Charlotte asks Willow and Corbin to help her uncover the mystery of her grandma's sister's disappearance that they find themselves partnering and working together for the first time since their break-up. Through the time that they work on the mystery, they are able to reconnect and Corbin is finally able to get time with Willow to have the conversation that they should have had before they broke-up and share with her his perspective on the events leading up to their break up and how he acted. As they spend time together, he shares with her about his discovery of faith, his childhood and caring for his father. As the story winds down, there is still uncertainty, but we see true character shine through and discover the power of forgiveness.

I truly enjoyed this engaging, suspenseful story with characters that I liked hanging out with. I look forward to the next book in this series. (This is the 2nd book in the Bradford Sisters Romance series, but don't worry, it reads well even if you didn't read True to You.)

About the book:

Falling for You

Famously beautiful model Willow Bradford is reveling in the peace and quiet of her hometown right up until the moment she comes face-to-face with her ex-boyfriend, Corbin Stewart.

Former NFL quarterback Corbin is forceful, charming, and accustomed to getting what he wants . . . except where Willow is concerned. He's never been able to forget her, but Willow makes it crystal clear she's unwilling to risk her heart again.

When a decades-old mystery in Corbin's family brings them together, will the heartbreak in their past and the complications in their present keep them from falling for one another all over again?

About the author:

Becky Wade is a native of California who attended Baylor University, met and married a Texan, and now lives in Dallas. A favorite among readers of Christian contemporary romance, Becky has won a Christy Award, a Carol Award, an Inspirational Reader's Choice Award, and an INSPY Award. Learn more at www.beckywade.com.


No compensation was received for this review. All opinions expressed are my own or that of my family. A complimentary review copy was provided to me.

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Fatal Recall by Carol J Post

A complimentary review copy was provided to me.
From the very first page, I was pulled into the story in the recent release from Carol J. Post, Fatal Recall. The pace of the story never slowed, even as the author provided the details necessary to develop the characters and share the back story. I found myself unwilling to put down this suspenseful, action-packed, fast-paced story that kept me wondering what would happen next. The suspense was furthered by the fact that one of the main characters suffered from trauma induced amnesia and was as equally uncertain about what had happened and who was after her.
As the story opens, Tanner Brody is in his kayak on the river, enjoying the peace of the natural setting in his new home state. The peace is shattered, first by gun shots and then by a woman's scream. A police officer, Tanner needs to find out what happened. He soon comes upon a woman who appears to have fallen, who has amnesia and probably a concussion. As he is trying to get her to medical attention, he soon discovers that she is still in danger as someone is following them and starts shooting at them. This danger fires up a sense of responsibility in Tanner, now not only does he need to get her medical attention, but also feels a need to keep her safe and help answer the questions surrounding her. Who is this woman? Who is searching for her and why? What is the box in her pocket? Does the tan line around her ring finger mean she is married or engaged or recently divorced? As the story progresses, the answers to the questions and more are slowly learned.

Fatal Recall is a great suspense novel that does not shy away from themes of faith and Christianity. The author did a great job of weaving in the faith in a believable way. Tanner and Paige each had a difficult youth, causing them to each have trust issues and feel a lack of self-worth. As Paige remembers more about her self, one of the first things she remembers is how her finding faith helped her overcome her past. Tanner, because of his experiences, does not have confidence in God or feel the need for faith, but as he watches Paige and how she has faith in spite of her upbringing, we see him open to the idea and begin to discover faith. I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of this book from the danger, to the mystery, to the romance, to the discovery of the power of faith.

If you enjoy suspense stories, you should definitely check out this book and the others by Carol J. Post.

About the Book:
Amnesia stole her memory—

a killer wants her dead

When Paige Tatem loses her memory, she knows just two things: she has a target on her back, and police officer Tanner Brody is the only man she trusts to protect her. As they piece together her past, Tanner wonders what lies hidden in Paige’s mind. And as the truth begins to emerge, it becomes clear that a ruthless enemy wants certain secrets to stay buried.

About the Author:

From medical secretary to court reporter to property manager to owner of a special events decorating company, Carol's resume reads like someone who doesn't know what she wants to be when she grows up. But one thing that has remained constant through the years is her love for writing. She started as a child writing poetry for family and friends, then graduated to articles which actually made it into some religious and children's publications. Several years ago (more than she's willing to admit), she penned her first novel. In 2010, she decided to get serious about writing fiction for publication and joined Romance Writers of America and her local RWA chapter.

Carol lives in sunshiny Central Florida with her husband of thirty-two years, who is her own real-life hero, and writes her stories under the shade of the huge oaks in her yard. Besides writing, she works alongside her music minister husband singing and playing the piano and holds the position of church treasurer. She enjoys sailing, hiking, camping, almost anything outdoors. Her two grown daughters and grandkids live too far away for her liking, so she now pours all that nurturing into taking care of three fat and sassy cats and one highly spoiled dog.

You can learn more about the author on her blog.


No compensation was received for this review. All opinions expressed are my own or that of my family. A complimentary review copy was provided to me.